Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday's basketball WAC-iness

 Brian Murphy goes biographical on Leon Rice with a superlative piece in today's Idaho Statesman.

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 Shawn Harrison provides a story on Utah State's exhibition opener.

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From Spencer Farrin at Vandal athletics:

There were still some kinks and some hitches, but Idaho men’s basketball coach Don Verlin liked a lot of what he saw in his team’s exhibition opener against Northwest Christian, an 81-35 Vandal win.

“There were a lot of good things that came out of this game,” Verlin said. “I got to play all 12 guys and I got some guys out there that didn’t have any game experience, so I felt like this game was real important to us as far as finding out what guys can do.”

Not only did 12 Vandals enter the game, but every player scored, 10 of them registered at least one assist, and everyone played at least 11 minutes in the game.

Sophomore center Kyle Barone led all scorers with 15 points and 10 rebounds on 6-of-8 shooting, along with two blocks, while senior Jeff Ledbetter went 5-of-8 from the floor with four rebounds, one assist and one steal.

Juniors Landon Tatum and Deremy Geiger, both of whom are vying to replace the departed point guard spot, each dished five assists, while Tatum scored six and grabbed three steals, and Geiger scored five and had three rebounds.

Verlin said he also liked Idaho’s action on the boards and the way the Vandals shared the ball.

“I thought we did some really good things, especially rebounding the basketball, we passed the ball very well tonight – we had 24 assists on 34 baskets, that’s pretty good,” Verlin said. “That’s one thing you’re going to see with this team, they’re very unselfish.”

The Vandal men dominated down low against the undersized NCU front court, and Verlin said he hopes to see even more improvement from Idaho’s post players as the season goes on.

“That has to be our strength this year,” Verlin said of post play. “That’s where our returning veterans are at, that’s where our size is at, and I think that’s where the strength of our team has to be.”

Between Barone, juniors Luiz Toledo, Djim Bandoumel, Renado Parker and redshirt freshman Joe Kammerer, the Vandals scored 37 points on 17-of-29 (.586) shooting, along with 26 rebounds and three blocks. Idaho out-rebounded NCU by a 51-23 margin and held the Beacons to 14-of-51 (.275) shooting.

Idaho outscored Northwest Christian by a 52-12 margin in the paint, 22-4 off turnovers and 14-4 in second-chance points. The Vandals also ran the floor for 14 fast-break points, while allowing just one transition field goal.


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Wolf Pack athletics offers separate videos and Q-and-As with Deonte Burton and Derrell Connor.

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Brian McInnis offers a Q-and-A with redshirt Zane Johnson.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tony Jones a tweetin'

Tony Jones @ Aggieville has been busy of late (or should PTW type even busier of late?)

At his Twitter account, he has posted a number of items on 'big' Jordan Stone and some on Kyisean Reed. The freshman Stone is back from his LDS mission. Reed, at Antelope Valley College, is a phenomenal physical talent who has to win his battle with the books.

USU does lose a lot after this season but the plan of having 3-4 redshirts/grayshirts having a year to adjust to D-1 basketball is one brilliant move. Kudos to Stew Morrill and his staff.

The state of the WAC on Saturday

The New England Recruiting Report (NERR) has more on former Utah prepster Nick Paulos' decision to verbal to UNC Greensboro:

“They like to get up and down the court.  They have a lot of athleticism and young talent but don’t really have anybody who can knock down shots and I think that’s part of the reason why they were really interested in bringing me in,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to playing in that up and down system and being a guy who can knock down some three-pointers and things like that.”
Go here for the full article.

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Credit mbrooks for noting on the SCOUT New Mexico State Sports Trough board that AggieVision has posted a video interview with Coach Marvin Menzies.

It's here.

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Make Brian McInnis' Court Sense a daily stop for your take on Hawaii hoops. He has a couple of new posts up so head there now.

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Sam Wasson at Bleed Crimson offers a link to the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook assessment of the Aggies this season -- check out the lengthy take.

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Nick Jezierny highlights newcomer Ryan Watkins here. He also reports on the Bronco contest with Montana Tech.

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Shawn Harrison offers a report on the USU basketball -- covering the intra-squad scrimmage and an exhibition set for today.

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Tony Jones (and Brady Jardine) give some love to Brockeith Pane.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A few more Friday items

Nick Jezierny is live tweeting the exhibition opener for Boise State.

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Chris Murray has the Blue Ribbon Basketball Yearbook Nevada preview here.

He also offers a feature on Jerry Evans, who seemingly can seemingly can go all-Spiderman on an opponent.

Rush The Court strikes again

We don't do this often because the opportunity to do so doesn't frequently present itself -- Rush The Court (RTC) should have a national media platform. That is, if the ESPNs of the world wish to also educate readers.

RTC is back today featuring Dave Telep in a very informative interview. Read it and rejoice that your basketball view and knowledge have been expanded.

Go here.

Friday's early WAC report

Dayton Morinaga writes that it's the graybeards performing the best so far for Coach Gib Arnold. There is no truth to the rumor that Junior Methuselah in on the UH most-wanted recruit list.

Brian McInnis has the story on Frank Arnold's take of Gib Arnold's 2010-2011 Hawaii squad.

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Nick Jezierny writes about Coach Leon Rice's expectations in the Bronco upcoming exhibition game.

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Here's a series of takes on the WAC agreement with its departees: Matt James, Dan Hinxman and Kurt Kragthorpe.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday night WAC items

Jason Groves has two entries in his blog -- 1) Wendell McKines talking at media day and 2) an interview with Aggie recruit Junior Lomomba. The New Mexico State p.a. announcer has to be pulling mightily for Coach Marvin Menzies to land Looooomoooomba. The Canadian is a 2012 recruit.

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Chris Murray offers a Q-and-A with Wolf Pack newcomer Derrell Conner, a candidate at the point.

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Nick Jezierny profiles Bronco G.A. Hill in the Idaho Statesman's series on this season's Boise State basketball squad.

Dave Sothern on BSU basketball

Dave Sothern of the Idaho Press-Tribune has posted an article about new Bronco Coach Leon Rice, new systems and styles of play and the seniors top-heaviness of Boise State hoops.

More on DeShawn Stephens (San Diego newspaper)

Mark Ziegler @ the Sign On San Diego site has a feature on DeShawn Stephens' change of mind but an explanation regarding the switch still remains missing.

Nick Paulos verbals

6-foot-7 Nick Paulos, doing a prep year at New Hampton School, has given a verbal to North Carolina Greensboro. Utah State had some interest at some point in the Utah prepster.

Thursday's WAC post

Dayton Morinaga has more on UH target Braeden Anderson.

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Utah State athletics writes about the latest Aggie intra-squad scrimmage. Shawn Harrison was there and provides his report.

Tyler Huskinson of The Statesman writes about the Aggie bigs.

