SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Chattanooga has been selected by the Southern Conference women’s basketball coaches as the preseason favorite in 2013-14. The defending Southern Conference champions received nine first-place votes to earn the No. 1 preseason ranking in the SoCon for the first time since 2011. UTC’s Ashlen Dewart was also tabbed SoCon Preseason Player of the Year by the coaches.
The Lady Mocs will be led by Jim Foster, who inherits a team returning six seniors from its conference championship run last season. He takes over the program after Wes Moore took the head coaching position at North Carolina State. Foster, who was elected to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in June, was the head coach at Ohio State from 2002-13 and boasts a 783-307 record as a head coach. Chattanooga received 90 points in the preseason rankings.
Samford was picked to finish second in the league, receiving 77 points from the coaches. Davidson earned the No. 3 slot with 70 points after finishing as the runner-up in the SoCon in 2012. Appalachian State earned 60 points to take fourth in the rankings, with Elon (59) finishing just one point behind the Bulldogs at No. 5.
Furman received 50 points and UNCG grabbed 42 points to sit at sixth and seventh, respectively. Georgia Southern is eighth with 40 points, and Western Carolina (33) and Wofford (19) round out the rankings.
The coaches also selected the preseason all-conference team, led by Dewart, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 SoCon Tournament. She is joined on the preseason all-conference team by teammate Taylor Hall. Hall was also a member of the 2012 preseason all-conference squad.
Davidson’s Laura Murray made her third preseason all-league team and is the only Davidson representative on the all-conference roster. Maryah Sydnor of Appalachian State makes her second preseason all-conference team, along with Furman’s Brittany Hodges.
Making their first appearance on the preseason All-SoCon team were Elon’s Kelsey Harris, Georgia Southern’s MiMi Dubose and UNCG’s Lucy Mason. Samford also put a pair of first-timers on the team, as Taylor Reece and Shelby Campbell each earned a spot on the squad.
The Southern Conference women’s basketball season begins Friday, Nov. 8, and the 2014 Southern Conference Tournament will be held March 7-10 in Asheville, N.C.
2013-14 SoCon Women’s Basketball Coaches Preseason Poll
|Team (1st Place Votes)||Total Points|
|1. Chattanooga (9)||90|
|2. Samford (1)||77|
|4. Appalachian State||60|
|8. Georgia Southern||40|
|9. Western Carolina||33|
2013-14 SoCon Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference TeamMaryah Sydnor, Appalachian State
Laura Murray, Davidson
Kelsey Harris, Elon
Brittany Hodges, Furman
MiMi Dubose, Georgia Southern
Lucy Mason, UNCG
Shelby Campbell, Samford
Taylor Reece, Samford
Ashlen Dewart, Chattanooga
Taylor Hall, Chattanooga
SoCon Women’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year
Ashlen Dewart, Chattanooga