Aztecs earn two first-place votes
LAS VEGAS – San Diego State has been picked to finish second in the preseason Mountain West media poll and Trey Kell was named to the all-conference squad, the league announced Wednesday morning ahead of its annual MW Men’s Basketball Media Summit at the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Aztecs garnered 229 points and two first-place votes, and finished behind only Nevada, last year’s champion, which had 257 points and 19 first-place considerations. Joining SDSU in the top five were Boise State (211 points; 2 first-place votes), Fresno State (188) and Colorado State (154). UNLV earned the other first-place tally and totaled 138 points, which was good for sixth in the 11-team poll.
Rounding out the preseason rankings were Wyoming in seventh place with 133 points, Utah State in eighth (102), New Mexico in ninth (93), San José State in 10th (41) and Air Force in 11th (38).
For the 13th consecutive year, San Diego State has been picked to finish in the top four of the MW preseason poll and the fourth year in a row that it has been selected either first or second.
Kell, meanwhile, is a preseason all-league selection for the second straight campaign after a junior year that saw him average a team- and personal-best 13.2 points and 2.9 assists, and a career-high 4.9 rebounds. The senior is the third Aztec in conference history to earn preseason all-MW recognition multiple times, joining Brandon Heath (2005-06, 2006-07) and Winston Shepard (2014-15, 2015-16).
A native of San Diego, Kell is joined on the preseason all-MW team by Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison, who is the preseason player of the year, Nevada’s Jordan Caroline, Utah State’s Koby McEwen and Wyoming’s Justin James.
San Diego State returns three starters, including an all-conference backcourt of Kell and Jeremy Hemsley, and five players overall (Montaque Gill-Caesar, Hemsley, Max Montana, Kell, Malik Pope) who saw action in the starting lineup a year ago. The Aztecs also add Devin Watson to the roster after he sat out last season following his transfer from San Francisco where he averaged 20.3 points and 4.9 assists as a sophomore in 2015-16, and Kameron Rooks, who is a graduate transfer from California. In addition to Watson and Rooks, SDSU will welcome four-star athletes Jalen McDaniels (redshirt freshman) and Jordan Schakel (true freshman), and three-star players Matt Mitchell (true freshman) and Adam Seiko (true freshman).
SDSU is in the midst of its preseason preparations and will be in action on Nov. 2, when it plays host to UC San Diego in its lone exhibition game of the season. The Aztecs officially open the campaign on Nov. 10, when cross-town foe San Diego Christian visits Steve Fisher Court at Viejas Arena.
2017-18 Preseason Mountain West Media Poll
Rk., Team (First-Place Votes) – Pts.
- 1. Nevada (19) – 257
- 2. San Diego State (2) – 229
- 3. Boise State (2) – 211
- 4. Fresno State – 188
- 5. Colorado State – 154
- 6. UNLV (1) – 138
- 7. Wyoming – 133
- 8. Utah State – 102
- 9. New Mexico – 93
- 10. San José State – 41
- 11. Air Force – 38
2017-18 Preseason All-MW Team
Pos., Player, Yr., Team
- G, Trey Kell, Sr., San Diego State
- G, Chandler Hutchison, Sr., Boise State
- G/F, Jordan Caroline, Jr., Nevada
- G, Koby McEwen, So., Utah State
- G, Justin James, Jr., Wyoming
- Preseason Player of the Year
- Chandler Hutchison, G, Sr., Boise State
- Preseason Freshman of the Year
- Brandon McCoy, F, Fr., UNLV
- Preseason Newcomer of the Year
- Caleb Martin, F, Jr., Nevada