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Notre Dame Tabbed Third in Big East Preseason Coach's Poll

October 29, 1998

Newark, N.J. —The University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team has been selected by the league 13 head coaches to finish third in the 1998-99 regular season title race. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.

Connecticut, which has won the regular-season and tournament titles the last five years, has been picked to win the regular season. The Huskies received nine first-place votes. Rutgers has been tabbed to finish second as the Scarlet Knights received four first-place votes. Boston College follows the Irish in fourth and Villanova has been chosen fifth. Rounding out the field is Miami in sixth, Georgetown in seventh, a tie for eighth between Syracuse and West Virginia, Providence is 10th, followed by St. John’s, Seton Hall and Pittsburgh.

The BIG EAST returns to a one-division format for the 1998-99 season. The conference’s athletic directors recommended the move to the league’s Presidents who approved the measures. For the past three years, the league was split into the BIG EAST 6 and BIG EAST 7 Divisions.

Senior captain Sheila McMillen (Rochester, Ind.) and Irish center Ruth Riley (Macy, Ind.) were named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team. McMillen, a member of three consecutive NCAA tournament teams, is Notre Dame’s top returning scorer. She averaged 13.6 ppg. a year ago, while leading the Irish to a 22-10 record. Riley, a member of the league’s All-Rookie Team in 1997-98, was the squad’s second-leading scorer (11.5 ppg.) and top rebounder (7.3 rpg.). She also led Notre Dame with 2.2 blocks per game.

1998-99 BIG EAST

         Coaches' Preseason Poll           1.    Connecticut (9)   141              2.    Rutgers (4)   136         3.    NOTRE DAME   120          4.    Boston College   108         5.    Villanova   956.    Miami    837.    Georgetown   688.    Syracuse   63      West Virginia   6310.   Providence   4811.   St. John's   3212.   Seton Hall    3013.   Pittsburgh   26   

Preseason Player of the Year:
Svetlana Abrosimova, Connecticut
(So., F, 6-2, St. Petersburg, Russia)

Preseason Rookie of the Year:
Tamika Williams, Connecticut
(Fr., F, 6-2, Dayton, Ohio)

1998-99 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Svetlana Abrosimova, So. F, Connecticut, St. Petersburg, Russia
Cal Bouchard, Jr. G, Boston College, Aurora, Ontario
Kym Hope, Sr., F/C, Miami, Hollywood, FL
Tasha Pointer, So., G, Rutgers, Chicago, IL
Tomora Young, Sr., G, Rutgers, Red Bank, NJ

1998-99 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Sheila McMillen, Sr., G, Notre Dame, Rochester, IN
Ruth Riley, So., C, Notre Dame, Macy, IN
Paige Sauer, Jr., C, Connecticut, Midwest City, OK
Whitney Steele, Sr., C, Boston College, Harrington Park, NJ
Sylita Thomas, Sr., F, Georgetown, Petersburg, VA