It’s here. A Mountain West Conference basketball league season that could prove the finest and most competitive in history.
On Monday, all nine coaches were asked on a conference call to estimate where their specific team might fit into the big picture of a 16-game schedule.
Which means had Tim Miles of Colorado State not been on the call, a sudden case of narcolepsy would have struck those asking questions.
Here is a quick rundown of what each coach offered and what we instead wanted them to say:
■ San Diego State — What Steve Fisher said: “Our goal is to play hard and have success. We have a veteran team coming back that won 25 games last year.”
What we wanted him to say: “Our front line is better than anything Gen. Petraeus oversees in Afghanistan. Kawhi Leonard has hands the size of Maine. Teams that can’t rebound with us will be beaten senseless.”
■ Brigham Young — What Dave Rose said: “We’re pleased with the way our guys are playing. We’ve struggled with injuries but have figured out ways to win.”
What we wanted him to say: “Jimmer Fredette is an assassin on the court. Never look at him. None of us has figured out that steely stare he gives anyone who glances in his direction during pregame warmups, but we’re just happy he’s on our side. Seriously. Don’t look at him. That stare is creepy. He will destroy you.”
■ Air Force — What Jeff Reynolds said: “I’ll take questions now.”
What we wanted him to say: “I understand they ask me to make an opening statement on these calls and I never do, mostly because I’m all crotchety for no reason, but also because we lost to Division III Colorado College, which Findlay Prep would beat by 30.”
■ New Mexico — What Steve Alford said: “We’re just trying to get better. We have a lot of newcomers learning about college basketball and how we do things in our program.”
What we wanted him to say: “Joe Lunardi doesn’t even have us as in the last four out right now? What a tool. Dairese Gary is an all-conference point guard. Kendall Williams never misses from 3-point range. Drew Gordon is finally free of Ben Howland’s boring style of play. I’m in the round of 16 of the “Shots from the Heart” competition for coaches. I never get any respect!”
■ Texas Christian — What Jim Christian said: “It’s a very good league. In my mind, a high major league. I don’t think people are going to come to our basketball games because our football team won the Rose Bowl.”
What we wanted him to say: “Did you see linebacker Tank Carder bat down that two-point conversion attempt of Wisconsin? He has a better chance of blocking shots than anyone on our roster. We get as many offensive rebounds as our football team does losses.”
■ UNLV — What Lon Kruger said: “Great time of year. The league is better than it has ever been. Looking forward to the week ahead.”
What we wanted him to say: “Check the numbers. We own Jimmer Fredette. Our physical defense wipes that weird stare off his face and leaves his shots short. I have more of an edge than you think. Last night, while watching tape of the BYU and San Diego State teams we’re going to shred to win this league, Barb and I went crazy and popped open a few Coke Classics instead of that diet stuff we usually drink.”
■ Utah — What Jim Boylen said: “I like how hard we are playing. I like this group. We have a developing team that is playing good basketball.”
What we wanted him to say: “We lost to University of San Diego, which I believe has an RPI of like 546 out of 345 teams. That, and I’ve had more kids leave this program the last year than Rick Majerus had free meals when coaching here. Seventh place or bust!”
■ Colorado State — What Tim Miles said: “We don’t have a lot of mud in our blood. We’re not the toughest team you’ve seen. We don’t defend well. We don’t contest the 3-point line well. We don’t rebound. Other than that, we’re fine. As long as we can play at just one end of the court, we’ll be OK.”
What we wanted him to say: You can’t top the real thing. Miles is the best.
■ Wyoming — What Heath Schroyer said: “Our turnovers are down. We’re getting to the free-throw line. We’re defending pretty well.”
What we wanted him to say: “Go tell Fisher to play without Kawhi Leonard and Malcolm Thomas. Go tell Kruger to play without Chace Stanback and Tre’Von Willis. Go tell Rose to play without Jimmer Stare Jammer. We haven’t had two of our best players healthy all season. And that altitude thing they promised me would make a difference when I took the job hasn’t done anything for us.”
At this point, the call ended and a petition was immediately drafted for Miles to henceforth speak on behalf of all nine coaches about, well, everything.
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at email@example.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday and Thursday on “Monsters of the Midday,” FOX Sports Radio 920 AM.