Two Utah schools are expected to be the class of the Big Sky Conference in men’s basketball this season.
Southern Utah was picked to win the league in both the Big Sky preseason coaches and media polls released Thursday, while Weber State is projected to finish second in both polls.
The T’Birds won the Big Sky regular-season championship last season, their first in school history, after going 12-2 in conference play. They finished the season with a 20-4 record and return a majority of their team this year.
The Wildcats went 17-6 last year, including a 12-3 Big Sky mark that tied for second in the league, and return four starters and 10 total players this season, while adding three Division I transfers in Koby McEwen (Marquette/Utah State), Jamison Overton (Utah Valley) and Dyson Koehler (Cal Poly).
It’s the first time SUU has been predicted to win the conference. Weber State has been first or second in the Big Sky preseason poll 13 of the past 14 years.
“It is an honor to be recognized as the top program in such a talented conference,” Southern Utah head coach Todd Simon said in a news release. “It is a tribute to the hard work of our staff and our student-athletes, but it is only for fun and on paper at this stage. We have championship-level expectations and will need to be at that standard every day.”