Mountain West Men's Basketball Weekly Release No. 9

Jan. 2, 2013


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With one week left before Mountain West play begins, six of nine MW teams are ranked in the top 55 of the latest RPI, the highest percentage of any conference in the country.

COWBOYS REMAIN UNDEFEATED
Wyoming (12-0) is one of four undefeated teams (Michigan 13-0; Arizona 12-0; Duke 12-0) nationally through games of January 1. The Cowboys are the only one of the four unbeaten squads not ranked in the top 25, with Duke, Michigan and Arizona holding the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots in both polls, respectively.

STRONG OUT OF THE GATE
The Mountain West is on pace to post the best composite out-of-conference record in the league's 14-year history, as the current .784 (91-25) win percentage currently ranks ahead of the .756 (102-33) clip MW teams compiled last season. The Mountain West has finished with a .700 or better win percentage in non-conference play each of the last three seasons and four times overall.

MOUNTAIN WEST RANKS SECOND IN CONFERENCE RPI
The Mountain West has the second-best conference RPI through games of December 30, according to Collegiate Basketball News, trailing only the Big Ten.

Six of nine Mountain West teams are in the top 55 of the latest RPI rankings, marking the highest percentage of teams for any of the 32 conferences. New Mexico leads the pack at No. 8, while UNLV (13th) is second, followed by Colorado State (26th), Wyoming (29th), Boise State (37th) and San Diego State (41st).

MW IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
New Mexico's Dec. 27 win at then-No. 8/8 Cincinnati propelled the Lobos back into the top 25 as the Lobos joined San Diego State in both the latest Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches' top 25 rankings. The Mountain West is one of six conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, SEC) to have multiple teams listed by both panels. Wyoming (12-0) continues to receive votes in both polls, garnering 28 in the AP poll and 30 in the coaches' listing, while Colorado State (11-2) received one vote by the coaches' panel.

The Aztecs (11-2) slipped to 19th in the AP poll and 17th in the coaches' rankings following their narrow 68-67 loss to No. 3/3 Arizona in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic on Christmas Day. SDSU has been included in the AP poll for 21 straight weeks and in the Coaches' poll for 20 of the last 22 weeks.

The 13-2 Lobos are ranked No. 20 and 23 in the AP and coaches' polls, respectively. New Mexico has been listed in both polls five of the last six weeks.

The Runnin' Rebels (11-2) fell out of the AP listing following Saturday's 79-73 loss at unranked North Carolina, ending a streak of 21 consecutive weeks in that poll, but remained in the coaches' poll at No. 24. UNLV has been ranked in the coaches' poll for 23 of the last 26 weeks and in the AP poll for 21 of the last 22 weeks.

The MW has had at least one team ranked in both polls for 23 consecutive weeks and two teams listed in the AP poll for 21 straight weeks. At least two MW teams have been ranked in the Coaches' poll 20 of the last 21 weeks.

BRONCOS' JEFF ELORRIAGA TREY-MENDOUS
Boise State's Jeff Elorriaga converted 10-of-16 (.625) 3-point attempts in Sunday's 105-49 win over Corban, establishing new school and Mountain West records for most made 3-pointers in a single game. The previous Bronco record of nine made 3-pointers was set by Abe Jackson against Gonzaga on Dec. 9, 2000. The previous MW record of nine made 3-pointers was accomplished by several individuals, most recently by UNLV's Chace Stanback on Dec. 28, 2011 vs. Central Arkansas. Elorriaga's 10 made 3-pointers also set a new MW junior class record, surpassing the mark of nine shared by New Mexico's Ruben Douglas (Nov. 23, 2001 vs. Pacific) and Colorado State's Aki Palmer (Jan. 2, 2000 at Michigan).

Elorriaga's 16 3-point attempts were also the most by a MW junior, eclipsing Douglas' record of 15 (Jan. 27, 2003 vs. UNLV), while tying for second-most in a single game overall. Air Force's Jarvis Croff holds the league's single-game record for most 3-point attempts with 19 vs. Utah on March 9, 2000.

WYOMING WIN STREAK AT 12
Wyoming has opened the 2012-13 campaign with 12 consecutive victories, which is tied with Arizona, Duke and Maryland as the second-longest win streak in the country behind Michigan (13). The Cowboys' last loss was a 61-41 decision at Washington State on March 19, 2012 as part of the postseason College Basketball Invitational.

