LaTascya Duff Preseason Newcomer of the Year; Lobos Picked Sixth
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Junior LaTascya Duff has been named Mountain West Preseason Newcomer of the Year in a poll of the league’s media, the Mountain West announced on Friday. As a team, the Lobos were selected to finish sixth in the poll’s predicted order of finish.
Duff comes to UNM from Shelton State where she competed for two seasons and helped lead her 2019-20 squad to a 29-2 overall record that included a perfect 13-0 record in conference play prior to the season coming to a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The WBCA All-American started all 31 contests as a sophomore and led her squad with 17.0 points per game while averaging 4.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.5 blocks per game. She scored in double figures in all but two games on the season for a total of 29 games registering double digits, including 25 games straight.
Duff registered a career-high 30 points twice in her sophomore season, including while leading her squad to the ACCC Tournament Championship where she and her sister LaTora Duff, who also joins the Lobos this season, led the team with a combined 55 points.
A Samson, Ala. native, Duff helped her high school team to a pair of state championships (2016, 2018), was named MVP and 2A Player of the Year.
The Lobo squad was selected to finish sixth among the league’s teams this season. UNM features eight returning letterwinners from last season including leading scorer, junior Ahlise Hurst, who averaged 13.5 points per game while finishing ninth in the nation in 3-point field goals made (92).
Also returning for the Lobos is senior New Mexico native Jaedyn De La Cerda who averaged 11.0 points per game.
Fresno State was picked to win the conference this season with 266 points and 22 first-place votes, followed by San José State with two first place votes, 239 total points, and Boise State with one first-place vote and 221 points. San Diego State came in fourth with one first-place vote, 185 points, while the Lobos were slotted sixth with 145 points, behind Wyoming in fifth with 173. Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, Nevada and Utah State rounded out the field.
Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points
1. Fresno State (22) 266
2. San José State (2) 239
3. Boise State (1) 221
4. San Diego State (1) 185
5. Wyoming 173
6. New Mexico 145
7. Air Force 120
8. Colorado State 117
9. UNLV 111
10. Nevada 95
11. Utah State 44