2014-15 Mountain West Men's Basketball Weekly Release - February 9

 

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UPCOMING MOUNTAIN WEST MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Tuesday, February 10 Broadcast Time
Nevada at Utah State* ROOT/MWN 7 p.m. MT
Fresno State at UNLV* ESPN3 7 p.m. PT
New Mexico at Colorado State* ESPNU 7 p.m. MT
Wednesday, February 11 Broadcast Time
Air Force at Boise State* MWN 7 p.m. MT
Wyoming at San Diego State* CBSSN 8 p.m. PT
Saturday, February 14 Broadcast Time
UNLV at Air Force* ESPN3 Noon MT
San Jos&eacute State at Wyoming* ROOT/MWN 4 p.m. MT
Boise State at Fresno State* ESPN3 4 p.m. PT
Colorado State at San Diego State* CBSSN 5 p.m. PT
New Mexico at Nevada* ESPN2 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
Colorado State, San Diego State and Wyoming have each spent time in the Associated Press Top-25 poll in 2014-15, marking the fifth time in six years that three different MW squads have been ranked in the AP poll at some point during the season. The Aztecs continue to receive votes in both the AP and USA Today Coaches’ polls, while Boise State joins the Rams and Cowboys this week in garnering votes from the Coaches’ panel.

 

COLORADO STATE FIRST MW TEAM TO 20 WINS IN 2014-15
Colorado State (20-4) became the first Mountain West team to reach 20 wins this season, hitting the mark with last Saturday’s 83-82 win over UNLV. This marks the Rams’ ninth 20-win campaign, and the 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.

This is Colorado State’s third 20-win campaign in the 16-year history of the Mountain West. UNLV leads the league with 11 20-win campaigns as a MW member, followed by San Diego State (10), New Mexico (nine), Air Force, Colorado State and Wyoming (three each), Boise State (two) and Fresno State (one).

 

RAMS STRONG OUT OF THE GATE
Colorado State enters this week’s action with a 20-4 record, matching the 2012-13 Ram squad for the best 24-game start in program history.

The Rams 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.

 

HOME SWEET HOME
San Diego State has won 27 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 (53.8) and Wyoming (54.4) rank third and fourth, respectively, in the nation in points allowed this season. The Cowboys have limited 15 of their 24 opponents to less than 60 points in 2014-15, including three contests where the Pokes’ defense has surrendered fewer than 40 points. The Aztecs have held 18 of their 24 opponents to fewer than 60 points, including 11 of the last 14. The MW is the only conference with two teams ranked among the Top 5 nationally in scoring defense through games of Feb. 8.

 

PROTECTING THE RIM
UNLV has registered 156 blocks as a team for a 6.8 per-game average in 2014-15, ranking fourth nationally in both categories. The Runnin’ Rebel tandem of sophomore forward Christian Wood and freshman forward/center Goodluck Okonoboh accounts for more than 75 percent of the team’s rejections, boasting 62 and 60, respectively.

 

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 200 rejections to his credit through games of Feb. 8. Spencer has amassed 93 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. 8, boasting 128 boards for a 6.1 average on the offensive end of the glass.

West’s 2014-15 tally of 128 offensive rebounds is just two shy of the Top 5 single-season performances in Mountain West history, ranking sixth overall. Boise State’s Ryan Watkins set the league record just last year with 170 offensive boards.

West has amassed 78 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 first 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 150 rebounds on the offensive end of the glass, ranking him fourth on the league’s career list for most in Conference-only games. San Diego State’s JJ O’Brien is third on that same list, collecting 159 offensive rebounds in a four-year MW career that includes one season at Utah (2010-11).

 

ICE AT THE CHARITY STRIPE
Wyoming’s Riley Grabau enters this week’s action as the nation’s top free throw shooter, converting 68-of-72 attempts for a 94.4 rate at the charity stripe through games of Feb. 8. 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 eight times in his career, the most by a Bronco in program history. Marks has reached the 30-point plateau four 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’ four 30-point games in 2014-15 ties for fifth-most on the league’s all-time records chart, while his eight career 30-point performances ties for 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 930 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 14 overtime games played by Mountain West teams in 2014-15, including two last Saturday. Four 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 is the only Conference team that has not played an overtime contest in 2014-15, which is a far cry from the league-record six OT games the Wolf Pack racked up a year ago.

 

400 WINS AND COUNTING
The Mountain West is home to three 400-win head coaches. Through games of Feb. 8, Utah State’s Stew Morrill has amassed a 615-291 (.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 514-264 (.661) in 25 seasons as a head coach, while Colorado State’s Larry Eustachy has compiled a 464-287 (.618) career record over a 24-year span.

 

MOUNTAIN WEST NETWORK