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

Oct. 15, 2009

IRVING, Texas –

The Kansas women’s basketball team was tabbed to finish second in the 2009-10 Big 12 basketball race in a vote of the league’s head coaches. KU, who tied with Texas in the standings, received three first place votes in the poll.

“Being picked second is a reflection of how we finished last season and the quality of players we have returning to the team,” said Jayhawks head coach Bonnie Henrickson, who is entering her sixth season at the helm of the program. “We have our work cut out for us. I think this year, in particular, there is a lot of depth and talent all over the league, so several teams should be starting the season feeling like they truly have a chance of winning a championship. We feel like we are one of those teams.”

It was a tight race for the top three spots with Baylor – last season’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship winner – edging the Jayhawks and Longhorns. The first-place votes were spread among four teams as Baylor earned five, KU and UT received three each and fourth-place Texas A&M nabbed one. BU was also the preseason pick in 2005-06 after winning the 2005 national championship.

Kansas returns eight letterwinners, including four starters from last season’s 22-14 team. The Jayhawks won nine of their last 12 games on the season, including winning four of their last five league games.

Senior guard-forward Danielle McCray was named 2009-10 Preseason Big 12 Player of Year in a panel of the league coaches, after earning Honorable Mention All-America honors, as well as, First Team All-Big 12 honors as a junior. McCray ranked second in the Big 12 in scoring with 21.6 points per game, and led the league in three-point field goal shooting (.426).

Also returning to the starting line-up for Kansas is senior guard Sade Morris (12.7 ppg), junior forward Nicollette Smith (6.4 ppg) and junior center Krysten Boogaard (9.0 ppg). The Jayhawks are adding six newcomers to the fold, in addition to redshirt freshman guard Angel Goodrich, who missed the entire 2008-09 season with a knee injury.

Oklahoma, last year’s preseason favorite and regular season champion, placed fifth, followed by Nebraska in sixth, Iowa State seventh, Kansas State eighth, Oklahoma State ninth, Texas Tech 10th, Colorado 11th and Missouri 12th.

Big 12 squads return 101 letterwinners in 2009-10, including 38 starters. The Conference has 16 of 30 leading scorers and nine of 20 top rebounders back. Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State) led the Big 12 in scoring (23.0) in 2008-09 for the second consecutive year and was fifth nationally. Kierra Mallard (Texas Tech) is the league’s top returning rebounder after averaging 7.9 boards her rookie season.

The 2009-10 regular season gets underway on Friday, Nov. 13. Big 12 head coaches and select student-athletes will convene in Kansas City on Oct. 21 for the annual Big 12 Women’s Basketball Media Day. Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium will serve as the site of the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship Thursday-Sunday, March 11-14.

2009-10 Big 12 Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll

1. Baylor (5) 109

T2. Kansas (3) 106

T2. Texas (3) 106

4. Texas A&M (1) 87

5. Oklahoma 86

6. Nebraska 80

7. Iowa State 59

8. Kansas State 44

9. Oklahoma State 41

10. Texas Tech 38

11. Colorado 22

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

2008-09 Oklahoma Oklahoma