BYU Women’s Basketball Picked Low In Big 12 Preseason Poll

Oct 5, 2023, 1:42 PM

BYU Women's Basketball, Amber Whiting, Big 12 Preseason Poll...

BYU women's basketball head coach Amber Whiting leads the Cougars into the Big 12 where they are a preseason 11th place team. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – It’s no surprise, but BYU women’s basketball will have low expectations in their inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference.

The Big 12 unveiled the 2023-24 preseason poll on Thursday. It was selected by the 14 coaches in this year’s Big 12 and BYU was picked to finish 11th out of 14 teams.

The good news for BYU is that they were the highest-rated newcomer in the conference. All four new programs (BYU, Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF) were picked in the bottom four spots. UCF was tabbed to finish last.

BYU women’s basketball picked to finish 11th

BYU is entering its second season under head coach Amber Whiting. Last year’s group started slow but showed progress over the season. They finished with a 16-17 record and a first-round exit in the WNIT.

“We are a team that has a nice mix of veteran leadership and young talent that I think can surprise some people,” Whiting said. “This conference is stacked with talented, veteran teams which means that every game is going to be a battle. I love how our team has developed throughout the summer and I’m excited to see what they can do when we take the floor next month.”

It’s a big jump for BYU going from the WCC to the Big 12. They will rely heavily on preseason All-Big 12 selection Lauren Gustin to lead the way. Gustin was the top rebounder per game nationally last season (16.7 per game).

Preseason Big 12 favorite Texas features ex-BYU star

The preseason favorite in the Big 12 Conference this season is Texas.

Texas won the Big 12 regular season title last year for the first time since 2004. The Longhorns return a loaded roster that features preseason Big 12 player of the year Rori Harmon and ex-BYU guard Shaylee Gonzales.

Last season, the Big 12 Conference produced six teams in the NCAA Tournament. Plus, the WNIT Champion Kansas Jayhawks.

Behind Texas in the preseason poll is Baylor, then following the Bears are the Jayhawks.

Kansas State, Oklahoma, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State round out the top half of the preseason poll.

BYU opens the regular season on November 7 at Montana State. The Big 12 opener is December 30 against TCU in Ft. Worth.

2023-24 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll

1. Texas (12 first-place votes)

2. Baylor (2)

3. Kansas

4. Kansas State

5. Oklahoma

6. Iowa State

7. Oklahoma State

8. West Virginia

9. TCU

10. Texas Tech

11. BYU

12. Houston

13. Cincinnati

14. UCF

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Women’s Basketball Picked Low In Big 12 Preseason Poll