Vandals men's basketball picked to finish 1st in Big Sky - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandals men's basketball picked to finish 1st in Big Sky

Photo: Idaho Athletics Photo: Idaho Athletics

By Idaho Athletics

OGDEN, Utah – The Big Sky Conference has announced its preseason rankings, as voted on by the coaches and the media, with your Idaho Vandals taking first in both polls.
 
The Vandals took 10 of a possible 11 first place votes in the coaches' poll, finishing with 117 points.  Weber State was second in the voting with one first place vote and 103 points, while Montana took third with 101 points.  Northern Colorado took the final first place vote and finished in a tie for fourth with Montana State with 83 points.
 
The media poll was much of the same, with Idaho earning 12 of the 19 first place votes.  Weber State, Montana and Montana State rounded out the top-four.
 
The Vandals enjoyed a solid 2016-17 campaign, as the team advanced to the Big Sky Tournament Semifinals before falling to eventual champion North Dakota.  Idaho took a bid to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, where the Vandals defeated Stephen F. Austin before falling to Texas State in the quarterfinals.
 
Idaho returns its top seven scorers from a season ago and brings back Perrion Callandret for his redshirt senior season.  In all, Idaho returns nearly 85 percent of its scoring and 75 percent of its rebounding from last year's squad that finished 12-6 and tied for third in the Big Sky Conference.
 
The Vandals have not been picked to finish first in the conference poll since the 1998-99 season, when Idaho was picked to win its division in the Big West.
 
Idaho has a tremendous schedule set for the 2017-18 season, including six games against teams that won conference championships a season ago.  The Vandals open the season on the road at defending Mountain West champs Nevada before returning home to take on George Fox and Sam Houston State.  The annual Battle of the Palouse makes its way to Moscow this season, with Washington State crossing the border on December 6.
 
Senior guard Victor Sanders was selected to the Preseason All-Big Sky Team, as announced by the league on Thursday.
 
Fans can stay up-to-date on all things Idaho men's basketball by following the team on twitter, @VandalHoops.  Tickets are on sale for what is shaping up to be an exciting season of Vandal basketball, get yours today at GoVandals.com/Tickets.

For more information on Idaho Athletics, visit GoVandals.com.  Fans can also find Idaho on Twitter and Instagram, @Idaho_Vandals, or on Facebook by searching Idaho Vandals.
 
Coaches'  Poll
Team                                      Points 
1. Idaho                                 117 (10)
2. Weber State                       103 (1)
3. Montana                            101
T-4. Northern Colorado       83 (1)
T-4. Montana State               83
6. North Dakota                     71
7. Eastern Washington        65
8. Portland State                   55
9. Sacramento State              48
10. Idaho State                      25
11. Northern Arizona            23
12. Southern Utah                 19
First place votes in parenthesis
 
Media  Poll
Team                                      Points 
1. Idaho                                 211 (12)
2. Weber State                       195 (3)
3. Montana                            188 (3)
4. Montana State                   180
5. North Dakota                     146 (1)
5. Eastern Washington        144
7. Northern Colorado           106
8. Sacramento State              87
9. Portland State                   76
10. Northern Arizona            59
11. Idaho State                      52
12. Southern Utah                 38
First place votes in parenthesis

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