Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Tyrone Nelson update

In the same Draft Express post that contained the names of the early entries to the NBA draft comes this tidbit of information:

"We have received information that the following players have signed professional basketball contracts with teams in leagues other than the NBA following the 2008 NBA Draft and rendered services under such contracts. If this information is correct, these players would also be eligible for selection in the 2009 NBA Draft. Because this information has not been verified, however, teams should do their own due diligence (as with any other draft selection) and call the League Office before picking any of these players in the 2009 NBA Draft.

...Tyrone Nelson New Mexico State/Houston (TPBL)..."

Does anyone know what TPBL stands for?

Consider it a done deal

No, Karl Benson doesn't have PTW's number on speedial (thereby joining gazillions of others) nor do the folks at the Orleans Hotel have us on a consulting contract but the following is a done deal. March in Vegas may not be April in Paris but...

Basketball also has eyes on Las Vegas for 2011 and 2012
Ferd Lewis
Honolulu Advertiser
April 30, 2009

Yesterday, the Western Athletic Conference men's basketball coaches took
a walk into the future.

As part of their annual meetings, the coaches
visited the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, a proposed site for the conference
basketball tournament for 2011 and '12.

If approved, the 9,000-seat
facility at The Orleans hotel and casino would be the first real neutral
facility the conference has used in the 26-year history of the tournament. It
would follow the women's volleyball tournament into that arena, an agreement for
2009 that was announced yesterday...
Go here for the remainder.

The latest on Idaho's Marcus Lawrence

It's not a definitive answer but it's the most current. We've been trading emails with Rob Miech of the Las Vegas Sun in order to find out if he knew the status of Idaho's Marcus Lawrence. In today's Sun, Miech's article about players coming and going from UNLV has this Lawrence update and we thank him for determining this:

"...Marcus Lawrence (February 2008)

The spitfire guard and Las Vegas native had a short fuse and a quick tongue, and he
had a penchant for hanging out with the wrong crowd from his high school days.

Like Roberson, Lawrence had multiple indiscretions and received plenty of second chances. But when he was arrested in a drunken-driving incident,Kruger kicked him off the team.

Lawrence transferred to Idaho and had further legal trouble while sitting out this past season. As of this week, Lawrence is still on indefinite suspension from all team activities..."

NBA early entry list has some surprises

Just saw that ex-Louisiana Tech center Kenneth Cooper and current New Mexico State backcourter Jonathan Gibson have entered their names into the NBA early entry draft pool. Cooper might as well stay in but look for Gibson to pull his name out before the deadline. We weren't aware Gibson was checking out his draft status until we stumbled across his name. Here's the list.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Here's another release denial

We're unsure if there are any similarities to the Malik Cooke-Nevada situation here. We know nothing about this following matter but here is apparently Fordham's best player seeking a transfer with Rutgers (Big East) as his suspected next destination. Fordham was 3-25 last season.

Jio Fontan Denied Release
Adam Zagoria
April 28, 2009

Jio Fontan was denied a release from Fordham during a meeting Tuesday
even after promising school officials that he would not attend any Big East
schools in the area.

“He was denied,” a source with direct knowledge

Go here for the remainder.

Fontan's coach, Bob Hurley of Jersey City fame, believes the young man should remain at Fordham for at least another season. Here's that link.

Travis Mason-Bushman is back

Travis Mason-Bushman has re-surfaced and that's good news for WAC basketball fans. At his Vandal Nation site, he's promising an upcoming Idaho men's basketball season review plus a talk with Coach Don Verlin. Do bookmark the site or do whatever the latest technology allows you to do (we're still grasping to understand the need for something like Twiiter but are sure it is due to our intelligence shortcomings).

Reggie Moore to Washington State

Reggie Moore did make it to the PAC-10. The former Fresno State signee has signed a letter-of-intent with Washington State.

Former Rainier Beach basketball player Reggie Moore signs letter to play for WSU
New Cougars coach Ken Bone lands guard from Seattle who played at a prep school in New Hampshire this last year.
Bud Withers
Seattle Times
April 29, 2009

Barely three weeks into the tenure of coach Ken Bone, the Washington State basketball program has made an inroad that proved difficult even in the best of recent times for the WSU program.

Reggie Moore, a 2008 grad of Rainier Beach who now attends Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, has signed a letter of intent with the Cougars...

Go here for the remainder.

An interview with Malik Cooke

Well, here's what we can contribute to the 'standoff' between basketball player Malik Cooke and the University of Nevada Athletics. There's been a great deal of 'he said - she said' surrounding the flap, multiple opinions offered and numerous questions raised. Therefore, rather than re-visiting what has already been in print, we decided to take a simple and direct question-and-answer approach and compiled six questions to pose to Malik Cooke. It's obviously up to each individual to determine whether the following clears matters up or further muddies the waters. We talked to him Tuesday evening -- here is what he said:

PTW: What do you want?

MC: I want my formal athletic release.

PTW: Have you ever told Nevada you wanted to stay?

MC: I said I had a family situation at home and I needed to leave. I said I liked it here [at Nevada] but I had to go home.

PTW: When did you first ask to leave? Who did you ask?

MC: A week or two after the season. I said it to Coach Fox. He told me to think about it some more and make sure that was what I wanted to do.

PTW: Did you get a chance to talk with Coach Fox before he went to Georgia?

MC: No, he just left. I then asked Coach Carter.

PTW: In your mind, why isn't Nevada granting you a release? What were you told?

MC: I was told 'we don't do releases' -- that 'she [AD Cary Groth] doesn't give them out.'

PTW: Would you accept transferring and sitting out a season as long as it was on scholarship?

MC: Right.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

From the For What It's Worth Department (Rivals sub required) has an entry of a kid signing with Northern Arizona. The reason for the inclusion here is that he received some degree of interest from Utah State but then it could have been a single letter or phone call.

Blue Zertuche Recruiting Analyst
April 28, 2009

Reid Wallace, from Tomball, grabbed the attention of a few programs late in the recruiting process with his ability to shoot the outside shot and versatile game being 6-foot-7. Wallace, made to visits, one in state, and one out, and Wallace opted for the Lumberjacks.

"I signed with Northern Arizona (the Lumberjacks)," said Wallace. "I had recruitment from Utah State, UT-Dallas, Dartmouth, Dallas Baptist, UT Pan AM, Northern Colorado, and Kingsville, which I visited along with Northern Arizona..."

Here's the remainder.

We have a new Jay Drew entry

It's been a while but Jay Drew makes another appearance here with news of a new Aggie:

Utah State lands a transfer from Air Force Prep
Jay Drew
Salt Lake City Tribune

Tyrone White, a 6-foot-6 wing player who spent last season playing for the Air Force Academy prep school, has committed to transfer to Utah State...

Go here and scroll down a bit for the remainder.

Steven Shepp signs on at Fresno State

As with all recruiting situations, it would be fascinating to know the particulars surrounding Steven Shepp's signing with Steve Cleveland and Fresno State. Did the Dogs seek his commitment during Shepp's earlier visit? Was he the one who wanted to explore other possibilities? Was FSU waiting on other possible point prospects but eventually returned to Shepp? We'll never know but what is known is that Steve Cleveland has a bonafide and ready to contribute 'quarterback' who more than likely will be a member of the starting five.

Bulldogs secure point guard
Junior college transfer could fill biggest need
Daniel Lyght
Fresno Bee
April 27, 2009

Fresno State men's basketball coach Steve Cleveland and his staff have been searching high and low, from coast to coast, since abruptly losing point guard Reggie Moore last summer. The highly regarded Seattle player sent the staff scrambling when he pulled out of his signed letter of intent.

Hopes now are that Steven Shepp alleviates that pain...

Go here for the remainder.

Here's more from Daniel Lyght on Shepp:

Newly signed Fresno State PG has NYC flair
Daniel Lyght
Fresno Bee
April 27, 2009

The quote that stood out to me most when talking to Steve Shepp tonight was this one:

"I'm not really a fan, I'm more a student [of the game]. I watch [Steve] Nash and Chris Paul and watch games as if I'm trying to learn. It's like I'm in a classroom, sitting down on the couch and they're my teachers."

Shepp's signing to Fresno State adds some excitement to the Bulldogs fan base because the Bulldogs will have a new point guard to be hopeful about (the point guard corps struggled a bit last season) and also because of the flair he supposedly brings to the game...
Go here for the remainder.

