WSU Mens Basketball vs. Eastern Washington  65

Weber State Wildcats Caleb Nero (0) looks to move the ball in the first half during the game against Eastern Washington at Dee Events Center in Ogden on March 9, 2019.

The Big Sky Conference released its 2019-20 preseason basketball polls Thursday and predicted winners for the men’s side were split between coaches and media.

Coaches voted Eastern Washington as preseason No. 1 and media voted Montana to the top spot in the polls revealed Thursday.

Weber State was tabbed second by media and third by coaches, both by small margins.

Weber State logo athletics

Eastern Washington figures to boast a tough lineup in the league with Jacob Davison, Mason Peatling, Kim Aiken Jr., Jack Perry and Tyler Kidd returning. The Eagles garnered eight of a possible 11 first-place votes from coaches, who don’t vote for their own team.

Despite losing five seniors and returning only four players with substantial experience, Montana grabbed the most first-place votes in the media poll (13 of 36) to take the top spot. Between Michael Oguine, Ahmaad Rorie, Bobby Moorehead, Jamar Akoh and Donaven Dorsey, the Griz lost total experience of 442 games and 361 starts with their graduations.

Weber State garnered 12 first-place media votes and was nine points behind Montana in second. In the coaches poll, Weber was one total point behind Montana for second. The Griz received the three first-place votes not given to EWU in the coaches poll.

Southern Utah was voted fourth by coaches and fifth by media, though the Thunderbirds have a roster capable of finishing higher than that.

WSU’s men’s season begins Nov. 2 with a home exhibition and the regular season begins Nov. 8 at Utah State.

On the women’s side, Weber State was voted last by both media and coaches after last year’s 6-25 campaign. Montana State was voted first in both polls.

WSU’s women’s season begins Oct. 30 with a home exhibition and the regular season begins No. 5 at UCLA.

Below are the two men’s preseason polls, with total votes listed and first-place votes placed in parentheses.

MEN’S MEDIA POLL

1. Montana — 354 (13)

2. Weber State — 345 (12)

3. Eastern Washington — 330 (9)

4. Northern Colorado — 275 (2)

5. Southern Utah — 247

6. Portland State — 220

7. Montana State — 188

8. Northern Arizona — 150

9. Sacramento State — 127

10. Idaho State — 92

11. Idaho — 48

MEN’S COACHES POLL

1. Eastern Washington — 96 (8)

2. Montana — 87 (3)

3. Weber State — 86

4. Southern Utah — 71

5. Northern Colorado — 65

6. Portland State — 59

7. Montana State — 42

8. Northern Arizona — 35

9. Sacramento State — 32

10. Idaho State — 21

11. Idaho — 11

Contact Brett Hein at bhein@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter @bhein3/@WeberHQ and at facebook.com/WeberStateSports.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!