Fresno State was picked to finish fourth in the Mountain West in a preseason media poll that was released on Wednesday at the conference’s media day in Las Vegas.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 20-13 season under coach Rodney Terry, their second 20-win season in a row and third in four years, and have three of their top four scorers back in guards Jaron Hopkins (first, 13.2 points per game), Deshon Taylor (second, 12.5) and Jahmel Taylor (fourth, 10.5).
Nevada, the defending regular-season and tournament champion, is at the top of the poll. The Wolf Pack received 19 out of 24 first-place votes in the poll and 257 points. San Diego State is second and Boise State third. The Aztecs and Broncos both received two first-place votes in receiving 229 and 211 points.
Terry said, “They asked me, ‘Are you always upset by the lack of respect that your program gets? You guys are picked fourth and probably could have been picked higher, and things of that nature,’ and I said, ‘No.’
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“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you’re picked first – obviously, it’s a compliment and exposure for your program. But at the end of the day you have to go play the games and you have to try to develop your team and try to be playing your best basketball at the right time.”
Fresno State beat Nevada in both regular-season meetings last season before losing to the Wolf Pack in the semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament. The Bulldogs split two games with San Diego State and swept Boise State.
The Bulldogs were followed by Colorado State, UNLV, Wyoming, Utah State, New Mexico, San Jose State and Air Force. UNLV had the final first-place vote in the media poll.
Boise State senior Chandler Hutchinson was selected by the panel as the preseason player of the year, with UNLV forward Brandon McCoy the freshman of the year and Nevada forward Caleb Martin the newcomer of the year.
Nevada forward Jordan Caroline, San Diego State guard Trey Kell, Utah State guard Koby McEwen and Wyoming guard Justin James were selected to the preseason all-conference team along with Hutchinson.
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada
Fresno State men’s basketball schedule
Home games at Save Mart Center
Pacific Union (exhibition)
UC Merced (exhibition)
UC Santa Cruz
Evansville at Cancun, Mexico
George Mason or Louisiana Tech at Cancun
3 or 5:30 p.m.
at Long Beach State
at Cal Poly
Cal State-Monterey Bay
at Utah State
at Colorado State
at San Diego State
at Air Force
San Diego State
at San Jose State
4 or 7 p.m.
at New Mexico
Mountain West tournament at UNLV