Boise State Non-Conference Schedule Preview

Previewing the non-conference schedule for Boise State.

Boise State Non-Conference Schedule Preview


Previewing Boise State basketball’s non-conference schedule in 2022-2023


Contact/Follow @Michaelbraydaly & @MWCwire

How will the early part of the season treat the Broncos?

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The 2021-2022 season turned out to be one to remember for Boise State. For the eighth time in program history, Boise State made the NCAA Tournament.

It was a postseason berth that ended early with a loss to Memphis in the first round of the tournament. The result was an 11-point, 64-53, loss in Portland, Ore. The season did not end the way Boise State would have liked, but it was a successful overall season.

Looking ahead, Boise State will try to get back to the NCAA Tournament in consecutive years since the Broncos did it in 1993 and 1994. It will take help from several key returning players to fill the void of losing Abu Kigab and Emmanuel Akot. Marcus Shaver Jr. returned to the program in May after withdrawing his name from the 2022 NBA Draft.

This preview will analyze each non-conference game and predict the outcome. The non-conference schedule will run from Nov. 9 to Dec. 22. The conference schedule opens on the road at Nevada on Dec. 28.

(Game 1) Wednesday, Nov. 9: vs. South Dakota State – Boise, Idaho, ExtraMile Arena

Like Boise State, South Dakota State had a magical run in the regular season and the Summit League Tournament. The Jackrabbits finished the season with a 30-5 record and an 18-0 conference record. This upcoming season will be a big change for the team without the top three scorers from last season. Douglas Wilson graduated from the school and Baylor Scheierman and Noah Freidel transferred from the school. South Dakota State will take a big hit from losing these three players.

Game Prediction: Boise State 84, South Dakota State 61

(Game 2) Saturday, Nov. 12: vs. Washington State – Boise, Idaho, Idaho Central Arena

In 2021, Boise State closed out the non-conference schedule against Washington State in a 58-52 win. This time around, it will be at the very beginning of the season and both teams are attempting to carry over the momentum from last season. Washington State reached the NIT Semifinal in March and ended the season with a 22-15 record.

Last year’s meeting between Washington State and Boise State was in Pullman, Wash., and the Broncos won 58-52. Since it is a home game in front of a large crowd of fans from both teams, it will help Boise State win the game.

Game Prediction: Boise State 60, Washington State 55

(Game 3) Thursday, Nov. 17: vs. Charlotte – Myrtle Beach Invitational, Conway, South Carolina, HTC Center 

An early exit in the 2022 Conference USA Tournament prevented Charlotte from having an real consideration for a postseason tournament. The 49ers had a 17-14 overall record in 2022. Jahmir Young, who was the leading scorer in 2022, entered the transfer portal and left for Maryland. The 49ers will need to build without last season’s leading scorer. This will be a difficult neutral site tournament game for Charlotte.

Boise State will be guaranteed at least one game in the tournament. If they win two games, there will be a final game on Nov. 20. If Boise State beats Charlotte, they will face the winner of Loyola Chicago vs. Tulsa in the second game. There is a chance Boise State could see Texas A&M in the tournament before their scheduled game on Dec. 3.

Game Prediction: Boise State 66, Charlotte 49

Rest of the Tournament Prediction:

Second Round: Boise State 57, Loyola Chicago 54

Championship Game: Texas A&M 53, Boise State 52

(Game 6) Saturday, Nov. 26: vs. Utah Valley – Boise, Idaho, ExtraMile Arena

Add Utah Valley to the list of recycled non-conference opponents from last season. In last year’s meeting, Boise State opened up the season with a 76-56 win over Utah Valley. Expect a similar performance from both teams. The Broncos will take advantage of a weaker team.

Game Prediction: Boise State 72, Utah Valley 53

(Game 7) Tuesday, Nov. 29: vs. Cal State Northridge – Boise, Idaho, ExtraMile Arena

In another 2021-2022 non-conference opponent, Boise State will welcome Cal State Northridge to Idaho. Boise State was on the road last season and defeated the Matadors, 74-48. This year’s game will have a similar outcome.

Game Prediction: Boise State 78, Cal State Northridge 44

(Game 8) Saturday, Dec. 3: vs. Texas A&M – The Battleground 2k22, Fort Worth, Texas, Dickies Arena

Despite missing out on the NCAA Tournament, Texas A&M nearly captured an NIT Championship in March. The Aggies finished last season at 27-13. It will be a season for the remaining key contributors to fill in for Quenton Jackson, who declared for the NBA Draft. Henry Coleman III, Tyrece Radford, and Wade Taylor IV will be the leaders of this team in 2022. The experience will be a tough test for Boise State. Based on this prediction, this will be the second meeting of the season for these two teams. Boise State will be 0-2 in the two games.

Game Prediction: Texas A&M 59, Boise State 56

(Game 9) Tuesday, December 6: vs. Eastern Oregon – Boise, Idaho, ExtraMile Arena

In what should be a bit of a breather in the schedule for Boise State, Eastern Oregon will try to make the most of a big opportunity. Eastern Oregon won 18 games last season as a member of the Cascade Collegiate Conference. This will be a tune up game for Boise State and should not be very competitive. It could be the best showing of the non-conference schedule.

