BEST COLLEGE ATHLETE - 2003
When Janel McCarville first showed up at the University of Minnesota, the thought running through many sports fans' minds was this: How is she ever going to run up and down a basketball court? The concern dissipated almost immediately, though, as McCarville dropped 60 pounds seemingly overnight, and in her freshman season gradually emerged as an inside presence--something sorely lacking in the Gophers' game. But this year was her true coming-out party. The six-two center used her (still considerable) bulk to pull down a team-leading nine rebounds per game and smother the opposition inside the paint. (Perhaps she can provide Rick Rickert with some summer tutoring before he runs off to be manhandled in the NBA.) She also averaged 13 points per game by shooting an astounding 68 percent from the field. While teams were busy blanketing the dynamic Lindsay Whalen, McCarville quietly poured in bucket after bucket. For her efforts she earned All Big Ten honors and helped the Gophers to their best season in team history.