Mississippi State

Carter named To 2024 John Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List

The John R. Wooden Award presented by Principal announced Tuesday, Nov. 14 that graduate student center Jessika Carter was named to the Women’s Preseason Top 50 Watch List.

Selected by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of players who are deemed the initial front-runners for some of the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All American Team and Most Outstanding Player Award.

Mississippi State joins Tennessee as the only SEC institutions – one of 13 nationally – to have a player named to both the women’s and men’s list.

This is the latest watch list selection for Carter, who was named to the Lisa Leslie Award Preseason Watch List after she finished as a finalist for the honor last season. Carter also earned a place on the Coaches Preseason All-SEC First Team and Media Preseason All-SEC Second Team.

Carter is posting a stat line of 12.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 26.1 minutes per game through the first three contests. She has scored in double figures each time out and recorded her 29th career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds in the season-opener win over Alcorn State. Her 29 career double-doubles ranks second among active conference players.

Carter had a career-year in her first season under head coach Sam Purcell. The Waverly Hall, Ga. native paced all SEC players with a 57.0 field-goal percentage, in addition to leading the team in points, rebounding and blocks with 14.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. Her season totals of 65 blocks and 42 assists also marked career highs.

Her performance last season proved to be the catalyst that helped Mississippi State earned a NCAA Tournament bench after a three-year hiatus and eventually become the first team in women’s basketball history to advance to the tournament’s Second Round after starting in the First Four.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2024 John R. Wooden Award Women’s Player of the Year presented by Principal. Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the midseason list, late season list, and the eventual National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight round. The winner of the 2024 John R. Wooden Award will be presented in Los Angeles in April.

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