It's not where you start, it's where you finish. But it's always interesting to take stock of what other people are forecasting.

The Big Sky Conference preseason coaches' and media polls have been released, the men's poll today (Thursday) and the women's poll yesterday. Both the University of Montana Griz and Lady Griz teams are a ways from the tops of those poll in the minds of those who cast their ballots.

The Montana men's team was picked fourth by both the coaches and media. Southern Utah – the 2021 regular-season champion – earned eight of the 11 first-place votes to sit atop the coaches' poll, followed by Weber State (two first-place votes) and Montana State (one). The media poll looks similar, with the top six teams being identical.

The No. 4 preseason ranking is Montana's lowest since were picked eighth by the coaches and fifth by the media in 2014-15. That season, the Grizzlies went on to tie for the regular-season title and advance to the Big Sky championship game.

The Montana women’s basketball team, one of five programs in the league entering the season under a new coaching staff, was picked fifth in the Big Sky Conference preseason coaches’ poll and seventh by the media. Idaho State, which won both the league and Big Sky tournament titles last season, is the heavy preseason favorite.

With the addition of an extra year of playing eligibility, granted by the NCAA due to COVID, you will be seeing a lot of older players on the courts this year. That may not be as evident with the Griz and Lady Griz compared to some of the other conference teams. But the operable word is "seeing," with the promise of once again having lots of fans in the seats cheering on our teams.

Here's how coaches and media members see things going in 2021-22.

Big Sky Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll

1 Southern Utah

2 Weber State

3 Montana State

4 MONTANA

5 Northern Colorado

6 Idaho State

7 Portland State

8 Eastern Washington

9 Northern Arizona

10 Sacramento State

11 Idaho

Big Sky Men's Basketball Preseason Media Poll

1 Southern Utah

2 Weber State

3 Montana State

4 MONTANA

5 Northern Colorado

6 Idaho State

7 Eastern Washington

8 Portland State

9 Sacramento State

10 Northern Arizona

11 Idaho

Big Sky Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll

1. Idaho State

2. Montana State

3. Idaho

4. Northern Arizona

5. MONTANA

6. Southern Utah

7. Northern Colorado

8. Sacramento State

9. Portland State

10. Weber State

11. Eastern Washington

Big Sky Women's Basketball Preseason Media Poll

1. Idaho State

2. Montana State

3. Idaho

4. Southern Utah

5. Northern Arizona

6. Northern Colorado

7. MONTANA

8. Portland State

9. Sacramento State

10. Eastern Washington

11. Weber State

Special note to Griz fans: If you want to get a free preview of your Griz and Lady Griz teams, be sure to attend the annual Maroon/Silver scrimmages this coming Wednesday, October 27. Lady Griz start at 5:00 p.m. and the Griz will scrimmage shortly after.

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