WAC Preseason hoops: USU on top of both polls

With four starters returning from a 30-5 team that won the regular season and tournament titles, Utah State was the popular pick in the Western Athletic Conference preseason polls relased on Tuesday.

The Aggies, led by first-team preseason all-WAC selection Jared Quayle, received eight of nine votes from the conference coaches — USU coach Stew Morrill voted for Nevada — to claim the top spot in that poll. Meanwhile, the media saw the race for the 2010 WAC title being a closer one with Utah State getting 15 first-place votes and Nevada receiving 12. New Mexico State received six first-place votes in the media poll while San Jose State, which finished eighth in the overall balloting, got one.

Junior forward Tai Wesley earned second-team all-WAC accolades from the conference coaches. The other two returning starters for USU are junior swingmen Tyler Newbold and Pooh Williams. Surgery to repair a ‘pre-stress fracture’ to a feet has Williams on the sideline for a few weeks, though.

Nevada’s Luke Babbitt, a sophomore forward, was named the preseason WAC player of the year.

The Aggies have not lost a WAC game on their home floor in more than two seasons. Utah State opens its exhibition season on October 30 against Northwest Nazarene before opening the regular season at Weber State on November 13.

Rank Teams (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Utah State (8) 64
2. Nevada (1) 53
3. New Mexico State 50
4. Idaho 42
5. Louisiana Tech 31
6. Fresno State 30
7. Boise State 23
8. San Jose State 19
9. Hawai’i 12

Preseason Coaches All-WAC Teams
First Team
Luke Babbitt, So., F, Nevada
Mac Hopson, Sr., G, Idaho
Armon Johnson, Jr., G, Nevada
Jared Quayle, Sr., G, Utah State
Jahmar Young, Jr., G, New Mexico State

Second Team
Roderick Flemings, Sr., F, Hawai’i
Paul George, So., G/F, Fresno State
Kyle Gibson, Sr., G, Louisiana Tech
Sylvester Seay, Sr., F, Fresno State
Tai Wesley, Jr., F, Utah State

2009-10 Preseason Men’s Basketball Media Poll

Rank Teams (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Utah State (15) 273
2. Nevada (12) 269
3. New Mexico State (6) 226
4. Idaho 193
5. Boise State 145
6. Louisiana Tech 140
7. Fresno State 130
8. San Jose State (1) 88
9. Hawai’i 66

Preseason Media All-WAC Team
First Team
Luke Babbitt, So., F, Nevada
Mac Hopson, Sr., G, Idaho
Armon Johnson, Jr., G, Nevada
Jared Quayle, Sr., G, Utah State
Jahmar Young, Jr., G, New Mexico State

Player of the Year: Luke Babbitt, Nevada

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