Boise State men’s basketball picked to finish third in Mountain West

The Boise State men’s basketball team was shutout of the All-Mountain West preseason individual awards, but the Broncos were picked third in the preseason poll.

BOISE, Idaho — despite setting program records for total, conference and consecutive wins this spring, the Boise State men’s basketball team tips off another campaign with an under-the-radar status.

On Wednesday, head coach Leon Rice and the Broncos were picked to finish third in the Mountain West Conference preseason poll during the first day of virtual media days.

Media members covering the conference tabbed Boise State behind top-ranked San Diego State and No. 2 Wyoming. The Aztecs received 16 out of 20 first-place votes, with the Cowboys earning the remaining four votes.

The Mountain West’s Preseason All-Conference Men’s Basketball squad was also unveiled Wednesday. While the Broncos return well-known standouts like Marcus Shaver Jr. and Tyson Degenhart, Boise State was shutout of the individual preseason awards.

Following last season’s championship run – regular season and conference tourney – Shaver earned second-team honors from conference coaches and the media. The senior guard started 34 games during the 2021-22 campaign, averaging 13.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

Degenhart also received deserving recognition from Mountain West leaders for his debut performance last year. The Spokane native was named MW Freshman of the Year and earned honorable mention kudos after averaging 9.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest.

Prior to Boise State’s historic run in 2021, the Broncos saw nearly the exact same outcome from the conference’s preseason poll and individual awards.

Leon Rice’s squad was picked to finish fifth in the Mountain West a year ago, before Boise State went on to win 27 games — including 15 conference wins and 14-consecutive wins — on its way to an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Zero Broncos appeared on last year’s preseason all-conference team, too.

Following the departure of starters Abu Kigab, Emmanuel Akot and Mladen Armus, Boise State’s 2022 squad is young, but extremely athletic with eye-opening size.

Outside of Shaver and Degenhart, the Broncos return the likes of Max Rice, Nage Smith and Lukas Milner. Boise State also welcomed Texas Tech transfer Chibuzo Agbo, top-100 recruit Sadraque NgaNga and Mohamed Silla from Detroit Mercy, to name a few newcomers.

The Broncos host Carroll College for an exhibition match in Boise on Nov. 1 at 7 pm MT. Regular season play begins at ExtraMile Arena on Nov. 9 against South Dakota State.

Boise State’s full schedule can be viewed by clicking here.

The 2022-23 Preseason All-Conference Men’s Basketball Team and Predicted Order of Finish are included below:

  • Isaiah Stevens (Sr. – G) Colorado State
  • Jamal Mashburn Jr. (Jr. – G) New Mexico
  • Matt Bradley (Sr. – G) San Diego State
  • Graham Ike (Jr. – F) Wyoming
  • Hunter Maldonado (Sr. – G) Wyoming

Preseason Player of the Year

Graham Ike (Jr. – F) Wyoming

Preseason Newcomer of the Year

Darrion Trammell (Sr. – G) San Diego State

Preseason Freshman of the Year

Joseph Hunter (G) Fresno State

Preseason Poll: (First-place votes) … Points

  1. San Diego State (16) … 216
  2. Wyoming (4)… 204
  3. Boise State … 166
  4. Colorado State… 156
  5. New Mexico … 136
  6. UNLV … 110
  7. Fresno State … 101
  8. Utah State … 96
  9. Nevada … 73
  10. San Jose State … 35
  11. Air Force… 27

See all of our Boise State basketball coverage in our YouTube playlist:

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