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The Lady Vol basketball team starts their second season under head coach Holly Warlick next month. Before play even starts, senior Meighan Simmons and sophomore Bashaara Graves are on the list of preseason candidates for the Wade Trophy.

Here is more from the University of Tennessee:

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association released its 2013-14 "Wade Watch" list of candidates on Tuesday, and Tennessee's Meighan Simmons and Bashaara Graves are included in that preseason collection of the nation's top 25 players.

Now in its 37th year, The Wade Trophy is named in honor of the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. Regarded as "The Heisman of Women's Basketball," the award is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) and the WBCA.

Tennessee is one of five schools with more than one player on the list. The others are California, Connecticut, Duke and Notre Dame. The Lady Vols have two of the SEC's four members of the Wade Trophy's list of preseason candidates.

The preseason list is composed of top NCAA Division I women's basketball players who best embody Wade's spirit from 18 different institutions and seven conferences. A committee of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States compiled the list using the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team, and overall playing ability.

Simmons, the defending SEC Co-Player of the Year and a WBCA Honorable Mention All-American in 2013, finished second in the SEC last season with a 16.8 scoring average. The 5-foot-9 senior was a third-team All-America selection by both Associated Press and Full Court after scoring in double figures 23 times and helping lead UT to an SEC regular-season title and the NCAA Elite Eight.

Graves, meanwhile, was the 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year, a first-team All-SEC selection and also a WBCA Honorable Mention All-American. The 6-2 power forward averaged 13.2 points and 8.0 rebounds, and posted 10 double-doubles, with three of them coming against Notre Dame, Stanford and Louisville. She was named Full Court National Freshman of the Year and first-team Full Court All-American a year ago.

Here is the complete list of preseason candidates for the 2014 Wade Trophy in alphabetical order:

Player

Institution

Position

Year

Natalie Achonwa

Notre Dame

Forward

Senior

Rachel Banham

Minnesota

Guard

Junior

Brittany Boyd

California

Guard

Junior

Gennifer Brandon

California

Forward

Senior

Jerica Coley

FIU

Guard

Senior

Stefanie Dolson

Connecticut

Center

Senior

Aaryn Ellenberg

Oklahoma

Guard

Senior

Bashaara Graves

Tennessee

Forward

Sophomore

Chelsea Gray

Duke

Guard

Senior

Bria Hartley

Connecticut

Guard

Senior

Jordan Hooper

Nebraska

Forward

Senior

Maggie Lucas

Penn State

Guard

Senior

Tyaunna Marshall

Georgia Tech

Guard

Senior

Kayla McBride

Notre Dame

Guard

Senior

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis

Connecticut

Forward

Junior

Chiney Ogwumike

Stanford

Forward

Senior

Theresa Plaisance

LSU

Forward

Senior

Ebony Rowe

Middle Tennessee

Forward

Senior

Shoni Schimmel

Louisville

Guard

Senior

Meighan Simmons

Tennessee

Guard

Senior

Odyssey Sims

Baylor

Guard

Senior

DeNesha Stallworth

Kentucky

Forward

Senior

Breanna Stewart

Connecticut

Forward

Sophomore

Alyssa Thomas

Maryland

Forward

Senior

Elizabeth Williams

Duke

Center/Forward

Junior

About the NAGWS
The National Association for Girls and Women in Sport was established to develop and deliver equitable and quality sport opportunities for ALL girls and women through relevant research, advocacy, leadership development, educational strategies, and programming in a manner that promotes social justice and change.

About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit WBCA.org.

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