SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento State men's basketball program was selected to finish fourth out of 12 teams in the Big Sky Conference preseason coaches and media polls, it was announced today by the league office.
The fourth place selections mark the team's second highest predicted order of finish in both polls since joining the Big Sky in the 1996-97 season. The 2005-06 squad was picked third in both polls, but the league featured just eight teams at the time.
In addition, Sacramento State received one first-place vote in the coaches poll, the first time that has happened since joining the league.
The same teams made up the top four spots in both polls with Weber State, the defending Big Sky regular season and tournament champions, assuming the top spot in each poll. Eastern Washington and Northern Arizona flip flopped places 2-3 with the Eagles being selected second in the coaches poll and Northern Arizona second in the media poll.
The coaches poll saw Weber State garner eight first place votes and 117 total points followed by Eastern Washington (one first-place vote, 100 points), Northern Arizona (two first-place votes, 99 points), Sacramento State (one first-place vote, 90 points), Portland State (80), Northern Colorado (73), Idaho (65), Montana (56), North Dakota (38), Idaho State (35), Montana State (24) and Southern Utah (15).
Of the seven preseason polls for the Big Sky that have been released by different media outlets, Sacramento State has been selected no lower than fourth in each of them. That includes Blue Ribbon (1st), ESPN (2nd), Sporting News (3rd), Athlon Sports (3rd) and Lindy's Sports (4th).
The reason for heightened optimism heading into the 2014-15 season is Sacramento State returns all five starters from a team that went 14-16 overall, 10-10 in the Big Sky and qualified for the conference tournament for the first time since 2006. The list of starters include senior guards Mikh McKinney and Dylan Garrity. McKinney was a unanimous first team all-Big Sky and second team all-district selection last year while Garrity received honorable mention all-league accolades for the third straight year. Other returning starters include junior swingman Cody Demps, senior forward Zach Mills and senior center Alex Tiffin. All five of those players started at least 24 games a year ago.
Overall, the team returns nine players from a squad that set Div. I-era (1991-pres.) school records for Big Sky victories (10), home wins (11) and home winning streak (seven games). In addition, the squad's 14 overall wins tied for the second best mark in the Div. I era. The Hornets, who are guided by seventh-year head coach Brian Katz, won eight of their final 12 regular season games before falling to North Dakota, 79-76, in the Big Sky Tournament quarterfinal round.
Sacramento State will play 18 conference games this season, featuring the normal Thursday-Saturday matchups. The University of Idaho is joining the Big Sky, creating a 12-member league in which each school will play seven teams twice, and the other four teams on one occasion. Previously, there was an odd amount of teams in the conference which resulted in more difficult travel schedules and several Monday games.
This year's Big Sky Tournament field will now feature the league's top eight teams, one more than the seven-team field that was used last season. The regular season champion will, once again, host the tournament which will take place March 12-14. The tournament will feature four quarterfinal games, two semifinal matchups and the championship game. There are no byes in the quarterfinal round for any team.
Sacramento State had its first official team practice on Oct. 3, and the squad is now less than two weeks away from its first exhibition game at home against Holy Names on Tuesday, Nov. 4, The Hornets will open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 14, at 13th-ranked Gonzaga.
COACHES POLL (First Place Votes)
1. Weber State (8) - 117
2. Eastern Washington (1) - 100
3. Northern Arizona (2) - 99
4. Sacramento State (1) - 90
5. Portland State - 80
6. Northern Colorado - 73
7. Idaho - 65
8. Montana - 56
9. North Dakota - 38
10. Idaho State - 35
11. Montana State - 24
12. Southern Utah - 15
MEDIA POLL (First Place Votes)
1. Weber State (31) - 424
2. Northern Arizona (4) - 339
3. Eastern Washington (1) - 318
4. Sacramento State - 298
5. Montana - 297
6. Northern Colorado - 242
7. Portland State - 227
8. Idaho - 207
9. North Dakota - 175
10. Idaho State - 125
11. Montana State - 104
12. Southern Utah - 52
April 24, 2015 BIG SKY, RENO ANNOUNCE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS AGREEMENT
March 26, 2015 McKINNEY NAMED A FINALIST FOR MID-MAJOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
March 17, 2015 FIRST ROUND OF CIT - MEN'S HOOPS AT PORTLAND ON WEDNESDAY
March 10, 2015 BRIAN KATZ NAMED THE BIG SKY CONFERENCE CO-COACH OF THE YEAR
February 28, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS ONE WIN AWAY FROM LEAGUE TITLE AFTER WIN AT PORTLAND STATE
February 24, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BEGINS FINAL ROAD TRIP ON SATURDAY AT PORTLAND STATE
February 21, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS BACK IN 1ST PLACE AFTER BEATING NORTH DAKOTA ON SENIOR NIGHT
February 20, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS FINAL REGULAR SEASON HOME GAME SAT. NIGHT AT 7 PM
February 19, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 17-8 WITH A 66-59 VICTORY OVER NORTHERN COLO.