Monday, April 27, 2009

We're not sure what we can add but...

We are not fooling ourselves, so don't be mistaken. We readily acknowledge PTW has little influential power and more than likely none. But we are poking around the Nevada-Malik Cooke situation and hope to have some of the answers to some of the questions fairly soon.

Right now, it appears Cooke's request has been formally decided and the foremost option available to Cooke is the proverbial court of public opinion. The latter has certainly swayed matters in other jurisdictions.

That's really all we should type at this point.

Of course, there's more Nevada news

To no one's surprise, there more on the Malik Cooke-Nevada imbroglio. Chris Murray has the latest details:

Nevada refuses to grant Cooke a release in good standing
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

Malik Cooke’s stepfather, Richard Jones, says he has a serious illness and that his business recently lost about 90 percent of its value. Under those circumstances, Cooke has asked for a release from the program because of medical and financial hardships.

However, the Nevada basketball player’s request to transfer to a school close to his North Carolina home was denied by Wolf Pack athletic director Cary Groth, who has not granted him a “release in good standing.” An appeals board at Nevada also denied the transfer request...

Go here for the remainder.

The above was followed by this:

What's next in the Malik Cooke situation?
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

So, what happens now?

Nevada basketball player Malik Cooke has been denied a release in good standing by Wolf Pack athletic director Cary Groth. He has been denied a release in good standing from a three-person internal appeals board at Nevada (full story here). But Cooke’s desire to move to a school closer to be with his ailing family remains unchanged.

Cooke could transfer to a Division-II school and play immediately while on athletic scholarship, but that has been ruled out by his family. (Cooke isn’t a Division-II-type player and he would have to give up a year of eligibility).

Cooke could transfer to a Division-I school and pay that “sit-out transfer season” before becoming eligible to receive two years of athletic scholarship, but that has been ruled out by his family. (They cannot afford that route in their current financial situation).

Or, perhaps Cooke could follow the lead of ex-Arizona recruit Jeff Withey. This possibility might be the route Cooke follows, according to Eric Taylor, the player’s uncle and the family spokesperson...
Go here for the remainder.

A Hawaii recruiting update

We don't know the details -- probably only the parties involved do -- but, through Stephen Tsai, Dayton Morinaga provides an update on a pair of former Rainmbopw Warrior recruiting targets.

Basketball recruiting update
Stephen Tsai
Hawaii Beat
Honolulu Advertiser
April 24, 2009

Here's info from our basketball writer, Dayton Morinaga:

The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team is no longer in the running
for two recruits...

Go here for the names.

Kyle Gibson also sniffing out the NBA

Joining teammate Magnum Rolle, Louisiana Tech backcourter Kyle Gibson will also be checking out what the NBA poobahs think of his game.

From the LT athletics site:

Gibson Also Considering NBA; Will Not Hire Agent
Gibson to Test NBA Waters
April 26, 2009

RUSTON - Like junior Magnum Rolle before him, Louisiana Tech junior Kyle Gibson will also consider the 2009 NBA draft but not hire an agent so he can have the option to return to the Bulldogs for his senior season.

Gibson was Tech's leading scorer last season at 16.1 points per game and was named to the All-WAC Second Team. Gibson was also first-team All-LSWA for his efforts in the 2008-09 season...

Go here for the remainder.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Darrell Moody offers some sanity

We came across the following today and most of it made a lot of sense to us.

However, our opinion is that any legal problems of former Wolf Pack athletes incurred after leaving Reno need not be included when presenting the present day news. We don't see the correlation.

We also read elsewhere that some objected to the photos of the two guns involved in Ahyaro Phillips' case being displayed. But both are key elements in the situation and, if available, should have been included in any story as descriptions of the weapon as seen by witnesses was a key element.

It's still our opinion that Nevada AD Carey Groth needs to learn from some of the things she said during this whole matter.

Plus as Moody notes, regardless of any objections to the presentation of the situation, opposing coaches (both in and out of the WAC) now have a 'golden' opportunity to engage in negative recruiting when going up against the Wolf Pack for prospects. Basketball-wise, that's the most serious element if one happens to be a Nevada fan.

Let's hope Coach Carter now has the opportunity to enjoy a period of relative calm and can put his personal imprint on the program he now heads. He's a good guy who will do a good job.

Carter needs to get Pack under control
Darrell Moody
Nevada Appeal
April 26, 2009

To say that David Carter’s first three weeks as head coach of the Nevada Wolf Pack has been tough is an understatement.

He lost a player to injury; he lost a player to gun possession; he lost a player, Mark McLaughlin, because Mark Fox left and he lost a player, Malik Cooke, who wants a transfer.

Nevada officials scolded the media for its way of handling the situation involving Phillips and bringing up past issues with both Kirk Snyder and Kevinn Pinkney...

Go here for the remainder.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hawaii loses a backcourter

This was unexpected even with Hawaii landing a pair of backcourters who more than likely will become the starters next season for Bob Nash. We wish Kareem Nitoto's mother well and hope the young man lands a scholarship in or around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Nitoto will not return to 'Bows
Dayton Morinaga
Honolulu Advertiser
April 25, 2009

Kareem Nitoto, a starting point guard and all-conference defensive player, will not return to the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team next season.

Nitoto, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, will transfer for personal reasons. He will try to attend a school closer to his northern California home to be by the side of his ill mother...

Go here for the remainder.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Malik Cooke will head closer to home

This confirms that Nevada's Malik Cooke will be heading home -- any scheduled meeting
appears to just be a formality. Even though Malik helped beat 'our' team twice this season, we still want to offer that we will miss him on the court. He comes off as a classy young man from a classy family and everyone should be wishing him and the Cooke family all the best.

Plus, it sure seems one long timeout is needed up in Reno. We're tempted to write a bit more but will leave it at that for now.

More on Cooke's future and the job of a journalist
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

I woke up this morning to an e-mail from the family of Malik Cooke regarding some inaccuracies they believe Nevada athletic director Cary Groth had in her comments about their son's decision to transfer. I spoke with members of the Cooke family for around two hours on Thursday and also spoke with Groth and coach David Carter about the situation at length. At this point, I will hold off providing in-depth details about what was discussed until gathering more information. But I did want to pass along some notes.

Malik Cooke's step-father, Richard Jones, is seriously ill and also had a recent financial hardship that cost his business about 90 percent of its value. As a result, Cooke and his parents would like the sophomore forward to transfer to a school closer to home. Cooke said Thursday that it is his desire to leave the school, even though it is a hard decision. “I like it here, but I want to leave the University of Nevada and do what’s best for my family,” Cooke said. “Right now I’m just hoping to get a full release so I can move on with my life and put the pieces back together..."

Go here for the remainder.

Of course, more on Nevada men's basketball

Oh yes, there more in print on the Ahyaro Phillips situation, plus a Luke Babbitt clarification:

Nevada formally addresses Phillips' case
Lauren Gustus
Reno Gazette-Journal
April 24, 2009

Nevada basketball player Luke Babbitt is not transferring, the gun Ahyaro Phillips brought on campus last week does not belong to any basketball player and the athletic department might look into prohibiting athletes from possessing handguns.

Those were the biggest details to emerge during a news conference held by athletic director Cary Groth and basketball coach David Carter at Nevada's Legacy Hall on Thursday, for the purpose of clearing up questions pertaining to Phillips' dismissal.

"To read that these young men are not good young men is wrong. Dead wrong," Groth said. "This is a program that wants to work with everybody in this community and be a good representative..."

Go here for the remainder.

JUCO backcourter signs with Idaho

(Landon Tatum photo credit to

Point guard Landon Tatum of South Plains College in Texas has become an Idaho Vandal.

This is a curious signing -- not due to Tatum's qualifications or lack thereof -- but because senior Mac Hopson is going to be on the court and with the ball in his hands for 35 minutes a game.

Senior Steffan Johnson -- the Pacific transfer -- will also be handling the ball quite often in the backcourt as he was credited with 151 assists in his last season in Stockton.

So when does Tatum, who will be a junior, play?

Maybe the plan is to redshirt him unless an injury occurs.

Tatum played his prep ball in San Antonio. His height/weight seems to be 5-11, 170 but most writeups on him employ the term strong and physical in describing his style of play. He averaged 8.7 points per game and 5.8 assists a contest this past season at South Plains and was a First Team All Conference selection. Tatum passed for 181 assists and nabbed 46 steals.

