GSC unveils women's basketball preseason poll

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The defending GSC Champions from Valdosta State have been named the women’s basketball preseason conference favorites for the 2017-18 season, as selected by the league’s head coaches. 

The Lady Blazers return Preseason All-GSC selections Madi Mitchell and Kenya Samone’ Dixon. Mitchell led the Valdosta State offense last year, averaging 16.6 points per game and a .500 field goal percentage. Samone’ Dixon was also a key contributor, averaging 14.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. The pair received First Team All-GSC honors at the conclusion of last season. 

West Florida was selected second, totaling five first place votes in the poll. Last year, UWF advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight after winning the NCAA South Regional. The Argos lose 2016-17 GSC Player of the Year Alex Coyne, but return two-time all-conference honoree Toni Brewer. Last season, Brewer was the leading scorer for the squad, averaging 13.7 points per game. She also led the conference in rebounds with 11.4 per game. 

Coming in third in the poll is Lee, earning two first place votes. The Lady Flames advanced to the NCAA South Regional in 2016-17. Two-time all-conference selection Erin Walsh returns this season after leading the Lady Flames in scoring last year. Lee ranked third in the conference in scoring (71.3 points per game) and second in the conference in field goal percentage (.432).

Union received the final first place vote, coming in fourth. The Lady Bulldogs have made the GSC Championship every year since they became eligible for the postseason. Union will get a big boost this year from the return of Tiara Caldwell, a 2015-16 First Team All-GSC selection who did not play in 2016-17. Caldwell averaged 15.1 points per game in her last season.

West Georgia was selected fifth in the poll, followed by North Alabama in sixth, Delta State in seventh, and Christian Brothers in eighth. Each of these four teams made the GSC Championship last season. UWG’s De’Ashia Jones is one of six returning all-conference players. The Lions’ Ivy Wallen was the league’s leading scorer, a first team all-conference selection, and the GSC Freshman of the Year in 2016-17.

Mississippi College ranks ninth in the poll, followed by Alabama Huntsville, West Alabama, and Shorter. Newcomers Montevallo and Auburn Montgomery round out the field.



2017-18 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL

School Total Points
1. Valdosta State (6) 156
2. West Florida (5) 154
3. Lee (2) 152
4. Union (1) 128
5. West Georgia 121
6. North Alabama 113
7. Delta State 98
8. Christian Brothers 77
9. Mississippi College 75
10. Alabama Huntsville 56
11. West Alabama 49
12. Shorter 46
13. Montevallo 26
14. Auburn Montgomery 23

 

NOTES:  The head coaches voted in this poll. Teams received 13 points for a first place vote, 12 for a second place vote, etc. The head coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. Number of first place votes in parenthesis.



2017-18 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

Pos. Name School Year Hometown
F Toni Brewer*^ West Florida Sr. Huntsville, Ala.
F Madi Mitchell* Valdosta State Sr. Warwick, Ga.
F Kenya Samone' Dixon* Valdosta State Sr. Baton Rouge, La.
G Ivy Wallen* North Alabama So. Anderson, Ala.
G Erin Walsh^* Lee Sr. Knoxville, Tenn.

 

NOTES: The 2017-18 Preseason All-GSC Women's Basketball Team was selected by the head coaches. Positions were not a factor. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.

*Indicates Previous First Team All-GSC Selection
^Indicates Previous Second Team All-GSC Selection


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