Even though so much of the immediate future seems cloudy, one thing is clear: the Baylor Lady Bears are still the power brokers in the Big 12 Conference.
Baylor swept the superlatives when the Big 12 announced its preseason awards on Wednesday.
Lady Bears junior forward NaLyssa Smith is the conference preseason player of the year, graduate transfer DiJonai Carrington is the newcomer of the year and freshman Sarah Andrews is the freshman of the year.
Additionally, Baylor senior DiDi Richards and junior Queen Egbo joined Smith in earning preseason All-Big 12 recognition.
Smith’s selection as preseason player of the year marked the sixth-straight season that a Lady Bears player has earned the honor. Smith, an All-Big 12 First-Team selection last season, led Baylor in scoring average at 14.3 points per game, grabbed eight rebounds per contest and she shot 58.6 percent from the floor.
Carrington, a grad transfer from Stanford, became the second-straight Baylor player to earn the preseason newcomer of the year award after South Carolina transfer Te’a Cooper received that recognition a year ago.
Andrews was the No. 7-ranked overall recruit and No. 2 point guard in 2020 recruiting class, ranked by espnW’s Hoopgurlz. She was named a High School All-American by Naismith, the WBCA and Jordan Brand after averaging 14.4 points and 6.0 assists during her senior season at MacArthur High School.
Richards was the National Defensive Player of the Year in 2019-20, collecting the hardware from both the WBCA and Naismith.
Egbo was named the Big 12 Sixth Person the Year Award winner last season after averaging 10.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 0.9 steals per contest.
The Big 12 has yet to release schedules for either the men’s or women’s basketball season.
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