TCU Selected as Preseason Champ by C-USA Coaches
Oct. 23, 2003
FORT WORTH, Texas
The 2003 Conference USA Women's Basketball Tournament Champion TCU Lady Frogs have been chosen as the favorite to win the 2003-04 regular season title by the 14 conference coaches. TCU is seeking its fourth consecutive conference title this year. Lady Frog junior forward Sandora Irvin was named Preseason All-Conference for the second-straight season as well.
"As all coaches know, the preseason polls have no impact on where you finish at the end of the year," Head Coach Jeff Mittie said. "I think it's an indication of where we finished a year ago and the amount of returnees from that team. Our goal every year is to compete for a conference championship. Our conference is a strong league, and a number of teams will be in the mix for the championship."
Irvin led the squad in scoring last season with 12 points per outing. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native fell just short of a double-double average with 9.7 boards each game as well. She was the MVP of the Conference USA Tournament last season, an event which saw the Lady Frogs become the first team in tourney history to claim the crown playing on four consecutive days. Irvin also picked up all-league recognition for the second-straight year and became the first player in TCU men's or women's basketball history to record over 200 blocks in a career.
TCU also returns its other top two scorers from a year ago in seniors Ebony Shaw and Tiffany Evans. Shaw averaged a shade under 10 points last season, second-best on the team. She also ended up third on the team in rebounding with 3.6 grabs off the glass each game. The local Fort Worth product scored in double figures in 19 ballgames for TCU last season and was named the team's Co-Defensive Player of the Year along with classmate Evans.
The Carrollton, Texas, native Evans notched 9.4 points per game and 6.6 rebounds for TCU in her junior season. She played more minutes than any Lady Frog last year and logged the second-most blocks on the team behind Irvin. Evans also established a new career-high for rebounds in a single game with 17 at Santa Clara.
The Purple and White has been no stranger to preseason accolades this fall. In mid-September, two nationally-recognized publications, Lindy's College Basketball and Athlon Sports, rated the Lady Frogs at Nos. 21 and 22, respectively, to start the upcoming season.
TCU will kick off the regular season Nov. 21 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum with a 7 p.m. match-up versus Texas State. A pair of home exhibitions Nov. 7 and 17 will provide the Lady Frogs with a tune-up to the campaign. Both contests are slated for 7 p.m.
2003-04 C-USA PRESEASON POLL
2003-04 PRESEASON C-USA ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
Jenni Dant - DePaul
Sandora Irvin - TCU
Valerie King - Cincinnati
Debbie Merrill - Cincinnati
** - Preseason Player of the Year