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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Laila Blair named to AAC Preseason Second Team; Coogs picked to finish third

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POSTED: October 13, 2021 -- 11:35 a.m. CT

The Houston Cougars women's basketball team has been selected to finish third in the annual American Conference Preseason Poll voted on by the league's head coaches.

The Coogs received 77 votes in the poll behind South Florida who was picked to finish first with 100 points and UCF who took the second spot with 91 points. Four starters and seven letterwinners return for the Cougars, who posted a 17-8 record, finished third in the American Athletic Conference with a 12-5 mark and advanced to the WNIT First Round in 2020-21. It was the program's third straight postseason appearance.

Sophomore guard Laila Blair was also tabbed on the Preseason All-Conference Second Team after a standout freshman season with the Cougars. The team also comprised of Sydni Harvey (South Florida), Elisa Pinzan (South Florida), Krystal Freeman (Tulane and Maya Mayberry (Tulsa). Blair led the Cougars with 10.5 points per game on the way to being named to the American Athletic Conference All-Freshman Team.

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Tatyana Hill led the Cougars with 6.2 rebounds per contest, while Dymond Gladney paced the team with 3.2 assists per game.

2021-22 American Athletic Conference Preseason Women's Basketball Poll

Team (First-place votes)
1. South Florida (10) 100
2. UCF (1) 91
3. Houston 77
4. Tulane 72
5. Temple 69
6. Cincinnati 44
7. East Carolina 38
8. Wichita State 36
9. Tulsa 32
10. SMU 26
11. Memphis 20

CLICK HERE for more UH women's hoops news and info.

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