Although we are 80 days from the opening tip of the 2016-17 college basketball season, it’s never too early to predict what this year will have in store for Mountain West fans.
CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein has done just that.
5 MWC Breakout Guys: S. Logwood (NM), Z. Cheatham (SDSU), D. Morgan (UNLV), L. Drew (Nevada), P. Watson (Fresno State).— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) August 22, 2016
Rothstein put together a fairly solid list of guys that could break out this season, led by SDSU’s Zylan Cheatham and Nevada’s Lindsey Drew. I’m surprised to not see Wyoming’s Jason McManamen on this list, who should see his shooting numbers jump off the page as he becomes the Cowboys’ top scorer after Josh Adams’ graduation.
5 Impact MWC Transfers: M. Marshall (Nevada), J. Caroline (Nevada), M. Gill-Caesar (SDSU), M. Hoetzel (SDSU), J. Hopkins (Fresno State).— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) August 22, 2016
You will see later on how high Rothstein is on incoming Nevada guard Marcus Marshall. The hype is justified, as the Missouri State transfer knocked down 45.6% of his threes in the 2014-15 season, went 89.9% from the line and scored 1.476 points per field goal attempt.
5 Impact MWC Freshmen: W. McDowell-White (Fresno State), J. Harris (NM), D. Jefferson (NM), D. Ramsey (Nevada), K. McEwen (Utah State).— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) August 22, 2016
This is a very talented list of freshmen who should make their presence felt early and often in the 2016-17 season. Utah State’s Koby McEwen and Fresno State’s William McDowell-White are the highest rated recruits on this list, but don’t sleep on New Mexico guard Jalen Harris, who should help the Lobos move on after the loss of Cullen Neal.
MWC Preseason First-Team: J. Hemsley (SDSU), E. Brown (New Mexico), M. Marshall (Nevada), C. Oliver (Nevada), T. Williams (New Mexico).— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) August 22, 2016
Rothstein headlines his first team with two Wolf Pack hoopers: Cam Oliver and Marcus Marshall. The Marshall selection has not been a popular choice from MW pundits thus far, as SDSU guard Trey Kell, Wyoming guard Jason McManamen and Colorado State guard Gian Clavell appear poised for heavily impactful seasons.
MWC Power Rankings: SDSU, Nevada, New Mexico, Fresno State, Utah State, Colorado State, Boise State, Air Force, UNLV, SJS, Wyoming.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) August 22, 2016
Rothstein says what everyone else is thinking with his power ranking list. SDSU, Nevada and New Mexico are the first tier competitors. The middle tier is composed of Fresno State (recovering from the loss of MW POY Marvelle Harris), Utah State, Colorado State and Boise State. The cellar is made up of Air Force, UNLV, San Jose State and Wyoming.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming Mountain West season?