Oct. 2, 2008
AUBURN -- Fresh off an appearance in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, the Auburn women's basketball team is already racking up preseason honors for 2008-09 with top-25 rankings in two national publications.
The Lindy's College Basketball preview tabbed Auburn as the preseason No. 19 team in the nation, making the Tigers the fourth of four SEC teams in the top-25 rankings. Defending national champion Tennessee checked in at No. 4, followed by LSU at 13th and Vanderbilt at 18th.
Individually, senior guard/forward DeWanna Bonner was named a second-team All-American by Lindy's. Bonner was the lone SEC player on the All-America team, joining Epiphanny Prince (Rutgers), Shavonte Zellous (Pittsburgh), Marissa Coleman (Maryland) and Jayne Appel (Stanford) on the second team.
An honorable mention All-American following the 2007-08 season, Bonner averaged a double-double with 18.4 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game during her junior campaign.
According to Athlon Sports, the Tigers rank 22nd nationally and were joined in the poll by SEC schools Tennessee (9th) and Vanderbilt (16th).
The magazine also tabbed Bonner as an All-America pick, naming her to its first team along with Louisville's Angel McCoughtry, Connecticut's Maya Moore, Oklahoma's Courtney Paris and Maryland's Kristi Toliver.
Connecticut was tabbed as the preseason No. 1 by both magazines.
Knowing that preseason polls are put together largely on the merits of the previous season, head coach Nell Fortner was happy to see her team gaining that kind of respect around the country.
"The preseason polls go back and give you credit for what you did last year," said Fortner. "Making the NCAA tournament was a big step for the program, we have most of the players back from last season and it is a real show of respect for us to get this kind of honor. I am very excited to get the season going."
Fortner was also excited for Bonner's preseason recognition and looks forward to what she can do for Auburn this season.
"DeWanna Bonner has worked hard to put herself in a position to be an All-America this year," said Fortner. "She played like an All-American last year and we look for her to garner some of those awards this year. We are expecting her to have a great senior season and the rest of the team having a great year also."
The Tigers are coming off a 20-12 campaign as well as their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004. Auburn returns eight letterwinners and four starters from last season's squad and is set to open its season with an exhibition game against Anderson University at 2 p.m., Nov. 9 in the Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum. The regular season is slated to open on the road at Alabama A&M on Nov. 14, with the home opener against Temple following on Nov. 17.
Season tickets went on sale on Oct. 1. Individual packages are $50, while the family plan, which includes four tickets, is $150. Regular season-single game tickets are $5 and Auburn students are allowed in for free. Groups of 20 or more can purchase in advance for a discounted price of $2 per ticket. All exhibition games are free to the public.
For more information, please call the Athletic Department ticket office at 1-800-AUB-1957 or visit www.auburntigers.com.