Brittney Griner headlined the Associated Press women’s preseason All-American team, announced Tuesday afternoon, following a junior season that ended with a national championship.
The second unanimous selection for Griner only adds to her accolades in her impressive career. The Baylor center becomes only the third player in the history of women’s basketball, along with UConn’s Maya Moore and Duke’s Alana Beard, to be a unanimous preseason selection twice.
Griner is part of a preseason All-American team that features Delaware forward senior Elena Delle Donne, Notre Dame senior forward Skylar Diggins, Stanford junior forward Chiney Ogwumike, Maryland junior Alyssa Thomas, and Griner’s teammate, Odyssey Sims.
Delle Donne and Diggins were both unanimous selections along with Griner. Thomas and Sims tied with 19 votes for the final spot. It’s the first time that has ever happened.
Griner, along with Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, last season made college basketball all about the centers. Griner keeps that theme going this year, returning for her senior season. However this year her male counterpart will be Indiana’s Cody Zeller, who was named the preseason player of the year and was one vote away from a unanimous selection for the AP preseason All-American team.
The Baylor senior will likely to continue her playing career in the southwest following graduation, as the Phoenix Mercury hold the top pick in 2013 WNBA Draft.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.
The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.
But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.