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Ricketts Razorbacks earn preseason nods

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Ricketts Razorbacks earn preseason nods

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — University of Arkansas sophomore guard C’eira Ricketts earned selection to the preseason All-Southeastern Conference Second Team the league office announced today. Ricketts, a Louisville, Ky., native earned SEC Co-Freshman Team honors as well as All-SEC Second Team honors as a true freshman last season. The Razorbacks are picked to finish seventh in the conference, up one spot from 2008-09’s eighth-place finish. “I think being picked seventh is a sign of respect for the direction we are heading with our program,” said Razorback head coach Tom Collen. “In most years, if you finish in the top seven in the SEC, you will be in the NCAA tournament and that is certainly one of our goals.” LSU, who finished third in the SEC regular season last year, tallied 206 votes and was selected to finish first in 2009-10. The Tigers received 12 first-place votes edging Tennessee who was selected in second place. The Lady Vols garnered 190 points and six first-place votes. The rest of the poll includes Georgia, picked third with 156 points and one first-place vote, Vanderbilt in fourth with 126 points and one first-place vote and Mississippi State in fifth with 120 points to round out the top five. Florida, a team the Razorbacks split with last year, is picked sixth with 105 points, followed by Arkansas with 92 points. Auburn, who won the SEC regular season title last year, is in eighth with 85 points, followed by Ole Miss in ninth with 70 points, South Carolina in 10th with 61 points, Kentucky in 11th with 40 points and Alabama in 12th place with 24 points. In addition to the preseason poll, a selected panel of both SEC and national media members voted on first and second-team All-SEC preseason honors with Ricketts selected to the second-team. Ricketts became a marquee player for Arkansas last year earning numerous honors including Associated Press SEC Newcomer of the Year and Full Court Press Freshman All-America. She led Arkansas in scoring, assists and steals as the Razorbacks went 18-14 and returned to the postseason for the first time since 2005. Averaging 12.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.9 apg and 2.6 spg, Ricketts became the first player in Razorback women’s basketball history to record a triple double. Ricketts expanded her experience over the summer winning a gold medal with the U19 USA Women’s Basketball team in Bangkok, Thailand. “C’eira is a good player and we’re looking for her to continue to grow and take that next step,” said Collen. “She’ll be playing with a target on her back, especially by the time we come to December when teams have seen her again. We need her strength and experience on the court as we grow as a team.” The Razorbacks tip off the 2009-10 season hosting the Red-White game Friday, Oct. 23, in Bud Walton Arena. The schedule continues with an exhibition against Northeastern State Nov. 4 and the season opener with Alcorn State in Hot Springs, Ark., Nov. 15. Arkansas also faces a new challenge with a 16-game SEC slate for the first time in league history. “Our goal will always be to compete for the regular season SEC Championship,” Collen said. “If we fall short of that, we will go for the tournament championship. We need to grow up fast, stay healthy and play with confidence. Last year we proved that if we did that we could play with anyone in this league.” For more information about Razorback women’s basketball, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com. SEC Champion: LSU (12), Tennessee (6), Georgia (1), Vanderbilt (1) Player of the Year: Allison Hightower, LSU (18), LaSondra Barrett, LSU (1), Angie Bjorklund, Tennessee (1)
Projected Order of Finish

1.LSU206
2.Tennessee190
3.Georgia156
4.Vanderbilt126
5.Mississippi State120
6.Florida105
7.ARKANSAS92
8.Auburn85
9.Ole Miss70
10.South Carolina61
11.Kentucky40
12.Alabama24

First-Team Ashley Houts, Georgia Angel Robinson, Georgia Allison Hightower, LSU Alexis Rack, Mississippi State Shekinna Stricklen, Tennessee
Second Team
C’eira Ricketts, Arkansas LaSondra Barrett, LSU Bianca Thomas, Ole Miss Angie Bjorklund, Tennessee Merideth Marsh, Vanderbilt



Sports Category : Basketball (W)