Will Cherry will be out until mid-December, but he will back in time for conference play. Cherry was the Big SKy Defensive MVP and he averaged 15.8 ppg a year ago. Two other players return who averaged double digits Kareem Jamar (13.6 ppg) and Mathias Ward (10.9 ppg). Watch for JUCO transfer Spencer Coleman to crack the starting line up early.
#2 Weber State
Damian Lillard is the best player to ever come through Weber and a likely rookie of the year candidate in the NBA. How will Weber State bounce back. Two starters return Scott Bamforth (14.5 ppg) and Kyle Tresnak (10 ppg). A slue of newcomers will make immediate impacts.
#3 Northern Colorado
With four starters returning, this team is poised to rise from their seventh place finish season. The Bears return three reserves that averaged over 7.9 ppg. Northern Colorado picked up one of the best rebounding JUCO players too.
#4 North Dakota
Making the move to the Big Sky won't be as difficult with four starters returning. What will be difficult is opposing teams making the trip to North Dakota. Big Sky fans will be familiar with the name Troy Huff by the end of the year.
#5 Sacramento State
Three players averaging double-digit points return for the Hornets. Center Konner Veteto should emerge down low. Last years breakthrough player was sophomore and Big Sky freshman of the year Dylan Garrity. Garrity was sixth in the nation in assists.
#6 Eastern Washington
Two transfers Martin Seiferth (Oregon) and Justin Crosgile (St. Joseph's) will play major roles. Adding to those two transfers are two senior returning starters.
#7 Portland State
The Vikings will need to find a way to replace three starters who averaged 44.4 ppg. Look for one of the four newcomers to fill the scoring void. The backcourt is still intact with McMullan and Harthun.
#8 Montana State
Montana State could of had a great year had Shawn Reid not transferred and the NCAA not taken away Mohamed Falls senior year. JUCO transfer Flavien Davis was a pretty good recruit coming out of high school. The three starters that return averaged over nine points a game.
#9 Southern Utah
The Thunderbirds are Big Sky newcomers. They leave the Summit League after 15 years and they return a good chunk of their roster. Two starters return and they are key for early success in the Big Sky.
#10 Idaho State
#11 Northern Arizona
First Team All Big Sky 2012
G Will Cherry, Montana G Scott Bamforth, Weber State G/F Kareem Jamar , Montana G/F Troy Huff, North Dakota C Kyle Tresnak, Weber State