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Last year, head coach Beth Burns led the Aztecs to their first NCAA appearance in more than 10 years. SDSU knocked off DePaul in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament before falling to eventual Final Four participant Stanford.

The Aztecs return four starters from a squad that finished tied for first in the MWC (13-3) and 24-8 overall. The team was perfect at home in the regular season, boasting a 14-0 record.

This year, the Aztecs are ranked No. 1 in the MWC Preseason Media Poll. The team returns four out of five starters from last year’s lineup and 10 of 14 from last year’s roster.

The team isn’t lacking in experience and has high hopes for a return to the NCAA Tournament this year. To do so, they will turn to senior guard Jené Morris as well as junior center Paris Johnson for leadership and playmaking ability.

Morris has been named the MWC Preseason Player of the Year, and she has also been named to the 2009-2010 Wade Trophy and John R. Wooden Award Preseason Watch List. Last season, she was an honorable mention All-American, as well as the MWC Defensive Player of the Year. She has led the MWC in steals (3.3 per game) each of the last two seasons, ranking seventh nationally in 2008-2009. Morris scored at least 30 points in three consecutive games last year and finished third in the MWC in scoring (16.1 points per game).

Johnson was a first-team All-MWC selection last season after leading the Aztecs in rebounding (8.3 per game), field-goal percentage (53.1) and blocked shots (94). She set a new SDSU single-season record with her 94 blocks, which ranked 11th nationally.

Corbin Godfrey