Winthrop University

Winthrop women’s basketball gets some love from College Sports Madness preseason awards

College Sports Madness' has unveiled its 2014-15 Big South Conference preseason women's basketball honors and the Winthrop Eagles fared very well. The publication named Eagles’ coach Kevin Cook as the Preseason Coach of the Year, put one Winthrop player on each of the first and second all-conference teams, as well as the Freshman of the Year.

Cook has compiled a 45-21 record in his two years at the helm of the Eagles. He has guided Winthrop to two postseason appearances in his first two years, taking the Eagles to the 2013 Women's NIT and following that with the first Big South Conference Championship and appearance in the 2014 NCAA Tournament last spring.

Named to the first team is 6-foot-3 junior center Schaquilla Nunn. Last year she nearly averaged a double-double - 11 points and 9.8 rebounds per game - while connecting on a team-best 51.9 percent of her field goals. In just two years, the Fayetteville, Ga., native has set a new Winthrop career blocked shots record with 172. She set the single season record with 97 as a freshman when she was voted Big South Freshman of the Year by the league's head coaches and media panel.

Erica Williams, a 5-foot-10 power forward from Rex, Ga., was picked on the second team following an outstanding freshman season. She was voted to the 2014 Big South All-Freshman Team after scoring 500 points, a Winthrop freshman record, and averaging 15.2 points and 7.8 rebounds. Williams scored in double figures in 27 out of 33 games.

Five-foot-8 guard Jimecheia Banks, from Phenix City, Ala., was named the Big South’s Preseason Freshman of the Year. Banks played at Central High School where she helped lead her team to the 2012 Alabama Class 6A State Tournament semi-finals and a 33-2 record. As a sophomore, Banks was selected for the Playmaker of the Year award and was named All-City. She received her team's MVP awards as a junior and senior. For her career, Banks averaged 10 points, nearly five assists and four rebounds per game.

Big South Media Day is Oct. 27 in Charlotte, when official Big South preseason honors will be announced.