Coaches Like Weber State, Media Picks Montana

By Beacon Staff

HELENA (AP) – The Big Sky Conference men’s basketball coaches favor Weber State to repeat as league champion while media members picked Montana first in preseason polls released by the league Thursday.

Weber State, which shared the 2006-07 regular-season title with Northern Arizona and beat the Lumberjacks in the tournament championship game, received four first-place votes from the coaches and 60 total points.

Montana also earned four first-place votes from the coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own team, and 57 points.

Portland State earned one first-place vote and 52 total points. Northern Arizona was tabbed fourth by the coaches with 44 points.

The media selected Montana first, with 14 of 26 first-place votes and 218 total points. Weber State received eight first-place votes and 200 total points. Portland State was third with two first-place votes and 183 points, followed by Northern Arizona with two first-place votes and 155 points.

The coaches selected Idaho State fifth, followed by Montana State, Northern Colorado, Eastern Washington and Sacramento State. The media picked Montana State fifth, followed by Idaho State, Sacramento State, Northern Colorado and Eastern Washington.

Weber State lost Big SKY MVP David Patten, but returns three starters from last year’s team which finished 11-5 in conference and 20-12 overall.

Montana returns junior first-team all-conference forward Jordan Hasquet, senior all-conference forward Andrew Strait, and sophomore guard Cameron Rundles, the 2006-07 Big Sky freshman of the year. Montana was 10-6 in conference last season, and 17-15 overall.<

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COACHES POLL

Team (first place votes) points

1. Weber State (4) 60

2. Montana (4) 57

3. Portland State (1) 52

4. Northern Arizona 44

5. Idaho State 37

6. Montana State 33

7. Northern Colorado 19

8. Eastern Washington 15

9. Sacramento State 12<

MEDIA POLL

Team (first place votes) points

1. Montana (14) 218

2. Weber State (8) 200

3. Portland State (2) 183

4. Northern Arizona (2) 155

5. Montana State 114

6. Idaho State 111

7. Sacramento State 74

8. Northern Colorado 56

9. Eastern Washington 55

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