Senior guards Temeka Johnson and Doneeka Hodges lead LSU as two of those returning starters. Johnson averaged 10.0 points and 5.9 assists per game last season, while Hodges scored 9.5 points and grabbed 2.4 boards per contest. Also returning from the starting lineup sophomore guard Seimone Augustus. Augustus was the consensus National Freshman of the Year in 2002-03, averaging 14.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per outing.
Those three are joined by returnees Florence Williams (Jr., 6-1, F), Wendlyn Jones (So., 6-1, F), Treynell Clavelle (So., 6-4, C), Tillie Willis (Jr., 6-3, F) and Crystal White (Jr., 6-5 C). Jones and White are both expected to miss the preseason exhibition games with injuries. Jones is out with after undergoing right knee surgery in July and is expected to return to action in December, while White is day-to-day with a stress fracture in her lower right leg.
LSU adds four newcomers and a familiar face in Scholanda Hoston, who missed last season, but averaged 10.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game as a freshman in 2001-02. The newcomers, Khalilah Mitchell (5-11, G), Amber Long (5-6, G), Marian Whitfield (5-9, G) and Hanna Biernacka (6-1, F) are all freshman on the squad.
LSU's two exhibition games will be played with two rules experiments in place, a trapezoid lane and an extended three-point line. The lane is 7 feet, 8.25 inches wider and the baseline and the normal lane, while the three-point line is 7.25 inches father than the normal line. These rules are in place for all women's exhibition games and exempt preseason tournaments to determine if the Women's Basketball Rule Committee will make the changes for future seasons.
Following Wednesday's exhibition game, LSU will host Latvian Select on Monday at 7 p.m. in the final exhibition game of the preseason before opening the regular season on Nov. 15 against Villanova at 6 p.m. CST in the opening round of the Women's Sports Foundation Classic hosted by the Univ. of Oregon in Eugene.
Seimone Augustus is onme of three rteunring
starters from last year's Elite Eight squad.
Lady Tigers chosen No. 10 in ESPN Coaches Poll
LSU's women's basketball team which begins the 2003-04 season with an exhibition game on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against NWBL Elite in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, are ranked 10th in the preseason ESPN/USA Today coaches Top 25 poll released on Tuesday.
The Lady Tigers, who finished the season fifth in the final coaches poll last season after going 30-4 and winning the Southeastern Conference Tournament title, received 605 points in the preseason poll.
The defending national champions UConn is the No. 1 team, followed by Duke, Texas, Tennessee and Kansas State. Texas Tech is fifth, Stanford is sixth, Penn State is eighth, followed by Purdue.
Six of LSU's opponents are ranked in the preseason poll, including Tennessee and Penn State, while Georgia is 11th, Rutgers is 17th, Arizona is 22nd and Auburn is 25th.
Corey Webster was an all-SEC pick as a
junior, his first year to play defense.
Corey Webster named semifinalist for Jim Thorpe Award
LSU cornerback Corey Webster has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes annually to college football's best defensive back.
Webster, a junior from Vacherie, La., has started all nine games at cornerback for the Tigers helping LSU to an 8-1 overall mark and a No. 4 national ranking. Webster has 36 tackles, three interceptions and 17 passes defended. He's also forced a fumble and had three quarterback hurries.
Webster, a converted wide receiver, ranks among LSU's all-time leaders with 10 career pass interceptions, which includes tying a school-record with three in one game last year against Florida.
Other semifinalists for the Thorpe Award include: Jamaal Brimmer (UNLV), Josh Bullocks (Nebraska), James Butler (Georgia Tech), Jason David (Washington), DeAngelo Hall (Virginia Tech), Keiwan Ratliff (Florida), Stuart Schweigert (Purdue), Derrick Strait (Oklahoma), Sean Taylor (Miami-Fla.), Mark Walker (TCU), and Darrent Williams (Oklahoma State).
The list will be trimmed to three finalists on Nov. 25 with the winner of the award being announced on ESPN's College Football Award Show on Dec. 11.