Montana picked second and third in Big Sky men's basketball preseason polls; Montana State seventh and fourth

Travis DeCuire
Posted at 11:51 AM, Oct 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-18 13:51:31-04

FARMINGTON, Utah — Big Sky Conference men's basketball coaches pegged Montana to finish second in the league and Montana State seventh, while the media ranked Montana third and Montana State fourth. Both polls, which were released Wednesday, consider Weber State the preseason favorite in the Big Sky.

The Wildcats received nine first-place votes from the coaches and 33 first-place votes from the media. The Grizzlies received the coaches' other first-place vote, while Eastern Washington got two-first place votes in the media poll to slide into the No. 2 ranking.

Head coach Travis DeCuire enters his 10th season in charge of the Griz and is third in conference history with 113 career Big Sky wins. Montana, which was 17-14 last year and ended its season in the semifinal round of the Big Sky Conference tournament, returns several key players from last year’s squad, including Aanen Moody, Brandon Whitney, Dischon Thomas and Josh Vazquez. The Griz play Northwest Indian in Missoula on Nov. 7 to tip off their season.

Montana State returns six players — but only one starter in junior wing Tyler Patterson — from last year's team that went 25-10 and won its second consecutive Big Sky Conference tournament championship. Matt Logie is in his first year as the Bobcats' head coach after building a 276-58 career record in 12 previous seasons as a head coach, most recently at NCAA Division II Point Loma. MSU opens its season Nov. 6 with a home game against Northwest Indian.

Weber State was 18-15 overall last year (12-6 conference) and advanced to the semifinals of the Big Sky tournament. The Wildcats return all five starters.

The 2024 Big Sky Conference basketball tournaments will once again take place in Boise, Idaho, and run from March 9-13.

2023-24 Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll

First-place votes in parentheses.

1. Weber State (9) – 81
2. Montana (1) – 70
3. Eastern Washington – 68
4. Sacramento State – 50
5. Portland State – 48
6. Idaho State – 39
7. Montana State – 35
T8. Northern Arizona – 22
T8. Northern Colorado – 22
10. Idaho – 15

2023-24 Men's Basketball Preseason Media Poll 

First-place votes in parentheses.

1. Weber State (33) – 347
2. Eastern Washington (2) – 301
3. Montana – 279
4. Montana State – 197
5. Sacramento State – 196
6. Portland State – 166
7. Idaho State – 155
8. Northern Arizona – 135
9. Northern Colorado – 90
10. Idaho – 59