DENVER — The Utah Valley University men’s basketball team has been selected to finish sixth by both the media and the coaches in the WAC preseason polls released on Wednesday at the annual WAC Basketball Preview and Media Day at the Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport Convention Center.
Utah Valley junior transfer guard Brandon Averette earned preseason all-WAC second team honors by the media. Averette spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Oklahoma State where he played in 69 games over his two seasons with the Cowboys. He played in 36 games and made six starts for OSU during the 2017-18 season, leading the Cowboys in total assists (104) and assists per game (2.9). He also averaged 19.9 minutes, 6.3 points, 2.9 assists, 1.8 rebounds, and 0.6 steals per game during the 2017-18 season.
New Mexico State was picked to win the league in both polls. The Aggies received all eight available first-place votes from the coaches and all 28 of the first-place votes from the media.
In the coaches’ poll, Grand Canyon was picked to finish second with Seattle U third and UT Rio Grande Valley fourth. California Baptist was fifth, followed by CSU Bakersfield and Utah Valley tied for sixth, Kansas City in eighth, and Chicago State ninth.
On the media side, Grand Canyon was second, followed by Seattle U in third. UTRGV was picked fourth, followed by California Baptist in fifth and Utah Valley in sixth. CSU Bakersfield was selected seventh, Kansas City eighth, and Chicago State ninth.
California Baptist junior guard Milan Acquaah was selected as the preseason Player of the Year in both polls.
Earning preseason all-WAC first team honors in the coaches’ poll were Acquaah, Terrell Brown (NM State), Terrell Brown (SU), Carlos Johnson (GCU), and Alessandro Lever (GCU). Second team honors in the poll went to Ivan Aurrecoechea (NM State), Myles Carter (SU), AJ Harris (NM State), Javon Levi (UTRGV) and Trevelin Queen (NM State).
The first-team preseason all WAC honors on the media side went to Acquaah (CBU), Brown (NM State), Johnson (GCU), Levi (UTRGV) and Queen (NM State). Second-team honors went to Averette (UVU), Aurrecoechea (NM State), Brown (SU), Jaylen Fisher (GCU) and Lever (GCU).
Utah Valley opens the 2019-20 season with an exhibition game against the College of Idaho at the Lockhart Arena at 7 p.m. Nov. 1. The Wolverines’ regular-season opener will take place at the UCCU Center on Nov. 5 against Westminster.