Kelsey Griffin, a 6-2 power forward from Eagle River, Alaska, is in the midst of one of the most productive seasons in women's college basketball this year, averaging 19.1 points and 10.4 rebounds while leading the Huskers with 33 steals and 16 charges drawn.
The two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection is leading the Big 12 in rebounding, while ranking third in the league in scoring despite averaging just 26.4 minutes per game for the 18-0 Huskers, who have produced the best start and longest winning streak in school history. Griffin, who ranks among the top 25 players nationally in both scoring and rebounding, while ranking in the top five in the country in field goal percentage (.611) has powered the Huskers rise to a No. 4 national ranking in the most recent USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25 - the highest ranking in Nebraska history.
As impressive as Griffin's per game averages appear, her per-40-minute production is nearly unmatched across the country this season, as she averages 28.9 points, 15.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.8 steals per 40 minutes.
Griffin is the Big 12 Conference's active career rebounding leader with 852, while ranking third among active scorers in the league with 1,691 points. She is one just three players in Nebraska history to record 1,600 points and 800 rebounds in her career, joining 1993 Wade Trophy winner Karen Jennings and All-American and two-time WNBA All-Star Anna DeForge.
Griffin was among seven candidates added to the Wade Trophy's 25-player preseason list, joining Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogumike, Notre Dame's Lyndsay Schrader, University of Tennessee's Shekinna Stricklen, Ole Miss' Bianca Thomas and Duke's Jasmine Thomas.
The renowned "Wade Watch" list for The State Farm Wade Trophy is comprised of student-athletes who are members of an NCAA Division I institution and are selected based on the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability. The State Farm Wade Watch list will be narrowed down to 12 finalists in mid-March. The State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be officially announced at the WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four, in San Antonio, Texas.
The Wade Trophy, named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University head coach Lily Margaret Wade, debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball. The Wade Trophy Coalition was established in June of 2000 when the WBCA partnered with The National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS). For the past 10 years the two have worked together to present The State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year Award. A committee compromised of coaches, administration and media from across the United States selects the winner.
A Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award candidate as well, Griffin will try to help the Huskers improve on their Big 12-leading 5-0 record on Saturday, when Nebraska travels to Colorado. Tip-off with the Buffaloes is set for 4:30 p.m. (Central) with live television coverage provided by Fox Sports Rocky Mountain. The game can be seen in Lincoln on Time Warner Cable Channel 302 (Fox College Sports Central), DirecTV Channel 683 and DISH Channel 414.