BOISE, Idaho (10/10/2007) - The 2007-08 Western Athletic Conference women’s basketball preseason polls have been released and the Boise State Broncos have been tabbed as this year’s favorite to repeat as conference champions by both the coaches and media. In addition, Boise State junior guard Jessica Thompson has been named to the Preseason All-WAC First Team and the conference player of the year. Tasha Harris, a junior point guard, joins Thompson on the All-WAC team by making the second team list.
There are several first for Boise State in this year’s polls. This is the first time since joining the Western Athletic Conference that Boise State has been picked first in either of the league’s preseason polls, the first WAC Preseason Player of the Year, it is believed to be the first ever preseason player of the year award in program history, and the first time that two players were named to the WAC preseason teams in one year.
The previous high for the Broncos in the WAC preseason polls was fifth in both polls last season. Boise State has never had two players named to the WAC preseason teams. In fact, it has been three years since the Broncos had a preseason all-conference selection dating back to Jamie Hawkins who made second team honors in 2003 and 2004. The only other preseason honor was Crista Peterson’s second team selection in 2001.
Following are the official press releases from the Western Athletic Conference that were released this morning at the WAC Basketball media day in Salt Lake City, Utah...
WAC Announces Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Picks
DENVER The Western Athletic Conference announced its women’s basketball preseason poll and all-WAC teams, as voted on by the nine head coaches in the league. Boise State was selected to win the WAC, while Bronco junior Jessica Thompson was tabbed the league’s preseason Player of the Year.
Boise State, the 2006-07 WAC regular season co-champion and tournament winner, received seven first place votes and 63 points. Nevada captured second place with 52 points, receiving one first-place vote. Louisiana Tech took third place with 50 points, receiving the one remaining first-place vote. With 39 points, Fresno State was voted fourth. New Mexico State (35) and Hawai’i (31) followed closely behind in fifth and sixth place, respectively. Utah State (28) and San Jose State (15) finished seventh and eighth, respectively, while Idaho (11) was ranked ninth.
The coaches also voted on preseason first and second all-WAC teams. Boise State junior guard, 2007 WAC Tournament MVP, leads the list of first-teamers. Nevada junior guard Dellena Criner and Hawai’i senior forward Tanya Smith, 2006-07 first team all-WAC honorees, also earned spots on the preseason team. New Mexico State forward Sherell Neal and Fresno State guard Tierre Wilson round out the first team.
Second-team selections include Shanavia Dowdell (Louisiana Tech), Brandi Fitzgerald (Nevada), Tasha Harris (Boise State), Katie Madison (Idaho) and Taylor Richards (Utah State).
Boise State shared the 2006-07 regular season title with Louisiana tech, but advanced to the NCAA Tournament after capturing its first-ever Western Athletic Conference Tournament title. Nevada also advanced to postseason play for the first time in team history last season, earning a WNIT berth.
2007-08 Preseason Women’s Basketball Coaches PollRank Teams (1st Place Votes) Points 1. Boise State (7) 63 2. Nevada (1) 52 3. Louisiana Tech (1) 50 4. Fresno State 39 5. New Mexico State 35 6. Hawai’i 31 7. Utah State 28 8. San Jose State 15 9. Idaho 11 Preseason All-WAC Teams First Team Dellena Criner, Jr., G, Nevada Sherell Neal, Sr., F, New Mexico St. Tanya Smith, Sr., F, Hawai’i Jessica Thompson, Jr., G, Boise St. Tierre Wilson, Sr., G, Fresno State Second Team Shanavia Dowdell, So., F, La. Tech Brandi Fitzgerald, Sr., G, Nevada Tasha Harris, Sr., G, Boise State Katie Madison, So., P, Idaho Taylor Richards, Sr., G, Utah State Player of the Year: Jessica Thompson, Jr., G, Boise State
WAC Announces Women’s Basketball Preseason Media Picks
DENVER The 2007-08 Western Athletic Conference women’s basketball media poll has tabbed Boise State as this year’s favorite. Boise State junior guard Jessica Thompson has been named the preseason Player of the Year.
Boise State received 128 points and nine first-place votes. Louisiana Tech was picked second with 109 points and two first place votes. Nevada garnered 98 points and a first place vote for third place followed by New Mexico State with two first place votes and 94 points. Fresno State was fifth with one first place vote and 85 points followed by Hawai’i (63), Utah State (46), Idaho (27) and San Jose State (25).
Thompson averaged 13.7 points and 2.1 steals per game last season, leading the Broncos to their first-ever Western Athletic Conference Tournament championship and an appearance at the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
The All-WAC team included Thompson, Nevada junior guard Dellena Criner, New Mexico State senior forward Sherell Neal, Idaho sophomore post Katie Madison, and Fresno State senior guard Tierre Wilson.The following is the complete 2007-08 WAC women’s basketball media poll with first-place votes in parentheses (points awarded on a 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis): Rank Team Points 1. Boise State (9) 128 2. Louisiana Tech (2) 109 3. Nevada (1) 98 4. New Mexico State (2) 94 5. Fresno State (1) 85 6. Hawai’i 63 7. Utah State 46 8. Idaho 27 9. San Jose State 25 Preseason All-WAC Team Dellena Criner, Jr., G, Nevada Sherell Neal, Sr., F, New Mexico State Katie Madison, So., P, Idaho Jessica Thompson, Jr., G, Boise State Tierre Wilson, Sr., G, Fresno State Preseason Player of the Year: Jessica Thompson, Jr., G, Boise State