Magnum Rolle wading in

This should come as no surprise: LT's Magnum Rolle will explore his NBA ranking but without the 'aid' of an agent.

We're of a split opinion -- Rolle certainly obviously has NBA athletic ability and displayed NBA-talent moments and stretches in various games last season but he hasn't done so throughout a full season.

His production became better once the middle opened up with the dismissal of teammate Kenneth Cooper halfway through last year as greater room became available in which to operate.

More proficient footwork, additional ball skills and 25-30 or so pounds of muscle would put Rolle into the NBA elite category.

So would his development best be served by another year in Ruston or in the pros? That's the ultimate question. He's not going to face elite athletic opponent challenges during another collegiate season but is there really the opportunity to get better during an NBA season where winning and not player development is the focus?

Rolle seems at least somewhat similar to Ex-North Carolina big Brendan Wright, now with the Golden State Warriors. Wright played but his freshman season in Chapel Hill, was the eighth selection in the first round and has played two seasons in the NBA. He's averaged 14 minutes a game, playing in about half of Golden State's contests. Suffice to say, the jury remains out on his NBA career despite amazing athleticness.

Another similar body type, LSU's Anthony Randolph (curiously Rolle's ex-alma mater), played in 63 games during his initial NBA season also with Golden State, averaging just below 18 minutes a contest. He came out after his freshman year.

Bottomline, expect Magnum Rolle to be seen around the various WAC basketball courts in 2009-2010.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An update on Greg Allen's recruiting status

Here's what we found out regarding the recruiting status of Eureka High's (CA) Greg Allen, who was going to sign with Idaho back in November but then made the decision to hold off on any decision until the 2009 signing period (which is now).

Greg is not headed to Idaho. He currently possesses three offers (hopefully we're not being annoying here but just respecting his privacy until he makes his final decision): one is from another WAC school, the second is from a Missouri Valley Conference team and the third is from a Colonial Athletic Association program.

Greg also passed his SAT -- so kudos to him for that achievement.

Jeff Ledbetter will be a Vandal

Okay, here's the initial item regarding Idaho basketball recruiting:

Per Coach Jerry Hernandez at Irvine Valley College, Jeff Ledbetter (picture above courtesy of IVC athletics) did sign a letter-of-intent with Idaho in November of 2008 and will be a Vandal basketballer.

We thank Coach Hernandez for removing any mystery from the situation.

On the year, Ledbetter averaged 13.7 points per game, 40.6% overall from the floor (131-323), 38.4 from three-point range (78-203), 3.6 rebounds a contest, 2.7 assists and 2.1 steals each time out. He was a First Team Orange Empire All Conference selection.

Go to the IVC basketball site here to read about each game this season.

Here's a teaser

We're heading out the door right now to spend some time with the pooches at the local Animal Shelter (we've discovered it's the cheapest form of therapy available and thankfully doesn't involve being prone on a couch discussing how scarred we are as a result of long ago potty training) but we have received a couple of tidbits involving Idaho men's basketball recruiting for you. We hope to obtain a couple of additional items later today but regardless, we'll post what we have sometime this evening.

Nick Markovich to...

It's impossible to tell actual degrees of interest or mutual interest plus the timing of such but Nick Markovich was associated with Utah State at one point. The Arizona backcourter is headed out-of-state but California.

Markovich will attend Point Loma University next academic year. That's apparently where he felt the most comfortable regardless of its non-D-1 affiliation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nevada's Malik Cooke -- which transfer okay will he receive?

This one will hurt if it turns out to be an adios from Malik Cooke (which it seems to be, it's more a matter of will Cooke get the okay to play elsewhere next year per a family issue). He is the most underrated player in WAC men's basketball because he does so many things well and losing him will be harder to replace than many might expect. Plus, programs can never have enough solid citizens.

This is the latest: a decision to be made after a meeting on Friday.

Here's confirmation from Nevada AD Carey Groth via Chris Murray regarding Cooke having the okay to transfer.

Here's an earlier report from Chris Murray that was more a 'maybe' about Cooke although friends and acquaintances indicated Cooke was returning home.

Is Phil Gary a Fresno State recruiting target?

Phil Gary, a point out of Malcolm X College in Chicago, has been noted as having recruiting interest from Fresno State but we haven't been able to locate any definitive word. Gary averaged 21.8 points per game and 9.6 assists a contest this past season.

Central Michigan expressed a lot of interest in Gary -- he recently visited there -- but CM also just signed a junior college point out of Texas. Another report made mention of Gary visiting USC but the Trojans just signed a prep point from back East.

Here's a YouTube video of Gary dunking.

Supposedly, TCU, DePaul and Providence are also after the kid -- degrees of interest unknown.

Anyone know more?

This gets even uglier

It's getting uglier as more trickles out on what background events led to Ahyaro Phillips' dismissal from Nevada's men's basketball squad. There's also an associate athletic director quoted in the article who comes off representing the university very poorly.

Chris Murray/Reno Gazette-Journal provides the background:

Fight prompts Phillips' gun arrest
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal
April 22, 2009

Ahyaro Phillips' arrest on gun charges and ultimately his dismissal from the Nevada basketball team was prompted by a fight with a pair of Wolf Pack football players.

When Phillips confronted a female at an April 11 house party off campus, football players Adam Liranzo and Jonathan Ott tried to defuse the situation. Phillips took a swing at Liranzo but missed, Nevada associate athletic director Keith Hackett said. Liranzo then knocked out Phillips...

Go here for the remainder.

The England & Thomas updates

Boy, did we drop the proverbial ball on these. Working for a student newspaper is a learning-type situation for the reporter -- little did we know we would also learn something in this situation.

We were more familiar with Thomas' situation than England's (his family lives about 30 miles away from here) and it made some sense that Thomas would return to Moscow seeing as Idaho could use greater size. But it's also true that Coach Don Verlin would be seeking a taller and more talented prospect.

As for England, it made no sense connecting him to Logan seeing as who would be ahead of him and how much playing time he would receive.

The other two kids mentioned in the article were unknown to us.

What's the Latin for reader beware? That also applies to what is posted here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A sort of update on Jeff Ledbetter to Idaho

We sent an email a couple of days ago to Irvine Valley Coach Jerry Hernandez asking for clarification on the Jeff ledbetter/Idaho situation and haven't heard back as yet. We'll give him a call if we don't hear something soon.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Daequon Boise State

According to the Scout site, 6-8 forward Daequon Montreal out of the College of Southern Idaho, has decided to join Greg Graham's program in Boise. A Scout subscription is needed to access the story.

Here's a "The Kennel Report" assessment of Montreal via Eric Larsen, the beat reporter who covered CSI's games.

Montreal sounds like a very good get for Boise, one who should prosper in in Greg Graham's system.

Kevin Menner and Hawaii

Saw a couple of items linking 6-6 Kevin Menner to Hawaii (among other colleges).

Menner is an intriguing prospect. He seemingly possesses the best potential of any California JUCO prospect (we read this -- we haven't seen him play) but there has been concern expressed regarding his play.

For an overview of Menner, here's a Joe Curley/Ventura County Star feature on him.

Out of New York, Manner played his first season at Ventura College. Then the Ventura coach/AD got into legal trouble over student financial aid/residency laws and left the positions. So Menner departed from Ventura.

This past season, Menner was at Saddleback and (via the Saddleback site) averaged 19.3 points per game in 33 contests on 50% overall shooting. He made but two three-pointers on the season (out of 10 attempts) but got to the foul ine for 219 free throws. So it certainly seems like he is a slasher who takes the ball to the hole.

As for the aforementioned concern, one past article (which we couldn't Google) made mention that Menner doesn't increase the effectiveness of his teammates as he really likes to shoot. But hey, that's correctable and not necessarily an incorrigible trait.

The other concern is why aren't 'bigger' schools pursuing him, considering his talent level ? Iowa State took a look at him in September but we're unsure about any others. We don know this so do not take this as a given but are there academic concerns with Menner?

Actually, we have one more question: how will he play with Roderick Flemings? There would be enough shots to go around but Flemings should be the top shot-taker for the Rainbow Warriors. That is, if he returns to Hawaii and doesn't officially declare for the NBA draft.

Can anyone fill us in?

