Missouri women face growing pains, second-to-last SEC projection

By Kaysie Moore

The Missouri women’s basketball team enter their inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference with plenty of question marks, and a preseason prediction for the conference released Tuesday reflects as much.

A panel of Southeastern Conference officials and media members has Missouri finishing No. 13 in the 14-team SEC. The Tigers received 39 total points in Tuesday’s poll.

Kentucky is projected to win the SEC championship, with 20 first place votes and 376 total points from the panel. Also receiving first place votes are Georgia (352 total points), Vanderbilt (336), Tennessee (316) and Texas A&M (284). Selected to finish behind Missouri is Alabama, receiving 36 total points.

Kentucky’s A’dia Mathies (20 first place votes) is far and away the top choice for SEC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. No Missouri players appear on the first or second preseason all-SEC teams.

Missouri enters the 2012-2013 season as the least experienced team in the Southeastern Conference, including six freshmen on coach Robin Pingeton’s roster.

The Missouri women open their season with an exhibition game at Mizzou Arena on October 30, playing host to Lincoln (Mo.) at 7pm. The Tigers begin SEC play on January 3, when they’ll visit Georgia in Athens, Ga.

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