Oct. 8, 2012
IRVING, Texas - Southern Miss junior Jamierra Faulkner was one of six juniors selected to the eight-player Conference USA Preseason Team announced today by the league office.
Faulkner is one of five returning starters for the Lady Eagles. The junior led the league and ranked third in the NCAA in assists per game with an average of 7.21. The all-conference first team selection tops the Golden Eagles chart and ranked third in the league in scoring with 17.2 points per game. After averaging 23.5 points and 5.5 assists during the C-USA Championship, Faulkner was named to the all-tournament team, becoming the first USM player to do so since 2009. She scored 20 points against UCF and netted 27 versus UTEP in tournament play.
Joining Faulkner on the preseason team was Rice's Jessica Kuster, who was tabbed the Preseason Player of the Year, along with Nicole Dickerson of Memphis, Akil Simpson of SMU, Tulane's Olivia Grayson, Taleya Mayberry of Tulsa, Karisma Chapman of UAB and UTEP's Kayla Thornton.
Southern Miss was picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll as voted on by the coaches. Tulane was voted to win the league title followed by UTEP, UAB, Rice, Memphis, Tulsa, Southern Miss, SMU, UCF, Houston, East Carolina and Marshall.
The Lady Eagles return only six letterwinners from last year's team. Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis welcomes five newcomers all freshmen.
Southern Miss opens the 2012-13 season with an exhibition game against Mobile on Nov. 6 before the regular season tilt against Hampton University, Nov. 9 at 11 a.m.
The BOK Center and the Tulsa Convention Center will serve as host to the 2013 C-USA Basketball Championships in Tulsa, Okla., from March 13-16. Semifinals and the championship game will be shown live on CBS Sports Network.
2012-13 C-USA Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
(#) denotes first-place votes
|2012-13 C-USA Women's Basketball Preseason Team|
|Nicole Dickerson||Memphis||6-0||Sr.||F||Greeneville, Tenn./Greeneville HS|
|Jessica Kuster||Rice||6-2||Jr.||F||San Antonio, Texas/Reagan HS|
|Akil Simpson||SMU||6-0||Jr.||F||Duncanville, Texas/Duncanville HS|
|Jamierra Faulkner||Southern Miss||5-6||Jr.||PG||West Palm Beach, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy|
|Olivia Grayson||Tulane||5-8||Jr.||G||Metairie, La./Archbishop Capelle HS|
|Taleya Mayberry||Tulsa||5-6||Sr.||G||Tulsa, Okla./Booker T. Washington HS|
|Karisma Chapman||UAB||5-11||Jr.||F||Calumet City, Ill./T.F. North HS|
|Kayla Thorton||UTEP||6-1||Jr.||F||El Paso, Texas/Irvin HS|
Preseason Player of the Year
Jessica Kuster Rice