Oct. 14, 2008
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Mountain West Conference announced its 2008-09 preseason women's basketball poll and all-conference team today at its Basketball Media Day held at the Las Vegas Renaissance Hotel. The voting panel consisted of the league's nine head coaches and select women's basketball media.
Utah was tabbed as the preseason favorite after earning a perfect 16-0 conference mark and an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament last season. The Utes received 16 first-place votes and 206 total points. San Diego State collected six first-place votes and finished second with 184 points, followed by TCU with two first-place nods and 161 points. New Mexico (148 points) placed fourth and garnered two first-place votes, followed by BYU (117 points), Wyoming (113 points), UNLV (80 points), Colorado State (44 points) and Air Force (36 points).
Last year's all-MWC first-team member, Utah senior guard Morgan Warburton, earned Preseason Player of the Year honors, while Eboni Mangum of TCU was named Preseason Newcomer of the Year and BYU's Kristen Riley was tabbed Preseason Freshman of the Year. Three of the nine MWC teams were represented on the all-conference team, including one senior, two juniors and two sophomores. Warburton is a two-time first-team all-MWC selection and earned Associated Press honorable mention All-American accolades last season. She is joined on the preseason all-MWC team by teammate Kalee Whipple, San Diego State's Jené Morris and Paris Johnson and TCU's Helena Sverrisdottir.
PRESEASON ALL-MWC TEAM PLAYER PROFILES
Morgan Warburton, Sr., G, Utah
Two-time first-team all-MWC selection ... Also earned honorable mention Associated Press All-America honors last season ... Second-leading scorer in the MWC (17.2 ppg) and first in free-throw percentage (.861) Ranked 17th in the country for free-throw and 3-point field goal percentage ... Scored in double-digits in 34 straight contests, dating back to the 2006-07 season ... Only returning MWC women's basketball player to have eclipsed 1,000 career points (1,275 total points).
Kalee Whipple, Jr., F, Utah
Two-time all-MWC honoree, including a second-team selection last season ... Ranked in the top-five in five MWC categories: scoring (5th), rebounding (5th), field goal percentage (2nd), free throw percentage (5th) and 3-point field goals made (5th) ... Scored in double-figures in 25 of 32 games, while recording a league-high 10 double-doubles last season.
Jené Morris, Jr., G, San Diego State
Earned all-MWC second-team honors as a sophomore ... Led San Diego State to the 2007-08 MWC Tournament Championship game, averaging 18.3 points in the tournament ... Led SDSU in points in overall and conference games, boasting the highest-ever MWC scoring average by an Aztec of 16.1 points ... First in the league in steals last season (85)...Scored in double-figures 22 times, including 35 points vs. UNLV on Jan. 26, 2008, marking the highest point total by an Aztec in an MWC game.
Paris Johnson, So., C, San Diego State
Earned honorable mention all-MWC accolades as a freshman ... Led the league in total blocks (54) and blocks per game (1.74 bpg)...Ranked first on the team in 2007-08 in rebounding (6.5 rpg), while grabbing double-figure boards three times ... Tallied her first career double-double with 27 points and 13 rebounds vs. Indiana State on Nov. 23, 2007 ... Posted four games with 20 or more points, including two in the team's final three contests of the regular season.
Helena Sverrisdottir, So., F, TCU
Named MWC Freshman of the Year in 2007-08 ... Also named honorable mention all-MWC ... Finished as TCU's highest-scoring freshman since Sandora Irvin in 2001-02 ... Ranked second on the team in rebounds and third in scoring and assists last season ... Scored in double-figures 12 times, with five games of 10 or more boards ... Named MWC Player of the Week twice.