Kansas women’s basketball receives high preseason Big 12 recognition

Kansas senior center Taiyanna Jackson (1) lays in for two against Washington in the second quarter of Wednesday's WNIT semifinal game inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas senior center Taiyanna Jackson (1) lays in for two against Washington in the second quarter of Wednesday's WNIT semifinal game inside Allen Fieldhouse. /
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Coming off of their impressive run to the Women’s NIT Championship this spring, the Kansas women’s basketball team appears poised to build on that success in a big way.

The Jayhawks were recently picked to finish third in the Big 12 Conference according to the Big 12 Coaches Poll – voted on by the league’s head coaches. It’s the Jayhawks’ highest preseason selection since the 2009-10 season when they were picked to finish second.

It’s no surprise that KU is projected to have a really good season this year. The Jayhawks have an experienced squad with four returning starters from last year’s WNIT Championship team, three of whom have just received preseason All-Big 12 recognition.

Super-seniors Taiyanna Jackson (center), Zakiyah Franklin (guard) and Holly Kersgieter (guard) all received preseason All-Big 12 honors this week.

Jackson – an All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Defensive Team performer a season ago – was a unanimous pick for the Preseason All-Big 12 Team this year.

Last year, Jackson became the first KU player since 1981-82 to average a double-double, averaging 15.2 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. She was also named Most Valuable Player of the WNIT after leading the Jayhawks to the championship.

Franklin was also selected to this year’s Preseason All-Big 12 Team.

Last year, she led the Jayhawks in scoring with 15.7 points per game and was named to the All-Big 12 First Team along with Jackson. Franklin was named to the WNIT All-Tournament Team and set new single-season school records for both free throw percentage (87.8%) and three-point field goal percentage (49.5%).

She enters her final season as a Jayhawk ranked No. 12 on KU’s all-time scoring list with 1,536 career points.

Kersgieter was an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 pick for this upcoming season after earning All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors this past season.

Kersgieter is one of the best outside shooters in school history. She heads into the season ranked third in school history with 208 made three-pointers and is No. 11 on KU’s career scoring list with 1,559 points.

With all this talent and experience returning for this upcoming season, the Jayhawks could very well have their best season in more than a decade.

We’ll find out how good they can be starting Nov. 8, when the Jayhawks kick off against Northwestern State to open the season.