Anthony Ray at Arizona Preps posts that Canadian 'big' Keanau Post has decided to become a 2012 recruit and will be at Westwind Prep next year too. Go here (a Rivals sub is required).Here's some info on Post from the Westwind site.

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Silver and Blue Sports has another edition of The Howl with a half hour devoted to Wolf Pack basketball.

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The Fresno Bee's Bryant Jon-Anteola offers a blog entry on Greg Smith's staying in the San Joaquin or heading to The Show after this season.

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Redshirt Drew Wiley is featured in Nick Jezierny's latest Bronco countdown.

Hawaii receives good news

Was it the lure of the Gib or the lure of the islands, both, or more?

Southern California frontcourter Ronnie Stevens has announced he will be sigining a letter-of-intent with Hawaii.

CaliHiSports offers this.

Brian McInnis offers this report at his Star Advertiser Court Sense blog.

Dayton Morinaga at his Warrior Insider site has the news.

Stevens has made the curious decision to sign in April but bases it on a very admirable principle. Take it to the bank that some teams will continue running at him.

Also, it appears that newcomer Anthony Salter is out for at least a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A pair of connected late Wednesday items

Here's Andy Katz with the latest on the WAC reaminees and departures.

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Dan Hinxman reports that Karl Benson will be holding a teleconference on Thursday morning.

You don't have to be Sherlock to piece the two items together -- that is unless the Commish is instead preparing to announce on Thursday that the WAC will be transporting PTW to any games of our choosing via the conference private jet. Guess we will have to change out of our ratty bathrobe, attempt to get the Cheetos stain off our hands and be prepared to talk to someone prior to noon.

On second thought, PTW is going to hold out -- we will also insist that Mary Louise-Parker be on that plane, reading the WAC by-laws to us as we jet about. That's our line in the sand.

Three more Wednesday items

Chris Murray offers his "Top 10 WAC Newcomers' -- go here

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Redshirt juco transfer Antonio Bumpus has a broken foot -- Tony Jones/Aggieville has the scoop.

Speaking of the agony of de-feet, TJ says that Nate Bendall will scrimmage tonight despite his ailment.

WAC Wednesday

Brian McInnis has more on point Anthony Salter's foot injury.

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La'Shard Anderson will miss BSU's opener because of his "Animal House" episode this summer -- so reports Nick Jezierny.

Nick also introduces Isaac Oeltjen to Bronco fans. 

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Hamidu Rahman receives some just recognition in Jason Groves' feature today.

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Meet freshman frontcourter Kevin Panzer courtesy of Nevada athletics.

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Armon Johnson aided the Trailblazers' win last night -- Chris Murray has the details.

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Tony Jones lays out why there was confusion over DeShawn Stephens' situation -- but, again, PTW has confirmed it with someone who would know that Stephens is going to San Diego State.

Stephens is going to San Diego State

Call it confirmed, DeShawn Stephens will be an Aztec, not an Aggie.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A 2012 Michigan backcourter catching David Carter's eye

Per Alex Kline at The Recruit Scoop Twitter site: "Nevada & Minnesota were both in to see Ray Lee '12 of Michigan workout today. Nevada is close to offering the guard."

From last May, here is a brief YouTube video interview of Lee.

Here's a June written Q-and-A.

A Brian McInnis blog

Thanks to Al, we came across a UH basketball blog started by Brian McInnis of the Star Advertiser -- do bookmark it.

A Malik Story article

Chris Murray offers a feature on Malik Story, who is still relatively unknown to most WAC fans.

A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on

Thank you Samuel Goldwyn.

SeldomSeenSmith at the Blue Aggies basketball forum has noticed a big change in the DeShawn Stephens commitment article at the Santa Monica College athletics site -- go here.

If accurate and there is no reason to doubt it since an SMC staffer had to purposely go into the previous article and rearrange the listing of colleges, it would be appropriate to also post an explanation. Was it the Reed (Antelope Valley College) verbal or something else behind the switch?

Has a deal been reached?

Kraig Williams has a couple of tweets about a resolution with the WAC family divorce -- you will eventually work your way here.

Get the welcome wagon ready for the Denver Pioneers and the Seattle Redhawks in hoops.

Gotta be Texas San Antonio and Texas State -- at least -- in football.

Madison Avenue and mid-majors

We all have opinions about how our favorite basketball teams should be marketed -- some informed, some not so much. Here's Rush The Court, Andrew Murawa in particular, with another installment in the series, this one all about mid-major branding.

Question: when is a national sports site going to wake up and add Andrew Murawa to its staff?

Tuesday and the world of WAC basketball

Utah State fans (see Kyisean Reed) should now be visiting Melvin Grussing's Antelope Valley College site on a daily basis. He maintains his fan site better than any community college does and the material he posts is from hsi eyewitness accounts. If there is any news, Melvin will have it first.

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Chris Murray located a feature on the long bond between Armon Johnson and Luke Babbitt.

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Here's another look at the path of Gary Wilkinson -- it's 'cute' to read some of the words/phrases used by foreign journalists and surely they feel the same way when partaking of a U.S.-based news story.

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Redshirt freshman -- all 6-foot-9, 248 pounds of him -- Sam Hicks is the latest Boise State Bronco featured by Nick Jezierny.

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Ilya Pinchuk at the Vandal Nation site offers a series of photos from the recent Idaho intra-squad scrimmage.

Monday, October 25, 2010

UH has offered Braedon Anderson

A Canadian currently at a Massachusetts academy, 6-foot-8 Braedon Anderson has current offers from Temple and Hawaii with some high majors considering.

Go here for Nolan Shulman's article.

Here's more on Anderson, excerpted from this article:
Braedon Anderson | 6-8 | SF/PF | Calgary Elite/Foothills Composite (Okotoks, AB)
An aggressive athlete that looks to play above the rim every chance he gets. Anderson has a good body at roughly 230 pounds and a developing perimeter game. He has a soft shooting touch but will need to further develop his face-up jump shot. A consistent part of his game is in the rebounding department as he has the physical ability and desire to gobble up every loose ball.
Here's a February, 2010 description of Anderson from here:
Anderson is a scrappy, hard-nosed player who is not afraid to get his hands dirty inside the paint. He is a tenacious rebounder who is blessed with a proto-typical power forward body. Braedon is equally aggressive at the offensive end where he will drive you hard to the rack and try to dunk over you. He has both a face-up game and a back-to-the-basket one too. His perimeter game does need work, while his ball handling and jump shot need some polishing.
Here's an ESPN evaluation:

Strengths:

This strong, well-built power forward is an intriguing guy who could really make a jump over the high school season. He was able to establish himself as an inside/outside guy who can step out to make the 15-18' jump shot. He has good hands that allow him to catch and finish balls around the rim. Braeden has all the tools to be an animal on the glass, but does not pursue the ball like he is capable. His upside is undeniable.

