A person (or team) who serves his sovereign or lord as a mounted soldier in armor; One raised to honorable military rank above page and squire
Colorado State Rams; Fresno State Bulldogs; Utah State Aggies
Coming off a second-place regular-season finish, the Rams hope to continue to ride the momentum set in place in recent years. This will be difficult, but not impossible. The departure of the 2021-22 Mountain West Player of the Year David Roddy was a significant, but expected setback, and the injury to Isaiah Stevens will be another significant and unforeseen setback.
Under the supervision of Niko Medved, however, Colorado State should be poised to take the challenges in stride. Medved, entering his fifth season leading the Rams, has amassed an overall record of 77-46 and a conference record of 46-26.
Fresno State’s loss of Orlando Robinson might be one of the most significant roster changes in the conference. Replacing a starter like Robinson is a difficult task, but it helps the Bulldogs that he is the only starter that needs to be replaced. The other four Fresno State starters, Leo Colimerio, Jordan Campbell, Anthony Holland, and Isaiah Hill are back for this year’s campaign.
Head coach of the Bulldogs, Justin Hutson, is working his first job as head coach and is going into his fifth year with Fresno State. Hutson has worked with notable names in the conference such as Steve Fisher at San Diego State and Dave Rice at UNLV. Under Hutson, the Bulldogs have been hovering just on the right side of .500, with an overall record of 69-53 and a Mountain West record of 37-36.
After winning two and playing in three championships in three years, an impossible pace to keep up, the Aggies landed in the middle of the pack last season under first-year head coach Ryan Odom. The Aggies are looking to prove that last year was just a regression to the mean, rather than a new precedent, and return to the top of the conference at a more sustainable pace. Utah State leads the Mountain West with 22 NCAA tournament appearances. Improving on last year’s performance could earn the Aggies their 23rd bid and third in five years.
With a second-year head coach, the Aggies would seem to be settling in, with Odom’s systems more securely in place and with a more solidified roster, but with the departure of Justin Bean, Utah State has lost an NBA-caliber player for the third year in a row, which is a significant loss to overcome.