NEW YORK – UConn was predicted to win the 2014-15 American Athletic Conference women’s basketball championship in voting by the league’s head coaches, the conference announced on Thursday.

american2The Huskies, who are the overall preseason favorite for the second consecutive season, tallied 100 points and 10 of 11 first-place votes.

UConn junior Breanna Stewart was the unanimous choice for American Women’s Basketball Player of the Year while teammate Kia Nurse was tabbed the American Freshman of the Year. Stewart was one of three Huskies that received first team all-conference honors, joining Moriah Jefferson and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. Courtney Williams (USF) and Ariel Hearn (Memphis) round out the preseason all-conference first team honorees. Stewart and Williams were unanimously chosen to the team.

The Huskies enter the season returning eight letterwinners and three starters from last year’s squad that went undefeated and won a NCAA championship for a record ninth time.

USF garnered a first place vote and was picked to finish second with 91 points. The Bulls return 13 players from last season’s WNIT Final Four squad.

East Carolina was picked to finish third with 72 points. The Pirates are newcomers to the league and return seven players, including all five starters, from last year’s 22-win team.

Temple and Tulane were chosen fourth in the standings with 67 points apiece. The Owls return three starters and five letterwinners from last season while the Green Wave looks to follow-up on its 15th trip to the postseason under head coach Lisa Stockton.

Memphis (54 pts.), SMU (52 pts.) and Cincinnati (37 pts.) were picked sixth, seventh and eighth in the preseason poll, respectively. Tulsa (28 pts.), UCF (24 pts.) and Houston (13 pts.) were tabbed ninth, 10th and 11th to round out the tallies.

The 2014-15 campaign begins November 14, with conference play set to begin December 27. The 2015 American Women’s Basketball Championship is slated for March 6-9 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Preseason Player of the Year
*Breanna Stewart, UConn, Jr., F

Preseason Freshman of the Year
Kia Nurse, UConn, Fr., G

Preseason All-Conference First Team
*Breanna Stewart, UConn, Jr., F
*Courtney Williams, USF, Jr., G
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, UConn, Sr., F
Moriah Jefferson, UConn, Jr., G
Ariel Hearn, Memphis, Jr., G

Preseason All-Conference Second Team
Feyonda Fitzgerald, Temple, So., G
Jada Payne, East Carolina, R-Jr., G/F
Alisia Jenkins, USF, Jr., F
Alyesha Lovett, Cincinnati, Sr., G
Kiah Stokes, UConn, Sr., C

[*] denotes unanimous pick

2014-15 Preseason Coaches Poll
(First-place votes in parenthesis)

     Team                          Points
1.   UConn (10)                   100
2.   USF (1)                          91
3.   East Carolina               72
T-4.Temple                         67
T-4.Tulane                          67
6.   Memphis                       54
7.   SMU                               52
8.   Cincinnati                     37
9.   Tulsa                              28
10. UCF                                24
11. Houston                         13