MW men’s basketball power rankings entering the 6th week of conference play

Here are my weekly power rankings for Mountain West men’s basketball teams heading into this week’s games. Look for these rankings on a weekly basis throughout the conference season. RPI numbers are from as of Jan. 29.

Nevada (18-4 overall, 7-1 MW, 15 RPI): Despite a one-point, double-overtime loss at Wyoming last week that ended a seven-game winning streak, the Wolf Pack stay at No. 1 in these rankings. Will be interesting to see how Nevada bounces back after the loss, and having a week off between games. Games this week: vs. Fresno State, 9 p.m. Wednesday (CBS Sports Network); at Colorado State, 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPNU).

2. Boise State (18-4, 8-2, 42 RPI): The Broncos took care of the bottom two teams in the conference last week. The team is battling an illness bug, but good teams fight through that. Perhaps having just one game this week will give Boise State a chance to get healthier. Game this week: vs. UNLV, 6 p.m. Saturday (CBS Sports Network).

3. New Mexico (11-11, 6-3, 148 RPI): The Lobos are tied with Wyoming for the longest current winning streak in the league at three. First-year coach Paul Weir is making a strong case for coach of the year accolades. Two road games await, which will be another test to see how far this team has come along. Games this week: at Utah State, 7 p.m. Wednesday (MW Network — online); at San Jose State, 4 p.m. Saturday (AT&T SportsNet).

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MW men’s basketball power rankings as league play begins

It is time for conference play for Mountain West men’s basketball team, and also the debut of my weekly power rankings. Look for these rankings on a weekly basis throughout the conference season. RPI numbers are from as of Dec. 26.

1. Nevada (11-3, 23 RPI): A head-scratching loss at San Francisco to end its nonconference season, but the preseason league favorite and defending regular-season and conference tournament champion earns the top spot. The Wolf Pack will be tested in its MW opener at Fresno State Wednesday. Games this week: at Fresno State, 8 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN3); vs. New Mexico, 3 p.m. Saturday (AT&T SportsNet).

2. Boise State (10-2, 29 RPI): The Broncos got smoked at SMU in its final nonconference game, but also racked up some nice wins. Senior Chandler Hutchison is playing like the preseason MW Player of the Year, and the supporting cast around him also has played well. Perhaps the most important statistic is Boise State leads the league in scoring defense at 64.5 points per game. Games this week: vs. Colorado State, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (CBS SportsNetwork); at UNLV, 9 p.m. Saturday (AT&T SportsNet).

3. San Diego State (8-3, 55 RPI): A two-point win at home over then No. 12 Gonzaga Dec. 21 was by far the conference’s best nonconference win. When this team is healthy, it may be the best team in the league. In coach Brian Dutcher’s first season, the Aztecs remain one of the better defensive teams in the country, but are pushing the tempo more offensively and average 78.3 points per game. Games this week: at Wyoming, 7 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN3); vs. Utah State, 8 p.m. Saturday (ESPN3).

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Adams got the message, which could benefit Cowboys down the stretch

Lou Adams started both halves in Wyoming’s 102-100 four-overtime home win over Fresno State last Wednesday, but played only at total of seven minutes.

Lou Adams

Lou Adams

First-year coach Allen Edwards didn’t like the energy Adams showed on the floor, so he didn’t play him when it mattered most.

Adams, a junior guard in his first season with the Cowboys after transferrring from Odessa College in Texas, got the message Edwards was conveying. He scored a team-best 16 points and three steals in 24 minutes in Wyoming’s 81-74 loss at Utah State last Saturday. The points were the most Adams scored in a MW game, and tied for the second-most minutes he’s played in a game this season.

“Lou came out with more energy, but at the same time, it has to be more of a consistent thing,” Edwards said. “He seems to have figured it out, and we will go with that from there.”

Added Adams: “I was just trying to help my team win and do the little things.”

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