Nov. 5, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Southeastern Conference released its 2013-14 Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll Tuesday, and the Tennessee Lady Volunteers have been picked to win the 2014 SEC title in voting by the league's coaches.
That vote echoed a first-place selection of the Big Orange by the media back on Oct. 14.
Tennessee tops the coaches' order of finish with 167 points, with Kentucky in second at 159. LSU, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Georgia round out the top half of the league, while Auburn, Missouri, Florida, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Alabama round out the lower half.
As the reigning SEC regular season champions, Tennessee returns three starters from last season's 27-8 squad that advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight squad, including 2013 SEC Co-Player of the Year Meighan Simmons and 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year Bashaara Graves. UT will be aiming for its 18th regular season league title.
As with the media poll, the coaches poll resulted in Simmons getting the preseason nod for SEC Women's Basketball Player of the Year with seven votes. Simmons, a 5-foot-9 senior guard from Cibolo, Texas, was the league's second-leading scorer in all games a year ago at 16.8 ppg., but she led with a 19.3 average against conference teams.
The remaining votes for 2014 player of the year were given to Kentucky's DeNesha Stallworth (three), LSU's Theresa Plaisance (three) and Vanderbilt's Christina Foggie (one).
Also mirroring the media's choices for first-team All-SEC honors, the coaches included Simmons and Graves on their All-SEC First Team. Graves, a 6-2 sophomore forward from Clarksville, Tenn., posted averages of 13.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest last season, ranking as the No. 7 rebounder and No. 11 scorer in the SEC.
Joining Simmons and Graves on the first-team were Stallworth, Plaisance and Foggie as well as Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina; Courtney Walker, Texas A&M; and Jasmine Lister, Vanderbilt.
The second team consists of Hasina Muhammad, Auburn; Jaterra Bonds, Florida; Shacobia Barbee, Georgia; Samarie Walker, Kentucky; Jennifer O'Neil, Kentucky; Danielle Ballard, LSU; Valencia McFarland, Ole Miss; Martha Alwal, Mississippi State.
Points were compiled on a 13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for order of prediction, while each player received two points for a first-team vote and one point for a second-team vote. Coaches do not vote for their own team or players.
Preseason Coaches Poll
(First-Place Votes in Parentheses)
1. Tennessee // 167
2. Kentucky // 159
3. LSU // 134
4. Vanderbilt // 124
T5. South Carolina // 121
T5. Texas A&M // 121
7. Georgia // 104
8. Auburn // 72
9. Missouri // 69
10. Florida // 60
11. Miss. State // 51
12. Arkansas // 42
13. Ole Miss // 25
14. Alabama // 24