MW men’s basketball power rankings

Here are my Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings this week, and there are some changes near the top.

RPI rankings are from RealTimeRPI.com. Only two MW teams have RPIs in the top 100, and eight are ranked between 121-193. As a league, the MW still has a RPI of 11 out of 32 conferences.

As always, your feedback is welcome and encouraged.

1. San Diego State (12-6 overall, 5-0 MW, 68 RPI): The Aztecs are the only undefeated team in league play after an impressive 56-53 road win at Boise State last Saturday. San Diego State has won seven straight conference road games going back to last season. It is showing why it was picked as the preseason favorite to win the MW.

2. Boise State (13-5, 4-1, 52 RPI): The loss to San Diego State snapped a 17-game home winning streak, and the Broncos were just 1 of 17 from 3-point range. Look for this team to bounce back, but for now, it drops from the top spot in these power rankings.

3. Utah State (10-7, 3-3, 129 RPI): After starting 0-3 in league play, the Aggies responded with two wins last week at home against Air Force and at Colorado State. Senior guard Chris Smith, the MW Player of the Week, averaged 27 points and nine rebounds in the two victories. Stiffer tests await this week with a home game with UNLV and a road game at San Diego State.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings

We enter the third week of conference play, and while there wasn’t a lot of movement among the top teams in my power rankings, there was some among other teams.

RPI rankings are from RealTimeRPI.com, and nine of the 11 MW teams have RPIs of between 100 and 181. As a league, the MW has an RPI of 11 out of 32 conferences.

As always, your feedback is welcome and encouraged.

1. Boise State (12-4 overall, 3-0 MW, 49 RPI): The Broncos remain the top dog in the conference. They’ve won nine in a row. Junior forward James Webb III has won back-to-back MW Player of the Week honors, and three this season. Boise State made nearly a 30-point rise in the RPI from last week.

2. San Diego State (10-6, 3-0, 100 RPI): We will see this week if the Aztecs are worthy of being ranked this high with road games at Colorado State and Boise State.

3. New Mexico (10-6, 3-0, 116 RPI): A four-game losing streak prior to league play seems a distant memory after winning three straight to open league play. The defense has improved, which has led to better offense.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings

One week into conference play, and the Mountain West is just as baffling as the nonconference portion of the schedule was.

A decent amount of movement this week, and I would expect more in the coming weeks. But here is how I think the MW ranks this week.

RPI rankings are from RealTimeRPI.com. Nothing really stands out as far as the RPI goes, but it does indicate that from top to bottom, the MW is a solid league. Its RPI of 11 out of 32 conferences isn’t all that great, and it looks like the MW could be a one-bid league to the NCAA Tournament as of now.

Call it mediocre or poor, but this league isn’t as bad as many national people think.

I still think the league will get at least two teams to the NCAAs, and possibly three if all works out well.

As always, your feedback is welcome.

1. Boise State (10-4 overall, 1-0 MW, 70 RPI): The Broncos have the longest winning streak in the league at seven, and may have the Player of the Year in the MW in junior forward James Webb III. A tricky game awaits at Utah State Tuesday.

2. San Diego State (9-6, 2-0, 81 RPI): The Aztecs played like the Aztecs last week in a home win over Wyoming and an impressive road win at Utah State last week. The offense is still an issue, but the defense is not.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings

I thought I would wait until the start of conference play to do my first Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings of the season.

Who is good and who is not may be more uncertain now than at the start of the season. But you have to start somewhere, so here we go.

RPI rankings are from RealTimeRPI.com. As always, your feedback is welcome.

1. Boise State (8-4, 69 RPI): There was a head-scratching loss at Montana to start the season, but the only other losses for the Broncos have been to Arizona twice and now No. 1 Michigan State. A good mix of inside and outside production, and the team to beat as league play begins.

2. UNLV (9-4, 71 RPI): I’m a little hesitant to put the Runnin’ Rebels up this high, but they’ve not had any bad losses. However, UNLV let a double-digit second half lead at home to Arizona State slip away in a 10-point loss. As is the case most years, UNLV has the most talent in the MW, but can coach Dave Rice put it all together through the rigors of league play?

3. Utah State (8-3, 132 RPI): The Aggies have responded well after losing one of its best players — sophomore forward David Collette — who quit just prior to the season-opener. Utah State has not beaten anyone great, but has taken care of business against teams it should. This is a veteran team, which should help in the MW.

4. Fresno State (8-4, 129 RPI): A loss at Cal Poly was a surprise, but this is a big, physical and athletic team with enough talent to win the conference. Will see what the Bulldogs are made of this week as they play at UNLV and host New Mexico.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings

A little late in doing this as we are two weeks into the conference season, but I wanted to see a few conference games to start my weekly power rankings. But based on what’s happened, the picture isn’t much clearer.

