POSTED: 7:16 a.m. HST, Oct 18, 2011
The Hawaii men's basketball team was picked to finish fourth of eight teams in the 2011-12 season in both the Western Athletic Conference coaches and media preseason polls released this morning.
UH senior guard Zane Johnson, the top returning scorer in the league at 15.8 points per game, was named to the WAC preseason first team in both polls. Junior center Vander Joaquim made the first team in the coaches poll.
In the media poll, Rainbow Warriors freshman guard Shaquille Stokes was tabbed as the preseason WAC Newcomer of the Year.
Nevada was picked to win the WAC by the coaches, getting five of eight possible first-place votes. New Mexico State followed, then defending champion Utah State and Hawaii. USU had the other three first-place votes.
The media picked USU to win for the fifth straight year, with the Aggies getting 13 of a possible 24 first-place votes. Nevada, NMSU and UH followed, with five, three and three first-place votes, respectively.
The polls were split on the preseason WAC Player of the Year, with the coaches going with Nevada point guard Deonte Burton and the media selecting USU point guard Brockeith Pane.
The UH women's basketball team was picked to finish fifth in each of the WAC preseason women's polls.
Sophomore forward Kamilah Jackson was named to the media preseason first team. Wing Shawna Kuehu, who joined Jackson on the All-WAC freshmen team last year, was reunited with her on the preseason second team in the coaches poll.
Louisiana Tech was picked to win the WAC in both women's polls, with Utah State senior forward Ashlee Brown tabbed the Preseason Player of the Year.
Gib Arnold's UH men went 8-8 in the WAC last season for fifth place, while Dana Takahara-Dias' Rainbow Wahine went 5-11 for seventh place. Both lost in the first round of last year's WAC tournament.
The 2011-12 season will be the last in the WAC for both the UH men's and women's hoops teams, as they head to the Big West Conference starting in the 2012-13 season.