Gophers women’s basketball sophomore Mara Braun continues to get noticed.
The latest: Braun, the Gophers’ off-guard, was named Tuesday as a member of the preseason all-conference team as voted on by the Big Ten Conference coaches.
The team usually includes 10 players but has 11 this year because there was a tie in the voting. The rest of the team: Makira Cook (Illinois), Mackenzie Holmes (Indiana), Caitlin Clark (Iowa), Shyanne Sellers (Maryland), Laila Phelia (Michigan), Alexis Markowski and Jaz Shelley (Nebraska), Cotie McMahon and Jacy Sheldon (Ohio State) and Makenna Marisa (Penn State).
Clark was the preseason player of the year, and the preseason top-five rankings were Iowa, Ohio State, Indiana, Maryland and Illinois.
Here are the preseason awards voted on by the media:
Preseason all-conference: Cook, Holmes, Clark, Sellers, Phelia, Markowski, Shelley, McMahon, Sheldon and Marisa. Clark was preseason player of the year and the top five teams were Iowa, Indiana, Ohio State, Maryland and Michigan.
Braun led the Gophers in scoring (15.6), three-pointers attempted (186) and made (65) and free throw percentage (.876), was second in steals (1.5 per game) and third in assists (2.6) last season and was named a part of the Big Ten’s all-freshman team. She finished 12th in the conference in scoring, third in field goal percentage and sixth in three-pointers made per game (2.2).
She was the first true freshman to lead the Gophers in scoring since 2011-12. Braun scored a career-high 34 points against Lehigh, including a buzzer-beating, game-winning three. She scored 26 in a double-overtime victory over Penn State in her Big Ten opener and scored 25 in a conference tournament loss.
This summer, as a part of Team USA’s four-player U-21 team, Braun won a gold medal at the FIBA 3×3 Nation’s League tournament in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In 22 games of 3×3 action over the summer, Braun’s team went 21-1, beating the Team USA U-23 team on the way to the title in Mongolia.