Friday, March 13, 2009

Upon further reflection...

It didn't take long -- here are various looks at the state of a number of the WAC basketball programs, plus a few tidbits. Let's begin with a Fresno State article that eventually contains a new-to-us Fresno State recruiting target:

Daniel Lyght makes mention of a Fresno State recruiting target in this blog post:

That's all she wrote. Now comes the interesting part.
Daniel Lyght
Fresno Bee
March 12, 2009

This season was tough. Real tough.

The ninth-seeded Bulldogs finished the 2008-2009 season with an 85-68 loss to top-seeded Utah State in the quarterfinals of the Western Athletic Conference tournament Thursday.

This season Fresno State (13-21, 3-13 in the WAC) had four freshmen getting serious minutes, its only senior suspended for 8 games and its leading scorer adjusting to playing center rather than forward. No one was pleased with the results. Not coach Steve Cleveland. Not the players.

Now comes the interesting part...

Go here for the remainder.

The player whose name appears when you go to the original article isn't all that far away from the SaveMart Center and was the Central Valley Conference Co-Player of the Year. 113 of his 198 field goals this season were three-pointers. He played prep ball in southern California.

Mike Prater/Idaho Statesman sports editor assesses the Boise State Bronco season:

Daily Debate: This was not a successful season for the Boise State men
Mike Prater
Idaho Statesman

Boise State basketball is in the books for another season, not including potential postseason games next week.

Those don't count. If your season ends in something called the College Basketball Invitational or the Postseason Tournament, you probably didn't have a successful season.

Which raises the question: Was the 2008-09 season a successful one, or not, for the Broncos? ...
Go here for the remainder.

Matt James/Fresno Bee has a column out on his sense of Fresno State hoops:

Cleveland needs more than nice
Matt James
The Fresno Bee
March 12, 2009

Whatever you're feeling today, whatever frustration lingers, try not to think of it as a bust.

It's not failure. Not yet. It's the process.

To recap, Fresno State did not win the Western Athletic Conference tournament, again. For the third year in a row, Steve Cleveland's team lost in the first round.

This time it was literally and figuratively the first round, as Utah State came out of introductions making everything and the Bulldogs threw volleyballs at keyholes. Four minutes into Thursday's game, it was 16-2, all the lead the Aggies would need on their way to 85-68.

Coincidentally, it was the team not being guarded that made all the shots. Crazy how that works out.

The calls and e-mails continue, asking if I'm scared of Cleveland, asking if he has dirt on this column, asking if there's a reason no one asks for his firing. Those sentiments will certainly grow, with more fervor...
Go here for the remainder.

Daniel Lyght on the Aggie Fan Traveling Show:

Now there's no doubt
Daniel Lyght
Fresno Bee
on March 12, 2009

It's long been rumored that Utah State has the best student section in WAC men's basketball.

It's not a rumor anymore. It's fact.

More than a hundred Utah State students traveled to Reno, Nev. for the WAC tournament.

And they just didn't sit. They were loud. REALLY LOUD. Utah State forward Gary Wilkinson said the fans call themselves "the Spectrum on wheels," a reference to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, in which USU plays its games...
Go here for the remainder.

Here's a number of interesting items compiled by the Idaho Statesman, including some Bronco personnel moves:

WAC notebook: No contract extenstion for Graham
Idaho Statesman

Boise State coach Greg Graham signed an incentive-laden, three-year contract in the offseason, but didn't reach any bonuses that will add years to the deal. The seventh-year coach did guide the Broncos to a winning season, which qualifies him for a 5 percent pay raise. He earned $345,000 this season. Graham, who now has two years left on the contract, said he doesn't look at all of the specifics of the deal. "That stuff all takes care of itself. ... If you get hung up on all that other stuff on the outside, it detracts from you,'' he said.


Sophomore Shawn Rouse has left the program for personal reasons, Graham said. The 6-foot-6, 205-pounder appeared in 10 games this season and averaged 1.3 points and 0.5 rebounds a game. Rouse's departure gives BSU two open scholarships. Graham also said recruit Mason Sawyer will take a church mission. The point guard led his high school team to the Utah state championship this year. The recruiting priorities are to sign a power forward to replace Mark Sanchez and the best available player (high school player or transfer)...
Go here for the remainder.

Beating the well-worn and getting threadbare WAC expansion drum yet again:

Will the WAC expand to 10 teams soon?
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

WAC commissioner Karl Benson held his "state of the conference" speech Thursday afternoon, and one of the topics he hit upon was potential expansion. RGJ reporter Robert Perea was at the news conference and filed this report.

WAC expansion?

Scheduling for a nine-team league has been a challenge for the WAC and expensive for league members, and commissioner Karl Benson said the league may soon consider a 10th team, possibly as a basketball-only member...
Go here for a remainder.

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