Ryan Showman had a pretty good idea where his Kansas Wesleyan women’s basketball team would be ranked when the Kansas Conference’s preseason polls were announced Tuesday following the annual media day event.
The Coyotes were fourth in the coaches’ poll and third in the media, which didn’t surprise Showman in the least.
“It’s exactly where I thought we would be,” he said. “I thought we’d kind of be in that third fourth spot and that’s where we were for the coaches and for the media. Didn’t shock me at all.”
Showman, who’s is in his 11th season as the Coyotes’ head coach, repeated a familiar preseason refrain, though.
“I think I say this every year – this doesn’t mean a darn thing,” he said. “It’s the poll at the end of the year that is the only one that matters.
“Are we a third or fourth place team? I have no idea. I think we can be really good but we’ve got a long way to go and we’ve got a lot of work to do between now and when it’s all said and done. But I’m just really excited about the opportunities that this team has this year.”
The Coyotes return three starters in point guard LaMyah Ricks (JR/Shawnee Mission, Kan.), shooting guard Catherine “Cat” Bowman and forward Caila Hill (SR/Rossville, Kan.). Several others who saw duty last season also return – post player Tylieea Wallace (SO/Overland Park, Kan.) and guards Angel Roman (SO/Jacksonville, Fla.), Megan Foote (SO/Louisburg, Kan.) and Kourtney Kaufman (SO/Moundridge, Kan.).
Showman bolstered the roster with the signing two junior college transfers who figure to contribute immediately – guards Angel Lee (SO/Grandview, Mo.) from Moberly Area CC (Mo.) and Jill Stephens (SO/Colby, Kan.) from Independence CC.
Two-time defending KCAC champion Sterling and last year’s runner-up Tabor were one-two in both polls. Sterling received 10 of 13 first-place votes in the coaches’ poll and 17 of 18 in the media’s poll.
KWU was third in the media poll and fourth in the coaches. Bethany was third in the coaches’ poll and received two first-place vote but the Swedes were fifth in the media’s survey. Friends was fifth in the coaches’ poll and fourth in the media.
Rounding out the coaches’ poll was Saint Mary in sixth followed by McPherson, Ottawa, Oklahoma Wesleyan, Bethel, Avila, York and Southwestern. OKWU and Avila both have new head coaches in Heidi Messer at Oklahoma Wesleyan and Remy Davenport Wolf at Avila. Wolf was an assistant at Avila previously.
The media chose Avila sixth then OKWU, McPherson, Saint Mary, Bethel, Ottawa, Southwestern and York.
“It’s going to be like every other year,” Showman said. “I think we have really good coaches in this conference, I think there are no easy games, there’s no gimmies. It’s just a very tough conference. It sounds like each team got some players; we’ve got some new coaches that I think are going to provide some different challenges.
“So, all in all we’re shaping up to be another strong conference and it’s time for people on a national level to take notice how good our brand of basketball is.”
KWU opens the season with a game against University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy-St. Louis on November 4 in St. Louis. A game against Columbia College is slated for the following day in Columbia, Mo.
2022-23 KCAC Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll
1. Sterling – 142 (10)
2. Tabor – 130 (1)
3. Bethany – 120 (2)
4. Kansas Wesleyan – 106
5. Friends – 91
6. Saint Mary – 80
7. McPherson – 79
8. Ottawa – 71
9. Oklahoma Wesleyan – 67
10. Bethel – 47
11. Avila – 37
12. York – 25
13. Southwestern – 19
2022-23 KCAC Women’s Basketball Media Poll
1. Sterling – 233 (17)
2. Tabor – 212 (1)
3. Kansas Wesleyan – 177
4. Friends – 165
5. Bethany – 164
6. Avila – 125
7. Oklahoma Wesleyan – 118
8. McPherson – 117
9. Saint Mary – 105
10. Bethel – 84
11. Ottawa – 78
12. Southwestern – 31
13. York – 29