BOISE — Gordy Presnell says he hasn’t watched tape of the Boise State women’s basketball team’s NCAA Tournament game in March against Oregon State, except for maybe the third quarter.
The Boise State coach says there’s no need, he’s moved on.
His players say they’ve kept the 80-75 loss to the Beavers — a game the Broncos led by four with 17 seconds left in regulation — in the back of their minds to motivate them this offseason. But with the Broncos returning to the court Monday for the first day of practice, last season is behind them, and they are now focusing on the season ahead.
“I think we’ve all kind of done that,” said senior guard Riley Lupfer. “As a basketball player, it still stings to think about. But all we got to do is focus on right now, worry about today and how we’re going to get better and do well this season.”
The Broncos enter the season with high expectations both from inside the program and outside, having won the Mountain West Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three years. The Broncos have six seniors on their roster this year, including their top two scorers from last year, Lupfer and Braydey Hodgins.
A’Shanti Coleman, who started all 33 games last year, and Jayde Christopher, who started 26, all return to the Broncos, as do Rachel Bowers, Jade Loville and Ellie Woerner, who all played significant minutes last season.
“I think we all have the idea we want to win another championship,” said Hodgins. “We want to win the (Mountain West) Tournament again and then we want to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. That’s something we talked about all offseason, so we’re very, very forward about our goals. Now we just need to back that up.”
Add in center Mallory McGwire, who sat out last season after transferring from the University of Oregon, and the Broncos have the potential to be even better than the team last season which entered the NCAA Tournament No. 39 in the RPI rankings.
“Right now, we just got to get ready for the month of October, it’s the most fun month,” said Presnell. “It’s practicing, putting stuff in, competing with each other. And then you get ready for the next section in November, when you start competing.”
Following a Nov. 2 exhibition game against Concordia, the Broncos open the season Nov. 5 against Lewis-Clark State at ExtraMile Arena.
Nonconference home dates include matchups against Pac-12 foe Washington State, as well as 2019 NCAA Tournament participant BYU and WNIT participant Pepperdine. Road contests include games against Elite Eight participant Louisville, and WNIT semifinalist TCU.
The Broncos have the chance to play in several more big games in the preseason WNIT. Boise State will host NCAA Tournament participant Portland State in the opener on Nov. 8. If Boise State keeps advancing, it could host Missouri State — a Sweet 16 team from last year — in the second round, match up against Oklahoma or WNIT participants Prairie View A&M, UAB or South Alabama in the semifinal and even get a rematch against Oregon State in the title game.
“I think that will push us a lot,” Lupfer said about the schedule. “We have a bunch of players that will push each other every day, because we know how good we can be. I think we all know we can get those wins. We’re all just ready to work hard so we can get it done.”