Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Will it be Chicago Reggie?

Jeremiah Wright, Ernie Banks and a mystery candidate are next in line.

Really, who else is left?

Theus to meet with DePaul about coaching job
Toni Ginnetti
Chicago Sun Times
March 31, 2010

Reggie Theus has made no secret of his interest in the DePaul coaching job. And Theus, who played for the Bulls and coached in the NBA and college, will get a chance to claim the position...

Go here for the remainder.

Paul George seeks the NBA's reaction

Daniel Lyght has an article up on Paul George officially gauging The Big Show reaction:

Bulldogs' George declares for NBA draft
Daniel Lyght
The Fresno Bee
March 31, 2010

Fresno State sophomore forward Paul George has declared for the NBA draft.

Coach Steve Cleveland said Wednesday morning that George has submitted his name to the NBA for an evaluation of his draft status and will take part in workouts with NBA teams in late April and early May. George will not hire an agent, however, so he has until May 8 to decide whether he wants to stay in the draft or return to Fresno State.

Until that time, Cleveland said, George will continue attending classes at Fresno State and take part in team activities...

Go here for the remainder.

Channeling Miss Cleo but hopefully with greater accuracy (yes, that's a low hanging fruit comparison), PTW predicts that George will not be wearing a Bulldog uniform next season. Yes, there certainly are aspects of his game in need of improvement/development but his potential is alluring, especially to NBA teams outside of the lottery. He can best achieve the gains he needs to accomplish with a 24/7 focus, one not involving books, tests and an NCAA limit on off-season coaching involvement.

We'll know before too long.

Tre Johnson to Montana State

A number of Nevada fans have followed the high school career of Reno's Tre Johnson, with some wanting him to play at Nevada. That isn't going to happen:

Bobcats get a commit from Tre Johnson
March 30, 2010

I have heard that the Bobcat basketball staff has received a commitment from Tre Johnson of Hug High school in Reno Nevada. Johnson is a 6-7 200 pound power forward prospect who led Hug to a 15-10 record and named to the Nevada: “Unofficial” all-state basketball team, as well as numerous other all conference/State teams...

Go here for the remainder.

WAC Wednesday

Sam Wasson offers up an interview with Marvin Menzies.


Brian McInnis interviews Trevor Wiseman, Hawaii's newest commit.

Dayton Morinaga also has the details of Trevor Wiseman's commitment to UH.


Nick Hinton, a Lone Star State big man, selects Texas State over a number of other offers, including one from Louisiana Tech. Blue Zertuche at has the scoop (a Rivals sub is required).


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Your Tuesday p.m. snack

AW Prince reports that Nevada has a point guard recruit sealed if not yet signed and delivered. You Wolf Pack fans who don't have a Silver and Blue Sports subscription are missing out so show those true colors and sign up.


Dan Hinxman is not happy with the reasoning surrounding the departure of Greg Graham.


Jared Eborn promises more tomorrow but has some interesting quotes today from Stew Morrill about what other recruiters say about Logan.


Will Leon Rice be donning a cheesehead (carryon luggage or check in?)prior to his trek to Wisconsin to see Ben Mills? PTW thinks Miils' hometown should really be spelled a more appropriate Heartland. Anyway, Nick Jezierny has the scoop.


This is simply a question and not based on any tips or inside scoop: will J'mison Morgan be interested in Louisiana Tech now that Ben Howland has said 'see ya later' to the former Louisiana prepster?

Granted, LSU might be the most logical destination but Morgan bailed on a previous commitment to Baton Rouge and Trent Johnson and it's not like he's a proven positive commodity after two seasons of injuries and very little playing time at UCLA.

The status of Mason Sawyer?

Mason Sawyer is a 5-10 point out of Utah who 'signed' with Boise State last year before heading off on his LDS mission.

Being a Greg Graham recruit, does anyone know what his status will be with Leon Rice? Our calculations indicate that he has one year to go before his service is completed.

Here's a SCOUT article on Sawyer from January 25, 2009.

From the Boise State athletics site on 11/19/2009 comes this.

Here's a Deseret News photo of Sawyer.

Andrew Marden talks with Steve Cleveland

CBS Channel 47 sports guy Andrew Marden recently talked with Steve Cleveland:

Steve Cleveland on Ladd, George, NCAA Tournament
March 25, 2010

I had the opportunity to do a one-on-one interview with Fresno State men's basketball coach Steve Cleveland Thursday morning. I set it up for a story that'll air Thursday night on CBS47 at 11 (good feature story on freshman guard/forward Jerry Brown, who knows sign language!)

But since I was already there, I had a couple of other questions I wanted to ask coach Cleveland and to his credit, he was great and answered all of them...

Go here for the remainder.

Your Tuesday WAC casserole

Jared Eborn has a conversation with Aggie recruiting target Stephen Rogers, plus also northern California 'big' Zach Nelson.


Jason Groves talks briefly with Marvin Menzies and also provides important recruiting timeframes here.


With a tip o' the hat to fulingyu at the message board, Coach Gib Arnold and Hawaii have received a verbal from a California prepster:

GV star off to Hawaii
Wiseman is third SCV boys player to go straight to Div. I
Cary Osborne
Signal Sports Editor
March 29, 2010

Even the greats are taunted — as Trevor Wiseman learned during a Foothill League basketball game at Valencia High this season.

The crowd chided the Golden Valley point guard, chanting “Where’s your offer?” as their own player, junior Lonnie Jackson, has received a lot of interest from NCAA Division I schools.

Wiseman now has a response — “I have one. Mahalo.”

The Foothill League co-Player of the Year verbally committed late last week to play basketball for the University of Hawaii...

Go here for the remainder.

We've followed Wiseman for some time. He appears to be a talent but one who is working on keeping his emotions under control. Here's a link to a Eric Sondheimer-penned Los Angeles Times article on Wiseman. Also, Wiseman took the SAT this mid March.


It's a year away since he's a 2011 recruit but Collins Woods, an Arizona high schooler, has received a Utah State recruiting mention. Adam Gorney has a feature up on the backcourter here (a Rivals sub is required). Here is Woods' own web site (more players should do this).

Monday, March 29, 2010

Here's a test of some WAC player numbers

Here are some conference-play-only numbers that caught our attention:

Q - guess who made the most three-pointers?

A - Jonathan Gibson with 51

Q - guess who made the most free throws?

A - Luke Babbitt with 106.

Q - guess who made First Team All-WAC despite not appearing among the top 15 scorers?

A - Jared Quayle.

Q - guess who grabbed the most offensive rebounds?

A - Magnum Rolle with 65.

Q - guess who grabbed the most defensive boards?

A - Luke Babbitt with 113.

Q - guess who didn't finish among the top 15 in offensive rebounds but was fifth @ 5.0 in defensive boards?

A - Jared Quayle

Q - guess the name of the only walk-on who appears among the top 15 statistics in any of the categories?

