Loesing highlights Big 4 preseason awards
Sophomore guard one of six UB players selected to preseason All-Big 4 teams
Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 16:10
After emerging in her freshman season, sophomore guard Mackenzie Loesing is receiving local recognition from the ‘Big 4.’
Loesing was named the women’s Preseason All-Big 4 Player of the Year. The Big 4 consists of neighboring schools Canisius, St. Bonaventure, Niagara and UB.
Loesing led the Bulls with 11.6 points per game, the best of any Bulls’ freshman since 1989, last season. She started 25 games, was an honorable mention for the All-Mid-American Conference team and was named to the MAC All-Freshman team. Loesing also led Buffalo in field goals, free throws and steals.
As one of the leaders on the team, she is looking forward to the team’s improvement in Year Two of the Felisha Legette-Jack Era.
“I think [this honor] says a lot about the direction our team is going in,” Loesing said. “We have big plans this year, and I think we are going to do better than any women’s basketball team in the history of UB.”
The team finished winning five of its last nine games and Loesing scored in double figures in eight of those contests.
Buffalo recorded its third 12-win season in the last 10 years and won two MAC Tournament games for just the second time since joining the conference in 1998.
“It’s nice that we have a year under [Legette-Jack’s] belt, so we understand her system and expectations of us,” Loesing said.
Along with Loesing, sophomore guard Rachael Gregory was named to the All-Big 4 first team. Senior forward Cherridy Thornton was named to the second team.
Gregory was the team’s leading scorer last season before suffering an ACL injury that cost her the final 15 games. She has spent the entire offseason rehabbing and hopes to be ready for opening day.
Thornton helped pick up the offense after Gregory’s injury. Thornton finished as the team’s second-leading scorer (10.8 points per game) after sitting out the first 10 games of the season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Senior forward Javon McCrea and junior forward Will Regan were honored on the men’s side as first-team members. McCrea finished last season averaging 18 points and 7.9 rebounds and his frontcourt mate Regan averaged 11.1 points and 4.4 rebounds.
McCrea was a first-team All-MAC selection the past two seasons and is considered one of the frontrunners for MAC Player of the Year this season. He had 11 double-doubles last year, the most for any UB player since 2007, and enters this season fifth in UB history in scoring and rebounds.
Regan saved his best performance for one of the biggest moments last season. In the second round of the MAC Tournament, he scored 36 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field, including 5 for 7 from behind the arc, in the Bulls’ 76-61 victory over Ball State.
Senior guard Jarod Oldham was given second-team honors and is currently working his way back from an injury. Oldham played in only 11 games – averaging 10.1 points and 5.3 assists - before suffering a season-ending wrist injury.
Sophomore guard Jarryn Skeete proved to be a formidable replacement, and first-year head coach Bobby Hurley has said he plans to have the two natural point guards share the floor.
Buffalo and Canisius were the only two schools with six preseason All-Big 4 selections. Canisius senior guard Billy Barron was named the men’s Preseason All-Big 4 Player of the Year.
Buffalo’s men’s team opens its season at Texas A&M on Nov. 8 and the women travel to Binghamton on the same day to begin their season.