Oct 29, 2012, 12:43 PM EDT
The Delaware women’s basketball team made history again this past weekend as they were ranked 11th in the Associated Press Preseason Poll on Saturday, Oct. 27. The Blue Hens have never been ranked in the preseason before, but had received votes in the past two seasons.
Delaware is the preseason favorite to capture the 2013 CAA title in March and the Blue Hens are led by All-American senior Elena Delle Donne. She helped Delaware to a historical season a year ago pouring in a national best 28.1 points per game.
The Blue Hens were ranked in the AP Top 25 for 16 weeks during their record-setting season a year ago. UD went undefeated (18-0) in league play and claimed the conference tournament title in 2012. Delaware, which finished last season with a 31-2 record, climbed as high as seventh in the national rankings and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round following its first postseason win in school history, returns all five starters for its highly-anticipated 2012-13 season.
Delle Donne was named 2012-13 CAA Preseason Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-CAA preseason first team, while teammate Lauren Carra was selected to the preseason All-CAA second team.
Delle Donne was a consensus first team All-American by the Associated Press, WBCA, USWBA, Naismith Award, and John Wooden Award a year ago. She earned CAA Player of the Year honors for the second time in three seasons during the 2011-12 campaign, and was named to the WBCA Preseason Wade Watch List last month. Delle Donne, who became only the 15th player in Division I women’s basketball history to eclipse the 900-point mark for a season, also led the Blue Hens with 10.3 rebounds per game, 86 blocked shots, 39 steals, and 52 three-pointers made. Already the Delaware career scoring leader, she enters her senior season ranked third in CAA history with 2,258 career points.
Carra also earned preseason all-conference honors after being named to the third team All-CAA for the second consecutive year last spring. She ranked second on the Blue Hens with 10.2 points per game and 51 three-pointers made, while her 78.8 free throw percentage was good for fifth in the league. Carra, who enters her senior year ranked fourth in Delaware history with 128 three-pointers made, reached double figures in 19 games a year ago, including a season-high 22 points during a win at James Madison.
The Blue Hens will open the 2012-13 season on Nov. 9 when they host Sam Houston State at the Bob Carpenter Center for the first round of the Preseason WNIT at 8 p.m. The Blue Hens are scheduled to face three opponents that either were ranked or received votes in the preseason AP Poll — Maryland (5), St. John’s (14) and Princeton (RV).
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