Weaknesses:

He needs to learn how to better utilize his physical gifts as he tends to stand up defensively and fancies himself as more of a pick-and-pop player when he could be a potentially-devastating pick-and-roll option. However, for him to move up the ladder he must continue to improve his skill level. He lacks any back to the basket moves he can go to, and surprisingly, did not rebound the ball well.

Bottom Line:

He has the size and athleticism that leads to a high major power forward, but he has some work still to do. Playing in the states can only help the Canadian import improve; keep your eye on this guy to see if his improvement leads to higher level recruitment.

Utah State lands a second juco

DeShawn Stephens, meet Kyisean Reed.

First, Stew Morrill landed a frontcourter from Santa Monica College and now it's a 'twin' of sorts also headed to Logan but Reed of Antelope Valley College is even more athletic.

Melvin Grussing at his AVC site has all the details.

Melvin also recently wrote this about Reed.

Monday's WAC news opener

Ferd Lewis writes that an agreement is close regarding the departures of Nevada and Fresno State.

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Continuing his countdown, Nick Jezierny highlights Bronco senior Daequon Montreal

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It was the return of Bill Amis in Hawaii's intra-squad scrimmage -- Brian McInnis has the details.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two more Sunday items

Here's John Hollinger at True Hoop with some background on Portland moving a backup point and how this plays out for Armon Johnson:

"...[Rudy] Fernandez is part of the reason why Bayless was expendable. His strong preseason, as well as that of fellow guards Wesley Matthews and Armon Johnson, helped ease Portland minds that they could part with Bayless. Matthews in particularly is likely to see heavy duty as the team’s backup point guard, even if Brandon Roy does the bulk of the ball-handling in that alignment. Rookie Johnson, a second-rounder who has lapped first-rounder and fellow guard Elliot Williams, may also see greater opportunity...
Caught this in Jim Basnight's latest Husky Digest post:
"...There is another 2011 big man that Rivals lists as having UW interest in six-foot-nine Shaquille Wilson, but when speaking to Wilson on Friday, he seemed to not be sure how much UW was interested. He did say that Sal Garcia, his AAU coach, knew more about that for comment and I spoke to Sal on Saturday.

Garcia said that Gonzaga, ASU and Utah State were the most interested, but neither had offered as Wilson was waiting on test scores. Sal said that Shaquille is six-foot-nine and 225 lbs. with seven foot-three wing span. According to Garcia Shaq can dribble, block shots, handles the ball like a guard and that his recruiting will blow up once his test scores come in.

It doesn't sound like UW is that after Wilson, as Garcia said that the last time he spoke to Romar about Shaw was 4 months ago, but Sal insisted that when his test scores come in everyone is going to be calling back..."
Wilson plays in the Bakersfield, CA area

Checking in on the Sunday World of the WAC

Jason Groves offers more on how the Aggies will cope without Wendell McKines.

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Chris Murray reports that the Trailblazers just made a move that more than solidifies Armon Johnson's role.

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How will announcers handle this Bronco taking of a three-pointer? Tre' for trey? Nick Jezierny features his latest Bronco player.

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Shawn Harrison has the details on Utah State's closed scrimmage.

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Check out The Howl Episode 42 -- you'll get 45 minutes of Coach David Carter talking Wolf Pack basketball. Sit back and enjoy...then subscribe to Silver and Blue Sports to access even more information.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A brief WAC Saturday update

Shawn Harrison has a report on Utah State hoops -- go here.

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Idaho athletics gives us a peek into a Vandal team scrimmage:

Basketball balanced at scrimmage
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
10/22/2010

 

There was a little bit of everything for the University of Idaho men's basketball team at the Black and Gold Scrimmage on Friday, from 3-point sharp-shooting to big slam dunks, transition buckets, and physical defense.

Idaho head coach Don Verlin said that he likes what he sees so far from his young team, and that it will be important to continue developing every day.

"It's what we needed, that's for sure," Verlin said of running the team through a game-type setting. "Everything we can do to get this team ready to go, we have to do it, because of the inexperience we have."

The team's balance was also evident on the score sheet. Senior guard Jeff Ledbetter (5-7 FG), junior guard Deremy Geiger (4-7 FG) and junior forward Luiz Toledo (7-10 FG) led all players with 15 points each, while four more players hit double-digit point totals during the four eight-minute scrimmage periods.

The Idaho Gold team shot a combined .553 (26-47) from the floor, while Idaho Black hit 51.2 percent (21-41) from the floor. The teams also had a combined 30 assists and 16 turnovers. The teams also hit .733 (11-14) from the free throw line and went 8-of-19 (.421) from 3-point range.

"The one thing we have on this team is we have some good basketball players," Verlin said. "We have guys who have a great feel for the game and can pass the ball and really share it. You will see us play not quite as fast as we did last year, but we will play a lot more efficiently than we did a year ago because of our skill level."

For the nearly 500 fans in attendance, it was the first chance to see the many new faces on the Vandal basketball squad, and Verlin said he hopes the Idaho following came away impressed.

"I think that the more people will come out and watch this team, the more they're going to like this team - it's a group that they'll connect with," Verlin said. "We have seven Northwest guys, we have a lot of good guys, and I think that they'll really enjoy watching this team play.

"I enjoy coaching this team and I think the fans will really enjoy watching them."


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More later, hopefully.

Alex Carr to Ruston

Rivals' Jerry Meyers is reporting that Kerry Rupp and LA TECH have received a commitment from 6-foot-3 backcourter Alex Carr, out of Minor High in Birmingham, Alabama.

ESPN offers this evaluation and also lists him as 6-foot-2 and 190:

Strengths

Carr is a steady shooting guard that understands how to score within the team concept. He has a nice stroke and good range on his jump shot. He plays with the confidence of a shooter and is fearless when the game is on the line. He has shown the ability to go on some amazing scoring runs.

Weaknesses:


Carr is a tough kid and is not afraid of a defensive challenge, but has a tendency to gamble for steals that allow his opponent open opportunities. He has the athletic ability to be a good defender at the collegiate level and should be able to defend multiple positions with improved focus.

Bottom Line:

Carr is a solid mid-major shooting guard prospect that, because of his shooting ability, will have a chance to contribute right away.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Your nightly WAC report

It's Vander time for Brian McInnis in today's Star Advertiser.

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La'Shard Anderson steps into view as Nick Jezierny's Bronco profiles continues.

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Chris Murray does the same with freshman Jordan Burris. We missed his Patrick Nyeko one here.

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Matt Sonnenberg zeroes in on the backcourt newcomers for the northern Aggies.

Definitely man's best friend

We've always loved canines and we're just smitten with this fido in the man cave photo. 
 


Sam Wasson on the WAC

Sam Wasson, the official WAC correspondent for Rush The Court and the Bleed Crimson site proprietor, offers his WAC preview today -- go here. It's more grist for the projection mill and a very good read.

RTtheC also has two full flavor video examples of the Spectrum-ites in action, including BillS doing what looks like his Hulk Hogan best -- the links are here.

