DENVER, Colo. - The new team on the block received no love from its Mountain West rivals Tuesday morning as the Boise State Broncos were picked to place eighth out of eight teams in their inaugural season as members of the conference. The Mountain West announced its 2011-12 preseason women's basketball poll and all-conference team today at its basketball media day held at The Mtn. Studios in Denver, Colo. The voting panel consisted of the league's eight head coaches and select women's basketball media.
The Broncos enter their first season as Mountain West members this fall after spending the last 10 years in the Western Athletic Conference where they finished eighth in 2010-11 with a 12-19 overall mark and a 3-13 league record. Last season was a rebuilding year for the program which has higher expectations this year as it makes the jump to the new league.
None of the Broncos received preseason honors from the coaches and media this year. Boise State returns four starters and four other letterwinners who have starting experience. Leading the group are senior guard Kati Isham who started all 31 games last year and led the team in scoring at 12.7 points per game, followed by junior center Lauren Lenhardt a 27 game starter who was second in scoring at 12.2 points per game. The duo ranked 10th and 13th, respectively, in the WAC for scoring in 2011. The other two primary starters back are senior wing Heather Pilcher, 22 starts, and Diana Lee who started 28 games at the point as a true freshman last year.
TCU was tabbed as the preseason favorite after finishing second in the Mountain West last season and earning an at-large bid to the Women's National Invitation Tournament. The Horned Frogs received 12 first-place votes and 136 total points. San Diego State collected seven first-place votes and was picked to finish second with 127 points, while third-place Colorado State garnered the remaining first-place vote and 106 points. New Mexico (74 points) placed fourth, followed by UNLV and Wyoming in a tie for fifth (65 points each), Air Force in seventh (42 points) and newcomer Boise State in eighth (39 points).
2011-12 MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON POLL
Rk. Team (1st-place votes) Points
1. TCU (12) 136
2. San Diego State (7) 127
3. Colorado State (1) 106
4. New Mexico 74
5. UNLV 65
7. Air Force 42
8. Boise State 39
Note: Coaches could not vote for their own teams.