The defending Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament champion Wayland Baptist Flying Queens have been selected the unanimous favorite in the 2020-21 SAC Preseason Women’s Basketball Poll.
Voted upon by the league’s 11 head coaches, Wayland earned the maximum 100 points in the poll while receiving 10 of the 11 first-place votes. Coach Alesha Ellis‘ Flying Queens forged a 31-2 record last season, including 19-1 in conference play, and finished as the second-ranked team in the NAIA. Wayland was the No. 2 overall seed in the NAIA Tournament before the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Flying Queens graduated three players, including all-American Morgan Bennett, the program’s all-time assists leader. Returning veterans include a pair of honorable mention all-Americans in senior forward Kaylee Edgemon and junior wing Jenna Cooper. Edgemon, Wayland’s lone senior this season, led the team in scoring a year ago averaging 13.6 points, while Cooper was third in scoring at 12.4 and first in rebounds at 8.6. Also back is junior point-guard Payton Brown, who averaged 10.5 ppg.
Oklahoma City, the SAC regular-season co-champion with the Flying Queens last season, took second in the voting with 86 points while garnering one first-place vote. The Stars will be headlined by the 2019-20 SAC athlete of the year and player of the year, Abby Selzer, a junior center who helped guide the Stars to a 30-2 record and a 19-1 league mark. The Stars ended the year as the third-ranked team in the country.
Mid-America Christian took third in the poll with 76 points, edging out Science & Arts of Oklahoma with 75 points after both teams advanced to the SAC Tournament semifinals in 2020. Texas Wesleyan rounded out the top five by reeling in 62 points followed by John Brown in sixth garnering 52 points. Southwestern Christian brought in 45 points to take seventh in the poll, followed closely by Southwestern Assemblies of God with 41 points as well as Langston bringing in 37 points for ninth. Oklahoma Panhandle State and Central Christian rounded out the poll.
Wayland is set to play seven games this fall, beginning Nov. 5 at MACU and ending with a two-game classic in San Antonio in late November. Four of the Flying Queens’ fall opponents are SAC members, although those games will not count in the league standings. Only the teams’ 14 games on Wayland’s spring semester schedule, which begins Jan. 9, will help determine a league champion.
Eight teams advance to the SAC Tournament, with the top four teams hosting the quarterfinal round at their home sites Feb. 25. The semifinal round and championship games will be held at MACU in Oklahoma City March 1 and 2.
|2020-21 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll|
|8.||SW Assemblies of God||1||4||5||41|