IRVING, Texas - Baylor has become the first team in Conference women's or men's basketball history to claim all three of the Big 12 preseason individual awards. Brittney Griner was named Preseason Player of the Year, Brooklyn Pope captured Preseason Newcomer of the Year and Odyssey Sims was selected Preseason Freshman of the Year in a vote of the league's head coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
Griner was an All-Big 12 First Team selection last year and named both Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year. She was picked the USBWA Freshman of the Year and was an Associated Press second team All-America. In addition Griner was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Memphis Regional during Baylor's run to the Women's Final Four. The 6-8 sophomore post averaged 18.4 points and 8.5 rebounds during her rookie season. Her 223 blocks rank sixth on the Big 12 career list and set the NCAA Division I record for blocks in a season.
Pope enters her sophomore season at Baylor after spending her freshman year at Rutgers. She saw action in 29 of the team's 34 games in 2008-09 with averages of 2.1 points and 2.0 rebounds. The Fort Worth, Texas, native was a 2008 McDonald's, WBCA and Parade magazine High School All-American. She averaged 25 points and 13 rebounds as a senior at Dunbar High School.
Sims averaged 22.5 points, 4.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds as a senior at Irving's (Texas) MacArthur High School. She was rated the No. 1 point guard in the class of 2010 and No. 3 player overall. The 5-8 guard earned the WBCA/State Farm National High School Player of the Year award and was named a WBCA, Parade magazine and McDonalds All-American.
Joining Griner on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team are teammate Melissa Jones, Kelsey Bolte (Iowa State), Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma) and Danielle Adams (Texas A&M).
Jones was hampered by an injury the majority of last year's conference season - appearing in only two league games and 22 of Baylor's 35 total games. She returned for postseason action and averaged 10.4 points and 6.3 rebounds on the year.
Griner joins Sophia Young (2005-06) as the only other Lady Bear to be named Preseason Player of the Year. Pope joins Sheila Lambert (2000-01) and Bernice Mosby (2006-07) in earning Preseason Newcomer of the Year kudos and Sims and Griner (2009-10) are the only two Baylor players to receive Preseason Freshman of the Year honors.
|2010-11 BIG 12 CONFERENCE PRESEASON AWARDS
(coaches not allowed to vote for own players)
|Preseason Player of the Year|
|Preseason Newcomer of the Year|
||Fort Worth, Texas/Dunbar/Rutgers
|Preseason Freshman of the Year|
|2010-11 BIG 12 CONFERENCE PRESEASON All-Big 12 Team
|Danielle Adams||Texas A&M||F/C||6-1||Sr.-1L||16.3||5.8||Kansas City, Mo./Jefferson Coll.|
|Kelsey Bolte||Iowa State||G||6-1||Sr.-3L||12.3||4.5||Ida Grove, Iowa/Battle Creek|
|Danielle Robinson||Oklahoma||G||5-9||Sr.-3L||16.8||3.3||San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty|
|Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically by school)|
|Brittany Spears (Colorado), Carolyn Davis (Kansas), Dominique Kelley (Nebraska), Whitney Hand (Oklahoma), Ashleigh Fontenette and Kathleen Nash (Texas), Sydney Colson and Tyra White (Texas A&M).|
Baylor will open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 12 against Florida International when it hosts the four-team, three-day World Vision Invitational. Joining Baylor and Florida International in the tournament will be Rice and Montana State.
Prior to the season opener, Baylor will play two exhibition games. On Nov. 1 it will take on St. Edwards University and on Nov. 5 it will host Texas A&M International. Both games will begin at 7 p.m.
For season ticket information, contact the Baylor Athletic Ticket Office call 1-800-BAYLORU or 254-710-1000 or visit BaylorBears.com. For the most current schedule information throughout the season, visit BaylorBears.com.