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Taking The Temperature of MW Hoops

Some teams were on vacation, others wished they were.

Colorado State v Nevada Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

SCALDING:

Nevada:

The Wolf Pack continued to roll, picking up a 72-68 win against mid-major darling South Dakota State. However, eyebrows are starting to be raised at UNR’s penchant for building early deficits. They trailed the Jackrabbits by as many as 12, but behind Jordan Caroline’s 21 point effort, the Wolf Pack are still undefeated.

Last week: “Scalding”

Utah State:

The Aggies plastered Alabama State at the Spectrum 86-48 last Saturday to improve to 9-2 on the season. Junior guard Sam Merrill only scored seventeen points, but his leadership on the court has been huge for this young team. They’re creeping towards the top 25 in the NET rankings and have a huge showdown at #20 University of Houston later this week. This team is a legitimate number two in this conference.

Last week: “Heating Up”

HEATING UP:

Fresno State:

The Bulldogs didn’t play last week, as they continue to rest up for Wednesday’s battle versus Cal-Berkeley. This is shaping up to be the team’s first real test without Deshon Taylor, who is on the shelf for another two weeks at least after his elbow injury in practice. By virtue of not playing, the Bulldogs stay right here and remain the third chair in the conference.

Last week: “Heating Up”

BROKEN THERMOMETER:

Boise State:

The Broncos couldn’t quite hang on against an Oregon side sans star center Bol Bol and took a 66-54 loss. The Broncos went cold in the second half, which led to the evaporation of their first half lead. The loss dropped the Broncos to 4-6 on the year and they have to travel to Los Angeles to play a very good Loyola Marymount team this week. I say this every week, their record is deceiving. They’re unlucky and have a reasonably good defense.

Last week: “Broken Thermometer”

Colorado State: Texas Tech transfer Hyron Edwards became eligible this past weekend, which makes it a good week indeed. The Rams played just once this past week, losing at home to South Dakota, 68-63. The green and gold travel to the Pyramid to take on Long Beach State next weekend, but a light slate overall for the Rams as everyone gears up for conference play.

Last week: “Broken Thermometer”

San Diego State:

The Aztecs wiped out DII opponent Cal State Dominguez Hills 99-46 at Viejas Arena. The bigger news is that BYU visits Viejas Arena for the first time since their Mountain West years. It’s a game that many had circled at season’s beginning, but has lost some of its luster with SDSU’s struggles. This Aztec program that built its identity on defense is struggling on that end this season, but has a team that’s 15th in the nation in 3-point shooting. Yeah, it’s a Bizarro Mountain West type of season.

Last week: “A Special Shoutout”

UNLV:

Speaking of BYU’s tour of the Mountain West, the Rebels beat them on an overtime buzzer beater last Saturday, 92-90. Even without Shakur Juiston, the Rebels jumped out to an early lead before needing the heroics of Akron transfer and Vegas local Noah Robotham to improve to 5-4. They head to Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic over Christmas, so a couple more tests may remain before conference play for UNLV.

New Mexico:

They played one big game last week, at home, on national television. The Lobos blew a 15 point lead to eventually lose to Colorado, 78-75. This team is at a breaking point: Paul Weir walked out of his post game press conference and senior guard Dane Kuiper said it was time to take ownership of the team’s struggles. They did beat Central Arkansas 82-70, in Carlton Bragg’s first game of the season. The Bragg addition should help defensively, but it has been a season of turbulence for the Lobos, and with North Texas and Penn on the docket next week, it doesn’t get any easier.

Last week: “A Special Shoutout”

WINTER IS APPROACHING:

Air Force:

The Falcons were the third MW team to not play last week and they will spend the whole week gearing up for a trip to Ann Arbor, where they take on the fifth ranked Michigan Wolverines.

Last week: “Winter is Approaching”

Wyoming:

The Pokes dropped a 90-87 decision in overtime to the University of Denver last Tuesday and they’re off until Friday when they welcome East Tennessee State to the double A. Senior Justin James continues to decimate opposing teams, averaging over 25 points per contest. Looking ahead, they open the conference with a tough slate, but if they continue to get scoring from James, and shooting from Hendricks and Maldonado, they’ll contend.

Last week: “Winter is Approaching”

San Jose State:

The Spartans have back-to-back wins! The beat Northern Arizona at home, 79-74. It was a come from behind win, which is both good and bad against the preseason last place team in the Big West. SJSU was led by guard Noah Baumann’s twenty-three point explosion, including drilling five three-pointers. In a league that is populated by talented low post players, Michael Steadman is in the top five in rebound percentage, rebounds, and blocks.

Last week: “Antarctica”