The best player in Big Ten women's basketball this season is expected to be Minnesota Golden Gophers senior point guard Rachel Banham.
The Lakeville, Minnesota native on Thursday was voted by both the coaches and media the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year, the conference announced at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago, Illinois.
According to the Pioneer Press, Banham averaged a league-best 23.3 points per game as a junior. She has 1,993 career points. GopherSports.com notes that Banham will likely become only the fourth player in team history to score 2,000 points. Lindsay Whalen owns the university's scoring record with 2,285 career points.
Banham was also picked by both the coaches and media as a Preseason All-Big Ten player, one of five players in the conference to earn the accolade. The media, not the coaches, voted Gophers sophomore center Amanda Zahui B. to the Preseason All-Big Ten Team.
Zahui B. averaged 15.4 points per game last season while leading the Big Ten in rebounding with an average of 11.5 per game.
The Maryland Terrapins were voted the favorite to win the conference title.