WYO’S WINGARD LEADS MW PRESEASON PICKS
LAS VEGAS» Colorado State center Jake Bennett and wide receiver Michael Gallup were named to the media’s preseason all-Mountain West first team Tuesday, while former Ralston Valley High School star Andrew Wingard of Wyoming, a defensive back, was named the defensive player of the year.
The selections were announced at the Mountain West Media Summit, with the media picking the Rams to finish second in the conference’s Mountain Division behind Boise State. Wyoming, whose quarterback, Josh Allen, was the league’s offensive player of the year, was selected to finish third in the division, followed by Air Force, New Mexico and Utah State.
Wingard, a first-team pick in 2016, enters his junior season as the nation’s leader in career solo tackles per game (6.08). Last year he led the league and was tied for fourth nationally with 131 total tackles. He had 7½ tackles for loss, including two sacks, and two interceptions.
Allen, projected as a high firstround NFL draft pick in 2018, threw for 3,203 yards and 28 touchdowns and rushed for 523 yards.
Bennett was a second-team allMountain West selection last season and anchored a Rams offensive line that ranked eighth in the NCAA in sacks allowed per game (1.0). Gallup, in his first season of Division I football in 2016, had a breakout year — recording 76 catches for 1,272 yards. He ranked eighth in the nation in total touchdowns (14) and second in Rams’ history for a single season.
Bennett and Gallup played key roles in CSU’s offensive attack, which ranked high in the country in four different categories: passing efficiency (12th), rushing offense (31st), scoring offense (28th) and total offense (30th).
Bennett was recently named to watch lists for the Rimington and Outland Trophy. Gallup is on the Biletnikoff Award watch list.
Avs sign Nieto for 1 year, $1M.
The Avalanche signed forward Matt Nieto to a one-year deal worth $1 million for the 2017-18 season.
Nieto, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound left wing, played for the Avalanche in 43 of the final 44 games last season after being claimed off waivers from the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 5. He recorded 11 points (seven goals and four assists) for Colorado.
Nieto, 24, is scheduled for an arbitration hearing next week.
Rapids name Smith interim GM.
The Rapids promoted Padraig Smith to interim general manager and Wayne Brant to interim chief business officer.
The promotions come in the wake of Tim Hinchey’s departure as president of the club in June to become CEO of USA Swimming.
Suns’ Knight tears left ACL.
PHOENIX» Phoenix Suns point guard Brandon Knight tore his left ACL while playing in a pro-am game and will be lost for the coming season.
The Suns said an examination by team doctor Tom Carter determined surgery would be required.
Moore leads Lynx to slim win.
ST. PAUL, MINN.» Maya Moore scored a season-high 27 points, Lindsay Whalen made a go-ahead baseline jumper with 47.7 seconds left and the Minnesota Lynx beat the New York Liberty 76-75.
• Layshia Clarendon had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists to become the sixth player with a triple-double and the Atlanta Dream beat the Phoenix Mercury 99-91 in overtime.
• Elena Delle Donne had 29 points and 10 rebounds, Kristi Toliver tied a career high with 10 assists and the Washington Mystics beat the San Antonio Stars 85-76.
• Alyssa Thomas had 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists to help the Connecticut Sun beat the Chicago Sky 93-73.
• Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 21 points to lead the Dallas Wings over the Indiana Fever 84-82.