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Duquesne Women's Basketball

Duquesne WBB Picked Preseason Fifth; McConnell Named Preseason First, Defensive Teams



The Duquesne Women’s Basketball Team has been picked fifth in the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll, receiving a first-place vote in the process as decided by the conference’s 15 coaches and released Thursday morning.

This is Duquesne’s best placement in the preseason poll since the 2020-21 edition when it tied with two other teams for fourth place and once again received a first-place vote.

Junior guard Megan McConnell received multiple nods from the coaches as she was named to the Preseason All-Conference First and Defensive Teams.

McConnell started all 31 games a season ago and averaged 11.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game to go with 70 steals. Standing at five-foot-seven McConnell was able to pull own 257 rebounds a season ago while her defensive nature made opponents be aware of where she was on the court at all times.

The Pittsburgh native is also the first Dukes player to make the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference First Team since Libby Bazelak prior to the 2020-21 season.

McConnell was further recognized Wednesday by being named to the 2024 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year watchlist, one of 25 student-athletes to make that list.

Though McConnell received recognition, multiple other Dukes who were potentially up for consideration were not honored. These include Tess Myers (11.7 ppg/90 3’s), Amaya Hamilton (10.6 ppg/90 assts), Ayanna Townsend (10.4 ppg/46.9% FG) and Precious Johnson (10.3 ppg/49.6% FG).

When past Duquesne teams were in his opinion slighted, Duquesne coach Dan Burt made sure to use it as motivation and this instance does not figure to be any different.

Returning nearly 98% of all relevant stats, this Duquesne team has high expectations attached to its name as last season was a return towards the 20-win, postseason-play standard.

The Dukes begin their season Nov. 6 at Princeton.

Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll

1. Rhode Island (12) 218

2. Saint Joseph’s 203

3. Saint Louis (2) 186

4. Richmond 176

5. Duquesne (1) 172

6. George Washington 150

7. Davidson 124

8. George Mason 111

9. Dayton 100

10. VCU 96

11. Massachusetts 70

12. La Salle 66

13. Fordham 54

14. St. Bonaventure 39

15. Loyola Chicago 35


Preseason All-Conference First Team

Elle Sutphin Davidson

Megan McConnell Duquesne

Maye Toure Rhode Island

Addie Budnik Richmond

Talya Brugler Saint Joseph’s

Kyla McMakin Saint Louis


Preseason All-Conference Second Team

Nya Robertson George Washington

Teisha Hyman Rhode Island

Maggie Doogan Richmond

Laura Ziegler Saint Joseph’s

Sarah Te-Biasu VCU

Julia Martinez Saint Louis


Preseason All-Conference Third Team

Suzi-Rose Deegan Davidson

Mariah Perez Dayton

Nalani Kaysia George Mason

Mayowa Taiwo George Washington

Tenin Magassa Rhode Island

Mackenzie Smith Saint Joseph’s


Preseason All-Defensive Team

Megan McConnell Duquesne

Mayowa Taiwo George Washington

Anaelle Dutat Rhode Island

Kennedy Calhoun Saint Louis

Julia Martinez Saint Louis


For what it is worth, here is PSN reporter Zachary Weiss’s projected preseason poll. Again, this result did not count in the final ballot.

1. Rhode Island

2. Saint Joseph’s

3. Saint Louis

4. Duquesne

5. George Washington

6. Richmond

7. Davidson

8. George Mason

9. Dayton

10. VCU

11. Loyola Chicago

12. Massachusetts

13. Fordham

14. La Salle

15. St. Bonaventure

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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