The expectations for senior Jessica Dickson continue to mount.
After having arguably the greatest offensive season in USF history, Dickson was rewarded for her efforts at the Big East Media Day in New York on Thursday as she was named women’s basketball Big East Preseason Player of the Year.
“I am very honored. It’s nice joining such elite company,” Dickson said. “It has been a good day.”
Dickson led the Big East in scoring with 22 points per game and finished third in the nation, trailing only Louisiana State University’s Seimone Augustus and Baylor University’s Sophia Young.
With 1,755 career points, Dickson needs to score only 66 more to surpass Wanda Guyton’s all-time record of 1,820 career points.
Dickson is ready to prove she is worth her high accolades. Along with the Preseason Player of the Year award, Dickson was one of three players unanimously selected to the All-Big East First Team.
“It’s definitely a challenge; there’s a really big target on my back now,” Dickson said. “Teams are going to be gunning for me now, but I welcome the challenge. I’m going to be working even harder now.”
During her first three seasons as a Bull, it seems that Dickson hasn’t let the praise dictate her performance on the court.
“Honestly, I was expecting her to win it,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “She’s handled pressure here in a great way, so I don’t think the pressure will affect her much.”
Dickson didn’t feel the same way about the award.
“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen coming into today,” Dickson said. “I wasn’t expecting to win, but it was a great surprise.”
The Bulls were selected to finish seventh in the conference by the Big East Coach’s Poll, and Dickson feels she and the rest of the team will exceed expectations.
“I’m going to be double teamed night in and night out, and that gives my teammates more opportunities,” Dickson said. “I think they are going to step up and answer the call.”
If Dickson can have another high scoring season like last year, then Charlie Bradley’s all-time USF scoring record of 2,319 points could be in jeopardy. Dickson trails by only 564 points, and last season alone she scored 682.
“Jessica is a tremendous talent and deserves everything she gets,” Fernandez said. “I think she is the best shooting guard in the country.”