McKines Injured; NMSU Predicted to Finish 2nd in WAC

Sports

POSTED: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - 2:24pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - 6:43pm

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team was picked to finish second in the preseason WAC coaches and media polls. The Aggies are the defending 2010 WAC Tournament Champions.

Senior forward Wendell McKines was injured at practice on Saturday.  The Las Cruces Sun-Times reports it is a broken foot, while NMSU Media Relations said McKines is "injured" and will be out for a while.  McKines and Junior forward Troy Gillenwater were preseason first team All-WAC selections on both the coaches and media ballots. The Aggies were the only program to have two players on the first team.

The Aggies posted a 22-12 record in 2009-10 and won their second WAC Tournament title en route to an NCAA Tournament appearance. In its 18th tournament showing, NM State nearly upset Michigan State, a 2010 Final Four participant, in the first round.

“I had hoped that we would end up in the upper echelon, which we did, so that’s a good thing,” head coach Marvin Menzies said. “Not being first and having a carrot to keep the guys motivated, I think is also good. But we’re also ranked high enough that we’ll have a target on our backs with the teams below us wanting to knock us off our pedestal. So this is the best of both worlds in terms of motivation for our players.”

NM State returns a strong nucleus from a year ago. The Aggies had five players with double-figure average in 2009-10, and Gillenwater has the highest returning average with 14.6 points per game. McKines follows with almost a double-double consisting of 10.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest.

“I think those guys are primed and ready for stellar years,” Menzies said. “Wendell, being a senior, and having the experience and his track record in conference, it’s an excellent selection for him to take a step this year and being to move onto the first team. Troy has his obstacles behind him now, and he’s positioned to have stellar year. I’m hopeful that both of them use these preseason polls as motivation to try and live up to their own expectations to have a productive year.”

In the coaches’ poll, Utah State received eight first-place votes and 64 points. NM State captured second place with 55 points and one first-place vote. Nevada took third place with 47 points. Boise State and Fresno State tied for the fourth spot with 36 points. San Jose State (32) and Louisiana Tech (24) followed closely behind in sixth and seventh place, respectively. Idaho (19) and Hawai’i (11) finished eighth and ninth, respectively.

In the media poll, Utah State received 259 points and 19 first-place votes, and NM State garnered 237 points and eight first-place votes. Nevada collected 190 points and two first-place votes for third place followed by San Jose State with 135 points and one first-place vote. Fresno State was fifth with 133 points followed by Boise State with 129 points. Louisiana Tech was seventh with 116 points, followed by Idaho (78) and Hawai‘i (73).

2010-11 Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll
Rank Teams (First Place Votes) Points
1. Utah State (8) 64
2. New Mexico State (1) 55
3. Nevada 47
4. (tie) Boise State 36
4. (tie) Fresno State 36
6. San Jose State 32
7. Louisiana Tech 24
8. Idaho 19
9. Hawai‘i 11

Preseason All-WAC Teams
First Team
Troy Gillenwater, Jr., F, New Mexico State
Wendell McKines, Sr., F, New Mexico State
Adrian Oliver, Sr., G, San Jose State
Greg Smith, So., C, Fresno State
Tai Wesley, Sr., F, Utah State

Second Team
Olu Ashaolu, Jr., F, Louisiana Tech
Nate Bendall, Sr., F, Utah State
Daequon Montreal, Sr., F, Boise State
Tyler Newbold, Sr., G, Utah State
Pooh Williams, Sr., G/F, Utah State

Player of the Year: Tai Wesley, Utah State

2010-11 Preseason Men’s Basketball Media Poll
Rank Teams (First Place Votes) Points
1. Utah State (19) 259
2. New Mexico State (8) 237
3. Nevada (2) 190
4. San Jose State (1) 135
5. Fresno State 133
6. Boise State 129
7. Louisiana Tech 116
8. Idaho 78
9. Hawai‘i 73

Preseason All-WAC Team
Troy Gillenwater, Jr., F, New Mexico State
Wendell McKines, Sr., F, New Mexico State
Adrian Oliver, Sr., G, San Jose State
Greg Smith, So., C, Fresno State
Tai Wesley, Sr., F, Utah State

Preseason Player of the Year: Adrian Oliver, Sr., G, San Jose State
Newcomer of the Year: Brockeith Pane, Jr., G, Utah State
 

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