UTRGV Men picked 9th and 11th in preseason polls

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EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Tuesday the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) announced the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Men’s Basketball team has been picked to finish tied for ninth in the coaches’ and 11th in the media preseason polls during the upcoming 2021-22 season.

UTRGV has outperformed the preseason polls in three of the last four years, including finishing a program-best third in 2019-20 by going 9-7 in WAC play. UTRGV outperformed the 2018-19 poll by two spots, finishing fourth, after outperforming the 2017-18 poll by one spot, finishing fifth.

In the coaches’ poll, UTRGV earned 48 points, the same number as Tarleton, and seven points more than Lamar, which was picked 11th. Dixie State (35 points) and Chicago State (12 points) rounded out the poll.

New Mexico State was picked to win the WAC Championship with eight first-place votes and 138 points after finishing last season but winning the previous three WAC Championships. Defending WAC Co-Champion Grand Canyon, which is also the reigning WAC Tournament Champion, received three first-place votes and 131 points to place second. WAC newcomer Stephen F. Austin received one first-place vote and was picked third with 106 points after finishing fourth in the Southland with a 12-3 record last season.

Defending WAC Co-Champion Utah Valley was picked fourth with 103 points while Abilene Christian, which won the Southland Conference Tournament and upset Texas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, received the remaining first-place vote while getting picked fifth with 92 points. Seattle U, which features Preseason WAC Player of the Year Darrion Trammel, was picked sixth with 90 points. Newcomer Sam Houston, which went 13-3 in the Southland last season, was picked seventh with 86 points. California Baptist was picked eight with 84 points.

In the media poll, UTRGV was picked to finish 11th, ahead of Dixie State and Chicago State. New Mexico State was picked to win the WAC, followed by Stephen F. Austin, Grand Canyon, Abilene Christian, Utah Valley, California Baptist, Sam Houston, Seattle U, Tarleton, and Lamar.

WAC Preseason Coaches’ PollWAC Preseason Media Poll
RankTeam (First Place Votes)PointsRankTeam
1.New Mexico State (8)1381.New Mexico State
2.Grand Canyon (3)1312.Stephen F. Austin
3.Stephen F. Austin (1)1063.Grand Canyon
4.Utah Valley1034.Abilene Christian
5.Abilene Christian (1)925.Utah Valley
6.Seattle U906.California Baptist
7.Sam Houston867.Sam Houston
8.California Baptist84 8.Seattle U 
T-9.UTRGV489.Tarleton
T-9.Tarleton48 10.Lamar 
11.Lamar41 11.UTRGV 
12.Dixie State35 12.Dixie State 
13.Chicago State12 13.Chicago State 
Coaches’ Preseason All-WAC First TeamMedia Preseason All-WAC First Team
NameTeamNameTeam
Fardaws AimaqUtah ValleyFardaws Aimaq*Utah Valley
Teddy AllenNew Mexico StateJovan Blacksher Jr.Grand Canyon
Jovan Blacksher Jr.Grand CanyonMontre´ GipsonTarleton
Riley GrigsbySeattle UGavin KensmilStephen F. Austin
Gavin KensmilStephen F. AustinDeMarkus LampleySam Houston
Jabari RiceNew Mexico State Jabari RiceNew Mexico State
Ty RowellCalifornia Baptist Ty RowellCalifornia Baptist
Darrion Trammel*Seattle U Darrion TrammelSeattle U
*Preseason Player of the Year*Preseason Player of the Year
Coaches’ Preseason All-WAC Second TeamMedia Preseason All-WAC Second Team
NameTeamNameTeam
Damien DanielsAbilene ChristianTeddy AllenNew Mexico State
Savion FlaggSam HoustonJohnny McCantsNew Mexico State
Montre´ GipsonTarletonCoryon MasonAbilene Christian
DeMarkus LampleySam HoustonReggie MillerAbilene Christian
Johnny McCantsNew Mexico StateReed NottageCalifornia Baptist
Donnie TillmanNew Mexico State Roti WareStephen F. Austin
Roti WareStephen F. Austin Trey Woodbury Jr.Utah Valley
Trey Woodbury Jr.Utah Valley Holland Woods IIGrand Canyon

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