Here are four Mountain West Conference story lines to watch as the 2001-02 season unfolds:
Is this the breakthrough year for San Diego State?
|Tony Bland transferred from Syracuse to San Diego State.|
Coach Steve Fisher has high hopes with the addition of a couple of big-time transfers -- Tony Bland from Syracuse and Brandon Smith from Michigan. The Aztecs have also improved the strength of schedule, including a real test at Cameron Indoor Stadium against the Duke. There is a lot of excitement in Aztec Country.
Will New Mexico get back to the NCAA Tournament?
Coach Fran Fraschilla has a solid recruiting class to go along with a fine returning nucleus. Fans in Albuquerque have something to be excited about. With the addition of Senque Carey to a team that also returns Ruben Douglas, Eric Chatfield and Marlon Parmer, Fraschilla has a lot to look forward to.
How will Utah fare with Rick Majerus returning to full-time coaching status?
It's great to see Majerus returning to the sidelines. He is such a great motivator, and Utah will be improved with his presence. His staff did as good a job as possible under last year's difficult situation.
Can coach Charlie Spoonhour return UNLV to prominence?
The Runnin' Rebels settled on Spoonhour, and it will be interesting to see if his style of play fits in with the fans. Will the slower tempo be accepted in Vegas? He will bring discipline and he knows how to communicate good shot selection.