Women's Basketball: Panthers picked fourth in USA South preseason coaches poll

Women's Basketball: Panthers picked fourth in USA South preseason coaches poll

The USA South Athletic Conference released its 2015-16 women's basketball preseason coaches poll. LaGrange was picked fourth in the poll. There are no divisional standings in women's basketball for the upcoming season as have been the previous two years.

The Panthers are starting their third season under Lee Buchanan. Last season, the Panthers went 17-10 and was second in the USA South South Division. They reached the semifinals of the conference tournament for the second straight year.

The Panthers return all five starters for the 2015-16 season and four of their top five leading scorers. Senior Madison Barker is the leading returning scorer after averaging 9.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. 

Senior Kelsey Mitchell dished out 100 assists last season, while averaging 8.9 points per game. Sophomore Kymberli Payno led the team in rebounding, averaging 5.9 per game.

Maryville was picked first in the preseason poll, followed by Ferrum, Piedmont, the Panthers, and defending USA South Tournament champion Greensboro fifth.  

The women's basketball regular season gets underway on Friday, Nov. 13 as six of the league's 13 teams are in action. The Panthers host Birmingham-Southern on Saturday, Nov. 14 to tipoff their season.

The 2016 USA South Tournament will head back to campus sites as the top seeded team will host all three of its rounds. The tournament will begin on Thursday, Feb. 25 and conclude on Saturday, Feb. 27. If the host institution's men's team also earns the right to host, the women's tournament will continue to be held Thursday-Saturday while the men's tournament will shift to Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 24-26. The top-eight seeded teams after the conclusion of regular season competition will advance to the tournament. 

2015-16 USA South Women's Basketball Coaches Preseason Poll

Rank

Institution (1st Place Votes)

Pts.

1.

Maryville (11)

143

2.

Ferrum

122

3.

Piedmont (2)

120

4.

LaGrange

107

5.

Greensboro

105

6.

Methodist

91

7.

Averett

82

8.

Meredith

71

9.

Huntingdon

54

10.

N.C. Wesleyan

41

11.

William Peace

35

12.

Covenant

31

13.

Mary Baldwin

12