RALEIGH, N.C. - Two Southeastern Conference stars highlighted the list of award-winners issued by The Women's Basketball Journal. Kelly Miller, Georgia's standout junior guard, was tabbed as the 1999-2000 WBJ National Player of the Year, and Mississippi State's LaToya Thomas was named the Freshman of the Year by the newspaper's editors.
"We depend on Kelly for so many things," noted Georgia head coach Andy Landers. "She obviously has the ability to run the team from the point guard position, but she goes way beyond that.
"There aren't many point guards who are counted on to rebound. The great thing about Kelly is that if we tell her before a game that we need her to rebound, she'll go out and get eight, nine or 10 rebounds for us. I can't tell you how many times we've told the team during a timeout, 'We have to get a rebound,' or 'We have to make a deflection,' and then Kelly would go out and do it for us. It's like dial-a-request with Kelly."
Rene Portland, who guided Penn State to its first outright Big Ten title this season, was named the WBJ National Coach of the Year. In addition, Tennessee's Semeka Randall was chosen as the National Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season.
The Women's Basketball Journal has covered the sport on all levels for the past three years.
Player of the Year: Kelly Miller, Jr., G, Georgia
Coach of the Year: Rene Portland, Penn State
Freshman of the Year: LaToya Thomas, F, Mississippi State
Defensive Player of the Year: Semeka Randall, Jr., G, Tennessee
WBJ Defensive All-Americans
These 10 players were named the best defenders of the country following an informal poll of Division I head coaches from across the country. Tennessee's Semeka Randall was tabbed as the nation's finest defensive player for the second consecutive year, edging out Tamicha Jackson of Louisiana Tech for the honor.
Here are the Top 10 freshmen in the nation during the 1999-2000 season according to the WBJ editors. LaToya Thomas, who keyed Mississippi State's tremendous season, was an overwhelming choice as America's top freshman.