LAS VEGAS – The Idaho men’s basketball team was picked to finish second by the media and fourth by coaches in the Western Athletic Conference in 2013-14, while senior Stephen Madison and junior Connor Hill earned preseason honors, as the league released its preseason polls Tuesday morning.
The Vandals received 150 points in the media poll, trailing only preseason favorite New Mexico State’s 215 points, as the Aggies received a first-place vote from all 24 voters in the poll. Bakersfield was picked third by the media with 138 points, followed by Utah Valley (127), Seattle U (119), Chicago State (94), Texas-Pan American (92), Kansas City (79) and Grand Canyon (66).
Madison, a forward from Portland, Ore., is a Preseason All-WAC selection after averaging 14.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 2012-13. Joining Madison on the Preseason All-WAC team in the media poll are Bakersfield’s Brandon Barnes, Utah Valley’s Ben Aird and New Mexico State’s Sim Bhullar and Daniel Mullings, who is also the Preseason Player of the Year.
The coaches poll had Idaho picked in a tie for fourth with 40 points. New Mexico State was again picked to win the league with 64 total points and eight of the nine first-place votes. Seattle U was picked second in the poll with 45 points and received the first-place vote from NM State head coach Marvin Menzies, as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team or players. Bakersfield, with 42 points, was picked just ahead of Idaho, which was tied with Utah Valley with 40 points. Chicago State was picked fifth with 34 points, followed by Texas-Pan American (22), Grand Canyon (19) and Kansas City (17).
The coaches poll featured a first and second Preseason All-WAC teams. The first-team mirrored the media’s Preseason All-WAC team, while the second team featured Idaho’s Hill, who averaged 12.1 and shot a WAC-best 44.4 percent from 3-point range in 2012-13. Joining Hill on the second-team are Utah Valley’s Holton Hunsaker, Chicago State’s Quinton Pippen, Seattle U’s Clarence Trent and Grand Canyon’s Demetrius Walker.