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2019-20 Mountain West basketball: Team-by-team capsules, previews

Lobo Vance Jackson shoots a 3-pinter over Fresno State’s New Williams in the first half of their matchup during the 2018-19 season in Albuquerque. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

This Journal is publishing an 11-part series previewing UNM men’s basketball opponents for the coming season. The series includes articles and capsules on all Mountain West opponents published in the reverse order of the league’s preseason poll and concludes with capsules for each nonconference opponent.

San Jose State Spartans

Preview: SJSU season starts with ball security
2018-19: 4-27 (1-17 Mountain West, 11th)
2018-19 KenPom/NET ranking: 343/341
2019-20 preseason poll: 11th
Head coach: Jean Prioleau (8-53, 3rd season at SJSU and overall)
Starters/letterwinners returning: 2/8
vs. UNM: Jan. 1 in San Jose, Calif.; Jan. 21 in Dreamstyle Arena – the Pit

Wyoming Cowboys

Preview: Wyoming optimistic new stars will emerge
2018-19: 8-24 (4-14 Mountain West, 10th)
2018-19 KenPom/NET ranking: 317/323
2019-20 preseason poll: 10th
Head coach: Allen Edwards (51-52, 4th season at Wyoming and overall)
Starters/letterwinners returning: 4/8
vs. UNM: Dec. 7 in Laramie, Wyo.; Feb. 8 in Dreamstyle Arena – the Pit

Colorado State Rams

Preview: Carvacho back; Rams focus on defense
2018-19: 12-20 (7-11 Mountain West, t-7th)
2018-19 KenPom/NET ranking: 180/193
2019-20 preseason poll: 9th
Head coach: Niko Medved (12-20, 2nd season at CSU; 91-107, 7th season overall)
Starters/letterwinners returning: 4/5
vs. UNM: Jan. 15 in Fort Collins, Colo. (due to the MWC’s unbalanced schedule, UNM does not host CSU this season)

Air Force Falcons

Preview: Air Force hopes experience will help team soar
2018-19: 14-18 (8-10 Mountain West, 6th)
2018-19 KenPom/NET ranking: 243/244
2019-20 preseason poll: 8th
Head coach: Dave Pilipovich (88-122, 9th season at Air Force and overall)
Starters/letterwinners returning: 5/11
vs. UNM: Jan. 11 in Dreamstyle Arena – the Pit; Feb. 26 at the U.S. Air Force Academy

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels

Preview: Otzelberger tasked with returning UNLV to glory
2018-19: 17-14 (11-7 Mountain West, t-4th)
2018-19 KenPom/NET ranking: 165/159
2019-20 preseason poll: 7th
Head coach: T.J. Otzelberger (1st season at UNLV; 70-33, 4th season overall)
Starters/letterwinners returning: 2/6
vs. UNM: Jan. 18 in Las Vegas, Nev.; Feb. 15 in Dreamstyle Arena – the Pit

Fresno State Bulldogs

Preview: Fresno State confident it can replace stars
2018-19: 23-9 (13-5 Mountain West, 3rd)
2018-19 KenPom/NET ranking: 71/82
2019-20 preseason poll: 6th
Head coach: Justin Hutson (23-9, 2nd season at FS and overall)
Starters/letterwinners returning: 2/6
vs. UNM: Jan. 7 in Dreamstyle Arena – the Pit; Feb. 1 in Fresno, Calif.

Boise State Broncos

Preview: Boise State banking on a change of luck
2018-19: 13-20 (7-11 Mountain West, t-7th)
2018-19 KenPom/NET ranking: 139/149
2019-20 preseason poll: 5th
Head coach: Leon Rice (178-116, 10th season at BSU and overall)
Starters/letterwinners returning: 4/6
vs. UNM: Dec. 4 in Dreamstyle Arena – the Pit; Feb. 23 in Boise, Idaho

Nevada Wolf Pack

Preview: Alford, Neal reunite for reboot in Reno
2018-19: 29-5 (15-3 Mountain West, t-1st)
2018-19 KenPom/NET ranking: 27/27
2019-20 preseason poll: 4th
Head coach: Steve Alford (1st season at Nevada; 587-298, 29th season overall)
Starters/letterwinners returning: 0/3
vs. UNM: Jan. 25 in Reno, Nev.; Feb. 18 in Dreamstyle Arena – the Pit

New Mexico Lobos

2018-19: 14-18 (7-11 Mountain West, t-7th)
2018-19 KenPom/NET ranking: 188/191
2019-20 preseason poll: 3rd
Head coach: Paul Weir (33-33, 3rd season at UNM; 61-39, 4th season overall)
Starters/letterwinners returning: 3/9

San Diego State Aztecs

Preview: New guards should keep SDSU a title threat
2018-19: 21-13 (11-7 Mountain West, t-4th)
2018-19 KenPom/NET ranking: 125/116
2019-20 preseason poll: 2nd
Head coach: Brian Dutcher (43-24, 3rd season at SDSU and overall)
Starters/letterwinners returning: 2/7
vs. UNM: Jan. 29 in Dreamstyle Arena – the Pit; Feb. 11 in San Diego, Calif.

Utah State Aggies

Preview: Defending champs can’t fly under radar anymore
2018-19: 28-7 (15-3 Mountain West, t-1st)
2018-19 KenPom/NET ranking: 38/31
2019-20 preseason poll: 1st
Head coach: Craig Smith (28-7, 2nd season at USU; 179-91, 9th season overall)
Starters/letterwinners returning: 4/6
vs. UNM: Feb. 29 in Dreamstyle Arena – the Pit (due to the MWC’s unbalanced schedule, UNM does not play in Logan, Utah, this season)

Non-conference

Preview: Capsules of all UNM non-conference opponents

More links

• Preseason Mountain West poll story/list preseason
Geoff Grammer’s preseason MWC ballot

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