IUPUI’s Williams picked to three-peat as Player of the Year
The Horizon League released its Women’s Basketball Preseason All-League Teams on Friday. The teams were selected by the 12 Horizon League Head Coaches. Unsurprisingly, IUPUI senior Macee Williams was picked to win a third straight Player of the Year award.
With five players who earned First or Second Team All-League returning, the First Team All-League picks were pretty straightforward. Williams was joined on the first team by 2020 First Team All-League picks Wright State guard Angel Baker and Youngstown State wing Chelsea Olson, as well as 2020 Second Team All-League picks Ally Niece of Northern Kentucky and Mariah White of Cleveland State.
The The Preseason Second Team All-League could’ve been even more straightforward if 2020 Third Team All-League pick Savanna Crockett didn’t transfer away from Cleveland State. With Crockett’s early departure, four of five players from the inaugural Third Team All-League return for another season, and they take up four spots on the Preseason Second Team All-League. Caitlin Hibner of Green Bay, Rachel McIlmore of IUPUI, Milwaukee’s Brandi Bisping and Kahlaijah Dean of Oakland are the returning All-League performers. They’re joined by 2020 Horizon League Freshman of the Year Shamarre Hale of Wright State.
|Macee Williams, C, IUPUI (POY)
|Caitlin Hibner, G, Green Bay
|Angel Baker, G, Wright State
|Rachel McIlmore, G, IUPUI
|Chelsea Olson, G, Youngstown State
|Brandi Bisping, F, Milwaukee
|Ally Niece, G, Northern Kentucky
|Kahlaijah Dean, G, Oakland
|Mariah White, G, Cleveland State
|Shamarre Hale, C, Wright State
While Youngstown State got some good news on the men’s side when Naz Bohannon was finally recognized in an official capacity by the league as a Horizon League Preseason All-Second Team pick for 2021, the Penguins now have the women’s player with the biggest gripe about being snubbed. Mary Dunn was a First Team All-League selection over teammate Chelsea Olson in 2019, and was averaging 17.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game through four games against solid competition in 2020 before being sidelined for the season with a torn meniscus. If she’s fully healed, Dunn feels like a player that could single-handedly throw off the accuracy of not just the Preseason All-League teams, but the Preseason Poll as well.
While Robert Morris is probably an unknown to a lot of Horizon League fans, the fact that there are no Colonials on the Preseason All-League team is definitely notable. RMU joins the Horizon League after winning the Northeast Conference Regular Season Title in four straight seasons. With a 49-5 record in NEC play over the last three years, it seems like the Colonials should definitely be able to be a competitive team in the Horizon League quickly, but they get left in the cold on the preseason All-League team largely due to timing. Nneka Ezeigbo was the Colonials star and earned back-to-back All-NEC First Team honors in 2019 and 2020, but she’s out of eligibility for RMU. Irekpitan Ozzy-Momodu looked like the one to step in and fill the void left by Ezeigbo after earning All-NEC Second Team honors in 2020 despite playing just 16.1 minutes per game, but she opted to join Eastern Michigan as a graduate transfer. Junior guard Isabella Posset is the lone returning player to earn All-NEC honors last year, when she was a Third Team selection. If she takes control, don’t be surprised to see her in the running for a spot on one of the first two All-League teams in 2021, but Robert Morris has operated heavily through the post lately so it’s also possible that a player that was buried behind Ezeigbo and Ozzy-Momodu could be in for a breakout year and become the team’s star.