The Cal Poly men’s basketball team was voted to finish sixth in the nine-team Big West Conference this winter, according to a preseason poll of media members released by the conference Wednesday.
The Mustangs, who return three starters and their top five scorers from last season, received 117 points in the media poll, including two first-place votes. UC Irvine received 19 of the 23 first-place votes and 198 points after being chosen as the preseason favorite for the third consecutive season. The Anteaters bring back 10 players from last year’s team, which won the Big West tournament and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
UC Santa Barbara was second with 161 points and two first-place votes, followed by Hawaii (133) in third and Long Beach State (128) in fourth. UC Riverside was fifth with 120 points, followed by Cal Poly, CSUN (70), UC Davis (70) and Cal State Fullerton (38).
Cal Poly did not have any players selected to the six-member preseason all-conference team. That group included UC Riverside’s Jaylen Bland and Taylor Johns, UC Irvine’s Mamadou Ndiaye and Luke Nelson, UC Santa Barbara’s Michael Bryson and Hawaii’s Aaron Valdes.
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The Mustangs are scheduled to host Cal State San Bernardino in an exhibition game Nov. 5 and will be open the regular season Nov. 13 at UNLV in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.