More Reggie Moore

To make a long history short, Reggie Moore signed with Fresno to play in the 2008-2009 season but then decided to not honor his commitment and headed east to prep school. He's still on the market, so to speak.

Here's a bit of an Moore update from SeaTown Sports for the curious:

"...a source contacted me today, to tell me that college-less Reggie Moore (Former Rainier Beach basketball star), was working out at the University of Oregon last week. Most likely it was informal, but it is an intriguing thought to see Moore in a UO uniform..."

In a recent Scout article, Moore lists Washington, WSU, Oregon, Iowa State and Cal as his top choices, with the latter three foremost in his mind.

Aaron England update + Phillip Thomas news

We believe Aaron England already had a stint at Utah State (one redshirt freshman season?). The same with Phillip Thomas but he played his initial year at Idaho.

As for England, the following article from the student newspaper at the College of Eastern Utah has him returning to Utah State and Thomas headed back to the Vandals in Moscow:

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda
Reflecting on the men’s basketball’s season that saw CEU beat the SLCC Bruins twice, a team that won the NJCAA championship
Nathan Davis, sports writer
The Eagle
April 2, 2009

...CEU will lose sophomores Mike Scott, Darington Hobson, Stephen Franklin, Chandler Pearson, Aaron England, Phillip Thomas and Chris Bradley. As of press time, Scott is heading to Texas Christian University, Franklin has committed to Colorado State University, England will be at Utah State University and Thomas is headed north to University of Idaho..."

Now the Hoopmasters site has England headed to UC Irvine, in southern California, as other sites also have him signing with Irvine last November. Anybody know what's up with England?

As for Thomas, it would make sense for him to bounceback to Idaho although Don Verlin was not the coach who originally signed him. But does Idaho have an available scholarship for him?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Damon Powell to...

Damon Powell, a 6-6 high-flying (he defines the term) forward out of McClymonds High in Oakland, CA has signed to attend College of Southern Idaho next season.

The longtime rumor was that Powell wouldn't be able to make the leap to D-1 due to academics so he will now turn to one of the most fabled junior college programs in the country.

He had been connected to Fresno State and rumored to have officially visited there but he is headed to Twin Falls, ID.

Credit Mike Christensen with this news, to be found in the sixth paragraph here.

Fresno not on Montreal's itinerary -- Boise State, yes

The vagaries of recruiting. As ol' Blue Eyes sang, "That's life, that's what all the people say, you're ridin' high in April, shot down in May..." Who knows what goes through the minds of the recruited (or their advisers).

Mike Christensen
Times-News writer
April 15, 2009

"...Montreal closes in: Sophomore All-American Daequon Montreal [College of Southern Idaho] has canceled his recruiting visit to Fresno State and will instead make an official visit to Boise State University this week. The 6-8 forward visited South Florida last weekend. Gosar said Montreal may sign somewhere as early as next week..."

A JC backcourter visiting Logan

In an article primarily about UNC Wilmington recruiting, mention is made of a junior college guard who is scheduled to trip to Logan. A tip o' the hat to sstewboy at the Utah State Scout message board for finding this:

JUCO guard visiting
Contributed by Brian Mull
April 17, 2009

"...Ahmad Grant, a 6-2 guard ranked No. 37 in the nation by, is scheduled to visit Utah State this weekend and UNCW next weekend. He recently canceled a trip to Northern Iowa..."

Utah State gets a Utah transfer

Playing catchup mode, we see that Jay Drew/Salt Lake Tribune is reporting a transfer from Utah to Utah State. Go here for the item.

In Drew's next item on the page, he has a 7-foot Canadian signing with Southern Utah and mentions Utah State and Louisiana Tech had shown some interest.

There is no way of knowing until the decision is made -- and more than likely not then

The scenario could have even changed in the last hour for all we know but the recruitment of Aussie 7-footer Jordan Vandenberg brightly illuminates the story behind the story.

Fairly soon, Vandenberg will choose (our money is on AW Prince/Silver and Blue Sports to lead with that information) his college home and it seems two WAC teams are among those in the running -- Nevada and Boise State.

But wherever Vandenberg goes, it's unlikely we will ever know the actual reason(s) behind his selection. Such doesn't usually emerge even if some quotes offered by the subject are printed as to why College A was the one.

There will be immense speculation but we will never really know if the trouble surrounding the now dismissed Ahyaro Phillips was a plus, minus or neutral factor in Vandenberg's decision. Sure, Phillips' departure open up playing time (theoretically a bonus in Nevada's favor) but do the legal problems Phillips faces 'tarnish' the Wolf Pack Program in Vandenberg's eyes? Or is it all a zero sum element? Minus Phillips, does having another center in the same Nevada recruiting class and a sophomore-to-be 'big' returning aid or hinder Nevada's allure in Vandenberg's thinking?

Also, is Boise State 'using' the Phillips situation in a negative recruiting fashion? Believe it or not, there are some coaching staffs -- probably few but still worth noting -- that won't negatively recruit and there is also the possibility that Vandenbeg is the type of person who will make his decision based on the positives of a school, program and coaching staff and not what is mentioned in a derogative fashion.

Bottomline, if it's Nevada or Boise State or elsewhere for Vandenberg, any crowing or lamenting will not necessarily be based on fact or fiction because we just won't know.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Welcome to head coaching David Carter

David Carter achieves his goal of becoming a head coach, at a school he obviously prefers and 'inherits' a roster full of talent and potential. Talk about livin' large after paying his dues.

Then this hits.

Full story on Phillips' arrest, dismissal from Pack
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

Given a second chance after being cited for petty larceny earlier this season, freshman Ahyaro Phillips was kicked off the Nevada basketball team Friday after his second run-in with the law in seven months.

Phillips was arrested and charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on school property by the University of Nevada Police Department late Wednesday night...

Go here for the remainder.

Phillips showed some spunk playing in the paint despite not having a lot of weight and bulk to throw around. But on the bright side, the Wolf Pack basketball program now has another scholarship to use. Plus, overall it's better to cut the ties to a problem person now rather than say mid-season.

It's not sticking one's neck out in making this prediction: the basketball message boards associated with Utah State and New Mexico State will soon be going into overdrive.

Is Jeff Ledbetter to Idaho a mystery? Or not?

There's been an on-going question surrounding Irvine Valley guard Jeff ledbetter and his supposed signing back in November with Idaho -- a did he or did he not ink a letter-of-intent question since Idaho has yet to make any sort of official announcement.

Well, this may or may not end the festering question but here's how a news item at the Irvine Valley athletics site was written:

"Men's basketball player Jeff Ledbetter named all-conference
Feb 23, 2009
Ledbetter, a sophomore guard headed to the University of Idaho, is a first team pick and IVC's Kwame Alexander and Brandon Hucks make the conference's honorable mention list."

A little more on Hawaii's guard signings

It's not news but here more from Dayton Morinaga and from Brian McInnis on Hawaii's signing of Jeremy Lay and Dwain Williams.

Both backcourters will upgrade the Rainbow Warrior backcourt.

The biggest question is will Roderick Flemings stay or go to the NBA? We think he has a chance as a late first-rounder --providing he impresses during his visits -- but a much better chance of going higher if he plays another season in Honolulu. Plus, with two new guards and more help on the way, Hawaii now has the opportunity to contend for the WAC title next season. Bob Nash needs to sign a solid big who can score and rebound inside and then Hawaii will be very tough.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vandals nab a good 'un

As expected, Washington prepster Corey Stern has become an Idaho Vandal. The 6-7 wing/forward is a fine athlete and adds to the solid base Don Verlin is building.

Corey Stern joins the Vandals
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations

MOSCOW, Idaho – Highly touted recruit Corey Stern has signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Idaho and play basketball for the Vandals in the fall.

Stern, a 6-foot-7 forward from Rainier Beach High School at Seattle, is rated one of the top 20 high school players in the state of Washington and was receiving interest from at least eight Division I programs...

Go here for the remainder.

Shawn Harrison on Stavon Williams' departure

The most unusual item about Stavon Williams' departure from Utah State is that it appears he wishes to return to Texas -- where he played junior college ball (and has relatives) - rather than closer to home (Minneapolis).

Shawn Harrison has a lengthy article on Williams today. Go here.

LA TECH has a new point

The point position -- despite a couple of exceptional performances by James Loe -- was not a strong point for Louisiana Tech this past season. Coach Kerry Rupp is trying to upgrade the position and just signed someone who will help. Joining fellow high schoolers 6-9 Kadeem Crosby and 6-2 Darius Redding will be 6-1 Jarvis Davis out of South Carolina. It's quite the collection of athletes.

