There is just under two weeks until the start of the 2023-24 men’s basketball season. It’s almost upon us! Below, we polled several members from our team to come up with our composite preseason power rankings, so let us know what you think!
But first, how did it end last regular season? Let’s examine!
- San Diego State
- Utah State
- Boise State
- San Jose State
- New Mexico
- Colorado State
- Fresno State
- Air Force
Now, let’s turn the page and take a brief look at who we have ranked where ahead of the 2023-24 season!
1. San Diego State
Ever heard of them? If so, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. They won 32 games last year and finished as the NCAA Tourney runner-up. At the very least, barring anything unforeseen, they’re a top-3/4 team in the conference.
2. Boise State
Leon Rice perpetually wins 20 games and does the most with what he has. Sure, fans will rag on him for his NCAA Tournament shortcomings. But Rice is an excellent coach and the Broncos should field another great team, headed by preseason Player of the Year candidate Tyson Degenhart.
3. New Mexico
Two of the five preseason All-Conference spots were taken up by the conference’s best backcourt: Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr., who enter their third season together in Albuquerque, N.M. Don’t sleep in Iona transfer Nelly Junior Joseph, either.
Nevada is coming off the best season of the Steve Alford era, winning 22 games and making the NCAA Tournament’s first four despite an unfruitful end. While it lost Will Baker and reigning freshman player of the year Darrion Williams to Power 5 programs, Alford believes this is his deepest team yet.
The Runnin’ Rebels look to improve off of its productive second season under Kevin Kruger. They have one of the best freshmen in the conference in Dedan Thomas Jr., who was named the conference’s preseason FOY, as well as arguably the MW’s top transfer trio in Kaleb Boone, Keylan Boone and Jalen Hill.
6. Colorado State
Isaiah Stevens was named the preseason player of the year, and rightfully so. He averaged 17.9 points and 6.4 assists in 26 games; Stevens is a very smart decision-maker, a very good passer and a reputable multi-level scorer. He’s primed for another big season, barring anything unforeseen.
T-7. Utah State
The Aggies return **checks notes** exactly zero percent of their production from last year. None. Nada. This team is a true wild card, even though Danny Sprinkle had a good track record of success at Montana State.
T-7. San Jose State
San Jose State was the most surprising team in the MW last year. Now, they’ll be without reigning MW Player of the Year Omari Moore with only two returning starters. This will be a tough test for Tim Miles, who has a more functional frontcourt this season.
9. Fresno State
Fresno State has finished with fewer than a dozen wins in two of the last four seasons; plus, in 2020-21, they finished 12-12 in a COVID-shortened season. Justin Hutson has the hottest seat in the conference and it could be difficult to make a tremendous leap in 2023-24.
Wyoming had the season of H-E-Double hockey sticks last year; it became a (steep) slippery slope after losing preseason Mountain West Player of the Year Graham Ike to injury. Their only direction to go is up.
11. Air Force
It will be another uphill climb for the Falcons, who lost star guard Jake Heidbreder to Clemson. Rytis Petraitis should be prime for another stellar season, though.