April 9, 1997

Roland Named Women's Basketball MVP

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Jannon Roland was named Most Valuable Player of the 1996-97 Purdue women's basketball team, it was announced tonight at the team's 11th-annual recognition banquet.

A 6-foot-1 senior forward from Urbana, Ohio, Roland paced Purdue with 18.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 46.1 percent form the field (tied for tops on the team) and 79.2 percent from the free throw line (tops on the team). She ranked second in three-point field goal percentage (33.3) and was third in treys made (26) and steals (47). roland was the Big Ten Conference's co-scoring champion (with Pen State's Aggie potthoff) with an average of 20.4 points in conference games.

Roland also received the team's Ruth Jones Memorial Award (dedication and enthusiasm).

Other awards presented were the Academic Award to senior guard Barbie Baxter; the Most Improved player Award to senior forward Corissa Yasen; the Margaret McGinnins Feathers Best Defensive Player Award to sophomore guard Ukari Figgs; the Coaches' Award (tremendous character, heart and work ethic) to sophomore guard Stephanie White; the Rookie-of-the-Year Award to freshman forward Mackenzie Curless; the Unsung Hero Award to freshman forward Michelle Duhart; the Boilermaker Award (potential and promise) to freshman guard Tiffany Young; and the Chemistry Award (holding the team together) to walkons Baxter, Danielle Bird, Shayla Potter and Amy Shaffer. Yasen also is the team's nominee for th Red Mackey Award (scholarship award for postgraduate study or completion of undergraduate degree). All 11 players on the roster received an award.

Earlier, Roland was named honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press and Kodak, the Chicago Tribune Silver Basketball recipient as the Big Ten Most Valuable Player and the Big Ten Player-of-the-Year in balloting by the conference coaches. Roland was first team all-conference, while White earned second team laurels and Yasen was honorable mention. Baxter, Shaffer and White were named Academic All-Big Ten and White was Academic All-District V.

The Boilermakers, under first-year head coach Nell Fortner, finished the 1996-97 season with a 17-11 overall record. They were tri-Big Ten champions with Illinois and Michigan State. All three schools were 12-4 in conference play. Purdue was the No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament Mideast Regional and defeated No. 9 seed Maryland 74-48 in the first round March 14 before losing to top-seeded, No. 2-ranked and eventual national runner-up Old Dominion 69-65 in overtime March 16. The Boilermakers played all four teams that advanced to the 1997 NCAA Women's Final Four: Notre Dame, Old Dominion, Stanford and Tennessee.