PHOENIX, Ariz. – Dixie State was picked as the preseason favorite to win the Pacific West Conference, and Zach Robbins was selected as the preseason Player of the Year according to a coaches’ vote released Thursday by the league. Dalton Groskreutz was also selected on the All-PacWest Preseason Team.
The Red Storm received nine of 13 first-place votes to take the top spot with 165 points. Fresno Pacific (136) edged BYU-Hawaii (135) for second place while both teams received a first-place vote. Chaminade ranked fourth in the vote followed by Azusa Pacific, California Baptist and Hawai’i Pacific to round out the top half of the predicted order.
Robbins, a 6-11 junior forward from Upland, Calif., earned the highest amount of votes of any PacWest returner. He led the Red Storm, averaging 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game last year. Robbins led DSU in field-goal percentage (.623) and shot 75-percent form the foul line. He earned first-team league honors and second-team West region accolades from both Daktronics and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Robbins was also named Dixie State University Male Athlete of the Year.
Groskreutz, a 6-6 senior forward from Santa Clara and a graduate of Snow Canyon High School, comes off a solid junior campaign. He had the third best scoring average at 11.6 points per game while pulling down four rebounds and dishing 1.5 assists. Groskreutz shot .484 from the field and hit 62-of-77 free throws (.805). He was named to the All-PacWest Second Team last season.
Dixie State was the only school with two players voted to the Preseason All-PacWest squad. The other members honored by the league were Lee Baily from Chaminade, Malcolm Griffin from Fresno Pacific, Troy Leaf from Azusa Pacific, DeAndre Medlock from BYU-Hawaii and Malte Ziegenhagen from Hawai’i Pacific.
Dixie State returns three starters and five letterwinners from a 2012-13 squad that finished 22-6 and advanced to its fourth consecutive NCAA Division-II West Regional. Among that group are returning point guard Kimball Payne and shooting guard DeQuan Thompson, who combined for 15.3 points and 6.3 assists last season.
The Red Storm open the regular season Friday night at home against Colorado Mesa.
1. Dixie State – 165 (9 1st Place Votes)
2. Fresno Pacific – 136 (1)
3. BYU-Hawaii – 135 (1)
4. Chaminade – 130 (1)
5. Azusa Pacific – 123
6. California Baptist – 116 (1)
7. Hawai’i Pacific – 89
8. Dominican – 88
9. Point Loma – 61
10. Academy of Art – 56
11. Hawai’i Hilo – 40
12. Notre Dame de Namur – 35
13. Holy Names – 19
Preseason All-PacWest Team
Zach Robbins – Dixie State (Preseason Player of the Year)
Lee Bailey – Chaminade
Malcoln Griffin – Fresno Pacific
Dalton Groskreutz – Dixie State
Troy Leaf – Azusa Pacific
DeAndre Medlock – BYU-Hawaii
Malte Ziegenhagen – Hawai’i Pacific
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