The Aztecs hold the top spot again
Week 10 rankings
Another week of Mountain West Basketball down, and the hot teams continue winning games. Wyoming, Fresno State and Boise State both find themselves in the midst of winning streaks, as Wyoming and Boise try strengthening their NCAA Tournament resumes. Here’s the Mountain West Wire staff rankings post Week 10.
1.) San Diego State – 96 points
The Aztecs firmly hold the top spot in the rankings after games against Wyoming and Utah State were postponed due to COVID-19 issues. SDSU returns to the Hardwood on January 22th, hosting a scolding Boise State team, who’ll enter Viejas Arena as winners of their past ten games. San Diego State, who looks just outside the NCAA Tournament currently can ill-afford home losses at this juncture.
2.) Colorado State – 89 points
The Rams, on the verge of dropping two consecutive games picked up the pace in Wednesday’s narrow defeat of Utah State. R.J. Eytle-Rock cut the Ram’ lead to one point with 33 ticks left, but Chandler Jacobs and Isaiah Stevens made six clutch foul shots in the final seconds. David Roddy led the charge with 24 points, further cementing his standing in the Mountain West player of the year conversation. To finish the week, CSU steamrolled San Jose State by 36 points, led by Dischon Thomas’s 14 points.
Colorado State hosts New Mexico in Moby Arena, before traveling to intra-state foe Air Force to round out the week. Both of those are must-wins in order to stay firmly inside the NCAA Tournament bubble.
3.) Boise State – 79 points
Talk about a hot streak! The Broncos have won ten consecutive games dating back to early December. After losing six straight meetings in Reno, the Broncos put that streak in the rear-view mirror, knocking off Nevada by 15 points. The combo of Marcus Shaver Jr and Emmanuel Akot contributed 41 of the teams points, while Naje Smith made several big tide turning plays.
Lets Go Broncos! 🔶🔷 pic.twitter.com/XOO3V806Z7
— Kage Casey (@KageCasey22) January 19, 2022
Boise State finds itself in the Mountain West regular season title race, while also sneaking their way into NCAA Tournament conversation. Three big games await — hosting Air Force on Tuesday, before traveling to Utah State and rounding out the week with San Diego State. That’s a tough stretch, but if the Broncos win the trio of games, they’ll be well-positioned in the Mountain West regular-season title race. The Broncos rely on their 15th ranked defensive on an efficiency basis per KenPom, which keeps them competitive in games where the scoring doesn’t come around.
4.) Wyoming – 75 points
The Cowboys concluded their recent road-trip with two key victories over Utah State and Nevada. A late Graham Ike layup gave the Cowboys the late-edge over the Aggies in the final seconds of play. Of course, Ike led the team in scoring with 23 points and eight rebounds. Same deal in the win over Nevada, Ike added 24 points and 11 rebounds, while Drake Jeffries scored 20 first-half points. They return to Laramie, hosting San Jose State and New Mexico — neither of which Wyoming should have too many issues with. Can Wyoming sneak an NCAA Tournament bid? It’s possible, but the Cowboys have to hold serve against the bottom-tier teams in the conference.
Pack. The. Dome! pic.twitter.com/AJss99gAQ6
— Wyoming Cowboy Basketball (@wyo_mbb) January 19, 2022
5.) Fresno State – 64 points
I have only one thing to say: Orlando Robinson! The Bulldogs star scored 55 points in two victories, and hauled in 23 rebounds in the two contests. Without question, Robinson, Ike, and Roddy have the best chance to win league player of the year. Robinson’s Bulldogs will face Justin Bean’s Utah State Aggies on Tuesday, before starting a road trip in Nevada. With Fresno State’s athleticism and defense, they’ll stay in the Mountain West’s upper-echelon.
6.) Nevada 50 points
The Wolf Pack haven’t been able to establish any semblance of consistency in 2021-22. Nevada holds league wins over New Mexico and Air Force, but dropped home games to Wyoming and Boise State. It’s tough to pinpoint exactly what to think of Nevada at this point. The talent between Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge Jr makes them capable of winning any game in league play, but the defensive hardships hold the team back. I still wouldn’t want to face the Pack when the MW tournament rolls around, but they’ll sit near the middle of the pack during regular season play.
— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) January 18, 2022
7.) Utah State – 46 points
After finishing the non-conference slate 9-4, including wins over Richmond, New Mexico State and Oklahoma, leaving plenty of reason for optimism. However, after losing at the buzzer to Wyoming, the Aggies find themselves 1-3 in league, and the lone win over New Mexico didn’t come easy. A key reason for the struggles is the struggles shooting from beyond-the-arc, shooting below 25 percent in each of the three losses. Knocking down perimeter jumpers became an integral part of the Aggies winning formula, but until the shooting resurfaces, they’ll have to find other ways to win. If you want a few good “get right” games, facing Boise State and Fresno State isn’t ideal. With two losses this week, they’ll find themselves way out of the top-five in the conference battle. The matchup of Orlando Robinson and Justin Bean serves as must-watch evening television.
8.) Air Force – 33 points
The Falcons hold three games this week, two home games against Colorado State and UNLV, while facing Boise State on the road. Star guard A.J. Walker returned in last weeks loss to Nevada after a brief one-game absence.
9.) UNLV – 32 points
UNLV dropped a tightly-contested contest over the weekend in Vegas to Fresno State, but kept the game close in the final stretch. Texas transfer Donovan Williams has emerged as the number two option alongside Bryce Hamilton — Williams scored 15+ points in the past five games, showing every bit of his four-star recruit label coming into College.
10.) San Jose State – 17 points
The Spartans dropped their last four D1 games by 20+ points, including a 36 point defeat by Colorado State. Two road games await this week facing UNLV and Wyoming. Things don’t look particularly great currently, but the future remains bright for SJSU. Despite the blowout loss to UNLV, freshman guard MJ Amey tallied 23 points in 17 minutes played, including a five-minute stretch where he accounted for 14 consecutive Spartan points.
11.) New Mexico – 13 points
The only other winless team in the league — the New Mexico Lobos, dropped three of those games by single digits. Despite those recent struggles, the outlook is promising, but tough games against Colorado State and Wyoming awaits. Former JUCO standout KJ Jenkins scored 41 points in two games last week.