New Mexico State offers a SoCal high schooler

Jack Pollon/Los Angeles Daily News is reporting that Coach Marvin Menzies has extended an offer to El Camino Real's 6-foot-6 180 Temjae Singleton -- go here. Utah is/was also in the mix.

Friday and the world of the WAC (so far)

Continuing his series, Nick Jeziery profiles Reggie Arnold. He's one of our 'watch for' candidates this season as the door is wide open for a couple of Broncos to step forward in 2010-2011.

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Ethan Conley previews this season's edition of Louisiana Tech -- click on Next Page for the men's portion of the feature.

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Texas prep frontcourter Daniel Green, mentioned in conjunction with Fresno State, has tripped to Tulsa (offer), plus Cal and Marquette have extended offers, with Virginia Tech (this weekend) and Wake Forest (November 1) forthcoming destinations..

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Your Thursday p.m. WAC notes edition


Westwind (Phoenix) Prep assistant coach Adam DeSautels has tweeted this: "New Mexico State, etc... in the gym today..." 

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Nick Jezierny features the latest BSU player here -- Adam Morrison's brother?

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Jason Groves looks back and ahead on Wendell McKines. 

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New Hampton Hoops has tweeted this: "New Hampton SF Nick Paulos is taking an official visit to UNC Greensboro this weekend." Utah State showed some earlier interest. Paulos, out of Utah,  is doing a prep year

Some more great reading

Andrew Murawa is back with another chapter in his incredible series at Rush The Court -- this one on scheduling.

It's quite the educational experience but we also love it because he features coaches and programs that so many of us can relate to -- the ones who don't get (over)featured on ESPN.

Thank you, Andrew and the RTC site for the illumination.

The premise of predictions

We enjoy WAC predictions, actually more the thought process that goes into justifying what is believed will happen.

It's fun to issue a prognostication and often educational to read about them.

But the truth is none of us has a clue.

Even the WAC coaches.

That's because nobody has seen all, let alone most, of the new arrivals nor has a clue on how much any returnees have improved.

Yes, PTW precicted that Brockeith Pane would earn Newcomer of the Year honors but ... we've never seen him play. So that's an so-called 'educated' guess, at best.

We also don't know who is teetering on the edge of academic problems or having behavioral issues that may endanger eligibility.

Plus, if you can forsee injuries then please make yourself known.

Another curious item is how the coaches and media define a most valuable player? To be a contrarian, why can't a most valuable player emerge from a second division finishing team? Is it to be someone whose team would drop the most if he wasn't on the court? Just what are the metrics for this honor? Just asking.

More specifically, it's interesting that the WAC coaches have Nevada ending up in third place yet no Wolf Packer was predicted to be honored on the first or second team.

This is not picking on a certain pl;ayer but the selection by the coaches of Tyler Newbold as a second-teamer is curious. Yes, we enjoy watching him play but a few of his numbers are questionable for that high of a ranking. This is his production in 16 games last season:

- 8.2 ppg.
- 45% overall shooting, 46% from three-point range (4th in the WAC), 90% on free throws but just 21 attempts
- 4.1 rpg.
- 48 assists to 16 turnovers, a stellar 3:1 ratio and tops in the WAC, assists were 15th in the WAC
- 9 steals

Again, just asking. The totality of his numbers are solid, no doubt, but being a second-teamer is worthy of debate. And that brings us back to the main point: nobody is right or wrong, at least right now.

More ruminations later.

How PTW sees the WAC playing out

Again in the interest of transparency, here is PTW's order of predicted finish of the respective WAC teams in the 2010-2011 season.

1. Utah State

Four seniors, a touted new point, The Spectrum and Stew Morrill's 'system' doesn't allow any other squad to land in the top spot.

2. New Mexico State

The offense shifts from the backcourt to the frontline this go-around with the firm of Gillenwater, McKines and Rahman probably at 50 points along with 30 boards a game. Hernst Laroche needs to step up with his shot and Gordo Castillo is going to be the very happy recipient of kickout passes galore.

3. San Jose State

Can "less' upfront be more overall? Other than Wil Carter, the Spartans have role players in the frontcourt and PTW has a hunch that such a combination will ultimately be more overall effective in succeeding at their assignments in the approaching season than last year's crew of bigs.

4. Nevada

There's more talent and especially potential on the Wolf Pack roster than any other WAC team but where's the experience and the proven scoring/shooting?

5. Fresno State


Coach Steve Cleveland is hoping his trusty [Tim] Steed will solidify the Bulldog backcourt -- he and Jonathan Willis are the keys to Fresno State's steadiness of play and hopefully the reasons for Greg Smith not being surrounded by a quintet of defenders.

6. Boise State

There is talent and promise here -- how soon will it mesh and offer consistent play are the questions surrounding the Bronco finish.

7. Louisiana Tech

In the past, Coach Kerry Rupp has provided the eggs that have landed on many a face who predicted a rough season for the Ruston-ites but it sure seems like a rebuilding year for LT.

8. Hawai`i

Some proven talent and a bunch of promise is the UH label this season. What will be interesting is seeing who steps forward as the team leader(s) and top producer(s).

9. Idaho


Don Verlin needs a bustout backcourter and go-to guy (possibly the same player) plus Kyle Barone to be packing 25 additional pounds. When does that happen?

Thursday's WAC report

Dayton Morinaga/Warrior Insider offers a print and video interview with sidelined newcomer Dominick Brumfield.

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Nevada athletics does the same with newbie Illiwa Baldwin.

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Jason Groves writes about one of the questions facing the New Mexico State Aggies in the approaching season.

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AW Prince at the Silver and Blue site digs into Nevada's future recruiting here. Don't you wish you had that subscription in place that you've been thinking about?

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Brian McInnis has the details on UH's Wednesday practice.

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Nick Jezierny fleshes out his tweet that first reported a new verbal to Coach Leon Rice and Boise State.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chris Murray with Jerry Evans and more

Chris Murray interviews newcomer Jerry Evans, who has impressed Coach David Carter with a newly acquired skill -- go here.

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Chris also offers the kind of article we love to read, titled Five observations about the WAC basketball season.

A Ronnie Stevens update

Ryan Gorcey of Rivals offers an update on the recruitment of southern California frontcourter Ronnie Stevens -- go here (a Rivals sub is required). He's a Hawaii offer who just tripped to the islands. A visit to Northridge is next followed by choosing between a Big West and a Mountain West team for a trip. UNLV and Washington have also now popped up but the latter isn't going to happen. Put a maybe on Vegas.

Nick Jezierny on Boise State's latest talent acquisition

Nick Jezierny has tweeted on another player aligning himself with Coach Leon Rice and BSU. No, we won't give it away -- it's all Nick's so go here to his Twitter account. Right now, it's the fifth entry.

Here is a January 2009 article on the young man. Here are some YouTube highlights.

