2013 Mountain West Tournament Preview

The Mountain West tournament kicks off tonight with Wyoming and Nevada battling for the right to play New Mexico tomorrow. The Mountain West has been one of the best leagues to watch this season. The top 5 teams all had 20 wins and conference records over .500. The tournament is in Vegas, which should give UNLV a slight advantage, but the field should be wide open. Don't let the odd setup of a 9 team tournament taking 5 days to complete bother you. Buckle up and enjoy the ride. 

 

Let's take a look at the conference leaders. Stats are conference games only. 

Points

  1. Anthony Drmic 18.8
  2. Michael Lyons 17.6
  3. Jamaal Franklin 16.9

Free Throw Shooting %

  1. Wes Eikmeier 94.5%
  2. Mike Fitzgerald 86.9%
  3. Tony Snell 83.7%

3 Pointers Made (3 Pt %)

  1. Malik Story 43 (35.5%)
  2. Anthony Drmic 37 (37.4%)
  3. Derrious Gilmore 35 (32.7%)
  4. Jeff Elorriaga 35 (41.7%)

Rebounding

  1. Colton Iverson 10.4
  2. Jamaal Franklin 8.9
  3. Alex Kirk 8.8

Assists

  1. Anthony Marshall 6.4
  2. Kendall Williams 5.3
  3. Dorian Green 4.1

Assist/Turnover Ratio

  1. Pierce Hornung 3
  2. Todd Fletcher 2.6
  3. Jeff Elorriaga 2.6

Steals

  1. Hugh Greenwood 25
  2. Jamaal Franklin 24
  3. Leonard Washington 23

Blocks

  1. Khem Birch 48
  2. Alex Kirk 36
  3. Leonard Washington 27
  4. Skylar Spencer 27

Team leaders 

Possessions

  1. UNLV 67
  2. San Diego State 66
  3. Boise State 65
  4. Colorado State 65
  5. Nevada 65
  6. New Mexico 65
  7. Air Force 64
  8. Fresno State 62
  9. Wyoming 60

Points Per Possession – Offense

  1. Colorado State 1.12
  2. Air Force 1.05
  3. Boise State 1.05
  4. New Mexico 1.04
  5. San Diego State 1.03
  6. UNLV 0.99
  7. Nevada 0.96
  8. Fresno State 0.94
  9. Wyoming 0.90

Offensive Efficiency

  1. Colorado State 111.8
  2. Boise State 105.3
  3. Air Force 104.6
  4. New Mexico 103.8
  5. San Diego State 102.9
  6. UNLV 98.6
  7. Nevada 95.7
  8. Fresno State 94
  9. Wyoming 89.9

Points Per Possession – Defense

  1. New Mexico 0.93
  2. UNLV 0.94
  3. San Diego State 0.96
  4. Colorado State 1.01
  5. Fresno State 1.01
  6. Wyoming 1.01
  7. Boise State 1.04
  8. Air Force 1.08
  9. Nevada 1.1

Opponent Offensive Efficiency

  1. New Mexico 93.3
  2. UNLV 94.4
  3. San Diego State 95.5
  4. Fresno State 100.5
  5. Colorado State 101.1
  6. Wyoming 101.3
  7. Boise State 103.6
  8. Air Force 108.4
  9. Nevada 110.2

Nevada is bad at defense. 

Before we get to my prediction, here is a breakdown of all 9 teams by seed. 

#1 New Mexico Lobos

Record: 26-5, 13-3

RPI: 2

Ken Pom: 26

Ken Pom Offense: 58

Ken Pom Defense: 19

Minutes

  • Kendall Williams 33.9
  • Tony Snell 32.5
  • Alex Kirk 31

Points

  • Kendall Williams 13.1
  • Tony Snell 13.1
  • Alex Kirk 12.9

FT %

  • Tony Snell 83.7%
  • Kendall Williams 70.6%
  • Alex Kirk 70.5%

3 Pointers Made (3 Pt %)

  • Tony Snell 30 (39%)
  • Kendall Williams 25 (37.3%)
  • Hugh Greenwood 20 (36.4%)

Rebounds

  • Alex Kirk 8.8
  • Cameron Bairstow 6
  • Hugh Greenwood 4.9

Assists

  • Kendall Williams 79
  • Tony Snell 45
  • Hugh Greenwood 41

Steals

  • Hugh Greenwood 25
  • Kendall Williams 18
  • Tony Snell 14

Blocks

  • Alex Kirk 36
  • Cameron Bairstow 9
  • Tony Snell 8

Why they would win the tournament: New Mexico won the league. They have the best defense. They have the relatively easiest draw. They are the best team. The best team should win. 

