Bulldogs Picked to Finish in Middle of the WAC


 

 
Updated Oct 14, 2005 12:37:29

Bulldog forward Paul Millsap was selected to the All-WAC first team after back-to-back NCAA rebounding titles his freshman and sophomore seasons. Millsap is the first player ever to accomplish that feat.

Bulldogs Picked to Finish in Middle of the WAC

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs were picked to finish in fourth and fifth place in the Western Athletic Conference regular season by the league's coaches and media, respectively, in polls released by the conference office on Wednesday.

Junior forward Paul Millsap was selected to the first team All-WAC squad, while junior college transfer Jerome Richardson was tabbed by the media as the WAC's Newcomer of the Year, and Nevada's Nick Fazekas was named Preseason WAC Player of the Year.

In the coaches' poll, Tech finished behind first-place Nevada (64 points), followed by Hawaii (50), Utah State (50) and Tech (45). Nevada received eight of the nine first place votes, and Hawaii received the other.

The media also voted Nevada (198) to win the conference regular season title with Utah State (161), Fresno State (139) and Hawaii (136) to finish ahead of the Bulldogs (132).

While the Bulldogs' placement in the polls is largely contributed to the success of its returnees, Tech head coach Keith Richard said it will be the impact of the newcomers surrounding Millsap that will make the difference.

"Obviously, Nevada should get be picked number one," Richard said. "They'll be a strong team in our league and a strong team nationally. Our rankings as fourth in the coaches' poll and fifth in the media poll are as they should be. The jury is still out on this team. We have Paul (Millsap) and a good point guard in Daevon (Haskins), but the question is if we've surrounded him with enough talent to compete with Nevada and make a run. That has yet to be seen."

Millsap earned respect and his place on the All-WAC first team after grabbing his second-consecutive NCAA rebounding title with 12.4 rebounds per game last year. He was the first player in NCAA history to lead the nation in rebounding during his freshman and sophomore seasons, and he also scored 20.4 points per game last season.

Richardson, the junior from Frank Phillips College, was a first team NJCAA All-American last year who averaged 20 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

The Bulldogs will open practice Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at the Thomas Assembly Center, following the Lady Techsters' practice, which begins at 9 a.m.

2005-06 Preseason Men's Basketball Coaches Poll

Rank Teams (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Nevada (8) 64
2. Hawaii (1) 50
Utah State 50
4. Louisiana Tech 45
5. Fresno State 38
6. Boise State 30
7. San Jose State 18
8. New Mexico State 17
9. Idaho 12

First Team All-WAC
Nick Fazekas, Jr., F, Nevada
Paul Millsap, Jr., F, Louisiana Tech
Ja'Vance Coleman, Jr., G, Fresno State
Julian Sensley, Sr., F, Hawaii
Jaycee Carroll, So., G, Utah State

Second Team All-WAC
Matt Gibson, Jr., G, Hawaii
Coby Karl, Jr., G, Boise State
Nate Harris, Sr., F, Utah State
Ramon Sessions, So., G, Nevada
Alex Elam, Sr., G/F, San Jose State

Player of the Year: Nick Fazekas, Nevada

2005-06 Preseason Men's Basketball Media Poll

Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Nevada (22) 198
2. Utah State 161
3. Fresno State 139
4. Hawaii 136
5. Louisiana Tech 132
6. Boise State 87
7. New Mexico State 61
8. Idaho 40
9. San Jose State 36

Preseason All-WAC Team
Nick Fazekas, Jr., F, Nevada
Paul Millsap, Jr., F, Louisiana Tech
Ja'Vance Coleman, Jr., G, Fresno State
Ramon Sessions, So., G, Nevada
Jaycee Carroll, So., G, Utah State