LAS VEGAS — BYU men’s basketball was picked to finish third in the annual West Coast Conference Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll and seniors Yoeli Childs and TJ Haws were named to the All-WCC Preseason Team.
The WCC Preseason Coaches Poll and the All-WCC Preseason Team are selected by a vote by the league’s coaches. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible for the All-WCC Preseason Team.
The Cougars received 65 votes to finish third in the poll behind Gonzaga (79 points and seven first-place votes) and Saint Mary’s (75 points and three first-place votes). Pepperdine (56 points) and Santa Clara (50) were fourth and fifth while San Francisco (40), Loyola Marymount (34), Pacific (21), San Diego (21) and Portland (9) round out the rest of the poll.
BYU finished the 2018-19 season at 19-13 overall and tied with Saint Mary’s for second in the WCC at 11-5. The Cougars enter their first season with new head coach Mark Pope at the helm. Pope comes to BYU from Utah Valley where he helped the Wolverines to 23 and 25 wins the last two seasons and three-straight trips to the postseason.
Childs, a three-year starter, averaged team highs of 21.2 points and 9.7 rebounds while posting 17 double-doubles in 2018-19. He was named to the All-WCC First Team and the NABC and USBWA all-district first teams. Entering the 2019-20 season, Childs’ name is scattered throughout the BYU career record book. He is currently 14th all-time in scoring (1,609 points), ninth in field goals made (626), fifth in rebounds (882) and fifth in blocks (142).
Fellow three-year starter TJ Haws — who has started 101-consecutive games — returns to run the point for BYU. Last season, Haws averaged 17.8 points and 3.5 rebounds while leading the team in assists (5.1) and steals (1.2) per game. Haws earned All-WCC Second Team accolades and a spot on the NABC All-District 9 Second Team. Haws has also made his mark on the BYU record book as he is 19th all-time in scoring (1,450 points), sixth in 3-point field goals made (183), 16th in made free throws, fifth in free-throw percentage, ninth in assists and 18th in steals.
BYU opens the 2019-20 season on Nov. 5 against Cal State Fullerton at home in the Marriott Center. WCC play tips off on Jan. 4, 2020 against Loyola Marymount in the Marriott Center.