Anyway, here is this week’s rankings along with this week’s list of games. As always, your feedback is welcome and encouraged.

1. No. 25 Wyoming (15-2 overall, 4-0 MW): The only ranked team in the MW, the only team unbeaten in conference play and with the longest winning streak (seven). The Cowboys are far from perfect, but with the nation’s third-best scoring defense (52.2 ppg) and the league’s best player in senior forward Larry Nance Jr., UW sits atop the perch for now.

2. San Diego State (12-4, 2-1): Like Wyoming, the Aztecs are among the nation’s best defensive teams. The loss of senior wing Dwayne Polee II to an illness has had an impact, but there is no other team as long, athletic and versatile in the MW. This team may have trouble making shots, but as long as the defense remains solid, the Aztecs will be tough to beat.

3. New Mexico (11-5, 3-1): A little surprised to see the Lobos this high after losing guard Cullen Neal to a season-ending ankle injury, and dealing with a lot of other injuries. But the Lobos are grinding away and will be a factor in the conference race.

4. Fresno State (8-9, 3-1): Don’t let the overall record fool you, the Bulldogs are playing some good basketball, and own a 59-57 home win over San Diego State. They could get even better if point guard Cezar Guerrero comes back from his academic eligibility issues. Guard Marvelle Harris, the reigning MW Player of the Week, leads the conference in scoring at just over 18 points per game.

5. Colorado State (15-2, 2-2): The Rams have come down to earth somewhat after a 14-0 start. But this team is still very good and can win a lot of different ways. Point guard John Gillon is one of the quickest and toughest guys to defend in the league.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings/picks

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi offers his weekly Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings. Look for these rankings once a week through the end of the regular season. As always, your feedback is encouraged.

1. No. 6 San Diego State (22-2 overall, 11-1 MW): There was the 68-62 loss at Wyoming last Tuesday, but the Aztecs came back with a home win over Air Force and fell just one spot in the AP poll. Still the best team in the league with the best defense. Needs to shoot the ball better on a consistent basis.

2. New Mexico (19-5, 10-2):The Lobos had a chance to move into a tie with San Diego State in the league standings, but lost a close one at Boise State. New Mexico and San Diego State still play twice before the regular season ends.

3. UNLV (17-8, 8-4): Winners of six of its last seven games. The Runnin’ Rebels get New Mexico at home on Wednesday and play at Boise State Saturday. Those games will loom large if they hope to make a run at a top two finish.

4. Wyoming (16-9, 7-5): The Cowboys’ upset of No. 5 San Diego State last week was their most impressive win of the season. UW plays four of its final six regular-season games at home. Junior guard Riley Grabau, the MW Player of the Week, has made at least three 3-pointers in six consecutive games. He leads the league in 3-point shooting percentage (47.7 percent) and free-throw percentage (90 percent).

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MW men’s hoops power rankings/picks

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi offers his Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings. Look for these rankings once a week through the end of the regular season. As always, your feedback is encouraged.

1. No. 5 San Diego State (18-1 overall, 7-0 MW): Still the clear-cut No. 1. The Aztecs have won 17 straight, lead the league in scoring defense (56.1 ppg) and has a conference-best scoring margin if plus-18.1 per game.

2. New Mexico (15-4, 6-1): Got past Colorado State last Saturday without junior center Alex Kirk (foot). The Lobos need him back, especially Tuesday at Utah State.

3. Wyoming (13-6, 4-2): The Cowboys make the biggest jump this week as they have won four straight, the second-longest winning streak in the conference right now.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi offers his first Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings of the 2013-14 season. Look for these rankings once a week through the end of the regular season. As always, your feedback is encouraged.

1. No. 10 San Diego State (14-1 overall, 3-0 MW): The hottest team in the league with a 13-game winning streak. The Aztecs also own the best nonconference win for the MW with a win at Kansas. This was supposed to be a transition year. A healthy Xavier Thames at guard makes a big difference.

2. New Mexico (12-3, 3-0): One of three teams (San Diego State, Nevada) with two road conference victories. Winners of five straight. Has the best frontline duo in the league in Alex Kirk and Cameron Bairstow. The bench isn’t the deepest, but the Lobos are still very good.

3, Nevada (9-8, 4-0): The biggest surprise in the league so far. Can the Wolf Pack keep this up? Time will tell, but the frontcourt is much better and senior guard Deonte Burton (21.8 ppg) is making his case as a player of the year candidate in the league. A home game tonight against Boise State will be another big test. The Wolf Pack is 4-4 at home but 5-2 on the road.

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