Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010 | 11:30 a.m.
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.