ORLANDO, Fla. (WNCT) – The East Carolina women’s basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the American Athletic Conference after a vote by the league’s head coaches, the conference announced Monday.
Topping the poll was UConn with 100 points and 10 first-place votes, while USF was picked to finish second with 91 points. Entering its second season in The American and returning its top two scorers and rebounders from the 2014-15 squad, the Pirates accumulated 75 points, just one behind Temple who was picked to finish third. The Owls defeated the Pirates during the regular season, before ECU redeemed itself with a victory in the quarterfinals of the 2015 American Conference Championship.
Seniors Jada Payne and I’Tiana Taylor received preseason all-conference second-team honors, joining UConn and USF as the only teams with multiple selections. Payne broke her own single-season school record for three-pointers made with 80 and led the Pirates in scoring with 17.1 points per game, en route to earn All-American Athletic Conference First Team recognition last season. Taylor averaged 11.3 points and a team-best 8.9 rebounds per contest and was named the league’s newcomer-of-the-year, in addition to receiving all-conference second team honors.
East Carolina will open the 2015-16 campaign at the Islanders Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas Nov. 13-14. The Pirates will take on the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley in the opener before challenging host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. ECU will face Alcorn State in its home opener on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m., at Williams Arena in Minges Coliseum.
Breanna Stewart, UConn, Sr., F*
Preseason All-Conference First-Team
Breanna Stewart, UConn, Jr., F*
Moriah Jefferson, UConn, Sr., G*
Courtney Williams, USF, Sr., G*
Morgan Tuck, UConn, Jr., F
Alisia Jenkins, USF, Sr., F* denotes unanimous pick
Preseason All-Conference Second-Team
Jada Payne, East Carolina, Sr., G/F
Kia Nurse, UConn, So., G
Ashley Clark, Tulsa, Sr., G
Ariel Hearn, Memphis, Sr., G
I’Tiana Taylor, East Carolina, Sr., F
2015-16 Preseason Coaches’ Poll(First-place votes in parenthesis)
Team – Points
1. UConn (10) – 100
2. USF (1) – 91
3. Temple – 76
4. East Carolina – 75
5. Tulane – 60
6. Tulsa – 56
7. Memphis – 50
8. SMU – 29
9. UCF – 28
10. Cincinnati – 22
11. Houston – 18