SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (10/11/2006) The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) released their preseason women’s basketball polls this morning at the league’s media day in Salt Lake City, Utah. Boise State was tabbed to finish fifth in both of this year’s polls by the coaches and media. The fifth place selection is the highest preseason prediction for the Broncos since joining the conference for the 2001-02 season. Their previous high was sixth by the coaches last year. Unfortunately, the Broncos were shutout of the preseason All-WAC teams for the second consecutive year.
Boise State returns four starters, eight letterwinners, and one redshirt sophomore from last year’s 15-15 squad that went 6-10 in conference placing sixth and advanced to the WAC Tournament semifinals. The Broncos also return their top-five scorers and 91 percent of the points scored. Last season Boise State set a team school record for rebounding with 1,252 on the year. This year the Broncos return the top-five rebounders and 87 percent of the rebounds.
Highlighting the Bronco roster are the four returning starters in seniors Michelle Hessing (center from Boise, Idaho) and Jackie Thompson (forward from Alamogordo, N.M.), junior Jackie Lee (forward from Avondale, Ariz.), and sophomore Jessica Thompson (guard from Temecula , Calif.) and a member of the 2006 WAC all-freshmen team. In addition, Boise State returns senior Nadia Begay (Kirtland, N.M.) who was the WAC three-point percentage champion hitting 39 percent of her attempts and was ranked 26th nationally in three-pointers made per game at 2.6.
Other returners are junior post Amanda Stewart (Marsing, Idaho), and sophomore forwards Jenna Galassi (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Rebecca Kepilino (Costa Mesa, Calif.). Also back this year is Tasha Harris a redshirt sophomore guard who led the Broncos in scoring as a freshman in 2004-05 and was a member of the WAC all-freshmen team in 2005. The newcomers include three freshmen in point guard Bridgette Reyes (Irvine, Calif.), center Ja'Lara Walker (Merced, Calif.), and forward Kristen Zimel (Oregon City, Ore.).
The WAC Coaches’ Poll: For the sixth-straight season, Louisiana Tech was picked to win the WAC, while Lady Techster senior Shan Moore was selected the WAC’s preseason player of the year.
Louisiana Tech, the five-time defending regular-season champions, received seven first place votes and 63 points. Fresno State captured second place with 56 points, receiving one first-place vote. Nevada took third place with 48 points, receiving the one remaining first-place vote. With 41 points, Hawaii was voted fourth. Boise State (40) and San Jose State (27) followed closely behind in fifth and sixth place, respectively. New Mexico State (24) and Idaho (13) finished seventh and eight, respectively, while Utah State (12) was ranked ninth.
2006-07 Preseason Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll
Rank Teams (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Louisiana Tech (7) 63
2. Fresno State (1) 56
3. Nevada (1) 48
4. Hawaii 41
5. Boise State 40
6. San Jose State 27
7. New Mexico State 24
8. Idaho 13
9. Utah State 12
The WAC Media Poll: The Western Athletic Conference women’s basketball media poll named Louisiana Tech as the favorite for the 2006-07 season. Lady Techster senior Ty Moore was selected the WAC’s preseason Player of the Year.
Louisiana Tech, the five-time defending regular-season champions, received all first place votes, earning 99 points. Fresno State was picked to finish second with 90 points followed by Hawaii. Nevada was picked to finish fourth with 60 points, followed closely by Boise State with 54 points. In sixth was San Jose State with 53 points with New Mexico State following in seventh with 32 points. Idaho was slated to finish eighth with 29 points, and Utah State was picked to finish ninth with 22 points.
2006-07 Preseason Women’s Basketball Media Poll
Rank Teams (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Louisiana Tech (11) 99
2. Fresno State 90
3. Hawaii 64
4. Nevada 60
5. Boise State 54
6. San Jose State 53
7. New Mexico State 32
8. Idaho 29
9. Utah State 22