Game Prediction: Boise State 101, Eastern Oregon 54

(Game 10) Saturday, December 10: at. Saint Louis – Saint Louis, Missouri, Chaifetz Arena 

Saint Louis will be a difficult road test for the Broncos. It will be the first official road game of the season and it could feature two teams on the NCAA Tournament bubble. Gibson Jimerson will be the offensive leader for the Billikens. He led the team in scoring in 2021-2022 with an average of 16.3 points. The game being on the road will be in Saint Louis’ favor.

Last season, this was a home game for Boise State and it was an overtime loss in November. Saint Louis has continued to be a strong team and will benefit from the home atmosphere.

Game Prediction: Saint Louis 83, Boise State 76

(Game 11) Tuesday, December 13: vs. New Orleans – Boise, Idaho, ExtraMile Arena

With Derek St. Hilaire no longer on the roster, New Orleans will be reliant upon the rest of the roster to make up for his absence. New Orleans went 18-14 in 2022. This should be a nice recovery game from the loss to Saint Louis.

Game Prediction: Boise State 82, New Orleans 54

(Game 12) Sunday, December 18: vs. Oakland – Boise, Idaho, ExtraMile Arena

The Horizon League turned out to be what prevented Oakland from reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2022. Oakland does not seem to be a better team in 2022-2023. This could be a trap game for Oakland since they played two close games against West Virginia and Oklahoma State in last season’s non-conference schedule. Boise State should get a convincing win.

Game Prediction: Boise State 76, Oakland 58

(Game 13) Thursday, December 22: at. Santa Clara – Santa Clara, California, Leavey Center

When these two teams met up last season in Boise, Tyson Degenhart paced Boise State in scoring with 18 points. Degenhart will need to be a factor in this road game. It will be a tight game for most of the second half, but Boise State will pull away at the end of the game.

Game Prediction: Boise State 68, Santa Clara 59

Non-Conference Record Prediction: 10-3 Record

It should be a favorable non-conference schedule. The Broncos should be able to start the season with three-straight wins over South Dakota State, Washington State, and Charlotte. If they can do that, the rest of the non-conference schedule should be a breeze. The team is projected to lose two games to Texas A&M and one game to Saint Louis.

Is San Diego State Mystery School big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark Is Referencing?

Is San Diego State Mystery School big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark Is Referencing? Big 12 looking to go West? Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire Pacific time zone for the Big 12? The college football season is underway and that usually means …

Is San Diego State Mystery School big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark Is Referencing?


Big 12 looking to go West?


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Pacific time zone for the Big 12?

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The college football season is underway and that usually means that the off-the-field nonsense like College Football Playoff changes or expansion is put on the back burner.

Well, we already have news about the playoff expanding to 12 teams heading into Week 1.

Now, the latest is conference expansion coming from Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark when discussing the addition of Cincinnatti joining the league next year.

He was asked via The Athletic if expansion was on the table, and the answer was a vague yes.

“Well, I don’t want to get into the specifics, and I appreciate the question. But obviously going out west is where I would like to go, entering that fourth time zone. A program that has national recognition. One that competes at the highest level in basketball and football, stands for the right things, is a good cultural fit. Because our alignment right now and the like-mindedness of all of our member institutions is fantastic. It’s never been better. So I don’t want to compromise that, and that’s critically important that there is the right cultural fit when you think about coming in and being part of what we’re building here.”

Saying the fourth time zone can mean one of two things and maybe he is being tricky by saying fourth time zone and not the Pacific time zone.

This leaves the door open to Arizona and Arizona State because half of the year they are in the Pacific time zone from March to November. That gives an extra hour for half of the football season.

However, for a true fourth-time zone the answer is probably San Diego State. Specifically, Yormark mentioned a nationally recognized football and basketball program.

Aztecs fit that mold with a bowl game every year since 2010 — minus the COVID-19 year — including five of those years with double-digit wins.

The basketball team is always a Mountain West contender and winning titles, plus nine NCAA Tournaments since 2010 (really 10 since the Aztecs would have made a bid in 2020 and possibly a No. 2 seed).

This would give the Big 12 a California market and those later windows for TV to go along with BYU which is in the Mountain time zone. The Big 12 would now have four time zones with teams in Florida, West Virginia, Texas, Utah, and now California for a full day of TV coverage.

Aztecs have their new stadium — despite lacking shade — that is quite nice and attractive.

Their on-the-field performance in major sports is well above average, but the main points are the time zone and recruiting area in San Diego.


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Michigan vs. Colorado State: Get To Know The Wolverines

Michigan vs. Colorado State: Get To Know The Wolverines Rams have a tough opener on their hands Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire Who is Michigan? Head coach Jay Norvell is taking his Colorado State team into the fire when they travel to take …

Michigan vs. Colorado State: Get To Know The Wolverines


Rams have a tough opener on their hands


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Who is Michigan?