Why they will lose: New Mexico lost 2 conference games. Both were on the road. One was to potential semi-final mate San Diego State. The other was at UNLV. 

#2 Colorado State Rams

Record: 22-7, 11-5

RPI: 15

Ken Pom: 20

Ken Pom Offense: 6

Ken Pom Defense: 93

Minutes

  • Dorian Green 33.5
  • Wes Eikmeier 32.4
  • Colton Iverson 31.4

Points

  • Colton Iverson 14.7
  • Wes Eikmeier 14.2
  • Dorian Green 13.4

FT %

  • Wes Eikmeier 94.5%
  • Dorian Green 78.9%
  • Jonathan Octeus 75%

3 Pointers Made (3 Pt %)

  • Wes Eikmeier 27 (35.5%)
  • Dorian Green 25 (35.2%)
  • Daniel Bejarano 12 (26.7%)

Rebounding

  • Colton Iverson 10.4
  • Pierce Hornung 8.6
  • Greg Smith 5.1

Assists

  • Dorian Green 65
  • Pierce Hornung 42
  • Wes Eikmeier 29

Steals

  • Pierce Hornung 21
  • Daniel Bejarano 12
  • Colton Iverson / Wes Eikmeier 10

Blocks

  • Colton Iverson 10
  • Pierce Hornung 6
  • Greg Smith 4

Why they could win: Colorado State has a great offense. They rebound like gangbusters. Rebounding is something that travels. Most of the Rams losses came to teams on the other side of the bracket. 

Why they could lose: One of Colorado State's losses was at UNLV. 4 of the 5 conference losses were on the road. The suspect defense could hurt them. 

#3 UNLV Rebels

Record: 22-8, 10-6

RPI: 23

Ken Pom: 34

Ken Pom Offense: 92

Ken Pom Defense: 15

Minutes

  • Anthony Marshall 36
  • Katin Reinhardt 29
  • Bryce Dejean-Jones 27.1

Points

  • Anthony Bennett 12.1
  • Anthony Marshall 11.2
  • Bryce Dejean-Jones 10.4

FT %

  • Katin Reinhardt 90.5% (21 attempts)
  • Bryce Dejean-Jones 72.7%
  • Khem Birch 68.2%

3 Pointers Made (3 Pt %)

  • Katin Reinhardt 32 (38.1%)
  • Anthony Marshall 18 (30.5%)
  • Bryce Dejean-Jones 17 (34.7%)

Rebounding

  • Anthony Bennett 7.2
  • Khem Birch 5.8
  • Mike Moser 5.2

Assists

  • Anthony Marshall 102
  • Katin Reinhardt 37
  • Bryce Dejean-Jones 37

Steals

  • Justin Hawkins 18
  • Anthony Marshall 17
  • Bryce Dejean-Jones 15

Blocks

  • Khem Birch 48
  • Anthony Bennett 18
  • Mike Moser 11

Why they could win: Outside of the head scratching loss to Fresno State in the finale, UNLV had played very well at home this season. UNLV always seems to receive boost from the home crowd. Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State and Boise State all lost to the Rebels in Vegas. 

Why they could lose: Air Force gave UNLV fits both times they played. UNLV won at home in overtime, but got smoked at Air Force. The Rebs have some trouble scoring and that could send them packing. They've been held in the 50s each of their last 3 losses. 

