UC Irvine has been picked to finish third in the Big West Conference men's basketball race in a media poll released Thursday.
Coach Russell Turner's Anteaters, who return all five starters from a 12-20 campaign in 2011-12, collected one first-place vote and 153 points, topped only by Long Beach State (194 points) and Cal State Fullerton (164).
In addition, UCI senior Mike Wilder was named to the six-player preseason all-conference team.
Long Beach State, the defending conference champion, received 13 first-place votes, while Cal State Fullerton, with two first-team all-conference players returning, had six and Pacific had one.
Big West newcomer Hawaii was picked fourth (132 points), followed by UC Santa Barbara (129), Pacific (113), Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (100), Cal State Northridge (83), UC Davis (44) and UC Riverside (43).
Wilder, a 6-foot-2 forward-guard, led UCI in scoring last season at 11.5 points per game. He averaged 5.2 rebounds and had 78 three-point field goals on his way to second-team all-conference recognition. Wilder is the Big West active leader in points, rebounds, assists and minutes played.
The rest of the preseason all-conference team includes D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn from Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State's James Ennis, Stephan Hicks from Cal State Fullerton and Vander Joaquim from Hawaii.
UCI plays host to Vanguard University in an exhibition game Nov. 3, before opening the regular season at home against Nevada on Nov. 10.
— From staff reports
UCI's Maron honored
UC Irvine sophomore Camille Maron has been named the Big West Conference Athlete of the Week in women's cross country.
Maron was the top Big West finisher at the Titan Invitational Oct. 19, placing 13th among 126 runners by completing the 5,000-meter course in 18 minutes, 24.3 seconds at Cal State Fullerton.
UCI was third in the 11-team field.
UCI competes at the Big West Championship Saturday on the UC Riverside Agricultural/Operations Course. The women's 6,000-meter race begins at 8:45 a.m.
— From staff reports