Oct. 17, 2007
LITTLETON, Colo. -
Basketball Media Day for the Mountain West Conference tipped off the 2007-08 college basketball season in Denver on Wednesday with release of its preseason media poll. The Wyoming Cowboys were picked sixth in the preseason rankings with 120 points. Wyoming junior guard Brandon Ewing was named the league's Top Returning Player.
Wyoming, New Mexico and San Diego State were all closely bunched in the middle of the preseason rankings. Wyoming's 120 points trailed New Mexico and San Diego State by only eight points. The Lobos and Aztecs tied for fourth with 128 points in the poll. BYU was picked to defend its regular-season MWC Championship from a year ago. The Cougars received 15 of the 22 first-place votes and 181 total points. UNLV was picked second with 146 points and two first-place votes. Utah also received two first-place votes and 142 points to place third. Rounding out the poll were: TCU, seventh with 58 points; Air Force, eighth with 54; and Colorado State, ninth with 33.
Wyoming head coach Heath Schroyer is one of five new head coaches in the Mountain West this season, and because of that fact the conference race should be extremely interesting this season.
"It's a preseason poll, and with so many new coaches in the league I think it's hard to know where everyone fits into the mix," said Schroyer. "I know this, our goal is to compete for a championship each and every year. Our guys are working very hard, and I'm more concerned with where we finish in March, not where we're picked in October."
Ewing, who led the Mountain West Conference and ranked No. 28 in the nation in scoring a year ago, was voted to the five-man MWC Preseason All-Conference Team, as well as being named the Top Returning Player.
"I believe Brandon (Ewing) is beginning to get his due," said Schroyer. "He's worked very hard this offseason, and I look for him to have a very, very good year."
"It's definitely a compliment, because there are a lot of great players in this conference, including my teammate Brad Jones," said Ewing. "I feel very honored to receive the recognition.
"Whether you're picked sixth or first in the preseason, you have to work hard every day to achieve your goals," Ewing added. "Our goals are to win the conference, win a Mountain West Conference Tournament Championship and go to the NCAA Tournament. But we all know it's one day at a time, and that all starts on Nov. 3 with our first exhibition game."
The Cowboys tip off the 2007-08 season versus Regis on Saturday, Nov. 3 in Laramie.
All-Conference Team Bios
Top Returning Player
Brandon Ewing (6-2, 190, Jr., G, Wyoming) - Named second-teamall-MWC in 2006-07. Also named first-team all-District VIII by USBWAand second-team all-District 13 by NABC. Led MWC and ranked 28thnationally in scoring (19.9 ppg) last season. First Wyoming player inschool history to reach 1,000-point career milestone before end ofsophomore year.
Trent Plaisted (6-11, 245, Jr., F/C, BYU) - Two-time all-MWCsecond-team honoree. Was the Cougars' top shot-blocker (1.4 bpg) andsecond-leading scorer (12.6 ppg) and rebounder (6.2 rpg) last season.Scored in double figures 21 times while posting three double-doublesin 2006-07. Also named to the 2007 MWC All-Tournament team. EarnedFreshman All-America Second Team honors and MWC Freshman of the Yearaccolades in 2005-06.
J.R. Giddens (6-5, 205, Sr., G, New Mexico) - Honorable mentionall-MWC in 2006-07. Recorded three double-doubles while leading theteam and ranking seventh in the MWC in scoring (15.8 ppg) last season. Was the Lobos' second-leading rebounder (6.5 rpg) in 2006-07.
Wink Adams (6-0, 190, Jr., G, UNLV) - Second-team all-MWCselection last season. Team's second-leading scorer in 2006-07 (13.9ppg), reaching the 20-point plateau on five occasions. Was the onlyRunnin' Rebel to start all 37 games last season, scoring in doublefigures in 27 of those contests.
Luke Nevill (7-1, 265, C, Utah) - USBWA and NABC All-Districtselection in 2006-07. Third-team all-MWC pick last season andhonorable mention all-MWC as a freshman. Team's leading scorer (16.8ppg) and rebounder (7.7) in 2006-07, while ranking ninth nationally infield goal percentage (63.7%).
Ryan Amoroso (6-8, 257, Jr., F, San Diego State) - Sat out the2006-07 season after transferring to San Diego State from Marquette.Made eight starts while playing in 57 games for the Golden Eagles from2004-06, averaging 15.1 minutes, 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Jimmer Fredette (6-2, 190, G, BYU) - A first-team All-Stateselection in New York, closing out his high school career as theall-time leading scorer at Glens Falls High School in Glens Fall, N.Y.with 2,404 points. Averaged 28.8 points per game while making 81three-pointers and shooting 92 percent from the free throw line as asenior.
|2007-08Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Preseason MediaPoll|
|Rank||School (First PlaceVotes)||Points|
|4.||New Mexico (2)||128|
|San Diego State (1)||128|
|2007-08Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball PreseasonAll-MWC|
|J.R. Giddens||Sr.||G||New Mexico|
Brandon Ewing, Jr., G, Wyoming
Ryan Amoroso, Jr., F, San Diego State
Jimmer Fredette, BYU