NMSU men's basketball selected first in WAC preseason poll

NMSU men's basketball selected first in WAC preseason poll
New Mexico State
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 12:56pm

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team was voted to win the Western Athletic Conference title in the WAC Coaches’ Preseason poll as well as in the media poll. Junior guard Daniel Mullings was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year in both polls.

NM State received eight of the nine first-place votes in the coaches’ poll and all 24 first-place votes in the media poll. According to the voting done by the leagues’ coaches, Seattle U is picked to finish second, Bakersfield third with Idaho and Utah Valley tying for fourth. The media poll has Idaho finishing second, Bakersfield third and Utah Valley fourth, just ahead of Seattle U.

“Anytime we get selected at the top it creates a challenge to try to defend the target that is on our back,” said head coach Marvin Menzies. “We have to be able to use this for motivation and at the same time we need to make sure we have our humility intact.”

Mullings, who is a first team and preseason player of the year selection in both polls, finished the 2012-13 season as a second team All-WAC honoree while posting 13.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.

“Daniel [Mullings] is a gym rat and I can definitely see him as someone that will be a premier player in the WAC,” Menzies said. “He has his job cut out for him. He has done a great job for us so far and is the type of player that understands his weaknesses and continues to work on them. As a coach, one couldn’t have a better player to work with. ”

Sophomore Sim Bhullar earned first team preseason honors on both the media and coaches’ polls after he was named the 2012-13 WAC Newcomer team and being named the WAC Freshman of the Year. Bhullar marked 10.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game last year and was the first NM State player to earn freshman of the year honors since James Moore in 2001 as a part of the Sun Belt Conference.

“Sim [Bhullar] developed a lot last season and we are hopeful that his development continues to grow throughout the year,” said Menzies. “Both Sim and Daniel understand that it is team first and both are very humble people and I am sure they will keep that team first mentality.”

The NM State men’s basketball program continues to make steady progression. The Aggies have reached the NCAA Tournament three times under head coach Marvin Menzies (2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13) and hope to make it back for the third consecutive season. NM State was selected first in last year’s preseason coaches’ poll and second in the media poll after being selected second in the 2011-12 preseason coaches’ poll and third in the media poll. In 2007-08, the Aggies were selected first in the media poll and fifth by the coaches. That season, NM State tallied a 21-14 record while finishing as co-champions in the WAC regular season and falling in the WAC Tournament championship game to Boise State in three overtimes.

Aggie fans have a chance to get a look at the 2013-14 squad with the Crimson and White scrimmage, Saturday, Oct. 19 at 1:00 p.m. (MT) in the Pan American Center. The event is free. Season tickets and single game tickets are on sale at the Pan American Ticket office or by calling 575-646-1420.

2013-14 Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll
Rank Teams (1st Place Votes) Points
1. New Mexico State (8) 64
2. Seattle U (1) 45
3. Bakersfield 42
T4. Idaho 40
T4. Utah Valley 40
6. Chicago State 34
7. Texas-Pan American 22
8. Grand Canyon 19
9. Kansas City 17

Preseason All-WAC Teams
First Team                                                        Second Team
Ben Aird, Sr., C, Utah Valley                          Connor Hill, Jr., G, Idaho
Brandon Barnes, Jr., F, Bakersfield              Holton Hunsaker, Sr., G, Utah Valley
Sim Bhullar, So., C, New Mexico State        Quinton Pippen, Sr., G/F, Chicago State
Stephen Madison, Sr., F, Idaho                      Clarence Trent, Sr., F, Seattle U
Daniel Mullings, Jr., G, New Mexico State    Demetrius Walker, Sr., G, Grand Canyon
Preseason Player of the Year: Daniel Mullings, New Mexico State

2013-14 Preseason Men’s Basketball Media Poll

Rank Teams (1st Place Votes) Points

1. New Mexico State (24) 215
2. Idaho 150
3. Bakersfield 138
4. Utah Valley 127
5. Seattle U 119
6. Chicago State 94
7. Texas-Pan American 92
8. Kansas City 79
9. Grand Canyon 66

Preseason All-WAC Teams
First Team
Ben Aird, Sr., C, Utah Valley
Brandon Barnes, Jr., F, Bakersfield
Sim Bhullar, So., C, New Mexico State
Stephen Madison, Sr., F, Idaho
Daniel Mullings, Jr., G, New Mexico State

Preseason Player of the Year: Daniel Mullings, New Mexico State

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