University of Delaware Women’s Basketball Picked No. 11 in Associated Press Pre-Season Top 25 Poll; Opener Set for Nov. 9 vs. Sam Houston State
October 29, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
• Associated Press Poll
NEW YORK -- It’s another first for the University of Delaware women’s basketball team.
Coming off the finest season in school history, the Blue Hens have now earned their first ever pre-season national Top 25 recognition as Delaware was picked No. 11 in the Associated Press Pre-Season National Top 25 poll announced this past weekend.
The Blue Hens, who return all five starters from last year’s squad that went 31-2, captured their first Colonial Athletic Association Tournament title, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round, will open the season next Friday, Nov. 9, when they host Sam Houston State in the opening round of the Pre-Season Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Delaware was ranked as high as No. 7 nationally in the final regular season Associated Press Top 25 media poll a year ago. The USA Today Coaches poll, in which the Hens were ranked No. 14 in the final poll last April, will announced its pre-season poll in early November.
"Everything in the pre-season is exactly that, the pre-season, so I don't put much stock in it,” said Delaware head coach Tina Martin, who earned the 2012 CAA Coach of the Year Award. “But based on the year we had last season and with the returning players we have coming in I understand. Certainly people in the country have taken notice of Delaware, which is a great thing. Hopefully our kids will keep their heads focused on the task at hand, which is Sam Houston State and our first game in the Pre-season WNIT.”
Leading the Delaware charge once again is consensus All-American and national Player of the Year candidate Elena Delle Donne. Delle Donne, a 6-5 senior who earlier this month was named the CAA Pre-Season Player of the Year, led the nation in scoring a year ago with a 28.1 point per game average. She also pulled 10.3 rebounds per game while dishing out 75 assists, blocking 86 shots, and draining 52 three-pointers while also shooting 52 percent from the field and 89 percent from the foul line.
Also leading the Hens are All-CAA guard Lauren Carra (10.2 ppg, 50 three-pointers), forward Danielle Parker (8.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg), and guards Trumae Lucas (6.8 ppg, 112 assists) and Akeema Richards (6.2 ppg, 61 assists). All but Richards are seniors this season.
“This is great exposure for the University of Delaware, certainly, and we are proud that the committee and the panel that votes on this thinks so highly of us and holds us in such high regard at this point,” said Martin. “But we have a lot to prove before we can consider ourselves as one of the top 11 programs in the country. We just need to keep working every single day. A lot is based on what happened last year, but this is a totally new team. We just have to keep up our hard work and get ready for one game at a time."
Baylor, the undefeated defending NCAA national champion, earned all 40 first place votes and was the pre-season No. 1 pick in the Associated Press poll. Connecticut was at No. 2 followed by Duke, Stanford, Maryland, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Penn State, Louisville, and Georgia in the Top 10. Delaware was at No. 11 followed by Oklahoma, California, St. John’s, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Nebraska, Ohio State, Tennessee, Purdue, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Miami, DePaul.
Delaware will take on two teams listed in the pre-season Top 25 poll this season as the Blue Hens will host No. 6 ranked Maryland on Dec. 9 at the Bob Carpenter Center and travel to No. 14 St. John’s on Jan. 2. Defending Ivy League champion and 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Princeton, who the Hens will host Dec. 9 at the BCC, was among other teams also receiving Top 25 votes in the poll. Maryland went 31-5 a year ago while St. John’s was 24-10 as both teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
Great seats are still available for the season opener Nov. 9 vs. Sam Houston State and for all Delaware home games this season. Go to www.bluehens.com for more information.
Associated Press Pre-Season Top 25 Poll: 1. Baylor (40 1st Place votes); 2. Connecticut; 3. Duke; 4. Stanford; 5. Maryland; 6. Kentucky; 7. Notre Dame; 8. Penn State; 9. Louisville; 10. Georgia; 11. DELAWARE; 12. Oklahoma; 13. California; 14. St. John’s; 15. Texas A&M; 16. Vanderbilt; 17. West Virginia; 18. Nebraska; 19. Ohio State; 20. Tennessee; 21. Purdue; 22. Georgia Tech; 23. Oklahoma State; 24. Miami; 25. DePaul.
Others receiving votes: Kansas 90, Middle Tennessee 70, Green Bay 57, Texas 52, Iowa St. 51, San Diego St. 48, Rutgers 41, Georgetown 24, LSU 14, UCLA 14, Florida St. 12, North Carolina 12, Virginia 12, Michigan 9, Iowa 6, Princeton 4, UTEP 3, Fresno St. 2, Michigan St. 2, South Carolina 2, Creighton 1, Southern Cal 1.