IRVINE, Calif. – BYU-Hawaii was selected by coaches to finish second in the 2015-2016 Pacwest Preseason Men's Basketball Poll and seniors Scott Friel and Ian Harward were selected to the Preseason All-PacWest team.
BYU-Hawaii finished with 169 points, including one first place vote, to finish behind Cal Baptist in the voting. The Seasiders are coming off a 24-6 record and winning the PacWest Men's Basketball Championships tournament. BYU-Hawaii is returning several key players from last season's team along with a solid recruiting class.
Friel, the reigning PacWest Championships' MVP, is the only returning starter for the Seasiders. Friel averaged 11.5 points and 6.6 rebounds last season. He led the Seasiders in rebounds with 198 for the season, 127 of on the defensive end. He was the sixth leading rebounder in the PacWest Conference. He was also one of the team's leaders in steals with 47 on the season. Friel scored a career high 31 points against Dixie State in the semi-finals of the PacWest Championships.
Harward, a 6-foot-11-inch forward transfer from Brigham Young University, was an anchor in the post for the Seasiders on defense ranking 37th nationally with 1.9 blocked shots per game. With last year's starting center Jordan Stone departing, Harward looks to increase his minutes and his presence on the floor. Harward is a solid all-around player averaging 8.2 points and 5.5 rebounds in 18 minutes played per game.
The Lancers were picked to win the 2015-2016 PacWest men's Basketball Championship, in a near unanimous decision with 13 first-place votes. CBU was the Preseason favorite last season, finishing in third place and receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA West Regional. CBU reached the regional final for the first time in school history.
Chaminade came in fifth place and Hawi'i Pacific came in sixth, rounding out the projected field for the 2015 PacWest championship tournament. Concordia University Irvine will once again host the tournament, March3-5
CBU senior guard Gelaun Wheelwright was named Pacwest Preseason Player of the Year. The 2014-15 PacWest Newcomer of the Year and first-team All-PacWest selection averaged 17.6 points per game, made 109 three-pointers and shot 43.9 percent from the field. He was a second-team regional selection by Daktronics and NABC, and was named to the PacWest Championship and NCAA West Regional All-Tournament teams. He is the top returning scorer in the PacWest.
Wheelwright was joined on the Preseason All-PacWest team by Friel (BYU-Hawaii), Harward (BYU-Hawaii), Luke Hager (Hawai'I Pacific), Kuany Kuany (Chaminade) and Mason Sawyer (Dixie State). Hager was an All-PacWest Second Team member last season, while Kuany and Sawyer were members of the third team.