The Rams are ranked first once again.
Wyoming gets close to top-three
Christmas Week always brings a slower week of College Basketball, but more games got canceled as the COVID-19 pandemic goes through College Basketball. It’s unknown which games will be played.
1.) Colorado State – 109 points
The Rams haven’t played since Dec. 11 and won’t play again until Jan. 4 at the earliest. CSU has two games in the first week of January against Boise State and Air Force. Despite not playing in nearly three weeks, the Rams moved up to Number 20 in the AP Poll rankings.
2.) San Diego State – 92 points
The Aztecs posted a season-best 78 points in last weeks convincing win over UC San Diego. Senior forward Nathan Mensah paced all scorers with 19 points while adding seven rebounds. Athletic wing Keshad Johnson added a career-best 13 points on 5-6 shooting.
A deceptively tough test awaits on Saturday — San Diego State looks to exact revenge in Vegas, where the Runnin Rebels ended the Aztecs’ unbeaten season in 2019-20. SDSU played in Vegas last year, but without fans it isn’t the same; it’s their first meeting in a packed Thomas & Mack since the massive upset.
3.) Utah State – 86 points
The short-handed Aggies made easy work of the Portland State Vikings, winning by 19 points. With Brock Miller and R.J. Eytle-Rock missing the game, Steven Ashworth and Max Shulga slide into the starting lineup — the latter dropped 18 points in his first career start. Just another day in the office for Justin Bean, as he scored 29 points on 5-5 shooting from three-point range.
The Aggies face Air Force in Colorado Springs on Wednesday.
4.) Wyoming – 82 points
Wyoming participated in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii — they played three games, going 2-1 with the lone loss coming to Stanford. It was only a three-point loss, but Hunter Maldonado had an uncontested look from an offensive rebound from a missed Xavier DuSell three, but Maldonado put too much on the shot.
Maldonado had a dazzling week outside of that miss, earning himself conference player of the week honors.
The Cowboys host a red-hot Boise State squad on Saturday. Both teams try proving themselves as legitimate contenders in the Mountain West.
5.) Boise State – 72 points
The Broncos lost two straight games at the end of November and looked doomed to have a forgettable season. Since Nov. 30? Boise’s six consecutive wins, including a victory over Washington State last week in Spokane. That was a homecoming game for freshman Tyson Degenhart, who scored 11 points in the contest. Degenhart’s emergence coincides with the six-game winning streak.
Major questions still revolve around the offensive play, but Leon Rice’s defense ranks 19th nationally in KenPom’s defensive efficiency rankings, meaning the defensive will come around even when shots aren’t falling.
If you like slow-paced defensive heavyweight fights — I’d highly recommend tuning into Fresno State Vs. Boise State this Tuesday. Both teams are clicking at the right time.
6.) Fresno State – 54 points
Speaking of Fresno State, the Bulldogs come in sixth place this week, slowly seeing fifth place within reach. They opened the week playing Utah on the road, losing 55-51. Clearly, that loss didn’t sit well with the Bulldogs, as they came out energized against an unsuspecting Weber State team, winning by 26 points while holding the Wildcats to 43 points. Justin Hutson’s team made 11-23 shots from three, an uncharacteristic number for a Bulldogs team that shoots around 31 percent from three.
If they found something from the perimeter, the Bulldogs won’t be an easy team to face night-in-and-night-out.