Lincoln - Nebraska's Jordan Hooper and Lindsey Moore earned spots on the 2012 Naismith Trophy Midseason 32 when the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced its women's basketball national player-of-the-year candidates on Wednesday.
The two most dangerous weapons on Nebraska's top-25 team, Hooper and Moore rank among the top eight players in the Big Ten Conference in scoring. Hooper, who ranks fourth in the Big Ten in scoring at 19.1 points per game, also leads the conference in rebounding with 9.3 boards per game. She is also tied for fourth in the Big Ten with 2.2 made threes per game. Moore ranks eighth in scoring (15.4 ppg), while ranking second in the Big Ten with 5.2 assists per contest. She also ranks sixth in the conference with 2.2 steals per game.
Nebraska's dynamic duo becomes the first pair of Husker teammates in history to earn spots on the same national player-of-the-year watch list. Nebraska is one of just 10 teams nationally with two or more players on the Naismith Midseason Top 32, joining fellow Big Ten schools Penn State and Ohio State, along with Notre Dame (3), Baylor, Connecticut, Tennessee, Stanford, Duke and Miami.
Hooper, a 6-2 sophomore forward from Alliance, Neb., earned one of five spots on the first-team All-Big Ten squad earlier this week. She leads the Big Ten with 11 double-doubles on the season, while ranking 26th nationally in scoring and 43rd in NCAA Division I statistics in rebounding.
Hooper, who earlier this year was named to the State Farm Wade Trophy Watch List, is one of just seven sophomores nationally on the Naismith Trophy Midseason 32.
The two-time Nebraska High School Player of the Year has helped her homestate Huskers to a 21-7 overall record this season, including a 10-6 Big Ten mark. She has produced a trio of 30-point performances this season - all in a four-game stretch, including a 31-point, 11-rebound effort in a win at eventual Big Ten champion Penn State on Dec. 30. She has recorded 13 20-point games on the year, including a 27-point eruption in Nebraska's thrilling triple-overtime victory at No. 15 Purdue on Feb. 2.
In addition to becoming just the second player in Nebraska history to score 30 points three times in a four-game stretch, she became just the seventh player in Husker history to grab 15 or more rebounds three times in a career. Hooper accomplished the feat three times in a seven-game stretch, including a 19-point, 18-rebound effort in a win over Wisconsin on Feb. 19. Hooper's 18 rebounds marked the highest total by a Husker since 1999. All three of her 15-rebound efforts came in Big Ten play.
Hooper enters the Big Ten Tournament needing just 12 points to become the first sophomore in Nebraska history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. She also needs just two three-pointers to crack NU's top five in career threes made. She has already become one of just seven players in school history to produce 500 points and 250 rebounds in the same season.
Moore, a 5-9 junior point guard from Covington, Wash., earned one of five spots on the second-team All-Big Ten team on Monday. The 2011 honorable-mention All-Big 12 pick was also a 2010 Big 12 All-Freshman selection for the Huskers. In 2009-10, Moore became the first freshman point guard in NCAA Division I history to start every game for a team that went undefeated in the regular season. Moore helped the Huskers to a 29-0 regular-season record and the 2010 Big 12 title while playing alongside with 2010 Naismith National Player-of-the-Year finalist and first-team All-American Kelsey Griffin.
Moore, who has started 93 consecutive games as Nebraska's point guard since arriving in Lincoln as a Parade All-American and 2009 Washington High School Player of the Year, ranks No. 22 all-time at Nebraska with 1,073 points. She also ranks No. 4 in career assists with 483 and No. 8 with 113 career three-pointers made.
Hooper, Moore and the rest of the Huskers head to Indianapolis for Nebraska's first Big Ten Conference Tournament, beginning with Thursday's game against Northwestern. Tip-off between the Huskers and Wildcats is set for approximately 1 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Naismith Trophy Midseason 32
- Jordan Hooper, So., F, Nebraska
- Lindsey Moore, Jr., G, Nebraska
- Alex Bentley, Jr., G, Penn State
- Maggie Lucas, So., G, Penn State
- Samantha Prahalis, Sr., G, Ohio State
- Tayler Hill, Jr., G, Ohio State
- Skyler Diggins, Jr., G, Notre Dame
- Natalie Novasel, Sr., G, Notre Dame
- Deveraux Peters, Sr., F, Notre Dame
- Brittney Griner, Jr., C, Baylor
- Odyssey Sims, So., G, Baylor
- Bria Hartley, So., G, Connecticut
- Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Fr., F, Connecticut
- Glory Johnson, Sr., F, Tennessee
- Shekinna Stricklen, Sr., G/F, Tennessee
- Nneka Ogwumike, Sr., F, Stanford
- Chiney Ogwumike, So., F, Stanford
- Chelsea Gray, So., G, Duke
- Elizabeth Williams, Fr., C, Duke
- Shenise Johnson, Sr., G, Miami
- Riquna Williams, Sr., G, Miami
- Elena Della Donne, Jr., F, Delaware
- Courtney Hurt, Sr., F, VCU
- Jessica Jenkins, Sr., G, St. Bonaventure
- Anna Martin, Jr., G, DePaul
- A'dia Mathies, Jr., G, Kentucky
- Brittany Rayburn, Sr., G, Purdue
- Sugar Rodgers, Jr., G, Georgetown
- Khadijah Rushdan, Sr., G, Rutgers
- Alyssa Thomas, So., F, Maryland
- Julie Wojta, Sr., G/F, Green Bay