Basketball: Men and Women picked third

WAC men's and women's preseason coaches and media poll's released today at meetings in Dallas.

DENVER – The Western Athletic Conference announced its men's basketball preseason coaches and media polls and all-WAC teams. In both polls, Nevada was picked to win the WAC while the Wolf Pack's Kirk Snyder was selected the WAC's preseason player of the year.

In the coaches' poll, Nevada received eight first place votes and 80 points to be picked first for the first time since joining the WAC in 2000. The Wolf Pack were 18-14 last season and played in the NIT. Rice earned 65 points for second place, just two points ahead of Hawai‘i, also a NIT participant. Fresno State, last year's WAC regular season champion with a 13-5 league record, was picked fourth with 59 points. Tulsa, last year's WAC Tournament champion and NCAA Tournament partcipant with a 23-10 record, received two first place votes and 52 points for fifth place. In sixth, was SMU with 40 points followed by Boise State (31), Louisiana Tech (29), UTEP (22) and San Jose State (9).

The coaches also voted on a first and second all-WAC team. Nevada junior guard Kirk Snyder was voted the preseason Player of the Year. He is joined on the first team by Tulsa senior guard Jason Parker, Rice junior forward Michael Harris, SMU sophomore guard Bryan Hopkins and Hawai‘i senior forward Phil Martin. Snyder averaged 16.2 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Wolf Pack last year. He is the WAC's leading returning scorer and rebounder from last season. Parker led the Hurricane in scoring with 15.4 points per game. Harris led the Owls in scoring with 15.2 points per game and in rebounding with 7.3 per contest. He led the WAC in field goal percentage, connecting on 62.3 percent of his shots. Hopkins averaged 13.1 points and 3.9 assists for the Mustangs to earn WAC Freshman of the Year honors last season. Martin averaged 11.5 points and 5.7 rebounds last year for the Rainbow Warriors and has started 70 consecutive games for Hawai‘i.

The second team is comprised of Renaldo Major and Shantay Legans of Fresno State, Boise State's Aaron Haynes, SMU's Patrick Simpson and Rice's Jason McKrieth.

The 2003-04 season begins Monday, Nov. 17 when Nevada hosts Vermont in the Preseason NIT. The 2004 WAC Tournament will be held in Fresno, Calif. at the brand new Save Mart Center, March 9-13.

2003-04 Preseason Men's Basketball Coaches Poll

Rank Team (1st place votes) Points

1. Nevada (8) 80

2. Rice 65

3. Hawai‘i 63

4. Fresno State 59

5. Tulsa (2) 52

6. SMU 40

7. Boise State 31

8. Louisiana Tech 29

9. UTEP 22

10. San Jose State 9

Preseason All-WAC Teams

First-Team

Kirk Snyder, Jr., G, Nevada

Jason Parker, Sr., G, Tulsa

Michael Harris, Jr., F, Rice

Bryan Hopkins, So., G, SMU

Phil Martin, Sr., F, Hawai‘i

Second-Team

Renaldo Major, Sr., F, Fresno St.

Aaron Haynes, Sr., G, Boise St.

Patrick Simpson, Jr., F, SMU

Jason McKrieth, Jr., F, Rice

Shantay Legans, Sr., G, Fresno St.

Player of the Year: Kirk Snyder, Nevada

In the media poll, Nevada received 202 points and 15 of the 21 first-place votes. Fresno State with 158 points, earned five first-place votes and was picked second. Hawai‘i received the final first-place vote and 150 points to finish third followed by Tulsa with 145 points. In fifth was Rice with 137 points followed by SMU with 129 points, Boise State (80), Louisiana Tech (77), UTEP (51) and San Jose State (26).

Snyder was picked Player of the Year on 18 ballots while Legans was selected by nine media members. The All-WAC team included Snyder, Tulsa senior guard Jason Parker, Rice junior forward Michael Harris, SMU sophomore guard Bryan Hopkins and Boise State senior forward Aaron Haynes.

The following is the complete 2003-04 WAC men's basketball media poll with first-place votes in parentheses (points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis):

Rk. Team Points

1. Nevada (15) 202

2. Fresno State (5) 158

3. Hawai‘i (1) 150

4. Tulsa 145

5. Rice 137

6. SMU 129

7. Boise State 80

8. Louisiana Tech 77

9. UTEP 51

10. San Jose State 26

Preseason All-WAC Team

Kirk Snyder, Jr., G, Nevada

Jason Parker, Sr., G, Tulsa

Michael Harris, Jr., F, Rice

Bryan Hopkins, So., G, SMU

Aaron Haynes, Sr., F, Boise State

Preseason Player of the Year: Kirk Snyder, Nevada

Preseason Newcomer of the Year: Shantay Legans, Sr., G, Fresno State


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