3-point shot: Utah State fits Mountain West

1. Air Force’s flirtation with taking its football to the Big East and placing the rest of its other sports in another conference sounds easy enough. The hodge-podge WAC with Denver as a new member in 2012 makes sense for an AFA home. But why would the WCC or the MVC want Air Force? Conferences expand either out of necessity, desperation or to improve. Air Force basketball wouldn’t improve the WCC or MVC. Neither league needs Air Force. Yes, AFA and BYU could pair up in the WCC. Still, it doesn’t do much. And in the Valley, every trip to AFA, except maybe from Creighton in Omaha, would be a flight.

2. Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes said the Aggies would be interested in replacing Air Force in the Mountain West if the Falcons bolt. Now this is a move both sides should support. The MWC can get the state of Utah back in its footprint. Utah State basketball is an upgrade over any other recent addition (Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada). Utah State would immediately be a contender with UNLV, New Mexico and San Diego State every season (waiting on Colorado State to get there, too). Utah State coach Stew Morrill deserves one more shot in an established league (even though the MWC is looking more like the old WAC).

3. Andre Drummond deserves all the preseason hype for being a game-changer for Connecticut as a legit inside scoring threat. But after watching the Huskies play pickup last week, the name that could be the second most important newcomer is point guard Ryan Boatright. No one on the roster will replace Kemba Walker’s presence. But Boatright has a similar brashness to his game, squawks on the court and oozes confidence with every dribble and shot. Boatright will grow into his role as a scoring guard and could be a difference-maker by January with his boastful persona. He won’t be afraid to take a shot, just as long as it’s the right shot and Jeremy Lamb or Drummond isn’t open, too.