UNLV forward Stephen Zimmerman, who helped lead Bishop Gorman to four consecutive Nevada state basketball titles, was named the Mountain West Conference’s Preseason Freshman of the Year today by a panel of media members at the conference’s Media Days at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel.
The 6-foot-11 Zimmerman averaged 14.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.4 blocks as a senior for the Gaels while earning McDonald’s All-American and numerous other national honors. He follows in the footsteps of another Runnin’ Rebel, Rashad Vaughn of the Milwaukee Bucks, as preseason freshman of the year.
Although many believe this could be Dave Rice’s most talented UNLV basketball squad, the Runnin’ Rebels didn’t receive much love from the media panel, getting picked to finish just fourth behind San Diego State, Boise State and Utah State and just three points ahead of Fresno State. Steve Fisher’s Aztecs garnered 22 of the 25 possible first place votes with Boise State (2) and Fresno State (1) also getting first place votes.
Fresno State senior guard Marvelle Harris, who finished third in the Mountain West in scoring last season, was named the Preseason Player of the Year while New Mexico junior forward Tim Williams, who averaged 17.6 and 7.5 rebounds while earning first team all-Southern Conference honors in 2013-14 at Samford, was picked Newcomer of the Year.
Harris was joined on the preseason all-Mountain West by former Findlay Prep star Winston Shepard of San Diego State, Wyoming guard Josh Adams and the Boise State duo of James Webb III and Anthony Drmic.
2015-16 PRESEASON MOUNTAIN WEST POLL
Rk. Team (First-Place Votes) Points
1. San Diego State (22) 272
2. Boise State (2) 234
3. Utah State 190
4. UNLV 185
5. Fresno State (1) 182
6. New Mexico 164
7. Colorado State 144
8. Wyoming 101
9. Nevada 97
10. Air Force 51
11. San José State 30
2015-16 PRESEASON ALL-MW TEAM
G Marvelle Harris* Sr., Fresno State; F Winston Shepard**, Sr., San Diego State; G/F Anthony Drmic Sr., Boise State; F James Webb III** Jr. , Boise State; G Josh Adams*** Sr. , Wyoming.
Preseason Player of the Year
Marvelle Harris, Sr., G, Fresno State
Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Tim Williams, Jr., F, New Mexico
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Stephen Zimmerman, Jr., Fr., F, UNLV
* member of the 2014-15 All-Mountain West first team ** member of the 2014-15 All-Mountain West second team *** member of the 2014-15 All-Mountain West third team