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The Mountain West: where transfers go to thrive

May 23, 2012, 9:28 PM EDT

Khem Birch, Anthony Myles

Last Friday, Andy Glockner of SI.com posted a list of the transfers that will have the biggest impact heading into the 2012-2013 season.

It’s a thorough list, including just about every name you need to know that will be playing for a new team next season. There are four names, however, who didn’t get enough of a mention, in my opinion: UNLV transfer Bryce Jones, San Diego State transfers Dwayne Polee and J.J. O’Brien and Colorado State transfer Daniel Bejarano.

What do those four guys have in common?

For starters, all three play on teams that had a player mentioned by Glockner. UNLV’s Khem Birth, San Diego State’s James Johnson and Colorado State’s Colton Iverson all cracked the list.┬áThere’s more, however. All three of those schools happen to play in the Mountain West Conference, which is a league that has become arguably the nation’s most popular transfer destination.

Think about it:

- UNLV adds Birch (via Pitt) and Jones (via USC) this season to a team that already includes UCLA transfer Mike Moser and Kansas transfer Quintrell Thomas. UCLA transfer Chace Stanback graduated after last season and Marquette transfer Reggie Smith has transferred out of the program.

- San Diego State adds three transfers this season to a team that already includes two starters — Xavier Thames (Washington State) and James Rahon (Santa Clara) — that transferred in from a different school.

- Bejarano and Iverson aren’t going to be the only transfers on Colorado State’s roster. Leading scorer Wes Elkmeier arrived in Ft. Collins from Iowa State.

- New Mexico road the coattails of big man Drew Gordon, a UCLA castoff, last season while bringing former Arizona State guard Demetrius Walker off the bench.

- Nevada, who will join the MWC this upcoming season in hoops, has gotten in on the act already. Two key starters on last season’s team — Olek Czyz and Malik Story — transferred into the program from Duke and Indiana, respectively.

- Throw in Hank Thorns (TCU via Virginia Tech) and four of the MWC’s five first-team all-league players transferred into the conference.┬áLeonard Washington (Wyoming via USC) was a second-team all-league performer.

Considering how good the MWC is expected to be this season, it’s amazing how much talent you can find on the scrap heap.