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Head coach Jay Norvell is taking his Colorado State team into the fire when they travel to take on a top-10 team in the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday.

The Rams are a huge underdog and it will be a tough first game for QB Clay Millen who is getting his first career collegiate start.

To get to know this Michigan team even better, we chatted with Trent Knoop from Wolverines Wire to answer the burning questions we had about this game.

1. Are there any lingering questions after fall camp heading into Week 1?

1. The biggest question mark for Michigan has to be the quarterback position. Jim Harbaugh came out and said that Cade McNamara, the incumbent starter, would start Week 1 against Colorado State and then J.J. McCarthy would start Week 2 against Hawaii. So we really don’t know what’s going on there, but I suppose whoever looks better will get the job. On the defensive side of things, Michigan is trying to replace Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo from last year, who was arguably the best edge duo of 2021. The Wolverines will do a lot of rotating, so it will be intriguing to see who steps up there.

Colorado State, Hawaii To Face Different Michigan Quarterbacks In Weeks 1 And 2

2. Adding onto that first question, who do you think will eventually be the starting QB and will going game-by-game the best option to choose between Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy?
2A. I really think Harbaugh needs to decide on a starter and stick with it by Big Ten play. Now, if McNamara does indeed become the starter in 2022, then I think Michigan has to get J.J. on the field in some capacity like it did last year. McCarthy has a different gear than McNamara in the running department and he will bring a different element to the team. I would have said I think McNamara was going to be the starter going into the season, especially since he was named a captain, but the way Harbaugh is doing things, I think it sets up for McCarthy to get the job. Vanderbilt just lit Hawaii up in Week 0, and I expect McCarthy to do the same.
2B. The identity of the Michigan offense has been running the ball under Harbaugh, so I believe that the Wolverines will continue to try and pound the rock. Watch for Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards. Corum was just shy of 1,000 yards last year due to injuries, but both backs are dynamic and both can catch passes out of the backfield. On the defense, look out for Mazi Smith (defensive tackles) and Junior Colson (linebacker). Smith was the No. 1 ‘freak’ on Bruce Feldman’s list. Colson is just a sophomore and had one of the best freshman season’s a linebacker has had for Michigan, so he is in store for a huge year in 2022.
3. Who are the key players to know this week?
3. Michigan has to replace seven starters on the defense from 2021. But that doesn’t mean that they lack experience. Michigan does a phenomenal job of rotating defensive players each game, so the 2022 starting defense will have loads of experience under their belt. But, I think the way Colorado State can exploit Michigan is going to be in the middle of the field. Michigan should have really good safety play towards the end of the season, but there could be bumps and bruises along the way since veteran Brad Hawkins ran out of eligibility last season.
4. What are the ways that Colorado State could have success against Michigan?
4. A big focus of the secondary during fall camp was to force more turnovers this season. Michigan only had eight interceptions in 2021, so I know that is a goal that the Wolverines want to see in the first week — creating turnovers. On the offensive side of things, the Wolverines basically return every playmaker from last year, save for Hassan Haskins at running back. But this truly could be the best offense Harbaugh has had at Michigan. If that is going to ring true, then Michigan needs to show it during the non-conference slate. I believe the maize and blue will want to control the line of scrimmage on offense and have success in the red zone.
5. How do you see this game playing out?
5. I think Michigan is going to have too much firepower for the Rams. I believe that Norvell is going to do a lot of good things for Colorado State, but with basically a brand new roster, I look for the Wolverines take control of the game early. I’ll say 42-10 Michigan.


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What’s Next In The NBA For Utah State’s Neemias Queta?

Neemias Queta is gearing up for his second season in the NBA and could be primed for something big. The 7-footer from Portugal played three years at Utah State before he was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2021. In his debut season in the …

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Neemias Queta is gearing up for his second season in the NBA and could be primed for something big. The 7-footer from Portugal played three years at Utah State before he was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2021. In his debut season in the association, the center played just 15 games for the Sacramento Kings. Queta’s youth was combined with a positional logjam in the front-court in Sacramento that consisted of Marvin Bagley, Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes, Damian Jones, Alex Len, Chimezie Metu, Domantas Sobonis, and Tristan Thompson. This didn’t create an environment that facilitated an abundance of playing time for Queta, so he spent plenty of time in Stockton playing for Sacramento’s G League counterpart.

In Sacramento, Queta played 15 games and averaged 8 minutes per game. He shot 44.7% from the field and averaged 3 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, 0.4 assists and 0.1 steals per game.

In Stockton, Queta played 14 games and averaged 28 minutes per game. He shot 60% from the field and averaged 16.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.8 assists, and 0.8 steals per game.

His 14 games in Stockton certainly showed talent and his 15 games for Sacramento certainly showed room for improvement. Talent and room for improvement are essential building blocks for an NBA rookie.

