2014-15 Mountain West Men's Basketball Weekly Release - February 16

 

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UPCOMING MOUNTAIN WEST MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Tuesday, February 17 Broadcast Time
Wyoming Nevada* MWN/CI 7 p.m. PT
San Diego State at New Mexico* CBSSN 7 p.m. PT
Wednesday, February 18 Broadcast Time
Colorado State at Fresno State* ESPN3 7 p.m. PT
Utah State at San Jos&eacute State* ROOT/MWN 7 p.m. PT
Boise State at UNLV* CBSSN 8 p.m. PT
Saturday, February 21 Broadcast Time
Nevada at Boise State* MWN/CI 1 p.m. MT
Air Force at Colorado State* ROOT/MWN 4 p.m. MT
UNLV at New Mexico* CBSSN 4 p.m. MT
Fresno State at Utah State* ESPN3 7 p.m. MT
San Diego State at San Jos&eacute State* ESPN3 7 p.m. PT
*Mountain West game

 

MW CHAMPIONSHIP RETURNS TO LAS VEGAS
The Mountain West Basketball Championship returns to Las Vegas, Nevada, for 2015. The Thomas & Mack Center has a seating capacity of 18,500 and will play host to the MW championship for the 13th time in the 16-year history of the league.

Seeds for the Mountain West Basketball Championship are determined by the finish of each team in an 18-game regular-season schedule. The winner of the 2015 Mountain West Basketball Championship receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Please visit the Mountain West website TheMW.com for additional information.

To order tickets for the 2015 Mountain West Basketball Championship, contact your local institution’s athletic ticket office.

 

MOUNTAIN WEST IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
After a six-week absence, San Diego State returned to the USA Today Coaches’ Top-25 rankings, garnering the No. 25 spot. The Aztecs were ranked by the Coaches' group for eight straight weeks to open the season before dropping out of the Jan. 5 poll. San Diego State continues to receive votes in the Associated Press poll, while Boise State and Colorado State are receiving votes from the Coaches’ panel.

Colorado State, San Diego State and Wyoming have each spent time in the AP Top-25 poll in 2014-15, marking the fifth time in six years that three different MW squads have been ranked in that poll at some point during the season.

 

AZTECS, COWBOYS LATEST MW TEAMS TO 20 WINS
San Diego State and Wyoming joined Colorado State in reaching the 20-win milestone this season. This marks the 10th straight year, and 15th overall, the Mountain West has been home to at least three 20-win programs. A league-record six teams hit the 20-win benchmark in 2012-13.

Colorado State has compiled the program’s ninth 20-win campaign, and second in three years under head coach Larry Eustachy. Eustachy joins Boyd “Tiny” Grant and current Utah State head coach Stew Morrill as the only coaches in CSU history to lead the team to multiple 20-win campaigns.

San Diego State has posted its 20th 20-win campaign, including its 11th under head coach Steve Fisher, and 10th consecutive.

Wyoming has reached the 20-win threshhold for the third time in five years under head coach Larry Shyatt. The Cowboys have 21 20-win campaigns overall, with this year marking the earliest the Pokes have reached the mark since the ‘51-52 season.

UNLV leads the league with 11 20-win campaigns as a MW member, followed by San Diego State (11), New Mexico (nine), Wyoming (four), Air Force and Colorado State (three each), Boise State (two) and Fresno State (one).

 

HOME SWEET HOME
San Diego State has won 29 consecutive games at Viejas Arena and enters the week with the nation’s fifth-longest active home win streak. The Aztecs’ last loss in Viejas Arena was a 69-60 setback to then-No. 6/5 Arizona on Nov. 14, 2013. The 27-game streak is the longest in school history, surpassing a 22-game run from 1966-68.

 

GETTING DEFENSIVE
San Diego State (53.7) ranks third nationally in points allowed this season. The Aztecs have held 19 of their 25 opponents to fewer than 60 points, including 12 of the last 16.

 

WOLF PACK ON THE OFFENSIVE GLASS
Nevada ranks fifth nationally in offensive rebounds per game, averaging 15.25 per game. The Wolf Pack has pulled down 10 or more offensive boards in 22 of 24 games this season, including 14 contests with 15 or more.

 

PROTECTING THE RIM
UNLV has registered 173 blocks as a team for a 6.9 per-game average in 2014-15, ranking third nationally in both categories. The Runnin’ Rebel tandem of sophomore forward Christian Wood and freshman forward/center Goodluck Okonoboh accounts for more than 80 percent of the team’s rejections, boasting 74 and 65, respectively.

 

UNLV DUO MOVING UP CLASS CHARTS
UNLV teammates Rashad Vaughn and Christian Wood each sit just outside the Top 5 for their respective MW class leaders lists. Through games of Feb. 15, Vaughn ranks seventh in freshman scoring (410 points), while Wood is seventh in sophomore rebounding (249 rebounds).

