Wyoming Cowboys Picked to Finish Sixth By MWC Media
Oct. 6, 2009
DENVER, Colo. -
The Wyoming Cowboys were voted to finish sixth in 2009-10, as the Mountain West Conference released its men's basketball preseason media poll and all-Conference team today at the league's media day being held at The Mtn. studios in Denver, Colo.
The Cowboys return two starters and five letterwinners from a 2008-09 squad that finished 19-14 overall, 7-9 in the MWC. Last season, Wyoming reached the postseason for the 23rd time in school history, an invitation to the College Basketball Invitational, and made a trip to the semifinals of the MWC Tournament after upsetting New Mexico. UW's Afam Muoeke was named MWC Freshman of the Year.
Conference media picked BYU as the preseason favorite to win the MWC men's basketball regular-season title in 2009-10. The Cougars, one of three teams to share the regular-season crown in 2008-09, captured 23 of 24 first-place votes and 215 points for the top spot in the poll. San Diego State, the 2009 MWC Tournament runner-up, collected the remaining first-place vote and 166 points to finish in second, followed closely by UNLV in third with 161 points. Utah and New Mexico, who split the 2008-09 MWC regular-season title with BYU, landed in the fourth- and fifth-place spots, respectively, with the Utes tallying 143 points to the Lobos' 141 points. Wyoming received 89 points to finish sixth, followed by TCU (82 points) in seventh, Colorado State (58 points) in eighth and Air Force (25 points) in ninth to round out the poll.
Over its 10-year history, the Mountain West Conference has received 22 bids to the NCAA Tournament, including 13 at-large berths. The MWC has had at least one at-large qualifier in nine of those 10 years, including eight straight. Since 2003, all nine MWC teams have participated in postseason play at least once.
Three juniors and two seniors representing four institutions were chosen for the 2009-10 preseason all-MWC team. SDSU junior Billy White, TCU senior Zvonko Buljan, UNLV junior Tre'Von Willis, as well as BYU junior Jimmer Fredette and senior Jonathan Tavernari made up the five-man team. Fredette received Preseason MWC Player of the Year honors, while UNLV's Derrick Jasper garnered Preseason Newcomer of the Year accolades and San Diego State's Kawhi Leonard collected Preseason Freshman of the Year kudos.