Going into his second year, the center could be on the verge of a breakout season. Based on league history and the fact that Queta has never had an off-season like this one, Queta should be prepared for a drastic improvement. The signs might already be showing. The season hasn’t started yet, but with Summer League in the rearview mirror, Queta has already had a chance to showcase some of his growth from last year.

Head coach of Sacramento’s summer league team Jordi Fernandez believes Queta has a future in the NBA. Fernandez said of Queta: “He’s improved. He is a good NBA player and he is part of our club and our future. His willingness to do the right thing is what matters the most. He’s a great, great guy, and all these guys love him for how hard he plays.”

This July, the big man signed a two-way contract with the Sacramento Kings, meaning, for the first time in his adult life, Queta will start and end an entire uninhibited off-season with the same team. After signing the contract, Queta promised to have a good season saying “I think I’ll be making big strides this year.”

His claim isn’t just possible, it might be the most likely scenario. Queta is certainly poised to utilize his first full offseason of training and preparation to follow the lead of centers that have come before him to make the next natural progression and step up his game in a big way for his second season.

For NBA players, the importance of the off-season is impossible to overstate. The season is physically and mentally taxing so players need that valuable time to rest, recharge and reload their bodies and minds. It is also a crucial time for players to improve their game. Many players return to their hometowns or college towns to take advantage of gyms and open courts. Other players meet up in hubs and scrimmage against each other. Players have the opportunity to study film to develop and fine-tune parts of their game in a way that’s not possible during the gauntlet of the regular season. Players work closely with coaches and trainers from their team as well as private clubs and organizations. Queta has never had that. Unfortunately for him, none of that is possible when a player doesn’t know his future, when he is hurt, or when the world is shut down.

Prior to his freshman year at Utah State, Queta was living in his home country of Portugal. Even with the help of Diogo Brito, Queta didn’t sign with the Aggies until August, just three months before tip-off. He arrived in Logan after classes had already started, missing summer workouts with the team. Even without much time to acclimate, Queta didn’t take long to have an impact. In game five, Queta had the team high in both scoring and rebounding in a 80-63 win against Saint Mary’s. That season, Queta’s 8.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game led the team and his 11.8 points per game put him only behind Aggie Legend, Sam Merrill, and his 20.9 PPG.

After an impressive freshman season, Queta briefly entered the NBA draft and was invited to the NBA combine before deciding to go back to school. During the off-season, Queta represented his home country to compete in the FIBA Under-20 European Championship. While playing Queta suffered a sprained knee with kneecap dislocation. This, yet again, removed him from any off-season training in Logan. After missing the first nine games of the season, Queta made his season debut coming off the bench and playing 10 minutes in a 77-70 overtime win against Fresno State. He finally found himself back in the starting lineup in a 76-74 overtime win against USF. The next game, against the Florida Gators, Queta was injured again and was forced to sit out for the remainder of that game and two others. Although plagued by injuries, the season was a success for Queta and the Aggies who once again led the team in blocks, now averaging 1.7 per game. His scoring, again behind only Merrill, rose to an average of 13.0 PPG, and his rebounding, now behind only Justin Bean, fell to 7.8 RPG.

2022 NBA Draft: Colorado State’s David Roddy Taken At No. 23

2022 NBA Draft: Colorado State’s David Roddy Taken At No. 23 Roddy picked by Philly will play for Memphis Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire Roddy is first MW player taken The 2022 NBA Draft had a bit of a surprise with Colorado State’s David …

2022 NBA Draft: Colorado State’s David Roddy Taken At No. 23


Roddy picked by Philly will play for Memphis


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Roddy is first MW player taken

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The 2022 NBA Draft had a bit of a surprise with Colorado State’s David Roddy being taken at No. 23 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers but this is part of a trade and the forward will go to a very exciting Memphis team.

Roddy was the Mountain West player of the year this past season and one of the best college basketball players. Being a great college player doesn’t always translate to the next level.

However, being taken in the first round and traded up for shows that the Grizzlies have faith in him.

Roddy was nearly a double-double guy and in his last year was 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game. He brings defense to the next level and plays hard which can help him find minutes with a really fun team in Memphis.

CBS Sports grades this move as a B for Roddy going to Memphis.

Getting this pick cost the Grizzlies De’Anthony Melton, but he appeared to be losing favor with the coaching staff. Most people didn’t have a first-round grade on Roddy because he has an unusual body for an NBA wing player. But this is what the Grizzlies do, as I said in the LaRavia grade: They traded up to get their guy, even though he was a more experienced college player than many teams want.

STRENGTHS

  • A solid shooter from deep for a forward43.8% of the 3.4 3-pointers he attempted per game
  • Strong enough to guard bigger players and nimble enough to guard smaller players

WEAKNESSES

  • Undersized frontcourt player and isn’t considered an amazing or an elite athlete.
  • A weird weakness is that his body fat percentage of 11.6% was the eighth worst at the NBA Draft Combine


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2022 NBA Draft Profile: Fresno State’s Orlando Robinson

2022 NBA Draft Profile: Fresno State’s Orlando Robinson Where will he be taken? Contact/Follow @MWCwire Who is Robinson’s NBA comp The NBA draft tip-off is here as 60 players will hear their name get called. The Las Vegas native Orlando Robinson …

2022 NBA Draft Profile: Fresno State’s Orlando Robinson


Where will he be taken?


