Cal State Bakersfield head coach Greg McCall believes this is the year for his team to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time, and evidently some of the other coaches in the Western Athletic Conference agree. The Roadrunners were picked to finish second in the conference and received two first place votes from the coaches. The media ranked CSUB third.
Both polls were released as part of the WAC’s media day on Wednesday in Denver.
"The goal for us is to kind of get it started right now," McCall said during his press conference on Wednesday, "... continue to climb that ladder."
The media and coaches picked New Mexico State to win the conference and the media placed Seattle, with WAC preseason player of the year Alexis Montgomery, ahead of the Roadrunners.
CSUB redshirt senior Jazmyne Bartee landed on the media’s preseason All-WAC first team with senior Aja Williams on the second team. Bartee was the only CSUB player recognized by the coaches, earning second team honors.
New Mexico State has claimed the WAC regular season title each of the last three years.
The Roadrunners were tied for second in the WAC at the end of the regular season last year but were upset by sixth-seeded Utah Valley in overtime in the first round of the WAC tournament. CSUB has finished three of its four regular seasons in the WAC either tied for second or alone in second place.
“It’s going to be a really good conference,” McCall said Tuesday. “I’m looking forward to it a lot. I like it when it’s like this. It’s really competitive night in and night out. You got to come ready to play. You can't have any days off.”