Michigan State Women’s Basketball Selected Second By Media, Fourth By Coaches in Preseason Big Ten Poll

By: Michigan State University
By: Michigan State University

CHICAGO - The Michigan State women’s basketball team was selected second by the media and fourth by the coaches in the preseason Big Ten poll released Sunday morning at Big Ten Basketball Media Day. Sophomore center Allyssa DeHaan, the 2007 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, was named to both preseason All-Big Ten teams and was a unanimous choice by the coaches.

The Spartans return three starters and eight letterwinners from last year’s team that tied for the second-most wins in school history with 24 and defeated every team in the conference en route to a 13-3 league record. MSU, which finished 24-9 overall, advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season. In addition to DeHaan, first-year head coach Suzy Merchant welcomes back starters Aisha Jefferson and Mia Johnson, along with letterwinners Mandy Piechowski, Courtney Davidson, Takeya Fortner, Alisa Wulff and Lauren Aitch. Four freshmen will also see time for MSU: Kalisha Keane, Brittney Thomas, Taja Wilson and Cetera Washington. Johnson will not play during the non-conference portion of the schedule due to a knee injury suffered in the summer, but is expected to be back for Big Ten play.

DeHaan had one of the most dominant freshman seasons in league history. She set the new standard for blocks with a Big Ten-record 145, a total that was the highest for a freshman in NCAA history. A consensus selection for Big Ten Freshman of the Year, DeHaan was also named second-team All-Big Ten for averaging 12.6 points per game and a team-best 7.5 rebounds per game. DeHaan gained valuable experience over the summer while playing for Team USA at the FIBA U19 World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, where she led the team and ranked second among all players in blocks.

Ohio State was selected to repeat as Big Ten Champions in 2007-08, while Wisconsin senior Jolene Anderson was named the Preseason Player of the Year by the coaches and the media and was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Big Ten team by both groups.

The Buckeyes won their third consecutive Big Ten title in 2006-07, finishing 28-4 overall and 15-1 in conference play. Head Coach Jim Foster returns three starters from last year’s squad, including State Farm Wade Trophy candidate Marscilla Packer, who was selected to the Preseason All-Big Ten team by the coaches and the media, and Star Allen, a preseason pick by the media.

Led by Anderson, Wisconsin was selected to finish second by the coaches and third by the media after going 23-13 overall last year with a 7-9 conference mark. Head Coach Lisa Stone welcomes back all five starters from last year’s squad that advanced to the Postseason WNIT championship game, including Anderson who was last year’s Big Ten scoring champion.

Illinois was tabbed as the No. 3 finisher in the coaches poll and No. 6 by the media. First-year head coach Jolette Law welcomes back all five starters from the squad that finished fourth in the conference last season with an 8-8 record (19-12 overall). Junior Lori Bjork was selected to the Preseason All-Big Ten team by the coaches and the media after setting a school record with 84 three-pointers in 2006-07.

PRESEASON COACHES POLL
PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

1. Ohio State
1. Ohio State

2. Wisconsin
2. Michigan State

3. Illinois
3. Wisconsin

4. Michigan State
4. Purdue

5. Purdue
5. Iowa

6. Minnesota
6. Illinois

7. Iowa
7. Penn State

8. Penn State
8. Minnesota

9. Indiana
9. Indiana

10. Michigan
10. Michigan

11. Northwestern
11. Northwestern

PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN COACHES TEAM
PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN MEDIA TEAM

Lori Bjork, ILL , Jr., G
Lori Bjork, ILL , Jr., G

ALLYSSA DEHAAN, MSU, So., C
Allyssa DeHaan, MSU, So., C

Emily Fox, MINN , Jr., G
Star Allen, OSU, Jr., F

Marscilla Packer, OSU, Sr., G
Marscilla Packer, OSU, Sr., G

JOLENE ANDERSON, WIS , Sr., G
JOLENE ANDERSON, WIS , Sr., G

PRESEASON COACHES PLAYER OF THE YEAR
PRESEASON MEDIA PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jolene Anderson, WIS , Sr., G
Jolene Anderson, WIS , Sr., G


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