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)