WICHITA - The Wichita State University women's basketball team has been picked second in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll, as voted on by the league's coaches, sports information directors, and media members. Jessica Diamond was named to the preseason all-conference team.
The Shockers have met or exceeded preseason prognostications in each of Jody Adams' four seasons as head coach. Last year the team was picked third and finished in that spot. The Shockers have not finished as high as second place since 1999-2000. They were last picked second in the preseason poll in 2006-07.
Diamond leads a group of three returning starters from last year's squad which finished in third with a 12-6 record in the Valley. The senior was Wichita State's first all-conference first team selection in eight years. She was joined on the preseason all-conference team by Christiana Shorter (Missouri State), Jamie Russell (Illinois State), Jacqui Kalin (UNI), and preseason Player of the Year, Carli Tritz (Creighton). Kalin was the MVC Player of the Year in 2010-11 but missed last season with a knee injury.
Creighton was tabbed as the league favorite. The Blue Jays return their top five scorers from a team that finished fourth in the regular season but captured the MVC Tournament Championship. They received 26 first place votes and 382 total points. The Shockers earned 12 first place votes and 347 total points. Illinois State picked up the remaining two first place votes and tallied 323 total points.
School (First-Place Votes) Points
1. Creighton (26) 382
2. Wichita State (12) 347
3. Illinois State (2) 323
4. UNI 272
5. Missouri State 265
6. Bradley 144
7. Indiana State 135
8. Southern Illinois 123
9. Drake 121
10. Evansville 119
2012-13 MVC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
Player, School, Pos., Yr., Hometown (High School/Previous School)
Jessica Diamond, Wichita State, G, Sr., Houston, Texas (Chester W. Nimitz)
Jacqui Kalin, UNI, G, Sr., Sioux City, Iowa (North)
Jamie Russell, Illinois State, G, Sr., Rock Falls, Ill. (Rock Falls/Wisconsin)
Christiana Shorter, Missouri State, F, Sr., Tulsa, Okla. (Booker T. Washington)
*Carli Tritz, Creighton,G, Jr., Sioux City, Iowa (Bishop Heelan)
*Preseason Player of the Year