USU basketball: men tabbed first by media, second by coaches in WAC preseason polls

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 24 2012 5:00 p.m. MDT

Medlin leads the coaches and media preseason first-team all-WAC teams, which consist of the same five players on both lists. He was joined by Denver junior forward Chris Udofia and Idaho senior center Kyle Barone. Louisiana Tech sophomore guard Raheem Appleby and New Mexico State sophomore guard Daniel Mullings round out the first team selections.

The coaches second-team selections include USU’s Reed, along with senior forward Kevin Butler (UT Arlington), junior forward Jeromie Hill (UTSA), senior guard James Kinney (San Jose State) and senior forward Tyrone Watson (New Mexico State).

Medlin was chosen as the 2012-13 Preseason Player of the Year following the 2011-12 season in which he was a first-team all-WAC honoree. He led USU in scoring last season with 17.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, while shooting 49.6 percent from the field (204-of-411), 42.8 percent from three-point range (95-of-202) and 80.1 percent at the free throw line (125-of-156). He finished the year ranking second in the WAC and 16th in the nation in three-point shooting, third in the WAC and 80th in the nation in points per game, and 10th in the WAC and 75th in the nation in overall shooting.

"It's a great honor. Obviously it was really what happened at the end of last season that got me this honor. It's really nice. Hopefully I can carry that over to the season and have a good year," Medlin said. "It's an honor, but because of what happened last year. This is a new team, a new season, with a record of 0-0. It doesn't really matter to some extent. It's nice to have the honor, but it's all about what you do in the season."

Medlin also ranked fourth in the league in free throw shooting, seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.70) and ninth in assists a year ago. Medlin was just the second sophomore in school history to earn first-team all-league honors along with Nate Harris (2004).

"Obviously I always strive to help out the team," said Medlin about how this honor affects season goals of being the Postseason Player of the Year. "If that causes me to be WAC Player of the Year, if that's what my team needs, then hopefully I can do that. They go a little hand-in-hand. It all just depends on what this team needs me to do."

Shaw redshirted last season after transferring to USU from Oklahoma State. At OSU, Shaw averaged 1.2 points and 1.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field (12-24).

Reed, who was named to the 2011-12 WAC all-Newcomer team, averaged 10.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots per game, while shooting 61.4 percent from the field (135-of-220) and 67.9 percent at the free throw line (91-of-134). He finished the season ranking first in the WAC in field goal shooting, sixth in blocked shots and 14th and rebounding, and had 40 dunks to also rank first in the conference.

In addition to the WAC polls, collegesportsmadness.com recently announced their preseason all-conference teams and awards, and the publication tabbed USU's Morrill as the Preseason Coach of the Year. Medlin was on its first-team all-WAC list, while Reed and junior forward Danny Berger were on the second-team all-WAC list.

Last season Berger sat out the first six games of the year as a potential redshirt, but then started in 25 of 31 games played. Berger netted double-digit points 10 times last season, including three of the final six games, highlighted by tying a school record with five three-pointers in a postseason game as part of his career-high tying 17 points. Berger finished the year with a 6.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game average, while shooting 37.2 percent from the field (64-of-172) and 36.7 percent from three-point range (36-of-98) to go with a 76.9 percent free throw shooting (40-of-52).

Utah State returns three starters among five lettermen from last year’s team that finished the season with a 21-16 record, advancing to the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT).

USU enters its final year in the WAC having amassed a 178-65 (.732) overall record, including 83-27 (.755) in WAC games, going 8-6 last season, finishing fourth.

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