New York’s Janel McCarville Named 2007 WNBA Most Improved Player

-- Becomes Second Liberty Player to Earn Honor --

NEW YORK, Aug. 24, 2007 – New York Liberty center Janel McCarville has been named the 2007 WNBA Most Improved Player, the league announced today. McCarville received 33 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Sacramento Monarchs forward Rebekkah Brunson finished second with seven votes and Liberty guard Loree Moore finished third with two votes.

After the Liberty chose her with the third selection overall in the Charlotte Sting Dispersal Draft this past January, McCarville enjoyed a breakout season and helped engineer a dramatic turnaround as the Liberty rebounded from its worst season in franchise history to earn a berth in the 2007 WNBA Playoffs.

As McCarville’s playing time increased from an average of 6.3 minutes over the Liberty’s first 13 games to 28.4 minutes over the final 21 contests, so too did the Wisconsin native’s output. Upon earning a permanent spot in the team’s starting lineup on June 26, McCarville quickly established herself as a go-to player and finished the year as the Liberty’s top rebounder (4.75 rpg) and third-leading scorer (10.4 ppg).

Over the 15 games that followed the All-Star Game, McCarville led the Liberty in scoring, averaging 15.7 points compared to just 5.7 prior to the break. Her rebounding performance also improved significantly during that same span, increasing from 3.4 boards per game to 6.3.

McCarville’s output in 2007 was significantly greater than that of her previous two seasons as she set career highs in minutes, points, field-goal and free-throw percentage, rebounds, assists and steals. Her 10.4 points per game surpassed the 4.6 she averaged a year ago and more than tripled the 3.2 average she brought into the 2007 season.

After collecting her first double-double, including a career-high 12 rebounds, in her fourth game as a starter at Detroit on July 6, McCarville recorded two more double-doubles – at Connecticut on July 26 and at Phoenix on Aug. 9. In the Phoenix contest, the third-year pro poured in a career-high 25 points.

The former University of Minnesota standout and the No. 1 pick overall in the 2005 WNBA Draft (by Charlotte) is the second Liberty player to receive the league’s Most Improved Player award. Tari Phillips earned the inaugural award in 2000.

As the WNBA Most Improved Player of the Year, McCarville will receive a specially designed trophy from Tiffany & Co. and $5,000.

Below are the results of the 2007 WNBA Most Improved Player voting and past recipients.

2007 MOST IMPROVED PLAYER RESULTS

33 - Janel McCarville - New York Liberty
7 - Rebekkah Brunson - Sacramento Monarchs
2 - Loree Moore - New York Liberty
1 - Jia Perkins - Chicago Sky
1 - Lindsay Whalen - Connecticut Sun
1 - Erin Buescher - San Antonio Silver Stars
1 - Becky Hammon - San Antonio Silver Stars
1 - Shanna Crossley - San Antonio Silver Stars
1 - Asjha Jones - Connecticut Sun
1 - Nakia Sanford - Washington Mystics
1 - Nicole Powell - Sacramento Monarchs
1 - Penny Taylor - Phoenix Mercury

PAST MOST IMPROVED PLAYER WINNERS

2007 - Janel McCarville - New York Liberty
2006 - Erin Buescher - Sacramento Monarchs
2005 - Nicole Powell - Sacramento Monarchs
2004 - Wendy Palmer/Kelly Miller - Connecticut Sun/Indiana Fever
2003 - Michelle Snow - Houston Comets
2002 - Coco Miller - Washington Mystics
2001 - Janeth Arcain - Houston Comets
2000 - Tari Phillips - New York Liberty

Featuring 13 teams and the greatest female basketball players in the world, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful women’s professional team sports league in U.S. history. The 2007 WNBA Playoffs tip off on August 23 with complete coverage through the Conference Finals being provided by ABC, ESPN2, ESPN and NBA TV. The 2007 WNBA Finals begin on September 5 and will be televised on ESPN and ESPN2.

More »

Video

Sun vs. Mystics

Ivory Latta scores 23 points and dishes out six assists to lift the Mystics past the Sun.

Odyssey Sims Career-High

Odyssey Sims goes for a career-high 39 points in the Shocks game versus the Stars.

Skylar Diggins Career-High

Skylar Diggins scores a career-high 34 points in the Shocks game versus the Stars.

Sky vs. Fever

Sylvia Fowles scores 21 points and pulls down 10 rebounds to lead the Sky to a 60-57 victory over the Fever.

Shock vs. Stars

Kayla McBride scores 23 points and the Stars overcome career-highs by Sims and Diggins to beat Tulsa 95-93.