Here's Ron Tyler at his A Closer Look at LA Tech Hoops site with the details.

Here is the official announcement from LA TECH.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nevada has filled Mark McLaughlin's spot

David Carter moved quickly -- using the Seattle pipeline Nevada has established -- in filling the athletic scholarship made available by Mark McLaughlin's departure from Reno. The replacement is a differently-skilled player.

Seattle forward will take McLaughlin's spot at Nevada
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal
April 15, 2009

The Nevada basketball team appears to have found a replacement for Mark McLaughlin and it didn't have to veer too far away from the ex-Wolf Pack signees' home.

Seattle Prep coach Michael Kelly said Tuesday that Patrick Nyeko, a 6-foot-6 wing for the Panthers, will sign a national letter-of-intent today to play for the Wolf Pack...

Go here for the remainder.

Jason Groves on what New Mexico State is up to

On his blog today, Jason Groves provides some insight into Marvin Menzies' recruiting plans:

Signing Period
Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News
April 14, 2009

The regular signing period begins on Wednesday and runs through May 20. Don't expect anything soon. I talked to Coach Menzies on Tuesday...

Go here for the remainder.

Stavon is gone, per Jared Eborn

Stavon Williams is indeed departing from Utah State. Jared Eborn has the article on it today.

Stavon Williams leaving USU
Jared Eborn
Deseret News
April 14, 2009

The rumors have been out there for a couple of weeks.

Those rumors can be put to rest -- Stavon Williams will not be returning to Utah State for his senior season.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Minneapolis told the Deseret News Tuesday night he was, indeed, leaving the Aggies...

Go here for the remainder.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Letter-of-intent signing day is tomrrow

The second period for basketball recruits to sign letters-of-intent begins tomorrow April 15 and runs through May 20. A number of commits are already known but certainly not all of them.

Utah State seems to be deciding on a wing-type player. Nevada has two schollies available but it's unknown if each will be used. New Mexico State wants a big, a forward and a backcourter and Boise State is looking to land another big. Fresno State seems to looking for a big to go along with a point. Hawaii has two new freed-up scholarships to offer and they will be filled. Idaho has at least one opening. San Jose State will probably sign a big. We're not sure what LA TECH is up to recruiting-wise but there seems to be an opening or two.

David Carter makes a coaching hire

One item has been removed from David Carter's checklist of things to do. It just hit us: we love the phrase/name Coach Carter although it makes us think of Samuel L. Jackson. It's good Nevada's Coach Carter doesn't have the first name of Ken.

Coach Carter adds strong-recruiting assistant to his staff
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

The Nevada basketball team’s recruiting pipeline to the Northwest has extended from producing players to delivering coaches.

Wolf Pack coach David Carter said Monday he has added Keith Brown to his staff as an assistant coach. Brown, 36, was an assistant at Seattle University the past two seasons and also served as an assistant at Portland (2002-06).

Before that, he spent the bulk of his time in Los Angeles, where he and Carter met and have been friends for the past 25 years...

Go here for the remainder.

Jared Eborn with a good Gary Wilkinson - Portsmouth summary

It appears Gary Wilkinson carried the Utah State and WAC banner well during the Portsmouth Invitational Tourney. Maybe he can land a spot in the Big Show -- teams will at least know there will be getting a solid citizen who knows the game of basketball and exhibits no me-me-me attitude.

Wilkinson shined at Portsmouth
Shawn Harrison
Herald Journal
April 14, 2009

The tone of his voice said it all.

“It went well, it went real well,” Gary Wilkinson said Monday.

The senior finished up his Utah State career last month. He was in Portsmouth, Va., last week, taking part in the 2009 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT). Wilkinson was one of 64 college seniors invited to take part in the tournament...

Go here for the remainder.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A few LA TECH items

Ron Tyler has posted some new items at his A Closer Look At LA TECH Hoops site.

Go here for his updates.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jeff Goodman lists Stavon Williams as a transfer

Jeff Goodman over at FoxSports finally posted his transfer list and he has Utah State's Stavon Williams on it so we're taking it as confirmation of the junior's departure from Logan.

We had read the rumors but this seems to make it official.

The million dollar question is why? Williams didn't start any games but played in 34 and a bit below 20 minutes a contest. 46 of his 68 field goals were three-pointers and he shot 42% on his trey attempts. Williams was also credited with 46 assists to 28 turnovers.

He has a year of D-1 eligibility remaining which will limit his opportunities for remaining at this level as a lot of coaches don't want to tie up a scholarship for two years on a one year player.

Here's a take that confounds 'truths' in basketball

The following is from the men's basketball coach at Cal Tech (southern California). He offers some statistics that seem to belie -- at least to a degree -- the 'givens' necessary to be a winning basketball team.

Oliver "Doc" Eslinger
April 2, 2009

What happens when you coach a team that finished first in its conference in free throw percentage, field goal percentage, field goal percentage defense, and rebounding defense?

You get fired. At least, in Kentucky you do...and if the school colors are blue and white...

Go here for the remainder.

More on Hawaii commit Dwain Williams

Dayton Morinaga has a bit more on Bob Nash's latest commit:

UH hoops recruit confirms pledge
Dayton Morinaga
Honolulu Advertiser
April 12, 2009

Prized recruit Dwain Williams confirmed his commitment to play for the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team yesterday amid Internet reports that he might be undecided.

"I am coming to Hawai'i and I am very happy with the decision," Williams said. "I read some of the stuff people are writing about me and I don't know where it's coming from. Me and my mom sat down and really thought about this, and we feel like Hawai'i is the best place for me.

.." Go here for the remainder.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Gary Wilkinson's play at Portsmouth

Here's a take on Gary Wilkinson at the Portsmouth Invitational:

Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Day Two
Jonathan Givony - President, Matt Kamalsky, Joseph Treutlein - Assistant Director of Scouting
Draft Express
April 10, 2009

...Gary Wilkinson had another strong performance here, further increasing his stock for, at the very least, the many European league executives that came to scout this event. He hit a number of mid-range jumpers thanks to his superb touch, even showing range out to the three-point line, and also showed some crafty footwork in the paint, which led to some mixed results. He’s one of the biggest hustlers you’ll find at this tournament, grabbing 15 rebounds in 32 minutes today. Wilkinson draws some comparisons to Brian Scalabrine due to their obvious similarities in their build, hair color (fiery red) and comparable games, but at age 26, he is probably a long shot for the NBA...

Hawaii basketball updated

Dayton Morinaga has the latest on Roderick Flemings and the NBA plus another departure from the Rainbow Warrior roster:

Flemings undecided on early entry
'Bows junior to talk with family, then choose to return or apply for draft
Dayton Morinaga
Honolulu Advertiser
April 11, 2009

Roderick Flemings is apparently still considering whether to officially declare for early entry into the 2009 NBA Draft, according to University of Hawai'i men's basketball head coach Bob Nash.

Nash said he met with Flemings this week to discuss the star player's future with the Rainbow Warriors.

"He said he's thinking about putting his name in the draft, but he still wants to talk it over a little more with his family," Nash said. "At this point, I don't know what the decision will be. I'm sure we'll talk more after he talks things over with his family..."

Go here for the remainder.


Brian McInniss'Honolulu Star Bulletin has more on Conrad Fitgerald's departure here.

Daniel Lyght on Fresno State recruiting

Daniel Lyght/Fresno Bee shed some light on what the Bulldogs are up to recruiting-wise. The power forward had Gonzaga fans very excited early on as it was assumed the kid was a lock to head to Spokane. We're not sure where Gonzaga is in that mix right now:

Mostly good reviews on Bulldogs PG recruit. PF also in sights
Daniel Lyght
Fresno Bee
April 10, 2009

Fresno State has been looking for a point guard and forward to fill their last two scholarships and those two recruits might just be PG Steve Shepp and forward Daequon Montreal.

Shepp is a 6-foot-1, 175-pound guard from Allegany Community College (Maryland) and Montreal is a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward who hails from the College of Southern Idaho...

Go here for the remainder.

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Mexico State in pas de deux with Bay Area backcourter?

Jason Groves has an article about the mutual interest between a prep backcourter in the Bay Area and New Mexico State.

