Eight universities are represented on the two preseason teams, led by two selections from Stephen F. Austin, Nicholls and Lamar. Central Arkansas, McNeese State, Northwestern State, Oral Roberts and Southeastern Louisiana each had one student-athlete on the teams.
Five of the 11 players represented on the preseason teams were named all-conference following the 2012-13 season.
Perez, a native of El Paso, Texas (Horizon HS), led the country in minutes per game (37.9) by a freshman for the 2012-13 season. She was the league's top freshman in assists (3.4), free-throw percentage (.809), assist-turnover ration (1.0), and second in points per game (11.0).
This season she will be the fifth-leading scorer returning and assist-getter in the conference. The 5-2 guard will be the top free throw shooter back.
Last season, Perez led the women’s basketball program to 12 wins overall and seven conference wins, including victories over four of the top five teams in the final league standings. The squad was picked last in the preseason polls.
The league office will release the 2013-14 polls on Wednesday.
She led Northwestern State in minutes, assists and free-throw percentage, and finished second on the team in 3-point percentage and third in steals last season.
Her career-high in points is 21 when she was six-of-10 from the field with a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line against Alcorn State. She had a high of seven assists in the first of three against McNeese State.
She won SLC player of the week for the week of Feb. 11, and was the first freshman to do so since 2013 player of the year Megan Herbert won the award three years ago.
For the 2013-14 season, NSU will return seven letterwinnners, including Keisha Lee (who finished second in scoring a year ago), Meredith Graf and Trudy Armstead, who were redshirted last year. Eight newcomers have joined the roster to fill the team; last year the Lady Demons had eight active players on the roster.
Eight seniors and two juniors head off the team with Perez being the lone sophomore.
Porsha Roberts (SFA), KK Babin (Nicholls), Courtney Duever (Central Arkansas), and Aja Gibson (Southeastern Louisiana) all joined Perez on the first team.
Cecilia Okoye (McNeese State), Sarah Shelton (Oral Roberts), Dominique Edwards (Lamar), LiAnn McCarthy (Nicholls), Antoinette Carter (SFA), and Gia Ayers (Lamar) were listed on the second team.
The season opens on at home on Nov. 8 for a double-header with the men’s team. The women’s basketball team will start with Southern Arkansas at 5:30, and the men will face LeTourneau shorty after.
A record 14 teams will compete in the Southland this season with the additions of Houston Baptist, New Orleans, Abilene Christian and UIW, though the two latter teams will not play a full conference schedule this season or be eligible for postseason play until 2017-18. The 2013-14 season begins Friday, Nov. 8 when 13 Southland teams take the court. Conference play starts Jan. 2, 2014. The 2014 Southland Conference Basketball Tournament will return for its seventh season at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, Texas, March 12-15.