2014-15 Mountain West Men's Basketball Weekly Release - January 26
|UPCOMING MOUNTAIN WEST MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE|
|Tuesday, January 27||Broadcast||Time|
|Fresno State at San Diego State*||CBSSN||6 p.m. PT|
|Wyoming at Utah State*||ROOT/MWN||7 p.m. MT|
|UNLV at Nevada*||ESPN3||7 p.m. PT|
|24 Colorado State at Boise State*||ESPNU||9 p.m. MT|
|Wednesday, January 28||Broadcast||Time|
|Air Force at San José*||MWN||7 p.m. PT|
|Saturday, January 31||Broadcast||Time|
|Fresno State at 24 Colorado State*||CBSSN||4 p.m. MT|
|Nevada at Wyoming*||ROOT/MWN||4 p.m. MT|
|Utah State at San Diego State*||CBSSN||5 p.m. PT|
|San José at New Mexico*||ROOT/MWN||6 p.m. MT|
|Air Force at UNLV*||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
Colorado State’s 79-73 win over San Diego State last Saturday propelled the Rams back into the Top-25 rankings, coming at No. 24 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll. The Rams are also one spot outside of the rankings in the Associated Press Top-25, 13 votes behind No. 25-ranked Butler. This marks the third week this season that CSU has been ranked, having cracked the Top-25 in both polls in Week 7 (24 AP/25 Coaches) and Week 8 (24/24) during a record-breaking 14-0 start.
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 the AP poll at some point during the season. The Aztecs and Cowboys continue to receive votes by both the AP and Coaches’ panels.
RAMS STRONG OUT OF THE GATE
Colorado State enters this week’s action with an 18-2 record, marking the best 20-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 25 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 25-game streak is the longest in school history, surpassing a 22-game run from 1966-68.
Wyoming (53.7) and San Diego State (54.0) rank third and fourth, respectively, in the nation in points allowed this season. The Cowboys have limited 11 of their 20 opponents to less than 55 points in 2014-15, including three contests where the Pokes’ defense has surrendered fewer than 40 points. The Aztecs have held 16 of their 20 opponents to fewer than 60 points, including nine of the last 10. The MW is the only conference with two teams ranked among the Top 5 nationally in scoring defense through games of Jan. 25.
PROTECTING THE RIM
UNLV has registered 138 blocks as a team for a 6.9 per-game average in 2014-15, ranking third and fourth, respectively in the nation. The Runnin’ Rebel tandem of sophomore forward Christian Wood and freshman forward/center Goodluck Okonoboh account for more than 75 percent of the team’s rejections, boasting 55 and 51, respectively.
CLEARING THE (OFFENSIVE) GLASS
Nevada’s AJ West leads the nation with a 5.88 rebounding average on the offensive end of the glass through games of Jan. 25. His 100 offensive boards lead the league and rank second nationally overall entering this week’s action.
In just two seasons of Conference play, West has amassed 122 rebounds on the offensive end of the glass, moving him into a tie for fourth place on the league’s career list for most in Conference-only games.
ICE AT THE CHARITY STRIPE
Wyoming’s Riley Grabau enters this week’s action as the nation’s top free throw shooter, converting 54-of-57 attempts for a 94.7 rate at the charity stripe through games of Jan. 25. Players must average 2.5 made free throws per game in order to be ranked.
Just a junior, San Diego State forward Skylar Spencer already sits within striking distance of the Mountain West’s Top-5 for career blocks, ranking sixth with 189 rejections to his credit through games of Jan. 18. Wyoming’s Justin Williams holds the league’s all-time record, blocking 244 shot attempts from 2004-06.
RACKING UP THE POINTS
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 927 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.
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 Jan. 18, Utah State’s Stew Morrill has amassed a 613-289 (.680) 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 511-263 (.660) in 25 seasons as a head coach, while Colorado State’s Larry Eustachy has compiled a 462-285 (.618) career record over a 24-year span.
MOUNTAIN WEST NETWORK