Guard Justin Standley says New Mexico State men's basketball team is his No. 1 choice
Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News

With a lack of depth at the point guard position, the New Mexico State men's basketball team is looking to fill at least one of the three scholarships the Aggies have available with a guard.

Oakland, Calif., product Justin Standley made an official visit to Las Cruces on March 2. The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 14 points per game at McClymonds High last year. Standley played his senior year at McClymonds after transferring from nearby Amador Valley High.

Although the Aggies haven't offered Standley a scholarship, the school is at the top of his list...

Go here for the remainder.

Utah State the best in the country

Utah State has been a good shooting team for as long as we can remember and Shawn Harrison has an article today about the Aggies' sharp-shooting.

Ags end up leading nation in shooting
Shawn Harrison
Herald Journal
April 10, 2009

It’s official.

For the second straight season the Utah State men’s basketball team led the nation in field goal shooting percentage. The NCAA released its final Division I statistics Thursday. This is the third time in five years the Aggies have led the country in shooting percentage...

Go here for the remainder.

So why is this? Here's what we can determine (and please add your own takes).

*** Utah State recruits kids who can shoot -- possessing good form and technique. Obviously other teams do too but USU appears to place a premium on this while other focus more on athletic ability and the like.

*** The Aggie offensive 'system' (pass, screen, pass, screen -- not a premium on dribbling) is designed to create highly make-able open looks and promotes unselfishness. Newcomers who don't adapt to this style of play either don't play much or depart from Logan fairly soon.

*** The emotional and intellectual maturity that comes with older players plays a role as it's easier to instill a team-first, me-last attitude on those more 'sophisticated' if you will. The greater physical advancement of many on the USU roster is also a factor.

What else?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fresno State eyeing a JUCO point

We're not going to give away the name because it's listed as a premium story (who says old dogs can't learn new tricks?) but Fresno State Coach Steve Cleveland is apparently serious about a junior college point from a state a few time zones over.

From what we could locate statistically (which may or may not be his final numbers), the kid shot 43% (78-176) overall this season, 37% (34-94) from three-point range and 70% (48-68) from the foul line. He averaged 5.8 assists per game versus 2.7 turnovers a contest while nabbing 2.4 steals each time out.

He was named the top player at his state junior college tourney and made an impression on a number of college coaches in the national junior college get together, thereby broadening his recruiting interest. Our sense is Fresno State was unaware of him prior to his play in the national tourney but we can't offer that as fact.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Which WAC players will be declaring early for the NBA?

This could be a very short entry as the WAC team rosters are filled with younger prospects, ones who still need time to develop physically and to expand their skills sets.

Based on zero inside information -- just a look at talent and potential -- here's our take on which WAC players will have the option of heading to the NBA prior to their senior seasons.

Boise State: nobody

Fresno State: Paul George will have the opportunity to depart early by the end of his junior season. He still needs to for his body to mature and to add more aspects to his game.

Hawaii: Roderick Flemings has already said he will check out his chances. He has a history of one-and-done at his previous stops but Bob Nash has already brought in a pair of backcourters to bolster the team and is now looking for frontcourt help. A quality center recruit may influence Flemings if he feels there is the chance to win the WAC.

Idaho: Mac Hopson could generate NBA interest if he decided to leave early but what would be the motivation? Hopson and the Vandals just enjoyed a much better than expected season with the sense that 2009-2010 should be better. Plus, right now it's between him and Jahmar Young for next season's WAC most valuable player.

Louisiana Tech: Magnum Rolle has NBA highlight film written all over him but he would best be served by adding 20-25 pounds and the game in-game out consistency like he showed in the majority (but not all) of the games in the latter half of the Tech season. Rolle has to get stronger and bulkier for the pros.

Nevada: Luke Babbitt is the foremost Wolf Packer with NBA potential but he certainly isn't going anywhere now. After his sophomore season -- maybe. Upon completion of his junior year -- you betcha. Armon Johnson needs a consistent year -- especially with his shooting -- under his belt. His assist-to-turnover ratio is less than 2-1 but 145 assists is still a nice total. Having greater scoring help in the backcourt would help in reducing his turnover totals (84). Johnson also has to show he can defend at the NBA level. We expect him to be a four year starter for Nevada.

New Mexico State: Jarmar Young is going to be really tempted after the 2009-2010 season concludes as he possesses very good size and all-around shooting ability. He can create his own shot and possesses the physical prerequisites to defend at the next level. We say he's a goner after next year.

San Jose State: Adrian Oliver has NBA offensive prowess but obviously needs to remain healthy for a full season. Oliver also must show he can defend at the next level.

Utah State: It oftentimes is an insult to be labeled a system player or players but there some applicability to the Utah State players. We don't see an NBA prospect on the Aggie roster but their collective talents along with how Stew Morrill gets his squad to play produces success and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Penitence over, we're back

The self-flogging is behind us -- actually, we kind of liked it (hey, we're SJSU fans) but that's a whole 'nother story, one not suited for this blog ;>0 -- and we're back with some more WAC items.

Chris Murray reports today that the Malik Cooke transfer rumors seems incorrect:

Carter does not expect others to leave
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal
April 8, 2009

Although Mark McLaughlin has asked for and received his release from a letter-of-intent to play for the Nevada basketball team, Wolf Pack coach David Carter doesn't expect that to trigger an exodus of players from the program.

Carter said Tuesday that incoming recruits Devonte Elliott and Steven Bjornstad remain committed to playing for Nevada next season, adding that each of the players on last year's team are also expected to return...

Go here for the remainder.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Jason Groves updates New Mexico State

Jason Groves provides an update on the NMSU roster, positional recruiting targets and a possible Aggie assistant coach change.

Men's basketball looking to fill three scholarships
Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News reporter

LAS CRUCES — New Mexico State men's basketball coach Marvin Menzies has offers out to fill three scholarships for next season.

The Aggies coach said on Tuesday that the Aggies have made offers to a center, a power forward and a guard...

Go here for the remainder.

Joe Henson plays his final high school game

Joseph Henson is no longer a Bulldog...a Pasadena High Bulldog that is. Come June, he enrolls at San Jose State.

Fred J. Robledo
Pasadena Star-News

Pasadena High School's Joseph Henson and Darius Johnson had 14 and 13 points, respectively, and the Star-News boys team won for the fifth time in six years, 101-85, at the annual Tribune/Star-News High School All-Star Basketball Classic at Azusa Pacific University Felix Event Center on Saturday night.

"This means a lot," said the 6-foot-8 Henson, who was selected Star-News MVP after scoring 11 of his team-high 14 points during the first half, along with grabbing 12 rebounds. "It was neat that we all came together as a team and got it done."

Additionally, San Jose State has 6-5 Anthony Dixon out of Chicago, Aalim Moor of St. Mary's High in Berkeley and 6-4 Chris Jones scheduled to come into the fold.

Monday, April 6, 2009

What's this? Mud on our faces?

UPDATE: Maybe this puts it all to rest.

Well, it could be worse. It could be something else splattering our noggin. The money sure would be a jump but as an insider pointed out to us last night -- Stew Morrill would face no more questions about his scheduling. At WSU, he could play whoever he wants and then the PAC-10 schedule takes care of the rest.

Morrill talks with Washington State
Jared Eborn
Deseret News
April 5, 2009

As has been the case several times over the past several seasons, Utah State basketball coach Stew Morrill is an attractive candidate to fill a variety of vacant coaching positions.

The latest is Washington State, and according to a source close to the USU basketball staff, an offer for Morrill to make the jump from the Aggies to the Pac-10 Cougars could come as early as today.

The source told the Deseret News on Sunday that Morrill met with Washington State officials in Seattle on Sunday to discuss the opening...

Go here for the remainder.


Morrill meets with Cougars
Shawn Harrison
Herald Journal
April 6, 2009

A trip to Colorado to visit family was cut short for Utah State men’s head basketball coach Stew Morrill.

After being contacted and invited for a meeting with Washington State, the Aggie coach was in Seattle Sunday. According to a reporter with The Seattle Times, Morrill was one of two current head coaches interviewed for the opening at WSU.

USU Athletics Director Scott Barnes was contacted by Washington State and gave approval for Morrill to meet with the Cougars.

Portland State’s Ken Bone was the other candidate interviewed Sunday in Seattle. Bone has guided the Vikings to back-to-back Big Sky Conference Tournament championships and trips to the NCAA Tournament.