A - Anson Bartlett (LA TECH) with a steal a game.

Q - guess the two players shared the best assist-to-turnover ratio?

A - Jared Quayle and Tyler Newbold at 3.0

Q - guess who made the top five in minutes played (there were two ties so the number of players is seven)?

1) Luke Babbitt @ 38.4
2) Adrian Oliver @ 36.6
3) Roderick Flemings, Mac Peterson, Brandon Fields, Justin Graham @ 35.8

Tony Jones with more on Stephen Rogers

Tony Jones connected with USU recruiting target Stephen Rogers after Rogers' trip to Logan this past weekend:

Aggieville speaks with Stephen Rogers
Tony Jones
Salt Lake City Tribune

The 6-foot-8 small forward from Mesa Community College in Arizona is a wanted man. He officially picked up an offer from Utah State this weekend, and he will add that to the offers from Utah, New Mexico, UC Santa Barbara and Colorado State...

Go here for the remainder.

Old news revisited

This initial item has been covered before here but we came across it again today while cruising around the 'net:

Update on future Grizzly: Vaughn Autry
Mslacat's Blog
March 27, 2010

"...When Utah State offered Autry they told him that given their graduations from this years team he had the opportunity to step in and contribute possibly start as a true freshman. Autry thought it over and went a head and committed. Jumping ahead to late October and Utah State has a change of mind and rescinds their offer. Unfortunately most of the schools who were recruiting Autry before committing to Utah State have filled their needs..."

Go here for the complete post.

While PTW is glad that Utah State alerted Autry about this decision with some time to spare before the November signing period, we still feel one's word is a bond. Granted, it's a two-way street as recruits certainly do a 180 and change their minds and destinations but behavior should be dictated by one's beliefs and not how others behave or what the process is or can be characterized.

So Autry, whose team just won a state championship but had his father pass away before that final game, is headed to Montana.

Also, opining in on the Anthony DiLoreto situation: after pleading out to a felony charge of "possession of burglarious tools" due to participating in a bank robbery and with a determination of probation and serving jail time during the summer months of the next three years, he was arrested in February for possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

No decision about his return to the Utah State basketball team has been announced as yet but we just can't see it. Yes, he stayed in the car during the robbery attempt but he provided the rifle and the vehicle that was used to travel from Minnesota to Wisconsin.

Second chances are appropriate in so many situations but a third one here? With legal infractions taking place in such a short period of time?

Okay, there's your dose of PTW's so-called wisdom of Solomon and we'll slide off our high horse. Hey, wouldn't the greatest name for a judge or arbiter be Solomon Justice?

The pickins' are lean for your Monday WAC report

Jason Groves reports that Jahmar Young will be looking for NBA draft feedback before making his stay or go decision. We still think Troy Gillenwater should do the same although there should be much more money awaiting him if he enters the draft after next season.


Anthony Ray at says that Stephen Rogers visited Utah State this weekend and that Wichita State, Santa Barbara and New Mexico are also on the to-be-visiting list. Rogers just finished his freshman year for Coach Sam Ballard at Mesa College in Arizona. Go here for more (a Rivals sub is required).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another big to New Mexico State

ESPN is listing Raphael Giaimo as a New Mexico State verbal.

The New England Scouting Report site has this feature on Giaimo.

Here is his Facebook page.

Former New Mexico State basketball players Paris Carter and Johnny Higgins plus present stars Jahmar Young and Troy Gillenwater have attended Notre Dame Prep.

NMSUPistol Pete first alerted Aggie fans to Giamo at the Scout site.

LA TECH to have a visitor

Credit for this goes to seldomseensmith: College of Southern Idaho big Romario Souza will be visiting Louisiana Tech in the near future. From Mike Christensen's article:

"[CSI head coach Steve] Gosar said ... Brazilian center Romario Souza will visit TCU, Louisiana Tech and Idaho State..."
In 27 games (10 starts) and 20 minutes per contest this season, Souza averaged seven points and just under five boards a game. He shot 55% overall and 81% from the foul line.

Sunday's a.m. WAC news, notes and links

Nick Jezierny offers counsel to new Boise State head man Leon Rice and no, it's not, put me in coach (we grew up on CCR):

Hey coach Rice, looking for some advice?
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman

Longtime Gonzaga assistant Leon Rice was introduced as the Broncos' new coach Friday. Since the past two Boise State coaches have been fired, there's a lot of work on the table. Longtime Idaho Statesman basketball reporter Nick Jezierny always has an opinion...
Go here for the remainder.


Jason Groves looks at the totality of New Mexico State's season and offer grades for the various elements:
Looking back
Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News
March 27, 2010

I had to take a week to regroup and re-think the season that was at NMSU. And I was burnt out.

But I thought the best way to look at the season was a report card type of evaluation. Overall I would give the Aggies a B + on the season. Winning a WAC championship and playing a very competitive game in the NCAA Tournament is what we all remember, but it’s hard to forget the 3-6 start, losing another point guard during the season and the academic struggles of two players who proved capable of turning the season around...
Go here for the remainder.


Ferd Lewis's column names names of the UH behind-the-scenes powerbrokers plus a look at their demographics.


The Deseret News offers a Q-and-A with former Aggie Gary Wilkinson.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Brandon Fields feature

Here's a feature on Nevada's Brandon Fields:

Fields grows in the wake of the Scheels fiasco
Dan Hinxman
Reno Gazette-Journal

It’s been nearly 18 months since Brandon Fields found himself in handcuffs trying to make sense of what had just happened.

It was Oct. 15, 2008. Sparks police and Scheels security personnel were talking. The word “shoplifting” came up. His Nevada basketball teammates, London Giles and Ahyaro Phillips, were also being detained. The next day the three of them were supposed to have their first practice of the season.

That’s when Fields began to see his future spin out of control...
Go here for the remainder.

Dan also offers a review of the Wolf Pack season here.

Just what you wanted: more on Coach Reggie

Coach Reggie sure is receiving a lot of attention in Florida but, quick, what conference does Central Florida reside in? And, no, we couldn't recite much in the way of facts and figures on Kalin Lucas either.

Here's one feature to read on the association of the entities.

Plus, within Brian Schmitz' column -- about halfway down-- he writes that Coach Reggie's agent reached out to Central Florida. Wow. Double wow.

We've been wrong -- thanks for the reminders -- and will find ourselves on the incorrect side of some matters in the future but does anyone think the matrimony Coach Reggie and Central Florida is along the lines of "I take you to be my head coach/my next employer, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish from this day forward until death do us part."

If so, that's Las Vegas ringing you on line one.

Saturday's WAC items

Here is a David McCollum editorial from the Las Cruces Bulletin in the Aggies late-season emergence.

New Mexico State Associate Athletic Director has quite the column today at It will certainly get readers thinking.

