Rebels picked sixth in preseason basketball poll

Brandon McCoy chosen as Freshman of the Year

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L.E. Baskow

Head coach Marvin Menzies counsels his players during the UNLV basketball team’s first practice at the Mendenhall Center on Saturday, September 30, 2017. .

Not everyone is convinced UNLV basketball will make a return to Mountain West contention this season.

The league released the results of its preseason poll on Wednesday, and the rebuilt Rebels were picked to finish in sixth place. Defending champion UNR (regular season and tournament) was picked to repeat, garnering 19 of 24 first-place votes and 257 points in total. Second-place selection San Diego State received two first-place votes and 229 points, and Boise State was third with two first-place votes and 211 points.

UNLV was the only other team to receive a first-place vote (1), but the team's 138 points were only good enough to slot in sixth in the 11-team conference. Fourth-place Fresno State (188) and fifth-place Colorado State (154) were the other teams ranked ahead of the Rebels.

On the individual ballot, no UNLV players were chosen to the All-Mountain West preseason team, but Rebels recruit Brandon McCoy was picked as the Freshman of the Year. McCoy, a 6-foot-11 center, was the No. 12 prospect in the Class of 2017 according to Rivals.com, and he is expected to start and play a huge role for UNLV as the team attempts to rebound from last season's 11-21 campaign.

The All-MWC team is comprised of Boise State guard Chandler Hutchison, UNR forward Jordan Caroline, San Diego State guard Trey Kell, Utah State guard Koby McEwen and Wyoming guard Justin James. Hutchison was picked as the preseason Player of the Year, and UNR transfer Caleb Martin was picked as the Newcomer of the Year.

The voters were comprised of the league's local media members. The Sun did not receive a vote.

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at twitter.com/mikegrimala.

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