The Seattle University men's basketball team was picked to finish eighth in the Western Athletic Conference in both the coaches' preseason poll and the media preseason poll, announced Wednesday morning by the conference office.
Seattle U head coach Cameron Dollar participated in the WAC preseason basketball teleconference Wednesday and talked about the status of the team, including the program's move into its new conference home.
"The guys are working hard, and we are looking forward to the season," Dollar said. "Joining the WAC was a key step for us to show the progress the program has made, and we will be ready to play against our peer institutions this year."
In the poll conducted among the ten conference head coaches, Seattle U totaled 22 points. New Mexico State was picked as the slight favorite with 77 points, including five first place votes. Utah State also received five first place votes and finished with 76 points for second place, followed by Denver with 65 points and Louisiana Tech with 54 points.
UT Arlington finished fifth among the coaches with 48 points, just ahead of sixth-place Idaho with 45 points. UTSA earned 31 points for seventh place, followed by Seattle U, San Jose State in ninth place with 18 points, and Texas State in 10th place with 14 points.
In the media preseason poll, Seattle U collected 77 points among the 25 voters. Utah State earned 15 first place votes on its way to the top of the media poll with 232 points, with New Mexico State close behind with 223 points, including eight first place votes. Denver earned a first place vote and finished third with 181 points, followed by Louisiana Tech in fourth place with 162 points.
Idaho was picked to finish fifth by the media with 144 points, followed by UT Arlington in sixth place with 137 points, including one first place vote. The media voted the final four teams in the same order as the coaches: UTSA (104 points), Seattle U, San Jose State (61 points), and Texas State (54 points).
Both groups named Preston Medlin, a junior guard from Utah State, as preseason Player of the Year. The coaches and the media also voted for the same exact preseason First Team All-WAC: Medlin, Raheem Appleby of Louisiana Tech, Kyle Barone of Idaho, Daniel Mullings of New Mexico State, and Chris Udofia of Denver.
Even though no Redhawk players were singled out in the preseason voting, Dollar is confident that members of this year's squad will become known during the season. He believes the team's trip to China in late August, where they played against tough competition in front of standing room-only crowds of about 5,000 people, prepared them for the upcoming schedule.
"Allen Tate played the best of anyone in China, and his solid play has continued since returning to the States. Clarence Trent has been getting better since the end of last season, as his potential has turned into production, and Sterling Carter has settled in and shown veteran leadership heading into this year," said Dollar.
The Seattle University men's basketball team will face Evergreen State in an exhibition game Wednesday, Nov. 7, at KeyArena at Seattle Center beginning at 7 p.m. The Redhawks open the regular season Sunday, Nov. 11, against Montana State at KeyArena at 6 p.m., and start the WAC schedule by hosting Idaho at KeyArena Saturday, Dec. 29, at 7 p.m.