New Mexico defeats UConn to take the Paradise Jam title - CTPost
The New Mexico Lobos solidify their place atop the MWC rankings after a quality win over the No. 21 UConn Huskies.
After the 3rd week of college basketball we have seen a reversal of fate in the MWC. UNLV was projected to dominate the MWC, but slipped early against an unranked Oregon team, whereas the New Mexico Lobos were projected to have a low key season and yet the Lobos knock off a No. 21 ranked UConn Huskies team and are sitting at 6-0. Many MWC teams prepare to take on top 25 talent in the 4th week of college basketball and look to represent the conference well.
1. New Mexico: It may be a little too early, but I think the Lobos are for real. Aside from the momentous over UConn the Lobos stand at 6-0, a mark not reached since 2009-10 season and we all know what happened that year. Duo guards Kendall Williams (14.7 PPG-3.3 RPG-4.7 APG) and Tony Snell (13.8 PPG-3.7 APG) have been sensational as of late for the Lobos. Week 4 presents an easy challenge for the Lobos, VS Mercer and @ Indiana State, then after week 4 the Lobos undergo their hardest stretch of their non conference schedule with teams such as Saint Louis, Cincinnati and New Mexico.
2. San Diego State: The Aztecs look nothing like they did against Syracuse in their season opening game, which is a good thing. G Jamaal Franklin may be the only guard in the county that is averaging a double-double with 18.6 PPG and 10.6 RPG. Franklin needs to get more input from his supporting cast as he and G Chase Tapley (11.8 PPG-5 RPG) are the only two players for SDSU that are averaging double digits. Coming off a 66-60 win over the USC Trojans, The Aztecs go back to LA for the second course against a very beatable UCLA Bruins team.
3. Colorado State: The Rams exhibited their dominance inside the paint, making 9 of 11 shots inside to beat the Washington Huskies on the road. C Colton Iverson (16.3 PPG-10.5 RPG) still leads the way for the Rams, although G Dorian Green (10.3 PPG-1.5 APG) is surging back as points leader for the Rams after Green shot 43% (3 for 7) beyond the arc and scored 14 points in the win over the Huskies. The Rams have an easy week 4 as they play Northern Colorado and Evansville, both at home.
4. UNLV: Oh how the mighty have fallen. Oregon defeated the Rebels despite F Anthony Bennett's 22 points against the school he decided between the UNLV. The Rebels did knock off a likely NCAA Tournament bound Iowa State team as a consolation and still have 5 players averaging double digits to compete in a high quality non conference schedule. F Anthony Bennett (19 PPG-8.3 RPG) leads the Rebels in scoring and is joined by F Mike Moser (11.3 PPG-10.3 RPG) in a still frightening frontcourt. The Rebels play at home against UC Irvine and Hawaii in week 4.
5. Wyoming: You can't ignore the fact that the Wyoming Cowboys are undefeated at 6-0, though you can ignore the fact that those wins have came against teams with non winning records. The Cowboys face a much stiffer test in week 4 as they have to play @ UC Santa Barbara and then at home against the Colorado Buffaloes. This week will test to see if the Cowboys are for real or not and F Leonard Washington (15 PPG-9.5 RPG ) and G Luke Martinez (1.7 RPG) will certainly effect that outcome.
6. Boise State: The Broncos were just points away from avenging the football team by beating Michigan State, but instead drop to 4-1 after the 74-70 loss. Guard duo Derrick Marks (16.4 PPG-4.2 RPG-4 APG) and Anthony Drmic (13.8 PPG-6 RPG-3.2 APG) have proven to be the strong points in the Broncos offense. The Broncos got back on track after beating UC Santa Barbara and have yet another week to prove themselves as they Travel to Creighton and Portland in week 4.
7. Air Force: The Falcons too share heartbreaking losses with the Broncos as they were defeated against the Colorado Buffaloes in a game that stayed close in much of the 2nd half until the Buffs' pulled away to win 89-74. G Micheal Lyons remains to be a giant among men as he has averaged 21.8 PPG, 2.8 APG and 5 RPG. Lyons needs more help besides C Taylor Broekhuis (12.3 PPG-4.8 RPG-1.8 BPG) if AIr Force is going to be a threat on a consistent basis.
8. Nevada: The Wolf Pack just can't catch a break. Nevada started out the season in disappointing fashion by losing to UC Irving in their first game and have been sub par since. The Wolf Pack fell to Marshall dropping the Wolf Pack to 3-2 overall. The bright points in Nevada's team so far have been the Guard duo Deonte Burton (17.6 PPG-2.6 APG) and Malik Story (16.2 PPG-2.4 RPG), though when they aren't enough to win games, what more is their to be happy about?
9. Fresno State: The Bulldogs are clearly a football school, and signs of struggle in the non conference season will not bode well for the Dogs in their first season in the MWC, The offensive output has been less than mediocre, in fact the Dogs are scoring only 59 PPG. G Allen Huddleston (13 PPG-2.6 RPG), F Kevin Foster (11.2 PPG-9.4 RPG) have been beacons for the team, though they will need to get a lot more out of the other starting 5 and the bench if they want to compete in the MWC, or better yet have a non conference record above .500