ALBUQUERQUE–The University of New Mexico’s women’s basketball team was ranked 4th in a Mountain West Conference preseason poll released Wednesday, with senior guard Cherise Beynon named as Preseason Player of the Year.
Boise State was ranked 1st in the poll. Wyoming and Colorado State came in at 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.
UNM’s high ranking comes as no surprise to head coach Mike Bradbury. The Lobos brought in several standout players. Some are freshman recruits, but Bradbury and his coaching staff also brought in a few solid transfers. Among those transfers is Tesha Buck, a senior transfer from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay who missed last season due to NCAA eligibility rules. In three seasons at Green Bay, Buck scored over 1,000 career points. Bradbury believes that other coaches recognize the new talent coming into Albuquerque and voted according to that knowledge.
Like most of the Mountain West, UNM will start mostly fresh faces in the conference. The only two teams with more than three starters are Wyoming and Utah State. Bradbury himself had Wyoming picked as the top team in the conference—mostly due to their experience which includes four returning starters.
Beynon is the only returning starter for the Lobos. However, her experience has proven her to be an integral part of UNM’s success. The Las Vegas native began starting regularly for UNM during her freshman season in 2014. Last season, Beynon averaged 15.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game—cementing herself as one of the conference’s elite guards. In addition to being named Preseason Player of the Year, Beynon was also named to the Preseason All-Conference Team.
Tesha Buck was named Preseason Newcomer of the Year, and N’Dea Flye was named Preseason Freshman of the year. Flye, a point guard from Oregon City, Oregon, led her high school to a state championship in 2014 and runner-up in 2017. She also averaged 11.5 points per game and was a McDonald’s All-American nominee during her senior campaign.
The Lobos’ first regular season game is on Friday, November 10, when they host Western Michigan.Like this story? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get more of our best original news.