A wild Herb Pope rumor

It seems appropriate to not call this a story -- as yet. Adam Zagoria posted what he has come across about Herb Pope here

NBE Basketball posted this and is trying to determine what is the truth and what isn't.

The WAC on Wednesday

Here's the latest on UH hoops from Dayton Morinaga @ his Warrior Insider site.

Dave Reardon covers the trials and tribulations in Hawaii's Gib Arnold court classroom.

Being prognosticated for the WAC caboose is being used as motivation by UH hoops, according to Brian McInnis here.

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Jeff Davis reports that Coach Steve Cleveland is liking the team chemistry he's witnessing.

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Sam Wasson talked with Coach Marvin Menzies about the various estimates on and about New Mexico State hoops.

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In his continuing series, Nick Jezierny fills us in on Bronco newcomer Thomas Bropleh.

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Get your USU basketball fix from Shawn Harrison here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

If you have some time on your hands...

and in need of a basketball fix -- go here -- and enjoy the WAC basketball media day where the various men's and women's coaches  talked about their respective programs.

A couple more notes

Tony Jones is reporting that 6-foot-8 CA junior college sophomore frontcourter DeShawn Stephens has given the nod to Stew Morrill and Utah State. He is currently attending Santa Monica College. Here is a link to the announcement at the Santa Monica College athletics site and the Stephens photo below should be credited to SMC athletics. UH wanted him and he tripped there recently.

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The Trailblazer management is liking what Armon Johnson is showing in Portland -- Chris Murray has that here

Kraig Willaims and the WAC presser

Kraig Williams is Twitter'in about the WAC basketball press conference going on right now -- check it out.

Follow Nick Jezierny

No, we're not saying track his whereabouts but on his Twitter account, Nick Jezierny is offering up a number of WAC basketball-related entries. Check him out.

Hawaii target heading to Georgia

7-foot John Florveus, out of Hillsborough Community College, has given a verbal to Georgia. He was offered by Hawaii but didn't visit. UTEP, Marshall and Washington State were in the mix.

Mark Fox is still impacting the WAC.

More WAC Tuesday notes

Here's Jason Groves with more on Wendell McKines' broken foot. Plus, here are Jason's WAC pre-season picks.

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Brian McInnis reports on Hawaii's first real practice.

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Catching up on Nick Jezierny's BSU player profiles, here's Sean Imadiyi, Westly Perryman and Justin Salzwedel.

The WAC pre-season polls are out

Here's the 2010-11 WAC Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll:

Rank Teams (1st Place Votes)  Points
  1. Utah State (8)                        64
  2. New Mexico State (1)            55
  3. Nevada                                 47
  4. Boise State                            36
  4. Fresno State                          36
  6. San Jose State                       32
  7. Louisiana Tech                      24
  8. Idaho                                   19
  9. Hawai‘i                                11

Preseason Coaches All-WAC Teams

First Team 
                         
Troy Gillenwater, Jr., F, New Mexico State
Wendell McKines, Sr., F, New Mexico State   
Adrian Oliver, Sr., G, San Jose State         
Greg Smith, So., C, Fresno State  
Tai Wesley, Sr., F, Utah State

Second Team     
                     
Olu Ashaolu, Jr., F, Louisiana Tech
Nate Bendall, Sr., F, Utah State    
Daequon Montreal, Sr., F, Boise State        
Tyler Newbold, Sr., G, Utah State  
Pooh Williams, Sr., G/F, Utah State    

Player of the Year: Tai Wesley, Utah State

Here's the media poll:

Rank Teams (1st Place Votes)  Points
  1. Utah State (19)                      259
  2. New Mexico State (8)            237
  3. Nevada (2)                            190
  4. San Jose State (1)                  135
  5. Fresno State                          133
  6. Boise State                            129
  7. Louisiana Tech                      116
  8. Idaho                                    78
  9. Hawai‘i                                 73

Preseason Media All-WAC Team

First Team  
                       
Troy Gillenwater, Jr., F, New Mexico State
Wendell McKines, Sr., F, New Mexico State 
Adrian Oliver, Sr., G, San Jose State         
Greg Smith, So., C, Fresno State
Tai Wesley, Sr., F, Utah State

Player of the Year: Adrian Oliver, San Jose State

Newcomer of the Year: Brockeith Pane, Jr., G, Utah State

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In case you were wondering, here were the pre-season choices of the coaches last season:

2009-10 Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll

Rank Teams (1st Place Votes)  Points

  1. Utah State (8)                     64
  2. Nevada (1)                         53
  3. New Mexico State              50
  4. Idaho                                42
  5. Louisiana Tech                   31
  6. Fresno State                      30
  7. Boise State                        23
  8. San Jose State                   19
  9. Hawai‘i                            12

Preseason Coaches All-WAC Teams

First Team 
                           
Luke Babbitt, So., F, Nevada
Mac Hopson, Sr., G, Idaho     
Armon Johnson, Jr., G, Nevada           
Jared Quayle, Sr., G, Utah State   
Jahmar Young, Jr., G, New Mexico State

Second Team   
                        
Roderick Flemings, Sr., F, Hawai‘i 
Paul George, So., G/F, Fresno State     
Kyle Gibson, Sr., G, Louisiana Tech          
Sylvester Seay, Sr., F, Fresno State    
Tai Wesley, Jr., F, Utah State     

Player of the Year:
Luke Babbitt, Nevada


And the media picks:

2009-10 Preseason Men’s Basketball Media Poll

Rank Teams (1st Place Votes)  Points
  1. Utah State (15)                   273
  2. Nevada (12)                       269
  3. New Mexico State (6)         226
  4. Idaho                                 193
  5. Boise State                         145
  6. Louisiana Tech                   140
  7. Fresno State                       130
  8. San Jose State (1)                88
  9. Hawai‘i                               66

Preseason Media All-WAC Team

First Team  
                         
Luke Babbitt, So., F, Nevada
Mac Hopson, Sr., G, Idaho     
Armon Johnson, Jr., G, Nevada           
Jared Quayle, Sr., G, Utah State   
Jahmar Young, Jr., G, New Mexico State

Player of the Year: Luke Babbitt, Nevada

Monday, October 18, 2010

McKines hurts his foot

New Mexico State's Wendell McKines has injured his foot.Thanks to abqaggie49 at the Scout NMSU site Sports Trough message board for the news. Here's McKines' Twitter account.

Joel Welser has Fresno State at 66

Joel Welser of CollegeHoops.net places Fresno State as the 66th best basketball program in the country and the third best in the WAC-- go here. He does have Steve Shepp as eligible so that needs to be taken into account. Welser sees a post-season berth for the Bulldogs and also offers a starting lineup.

Tony Woods to Louisville

Yes, it's (thankfully) not WAC-related, but former Wake Forest player is headed to Louisville.

How fitting.

Here's Jeff Eisenberg with some background.

