Nebraska has met or exceeded preseason expectations in each of Connie Yori's eight seasons at NU.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Picked Seventh in Big 12 Preseason Poll

By NU Athletic Communications

Lincoln - The defending Big 12 champion Nebraska women's basketball team was picked to finish seventh by the conference coaches in the preseason poll announced by the league office on Thursday.

The Huskers, who went 16-0 in the Big 12 last season to capture the conference crown, earned 58 points trailing fellow Big 12 North schools Iowa State (5th, 85) and Kansas (6th, 64). Nebraska, which went 32-2 overall and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2010, owns the best Big 12 record among North Division schools over the past five seasons (49-31). During the last five seasons, NU has never finished lower than seventh in the final league standings.

In Connie Yori's eight previous seasons as Nebraska's head coach, the Huskers have met or exceeded the preseason expectations of the league coaches. In six of the eight votes, Nebraska has achieved a higher final position in the standings than its preseason ranking, including 2009-10 when the Huskers were picked sixth before going unbeaten in the nation's No. 1 RPI conference.

Yori, the 2010 Big 12 and National Coach of the Year, will have three-year starting guard Dominique Kelley back to lead the Huskers in 2010-11. Kelley, a Lincoln native, earned honorable-mention All-Big 12 accolades a year ago. Sophomore point guard Lindsey Moore also returns after earning Big 12 All-Freshman honors last season while starting all 34 games. Moore became the first freshman point guard in NCAA Division I history to lead a team to an unbeaten regular season.

Catheryn Redmon, who started 24 games as a sophomore center in 2008-09, also returns, along with junior guard Kaitlyn Burke, who also started 19 games as a sophomore in 2008-09.

That experienced quartet, along with a five-player freshman class that includes two-time Nebraska High School Player-of-the-Year Jordan Hooper and Arizona High School Player-of-the-Year Rebecca Woodberry, will be asked to replace the most successful senior class in history. NU must fill the void left by National Player-of-the-Year finalist and consensus All-American Kelsey Griffin, and first-team All-Big 12 picks Cory Montgomery and Yvonne Turner.

The coaches gave four Big 12 South Division schools the nod with the top-four spots, led by Baylor. The Lady Bears, who advanced to the 2010 NCAA Women's Final Four, received 11 first-place votes to amass 121 points. Texas A&M captured the remaining first-place vote and totaled 109 points. The Aggies won the 2010 Big 12 Tournament title before advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Oklahoma, which has made back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances, was the preseason pick to finish third, while Texas was picked fourth. The Longhorns advanced to the 2010 NCAA second round. Iowa State, which tied Oklahoma for second in the 2010 final Big 12 standings and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, was fifth, followed by Kansas and Nebraska.

Oklahoma State, which advanced to the NCAA second round last year, was the coaches' pick to finish eighth, followed by Kansas State, Texas Tech, Missouri and Colorado. 

Head coaches and select student-athletes will convene at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Oct. 20 for the annual Big 12 Women's Basketball Media Day. Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium will serve as the site of the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship March 8-9 and 11-12.

2010-11 Big 12 Conference Women's Basketball Preseason Poll

  1. Baylor (11) - 121
  2. Texas A&M (1) - 109
  3. Oklahoma - 97
  4. Texas - 88
  5. Iowa State - 85
  6. Kansas - 64
  7. Nebraska - 58
  8. Oklahoma State - 50
  9. Kansas State - 40
  10. Texas Tech - 39
  11. Missouri - 26
  12. Colorado - 15


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