Sept. 16, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue women's basketball received its first preseason ranking of the fall last week, earning the No. 17 spot in Lindy's Sports Magazine's College Basketball Preview edition. The Boilermakers are one of just two Big Ten teams to earn a spot in the national top-25 following last season's Big Ten Tournament Championship and second-round NCAA Championship Tournament appearance.
Returning three starters and two of their top-three returning scorers from last year's squad, the Boilermakers take aim at another outstanding season in 2013-14. Purdue has won the last two Big Ten Tournament Championships under head coach Sharon Versyp, and four of the last seven, while qualifying for the NCAA Championship Tournament in 19 of the last 20 years, winning at least one tournament game in 18 of those appearances.
"It's always good to see your name in there with the rest of the top teams in the country, but there's lots of work to be done," said Versyp. "We're ready to get out on the court and get things started."
Led by seniors KK Houser and Courtney Moses, the Boilermakers boast an incredibly veteran backcourt and return nearly 70% of the squad's assists and steals from 2012-13. Moses led the Boilermakers in several categories last season, tallying 13.3 points per game, knocking down 63 threes and converting a school-record 92.6% from the free throw line (75-81). Houser was Purdue's best in both assists and steals, dealing out 161 helpers, good for the fourth-best total in single-season school history, and grabbing 67 steals. Houser also put up 11.3 points per game and netted 57 three-pointers on the year. Other key returning guards include senior Dee Dee Williams and sophomore April Wilson, who each averaged approximately 20 minutes per game and had several outstanding performances on the season.
Penn State is the only other Big Ten school to earn a spot in Lindy's preseason poll, earning the No. 14 spot. Defending NCAA Champion UConn earned the No. 1 spot, while Duke, Cal, Notre Dame and Stanford round out the top-five. The Boilermakers have three preseason ranked teams on their schedule this year, facing the Nittany Lions twice, playing at Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and heading to No. 22 Green Bay in December. Purdue is also set to play in the Puerta Vallerta Holiday Tournament in November and could face the fifth-ranked Cardinal there as well.