Runnin' Rebels Picked Third In Poll
Head coach Lon Kruger and his Runnin' Rebels were picked to finish in third place by the media during the 2009-10 MWC season.
Head coach Lon Kruger and his Runnin' Rebels were picked to finish in third place by the media during the 2009-10 MWC season.

Oct. 6, 2009

DENVER - The UNLV men's basketball team has been picked to finish third during the 2009-10 Mountain West Conference season as the league released its preseason media poll and all-conference team on Tuesday at the league's media day being held at The Mtn. studios.

Runnin' Rebel junior guards Tre'Von Willis and Derrick Jasper each received preseason accolades as Willis was named to the preseason all-conference team and Jasper was selected as the Preseason Newcomer of the Year.

Conference media overwhelmingly selected three-time defending MWC champion BYU as the preseason favorite to win the conference regular-season title in 2009-10. The Cougars, one of three teams to share the regular-season crown in 2008-09, captured 23 of 24 first-place votes and 215 points for the top spot in the poll. San Diego State, the 2009 MWC Tournament runner-up, collected the remaining first-place vote and 166 points to finish second, followed closely by UNLV in third with 161 points.

Utah and New Mexico, who split the 2008-09 MWC regular-season title with BYU, landed in the fourth- and fifth-place spots, respectively, with the Utes tallying 143 points to the Lobos' 141 points. Wyoming received 89 points to finish sixth, followed by TCU (82 points) in seventh, Colorado State (58 points) in eighth and Air Force (25 points) in ninth to round out the poll.

Three juniors and two seniors representing four institutions were chosen for the 2009-10 preseason All-MWC team. BYU's Jimmer Fredette received Preseason MWC Player of the Year honors and San Diego State forward Kawhi Leonard collected Preseason Freshman of the Year kudos.

The Preseason All-MWC team consisted of Fredette, a junior guard, BYU teammate and senior guard/forward Jonathan Tavernari, San Diego State junior forward Billy White, TCU senior forward Zvonko Buljan and Willis.



UNLV finished fifth in the MWC last season, had an overall record of 21-11, and was invited to the NIT.

The UNLV men's basketball team is planning FirstLook 2009, featuring the Runnin' Rebels' first official practice of the season. It will take place at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, at the Thomas & Mack Center. Fans are encouraged to attend the free event. Doors open at 8:15 p.m. and concessions will be available.

UNLV has won 20 or more games in each of the past three seasons. It marks the first time the Runnin' Rebels have accomplished that feat since 1990-93. In addition, the Runnin' Rebels have won 75 percent of their games since the beginning of the 2006-07 season, going 78-26.

All season tickets, in both donor and non-donor seating areas, are now available for purchase for the 2009-10 Runnin' Rebel season. Seating is available in the plaza level in both donor and non-donor areas. Balcony season tickets for 16 home games at the Thomas & Mack Center are available for $175 and $90.

For more information on purchasing season tickets, call 702-739-FANS (3267). Those interested in purchasing donor season tickets in the plaza level should call 702-895-1533. Remaining tickets are expected to go on sale on a single-game basis in early November.

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