Mountain West Men's Basketball Weekly Release

 

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UPCOMING MOUNTAIN WEST MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Tuesday, January 20 Broadcast Time
Utah State at Nevada* MWN 7 p.m. PT
San Diego State at Air Force* CBSSN 7:30 p.m. MT
Wednesday, January 21 Broadcast Time
San Jos&eacute at Boise State* ROOT/MWN 8 p.m. MT
New Mexico at UNLV* CBSSN 8 p.m. PT
Saturday, January 24 Broadcast Time
Boise State at Air Force* ROOT/MWN Noon MT
New Mexico at Wyoming* ESPN3 2 p.m. MT
Nevada at Fresno State* MWN 4 p.m. PT
Utah State at UNLV* CBSSN 5 p.m. PT
San Diego State at Colorado State* ESPNU 8 p.m. MT
*Mountain West game

 

MOUNTAIN WEST IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
After earning its first Associated Press Top-25 ranking since March 15, 1988 with a No. 25 slot in the Jan. 12 poll, Wyoming slipped out of this week’s rankings. The Cowboys became the third Mountain West team to garner an AP Top-25 listing in 2014-15, joining Colorado State and San Diego State. That marks the fifth time in six years that three different MW squads have been ranked in the AP poll at some point during the season. All three teams continue to receive votes by both the AP and USA Today Coaches’ panels.

 

RAMS STRONG OUT OF THE GATE
Colorado State pushed its season-opening win streak to 14 games before seeing the run end with a Jan. 3 loss at New Mexico. The Rams enter this week’s action with a 17-2 record, marking the best 19-game start in program history.

Colorado State’s 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.

The Rams 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. They 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.

 

GETTING DEFENSIVE
San Diego State (53.1) and Wyoming (53.3) rank third and fourth, respectively, in the nation in points allowed this season. The Cowboys have limited 11 of their 19 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 15 of their 18 opponents to fewer than 60 points, including eight straight. The MW is the only conference with two teams ranked among the Top 5 nationally in scoring defense through games of Jan. 18.

 

PROTECTING THE RIM
UNLV has registered 132 blocks as a team for a 7.3 per-game average in 2014-15, ranking second and third, 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 53 and 50, respectively.

 

CLEARING THE (OFFENSIVE) GLASS
Nevada’s AJ West leads the nation with a 5.6 rebounding average on the offensive end of the glass through games of Jan. 18. His 84 offensive boards lead the league and rank third nationally overall through games of Jan. 18.

 

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. 18. Players must average 2.5 made free throws per game in order to be ranked.

 

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.

 

BLOCK PARTY
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 187 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.

 

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 925 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.

 

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 612-288 (.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 510-262 (.661) in 25 seasons as a head coach, while Colorado State’s Larry Eustachy has compiled a 461-285 (.618) career record over a 24-year span.

 

MOUNTAIN WEST NETWORK