SEC Media Picks MSU First, McCowan Preseason POY, Howard All-SEC

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STARKVILLE, Miss. -- After winning the first Southeastern Conference championship in program history, league and national media members picked the Mississippi State women's basketball team to repeat on Tuesday.

The media members also overwhelmingly tabbed Bulldog senior center Teaira McCowan as the Preseason Player of the Year. Graduate transfer Anriel Howard joined McCowan on the seven-player Preseason All-SEC squad.

The pair are the SEC's active career rebounders, with McCowan's 1,015 boards sitting just ahead of Howard's 1,002.

McCowan is coming off an All-American season that saw her earn the inaugural Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year Award after averaging 18.2 ppg and an SEC-leading 13.9 rpg.

The Brenham, Texas, native tallied SEC records with her 544 rebounds and 29 double-doubles. Her rebounds total was the second-best posted in NCAA Division I single-season history.

McCowan, who tallied five 20-point, 20-rebound games a year ago, averaged 17.7 ppg and an SEC-best 14.4 rpg in leading the Bulldogs to a perfect 16-0 league record.

Last season, Howard eclipsed 1,000-career rebounds after registering a double-double for the second-straight year with 12.1 ppg and 12.2 rpg.

The Texas A&M career rebounding leader, Howard tallied 20 double-doubles a year ago, giving her 32 over her first three collegiate seasons.

The Atlanta, Ga., native collected 22 double-figure scoring games in 2017-18, and she had 10-plus boards in 30 games.

Vic Schaefer's Bulldogs were picked to repeat after winning the first league title by an MSU women's program. MSU won a nation's-best 37 games, the second-most in SEC history, and did so behind the second-longest win streak in conference annals (32 games). State posted the first undefeated regular season by a league squad in 20 years.

Mississippi State hosts NCAA Division II National Champion Central Missouri in a 6 p.m. exhibition on Nov. 2. The Bulldogs officially open the 2018-19 campaign in The Hump Nov. 6 against Southeast Missouri State.

General admission upper level season tickets can still be purchased online at www.hailstate.com/ticketsor by calling the MSU Ticket Office at 1-888-GO-DAWGS.
2018-19 SEC Media Preseason Poll

Order of Finish
1. Mississippi State
2. South Carolina
3. Tennessee
4. Georgia
5. Missouri
6. Texas A&M
7. Kentucky
8. Auburn
9. LSU
10. Alabama
11. Arkansas
12. Florida
13. Vanderbilt
14. Ole Miss

Player of the Year
Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State

Preseason All-SEC
Calyia Robinson, Georgia
Anriel Howard, Mississippi State
Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State
Sophie Cunningham, Missouri
Alexis Jennings, South Carolina
Rennia Davis, Tennessee
Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M