#4 San Diego State Aztecs

Record: 19-9, 9-7

RPI: 31

Ken Pom: 27

Ken Pom Offense: 65

Ken Pom Defense: 14

Minutes

  • Jamaal Franklin 34.5
  • Chase Tapley 32
  • JJ O'Brien 28.5

Points

  • Jamaal Franklin 16.9
  • Chase Tapley 11.6
  • JJ O'Brien 9

FT %

  • Xavier Thames 81.2%
  • Jamaal Franklin 76.8%
  • Chase Tapley 74.2%

3 Pointers Made (3 Pt %)

  • Chase Tapley 26 (30.6%)
  • Jamaal Franklin 20 (26.3%)
  • James Rahon 16 (30.8%)

Rebounding

  • Jamaal Franklin 8.9
  • JJ O'Brien 5.6
  • DeShawn Stephens 4.8

Assists

  • Chase Tapley 49
  • Jamaal Franklin 44
  • Winston Shepard 36

Steals

  • Jamaal Franklin 24
  • Chase Tapley 18
  • DeShawn Stephens 14

Blocks

  • Skylar Spencer 27
  • Jamaal Franklin 12
  • DeShawn Stephens 8

Why they could win: San Diego State is on the NCAA tournament bubble. They need a win or two to be comfortable. They have defeated both Boise State and New Mexico. 

Why they could lose: The last 2 San Diego State losses were to Boise State and New Mexico. They have lost 5 road games in a row. The Aztecs lost 6 of their 8 conference road games. 

#5 Boise State Broncos

Record: 19-9, 9-7

RPI: 37

Ken Pom: 48

Ken Pom Offense: 24

Ken Pom Defense: 90

Minutes

  • Anthony Drmic 34.9
  • Jeff Elorriaga 34.4
  • Derrick Marks 30.9

Points

  • Anthony Drmic 18.8
  • Derrick marks 16.5
  • Jeff Elorriaga 9.3

FT %

  • Anthony Drmic 82.8%
  • Derrick Marks 78.7%
  • Ryan Watkins 66.7%

3 Pointers Made (3 Pt %)

  • Anthony Drmic 37 (37.4%)
  • Jeff Elorriaga 35 (41.7%)
  • Mikey Thompson 14 (41.2%)

Rebounding

  • Ryan Watkins 6.6
  • Kenny Buckner 5.6
  • Anthony Drmic 4.6

Assists

  • Derrick Marks 58
  • Anthony Drmic 32
  • Jeff Elorriaga 26

Steals

  • Derrick Marks 21
  • Igor Hadziomerovic 14
  • Jeff Elorriaga 14

Blocks

  • Derrick Marks 8
  • Ryan Watkins 5
  • Igor Hadziomerovic 5

Why they could win: Boise State is also fighting for their NCAA tournament lives. They just beat San Diego State. The Broncos are the best 3 point shooting team by percentage in the league. They can get the shots to fall and upset anyone. 

Why they could lose: Everyone in this league has trouble on the road. Boise State was swept by New Mexico, who they would potentially face on Friday night. 

#6 Air Force Falcons

Record: 15-12, 8-8

RPI: 72

Ken Pom: 82

Ken Pom Offense: 26

Ken Pom Defense: 194

Minutes

  • Michael Lyons 33.7
  • Todd Fletcher 33.6
  • Mike Fitzgerald 31.5

Points

  • Michael Lyons 17.6
  • Mike Fitzgerald 11.4
  • Todd Fletcher 9.9

FT %

  • Mike Fitzgerald 86.9%
  • Michael Lyons 75.9%
  • Taylor Broekhuis 62.5%

3 Pointers Made (3 Point %)

  • Todd Fletcher 32 (45.1%)
  • Michael Lyons 25 (29.4%)
  • Mike Fitzgerald 20 (40%)

Rebounding

  • Mike Fitzgerald 4.1
  • Taylor Broekhuis 3.6
  • Todd Fletcher 3.3

Assists

  • Todd Fletcher 58
  • Michael Lyons 37
  • Mike Fitzgerald 28

Steals

  • Michael Lyons 16
  • Todd Fletcher 13
  • Mike Fitzgerald 9

Blocks

  • Taylor Broekhuis 10
  • Kamryn Williams 6
  • Michael Lyons 3

Why they could win: Air Force is a very, very dangerous team on the offensive end. They play a different style and could stymie their way through the bracket. They have defeated Vegas and Colorado State.

Why they could lose: Air Force is brutal defensively. While they did give UNLV fits, Colorado State blew them out once and swept them. Their only conference road win was against Wyoming. 

