Pokes Picked 6th, Ewing Top Returner

Basketball Media Day for the Mountain West Conference tipped off in Denver on Wednesday with the release of its preseason media poll. The Cowboys were picked sixth in the preseason rankings with 120 points, and Wyoming junior guard Brandon Ewing was named the league's Top Returning Player.

Wyoming, New Mexico and San Diego State were all closely bunched in the middle of the preseason rankings. Wyoming's 120 points trailed New Mexico and San Diego State by only eight. The Lobos and Aztecs tied for fourth with 128 points in the poll. BYU was picked to defend its regular-season MWC Championship from a year ago. The Cougars received 15 of the 22 first-place votes and 181 total points. UNLV was picked second with 146 points and two first-place votes. Utah also received two first-place votes and 142 points to place third. Rounding out the poll were: TCU, seventh with 58 points; Air Force, eighth with 54; and Colorado State, ninth with 33.

Wyoming head coach Heath Schroyer is one of five new head coaches in the Mountain West this season, and the fresh faces could make for an interesting conference race.

"It's a preseason poll, and with so many new coaches in the league I think it's hard to know where everyone fits into the mix," he said. "I know this, our goal is to compete for a championship each and every year. Our guys are working very hard, and I'm more concerned with where we finish in March, not where we're picked in October."

Ewing, who led the Mountain West Conference and ranked No. 28 in the nation in scoring a year ago was voted to the five-man MWC Preseason All-Conference Team, as well as being named the Top Returning Player.

"I believe Brandon (Ewing) is beginning to get his due," said Schroyer. "He's worked very hard this offseason, and I look for him to have a very, very good year."

"It's definitely a compliment, because there are a lot of great players in this conference, including my teammate Brad Jones," said Ewing. "I feel very honored to receive the recognition.

"Whether you're picked sixth or first in the preseason, you have to work hard every day to achieve your goals," he added. "Our goals are to win the conference, win a Mountain West Conference Tournament Championship and go to the NCAA Tournament. But we all know it's one day at a time, and that all starts on Nov. 3 with our first exhibition game."

The Cowboys tip off the 2007-08 season versus Regis on Saturday, Nov. 3 in Laramie.

Preseason Media Poll

All MWC Team:

Brandon Ewing (UW)
Trent Plaisted (BYU)
J.R. Giddens (UNM)
Wink Adams (UNLV)
Luke Nevill (Utah)

Preseason Projections (First-Place Votes):

1. BYU (15)

2. UNLV (2)

3. Utah (2)

4. New Mexico (2)

5. San Diego State (1)

6. Wyoming

7. TCU

8. Air Force

9. Colorado State

Top Returning Player:

Brandon Ewing

Top Newcomer:

Ryan Amoroso, Jr., F, San Diego State

Top Freshman:

Jimmer Fredette, BYU

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