Boise State’s Marks on award watchlist; my AP top 25 preseason poll

Derrick Marks goes up for a layup March 13 against San Diego State in Las Vegas.

Derrick Marks goes up for a layup March 13 against San Diego State in Las Vegas. AP photo.

Boise State junior point guard Derrick Marks was named to the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award Watch List, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Tuesday.

Marks is one of 50 players on the list after he averaged 16.3 points, 3.9 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game last season as a sophomore. The award was first given out after the 2003-04 season, to Saint Joseph’s Jameer Nelson. Marks is the second Bronco on the watchlist, following Anthony Thomas, who was on the midseason watchlist in 2008-09 and the preseason watchlist the following year.

The watchlist will be whittled down to 20 in February, and the five finalists will be announced in early March.

Marks was named as one of the top 100 players in college basketball last week by CBSSports.com, checking in at No. 65. Fellow junior Anthony Drmic was No. 83. Click here for the list.

The Broncos will host “Heat Up The Hardwood” on Oct. 30 at Taco Bell Arena, beginning at 7 p.m. The event is free and will include a dunk contest, a 3-point shooting contest and a hot shot contest. The men’s and women’s teams will both hold scrimmages, too. Two fans will be chosen to participate in the hot shot contest with the Bronco of their choice, and three fans will be selected to judge the dunk contest.

Tickets for the Nov. 1 men’s exhibition against Lewis-Clark State will be sold for $5 at the event, and students can get free food and drinks, entering through Lobby 1. They also can sign up for the great Corral.

I am again an AP top 25 voter this season. The following is my preseason poll — the full poll will be announced Oct. 31. Addressing the top and bottom, I went with Michigan State because the Spartans have more known entities than Kentucky. The Wildcats have that vaunted freshman class, but has some good players back, too. I can’t quite put them No. 1 with so many unproven players — just look at the hype behind the Wildcats last year and UCLA, too, and neither matched the hype. And I have Boise State at No. 25, with all five starters back and more than 90 percent of the scoring returning, it was a fairly easy decision to include the Broncos. And I’m not alone, as the Albuquerque Journal’s Geoff Grammer has them at No. 23.

1. Michigan State
2. Kentucky
3. Duke
4. Kansas
5. Louisville
6. Arizona
7. Florida
8. Michigan
9. Syracuse
10. North Carolina
11. Oklahoma State
12. Ohio State
13. Gonzaga
14. VCU
15. Marquette
16. Memphis
17. New Mexico
18. Oregon
19. Wichita State
20. Connecticut
21. Notre Dame
22. Colorado
23. Wisconsin
24. Virginia
25. Boise State

Preseason All-Americans
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Doug McDermott, Creighton
Gary Harris, Michigan State
Russ Smith, Louisville
Mitch McGary, Michigan

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