WACO, Texas The Big 12 Conference announced its preseason women’s basketball awards Wednesday, and senior Kalani Brown earned Preseason Player of the Year, junior Lauren Cox along with Brown was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team, and newcomer NaLyssa Smith picked up Preseason Co-Freshman of the Year honors.
Brown and Cox were also named to the Big Preseason All-Big 12 Team continuing the outpouring of preseason accolades for the pair.
Brown, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year and an 8-time All-American already garnered First-Team Preseason All-America honors from Athlon Sports, Lindy’s Sports and Street & Smith’s. Brown produced a junior season that saw the center average a double-double with 20.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per contest.
Cox, a 2018 Second-Team Preseason All-America selection by both Athlon and Street and Smith’s, is also the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time honorable mention all-America selection. Cox’s sophomore season earned her First-Team All-Big 12 honors as she averaged 15.3 points, 9.7 boards and 2.7 blocks per contest.
Smith, a highly-decorated member of Baylor’s No. 1 recruiting class for 2018-19, picked up the Preseason Co-Freshman of the Year along with Texas’ Charli Collier. Smith, the Converse, Texas native earned three All-America selections as a senior in high school after averaging 23.4 points, 13.7 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per contest at East Central High School.
Baylor advanced to its 10th consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 last season, collected a 33-2 overall record, an unblemished 18-0 Big 12 Conference record and won both the regular season and Big 12 Championship titles. The Lady Bears open the season vs. Nicholls State Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. in Waco at the Ferrell Center.