Contact/Follow @MWCwire

Who is Robinson’s NBA comp

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The NBA draft tip-off is here as 60 players will hear their name get called. The Las Vegas native Orlando Robinson looks to be the first player drafted out of Fresno State since Paul George in 2010, who went 10th overall to the Indiana Pacers. Robinson is currently projected to be undrafted to a late 2nd round pick and could be one of the biggest sleepers in the draft.

Here’s why:

Strengths:

Shooting

Robinson checks in at 6-foot-11 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, but Robinson isn’t just your typical big man as he can shoot the ball really well and help stretch out the floor shooting 48.4% from the field his junior year and 35% from the three. Orlando also shot 71.6% from the free throw line and led the Bulldogs in scoring with 19.4 points per game this season. One of the things that really stands out with Robinson is his ability to create his own shot. Most of the Bulldogs offense came from Robinson and had a lot of possessions that were at the end of the shot clock. Robinson’s ability to get his own shot and play a lot of ISO ball really should stand out to the scouts and will play a big factor at the next level. A big who can stretch the floor and handle the ball creating offense from anywhere is hard to find.

2022 NBA Mock Draft: Where Are The Mountain West Players?

Post Play and Passing:

Robinson has great size and strength. Orlando does a great job using his strength to finish plays. But the most underrated part of Robinson’s post skills is playing anywhere in the post and his ability to create for teammates in the post. Players like Jokic, Embiid, and Antetokounmpo are players who expand their game by creating from the post and get everyone around them going.

The stats may not show that for Robinson but the tape definitely shows Orlando has a great vision with the ability to set up his teammates. This is another area that can help Robinson get early minutes at the next level. 

Defense 

Robinson was not only the anchor on offense but on defense as well. He led the Bulldogs in blocks with 43 blocks this season. He also had 36 steals this season. The man did it all for the Bulldogs. Robinson can guard multiple positions. He has a good wingspan to contest shots and plays with a lot of energy. He does a great job stepping into passing lanes and forcing turnovers. His size and length allows him to cover a lot of ground. Orlando still has a lot of room to grow on the defensive side of the ball but with the right system he will be fine.

Weakness

Physicality and decision making.

Robinson doesn’t have many weaknesses but physicality can be one. Too many times Robinson settled for jump shots or didn’t finish at the rim. I would  like to see Orlando be more aggressive in the post and finishing around the rim.  Defensively I would like to see Robinson take less gambles at the ball and play more with his body. This did cause him to get in foul trouble in some games which played a big factor into the team’s success. I believe Robinson has minor weaknesses which won’t hurt him too much at the next level.

NBA Projection:

I believe Robinson is going to be one of the biggest steals in this draft. He hasn’t gotten the attention and hype he deserves. His games translate well to the next level and he has a lot of room to grow and become a big factor on an NBA Team. Orlando has all the skills, tools, and intangibles for the NBA. Robinson will the drafted in the second round making him the first Bulldogs since 2010 to be drafted out of Fresno State.


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Mountain West Has A Basketball Problem

The Mountain West might have a problem This year, after an impressive outing in which the Mountain West went 91-40 in non-conference play the league was rewarded with four coveted bids to the NCAA tournament. It was the first time since the 2011-12 …

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The Mountain West might have a problem

This year, after an impressive outing in which the Mountain West went 91-40 in non-conference play the league was rewarded with four coveted bids to the NCAA tournament. It was the first time since the 2011-12 season that the league sent four teams to the big dance. The bids came at a great time for the conference. Ever since the Mountain West peaked at five bids in 2012-13, the league has been trending downwards even suffering back-to-back seasons with a singular bid. Despite this decline, the conference has, for the most part, maintained status as a multi-bid league in recent years, although the most it has received under the current lineup of schools is three, when it did so just once in 2014-15, just a season after arriving adding three newcomers and arriving at the current selection.

The last time four bids were offered to the Mountain West, those four schools represented half of the eight-team conference, and ever since then, the Mountain West has been trying to once again reach that level of success.

Not only did the committee see it fit to send four bids to the league, however, the Mountain West was also the favorable seen in nearly every game. The conference was at one point flirting with the possibility of becoming a five-bid league but ultimately landed on four on Selection Sunday.

The 12-seeded Wyoming was set to play against 12-seed Indiana in the first four for the chance to play 5-seed Saint Mary’s in the round of 64. Then 6-seed Colorado State was matched up against 11-seed Michigan, 8-seed San Diego State was slated for a game against 9-seed Creighton, and the 8-seed Boise State Broncos would face 9-seed Memphis.

