In advance of the 2013-14 WAC Preseason Men's Basketball Media and Coaches Polls being released, here is the ballot that we submitted to the WAC office.
1. New Mexico State
5. Texas-Pan American
6. Kansas City
7. Utah Valley
8. Chicago State
9. Grand Canyon
Preseason Player of the Year: Sim Bhullar, New Mexico State
Preseason All-WAC Team (4 Players in addition to Player of the Year)
Daniel Mullings, New Mexico State
Stephen Madison, Idaho
Isiah Umipig, Seattle
Daniel Alexander, Grand Canyon
We echo the sentiments of the Las Cruces Sun-News' Jason Groves of the difficulty of trying to pick this preseason poll and this was probably the longest we've ever spent trying assemble a preseason ballot. We spent probably an hour on the phone with Jason going over this group of incoming teams and players and the only differences we had were over where to place Grand Canyon in the preseason poll and who the fifth player for the preseason All-WAC team would be. Groves opted for Demetrius Walker from Grand Canyon while we opted for his teammate, Daniel Alexander.
Bhullar, Mullings and Madison were easy choices. The choices for Umipig and Alexander, however, were not. Our reasoning for picking Umipig and Alexander were based completely on potential. Neither player suited up last year for their respective teams. Umipig was the Big West Sixth Man of the Year as a freshman (he played two seasons at Fullerton) and the following from his roster bio sold us: Umipig played in 61 games for the Titans over two seasons and was named the Big West Conference Sixth Man of the Year after the 2010-11 campaign. He started all 30 games he played in during the 2011-12 season, averaging 13.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game to pick up honorable mention All-Big West recognition.
As for Alexander, we chose him over Demetrius Walker because we're not quite as sold on Walker as Groves is. Alexander is a transfer from Texas A&M and while that doesn't necessarily mean he'll have great success in the WAC, he certainly has the potential to do well in the new watered down league and he put up some decent numbers on GCU's European basketball trip during the late summer.
Honestly, the only team we really feel comfortable with in the preseason poll is New Mexico State. Spots two through nine are up for grabs. You could make a varying case for any of the other teams to finish in any of those spots.
We fully expect Bhullar, Mullings and Madison to make up three of the five Preseason All-WAC team spots when the Coaches and Media polls come out on Tuesday and spots four and five are a crapshoot much like the rest of the preseason WAC standings. Continue Reading This Post >>