Williams, Depew named preseason All-SAC; Lady Eagles picked to finish sixth in coaches’ poll
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Carson-Newman senior forward Zoriah Williams (Calera, Ala.) and sophomore forward Shannon Depew (Newport, Tenn.) have been named to the 2011 Women's Basketball Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference teams, league officials announced on Wednesday.
The Lady Eagles have also been selected to finish sixth in the SAC preseason poll in a vote by the league coaches.
Williams led the Lady Eagles to a 14-16 mark a season ago in earning second team All-SAC honors. She averaged a double-double in conference play with 13.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. The senior forward had 13 double-doubles on the year despite missing the season's first five games.
Depew was named SAC Freshman of the Year after averaging 10.6 points and 6.6 rebounds in SAC play last season. She finished the season on a high note, reaching double figures in eight of her final 11 games, four of which were double-doubles.
With Depew and Williams returning, the Lady Eagles are picked sixth in the preseason poll under first-year head coach Mike Mincey. C-N was 9-9 in league play a year ago.
Wingate has been ranked No. 1 in SAC women's basketball preseason coaches' poll and leads the way with three preseason All-Conference selections.
The Bulldogs finished the 2010-11 season with a record of 19-11, and their 12-6 SAC record was the league's second-best. Wingate was also runner-up in the 2011 Food Lion SAC Women's Basketball Championship, and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Wingate, which received seven first-place votes, will be led by first team preseason All-SAC selection Kurie Washington. A member of the 2010-11 All-Conference first team as well, Washington averaged 13.6 points a season ago. The Bulldogs also have two student-athletes on the preseason All-SAC second team.
No. 2 in the coaches poll is Lenoir-Rhyne, which is coming off a 14-13 (11-7) season a year ago. The Bears received one first-place vote in the poll.
L-R will be paced this season by preseason first team All-Conference selection Cameron Sealey, who was second in the league in scoring last season en route to earning first team All-SAC honors.
Newberry is third in the preseason coaches poll, followed by 2011 Food Lion SAC Tournament and regular season champion Tusculum at No. 4 and Catawba at No. 5.
Catawba returns 2010-11 first team All-Conference selection Dana Hicks, who averaged 17.2 points and led the league with 11.6 rebounds per game.
Next in the coaches poll is No. 6 Carson-Newman. The Eagles went 14-16 (9-9) a year ago, and will once again be paced by forward Zoriah Williams, a member of last season's All-Conference first-team. Williams finished 2010-11 just shy of averaging a double-double with 12.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.
C-N is followed by No. 7 Mars Hill, No. 8 Lincoln Memorial and No. 9 Anderson. Mars Hill and LMU each have one student-athlete on the preseason All-Conference first team, while MHC has one second-teamer as well.
Brevard rounds out the preseason poll at No. 10. The Tornados enter the season with a pair of second team preseason All-Conference selections.
The preseason All-SAC teams are voted on by the league's media relations directors.
The SAC women's basketball regular season gets underway on Friday, Nov. 11. The 2012 Food Lion SAC Basketball Championship will take place March 3-4 in Hickory, N.C.
SAC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Wingate 94 (7)
2. Lenoir-Rhyne 82 (1)
3. Newberry 72
4. Tusculum 61 (1)
5. Catawba 58 (1)
6. Carson-Newman 56
7. Mars Hill 45
8. Lincoln Memorial 44
9. Anderson 25
10. Brevard 13
Preseason All-SAC First Team
Zoriah Williams, Carson-Newman
Dana Hicks, Catawba
Cameron Sealey, Lenoir-Rhyne
Dayshalee Salaman, Lincoln Memorial
Taylor Deal, Mars Hill
Kurie Washington, Wingate
Preseason All-SAC Second Team
Micheala Watkins, Brevard
Anna Schlobohm, Brevard
Tyler Carlson, Mars Hill
Shannon Depew, Carson-Newman
Simone Rutledge, Wingate
Janitsha Williams, Wingate