Our unasked-for take: Coaches receive too much credit and also too much blame during the good and the lean times respectively. Those message board posters who accused Marvin Menzies of being in over his head and not knowing how to coach -- whatever that means -- were simply but unknowingly and quite tellingly describing themselves. Has Coach Menzies grown in his capacity during his head coaching tenure in Las Cruces? Absolutely. That's human nature in any occupation except for the empty suits in our workforce too scared or too rigid to learn, adapt and advance.

We will reserve a degree of criticism for the administrative leniency displayed at times in Las Cruces for certain player behavior and academic inattention. That's fair.

All New Mexico State basketball fans should be reveling in the success of the 2009-2010 season, no ifs, ands or buts. However, the ones who also offer that they hope acceptable grade point levels and student-athlete academic advancement are par for the course from here on out are not to be summarily dismissed. The recent past should not be forgotten amidst the rightful joy of this season's tremendous achievement.


It's Rice the coach, now known as the Boise treat. (yes, we really labored on that one so no minus points if you don't get it)

Nick Jezierny offers a human interest-type feature on Leon Rice, who will receive a greater salary, plus improvements in the recruiting budget and the amount he can offer assistants.

Nick also has another Rice article here.


Jeff Portnoy offers another column, one with a John Calipari sighting.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A possible UH basketball recruit?

Here's a possible Gib Arnold recruit, per Scott Wolf's Inside USC blog:

Washington To Hawaii?
Scott Wolf
March 25, 2010

We hear new Hawaii coach Gib Arnold is extremely interested in bringing in USC forward Leonard Washington, who was dismissed from the team after the season.


Washington was dismissed from the USC squad by Kevin O'Neill. This after missing the first semester due to grades.

Mr. Washington is not one of our faves (not that such disturbs him in the least) because of this 2008 incident involving then Oklahoma standout Blake Griffin.

But such wasn't Washington's only foray into sub-mixed martial arts. Go here and watch closely at about the 1:10 mark.

So not particularly academic-oriented and with a penchant for tossing an unexpected elbow or a fist -- let's hope Coach Arnold comes to his senses and doesn't show a penchant for scraping the bottom.

More Friday WAC links

Brian McInnis reports that Jordan Coleman is still coming to Hawaii.

Dayton Morinaga offers some names as UH assistant coaching candidates, including one with key South American basketball ties. He also has the Coleman update.

Ferd Lewis fills in readers on Hawaii's 2010-2011 schedule.


Stephen Rogers is a wanted man. No, no, no, he isn't on any law enforcement 10 Most Wanted list but he is on the respective Uncle Stew, Steve, Jim and Gregg Wants You recruitment posters issued by Misters Morrill, Alford, Boylen and Marshall. Tony Jones provides the details as well as an outline of the Aggie roster and lineup next season.


Sean Patrick represents referees in his article about officiating, particularly regarding the recent WAC tourney.

More on the Leon Rice hire

Nick Jezierny is all over the hiring of Leon Rice at Boise State:

Boise State hires Gonzaga's top assistant as new basketball coach
Leon Rice replaces Greg Graham and will become the school's seventh men's basketball coach.
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman

In coaching circles, Leon Rice is known as a top recruiter who has helped build Gonzaga University into a national power in the college basketball world.

The Bulldogs' associate head coach now has a new moniker: head coach at Boise State.

Rice, a 1986 graduate of Washington State, has been an assistant at Gonzaga for 11 seasons under head coach Mark Few...
Go here for the remainder.

Nick also has an update Greg Graham's November signees.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nick Jezierny on one of BSU's Greg Graham recruits

Nick Jezierny reached out and provides information on BSU November signee Ben Mills:

Top Boise State basketball recruit wants out of commitment; Bleymaier denies request
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman

The firing of Greg Graham may cost the Boise State basketball program one of its top recruits.

Ben Mills, a senior 7-footer at Arrowhead High in Hartland, Wisc., has asked Boise State to release him from his national letter of intent. Mills led his team to the Wisconsin state championship last weekend, posting double-doubles in points and rebounds in each game. Mills was a highly recruited player and had 19 scholarship offers...
Go here for the remainder.

PTW's take: Mills will receive an official release if he and his family decide to pursue other options after Leon Rice has a chance to look at tape of the kid and make a phonecall to the family.

The typical way of the college basketball world is the new coach decides on retention or dismissal of all newcomers signed prior to his or her time. This also applies to those already on the roster although the state of the team APR remains a key factor in this element.

Boise has a new basketball coach

It's too bad someone with the surname wheat wasn't in contention for the BSU opening because 'Rice tops Wheat' would have been a small 'c' classic.

ESPN's Andy Katz, quoting multiple unnamed sources, writes that Gonzaga's Leon Rice has been hired to run the mens basketball program at Boise State.

KTVB reports the same -- KIVI reports ditto.

The Gonzaga fan site The Slipper Still Fits has more here.

From the official Zag site comes this Rice bio.

Reggie interviews for a college job

We have to make amends (again).

After quoting Reggie Theus as saying he is an NBA guy (Andy Katz, ESPN, June 20, 2007) and pontificating that talk of him coming to Boise State or Hawaii was silly, he did interview for the opening (now filled) at Auburn.

Per Pat Forde today, "Former New Mexico State and Sacramento Kings coach Reggie Theus interviewed with Auburn Tuesday night about its coaching vacancy, a source told"

Why Auburn? The plusses: apparently a new basketball facility is due soon there (replacing the worst in the SEC) plus the conference is still a power one despite a down year. Always being Avis to Tuscaloosa's Hertz in the minds of the vast majority of the citizens there didn't seem to matter.

But UTEP's Tony Barbee got the job.

Your Thursday morning WAC brunch items

Sam Wasson offers a treat today: the top 10 plays this season in New Mexico State hoops. He also highlights a bevy of Aggie player statistics here.


The Idaho Statesman provides the latest on the search for Greg Graham's replacement.


Jeff Portnoy serves up some tantalizing personnel items in his latest Honolulu Advertiser blog entry.

Dayton Morinaga tells us that Gib Arnold has to also get some non conference games scheduled for next season.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A few PM WAC links for you

Here is the Idaho Statesman with the names/status of four candidates interested in the Bronco head coaching spot, plus, in the parlance of not too yore, the deciders:

Treasure Valley coaching carousel
Idaho Statesman


Here are confirmed updates on the Boise State coaching search, based on multiple Idaho Statesman interviews with various sources:
Go here for the remainder.


Ferd Lewis/Honolulu Advertiser breaks some news and also covers the parameters of coaching contracts here.


Tony Jones/Aggieville writes here about talking with USU AD Scott Barnes on scheduling -- the reality is fascinating.


Tyler Johnson named POY

Fresno State-bound Tyler Johnson receives a Player of the Year award. In February, Johnson was named the West Catholic Athletic league most valuable player:

Lancers' Johnson is Daily News Player of the Year
John Reid
Palo Alto Daily News

Tyler Johnson blossomed in his days at St. Francis-Mountain View, as a basketball player and as a person. The 2010 Daily News Player of the Year gradually became a cog in the Lancers' attack, even if he rarely started. Johnson, who has started just six games, might be the best high school sixth man in the country.

