BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In a vote conducted by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors, defending Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament champion Grambling State has been tabbed to finish atop the league for the 2018-19 season.
The Lady Tigers garnered 144 total points, outdistancing Texas Southern, who received 123 total points. Prairie View A&M was close behind with 119 points, and defending SWAC regular-season champion Southern totaled 118 points.
Grambling stands to return a solid core from last season tournament victory, highlighted by Shakyla Hill, who was selected as the SWAC Preseason Player and Defensive Player of the Year. The senior guard from Little Rock, Ark. is coming off an excellent junior season where she averaged 16.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 4.8 steals per game on her way to her second-straight first team all-conference selection.
The 2017 SWAC Women’s Tournament Most Valuable Player and the 2017 Preseason Player of the Year made national headlines by recording the first quadruple-double by an NCAA player in more than 25 years.
Rounding out the predicted order of finish was Jackson State (73), Alabama A&M (66), Alabama State (65), Alcorn State (57), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (39) and Mississippi Valley State (21).
The full preseason all-conference teams are listed below. Grambling, Prairie View A&M, and Southern each had two selections, while Jackson State, Alabama A&M, Alabama State, and Arkansas-Pine Bluff received one choice.
2018-19 SWAC Women’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish:
1. Grambling State
2. Texas Southern
3. Prairie View A&M
5. Jackson State
6. Alabama A&M
7. Alabama State
8. Alcorn State
9. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
10. Mississippi Valley State
Preseason Player/Defensive Player of the Year
Shakyla Hill, Grambling State
Preseason All-SWAC 1st Team
Guard – Shakyla Hill, Grambling State
Guard – Shala Dobbins, Prairie View A&M
Forward – Alyric Scott, Southern
Forward – Jhyrah Cobb, Prairie View A&M
Center – Tatyana Calhoun, Alabama State
Preseason All-SWAC 2nd Team
Guard – Jazmin Boyd, Grambling State
Guard – Skylar O’Bear, Southern
Forward – Marneisha Hamer, Jackson State
Forward – Ashlyn Dotson, Alabama A&M
Center – Shawntayla Harris, Arkansas-Pine Bluff