NEW YORK – The Butler women's basketball team was voted to finish seventh in the BIG EAST Preseason Poll. The 2013-14 Preseason Coaches' Poll was released on Wednesday, Oct. 16 just hours before the start of media day. Senior Daress McClung headlined individual honors as she made the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team.
The Bulldogs are once again part of a new conference heading into the 2013-14 season. A year removed from the Atlantic 10, Butler will serve as a newcomer to the BIG EAST Conference. The Bulldogs posted a 17-14 overall record last year which earned them a trip to the WNIT. The team returns three starters from last year's squad including Preseason All-BIG EAST selection McClung.
League voting had DePaul listed as the preseason favorite. The Blue Demons return seven letterwinners and three starters to a team that earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament a year ago. They received eight of the 10 first place votes giving the team 79 points.
The remaining two votes went to Creighton as the Bluejays were selected to finish second in 2013-14 with 67 points. Rounding out the top three was St. John's with 62 points.
Villanova held off Marquette by a narrow margin as the two teams were voted in at fourth and fifth respectively with 56 and 55 points. Georgetown edged Butler with 36 points compared to 31 for the Bulldogs. The poll finished with Providence, Xavier and Seton Hall.
2013-14 Preseason Coaches' Poll
1) DePaul (8) – 79 Pts
2) Creighton (2) – 67 Pts
3) St. John's – 62 Pts
4) Villanova – 56 Pts
5) Marquette -55 Pts
6) Georgetown – 36 Pts
7) Butler – 31 Pts
8) Providence – 25 Pts
9) Xavier – 20 Pts
10) Seton Hall – 19 Pts
The 2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year was Brittany Hrynko of DePaul. The junior forward was last season's BIG EAST Co-Most Improved Player and was also tabbed as an All-BIG EAST First Team selection. Hrynko, the league's top returning scorer, averaged 14.7 points per game as a sophomore while adding 4.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.
The 2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year is Shayla Cooper of Georgetown. The Hoyas bring Cooper in from Norcross High School in Norcross, Ga. She was ranked 35th overall by ESPN's HoopGurlz.com as well as 12th at her position and 50th from Blue Star Basketball.
This year's Preseason All-BIG EAST Team includes five seniors, two juniors and three sophomores. Butler's own Daress McClung represents the Bulldogs in the BIG EAST this year after taking All-Atlantic 10 Second Team honors in 2012-13. The versatile McClung led the team and was ranked in the top five in the conference in points (16.4), rebounds (9.0), blocks (2.4) and steals (2.2).
A starter in all 31 games, McClung averaged 32 minutes per game and shot 43 percent from the floor. She was the third-best 3-point shooter on the team, shooting 33 percent from distance and she made opponents pay from the charity stripe, knocking down 75 percent of her attempts.
The Bulldogs will open the season with an exhibition game vs. DePauw on Nov. 3. The 2013-14 home opener will be played on Nov. 8 against Cleveland State, and the first road contest of the year will follow as the Bulldogs travel to Ypsilanti, Mich. to face the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Brittany Hrynko, DePaul
Shayla Cooper, Georgetown
2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Daress McClung, Butler, G/F, Sr., 6-0, Indianapolis, Ind.
Marissa Janning, Creighton, G, So., 5-8, Watertown, Minn.
Sarah Nelson, Creighton, F, Sr., 6-0, Omaha, Neb.
Jasmine Penny, DePaul, F, Sr., 6-1, Logansport, Ind.
Andrea White, Georgetown, F, 6-0, Sr., Lancaster, Va.
Katherine Plouffe, Marquette, F, Sr., 6-3, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Tori Rule, Providence, Jr., G, 5-7, Minneapolis, Minn.
Aliyyah Handford, St. John's, G, So., 5-9, Newark, N.J.
Ka-Deidre Simmons, Seton Hall, G, R-Jr., 5-8, Newark, N.J.
Caroline Coyer, Villanova, G, So., 5-10, Oak Hill, Va.
2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Arlesia Morse, Marquette, G, Jr., 5-10, Flint, Mich.
Ashley Wanninger, Xavier, G, Sr., 5-10, Cincinnati, Ohio
Eugenia McPherson, St. John's, G, R-Sr., 5-8, North Babylon, N.Y