Cowboys picked to take title

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By Dave Kavanaugh

A secret no longer, the New Mexico HIghlands men’s basketball team is the preseason favorite to win the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

After breaking a record for best single-season turnaround in NCAA hoops history, coach Joe Harge and his Cowboys garnered seven of 14 first-place votes in the 14-team league’s preseason coaches’ poll released Wednesday. NMHU was 20-8 and 14-5 RMAC in Harge’s first season at the helm.

Nationally ranked Metro State was the favorite to win the RMAC East and received five first-place votes.

Cowboy seniors Roman Andrade and Chris Dunn were both chosen preseason All-RMAC first team. Andrade was a unanimous selection. Senior Rashad Peterson joined Andrade and Dunn on the preseason All-RMAC West lineup.

Former West Las Vegas star Vera Jo Bustos, now a junior at Adams State, was tabbed to the preseason All-RMAC women’s team after ranking among the league leaders in several statistical categories last season.

Fort Lewis was the coaches’ choice to win the league title. NMHU’s women were picked to finish 14th. The Cowgirls were 3-23 overall and 1-19 in league play in 2008-09 under first-year coach Tiffany Darling.