Smith & Okafor Named to OVC Preseason Team, TSU picked third
Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nashville --- Junior Jasmine Smith and redshirt senior Oby Okafor were selected to the 2009-10 All-OVC preseason team as the Tennessee State University women's basketball team was predicted to finish third.

Jasmine Smith is the only starter returning from the 2008-09 squad. The All-Newcomer selection nearly averaged a double-double with 11.4 points and 9.7 rebounds a game last season. After sitting out the first half of the season, she was named OVC Newcomer of the Week, six out of the 11 weeks that she was active. She recorded a team best eight double-doubles.

Oby Okafor will make her return to the court after sitting out last season due to an injury. The 2007-08 All-OVC second team selection averaged 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds as a junior. She also led the league in offensive boards with 4.6 a game. Okafor has 1,217 points and 616 career rebounds at TSU.

"I'm very excited about this season," commented coach Wells. "The third place pick shows that there is an expectation by our peers in the conference, and we respect that. We want to work everyday to make sure that we are in the top half of the conference when we finish."

Morehead State was selected to win the 2009-10 Ohio Valley Conference women's basketball title earning 147 points, including nine first-place votes while, Austin Peay claimed six first-place votes and 146 points for second place. Tennessee State picked up 134 points and four first-place votes for a predicted third place finish as Eastern Illinois earned the final first-place nod and 111 points to finish fourth.

The Lady Tigers finished the 2008-09 OVC race in third place and will return five players from that squad. In addition to Oby Okafor returning to the court, TSU will welcome seven incoming freshmen to the team this season.

"It's been an extremely competitive preseason and a very competitive first few days of practice. We're looking forward to building on what we've started."

Fans can meet the Lady Tigers on Thursday, Oct. 29 in the main cafeteria at 6 p.m. before seeing them in action on Nov.2 at the Blue & White game. The Lady Tigers will then host Bluefield College in an exhibition game on Nov. 9 before officially kicking-off the season at Jackson State on Nov.14. 

2009-10 Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference Women's Basketball Team

(Selected by OVC Head Basketball Coaches and Sports Information Directors)

Chynna Bozeman, Morehead State*

Jasmine Smith, Tennessee State

Jolie Efezokhae, Jacksonville State

Oby Okafor, Tennessee State                      

Ashley Herring, Austin Peay

Nicole Jamen, Austin Peay

Tiffany Hamilton, Morehead State                 

Dominique Sims, Eastern Illinois                  

Brittany Wiley, Jacksonville State                  

Nadia Mossong, Eastern Kentucky                    

* - 1st team All-OVC in 2008-09                                                      


OVC PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR:  Chynna Bozeman, Morehead State


2009-10 OVC Women's Basketball Predicted Order of Finish

(Selected by OVC Head Basketball Coaches and Sports Information Directors)

1. Morehead State (Nine first-place votes) -147

2. Austin Peay (Six first-place votes) - 146

3. Tennessee State (Four first-place votes) - 134

4. Eastern Illinois (One first-place votes) - 111

5. Jacksonville State - 84

6. Murray State - 79

7. Southeast Missouri - 67

8. Tennessee Tech - 58

9. Eastern Kentucky - 54

10. UT Martin  - 18

(*Schools were not allowed to rank their own team.  Nine points awarded for a first-place vote, eight for second, etc.)