March 23, 2000
Norman, Okla. - The United States Basketball Writers Association (U.S.B.W.A.) named Oklahoma's senior forward Phylesha Whaley (Slaton, Texas) to its 10-member All-America team. The U.S.B.W.A. media organization only chooses the top 10 players in the nation, awarding them First Team All-America plaudits. Whaley becomes the first player in OU women's basketball history to earn U.S.B.W.A. All-America honors.
In addition, Whaley is a finalist for the Kodak All-America team that's announced on March 30 at the Women's Basketball Final Four. She qualified for this honor after being named to the five-member All-District V team. Whaley leads the team in scoring, four the fourth consecutive year, with 20.7 points and rebounding, for the third straight season, with 8.1 boards per game. Her points per game ranks 14th nationally. She also shots a team-best 53.7% from the field and 46.7% from three-point land.
Earlier this month, Whaley was named to the Women's Basketball News Service All-American first team and Big 12 Conference Player of the Year and All-Big 12 first team selection.
Whaley leads the 25-7 Sooners into the semifinals of the NCAA East Regional Tournament Saturday, March 25, in Richmond, Vir. OU, a five seed, defeated 12th seed Brigham Young, 86-81, and upset the defending national champions, Purdue, 76-74, to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16.
Oklahoma plays top-ranked Connecticut (32-1) on ESPN national television on Saturday at 2 p.m. EST.
Georgia coach Andy Landers was named U.S.B.W.A. National Coach of the Year, as his Georgia Lady Bulldogs are the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region and Final 16 participants. Tennessee junior Tamika Catchings was voted the 1999-2000 U.S.B.W.A. National Player of the Year, while Mississippi State forward LaToya Thomas was named National Freshman of the Year as the SEC swept the top individual honors for player, freshman and coach of the year. There are two repeat winners of U.S.B.W.A. All-America honors -- Catchings and Connecticut junior forward Svetlana Abrosimova.
Only two seniors grace the team, and both are from the Big 12 Conference Whaley and Texas forward Edwina Brown. The remainder of the team includes Purdue junior forward Katie Douglas, Louisiana Tech junior guard Betty Lennox, Connecticut junior guard Shea Ralph, Notre Dame junior center Ruth Riley and Southwest Missouri State junoir guard Jackie Stiles.
1999-2000 U.S. BASKETBALL WRITERS ASSOCIATION WOMEN'S ALL-AMERICA TEAM
|Betty Lennox||Jr.||G||Louisiana Tech|
|Ruth Riley||Jr.||C||Notre Dame|
|Jackie Stiles||Jr.||G||Southwest Missouri State|
|NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR||NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR|
|Tamika Catchings, Jr. F, Tennessee||LaToya Thomas, Fr. F, Mississippi State|
NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
Andy Landers, Georgia