2021-22 SIAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Honors and Predicted Order of Finish

From the SIAC:

Senior forward Ay’Anna Bey of Benedict has been voted the 2021 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Preseason Player of the Year and senior guard Jutoreyia Willis of Tuskegee has earned the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year selection, announced Wednesday by the league office.

The preseason honors and predicted order of finish are voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. 

Benedict has been voted as the preseason favorite to win the 2021-22 SIAC Women’s Basketball Eastern Division. The Tigers feature a squad led by 2021 SIAC Preseason Player of the Year and 2018-19 and 2019-20 SIAC Player of the Year, Ay’Anna Bey. Bey, who was named to the D2CCA All-South Region in 2020, averaged 17.5 points per game (3rd in SIAC) and 9.5 rebounds per game (1st in SIAC) in 2020. She also shot .484 from floor which ranked fourth in the league. During the 2020-21 COVID season, the New Jersey native averaged 18.2 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game. In her sophomore season, she was named WBCA Honorable Mention All-American averaging 23.7 points per game and 12.5 rebounds per game. This is Bey’s second Preseason Player of the Year honor.

During the 2021-21 season, Willis was ranked 5th in the nation for steals per game (3.38) and top-40 for total steals (44). She shot 36.8% (42-of-114) from the floor while averaging 8.5 points and 6.2 boards per game. The Tennessee native led the conference in blocked shots a contest (1.31) while slotting in 2nd for total blocks (17) and assists (50). She was top-four in the SIAC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.09) and assists per game (3.8). She had a breakout performance last season in a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double overtime victory at Benedict on February 18. Tuskegee was voted as favorite to win the Western Division.

Joining Bey and Willis on the 2021 SIAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Team are returners Keondra Archie (Benedict), Le’Andrea Gillis (Savannah State), and India Blakely (Tuskegee). New additions include Ayanna Armstead and Wykeria Johnson-Kelly of Benedict, Amari Heard of Savannah State, Ashiala Jackson of Tuskegee, and Diamond Jones of Fort Valley State.

2021-22 SIAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Awards

First Team
Ay’Anna Bey*BenedictSeniorForwardBlackwood, NJ
Keondra Archie*BenedictSeniorForwardEastover, S.C.
Le’Andrea Gillis*Savannah StateJuniorGuardAdrian, Ga.
India Blakely*TuskegeeSeniorGuardTroy, Ala.
Jutoreyia WillisTuskegeeSeniorGuardChattanooga, Tenn.
Second Team
Ayanna ArmsteadBenedictSeniorGuardCoral Spring, Fla.
Wykeria Johnson-KellyBenedictSeniorGuardFranklinville, NJ
Amari HeardSavannah StateSophomoreGuardLawrenceville, Ga.
Ashiala JacksonTuskegeeRedshirt JuniorForwardMerrillville, Ind.
Diamond JonesFort Valley StateJuniorGuardClarksville, Tenn.

*Indicates returner for 2019-20 SIAC All-Conference Team

Preseason Superlative Awards
Preseason Player of the Year
Ay’Anna Bey, Benedict

Defensive Player of the Year
Jutoreyia Willis, Tuskegee

Women’s Basketball Preseason Rankings by Division
East Division

  1. Benedict
  2. Savannah State
  3. Clark Atlanta
  4. Fort Valley State
  5. Albany State
  6. Allen*
  7. Edward Waters*

West Division

  1. Tuskegee
  2. Miles
  3. Kentucky State
  4. Central State
  5. Lane
  6. LeMoyne-Owen
  7. Spring Hill

*Allen University and Edward Waters University are first-year provisional members of NCAA Division II and are not eligible for SIAC nor NCAA football post-season competition.

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