Mid-Major Report: Gonzaga Opens Up On Top

The Mid-Major Report is back for the 2017-18 college basketball season.  The season has gotten off to a great start.  So many great games have been played, and there are so many more to come  Conference play is just around the corner and we have all you need to know about your favorite mid-major teams.

Rankings:

1.) Gonzaga (7-2)

Yes, I guess the ‘Zags are a mid-major. Mark Few’s team did not look great against Villanova, but the Wildcats are one of the best teams in the country this year and I think Johnathan Williams and co would give ‘Nova a game if they play again. The Bulldogs’ next matchup will be on Sunday at Washington.

2.) Nevada (8-1)

The Wolf Pack are one of the most entertaining teams to watch in college hoops. They move the ball well, take good shots, and play good defense which is why they’ve gotten off to such a strong start. Caleb Martin has been a stud this year, but Nevada has six guys averaging at least six points a game. Texas Tech was a tough loss on Tuesday, but this group has a chance to bounce back on Friday against No. 20 TCU.

3.) Rhode Island (5-2)

The Rams are holding their own without star point guard E.C. Matthews. After losing to Virginia by 15 during Feast Week, but have been able to get nice wins against Brown and Providence. Fatts Russell is everyone’s new favorite player and has been a fun player to watch. Dan Hurley’s squad will have their hands full tonight against Alabama and Collin Sexton.

4.) Saint Mary’s (7-2)

The Gaels dropped some must win games at the Wooden Legacy, but they’ve been able to bounce back against two relatively weak teams. Jock Landale has been a beast, and should be in the conversation for national player of the year.

5.) Portland State (6-2)

The Vikings have surprised a lot of people by getting off to a great start.  Their only two losses have come to the hands of Duke and Butler.  Guards Deontae North and Bryce Canda have both gotten off to red hot starts each averaging over 15 points per game with North averaging 18.6.  The Vikings play two tough road opponents in Santa Clara and Oregon this upcoming week.

6.) San Diego State (7-2)

Brian Dutcher has had a phenomenal start in his first season as the Aztecs head coach.  SDSU has a great squad this year built around team play.  Four players average double figure in points.  Expect junior guard Devin Watson to emerge as the dominant player for the Aztecs as the season progresses.  The Aztecs play the California Golden Bears at home on Saturday.

7.) Saint Bonaventure (6-2)

Starting off the season without your best player is no easy task but the Bonnies have been up to the challenge.  They have truly embraced the “next man up” mentality.  Senior guard Matt Mobley has filled Adams scoring role by putting up 22.3 points per contest.  The Bonnies play against the Yale Bulldogs at home this weekend.

8.) Vermont (6-3)

Though their record is not glamorous, the Catamounts have had a solid start.  They have played a hard out of conference schedule with quality close losses at Kentucky and Marquette.  Just like San Diego State, Vermont relies on team play to get the job done.  The Catamounts play Northeastern and Siena this week.

Just Missed the Cut: Fresno State, Old Dominion, Davidson, UNLV, UT Arlington

Players of the Week:

Jock Landale, St. Mary’s: The 6-foot-11 Landale had 37 points and 18 rebounds in a win over Sacramento State on Monday night.

Tayler Persons, Ball State: In one of the biggest upsets in recent years, Persons finished with 24 points and hit the game winning 3 with 1.7 seconds in regulation to knock off No. 10 Notre Dame in South Bend.

Games to Watch:

Thursday, December 7

UT Arlington @ Northern Iowa (8:00 PM ET; ESPN3)

Friday, December 8

Nevada vs. TCU (Staples Center; 11:59 PM ET; ESPNU)