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Shonese Jones was the Big South Rookie of the Year last season
Courtesy: UNC Asheville
Women's Team Picked 10th in BSC Preseason Poll
Courtesy: UNCABulldogs.com
Release: 10/09/2012
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville women's basketball team was picked to finish in 10th in the Big South Conference this season according to the league's head coaches and media panel. The announcement of the preseason poll came at the conference's annual Basketball Tip-Off Media Luncheon at the Renaissance Suites Hotel.

 

The Bulldogs received 60 votes in the poll as they were picked ahead of league newcomer Longwood. Defending Big South champion Liberty was the preseason pick to win the league title for the 15th time in the last 16 years. Big South runner-up High Point was selected second.

 

Asheville finished with a 7-23 overall record and 3-15 worksheet in league play last season. The Bulldogs came in ninth place in the regular-season race in 2011-12.

 

First-year coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick isn't worried about where Asheville was picked in the preseason poll.

 

"I can understand where we were picked, but it's where we finish is what counts," commented Kirkpatrick. "Our girls are working hard and improving with each day. We still have a lot of work to do, but we're very excited about the start of the season."

 

The Bulldogs return most of their team from last season that struggled with some key injuries throughout the year. Asheville has four starters and 10 letterwinners back, including center Kelli Riles who finished 12th in the nation in rebounding; sophomore guard Shonese Jones who earned Big South Freshman of the Year honors; and sophomore forward Leah Wormack who made the Big South All-Rookie team.

 

The first-year coach sees some potential strength in the post.

 

"We have some post depth and have some size," admitted Kirkpatrick. "We have some players up front who opponents are going to have to worry about and that should help our perimeter game."

 

A big concern for the Bulldogs in the early part of the season is injuries, especially in the backcourt.

 

"We've got to get healthy," explained Kirkpatrick. "We have Grace Blaylock and Brittany Gwyn out at the start of practice and that really hurts our perimeter presence.  Hopefully, we can get both of them healthy once the season starts and that will make a difference."

 

UNC Asheville opens the 2012-13 season on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Kimmel Arena when it hosts the second annual Asheville Collegiate Invitational. There will be two games that day with UNC Greensboro playing Charleston Southern in the first match-up at 2 p.m., followed by the Bulldogs contest with Western Carolina at 4:30 p.m.

 

This year's Big South Tournament will be a combined affair with the men's and women's teams coming to Myrtle Beach for the 2013 VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Basketball Championships the week of March 5-10 at the HTC Center on the campus of Coastal Carolina.

 

Season-tickets are available at uncabulldogs.com or by calling the Bulldog Ticket Office at 828-251-6904.

 

RK

TEAM (first-place votes)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

Points

1.

Liberty (16)

16

3

3

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

233

2.

High Point (4)

4

11

6

--

1

--

--

--

--

--

--

215

3.

Winthrop (2)

2

5

10

3

1

1

--

--

--

--

--

199

4.

Campbell

--

--

2

6

11

2

--

1

--

--

--

159

5.

Radford

--

2

1

7

5

2

2

3

--

--

--

154

6.

Charleston Southern

--

1

--

3

3

11

1

1

2

--

--

136

7.

Coastal Carolina

--

--

--

1

--

1

9

5

1

5

--

92

8.

Presbyterian College

--

--

--

--

--

2

9

5

3

2

1

91

9.

Gardner-Webb

--

--

--

1

--

2

--

1

8

4

6

62

10.

UNC Asheville

--

--

--

--

1

1

--

3

6

6

5

60

11.

Longwood

--

--

--

1

--

--

1

3

2

5

10

51

Note: points are based on a weighted system.  First-place votes received 11 points, followed by 10 points for second-place, and so on.

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