(Release from the Mountain West Conference)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Mountain West announced its 2013-14 preseason women’s basketball poll and All-Conference team today to tip off the MW Women’s Basketball Media Days activities at the MW Network Studio in Colorado Springs.  The voting panel consisted of the league’s 11 head coaches and select women’s basketball media from around the Conference.
Fresno State, the 2013 MW tournament champion, was tabbed as the preseason favorite.  The Bulldogs received 17 first-place votes and 238 total points.  Wyoming was picked second with four first-place votes and 212 points, ahead of 2013 regular-season champion San Diego State. The Aztecs garnered two first-place votes and 196 points. New Mexico placed fourth with 185 points, while UNLV earned two first-place votes and 170 points for fifth place.  Conference newcomer Utah State (136 points) edged out Colorado State (130 points) for sixth place. Boise State was picked eighth (96 points), followed by MW newcomer San José State (76 points) in ninth, Nevada in 10th (62 points) and Air Force in 11th (28 points).
Wyoming junior Kayla Woodward was named the 2013-14 MW Preseason Player of the Year. Woodward, a 5-11 forward from Sheridan, Wyo., was a second-team All-Mountain West selection last season and was named to the 2013 MW All-Tournament Team. Woodward, the top returning scorer in the league, averaged 14.1 points per game in 2012-13. She is joined on the preseason team by Colorado State senior Sam Martin, Fresno State senior Taylor Thompson, San Diego State junior Erimma Amarikwa, and San José State junior Ta‘Rea Cunnigan.  San Diego State freshmanChloe Johnson was named Preseason Freshman of the Year, while San Diego State transfer Cierra Warren earned Preseason Newcomer of the Year honors.
The Mountain West will begin its 15th season of basketball competition on Friday, Nov. 8.
2013-14 Mountain West Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
     Rank            Team (1st-place votes)                  Points
         1.            Fresno State (17)                             238
         2.            Wyoming (4)                                    212
         3.            San Diego State (2)                          196
         4.            New Mexico                                     185
         5.            UNLV (2)                                          170
         6.            Utah State                                       136
         7.            Colorado State                                130
         8.            Boise State                                       96
         9.            San José State                                  76
        10.            Nevada                                             62
        11.            Air Force                                           28
2013-14 Mountain West Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Name                                                    Class       Position         Institution
Sam Martin                                           Sr.           F                   Colorado State
Taylor Thompson                                  Sr.           G                   Fresno State
Erimma Amarikwa                                  Jr.           F                   San Diego State
Ta‘Rea Cunnigan                                   Jr.           G                   San José State
Kayla Woodward                                   Jr.           F                   Wyoming
Preseason Player of the Year
Kayla Woodward, Jr., F, Wyoming
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Chloe Johnson, G, San Diego State
Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Cierra Warren, C, Sr., San Diego State
Preseason All-MW Team and Individual Award Player Profiles
Sam Martin, 6-2, Sr., F, Colorado State
Martin became the second player in CSU women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks before her senior campaign … was a 2012-13 second-team All-MW selection … finished 2012-13 ranked in the top five in five statistical categories in MW play, ranking first in three-point field goal percentage (.442), third in defensive rebounds (5.6 per game), fourth in field goal percentage (.468), fifth in rebounding (7.1 rpg) and fifth in blocked shots (1.3 bpg).
Taylor Thompson, 5-5, Sr., G, Fresno State
Thompson was a 2012-13 third-team All-MW pick … averaged 10.3 points per game with 4.4 rebounds per game … was third in the MW with 4.4 assists and 2.7 steals per game.
Erimma Amarikwa, 6-1, Jr., F, San Diego State
Amarikwa was named third-team All-MW in 2012-13 … led the league with a 53.2 field goal percentage in MW play and ranked third with a 50.2 mark in overall games … tied for third with 3.1 offensive rebounds per game in Conference action.
Ta‘Rea Cunnigan, 5-9, Jr., G, San José State
Cunnigan was a first-team All-Western Athletic Conference pick in 2012-13 … was second in the league in scoring at 20.5 points per game … finished the season ranked 17th in scoring and 14th in steals.
Player of the Year – Kayla Woodward, 5-11, Jr., F, Wyoming
Woodward, a 2012-13 second-team All-MW pick, is the top returning scorer in the Mountain West at 14.1 points per game … was also named to the 2013 MW All-Tournament Team … averaged 6.3 rebounds per game and ranked among the Top 10 in seven league categories.
Freshman of the Year – Chloe Johnson, 5-7, Fr., G, San Diego State
Johnson was a first-team all-state and all-conference honoree for St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, Ariz. … led the Knights to an 87-3 overall record in three years and three straight Arizona Division I state championships … was member of St. Mary’s squad that completed an undefeated season in 2011-12 and was ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Newcomer of the Year – Cierra Warren, 6-4, Sr., C, San Diego State
Warren is a transfer from Louisville and sat out the 2012-13 campaign … made 10 starts in 22 appearances during the 2011-12 season for the Cardinals … originally signed with North Carolina, helping the Tar Heels reach the 2009-10 NCAA Tournament after shooting 48.5 percent from the field over 31 games … was rated the 31st-best player in America and No. 10 post player by ESPN Hoopgurlz after winning two league MVP awards at Los Osos High School in California.