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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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Nancy Mulkey Named C-USA Co-Preseason Player of the Year

Posted: November 4, 2020 -- 11:43 a.m. CT

Conference USA coaches voted Rice women's basketball redshirt-senior center Nancy Mulkey as the Co-Preseason Player of the Year, the league announced on Wednesday.

This accolade marks the third straight year that an Owl has been named C-USA Preseason Player of the Year after Erica Ogwumike took the honors in 2018 and 2019. Mulkey shared the league's top preseason honor with Middle Tennessee guard Anastasia Hayes.

Mulkey was also named to the nine-player C-USA Preseason Team for a second straight season.

The reigning C-USA Defensive Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons, Mulkey ranked fifth in the NCAA in 2019-20 in blocks per game (3.21-1st in C-USA) and 19th in the nation in total blocks (77-1st in C-USA). She was named to the All-Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team for a second straight season after averaging 12.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks during conference action.

Mulkey ranked third in the league in free throw percentage (84.8) and was fifth in field goal percentage (52.4). The Cypress, Texas native recorded three or more blocks in 13 games, including a school record-breaking performance 11 blocks at SMU as part of the program's second career triple double.

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The Owls went 21-8 last season while posting a 16-2 C-USA record. Rice won their second straight C-USA regular season championship before the postseason was cut short due to COVID-19.

2020-21 Conference USA Preseason Awards (Coaches not allowed to vote for own players)

Co-Preseason Players of the Year - Anastasia Hayes (Middle Tennessee) and Nancy Mulkey (Rice)

2020-21 C-USA Preseason Team

Mariah Linney, Charlotte

Amber Dixon, Louisiana Tech

Savannah Wheeler, Marshall

Aislynn Hayes, Middle Tennessee

*Anastasia Hayes, Middle Tennessee

*Nancy Mulkey, Rice

Amari Young, Old Dominion

Ajah Wayne, Old Dominion

Katia Gallegos, UTEP

* - Preseason Players of the Year

    2020-21 C-USA Preseason Poll (first-place votes)
  1. Middle Tennessee (8)
  2. Rice (3)
  3. Old Dominion (3)
  4. Charlotte
  5. WKU
  6. UTEP
  7. UAB
  8. North Texas
  9. Louisiana Tech
  10. Florida Atlantic
  11. Southern Miss
  12. Marshall
  13. UTSA
  14. FIU

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