IRVING, Texas (University of Memphis) – Senior forward Nicole Dickson has been voted to the Conference USA Preseason All-Conference team and the Tigers were picked to finish fifth it was announced Monday. In a vote of the league coaches, Dickson, who was a second team-all-conference honoree at the end of last season, earns her first preseason award. Dickson was Memphis’ second-leading scorer and rebounder last season (13.5 points, 8.3 rebounds) and became the Tigers’ 22nd player in program history to pass the 1,000 points mark. She also set a school record last season of seven consecutive games with a double-double, finishing with 10 double-doubles on the season.
Memphis returns two starters and six letterwinners from last year’s 25-8 squad, highlighted by Dickson and junior point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir. The Tigers have added eight newcomers to that six-player core, but are awaiting word from the NCAA on two separate waiver requests to gain eligibility for transfers Jamila Ajanaku and Pa’Sonna Hope.
Ajanaku would be a senior guard who transferred back to her hometown Tigers from Middle Tennessee, and Hope would be a junior post who transferred to Memphis from Ole Miss this summer. Those two players are additions to a recruiting class that was ranked No. 39 in the nation by ESPN’s Hoopgurlz.com.
The Tigers, who have won 20 or more games in three consecutive seasons, were picked to finish fifth in the coaches’ poll. Tulane was picked to win the league, while UTEP and UAB are thought to finish second and third followed by Rice. Tulsa was picked to finish sixth. Southern Miss, SMU, UCF, Houston, East Carolina and Marshall round out the preseason predictions.
Rice’s Jessica Kuster is the league’s preseason player of the year and joins Dickson, SMU’s Akil Simpson, USM’s Jamierra Faulkner, Tulane’s Olivia Grayson, Tulsa’s Taleya Mayberry, UAB’s Karisma Chapman and UTEP’s Kayla Thornton on the pre-season all-conference team.
The Tigers open their 2012-13 season Nov. 3rd with an exhibition game against Rhodes College. They open the regular season in the Preseason WNIT against Grambling State Nov. 9th in Elma Roane Fieldhouse. Fans can get a first peek at the 2012-13 Memphis women’s basketball team Friday as part of Memphis Madness festivities. The women’s team will be on the floor at 5:30 p.m. when the doors at FedExForum open and will be introduced to fans at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Conference USA Women’s Basketball Preseason Team
Greeneville, Tenn./Greeneville HS
San Antonio, Texas/Reagan HS
Duncanville, Texas/Duncanville HS
West Palm Beach, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy
Metarie, La./Archbishop Capelle HS
Tulsa, Okla./Booker T Washington HS
Calumet City, Ill./T.F. North HS
El Paso, Texas/Irvin HS
2012-13 C-USA Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Tulane (5)
2. UTEP (5)
3. UAB (1)
5. Memphis (1)
7. Southern Miss
11. East Carolina