DENVER – (Oct. 11) Alexis Montgomery of Seattle University women’s basketball has been named the consensus 2017-18 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Preseason Player of the Year, the conference announced Wednesday. Seattle U was voted to finish second in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Preseason Media Poll and third in the WAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
“Last year, our success was about how quickly the seniors bought in,” said Coach Suzy Barcomb. “This year, it’s more about how soon our freshmen and sophomores can contribute for us.”
The Redhawks placed second in the WAC regular season standings in the 2016-17 and advanced to the WAC Championship game. In her first season, Barcomb took SU from a predicted seventh-place finish to the runner-up spot and an appearance in the WNIT.
Montgomery had a terrific junior campaign, leading Seattle U in points (15.4), rebounds (8.3), and assists (2.6). She was one of just 16 players to lead her team in all three categories last season. Montgomery scored in double figures 29 times and registered nine double-doubles. The Beaverton, Oregon, native scored a career-high 25 points twice, including a 25-point, 14-rebound, 6-assist showing in SU’s home win over Grand Canyon on Jan. 21.
“This summer, she really worked on her conditioning and her overall game,” said Barcomb. “We’re a year smarter in our offense now. I think she’s elevated her game. She’s a really good rebounder and defender, which gives her a complete game.”
In the media poll, New Mexico State was picked as the favorite after winning the WAC for a third straight year last season. CSU Bakersfield was third, with Grand Canyon following. Utah Valley and UTRGV were next, with Kansas City and Chicago State rounding out the poll.
NM State was also the favorite in the coaches’ poll. Bakersfield was picked second, with SU third. Utah Valley and Grand Canyon were fourth and fifth, respectively, with UTRGV, UMKC, and Chicago State closing the rankings.
Montgomery is the first Redhawk to earn WAC Preseason Player of the Year honors since Kacie Sowell was chosen before the 2013-14 season.
Seattle U opens the regular season on Friday, Nov. 10, as Idaho State visits the Connolly Complex. WAC play begins on Jan. 6, with SU traveling to Grand Canyon.