Despite graduating a large group of key seniors last season, UB Women’s Basketball has found itself near the top of the Mid-American Conference preseason poll.
Buffalo received 62 points in this year’s MAC East poll, just enough to edge out Miami as the preseason favorite for the division. However, the RedHawks did collect five first-place votes compared to the Bulls’ four. Ohio also received a few votes, further showing that the MAC East is up for grabs this year.
Out of 12 possible votes from MAC head coaches, Buffalo also garnered 3 votes to win this year’s MAC Tournament, which is second to Central Michigan (8), who returns a lot of talent from last year’s Sweet 16 team.
As for the preseason All-MAC East team, Buffalo had two players make the cut:
Unsurprisingly, Cierra Dillard made the list for her senior season. The Rochester, NY native is definitely on some WNBA radars after her dazzling performance in last year’s NCAA Tournament. For a lot of UB’s matchup against South Carolina, she looked like the best player on a floor shared with A’ja Wilson, who was drafted by the Las Vegas Aces with the first-overall pick. Dillard finished last year with 16.2 points and 5.2 assists a contest.
Joining Dillard is Summer Hemphill, a junior forward that has been impressive for the Bulls since day one. Hemphill tallied up 10.1 points and 7.3 rebounds a contest last season and is expected to take on a larger role than she ever has this year.
The Bulls will shake off the rust on Thursday evening with an exhibition matchup against Bloomsburg at 7:00 p.m. in Alumni Arena. Their regular season will begin on November 11 with a road trip to Maryland Eastern Shore.