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Early Preview Of Mountain West Basketball

ESPN is doing a summer shoot around series and the Mountain West is up, and these previews are in-depth, so here is a sample of what they talked about.

There are plenty games to watch, but this one sticks out:

UNLV vs. Kansas St. (Kansas City), Dec. 21: The Rebs went into this game last year undefeated and ended up losing by 15 in Las Vegas after being unable to contain Jacob Pullen. It only gets tougher away from home, and what a win it would be for UNLV if Lon Kruger could beat his alma mater during a season when many expect the Wildcats to be Final Four contenders.

Then there is the best case worst case scenario from the ESPN basketball blog. Here is what they said about San Diego State in 2010-2011:

Best case: San Diego State might be this conference's best team. Considering the return of Jimmer Fredette and the talent available to Alford at UNM, that's saying something. Sophomore Kawhi Leonard is one of the best college basketball players you've never heard of, an irrepressible rebounder and top-notch defender who, with just a bit more offensive efficiency, might end up being the best player in the league. San Diego State returns basically everyone from last season's MWC-tournament winning team, including Malcolm Thomas, Billy White and D.J. Gay. The Aztecs had to fight to get into the NCAA tournament last season, but that shouldn't be a problem this time. Once they get there, they'll be looking to do a whole lot more than fight. That shouldn't be a problem, either.

Worst case: It's hard to fathom this team taking a step back, but the difference between NCAA tournament participant and NIT invitee can be razor-thin in the Mountain West. SDSU will have to fight off two very good teams at the top of its conference to assert its superiority. Failing that, the Aztecs might have to beat nonconference foes like Gonzaga and Saint Mary's (which, unfortunately, are not battles for the future of BYU's WCC-bound basketball team) and establish themselves as worthy of an at-large bid, even if the conference title goes wanting. Such is the life of a putative mid-major on the rise: You can't afford slip-ups, even if you're this good.

The article lists the top ten players and freshman to watch in 2010-2011, plus Doug Gottlieb brings his early projections:

1. San Diego State

2. BYU

3. New Mexico



5. Colorado State

6. Wyoming

7. Utah

8. TCU

9. Air Force

So for you hoop junkies here is a little taste and check their whole article it is a good read.

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