Perhaps the most shocking thing about these four bids was the fact that not one of them went to perennial powerhouses UNLV or New Mexico. Utah State, after having won two of the three previous championships also failed to earn a bid as did the Nevada Wolfpack, a program becoming very familiar with the top of the Mountain West in recent years. Certainly, it seemed that the Mountain West was once again fully loaded and ready to make a name for itself. With new teams finding momentum and success rising up alongside, and sometimes surpassing, storied and historic programs, the Mountain West seemed stronger than ever.

Selection Sunday was arguably one of the best moments in recent history for the conference. It was a culmination of the years of hard work from hundreds of student-athletes and coaches. It was an acknowledgment that, as many fans know, the Mountain West is indeed a premier basketball conference. It was a realization of the return of investment these programs have put into their basketball teams over the years and decades. Even the seven teams at home could take solace in the fact that the top teams were pushed to new heights by the rest of the conference and could take pride in the fact that theirs was one of the most well-represented conference and the best represented conference of mid-majors.

This elation didn’t last. Within just a few days after the names of four Mountain West teams were called, the league was completely eliminated from the NCAA tournament.

It may have been shocking to the fans players and coaches of the Mountain West, but the truth is, this failure wasn’t entirely unpredictable.

Big Cat, host of a popular Barstool Sports podcast Pardon My Take said:

“No Mountain west team has done anything… time and time again the mountain west gets in and doesn’t do anything.” ESPN’s BPI listed all four Mountain West teams as over-seeded. Additionally, according to Insider, Michigan beating Colorado State was the number one upset picked with over 55% of people predicting the Wolverine’s win over the Rams.

The Mountain West was unique in its lack of success. The Mountain West was the only multi-bid league that failed to win a single game. The conference was the only to send four. The West Coast Conference and the PAC-12 both sent three, but both had at least one victory. Something the mountain west failed to do with an additional team. The Big East, Big 12 and SEC all sent six and the ACC sent five. All four of this conference won at least a game. The single-bid WAC got an upset win as 12-seed New Mexico beat 5-seed UConn before falling to Eric Musselman’s 4-seed Arkansas. The single-bid Ohio Valley Conference sent 7-seed Murray State into the round of 32, where they lost to another team from a single-bid league, The 15-seed Saint Peter’s Peacocks, from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, who propelled themselves all the way to the Elite 8.

This means that the Mountain West was not only vastly outperformed by its multi-bid peers, it was lapped by single-bid leagues. The Metro Atlantic Athletic went 3-1. The Ohio Valley went 1-1. The WAC went 1-1. The Mountain West went 0-4

To be fair, the conference drew a tough slate. Two Big 10 and a Big East matchup made for a difficult path to victory, although that’s hardly and excuse for going 0-4. The league’s performance was particularly upsetting because of the respect that the committee had shown the teams in the tournament. Wyoming, as an 12-seed, was bounced by a fellow 12-seed, but other than that, every team in the league lost in an upset.

This is not an anomaly, unfortunately. Rather this is becoming something of a pattern in the Mountain West. The conference is now 1-11 in the first round since 2016. Three of those eleven losses in upsets.

The last team to traverse beyond the round of 64 was Nevada, when the Wolfpack lost in the Sweet 16 in 2018. That same year, San Diego State was bounced in the first round. Since arriving at the current lineup of schools, the Mountain West has amassed a NCAA tournament record of only 5-17 and sent just three teams beyond the round of 64. In addition to Nevada in 2018, San Diego State lost in the sweet 16 in 2014 and round of 32 in 2015.

This year, the Final Four consisted of the Big East, Big 12 and two teams from the ACC. In the title game, the Big 12 bested the ACC for the crown. While the Mountain West’s Final Four and championship game aspirations are admittedly lofty, even lesser goals are starting to seem equally out of reach for the conference.

In addition to being swept out of the NCAA tournament, Utah State lost in the first round of the NIT. The only post-season victories this year came at the hand of Fresno State in the Basketball Classic, meaning out of six teams from the conference that were invited to play post season basketball, only one found a way to win.

Fresno State not only found a way to win a game, however, the Bulldogs were named the Champions of the Basketball Classic after beating Eastern Washington, Youngstown State, Southern Utah, and Coastal Carolina. This post-season run was certainly uncharacteristic for the conference, and even though it didn’t happen in Big Dance Fresno State certainly does deserve credit for becoming the one out of six teams across three tournaments to have any success. Even with Fresno State’s impressive championship run however, the entire postseason record for the conference remains 4-5. Going 0-4 in the NCAA Tournament, 0-1 in the NIT and having an overall losing postseason record even after the Bulldogs win four straight for a Basketball Classic championship is not going to cut it for a conference that would like to continue to earn at-large bids.

The league’s inability to win postseason games could become a major problem for the conference. If the mountain west can’t figure out a way to consistently send teams beyond the first two rounds, it could risk losing some of the at-large bids that were given to the conference this year.

The Mountain West certainly earned the respect of the selection committee in 2022, but if the conference wants to keep that respect, it needs to start winning games. Going 0-6 in the past three tournaments, the conference is not putting together a compelling case to keep earning at-large bids.

