November 23, 2020
SEC media choose South Carolina as preseason favorite
Rhyne Howard is media's choice to win Player of the Year
Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited, and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives, and projections about the game we love.
Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues, and grows. Paid subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.
The South Carolina Gamecocks remain the team to beat this season after a panel of both SEC and national media members picked them to win the 2021 Southeastern Conference women’s basketball title.
This comes shortly after the leagues’ coaches predicted they will win the championship as well.
Today’s announcement marks the fifth time in the last seven seasons the group has predicted the Gamecocks as regular-season champion. South Carolina has won five SEC regular-season championships since claiming its first in 2013-14. The Gamecocks won the 2019-20 SEC regular-season crown after posting their second 16-0 league record, ending a two-year stretch of second-place finishes.
The Dawn Staley-led Gamecocks “finished” last season ranked No. 1 with a 32-1 record, the nation’s longest win streak at 26 consecutive games and as one of the favorites to win an NCAA championship when the coronavirus hit.
The opportunity to claim that crown was stopped, leaving the Gamecocks entering this season with unfinished business on their minds, ready to pick up where they left off.
Behind South Carolina in the voting are Mississippi State, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee, and LSU rounding out the top half the league. Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Auburn and Ole Miss round out the bottom half.
In individual news, University of Kentucky women’s basketball junior guard Rhyne Howard was tabbed as the SEC Preseason Player of the Year. SEC media named Aliyah Boston to its six-member Preseason All-SEC team, and the sophomore picked up a few votes for preseason player of the year as well.
Also named to the All-SEC team are Unique Thompson, Auburn; Rickea Jackson, Mississippi State; Rennia Davis, Tennessee and N’dea Jones, Texas A&M. A tie resulted in a six-member team. Jones was named to the six-player All-SEC preseason team for the first time in her career.