The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team has been picked fourth in the West Division of the Southland Conference while a pair of Islanders have received preseason recognition. Junior guard Jade Davis has been named to the All-Southland First Team while senior center Elisa Beagle is on the second team after missing last season with an injury.
In the head coaches' preseason poll, the Islanders were picked to finish fourth in the West Division while receiving one first place vote. The sports information directors were not as kind to the Islanders, picking them to finish in the fifth spot of the division while also giving the team a single first place vote. TAMUCC returns 10 players from last season's team that was marred by injuries and looks to surpass expectations and challenge for the Southland Conference title.
"I don't put any stock into them (preseason polls) because I know we are better this year than in any other year since I've been here," said head coach Robert Robinson. "Our depth is really good with our upper classmen and our leadership will be much better this year.
"We're really good from an experience standpoint and I think it will make us one of the better teams in the league."
Davis was named to the first team after having her best season as an Islander during her sophomore campaign. She averaged 12.8 points per game to lead the Islanders in scoring while adding 2.9 rebounds per game and 2.2 assists per game. The guard scored a career-high 33 points against Southeastern Louisiana last year. Davis will be looked to as one of the team leaders this season.
Beagle was named to the second team after being a preseason first-team pick last year before missing the entire season with an injury. The 6-0 center comes back for her senior year looking to get back to the form that saw her become one of the top players in the conference two seasons ago. Beagle will provide the Islanders with a veteran inside presence and will also be one of the team leaders throughout the year.
"It's a great honor for our kids that they are getting some respect in the league," said Robinson, "I think both of them are well-deserving to be on that list."
Robinson knows that with added recognition comes added pressure.
"It will be tougher on them now with that responsibility on their shoulders," said Robinson. "Everybody in the league knows those kids so they will have to be ready to play every night because most teams will key on those two players."
The first test for the Islanders will come on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 PM when they host Air Force in their first game of the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach Tip-Off Tournament at the American Bank Center. TAMUCC will be hosting Air Force, Alabama and Tennessee Tech to open the season.