DENVER – The 2009-10 Western Athletic Conference men’s basketball media poll has tabbed Utah State as this year’s favorite. Nevada sophomore forward Luke Babbitt has been named the preseason Player of the Year. Idaho senior transfer Steffan Johnson was tabbed this year’s preseason Newcomer of the Year.
Utah State received 273 points and 15 first-place votes. Nevada was picked second with 269 points and 12 first place votes. New Mexico State garnered 226 points and six first place votes for third place followed by Idaho with 193 points. Boise State was fifth with 145 points followed by Louisiana Tech 140 points. Fresno State was seventh with 130 points, followed by San Jose State (88) and Hawai‘i (66).
Babbitt averaged 16.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season, helping Nevada to last year’s WAC Tournament championship game.
Johnson, a transfer from Pacific, was a two-time all-Big West Conference honoree. Johnson led Pacific his junior season with 14.5 points, 4.9 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.
The All-WAC team included Babbitt, Idaho senior guard Mac Hopson, New Mexico State junior guard Jahmar Young, Nevada junior guard Armon Johnson and Utah State senior guard Utah State.
The following is the complete 2008-09 WAC men’s basketball media poll with first-place votes in parentheses (points awarded on a 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis).
2009-10 Preseason Men’s Basketball Media Poll
Rank Teams (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Utah State (15) 273
2. Nevada (12) 269
3. New Mexico State (6) 226
4. Idaho 193
5. Boise State 145
6. Louisiana Tech 140
7. Fresno State 130
8. San Jose State (1) 88
9. Hawai‘i 66
Preseason Media All-WAC Team
Luke Babbitt, So., F, Nevada
Mac Hopson, Sr., G, Idaho
Armon Johnson, Jr., G, Nevada
Jared Quayle, Sr., G, Utah State
Jahmar Young, Jr., G, New Mexico State
Player of the Year: Luke Babbitt, Nevada