NEW YORK, N.Y. - Providence College senior forward Alexis Harris (Detroit, Mich.) was one of 10 players named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team for women's basketball, while sophomore point guard Sarah Beal (Matthews, N.C.) was an Honorable Mention selection. Additionally, the Friars were picked to finish sixth in the preseason coaches' poll. The league announced its preseason honors and coaches' poll at its annual media day, which was held at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. on Oct. 22.
Harris, an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection as a junior, averaged 14.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game for the Friars in 2013-14. During BIG EAST Conference regular-season play, she remained a steady force with 15.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Harris also notched 12 double-doubles last season, which are the most by any returning player in the BIG EAST. The forward reached double-figures in the scoring column 23 times and also posted 14 double-digit rebounding games. Furthermore, Harris was one of just four players in the BIG EAST to record multiple 30-point games. She hit for a career-high 31 points against UMass Lowell on Nov. 9, and 30 points against Seton Hall on Jan. 25.
Beal enjoyed an impressive rookie campaign as the program's floor general, averaging 11.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and a team-best 4.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Her 135 assists mark the third-highest total all-time by a freshman in program history. Beal handed out a career-best 13 assists vs. Butler on Jan. 28, 2014, which is one hand-out shy of the BIG EAST single-game record by a freshman and also marked the most assists in a single game by a league player during the 2013-14 season. Beal also proved to be an effective scorer, having recorded 21 double-digit scoring games. She notched a career-best 27 points against Marquette on Jan. 21.
As a team, the Friars finished the 2013-14 season with a 7-23 overall record and a 2-16 mark in the BIG EAST (10th place). Head Coach Susan Robinson Fruchtl returns for her third season on the sidelines and now has two full recruiting classes under her belt, in addition to an experienced list of upperclassmen. Providence College returns all five members of its starting line-up from last year.
Despite recording just seven wins a year ago, the league's head coaches picked the Friars to finish sixth in the upcoming campaign. The roster is filled with more height, length and defensive presence and will join forces with a proven ability to score the basketball, with the likes of Harris, Beal and senior guard Tori Rule (Minneapolis, Minn.).
Fourteen of the Friars 23 losses during the 2013-14 campaign were decided by 10 points or less. This season, the Friars look to flip the script and finish those games with favorable results down the stretch. A veteran roster, with a mix of talented newcomers will team up to make that a reality.
Providence College opens the 2014-15 season at Richmond on Nov. 14 at 4:00 p.m. The Friars host Brown in their home opener on Nov. 18 at Alumni Hall/Mullaney Gymnasium in Providence, R.I.
2014-15 BIG EAST Coaches' Poll - Women's Basketball
1. DePaul 81 (9)
2. St. John's 73 (1)
3. Villanova 60
4. Creighton 55
5. Seton Hall 51
6. Providence 36
7. Marquette 34
8. Georgetown 26
9. Xavier 24
10. Butler 10
Preseason Player of the Year
Marissa Janning, Creighton, Jr., G
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Dorothy Adomako, Georgetown, Fr., G
Preseason All-BIG EAST
Caroline Coyer, Villanova, Jr., G
Danaejah Grant, St. John's, Jr., G
Aliyyah Handford, St. John's, Jr.*
Alexis Harris, Providence, Sr., F
Brittany Hrynko, DePaul, Sr., G*
Arlesia Morse, Marquette, Sr., G
Tabatha Richardson-Smith, Seton Hall, Jr., F
Megan Rogowski, DePaul, Sr., G*
Ka-Deidre Simmons, Seton Hall, RS-Sr., G*
Faith Woodard, Georgetown, So., F
Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Sarah Beal, Providence, So., G
Amber Thompson, St. John's, Sr., F
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