The University of Hawai’i women’s basketball team was announced as the preseason favorite in the Big West Conference for the 2023-24 season.
The two-time defending conference champions received six of 11 first-place votes from the conference’s coaches.
UH guards Lily Wahinekapu and Daejah Phillips were also tapped to the preseason team voted on by the league’s coaches.
Wahinekapu, a junior, led the Rainbow Wahine with 12.5 points and 2.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game in her first year at UH and was named to the All-Big West first team last season.
Phillips, also a junior, averaged 11.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per outing and was an All-Big West honorable mention pick after the regular season before earning Most Valuable Player honors of the Big West Conference Tournament Championship.
Phillips and Wahinekapu are among 11 players returning from last season. Starting guards Kelsie Imai and MeiLani McBee also return along with senior Ashley Thoms and forward Imani Perez, who was a Big West All-Freshman team selection last season. Among the newcomers for this season includes 6-foot-4 Michigan State transfer Brooklyn Rewers.
The Rainbow Wahine play host to Hawai’i Hilo in an exhibition game on Nov. 1 at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center ahead of opening the regular season on Nov. 8 at perennial national power Stanford.