Media tabs Runnin' Rebels to win MWC

With four seniors returning from a team that has won back-to-back Mountain West Conference Tournament titles and is shooting for a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance, it should be no surprise that UNLV was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the MWC title today at the conference's media day in Las Vegas.

Lon Kruger's squad garnered 16 of a possible 24 first place votes en route to 206 points. Two-time defending MWC regular-season champion BYU (181 points) collected five first-place votes, while San Diego State (170 points) earned three first-place votes to finish second and third, respectively.

Utah tallied 148 points for fourth and New Mexico earned 132 points for fifth. Wyoming received 75 points to finish sixth, followed by Air Force (66 points) in seventh, Colorado State (53 points) in eighth and TCU (49 points) in ninth to round out the poll.

It also was a good day individually for the Rebels.

Senior guard Wink Adams was named preseason Co-Player of the Year along with BYU swingman Lee Cummard. And sophomore guard Tre'Von Willis, a transfer from Memphis, was named the MWC's Newcomer of the Year.

Joining Adams and Cummard on the preseason All-MWC team were Utah center Luke Nevill, Wyoming guard Brandon Ewing and San Diego State forward Lorenzo Wade.

New Mexico guard Phillip McDonald was named Freshman of the Year.

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