By JOHN BOHNENKAMP
Iowa was named the favorite for the Big Ten women’s basketball title on Wednesday, and guard Caitlin Clark was honored as the conference’s preseason player of the year, in voting by the conference’s coaches and media.
Clark and teammate Monika Czinano were unanimous selections to the preseason all-conference team.
The Hawkeyes, who shared the conference regular-season title and won the conference tournament last season, return all five starters from that team.
It was Clark’s first preseason conference honor. Clark led the country in points per game (27.0), assists (8.0), final points (863), free throws made (200), triple-doubles (5), and 30-point games (11) last season, on her way to being named the conference’s player of the year. .
Czinano, a first-team All-Big Ten selection last season, returns for a fifth season after leading the nation in field-goal percentage (.679). She ranked sixth in field goals made (277), 11th in total points (656) and 12th in points per contest (21.2).
Iowa was followed in the coaches’ preseason rankings by Ohio State, Indiana, Maryland and Michigan. The Hawkeyes led the media rankings, followed by Indiana, Ohio State, Maryland and Nebraska.
Photo: Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (right) was named the Big Ten’s preseason player of the year in voting by the coaches and the media on Wednesday. (Stephen Mally/hawkeyesports.com)