In addition, Rutgers sophomore Cappie Pondexter (Chicago, IL) was named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team.
Rutgers was ranked sixth in the preseason poll with 107 points. Connecticut and Notre Dame each received 161 points and seven first-place votes to head the list. Boston College was third with 143 points, followed by Villanova (128), Virginia Tech (110), Rutgers, Miami (104), West Virginia (81), Seton Hall and Syracuse (69), Georgetown (64), Providence (33), Pittsburgh (29) and St. John’s (15).
Pondexter, who practiced with the Scarlet Knights last season, spent the summer playing with the U.S. 20-and-Under National Team. She helped lead the U.S. to the gold medal at the World Championship For Young Women Qualifying Tournament in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil.
Pondexter marks the fourth player in the past three seasons the Scarlet Knights have had named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team. Last year, RU’s Davalyn Cunningham was a preseason second-team selection. Tasha Pointer was a first-team selection and teammate Tammy Sutton-Brown as a second-team selection to the 2000-2001 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team.
Rutgers has six letterwinners returning from last year’s 2001-2002 campaign, three of whom were starters. C. Vivian Stringer will take the floor for her eighth season as Rutgers head coach when the Knights begin their preseason Wednesday, Nov. 6, against the Houston Jaguars AAU Team at 7:30 p.m. The Scarlet Knights will begin the regular season at Stanford on Friday, Nov. 22, at 7:00 p.m. PT.
2002-2003 Preseason BIG EAST Coaches Poll
Team (First-Place Votes) Points
Connecticut (7) 161
Notre Dame (7) 161
3. Boston College 143
4. Villanova 128
5. Virginia Tech 110
6. Rutgers 107
7. Miami 104
8. West Virginia 81
9. Seton Hall 69
11. Georgetown 64
12. Providence 33
13. Pittsburgh 29
14. St. John’s 15
2002-2003 Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year
Diana Taurasi, Jr., Connecticut
2002-2003 Preseason BIG EAST Rookie of the Year
Ann Strother, Connecticut
2002-2003 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
Name Yr. School
Jacqueline Batteast So. Notre Dame
Trish Juhline Sr. Villanova
Ieva Kublina Jr. Virginia Tech
Alicia Ratay Jr. Connecticut
Diana Taurasi Jr. Connecticut
2002-2003 Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team
Name Yr. School
Rebekkah Brunson Jr. Georgetown
Kate Bulger Jr. West Virginia
Julie McBride Jr. Syracuse
Cappie Pondexter So. Rutgers
Brianne Stepherson Sr. Boston College