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Weber State basketball: Weber State picked first in Big Sky preseason polls

Jeremy Senglin (center) dribbles down the court. He is one of four starters returning for Weber State off last year's Big Sky Championship team.
Jeremy Senglin (center) dribbles down the court. He is one of four starters returning for Weber State off last year's Big Sky Championship team.
Weber State Athletics

For the eighth time in the last nine years, the Weber State men’s basketball team has been selected to win the Big Sky Conference title. The Wildcats were picked first in the coaches and media polls for the 2016-17 season, which were released Friday by the conference.

Weber State captured the Big Sky title last season, finishing with a 26-9 overall record. The ‘Cats were 15-3 in Big Sky play and won the conference title for the second time in the last three years. WSU also won the conference tournament in Reno, Nevada, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

In the coaches poll, the Wildcats had seven first-place votes and totaled 114 points. WSU had 10 first-place votes in the media poll with 181 points. Idaho was picked second in the coaches poll and third in the media poll. The coaches voted North Dakota third, Montana fourth and Idaho State fifth, while the media tabbed Montana for second with Idaho third, North Dakota fourth and Eastern Washington fifth.

“We never put too much stock in preseason rankings and we always have high expectations for our team, regardless of the polls,” Weber State head coach Randy Rahe said. “We were able to have some success last year but this is a new season. I’m really excited about the players we have back this year and we can’t wait to get started.”

The Wildcats lost Big Sky MVP and the conference’s all-time leading rebounder Joel Bolomboy to the NBA off last year’s team. However, the ‘Cats have four starters and nine letter winners returning from last year’s team. Senior guard Jeremy Senglin was named to the Big Sky All-Conference First Team and senior Kyndahl Hill was named the Top Reserve last season.

Rahe returns for his 11th season as head coach of the Wildcats. Last season, Rahe became Weber State’s career leader in coaching victories with 208. He also became the Big Sky Conference’s career leader in conference wins with 129 and has won 75 percent of his Big Sky games. Rahe has led the Wildcats to five Big Sky Championships in 10 years as head coach and has guided the ‘Cats to the postseason in eight of the 10 years, including three trips to the NCAA Tournament. He has coached six Big Sky Conference MVPs in his time with the Wildcats.

Weber State will host the annual Purple and White Scrimmage on Oct. 19, with an exhibition game scheduled for Nov. 5, and the regular season tipping off on Nov. 11. The Big Sky Tournament will be played in Reno, Nevada, from March 6-11.

Paul Grua is the Director of Athletic Communications at Weber State University.