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Pokes projected to finish second in Mountain West; Ike named preseason player of the year

University of Wyoming's Graham Ike looks for an opening under pressure from a New Mexico defender on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (UW via Twitter)

CASPER, Wyo. — The University of Wyoming men’s basketball team is projected to finish second in the Mountain West Conference based on the Mountain West’s 2022–23 preseason media poll, UW Athletics said on Wednesday.

The poll marks the first time the Cowboys have been ranked in the top two of a conference preseason poll since the 2002–03 season, UW Athletics said. The Pokes garnered 204 total points and four first-place votes, coming in behind the San Diego State Aztecs, who earned 216 points and 16 first-place votes.

In addition, UW forward Graham Ike was named the Mountain West’s Preseason Player of the Year. Ike is the first UW player to be named Preseason Player of the Year since Larry Nance Jr. ahead of the start of the 2014–15 season, UW Athletics said.

Ike and guard Hunter Maldonado were also named to the preseason All-Mountain West team, UW Athletics said. Others on the preseason All-Mountain West team include Isaiah Stevens of Colorado State, Jamal Mashburn, Jr. of New Mexico and Matt Bradley of San Diego State.

Rankings in the Mountain West preseason poll are as follows, UW Athletics said.

  1. San Diego State (216 points)
  2. University of Wyoming (204 points)
  3. Boise State (166 points)
  4. Colorado State (156 points)
  5. New Mexico (136 points)
  6. UNLV (110 points)
  7. Fresno State (101 points)
  8. Utah State (96 points)
  9. Nevada (73 points)
  10. 10. San José State (35 points)
  11. Air Force (27 points)