FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team has been selected eighth in the Southeastern Conference in the 2010-11 Preseason Media Poll the league announced today.
The Razorbacks garnered 81 points in the poll, and are projected well above last season’s final standings.
"It’s always interesting to see how the media preview the conference," said Arkansas head coach Tom Collen. "If there is anything that I’ve learned about the SEC, it’s that Tennessee will always be picked near the top and will always finish near the top. Other than that, the only thing you can predict about the SEC is that it will be unpredictable."
Arkansas played to a 4-12 SEC record in the tough 16-game schedule last year. This year, however, the Razorbacks return a veteran squad paced by a strong and experienced junior class that includes Lyndsay Harris, C’eira Ricketts and Ashley Daniels.
Tennessee topped the media poll getting 202 points followed by Kentucky (183), Vanderbilt (157), Georgia (150), LSU (147) and Auburn (120) in the top six. The rest of the poll includes South Carolina (84) narrowly edging Arkansas (81) followed by Alabama (65) and Ole Miss (47). Mississippi State (45) and Florida (45) tied for 11th place overall.
"As always, the mad scramble will be from around the fifth position all the way down to the final spot," Collen said. "When you look at the history of the SEC you see that most of the teams outside the top four or five cycle up and down.
"We have a chance to move up in the standings," Collen continued. "We have gone from being one of the youngest teams in the conference the last two years to being a little more experienced. That will help us in close games."
The media also selected Kentucky’s Victoria Dunlap as the preseason player of the year with 13 votes. Tennessee’s Angie Bjorklund and Shekinna Stricklen each earned one vote.
"We always seem to play the teams that are in an upward cycle the most," Collen said. "This year we face Kentucky, Georgia and LSU twice and all of them are all picked in the top five. That makes our road a little tougher, but that comes with the territory of playing in the SEC."
The Razorbacks travel to SEC Media Days, Oct. 21 at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., before tipping of the season with the annual Red-White game, Friday, Oct. 22, in Bud Walton Arena.