Our picks for All-WAC honors

In the spirit of transparency, here are the All-WAC selections PTW submitted to Jason Erickson, the WAC Director of Media Relations:

Player of the Year: Adrian Oliver

With a pro career beckoning, it's all on the line now. The NBA scouts will be duly examining his defensive play and ballhandling proficiencies so it won't be just prolific scoring he'll need to display. The bird dogs also want to witness greater overall offensive efficiency. There is no one else with his scoring potential, especially because the ball starts in his hands.

Newcomer of the Year: Brockeith Pane

It could be anyone of three or four newbies but Pane, although moving into the toughest position to master, will be running alongside four seniors. He won't need to score -- at least not all that much -- but limiting turnovers and getting the ball to his teammates when and where they can do the most damage are jobs one and two. Reports also indicate Pane will be a defensive upgrade over the previous occupants at the point for Stew Morrill.

All-WAC Team (4 more players in addition to Player of the Year):

* Olu Ashaolu

Ashaolu is The Man this season in Ruston and will average a double-double. He will enjoy greater opportunity than Wendell McKines, who will have a number of Las Cruces teammates shooting as much if not more than him. But Ashaolu needs better ball skills and much greater accuracy from the foul line. The latter is critical because opponents won't mind putting a 53% free throw shooter on the line, especially late in games.

* Troy Gillenwater

In deciding between Lord Gillenwater and teammate McKines, PTW went with G-man's better scoring ability as he can pop from treyland and inside the paint and is a more difrficult opponent to defend. There's simply more potential here plus it may very well be the junior's last go-around in an Aggie uniform and he needs to offer a very solid season in order to attract pro attention.

* Greg Smith

Count on a double-double from him too since he will take the most shots on the Bulldogs. Like Ashaolu, Smith needs to upgrade his foul line percentage. What gives us pause here, if anything,  is the question of whether Steve Cleveland has enough shooters to keep the double teams of Smith to a minimum.

* Tai Wesley

The backbone of the northern  Aggies, Wesley is a bull offensively and defensively, the best passing frontcourter in the conference and the most critical player to Utah State's basketball hopes. He'll more than likely score the least of his fellow All-WAC-ers but he'll top all of them in assists, in some cases tripling the number of a few of those honorees.


Sometimes naming five players to an all-conference team is an exercise in splitting hairs. That and attempting to catch a glimpse of the future while wearing sunglasses on a dark and stormy night with the power out.

This absolutely applies to the WAC in 2010-2001 because, even with the new math and all the creativity we could muster, six or seven just doesn't go into five. It will obviously be for readers to decide which picks, or lack thereof, are the products of stinking thinking.


This wasn't required but we also ventured into choosing a second team:

WAC Second Team

* Wendell McKines 

He will certainly have his moments and definitely games but will also face more focus defensively now that Jahmar Young and Jonathan Gibson have departed.

* Daequon Montreal 

The newcomer shot well and was a beast on the offensive boards last season. With 10 more minutes of playing time a game, look for him to produce excellent numbers.

* Malik Story

Someone is going to have to take the shots and produce the points in the wake of the departures of Luke Babbitt, Armon Johnson and Brandon Fields and Story is the likeliest candidate to be the leading scorer for the Wolf Pack. But he will need to demonstrate he won't have to be a volume shooter in order to total his points.

* Justin Graham 

Finally healthy after a year and a half of wrist woes, his outside-shooting eye should return and he's always been proficient on his dribble-drives into the paint.

* Robert Arnold

Coach Leon Rice needs point producers in his initial season and Arnold is the most likeliest candidate to be Boise's top scorer. But he does need to shoot a better percentage both overall and from three-point land.


Okay, so where are Bill Amis, Hamidu Rahman and certainly a few others? Definitely in contention.

PTW will now put into place its Star Wars shield for protection against incoming ordnance.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Here's the Sunday WAC report

Brian McInnis offers a report on Hawaii's first practice and the bruises that resulted indicate it's set to the theme of ONJ's "Let's Get Physical."

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Newcomer Brockeith Pane is making some noise in Logan as Shawn Harrison details.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

We overlooked this

We came across this earlier but our browser crashed and we lost the item: Jason Groves is churning out the New Mexico State basketball material and continues with this latest entry.

Giving credit where it is due

Two UH basketball fans alerted us to the new Hawaii hoops site Warrior Insider plus the fact that Dayton Morinaga, ex of the Honolulu Advertiser, is the force behind it. It's great to have him back in the coverage mix.

Al was one of the tipsters and the other Richard Kasuya and we thank both of them for this catch.

Cezar Guerrero to Western Kentucky

We never thought this southern Californian backcourter -- Cezar Guerrero --would depart from the western U.S. but he's headed to Western Kentucky.

Fresno State offered, according to Jason Stamm at Inside Hilltopper Sports (a Rivals sub is required), and was in the 5-foot-11 Guerrero's final five.

Here is an ESPN evaluation of the young man.

Here is more background, including video.

Saturday is also loaded with WAC items

 As Brian McInnis reports, Hawaii certainly had an interesting opening night of hoops festivities. The $64,000,000 questions now is Gib Arnold and his coaching staff going to take their shimmying shirtless thing into a game? Go here. There is also recruiting news to be had at the end of the article and one item will be of interest to Utah State fans.

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Shawn Harrison reports on Utah State's subdued opening night here.

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Bronco senior Paul Noonan is profiled here by Nick Jezierny.

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San Jose State utilized some out-of-the-box thinking in its Midnight Madness event.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Two Gary Wilkinson items

Came across a pair of articles about former Utah Stater Gary Wilkinson among other hoops items.

Chris Barclay, writing about the Sydney Kings basketball club, offered this:

"...Centre Gary Wilkinson occupies the Breakers second import spot and appears to be an astute signing for the departed Rick Rickert after his impressive performances in Darwin's recent Top End Challenge tournament.

Wilkinson averaged 22.6 points and 15 rebounds per game at the pre-season tournament and he was also immaculate from the free throw line..."
"immaculate from the free throw line" -- gotta use that line some time this season.

and

Steve Deane, covering the same subject, wrote this:
"...The new import can shoot

Boy he can shoot. After a couple of years watching Rick Rickert take four attempts to convert a point-blank lay up, Gary Wilkinson promises to be a breath of fresh air. It's early days yet but Wilkinson set tongues wagging with his performance at the pre-season tournament in Darwin. The chunky American top scored for the Breakers in all three matches with hauls of 24, 24 and 20 points. He was deadly from beyond the arc, hitting eight out of 12 three-pointers, and perfect from the free-throw line, converting 10/10 chances. He also chased someone who annoyed him and slipped them a sly punch in the kidneys. Hard not to like the guy..."
Somewhere in Logan, Stew Morrill is enjoying a hearty laugh.

Chris Murray on Olek Czyz

Chris Murray points out an option Nevada's Olek Czyz has available to him for the 2010-2011 season -- go here.

