Boise State Midway Through Preseason Training
What's returns for the Broncos from last year.
BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State women's basketball team is in the midst of preseason training as it prepares for the 2012-13 campaign, the last in the Mountain West Conference. Coach Gordy Presnell welcomed 13 players to practice on October 1 including seven returners and six new faces.
This is the second year in which the NCAA moved the start of practice for women's basketball to early October to give the teams more time to spread their preseason practices over. Teams do not get more practice days, just extra days to get the 30 allotted practice sessions in. The hope is that this will alleviate the number of injuries during preseason training nation wide.
With practice entering its third week lets look at what Boise State has coming back from last year's campaign.
What's Back This Year - The Upperclassmen
Among those back for Boise State from the 2011-12 season are four upperclassmen in seniors Lauren Lenhardt (Forward/Center; Eagle, Idaho) and Kinzi Poteet (Forward; Grandview, Wash.), as well as juniors Julia Marshall (Guard; Wichita, Kan.) and Diana Lee (Guard; North Vancouver, B.C., Canada). All four started at some point during the season last year and were impact players.
Lenhardt is the top returning scorer for the Broncos from a year ago. She averaged 14 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last year to rank sixth and ninth respectively in the Mountain West. Lenhardt has been a full-time starter the last two years and is projected to be again this winter. The 6-2 native of Eagle, Idaho, has split time during her career at both power forward and center positions. Last year she finished the year strong being named to the Mountain West All-Tournament Team.
Kinzi Poteet and Lenhardt were expected to have a solid senior year together giving the Broncos a strong one-two punch in the post with the potential to be one of the top front court tandems in the league. Unfortunately, a summer injury will keep Poteet on the sidelines this year as she is forced to redshirt as a result.
Marshall is perhaps one of the best three point shooters in Bronco history but she has been slowed by numerous injuries over the first three years of her career. Marshall is now healthy and back for her junior campaign, she is expected to play a role at the two-guard and wing positions this season.
Diana Lee is the fourth upperclassmen back and she brings alot of experience at the point guard position. The junior from North Vancouver, Canada, has started 41 of 62 games at the point for the Broncos. The 2011 WAC All-Freshman Team honoree has averaged 21.8 minutes per game during her career to go with 5.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
What's Back This Year - The Underclassmen
Three underclassmen return as well led by sophomore Keiahnna Engel (Guard; Anchorage, Alaska). She is joined by classmate Amber Vandiver (Forward; Boise, Idaho) and redshirt freshman Lexie Der (Forward; Burnaby, B.C., Canada). Both Engel and Vandiver saw quality time last year as true freshmen, while Der redshirted to recover from an injury.
Engel is one of the most athletic members of the Boise State squad. As a freshman in 2011-12 she played in all 31 games with two starts averaging 4.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.4 steals in 15.4 minutes per game. The sophomore is expected to battle for a starting role at either the two-guard or wing positions this year.
Vandiver saw action in 26 contests last year as a true freshman. Playing a reserve role in the post she averaged 1.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 7.3 minutes per game.
Der sat out last year and as yet to see any game time for the Broncos. She came to Boise State highly regarded out of British Columbia, Canada, and has experience with both the Canadian Junior National team and the British Columbia Provincial team. Der has recovered from the injury which kept her out in 2011-12 and she is expected to help fill the gap in the post left by Poteet's absence.
What's Back This Year - Statistically
Statistically speaking the Broncos return only two of their top five scorers from last year in Lenhardt (second) and Poteet (fourth), as well as 49 percent of its scoring overall. On the glass Poteet led the team in rebounding averaging 6.5 boards per game, while Lenhardt was third at 6.1 rebounds per game. Overall Boise State returns 50.6 percent of its rebounds from 2011-12. The Broncos also bring back 44.5 percent of their assists including Lee who was second with 67; 48.6 percent of their steals with last year's leader Keiahnna Engel having 43; and 66.7 percent of the team's blocks where Lenhardt was the leader with 24.
The loss of Poteet for the season means that other Broncos are going to have to step up and make an impact in order for Boise State to be successful. To help in that regards the Broncos have six newcomers who are capable of not only helping to fill the gap, but battle for starting roles across the floor.
Next week we will take a look at the newest members of the Boise State women's basketball team.
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