"It doesn't bother me that I don't start," Johnson said. "All my coach is doing is splitting up scorers in each group. He has scorers in the first group and scorers in the second group. It's cool to start, but it's way better to be there at the end of the game when it really matters."

Entering Friday's CIF state championship game against Lincoln-San Diego at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, the senior Johnson averages 13.5 points, 1.9 assists, 1.5 steals and 5.2 rebounds per game. Those numbers depict a fine all-around player. In fact, the 6-foot-1 Johnson can play the point guard position, the 2-guard slot or any of the forward positions. Johnson missed the first seven games of the year while recovering from knee surgery...
Go here for the remainder.

Eric Reveno pursuing the BSU job

Jim Beseda of The Oregonian reports that Portland Coach Eric Reveno has interviewed for the Boise State opening:

Portland coach Eric Reveno among candidates for Boise State job
Jim Beseda
The Oregonian
March 24, 2010

University of Portland men's basketball coach Eric Reveno has been interviewed for the coaching position at Boise State, a source close to the search confirmed Wednesday.

Reveno, 44, met with Boise State officials Sunday and is considered one of the top prospects to replace Greg Graham, who was fired March 12 after eight seasons with the Broncos...
Go here for the remainder.

John Canzano at OregonLive posted a brief report earlier at the same site.

Here is a Sports Illustrated feature on Reveno and Portland from earlier this season.

Here is a seven minute video ot Reveno describing changing a basketball culture.

Here is a print interview with Reveno.

Does Babs and/or AJ stay or go?

Nevada fans are definitely looking forward to Wolf Pack basketball in 2010-2011 what with some much needed cavalry being added in order to provide the depth too often absent this past season.

What's known is that Brandon Fields, Ray Kraemer and Joey Shaw are departing with frosh-to-be Jordan Burris coming in and Malik Story plus Jerry Evans and Olek Czyz already present. Freshman Devonte Elliott will also be added if his academic situation can finally be sorted out.

The great unknowns are the eventual statuses of junior-to-be Luke Babbitt and senior-to-be Armon Johnson.

Will they turn pro or return? If a decision or decisions have been made then the pair and their families are probably the only ones who know at this point.

So what can be typed on this subject that hasn't already appeared?

What's known is that there is a possible NBA lockout looming, which may influence the decisions. The draft is considered weak although that the standard line issued every year.

What's unknown is do either place value on continuing the the college experience and, if so, how much?

Here is what we'll offer regarding what should be the crux of the determinations:

Every college player needs to get better. Present skills need honing, additional ones must be developed, weaknesses curtailed and a peak physical condition obtained.

Therefore, what's the best individual avenue for Babbitt and Johnson to take? Does another collegiate season offer the challenge that will result in individual betterment and hopefully a better draft position? Does turning pro -- all the way from NBA affiliation to participating in the developmental league to playing abroad -- make this more feasible?

Hamlet (Willy Shakes) said it best long ago: "Aye, there's the rub."

Who is Boise State considering?

Nick Jezierny checks in with the "hermetically sealed" and "kept in a mayonaise jar on Funk and Wagnalls' porch" security surrounding the names of the candidates involved in the Boise State coaching search:

Mum's the word on search for Boise State basketball coach
Unlike WAC rival Hawaii, AD Gene Bleymaier has kept a tight lid on Boise State's hunt for a basketball frontman.
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman

It's probably a good thing that Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier didn't pay attention to Hawaii's recent coaching search because it's close to the total opposite of how he likes to operate.

Hawaii's search for a men's basketball coach ended after 13 days with the weekend hiring of former College of Southern Idaho coach Gib Arnold. It was about as public of a coaching search as you'll find. Information was leaked and it led to names of most candidates and details of their interview dates ending up in the media...
Go here for the remainder.

We're waiting for someone to go off and shout to the heavens that a Dean is being considered so therefore a Mr. Smith out of Chapel Hill is coming out of retirement and headed west.

We'll even settle for a shrieking of 'it's Crisco' and that Taco Bell Arena will be draped in cloth as an environmental work of art (go here it this one stumps you). Either that or the new coach will call for a shortening of the Bronco roster with the idea of playing small ball..

Maybe a Leon will be designated as king of the basketball coaching staff. This link will actually help the most (fifth paragraph).

We'll quit while we're still ahead or at least not too far behind.

It's diet time

Due to the conclusion of games to be played, the WAC pantry is going low calorie. Other than the Boise coaching search and recruiting items, 'foodstuffs' are heading to the few and far between category. But whatever we find and/or think of, we will post.

Gib Arnold better expand his cell phone minutes as surely his is ringing non-stop with those looking to land an assistant coaching position. He is coming to the mainland in his initial Gib Arnold Find-Some-Talent 2010 tour. Better yet, dig up what cell service he uses and think about buying stock in it.

Dayton Morinaga has the details here. Brian McInnis is here.

Sorry to do this to you but that's it for now.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Our first attempt at a compilation of WAC newcomers

We're trying to create a to-date, complete list of both 'newly' signed recruits plus redshirts who will be on the active rosters in the WAC for next season. Please let us know who we have missed.

Boise State

Chris Kupets, 5-foot-11, 180 Hill Junior College, TX
Ben Mills, 7-foot, 210 Wisconsin HS

Sam Hicks 6-foot-9, 260 (redshirt freshman)
Sean Imadiyi 6-foot-7, 200 (redshirt senior)

Fresno State

Tyler Johnson, 6-foot-2 CA HS
John Ryan 6-foot-8, 245 CA HS

Jonathan Wills 6-foot-6, 200 (redshirt junior)


Jordan Coleman 6-foot-4 CA HS

Aleksandar Milovic 6-foot-7, 220 (redshirt junior)
Zane Johnson 6-foot-6, 210 (redshirt junior)


Djim Bandoumel 6-foot-8, 215 Monroe Junior College NY
Idell Bell 6-foot-2 North Idaho College ID
Renaldo Parker 6-foot-8, 240 North Idaho College ID
Gary Winston 6-foot-1, 185, Washington HS

Joe Kammerer 6-foot-9, 240 (redshirt freshman)
Landon Tatum 5-foot-11, 196 (redshirt junior)
Brandon Wiley 6-foot-6, 220 (redshirt senior)

Louisiana Tech

Holton Hunsaker 6-foot-2 Utah HS (will re-sign after completing his LDS mission)

Scottie Farrington 6-foot-9, 220 Odessa College TX
Josh Brown 6-foot-4, 190 Odessa College TX
James Johnson 6-foot-7, 240 CA HS

There has also been talk about Adrien Coleman, a transfer from Nebraska, but no confirmation.


