Oct. 7, 2013
IRVING, Texas – 2013 Conference USA Women’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Year Jessica Kuster was voted to the C-USA Preseason Team by the league’s 16 coaches, the conference announced on Monday morning. In the preseason coaches’ poll, Rice University was picked to finish 10th in the new-look league.
Kuster earned first team all-conference honors last season as she became the quickest player in program history to reach the 1,000-point scoring mark and just the 18th Rice player to accomplish the feat. Along with fellow C-USA Preseason Team member Ebony Rowe (Middle Tennessee), Kuster is one of two players to average a double-double each of the last three seasons with 16.1 points and 10.1 rebounds in 2012-13.
Rounding out the eight-player preseason team are: FIU’s Jerrica Coley (Preseason Player of the Year), Old Dominion’s Shae Kelley, Southern Miss’ Jameirra Faulkner, Tulane’s Danielle Blagg, UAB’s Karisma Chapman and UTEP’s Kayla Thornton.
New league member Middle Tennessee topped the coaches’ poll with 244 points and 8-of-16 first-place votes. UTEP claimed six first-place votes and was selected second with 231 points. Tulane was picked third with 212 points, while Charlotte earned the fourth spot with 196 points and a first-place vote. North Texas claimed the final first-place vote, but was picked 12th overall with 92 points.
Rice was narrowly edged out by 2013 C-USA champion Tulsa for ninth, 116-114.
1. Middle Tennessee (8) 244
2. UTEP (6) 231
3. Tulane 212
4. Charlotte (1) 196
5. FIU 190
6. Old Dominion 170
7. East Carolina 155
8. UAB 129
9. Tulsa 116
10. Rice 114
11. Louisiana Tech 98
12. North Texas (1) 92
13. Southern Miss 78
T-14. Florida Atlantic 58
T-14. UTSA 58
16. Marshall 35
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