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INDIANAPOLIS - LSU forward Seimone Augustus was named the Associated Press national player of the year Saturday.
"I'm very glad I'm receiving these awards, but it means even more that my team is a success," Augustus said. "Coming to the Final Four means much more than just being the college player of the year. If you're not successful as a team, you still have doubts in your mind."
Augustus, a 6-foot-1 junior and Baton Rouge native, has played in all 104 games of her career and is averaging 20.1 points and shooting 54.7 percent from the field. This season, she leads LSU at 19.9 points per game and is shooting 54.2 percent. She has scored in double figures in 61 straight games and had a career-high 33 in a victory over Baylor in November.
"It's great that Seimone can be the recipient of so many individual awards and at the same time lift a team," coach Pokey Chatman said. "Think about it: She's a (small forward). She doesn't have the ball in her hands a large percentage of the time. And to me, that's what separates her from being a good player to the great player that she is."
Earlier in the day, Augustus received the Wade Trophy, another player of the year award, and was named to the Kodak/WBCA All-America team. (USF's Jessica Dickson was honorable mention.) Two weeks ago, Augustus was the only unanimous choice on the AP All-America team.
"If I had to predict the perfect day, this would be it," she said.
Augustus received 39 of 45 votes from the national media panel that selects the Top 25 teams in the AP poll. Kansas State's Kendra Wecker and LSU's Temeka Johnson received two votes and Notre Dame's Jacqueline Batteast and Ohio State's Jessica Davenport one.
STILL THE MAIN ATTRACTION: Fans lined up before the gates of the RCA Dome opened at 9:30 a.m. for a chance to get autographs from Tennessee coach Pat Summitt and her players. The autograph session began at 12:10 p.m.
"All of our student-athletes understand that they're role models, and they have to decide what kind of role models they want to be," Summitt said. "Basketball is one thing, but being able to touch lives is far more important when you look at the big picture. I hope they never turn down an autograph."
HAUNTING SECONDS: It has been a year since Baylor missed out on a trip to the Elite Eight after a controversial foul was called against it with 0.2 seconds left against Tennessee.
"You never forget it, but I think probably when I got back on the court with the team this year," coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson said, referring to putting it behind her. "Throughout the summer, I had watched my children play little league softball and baseball, and I couldn't handle some of it. I just still relived the moment, and I just never felt that there was a finish to the season."
The players used it as motivation, wearing T-shirts reading "0.2 seconds" throughout the tournament.
HOMECOMING: Tennessee's Shyra Ely and Shanna Zolman are Indiana natives and suddenly more popular than ever. They said they've had to delegate ticket distribution to their parents so they can focus on the game.
"I had people coming out of the woodwork," Ely said.
THIS AND THAT: This is the fourth Final Four and first since 1997 with all women coaches. ... Michigan State assistant Semeka Randall is a former Tennessee All-American and a member of two championship teams (1997 and 1998). ... Mulkey-Robertson won a title as the starting point guard for Louisiana Tech in 1982.