Saturday, November 10, 2007

WAC teams dropping early games - more news & notes

Anyone know for sure what is up with LA TECH's heralded recruit Olu Ashaolu? After scoring 12 points in the opener, his name didn't appear in the box score of the game against Mississippi State (a 75-45 loss). Coach Kerry Rupp is thin upfront and could really use Ashaolu's 6-7 height and especially his 235 pounds in the paint. Keith Smith is manning the frontcourt, along with Adrian Rogers (bothered by a hamstring injury), but both are 6-7 but lighter than Ashaolu...

...The continuing dominance of Boise State football has put men's basketball Coach Greg Graham into a delicate position. Heck, even the success of the Bronco women's basketball team is adding to the pressure.
Idaho Statesman columnist Brian Murphy has a column about just this subject:

A pivotal season begins for Graham, Bronco men
Brian Murphy
Idaho Statesman

The goal for the Boise State men's basketball program is simple: A spot in the postseason.

No numbers. No slogans. No fancy mottos. The Broncos simply want to be one of 97 teams playing in the NCAA or NIT tournaments in March.

"That's the fans', the media's, everyone's benchmark: ‘Are you in the postseason?' " said coach Greg Graham, who is beginning his sixth season with BSU. "That's the key for us right now."

It might also be the key to extending Graham's tenure. The long-time Oregon assistant is in the fourth year of a five-year contract extension signed after the Broncos' 2004 trip to the NIT's third round.

Since then, Boise State is 47-47.

Absolutely average on the court. And losing the competition for attention in this decidedly pro-winner town.

Attendance last season was 4,393 ­ the first time in three seasons it cracked 4,000 ­ and down about 1,000 since 2003-04. Season ticket sales are up this year to 5,348, thanks largely to an NCAA Tournament tie-in.

Coaches rarely enter the final season of a contract. It's a recruiting liability, so they're either extended or let loose.

Go here for the remainder...

...Graham's team did beat Utah Valley at home with a couple of new names leading the way in overtime. JC transfer guard Jamar Greene and redshirt freshman wing Paul Noonan combined for 11 of the Broncos 14 overtime points as Boise eked out a 73-72 victory...

...New Mexico State's 80-72 road loss to Ohio certainly won't help in any national ranking but it's much more critical if the Aggies don't win the WAC tourney and have to depend on getting selected for an at-large bid to the Big Dance. Ohio University zoned NMSU due to being outsized and lost the rebounding battle 45-38 -- getting just 17 minutes from center Leon Williams who got into early foul trouble. Coach Marvin Menzies' squad shot just 41% from the floor, 6-28 on threes. Steady Justin Hawkins put up 19 points and nabbed seven rebounds but committed seven turnovers. Sophomore guard Jonathan Gibson shot well overall and scored 15 points but was cold from long range going 1-6 on his three-point attempts. Still no further word on the eligibility of freshmen Herb Pope and Jahmar Young...

...Hawaii lost at home on a last second free throw to San Diego thereby spoiling Bob Nash's coaching debut. Bobby Nash was his usual solid self with 22 points and nine boards. Jared Dillinger, a non factor up to this season, scored 14 points and looks to be one of the inspirational stories of the basketball season to date. Here's one article on his emergence. Starting point Matt Gibson missed the game due to a left knee injury but isn't expected to be out for long...

...Fresno State beat Portland in Raisintown 75-68 with the Bulldogs going hot and cold with their jumpshooting. It's obviously early but Steve Cleveland's team must show some power inside and not a close to complete reliance on mid and long range jumpers. Kevin Bell scored 21 points in the next game to lead the team to a win over Liberty. Dwight O'Neil, coming off a redshirt year, has played very well in the opening two games...

...Utah State fell to rival Weber State in another contest that won't help the WAC power rating.

Turnover mania dooms Aggies
Jay Hinton
Deseret Morning News
November 11, 2007

OGDEN — In the first two games of the 2007-08 season, the Utah State Aggies are averaging an abnormal 21 turnovers per game.

The Aggies got away with 19 turnovers and beat Southern Utah on Friday night, but Saturday they turned the ball over 23 times and it cost them in the 78-71 loss to Weber State, which snapped a string of six straight losses by the Wildcats to USU.

"We turned it over time and time again," USU coach Stew Morrill said.
Utah State trailed by four points with 33 seconds left, and DeUndrae Spraggins, who coughed up the ball five times, threw the ball away. Jaycee Carroll was then called for an intentional foul, and Brody Van Brocklin hit one of two foul shots to stretch the lead to five.

Though it didn't matter, the Aggies' final possession of the game ended in a turnover...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe Olu Ashaolu is red-shirting this season to focus on developing his skills. Louisiana Tech seems to be getting ready for next year.