Week 5 Mountain West Basketball Rankings

Week 5 Mountain West Basketball Rankings

Air Force

Week 5 Mountain West Basketball Rankings

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6.) Air Force – 44 points

Air Force suffered only their second loss of the season to Montana over the weekend. The Falcons had no answers for Josh Bannan, the Grizzles leading scorer, who dropped 17 points.

The Falcons take a trip from Colorado Springs to Jonesboro, Arkansas, to face the Arkansas State Red wolves. Arkansas State led by Arkansas transfer Desi Sills (16.0 PPG) and Norchad Omier (13.3 PPG, 10.1 RPG.), have won seven games. That matchup poses a big litmus test for Joe Scott’s team.

7.) Boise State – 43 points

The Broncos are turning around the early-season struggles, rattling off four straight wins. Boise’s defense ranks 28th in KenPom’s defensive efficiency, second in the league behind San Diego State. Freshman forward Tyson Degenhart’s thrived since being inserted in the starting lineup, earning conference freshman of the week, followed by 18 points in the win over Santa Clara.

The win over Santa Clara is the lone D1 opponent the Broncos face this week, as they host non-D1 Montana Tech later in the week.

8.) Nevada – 24 points

Still, nothing new happening in Reno over the past few weeks. That’s a three-week layoff since the Wolf Pack last played Pepperdine on November 30th. The next Division One opponent comes to Reno over the weekend — the Loyola Marymount Lions from the WCC.

LMU had lofty expectations entering the year but lost home games to Chattanooga, New Mexico State, and Grand Canyon. Each of those three is a good team, but not games you should be losing if you hope to make the tournament. Lions star forward Eli Scott posts big numbers every game, but LMU turns the ball over and struggles to make perimeter shots.

9.) San Jose State – 23 points

Year one of the Tim Miles era continues to show remarkable improvement from last year’s rough year. The Spartans went 5-16 last season, and with the win over Pacific last week, SJSU matches those five wins in nine games this season. The most impressive part? The Spartans were horrible from beyond the arc the past three years — this season, they’re the second-best shooting team in the conference. SJSU has Four players (Alvaro Torre Cardenas, Tibet Goerner, Omari Moore, and Trey Anderson) shooting 45 percent or better from three.

 The WCC’s version of San Jose State, the Portland Pilots, a team thriving under new leadership, hosts the Spartans on Saturday. Portland takes no shortage of three-pointers, similar to San Jose State. Portland’s leading scorer Moses Wood spent two seasons at UNLV before transferring to Portland.

10.) UNLV – 21 points

The Rebels played two games last week and won both in convincing fashion. UNLV stopped a tough Seattle team from scoring too many points, followed up by scoring a season-best 95 points against Hartford. Donovan Williams and Bryce Hamilton added 55 of the teams’ 95 points. Having players step up in scoring roles aside from Hamilton was something UNLV lacked heading into those two games. Mike Nuga had a big game in-game one, Williams in-game two.

This week, Kevin Kruger’s Runnin’ Rebels host Nebraska-Omaha’s lone game the team plays. The Mavs rank 337th in KenPom’s rankings and haven’t defeated a Division one team in 2021-22.

11.) New Mexico – 19 points

The much-improved Lobos take a dip to 11th in the updated Mountain West wire poll, following a pair of losses to WAC foes, including NMSU. The star guard tandem of Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr combined for 10 points in the loss to UTEP. Those two won’t struggle to that degree very often, especially simultaneously, but that’s a credit to Joe Golding’s tough defense.

The Lobos host a tough SMU squad this weekend at the Pit — the Mustangs feature Kendrick Davis, one of the nation’s best point guards. There could be a ton of scoring in Saturday’s battle between two loaded backcourts.


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