The Seattle Times also reported Alabama-Birmingham head coach Mike Davis was interviewed by WSU Athletic Director Jim Sterk at the Final Four this weekend, as were several other candidates...
Go here for the remainder.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mark McLaughlin not heading to Reno

Backcourter Mark McLaughlin, theoretically (aren't they all until they playing actually begins?) Nevada's top recruit, has decided not to come to Reno, per A.W. Prince at the Silver and Blue Nevada fan site.

That's all we are going to print -- actually all we should. Hey, get a membership there. Forget about all the pretenders at Rivals and Scout and elsewhere, A.W. knows more about what is happening in West Coast prep and college football and basketball than anyone else.

Open up that wallet.

Bob Dylan and Stew Morrill

Why does a Bob Dylan song remind us of Stew Morrill and no, we haven't stumbled into a patch of hallucinogenics?

Try this:

"...Strap yourself
To the tree with roots
You ain't goin' nowhere..."

Read Shawn Harrison's latest article and tell us if you think Stew Morrill is starting to pack the suitcase?

Morrill reflects on 2008-09 campaign
Shawn Harrison
Herald Journal
April 5, 2009

Normally, Aggie men’s head basketball coach Stew Morrill would be in Detroit this weekend.

Attending the Final Four is something most coaches and their assistants do. But Morrill was not in the Motor City Saturday and will not be there Monday either. Instead, the veteran Utah State coach is in Colorado.

“I am going to Colorado to see my grandkids,” Morrill said. “There is a 4-year-old having a birthday. Fortunately, he thinks grandpa is a pretty good deal.

“It’s hard to turn down Detroit, but I am going to go watch the games with my children and grandkids...”

Go here for the remainder.

Jared Eborn has more on the subject -- no not hallucinogenics or Bob Dylan for that matter.

tew leaving Logan?
Jared Eborn
April 4, 2009

It happens every year. Utah State wins 25 games (or thereabouts) and basketball coach Stew Morrill's name is mentioned with a variety of coaching openings at schools in big-time conferences hoping to capture some of what's going on in Logan.

This year, Morrill is being talked about as the next coach at Washington State.

Most years, those rumored job offers are just that, rumors...
Go here for the remainder.

A little more on Hawaii's two upcoming transfers

Brian McInnis/Honolulu Star Bulletin has some more on the two Hawaii ballers who will be transferring. It's a win-win because neither was going play much next season.

2 players choosing to leave Rainbows
Brian McInnis
Honolulu Star Bulletin
April 5, 2009

Lasha Parghalava and Adam Jespersen will not return to play for the Hawaii men's basketball team next season, seeking to transfer to other schools.

Both players said yesterday they arrived at a mutual decision with UH coach Bob Nash after the Rainbow Warriors' 13-17 season and will look to finish their collegiate careers elsewhere.

The loss of Parghalava and Jespersen frees up two more scholarships for the Rainbows to offer to recruits for the April 15 national letter of intent signing day, bringing their total to four...

Go here for thge remainder.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Covering the Nevada basketball news

One non-newspaper site that is absolutely on top of Nevada sports -- not just basketball -- is the Silver and Blue site run by A.W. Prince.

Any Nevada fan -- at least those still employed in these tumultuous times -- should kick in the $10 or so a month it takes to have a subscription there. The overlaod of information provided is well worth it.

We would run a photo of A.W. but there is none to be found on the 'net -- this from a guy who produces tremendous photos and video at the Silver and Blue site!

Hawaii's comings and goings

The not-so-unexpected departures are beginning over in Honolulu -- which will allow Bob Nash to now bring in some taller talent.

Per Dayton Morinaga/Honolulu Advertiser, "...Lasha Parghalava and Adam Jespersen said they will not return to play for Hawai'i next season..."

Here's the full article, which is mostly about Roderick Flemings and the NBA.

Hawaii's Flemings eyes NBA draft
Dayton Morinaga
Honolulu Advertiser
April 4, 2009

University of Hawai'i men's basketball coach Bob Nash said he plans to discuss future plans with star player Roderick Flemings next week.

Flemings, who just completed his junior season with the Rainbow Warriors, has indicated that he would like to declare for early entry into the 2009 NBA Draft.

"I don't want to say anything until I sit down and talk to Rod," said Nash, who is in Detroit for the Final Four...

Go here for the remainder.

Did Mark Fox have a shadow?

Nick Jezierny/Idaho Statesman has a very interesting column out. Take a read and we'll comment below.

Fox escapes Trent's shadow at Georgia
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman
April 4, 2009

Mark Fox had $1.3 million reasons to take the head coaching job at football-crazy Georgia.

In addition to that irresistible annual salary, here's another reason I think Fox left a comfortable situation at Nevada to take over a program that lacks significant tradition: It gives him a chance to be the architect of what will be a major rebuilding project.

He's no longer in the shadow of his former boss, Trent Johnson, who turned around the Wolf Pack in six years, culminating with a run to the Sweet 16 in 2004...

Go here for the remainder.

We take the position that Fox had no shadow at Nevada. Regardless of who recruiting which players (and Fox certainly had a hand in landing some of the kids he inherited), it was Fox who coached them to 20+ win seasons. What we would love to know is who on Trent Johnson's coaching staff first 'found' Nick Fazekas? Was it Fox or someone else on the staff. Please weigh in if you happen to know. The same with Marcelus Kemp.

Plus, landing JaVale McGee (who was never going to be a four-year college player regardless of who coached him) and Luke Babbitt (more than likely ditto) puts to rest any qualms about Fox's own recruiting prowess. We don't know who initially came across McGee but newspaper reports indicated Fox himself sealed the deal with his wooing of Pam McGee.

We also envision nothing but success for Fox at Georgia, given the opportunity for a couple of seasons of recruiting. Anyone (and there will always be the doubters) who is skeptical of Fox's overall ability to run a successful program is delusional. Some may not enjoy his personality and/or some of his disciplinary decisions and/or a few moments of his personal behavior but there is simply no way to substantiate any form of a shadow.

Have at it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

It is Carter

As expected, it will be David Carter heading the Wolf Pack men's basketball program.

Sources: Carter to be named Nevada's coach today
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

According to multiple sources with knowledge of the hiring, Nevada will name associate head coach David Carter the team's new head coach during a news conference at 2:30 p.m. today at Legacy Hall. Carter will replace Mark Fox, who officially accepted the position at Georgia on Friday.

Carter has been an assistant at Nevada since 1999, when he was hired by then-coach Trent Johnson. He was elevated to associate head coach after the 2003-04 season when Johnson was hired by Stanford and Fox was named his succesor. Carter has also been an assistant coach at Saint Mary's and Eastern Washington after playing for the Gaels from 1985-89...

Go here for the remaidner.

Maybe Fresno State can land Javarez Willis

We thought Fresno State was out of the equation a while back but somewhat similar to the line from "The Godfather' -- just when I thought I was out, I get pulled back in (or something to that effect) -- the Bulldogs are being mentioned once more by point Javarez Willis. But so are a lot of schools.

Willis making visits
Bill Lowery
March 28, 2009

Javarez Willis, a 5-foot-11 and 168-pound scoring guard from Dallas (TX) Pinkston High School, has been making visits this spring and has more planned, according to Pinkston Head Coach Nick Smith. The University of Tulsa is one school that has shown interest in Willis and may get an unofficial visit from him soon. However, he has a couple of official visits scheduled in the next few weeks.

When we last spoke with Coach Smith, Willis was rescheduling a visit to Fresno State and was setting up one with Texas Tech...

Go here for the remainder and a Rivals sub is required.

Michael Williams to head north

Taft High's Michael Williams has committed to San Francisco. New Mexico State was also interested among others.

Jack Pollon has some of the details:

Taft's Williams commits
Jack Pollon
Los Angeles Daily News
April 2, 2009

Taft guard Michael Williams ended weeks of speculation and announced he will attend San Francisco next year...

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What did Mark Fox do?

Did Mark Fox run over Dan Hinxman's dog on his way out of Reno? Or maybe Fox took a whiz on a number Nevada fans in some unreported episode? Tell us, what's the scoop?

We know it's human nature to summon the time and energy for lamentation -- to complain that something is wrong or so-and-so is a jerk (often regardless of any validity) -- and to remain silent when it comes to offering praise but the vitriol being offered towards Fox in Hinxman's commentary and in comments to Chris Murray's various articles on Fox's departure is jaw-dropping.

