The Nevada women's basketball team was picked to finish eighth out of 11 schools in the preseason Mountain West poll, with Portland State transfer Kylie Jimenez being voted newcomer of the year.
Fresno State was picked to win the conference, garnering 13 of the 27 first-place votes while earning 251 total points. Defending regular-season champ New Mexico, which earned seven first-place votes, was picked to finish second with 251 points. And UNLV, with three first-place votes and 232 total points, was picked third. Colorado State (fourth overall), San Diego State (seventh overall) and San Jose State (ninth overall) all got first-place votes as well, with the Rams and Spartans earning one each and the Aztecs two.
Nevada, which finished fifth in the MW last season, racked up 123 points and trailed fourth-place Colorado State, fifth-place Wyoming, sixth-place Boise State and seventh-place San Diego State. The Wolf Pack returns its top-four scorers from last season in addition to Jimenez, the older sister to Alyssa Jimenez, a junior for the Wolf Pack. Last season, Kylie Jimenez averaged 9.0 points, 3.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. She shot 29.8 percent from the field, including 23.8 percent from three. During her first three seasons at Portland State, Jimenez averaged 10.9 points, 4.5 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game while shooting 37.2 percent from the field, including 35.1 percent from three.
Jimenez was the Big Sky freshman of the year in 2018 and a two-time All-Big Sky third-team honoree in 2020 and 2021. She made the All-Big Sky honorable mention team in 2019 when she was named to the conference's all-tournament team. Jimenez started a school-record 122 games during her Portland State career and was the third player in school history to tally at least 1,000 points, 500 assists and 250 steals.
Fresno State junior Haley Cavinder was named the Mountain West Preseason Player of the Year while San Diego State’s Asia Avinger was picked the MW Preseason Freshman of the Year. The all-conference team included Fresno State's Haley and Hanna Cavinder; Colorado State's McKenna Hofschild; New Mexico's Antonia Anderson; and UNLV's Desi-Rae Young.
Mountain West preseason poll
1. Fresno State (13 first-place votes), 269
2. New Mexico (7), 251
3. UNLV (3), 232
4. Colorado State (1), 207
5. Wyoming, 190
6. Boise State, 166
7. San Diego State (2), 135
8. Nevada, 123
9. San Jose State (1), 105
10. Air Force, 62
11. Utah State, 42
All-Mountain West team
G McKenna Hofschild, Colorado State
G Haley Cavinder, Fresno State
G Hanna Cavinder, Fresno State
G/F Antonia Anderson, New Mexico
C Desi-Rae Young, UNLV
Preseason Player of the Year: Haley Cavinder, Jr., Guard, Fresno State
Preseason Freshman of the Year: Asia Avinger, Fr., Guard, San Diego State
Preseason Newcomer of the Year: Kylie Jimenez, Sr., Guard, Nevada