Preparation for next march has already begun. For teams like Fresno State, Nevada, and Utah State, the expectation is to improve and find their way into the tournament. For teams like UNLV and New Mexico, the mandate is to return to their former heights, with ceilings as high as nearly any team in the country. Of course, for the Aztecs, Broncos, Cowboys, and Rams, the goal is not only to return but to advance beyond the round of 64.

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Wyoming Lands Three Pac-12 Transfers

Cowboys Sign 3 PAC-12 Transfers to Bolster Roster Contact/Follow @Bangle94 & @MWCwire Jeff Linder brings in 3 PAC-12 Transfers to put the LA in (LA)ramie. Fresh off of receiving a new contract Jeff Linder went to work, improving a Wyoming team that …

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Cowboys Sign 3 PAC-12 Transfers to Bolster Roster


Contact/Follow @Bangle94 & @MWCwire

Jeff Linder brings in 3 PAC-12 Transfers to put the LA in (LA)ramie.

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Fresh off of receiving a new contract Jeff Linder went to work, improving a Wyoming team that made it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Larry Shyatt led the Cowboys there in 2015. After losing several players to the transfer portal Jeff Linder got commitments from three PAC-12 players and drastically changed the Offseason for the Cowboys.

After a surprise run to the NCAA tournament, the Wyoming Cowboys faced a lot of uncertainty about the future of the Basketball program as the season came to a close. How would the Cowboys be affected by the transfer portal? Would Hunter Maldonado and Drake Jeffries return for one more year? What about Jeff Linder? Would the coach that turned the program around in two years return to Laramie? One by one those answers started to come. Four players entered the Transfer Portal: John Grigsby, Deng Dut, Ben Bowen, and Eoin Nelson.

Wyoming will almost be a Pac-12 basketball team in 2023: 2 Trojans, 1 UCLA Bruin

Drake Jeffries announced that he would not be returning to the Cowboys in order to pursue a professional career in basketball. Hunter Maldonado announced that he would go through the NBA Evaluation process, and retain his last year of eligibility. Jeff Linder signed a new contract for a significant pay raise making him the head coach for the Cowboys until 2027. Fresh off of his new contract Jeff Linder hit the recruiting trail and pulled off arguably one of the best transfer hauls in all of college basketball this weekend.

On Friday, April 8th Ethan Anderson (USC), Max Agbonkpolo (USC), and Jake Kyman (UCLA) visited Laramie. Ethan Anderson posted on his social media stories a video of him outside of the Arena-Auditorium, and within an hour Jeff Linder and his tweeted out:

Within the hour Ethan Anderson posted this:

The Wyoming sphere on Twitter was buzzing. Ethan Anderson filled a big need for the Cowboys going into next year at the point and will take a huge load off of Hunter Maldonado if he decides to return. Optimism going into next year was starting to simmer when Jeff Linder and his Staff took to Twitter again:

Within the next hour Max Agbonkpolo posted this to his Instagram account:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CcIuS1-OJys/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Agbonkpolo and Anderson both bring tremendous athleticism and defensive prowess to the Cowboys, as well as Chemistry they have built over several years as teammates. The Buzz around Cowboy Basketball began to roar as the night came to an end. Jeff Linder, however, had one more trick (or player) up his sleeve and come Saturday Morning he and his staff took to Twitter again:

Shortly thereafter Jake Kyman tweeted this out

In less than 24 hours Jeff Linder got three players to leave the sun and beaches of Los Angeles for the High Plains of Laramie. Anderson, Agbonkpolo, and Kyman all figure to contribute for the Cowboys immediately next year, and the depth that they provide will help to push the Cowboys to the next level. College Basketball writers across the country are taking notice too, not just those who follow the Cowboys:

Wyoming Basketball and Jeff Linder aren’t sleeping on their laurels going into next season. Jeff Linder and his staff are positioning the Cowboys as potential conference favorites, and setting up for a potentially deep post season run.

Time will tell, but it certainly seems that Jeff Linder is earning every bit of his new contract.

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Way Too Early 2022-23 College Basketball Rankings

Way Too Early 2022-23 College Basketball Rankings What is in store for Mountain West hoops next year? Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire Where do MW teams rank next year? The 2021-22 Mountain West basketball season was very fun, frustrating, …

Way Too Early 2022-23 College Basketball Rankings


What is in store for Mountain West hoops next year?


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Where do MW teams rank next year?

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The 2021-22 Mountain West basketball season was very fun, frustrating, exciting, and disappointing. Four teams made the NCAA Tournament which was great, but they all fell in the first round so that was disappointing. Fresno State made a deep run and won The College Basketball Tournament, but Utah State lost at home to Oregon in the NIT.

The season was up and down, which is nice.

With the national title game in the rear-view mirror and every major outlet putting out their first look at the top 25.

These will be changes with players going pro, transferring, and just testing the NBA waters and be returning to school.

