|Charlston, Karr preseason All-WAC|
DENVER - The Western Athletic Conference released its women's basketball preseason coaches and media polls, along with preseason All-WAC teams Wednesday, and the Vandals were picked fifth by the coaches, and sixth by the media, while Alyssa Charlston earned preseason first team All-WAC honors in and sophomore Krissy Karr earned second-team honors in both polls.
The Vandals finished fourth in the WAC in 2011-12 after going 6-8 in WAC play. Idaho went 12-20 overall, but made a push late in the year, winning six of their final nine WAC games to climb from last to fourth in the standings heading into the WAC tournament, where they advanced to the semifinals for the second time in three years.
Both of Idaho's preseason All-WAC selections earned WAC honors last year. Charlston was a first-team All-WAC pick after a sensational sophomore campaign in which she lead the team in scoring (14.5 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg) and field goal percentage (48.6 FG%). She recorded 11 double-doubles on the season and scored in double figures 26 times, including a career-high 30 points. Charlston also earned Academic All-American honors in 2011-12, one of only two sophomores in the nation to earn a spot on the 15-player team.
Karr earned WAC All-Freshman team honors after averaging 6.9 points, 4.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game in 2011-12. Her 4.0 assists ranked third in the league. She scored in double figures eight times on the season and had her first career double-double, a 13-point, 10-assist outing, on Feb. 4 at San Jose State. On Feb. 18 at Nevada Karr hit game-tying and game-winning 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions in the final 15 seconds of overtime, scoring a career-high 17 points.
Under coach Jon Newlee, the Vandals have never finished lower than their preseason predicted finish. In those four seasons, the Vandals have finished an average of two spots higher than their projection.
Utah State was picked to win the league in both polls, with Louisiana Tech second, Denver third and Seattle fourth. Idaho was fifth in the coaches poll with Texas State sixth, San Jose State seventh, New Mexico State eighth, UTSA ninth and UT Arlington 10th. The media poll had just a couple teams flip-flopped, with Texas State fifth, Idaho sixth, San Jose State seventh, UTSA eighth, New Mexico State ninth and UT Arlington 10th.
The Vandals get the regular season under way when they visit Wyoming on Nov. 9 and Colorado on Nov. 11, before their Nov. 16 home-opener against Portland. Season tickets can be purchased online at www.GoVandals.com or over the phone at (208) 885-6466, and start at $50 for both youth and adult packages.