(Editor's Note: Quotes from Montana State Press Release)
Montana State's Darian White was unanimously named the Big Sky preseason player of the year, the conference announced Thursday.
The senior guard was named the 2021-22 Big Sky Conference tournament MVP and co-defensive player of the year last season leading the conference in steals (84) and averaging 15.6 points per game.
“The impact that Darian makes in every facet of the game, both offensively and defensively, and the 94-feet that she guards every single day, is unmatched in the Big Sky Conference,” Binford said. “I think the preseason honor is a tremendous compliment. Now she’s got to earn it, and back it up.”
Her teammate Kola Bad Bear, a Billings Senior alum, joins the All-Conference team finishing her junior year on both the all-tournament team and the All-Big Sky third team. The forward averaged 10.9 points and 5 rebounds per game last season.
“Kola Bad Bear has turned into the dominant presence that we needed and that she’s capable of being as seen a last year’s Big Sky tournament,” Binford said. “And now we want her to take a step up from that, and along with Darian, lead this team into another great season."
Following her all-conference first team honors, Montana's Carmen Gfeller also joins the list. The redshirt senior forward finished eighth in the league in scoring recording 13.9 points per game as well as 6.7 rebounds.
The four other players rounding out this year's preseason all-conference team are Idaho's Beyonce Bea, Sacramento State's Isnelle Natabou, Northern Colorado's Hannah Simental, and Weber State's Daryn Hickok.
Normally, only six players are selected for the Big Sky preseason all-conference team, but seven were listed this year because of a voting tie between Bad Bear and Hickok.
The preseason all-conference team is voted on by both coaches and members of the media.
Montana State will host an exhibition game against South Dakota Mines on Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. Montana tips off its season at home against North Dakota State on Nov. 5 at 6 p.m.