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My 2014-15 MWC Hoops Preview

December 29, 2014

I feel obligated to do a preview just like everyone else does one. I don’t really like to do these because I think its more fun just to watch the season play out.

And I can guarantee that I’ll be pretty wrong on at least two teams. Because that’s how this stuff works. One team doesn’t meet expectations because of an important injury and another team overachieves because they find themselves improving at a faster rate than the others.

The Mountain West is not the conference it was 5 years ago. In fact, its not the conference it was 2 years ago when 5 out of 9 teams made the NCAA Tournament. That only happens when the conference is solid from top to bottom. Only Nevada was outside of the RPI Top 150 that season and they were capable of beating teams like Washington.

Fast forward to 2014-15 and the top of the conference is pretty much the usual suspects – San Diego State, Colorado State, Wyoming, UNLV, Boise State, New Mexico. But the middle has become watered down (Air Force, Utah State) And the bottom is oh so bad – Fresno State, Nevada, and San Jose State are all 200+ RPI squads.

Those crummy teams will cost the conference at least one bid to the NCAA. Either via an upset victory or by dragging down a good team’s RPI. Either way it points to one fact right now.

And that is that the decision to go to a 12 team MWC for the purpose of having a football playoff has severely impacted the quality of basketball in this conference.

Which is a complete shame from my perspective.

And with having so many teams, it means that the MWC can no longer play a true round-robin schedule. WHich means that a team may finish higher in the conference standings and earn a higher seed in the conference tournament because they played a weaker schedule.

But I’m not going to let these things get me down. Because the truth of the matter is that the MWC Conference race is awesome. Enough quality basketball and enough trips to some pretty difficult barns to make it difficult for any team to run away with the conference crown.

It all starts on New Year’s Eve. What a way to ring in the new year!

Expected Order of Finish

1. San Diego State (15-3)
2. Colorado State (13-5)
3. Boise State (12-6)
4. Wyoming (12-6)
5. UNLV (11-7)
6. New Mexico (11-7)
7. Utah State (9-9)
8. Air Force (8-10)
9. Fresno State (5-13)
10. Nevada (3-15)
11. San Jose State (0-18)

Player of the Year – Derrick Marks, Boise State
Freshman of the Year – Rashad Vaughn, UNLV
Newcomer of the Year – Stanton Kidd, CSU
Coach of the Year – Larry Eustachy, CSU
Defensive Player of the Year – WInston Shepard, SDSU

All-MWC First Team

Derrick Marks – Boise State
JJ Avila – Colorado State
Larry Nance – Wyoming
Christian Wood – UNLV
WInston Shepard – SDSU

One Comment leave one →
  1. Tim Miles permalink
    December 29, 2014 3:11 pm

    Where do you see my Nebraska team finishing? Thank goodness that Incarnete Word team or whatever isn’t in our conference. Do you think CSU would take me back? The honeymoon is over here in Lincoln and the farmers are getting restless. Time to move on.

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