Quite frankly, the Mountain West may have performed better during the current cycle than either the AAC or Big 12. But here we'll peek at schools throughout the realm of the non-BCS programs, focusing on those that landed at least one top 100 senior.
Of those programs, San Diego State leads the charge. The Aztecs connected with No. 26 Malik Pope, but they had eyes for more en route to the country's No. 8 class. Their haul also includes No. 68 Zylan Cheatham, No. 71 Trey Kell and point guard Kevin Zabo.
|Best Non-Major Conference Recruits|
|No. 20||Dwayne Morgan, UNLV|
|No. 25||Josh Perkins, Gonzaga|
|No. 26||Malik Pope, San Diego State|
|No. 39||Goodluck Okonoboh, UNLV|
|No. 57||T.J. Haws, BYU|
|No. 61||Terry Larrier, VCU|
|No. 64||Chris Egi, Harvard|
|No. 68||Zylan Cheatham, San Diego State|
|No. 71||Trey Kell, San Diego State|
|No. 84||Chris Sandifer, UTEP|
|No. 99||Tariq Owens, Ohio|
Pope has suffered with injury problems but is a tantalizing talent who can compete with the country's very best when he's healthy. He needs to get much stronger and obviously avoid further ailments, but don't be surprised if one day he advances to the NBA and enjoys a fine career at that level.
Cheatham lacks classical wing skills and also isn't a post player, but he's a highly valuable utility forward who makes an impressive number of spontaneous, athletic plays and thrives at a speedy tempo. Kell enjoyed a strong July and should become a very dangerous three-point shooter for Steve Fisher's program.
Moving on, UNLV also inked a fantastic class that checks in at No. 12 overall. The Runnin' Rebels took two top-40 players off the board: Dwayne Morgan and Goodluck Okonoboh.
Morgan is a potential prep All-American with long arms and spidery athleticism. He's a tall, rangy wing who should continue to grow into that position as he evolves physically and in terms of skill. Okonoboh gets the vote here as the Class of 2014's best shotblocker, and though his offense has been inconsistent he does possess the coordination to improve. Both of the recruits are stalwart competitors as well and should play meaningful roles as freshmen.
Staying west of the Mississippi, Josh Perkins chose Gonzaga over some heavyweight schools and will bring a flashy style to Mark Few's program. Perkins may be the best passer in the senior class and, when he's on, can knock in multiple threes as well.