Jordan Burris 6-foot-6 CA HS

Malik Story 6-foot-5, 225 (redshirt junior)
Jerry Evans 6-foot-7, 180 CA HS (redshirt freshman)
Olek Czyz 6-foot-8, 240 (redshirt junior)
Devonte Elliott 6-foot-8, 210 (redshirt freshman)

New Mexico State

Tshilidzi Nephawe 6-foot-10, 240 Stoneridge Prep CA

San Jose State

Derek Brown 6-foot-1 CA HS

Utah State

James Walker 6-foot-1 CA HS
Brockeith Paine 6-foot-2 Midland College TX
Ben Clifford 6-foot-8, 200 Utah HS

Tuesday's WAC buffet

Nevada's 2009-2010 season has concluded and Chris Murray has the Wolf Pack - Rhode Island game report.

Chris also comments on the will-they-or-won't-they-turn-pro decision facing Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson.

Dan Hinxman covers the fourth and fifth fouls on Joey Shaw.


The playing portion of the WAC season is officially over as a debilitated Louisiana Tech squad fell to Missouri State.


Brian McInnis has the scoop that two of Hawaii's three assistant basketball coaches aren't being retained -- the situation for the third is to be decided but is the one most connected to signed recruit Jordan Coleman.


Jason Groves keeps the excellent Sun-News commentary and analysis coming -- today on the progress of this season's Aggies. The topic he covers is New Mexico State's growth as a unit, something every coach wants to see as the season moves on but an aspect not always taking place.

Jason also provides the response to the question still prevalent all over Aggie-land -- why no last-second replay review? -- and we thank him for pursuing the answer.


Shawn Harrison writes about enjoying the great ride if not the ultimate destination for USU.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ken Brown to...

Ken Brown, the sophomore point guard at Cerritos (CA) College has given a verbal commitment to Western Kentucky. Hawaii (pre Gib Arnold) had offered and Fresno State was showing interest. Brown played high school ball in Missouri and his freshman season at a junior college in Tennessee.

Here is one more, the subject of which may produce another PTW rant

Okay, ESPN's Andy Katz writes that Stew Morrill (among others) -- according to Katz' source(s) -- would listen to overtures from the powers-that-be in charge of hiring a new head basketball coach at Iowa.

Hawkeyenation offers the ESPN link to the latest on the coaching carousel but also much more in a well-thought-out and well worth reading piece that touches upon the nation of coaching rumors.

Your evening WAC links

Tony Jones says Utah State is trying to figure out a way to land Mr. Rogers, who seemingly would make the beautiful nights in the Spectrum neighborhood, if possible, even better. And no, he doesn't wear a sweater when he plays.


Dayton Morinaga reveals that the paths of Hawaii redshirt Zane Johnson and new head coach Gib Arnold have previously crossed.

Ferd Lewis tells us that UH has already implemented the fast break.


SI's Stewart Mandel provides the opinion that the hoi polloi's (that's us) participation in "the nation's most egalitarian sporting event" (gotta love that phrase but we'll give any odds that the NCAA doesn't run with it) isn't just windowdressing. Read it loudly, say it proudly.

We're calling this one out

No, this isn't coming from any holier-than-thou perspective because we are not in any position to claim a well-earned degree of self-righteousness. However, the following is a cheap shot.

Here's the link -- it goes to a photo of Gib Arnold's initial news conference, underscored by a snarky reference to the lack of attendance.

How about some background as to exactly when the photo was taken? How about a photo from Arnold's perspective so as to see exactly how many media people were present? How about some understanding that almost any collegiate setting other than USC football -- where a Pete Carroll burp is reported as stop-the-presses breaking news -- doesn't generate wall-to-wall coverage.

Monday's WAC links

Teddy Feinberg leads us off with a commentary on the NMSU Aggie season. We're in agreement: the lane violation call can stand a test of appropriateness but how is the lack of the clock review decision at the very end supported? Has anyone come across any official explanation of the latter? Can Karl Benson request a belated one even if solely for the sake of clarification?


Nevada is on the right coast to challenge Rhode Island. Chris Murray reports here and here.


Ethan Conley has a pre-game look at the LT Bulldogs who face Missouri State tonight.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This is going to get us in trouble

Let's start this post off with as clear of a disclaimer as possible: PTW has no inside information, hasn't read it anywhere on the 'net, has not received any tweets, email, texts, phonecalls or enjoyed any in-person conversations of or about Troy Gillenwater with the Troy-meister, any of his associates, family members or coaches.

So please do not get all excited, infuriated or downcast just because we believe Gillenwater, of any of the current New Mexico State Aggies, has the best chance of landing in the NBA, even if he entered the draft this season.

Now we are NOT saying he is packing up and heading out of Las Cruces -- just that he is the best prospect -- so please don't call up your buddy and say "did you hear that Troy...".

Yes, the assessment may sound ludicrous considering Gillenwater is just a sophomore and played in but 13 games this season. There is no question the preposterous factor is mighty high.

But Gillenwater does have the best shooting (back-to-the-basket and from outside), rebounding and shotblocking combination potential on the Aggie roster. Being able to bring these multiple aspects of the game to the court is enticing to many pro suitors.

He also absolutely needs a great deal more polish in all three areas, plus at least rudimentary indications that he can handle the ball so as to create his shot and openings for teammates. Add to that some sort of display that he can carry out day-to-day off the court commitments.

A solid and full junior season could get him elevated into first round status and that is the most prudent course of action.

But it certainly seems like classroom assignments are not exactly his cup of tea. Call that strike one for those accepting of a mixed sports metaphor. But then again, all he really needs to do is stay eligible into the second semester.

Plus, this year's NBA draft, while not barren, isn't loaded with talents expected to or deemed a possibility to 'make a difference' on any NBA squad. Say strike two.

However, there may be a player lockout in the upcoming NBA season meaning seniors and any declaring underclassmen could be attempting to join the Big Show at the most inopportune time. The ump calls it ball one.

New Mexico State basketball -- even without Jonathan Gibson -- could be something special in 2010 - 2011 -- as long as Jahmar Young also returns -- and being a part of that has to be a temptation to Gillenwater. Ball two.

Uh-oh, it's beginning to rain. The umps are calling a rain delay.

By the way, May 8 is the deadline for being in or out of the NBA draft.

What's up with the Boise job?

Regarding the search for a new basketball coach, is there some sort of 'net 'godfather' program in play up in Boise that isolates content featuring rumors/news and prevents it from being presented? Is AD Gene Bleymaier is using a body double to curtail the tracking of his moves?

With the Hawaii coaching position, news and rumors were rampant. That's not so regarding Greg Graham's replacement unless there's a gold mine of items we are overlooking.

Why the relative absence of coverage? If Chris Petersen had departed, for whatever reasons, the entire state of Idaho -- minus Moscow, of course -- would be on red alert looking for/offering crumbs of speculation about his replacement. We know at least one media outlet would have someone stationed at the Wide Stance bathroom in the Boise Airport pinning down what the users know and when did they know it.

