Oct. 12, 2016
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Utah State senior wing Jalen Moore
has been named Preseason all-Mountain West as released by the Mountain West offices during men's basketball media day on Wednesday. In addition, freshman guard Koby McEwen
has been named the Mountain West Preseason Co-Freshman of the Year.
Moore has been all-Mountain West each of the past two seasons, earning second-team honors as a sophomore and third-team honors last season. Moore has led the Aggies in scoring and rebounding in each of the past two seasons and could become just the third player in Utah State history to lead the team in scoring and rebounding for three years, joining Greg Grant (1982-84, 1985-86) and Marvin Roberts (1968-71).
"Jalen is highly regarded throughout the league by the other coaches and the media because he is a four-year returning player in the league," second-year head coach Tim Duryea
said. "He has been productive the first three years at the four and three-spot and he'll play in his natural spot at the three this year and will have a whole year to play that position and we'll see the best of Jalen Moore
Moore is the first Aggie to be named to the preseason all-Mountain West team since Utah State joined the conference for the 2013-14 season. Joining him on the preseason all-Mountain West team is Nevada sophomore forward Cameron Oliver, San Diego State junior guard Trey Kell, New Mexico senior forward Tim Williams and New Mexico junior guard Elijah Brown, who was also named the MW Preseason Player of the Year.
McEwen was listed among ESPN's top-100 and as the second-highest recruit in the state of Utah last year, when he helped Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah, to a 29-4 record, averaging 18.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. McEwen, much like Moore, is the first freshman for Utah State to be named a preseason Freshman of the Year since the Aggies have been a member of the Mountain West. San Diego State forward Jalen McDaniels shared the honor with McEwen. San Diego State also garnered the final individual preseason recognition as sophomore guard Montaque Gill-Caesar was named the MW Preseason Newcomer of the Year.
The last freshman to earn postseason freshman of the year honors was All-American Jaycee Carroll
, who earned Big West Freshman of the Year accolades in 2005. Three more Aggies earned Big West Freshman of the Year honors in Bryon Ruffner (1991), Kendall Youngblood (1989) and Greg Grant (1983).
"Koby was a highly regarded freshman because of all of the rankings and recruiting services," Duryea said. "He has everything you need to be a very good player in this league. He's got good size for his position, is very competitive and his skill level is extremely good. In terms of having a bright future in the Mountain West, Koby McEwen
has the whole package to be a great player."
In addition to the individual honors, Utah State was picked sixth in the preseason Mountain West poll, finishing with 153 votes. San Diego State was picked first in the poll, collecting 23 first-place votes and 293 votes overall. Nevada was second with 253 votes, with New Mexico in third with 249 votes, including three first-place votes, Fresno State in fourth with 200 votes and one first-place vote, and Boise State in fifth with 164 votes.
Colorado State (146), UNLV (120), Air Force (90), Wyoming (73) and San José State (41) rounded out the poll in seventh through 11th, respectively.
"A preseason ranking of sixth doesn't surprise me for two reasons," Duryea said. "One, San Diego State should be picked number one every year until somebody proves them otherwise. Number two, Nevada had a very good team last year with a strong finish and has most of their team returning.
"After that anywhere from three to nine is a crapshoot. I think you can be picked third and finish ninth in this league and be picked seventh or eighth in this league and finish third. The line is that thin between those schools. I understand being picked sixth with 10 brand new faces, it is to be expected."
Utah State will host a lone exhibition game against Southern Virginia on Friday, Nov. 4, before opening the 2016-17 season at UC Irvine on Friday, Nov. 11. The Aggies will host their home opener against NJIT on Monday, Nov. 14, as part of 16 regular season home games for Utah State during the 2016-17 season.
Utah State men's basketball news and information is available on Facebook at facebook.com/USUmen'sbasketball and on Twitter @Aggiehoops. Fans can also get USU men's basketball highlights on YouTube at youtube.com/UtahStateAthletics. Aggie fans can follow the Utah State athletic program at Twitter @USUAthletics, on Facebook at facebook.com/USUAthletics, or on Instagram @USUAthletics.
2016-17 Mountain West Preseason Poll
1. San Diego State 293 (23)
2. Nevada 253
3. New Mexico 249 (3)
4. Fresno State 200 (1)
5. Boise State 164
6. Utah State 153
7. Colorado State 146
8. UNLV 120
9. Air Force 90
10. Wyoming 73
11. San José State 41
2016-17 Preseason All-MW Team
Cameron Oliver, So., F, Nevada
Elijah Brown, Jr., G, New Mexico
Tim Williams, Sr., F, New Mexico
Trey Kell, Jr., G, San Diego State
Preseason Player of the Year
Elijah Brown, Jr., G, New Mexico
Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Montaque Gill-Caesar, So., G, San Diego State
Preseason Co-Freshmen of the Year
Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State