RUSTON, La. - With only six letterwinners returning from last season, the Louisiana Tech men's basketball team has been picked to finish seventh in the Western Athletic Conference preseason media and coaches polls.
The Bulldogs received 116 points in the media poll and were picked to finish ahead of Idaho (78) and Hawai'i (73). Defending WAC champion Utah State (259) was picked first in the poll as they garnered 19 first-place votes. They were followed by New Mexico State (237), Nevada (190), San Jose State (135), Fresno State (133) and Boise State (129).
The standings in the coaches poll were similar as LA Tech received 24 points in front of Idaho (19) and Hawai'i (11). Utah State (64) was also picked first in the coaches poll with eight first-place votes. They were followed by New Mexico State (55) and Nevada (47). Boise State and Fresno State tied for fourth place with 36 points and San Jose State (32) was tabbed sixth.
Louisiana Tech junior forward Olu Ashaolu landed on the preseason all-WAC Second Team by the coaches along with Boise State's Daequon Montreal and Utah State's Nate Bendall, Tyler Newbold and Pooh Williams. Last season, Ashaolu averaged 10.7 points and 8.1 rebounds while putting up 10 double-doubles.
Utah State forward Tai Wesley was tabbed preseason player of the year by the coaches. He is joined on the first team by San Jose State's Adrian Olvier, Fresno State's Greg Smith and New Mexico State's Troy Gillenwater and Wendell McKines.
Oliver was the media's pick for preseason player of the year. The senior guard is joined on the first team by Gillenwater, McKines, Smith and Wesley. Utah State's Brockeith Pane was tabbed WAC Newcomer of the Year.