OU's Paris is first frosh to make AP All-America

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

In her first college game, Courtney Paris broke loose for 24 points and 10 rebounds -- in only 20 minutes.

As it turned out, she was just getting warmed up.

Four months and 33 double-doubles later, the Oklahoma center has become the first freshman selected for The Associated Press All-America team in women's basketball.

LSU senior Seimone Augustus was the lone unanimous choice on the team released Tuesday, and the only first-team repeater from last year. Also chosen were North Carolina junior Ivory Latta, Rutgers senior Cappie Pondexter and Baylor senior Sophia Young.

Augustus was a first-team pick on all 46 ballots from the national media panel that votes in the weekly Top 25.

Since the AP began selecting women's All-America teams in the 1994-95 season, four freshmen had made the second and third teams, including Augustus, a third-team pick in 2003.

A season filled with eye-popping numbers enabled the 6-foot-4 Paris -- daughter of former NFL lineman Bubba Paris -- to break into the first five.

"It's pretty weird to think that last year you're in high school, and now you get to college a few months later and you get to be with Ivory and all these other guys," Paris said. "It's humbling to be considered in the same group."

Tennessee's freshman sensation, Candace Parker, was voted to the second team, along with Duke's Monique Currie, Ohio State's Jessica Davenport, Stanford's Candice Wiggins and Maryland's Crystal Langhorne.

The third team included LSU's Sylvia Fowles, Georgia's Tasha Humphrey, DePaul's Khara Smith, Utah's Kim Smith and Temple's Candice Dupree.

Paris showed up at Oklahoma with her twin sister, Ashley, and their impact was stunning. After finishing 17-13 last season and barely making the NCAA tournament, the Sooners became the first team to go 16-0 in the Big 12 and were 31-5 overall.

During the regular season, Paris averaged 21.4 points, led the nation in rebounding (15.1) and made 61 percent of her shots. She became the first NCAA women's player with 700 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks in a season.

Paris also broke a 21-year-old NCAA record with her 539 rebounds.

Augustus was a unanimous selection last season, when she was the national player of the year. Her 23-point regular-season average led the nation and she shot 57.8 percent, including 51.5 percent from 3-point range.

Latta, North Carolina's effervescent 5-6 point guard, averaged 18.4 points and five assists in leading the Tar Heels to the ACC regular-season and tournament championships and their first No. 1 ranking.

Pondexte led the Scarlet Knights to a 16-0 Big East record. She averaged 21.5 points and 3.2 assists

Young led Baylor to the national championship last year and came back with a solid senior season, averaging 22.2 points and 10 rebounds

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