Coming off an outstanding 2014-15 season in which the Rebels returned to the postseason, Ole Miss was picked to finish seventh in the SEC by the leagues coaches. It is the first time the Rebels have been picked in the top half of the media poll since the league expanded.
South Carolina was predicted to win the 2016 Southeastern Conference women’s basketball championship in a vote of the league’s coaches. This is the second consecutive season the coaches have positioned the Gamecocks at the top of the league.
Last season, South Carolina won a school-record 34 games and advanced to the NCAA Final Four for the first time. The Gamecocks also won their first SEC Tournament title in their first appearance in the championship game. South Carolina returns its top three scorers and top two rebounders from last season’s squad.
South Carolina tops the order of finish with 168 points, with Tennessee (158), Texas A&M (138), Mississippi State (134), Kentucky (125), Missouri (94), and Ole Miss (81) rounding out the top half the league. Arkansas (77), Georgia (75), LSU (64), Vanderbilt (61), Florida (54), Auburn (29), and Alabama (16) frame the bottom half.
South Carolina’s Tiffany Mitchell was voted as SEC Women’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. Mitchell’s teammate A’ja Wilson and Tennessee’s Diamond DeShields also received votes.
Joining Mitchell, Wilson, and DeShields on the All-SEC Preseason First Team are Makayla Epps, Kentucky; Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State; Alaina Coates, South Carolina; Bashaara Graves, Tennessee; Courtney Walker, Texas A&M and Courtney Williams, Texas A&M.
The Preseason Second Team All-SEC is comprised of Jessica Jackson, Arkansas; Ronni Williams, Florida; Shacobia Barbee, Georgia; Raigyne Moncrief, LSU; Jordan Frericks, Missouri; Mercedes Russell, Tennessee; Jordan Jones, Texas A&M; and Rebekah Dahlman, Vanderbilt.
Points for order of finish were compiled on a 13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Each coach also voted for an eight-player All-SEC first team, an eight-player All-SEC second team and the Player of the Year. Coaches cannot vote for their own team or players and ties are not broken.
The Rebels open regular-season action on Nov. 13 when they take on Mississippi Valley State in the annual School Kids game. Tipoff is at 11 a.m. at the Tad Smith Coliseum.
Women’s basketball season tickets are available for purchase and are just $50. For additional ticket information, go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587.)
For all Ole Miss women’s basketball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWBB, Facebook at Ole Miss WBB and on Instagram at Ole MissWBB. Fans can also follow Ole Miss women’s basketball head coach Matt Insell on Twitter at @minsell
Preseason Coaches’ Predictions
Order of Finish
1. South Carolina 168
2. Tennessee 158
3. Texas A&M 138
4. Mississippi State 134
7. Ole Miss 81
11. Vanderbilt 61
14. Alabama 16
Player of the Year
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
First Team All-SEC
Makayla Epps, Kentucky
Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
Alaina Coates, South Carolina
Diamond DeShields, Tennessee
Bashaara Graves, Tennessee
Courtney Walker, Texas A&M
Courtney Williams, Texas A&M
Second Team All-SEC
Jessica Jackson, Arkansas
Ronni Williams, Florida
Shacobia Barbee, Georgia
Raigyne Moncrief, LSU
Jordan Frericks, Missouri
Mercedes Russell, Tennessee
Jordan Jones, Texas A&M
Rebekah Dahlman, Vanderbilt
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports Information