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USF Earns Top Spot in American Women's Basketball Preseason Poll

By Donnie Woods, 08/26/21, 8:30AM CDT


Sydni Harvey, USF

USF was tabbed as the WER preseason favorite in the American Athletic Conference women's basketball, taking home the top spot in the 2021-22 WER preseason poll as voted on by the WER Poll Committee. 

The Bulls earned nine-first place votes and total of 96 voting points to pace the preseason predicted order of finish. UCF secured two first-place votes of its own (81 points) to edge out Temple who secured a first-place vote (77 points) for second place in the preseason poll.  Cincinnati received 71 points for fourth place, with Tulane rounding out the top five with 60 points. 

Houston checked in sixth in the preseason ranking with 54 points, followed by East Carolina (51), Wichita State (38), SMU (36), Memphis (34) and Tulsa (7).

Temple graduate student forward Mia Davis were selected as WER's  American Preseason Player of the Year following a standout senior campaign in 2020-21. Davis, a two-time USBWA All-America, averaged 17.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in 22 starts last season. Davis currently sits at third in both made field goals (685) and career rebounds (961) and fourth in career points (1,849) in Temple's record books.

Joining Davis on the all-conference first team were South Florida  Elena Tsineke, who ranked eighth in points per game (13.6) and South Florida Bethy Mununga, who ranked first in rebounding (12.0) in The American last season. Other first-team selections were UCF Courtajia Sanders (10.0 points, 5 rebounds per game in 2020-21) and UCF Brittney Smith (9.2 points, 5.7 rebounds per game in 2020-21).

Players named to the all-conference second team were USF forward Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu (14.1 points, 10.6 rebounds per game in 2020-21), USF junior guard Elisa Pinzan ( 6.5 assists per game in 2020-21), Tulane's Krystal Freeman (12.3 points in 2020-21), Wichita State guard Asia Strong (15.2 points per game in 2020-21) and Wichita State senior guard Mariah McCully.

All 11 teams are scheduled to vie for the 2022 American Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. The tournament is tentatively scheduled for March 8-11.

2021-22 American Athletic Conference
Women's Basketball WER Preseason  Poll


Team (First-Place Votes) Points
1. USF (9) 96
2. UCF  (2)  81
3. Temple (1) 77
4. Cincinnati  71
5. Tulane 60
6. Houston 54
7. East Carolina  51
8. Wichita State 38
9. SMU 36
10. Memphis  34
11. Tulsa 7


Preseason Players of the Year
Mia Davis, F, Temple

Preseason Coach of the Year
Jose Fernandez, USF

Preseason Assistant Coach of the Year
Yolisha Jackson, USF

Preseason International Player of the Year
Elena Tsineke, G, USF

Preseason Junior College Transfer of the Year
Bethy Mununga, F, USF
Courtajia Sanders, G, UCF

Preseason Freshman of the Year
Laila Jewett, G, UCF 

Preseason All-Conference First Team
Bethy Mununga, F, USF
Elena Tsineke, G, USF
Brittney Smith, F, UCF
Mia Davis, F, Temple
Courtajia Sanders, G, UCF

Preseason All-Conference Second Team
Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu, F, USF
Elisa Pinzan, PG, USF
Krystal Freeman, F, Tulane
Mariah McCully, G, Wichita State
Asia Strong, F, Wichita State

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