Jayhawks Tabbed Ninth In Big 12 Women's Basketball Preseason Poll

Oct. 8, 2008

IRVING, Texas –

The Kansas women’s basketball team was tabbed for a ninth-place finish in the 2008-09 preseason poll of the league’s head coaches. For the second time in the last three seasons, Oklahoma was picked to win the conference title.

This season’s predictions proved to be difficult as the 12 first-place votes were spread among five programs. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team. The Big 12 is coming off a campaign that produced a conference-record 11 postseason bids, including eight in the 2008 NCAA Championship field.

The Sooners received seven first-place nods and 124 total points as they return four starters, highlighted by three-time unanimous All-America Courtney Paris. Texas earned one first-place vote and 95 points to nab second, followed by Iowa State in third with two first-place votes and 93 points. Baylor was picked fourth with one first-place vote and 89 points while 2008 Big 12 postseason champion Texas A&M was chosen fifth with 85 points. Oklahoma State earned the final first-place vote with 79 points in sixth.

Defending Big 12 regular season champion Kansas State was picked seventh followed by Nebraska, Kansas, Texas Tech, Colorado and Missouri.

Kansas returns four starters and 11 letterwinners off last season’s squad which finished the season 17-16 overall. The Jayhawks are led by junior guard-forward Danielle McCray, who was the team leader in both scoring (14.9) and rebounding (7.1) in 2007-08. McCray finished the year ranked in the top 15 of the Big 12 in eight different statistical categories.

The Jayhawks also return 6-foot-5 sophomore center Krysten Boogaard, who earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Rookie Team after averaging 9.4 points and 5.5 boards per game. In addition, junior guard Sade Morris returns to the line-up after averaging 9.8 points and 3.5 caroms per contest last season.

BU, ISU, KSU, NU, OU, OSU, UT and TAMU competed in the NCAA Tournament last year as the Big 12 became the first conference in the history of the championship to compile an 8-0 record in first round games. CU, KU and TTU represented the conference in the WNIT.

Big 12 squads return 108 letterwinners to 2008-09 squads, including 41 starters. Conference teams combined lost just 20 seniors from last year with only six of those averaging double-digit scoring.

The 2008-09 regular season gets underway on Friday, Nov. 14. Big 12 head coaches and select student-athletes will convene in Oklahoma City on Oct. 22 for the annual Big 12 Women’s Basketball Media Day. Oklahoma City’s Cox Convention Center will serve as the site of the 2009 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship Thursday-Sunday, March 12-15.

2008-09 Big 12 Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll

1. Oklahoma (7) 124

2. Texas (1) 95

3. Iowa State (2) 93

4. Baylor (1) 89

5. Texas A&M 85

6. Oklahoma State (1) 79

7. Kansas State 71

8. Nebraska 56

9. Kansas 41

10. Texas Tech 36

11. Colorado 18

12. Missouri 15

(first place votes in parentheses; coaches not allowed to vote for their own team)

Preseason Poll History

Season Preseason Selection Big 12 Champion

1996-97 Poll Not Conducted Kansas

1997-98 Texas Tech Texas Tech

1998-99 Kansas Texas Tech

1999-00 Iowa State Iowa State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma

2000-01 Iowa State Oklahoma

2001-02 Oklahoma Oklahoma

2002-03 Texas Tech Texas

2003-04 Texas Texas, Kansas State

2004-05 Texas Baylor

2005-06 Baylor Oklahoma

2006-07 Oklahoma Texas A&M, Oklahoma

2007-08 Texas A&M Kansas State