Boothe Named Preseason First Team All-Conference


CINCINNATI --- Sophomore Tara Boothe, the 2003 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, has been selected by the league’s coaches and media to the 2003-04 Preseason All-Conference First Team.

In the same voting, Xavier was picked to finish third in the Atlantic 10 West, behind George Washington and Richmond.

Boothe, a 6-1 forward from Highlands High School in Northern Kentucky, was a Freshman All-American last season. She was named Rookie of the Year in the A-10 after earning a league record 11 Rookie of the Week honors during the course of the season.

In addition to her rookie honor, Boothe was named to the 2003 Atlantic 10 Third Team. She was the first player since Susan Moran of Saint Joseph’s in 1999 to be named Rookie of the Year and to an All-Conference Team as a freshman.

Boothe set the Xavier freshman records for points with 479 and rebounds with 242 last year. Her averages of 16.0 points and 8.1 rebounds placed her sixth in the Atlantic 10 in both categories.

In addition to the Preseason First Team honors from the Atlantic 10, Boothe has already earned some national praise heading into her sophomore year., one of the publications that called Boothe a Freshman All-American last year, predicted in its Atlantic 10 preview that Boothe will “make at least one national All-American Team.”

On Saturday in Xavier’s first exhibition game, a 75-50 win over the Ohio Girls Basketball Magazine Legends, Boothe scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots.

The Musketeers are picked for third this year after finishing second in the A-10 West with an 11-5 record in 2002-03. Xavier holds the longest active streak in the Atlantic 10 with six consecutive trips to the conference tournament semifinals.

George Washington was a unanimous selection for first in the West. Last year Xavier split a pair of games with the Colonials, including a 94-92 win in quadruple-overtime at Cintas Center. Richmond was picked second, while Duquesne, Dayton and La Salle filled in the spots behind Xavier.

Saint Joseph’s got 13 first place votes to take the top spot in the East. Temple got the other two and is picked to finish second, ahead of Rhode Island, Fordham, Massachusetts and St. Bonaventure.

Xavier won 20 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season, accomplishing both feats for the fourth time in five years. The Musketeers were 20-10 in 2002-03, the first season for head coach Kevin McGuff.

The Musketeers will play their final preseason game at 7:30 p.m. on Wednseday against the Reebok Lady Stars at Cintas Center. The regular season gets underway on Friday, Nov. 21 when Xavier plays at Louisville. The home opener will be on Sunday, Nov. 23 when IUPUI comes to Cintas Center for a 2 p.m. game.