The Tarleton Women's basketball team was picked to finish third in the annual Lone Star Conference preseason poll that was released by the league as part of Online Media Day Wednesday afternoon.
After a 20-win season and advancing to their second straight NCAA Tournament, Tarleton received 279 votes, including four first-place votes. West Texas A&M was picked to win the league with 324 votes (18 first-place), followed by Angelo State in second with 307 votes (seven first-place).
"While it's flattering to be towards the top of a strong conference, it's not something we hang our hat on," said fifth-year head coach Misty Wilson. "Every team is going to be vying for first place, but if anything, it will encourage us and continue to spur us forward."
The TexAnns return seven players, including four starters from last year's team that went 20-12 overall and 12-8 in the Lone Star Conference. They advanced to the LSC Tournament finals for the second straight season and earned a bid to the NCAA tournament in back-to-back seasons.
Of those returning is a trio of all-conference players, with two being named WBCA honorable mention all-Americans in Mackenzie Hailey (14.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and Katie Webster(12.9 points, 6.3 rebounds). McKinley Bostad was a third-team all-LSC selection as a junior and averaged 13.1 points and 2.6 assists. Also returning is starting point guard Kylie Collins (6 points, 1.9 assists).
"Talent wise, I think this is the best roster I've had as head coach," said Wilson. "We're still trying to understand hard work and effort and how that translates to everything that we do. That's part of having transfers and newcomers. Once the games start, hopefully we will figure some of that stuff out."
Coach Wilson and her staff filled out the roster by adding six players, including a pair of Division I transfers, one from junior college, and three from high school.
Tarleton opens the season with the TexAnn Tip-Off Classic on Nov. 9-10 with games against Rogers State and St. Mary's in Wisdom Gym.