The WAC coaches and media polls will be released on Tuesday so I thought I would put my picks out on here. I think it's going to be a competitive year on the top half with an improved skill level across the board.
1. NMSU - I have to pick based on the belief that Gillenwater and McKines will be on the team for the conference season. If they are, it's the most talented team in the league and that's not including the newcomers.
2. Nevada - The one-two punch of Babbitt and Johnson is too good to ignore despite a lack of apparent depth. I hope Fields returns to form.
3. Louisiana Tech - they got better at the point guard spot after reaching the tournament semis last year. Kyle Gibson and Magnum Rolle could be the league's no. 2 inside out duo.
4. Idaho — Don Verlin made a believer out of me last year and he has the same squad coming back.
5. Utah State — Is this a slight? Maybe. Do I feel bad about it? Not really. How many games can Stew Morrill win by himself? Three? Four? So the rest of the time his players have to get it done. People say four starters from a team that won 30 games but outside of Wesley, those four starters aren't nearly as skilled as the teams above the UtAgs. I may be the last person to jump on the Quayle bandwagon, but I want to see how good he is without the big fella, whose motor and work ethic carried that team last year. The past USU teams had Carroll and Wilkinson. The remaining players are solid and I like USU, but they can't win the WAC every year.
6. Fresno State — Very talented frontcourt players. Big year for their coach?
7. San Jose State — I thought they would be better last year. They weren't. Oliver, Oakes and Webster are experienced enough to do some damage. Big year for their coach?
8 Boise State —
Both of these bottom teams seem to be in rebuilding mode and could finish in either 8th or 9th
Player of the Year
Jahmar Young, NMSU — I think Babbitt could get this. But I expect Jahmar to be huge this season. It's so impressive what he does, considering he's really a shooting guard who plays small forward.
Luke Babbitt, Nevada
Kyle Gibson, La. Tech
Mac Hopson, Idaho
Sylvester Seay, Fresno State
Newcomer of the Year
DeAndre Brown, La. Tech
1. Fresno State
2. La. Tech
3. Boise State
8. Utah State
9. San Jose State
Player of the Year
Shavavie Dowdell, La Tech
Madison Spence, NMSU
Jaleesa Ross, Fresno State
Adrienne Johnson, La. Tech
Tasha Harris, Boise State