Jeff Goodman on the WAC assistant coaches

 Here's Jeff Goodman, continuing his rundown on D-1 assistant coaches, with his WAC findings:

"We’re running through the top assistants in each league and now it’s time to look at the top assistants in WAC – as voted upon by at least 75 percent of the coaches in the league:

Here is the WAC:

1) Tim Duryea, Utah State – Entering his 10th season at Utah State, Duryea was also the head coach at Hutchinson Community College for two seasons. He graduated from North Texas and started his coaching career at Colorado State before going back to North Texas in 1993.

``Tim understands every aspect of being an assistant coach. He’s extremely valuable to me; he can schedule, recruit and is experienced. He does it all. There’s nothing like experience. He’s not a young guy that’s wet behind the ears.” – Utah State Stew Morrill

2) Doug Novsek, Nevada

3) Mick Durham, New Mexico State

4) Ray Lopes, Idaho

5) Jeff Reinert, Fresno State
"

A Tony Woods update

From Jeff Goodman:

"...Wake Forest  big man Tony Woods, who was granted his release from the program following a misdemeanor assault on his girlfriend, is scheduled to head to Louisville this weekend.

Woods' former summer coach, Norman Parker of the Georgia Stars, told FOXSports.com that Woods is expected to take an official visit to Rick Pitino's program.

"He'll go this weekend," Parker said.

However, the Cardinals aren't the only big-time program that has expressed interest in bringing in the talented big man.

Parker also said that Kentucky, West Virginia, Georgetown, Auburn, Xavier, Cincinnati -- among others -- have reached out to both him and Woods' mother in an attempt to recruit the junior..."
 
Rick Pitino? Of course.

A big time Friday WAC roundup

Fresno State will be minus its starting point for the fall semester -- Daniel Lyght has the details here. Yes, Steve Shepp has his weaknesses (which players in the WAC don't?) but now having to rely upon a freshman who was a scorer in the prep ranks and a newcomer from a junior college is never what a coach draws up in his master plan.

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The mantra at Boise State is 'intensity' and Nick Jezierny offers the background to such here.

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John Keith/Las Cruces Bulletin interviews Troy Gillenwater here and we also learn where Jahmar Young and Jonathan Gibson are now playing.

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Jeff Portnoy has re-emerged with the Star Advertiser and here is his first column on UH hoops.

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Daniel Lyght pulls double duty here with a very personal feature on Fresno State's Greg Smith.

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Shawn Harrison begins his coverage of Utah States with a column here.

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Sportsbow at the Sports Hawaii site has the scoop (as usual) on a new site -- Warrior Insider -- for UH basketball. Anyone know who is behind it as it looks very impressive and professional?

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The Quayles have returned from Belgium apparently sooner than expected -- read about it here.

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Jeff Faraudo of the Oakland Tribune offers this on San Jose State in his Bay Area college basketball preview:

Catching up: The Spartans, who lost nine of their final 11 games a year ago, will be smaller but deeper, more athletic and more versatile, according to coach George Nessman. "We definitely feel it's the best team we've had," he said.

It starts with Oliver, who has scored at least 30 points in 10 of his 49 games with the Spartans. "He received an inordinate amount of defensive attention, so we have to make it a little simpler for him to score," Nessman said. "The biggest piece for him is really feeling comfortable as a leader of a team."   

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jason Groves' pick for #1

Jason Groves has completed his countdown -- go here to find his choice for the top talent in the WAC.

Matt Sonnenberg assesses Utah State

One half of the tag team duo behind The Refraction, Matt Sonnenberg check in:

Gridiron struggles got you down? The hardwood awaits
The View From Section F
Matt Sonnenberg
Utah Statesman
October 12, 2010

It's a definite mystery to me just how the USU football team goes from thrashing BYU on national TV one week to getting torn apart by Louisiana Tech the next. Common wisdom would be to say that this year's Aggies just can't put things together on the road, but there's the Oklahoma game, which was against the best team USU has played this year, in probably the toughest atmosphere that Utah State will visit in 2010. Somehow the Aggies managed to only lose that game by seven points, while losing the other two road games against Louisiana Tech and San Diego State by a combined 52 points.
Mysterious indeed, but for pretty much the first time this year, I'm going to move away away from talking football. After all, they do have the week off, and on top of that, I'm not sure what else can really be said about this team other than the bits about injuries and needing to execute better on the road. 
Instead this week, it's time to finally talk about something glorious, which is rapidly approaching. I'm referring, of course, to the beginning of Utah State basketball season.,,
Go here for the remainder.

A few Thnursday WAC notes for you

Jason Groves offers five keys to the WAC kingdom for New Mexico State basketball -- go here.

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Gib Arnold has a dance move up his sleeve for the UH Ohana Hoopfest and PTW wants to see pictures of the 'action' so here's hoping the Brian McInnis or one of the Star Advertiser photographers takes in the action -- go here. Will Duane "Dog" Chapman make an appearance? Talk about one helluva recruiter -- always getting his man, or woman.

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Fresno State has just offered 6-foot-8 Texas prepster Daniel Green -- Chris Harmon of Inside Tulsa Sports has the latest here (a Rivals sub is required). He enjoyed a solid summer and is considered a late riser.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

G-man appears at #2

Jason Groves has revealed his #2 best talent in the WAC -- go here.

"I will never forget the first time I paid a player"

George Dohrmann has an article -- "Confessions Of An Agent" in the most recent Sports Illustrated that is setting the college and pro football worlds on fire. -- go here.

There are many questions to be pondered but a basic one is this: why do we expect the individuals in the world Dohrmann writes about to act any differently than how the rest of the world/universe behaves?

We're late on this

George Dohrmann won a Pulitzer for his coverage of the Clem Haskins - Minnesota basketball scandal some year ago and now has produced a new book -- eight years in the making -- titled Play Their Hearts Out.

Here is a lengthy exceprt:

Demetrius Walker and his coach, Joe Keller, were at the Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Family Sports Center early in 2003 when a young man Demetrius guessed to be about twenty years old entered the gym. Demetrius did not recognize him, but Keller hurried over and they hugged, and he then led the young man to where Demetrius sat lacing his shoes.

"D, this is Keilon," Keller said. "He used to play for Pat [Barrett]. He's going to work out with you."

Demetrius looked at Keilon, more than a little confused. Keilon was a man, with several tattoos on his arms and a chiseled physique. Why is he going to work out with me? Demetrius thought. But he didn't say anything. If Coach Joe wanted him to work out with Keilon, there must be a good reason...
Go here for the remainder.

'Must read' is too often overused but it certainly applies to this book.

No, this is not...

We repeat, this is not the warmup suit of the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves basketball team. By the way, just how did that particular species evolve?

Marcel Davis traveling to USU

From the Collegiate_hoop twitter account:

"2012 Guard Marcel Davis of American Fork High (UT) will take an unofficial visit to Utah State this friday"
By the way, here is Davis' Twitter account -- he has given a verbal to the Aggies..

For those wishing to send well woshes...

