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Maryland picked to repeat as Big Ten women’s basketball champion

Many doubted that the Maryland Terrapins could add much to the Big Ten conference when they joined. Instead, they nearly swept the Big Ten basketball world by storm, and the women’s basketball team sure did just that en route to taking home the regular season title in 2014-15.

After finishing 18-0 in league play and 30-2 overall, the Terps return a lot of that team and were picked as the preseason favorite to win the Big Ten this season by both the coaches and the media.

There was another unanimous selection at the top of the Big Ten, as Ohio State sophomore Kelsey Mitchell was named preseason Big Ten Player of the Year.

During the 2014-15 campaign, Mitchell became the first freshman to ever lead the nation in scoring, and was the only player in the country to score 800 points. Mitchell averaged 24.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, while also leading the team with 146 assists. 

She was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Year, and was the unanimous selection as Big Ten Freshman of the Year. She claimed first-team All-Big Ten honors, United States Basketball Writers Association and ESPNW National Freshman of the Year plaudits and was named a first-team All-American by the USBWA.

Maryland’s Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Michigan State’s Aerial Powers, Minnesota’s Rachel Banham, Nebraska’s Rachel Theriot, Northwestern’s Nia Coffey, Ohio State’s Ameryst Alston and Mitchell, and Rutgers’ Kahleah Copper earned nods as Preseason All-Big Ten honorees from both the coaches and the media. Iowa’s Ally Disterhoft was voted to the coaches’ preseason squad, while Michigan State’s Tori Jankoska was voted to the media’s list.

Mitchell’s Buckeyes team was picked to finish second in the Big Ten, while one of the most disappointing, but young teams in the Big Ten last season, Michigan State, was picked to finish third in the preseason poll.

Here is a look at the selections for preseason all-Big Ten:

2015-16 MEDIA PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM

Brionna Jones, Jr., C, MD

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Jr., G, MD

Tori Jankoska, Jr., G, MSU

AERIAL POWERS, Jr., F, MSU

Rachel Banham, Sr., G, MINN

Rachel Theriot, Sr., G, NEB

Nia Coffey, Jr., F, NU

Ameryst Alston, Sr., G, OSU

KELSEY MITCHELL, So., G, OSU

Kahleah Copper, Sr., F/G, RU

2015-16 COACHES PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM

Ally Disterhoft, Jr., G, IOWA

Brionna Jones, Jr., C, MD

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Jr., G, MD

AERIAL POWERS, Jr., F, MSU

Rachel Banham, Sr., G, MINN

Rachel Theriot, Sr., G, NEB

NIA COFFEY, Jr., F, NU

Ameryst Alston, Sr., G, OSU

KELSEY MITCHELL, So., G, OSU

Kahleah Copper, Sr., F/G, RU

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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