HOME SWEET HOME
Colorado State has won 20 straight games at Moby Arena, which ranks as the nation's fourth-longest active home win streak. The Rams' last loss in Moby Arena was a 79-58 setback to Southern Miss on Nov. 19, 2011.

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 853 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
With the addition of Colorado State's Larry Eustachy, the Mountain West is now home to three 400-win head coaches. New Mexico's Steve Alford has accumulated a 447-231 (.659) record over a 21-year head coaching career, while San Diego State's Steve Fisher is 453-244 (.650) in 21 seasons as a head coach. Eustachy has amassed a 413-260 (.614) career record, also over a 21-year span.

TWO NEW HEAD COACHES JOIN MW RANKS IN 2012-13
The Mountain West welcomes two new head men's basketball coaches in 2012-13. Dave Pilipovich brings 26 years of coaching experience to his first full season as a head coach, officially taking over the reins at Air Force after serving as the Falcons' interim head coach for the final eight contests of the 2011-12 campaign. Pilipovich, who joined the Air Force program as an assistant prior to the 2007-08 season, also served on the staffs at Michigan (2005-07), Eastern Michigan (2000-05), Robert Morris (1996-00), Georgia State (1994-96), Florida Atlantic (1989-94) and California (1986-89).

Colorado State is now under the direction of Larry Eustachy, who recently completed an eight-year stint as the head coach at Southern Miss. Eustachy has 33 years of coaching experience, the last 21 as a head coach. He guided Southern Miss to 20-win campaigns each of the last three seasons, including a 25-9 mark and NCAA tournament berth in 2011-12. Prior to overseeing the Southern Miss program, Eustachy served as the head coach at Idaho (1990-93), Utah State (1993-98) and Iowa State (1998-03).

SAN DIEGO STATE PICKED TO CAPTURE MW TITLE
Defending Mountain West co-regular-season champion San Diego State edged UNLV as the preseason favorite to win the MW men's basketball regular-season title in 2012-13. The Aztecs received 10 of 18 first-place votes and 153 points to garner the top spot in the poll. San Diego State amassed a 26-8 overall record in 2011-12 en route to capturing a share of the MW regular-season crown with a 10-4 mark. The Aztecs made their third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance last year, receiving an at-large bid. Four of five starters return among seven letterwinners, led by the 2011-12 MW Player of the Year Jamaal Franklin (Jr., G) and fellow all-MW performers Chase Tapley (Sr., G) and Xavier Thames (Jr., G).

One senior and four juniors representing four institutions were chosen for the 2012-13 preseason all-MW team. San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin received Preseason MW Player of the Year honors, while San Diego State's Dwayne Polee II and UNLV's Bryce DeJean-Jones shared Preseason Newcomer of the Year accolades. UNLV's Anthony Bennett earned Preseason Freshman of the Year kudos.

PRESEASON ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST
Deonte Burton, Jr., G, Nevada
Kendall Williams, Jr., G, New Mexico
Jamaal Franklin, Jr., G, San Diego State
Chase Tapley, Sr., G, San Diego State
Mike Moser, Jr., F, UNLV

PRESEASON MW PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jamaal Franklin, Jr., G, San Diego State

PRESEASON MW CO-NEWCOMERS OF THE YEAR
Dwayne Polee II, So., F, San Diego State
Bryce Dejean-Jones, So., G, UNLV

PRESEASON MW FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Anthony Bennett, F, UNLV

Coming Up in Mountain West Men's Basketball
Game Time TV/Webstream
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2
AIR FORCE at RICHMOND 7 p.m. ET Live Stream
BOISE STATE at UT Arlington 7 p.m. CT
Wyoming at SMU 7 p.m. CT Live Stream
CSU Bakersfield at NO. 19/17 SAN DIEGO STATE 7 p.m. PT TWCSN
UTEP at COLORADO STATE 8:15 p.m. CT CBSSN
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3
Chicago State at NO. 24 UNLV 7 p.m. PT Live Stream
SATURDAY, JANUARY 5
St. Bonaventure at COLORADO STATE 2:30 p.m. MT Live Stream
Walla Walla at BOISE STATE 7 p.m. MT Live Stream
CSU Bakersfield at NO. 24 UNLV 7 p.m. PT TWCSN
Legend
* - Mountain West game.
CAPS denotes Mountain West team.
Bold denotes home team.
Rankings listed according to Associated Press/USA Today Coaches' Top-25 polls.
All dates and times subject to change.
Live stats available for most games.