The Mountain West is a two-team race, in everything
The Mountain West Conference released a preseason media poll of their own on Monday. In all honesty, it was a formality. Only two teams truly matter in the conference race.
San Diego State was picked to finish first, receiving 10 first place votes, with UNLV getting the other eight. San Diego State squeaked out the total votes race over UNLV, 153-151.
So yea, it’s basically telling us what we already know. No one is getting a word in edge-wise if it’s not a member of Steve Fisher or Dave Rice’s squads.
New Mexico was picked third, followed by (in order) Colorado State, Nevada, Wyoming, Fresno State, Boise State and Air Force.
Keeping with the theme, San Diego State guard Jamaal Franklin was tabbed as the MWC’s Preseason Player of the Year. The race between these two is so even, the media couldn’t decide who got Preseason Newcomer of the Year action (they give that out?), SDSU’s Dwyane Polee II (formerly of St. John’s) or UNLV’s Bryce Dejean-Jones (formerly of USC).
Finally, UNLV big man Anthony Bennett got the Preseason Freshman of the Year nod.
The only place anyone will see any players from a team outside of SDSU or UNLV is on the all-conference team and that’s only in two spots. Franklin and guard Chase Tapley made it from SDSU and Mike Moser was the obvious choice from UNLV. In fact, it’s kind of surprising he wasn’t player of the year. But Franklin is no doubt a worthy candidate as well. Kendall Williams from New Mexico and Deonte Burton of Nevada occupied those remaining two slots.
So there you go. It’s San Diego State or UNLV. Not much argument, and rightfully so. New Mexico lost a ton off last season’s team. And by a lot, I mean Drew Gordon. Colorado State is rebuilding in their first season under Larry Eustachy and Wyoming, while coming off a 20-win season, isn’t going to have the firepower to compete with the elite in the MWC just yet.
These two will settle the argument Jan. 16 at San Diego State, then exactly a month later, Feb. 16, at UNLV.