411OnTheForty: Texas women’s basketball picked second by Big 12 coaches

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Texas center Charli Collier earned preseason All-Big 12 honors in a vote by conference coaches (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

Texas center Charli Collier and guard Celeste Taylor earned preseason All-Big 12 honors, and the Longhorns were projected to finish second in the conference in the annual preseason poll of conference coaches, the conference announced Thursday.

Collier, the team's most experienced starter, was unanimously named to the 10-player team. Taylor, coming off a freshman campaign in which she earned All-Big 12 Freshman Honors, was voted to the Preseason All-Conference Honorable Mention team. The two are the Longhorns' only returning starters.

UT was picked second behind defending national champion Baylor; the Bears got nine of the 10 first-place votes in the poll in which coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team, meaning the Longhorns were named by Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey.

Iowa State was picked third by conference coaches, followed by Kansas State and West Virginia.

2020-21 Big 12 Conference women's basketball preseason poll

  1. Baylor (9 first-place votes)
  2. Texas (1)
  3. Iowa State
  4. Kansas State
  5. West Virginia
  6. Texas Tech
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Oklahoma State
  9. TCU
  10. Kansas

Preseason All-Big 12 Team (honors listed alphabetical by school)

Center Queen Egbo (Baylor)
Guard DiDi Richards (Baylor)
Forward NaLyssa Smith (Baylor
Guard/forward Ashley Joens (Iowa State)
Center Ayoka Lee (Kansas State)
Guard Taylor Robertson (Oklahoma)
Guard Natasha Mack (Oklahoma State
Guard Lauren Heard (TCU)
Center Charli Collier (Texas)
Guard Vivan Gray (Texas Tech)

All-Big 12 Honorable Mention
Kristin Scott (Iowa State), Zakiyah Franklin (Kansas), Holly Kersgieter (Kansas), Rachel Ranke (Kansas State), Ana Llanusa (Oklahoma), Madi Williams (Oklahoma), Celeste Taylor (Texas), Chrislyn Carr (Texas Tech), Kysre Gondrezick (West Virginia) and Kari Niblack (West Virginia)

Preseason Player of the Year: NaLyssa Smith (Baylor)
Preseason Newcomer of the Year: DiJonai Carrington (Baylor)
Preseason Freshman of the Year: Sarah Andrews (Baylor)

Riley Zayas

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley

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