FRISCO – Just one day after releasing its preseason all-conference teams, the Southland Conference unveiled its predicted preseason order of finish with the Sam Houston State women’s basketball team picked to finish third in the 13-team league.
The Bearkats put together one of the top turnarounds in the nation under first-year head coach Ravon Justice a year ago, winning 16 games after just seven combined wins in the previous two seasons.
Now in the second year of Justice’s tenure, the Kats boast eight returners off of last year’s squad, including three starters who were each named to the preseason all-SLC team on Wednesday.
The Kats were one of five teams to receive a first-place vote in the preseason poll, garnering 234 total points to come in just ahead of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Defending SLC Tournament champion Abilene Christian garnered 14 of a possible 24 first-place votes to be picked as the preseason favorite to take the league crown.
Stephen F. Austin was picked second, getting nine first-place votes while Lamar was also picked fifth and was given a first-place vote as well.
Central Arkansas received 172 points and was picked sixth, while Nicholls, New Orleans, McNeese and Southeastern Louisiana round out the top 10.
The final three spots were taken by Northwestern State, Houston Baptist and Incarnate Word.
The Kats will open up the 2019-20 season on November 6 at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum when they host Howard Payne.