(Editor's note: UW Athletics release)
LARAMIE, Wyo. – The University of Wyoming men's basketball team has been picked to finish 10th in the Mountain West, as the conference announced its 2019-20 preseason media poll and all-conference team today at the league's media summit at the Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas, Nev. The Cowboys garnered 36 points from media in the MW.
Wyoming returns 57 percent of its scoring from a season ago. The Pokes also return 56 percent of its rebounding from last season. In fact, Wyoming returns three of its top four scorers from last season.
The eight retuning players for the Pokes bring plenty of experience, as six of the eight returners played 20 or more minutes per game and no other returning averaged less than four minutes per night. That group also combined for 163 triples for the season, which was two-thirds of the Pokes' three pointers last season.
The 2019 Mountain West tournament champions Utah State has been predicted to claim the 2019-20 MW regular season title as voted by the Conference media, which was announced Tuesday morning at the start of the 2019 Mountain West Men’s Basketball Media Day.
Utah State, which made an appearance in the NCAA tournament last season, received all 17 first-place votes, earning 187 points. This marks the first time in MW history that the Aggies were selected as preseason favorite. USU returns 2018-19 Mountain West Player of the Year Sam Merrill and 2018-19 MW Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year Neemias Queta.
San Diego State, the 2018-19 MW tournament runner-up, was picked to finish second in the MW preseason predicted order of finish with 150 points. The Aztecs were 21-13 last season with an 11-7 mark in Conference play.
Following the Aztecs, New Mexico was selected to finish third with 141 points, Nevada fourth with 135 points, Boise State in fifth with 128 points, Fresno State sixth with 103 points, UNLV in seventh with 89 points, Air Force in eighth with 76 points, Colorado State in ninth with 59 points, Wyoming in 10th with 36 points and San José State in 11th with 17 points.
Utah State’s Sam Merrill was selected Preseason Mountain West Player of the Year, while San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn was named Preseason MW Newcomer of the Year and Nevada’s K.J. Hymes garnered Preseason MW Freshman of the Year accolades.
Joining Merrill on the preseason all-conference team are Air Force’s Lavelle Scottie, Boise State’s Derrick Alston, Colorado State’s Nico Carvacho and Utah State’s Neemias Queta.
Single game tickets for Wyoming Cowboy Basketball went on sale on Wednesday. Fans can get single game tickets for as low as $15 with a special $5 price for the exhibition game on Oct. 30.
Season-tickets are available for Cowboy basketball. Contact the UW Ticket Office at GoWyo.com/tickets, by calling 307-766-7220 or in person at the University of Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office on the west side of the Arena-Auditorium. Single game tickets go on sale on Oct. 9. The popular Seat Hopper package, which is the best seat available on gameday is only $135.
2019-20 MOUNTAIN WEST PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points
- Utah State (17) 187
- San Diego State 150
- New Mexico 141
- Nevada 135
- Boise State 128
- Fresno State 103
- UNLV 89
- Air Force 76
- Colorado State 59
- Wyoming 36
- San José State 17
2019-20 PRESEASON ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST TEAM
Pos. Name Yr. Team
F Lavelle Scottie Sr. Air Force
G Derrick Alston Jr. Boise State
F/C Nico Carvacho Sr. Colorado State
G Sam Merrill Sr. Utah State
C Neemias Queta So. Utah State
Preseason Player of the Year
Sam Merrill, Sr., G, Utah State
Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Malachi Flynn, Jr., G, San Diego State
Preseason Freshman of the Year
K.J. Hymes, F, Nevada