🏀 Jayhawks Have Three Earn Preseason All-Big 12 Recognition
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the second straight season, Kansas Women’s Basketball has had a trio of players receive Preseason All-Big 12 recognition as super-seniors Taiyanna Jackson, Zakiyah Franklin and Holly Kersgieter earned honors from the league on Wednesday.
Jackson is a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team, while Franklin also earned a spot on the team and Kersgieter received honorable mention. The team was voted on by conference coaches, who were not allowed to vote for players from their own squad. The top five vote getters received first team recognition, while anyone who received a vote was listed as honorable mention.
Jackson returns for her third season as a Jayhawk after a record-setting campaign in 2022-23. She was a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection after becoming the first Kansas player since 1981-82 to average a double-double, totaling 15.2 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. Jackson became the first Jayhawk since 2014 to be receive All-America Honorable Mention recognition from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and was named the MVP of the WNIT after leading the Jayhawks to the tournament championship.
From East Chicago, Indiana, Jackson finished the season with 23 double-doubles, the third-most in KU history, and ranked second in school history with 66.1 percent field goal percentage, which ranked fourth nationally. She scored in double figures 30 times in 36 games, with six games of 20-plus points, and ranked third in NCAA Division I in rebounds per game. Jackson continued to establish herself as a premier post presence defensively, setting KU’s single-season school record with 109 blocked shots, surpassing her previous record of 95 from the 2021-22 season. She was a two-time Big 12 Player of the Week last season and led the league in rebounds, blocked shots, field goal percentage and double-doubles.
Franklin earns preseason recognition from the Big 12 for the third time in her career, having previously received honorable mention nods prior to the 2020-21 and 2022-23 seasons. Last season, she was an All-Big 12 First Team selection after leading the Jayhawks in scoring, averaging 15.7 points per game. She scored in double figures 31 times, including 10 games with 20-plus points and twice scoring more than 30 points. Franklin, who was named to the WNIT All-Tournament Team, set new single-season school records for both free throw percentage (87.8%) and three-point field goal percentage (49.5%) in 2022-23.
From Lakeland, Florida, Franklin has started 115 games in her four years at Kansas. She enters her final season ranked No. 12 on KU’s all-time scoring list with 1,536 career points and fifth in career assists with 431. Franklin was named the Big 12 Player of the Week for the first time in her career last December.
Kersgieter is on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team for the fourth-consecutive season. Last year, she earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors after ranking third on the team with 13.8 points per game. Kersgieter started 32 games and hit 64 three-pointers, which ranks sixth on KU’s single-season list, and totaled three double-doubles. In addition to her on-court success, Kersgieter was honored with the Marlene Mawson Exemplary Woman Student-Athlete Award, which recognizes a Kansas student-athlete for exemplary performance on the court, in the classroom and in the community.
From Sand Springs, Oklahoma, Kersgieter has played in 116 games in a Kansas uniform. She heads into her super-senior season at No. 11 on KU’s career scoring list with 1,559 points and third in school history with 208 made three-pointers.
Kansas returns four starters from its 2023 WNIT Championship team, which finished 25-11 after running off six wins in March and early April to claim the tournament championship. Under head coach Brandon Schneider, the Jayhawks have won at least 20 games and advanced to the postseason in each of the past two seasons.
Kansas opens the 2023-24 season on Wednesday, Nov. 8, against Northwestern State, the first of five non-conference home games at Allen Fieldhouse. Season tickets for the upcoming campaign are now on sale. For as low as $90, fans can reserve their seat by visiting KUAthletics.com or calling 800-34-HAWKS.