Welch named preseason All-SEC; USC picked fifth

USC opens new season at home on Friday

From Staff ReportsNovember 5, 2013 

USC's Aleighsa Welch

TRACY GLANTZ — tglantz@thestate.com

South Carolina junior forward Aleighsa Welch was named to the preseason All-SEC First Team by the league’s coaches on Tuesday. The coaches predict the Gamecocks will finish tied for fifth in the league with Texas A&M.

Welch was the team’s leading scorer this past season with 12 points per game to rank 22nd in the conference, and her 7.7 rebounds per game were eighth-best in the SEC.

The Gamecocks are coming off back-to-back, 25-win seasons, returning six letter winners, including two starters, from last year’s team. Freshman Alaina Coates, a McDonald’s and Parade All-American, leads four newcomers.

South Carolina opens the regular season on Friday against Charleston Southern at 7 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena.

SEC PRESEASON COACHES POLL

1. Tennessee (167)

2. Kentucky (159)

3. LSU (134)

4. Vanderbilt (124)

T5. USC (121)

T5. Texas A&M (121)

7. Georgia (104)

8. Auburn (72)

9. Missouri (69)

10. Florida (60)

11. Miss. State (51)

12. Arkansas (42)

13. Ole Miss (25)

14. Alabama (24)

PRESEASON ALL-SEC FIRST TEAM

DeNesha Stallworth, Kentucky

Theresa Plaisance, LSU

Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina

Bashaara Graves, Tennessee

Meighan Simmons, Tennessee

Courtney Walker, Texas A&M

Christina Foggie, Vanderbilt

Jasmine Lister, Vanderbilt

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Meighan Simmons, Tennessee (7)

DeNesha Stallworth, Kentucky (3)

Theresa Plaisance, LSU (3)

Christina Foggie, Vanderbilt (1)

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