Lobos Snubbed From Mountain West Preseason Awards
The highly-touted talent didn’t garner any preseason awards
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New Mexico has something to prove
In an off-season where national media has spoken highly of the Lobos’ top-to-bottom roster, not a single player on New Mexico’s roster cashed in on the annual preseason accolades given at the Mountain West Media Day on October 15.
To be fair, the conference has some players this year.
While the reigning player of the year Sam Merrill is a heavy favorite to repeat as player of the year, the other awards will be open for the taking.
The selected preseason newcomer of the year is San Diego State guard Malachi Flynn, who averaged 15.8 points and 4.3 assists in his sophomore before transferring from Washington State to San Diego State. However, New Mexico has a couple of transfers of their own who could compete for the award by the end of the season.
6-5 senior guard JaQuan Lyle (11.4 points, 4.3 assists per game at Ohio State) will be among the conference’s best passers, and Zane Martin (19.8 points, 2.7 assists per game at Towson) should be a major offensive threat. Vante Hendrix and JJ Caldwell could also be dark horses for the award by the end of the year.
While Nevada’s redshirt freshman K.J Hymes is the favorite to win the season’s freshman of the year award, super athlete Emmanuel Kuac, if given enough minutes, could be a primary challenger.
The all-conference team, which consisted of Air Force forward Lavelle Scottie, Boise State guard Derrick Alston, Colorado State center Nico Carvacho and Utah State’s Sam Merrill and Neemias Queta, was also lacking cherry and silver representation, but Vance Jackson, Carlton Bragg, JaQuan Lyle and Zane Martin are all likely going to be in the running for all-conference honors.
For their part, the Lobos were, for the second straight year, predicted to finish third in the league.
But for players to merit the awards when they really matter, they’ll likely have to take the league by storm and finish in the top two spots.