New coach, similar expectations for Baylor women’s hoops

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Baylor’s sideline will search diverse this season, but the Lady Bears count on comparable benefits immediately after they were picked as the preseason No. 1 crew in the Big 12.

Coach Kim Mulkey stepped down after previous period to acquire the position at LSU. She led the Lady Bears to a few national championships, 12 Big 12 titles and 19 NCAA Event appearances in her 21 many years on the work. Baylor manufactured the Elite 8 final season.

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Huge shoes to fill for the Woman Bears’ new coach, Nicki Collen.

“There is definitely a great deal of stress, but I did not consider the work for there not to be pressure,” stated Collen, who coached the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream the earlier a few seasons. “It’s likely to be a new manufacturer of basketball and it won’t look the identical, not likely to come to feel the exact same, but we hope the effects are the exact.”

There are lots of explanations for optimism in Waco. The Lady Bears convey back again Queen Egbo and Significant 12 Preseason Participant of the Year NaLyssa Smith. She averaged 18 details and 9 rebounds past time.

Baylor also provides Jordan Lewis, a transfer from Alabama and the Significant 12 Newcomer of the Year. She scored 17 factors for every recreation for the Crimson Tide.

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Ayoka Lee has been a single of the ideal players in the Major 12 given that her arrival two a long time back. The Kansas Condition junior hopes to consider the next stage and enable her staff make an NCAA Tournament this year.

Lee was a 1st-workforce All-Major 12 player in her very first two seasons. She averaged 15 points as a freshman and 19 previous time.

“This offseason, I’ve just been doing work on acquiring more snug outdoors of the paint,” Lee explained. “Incorporating that to my activity in a way that feels extra all-natural.”

Equally seasons have finished at the Large 12 Match, and Lee hopes to play effectively into March.

“I have been looking ahead to this 12 months for a though and just erase final 12 months,” Kansas State coach Jeff Mittie mentioned. “I consider every group will be at a unique amount this yr mainly because you have bought more exercise time and it has felt extra normal.”

The Wildcats previous made the NCAA Tournament in 2019, losing to Michigan in the to start with spherical.

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Texas and Iowa State tied for 2nd in the preseason poll. The Longhorns gained two to start with-spot votes and the Cyclones bought one particular.

Both groups are coming off disappointing finishes in the conference. Iowa was fourth in the Major 12 past period and Texas was fifth.

The Longhorns are seeking to swap WNBA No. 1 draft decide on Charli Collier, who led the team to the Elite 8 previous year. They’ll start out from the ground up with Preseason Freshman of the Year Aaliyah Moore, a ahead with a functional offensive match.

“She performs her tail off,” Texas coach Vic Schaefer explained. “She is incredibly coachable child and we are genuinely on the lookout forward to our freshman course. Our work is to get them completely ready for the season.”

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THE Relaxation OF THE PACK

The other groups chasing Baylor this time, in purchase of their locations in the preseason poll, are West Virginia, Oklahoma, TCU, Oklahoma Condition, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Kansas.