From Mountain West:
The Mountain West announced its 2016-17 preseason women’s basketball predicted order of finish and All-Conference team this morning on Facebook Live. The voting panel consisted of the league’s 11 head coaches and select women’s basketball media from around the Conference.
Colorado State has been tabbed to defend its regular-season title for the third-year in a row. The Rams, regular season champions in 2014, 2015 and 2016, received 17 first-place votes and 283 total points. CSU returns nine letterwinners from its 2016 MW tournament champion squad. Boise State was picked second with 11 first-place votes and 271 points. Fresno State garnered 225 points for third place, followed by UNLV in fourth with 201 points. San José State came in fifth with 197 points, while New Mexico was sixth with 176 points and one first-place vote. San Diego State was selected seventh with 126 points and Wyoming garnered 123 points for eighth place. Utah State (97 points) placed ninth, followed by Nevada in 10th (66 points) and Air Force in 11th (28 points).
Colorado State senior Ellen Nystrom was named the MW Preseason Player of the Year. Nystrom, a 6-1 guard from Sweden, was the 2016 Mountain West Player of the Year and an All-Mountain West and MW All-Defensive team selection last season. Nystrom averaged 11.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game during Conference play in 2015-16. She is joined on the preseason team by Boise State senior Brooke Pahukoa, Fresno State junior Bego Faz Davalos, New Mexico junior Cherise Beynon and San José State senior Dezz Ramos. It is the third year in a row that Nystrom has been named to the preseason squad and second for Pahukoa. New Mexico rookie Mykiel Burleson has been named Preseason Freshman of the Year, while transfer Hallie Gennett of San José State earned the Preseason Newcomer of the Year honor.
The Mountain West will begin its 18th season of basketball competition on Friday, Nov. 11.
Preseason All-MW Team and Individual Award Player Profiles
Brooke Pahukoa, 5-9, Sr., G, Boise State
Pahukoa was a member of the 2016 All-Mountain West Team … Averaged 13.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in Conference play while shooting 37.9 percent from the floor including 42.6 from three-point range … Shot 84.6 percent from the free throw line … Had 11 games in league action with double-figure points, including five games with 20 or more points.
Player of the Year – Ellen Nystrom, 6-1, Sr., G, Colorado State
Nystrom is a three-time All-Mountain West and two-time MW Defensive team selection, leading the Rams to a third consecutive MW regular season championship in 2015-16 … Averaged 11.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game in MW action last season … Shot 49.3 percent from the field, including 48.1 from three-point range, and 79.0 from the free throw line … League leader in assist/turnover ratio at 2.6 and second in assists with 103 and defensive rebounds with 178 … Started all 33 contests in 2015-16 leading Rams to first Associated Press Top 25 ranking and NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002.
Bego Faz Davalos, 6-3, Jr., C, Fresno State
Faz Davalos was the 2015-16 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and member of the All-Mountain West and All-Defensive teams … Led the league with 8.6 rebounds and 4.3 blocked shots per game in Conference play … Averaged 11.6 points per game while shooting 54.4 percent from the field … Led the NCAA in overall total blocks (136) and blocks per game (4.0) last season … Overall blocks set a Mountain West single season record and Conference mark of 77 reset her previous league leading mark of 70 in 2014-15.
Cherise Beynon, 5-11, Jr., G, New Mexico
Beynon was a member of the 2015-16 All-Mountain West Team … Averaged 14.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game in Conference action last season … Shot 33.9 percent from the floor, including 41.7 from beyond the three point arc … Pulled down a UNM single-game record with 13 rebounds against Oral Roberts and holds UNM record for most field goals (271) and three-pointers attempted (108) in Conference play in a single season.
Dezz Ramos, 5-7, Sr., PG, San José State
Ramos was the 2015-16 MW Newcomer of the Year and a member of the All-Mountain West Team … Led Spartans to first winning season in Conference play (11-7) and highest finish in the league (4th) … Top returning scorer in the league with 17.2 points per game and top returning free throw shooter at 85.3 percent … One of top returning assists leaders with 4.3 per game in 2015-16.
Freshman of the Year – Mykiel Burleson, 5-11, G, New Mexico
Burleson was a 2016 McDonald’s All-American nominee and ranked No. 25 by ESPN at the wing position … Was a first-team All-District selection for Pflugerville High School in Texas … Played for Texas Elite club team that earned Silver Division championship at Nike Nationals.
Newcomer of the Year – Hallie Gennett, 5-11, Jr., F, San José State
Gennett is a transfer from Sacramento State and sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules … Averaged 12.1 points per game and made 86 three-pointers in 2014-15 for the Hornets … Set the Sacramento State single-season record for three-point field goals made in back-to-back season – 85 in 2013-14 and 86 in 2014-15 … Averaged 14 points and seven rebounds as a senior at Post Falls High School in Idaho and earned first-team All-Northern Idaho honors …The team won the 2013 Idaho 5A state championship with a 24-1 record.
2016-17 Mountain West Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
Rank Team (1st-place votes) Points
1. Colorado State (17) 283
2. Boise State (11) 271
3. Fresno State 225
4. UNLV 201
5. San José State 197
6. New Mexico (1) 176
7. San Diego State 126
8. Wyoming 123
9. Utah State 97
10. Nevada 66
11. Air Force 28
2016-17 Mountain West Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Name Class Position Institution
Brooke Pahukoa Sr. G Boise State
Ellen Nystrom Sr. G Colorado State
Bego Faz Davalos Jr. C Fresno State
Cherise Beynon Jr. G New Mexico
Dezz Ramos Sr. PG San José State
Preseason Player of the Year
Ellen Nystrom, Sr., G, Colorado State
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Mykiel Burleson, Fr., G, New Mexico
Preseason Newcomers of the Year
Hallie Gennett, Jr., F, San José State
From Mountain West