Wyoming’s Dent Tabbed MW Preseason Player of the Year

Oct. 28, 2015

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

Full Release

For the first time in her career, Wyoming’s Marquelle Dent has been named the 2015-16 Mountain West Preseason Player of the Year. It’s the third-consecutive season a Cowgirl has been selected as the preseason player of the year for the league. UW was picked to finish seventh as the MW announced its 2015-16 preseason women’s basketball poll and all-conference team on Wednesday. The voting panel consisted of the league’s 11 head coaches and select women’s basketball media.

“I’m happy for Marquelle (Dent),” UW head coach Joe Legerski said. “The amount of time and effort she has put into her game reflects on her selection as the MW Preseason Player of the Year. The challenge now is for the team to help her realize the honor.” History tells us the player of the year honor goes to the player of the team that wins the conference championship.”

A 5-7 guard from Denver, Colo., Dent was an All-MW and All-Defensive team selection while being named a 2015 WBCA Honorable Mention All-American and WBCA All-Region 7 Team honoree. She finished league games averaging 6.4 assists and 16.8 points a year ago, which led the Cowgirls and was first and third in the MW respectively. Dent is joined on the preseason team by Boise State junior Brooke Pahukoa, Colorado State junior Ellen Nystrom, New Mexico senior Khadijah Shumpert and sophomore Funda Nakkasoglu from Utah State. New Mexico guard Jannon Otto was named Preseason Freshman of the Year while Stephanie Schmid from Nevada and Dezz Ramos from San José State were each selected Preseason Newcomer of the Year honors.

Colorado State was tabbed as the preseason league favorite for the second straight year. The Rams received 12 first-place votes and 237 points. New Mexico was picked second with seven first-place votes and 221 points, ahead of defending MW tournament champion Boise State with six first place votes and 215 points. Fresno State placed fourth with 182 points, UNLV was fifth with 138 points edging out San Diego State with 135 points and the sixth spot. Wyoming was picked seventh with 125 points followed by San José State (93 points) in eighth, Utah State (79 points) in ninth, Nevada (78 points) in tenth and Air Force in 11th (26 points).

“Entering this season 12 of our 15 players have one year or no experience in the Cowgirl program,” Legerski added. “The seventh place pick is justified due to our youth. This team will have to grow up quickly to realize success on the court.”

The Cowgirls will open up the exhibition season on Thursday, Nov. 5 as they host the Adams State Grizzlies. Game time is set for 7 p.m. MT. in the Arena-Auditorium.

Legerski also announced freshman forward Daley Handy will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a season-ending injury in practice. Handy, from Wichita, Kan., tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her left knee. She is scheduled for surgery this week and is expected to make a full and complete recovery. Sophomore Natalie Baker will also be out approximately 2-4 weeks with a broken finger on her left hand which was suffered during practice.