Centers of attention

They dominate the paint better than anybody else.

A look at the nation's top five centers (listed alphabetically, with last season's stats):

Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State, 6-5, senior
"A great post who also has a Magic Johnson-like skill of being able to deliver the ball to her teammates." -- Nancy Lieberman
"Variety of moves inside, really strong post passer and, wow, can this big girl handle the ball." -- Mechelle Voepel

Shawntinice Polk, Arizona, 6-5, sophomore
"Everyone's defense has been set up to stop her. No one has been successful yet." -- Nancy Lieberman
"Big and strong; if you don't deny her the ball, she'll kill you." -- Mechelle Voepel

Stacy Stephens, Texas, 6-1, senior
"Texas is loaded with talent, but everything runs through Stephens." -- Nancy Lieberman
"Not tall, but strong and has great hands. And she just wears foes down inside." -- Mechelle Voepel

Christi Thomas, Georgia, 6-5, senior
"Has been tremendous since her freshman season. Very good shot-blocker and post-up player." -- Nancy Lieberman
"Stakes her position well -- good luck moving her. Played very well for USA Basketball over the summer." -- Mechelle Voepel

Honorable mention: Janel McCarville, Minnesota; Lindsay Taylor, UC Santa Barbara; Vanessa Hayden, Florida

ESPN analyst Nancy Lieberman, ESPN.com columnist Mechelle Voepel and Melanie Jackson, who coordinates ESPN.com's women's basketball coverage, contributed to the selection process.