So PTW will settle for what Jeff Goodman/FOX is offering:

"Boise State’s leader in the clubhouse, at this point, appears to be former Montana and NBA coach Larry Krystkowiak – but Gonzaga assistant Leon Rice is also in the mix."
Krystkowiak certainly has some cachet considering his alliances as an NBA player and coach -- his hiring would generate major publicity for the Broncos. Here is his Wikipedia entry.

Leon Rice is past due for a head coaching spot. Here's his Gonzaga bio.

Sunday's WAC menu

It's going to forever be remembered as "the call" in New Mexico State basketball lore but there actually was also a second play very late in the NMSU - MSU game that remains questionable:

Menzies still seeking explanation on late call
Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News

SPOKANE, Wash. — A day after pushing a Top 15 team to the limit in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, New Mexico State head basketball coach Marvin Menzies said he hasn't watched any national coverage of the last 18 seconds of his team's 70-67 loss to Michigan State on Friday...
Go here for the remainder.

It certainly appeared as if the referees had somewhere else to be and needed a quick closure but the case is closed.

Here is six and a half minutes of highlights of the Aggie - Spartan game offered by Sam Wasson/Bleed Crimson.


Dayton Morinaga has the coverage on Gib Arnold's official introduction plus a ton of video -- go here and enjoy.

Brian McInnis is here with his press conference coverage and Dave Reardon has quite the titillating column here.

We couldn't pass this up: with tongue firmly in cheek, for some, Gib Arnold's hiring was facilitated by the He Who Must Be Obeyed with the birth certificate in the lanai. Oh my, that's the mother of all conspiracy theories.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday p.m. WAC links

Glen Guilbeaux/The News Star addresses the perplexing notion -- some instigated rumors are confoundedly taken seriously rather than laughed at -- that Trent Johnson is just pining to vacate the SEC and a million dollar contract in order to head to the WAC. Go here.


Stephen Tsai goes quasi-Hemingway in his post on the new coach for UH hoops.

Brian McInnis covers the Gib Arnold press conference here.


Chris Murray offers a lengthy feature on Ray "Trey" Kraemer here -- the nickname supplied by PTW. We were hoping for a quote in the article corresponding to this classic:

"My name is Raymond J. Johnson, Jr. Now you can call me Ray, or you can call me J, or you can call me Johnny, or you can call me Sonny, or you can call me Junie, or you can call me Ray J, or you can call me RJ, or you can call me RJJ, or you can call me RJJ Jr." ultimately ending with, "but you doesn't hasta call me Mr. Johnson!"

Nevada lands a recruit

Not to be lost in all the Big Dance hoopla and the reports from yesterday's games is that Coach David Carter has landed a down-the-road new big but it may require setting up a tickler file for 2012:

Pack gets commitment from talented power forward
Chris Murray
Nevada Gazette-Journal
March 20, 2010

The Nevada basketball program took a step toward bolstering its frontcourt this week when it received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-9 power forward Phillip Jackson of Chicago.

However, it might be a little while before Jackson hits Nevada's campus.

Jackson's former high school coach, Todd Kelly, said Friday that his former player orally committed Thursday to play for the Wolf Pack...
Go here for the remainder.

Arnold can say "I AM back"

Brian McInnis checks in with his report on the Arnold-ization of UH basketball:

Arnold taking over UH basketball
The former USC assistant follows in his father's footsteps
Brian McInnis
March 20, 2010

Gib Arnold is expected to be announced as the 19th Hawaii men's basketball coach today by UH athletic director Jim Donovan, sources said last night.

Arnold, a former USC assistant, replaces Rainbow Warriors basketball legend Bob Nash, who was fired last Monday after a 10-20 season...
Go here for the remainder.

Ferd Lewis is here:
Hawaii expected to name Arnold new men's basketball coach
Punahou grad will take over men's basketball program
Ferd Lewis
Honolulu Advertiser
March 20, 2010

Punahou School graduate Gib Arnold is expected to be introduced as the University of Hawai'i's new head men's basketball coach as soon as this afternoon.

The 40-year-old Arnold would take over the state's only NCAA Division I men's program 23 years after his father, Frank Arnold, stepped down as the 'Bows' head coach...
Go here for the remainder.

NMSU and Utah State games reports and more

Sam Wasson has in-game photos of the Aggie - Spartan matchup, plus post-game interviews with both coaches and snippets from three of the New Mexico State players. Start here.

Jason Groves also reports from on the scene here. Here's a bit Jason did on graduating senior Jonathan Gibson. He offers his post-game thoughts here.

Teddy Feinberg weighs in on the Aggie season.


Jared Eborn leads off the Utah State - TAM game coverage with his report.

Shawn Harrison also checks in from Spokane. Jeff Hunter offers that the 'no knucklehead factor' wasn't only on the side of Utah State. It was the TAM defense and physicality that did the Logan-ites in per Jason Turner.

Here is Tony Jones checking in on the matchup. Jones says that Utah State needs to add length plus greater athleticism to more evenly battle the big boys. We loved the headline affixed to Jones' Quayle analysis here. He provides more analysis with this. Here are Jones' post-game thoughts.

Brad Rock says, for experience sake come the Big Dance, that USU should forsake the insistence on home-and-home games and play some power teams on the road. Go here.

Jeff Portnoy says it's Gib Arnold

There are very few who know UH basketball like Jeff Portnoy so when he talks, people should and do listen. Jeff says former USC assistant coach Gib Arnold is the new head man of the Rainbow Warriors.

We won't even quote a line from his latest blog entry -- go here and read it all.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Mexico State comes close but falls 70-67

Woulds. Coulda. Shoulda. It was there for the taking so our hat is doffed in a salute to the WAC Aggies for never folding when the halftime score was 42-29 and all momentum was with Michigan State.

Yes, it was there for the taking and some newfound respect was definitely earned despite New Mexico State's falling short.

The Las Cruces Sun-News offers an early game report here.

Comments from the peanut gallery (even though we prefer cashews):

Coach Marvin Menzies has confirmed that he does have a definite boiling point -- Menzies was hunting for zebra right after the game concluded, based on the free throw lane violation(s) at the 18.6 second mark of the final half (from what CBS showed, it doesn't appear Troy Gillenwater was guilty of anything but we need a better look/angle regarding Wendell McKines) ... Kyle Gibson's block near the rim late in the game was an amazing feat ... In just 24 minutes, Gillenwater put up a heroic 17/11 double/double against a very physical opponent but he probably wishes a do-over on his 1-5 free throw shooting ... how many other teams -- any team in the WAC? -- can hold McKines to 1-8 shooting? ... Jahmar Young attempted but one trey in 30 minutes (good D, part of the NMSU game plan or a combination?) and just 11 shots all night ... Jonathan Gibson, as did the other southern Aggies, played ferociously but we wanted to see less one-on-one from him in the last five minutes and better looks at the basket -- legs are worn out by then and long/longer distance jumpers are much less likely to reach the twine

Utah State falls to TAM 69-53

Well, PTW didn't see a moment of the game which makes it impossible to offer any commentary. Was Utah State out-athleticized? Were the Texas Aggies too big? Too tough? Did TAM just have a better-than-usual shooting effort? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Jared Eborn liveblogged the game so re-live it here -- start at the bottom and scroll up.

