Mountain West Conference WiretapJanuary 2012 Mountain West Conference Wiretap

Mountain West Moves Into Top-5 Conference Rankings

Jan 24, 2012 11:59 AM

The Mountain West has moved into the top-five of ESPN's conference rankings, jumping over the ACC.

The Big Ten, Big 12, Big East and SEC comprise the top-four.

The MWC has San Diego State and UNLV in the top-15.

Evan Kaplan/ESPN

Tags: San Diego State Aztecs, UNLV Runnin' Rebels, Mountain West Conference, NCAA

Birch Feels Sense Of Belonging At UNLV

Jan 19, 2012 4:23 PM

UNVL transfer Khem Birch says he's already felt a sense of “belonging” that didn't exist in his semester stay at Pittsburgh.

“I didn't gel with my teammates, and the system wasn't right for me,” said Birch, who averaged 4.4 points and five rebounds per game in 10 games at Pitt, including six starts.

Birch believes his skills will be best utilized in an uptempo system.

“When I opened my recruitment, I wanted to go to a fast-paced team,” Birch said. “Right away UNLV came to mind because I saw that game and how they ran.”

Canadian Press

Tags: Khem Birch, Pittsburgh Panthers, UNLV Runnin' Rebels, Mountain West Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Shabazz Muhammad Seriously Considering UNLV

Jan 18, 2012 6:04 PM

Shabazz Muhammad is considering UCLA, Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, and Kansas, but is very intrigued by UNLV, according to Bishop Gorman teammate Demetris Morant.

“I think Shabazz is really considering going [there] because he feels that they’re a great team and everyone else sees that, too,” the UNLV-bound Morant, a 6-foot-8 power forward, said. “And they’re ranked in the nation.

“At first he wasn’t thinking about going there because he thought they wouldn’t be that good and he wouldn’t be looked at by [NBA] scouts. So he was mostly considering Kentucky, but now UNLV is in the top three.”

Muhammad confirmed his interest in the Runnin’ Rebels, pointing to the team's signing of Khem Birch as evidence that the program is moving in the right direction.

“Their program is really coming along,” the 6-foot-6 Muhammad said of UNLV. “I mean, they got Khem Birch, got some other recruits. Coach [Dave] Rice is doing a really good job. They’re a really good team, I’m really looking at them closely. They’re going to be a great team.”

Tags: Shabazz Muhammad, UNLV Runnin' Rebels, Mountain West Conference, High School, High School Recruiting, NCAA, NCAA Recruiting, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Khem Birch Blasts Former Pittsburgh Teammates

Jan 17, 2012 3:24 PM

UNVL transfer Khem Birch torched his former Pittsburgh teammates, claiming some players were more concerned about individual numbers than team success.

"I remember when some people didn't get what they wanted, during a half, if they didn't score a certain amount of points, during halftime, it would be silence from those players,” Birch said. “It wasn't like they were happy. Even if we were winning, they would just get mad because they didn't get what they wanted."

Birch said he never felt comfortable at Pittsburgh.

“I felt like, just coming in as an All-American, they didn't try to embrace me or anything,” Birch said. “I think some felt threatened.”

Sporting News

Tags: Khem Birch, Pittsburgh Panthers, UNLV Runnin' Rebels, American Athletic Conference, Mountain West Conference, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General