Monday, March 29, 2010

Virginia's Wright gets defensive

Congratulations to Virginia's Monica Wright for winning the WBCA's Defensive Player of the Year award. Although certainly not its intent, the four-year-old award has wound up being sort of a consolation prize for its honoree after a bitter NCAA Tournament loss.

In 2007, Duke's Lindsey Harding won the inaugural DPOY trophy a few days after she missed two free throws with 0.1 seconds left in a 53-52 loss to Rutgers in the Sweet 16. (You know, if Harding doesn't miss those free throws, Rutgers never makes it to the final, Don Imus never calls them "nappy-headed hos", Imus doesn't get fired, Kia Vaughn never files and then withdraws her lawsuit....)

In 2008, Slyvia Fowles was selected the WBCA's top defender shortly after Alexis Hornbuckle's tip-in with 0.7 seconds remaining boosted Tennessee past LSU 47-46 and into the national title game. Last season, Vanderbilt's Jennifer Risper captured defensive player of the year honors soon after her Commodores blew an 18-point lead to Marissa Coleman-led Maryland. Coleman scored 42 points and his the go-ahead jumper with 28 seconds left in a 78-74 victory.

Now Wright gets the award a little over a week after her 34-point, 9-rebound, 6-steal effort fell just short in the Cavaliers' 69-67 first-round loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Funny, because everyone keeps telling us that defense wins championships.

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