CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - Liberty University redshirt-senior Avery Warley (Washington, D.C.) has been voted the 2011-12 Big South Conference Women's Basketball Preseason Player of the Year by the League's Head Coaches and media panel, it was announced today at the Conference's annual Basketball Tip-Off Media Luncheon at the Renaissance Suites Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.
Warley enjoyed a breakout season a year ago as she set career-highs in scoring with 12.0 points and rebounding at 11.0 per game to earn First-Team All-Conference honors. She paced the Conference with a 62.0 field goal percentage, making 155-of-250 attempts, and was tops in the League in 2010-11 with 19 double-doubles and a Big South single-season record 363 rebounds. Warley, who ranked ninth nationally in double-doubles and 14th in rebounding, posted a pair of 20-rebound games and averaged 1.2 blocks and 1.0 steals en route to being voted Big South Defensive Player of the Year. In Conference games, Warley averaged 12.7 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks last season and increased her scoring output to 13.3, and was named Big South Player of the Week a League-high four times in 2010-11. Warley, who was named to the 2011 USA Basketball Pan American Games Team on Sept. 27 and will compete Oct. 21-25 in Guadalajara, Mexico, set a Big South Tournament record last year with 48 total rebounds in her three games. She enters her final season at Liberty needing 227 rebounds to become the Big South's all-time leader. Warley received 10 first-place votes and 73 total points in the voting to earn a spot on the preseason All-Conference team.
2011-12 Big South Conference Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Avery Warley, Liberty, R-Sr., C, 6-3 (Washington, D.C.)
Devon Brown, Liberty, R-Jr., G/F, 5-10 (Waynesboro, Va.)
Shamia Brown, High Point, Sr., F, 5-11 (Raeford, N.C.)
Da'Naria Erwin Spencer, Radford, Jr., G, 5-5 (Charlotte, N.C.)
Dequesha McClanahan, Winthrop, Soph., G, 5-8 (Oak Ridge, Tenn.)
Devon Brown has been a First-Team All-Conference selection her first two seasons at Liberty. She missed time with various injuries a year ago, but still managed to lead the Lady Flames in scoring with 13.5 points per game and helped Liberty to a 19-7 record when she was in the lineup. Brown scored in double-figures 21 times in 2010-11 and became just the second sophomore in program history to score 900 points in her first two seasons. She enters 2011-12 on pace to join the Big South's 1,000-point, 500-rebound club.
Shamia Brown was the Big South Freshman of the Year in 2009, earned Big South All-Tournament team honors in 2010 and was a Second-Team All-Conference pick as a junior last season. She led High Point in scoring in 2010-11 with 12.6 points per game and was second on the squad with 5.3 rebounds. Brown scored in double digits in 24 games last year and ranked fourth in the Conference in field goal percentage at 49.4 percent. In Big South games, Brown raised her scoring average to 13.3 points, good for sixth in the League. She enters 2011-12 as the Conference's active-leading scorer with 1,056 career points.
Erwin Spencer returns following a First-Team All-Conference season in 2010-11 when she led Radford in scoring with 13.8 points and was tops on the squad in assists (91), steals (67) and free throw percentage (72.9). A three-time Big South Player of the Week honoree in 2010-11, she posted five games with at least 20 points and reached double figures 21 times, in addition to being the Highlanders' top scorer in 14 contests. Erwin Spencer averaged 15.2 points in Conference games to lead her team to a nine-win improvement and second-place finish in the Big South standings a year ago.
McClanahan was the Big South Freshman of the Year last season after averaging 12.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game for the Eagles. She finished the season ranked 10th in the Big South in scoring, third in assists, sixth in steals and seventh in free throw percentage. McClanahan set school freshman records for most games started with 30, as well as free throws made with 103, and recorded at least one steal in all but four games. She led all Conference freshman in scoring in 2010-11 while collecting four 20-point efforts and 18 double-figure games. McClanahan was Winthrop's leading scorer 15 times, and her 386 points scored was third-most by a freshman in school history.