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Wyoming Cowgirls basketball picked to finish fifth in Mountain West Conference

Wyoming Cowgirls basketball picked to finish fifth in Mountain West Conference

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Weidemann vs UCLA

Wyoming's Quinn Weidemann looks to drive around UCLA's Lindsey Corsaro during their game in the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament on March 22 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

LARAMIE – The reigning Mountain West Conference tournament champions are not the 2021-22 preseason favorites.

Not even close, at least according to Gerald Mattinson’s peers and select media members who voted in the MWC women’s basketball poll released Wednesday.

Wyoming was picked to finish fifth and was not among the six teams that received first-place votes.

Fresno State, the team the Cowgirls defeated in the MWC tournament championship game in Las Vegas to cap a memorable four-night run, is the preseason favorite and received 13 of the 27 first-place votes.

New Mexico (7), UNLV (3) and Colorado State (1) also received first-place votes and are projected to finish ahead of UW in 2021-22.

“It comes back to reality that we’re back on the court and trying to get to where we need to be this year,” Mattinson said. “That (MWC championship) happened months ago. Obviously that’s a great accomplishment for them.”

Boise State, San Diego State (2), Nevada, San Jose State (1), Air Force and Utah State round out spots 6-through-11 in the poll.

The Cowgirls return 10 players from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, including Lyman native McKinley Bradshaw (11.7 ppg), Worland’s Tommi Olson (4.2 apg, 2.3 spg), Alba Sanchez Ramos (10.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Quinn Weidemann (11.0 ppg)

None of the above were selected to the preseason all-MWC team, which is comprised of CSU guard McKenna Hofschild, Fresno State twin sister guards Haley and Hanna Cavinder, New Mexico wing Antonia Anderson and UNLV center Desi-Rae Young.

Haley Cavinder is the MWC preseason player of the year, San Diego State guard Asia Avinger is the preseason freshman of the year and Nevada guard Kylie Jimenez is the preseason newcomer of the year.

Weidemann was an all-MWC defensive team member and the most valuable player of the conference tournament last season, UW finished 14-10 overall and lost to UCLA in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

MWC preseason poll

2021-22 Predicted Order of Finish

Team (1st-place votes) Points

Fresno State (13) 269

New Mexico (7) 251

UNLV (3) 232

Colorado State (1) 207

Wyoming 190

Boise State 166

San Diego State (2) 135

Nevada 123

San Jose State (1) 105

Air Force 62

Utah State 42

Follow UW beat writer Ryan Thorburn on Twitter @By_RyanThorburn


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