Mountain West notebook: Nevada, Wyoming post big early wins
The non-conference basketball season started a little less than two weeks ago, and the Mountain West has done very well.
The Mountain West has compiled a 21-2 record. The only schools to lose a game are Utah State and San Jose State. Utah State lost by six to in-state rival Weber State.
The most impressive wins have been Wyoming’s 75-66 road win at Oregon State and University of Nevada, Reno’s 88-81 win over Rhode Island.
I would rate Wyoming’s ahead of Nevada’s win only because the Pack beat Rhode Island at home.
The Brian Dutcher era started at San Diego State, and the Aztecs pounded San Diego Christian, 91-52, in the opener.
“I’m proud of him,” said guard Jeremy Hemsley. “We talked about that before the game. I’m not sure I’d wait that long (18 years) to be a head coach.”
That remark brought some laughter and smiles from the assembled media.
“I thought we played well,” Dutcher said. “Offensively, our turnovers were a little up.”
Wyoming’s Hayden Dalton was the first MW Player of the Week after scoring 22 points in the win over Oregon State.
One would expect a Nevada player to get the next weekly award. Both Jordan Caroline and Cody Martin had tremendous games against Rhode Island and Santa Clara, and the Pack is living up to its preseason ranking among MW schools.
Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich and his wife, Kelly, donated $1,511 to the American Cancer Society. The Air Force coach and his wife had pledged to donate $1 for every fan in attendance at the season-opener against Texas State. The Falcons won the contest, improving to 4-2 in season openers, including a 2-0 mark at home.
The 3-point field goal has become a big weapon in college basketball.
UNLV has the longest MW streak of making a 3-point shot. The Rebels have scored a 3-pointer in 1,008 games. The last time UNLV failed to hit a 3-pointer was Jan. 25, 1986 against Long Beach State. The second-longest conference streak belongs to Boise State at 504. The last time the Broncos were blanked from long range was Dec. 30, 2001 against Louisiana Tech. Utah State sits in third with 358 games. The last time the Aggies didn’t record a 3-pointer was Dec. 16, 2006 at BYU.
The most interesting games this weekend are Friday.
Colorado State meets Tulane in the Jamaica Classic in Montego Bay, New Mexico visits New Mexico State and Fresno State faces Arkansas. The New Mexico-NMSU game matches new New Mexico coach Paul Weir against his former school. Weir left NMSU after just one season.
Wonder who has the NCAA postseason sites?
The first and second-round games will be played at PPG Paints Arena (Pittsburgh), Intrust Bank Arena (Wichita), American Airlines Center (Dallas), Taco Bell Arena (Boise), Spectrum Center (Charlotte), Little Caesars Arena (Detroit), Bridgestone Arena (Nashville) and Viejas Arena (San Diego).
The regional finals will be held at CenturyLink Center (Omaha), Staples Center (Los Angeles), Philips Arena (Atlanta) and TD Garden (Boston).
The Final 4 is at the Alamodome.
One has to wonder when or if the new arena in San Francisco will be considered for a first and second-round site or a regional site. Ditto for Sacramento’s new downtown arena.