The Mountain West held its annual Men’s Basketball Media Summit Wednesday, which is a fancy term for media day, here in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel.
Aside from the odd name, the oddest thing to me was the predicted order of finish for Wyoming. Selected media members picked UW seventh in the 11-team league. I voted in this, and had UW 4th.
Nine returning lettermen, most of which played big roles in the Cowboys’ 23-win season and CBI championship didn’t get a lot of respect from others who cover the conference.
Nevada, San Diego State and Boise State were 1-2-3, respectively, which is what I had. However, Fresno State, Colorado State and UNLV, which even garnered one first-place vote, were ahead of UW.
I can see Fresno State, which also returns a solid group of guys. CSU lost two key guys who basically were their entire team last season. UNLV is still in rebuilding mode, and although it should be better than a tie for last in 2016-17, sixth seems a bit of a stretch for me despite some highly touted newcomers. We have seen before when UNLV had some big-name talent and see it fall horribly short of expectations.
None of this really matters at this time of year, but there definitely was a lack of respect shown to the Cowboys. However, respect is earned, not given, so we will see how the season plays out.
I also voted on the preseason all-conference team, and mine was very similar to the official one. I had four of the five, including UW junior guard Justin James. I also had the same Player of the Year in Boise State senior guard Chandler Hutchison and the Freshman of the Year in UNLV forward Brandon McCoy. Junior Caleb Martin of Nevada was the preseason newcomer of the year. I went with San Diego State junior guard Devin Watson, a scoring machine at San Francisco.
Below is the complete preseason All-MW team and predicted order of finish:
2017-18 PRESEASON ALL-MW TEAM
G Chandler Hutchison Sr. Boise State
G/F Jordan Caroline Jr. Nevada
G Trey Kell Sr. San Diego State
G Koby McEwen So. Utah State
G Justin James Jr. Wyoming
Preseason Player of the Year
Chandler Hutchison, Sr., Boise State
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Brandon McCoy, F, UNLV
Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Caleb Martin, Jr., F, Nevada
Predicted Order of Finish
1. Nevada (19) 257
2. San Diego State (2) 229
3. Boise State (2) 211
4. Fresno State 188
5. Colorado State 154
6. UNLV (1) 138
7. Wyoming 133
8. Utah State 102
9. New Mexico 93
10. San José State 41
11. Air Force 38
For more from the MW Men’s Basketball Media Summit, see Friday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.