Lindsay Whalen preseason co-Big Ten Player of Year

Minnesota junior center Janel McCarville joins the Hutchinson guard on the preseason All-Big Ten first team.

The Big Ten's returning Kodak/WBCA All-Americans, Minnesota's Lindsay Whalen and Penn State's Kelly Mazzante, shared Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year award, the conference announced Sunday at its annual media day in Chicago.

The preseason honor, selected by the conference coaches, is fittingly shared between two former Big Ten Players of the Year: Whalen in 2002 and Mazzante in 2003.

Minnesota junior center Janel McCarville joined Whalen and Mazzante on the preseason All-Big Ten First Team, selected by the coaches. Purdue's Shereka Wright and Penn State's Tanisha Wright were also named to the honor squad.

Penn State was tabbed as the Big Ten favorite by the coaches, while Purdue was selected as the preseason favorite by the media. Minnesota was picked to finish third by both groups.

Minnesota posted a 25-6 overall record in 2003 and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The Gophers tied for second place with Purdue with a 12-4 league mark.

The Golden Gophers play two exhibition games on Nov. 5 and Nov. 14 before opening their season by hosting the Subway Classic on Nov. 22-23.

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