The D2 Women's Basketball offseason is in full swing, but the news never sleeps. During the summer months we profile each D2 Women's Basketball conference. Today we visit the upper the Heartland Conference.
2015-16 Standings | BennettRank Recap
|College||Preseason BR||Poll||Conference Record||Overall Record||Finish||Final BR|
|Texas A&M Int.||186||6||12-6||15-12||3||146|
NCAA Tournament Recap
1) Lubbock Christian 95 – 8) Texas Women's 75
Lubbock Christian 101 – 4) Angelo State 72
Lubbock Christian 88 – 3) West Texas A&M 68
Lubbock Christian 73 – Florida Southern 69
Lubbock Christian 67 – Bentley 57
National Championship Game
Lubbock Christian 78 – Alaska-Anchorage 73
Coaching / Conference Changes
Arkansas-Fort Smith: After 30 years at the helm of the Lady Lions, Louis Whorton retired, paving the way for new head coach Elena Lovato to take charge of a program coming off of a 21-9 record. Lovato was surely a hot commodity in the coaching ranks, having spent the last two seasons with Mississippi State, a Sweet 16 school in D1. With seven players returning from a 20-win team, Lovato is in an excellent position to succeed early as a coach.
Texas-Permian Basin: UTPB will be moving conferences within the state of Texas, relocating to the Lone Star conference this upcoming season. With this move, the Heartland is now down to nine members, making it a much harder grind to figure into the playoff picture in conference play.
Key All-Heartland Losses
|Nicole Hampton||Lubbock Christian||Senior||14.9 PPG | 7.6 RPG||First Team / Player of the Year|
|Jessica Prieto||Texas A&M International||Senior||19.7 PPG | 4.7 APG||First Team|
|Jasmine Brainard||Arkansas-Fort Smith||Senior||13.9 PPG | 5.6 RPG||First Team|
|Keiona Mathews||Texas A&M International||Senior||20.6 PPG | 8.6 RPG||First Team|
|Kelsey Hoppel||Lubbock Christian||Senior||13.3 PPG||Second Team|
Key All-Heartland Returnees
|Tess Bruffey||Lubbock Christian||Sophomore||13.4 PPG | 4.8 RPG||First Team|
|McKenzie Stanford||Oklahoma Christian||Junior||15.3 PPG | 6.0 RPG||Second Team|
|Kiara Etheridge||St. Mary's||Junior||13.7 PPG | 9.4 RPG||Second Team|
|Shakera Barnes||St. Edward's||Junior||13.8 PPG | 4.9 APG||Second Team / Newcomer of the Year|
|Sarah Parker||Oklahoma Christian||Junior||16.1 PPG | 5.9 RPG||Second Team / Newcomer of the Year|
What to Watch For
Lubbock Christian's First Conference Game: No official schedule has come out yet for LCU, but they will definitely have a target on their back in conference play, as well as the country. Conference foes will definitely want to prove they can hang with the champs, who will likely be slightly down after losing some of the best talent they've ever had. While it is unlikely to see the Lady Chaps lose a ton of games, a few losses would not be shocking.