Oct. 27, 2004
DENVER, Colo. -
The Mountain West Conference announced its 2004-05 preseason women's basketball poll andall-conference team at its Men's and Women's Basketball Media Day held at the Denver Renaissance Hotel, last Sunday.The voting panel consisted of the league's eight head coaches and select women's basketball media.
UNLV was tabbed as the preseason favorite, the first time the Rebels have been picked to finish atop the conference. It was the closest vote in conference history as UNLV received the most total points (134) but not the most first-place votes (5). New Mexico had eight first-place votes but finished tied for second with Utah with 131 points. Utah tallied seven first place votes. Coaches did not vote for their own team. Colorado State (92 points) placed fourth, followed by BYU (88 points), Wyoming (65 points), San Diego State (43 points) and Air Force (28 points).
Utah junior forward Kim Smith earned Top Returning Player honors for the second straight year, while Mary Martha Abell of BYU was named Top Newcomer. Four of the eight MWC teams were represented on the all-conference team, including four seniors and one junior. Smith, selected to the State Farm Wade Trophy and John R. Wooden preseason lists earlier this fall, is a two-time Kodak/WBCA honorable mention All-America. RanDee Henry of UNLV was last year's top newcomer and she led the conference in scoring last year. UNLV's Sherry McCracklin led the league in rebounding last year and was voted Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Ashley Elliott of Wyoming was a first-team all-MWC selection last season, while Mandi Moore of New Mexico was a second-team pick.