Mountain West Basketball Top 25: #19
by Eli Boettger

Up next is the #19 player in the MWC Wire Basketball Countdown.

Coming it at #19 is San Jose State's Ryan Welage. With superstar forward Brandon Clarke transferring to Gonzaga upon head coach Jean Prioleau's arrival, the Spartans will turn to Clarke's #2 the past two seasons in Welage.

The 6-9, 205-pound forward has been nothing short of fantastic in his first two years in San Jose. Last season, Welage averaged 13.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in just 27.4 minutes of nightly playing time. Expect these numbers to increase as Welage enters his junior campaign as the #1 guy for SJSU. 

Welage is the epitome of the new-age stretch-forward in college basketball. He can shoot from anywhere on the floor. Welage converted 41 shots at the rim, 50 from jump-shots, and 53 from three-point range last season, according to Hoop-Math. He still leaves a bit to be desired on the defensive end (1.073 points per possession allowed, 1.7% block+steal percentage), but his offensive skill set alone is enough to place Welage in the top 20. 

Welage will be asked to do a lot more for this year's Spartans team, and that goes for both on the floor and in the locker room. If he can fill the void of Brandon Clarke within the Spartan rotation, Ryan Welage is a legitimate dark horse candidate for the Mountain West first team.

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