For no particular reason, Reggie Theus turns 53 today.

WAC Wednesday

Jason Groves previews the New Mexico State season and roster -- go here.

It's apparent who are the two remaining players in Jason's countdown of the best talents in the WAC so which one will appear tonight at #2?

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Aggieville's Tony Jones has two more posts up, one on USU scheduling and the other on what Stew Morrill will do with his rotation until Nate Bendall returns. 

That's it for now.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jason Groves chooses another Aggie at #3 and much more

It's a Tai for the #3 player in the WAC per Jason Groves and our 'guess' is five Aggies will eventually appear -- go here.

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Chris Murray links to a good feature on Mark Fox and the mighty mo he is creating in Athens.

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Cameron Forte, a senior shooting guard out of the Arizona high school ranks, has received an offer from Fresno State. He has a total of four bids extended but is also considering doing a year at Westwind Prep. Go here for Adam Gorney's article (a Rivals sub is required).

Here is a March, 2010 feature on the 6-foot-5 Forte, including a photo.

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Per Rivals' Damon Sayles, 6-foot-6 Dallas wing Jalen Jones has decided on hometown SMU. According to the article, Houston and Boise State also offered. Go here (and a Rivals sub is required).In a six degrees of Nevada basketball element, Jones said his decision was helped by having former teammate London Giles at SMU
.

The RTC inside look at recruiting and scheduling continues

Rush The Court is posting a fascinating series of article featuring head coaches, assistant coaches and ADs talking about recruiting, scheduling and the like. We offer many thanks to Andrew Murawa for his work on this.

Here's the initial article.

Here is part two.

Part three can be read here.

This is the latest, part four.

Balling Is A Habit previews the WAC

Rob Dauster at the Balling Is A Habit site offers a lengthy and solid WAC preview here.

Tuesday's WAC items

Tony Jones/Aggieville confirms that USU center Nate Bendall is recovering from a foot injury.

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Jason Groves heads to the San Joaquin for his #4 selection of the WAC's best players.

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Arizona prep backcourter Collin Woods has made the call and it's UC Irvine. Fresno State was in the mix but that was some time back.

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Don't forget Matt Bauscher's blog -- he's quite the writer and well worth checking out (Rod Benson has some major competition here). The ex-Boise Stater seems about due for an October post (not that we're pressuring him).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Please, please, please -- no Tony Woods to the WAC

Thankfully, there are no indications of former Wake Forest center Tony Woods being wooed by any WAC team but we still wanted to get this out there. As one might tweet: no Woods 2 da WAC.

Maybe we should start a poll -- where will Woods land?

__ Kentucky

__ Southern Mississippi

__ UTEP

__ Connecticut

__ Louisville

Who did we miss?

Don Verlin reaches back into Washington

Thanks to Dan Allen for alerting us to this: Coach Don Verlin looks west and Idaho lands a verbal from a Washington State backcourter, 6-foot-3 Xavier Bazille. Go here for Doug Pacey's scoop in The News Tribune.

Here is Bazille's MySpace page.

Here is a 2009 evaluation of Bazille from Wakefield Scouting:

"Absolute athlete and only a sophomore. Had at least 3 dunks, one of which he caught the ball on the low wing, made a shot fake and drove right by his man, the help was late and he went up and threw it down on them. Two dribble drives and dunks. He seemed to be getting all sorts of rebounds and put backs and was basically a 3, 4, and 5 for Mt. Tahoma  who does not have anyone taller than him on the team. He needs to work on his defense but if he continues to grow he will be a great college player. Did not see him take many outside shots but he did make his FT's. Had 19pts and 9rbs, Mt. Tahoma does not win without this kid. Mt. Tahoma Mid D-I"

Monday morning WAC

Christopher at his European Prospects Twiiter account has posted this:

'NCAA: Update on my last post. Anthony Drmic CRO-AUS visited Portland, St. Mary's, Valparaiso and Boise State."
Also, Chris' web site can be found here.

Drmic, like Igor Hadziomerovic, has roots in Croatia and Australia and also plays in the backcourt. He is a 6-foot-4, 180 shooting guard/wing.

Here is a January, 2009 feature on him.

Coach Rice is continuing the now Gonzaga tradition of reaching overseas.

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Jason Groves goes back-to-back with his choice of the fifth best player in the WAC in 2010-2011 -- go here. The WAC backcourters are bereft of love so far.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hawaii raising interest in Cain

A report by Adam Munsterteiger at the Buff Stampede site says that CA frontcourter Damiene Cain will be hitting Waikiki on Thursday. The young man indicates Colorado is in the lead so UH fans better get those leis ready and call in a balmy 80 degree temp for late this week. Go here for the article (a Rivals sub is required0.

Jason Groves stays home with pick #6

Jason Groves didn't have to look far for his sixth selection in the Top 10 WAC talents -- go here.

This has to mean Coach Marvin Menzies will have three players in the rankings. So does this translate into New Mexico State being atop the WAC in pre-season predictions?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

WAC Saturday

Here's a nice community outreach effort put on by Louisiana Tech hoops.

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AW Prince at Silver and Blue Sports has a video interview with Dennis Gates, an assistant coach to David Carter. Go here (a site sub is required).

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Chris Murray reports that both Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson racked up very solid number in Portland's latest pre-season contest.

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Alex Schwartz at his Northstar Basketball site has a report on Oregon prepster Landen Lucas, who is now playing at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas. The 6-foot-8 forward is going to land with a high major but Utah State has offered. He is a 2012 prospect and here is an ESPN evaluation.

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's a Utah State player at #7

Jason Groves places USU center Nate Bendall as the seventh best WAC player -- go here.

The Friday world of WAC basketball

Mixing sports, Luke Babbitt says Nevada could go undefeated in football this season.

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AW Prince at Silver and Blue Sports offers up Part Three (Deontè Burton, Olek Czyz and Illiwa Baldwin interviews) of his Nevada basketball video preview -- go here if you have made the decision to subscribe. You have, haven't you?

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Jay Drew and Lya Wodraska of the Salt Lake City Tribune provide some basketball notes involving Utah State 2012 target Jordan Chatman (who seems like a BYU lock) and Nick Paulos in the 2011 class.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Olu is #8

Louisiana Tech frontcourter Olu Ashaolu lands in the eighth spot in Jason Groves' Top 10 WAC player countdown -- go here. The folks in Ruston and Toronto like the love.

More on Herb Pope

ESPN's Dana O'Neill goes in-depth with and about Herb Pope -- go here.

A couple more for you

Melvin Grussing recalls when Reggie Arnold was playing for Antelope Valley College -- go here. By the way, Melvin's new AVC site platform merits an A+.

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New Hampton Prep twittered this:

"Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey was joined by coaches from Utah State, Albany, and UNH last night for New Hampton's open gym"
Utah native Nick Paulos is there, along with many other talents. Go here for a rundown to guess who the Aggies are watching.