College basketball notes: San Diego State in talks to rejoin MWC
When Boise State elected to stay in the Mountain West, it seemed like a matter of time before its Big East-bound partner San Diego State did the same.
San Diego State's decision could come within the week.
Multiple media outlets, including ESPN and CBS Sports, have reported the school has been in close contact with the Mountain West in the last week, mulling over whether staying put is the right move for them. They've been reportedly looking over the conference's renegotiated television contracts and been talking to MWC officials about the terms of their return to a league they haven't yet left.
San Diego State has the first option on whether to join the league, as stipulated in Boise State's contract. The option is waived by Jan. 31.
MWC commissioner Craig Thompson has previously stressed a need for a relatively swift decision on the matter. If the Aztecs choose to stay in the conference, it would likely go to a 12-team league with divisions and a championship game.
The Big East also has much at stake in the next year. If San Diego State follows through with its move to become a football-only member this fall, the Big East would have 10 teams in its conference.
Freshmen helping ease pain for attrition-stung UCLA
Earlier this season, transfers and unexpected losses stung UCLA unexpectedly, as well as investigations into their star freshmen, Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson.
But now, the Bruins are 12-3 and undefeated so far in conference play. And their rookies have led them there.
Muhammad, ranked by some as the No. 1 high school prospect last season, has guided UCLA along with a team-high 19.6 points per game, good for second in the conference so far. He finished strong against Cal to push the Bruins to a win in the Pac-12 opener. His frosh backcourt mate Anderson is leading UCLA in rebounding and assists.
For a program that appeared to be in a tailspin early on in the year, the Bruins have seemingly recovered and remolded into a top program again in the Pac-12.
Gonzaga moves into top 10
The Bulldogs have achieved their highest ranking in the Associated Press and USA Today polls in a few years.
Gonzaga, now 15-1, landed at No. 9 and No. 8, respectively, following road wins over Oklahoma State, Pepperdine and Santa Clara last week. It's the first time since 2010 in the USA Today poll and since 2008 in the AP poll that the Bulldogs have had a single-digit ranking.
The program is the highest-ranked mid-major this week, as Creighton, San Diego State and Butler find themselves further down the list.
Bulldogs forward Kelly Olynyk was named the West Coast Conference player of the week after averaging 23.3 points per contest in the three victories last week.
Junior Carter dismissed from Seattle
Junior guard Sterling Carter has been dismissed from the Seattle basketball team, coach Cameron Dollar announced this week.
Carter was one of the Redhawks' more prolific shooters: His 170 3-pointers are second-most in program history. But the guard had missed a string of several games, including a Jan. 3 contest at Utah State.
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