Rock Hill, S.C. – Brevard’s Micheala Watkins has been named to the 2012-2013 SAC Women’s Preseason All-Conference team, the conference office announced Thursday.
Watkins started all 26 games for the Tornados last season, leading the South Atlantic Conference with 3.65 steals per game. The senior averaged 11.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in 2011-2012.
Eight of the SAC’s 10 member institutions are represented on the preseason All-Conference Team, with a league-high three student-athletes from Anderson earning spots.
Despite being ranked No. 8 in the SAC preseason coaches’ poll, Anderson had three players selected to the preseason All-SAC Team, including first-team guard Alissa Diaz.
Diaz was a member of the All-SAC Second Team last season after averaging 14.6 points and 2.67 assists per game.
Newberry, which was voted No. 3 in the preseason coaches’ poll, is the only team to place multiple players on preseason All-SAC First Team. 2011-12 SAC Freshman of the Year Haylee Lepaio -- who finished fourth in scoring and third in rebounding in the conference last year -- is a first-team pick, as is senior guard Neicey Lewis.
Joining the Newberry duo on the preseason First Team are 2011-12 All-Conference Second Team selections Kendal Baxter of Tusculum and Whitley Culler of Lenoir-Rhyne.
Baxter averaged 13.7 points per game last year and set a SAC single-season record by shooting 91.5-percent from the foul line, while Culler averaged 13.8 points and eight rebounds.
Catawba sophomore forward Chloe Bully, a member of the 2011-12 SAC All-Freshman Team, rounded out the preseason All-Conference First Team. Bully averaged 13.5 points per game and led the conference by shooting 38.2-percent on three-pointers last season.
Two Anderson players – guard Sierra Simpson and forward Breonda Shannon – were named to the preseason All-SAC Second Team. They are joined by Wingate’s Janitsha Williams, Tusculum’s April McCann, Mars Hill’s Armeka Booker and Watkins.
The preseason All-SAC Team is voted on by the conference’s media relations directors.
2012-13 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Kendal Baxter, Tusculum
Whitley Culler, Lenoir-Rhyne
Alissa Diaz, Anderson
Haylee Lepaio, Newberry
Chloe Bully, Catawba
Neicey Lewis, Newberry
Breonda Shannon, Anderson
Armeka Booker, Mars Hill
Janitsha Williams, Wingate
April McCann, Tusculum
Micheala Watkins, Brevard
Sierra Simpson, Anderson
Brevard College was picked to finish 10th in the preseason coaches’ poll, which was also released on Thursday.
2012-13 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Team Points (1st-place votes)
1. Wingate 78 (7)
2. Lenoir-Rhyne 66 (1)
3. Newberry 58 (1)
4. Tusculum 54
5. Catawba 51 (1)
6. Lincoln Memorial 40
7. Carson-Newman 39
8. Anderson 37
9. Mars Hill 15
10. Brevard 11