Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah State basketball: USU, New Mexico State picked as WAC favorites
College basketball » Aggies’ Medlin earns top preseason nod.


< Previous Page


The Utah State men’s basketball team faces high expectations coming into its final tour through the Western Athletic Conference.

Maybe more from others than from itself.

At a glance

WAC preseason basketball poll

Team Points

1. Utah St. (15) 232

2. N.M. St. (8) 223

3. Denver (1) 181

4. La. Tech 162

5. Idaho 144

6. UT Arlington (1) 137

7. UTSA 104

8. Seattle U 77

9. San Jose St. 61

10. Texas St. 54

Note » First-place votes in parentheses

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Utah State was picked to finish No. 1 in the WAC by the media and No. 2 by the coaches in the conference’s preseason poll. Junior guard Preston Medlin was also tabbed the preseason WAC player of the year in both polls.

Coach Stew Morrill was characteristically skeptical of prognostications.

"It’s interesting that we’re picked first and second after we finished fourth last year, and we scrambled around to do that," he said. "The challenge for us is we have to get new guys to figure things out, and mesh them all together."

Utah State has only five returning players who saw significant time last year, but WAC coaches and media are still paying respect to the Aggies. In the media poll, Utah State got 15 of 25 first-place votes. New Mexico State got the edge in the coaches poll by one point, but the two teams each got five first-place votes in the coaches vote.

Other players were also honored: Senior forward Kyisean Reed was tabbed a second-team selection, and transfer Jarred Shaw was picked to be newcomer of the year.

Medlin said it was an honor to get preseason nods, but he was more focused on making sure that Utah State could live up to the hype as a team.

"It’s a new year, a new team," he said. "I want to do whatever I can to make sure my team does well. If that causes me to be WAC player of the year, that’s great. Hopefully that’s what I can do to help my team win."

Morrill said Medlin’s likelihood of being the WAC player of the year increases if the team can win the conference this year. As for Shaw, Morrill said there’s much to prove.


story continues below
story continues below

"No offense to Jarred, but that one doesn’t have much validity yet," Morrill said. "When you haven’t blocked a shot or grabbed a rebound, it doesn’t make much sense."

Of course, Utah State will be gunning for another WAC championship this year. The intriguing factor is that the WAC looks much different, with Nevada, Hawaii and Fresno State gone.

The Aggies are only a year away from joining the Mountain West themselves, but immediately ahead of them is the challenge of a slate full of unknown opponents. Three programs from Texas, Seattle and Denver are all new to the WAC, and Morrill said there could be some blind spots headed into those games.

"There’s a lot of preparation concerns and lots of teams we’re not familiar with," he said. "Half the league is new — there’s a lot of shifting."

The first teams for both the media and coaches poll were identical: Medlin, sophomore guard Raheem Appleby (La. Tech), senior center Kyle Barone (Idaho), sophomore guard Daniel Mullings (NM State) and junior forward Chris Udofia (Denver).

Denver was third and Louisiana Tech was fourth in both polls.

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.