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Coale, Sooners Picked Fifth In Preseason Big 12 Poll

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The Oklahoma women's basketball team was picked fifth in the preseason poll of the Big 12 coaches, the conference office announced Wednesday. The Sooners received 46 votes to claim their fifth place standing.

Topping the poll was Texas, followed by Baylor, who won or shared the previous four regular season crowns. Rounding out the top four was West Virginia in third and Oklahoma State in fourth.

“Our league is full of great teams and great coaches, and we are young and a bit of a mystery to everyone I am sure,” stated head coach Sherri Coale, in her 19th year at the helm. “We have to replace a tremendous point guard, a 6-6 shot blocker and the most prolific 3-point shooter in our program's history and we have to earn our way. I can't tell you how excited I am about shepherding this group through that process.”

Oklahoma returns seven letterwinners from its squad that finished 18-15 and 9-9 in the Big 12 a season ago. It must replace three starters who averaged nearly 50 percent of the Sooners scoring in 2013-14, including Aaryn Ellenberg, the second leading scorer in OU history and the 10th leading 3-point shooter in NCAA history.

The Sooners boast one four-year senior and two juniors on a squad of 15. They are led by 5-10 senior guard Sharane Campbell-Olds and 6-3 junior forward Kaylon Williams. Campbell-Olds averaged 12.6 points and 5.4 rebounds a season ago while Williams chipped in 7.0 points and 4.2 rebounds off the bench.

OU also returns redshirt sophomores Maddie Manning and Peyton Little. Little, a transfer from Texas A&M who sat out last year, was tabbed the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year earlier this month.

Oklahoma holds six newcomers, including five freshmen.

An inside look into this year's Big 12 Conference Women's Basketball Preseason Poll.

1. Texas (5) 73 votes

2013-14 Record:

23-12/11-7 Big 12 (t-3rd)

Post Season:

NCAA Second Round

Texas was picked as the preseason favorite for the third time in conference history. The Longhorns were also picked at the top of the preseason rankings in 2003-04 and 2004-05. They won the regular season in 2002-03 and shared the title in 2003-04 with Kansas State.

What the Longhorns return: The Longhorns return 10 letterwinners, including four starters, from a squad that went 23-12 overall and 11-7 in the Big 12 a year ago. Texas is led by 6-1 senior Nneka Enemkpali and 6-7 sophomore Imani McGee-Stafford. Enemkpali averaged 12.0 points and 8.6 rebounds a game in 2013-14 and McGee-Stafford posted averages of 10.8 points and 7.3 rebounds a contest.

Preseason Freshman of the Year: Texas also boasts the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year Ariel Atkins.

Texas is coached by: Karen Aston (3rd year)

2. Baylor (2) 71 votes

2013-14 Record:

32-5/16-2 Big 12 (t-1st)

Post Season:

NCAA Elite Eight

Baylor was picked to finish second in the Big 12 in 2014-15. The Lady Bears have won or shared the previous four regular season crowns.

What the Lady Bears return: Baylor returns nine letterwinners, including three starters, from a squad that went 32-5 overall and 16-2 in the Big 12 a season ago. The Lady Bears tied for the regular season crown in 2013-14 and made their way to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. Baylor is led by 5-11 sophomore Nina Davis and 6-4 senior Sune Agbuke. Davis averaged 15.0 points and 8.9 rebounds a game in 2013-14 and Agbuke averaged 5.3 points and 7.6 rebounds a contest.

Baylor is coached by: Kim Mulkey (15th year)

3. West Virginia (2) 66 votes

2013-14 Record:

30-5/16-2 Big 12 (t-1st)

Post Season:

NCAA Second Round

West Virginia was picked to place third in the Big 12 in 2014-15. The Mountaineers tied with Baylor for the 2013-14 regular season crown – their first as a Big 12 member.

What the Mountaineers return: West Virginia returns five letterwinners, including three starters, from a team that went 30-5 overall and 16-2 in the Big 12 last year. The Mountaineers are led by 6-1 junior Bria Holmes who, earlier this month, was tabbed the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year. Holmes averaged 15.2 points and 3.5 rebounds as a sophomore.

