Talladega tops GCAC women’s basketball preseason poll

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Wells named preseason Player of the Year

NEW ORLEANS (GCAConf.com) – The Talladega College Lady Tornadoes are the GCAC coaches’ choice to win the conference crown this season. They received four out of a possible seven first place votes.

Talladega won the GCAC regular season title last season and was an at-large selection for the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. The Lady Tornadoes went 23-6 last season, including 11-1 against conference opponents. They are ranked 21st in the NAIA Preseason Coaches’ poll.

Lady Tornadoes guard/forward Tajanee Wells in the selection for Preseason Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. Wells, a two-time All-GCAC First Team member, averaged 15.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season. The senior out of Columbus, Ohio is 25 points shy of 1,000 in her career and 91 rebounds away from 500.

Edward Waters, which finished second in the conference last season, was picked second in the preseason poll. The Lady Tigers won a school-record 21 games last season and return All-GCAC First Teamer Kyeshia Dawkins (17.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg). Edward Waters will rely on a strong core of seniors as they try to win their first-ever GCAC championship.

The Xavier Gold Nuggets are the defending GCAC tournament champions, and received two first place votes, but they find themselves just behind Edward Waters in the preseason poll. Xavier is followed by crosstown rivals Dillard and Southern University at New Orleans in the polling in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Philander Smith comes in sixth with Tougaloo finishing seventh.

Wells leads the All-Conference preseason basketball team. She is joined by last season’s GCAC Freshman of the Year, Shaelynn Moore (12 ppg, 2 rpg), Dawkins, SUNO guard Micah Brooks (13 ppg, 5 apg), and Tougaloo forward Montoria Atkinson (13.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg).

GCAC 2016-17 Preseason Poll (First-place votes in parenthesis)

Team Points
1. Talladega (4) 45
2. Edward Waters (1) 38
3. Xavier (2) 37
4. Dillard 24
5. SUNO 23
5. Philander Smith 22
7. Tougaloo 7

2016-17 Preseason All-GCAC Team
Shaelynn Moore, Dillard
Kyeshia Dawkins, Edward Waters
Micah Brooks, SUNO
Tajanee Wells, Talladega
Montoria Atkinson, Tougaloo

Others receiving votes: Alyssa Washington, Dillard; Shantrell Lumar, Dillard; Keona Favis, Dillard; Jermisha Collins, Edward Waters; Terralyn Dominick, Philander Smith

GCAC Preseason Player of the Year
Tajanee Wells, Talladega

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