Wyoming junior guard Luke Martinez leads the Mountain West with 64 3-pointers, and is the Cowboys’ leading scorer at 13 points per game.
Coach Larry Shyatt likes that, but likes something even more about the 6-foot-4 Martinez.
Martinez matched his career-high with five steals in UW’s 48-38 loss at New Mexico last Saturday. Shyatt compared Martinez’s defensive effort to that of one of his all-time great players he coached at Florida — Joakim Noah.
“If you watch Luke Martinez only on the defensive end against (New Mexico) would see an incredible effort, an effort equal to none on the floor,” he said. “Not just with the steals but with deflections. He’s had the energy Noah had and very few people at any position will give you that energy, especially on a bad shooting night.”
Martinez was 2 of 8 from the field and scored nine points.
Here my latest power rankings in the MW. Let me know what you think:
1. New Mexico (20-4, 6-2): Has the longest current winning streak in the MW at five, and has won those games by an average of 23 points. Playing the best basketball in the league, but Lobos play UNLV and San Diego State this week.
2. No. 11 UNLV (22-4, 6-2): Coming off a home win over nationally-ranked San Diego State. Still a shaky team on the road, but also not far behind New Mexico in my eyes right now.
3. No. 13 San Diego State (20-4, 6-2): Like last week, there is not a lot of separation from Nos. 1-3 in the MW. Aztecs fall to third after two-point loss at UNLV. Team’s lack of depth down the home stretch could be an issue.
4. TCU (14-9, 4-4): Have to give it the Frogs this week after beating Colorado State at home last week and already owning a win over Wyoming. A home win over UNLV this week could signify if TCU is legitimate or not this year.
5. Wyoming (18-6, 4-4): Still playing great defense at 54 points allowed per game. Nearly pulled off upset at New Mexico last week.
6. Colorado State (15-8, 4-4): No road conference wins yet, and only a 2-6 road record so far. Rams’ RPI is in the 30s, but they need road wins more than anything now.
7. Boise State (11-12, 1-7): Ended an eight-game losing streak with an impressive road win at struggling Air Force last week. Every player on the roster has started at least one game.
8. Air Force (11-11, 1-7): A coaching change last week and a home loss to Boise State. Can’t get much lower right now.