BOISE, Idaho (10/12/07) - Boise State’s defending WAC champion women’s basketball team opens fall practice this Saturday morning at Taco Bell Arena. The Broncos’ practice times this year are Monday thru Friday from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 to11:00 a.m. in either the main arena or auxiliary gym at Taco Bell Arena. Once the season begins the times will remain the same but may change weekly depending on travel and game day schedules.
Coach Gordy Presnell is entering his third season at the helm of the Bronco program where he has compiled a 39-24 record during his first two seasons in charge. The 2007 WAC and WBCA Regional coach of the year returns three starters and seven letterwinners from last year’s 24-9 squad that went 12-4 in league play, tied for the regular season conference title, won the WAC Tournament, and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The seven veterans are joined by eight new recruits as the Broncos bolster their roster to 15 members, the largest since the 1999-2000 season.
Back from last year’s starting lineup are Jessica Thompson a junior shooting guard, Tasha Harris a junior point guard, and Jackie Lee a senior small forward. The other four returning veterans are senior center Amanda Stewart, junior forwards Rebecca Kepilino and Jenna Galassi, and sophomore center Ja’Lara Walker. All seven of the veterans have seen plenty of game action in their careers and should be a solid core for the coaches to build upon.
The eight newcomers include four transfers and four freshmen. The transfers include two 2007 junior college honorable mention All-Americans in Jamia Malone from Tyler Junior College in Texas and Brittany Moore out of the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. The duo will be juniors in eligibility and both are expected to be impact players at the guard positions this year. The other two transfers will have to sit out the 2007-08 season per NCAA transfer rules. The two are Marisa Stotler who led Washington State in scoring last year at 10.4 points per game, and Janie Bos who is from Portland State where she averaged 11.5 points per game during Big Sky Conference play last season. They will both have three years of eligibility left when they become active for the 2008-09 campaign.
That leaves the four incoming freshmen. Three are American while the fourth is from Australia. The three Americans include Sierra Moeller an All-State honoree out of South Dakota, Melissa Rima who was a four-time Alaska All-State honoree, and Stacie Gross a local product from Vallivue High School in Caldwell. Gross will sit out this season at Boise State as she continues to recover from a injury that forced her to miss her senior season of high school. The fourth freshman is Ainsleigh Sanders from Perth, Australia. She has experience playing in various Australian leagues prior to her arrival in Boise this August. At this point Sanders may miss a portion of the 2007-08 campaign as the NCAA determines her eligibility status in relation to her play in Australia.
This year’s squad has been picked to defend last season’s Western Athletic Conference championship as they were tabbed to place first in 2008 conference race by the league’s coaches and media. In addition, Jessica Thompson was recently named the WAC’s Preseason Player of the Year. She was also named to the conference’s Preseason All-WAC First Team, while her teammate Tasha Harris was named to the second team. It is the first time in history that a Bronco was named the preseason conference player of the year, and the first time since joining the WAC that two players made the preseason teams.
All practices are closed to the public and media without prior approval from the coaching staff or the Boise State Sports Information Department.