October 21, 2016

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -For the third year in a row the Ohio Valley Conference has conducted a Preseason Women's Media Poll prior to the start of the season. In total 14 voters from around the league cast a ballot on whom they thought would be the 2016-17 basketball favorites and preseason players of the year.

The OVC will release its preseason poll and All-OVC team, as voted on by league head coaches and sports information directors, on Wednesday, October 26 during the league's annual Media Day in Nashville.

The media panel picked Belmont as the preseason favorites. Eastern Kentucky senior forward Jalen O'Bannon and Murray State junior forward Ke'Shunan James shared OVC Women's Basketball Preseason Player of the Year honors.

In the women's voting it was defending tournament champion Belmont who picked up 10 of the 14 first-place votes and 164 total points in being tabbed the preseason favorite. Three-time defending regular season champion UT Martin received the other four first place vote and 151 points to be tabbed second while Eastern Kentucky (136 points) and SIUE (124) were also close in the voting. The women's poll was rounded out by Southeast Missouri (101), Murray State (99), Austin Peay (73), Tennessee State (71), Jacksonville State (56), Tennessee Tech (49), Morehead State (48) and Eastern Illinois (20).

Pollsters for the 2016-17 OVC Media Poll included: Catlin Bogard, OVC Ball; Mike Bradd, Eastern Illinois Radio; Neal Bradley, Murray State Radio; David Loos, Austin Peay Radio; Edward Marlowe, Paducah Sun; Mike Organ, The Tennessean; Brian Rives, Austin Peay Radio; Justin Rust, Journal Gazette/Times-Courier; Harry Schroeder,; Greg Stotelmyer, Eastern Kentucky Radio; Rich Tiner, Belmont Radio.

2016-17 Media OVC Preseason Women's Predicted Order of Finish

1. Belmont (10 first-place votes) - 164 points

2. UT Martin (4) - 151

3. Eastern Kentucky - 136

4. SIUE - 124

5. Southeast Missouri - 101

6. Murray State - 99

7. Austin Peay - 73

8. Tennessee State - 71

9. Jacksonville State - 56

10. Tennessee Tech - 49

11. Morehead State - 48

12. Eastern Illinois - 20

Preseason Co-Players of the Year: Jalen O'Bannon Eastern Kentucky & Ke'Shunan James, Murray State