Boise State was picked to finish second, edging out UNM by five votes, 275-270. The Broncos also garnered one first place vote.
UNLV (4th ,269 votes) was picked to finish fourth, followed by Colorado State (5th, 258), Wyoming (6th, 256), Fresno State (7th, 232), Nevada (8th, 126), Air Force (9th, 102), Utah State (10th, 98) and San Jose State (11th, 41).
“It’s been a quick 12 months, I’m really excited to get this season started,” said UNM head coach Craig Neal, to start the team’s pre-season press conference. “Realistically
(where we were picked) is a sign of where this
at, being picked third after losing all those guys. Do I think
we’ll be able to
compete for a championship? I believe that every year, especially
when I have
Hugh Greenwood on the team, all the guys coming back and Deshawn Delaney in his
“Being picked third is just respect for what we’ve done in the last eight years.”
The Lobos did not have any players selected to
All-Conference Team, which was headlined by pre-season player of
senior forward Larry Nance, Jr. of Wyoming, who was also chosen as
part of the
preseason All-MWC team. Nance is coming off right knee surgery for
a torn ACL
forwards Winston Shepard and Dwayne Polee II of SDSU, BSU guard Anthony Drmic and Colorado State guard Daniel Berjano rounded out the All-MWC team.
Junior transfer Angelo Chol of SDSU was named preseason newcomer of the year and UNLV guard Rashad Vaughn of UNLV was named preseason freshman of the year.
““I think what (the preseason poll) showed is that there are more questions two to seven than there is from one to two,” Neal said. “With San Diego State’s success in the (NCAA) Tournament and with all the guys they have coming back and with transfers, everybody is going to vote for them, and they should vote for them. I would have voted for them, too.
The Lobos became the first program in the history of the conference to win three consecutive MW Tournaments last season, winning its seventh conference championship in the past six seasons. UNM punched its ticket to the 2014 NCAA Tournament after posting a record of 27-7 as Craig Neal posted the most wins in program history by a first-year head coach.
New Mexico also finished 16th in the nation in attendance last season with an average crowd of 15,212. It marked the 48th consecutive season the program has finished in the top 25 in the NCAA in attendance.
The 2014-15 Lobos unofficially begin their season with the annual Lobo Howl this Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in The Pit. The team will take to Bob King Court in front of fans for the first time, and their activities will include a three-point shooting contest and dunk contest. They will begin official action with a season opener versus the Idaho State Bengals on Friday, November 14 at 8 p.m. (MST) in The Pit in a game broadcast by ROOT Spots.
The UNM women’s basketball team was chosen to finish seventh in the 11-team Mountain West Conference, garnering 122 votes from MWC media members. Colorado State was picked to finish No. 1 with 276 votes, 21 for first place. The Boise State women were picked to finish second with 241 votes, four for first place and Wyoming was chosen to finish No. 3 with 235 votes, two for first place.
The Cowgirls’ senior forward Kayla Woodward was chosen as preseason player of the year. No Lobo players made the MW preseason team or individual selection.