Burnett Named CAA Women’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year, Elon Phoenix Picked Second

RICHMOND, Va. – Senior guard Shay Burnett of Elon University women’s basketball has been selected as the Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Player of the Year, as voted on by the league’s head coaches. The defending CAA champion Phoenix has also been selected to finish second in the preseason poll, which was announced Thursday morning, Oct. 19.

In addition to Burnett’s Player of the Year honor, she has also been named a Preseason First Team All-CAA honoree for the second year in a row. Senior center Malaya Johnson has also been tabbed a Preseason Second Team All-CAA member.

With the honor, Burnett will join the CAA Media Day Coaches Teleconference at 2:26 p.m. with head coach Charlotte Smith.

A three-time CAA Player of the Week throughout the 2016-17 season and a back-to-back First Team All-CAA honoree, Burnett enters her final season with the Phoenix already with 1,143 points, which stands 122 behind a spot on Elon’s all-time list for most in a career. During her junior season, she became the 21st player in program history to surpass the 1,000-point mark in Elon’s road win against UNCW on Feb. 5. She also became the fifth player on that list to do it before reaching her fourth season of play. Burnett also stands to climb Elon’s all-time record book in career rebounds, sitting just 12 behind that list with 656 entering the 2017-18 campaign. She is already in Elon’s Top 10 for assists (seventh place with 356), assists per game (fourth place with 3.7), three-pointers made (10th place with 82), free throws made (fourth place with 341) and free throw attempts (fourth place with 466).

Johnson’s 2016-17 campaign saw the Mount Airy, N.C., native break out with career bests in multiple categories, including points per game (9.1), rebounds per game (6.5) and blocks (54). Her 54 blocks last year finished as the sixth-most in a season in program history. She also paced the CAA in shooting percentage, knocking down a career-best 54.4 percent of her shots. Entering her senior year, Johnson ranks fourth on Elon’s all-time block list with 132. She is also fifth in blocks per game with 1.4.

Picked to finish second in the conference, it marks the second year in a row Elon has been picked to finished runner-up in the preseason poll. James Madison was picked to win the conference with 78 points and six first-place votes. Elon picked up 74 points and three first-place votes. William & Mary was tabbed third with 58 points, followed by Drexel with 51 points and one first-place vote. Delaware rounded out the Top 5 with 48 points. Northeastern, Hofstra, Towson, UNCW and College of Charleston rounded out the preseason poll in that order.

Season tickets for the 2017-18 campaign, the final season in Alumni Gym, are on sale now through the Elon Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone at 336-278-6750, or in person at the Elon Ticket Office located inside the Koury Athletic Center on Elon’s campus. For additional information, please contact the Elon Ticket Office at 336-278-6750 or email athtickets@elon.edu.

1. James Madison, 78 (6)
2. Elon, 74 (3)
3. William & Mary, 58
4. Drexel, 51 (1)
5.Delaware, 48
6. Northeastern, 47
7. Hofstra, 43
T-8. Towson, 19
T-8. UNCW, 19
10. College of Charleston, 13

Shay Burnett, Elon
Ashunae Durant, Hofstra
Nicole Enabosi, Delaware
Claudia Ortiz, Northeastern
Kamiah Smalls, James Madison

Malaya Johnson, Elon
Tanisha Brown, College of Charleston
Kayla Cooper-Williams, James Madison
Jess Genco, Northeastern
Abby Rendle, William & Mary

Raine Bankston, Towson
Bailey Greenberg, Drexel
Aleana Leon, Hofstra
Madison Raque, UNCW
Aneah Young, James Madison

Shay Burnett, Elon