The Mid-American Conference announced its annual women’s basketball preseason poll with Toledo being selected to finish fourth in the West Division, according to a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches.
Additionally, sophomore Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott was selected to the Preseason All-MAC West Division squad.
The Rockets trailed Eastern Michigan, reigning MAC West Division champion Ball State and Western Michigan in the voting. Central Michigan was pegged fifth in the MAC West, while Northern Illinois rounded out the division.
Defending MAC regular-season and MAC Tournament champion Ohio was picked to win the East Division, followed by Akron, Bowling Green, Miami, Buffalo and Kent State.
The East Division squad is comprised of Ohio’s Kiyanna Black and Quiera Lampkins, Akron’s Anita Brown, Bowling Green’s Erica Donovan and Akron’s Hannah Plybon.
Four different squads also received votes to capture the MAC Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, led by the Bobcats with five. The Cardinals and Eagles also collected three votes each, while the Bulls registered one vote. The winner of the MAC tourney receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
A year ago, Toledo finished with a 19-14 overall record and a 10-8 ledger in the MAC. The Rockets made their 10th overall appearance in the Postseason WNIT in 2015 and fifth in the last seven years under Head Coach Tricia Cullop.
The Midnight Blue and Gold defeated Horizon League member Wright State, 72-64, in the first round before falling to Big Ten affiliate and eventual Postseason WNIT semifinalist Michigan, 74-58, in the second round at home.
UT’s roster in 2015-16 will consist of two seniors, two juniors, five sophomores and five freshmen. As far as numbers go, the Rockets welcome back 75.5 percent of their scoring, 80.8 percent of their rebounding, 58.7 percent of their assists, and 62.2 percent of their steals for this season.
Bravo-Harriott, a 5-foot-10 guard, poured in a team-high 14.3 points in 31.6 minutes as a starter over the final 13 games from Feb. 7 through March 23.
The 2014-15 MAC Freshman of the Year scored in double figures in 10 contests during this stretch, including a season-best 30 points vs. Eastern Michigan in the second round of the MAC Tournament. Bravo-Harriott buried a season-high and school-tourney tying best seven treys against the Eagles and became the first Rocket to score at least 30 points in a matchup since Naama Shafir poured in 40 against USC in the championship game of the 2011 Postseason WNIT in 2011.
Overall in 2014-15, Bravo-Harriott averaged 10.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.6 steals in 24.9 minutes per game. She ranked seventh in the MAC in three-point field goals made (2.1), 11th in three-point field goal percentage (.356, 64 of 180), and 20th in scoring.
The first-year Rocket scored in double figures on 17 occasions during the season, the second-highest total on the team. The London, England, native also led UT in scoring eight times, steals on six occasions, and assists and blocked shots twice.
In MAC contests, Bravo-Harriott tallied 11.0 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, 1.9 assists per game and 0.9 steals per game in 27.1 minutes per game. She finished fifth in the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.386, 39 of 101), seventh in three-point field goals made (2.2), 11th in overall field goal percentage (.441, 71 of 161) and 19th in scoring.
Toledo will open its exhibition season Saturday, Nov. 7, against NCAA Division II member Findlay at noon in Savage Arena. UT’s regular season will commence seven days later Saturday, Nov. 14, vs. Arizona at noon at home.