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Oct. 30, 2005

Columbus, Ohio – Big Ten women’s basketball coaches and a 22-member media panel selected 2004-05 co-conference champion Ohio State as the preseason favorite for the upcoming season in an announcement made at the league’s media day Sunday. The coaches and media also chose Jessica Davenport as the 2005 Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year. Davenport, who earned the same honor following the 2004-05 regular season, was a unanimous selection by the media.

Michigan State, the 2005 NCAA runner-up, was predicted second by both the coaches and media, while Minnesota (coaches) and Purdue (media) split a third-place prediction. Last season, the Buckeyes tied Michigan State for the conference crown with a 14-2 record in Big Ten play. Ohio State finished the season with a 30-5 overall mark and reached the NCAA regional in Philadelphia.

The coaches and media selected Davenport, from Columbus Independence High School, as the top center in the league as well. Last season, she became the fourth sophomore to earn Big Ten Player of the Year honors, tying for the league lead in scoring (19.3) and was second in rebounding (9.3) and field goal percentage (.587). She also topped the league in blocked shots at 3.3 per contest. A Wade Trophy, Wooden Award and Naismith Award finalist, Davenport was named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press, USBWA and Kodak/WBCA.

Davenport was joined on both preseason All-Big Ten teams by Michigan State’s Liz Shimek at forward and Lindsay Bowen at guard. Purdue’s Katie Gearlds locked up the other guard spot on both the coaches and media teams. Minnesota forward Jamie Broback was named to the coaches’ team, while the media pin-pointed 2005 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jolene Anderson of Wisconsin at forward.

2005-06 BIG TEN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON HONORS

TEAM RANKINGS – COACHES 1. Ohio State 2. Michigan State 3. Minnesota 4. Purdue 5. Iowa 6. Wisconsin 7. Penn State 8. Indiana 9. Illinois 10. Michigan 11. Northwestern

TEAM RANKINGS – MEDIA 1. Ohio State 2. Michigan State 3. Purdue 4. Minnesota 5. Iowa 6. Penn State 7. Wisconsin 8. Indiana 9. Illinois 10. Michigan 11. Northwestern

PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN – COACHES Lindsay Bowen, MSU, SR, G Jamie Broback, MINN, JR, F Jessica Davenport, OSU, JR, C Katie Gearlds, PUR, JR, G LIZ SHIMEK, MSU, SR, F

PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN – MEDIA Jolene Anderson, WIS, SO, G Lindsay Bowen, MSU, SR, G Jessica Davenport, OSU, JR, C Katie Gearlds, PUR, JR, G Liz Shimek, MSU, SR, F

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR – COACHES Jessica Davenport, OSU, JR, C PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR – MEDIA Jessica Davenport, OSU, JR, C

UNANIMOUS SELECTION IN ALL CAPS