Boise State Picked to Win 2017-18 Mountain West Women's Basketball Title
The Mountain West announced its 2017-18 preseason women’s basketball predicted order of finish and All-Conference team Wednesday afternoon.
The Mountain West announced its 2017-18 preseason women’s basketball predicted order of finish and All-Conference team this afternoon on Facebook Live. Boise State was selected as the preseason favorite to win the league title after finishing with 221 points and seven first-place votes. Individually, New Mexico senior guard Cherise Beynon earned MW Preseason Player of the Year honors, while teammates N’Dea Flye and Tesha Buck were tabbed preseason freshman and newcomer of the year, respectively.
The MW’s preseason predicted order of finish, all-Conference team and individual awards were voted on by a panel of the Conference’s 11 head coaches and select women’s basketball media from around the league.
Boise State looks to capture its first Mountain West regular-season title in 2017-18. Last season, the Broncos posted a 25-8 overall record and a 12-6 league mark en route to capturing the MW Championship title as the number three seed.
Boise State finished just ahead of second-place Wyoming in the preseason poll. The Cowgirls earned 216 points and six first-place votes. Four-time reigning Mountain West regular-season champion Colorado State placed third in the poll with 211 points and six first-place nods. New Mexico (4th/186 points) and UNLV (5th/185 points) rounded out the top five with four and two first-place votes, respectively.
Utah State was tabbed sixth with 136 points, followed by Fresno State in seventh with 117 points and San Diego State in eighth with 102 points. San José State (61 points), Nevada (60 points) and Air Force (29 points) concluded the poll in ninth, 10th and 11th places, respectively.
Beynon collected preseason Conference player of the year honors a year after being named to the All-Mountain West Team and All-MW Defensive squad. In 2016-17, Beynon ranked first in the league in assists (6.2/game), second in points (16.6/game), third in steals (1.9/game) and 10th in rebounding (7.5/game), during MW play. The Las Vegas, Nevada, native finished the season ranked 13th in the nation in assists per game. Beynon tied the Lobo record with two triple-doubles to rank second in the nation.
The Lobos’ Flye was a 2017 McDonald's All-American nominee out of Oregon City High School in Oregon City, Oregon. She averaged 11.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game her senior season. Flye was named 2016-17 Mount Hood Conference Player of the Year and All-Conference First Team. The point guard was ranked No. 152 in the nation by ESPNW.
Buck will play her first season for New Mexico after transferring from Wisconsin-Green Bay. In three seasons with the Phoenix, Buck scored more than 1,000 career points and averaged 10.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals. The guard from Red Wing, Minnesota, made 57 or more 3-pointers in each of her three seasons in Green Bay. Buck was named the 2014 Horizon League Freshman of the Year.
Beynon was joined on the MW Preseason All-Conference squad by Boise State senior forward Shalen Shaw, Fresno State junior guard Candice White, senior guard McKynzie Fort of San Diego State and Wyoming senior guard Liv Roberts.
Shaw posted an average of 9.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per MW game during the 2016-17 season. The senior forward ranked eighth in the MW in field goal-percentage at 45.8 percent. In league contests, Shaw recorded 11 blocked shots.
White was tabbed to the All-MW Honorable Mention team last season after ranking fifth in the Conference in points per game (15.6) and ninth in steals per contest (1.4). The junior guard finished the season No. 15 in the NCAA in free-throw percentage at 87.7 percent (100-of-114).
Fort earned her third-consecutive All-Mountain West selection last season as a junior. She ranked sixth in the Conference in scoring (15.1/game) and 13th in assists (2.8/game) during MW play. The guard from Fontana, California, was seventh in the league in MW action, making 80.0 percent (68-of-85) of her free-throw attempts.
Roberts averaged 16.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per MW game last season en route to an all-Conference selection. The Missoula, Montana, native ranked third in the Mountain West in scoring, fourth in rebounds and 15th in assists during league contests. The senior guard topped the Conference with a 44.6 3-point field-goal percentage.
The Mountain West will begin its 19th season of basketball competition on Friday, Nov. 10.
2017-18 Mountain West Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
Rank Team (1st-place votes) Points
1. Boise State (7) 221
2. Wyoming (6) 216
3. Colorado State (6) 211
4. New Mexico (4) 186
5. UNLV (2) 185
6. Utah State 136
7. Fresno State 117
8. San Diego State 102
9. San José State 61
10. Nevada 60
11. Air Force 29
2017-18 Mountain West Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Name Class Position Institution
Shalen Shaw Sr. F Boise State
Candice White Jr. G Fresno State
Cherise Beynon Sr. G New Mexico
McKynzie Fort Sr. G San Diego State
Liv Roberts Sr. G Wyoming
Preseason Player of the Year
Cherise Beynon, Sr., G, New Mexico
Preseason Freshman of the Year
N’Dea Flye, PG, New Mexico
Preseason Newcomers of the Year
Tesha Buck, R-Sr., G, New Mexico
(Mountain West Conference)