#7 Fresno State Bulldogs

Record: 9-18, 5-11

RPI: 123

Ken Pom: 100

Ken Pom Offense: 202

Ken Pom Defense: 40

Minutes

  • Tyler Johnson 31.1
  • Allen Huddleston 25.6
  • Marvelle Harris 25.4

Points

  • Tyler Johnson 13.1
  • Kevin Foster 10.4
  • Allen Huddleston 9.3

FT %

  • Tyler Johnson 71.7%
  • Braeden Anderson 70.8%
  • Kevin Foster 70.5%

3 Pointers Made (3 Pt %)

  • Kevin Olekaibe 32 (38.1%)
  • Allen Huddleston 20 (29.4%)
  • Kevin Foster 19 (45.2%)

Rebounding

  • Kevin Foster 6.1
  • Tyler Johnson 4.7
  • Jerry Brown 4.1

Assists

  • Marvelle Harris 31
  • Tyler Johnson 30
  • Allen Huddleston 25

Steals

  • Jerry Brown 20
  • Allen Huddleston 18
  • Kevin Olekaibe 16

Blocks

  • Robert Upshaw 18
  • Kevin Foster 9
  • Jerry Brown 8

Why they could win: Fresno State has a good defense. They have won 2 in a row. They are playing their best ball of the season. They swept potential second round mate UNLV. 

Why they could lose: Fresno State doesn't have offensive firepower to sustain over 3 games. They haven't scored 70 points since December 22. They also aren't very good. That's why they are the 7 seed. 

#8 Wyoming Cowboys

Record: 16-12, 4-12

RPI: 70

Ken Pom: 94

Ken Pom Offense: 171

Ken Pom Defense: 51

Minutes

  • Derrious Gilmore 34.5
  • Riley Grabau 33.8
  • Larry Nance Jr 32.3

Points

  • Derrious Gilmore 11.9
  • Leonard Washington 11.9
  • Larry Nance 7.8

FT %

  • Derrious Gilmore 72.7%
  • Nathan Sobey 67.9%
  • Larry Nance 67.4%

3 Pointers Made (3 Pt %)

  • Derrious Gilmore 35 (32.7%)
  • Riley Grabau 26 (36.6%)
  • Nathan Sobey 14 (43.8%)

Rebounding

  • Leonard Washington 8.8
  • Larry Nance 6.4
  • Derek Cooke Jr 3.6

Assists

  • Derrious Gilmore 36
  • Riley Grabau 36
  • Josh Adams 23

Steals

  • Leonard Washington 23
  • Larry Nance 20
  • Derrious Gilmore 18

Blocks

  • Leonard Washington 27
  • Larry Nance 14
  • Josh Adams / Derek Cooke 4

Why they could win: The other teams could just be awful for a week. 

Why they could lose: The Cowboys have lost 5 in a row. They were swept by New Mexico. 

#9 Nevada Wolfpack 

Record: 11-18, 3-13

RPI: 169

Ken Pom: 166

Ken Pom Offense: 135

Ken Pom Defense: 200

Minutes

  • Deonte Burton 37.7
  • Malik Story 34.7
  • Jerry Evans Jr 29.4

Points

  • Malik Story 16.4
  • Deonte Burton 16.1
  • Jerry Evans 7.6

FT %

  • Devonte Elliot 77.3%
  • Marqueze Coleman 77.1%
  • Jerry Evans 73.7%

3 Pointers Made (3 Point %)

  • Malik Story 43 (35.5%)
  • Deonte Burton 18 (30.5%)
  • Jerry Evans 12 (33.3%)

Rebounding

  • Jerry Evans 5.9
  • Kevin Panzer 4.3
  • Jordan Burris 4

Assists

  • Deonte Burton 64
  • Malik Story 33
  • Jerry Evans 15

Steals

  • Deonte Burton 15
  • Jerry Evans 15
  • Malik Story 14

Blocks

  • Jordan Burris 11
  • Devonte Elliot 10 
  • Kevin Panzer 7

Why they could win: Act of god, maybe. 

Why they will lose: They are the worst team in the league. They were swept by Wyoming. They have no chance to run the table. 

Predictions

Tuesday

Wyoming 67 Nevada 50

Wednesday

UNLV 70 Air Force 68

Colorado State 74 Fresno State 55

New Mexico 68 Wyoming 47

Boise State 66 San Diego State 65

Friday 

UNLV 73 Colorado State 71

New Mexico 64 Boise State 54

Saturday

UNLV 69 New Mexico 66

Scott

About Scott

I write Bearcats Blog and also on Run the Floor.

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