Here's Hinxman's post -- we aren't going to bother with listing any elucidations from the Wolf Pack intelligentsia.

Commentary: Referendum on Fox will come at Georgia
Dan Hinxman
Reno Gazette-Journal
April 3, 2009

Mark Fox leaves Nevada as its greatest basketball coach. That's what the numbers tell us.

We're about to find out if it really is true.

Fox, who led the Wolf Pack to a sterling 123-43 record and five postseason appearances in five seasons, will be announced as the new head coach at Georgia today.

Is it the right move for Georgia? Is it the right move for Fox?

The answer to both seems to be a resounding yes. But when you look beyond the wins and losses and championship trophies, when you look at all the variables that come into play -- the high-profile players who all but landed in his lap, the couple of embarrassing off-the-court incidents and what can only be described as a perceived level of friction between Fox and some of his players -- it's difficult to blindly share that optimism.

Truth be told, in a few years we might come to learn the biggest winner today is the Wolf Pack and its fans...

Go here for the remainder.

Hawaii lands a second backcourter

We were wrong (again). Our thinking was that the Jeremy Lay commitment that bolstered Hawaii's backcourt would be followed by the landing of a big, a 4 or a 5. But Dayton Morinaga has the 411 about a second guard who has decided to become a Rainbow Warrior.

Guards commit to UH
Pair of highly regarded 6-footers say they'll sign with men's hoops team
Dayton Morinaga
Honolulu Advertiser
April 3, 2009

The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team will try to fill a big need with a pair of little guards.

Dwain Williams and Jeremy Lay have committed to play for the Rainbow Warriors starting in the 2009-10 season. Both are 6-foot point guards with sharpshooting capabilities.

Williams could be the steal of the late recruiting season for the 'Bows...

Go here for the remainder.

This is not what Bob Nash needed to hear

It's a weak draft in the NBA this season (isn't that the way it always seems to be?) and Roderick Flemings has both the skill and athletic ability to land on an NBA roster so...we shall see. It seems to us that he's more a wing than a 2 guard in the NBA and that (but aren't they all) is a tough position to handle defensively in the pros. Now Flemings does have a history of never staying too long in one place but who knows if such will be a factor in this decision. Brian McInnis has the scoop.

Flemings to try NBA
The junior will declare for the draft, but plans to retain the option to resume his UH career
Brian McInnis
Honolulu Star-Bulletin
April 3, 2009

Hawaii junior forward Roderick Flemings said yesterday he intends to declare himself for early entry in the 2009 NBA Draft field.

As long as Flemings doesn't hire an agent -- and the 6-foot-7 swingman said he had no plans to -- he is eligible to return for his senior year in Manoa if he withdraws his name before the June 25 draft.

"If I'm not (rated high enough) I can just come back and work on my game some more at Hawaii," Flemings said. "So just put my name in there and see where I'm at. Trying to keep my options open..."

Go here for the remainder.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wow -- Mark Fox to Georgia

How did this stay under wraps? Moving ultra-quick helped. Betcha there are Utah State and New Mexico State fans singing "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" tonight.

Count on David Carter to be the new Nevada head coach.

Fox leaves Nevada for Georgia news services

Nevada's Mark Fox confirmed to he will be Georgia's next basketball coach.

"Yes, it's done." Fox said in a text message to's Andy Katz when asked about being hired by the Bulldogs.

It will be announced at a news conference on Friday morning. Fox replaces Dennis Felton, who was fired Jan. 29 after going 84-91 in six seasons at Georgia...

Go here for the remainder.

Chris Murray, as usual, is on it here and here.

Matt Korcheck blowing up?

No, young Matt Korcheck hasn't forsaken the prep basketball life and become the explosives equivalent of Robbie Knievel, it's just that according to one Arizona scout Korcheck is playing his way into high level basketball options come time to select a college while ESPN's main recruiting guy, Joel Francisco, has a lesser take..

Korcheck is a 6-8 junior in Arizona and possesses offers from Utah State and Northern Arizona and possibly others at this time.

Anthony Rap at ArizonaPreps (a Rivals sub is required) recently wrote this: "...Korcheck proved why he is so highly regarded by our Arizona Preps' staff among post players in the state, as he competed with a high level of energy and aggression all weekend. Has very good size and strength which make him tough to keep off the offensive glass. Showed some good post skills and ran the floor very well. Had sort of a coming-out party this weekend with the scouts in attendance. Has a very high ceiling..."

ESPN's Joel Francisco offered this: "...Korcheck is another unknown commodity who elevated his stock as much as any prospect. He has a terrific frame with extremely long arms and is very quick off the floor. His frame is slight right now and he'll need to pack on some muscle, but the upside is quite evident. He runs effortlessly and is has a tremendous knack for being around the ball. He gets numerous tip-ins and he has excellent timing on the defensive end. His post skills are raw and he gets pushed out of the lane too easily against stronger competition, but he is a very good passer from the post. Korcheck is a diamond in the rough and with proper coaching and skill development he should be a fine player at the mid-major level..."

Washington State to exchange one system for another?

We stumbled across this and it's the first we've read about it. It being a mention of Stew Morrill and the Washington State head coaching position. Ken Bone seems the perfect fit, a Northwest guy who wins with less than sterling squads of talent, and that is who will more than likely get the job. But Stew has those Spokane roots which isn't that far away...

What's also interesting is that in a recent Greg Witter-written article we subsequently found posted at the WSU Scout site, George Raveling says hire Morrill and Marv Harshman says hire Ken Bone.

Jeff Goodman
Apr 2, 2009

Ken Bone has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Tony Bennett at Washington State.

According to sources, Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk is considering Bone and is also interested in Utah State coach Stew Merrill...

Go here for the short remainder.

Shawn Harrison checks in with

Shawn Harrison/Herlad Journal has a look back on the Aggie season:

A year to remember
Shawn Harrison
Herald Journal
April 2, 2009

It has been nearly two weeks since the Aggie men’s basketball season came to an end in Boise, Idaho.

What a ride the 2008-09 team took Utah State fans on. Of course everyone was hoping for it to last a little longer, but there is nothing to be ashamed of in losing to Marquette in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Marquette nearly beat Missouri, who made the Elite Eight and gave Connecticut all it could handle, just missing the Final Four. Marquette also had the lead late against another Final Four team, Villanova, in the Big East Conference Tournament.

So, what am I trying to say? This Aggie team could play with the big boys. I think that is why the loss to Marquette stung more than recent first-round exits from the Big Dance.

Plus, many outside Cache Valley were also expecting USU to beat the Golden Eagles. I can’t remember seeing Aggie head coach Stew Morrill that disappointed after a loss. That first-round exit really hurt.

Having had a little time to “recover” from the season, I sat down with Morrill earlier this week...

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Hawaii also get a point guard

The timing is curious but who knows if it is connected: Bob Nash receives an extension and a junior college point says he is heading to Honolulu.

Time, guard for Nash
The UH basketball coach gets a one-year extension and a player
Brian McInnis
Honolulu Star-Bulletin
April 2, 2009

The one-year contract extension granted yesterday to Hawaii coach Bob Nash is just a bonus to Jeremy Lay.

Lay, a sophomore point guard at Northern Oklahoma-Enid, gave his oral commitment to play for the Hawaii men's basketball team Tuesday night before UH athletic director Jim Donovan officially announced a one-year extension for Nash through the 2010-11 season yesterday morning.

Nash also has an option through 2011-12 if the Rainbow Warriors post an 18-win season in the next two years or make it to any postseason tournament -- not just the NCAAs, but even a lesser event such as the NIT -- over that period.

Lay, the Jets' all-time leader in points (934) and assists (485) after two junior college seasons, guided Enid to a 25-8 record this year and wants to be a part of a UH turnaround. The 6-foot, 185-pound guard made his decision just two days after returning home from a visit to the UH campus over the weekend.

"I heard a little bit about, 'If we didn't win, then Coach Nash was going to get fired,' and all these things," Lay said. "That's not really the way I look at it because Coach Nash is more than a basketball coach to me. When we sat down and talked, yeah, he told me all the things he expected of me basketball-wise. But I know that's a guy I can go up to if I have a problem, and he can help me with it. So I wasn't really worried about the contract being up...

Go here for the remainder.