WACO, Texas – For the second consecutive year and the seventh time in conference history, Baylor is favored to win the Big 12 women’s basketball regular season title according to a vote of league head coaches previewing the 2016-17 regular season.
The Lady Bears have been picked first in the preseason rankings in 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016. The squad has won or tied for seven regular season championships, including the last six in a row. Baylor has also hoisted the last six Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship trophies.
The Lady Bears received nine of 10 first place votes in the poll (coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams). Texas received one first place vote and is listed second followed by Oklahoma in third place. West Virginia, Kansas State, and TCU came in at fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively. Rounding out the poll are Iowa State and Texas Tech, who tied for seventh, ninth place Oklahoma State, and 10th place Kansas.
Baylor returns 10 letterwinners and four starters from last season’s NCAA Championship Elite Eight and Big 12 Championship squad, including two-time All-American Nina Davis and 2016 Big 12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Alexis Jones. Davis was named Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year and to the Preseason Big 12 First Team, while Jones earned Preseason Big 12 First Team distinction.
The Lady Bears also add the top recruiting class in the country, touting No. 1-ranked Lauren
Cox, who was named Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, No. 8-ranked Natalie Chou, and No. 40 Calveion Landrum.
Following exhibition games against Emporia State on Nov. 1 and Langston on Nov. 7, Baylor opens the regular season against Houston Baptist on Nov. 11. The game time has yet to be determined. Big 12 Conference action begins for the Lady Bears on Dec. 29 against Kansas State inside the Ferrell Center.
A Big 12 women’s basketball preview show will be televised on FOX Sports affiliates prior to the beginning of the regular season. The first air date has been set for Monday, Nov. 7. Check local listings for dates and times.
2016-17 Big 12 Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Baylor (9) – 81
2. Texas (1) – 73
3. Oklahoma – 61
4. West Virginia – 57
5. Kansas State – 50
6. TCU – 34
T7. Iowa State – 28
T7. Texas Tech – 28
9. Oklahoma State – 23
10. Kansas – 15
First place votes in parentheses; coaches not allowed to vote for their own teams.