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Colorado State picked to win Mountain West in preseason poll

The Rams just edged out San Diego State by six votes as the Mountain West Conference men’s basketball preseason favorite.

Syndication: The Coloradoan Bethany Baker / Staff Photographer via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Mountain West Conference kicked off its annual men’s basketball media days by releasing the preseason standings with the Colorado State Rams voted as the preseason favorite to win the conference.

The Rams just edged out the reigning conference champions, San Diego State, by just six votes (207-201). Colorado State received 11 first-place votes, while the Aztecs had seven. Colorado State only lost one player from last year’s team that just missed the NCAA Tournament, while San Diego State has to replace its top three scorers from last year’s team.

Nevada was picked to finish third (189) and received two first-place votes. The Wolf Pack has the conference’s preseason player of the year, Grant Sherfield, and a lot of returners from last year. Boise State and Utah State round out the top five.

The previously mentioned Sherfield was picked as the conference's preseason player of the year. Last year he averaged 18.6 points per game and shot 36.7 percent from three-point range. Sherfield was the 2020-21 Mountain West Newcomer of the Year and to the first-team All-Mountain West team at the end of the 2020-21 season.

San Diego State’s Matt Bradley was picked as the Preseason Newcomer of the Year. Bradley is a transfer from California who averaged 18 points per game last year with the Golden Bears. The 6-foot-4 guard will have two years of eligibility left and at his time at California, he scored nearly 1,300 points. And with the Aztecs having to replace three 1,000 point scorers, expect the offense to run through Bradley.

UNLV freshman Keshon Gilbert was picked as the Mountain West Preseason Freshman of the Year. So far through practice, Gilbert has stood out to UNLV coaches and made his presence felt on the court.

And rounding out the early portion of media day was the announcement of the Preseason All-Mountain West Team. Sherfield, the conference’s preseason player of the year was named a member of the team. Two Colorado State players, Isaiah Stevens and David Roddy were also announced to the team. And Fresno State’s Orlando Robinson and UNLV’s Bryce Hamilton rounded out the preseason team.