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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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Jackson State Chosen SWAC Women's Basketball Favorite; Preseason All-SWAC Selections also Announced

POSTED: October 17, 2022 -- 11:04 a.m. CT

Monday morning, the Southwestern Athletic Conference announced its 2022-23 Women's Basketball Predicted Order of Finish and Preseason All-SWAC teams and individual award winners during the league's virtual media day event. The all-conference honors and preseason poll was voted on by the league's head coaches and sports information directors.

Jackson State was tabbed as the favorite heading into the 2022-23 season. The Lady Tigers were followed by Alabama State (2nd), Southern (3rd), Alabama A&M (4th) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (5th) to round out the top five preseason poll selections.

Grambling State (6th), Prairie View A&M (7th), Texas Southern (8th), Bethune-Cookman (9th), Florida A&M (10th), Alcorn State (11th), and Mississippi Valley State (12th) were tabbed to finish 6-12 respectively.

JSU led all preseason poll selections garnering 19 first place votes, followed by Southern (1), Alabama A&M (1), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1), Prairie View A&M (1), and Mississippi Valley State (1) with each tallying one first place vote.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff's Zaay Green was named Preseason Player of the Year, while Jackson State's Daja Woodard claimed Preseason Defensive Player of the Year recognition.

Green completed her debut season in the SWAC last season after arriving at UAPB from Texas A&M. She was a key contributor for the Lady Golden Lions as she finished the season ranked sixth in scoring with an average of 16.4 points per game, sixth in rebounding with a total of 201, fifth in steals with a total of 54, and third in assists (5.0 assists per game).

Woodard completed her debut season with JSU ranked seventh in rebounding (7.4 rebounds per game) and eleventh in blocks (24). She also registered a total 23 steals and 16 assists last season. The Lady Tigers claimed the 2022 SWAC Women's Basketball Tournament Championship title as they advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament where the team fell short of a historic win against LSU.

The complete list of the preseason poll rankings and all-conference selections and individual awards winners is listed below.

2022-23 SWAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll

Rank
Team (First-place votes)
Points
1. Jackson State (19) 281
2. Alabama State 233
3. Southern (1) 217
4. Alabama A&M (1) 191
5. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1) 186
6. Grambling State 167
7. Prairie View A&M (1) 156
8. Texas Southern 155
9. Bethune-Cookman 92
10. Florida A&M 90
11. Alcorn State 57
12. Mississippi Valley State (1) 46

Coaches are not permitted to vote for their own team.

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year - Zaay Green, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year - Daja Woodard, Jackson State

Preseason All-SWAC First Team

Zaay Green, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Ayana Emmanuel, Alabama State

Andriana Avent, Texas Southern

Diana Rosenthal, Prairie View A&M

Miya Crump, Jackson State

Preseason All-SWAC Second Team

Shmya Ward, Alabama State

Genovea Johnson, Southern

Jayla Crawford, Alabama State

Keshuna Luckett, Jackson State

Daja Woodard, Jackson State


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