After one week of conference play we, once again, find New Mexico as the team to beat in the MWC. The Lobos fended off a hungry UNLV team to jump to No.1, while Boise State's victory over previously unbeaten Wyoming was overlooked, but accounted for as the Broncos make the jump to No.3 in the MWC. Week 11 brings up another slate of MWC title deciding games as New Mexico goes to Boise State and UNLV goes to SDSU and CSU in hopes that their MWC season gets on the right track.
1. New Mexico: The Dynamic Duo of inside-outside combo G Kendall Williams (14.6 PPG-4.6 APG) and C Alex Kirk (12.5 PPG-7.9 RPG) combined for 34 points, over half of the points scored, in the Lobos momentous 65-60 win over UNLV. New Mexico plays at Boise State in a game which could see The Lobos losing their first conference game. If the Lobos can get through January undefeated, which would mean wins VS CSU and at SDSU and Wyoming, then it wouldn't be far fetched to say New Mexico all but has the MWC title locked up.
2. SDSU: The Aztecs received two close calls this week, edging out Fresno State 65-62, then at home against CSU in overtime where the won 79-72. Double-double G Jamaal Franklin (17.8 PPG-10.3 RPG) has been impressive, as usual, averaging 21.5 PPG and 12.5 RPG in conference play so far, though the recent development of G Chase Tapley (15.1 PPG-2.5 APG) will prove to be the most important factor in SDSU's season. The Aztecs face tough tests in week 11 as they play UNLV at home, then travel to Wyoming.
3. Boise State: The Broncos have been quietly winning games against top opponents and are looking to get their second win over a ranked opponent against New Mexico in week 11 that could possibly hurdle Boise State into the top 25. This team may be the most impressive team in the MWC, first they get a win at then No.11 Creighton which is still the Bluejays only loss, then without their top scorer Derrick Marks (16.3 PPG-4 APG) the Broncos go to Wyoming and give the Pokes their first loss of the season. The Broncos have been projected to be a No.10 seed in the big dance by Joe Lunardi, so now the sky is the limit for the Blue and Orange.
4. UNLV: The Rebels have gotten off to a shaky start to the MWC season, losing a nail biter on the road at New Mexico then, much like SDSU, going into overtime at home against a colorado team in Air Force getting the win 76-71. Frosh superstar Anthony Bennett (19.6 PPG-9.3 RPG) has been the most important part of the Rebels team, though he can't do it by himself. F Mike Moser (9.6 PPG-7.2 RPG) was practically transparent in the Rebels loss to New Mexico scoring only 3 points and grabbing 2 boards, but was much more productive against Air Force by playing 40 minutes and a double-double 14 points and 11 rebounds. Perhaps UNLV is seeing the comeback of Moser.
5. Wyoming: The Cowboys has a tough week 10, losing their first game of the season in at home to Boise State on a last second shot. Wyoming has been struggling since the loss of G Luke Martinez (14.5 PPG-3 RPG) and has been giving the work load to F Leonard Washington (14.9 PPG-8.8 RPG). Wyoming will once again have to prove their worth when they play home against San Diego State.
6. Colorado State: The Rams, much like Boise State, have been quietly winning games and after their near upset of the Aztecs, it is time to take the Rams serious. C Colton Iverson (14.9 PPG-9.1 RPG) has been one of the best Centers west of Fort Collins, CO and contributes to the nation's 3rd best rebounding average at 43.2 per game. The Rams have a well balanced starting 5 with 6th man G Daniel Bejarano (7 PPG-6.3 RPG) which will translate to W's in the MWC season. CSU can raise their NCAA tournament stock when they play UNLV at home in week 11, which has been perceived as an upset win for the Rams.
7. Air Force: As far as the Falcons are concerned, week 10 was a successful week. For starters, the Falcons started off conference play with a win over Nevada then Air Force almost upsets UNLV, which shows promise for the rest of the season. G Michael Lyons (18.4 PPG-5 RPG) has yet to find help besides C Taylor Broekhuis (10.1 PPG-4 RPG), which could be why Air Force has been struggling.
8. Nevada: Both Fresno State and the Wolf Pack are both realizing their not in the WAC anymore. Both former WAC team find themselves at 0-2 in conference play and look to get out of their respective ruts. The Wolf Pack is riding a 3 game losing streak and looking to to break it at former WAC member Fresno State.
9. Fresno State: I am quite honestly tiring of trying to find positive aspects of the Fresno State basketball team. The best stat about them is that they are 295th in rebounds. You can't expect a team whose highest scorer is averaging only 10 PPG, Tyler Johnson, to win, no matter how deep the team is.