Nov. 19, 2009
Clemson guard/forward Lele Hardy has been named to the Naismith Trophy preseason candidate list, as announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Wednesday. The watch list, consisting of 50 student-athletes, was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2009-10 college basketball season. Hardy is one of nine ACC players on the list.
The ACC is the only league to have eight teams represented on the preseason list and owns the most student-athletes of any conference named to the candidate list. The Big XII is the only other league to have at least seven student-athletes among the 2009-10 candidates.
The Naismith Trophy, presented by AT&T, will be awarded at the 2010 NCAA Women’s Final Four in San Antonio, Texas. In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the Top 30 players in the nation. Then in March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists.
Hardy was a third-team All-ACC selection and an ACC All-Defensive team member after recording 104 steals a season ago. She averaged 16.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 3.42 steals per game in 2008-09. Entering the season, Hardy needed only 40 more steals to move into first in Clemson history, and remarkably had 287 steals to only 275 turnovers prior to her senior campaign.
So far in 2009-10, the ACC active leader in double-doubles has posted two already, and is averaging 15.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 5.0 steals per game through two contests.
Hardy and the Tigers will take on South Carolina on Thursday night at 7:00 pm in Littlejohn Coliseum.
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