Lions Picked 5th/6th in MIAA Pre-Season Polls
Kansas City, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern Lions Women's Basketball team was picked 5th, tied with Northwest Missouri, in the Preseason Coaches' Poll while the MIAA Media tagged the Lions 6th.
Expectations are the same for Head Coach Maryann Mitts and her staff each year, and the 2011-12 season is no different despite the preseason polls. The Lions' yearly goals are to finish in the top three of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA), be ranked in the top eight in the South Central Region, and thus putting themselves in position for a NCAA Tournament berth and in order to accomplish all three Coach Mitts believes they must a mass close to 20 wins this season.
"I don't view any year as a rebuilding year, just some years are more challenging and have different dynamics that make some more successful than others," Mitts said.
Mitts thinks one of the biggest advantages coming into this season may be that they finished tied for third last year with Emporia State in the MIAA. Another one of Mitts' beliefs is that success brings success.
"I believe that Larrita Gipson, Kelby Fritz, and Erin Rice, as they reach their true potential and become accepting of their roles, we will be able to repeat [the success we had last season]. We maybe inexperienced in some ways but we are knowledgeable on what it takes to be successful in the MIAA. They witnessed what it takes to win and be highly competitive in the MIAA."
Two other advantages are this year's squad looks to be deeper than last year's and they are a much better perimeter shooting team according to Coach Mitts.
The Lions will start this season with two exhibitions games, the first of which will be held November 2 at 7pm vs. Livin' the Dream in The Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. The second preseason game will be on November 5 as the Lions host the Lady Bears of Missouri State in the I-44 Classic presented by Wendy's at 5pm. The I-44 Classic between Missouri State and Missouri Southern will be a women's and men's double header in which funds are being raised for the Missouri Southern State University Tornado Relief Fund.
2011-12 MIAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL
(First-place votes in parentheses)
1. Washburn (10) – 100 pts.
2. Emporia State (1) – 87 pts.
3. Central Missouri – 83 pts.
4. Pittsburg State – 69 pts.
T5. Missouri Southern – 56 pts.
T5. Northwest Missouri – 56 pts.
7. Truman – 47 pts.
8. Missouri Western – 42 pts.
9. Fort Hays State – 35 pts.
10. Southwest Baptist – 20 pts.
11. Lincoln – 10 pts.
2011-12 MIAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
(First place votes in parentheses)
1. Washburn (12) – 171 pts.
2. Emporia State (3) – 154 pts.
3. Northwest Missouri (1) – 139 pts.
4. Pittsburg State – 116 pts.
5. Central Missouri – 110 pts.
6. Missouri Southern – 105 pts.
7. Missouri Western – 81 pts.
8. Fort Hays State – 73 pts.
9. Truman – 52 pts.
10. Southwest Baptist – 38 pts.
11. Lincoln – 17 pts.