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Aztecs Ranked 19th, Predicted to Win the MW

San Diego State is ranked No. 19 by <I>Sporting News Magazine</i> and predicted to win the league.
San Diego State is ranked No. 19 by Sporting News Magazine and predicted to win the league.

Oct. 8, 2012

SAN DIEGO - Sporting News Magazine has San Diego State at No. 19 in its preseason top-25 poll, which is the top ranking in the Mountain West, and has projected it to win the MW in 2012-13.

In addition to recognizing the Aztecs as the team to beat in the league, the publication has also tabbed junior guard Jamaal Franklin as a third-team All-American. Franklin is the lone Mountain West representative on Sporting News' All-America squad, was named MW Player of the Year and listed as the league's top NBA prospect.

Joining Franklin on the all-conference squad is senior guard Chase Tapley, which makes San Diego State the only Mountain West school with multiple honorees on the preseason team. The Sacramento, Calif., native was also labeled the league's top shooter.

The aforementioned duo, along with junior Xavier Thames make "arguably the best backcourt in the West," wrote Scott Smith of Sporting News Magazine.

Rounding out the individual honors are head coach Steve Fisher and Winston Shepard. Fisher was named the conference's best coach and top recruiter, while Shepard was named the MW's best freshman.

The Aztecs will start their preparation for the 2012-13 season on Friday, Oct. 12, when they participate in Madness on the Mesa, which is set to take place inside Viejas Arena. The free event starts at 9 p.m. PT.

San Diego State, which finished the 2011-12 campaign with a 26-8 record, is coming off its fourth straight season with at least 25 victories and its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. In each of the last seven years, SDSU has won 20 or more games and advanced to the postseason.

In 2012-13, San Diego State is slated to return four of its five starters and its top four scorers from last season. The Aztecs are also slated to welcome three Division I transfers and a heralded recruiting class.