Jan. 25, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
WEEK 10 REVIEW
Home teams prevailed in midweek MWC men's basketball action in Week 10, posting an
unblemished 4-0 mark. On Tuesday, New Mexico played its third overtime contest in
three weeks, holding off Utah for a 77-67 victory, while Air Force pushed its home win
streak to five games with a 75-59 triumph over Colorado State. On Wednesday, BYU
stretched its home win streak to 41 games, knocking league-leading San Diego State from
the ranks of the MWC unbeaten with a narrow 59-56 win, while UNLV beat Wyoming
(78-71) for its sixth consecutive home victory.
On Saturday, TCU and Utah kick off the day's action in Salt Lake City with a 12 p.m. MT
tipoff on The Mtn., followed by UNLV at San Diego State in a VERSUS-televised outing
at 1 p.m. PT. Colorado State visits Wyoming in a CSTV-televisted meeting at 2 p.m. MT,
while New Mexico and BYU close out the day's slate with a 4 p.m. MT contest in Provo
that will air on The Mtn.
MWC ON TELEVISION
The 2007-08 MWC men's basketball package features a minimum of 100 games on national
and regional television, including 27 to be broadcast nationally with 19 on CSTV and seven
on VERSUS. Sixty-three of the 72 conference match-ups, and seven of eight MWC
Championship contests are included in the television package. Seventy-five games will be
shown on The Mtn. - MountainWest Sports Network, and two of the 100 televised contests
will feature simulcasts on The Mtn. and CSTV.
NEWCOMERS HAVING AN IMPACT
Several MWC newcomers are making their mark this season as five junior college transfers
(Colorado State's Marcus Walker and Willis Gardner, San Diego State's Ryan Amoroso
and TCU's Henry Salter and John Ortiz) and two freshmen (SDSU's Billy White and
BYU's Chris Collinsworth) find themselves ranked among the Conference's scoring
and/or rebounding leaders. Walker leads the league in scoring (17.6 ppg), while Gardner
is 16th (12.0 ppg). Salter is the Horned Frogs' top scorer (15.4 ppg) and rebounder (5.5
rpg), ranking fourth and tied for 11th in the league, respectively, while Ortiz is 13th with
a 5.4 rebounding average. Amoroso, the 2007-08 MWC Preseason Newcomer of the Year,
is ranked eightth in rebounding (6.0 rpg), while White is 10th (5.6 rpg) and Collinsworth
is 16th with 5.2 rebounds per game.
MWC SCORING LEADERS
Seven of the eight leading scorers in the MWC are juniors, led by Colorado State's Marcus
Walker (17.6 ppg). Overall, the junior class accounts for 13 of the league's top 20 scoring
averages. Air Force's Tim Anderson (t7th/15.1 ppg) is the top-ranked senior, while BYU's
Jonathan Tavernari (14th/12.7 ppg) is the only sophomore of the group. In addition, San
Diego State's Billy White is contributing 8.3 points as the top freshman scorer.
STRONG OUT OF THE GATES
Mountain West teams have a combined 88-19 record in contests in which they hold a
halftime lead this season. New Mexico boasts a 14-2 overall record when holding the
advantage at intermission. In conference play, Air Force (3-0), BYU (2-0), TCU (1-0) and
UNLV (2-0) are all undefeated when taking a lead into the locker room.
Three Mountain West players are averaging 35 minutes or more a game this season.
Wyoming guards Brad Jones and Brandon Ewing, the league's top two ironmen a year
ago, are making a bid to repeat the effort in 2007-08 as Ewing leads the MWC with an
average of 38.12 minutes played, while Jones is third (35.69 mpg). Air Force's Tim
Anderson ranks second, averaging 35.83 minutes on the court.
With one non-conference opponent (Cal State-Bakersfield at Wyoming, Feb. 6) remaining
on the schedule, the Mountain West is on pace to record its ninth consecutive season with
an overall winning percentage of 61 percent or greater in non-conference play. Last year,
MWC teams combined to win a league-record 72.2 percent of their games outside of the
conference. This season, MWC teams own a collective 82-41 (66.7%) mark against nonleague
MWC QUICK HITS
- Air Force's Tim Anderson has averaged 21.3 points over the Falcons' last four home
games, converting 68.4 percent (26-of-38) of his field goals in those contests, including
52.6 percent (10-of-19) from 3-point range. Anderson has been especially effective
against MWC opponents in Clune Arena during that span, averaging 26.5 points on 76.2
percent field goal shooting in wins over UNLV and Colorado State.
- BYU teammates Trent Plaisted (15.5 ppg/8.9 rpg) and Lee Cummard (15.4 ppg/6.3
rpg) are currently the only two MWC players ranked among the league's Top 10 in both
scoring and rebounding. The duo also ranks among MWC leaders in field goal shooting
as Cummard has converted a league-high 55.3 percent (109-of-197) of his attempts while
Plaisted is second (112-of-206, 54.4%).
- Colorado State's Marcus Walker and Ronnie Aguilar have led the Rams in scoring and
rebounding each of the last six games, averaging 22.2 points and 10.7 rebounds,
respectively, during that span. Walker's offensive output has put him atop the league's
scoring leaders (17.6 ppg), while Aguilar is fifth on the rebounding chart (6.3 rpg) since
stepping in for injured starter Stuart Creason.
- New Mexico's J.R. Giddens has recorded four double-doubles in his last seven outings,
averaging 16.9 points and 10.7 rebounds during that seven-game span. Overall, the
senior guard has a league-high six double-dips this season and leads the Lobos in both
categories with 13.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
- San Diego State's Lorrenzo Wade is enjoying a hot streak of late, leading the Aztecs to
a 4-1 start in MWC action. The junior forward came into conference play averaging 14.2
points and 2.9 rebounds per game. In his five outings against league opponents, Wade
has registered three 20-point efforts and a double-double to give him 18.6 points and 8.6
rebounds per game over that span.
- TCU junior guard Henry Salter has converted no fewer than four 3-pointers in each of
his four games against MWC competition, going 17-of-27 (63.0%) from behind the arc
during that period. Overall, he has shot 60 percent or better from 3-point range in seven
games this season to lead the league and rank second nationally in trey percentage
- UNLV senior guard Wink Adams has converted 76-of-84 free throws to lead the league
and rank sixth nationally (90.5%). A career 78.4 percent free throw shooter, Adams has
been perfect from the charity stripe in 10 of 18 games this season.
- Utah sophomore Luka Drca has averaged 4.5 assists per game over his last eight
outings. He leads the team with 50 helpers, despite averaging just 19.4 minutes of
action off the bench.
- After having his 18-game double-figure scoring streak snapped in Wyoming's Jan. 19
loss to San Diego State, Brandon Ewing bounced back with a 26-point, nine-rebound
effort against UNLV on Wednesday. The junior guard currently ranks eighth on the
league's all-time scoring list with 1,336 career points.