San Diego State was voted the heavy favorite in the Mountain West Conference, which was announced, along with the preseason all-conference team, on Tuesday afternoon in conjunction with the start of the Mountain West Digital Tipoff.
The Aztecs were one-vote shy of becoming a unanimous choice to begin the 2014-2015 season. Last season, Steve Fisher guided his program to a 31-win season, a conference regular season title and an appearance in the Sweet 16. After the No. 1 spot in the preseason poll is where it gets interesting.
Boise State, the only other team to receive a first-place vote, was slotted second. However, in a conference as wide-open as the Mountain West, you can make the case that several teams could fit the bill at No. 2. The Broncos return the scoring prowess of Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks. UNLV has an inexperienced, but talented starting five. Fresno State has some young talent as well. Colorado State will rely on a group of returnees and eligible transfers. And Wyoming has arguable the league’s top player. New Mexico, reigning the conference tournament champion, still has key pieces despite the departure of three starters.
Here’s how the conference standings are projected:
- San Diego State (34)
- Boise State (1)
- New Mexico
- Colorado State
- Fresno State
- Air Force
- Utah State
- San Jose State
The first team was also announced. Winston Shepard and Dwayne Poole II of San Diego State, Anthony Dmiric of Boise State and Colorado State’s Daniel Bejarano were all named to the team. Larry Nance Jr., who is coming back from an ACL tear for Wyoming, rounded out the team and was also named the preseason player of the year.
Angelo Chol, the 6-foot-9 Arizona transfer, was voted newcomer of the year while UNLV freshman guard Rashad Vaughn, a five-star prospect, was selected as preseason freshman of the year.