Cirone Named Regional Finalist For WBCA All-America Team
March 20, 2008
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State junior guard Kristi Cirone was named a regional finalist for the Division I State Farm Coaches All-America team, as selected by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), Wednesday, March 19. Cirone is one of 52 regional finalists and is in contention to be among the pool of 40 finalists that the 10-member all-America team will be chosen from.
Cirone was the Jackie Stiles Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season, becoming just the fourth player in the history of the conference to achieve that feat, after leading the Valley in assists (5.6 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.04), and finishing second in scoring (16.3 ppg) and steals (2.6 spg). She was also a First-Team All-Valley, First-Team All-MVC Scholar-Athlete and All-Valley Defensive Team selection.
She has scored in double-figures 28 times this season, led the team in scoring 14 times and assists 19 times. Cirone has eclipsed 20 points eight times, including a season-best 27 at Southern Illinois. Her 12 assists against Indiana State tied her career-high and were tied for the most by a Valley player this season, along with Missouri State guard Tahnee Ballerio.
During the 2008 State Farm MVC Tournament, Cirone earned MVP honors after averaging 18.7 ppg to lead the Redbirds to the championship. She tied her season-high with 27 points against Southern Illinois in the quarterfinals and scored 20 points in the championship game against Drake.
Senior guard Jolene Anderson (Wisconsin), junior guard Kristi Smith (Iowa), sophomore center Jenna Smith (Illinois) and freshman center Jantel Lavender (Ohio State) were the other selections in region six. Cirone was the only Valley player among the regional finalists.
In an effort to establish a fair number of candidates from each region, an equation to determine the number of regional nominees was formulated. The total number of Division I institutions in each region is divided by the total number of Division I institutions to get a percentage for each region. Multiply 52 (the total number of desired finalists) by the percentage to get a total number of finalists for each region. The 52 regional finalists then go before the selection committee where the list is reduced to 40 finalists. Those 40 finalists can come from any region.
The State Farm Coaches' All-America Basketball Team for NCAA Division I will be announced at the State Farm Coaches' All-America Team Press Conference at the Tampa Hyatt Regency on April 5, at 9:45 a.m. (ET) in Tampa, Fla.