College Sports Madness released another round of preseason women’s basketball awards recently, and Oral Roberts University was the best-represented squad in the Summit League. Junior guard Kevi Luper was named Preseason Mid-Major Player of the Year, while three other Golden Eagles also were honored by the publication.
College Sports Madness ranked the squad No. 38 in the nation and first in the Summit League. “This should be the breakthrough year on a national scale for Oral Roberts,” College Sports Madness writer Scott Whittum said in his article. “Everything is in place, including unbelievable depth in the backcourt.”
The No. 38 ranking is the second-highest preseason placement for this season. Athlon Sports ranks the Golden Eagles as No. 24 in their annual preseason magazine.
College Sports Madness projects the Golden Eagles as a No. 10 seed in the 2012 Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament, which begins in March.
In addition to earning Mid-Major Player of the Year honors, Luper was named Preseason Summit League Player of the Year, First Team All-Summit League and First Team Mid-Major All-America.
Meanwhile, fellow junior guard Jaci Bigham was named Preseason First Team All-Summit League, making the only team with two players on the First Team.
Senior forward Jordan Pyle was named a Second Team All-Summit League pick by the organization, while Head Coach Jerry Finkbeiner was named Preseason Summit League Coach of the Year. Finkbeiner has won the Summit League’s end-of-season Coach of the Year award each of the last two campaigns.
Previously, College Sports Madness had named Luper a Preseason Third Team All-American across all classifications.
ORU’s 2011-12 season begins on Oct. 27, when they host Evangel in exhibition action. The regular season tips off on Nov. 11, with a match-up against Drury.