Category Archives: Mountain West

Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Mountain West Conference in 2018-19

McDaniels, Jalen
After an impressive freshman campaign, Jalen McDaniels is on the verge of becoming the next star at San Diego State. (Source: East Village Times)

SARNIA, Ont. — Could the 2019 NCAA Tournament be the year that the Mountain West bucks the trend of one bid and send multiple teams back to the tournament?

The last time that the Mountain West Conference had more than two teams in the NCAA Tournament was back in 2015. The Boise State Broncos were in the First Four, fighting for an 11-seed against the Dayton Flyers, while the Wyoming Cowboys earned a 12-seed as conference champions and the San Diego Aztecs earned an 8-seed as an at-large pick.

Last season, the Nevada Wolf Pack made a deep run into the NCAA Tournament after receiving an at-large bid into the Big Dance as the 7-seed in the South Regional. The San Diego Aztecs earned the automatic berth after winning the conference tournament, and they earned the 11-seed in the West Regional.

Heading into the 2018-19 season, many feel as though that this could be the second consecutive year that the conference sends multiple teams to the tournament. After last season, several teams will be without their star players and faces of the program. New players will step up and take on expanded roles, while key returnees should finally get the national attention they deserve.

From All-Conference selections to breakout freshmen, the Mountain West Conference is full of underrated players. We did our best to narrow the list down to 10 players to keep an eye on as the 2018-19 season quickly approaches.

Note: Players from the Nevada Wolf Pack weren’t listed because they have been the talk of the town all off-season long, therefore people should be familiar with their names by now. Also, it was too hard to narrow down since the roster is immensely talented this season. Continue reading Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Mountain West Conference in 2018-19

Five Teams to Watch Ahead of Conference Tournaments

Nelson, Tyler (3)
Tyler Nelson and the Fairfield Stags may be below .500 in MAAC play, but they can’t be counted out down the stretch and into the conference tournament. (Source: Fairfield Athletics) (Header: Times Union)

LONDON, Ont. — Move over football, it’s college basketball’s time to shine!

With Super Bowl 52 now a thing of the past, the attention in the sporting world shifts to college basketball and the March to Madness. With the conference races heating up all across the country, teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack as they look to punch their ticket to the Big Dance.

As we all know from history, not all things go according to plan. Teams atop the conferences right now aren’t guaranteed of a spot in the field of 68, as anything can happen come late-February and early March.

Every year, there are teams that come from the middle of conference standings to make a run at their respective conference tournament title. It will happen again this year, without question, and we will see a few surprise entrants in the bracket come Selection Sunday as conference champions.

Here are five teams who currently sit in the middle of the pack in their respective conferences that could make some noise down the stretch during the regular season and into the post-season.
Continue reading Five Teams to Watch Ahead of Conference Tournaments

Carlton Bragg Jr. Commits to New Mexico

Bragg, Carlton (2)
Former Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. (15) transferred from Arizona State without playing a game, and has committed to the New Mexico Lobos. (Source: KUSports.com) (Header: Kentucky Sports Radio)

ALBUQUERQUE, NM. — Paul Weir is at it again on the transfer market.

The New Mexico Lobos already have a pair of power conference transfers entering the fold next season. JaQuan Lyle, who transferred from the Ohio State Buckeyes, and Vance Jackson, formerly of the Connecticut Huskies, will both become eligible for the Lobos during the 2018-19 season.

On Thursday, Weir added another piece to the puzzle, and this one is a big piece that brings with him a ton of potential.

Transfer Carlton Bragg Jr. has committed to play for Paul Weir and the New Mexico Lobos. The news was first reported by Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports. Continue reading Carlton Bragg Jr. Commits to New Mexico

Nevada Hands Hawai’i Their First Loss of the Season

Sheriff Drammeh received a flagrant one in the second half, halting any positive momentum had against Nevada. (Source: Star Advertiser) (Header: Nevada Athletics)

HONOLULU — On a night where the ball just wasn’t bouncing their way, the Hawai’i Warriors fell to the Nevada Wolf Pack late Friday night, 67-54.

Only one Hawai’i player finished with double digits, and it came from guard Brocke Stepeau off the bench. Leland Green finished with nine points, and forwards Mike Thomas and Gibson Johnson both contributed eight points, respectively.

Caleb Martin led the Wolf Pack with 22 points and six rebounds, while brother Cody Martin added 16 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks in the win.

The Warriors could never get a good lead going at all in this game, as their dismal shooting kept them from gaining any traction on the Wolf Pack. Hawai’i bricked six in a row at one point mid-way through the first half. Continue reading Nevada Hands Hawai’i Their First Loss of the Season

Six early winners on the 2017 transfer market

C.J. Bryce surprised many with his decision to transfer from UNC Wilmington, but he made the NC State Wolfpack one of the biggest winners of the offseason. (Source: NBC Sports)

CALGARY, Alta. — So far this offseason, 728 players have transferred from their 2016-17 program, according to Verbal Commits.

That’s a fair number of players.

With that, rosters will look vastly different over the next two seasons, as graduate transfers take to the hardwood this season with their new programs, while others have to wait until the 2018-19 campaign to get into game action.

There have been some great additions for programs all across the country, and there have been some decisions that leave you scratching your head ans asking the age old question of ‘why’.

We took a look through all of the transfer decisions so far, and asked folks on Twitter to find out who are the biggest winners so far on the market. Below, you can find the six biggest winners on the 2017 transfer market so far.   Continue reading Six early winners on the 2017 transfer market

Building a 12-man roster from uncommitted transfers: Juniors, Part One

Elijah Brown is one of the top scoring guards on the transfer market this season, and is immediately eligible next season. (Source: New Mexico Athletics)

CALGARY, Alta. — Once again, the transfer list continually grows with each passing day.

According to Verbal Commits, the 2017 Division I transfer list has eclipsed 240 names, and that number will only continue to rise as the off-season rolls along.

For the record, the off-season doesn’t officially begin until Tuesday, April 4th, the day after the National Championship is decided.

With the high numbers of players finding themselves on the open market, testing the waters in the hopes of securing a scholarship at a school that better fits their needs, there a plethora of talented student-athletes on the list. From the power conferences and perennial national title contenders, right down to the smallest of schools, there are transfers from all across the country.

So, we got thinking. What would a team look like if it was built solely from uncommitted transfers?

We decided to dig a little deeper and see what kind of team we could come up with. The list was divided into each player’s year of eligibility, and then rosters were formed of players in the same year.

Here is the best roster that we could come up with for junior players who have transferred, but not yet committed to a new school.

As each week passes, and more players either transfer or commit to schools, we will alter the rosters on Tuesdays to accommodate the changes in the market. Continue reading Building a 12-man roster from uncommitted transfers: Juniors, Part One