REBELS BASKETBALL:

UNLV picked fourth in MWC preseason hoops poll, Willis honored

SDSU, as expected, takes top spot, while BYU’s Fredette is preseason POY

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Who would you rank atop your Mountain West Conference preseason hoops poll?

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On Tuesday, the Mountain West Conference announced its 2010-11 men's basketball preseason poll and awards, as voted on by the league's media.

As expected, San Diego State top the poll. The Aztecs, who return all five starters and one of the nation's top front-courts, garnered 21 of a possible 30 first place votes.

In second is BYU, who received five votes for first, while fellow 30-game winner from a year ago New Mexico is third. The Lobos received three first place votes.

UNLV, somewhat surprisingly, lands at fourth and was voted first in just one poll.

Following the obvious top four, in order, were Colorado State, Utah, TCU, Wyoming and Air Force.

As for the preseason All-MWC team, it was the same five who appeared on the Sun's ballot a week ago: BYU senior guard Jimmer Fredette, New Mexico senior guard Dairese Gary, SDSU sophomore forward Kawhi Leonard, SDSU senior forward Malcolm Thomas and UNLV senior guard Tre'Von Willis.

Fredette, also predictably, was named the league's preseason Player of the Year.

The preseason Newcomer of the Year is New Mexico junior forward Drew Gordon, who will be eligible to play after the end of the fall semester. He left UCLA mid-way through the 2009-10 campaign.

The preseason Freshman of the Year is BYU guard Kyle Collinsworth, who will join the Cougars along with his older brother, Kyle, who returns following a two-year mission.

The Rebels' season officially gets going on Friday night with the FirstLook event held at the Thomas & Mack Center at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

UNLV's exhibition opener is on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Mack against Grand Canyon College, while the first regular season game is back at home on Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. against UC Riverside.

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  1. Going to be a tough year. I think all 4 top teams mentioned are going dancing this year again. I can't believe Drew Gordon was picked as Newcomer of the year when he can'e even play until December. WTF?

    UNLV needs to have at least 1 good 3pt shooter this season. I hope Mashour and Marshall step it up in that catagory, otherwise SD and NM are going to stomp all over us in the paint.

    Gonna be a hard year again on rebounds, but I think we gonna be ok otherwise.

  2. I don't think Marshall will ever be much of a 3 point threat, but he has no where to go but up from last year! Bellfield is our greatest 3-point shooter now, followed by Tre. Stanback has the potential to be a great perimiter shooter if he can get some consistency.

    Isnt Mashour red shirting?

    I just hope that our new (and improved?) center duo will help our rebounding woes, and Massamba needs big improvements in that area next season.

  3. If taking 25+ shots/game makes you Player of the Year, then Fredette should be. He is not the best player in the conference. Tre Willis would eat him alive.

  4. I was not sure if Mashour is redshirting or not. I should hope not though at this point.

    @JD3000, I've said the same thing all along. He has a great ability to get the blocking foul when driving, but when guys on the inside LET HIM SHOOT, he misses almost every time. Don't foul the guy, he'll end up missing more than he makes. He just has a great FT%. Defensively, he's not too great either. Score stats unfortunately speak volumes over defensive stats.

  5. Tre ALREADY ate him alive

  6. Grayback is right, Willis tore him up head to head all 3 games last year. Tre is a much better all around player. If you include his ability to drive to the basket and defend on the other end than Willis is hands down the biggest threat in the confrence. I hate watching any basketball on the Mountain, it does not matter who is playing it always comes back to Fredette and BYU.

    But hey, I'll be the first person to say I'm a UNLV homer, so my opinion might be worthless!

  7. As a UNLV fan, I feel a little slighted. A 4th place pick is a big surprise to me. I honestly feel we should have been picked 2nd. I think the list is as follow:

    1. SDSU
    2. UNLV
    3. New Mexico
    4. BYU
    5. Colorada State
    6. TCU
    7. Utah
    8. Wyoming
    9. Air Force

    However, I seem to vividly remember the press picking incorrectly each of the last 3-4 years the MWC champions. That being said, the league's top 4 teams are all very good. Once the games are played I am quite confident that come March the list the press chose will not be close to accurate. It does not matter where you start off and only matters where you finish. I just hope UNLV can find a way to beat SDSU as I still think they are going to be very difficult to beat and always seem to match up really well with us. I am still calling for us to be 13-3 with a loss @SDSU, @UNM, and some other weird "should have won game".

  8. This race is between UNLV and SDSU, NM and BYU will be down the line. BYU doesn't have the horses inside and it might be too much to expect the Collinsworth kid to have the same kind of year Haws did. BYU doesn't realize how much they lost in Loyd, Jr, he saved them multiple times last year, including the Florida game. And I think NM has too many new faces but will be good toward the end of the season.
    UNLV has virtually the same team but with more rebounding and inside play that will open up outside shots. I think you will see the guards shooting a lot better from three with more time to get the shot off. SDSU has a new point, so that is always a question, So I pick UNLV without a doubt, just watching to see how high they get in the rankings this year.

  9. i agree with Arizona, it sems like we are always getting overlooked. The confrence is going to be tough this year, very tough. I think a lot of people forget about Jasper. He has the potential to add another dynamic to the offense and you know our boys will be playing tough D as they always do. I think we deserve a little more respect.

  10. i think Air Force will have a breakout year"

  11. 4th Place??!... i think this is right about the spot that Lon likes ... a little bit under the radar taken a little bit for granted ... i hope the whole team gets a good look at this - all of rebel nation just needs to get tunnel vision, keep the eye on the prize and make The Mack a living hell to come visit ...from game one on

  12. SD St is the team to beat. Rebs should be rated 2nd. They will be fine as long as they rebound for a change. Believe it or not, bu a great year rests on Thomas and Lopez. If those two provide any kind of inside consistency, Rebs could be good.....real good.

  13. R-eeeee-b-ellllls

  14. Is it Nov 2nd yet?

  15. I agree this will be a "new look" Rebels, way different from last year. More inside presence and hopefully inside 'D' can only help the outside shooting. Losing Kendall will hurt, but if Marshall and J-Hawk can step up, and Lopez and Thomas are as good as advertised, Chase and Jasper will shoot more accurate 3s. I think NM and SDSU will be the top MWC teams, with BYU regressing and Utah (what's going on in Utah?) falling apart.

    Can't wait for November.

  16. @ liljoe, Utah never was really good last year. Unfortunately they beat us twice, and had a wins over Illinois, Michigan, and LSU. They have height though with frankenstein (foster) in the middle blocking anything in the paint, and if the teams didn't shoot well outside against Utah, they lost. Except in San Diego's case where they were just so much faster and athletic. Utah just wasn't consistent at all.

    I really don't think NM will be at the front of the pack this year. More like middle of the pack, but everyone said that last year as well, so we just have to wait and see.

  17. Does anyone know the academic status of Henry Buckley? Is he eligible?

  18. @sofa- I agree Utah has been on the decline for a couple years now, but what's with all the transfers out of there?

    And say what you want about Coach Alford, the guy can recruit. Should be interesting to see how the new crop of freshmen mix with Hobson and McDonald.

  19. Don't forget about transfer Negedue they got too. Alford definitely can recruit, and last years success certainly doesn't hurt in that department either.

    As for Utah's transfers, I'm not too sure. They have a lot of transfers both going in and coming out.