 

UNLV’S GOODLUCK OKONOBOH SETS MW FRESHMAN BLOCK MARK
UNLV’s Goodluck Okonoboh has 65 blocked shots through games of Feb. 15. That is a new MW freshman class record, surpassing the 51 tallied by San Diego State’s Skylar Spencer in 2012-13. Okonoboh has amassed 27 of those rejections in MW play, which is two shy of the freshman class record of 29 collected by former Utah Ute and current Golden State Warrior Andrew Bogut during the Conference portion of the 2003-04 campaign.

 

INDIVIDUAL BLOCK PARTY
Just a junior, San Diego State forward Skylar Spencer has already moved into the Top 5 on the Mountain West list of career shot-blockers, ranking fourth with 207 rejections to his credit through games of Feb. 15. Spencer has amassed 100 of those blocks in Conference play to also rank fifth on that career chart.

 

CLEARING THE (OFFENSIVE) GLASS
Nevada’s AJ West is the nation’s top offensive rebounder through games of Feb. 15, boasting 140 boards for a 6.09 average on the offensive end of the glass.

West’s 2014-15 tally of 140 offensive rebounds ranks as the third-best single-season performance in Mountain West history. Boise State’s Ryan Watkins set the league record just last year with 170 offensive boards.

West has amassed 90 offensive rebounds in Mountain West play in 2014-15, which ranks as the second-most in a single season of Conference-only games. He trails Watkins, who racked up a league-record 104 offensive boards in MW-only games last season. West, whose 72 offensive rebounds in 2013-14 rank fourth on the league’s single-season chart, is the only player in MW history to register 70 or more offensive boards in Conference-only games in multiple seasons.

In just two seasons of Conference play, West has amassed 162 rebounds on the offensive end of the glass, ranking him third on the league’s career list for most in Conference-only games. San Diego State’s JJ O’Brien is fourth on that same list, collecting 159 offensive rebounds in a four-year MW career that includes one season at Utah (2010-11). Watkins holds the career mark for most offensive rebounds in MW-only games with 179.

 

ICE AT THE CHARITY STRIPE
Wyoming’s Riley Grabau enters this week’s action as the nation’s top free throw shooter, converting 70-of-74 attempts for a 94.6 rate at the charity stripe through games of Feb. 15. Players must average 2.5 made free throws per game in order to be ranked.

 

30-POINT MAN
Boise State’s Derrick Marks has scored at least 30 points in a game nine times in his career, the most by a Bronco in program history. Marks has reached the 30-point plateau five times in 2014-15, surpassing his tally of three from the 2012-13 campaign. He is just the fourth Bronco to eclipse 30 points three times in a season and the first to do so in two different seasons. Marks’ five 30-point games in 2014-15 rank fifth on the league’s all-time records chart, while his nine career 30-point performances is third.

 

DIALING FROM LONG DISTANCE
UNLV currently holds the NCAA record for consecutive games with at least one made 3-pointer. Since the official adoption of the 3-point rule at the start of the 1986-87 season, the Runnin’ Rebels have connected on at least one trey in all 932 of their games. UNLV, Princeton, Vanderbilt are the only three teams in the country to have made at least one 3-pointer in every one of their games since the rule was implemented.

 

WORKING OVERTIME
There have been 15 overtime games played by Mountain West teams in 2014-15. Five MW teams are perfect in overtime outings this season (Boise State 3-0; Wyoming 2-0; Air Force 1-0; Colorado State 1-0; Nevada 1-0). The Wolf Pack was the last MW team this season to play an overtime contest, earning a 66-63 victory over New Mexico on Feb. 14.

 

400 WINS AND COUNTING
The Mountain West is home to three 400-win head coaches. Through games of Feb. 15, Utah State’s Stew Morrill has amassed a 616-291 (.679) record over a 29-year head coaching career, and entered the season ranked 12th nationally for most wins. San Diego State’s Steve Fisher is 516-264 (.662) in 25 seasons as a head coach, while Colorado State’s Larry Eustachy has compiled a 465-288 (.618) career record over a 24-year span.

 

RAMS STRONG OUT OF THE GATE
Colorado State opened the season with a 14-game win streak before seeing the run end with a Jan. 3 loss at New Mexico. The 14-0 start marked the best undefeated opening to a campaign in program history, surpassing the previous record of 6-0, which was accomplished three times (1970-71; 2005-06; 2012-13). The 14-game win streak was also the longest in program history, eclipsing the previous school record of 11, set during the 1988-89 season.

Colorado State went 13-0 in non-conference play, becoming the third team in the 16-year history of the Mountain West to end its non-league slate undefeated. The Rams join San Diego State, who entered the 2010-11 MW slate with a perfect 15-0 record in non-conference action, and Wyoming, who brought a 13-0 mark against non-league opponents into its 2012-13 Conference opener. The Cowboys added a 14th non-conference victory in early February of that season, making the Rams, Aztecs and Pokes the only three teams in MW history ever to go undefeated in regular-season non-conference play.

 

MOUNTAIN WEST NETWORK