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Preseason polls give preview of 2012-12 women’s basketball landscape

Published on October 28, 2011

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Baylor’s Brittney Griner repeats as Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year

Complete list of preseason polls

In the past several weeks, conference preseason awards have given die-hard women’s basketball fans a preview of what teams are predicted to dominate their respective leagues. The Great West, Northeast,  Southland and West Coast conferences have not yet released their preseason standings.

In the Atlantic Coast Conference, Miami sits atop the preseason rankings for the first time since it joined the conference in 2004. Traditional ACC powerhouse Duke came in second, Maryland was third while North Carolina showed up at sixth and North Carolina State placed seventh.

In the Big 12, last year’s conference champion is ranked No. 1 while national champion Texas A&M is second. Texas is third, Oklahoma fourth while Iowa State takes fifth. Baylor junior and dominating center Brittney Griner is once again the choice for preseason player of the year.

Last year’s opponent against Texas A&M in the national title game Notre Dame has the top spot in the Big East. Final Four participant Connecticut is second while Louisville is in third. Rutgers is in fourth and Georgetown rounds out the top five.

Penn State takes the preseason lead in the Big Ten, topping Ohio State, last year’s conference champion. Two players share the preseason player of the year honors in the conference: OSU senior Samantha Prahalis and Penn State junior Alex Bentley.

Delaware continues its recent dominance in the Colonial Athletic Conference, sitting on top of the preseason poll. Blue Hens junior Elena Delle Donne is the league’s preseason player of the year. Delaware returns five starters from last year’s 20-14 team.

In Conference USA, Memphis leads the pack with senior guard Brittany Carter taking the preseason player of the year honor. Carter missed five conference games last season with a stress fracture but managed to average a team-high 13.8 points per game. Head coach Melissa McFerrin guided her team to its 18th 20-win season (21-13) in 2010-11. The Tigers return four starters.

Among the Ivies, last year’s conference leader Princeton is again on top. Tigers star Niveen Rasheed is back in action this season for Princeton after recovering from a torn ACL.

In the Southeastern Conference, Tennessee once again is ranked first in the preseason polls. The team has six seniors, returning the majority of the squad despite losing guards Angie Bjorklund and Sydney Smallbone plus center Kelley Cain. Lady Vols senior Shekinna Stricklen was the overwhelming choice in the media poll for SEC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year.

On the west coast in the Pac-12 it is no surprise that Stanford leads for the 11th year in a row. The 2010-11 NCAA Final Four team and last year’s conference champion is packed with sisters Nneka and Chiney Ogumwike returning. Recent Naismith Hall of Fame inductee Tara VanDerveer, who is entering her 26th year, looks to take the Cardinal back to the Final Four.

Conference Preseason Pick Preason
Player of the Year
2011 Conference
Tournament Champion
Atlantic Coast

Poll

Miami Shenise Johnson, Sr., G, Miami Duke
America East

Poll

UMBC All-Conference First Team
Unanimous Pick: Chantell Alford, Jr., G, Boston
Hartford
Atlantic 10

Poll

Tie: Dayton, Temple All-Conference First Team Xavier
Atlantic Sun

Poll

Florida Gulf Coast Victoria McGowan, Jr., G, Steston Stetson
Big 12

Poll

Baylor Brittney Griner, Jr., C, Baylor Baylor
Big East

Poll

Notre Dame Skylar Diggins, Jr. G, Notre Dame Connecticut
Big Sky

Poll

Portland State N/A Montana
Big South

Poll

Liberty Avery Warley, R-Sr., C, Liberty Gardner-Webb
Big Ten

Poll

Penn State Tie: Samantha Prahalis, Sr., G, Ohio State || Alex Bentley, Jr., G, Penn State Ohio State
Big West

Poll

Cal Poly All-Conference Team UC Davis
Colonial

Poll

Delaware Elena Delle Donne, Jr., G/F, Delaware James Madison
Conference USA

Poll

Memphis Brittany Carter, Sr., G, Memphis UCF
Great West

Poll

TBA TBA Chicago State
Horizon

Poll

Green Bay Brandi Brown, Jr., F, Youngstown State Green Bay
Ivy

Poll

Princeton N/A Princeton*
Metro Atlantic

Poll

Marist Corielle Yarde, Sr., G, Marist Marist
Mid-American

Poll

East Division: Bowling Green
West Division: Toledo
All-Mac Team Bowling Green
Mid-Eastern

Poll

Hampton Saadia Doyle, Jr., F, Howard Hampton
Missouri Valley

Poll

Missouri State Casey Garrison, Sr., G, Missouri State Northern Iowa
Mountain West

Poll

TCU Kim Mestdagh, Sr., G/F, Colorado State Utah
Northeast

Poll

TBA TBA Saint Francis (PA)
Ohio Valley

Poll

Tennessee Tech Tacarra Hayes, Sr., G, Tennessee Tech Tennessee Martin
Pacific-12

Poll

Stanford N/A Stanford
Patriot

Poll

American Jade Geif, Soph., F, Navy Navy
Southeastern

Poll

Tennessee Shekinna Stricklen, Sr., G/F, Tennessee Tennessee
Southern

Poll

Chattanooga Sophia Alexandravicius, Soph., F, Davidson Samford
Southland

Poll

TBA TBA McNeese State
SWAC

Poll

Tie: Southern, Prairie View A&M N/A, First Team Selections Prairie View A&M
Summit

Poll

Oral Roberts Kevi Luper, Jr., G, Oral Roberts South Dakota State
Sun Belt

Poll

East Division: Denver
West Division: Middle Tennessee
Preseason Co-Players of the Year
Ebony Rowe, Soph., F, Middle Tennessee
Kaetlyn Murdoch, Sr., F, Denver
Arkansas at Little Rock
West Coast

Poll

TBA TBA Gonzaga
Western Athletic

Poll

Louisiana Tech Ashlee Brown, Sr., F, Utah State Louisiana Tech

*Regular season champion. The Ivy League does not have a tournament.


 

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