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Nebraska Huskers Women’s Basketball ranked No. 22 in preseason poll

Jaz Shelley was named to the 2023 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List as well

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - First Round - Kentucky Photo by Michelle Hutchins/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The Nebraska Cornhuskers women’s basketball team is opening the season with big expectations for itself. However, those expectations are also permeating outside the team as well. Not only was Nebraska selected to finish fifth in the Big Ten in the preseason by media, the Huskers are also opening the season ranked No. 22 in the AP Preseason Poll released today.

It is Nebraska’s first Preseason AP Top 25 ranking since 2014. Nebraska was No. 16 in that year’s poll. The Huskers moved up as high as No. 12 for four (non-consecutive) weeks in that year’s poll before dropping out in Week 16’s poll. The team lasted until Week 18 in the Coaches Poll, though the preseason for this year has not yet been released.

Nebraska is one of six Big Ten teams in the AP Top 25 preseason poll, leading all other conferences. The Atlantic Coast Conference is second with five teams, while the Big 12 has four, SEC and Pac-12 have three apiece, and the Big East has two. However, only one Big Ten squad, Iowa, is in the top-10 checking in at No. 4.

Nebraska is scheduled to play 10 regular-season games in 2022-23 against teams in the AP Preseason Top 25, including No. 4 Iowa (twice), at No. 11 Indiana, at No. 13 Virginia Tech, No. 14 Ohio State, No. 17 Maryland (twice), at No. 21 (Creighton), and No. 25 Michigan (twice). The Huskers will also play a Dec. 21 home game against Kansas, which was among the top teams also receiving votes (T28th). You can find the full 2022-2023 season schedule here.

The full AP Top 25 preseason rankings are as follows:

  1. South Carolina (30 first place votes)
  2. Stanford
  3. Texas
  4. Iowa
  5. Tennessee
  6. Connecticut
  7. Louisville
  8. iowa State
  9. Notre Dame
  10. North Carolina State
  11. Indiana
  12. North Carolina
  13. Virginia Tech
  14. Ohio State
  15. Oklahoma
  16. LSU
  17. Maryland
  18. Baylor
  19. Arizona
  20. Oregon
  21. Creighton
  22. Nebraska
  23. South Dakota State
  24. Princeton
  25. Michigan

Others receiving votes:
Utah 35, UCLA 26, Villanova 25, Kansas 25, DePaul 19, Georgia 17, Belmont 14, Miami (FL) 11, South Dakota 9, Kansas State 5, Ole Miss 5, BYU 4, Arkansas 3, South Florida 3, Florida 3, Gonzaga 3, UCF 2, Duke 2, Alabama 2, Washington State 1

Jaz Shelley named to 2023 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List

Nebraska shooting guard Jaz Shelley was also named one of 20 candidates for the national 2023 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List. The junior guard from Moe, Australia transferred to Nebraska last season after two years at Oregon.

The annual award is presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) to the nation’s top shooting guard in NCAA Division I women’s basketball. It is named after the first player, male or female, selected to an All-America team in four straight college seasons (UCLA, 1975-78).

Shelley made one of the greatest impacts of any Big Ten newcomer in 2021-’22, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors and a spot on the Big Ten All-Defensive Team. She set the Nebraska record and tied the Big Ten Tournament record by connecting on nine three-pointers in UNL’s second-round tournament win over Illinois in Indianapolis on March 3, 2022, finishing with a career-high 32 points against the Fighting Illini.

For the season, Shelley hit 40.6 percent (82-202) of her three-pointers on her way to averaging a team-best 13.1 points per game. She also led the Big Red in assists (5.0 apg), steals (1.8 spg), and blocked shots (0.9 bpg), while adding 6.3 rebounds per game. Over the final six games of 2021-22, Shelley averaged 19.5 points and 4.0 made threes per game.

In addition to her hot shooting down the final stretch of the season, Shelley notched six double-doubles, including just the fourth triple-double in Nebraska history with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in a win over North Carolina Central on Nov. 21, 2021.

Shelley joins four other Big Ten guards on the 2023 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List, tying the ACC with five each, and leading the Big 12’s three. Leigha Brown (Michigan), Taylor Mikesell (Ohio State), Diamond Miller (Maryland), and Sara Scalia (Indiana) join Shelley.

The full 2023 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List includes:

  • Ja’Mee Asberry (Baylor)
  • Leigha Brown (Michigan)
  • Jakia Brown-Turner (NC State)
  • Zia Cooke (South Carolina)
  • Azzi Fudd (UConn)
  • Jordan Horston (Tennessee)
  • Charlisse Leger-Walker (Washington State)
  • Jade Loville (Arizona)
  • Taylor Mikesell (Ohio State)
  • Diamond Miller (Maryland)
  • Sonya Morris (Texas)
  • Charisma Osborne (UCLA)
  • Ashley Owusu (Virginia Tech)
  • Taylor Robertson (Oklahoma)
  • Sara Scalia (Indiana)
  • Jaz Shelley (Nebraska)
  • Cameron Swartz (Georgia Tech)
  • Celeste Taylor (Duke)
  • Elena Tsineke (South Florida)
  • Hailey Van Lith (Louisville)