Horizon League Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
Green Bay 225 (21)
Wright State 189 (1)
Youngstown State 163
Illinois-Chicago 146 (3)
Detroit 99 (1)
Cleveland State 97
Coach Mike Bradbury thinks his Wright State women’s basketball team can win the Horizon League championship. He was surprised to see so many other people think his team will contend.
The Raiders were picked to finish second in the preseason poll, which was released Monday. The nine head coaches, a sports information contact and one media member from each school voted in the poll.
The Raiders received 189 points in the voting and one of the 26 first-place votes. Green Bay was the heavy favorite to finish first, receiving 21 first-place votes and 225 points.
“I was a little surprised that we were picked that high,” Bradbury said. “I would have felt we would be somewhere in the middle to bottom half. I like our team. I think we can be really good. I don’t think it would be a surprise if we finished (second) or a spot higher.”
Youngstown State was picked third (165) and was followed by Illinois-Chicago (146), Milwaukee (136), Detroit (99), Cleveland State (97), Oakland (73) and Valparaiso (40). UIC received three first-place votes, and Detroit received one.
The Raiders finished fifth a year ago at 12-18 overall and 6-10 in the Horizon League. Two season-ending injuries to post players early in the season damaged the team’s chances.
This year’s team was picked second in part because it has the preseason player of the year, junior guard Kim Demmings. She was also the preseason player of the year last season and ranked fourth in scoring with 19.6 points per game. She also led the league with 4.5 assists per game.
“I think she’s the best player in the league,” Bradbury said. “We’re expecting a huge year out of her. We put a lot more on her. We give her a little more responsibility each year. She’s more of a leader now than she has been in the past.”
The Raiders also return junior forward Breanna Stucke, a Horizon League preseason second team pick by College Sports Madness. JJ Williams, a 5-6 freshman guard from Carmel, Ind., was named the preseason pick for freshman of the year by College Sports Madness.
The Raiders open the season at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Nutter Center with an exhibition game against Indiana Wesleyan, the defending NAIA national champion.