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UNLV picked second in MWC preseason media poll

Seniors Oscar Bellfield, Chace Stanback selected for preseason all-conference team

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Leila Navidi

UNLV men’s basketball coach Dave Rice watches as the team runs sprints during its first workout of the fall on the UNLV campus Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011.

As expected, in the Mountain West Conference's preseason media poll, UNLV was picked to finish second, the league announced Wednesday morning.

The Rebels, who begin a new era under first-year coach Dave Rice this season, took four of 26 first-place votes, while the other 22 went to New Mexico.

Picked third is San Diego State, which lost its top four scorers off a 34-win team from a year ago. Colorado State, which finished fourth last season, is in that spot to start the 2011-12 campaign, followed by Air Force, Wyoming, TCU and league newcomer Boise State.

Meanwhile, a pair of Rebels were picked on the league's preseason all-conference team. Senior guard Oscar Bellfield and senior forward Chace Stanback join New Mexico's Drew Gordon and Kendall Williams and TCU's Hank Thorns — a Las Vegas native — on the five-man list. Williams, a sophomore, is the only non-senior in the group.

Gordon, who averaged a double-double last season after transferring to New Mexico from UCLA, was selected as the league's preseason player of the year.

The MWC preseason newcomer of the year is San Diego State sophomore guard Xavier Thames, who will likely start from Day One after transferring in from Washington State.

Australian Hugh Greenwood of New Mexico was the obvious choice as the conference's preseason freshman of the year.

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  1. Kinda glad we weren't picked first, with already some much expectations and gives them something to shoot for. No doubt who will be on top at the end. Looking for Moser to grab newcomer by seasons end. Go Rebels. See you Friday and Sunday.

  2. Sounds about right. Very top and bottom heavy league. Not much in between. Kinda like football, but different schools.

  3. Man I hope the boys take umbrage to this prediction. Rebels finish 3rd last year at 11-5 losing to BYU, SDSU twice(Both had great years and high seeds in tourney)and CSU once. Sweep New Mexico 63-62, and 77-74. We lose T. Willis and Jasper. Willis was a distraction and Jasper was hurt. They loose pg D Griesey who was big for them.
    Rice wins or shares title this year a guarantee! These guys are confident playing NM we got their number just like SDSU had our number. We sweep this year!

  4. It's all about chemistry and preparation and it sounds like UNLV has both. They play a good non-conference schedule and should be able to work the bugs out. By the time the season rolls around the recruiting hype should be over, they'll be settling into the Mendenhall center, and focusing on basketball. I'm confident we'll be hearing Alford complain that the MWC tournament is in Vegas again this year:) Let's run!

  5. Ryan, how is the Mendenhall center coming along? I drove by it today and it did not look like it has made much progress compared to a few weeks ago...

  6. I think we'll sweep UNM this season. I'm predicting we go 12-2 in MWC play.

  7. Devin, they're hoping to have it done by early November, but no definite opening date is set right now. I'm guessing it won't be done until December at the earliest.

  8. WTF!..NM was 8-8 last year and lost their pg (which is like losing your starting quarterback) Make the lines I'll bet UNLV to win it all no worries!