Penn State Basketball

Big Ten women’s basketball: Maryland picked to win Big Ten

Big Ten newcomer Maryland was picked to win the league by the coaches and media, the conference announced Thursday.

Penn State, the three-time defending conference champion, was not among the three teams included in the rankings. Michigan State was chosen to finish second and Iowa was selected to finish third by the coaches. The media selected Michigan State to finish second and Nebraska third.

Maryland returns nine letterwinners and two starters from a team that won 28 games and went to the Final Four last season.

Minnesota guard Rachel Banham was tabbed as the Preseason Player of the Year by the coaches and media. Banham averaged a conference-leading 23.3 points per game in Big Ten play last season. She was also a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection and honorable mention All-American.

Banham was joined on the coaches’ preseason all-conference team by Iowa’s Samantha Logic, Michigan State’s Aerial Powers, Nebraska’s Rachel Theriot and Northwestern’s Nia Coffey. The media’s preseason all-conference team included six players due to a tie: Banham, Logic, Theriot, Maryland’s Lexie Brown, Minnesota’s Amanda Zahui and Ohio State’s Ameryst Alston.