NAU women picked 10th in Big Sky preseason polls
OGDEN, Utah -- In the Big Sky preseason polls released Wednesday, the Northern Arizona women's basketball team was picked 10th by the conference coaches and media.
The Lumberjacks received 37 points in the coaches poll and 39 points in the media poll.
Head coach Sue Darling returns four starters this season in seniors Raven Anderson and Erikka Banks and sophomores Rene Coggins and Brittani Lusain, all of whom started at least 19 games a year ago. Sophomore Taylor Leyva also earned 17 starts. Banks was an honorable mention selection on the all-conference team while Lusain was named the Big Sky Outstanding Freshman. NAU finished last season ninth in the conference with a 9-20 record, 6-14 in conference play.
This season, the Lumberjacks return eight players in all and add four newcomers, three of whom are junior college transfers with NJCAA National Championship experience.
North Dakota, the defending conference champions, was picked to defend its title as the preseason favorite in both polls. Perennial contender Montana was picked second. Eastern Washington and Northern Colorado plus Big Sky newcomer Idaho -- the back-to-back WAC Champions -- rounded out the consensus top-five with spots three through five taking a different order in both polls.
Montana State, Southern Utah, Idaho State and Sacramento State occupied the next four spots in both polls, while the coaches and media agreed on NAU, Portland State and Weber State in 10th, 11th and 12th respectively.
The top-eight teams will advance to the 2015 Big Sky Women's Basketball Championships hosted by the regular season champion from March 12-14.
NAU takes the court on Nov. 3 for its exhibition versus New Mexico Highlands before officially opening the season at home on Nov. 14 versus UC Irvine.
2014-15 Big Sky Preseason Coaches Poll
2014-15 Big Sky Preseason Media Poll