Women's Basketball Picked 9th in A-Sun Preseason Poll

Nov. 4, 2003

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville University women's basketball team has been picked ninth in the Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Media Poll and 10th in the Preseason Coaches Poll, as released by the conference office today.

Two-time defending champion Georgia State topped both polls and was the unanimous choice to win the A-Sun Championship in the Coaches Poll, while UCF, last season's South Division champion, was tabbed second in both polls and picked as the unanimous choice to win the A-Sun Championship in the Media Poll.

UCF's Takira Allen was chosen A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year, joining Kristy Brown of Stetson, Holly Coates of Georgia State, Erica Davenport of Belmont and Kristal Troy from Campbell on the A-Sun Preseason All-Conference Team.

JU is looking to rebound from an injury-plagued season in 2002-03 in which the Dolphins finished 6-21 overall and 4-12 in the A-Sun South Division. The Dolphins return four of five starters, including senior guard Katie McDonald (Chandler, Ariz.), who was third in the A-Sun last season with 4.1 assists per game, and junior forward Kara Donnell (Mattoon, Ill.) who was second in the A-Sun with 47 blocks, while scoring 9.2 points per game.

Senior guard Lexie Richards (Mercer Island, Wash.), JU's all-time leading three-point shooter with 200 career three pointers, also returns, as does junior forward Yolisha Jackson (Clarksville, Tenn) who suffered a season-ending knee injury last year. Jackson, the team MVP her freshman campaign, averaged 14.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in 2001-02.

The two polls were nearly identical, with Florida Atlantic, Belmont, Troy State, Mercer, Campbell and Lipscomb trailing respectively in the polls. The Media Poll had JU ninth, followed by Stetson and Gardner-Webb, while the Coaches Poll ranked Stetson ninth, followed by JU and Gardner-Webb.

The Dolphins open the 2003-04 season at home against Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on Friday, Nov. 21, at 4:30 p.m., looking to give head coach Melissa Taketa her 250th career win.

2003-04 Atlantic Sun Women's Basketball Preseason Polls

Media Poll 1. Georgia State 142 points (8) 2. UCF 132 points (5) 3. Florida Atlantic 110 points 4. Belmont 108 points 5. Troy State 102 points (1) 6. Mercer 76 points 7. Campbell 69 points 8. Lipscomb 62 points 9. Jacksonville 49 points 10. Stetson 41 points 11. Gardner-Webb 33 points

Predicted Tournament Champion: UCF (6)

Coaches Poll 1. Georgia State 115 points (8) 2. UCF 109 points (2) 3. Florida Atlantic 90 points 4. Belmont 85 points 5. Troy State 82 points (1) 6. Mercer 59 points 7. Campbell 53 points 8. Lipscomb 44 points 9. Stetson 39 points 10. Jacksonville 27 points 11. Gardner-Webb 23 points

Predicted Tournament Champion: Georgia State (6)

A-Sun Preseason All-Conference Team Takira Allen, UCF Kristy Brown, Stetson Holly Coates, Georgia State Erica Davenport, Belmont Kristal Troy, Campbell

Preseason Player of the Year: Takira Allen