WVU Women Picked Eighth In League

What a difference a year makes! The West Virginia women's basketball team is garnering some respect from the league after their rise from the ashes last year.

The Mountaineers are picked eighth in the fourteen team league in a preseason poll of head coaches. WVU finished with 81 points, trailing seventh pick Miami by 23.

After losing a great deal of last year's national championship roster, UConn is seen as vulnerable by some of the league's coaches, seven of whom picked Notre Dame to unseat the Huskie dynasty. The entire poll:

                      2002-03 BIG EAST 
                   Coaches' Preseason Poll  
                  1t. Connecticut (7)  161  
                      Notre Dame (7)   161  
                   3. Boston College   143  
                   4. Villanova        128  
                   5. Virginia Tech    110  
                   6. Rutgers          107  
                   7. Miami            104
                   8. West Virginia     81  
                  9t. Seton Hall        69  
                      Syracuse          69 
                  11. Georgetown        64  
                  12. Providence        33  
                  13. Pittsburgh        29  
                  14. St. John's        15  

WVU's Kate Bulger was relegated to the second team pre-season all-conference squad despite numbers that rivalled or exceeded some first team selections. Bulger was second in the conference in scoring and three point field goal percentage, and first in three point shots last year.

Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Jacqueline Batteast So. F 6-2 Notre Dame
Chanivia Broussard Jr. F 6-0 Miami
Trish Juhline Sr. G 5-10 Villanova
Ieva Kublina Jr. F/C 6-4 Virginia Tech
Alicia Ratay Sr. G 6-0 Notre Dame
*Diana Taurasi Jr. G 6-0 Connecticut
* - unanimous selection

Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Rebekkah Brunson Jr. F 6-2 Georgetown
Kate Bulger Jr. G 5-11 West Virginia
Julie McBride Jr. G 5-4 Syracuse
Cappie Pondexter So. G 5-9 Rutgers
Brianne Stepherson Sr. G 5-8 Boston College

Preseason Player of the Year:
Diana Taurasi, Jr., G/F, 6-0, Connecticut

2002-03 Preseason Rookie of the Year:
Ann Strother, Fr., G, 6-2, Connecticut

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