XU's senior frontcourt tandem of Amber Harris and Ta'Shia Phillips will look to lead the team back to the Elite Eight and beyond in 2010-11
Sept. 13, 2010
CINCINNATI - With the start of practice more than a month away, the preseason prognosticators are already busy with 2010-11 predictions. The Xavier women's basketball team has been named in the top 10 of three preseason rankings lists already this fall: No. 6 by Athlon Sports, No. 5 by Lindy's Sports and No. 4 by Sporting News. Seniors Amber Harris and Ta'Shia Phillips also earned mention on the publications' All-America Teams as well.
The Musketeers finished last season ranked fourth nationally in rebound margin and 11th in field-goal percentage defense after going undefeated in Atlantic 10 play and posted an overall mark of 30-4, reaching the 30-win mark for the second time in school history. The team also made an Elite Eight appearance for the season time in program history, falling to Stanford, 55-53.
In addition to Harris and Phillips, the Musketeers also have senior point guard Special Jennings returning for her final season as well. Jennings ranked third in the A-10 and 52nd in the nation in assist/turnover ratio as well as 60th nationally in free throw percentage. Also returning are junior Tyeasha Moss and sophomore Katie Rutan.
In Sporting News' Women's College Preview, Xavier was listed as the fourth-best team in the nation coming in behind Connecticut, Baylor and Stanford. Duke (No. 6) and Temple (No. 22), along with Stanford, were those ranked among XU's 2010-11 opponents. Harris was among 10 players named to Sporting News' Preseason All-America First Team while Phillips garnered All-America Second Team honors.
Lindy's Sports placed Xavier at No. 5 in its preseason rankings and says that with XU's "size and experience, the Musketeers could well end up in Indianapolis." Stanford (No. 3) and Duke (No. 6) appeared in Lindy's preseason list and Atlantic 10 foe Dayton showed up at No. 22. Harris was honored again with a Preseason All-America Second Team nod from Lindy's.
Athlon Sports ranks Xavier as No. 6 in its preseason poll stating, "The Musketeers may have the most impressive frontcourt tandem in the nation with 6'5 Amber Harris and 6'6 Ta'Shia Phillips." Harris was named to Athlon's Preseason All-America Second Team. Also on Athlon's preseason list is 2010-11 XU opponents No. 2 Stanford and No. 8 Duke.