Nate Grimes sat at a table wearing a Fresno State golf shirt as the Mountain West media interviewed him Tuesday at Green Valley Ranch Resort.
He will sit with family in the UNLV section Friday night wearing neutral colors when the Rebels’ football team visits Fresno State. Grimes’ younger brother, Randal, leads the Rebels with 22 receptions for 308 yards and two touchdowns.
“I can’t wait to see him play,” Nate Grimes said. “They just beat Vanderbilt (34-10). He had a touchdown. I was proud of him.”
Nate Grimes, a 6-foot-8-inch senior forward who went to Desert Pines High School, averaged 11.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots last season for Fresno State. He also led the Mountain West by making 59.9 percent of his shots, and his rebounding average ranked third.
Rebounding starts with instincts, Bulldogs coach Justin Hutson said.
“You don’t really teach those guys how to rebound,” he said. “And then his motor’s good. If he’s going well and his motor’s going on full, he’s tough to keep off the boards.”
Feeling for Menzies
New Mexico coach Paul Weir coached under former UNLV coach Marvin Menzies at New Mexico State, and they formed a tight bond on the Aggies’ bench.
“It’s really disappointing, knowing him, knowing what he inherited, knowing what he had built, knowing the team he had coming back, knowing the type of person he is and what he’s about, that they would pull the trigger on somebody like that so early,” Weir said. “That’s damaging to the profession, that’s damaging to coaches. I obviously didn’t care for the decision very much, as I’m sure a lot of coaches in our industry didn’t care for it. I wish the new staff nothing but the best, but I’m obviously disappointed in the decision.”
Getting closer on TV deal
Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said he expected a new TV/multimedia deal to be completed in the next month. The conference’s contracts with ESPN, CBS and AT&T SportsNet conclude next year.
One of the sticking points has been start times, with football and basketball games beginning at 8 p.m. Pacific time and some basketball games at 9 p.m. in the Mountain time zone. Thompson said he hopes all games will start no later than 8 p.m. local time.
“We’re getting down to the real details,” he said. “The challenge will be if we have more than one partner, how they’re going to coexist in a selection process and scheduling process. We’ve had good conversations. We’re really pleased with the feedback that we’ve gotten from several networks.”
Preseason All-Mountain West team
Sam Merrill, G, Sr., Utah State
Nico Carvacho, F/C, Sr., Colorado State
Neemias Queta, C, So., Utah State
Derrick Alston, G, Jr., Boise State
Lavelle Scottie, F, Sr., Air Force
Preseason Player of the Year — Merrill
Preseason Newcomer of the Year — Malachi Flynn, G, Jr., San Diego State
Preseason Freshman of the Year — K.J. Hymes, F, UNR