Shawn Harrison offers an early game report.

Here is the take from the USU athletics site.

Texas A&M won both halves 42-29 and then a much lower scoring 27-24. The southern Aggies shot 49% for the game, 44% on 18 three-point attempts. Utah State shot 39% overall, 25% on 20 trey attempts. What's most remarkable is USU was awarded just four foul shots -- making none.

Due to foul trouble, Tai Wesley played 26 minutes -- the least of all of Stew Morrill's starters. He shot 7-11 in the game, along with a team high six boards. Jared Quayle went 5-18, 1-9 from long distance.

Oh yes, the individuals mentioning Stew Morrill -- however loosely -- to the Iowa job, please don't waste bandwith. Based on nothing more than commonsense, it's not a match. Heck, why not throw out Bob Knight's name instead? Hey, our super double secret inside the basketball beltway sources tell us that the General is tired of selling car insurance so... ;-)

Friday's WAC-aroni

How many gave Louisiana Tech a chance -- minus Kyle Gibson and Magnum Rolle -- in the CIT matchup with Southern Mississippi? Ethan Conley has the game report here and you will be pleasantly surprised. Granted, SoMiss's best player was also out but that doesn't detract from the WAC taking a win against Conference USA.


Sam Wasson has a link-a-palooza up today at his Bleed Crimson site. Sam is in Spokane and offers up analysis with Aggie announcer Jack Nixon, press conferences with both teams, an interview with Aggie fan Bill Conroy and more. So shut the door and put out a 'do not disturb' sign, mute your phone and dive in.

Jason Groves is also in the hometown of John Stockton has a feature on the on-court Aggie leaders and a sort of verbal kerfluffle but an enjoyable one in this day of pre-packaged thoughts and comments. Say, how many of you were familiar with Kalin Lucas before this week? PTW knew of him but not his stats nor how his season has gone to date.

Jason also offers that no surprises remain in the arsenal of any coach at this point -- it's efficiency time.


Brad Rock provides a look at Tyler Newbold and his playing with diabetes here.

Rod Turner talks with former Aggie mentor Rod Tueller.

Jeff Hunter provides some insight to last year's Utah State - Marquette matchup.

Here is Jeff with a Stew Morrill feature plus a photo of you-know-who that has to be seen to be believed. PTW's first thought: damn, isn't he the precursor to Tom Selleck, Magnum PI?

Tony Jones writes that Texas A&M likes to push opponents around so it seems that the game will be all-Olivia Newton-John.


Greg Graham has applied for the Hawaii head coach opening as have 17 other new candidates as Dayton Morinaga tell us here.

Brian McInnis details the primary coaching candidates for the opening. Don't count out Steve McClain who compiled an impressive record at Wyoming. If you can recruit to Laramie, well... Plus, look up animated in the dictionary and Steve McClain's photo is there.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Your Thursday afternoon WAC links

Gordon Monson/Salt Lake Tribune pays homage to Stew Morrill here although we punnily wish the opening line could have used the word "Cash" instead of Cache.


We will be shocked if Boise State's search for a new coach doesn't involve ringing up Weber State's Randy Rahe. Jasen Asay covers just this subject here. Look at what Rahe has accomplished and then the resources available to him -- there a distinct but very positive mismatch.

Here's an interview with the president of Boise State on and about the mens basketball program.

John Canzano/Portland Oregonian offers up a new (to us) name involving the Bronco head coaching position.

Here are the members of the new coach search committee. Our condolences if you didn't make the cut despite prolific message board posting.


Stephen Tsai observes the 'wow factor' is missing from the known candidates to replace Bob Nash. We say if a cadaver could win enough games and be competitive in the others, well, make it a five-year contract offering lots and lots of formaldehyde.

Your Thursday WAC news and notes

Oh, the outrage! Jim Hilley/Bulletin n the Zone undertook an extra major effort to provide us with a press conference transcript in which the Wall Streeters of college hoops get tweaked, however unintentionally. Go here for the Main Street fun.

Jason Groves gives props to Gordo Castillo, who bleeds Las Cruces. Jason also offers an article about the adversity the Aggies and Spartans shared this season plus a blog entry about the big C.

Matt James has a man crush on Wendell McKines and also makes a prediction on the New Mexico State - Michigan State matchup. Go here.


The Sweet 16 sounds like some sort of sugar-induced extra poundage -- we should know -- but USU is headed there according to a number of prognosticators. Jared Eborn offers the details.

Shawn Harrison informs his readers that Spokane is the Lilac City and tells us more here.

Tony Jones sees some interesting parallels here. Will USU get Sloaned or not?


Chris Murray has a lengthy game report on the Wolf Pack's win over the Shockers last night.
Brandon Fields performed a posterization -- read about it here.


Dayton Morinaga and Ferd Lewis tell us that seven prospects have been interviewed for the UH head coaching position.

Brian McInnis has some background on the newest interviewee plus news about another Hawaii basketballer who may not return. It's all here.

Matt Schuman of the Greeley Tribune fills us in on Tad Boyle but the question remains about his interest in interviewing.


Louisiana Tech hosts Southern Mississippi as part of the CIT tonight and Ethan Conley offers this preview.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Remember Desmond Stephens?

Desmond Stephens was a junior college transfer to Utah State who played one season before transferring to Kentucky Wesleyan.

Stephens just completed his senior year (he was injured early last season) and averaged a team-leading 18.1 points per game. He compiled 204 assists to 85 TOs and also nabbed 71 steals in 2009-2010.

Additionally, Stephens shot .436% overall, .400 on 135 three-point shots and .802% on 222 foul line attempts.

By the way, former Boise Stater Shawn Rouse also played for Kentucky Wesleyan this season. He averaged 3 points per contest in 32 games (one start), shooting .366% overall.

Remember Dominique Cooks?

There are probably even some Utah State fans who don't recall Dominique Cooks' residence on the Aggie roster but he was there for a short time.

Now Cooks plays at Chaminade University on Maui and he made 10 starts in 24 games as a freshman this season. Cooks averaged 6.1 points per game along with a 56/54 assist-to-turnover ratio. His shooting numbers: .455% overall, .333% on 21 trey attempts and 62 free throws.

Your Wednesday night WAC links

It wasn't exactly like entering the Heart of Darkness (maybe more like the land of Oz?) but Nevada shrugged off the role of visitor and took out Wichita State tonight. Chris Murray offers an early game report.


