Nov. 4, 2013
DALLAS (SMU) - The SMU women's basketball team received votes in the 2013-14 USA TODAY Sports Coaches' Preseason Poll after finishing the 2012-13 season with a 21-10 record. The Mustangs went 12-4 in Conference USA, winning the regular season in their final year in the league.
SMU, now a member of the American Athletic Conference, which consists of former members of the BIG EAST and C-USA and includes both the 2013 national champion, Connecticut, and the national runner-up, Louisville, has won 20 games four times in the last seven seasons. The Mustangs, led by Conference USA Player of the Year Keena Mays, advanced to the WNIT last season, making the school's 12th postseason appearance.
The Mustangs are one of five schools in the American to receive votes in the preseason poll. Defending national champion Connecticut held the top spot, receiving 31 of 32 first-place votes, while national runner-up Louisville is ranked fifth. South Florida and Rutgers also received votes.
Mays was named to the American Athletic Conference All-Preseason Team after scoring 18.4 points per game in 23 games as a junior. The guard shot 40.0 percent on 3-point attempts, pulled down 5.7 rebound per game and had 88 assists. Mays is one of four starters returning for the Mustangs this season. Akil Simpson, an All-C-USA Second Team selection each of the past two seasons, averaged 10.7 points and led the team with 8.1 rebounds per game while anchoring the post position.
Destynee Hives-McCray started 24 games at forward as a sophomore last season, scoring 8.4 points per game while averaging 6.3 rebounds, and Korina Baker returns for her senior season at the point guard spot. As a junior, Baker finished with 110 assists last season and averaged 5.7 points per game, shooting 34.5 percent from 3-point range.
SMU received votes for four straight weeks beginning in February last season. The Mustangs begin their first campaign in the American Athletic Conference on Nov. 10 at home against Grambling State at 2 p.m. All non-conference home games will be played in Garland at the Curtis Culwell Center. SMU will host its first games in a newly-renovated Moody Coliseum on Jan. 4. The women's team will play against USF at 3:30 p.m. in the second game of a doubleheader with the SMU men's basketball team.