OSU women expected to defense league title
Two-time defending conference champion Ohio State was unanimously picked to win the Big Ten title again in polling released by the league's coaches Sunday.
And, to nobody's surprise, Ohio State's senior center Jessica Davenport was named the conference's preseason player of the year and was an unanimous selection to the conference first team. She was the league's player of the year in each of the past two seasons.
Ohio State went 29-3 season, including 15-1 in the Big Ten, and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In preseason rankings, the Buckeyes were followed by Purdue and Michigan State.
Penn State, coming off a 13-16 season, with a 6-10 league mark, was ranked fourth by the coaches and also by a panel of 22 media members. Lady Lions senior forward/center Amanda Brown was named to the first team.
"We are extremely thrilled that Amanda has earned this honor," Penn State coach Rene Portland said. "She is very excited about her senior year, and this is a great way to kick it off."
Davenport is one of two players to finish in the top 10 in the Big Ten in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and field-goal percentage. The other is Brown, who was sixth in points per game (15.6), fourth in rebounds per game (7.3), second in blocks per game (2.0) and second in field-goal percentage (.593).
Penn State is expected to rely heavily on junior co-captain Kam Gissendanner of Clairton, junior guard Adrienne Squire and sophomore point guard Brianne O'Rourke of Pittsburgh.
The Lady Lions open their non-conference season Nov. 10 at Drexel.