In addition to the way-too-early top 25 rankings, we also take a look the early betting odds for the Mountain West. These are always a great value bet to place a few bucks in hopes of hitting it big.

Below are where the Mountain West teams are ranked or not ranked and a blurb from each outlet.

Heat Check CBB

25. San Diego State Aztecs

Projected 2022-23 lineup: Lamont ButlerAdam SeikoMatt BradleyKeshad JohnsonJaedon Ledee

Although the team has a pair of returning seniors, its success will hinge on Lamont Butler’s ability to succeed as the primary point guard with the departure of Trey Pulliam.

23. Colorado State Rams

Projected 2022-23 lineup: Isaiah StevensKendle MooreJohn TonjeDavid RoddyJames Moors

The biggest question facing Colorado State this spring is whether Heat Check CBB Third Team All-American forward David Roddy returns to campus. Assuming he does, the Rams have another team that should flirt with Top 25 publicity.

NCAA.com’s Andy Katz

23. San Diego State

The Aztecs are the most consistent program in the state of California and will be steered by Matt Bradley again — the Mountain West newcomer of the year. Lamont Butler and Keshad Johnson along with the possibility of Nathan Mensah back means the Aztecs will have the defensive ability to lock down again.

36. Wyoming

There is a chance Hunter Maldonado comes back. He will test the NBA draft process. If he comes back then the Pokes could be a Mountain West title contender again.

ESPN

The World Wide Leader shuts out the Mountain West in its top 25 but even the next five considered are not from the conference.

USA TODAY

25. Colorado State

Assuming the Rams bring back David Roddy (19.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg), they’ll be positioned to out-duel San Diego State in the Mountain West and stay in the national equation.

Sporting News

Another publication that is not a fan of the Mountain West and has zero teams in their early rankings.

CBS Sports

20. Colorado State

The Rams’ ranking is based on Colorado State’s top four scorers returning – among them Mountain West Conference Play of the Year David Roddy, who has declared for the NBA Draft but could return to school considering there’s no guarantee he’d be selected.

Busting Brackets

Honorable Mention: San Diego State Aztecs

With the news that 17 ppg scoring guard Matt Bradley is coming back, that automatically makes the Aztecs a contender in the Mountain West for next season.

No. 21 Colorado State

The Rams proved to be the one mid-major team not named Gonzaga that played up to expectations, getting a 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Junior forward David Roddy (19.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.9 apg) won Mountain West Player of the Year and is currently testing the NBA Draft waters, but odds are decent that he’ll come back for one more year.

If that happens, the duo of Roddy and Isaiah Stevens (14.7 ppg and 4.7 rpg) will once again have them in the top-25 range. And most of the supporting cast is set to return, including guard Kendle Moore, forward James Moor, and John Tonje, the team’s third-leading scorer from this year at 9.1 ppg.

Odds for the 2023 NCAA Tournament have opened and as far as Mountain West teams, San Diego State leads the list at +8000. Majority, if not all, of the US sportsbooks will have odds available for the tournament. Keep in mind that depending on the site, the odds will vary for each MW team so browse through each one to find the best value if you intend to get bets in this early.


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SP+ Predicts Nevada’s 2022 Football Schedule

SP+ Predicts Nevada’s 2022 Football Schedule Ken Wilson might struggle in year one. Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire What will the win total be for the Wolf Pack? Nevada has a new head coach in Ken Wilson and him coming from Oregon and back to …

SP+ Predicts Nevada’s 2022 Football Schedule


Ken Wilson might struggle in year one.


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

What will the win total be for the Wolf Pack?

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Nevada has a new head coach in Ken Wilson and him coming from Oregon and back to Reno, will be a bit of a shock. The Wolf Pack lost a lot of talent to the portal with quite a few following Jay Norvel who is now the head coach at Colorado State.

Wilson will need a while to get his feet settled and it could take a few years.

An Early Preview At The 2022 Nevada Football Schedule

Bill Connelly’s first edition of SP+ recently came out with its first edition of where teams are ranked heading into the 2022 season. Now we will use those numbers to predict the record of each Mountain West school, and then determine who is expected to be the very early champion.

Nevada’s SP+ starts out as 120th and their projected record is 3-9.

Aug 27th: at New Mexico State (SP+: 131 | WIN)

September 3rd: vs. Texas State (SP+: 118 | LOSS)

September 10th: vs. Incarnate Word (SP+: N/A | WIN)

September 17th: @ Iowa (SP+: 26 | LOSS)

September 24th @ Air Force (SP+: 65 | LOSS)

October 8th:  vs. Colorado State (SP+: 86 | LOSS)

October 15th:  @ Hawaii (SP+: 122 | WIN)

October 22nd:  vs San Diego State (SP+: 67 | LOSS)

October 29th:  @ San Jose State (SP+: 96 | LOSS)

November 5th: BYE

November 12th: vs. Boise State (SP+: 43 | LOSS)

November 19th: vs Fresno State (SP+: 39 | LOSS)

November 26th:  @  UNLV (SP+: 109 | LOSS)


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