After a disappointing finish and fifth-place standing in the West Coast Conference last season, the BYU Cougars men’s basketball team is preparing for its final campaign in the WCC before joining the Big 12.
On Thursday as part of the conference’s annual media day, the preseason poll (as voted by the conference’s coaches) was released, and the Cougars were picked to finish in a tie for third with the San Francisco Dons.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs were once again picked to win the conference, although it wasn’t unanimous, as the Saint Mary’s Gaels got one of the 10 votes.
Portland was picked fifth, followed by Santa Clara, Pepperdine, San Diego, Loyola Marymount and Pacific.
Last season, Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and San Francisco all made the NCAA Tournament, while BYU was on the outside looking in. San Francisco making it marked the first time since 2008 that a team other than Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s or BYU made it in the field.
The Dons will have a new coach, however, as Todd Golden left for Florida and Chris Gerlufsen replaces him.
In addition to the preseason poll, the preseason all-conference team was released, and BYU big man Fousseyni Traore was among the 10 players on it.
As a freshman last season, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Traore averaged 9.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game
The Cougars open the 2022-23 at the Marriott Center against Idaho State on Nov. 7.