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Transfer of Power in Mountain West

San Diego State, Nevada, Colorado State to Battle for Conference Supremacy

The Mountain West race could be rather interesting. Colorado State was picked first in the Mountain West preseason poll but the scores and odds list San Diego State as the team to beat. Nevada is very much a title contender as well.

Keep an eye on UNLV as a team that could make life difficult for the conference favorites.

Cal transfer Matt Bradley ready to make his presence felt in Mountain West
Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

San Diego State Aztecs

  • Conference Odds: +175
  • National Title Odds: +8000

California transfer Matt Bradley, the Mountain West Conference preseason Newcomer of the Year, was the Aztecs’ leading scorer in its exhibition. He is expected to be one of San Diego State’s top offensive threats as the Aztecs go after a third consecutive Mountain West regular-season title. Duquesne transfer Chad Bake-Mazara is another key offensive piece.

Senior forward Nathan Mensah, senior guard Trey Pulliam, sophomore guard Lamont Butler and senior forward Tahirou Diabate will be contributors for the team picked in the college basketball odds to win the Mountain West title.

Another NCAA Tournament appearance could be in the cards for San Diego State.

Nevada Wolfpack

  • Conference Odds: +325
  • National Title Odds: N/A

Nevada returns eight players, including 2020-21 Mountain West Newcomer of the Year in point guard Grant Sherfield and All-Mountain West shooting guard Desmond Cambridge, Jr.

Sherfield, the 2021-22 MW Preseason Player of the Year, led the league in scoring (18.2) and assists (6.6) per game last season.

The college basketball picks consider Nevada as the top contender to San Diego State.

Colorado State Rams

  • Conference Odds: +375
  • National Title Odds: N/A

While the Las Vegas odds have two teams ahead of the Colorado State Rams, they were the preseason pick to the win Mountain West title, which is the first time in program history that the Rams topped the preseason poll.

Juniors David Roddy and Isaiah Stevens were named to the preseason All-Mountain West team after they both averaged more than 15 points a season ago to lead Colorado State to a 20-8 record and the NIT semifinals.

Colorado State returns its top seven scorers, with Kendle Moore, Adam Thistlewood and James Moors all starting more than 20 games last season. John Tonje, Dischon Thomas and Isaiah Rivera also return. Loyola-Chicago transfer Baylor Hebb should also be a key part of the rotation.

Boise State Broncos

  • Conference Odds: +750
  • National Title Odds: N/A

Boise State returns three starters and two All-Mountain West selections from a year ago. A school-record seven Broncos averaged at least eight points per game last season and five of them are back, marking the most returnees who averaged at least eight points the previous season since 1983-84.

Abu Kigab averaged 11.8 points and 5.4 rebounds and heads the list of returnees along with Marcus Shaver (10.6 points), Devonaire Doutrive (8.9), Emmanuel Akot (9.1) Mladen Armus (8.1 points, 7.8 rebounds) and key reserve Max Rice

Utah State Aggies

  • Conference Odds: +850
  • National Title Odds: N/A

First-year Utah State coach Ryan Odom welcomes back starters Justin Bean and Brock Miller. Bean is the only returning player in the Mountain West to average at least 11 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and one steal from a season ago.

There will be 10 newcomers on a team picked to finish fifth in the preseason Mountain West poll. Two of the transfers, senior forward Brandon Horvath and junior guard RJ Eytle-Rock, played for Odom at UMBC. Utah transfer Rylan Jones is another player to keep an eye on

UNLV Rebels

  • Conference Odds: +1400
  • National Title Odds: N/A

UNLV returns leading scorer Bryce Hamilton, who declared for the NBA draft before opting to return to school, and Marvin Coleman. Most of the other players to see the court will be new as the Rebels brought in nine transfers, including eight from the Division I level. At times it could look like a Big 12 squad as Victor Iwuakor (Oklahoma), Donavan Williams (Texas) Jordan McCabe (West Virginia) and Royce Hamm (Texas) transferred in from the Big 12.

If the transfers make significant contributions, this is a team that could move up in the Mountain West.

Fresno State Bulldogs

  • Conference Odds: +2500
  • National Title Odds: N/A

Fresno State returns all three of its double-figure scorers from last season. Orlando Robinson (14.6 points), Deon Stroud (12.2 points) and Isaiah Hill (10.3 points) will continue to lead the offense. Junior Ballard and Anthony Holland are also back after combining for nearly 13 points a season ago.

Jemarl Baker, who played for Kentucky and Arizona, is one of four newcomers to the Bulldogs’ 14-man roster.

Wyoming Cowboys

  • Conference Odds: +4000
  • National Title Odds: N/A

Hunter Maldonado leads a talented group of returning players for the Wyoming Cowboys after averaging 12.5 points last season. Graham Ike added 11.2 points per game. Xavier DuSell, who ranked sixth among freshmen with 57 three-pointers, and Kenny Foster each contributed more than nine points per game. Drake Jeffries, who ranked second on the team with 52 three-pointers, Hunter Thompson and Jeremiah Oden are other players to keep an eye out for.

New Mexico Lobos

  • Conference Odds: +10000
  • National Title Odds: N/A

Saquan Singleton is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a heart abnormality. The senior guard is the top returning scorer for New Mexico.

Sophomore guard Javonte Johnson and senior guard KJ Jenkins had 18 points each to lead the Lobos in its exhibition game against New Mexico Highlands. Jay Allen-Tovar, Jaelen House and Minnesota transfer Jamal Mashburn Jr. also scored in double digits in the win.

Air Force Falcons

  • Conference Odds: +22500
  • National Title Odds: N/A

Air Force, picked to finish last in the preseason Mountain West poll, returns starters AJ Walker, who had a team-high 15.3 points per game last season, and Nikc Jackson added 8.2 points per game. Three starters are gone, including double-digit scorer Chris Joyce. The Falcons have 11 freshmen on the roster. Only Arizona and Dayton have more freshmen among Division I men’s programs.

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