Washington picked to win OVC Player of the Year in preseason poll

Autumn Schulz, Sports Editor

The Ohio Valley Conference’s head basketball and communication directors for each conference school compiled a poll and said Eastern’s Lariah Washington, a senior guard, is foreseen as the 2022-23 OVC Player of the Year. (Rob Le Cates | The Daily Eastern News)

The 2022-23 preseason poll for OVC women’s basketball was released on Tuesday, announcing the predicted order of finish and preseason and All-OVC candidates.

The poll is selected by OVC head basketball coaches and communication directors for each school within the OVC. 

Tennessee Tech received 11 first-place votes in the preseason poll. 

The Golden Eagles finished second in the conference last season with a 14-4 record, winning the semifinals with a 68-62 win over Murray State. They then went on to lose to OVC Tournament Champions Belmont in the finals.  

UT Martin is picked to finish second. Last season, the Skyhawks finished sixth with a 9-9 record, losing in the first round of the OVC Tournament to SIUE. 

OVC Newcomer Little Rock is predicted to finish third. The Trojans finished fourth in the Sun Belt Conference with an 8-4 record. They won their first two games in the Sun Belt Championship and ended up losing in game nine to Troy. 

Eastern Illinois is predicted to finish in fourth place after finishing fifth in the conference last season with an 11-7 record.  

Tennessee State is predicted to finish fifth after finishing eighth last season with a 6-12 conference record. Slated in the sixth-place spot is SIUE who finished seventh last season with an 8-10 conference record. 

Seventh place belongs to OVC Newcomer Southern Indiana. The Eagles finished first in the Great Lakes Valley Conference East last season with a 16-2 conference record. 

Southeast Missouri is slated in the eighth spot after finishing ninth last season with a 2-16 conference record. 

There are two teams tied to finish last in the conference, Lindenwood and Morehead State. The Eagles finished last in the conference last season with a 0-18 conference record.  

The Lions, who are new to the OVC, finished fourth in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Central with an 8-11 conference record. 

The Panthers’ own Lariah Washington was picked to win OVC Player of the Year. Fellow Panther, Morgan Litwiller, was also named to the preseason All-OVC Team. 

Washington was named to first team All-OVC last season after ranking third in the conference in scoring with 15.6 points per game.

Washington also shot 47.3 percent from the field, ranking second in the conference.

The full preseason All-OVC team is as follows: 

Lariah Washington – Eastern Illinois 

Paige Pipkin – UT Martin 

Gia Adams – Tennessee State 

Shae Littleford – UT Martin 

Mikalya Kinnard – SIUE 

Jada Guinn – Tennessee Tech 

Jordan Brock – Tennessee Tech 

Anna Walker – Tennessee Tech 

Seygan Robins – UT Martin 

Hannah Haithcock – Southern Indiana 

Kennedi Watkins – Southeast Missouri 

Morgan Litwiller – Eastern Illinois 

 Autumn Schulz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]