The 2012-13 college basketball season begins this Friday, and SB Nation has put together their preseason top 25 poll. The poll features two Mountain West teams, the UNLV Runnin' Rebels and the San Diego St. Aztecs. UNLV comes in at a solid No. 12 ranking, but the Aztecs are near the bottom and are ranked at No. 24.
Here is what is said about UNLV:
Who they lost: F Chace Stanback, G Oscar Bellfield, F Brice Massamba, G Kendall Wallace, G Reggie Smith
Who they brought back: F Mike Moser, F Anthony Marshall, G Justin Hawkins, F Carlos Lopez, F Quintrell Thomas
Who they added: F Khem Birch, F Anthony Bennett, F Savon Goodman, G Bryce Dejean-Jones, G Katin Reinhardt, C Demetris Morant, G DaQuan Cook
Double-double machine Mike Moser, who was probably the best player in college basketball over the season's first month, spurned the NBA to try and get his first taste of victory in the NCAA Tournament. He, Anthony Marshall and Pitt transfer Khem Birch compose a trio of forwards that can match up with any in the country. The issue for Dave Rice, however, will be finding consistency from his backcourt. The addition of incoming freshman sharp-shooter Katin Reinhardt should assist in offsetting the loss of second leading scorer Chase Stanback.
Here is the blurb about San Diego State:
Who they lost: F Garrett Green, F Tim Shelton
Who they brought back: G Jamaal Franklin, G Chase Tapley, G Xavier Thomas, G James Rahon, F DeShawn Stephens
Who they added: F J.J. O'Brien, F Dwayne Polee, F James Johnson, F Winston Shepard, F Skylar Spencer, F Matt Shrigley
There's no shortage of guard talent here, but Steve Fisher doesn't know much about his frontcourt, where St. John's transfer Dwayne Polee and freshman Winston Shepard will be asked to step in and contribute immediately. Reigning Mountain West Player of the Year Jamaan Franklin isn't going to catch anyone by surprise this season. He and Chase Tapley will again make up one of the nation's most lethal backcourts.
Seeing San Diego State at No. 24 seems a bit low, but not too far from the consensus which has the Aztecs closer to the lower part of the 20s.