Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Utah State
3. New Mexico State
5. Louisiana Tech
6. Fresno State
7. Boise State
8. San Jose State
Idaho was picked dead last in both WAC men's basketball polls last season. The Vandals tied for third and earned the No. 3 seed by winning nine conference games, which was more conference wins than the previous three years combined.
The Vandals started the conference season with a victory at Nevada and went from there, sweeping in-state rival Boise State, earning a split with NMSU and La. Tech.
Hawaii was picked last this season and I don't see the Warriors pulling an Idaho, but there is one team that intrigues me from the bottom half and that team is San Jose State.
People like Fresno State for their frontcourt combination of Paul George and Sylvester Seay and Greg Graham is a good coach at Boise State and his teams are always tough.
I'm looking for the Spartans to turn things around though and maybe sneak up on somebody like the Vandals did last year.
One similarity between the teams is they each possess a guard who transfered from a Pac 10 school. Idaho surrounded Mac Hopson with some good talent and Hopson ended up a first team caliber player.
San Jose State added Adrian Oliver from Washington last year and I think he kind of flew under the radar, partly to the Spartans underachieving again. Oliver was also in and out of the lineup early on as he only played in 18 games. When he was on the court for all 12 WAC games, Oliver poured in 17.6 per game which was second behind NMSU's Jahmar Young.
The Spartans also have returning starters in CJ Webster and Chris Oakes in the post (both tied for fourth in the WAC with 7.4 rpg), point guard Justin Graham (5th in assists with 4.13 apg) and guard Robert Owens, who was a 38 percent 3-point shooter last year.
I have my doubts San Jose State can put it all together though, which is probably why they ended up picked where they are and they were one-and-done in the WAC tournament last year, but it seems like there are some nice pieces there.