Huskers Earn No. 34 Spot in Madness Top 44
The Nebraska women's basketball team was previewed as the No. 34 team in the College Sports Madness Top 44 Women's Basketball rankings on Thursday, Oct. 4, as the website does its day-by-day reveal of its top teams entering the 2018-19 season.
The Huskers, who are the No. 5 team in the 14-team Big Ten Conference according to College Sports Madness, were credited with producing one of the nation's top turnarounds under Big Ten Coach of the Year Amy Williams in 2017-18, while bringing their top five scorers back from a year ago.
Nebraska tied for third in the final Big Ten standings and advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament before earning a trip to the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The Huskers finished with a 21-11 overall record that included an 11-5 mark.
Second-team All-Big Ten point guard Hannah Whitish returns to lead the Big Red on the court after averaging 12.6 points and 4.7 assists per game as a sophomore. Center Kate Cain, who earned Big Ten All-Freshman and Big Ten All-Defensive honors, also returns after shattering Nebraska's single-season block record with 100. She averaged 9.9 points and team bests of 7.0 rebounds and 3.1 blocks as a freshman. Senior Maddie Simon (10.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and junior Nicea Eliely (8.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg) also return to Nebraska's starting lineup, while sophomore Taylor Kissinger was one of the Huskers' top players off the bench as a freshman, averaging 10.0 points per game.
Two-year contributor Grace Mitchell is joined by graduate transfer point guard Kristian Hudson to provide the Huskers with more leadership and experience in 2018-19.
The Huskers also will feature a freshman class that was ranked among the top 20 in the nation by ESPN. Leigha Brown (Auburn, Ind.), Sam Haiby (Moorhead, Minn.), Kayla Mershon (Chanhassen, Minn.) and Ashtyn Veerbeek (Sioux Center, Iowa) will try to help the Huskers continue climbing the ladder in both the Big Ten and national rankings this season.
Season tickets for Nebraska women's basketball are on sale right now at Huskers.com. Nebraska fans can get their first look at the 2018-19 Huskers at an open practice that is free to the public at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m.