Ferd Lewis features Tad Boyle, the head coach at Northern Colorado. What the guy accomplished this 24-7 season with 5-foot-9 Will Figures and 6-foot-1 Devon Beitzel as his mainstays is beyond remarkable. Try wins over Portland, San Jose State, at TCU, plus a one point loss to Oklahoma.

Brian McInnis reports that Jeremy Lay and Dwain Williams would prefer to return to play for whoever is Hawaii's next head coach. PTW believes that will be dependent upon who the new mentor is able to land in his initial recruiting haul and that Las Vegas would not give good odds on the pair's return.

Here is a fascinating story on Stew Morrill's days at Gonzaga. Make sure you read the comment below the article from Jim Mansfield.

Jeff Portnoy talks about Hawaii hoops

Jeff Portnoy is a lawyer. Additionally, he is the longtime color announcer for the Rainbow Warrior radio broadcasts. He also blogs about UH basketball for the Honolulu Advertiser. His bonafides vis-à-vis Hawaii hoops go back four decades so he can definitely be considered one of the 'go-to' guys for insight about the program.

PTW recently talked with him about the current coaching search and other basketball elements.

About the various coaching candidates mentioned so far -- at least the ones with a modicum of credibility -- Portnoy offered this insight: "The various constituencies representing each one are leaking information on what they want to happen."

As for names, according to multiple newspaper reports, St. Mary's Associate Head Coach Kyle Smith interviewed this past weekend. Pittsburgh Coach Jamie Dixon, a former assistant at Hawaii, has strongly promoted Smith. That means something to Portnoy because, "Dixon coached here and has an understanding of what it is like and what it takes to be successful. So I put more credibility into his recommendation than say if Tom Izzo -- who is a fine coach but has no insight regarding the program -- offered a recommendation for someone."

Gib Arnold falls into the favorite son category for having graduated from one of the most prestigious high schools in Hawaii and also as the progeny of a former Hawaii head basketball coach. Arnold is another strong contender, one who has the backing of some of the economic elite involved with UH athletics. He interviewed this past Monday.

Then there is the darkhorse. "Northern Colorado's Tad Boyle meets all the qualifications," Portnoy explained. "He is a head coach, been successful in Greeley, Colorado and the Hawaii position would be a step up for him."

Additionally, Steve Barnes, the Associate Head Coach at Southern Mississippi (he was also the head coach at San Jose State from 1999 to 2002 and posted a 39-51 record) is being mentioned. "He knows Riley Wallace and Riley has put in a good word for him," Portnoy said.

If he were doing the interviewing, here is what Portnoy would be looking for: "The answers to questions are not as important as the face-to-face reactions of the candidates. How excited is he? Does he want the job or does he need the job? Does it come across that he can do something for Hawaii basketball?"

Continuing on, he added, "A sense of what it will take to succeed is critical. The next coach will need to completely understand about coaching in Hawaii and also the living environment. The travel is so far different from any other position, the distance for recruiting too. Coaches can't hop in the car and drive to see a prospect."

We then ventured into the world of recruiting, the lifeblood of all coaches and the most prominent key to a successful coaching tenure. Asked if Hawaii can sign quality prep players, Portnoy said, "That's a big question. There is very little local D-1 talent. There is a significant Pacific Islander community here that produces football players but there is also a lack of any significant African American community and most of it is military and transient. The geography leaves family, girlfriends at least 2,500 miles away so you be will away from them."

He added, "It's really a whole different ballgame and difficult to convince high school kids to make the trip. So the next coach will need to recruit outside the traditional recruiting bases, like in Australia, Europe and Japan. But despite the obstacles in recruiting high school kids, I think it can get done. However, it's certainly more difficult than at mainland D-1 programs."

"It's also not a dead end job," Portnoy explained, offering Dixon's name and also Scott Rigot, who assisted at Kentucky and now is working in the same capacity at Duquesne. "But the previous coaches who had the position saw it as an end, not as a means to an end. It's been three decades of older coaches who saw the job as the end of their careers."

Portnoy desires a "young, aggressive assistant from a West Coast school who can relate to the players."

There is also this reality. "Fans are very tired of the halfcourt basketball style." he explained. "The next coach needs to understand that uptempo basketball puts people in the seats. However, an uptempo style requires a certain type of player who we have not been able to get lately."

Then there is the opening at Boise State, one that offers a better upside. "Boise pays more," Portnoy said "and is committed to getting out of the WAC."

He also inserts a strong element of realism into the prognosis for the Rainbow Warrior basketball program: "Being competitive in the WAC and having a shot to win the league tournament" is what Portnoy views as reasonable goals for the program.

A point receiving WAC attention

A southern California junior college point guard is currently the subject of major recruiting attention. 6-foot-1 Ken Brown of Cerritos College is the player and he was recently named a First Team All-Stater in California.

Western Kentucky, Houston and now Indiana are in the mix. USC, Iowa and Hawaii (offer) were but that was before head coach and assistant coach departures. Fresno State has recently shown interest.

Mike Pegram has all the details here (a Rivals sub is required).

Here is Brown's bio at the Cerritos athletics site.

Here's a blog entry from a Western Kentucky basketball fan site )PTW isn't so sure about his signing with WKU, especially now that Indiana is on the scene).

We offer a special thanks to Cerritos College for the Brown photo.

Wednesday WAC-apalooza

Workplace productivity -- if one still has a job -- is nosediving this week and for good reason. Sam Wasson leads us off with a menu of double-digit links connected to the the Big Dance and the NMSU - MSU matchup. Sam also offers close to 20 minutes of AggieVision video here.

Teddy Feinberg offers a commentary article on the New Mexico State season.

Jason Groves says the Aggies are in Tom Petty mode -- "Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned around And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down" versus Michigan State. He has a blog entry here about the Spartan personnel.


Jared Eborn highlights Tai Wesley in a feature here. He provides some news and notes with this article, including information about the Aggie graduation rate.

Jared has culinary news about Jaycee Carroll and utilizes with a great movie reference -- the reference that is, the film was better than average -- we still shout out "vote for Pedro" at various inopportune times.

Shawn Harrison informs us that there will be no masked man -- at least not #42 -- on the court when USU battles Michigan State.

It must be 'I (heart) Tai Wesley Day' because Tony Jones is also dishing out the love. Tony also writes that we should be watching the Pooh Williams - Donald Sloan matchup on Friday.


Chris Murray's offering says that the Wolf Pack want to taste MSG and that begins with taking down Wichita State on the road.


Nick Jezierny explores the sense that the Boise State head coaching position doesn't -- or hasn't -- led to bigger and better opportunities.


Brian McInnis has the scoop that UH will be conducting three interviews today. The report from Ferd Lewis and Dayton Morinaga is here.

Jeff Portnoy also fills us in on what's happening in the search for a new UH basketball coach.