Last Modified: Thursday, October 25, 2012 12:47 PM
Once again, the McNeese State Cowgirls were picked to win the Southland women’s basketball title. And once again, the Baggett twins are expected to lead the way.
McNeese was picked to win the conference in the preseason coaches and sports information director polls, which were released Wednesday.
“We’re honored,” said McNeese coach Brooks Donald Williams. “It’s something our kids have worked for several years. It’s the reputation and respect they’ve earned. I’m really excited for them.”
Being picked at the top doesn’t necessarily mean anything in March. After all, the Cowgirls were picked at the bottom of the league two years ago and ended up making the first of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances.
“We don’t ever discuss preseason polls with the players,” Donald Williams said. “Most of them don’t even read and know that stuff. We don’t have to dwell on it very much. We want to go one day at a time and take each opponent as they come. We want to set our own destiny.”
Senior Ashlyn Baggett was named to the preseason all-conference first-team, and sister Caitlyn was named to the second team.
“Ash and Cait have put McNeese on the map,” Donald Williams said. “They’ve had a lot of help getting there, but they’ve been an integral part of getting us where we are now.”
Donald Williams said the quality of the league to continue rising with the inclusion of Oral Roberts, one of four teams other than McNeese to receive a first-place vote in the two polls.
“It’s funny, the league motto is ‘Southland Strong’ this year, because I do think we’re Southland strong in basketball,” Donald Williams said. “We have some nice athletes that will help us compete with every league around. That shows that our league is getting better and I’m really proud of that.”
Coaches’ Poll — 1, McNeese State; 2, Stephen F. Austin; 3, Central Arkansas; 4, Oral Roberts; 5, Sam Houston State; 6, Lamar; 7, Nicholls State; 8, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; 9, Southeastern Louisiana; 10, Northwestern State.
SID Poll — 1, McNeese State; 2, Central Arkansas; 3, Oral Roberts; 4, Stephen F. Austin; 5, Sam Houston State; 6, Lamar; 7, Nicholls State; 8, Southeastern Louisiana; 9, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; 10, Northwestern State.
First Team — Ashlyn Baggett, McNeese State; Megan Hebert, Central Arkansas; Britni Martin, Sam Houston State; Kalis Loyd, Lamar; Sequenna Thomas, Sam Houston State.
First Team — Caitlyn Baggett, McNeese State; KK Babin, Nicholls; Porsha Roberts, Stephen F. Austin; Alisha Allen, Nicholls; Kevi Luper, Oral Roberts.