DENVER – The Western Athletic Conference announced its men’s basketball preseason poll and all-WAC teams, as voted on by the eight head coaches in the league. Nevada was selected to win the WAC, while Nevada sophomore Deonte Burton was tabbed the league’s preseason Player of the Year.
Nevada received five first place votes and 46 points. New Mexico State captured second place with 41 points. Utah State took third place with 38 points and three first place votes. With 32 points, Hawai‘i secured the fourth spot. Idaho (24) and Fresno State (18) followed closely behind in fifth and sixth place, respectively. San Jose State (14) and Louisiana Tech (11) finished seventh and eighth, respectively.
Burton, the coaches’ pick for preseason Player of the Year, was named the WAC’s Freshman of the Year last season after he led the Wolf Pack in assists (3.53) and ranked second on the team in scoring (13.7 ppg).
The coaches also voted on preseason first and second all-WAC teams. Burton led the list of first-teamers. Hawai‘i senior center Vander Joaquim and senior guard Zane Johnson also earned spots on the preseason first team. New Mexico State senior forward Wendell McKines and Utah State senior guard Brockeith Pane round out the first team selections.
Second-team selections include Kyle Barone (Idaho), Dario Hunt (Nevada), Hernst Laroche (New Mexico State), Brady Jardine (Utah State) and Malik Story (Nevada).
2011-12 Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll
Rank Teams (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Nevada (5) 46
2. New Mexico State 41
3. Utah State (3) 38
4. Hawai‘i 32
5. Idaho 24
6. Fresno State 18
7. San Jose State 14
8. Louisiana Tech 11
Preseason Coaches All-WAC Teams
Deonte Burton, So., G Nevada
Vander Joaquim, Jr., C, Hawai‘i
Zane Johnson, Sr., G, Hawai‘i
Wendell McKines, Sr., F, New Mexico State
Brockeith Pane, Sr., G, Utah State
Kyle Barone, Jr., C, Idaho
Dario Hunt, Sr., F, Nevada
Hernst Laroche, Sr., G, New Mexico State
Brady Jardine, Sr., F, Utah State
Malik Story, Jr., G, Nevada
Player of the Year: Deonte Burton, Nevada