WAC Preseason Poll & All-Conference Team

October 14th, 2008




DENVER – The 2008-09 Western Athletic Conference men’s basketball media poll has tabbed Nevada as this year’s favorite. Utah State senior forward Gary Wilkinson has been named the preseason Player of the Year. Nevada freshman Luke Babbitt was tabbed this year’s preseason Newcomer of the Year.


Nevada received 255 points and 20 first-place votes. Utah State was picked second with 220 points and four first place votes. New Mexico State garnered 201 points and two first place votes for third place followed by Louisiana Tech with 149 points. Boise State was fifth with three first place votes and 142 points followed by San Jose State with a first place vote and 132 points. Fresno State was seventh with 114 points, followed by Hawai‘i (103) and Idaho (34).


Wilkinson averaged 13.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game last season, helping Utah State to a share of the conference regular season crown last year.


Babbitt, a 2008 graduate of Galena High School in Reno, became the third player in Nevada prep history to be named a McDonald’s All-American.


The All-WAC team included Wilkinson, New Mexico State junior guard Jonathan Gibson, Louisiana Tech junior guard Kyle Gibson, Nevada sophomore forward Armon Johnson, and San Jose State junior center C.J. Webster.


The following is the complete 2008-09 WAC men’s basketball media poll with first-place votes in parentheses (points awarded on a 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis):


         Rank     Team                               Points

               1.     Nevada (20)                        255

               2.     Utah State (4)                     220

               3.     New Mexico State (2)        201

               4.     Louisiana Tech                  149

               5.     Boise State (3)                    142

               6.     San Jose State (1)             132

               7.     Fresno State                       114

               8.     Hawai‘i                                 103

               9.     Idaho                                      34


Preseason All-WAC Team

Jonathan Gibson, Jr., G, New Mexico State

Kyle Gibson, Jr., G, Louisiana Tech

Armon Johnson, So., F, Nevada

C.J. Webster, Jr., C, San Jose State

Gary Wilkinson, Sr., F, Utah State


Preseason Player of the Year: Gary Wilkinson, Sr., F, Utah State

Newcomer of the Year: Luke Babbitt, Fr., F, Nevada






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. Nevada was selected to win the WAC, while Nevada sophomore Armon Johnson was tabbed the league’s preseason Player of the Year.


Nevada, the 2007-08 WAC regular season co-champion, received seven first place votes and 63 points. Utah State captured second place with 57 points, receiving two first-place votes. New Mexico State took third place with 48 points. With 43 points, San Jose State was voted fourth. Boise State (30) and Louisiana Tech (29) followed closely behind in fifth and sixth place, respectively. Hawai‘i (25) and Fresno State (20) finished seventh and eighth, respectively, while Idaho (9) was ranked ninth.


The coaches also voted on preseason first and second all-WAC teams. Nevada sophomore forward Armon Johnson, the 2007-08 WAC Freshman of the Year, leads the list of first-teamers. San Jose State junior center C.J. Webster and Utah State senior forward Gary Wilkinson, 2007-08 all-Newcomer team honorees, also earned spots on the preseason first team. New Mexico State guard Jonathan Gibson and Louisiana Tech guard Kyle Gibson round out the first team.


Second-team selections include Luke Babbitt (Nevada), Brandon Fields (Nevada), Anthony Thomas (Boise State), Tai Wesley (Utah State) and Jahmar Young (New Mexico State)


Nevada shared the 2007-08 regular season title with Boise State, Utah State, and New Mexico State. The team advanced to the first-ever College Basketball Invitational Tournament last season.



 2008-09 Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll

 Rank      Teams (1st Place Votes)               Points

 1.            Nevada (7)                                             63

 2.            Utah State (2)                                         57

 3.            New Mexico State                                  48

 4.            San Jose State                                       43

 5.            Boise State                                             30

 6.            Louisiana Tech                                      29

 7.            Hawai‘i    25

.               8.            Fresno State                                          20

 9.            Idaho      9


Preseason All-WAC Teams

First Team                             Second Team

Jonathan Gibson, Jr., G, New Mexico St.           Luke Babbitt, Fr., F, Nevada

Kyle Gibson, Jr., G, Louisiana Tech                   Brandon Fields, Jr., G, Nevada

Armon Johnson, So., F, Nevada                         Anthony Thomas, Jr., F, Boise State

C.J. Webster, Jr., C, San Jose State                    Tai Wesley, So., F, Utah State

Gary Wilkinson, Sr., F, Utah State                       Jahmar Young, So., G, New Mexico St.


Player of the Year: Armon Johnson, Nevada