Talking Media Days

By Jeff Lippman - October 10, 2007


Media Days have officially begun, with Midnight Madness looming Friday, and that means that we get to discuss all the preseason favorites for each conference, preseason All-Conference performers and preseason conference Player of the Years.

It also means I get the chance to agree, or more than likely, disagree with the decisions of the coaches around the country.

And wouldn't you know it...The Big 12 came out with their choices for preseason All-Big 12 and it certainly poses more than a few question marks.

There were no surprises when the league named Oklahoma star Courtney Paris a preseason first-team All-Big 12 member and preseason Player of the Year, but surprisingly Oklahoma's only other preseason all-conference performer was also a Paris, sister Ashley, who made the honorable mention list.

I'm not saying that Ashley doesn't deserve to be on that list, because surely she will have a big season backing up Courtney, but its the omissions of two other Oklahoma players that I think is the faux paux. Sophomore PG Jenna Plumley will be an integral part of OU's offense next season, feeding the ball inside to the likes of the Paris sisters, and the little Native American can also play defense and score. Plumley made the All-Big-12 Tournament Team last year and began starting near the end of the season. By this season's end, she will be a little girl with a big name in the Big 12.

Amanda Thompson, another OU sophomore, is another player who began getting more PT as the season progressed last year. And she began filling the stat sheets along with it. The Chicago native nicknamed The Waitress served notice, starting the team's final nine games and scoring in double figures six times during that span. The 6-foot forward is also a big presence inside, and with Big 12 teams worrying about stopping Courtney and Ashley, The Waitress should be able to have her way on the blocks.

The omissions are understandable, as OU coach Sherri Coale was not allowed to vote for her own players and the rest of the league might not know what to expect from those two Sooner youngsters. But they will very soon.

Atlantic Sun Media Day
Jacksonville was the coaches choice for the A-Sun's preseason favorite. And while I certainly do not claim to have nearly the grasp on the A-Sun conference that the coaches do, I am still going to stick with my choice of East Tennessee State - who was chosen to finish second.

Conference USA Media Day
Hey, coaches have been wrong before, and they'll be wrong again...is how I'll justify that my pick for the C-USA crown goes to SMU, while the coaches of the conference have Tulane taking the title, with the Mustangs only ponying up tied for fourth. BUT SMU did receive the second greatest total of first-place votes, even if their grand total was only fourth best.

West Coast Conference Media Day
Jackpot! Gosh, San Diego is beautiful. And I don't just mean the scenery. The Toreros (bullfighters) were chosen by WCC coaches as the best team in the conference, edging out Gonzaga, the team that won the conference last season. I am on board with the way the WCC coaches think, as with players like guard Amanda Rego and center Amber Sprague, San Diego was also my pick to take the conference crown.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 11:48 AM on October 10, 2007
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