The 2023-24 Mountain West men’s basketball media days occurred inside Resorts World in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Let’s recap announcements plus highlights from the day!
Preseason Poll and Awards:
To nobody’s surprise, San Diego State, the NCAA Tournament runner-up, was dubbed the favorite to win the conference when the preseason poll was released Thursday. The Aztecs received 25 of the 31 first-place votes—with the other six going to Boise State (4), New Mexico (1) and Nevada (1).
The Broncos, who are coming off their second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, were picked to finish second while the Lobos—spearheaded by the best backcourt in the conference in Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn—were picked to finish third. Nevada, who narrowly made the NCAA Tournament (earning a first-four bid), was selected to finish fourth.
The projected order to finish reads as follows:
- San Diego State
- Boise State
- New Mexico
- Colorado State
- San Jose State
- Fresno State
- Utah State
- Air Force
The Mountain West released its 2023-24 preseason All-Conference teams and awards Monday; Colorado State guard Isaiah Stevens, who averaged 17.9 points and 6.9 assists, was selected as the Mountain West Preseason Player of the Year.
San Diego State’s Reese Waters, a 6-foot-6 USC transfer who won the Pac-12 Sixth Player of the Year award, was named the preseason Newcomer of the Year while UNLV’s Dedan Thomas Jr. was voted as the conference’s freshman of the year.
Here are the 2023-24 preseason All-Mountain West teams:
- G: Jaelen House, New Mexico
- G: Jamal Mashburn Jr., New Mexico
- G: Isaiah Stevens, Colorado State
- G: Lamont Butler, San Diego State
- F: Tyson Degenhart, Boise State
Highlights Around the MWC from Media Day:
Richard Pitino compares The Pit’s atmosphere to Indiana, Purdue and Michigan State.
What’s The Pit like when @UNMLoboMBB is rocking?— The Field of 68 (@TheFieldOf68) October 12, 2023
“The Pit, at its best, is comparable to Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State. It’s the type of crowd- they know the ref’s names. They’re there early. They’re not very nice. It’s a throwback nostalgia that’s iconic” - @LoboCoachPitino pic.twitter.com/0DRCeddv5N
Steve Alford comments on his team’s improvements in the frontcourt, the next month before its season opener:
"I think we've really beefed up the front line."— Nevada Sports Net (@NevadaSportsNet) October 13, 2023
Steve Alford discusses the state of the Nevada basketball frontcourt with some new bigs in the fold. pic.twitter.com/A0jgojVZXZ
“I think the inter squad plus Oregon gives us at least a good barometer of what we need to work on for the two weeks leading into opening the season”— Shannon Kelly (@shannonkelly_tv) October 13, 2023
Head coach Steve Alford weighs in on the Pack’s prep this month ahead of their season opener on Nov. 7 vs. Sacramento St. pic.twitter.com/sHClq8bXIq
Brian Dutcher says San Diego State is a Power 5 Team:
“I control the narrative. I do. San Diego State is a Power 5 team, I don’t care what conference we’re in. We’re Gonzaga. They’re in the WCC and they’re not a mid major. College athletics is backwards. It makes zero sense. This realignment has NOTHING to do with basketball. This… pic.twitter.com/cZzMOLbVue— The Field of 68 (@TheFieldOf68) October 12, 2023
Isaiah Stevens says returning to school was the best move for him:
PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR— The Field of 68 (@TheFieldOf68) October 12, 2023
Isaiah Stevens (@IsaiahStevens7) discusses returning to @CSUMBasketball for another year!
“I got some good feedback from the next level, but ultimately, coming back was the best move for me”
MOUNTAIN WEST MEDIA DAY:https://t.co/oCvThKQoIZ pic.twitter.com/fsAks2Slk9
Danny Sprinkle comments on Utah State losing 100 percent of its production:
Utah State loses 100% of their production from last season. 100%.— The Field of 68 (@TheFieldOf68) October 12, 2023
“The landscape has changed with NIL. Recruiting has become transactional. I wanna build this thing the right way. I wanna build a program” - @USUCoachSprink
MOUNTAIN WEST MEDIA DAY:https://t.co/oCvThKQoIZ pic.twitter.com/lGBvmO1cwU