Updated October 20, 2021 - 4:10 pm
UNLV’s new roster isn’t impressing the Mountain West media, but top returnee Bryce Hamilton is, earning preseason all-conference first team recognition.
The Rebels on Wednesday were picked to finish seventh in the Mountain West in the annual preseason poll by a panel of reporters who cover men’s basketball.
UNLV overhauled its roster under first-year coach Kevin Kruger, welcoming nine scholarship transfers amid 10 such departures.
Hamilton was a first-team selection as a sophomore in 2019-20 after averaging 16 points on 45.3 percent shooting from the floor. He earned second-team honors last season, averaging 17.9 points while shooting 43 percent.
He entered the NBA draft and transfer portal during the offseason before withdrawing from both to return for another season with the Rebels.
Additionally, UNLV guard Keshon Gilbert was voted the conference’s preseason Freshman of the Year. Gilbert was a three-star recruit, per 247 Sports, and concluded his prep career at Vashon in St. Louis after playing locally at Durango.
He’s the only freshman on UNLV’s roster and has impressed in practices, particularly with his on-ball defense.
Colorado State was picked to win the league, garnering 11 first-place votes. San Diego State earned seven first-place votes and is projected to finish second. UNR earned two first-place votes and a projected third-place finish.
Joining Hamilton on the preseason all-conference team are projected player of the year and UNR star Grant Sherfield, Colorado State’s David Roddy and Isaiah Stevens, and Fresno State’s Orlando Robinson, who also prepped locally at Centennial.
Former California standout turned San Diego State senior Matt Bradley was voted preseason Newcomer of the Year.
The Rebels finished 12-15 last season, including 8-10 in Mountain West play. They begin their season Nov. 10 against Gardner-Webb.
Projected order of finish
1. Colorado State (11) — 207
2. San Diego State (7) — 201
3. UNR (2) — 189
4. Boise State — 147
5. Utah State — 127
6. Fresno State — 119
7. UNLV — 109
T8. New Mexico — 79
T8. Wyoming — 79
10. San Jose State — 40
11. Air Force — 23
First-place votes in parenthesis.