The MIAA announced its preseason coaches poll for the 2020-2021 women's basketball season during the 2020 MIAA Basketball Virtual Media Day Presented By Seigfreid Bingham.
Emporia State topped this year's coaches poll with a total of 153 points and four first-place votes. Last year, the Lady Hornets finished runner-up at the MIAA Women's Basketball Championship and qualified for the NCAA Championship before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 Global Health Pandemic.
Nebraska Kearney earned the most first-place votes with six and was tabbed second with 146 total points. The Association's defending regular-season and tournament champion, Central Missouri, was picked third with 143 points and three first-place votes. Pittsburg State was slotted fourth and accumulated 140 points from the coaches. The final first-place vote went to Fort Hays State, which rounded out the top five with 125 points.
Missouri Western was slated sixth followed by Central Oklahoma in seventh with Washburn at eighth and Northwest Missouri in ninth. The top ten was closed out by Missouri Southern. Newman trailed MSSU in 11th with Northeastern State at 12th and Rogers State in 13th. The 2020-2021 preseason coaches poll was rounded out by Lincoln.
Missouri Western led by second year head coach Candi Whitaker will have the look of a brand new team this year, led by five returning seniors. Whitaker in her first season at the helm led the Griffons to a 21-8 record, ultimately falling in the first round of the MIAA tournament to Nebraska Kearney 68-62
Whitaker will look to repeat her success with the Griffons as they begin on November 19th at Rogers State in Claremore, OK with a 5:30 pm tipoff time
The ninth place finish for the Bearcat women marks the highest selection in eight years for the Bearcats in the MIAA preseason poll since the program was tabbed seventh in the 2012-13 preseason poll.
The Bearcats return three of their top four scorers in Mallory McConkey (12.8 PPG), Jaelyn Haggard (10.4 PPG), and Kylie Coleman (7.7 PPG) and look to improve on a 12-18 record from last season.
Northwest will begin their season in Tahlequah, OK taking on Northeastern State with a 5:30 pm tipoff. The Bearcat women are coming off a 12-18 season, that ended in a second round elimination in the MIAA tournament to Emporia State. Northwest is led by third year head coach Austin Meyer
The MIAA tips off the regular-season on Thursday, November 19. Not only is the Association the first to get its season underway in NCAA Division II but one of the first to start in any of the three NCAA Divisions.
To see the complete schedule of MIAA Basketball games, click here.
2020-2021 MIAA Women's Basketball Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Emporia State (4) - 153 points
2. Nebraska Kearney (6) - 146 points
3. Central Missouri (3) - 143 points
4. Pittsburg State - 140 points
5. Fort Hays State (1) - 125 points
6. Missouri Western - 109 points
7. Central Oklahoma - 104 points
8. Washburn - 79 points
9. Northwest Missouri - 76 points
10. Missouri Southern - 65 points
11. Newman - 55 points
12. Northeastern State - 37 points
13. Rogers State - 28 points
14. Lincoln - 14 points
*Coaches Cannot Vote For Their Own Team