UVU basketball: Utah Valley picked fourth by media, sixth by coaches in WAC preseason poll
LAS VEGAS — The Western Athletic Conference preseason media and coaches polls were released Tuesday morning at the WAC Basketball Preview in Las Vegas, and the Utah Valley University women's basketball team was selected fourth and sixth, respectively, between the two polls. Tina Doughty, a junior guard, was selected preseason all-conference by the media, earning a spot on the second team.
"I think it's a poll that's a little difficult to formulate given all the new members to the WAC, but I'm excited we've been recognized as a team that can be competitive," UVU head coach Cathy Nixon said. "Hopefully we can prove ourselves to be as good as that if not even better."
Doughty was the Wolverines' second leading scorer a year ago, closing 2012-13 with a scoring average of 10.4 points per game and a selection to the All-Great West conference second team. She was a one-time GWC Player of the Week and set the single-game UVU record for 3-pointers with eight against Walla Walla.
"I think it's a selection that definitely gives Tina some respect," Nixon said. "I also think it's a challenge to her to step up and fulfill that recognition. And I also think we have some other players that will also prove to be impact players in the WAC."
Seattle University is the favorite in both polls, claiming 11 of a possible 13 votes in the media poll and six of nine from the WAC coaches. Redhawk Kacie Sowell, last season's WAC Player of the Year, is the runaway pick for Preseason Player of the Year, taking the nod on both ballots. Sowell averaged 16.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game in 2012-13.
Placed fourth in the media poll, Utah Valley, last season's GWC regular season champions, garnered 75 points to finish behind third-place New Mexico State (80). Reigning WAC Tournament champion Idaho (100) comes in second behind SU (115) and received a single first-place vote.
Behind the Wolverines is Bakersfield (66), Kansas City (53), Texas-Pan American (40), GCU (38) — which received a single first-place pick — and Chicago State (18).
Meanwhile, the WAC Coaches Poll places UVU sixth at 30 total points. The Wolverines are just two points shy of fifth-place CSUB (32) and six points behind third-place UMKC (36). Idaho once again comes in second with three first-place votes and 59 total points, while UTPA (25), GCU (23) and CSU (10) round out the ballot in seventh, eighth and ninth.
The 2013-14 Utah Valley women's basketball season gets underway Friday, Nov. 1, at the PE Building when the Wolverines host their lone exhibition game against Adams State. The regular season opener arrives a week later when Nevada visits the UCCU Center.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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