ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mountain West Virtual Media Day for men’s basketball started Wednesday, and with it came the preseason poll. The San Diego State Aztecs were selected as the favorite to win the conference with Wyoming second and last year’s champion Boise State predicted to finish third. The Broncos are followed by Colorado State and New Mexico.
Richard Pitino is going into his second season with the Lobos. “I’m not surprised by it. I thought we’d be, you know, four or five or sixth range, just because of the backcourt guys that we have back,” said Pitino. “It’s good in the sense that we are picked closer to the top from a fan base engagement standpoint, selling tickets, getting people interested, great. But, at the end of the day we understand that there are some programs at the top of this league that are going to be very, very hard to catch up to.”
The Lobos landed one player on the Mountain West All-Conference team. Jamal Mashburn Jr. averaged over 18 points for the Lobos last season and was one of two Mountain West student-athletes to score in double figures in every Conference game. “It’s amazing,” said Mashburn. “I mean, I’ve been blessed. Definitely got to thank the man above. I work extremely hard so I’m just going to have to see it paying off a little bit. Hopefully it can payoff in some wins.”
Lobo fans are excited about Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House returning and creating a solid backcourt. With the addition of forwards, Wichita State transfer, Morris Udeze and, UMKC transfer, Josiah Allick, the Lobos will have more muscle in a frontcourt that was lacking last season.
Fans will get a chance to see the team at the Cherry and Silver Event scheduled for The Pit Friday night at 7 pm. The Lobos start the season with an exhibition game against CSU Pueblo on October 29.
2022-23 MOUNTAIN WEST PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points
- San Diego State (16) 216
- Wyoming (4) 204
- Boise State 166
- Colorado State 156
- New Mexico 136
- UNLV 110
- Fresno State 101
- Utah State 96
- Nevada 73
- San José State 35
- Air Force 27