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DENVER - The Western Athletic Conference announced its men's basketball preseason poll and all-WAC teams as voted on by the nine head coaches in the league. Utah State was picked to win the WAC, while the Aggies' Jaycee Carroll was selected the WAC's preseason player of the year.
Utah State received four first-place votes and 58 points to be picked first in a very close vote. The Aggies were 23-12 last season (9-7 in the WAC), and advanced to the National Invitational Tournament. Utah State has advanced to postseason for eight-straight seasons. New Mexico State received three first-place votes and placed second with 57 points. Nevada received one first-place vote and 53 points for third followed by Fresno State with the final first-place vote and 46 points. Boise State was picked fifth with 34 points followed by Hawai‘i (29), Louisiana Tech (17), San Jose State (17) and Idaho (13). Nevada and New Mexico State were NCAA Tournament participants last season.
The coaches also voted on a first and second all-WAC team. Utah State senior guard Jaycee Carroll was voted the preseason Player of the Year after earning first-team all-WAC honors last season. He is joined on the first team by New Mexico State junior guard/forward Justin Hawkins, Nevada senior guard Marcelus Kemp, Boise State senior forward Reggie Larry and New Mexico State junior forward Fred Peete. Carroll led the WAC in scoring last season with 21.3 points and also shot .888 from the free-throw line. Hawkins led the Aggies in scoring, averaging 15.6 points per game. Kemp was third in the WAC in scoring (18.5 ppg) and three-point field goals made (2.47 pg). Peete averaged 9.5 points per contest at New Mexico State, and Larry averaged 14.1 ppg. Carroll, Hawkins and Kemp were named to the all-WAC first team last year, while Larry and Peete were named to the all-Newcomer team.
The preseason second team is comprised of Fresno State's Kevin Bell, Fresno State's Hector Hernandez, Nevada's Demarshay Johnson, Hawai‘i's Bobby Nash and Boise State's Matt Nelson.
The 2007-08 season begins Friday, Nov. 9. The 2008 WAC Tournament will be held in Las Cruces, New Mexico at the Pan American Center, March 11-15.
2007-08 Preseason Men's Basketball Coaches Poll Rk Team (1st place votes) Points 1. Utah State (4) 58 2. New Mexico State (3) 57 3. Nevada (1) 53 4. Fresno State (1) 46 5. Boise State 34 6. Hawai‘i 29 7. Louisiana Tech 17 San Jose State 17 9. Idaho 13
Note: Coaches could not vote for their own team or players
Preseason All-WAC Teams First-Team Jaycee Carroll, Sr., G, Utah State Justin Hawkins, Jr., G/F, New Mexico State Marcelus Kemp, Sr., G, Nevada Reggie Larry, Sr., F, Boise State Fred Peete, Jr., G, New Mexico State
Second-Team Kevin Bell, Sr., G, Fresno State Hector Hernandez, Sr., F, Fresno State Demarshay Johnson, Sr., F, Nevada Bobby Nash, Sr., G, Hawai‘i Matt Nelson, Sr., F, Boise State
Player of the Year: Jaycee Carroll, Utah State