West Virginia is coached by: Mike Carey (14th year)

4. Oklahoma State (1)

63 votes

2013-14 Record:

25-9/11-7 Big 12 (t-3rd)

Post Season:

NCAA Sweet Sixteen

What the Cowgirls return: Oklahoma State returns 13 letterwinners, including three starters, from a team that went 25-9 overall and 11-7 in the Big 12 last year. The Cowgirls, who reached the Sweet Sixteen in 2013-14, are led by senior Liz Donohoe and junior Brittney Martin. Donohoe averaged 11.0 points and 6.7 rebounds a year ago and Martin led the team in rebounds at 8.7 per contest.

Oklahoma State is coached by: Jim Littell (4th year)

5. Oklahoma 46 votes

2013-14 Record:

18-15/9-9 Big 12 (t-5th)

Post Season:

NCAA First Round

What the Sooners return: Oklahoma returns seven letterwinners from its squad that finished 18-15 overall and 9-9 in the Big 12 a season ago but must replace three starters, including Aaryn Ellenberg, who closed out her outstanding career as the second leading scorer in OU history. The Sooners boast one four-year senior and two juniors on a squad of 15. They are led by 5-10 senior Sharane Campbell-Olds and 6-3 junior Kaylon Williams. Campbell-Olds averaged 12.6 points and 5.4 rebounds a season ago while Williams chipped in 7.0 points and 4.2 rebounds off the bench.

Preseason Newcomer of the Year: Oklahoma's redshirt sophomore Peyton Little was tabbed the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year.

Oklahoma is coached by: Sherri Coale (19th year)

6. Iowa State 42 votes

2013-14 Record:

20-11/9-9 Big 12 (t-5th)

Post Season:

NCAA First Round

What the Cyclones return: Iowa State returns eight letterwinners, including four starters, from its squad that finished 20-11 overall and 9-9 in the Big 12 last season. The Cyclones reached the NCAA Tournament for the seventh straight season in 2013-14. Iowa State is led by a trio of guards; Nikki Moody, Jadda Buckley and Seanna Johnson. Moody averaged 12.5 points last season, while Buckley chipped in 10.9 points and Johnson had an average of 10.2 points per game.

Iowa State is coached by: Bill Fennelly (20th year)

7. TCU 33 votes

2013-14 Record:

18-15/8-10 Big 12 (7th)

Post Season:

WNIT First Round

What the Horned Frogs return: TCU returns nine letterwinners, including four starters, from its squad that finished 18-15 overall and 8-10 in the Big 12 last season. The Horned Frogs are led by Zahna Medley and Natalie Ventress who averaged 17.1 points and 11.6 points per game, respectively, in 2013-14.

TCU is coached by: Raegan Pebley (1st year)

8. Kansas 28 votes

2013-14 Record:

13-19/5-13 Big 12 (t-8th)

Post Season:

Did Not Participate

What the Jayhawks return: Kansas returns seven letterwinners, including four starters, from its squad that finished 13-19 overall and 5-13 in the Big 12 last season. The Wildcats are led by Chelsea Gardner who averaged 17.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game 2013-14.

Kansas is coached by: Bonnie Henrickson (11th year)

9. Kansas State 16 votes

2013-14 Record:

11-19/5-13 Big 12 (t-8th)

Post Season:

Did Not Participate

What the Wildcats return: Kansas State returns 10 letterwinners, including two starters, from its squad that finished 11-19 overall and 5-13 in the Big 12 last season. The Wildcats are led by seniors Ashia Woods and Haley Texada. Woods averaged 10.1 points per game as a junior, while Texada chipped in 7.5 points per contest in 2013-14.

Kansas State is coached by: Jeff Mittie (1st year)

10. Texas Tech 12 votes

2013-14 Record:

6-24/0-18 Big 12 (10th)

Post Season:

Did Not Participate

What the Lady Raiders return: Texas Tech returns five letterwinners, including three starters, from its squad that finished 6-24 overall and 0-18 in the Big 12 last season. The Lady Raiders are led by Amanda Battle who averaged 16.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in 2013-14.

Texas Tech is coached by: Candi Whitaker (2nd year)

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