LAS VEGAS — Nevada forward Cameron Oliver made quite an impression on the Mountain West Conference during his freshman season, and that earned him a spot on this season’s preseason all-conference team.
The five-player team is made up of all-conference selections from the 2015-16 season — one senior, three juniors and a sophomore (Oliver) comprise the team.
Oliver started 33 of 38 games last year, averaging 13.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest. He shot 50.8 from the field, and was the only player to make the MW Conference Championship all-tournament team without appearing in the finals. He blocked 2.6 shots a contest and had 99 total blocks.
“I’m pleased, but I’m not going to get a big head about it,” Oliver said at Mountain West Media Day at the Renaissance Hotel.
“For a young guy it’s a great accomplishment,” Nevada coach Eric Musselman said. “I know he’s not going to be just satisfied with this, he’s going to go out and keep working hard and perform.”
New Mexico’s Elijah Brown was named the Preseason Mountain West Player of the Year. He averaged 21.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. His Lobo teammate, Tim Williams, shot 60.4 from the field, eighth-best in school history. He averaged 16.8 points and 7.4 rebounds a game.
“It’s nice to have two guys (make the preseason team,” New Mexico coach Craig Neal said. “The only thing nicer is to have two guys on the all-defensive team. It’s great, though. Elijah has worked really hard.”
San Diego State’s Trey Kell and Utah State’s Jalen Moore round out the team.
Kell started all 38 San Diego State games last season, averaging a team-best 12.6 per game plus 1.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds. Moore, a third-team selection last year, led Utah State in scoring at 15.2 per game and scored in double figures all but three games. Including 13 straight to end the season.
* The Preseason Freshmen of the Year honor was shared by Jalen McDaniels of San Diego State and Koby McEwen of Utah State.
McDaniel, a 6-9 forward led Federal Way High to a 29-0 record and the Washington 4A title. He averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks per game.
McEwen, a 6-foot-4 guard, averaged 18.7 points, 5.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds a game at Wasatch Academy in Utah.
He was an ESPN Top 100 recruit.
· Montaque Gill-Caesar, a sophomore guard at San Diego State, was named Preseason Newwcomer of the Year. He redshirted after transferring from Missouri.
He averaged 13 a game for the Tigers.