FRISCO, Texas— McNeese women’s basketball is picked to finish 12th in the Southland Conference Preseason Poll, the league announced today. The poll is a combined vote among the league coaches and Sports Information Directors.
“It’s not about where you start, but where you finish,” said head coach Kacie Cryer. “For our ladies and the work and goals we have set for the season, we will use this preseason ranking as motivation in our daily work. It’s about us focusing on getting better one day at a time and that is what we are doing.”
The Cowgirls lost the majority of their point and rebound production last year due to the graduation of seniors Damilola Balogun, Regan Bolton, Bre’Ashlee Jones and Sky Jasper.
Stephen F. Austin is picked to claim the title after picking up 14 first-place votes and 275 points. Sam Houston State is picked behind SFA with five first-place votes while Abilene Christian garnered four first-place votes and is picked to finish in third place.
Last year’s regular-season champion, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is picked fourth with three first-place votes. Rounding out the Top 5 is Southeastern Louisiana.
Central Arkansas is picked sixth followed by New Orleans, Lamar, Nicholls, UIW, Houston Baptist, McNeese, and Northwestern State.
“Our conference is tough and each night we will have to be ready to go,” Cryer said. "No question this group of 13 ladies is ready for this challenge and journey that lies ahead.
The Cowgirls return eight players from the 2019-20 team including two redshirts. Six of the eight returnees have played significant minutes and two of those returnees are seniors Callie Maddox and Shaela Gardner.
With the loss of most of its point and rebound production last year, head coach Cryer and her staff looked for immediate help and went the junior college route, adding five junior college transfers for the 2020-21 season.
2020-21 Southland Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
School (First-place votes) Total
1. Stephen F. Austin (14) 275
2. Sam Houston State (5) 257
3. Abilene Christian (4) 250
4. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3) 216
5. Southeastern Louisiana 160
6. Central Arkansas 157
7. New Orleans 153
8. Lamar 144
9. Nicholls 127
10. UIW 126
11. Houston Baptist 72
12. McNeese 48
13. Northwestern State 43