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Taking the Temperature of MW Hoops

Some teams moved, not necessarily for the better...

Nevada forwards Jordan Caroline and Cody Martin.
Sporting News

SCALDING:

Nevada: They beat USC at Galen Pavilion by twelve points this past weekend, punctuated by a 24 point effort from Jordan Caroline. Only one team has shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc against the Wolfpack this season, and the trend continued as USC finished 5-21 from 3 point range. They have so many rangy defenders; it’s almost unfair. A solid stretch of Arizona State, Grand Canyon, and South Dakota State.

Last week: “Hotter than Fire”

HOTTER THAN FIRE:

Utah State: The Aggies absolutely hammered Northern Iowa at home and then closed the weekend out by hanging 89 points on UC Irvine, the preseason favorite in the Big West. Freshman Neemias Queta had a cool 19 rebounds in the game, and this Aggie team is rolling as the surprise of the Mountain West Conference so far. Oh, and congrats to Sam Merrill for joining the 1,000 point club too.

Last week: “Heating Up”

ROOM TEMPERATURE:

Fresno State: They’re 5-2, but it took overtime to beat WCC and Central Valley foe Pacific and they bested Cal Poly 76-67. Neither of the performances are especially inspiring. Coach Hutson really wants his team to cut down on the turnovers, they average thirteen turnovers per game. They have a fairly soft schedule in December, which could give them time to fix some of the kinks for the first year head coach.

Last week: “The Mercury Can’t Decide”

San Diego State: They played their best game as a team on Saturday in their 75-65 win over Illinois State. They were short-handed going into the game and lost Jordan Schakel to foul trouble during the game. Then the senior backcourt of Devin Watson and Jeremy Hemsley took over for a combined 40 points for a huge road win. A quick turnaround for a tough test against the University of San Diego awaits.

Last week: “Broken Thermometer”

New Mexico: Well, they can still score a lot, as evidenced by their 85-75 win at Bradley on Saturday afternoon. Guard Anthony Mathis came off the bench and scored 23 points and the Lobos got an 18 point effort from Corey Manigault back from...whatever it was he was benched for. Of bigger concern is the flashes that come and go for guard Makuach Maluach that have yet to show up this year. His shooting percentage is down under 40 percent and his turnovers are up.

Last week: “The Mercury Can’t Decide”

BROKEN THERMOMETER:

Boise State: The Broncos dropped a nail-biter on the road, 69-67 to Grand Canyon on Saturday. It’s one of the tougher venues on the West Coast, especially for a small school. The Broncs were tied going into the final 90 seconds and had a chance to win, but couldn’t pull it out. At 2-5, this is their worst start in two decades. But this team keeps fighting while getting hammered by injuries. I don’t know how good they are, but I don’t think they’re this bad.

Last week: “Broken Thermometer”

Colorado State: The balanced scoring continues, as they put four players in double figures in an 86-80 loss to instate rival University of Colorado. They’ve kept the same starting five for seven of their eight games this season and starting to gel as a unit. The green and gold shoot a ton of three pointers, as nearly 40 percent of the team’s shots come from beyond the arc. They’re fighting hard and still learning. The Rams have a marquee matchup with Arkansas on Wednesday at Moby Arena.

Last week: “Winter is Approaching”

WINTER IS APPROACHING:

Air Force: The Falcons doubled their win total over Division I foes by beating Missouri State 88-69. The big difference: Air Force buried 17 three pointers as a team, with guard AJ Walker leading the way by hitting 6 of them. Another note on the game, neither Ryan Swan nor Lavelle Scottie started. The excitement was tempered by Pacific coming up to Clune Arena and notching an 82-69 win over the Falcons.

Last week: “Winter is Approaching”

Wyoming: On the plus side, they shot almost 44% from the field and held Northern Colorado to 8-23 from 3-point range on Saturday night at the double A. The downside is that it wasn’t enough as the Pokes dropped an 85-80 decision to fall to 2-6. Since coming back from injury, redshirt freshman Hunter Thompson has notched back-to-back fifteen point efforts.

Last week: “Winter is Approaching”

UNLV: Well, we know more about the Rebels now. They dropped a 72-64 loss at home to Valparaiso that they needed to have and then hung with Cincinnati on Saturday, only to lose 65-61. The two home losses don’t help and neither does what the Crusaders and Bearcats exposed. If UNLV isn’t able to get both forwards Cheikh Mbacke Diong and Shakur Juiston going, they can’t score and are in trouble.

Last week: “The Mercury Can’t Decide”

ANTARCTICA:

San Jose State: Their final entry in the Missouri Valley-Mountain West Challenge was to get blown out at home by Indiana State by nearly thirty points, 86-57. The good news: Freshman Seneca Knight had another good game off the bench in relief of Brae Ivey, scoring five points, notching three steals, two assists, and only one turnover in fifteen minutes of action. This is a solid unit with some solid pieces, but not solid enough to compete consistently in the Mountain West.

Last week: “Antarctica”