February 17, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS NORTHERN COLORADO THURSDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.
February 14, 2015 LATE RUN SPARKS IDAHO TO 69-58 VICTORY OVER MEN’S BASKETBALL
February 13, 2015 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO IDAHO FOR SATURDAY EVENING MATCHUP
February 12, 2015 LATE RUN FALLS JUST SHORT IN MEN’S HOOPS’ 64-61 LOSS AT EASTERN WASH.
February 10, 2015 FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE IN MEN'S HOOPS GAME THURS. AT EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 7, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS WINS 7TH STRAIGHT, DOWNS PORTLAND STATE, 64-60
February 4, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS POSTS HIGHEST TERM GPA IN SCHOOL HISTORY
February 2, 2015 McKINNEY NAMED BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR THE 3RD STRAIGHT WEEK
January 27, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME THURSDAY NIGHT VS. MONTANA STATE
January 23, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN SATURDAY AT WEBER STATE
January 21, 2015 McKINNEY SELECTED AS ONE OF THE BEST MID-MAJOR PLAYERS IN THE NATION
January 21, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BACK IN ACTION THURSDAY NIGHT AT IDAHO STATE
January 19, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS RANKED IN THE TOP 25 MID-MAJOR POLL FOR FIRST TIME EVER
January 19, 2015 McKINNEY RECEIVES SCHOOL-RECORD 4TH BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
January 17, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS TAKES OVER FIRST PLACE, BEATS EASTERN WASHINGTON 90-77
January 16, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS EASTERN WASHINGTON ON SATURDAY FOR FIRST PLACE
January 13, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME THURSDAY VS. LEAGUE NEWCOMER IDAHO AT 7 PM
January 10, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL’S WINNING STREAK ENDS IN LOSS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
January 2, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS SOUTHERN UTAH ON SATURDAY AT 7 P.M.
December 30, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS OPENS BIG SKY PLAY AT HOME THURSDAY VS. NORTHERN ARIZONA
December 29, 2014 GARRITY NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
December 27, 2014 GARRITY'S CAREER-HIGH 28 POINTS LEADS MEN'S HOOPS TO 74-49 ROAD WIN
December 24, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS FINAL NON-LEAGUE GAME SATURDAY AT UTAH VALLEY
December 21, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL CAN’T FIND THE RANGE IN ROAD LOSS AT SEATTLE
December 20, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO SEATTLE FOR SUNDAY EVENING MATCHUP
December 15, 2014 McKINNEY RECEIVES THIRD CAREER BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
December 14, 2014 BIG NIGHT FOR McKINNEY, BUT MEN’S HOOPS LOSES THRILLER TO PORTLAND
December 12, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS PORTLAND ON SUNDAY AT 5 P.M.
December 11, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS REMAINS PERFECT AT HOME WITH A 73-59 WIN OVER CS FULLERTON
December 10, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS CAL STATE FULLERTON THURSDAY NIGHT AT 7 PM
December 6, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS CONCLUDES ROAD TRIP WITH 74-62 LOSS AT UC IRVINE
December 5, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO UC IRVINE FOR SATURDAY EVENING GAME
December 3, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS LOOKS FOR 5TH STRAIGHT WIN THURSDAY AT ABILENE CHRISTIAN
December 1, 2014 HORNSBY SCORES A CAREER-HIGH 20 AS MEN’S HOOPS WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT
November 30, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS UTAH VALLEY ON MONDAY; GARRITY NEARS MILESTONE
November 25, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 3-1 WITH 97-63 VICTORY OVER BRISTOL
November 24, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS RESUMES HOMESTAND TUESDAY NIGHT VS. BRISTOL
November 19, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTS A 74-42 VICTORY OVER SIMPSON IN HOME OPENER
November 18, 2014 SACRAMENTO STATE TO HOST 2017 NCAA MEN’S TOURNEY 1ST AND 2ND ROUNDS
November 17, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO UC RIVERSIDE FOR MONDAY EVENING GAME
November 17, 2014 McKINNEY LEADS MEN’S HOOPS TO FIRST-EVER ROAD WIN AT UC RIVERSIDE
November 14, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS IN SEASON OPENER AT #13 GONZAGA
November 12, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNS GUARD JEFF WU AND FORWARD JOSHUA PATTON
November 10, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS SEASON FRIDAY NIGHT AT #13 GONZAGA
October 23, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS PICKED FOURTH IN BIG SKY COACHES AND MEDIA POLLS
September 30, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS SEASON COMING FAST, FIRST OFFICIAL PRACTICE ON FRIDAY
September 5, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS POSTS HIGHEST TERM GRADE POINT AVERAGE IN SCHOOL HISTORY
August 15, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL RELEASES ITS 2014-15 SCHEDULE