The American Athletic Conference coaches voted Wichita State’s Tyson Etienne preseason player of the year and forecasted a fourth-place finish for the Shockers in their annual October poll, released Wednesday morning ahead of the league’s virtual media day festivities.
Etienne – a super sophomore from Englewood, N.J. — shared co-player of the year honors last March after leading the Shockers to The American’s regular season title. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 16.3 points and a school-record 2.95 three pointers on 39.2 percent accuracy.
Etienne was one of just two unanimous selections to the first team, along with SMU’s Kendric Davis. He’s the first Shocker to make the preseason first team since Landry Shamet in 2017.
Each of the 11 coaches cast a ballot. They were not allowed to vote for their own teams or players.
Fresh off a Final Four appearance, Houston finished atop the preseason poll, earning eight of the 11 first-place votes and 98 total points.
Talent-laden Memphis took second-place with 92 points and earned the other three first-place votes. The Tigers accounted for four of the 10 players on the preseason first and second teams.
SMU (77) edged out Wichita State (76) for third-place by a single point.
Fifth-through-eighth spots went to UCF (66), Cincinnati (52), Tulsa (43), Temple (37). South Florida and Tulane tied for ninth-place with 25 points, followed by East Carolina (14).
The Shockers (16-6, 11-2) return four of the top-five scorers from last season’s NCAA tournament qualifier. In addition to Etienne, returning starters Dexter Dennis and Morris Udeze are back for their fourth seasons. Ricky Council IV made the league’s all-freshman team.
Fans can watch a live feed of American Men’s and Women’s Basketball Media Days on ESPN+. Wichita State takes the stage from 12:25 to 1:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Coverage begins at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday and continues Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
Wichita State plays its exhibition opener on Monday, Nov. 1 against Missouri Southern State (6 p.m. CT) and opens the regular season Tuesday, Nov. 9 against Jacksonville State (7 p.m.). Great seats are available for both games through the Shocker Ticket Office. Call 316-978-FANS (3267) or log on to goshockers.com/tickets.