SDSU, BSU stay 1-2; CSU, Nevada falling; AFA, UNM rising
Despite falling out of the Top 25, SDSU still on top as we head into the holiday season
It wasn’t the busiest of weeks for the Mountain West, but we’ve officially kicked off the conference season, with Air Force and Nevada completing the first series of the league’s revised scheduling format. We had two more MW games on Monday night, and the tiers in the league are starting to become more apparent.
Without further ado, let’s hop into this week’s Mountain West Wire Basketball Power Rankings! Thanks to our hoops staff for their submissions.
11. San Jose State (1-3; 12 points) ↔
The Spartans have already solidified their place at the bottom of the conference, and the season isn’t even a month old yet. Couple that with the fact that SJSU didn’t even play games for the first few weeks, and the outlook simply isn’t good. Richard Washington is doing his best, but he needs help.
10. Fresno State (2-0; 21 points) ↓↓↓
The big issue for our voters seems to be that we’ve simply not seen enough of Fresno State to be able to accurately rate them. As such, any time teams start getting positive results while the Bulldogs sit out, there’s a good chance they’ll be leapfrogged in the standings. Fresno State will still have to wait another week before starting league play against CSU on Dec. 28.
9. UNLV (1-4; 39 points) ↓
Like with Fresno State, it’s been hard for UNLV to gain any positive momentum when they haven’t been playing games. The Rebels have been on pause since their win over Kansas State following a disastrous Maui Invitational, and the pause is set to extend through the New Year. That means the next time we see TJ Otzelberger’s team could be when they host SDSU on Jan. 2. We’ll see if they’re back by then.
8. Air Force (3-3; 43 points) ↑↑
Big gains for Joe Scott’s club after scoring a solid revenge win over Nevada this past weekend. After losing to the Wolf Pack by 17 points on Friday, the Falcons punched back and nabbed a two-point victory in Lawlor — their first-ever win in that building. As the .500 record would indicate, it’s been an up-and-down season so far for Air Force, but there have been more positives to this point than most might have expected. AJ Walker and Chris Joyce are starting to gel together in the backcourt once again.
7. New Mexico (3-1; 53 points) ↑↑
The votes for this week’s Power Rankings came in before UNM was run out of ExtraMile Arena by Boise State on Monday night. Still, the Lobos came out of the gates looking pretty good, with Makuach Maluach leading the way as a solid veteran presence on the team. Another veteran, Keith McGee, went down with what appeared to be an ankle injury during Monday’s game. The Lobos will need McGee healthy if they want to contend for a top-half finish and a first-round bye in the MW Tournament.
6. Colorado State (2-1; 60 points) ↓
One of the true darlings of the league coming into the season, CSU dropped a complete dud over the weekend against Saint Mary’s, losing by a putrid score of 53-33. It’s hard to explain exactly what went wrong on offense against the Gaels, but it’s even harder to imagine that those woes will persist much longer. Still, Niko Medved’s club takes a step back in the Power Rankings until such time that they can demonstrate consistency on the court against solid opponents.