Terps' starting five among 50 Naismith candidates

ATLANTA -- All five starters for defending national champion Maryland were included in the 50 preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday.

The Naismith is an annual award which honors the national player of the year in men's and women's college basketball. Seimone Augustus of LSU won the award the past two seasons. Other notable winners include Diana Taurasi, Cheryl Miller, Chamique Holdsclaw and Sheryl Swoopes.

The Top 50 list, selected on last season's performances and expectations for the 2006-07 season, was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. In January, the Board of Selectors will narrow the list to the Top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March.

A look at the preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy (listed in alphabetical order):

Name Pos. School

Matee Ajavon G Rutgers
Jolene Anderson G Wisconsin
Morenike Atunrase G/F Texas A&M
Alison Bales C Duke
DeWanna Bonner F Auburn
Sha Brooks G Florida
Essense Carson F Rutgers
Cori Chambers G Georgia
Angela Clark F St. John's
Marissa Coleman F Maryland
Jazz Covington F Louisville
Jessica Davenport C Ohio State
Dee Davis G Vanderbilt
Jessica Dickson G South Florida
Shay Doron G Maryland
Sylvia Fowles C LSU
Katie Gearlds G Purdue
Chrissy Givens F Middle Tennessee
Devanai Hampton C Cal
Lindsey Harding G Duke
Kiera Hardy G Nebraska
Laura Harper F Maryland
Cameo Hicks G Washington
Alexis Hornbuckle G Tennessee
Charde Houston F Connecticut
Tasha Humphrey F Georgia
Tiffany Jackson F Texas
Tye Jackson F Houston
Crystal Kelly F Western Kentucky
Crystal Langhorne F Maryland
Erlana Larkins F UNC
Ivory Latta G UNC
Camille Little F UNC
Victoria Lucas-Perry G Michigan State
Dionne Marsh F New Mexico
Lindsey Medders G Iowa State
Renee Montgomery G Connecticut
Shay Murphy G USC
Courtney Paris C Oklahoma
Candace Parker F/G/C Tennessee
Armintie Price G Ole Miss
Allie Quigley G DePaul
Noelle Quinn F UCLA
Jillian Robbins F Tulsa
Megan Skouby C Iowa
Brooke Smith F/C Stanford
Kristi Toliver G Maryland
Mercedes Walker C Pittsburgh
Emily Westerberg F Arizona State
Candice Wiggins G Stanford

Cingular Wireless, which sponsors the award, will help let fans determine the winner. Text messaging will account for 25 percent of the final results.