LINCOLN — Without surprise, Big Ten coaches and media representatives Thursday picked the Nebraska women's basketball team to strongly contend for the league crown. And without surprise, Husker coach Connie Yori brushed off the prediction.
“We have 66 points returning and 38 rebounds returning, so if you look at us on paper, there's a reason why we were picked second behind Penn State in the preseason poll,” Yori said at the Big Ten basketball media day in Chicago. “But unfortunately paper doesn't win games. We've got to get a lot healthier if we want to be competitive in this league.”
The NU coach proceeded to give the audience in Chicago the same long injury rundown she offered to local reporters in Lincoln. Nebraska's had seven to eight players healthy enough for most practices, Yori said, and not all of those players have been healthy enough to practice full time.
In a later interview with The World-Herald, Yori confirmed that only freshman guard Rachel Theriot (foot injury) and senior forward Meghin Williams (funeral) appeared definitively out for the Huskers' Monday exhibition opener versus Pittsburg State. But Yori's bigger concern, she said in Chicago, is the lack of cohesion in preseason practices.
“Our continuity hasn't been there,” Yori said. “October is a really important month to get your base stuff in and to get reasonably good at your base stuff, and we haven't been able to get to that point, largely because where we are injury-wise.”
Penn State, which split two games with Nebraska last season, is the preseason favorite in both polls. NU is second in both. Purdue is third in the coaches' poll while Ohio State is third in the media poll.
Husker junior forward Jordan Hooper made both the coaches and media's preseason All-Big Ten teams. Hooper led NU in scoring and rebounding last year. Senior point guard Lindsey Moore made the media's preseason All-Big Ten team.
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