University of Miami junior forward Darius Rice is among 30 midseason finalists for the 2002-03 John R. Wooden Award. A national poll was conducted by the Wooden Award Midseason Committee to determine the Top 30 Midseason candidates.
The Wooden Award, which will be presented on April 1 in Los Angeles, is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball and is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his university that he is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 grade point average.
Rice is averaging a team-high 19.2 points per game this season and ranks among the Big East leaders in scoring, rebounding (5.8), steals (1.7), three-point field goals per game (2.5) and three-point field goal percentage (.378).
Rice, a preseason first-team All-Big East selection, ranks first on the team with 17 double-figure scoring games this season including four 20-point games, one 30-point game and one 40-point game. His 43 points against Connecticut on January 20 marked the third highest scoring total in Big East history.
Rice is one of seven Big East players on the list of 30 candidates including Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse), Marcus Hatten (St. John’s), Brandin Knight (Pittsburgh), Emeka Okafor (Connecticut), Michael Sweetney (Georgetown) and Chris Thomas (Notre Dame).
Swimming and Diving
The University of Miami swimming and diving team received several outstanding performances at the Florida Atlantic University meet Saturday in Boca Raton, Fla.
The Hurricanes were competing in a field that included not only the host Owls, but also Florida A&M and North Florida.
UM swimmer Manon Van Rooijen took first-place finishes in three events. In the 200-yard freestyle, the Dutch Olympian finished first with a time of 1:51.75. In the 100 free, Van Rooijen 9 (51.86) barely escaped teammate Christine Williams (51.99). She also took the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.81.
The Hurricanes’ Elaine Schwartz finished second (10:38.36) in the 1,000 free and placed first in the 200 fly (2:05.73). Schwartz also placed first in the 400 IM (4:30.60).
In the 200 medley relay, the Hurricanes’ ‘A’ team finished first with a 1:49.82 clocking. The UM ‘C’ team finished third in the same event.
Tamara Watts took a second-place finish in the 100 backstroke (59.77) and first in the 200 back (2:06.59).
Megan Kinsella finished third in the 500 free (5:16.40) and second in the 400 IM (4:33.59).
As usual, the Hurricanes dominated the diving events as Katie Beth Bryant and Emily Spychala finished first and second in the 1-meter dive with scores of 317.60 and 313.25 respectively. Miguel Velazquez took first in both the 1-meter (337.40) and 3-meter (316.65) dives.
Spychala took the 3-meter dive with a score of 299.55.