MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (10/24/05) With all five starters and nine letterwinners returning, the North Texas women’s basketball team has been tabbed as the favorites in the Sun Belt Conference West Division. North Texas received seven first place votes in the poll conducted by the leagues head coaches.
Senior guard Erika Bobo was named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference second team. Bobo averaged 13 points a game last year and led North Texas in points, field goals, free throws, assists, and steals. The Mean Green return all five starters from a team that won 14 games last season and finished 9-6 in the Sun Belt Conference.
North Texas has finished either first or second in its conference division in six of the past seven years and is going after their fourth division title in the past eight seasons.
Louisiana-Lafayette was picked to finish second in the West Division, getting three first-place votes. South Alabama was selected third, Denver fourth, conference newcomer Troy fifth, and New Orleans rounded out the West Division at sixth.
Western Kentucky was the preseason favorite in the East Division getting seven first place votes. Arkansas State picked up two first-place votes and was picked second while defending conference champion Middle Tennessee received one first-place vote and was picked third. Florida International and Arkansas-Little Rock rounded out the East Division.
Western Kentucky’s Tiffany Porter-Talbert was named the Preseason Player of the Year.
The Sun Belt Conference also announced its 30th anniversary all-time team and North Texas great Jalie Mitchell was named to the squad.
Mitchell was named all-conference all four years at North Texas concluding her career as the Player of the Year in the Sun Belt Conference in 2001-02. She is the Mean Green’s all-time leading scorer with 1,764 points and recently had her jersey retired.
Sun Belt Conference Preseason Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll
East Division Points
1. Western Kentucky (7) 47
2. Arkansas State (2) 38
3. Middle Tennessee (1) 33
4. Florida International 22
5. Arkansas-Little Rock 10
West Division Points
1. North Texas (7) 56
2. Louisiana-Lafayette (3) 49
3. South Alabama 41
4. Denver 28
5. Troy 22
6. New Orleans 14
* Poll conducted by 11 Sun Belt Women’s Basketball Coaches
* First place votes in parentheses
Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Women’s Basketball Team
Adrianne Davie (Arkansas State, Jr., C)
Crystal Kelly (Western Kentucky, So., F)
Jocelyn Love (UALR, Jr., G/F)
Tiffany Porter-Talbert (Western Kentucky, Sr., G)
Tia Stovall (Middle Tennessee, Sr., F)
Erika Bobo (North Texas, Sr., G)
Ashley Blanche (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., G)
Chrissy Givens (Middle Tennessee, Jr., G)
Krystle Horton (Middle Tennessee, Jr., F)
Rudy Sims (Arkansas State, Jr., G)
Amber Abraham (Arkansas State, Sr., G)
Faeza Bouderra (Florida International, Sr., G)
Le’Della English ( New Orleans, So., G)
Lasma Jekabsone (Florida International, Jr., C)
JoAnna Williams (South Alabama, Sr., G/F)
Preseason Player of the Year: Tiffany Porter-Talbert (Western Kentucky, Sr., G)