Oct. 25, 2001
University of Connecticut senior guard Sue Bird is the choice for the 2001-02 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head women’s basketball coaches. Coaches were not permitted to select their own players.
The native of Syosset, N.Y. also is the leading vote-receiver among the preseason finalists for the Naismith National Player of the Year Award. Bird, a two-time recipient of the Nancy Lieberman-Cline National Point Guard of the Year award, averaged 10.9 points and 5.0 assists last season. She earned Associated Press All-America Third Team honors last year and All-BIG EAST First Team accolades.
The BIG EAST coaches also selected Notre Dame’s Jacqueline Batteast as the Preseason Rookie of the Year. The 6-0 forward from South Bend, Ind. earned Parade First Team All-America honors as a senior at Washington High School last year. She averaged 26.0 points, 16.4 rebounds and 4.4 blocks.
Bird is joined on the ’01-02 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team by two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore. Connecticut’s senior Swin Cash, also a preseason Naismith finalist, and Boston College’s Becky Gottstein round out the senior class. Both players earned 2000-01 All-BIG EAST Second Team accolades. Trish Juhline of Villanova and Alicia Ratay of Notre Dame are the juniors and Rebekkah Brunson, the 2000-01 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, is the lone sophomore. Ratay was named to the All-BIG EAST Third Team a year ago and Juhline earned Honorable Mention all-conference honors.
2001-02 Preseason Player of the Year:
Sue Bird, Sr., G, 5-9, Connecticut (Syosset, N.Y./Christ the King HS)
2001-02 Preseason Rookie of the Year:
Jacqueline Batteast, Fr., F, 6-0, Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS)
Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
*Sue Bird Connecticut Sr. G Syosset, N.Y.
Rebekkah Brunson Georgetown So. F Oxon Hill, Md.
Swin Cash Connecticut Sr. F McKeesport, Pa.
Becky Gottstein Boston College Sr. F Albany, N.Y.
Trish Juhline Villanova Jr. G Havertown, Pa.
Alicia Ratay Notre Dame Jr. G Lake Zurich, Ill.
Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Chanivia Broussard Miami So. F Miami, Fla.
Davalyn Cunningham Rutgers Sr. F Clinton, Md.
Ericka Haney Notre Dame Sr. G/F Toledo, Ohio
Asjha Jones Connecticut Sr. F Piscataway, N.J.
Diana Taurasi Connecticut Sr. G Chino, Calif.
* – unanimous selection