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Mountain West Basketball: Top-5 2023 recruiting classes, by team

Which teams have the top recruiting classes! Let’s talk about it below!

NCAA Basketball: Mountain West Conference Tournament- Utah State vs San Diego State Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

To cap off our week in Mountain West basketball recruiting, after we outlined the All-Mountain West 2023 recruiting team and dove into the top-7 recruits, we’re going to do rank the top-5 recruiting classes! Enough chitter chatter — let’s dive into it!

(All recruits listed came courtesy of On3 Rankings)

1. New Mexico

Notable recruits:

  • Tru Washington, G
  • Jadyn Toppin, F

Skinny: It’s not a big gap, but the Lobos have the best recruiting class of 2023 so far, in my view. They have a pair of top-4 recruits in Toppin and Washington, who I think is the conference’s best recruit in this class. Nobody knows how it will play out in the short- or long-term — Nevada lost their two three-star recruits from last year to the portal, for example. But Richard Pitino is building something over in Albuquerque, so Lobo fans should be excited about the injection of youth into the program and the ceiling they have.

2. Boise State

Notable recruits:

  • Chris Lockett Jr., F
  • Andrew Meadow, F
  • Emmanuel Ugbo, F

Skinny: Boise also has multiple top-five recruits in the conference in Lockett and Meadow. Though they also added a lengthy — albeit unranked — recruit in Ugbo, who’s 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan. The Dutch international averaged 14.2 points per game and 7.1 rebounds in 23 games for Porsche BBA in Germany last season. At the 2022 FIBA U20 European Championships, Ugbo averaged 6.7 points per game and 6.4 rebounds. All in all, the Broncos added multiple intriguing prospects who can fit into Leon Rice’s system.

3. Utah State

Notable recruits:

  • Garrison Phelps, F
  • Kalifa Sakho, F
  • Karson Templin, F

Skinny: The Aggies have two three-star recruits in Garrison Phelps, who was at the tail-end of my top-7 rankings, and Karson Templin, a 6-foot-7 forward from Lucas, Texas. Phelps is a hyperathletic wing who averaged 15.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.9 steals in his final year at St. Mary’s High School. Templin averaged a near 14-10 double-double as a junior at Lovejoy High, and was recruited by a few other programs, such as Sam Houston State, San Jose State, UNLV and Oral Roberts.


Notable recruits:

  • Brooklyn Hicks, G

Skinny: Hicks was one of the top recruits in the Mountain West, averaging north of 30 points per game as one of the top players in Washington last year. He received offers from Nevada, Washington State, Cincinnati and Saint Mary’s, among others. I dropped UNLV a tier below because of the quantity, not because of the quality. But Hicks still projects to be a good combo guard at the next level and could end up being one of the best recruits in this class, when it’s all said and done.

5. Colorado State

Notable recruits:

  • Kyan Evans, G
  • Rashaan Mbemba, F

Skinny: Evans, a three-star recruit, was dubbed the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year last year, averaging 12.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Mbemba, meanwhile, helms from Austria and was the best player in the Austrian league, where he averaged 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 2021-22. If Isaiah Stevens returns, Evans will have as good of a mentor as you could ask for, while Mbemba will slot into its wing rotation alongside Patrick Cartier and James Moors. This should be a good freshman class with plenty of upside.