Quick Previews: Mountain West Conference

Our conference quick previews are just quick predictions for the all-conference teams and the conference standings. If you came here looking for a deep analysis on each team, you’ve came to the wrong place. We’re too lazy to do that 🙂

Someone has to say it, so we will: The Mountain West is down. How do we know? Last year was the first time since 2001 they didn’t send multiple teams to the NCAA Tournament. The Final Four was played in the Metrodome that year, Jason Williams was the top scorer in the tournament and Shane Battier was the Most Outstanding Player. So, yeah, it had been a long time. And now it looks like the conference is set to send just one team again. San Diego State is by far the favorites in the conference. Trey Kell and Malik Pope are back and should lead the Aztecs, while they also brought in Max Hoetzel, a transfer from Indiana. They’ll use one of the best defenses in the nation to suffocate the rest of the league. Behind them, New Mexico and Nevada should battle to be the next best team. The Lobos return 4 starters from last year, including potential Player of the Year, Elijah Brown. Eric Musselman has turned things in Reno around quickly, as they won 24 games last year. They have 4 starters back from that team, as well as transfers Marcus Marshall from Missouri State, Jordan Carolina from Southern Illinois and Leland King II from Brown that are eligible this season. The Wolfpack could contend for an NCAA Tournament bid, but it seems like they still may be a year away. After those 3 teams, the league really drops off. Expect Utah State, Colorado State, Fresno State and Boise State to compete for the next tier of the league. The Mountain West desperately needs teams like UNLV and New Mexico to get back to the level they used to be at, but it won’t be this season. Unless Nevada or New Mexico is ready to breakthrough this season, the MWC will need San Diego State to dominate during the regular season and fall in the conference tournament to get two bids.

MWC Projected Standings

(Records from 2015-2016 season)

1. San Diego State: 28-10 (16-2)

2. Nevada: 24-14 (10-8)

3. New Mexico: 17-15 (10-8)

4. Utah State: 16-15 (7-11)

5. Fresno State: 25-10 (13-5)

6. Colorado State: 18-16 (8-10)

7. Boise State: 20-12 (11-7)

8. Wyoming: 14-18 (7-11)

9. Air Force: 14-18 (5-13)

10. San Jose State: 9-22 (4-14)

11. UNLV: 18-15 (8-10)

First Team All-MWC

(Stats from 2015-2016 season)

Elijah Brown, New Mexico (21.7 PPG, 3.1 APG) PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Trey Kell, San Diego State (12.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG)

Tim Williams, New Mexico (16.8 PPG, 7.4 RPG)

Cameron Oliver, Nevada (13.4 PPG, 9.1 RPG)

Jalen Moore, Utah State (15.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG)

NCAA Tournament Bid: San Diego State

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