Rollins Selected as Favorite to Win Women's Basketball Crown
Rollins has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2011-12 Sunshine State Conference Women’s Basketball Championship.
The Tars received 175 points and nine first-place votes in a preseason poll conducted among the league’s women’s basketball coaches and sports information directors.
Tampa came up just five points shy of Rollins, taking the No. 2 slot with 170 points and six first-place votes. Florida Southern was pegged third with 142 points and one first-place nod.
Only 12 points separated the next three teams in the poll. Eckerd, which collected 118 points, was No. 4, followed closely by Barry, which was slated fifth with 109 points. The Buccaneers picked up the remaining two first-place votes. Just three points behind Barry, Florida Tech was sixth in the rankings with 106 points.
Nova Southeastern landed in the No. 7 slot with 70 points. Saint Leo (44 points) and Lynn (38 points) rounded out the poll.
Rollins returns six players who logged significant playing time on last year’s squad that posted a 21-8 overall record and a 9-7 SSC mark. All but one of the Tars’ starters will take the floor in blue and gold again this season. Among those returnees are four of the Tars’ top five scorers.
Senior guard Kristina Mingos led the team with 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds in 2010-11. Sophomore guard Sarah Blackburn ranked fifth on the squad with 8.2 points per game and was second with 5.8 rebounds per contest. Blackburn’s efforts earned a spot on the SSC All-Freshman team in her debut season.
Senior guards Kourtnie Berry and Jasmine Bradley will also provide valuable experience. Berry averaged 9.3 points and 2.8 rebounds. Bradley contributed 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds.
Tampa returns a pair of starters from last year’s squad that tallied a 21-8 overall record and a 12-4 SSC slate. Sophomore guard Lindsey Watson was named the SSC Freshman of the Year after averaging 13.9 points and 4.8 rounds in her Spartan debut. She started all 29 games a year ago. Senior center Jaleesa Harmon averaged 9.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in 23 games.
2011-12 SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
Rank – Team, Points (1st Place Votes)
1 – Rollins, 175 (9)
2 – Tampa, 170 (6)
3 – Florida Southern, 142 (1)
4 – Eckerd, 118
5 – Barry, 109 (2)
6 – Florida Tech, 106
7 – Nova Southeastern, 70
8 – Saint Leo, 44
9 – Lynn, 38