Nov. 7, 2001
NORMAN, Okla. - Senior guard Stacey Dales (Brockville, Ontario, Canada) is expected to repeat her Associated Press' All-American. Dales is one for five players named to the AP preseason All-America team, a team that was voted on by a national media panel and released Wednesday. Dales is the only AP first-team All-American to return to the collegiate ranks in 2001-02. The other four honorees were seniors.
Joining the Canadian is Connecticut's Sue Bird, Chantelle Anderson of Vanderbilt, LaToya Thomas of Mississippi and Duke's Alana Beard. Bird topped the list of vote getters appearing on 43 of 45 ballots, while Dales and Anderson each received 39 votes. Thomas got 26 votes and Beard collected 24.
Dales, a 2001 Consensus All-American, also is expected to repeat as Player of the Year in the Big 12. The guard led the Sooners in scoring (16.0) and assists (7.3) last season and was second in rebounding (5.1) and steals (2.4). She also played on the Senior Canadian National Team in September and represented her country in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
"I am excited and honored for this recognition, but most of all I'm very enthusiastic about where our season is headed," Dales said. "I think our team will do some great things this year. Our potential is going to surprise some people, even with our preseason rankings."
Oklahoma, the defending Big 12 champion, is ranked fourth in the AP Preseason Poll that was released on Tuesday. OU follows No. 1 Connecticut, No. 2 Tennessee and No. 3 Vanderbilt, while Duke rounds out the top five. However, the Sooners have been ranked anywhere from No. 1 to No. 6 in numerous preseason publications, including No. 5 by the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll earlier this week. Big 12 foes Texas Tech (No. 7), Iowa State (No. 8), Colorado (No. 12) and Baylor (No. 14) are also among the nation's elite teams.
"This poll is also a tremendous reflection of the quality of our conference," said OU Head Coach Sherri Coale. "To have three teams in the top-five and five in the top-15 in the country means that January and Feburary could be brutal."
I like the company we're in. It shows that our program has the respect of our peers. I'm very honored and appreciative that other coaches feel that Oklahoma is a top five program. Now it's our job to prove it every night and every day on the floor."
Preseason Associated Press Poll
Rank/Team (first place votes)
1. Connecticut (31)
2. Tennessee (5)
3. Vanderbilt (6)
4. Oklahoma (2)
5. Duke (1)
6. Louisiana Tech
7. Texas Tech
8. Iowa State
10. N.C. State
15. Notre Dame
18. Old Dominion
20. George Washington
21. Penn State
22. Arizona State
24. Colorado State
Others receiving votes: North Carolina 97, Texas 96, LSU 91, St. Mary's, Cal. 89, Rutgers 83, Wisconsin 80, Iowa 61, Clemson 49, Boston College 39, TCU 35, Louisville 32, Drake 30, Xavier 28, Southern Cal 23, Virginia 23, Virginia Tech 18, Oregon 14, UC Santa Barbara 14, Mississippi St. 13, Auburn 9, UNLV 9, Tulane 8, Ohio St. 6, Arizona 4, Indiana 3, Chattanooga 2, Toledo 2, Kent St. 1, Mississippi 1, SW Missouri St. 1, Siena 1.