EVANSVILLE, Ind. – SIUE women's basketball Coach Paula Buscher doesn't put much stock in preseason polls, which were announced Tuesday at the Ohio Valley Conference Media Day. She's more interested in making the right future happen for the Cougars.
"My belief is where this team ends up depends on how we grow each and every day," said Buscher. "We are the perfect college athletic team. We had three 1,000-point scorers graduate and leave us. Now the door is open for somebody else to step in."
Buscher has 17 players on the opening day roster as her team was selected fourth in the Ohio Valley Conference media poll and sixth in the coaches and sports information directors' poll.
SIUE lost Donshel Beck, Gwen Adams and Lauren White from last season's team that advanced to the Women's Basketball Invitational.
"The deal is that we are unproven in front of other people at games but not unproven in practice," said Buscher. "The door is open, and this is a great opportunity for a lot of young women to take the best opportunity that is coming at them."
SIUE begins the exhibition season Nov. 5 at home against Illinois Wesleyan. The regular season opens Nov. 11 at the Vadalabene Center vs. Illinois State.
2018-19 Media OVC Preseason Women's Predicted Order of Finish
1. Belmont (11 first-place votes) - 143 points
2. UT Martin - 129
3. Morehead State (1) - 117
4. SIUE - 100
5. Jacksonville State - 95
6. Southeast Missouri - 73
7. Austin Peay - 65
8. Murray State - 59
9. Tennessee Tech - 49
10. Eastern Kentucky - 42
11. Tennessee State - 38
12. Eastern Illinois – 26
2018-19 OVC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches/SID Poll
1. Belmont (20 first-place votes) - 240 points
2. UT Martin (3) – 204
3. Jacksonville State – 180
4. Morehead State – 179
5. Southeast Missouri – 154
6. SIUE (1) – 149
7. Tennessee Tech – 112
8. Tennessee State – 93
9. Austin Peay - 86
10. Eastern Kentucky – 62
11. Eastern Illinois – 60
12. Murray State - 58
2018-19 Women's Basketball Preseason All-OVC Team
Darby Maggard, Belmont
Tia Wooten, Tennessee State
Miranda Crockett, Morehead State
Tesia Thompson, Southeast Missouri
Jenny Roy, Belmont
Chelsey Perry, UT Martin
Grace Lennox, Eastern Illinois
Emanye Robertson, UT Martin
Mackenzie Coleman, Tennessee Tech
Taylor Roberts, Tennessee State