BAYLOR ATHLETICS PRESS RELEASE:
WACO, Texas – The Big 12 announced its preseason awards for women’s basketball Wednesday, and senior Lauren Cox was named Preseason Player of the Year, while Te’a Cooper earned the Preseason Newcomer of the Year nod from the league’s coaches.
Cox, NaLyssa Smith and Juicy Landrum were all named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team while Cooper and DiDi Richards were honorable mention selections.
Cox, the back-to-back winner of the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award, returns for her senior season after leading the Lady Bears to their third national championship April 7 with an 82-81 win over Notre Dame. The Flower Mound, Texas native averaged 13.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per contest as a junior in Baylor’s 37-1 season a year ago.
Cooper, a graduate transfer from South Carolina, averaged a team-leading 11.9 points per game last year for the Gamecocks and helped her team to an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.
Landrum joins Cox in senior leadership this season and is one of the league’s top returning 3-point threats. The Waco, Texas native averaged career-bests in points per game (11.1) and rebounds per contest (5.1) while ranking fourth in the Big 12 in assists-to-turnover ratio at 2.3:1.
Smith, hailing from Converse, Texas, was one of the top-performing freshmen in the league last season tallying 8.4 points and 5.1 rebounds while ranking second on the Lady Bears squad with a 54.3 field goal percentage.
Richards, a Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection from last season, averaged 7.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. The Cypress, Texas native ranked first in the Big 12 and 21st in the nation in assists-to-turnover ratio at 2.54:1.
The league’s preseason awards were voted on by the Big 12 women’s basketball head coaches, and they were not allowed to vote for their own players. Texas’ Celeste Taylor was named Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year.
Baylor had five total representatives on the Preseason All-Big 12 Teams, Texas had four, West Virginia had three, six teams tied with two selections apiece, and Kansas was not represented on the team.
The league will announce the preseason poll Thursday.
2019-20 BIG 12 CONFERENCE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON AWARDS
(coaches not allowed to vote for own players)
Preseason Player of the Year
Lauren Cox, Baylor, F, 6-4, Sr, Flower Mound, Texas
Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Te’a Cooper, Baylor, G, 5-8, Gr, Powder Springs, Ga.
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Celeste Taylor, Texas, G, 5-11, Valley Stream, N.Y.
Preseason All-Big 12 Team
Name School Pos Ht Cl-Exp PPG RPG Hometown
Lauren Cox Baylor F 6-4 Sr-3L 13.0 8.3 Flower Mound, Texas
Juicy Landrum Baylor G 5-8 Sr-3L 11.1 5.1 Waco, Texas
NaLyssa Smith Baylor F 6-2 So-1L 8.4 5.1 Converse, Texas
Kristin Scott Iowa State F/C 6-3 Jr-2L 12.8 7.1 Kasson, Minn.
Peyton Williams K-State F 6-4 Sr-3L 15.5 9.5 Topeka, Kan.
Ana Llanusa Oklahoma G 6-0 Jr-2L 18.3 3.4 Choctaw, Okla.
Vivian Gray Oklahoma St. F 6-1 Jr-1L 20.0 5.5 Argyle, Texas
Joyner Holmes Texas F 6-3 Sr-3L 11.8 6.7 Cedar Hill, Texas
Sug Sutton Texas G 5-8 Sr-3L 12.7 5.4 St. Louis, Mo.
Brittany Brewer Texas Tech F 6-5 Sr-3L 13.9 7.3 Abilene, Texas
Tynice Martin West Virginia G 5-11 Sr-3L 18.0 5.8 Atlanta, Ga.
* – There was a tie, which included an 11th individual for the Preseason All-Big 12 Team.
Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically by school) Te’a Cooper (Baylor), DiDi Richards (Baylor), Ashley Joens (Iowa State), Rachel Ranke (K-State), Kianna Ray (TCU), Charli Collier (Texas), Lashann Higgs (Texas), Chrislyn Carr (Texas Tech), Kari Niblack (West Virginia) and Madisen Smith (West Virginia).