Nov. 2, 2000
Deanna Jackson, a junior forward from Brewton, Ala., was chosen by Conference USA's 12 women's basketball coaches as the league's 2000-01 preseason Player of the Year, the league announced Thursday.
UAB was picked to finish second in the National Division behind last year's C-USA tournament champion Tulane. The Lady Blazers were runner-up to the Green Wave in that tournament. Tulane was selected as the favorite to win the regular season.
The Lady Blazers finished the year in the NCAA's Sweet 16 after defeating Oregon and Mississippi State in the first two rounds of the tournament. UAB returns three starters and nine-letter winners from last year's team that finished 21-13 overall.
The key returnee is the 6-foot-2 Jackson. She averaged 19 points and led the conference with 11.7 rebounds per game. She was sixth in the nation in rebounding and led the country with 24 double-doubles. Jackson is the only player from a Conference USA school to be named to the 30-player pre-season nominee list for the Naismith Award.
Jackson was named first team all-conference last year, after being named the league's Freshman of the Year following the 1998-99 season. She spent the summer playing on U.S.A. Basketball's Select Team, which won the gold medal at the R. Williams Jones Cup competition. Jackson averaged 9.5 points and 3.5 rebounds during the competion.
Janell Burse, who averaged 18.9 points and 9.8 rebounds last season and led C-USA in field goal percentage (.594), was selected to the All-Conference first team and was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. She is currently Conference's USA's all-time record holder for blocks with 182.
DePaul, the preseason pick by the coaches to win the American Division, is represented on the preseason All-Conference team by Lenae Williams, who earned second team all-league honors last year after averaging 18.3 points. Williams set a new single season conference record with 94 three-pointers and needs 24 to become DePaul's all-time leader.
Rounding out the preseason All-Conference squad is senior forward Tiffany Adkins of Memphis and Charlotte senior guard Tonya Phifer. Adkins led Memphis in scoring last season averaging 15.1 points to earn a spot on the All-Conference USA third team, while Phifer dished out 114 assists and averaged 13 points to lead the 49ers to the semifinals of the C-USA Tournament.
The preseason All-Conference team will be on hand, along with all the league's head coaches for the annual Conference USA Basketball Media Tipoff on Sunday, November 5 at the O'Hare Marriott in suburban Chicago.
PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR --- DEANNA JACKSON- UAB
2000-2001 PRESEASON COACHES POLL American Division 1. DePaul 2. Marquette 3. Cincinnati 4. Charlotte 5. Louisville 6. Saint Louis
National Division 1. Tulane 2. UAB 3. Memphis 4. Southern Miss 5. Houston 6. South Florida
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
DEANNA JACKSON- UAB Jr., F, Brewton, Ala./T.R. Miller JANELL BURSE- Tulane Sr., C, New Orleans, La./Redeemer Seton LENAE WILLIAMS- DePaul Jr., F, Addison, Ill./Addison Trail TIFFANY ADKINS- Memphis Sr., F, Newbern, Tenn./Ole Miss TONYA PHIFER- Charlotte Sr., G, Charlotte, N.C./Latin
- UAB -