Mountain West Men's Basketball Weekly Release No. 14

Feb. 4, 2013


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The first half of Mountain West play concludes on Wednesday with three teams jockeying for position atop the standings. League-leading No. 15/16 New Mexico holds a one-game edge over Air Force and Colorado State, who are knotted at 5-2 in second place. No. 25 San Diego State and UNLV are tied for fourth at 4-3 apiece.

MOUNTAIN WEST RANKS SECOND IN CONFERENCE RPI
The Mountain West is ranked second in conference RPI through games of Feb. 3, marking the third straight year the league has been among the top five. The Mountain West has ranked fifth in each of the last two seasons.

MW TEAMS IN NCAA RPI RANKINGS
New Mexico (5th), Colorado State (15th) and UNLV (19th) are in the top 20 of the Feb. 4 NCAA RPI report. The MW is one of four conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten) to have at least three teams ranked in the top 20. In addition, four more Mountain West teams are in the top 75 with San Diego State (33rd), Boise State (51st), Wyoming (62nd) and Air Force (68th) joining the Lobos, Rams and Runnin' Rebels.

MW IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
League-leading New Mexico (19-3, 6-1 MW) jumped into 15th and 16th place, respectively, in the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches' polls after defeating Wyoming and Nevada. San Diego State (16-5, 4-3 MW) dropped out of the AP rankings and slipped into a tie for 25th place in the Coaches' listing following a loss at Air Force. The Aztecs are receiving consideration from the AP voters, while Colorado State and UNLV continue to receive votes by both panels. Four different Mountain West teams have been ranked in at least one national poll this season, marking a first for the Conference.

The MW has had at least one team ranked in both polls for 28 consecutive weeks and two teams listed in the AP poll for 24 of the last 26 weeks. At least two MW teams have been ranked in the Coaches' poll 25 of the last 27 weeks.

HOME SWEET HOME
Colorado State has won a school-record 26 straight games at Moby Arena, which ranks as the nation's third-longest active home win streak behind Syracuse (35) and South Dakota State (28). The Rams' last loss in Moby Arena was against 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 862 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 453-232 (.661) record over a 21-year head coaching career, while San Diego State's Steve Fisher is 458-247 (.650) in 21 seasons as a head coach. Eustachy has amassed a 420-262 (.616) career record, also over a 21-year span.

WORKING OVERTIME
New Mexico has played a league-high two overtime games in 2012-13. Air Force and UNLV share the Mountain West record (five) for most overtime contests in a single season (both in 2001-02). The MW record for most overtime games in Conference-only contests is four, shared by UNLV (2001-02) and New Mexico (2006-07).

STRONG OUT OF THE GATE
With just one non-conference game left on the regular-season slate (Wyoming at CSU Bakersfield on Feb. 6), 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 .794 (100-26) 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.

UNLV'S BENNETT ON ROBERTSON, TISDALE AWARD WATCH LISTS
UNLV freshman forward Anthony Bennett is on the 12-player Midseason Watch Lists for both the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's 2013 Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by Aflac, which goes to the National Player of the Year, and the 2013 Integris Wayman Tisdale Award, which is given to the National Freshman of the Year.

MOUNTAIN WEST DUO ON WOODEN AWARD MIDSEASON TOP 25
San Diego State junior guard Jamaal Franklin and UNLV freshman forward Anthony Bennett have been named to the 2012-13 John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list. Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the list is made up of 25 student-athletes who, based on their performances in November, December, and the beginning of January, are the frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the official ballot. The National Ballot will consist of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All-American Team, consisting of the nation's top 10 players, will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament. The John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year presented by Wendy's will be announced on ESPN during the Final Four Weekend in Atlanta.

NEW MEXICO'S KENDALL WILLIAMS NAMED TO COUSY WATCH LIST
New Mexico junior guard Kendall Williams has been named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame final watch list for the 2013 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. The award is named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy and recognizes the top point guard in men's college basketball. The list of candidates will be narrowed down to 10 players in early February, and the final five in March. The winner of the 2013 Bob Cousy Award will be presented at the Hall of Fame's Class Announcement on Championship Monday in Atlanta as part of NCAA Final Four weekend.

Coming Up in Mountain West Men's Basketball
Game Time TV/Webstream
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6
*UNLV at FRESNO STATE 6 p.m. PT TWCSN
*AIR FORCE at NO. 15/16 NEW MEXICO 7 p.m. MT ROOT
WYOMING at Cal State Bakersfield 7 p.m. PT
*COLORADO STATE at NEVADA 7:15 p.m. PT CBSSN
*BOISE STATE at NO. 25 SAN DIEGO STATE 8 p.m. PT TWCSN
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9
*AIR FORCE at NEVADA 3 p.m. PT Live Stream
*FRESNO STATE at NO. 25 SAN DIEGO STATE 3 p.m. PT CBSSN
*WYOMING at BOISE STATE 6 p.m. MT Live Stream
*NO. 15/16 NEW MEXICO at UNLV 6 p.m. PT NBCSN
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.