Here you go:
* Utah State at Saint Mary’s (that should be a helluva game)
* Boise State at UC-Santa Barbara (UCSB isn't big but has scorers Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally)
* Northern Colorado at New Mexico State (UNC will struggle with New Mexico State's size but 6-foot-1 Devon Beitzel averages 19 points per game)
* Weber State at San Jose State (Weber star backcourter and reigning Big Sky Conference MVP Damian Lillard is out with a broken foot)
* Idaho at Montana State (it's a road game but M St. lacks a dominating talent)
* UC-Irvine at Nevada (Irvine lost earlier to LA TECH and SJSU)
* UC-Riverside at Fresno State (Greg Smith will have a big size advantage if he can get the ball)
* Georgia State at Louisiana Tech (gotta plead ignorance on G St.)
* Hawaii at UC-Davis (Amis and Joaquim will be tough to stop inside)
Monday, January 31, 2011
Here you go:
Pesky Utah State fans? That's what Chris Murray is calling the denizens of The Spectrum so we're putting the onus on The Refractioners and Bill Sproat to respond to being labeled pestiferous.
ESPN's Mark Adams leads off with a Brian Green photo and kudos to Utah State -- later on, he goes psychic and sees Stew Morrill's induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.
Tony Jones goes with Brian Green as the best shooter in the WAC.
Gary Wilkinson is called the best import talent in the ANBL.
The following links are non WAC-related but still informative, so here's a collection we've been stockpiling:
* Color announcer Bill Raftery does his homework (Dick Vitale c-o-u-l-d learn from this but won't)
*Most, if not all, of the WAC teams face these same disadvantages hindering San Diego State hoops but look at the ranking of the Aztec program
* Remember Taylor King torching the nets at Mater Dei but not Duke nor Villanova -- he's now on the court at Concordia
* Definitely read this Tom Friend-penned article
* You h-a-v-e to pull for Jorge Gutierrez even if burdened by a hardened heart -- begin the incoming ordance now
* Enjoy these NBA All-Deceptive videos
In the USA TODAY Top 25 Coaches poll, Utah State is ranked #21 ahead of a PAC-10, a Big 10 and two SEC teams.
CBSSports has the Aggies at #22, with North Carolina, Vanderbilt and West Virginia rounding out the Top 25.
Utah State’s Brian Green has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 24-30. The honor marks the first career WAC Player of the Week award for Green.
Green, a senior guard from Kaysville, Utah (Davis HS/Salt Lake CC), led Utah State to a pair of WAC road wins last weekend at San Jose State (84-65) and at Hawai‘i (89-84 2OT).
Against the Spartans, Green scored a career-high 25 points and tied his career high with six rebounds as he was 8-of-9 from the field, 5-of-5 from three-point range and 4-for-4 at the free throw line. Green also tied a school record for shooting percentage from three in the game.
At Hawai‘i, Green posted 22 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists in a career-high 38 minutes. In the game, Green hit a pair of game-tying shots as he tied it at 66-all to send the game in overtime on a long two-pointer, and then hit a 30-footer late in the first overtime to tie the game at 73, sending it into another extra period. Green then sank four straight free throws in the final 0:06 of the second overtime to seal the victory.
On the week, Green averaged 23.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He shot 68.2 percent (15-of-22) from the field, 68.2 percent (8-of-13) from beyond the arc and 90 percent (9-of-10) from the free throw line.
* Boise State senior guard La’Shard Anderson
* Fresno State freshman guard Kevin Olekaibe
* Idaho senior guard Jeff Ledbetter
* Louisiana Tech junior forward Olu Ashaolu
* Nevada junior forward Dario Hunt
* New Mexico State junior forward Troy Gillenwater
* San Jose State senior guard Adrian Oliver
Per Dayton Morinaga, it was Miah time -- although he would say differently -- even as UH fell in two overtimes to Utah State. Brian McInnis is right there, too.
It's also Deonte time according to Scott Daniel. Going inside the numbers produced by the Wolf Pack thus far is Pat Hosier.
Sam Wasson is offering Aggie video highlights, the game writeup and a load of photos all about New Mexico State's victory over Idaho.
Jason Groves' article today is about the home record for Marvin Menzies' squad being perfect this season, putting the Aggies into a solid position for earning a first-round bye in the league tourney. The last place WAC finisher get a bye-bye.
Shawn Harrison tells us Utah State got little from Tai Wesley and Brockeith Pane yet still was able to pull the game out in Hawaii. Tony Jones also writes about this subject. Does USU move up from #25 what with all the Top 25 upsets this past weekend?
Sunday, January 30, 2011
A couple of weeks back, it certainly appeared that LA TECH was minus the experience and shooting prowess to make a run but the Bulldogs have proven conventional wisdom wrong. Kerry Rupp's team bopped Boise State in Ruston last night.
Read about it here, here and here.
Wow. Utah State hits the islands and escaped with an 89-84 double overtime win. Is Brian Green playing his way into an All-WAC spot?
Here are Dayton Morinaga (with print, photos and video) and Brian McInnis (with print and photos). Shawn Harrison has a lengthy report.
New Mexico State took down Idaho in Las Cruces -- here are Jason Groves, plus he offers a blog entry, and Josh Wright look at the game from the Vandal angle.
We couldn't access the Bleed Crimson site but we'll go back later.
Rivals San Jose State and Fresno State matched up again and the host Spartans topped the Bulldogs by 12.
Daniel Lyght covered the matchup.
Here are the WAC standings to date:
Utah State 9-0
New Mexico State 6-3
Boise State 5-4
Fresno State 3-6
San Jose State 2-7
Louisiana Tech 2-7
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Mel Grussing is on top of it as usual -- two players have been dismissed from the Antelope Valley College squad, including Utah State signee Kyisean Reed. Hopefully, it's a lesson learned because characters don't last in Logan.
UH hosts Utah State and the call is out for every living being in the area to be there and vocal. Here's Dayton Morinaga (key word poker), Brian McInnis (key word rebound) and Brian also offers some Court Sense entries. Jeff Portnoy is here.
Alternatively, Here's Shawn Harrison and Kraig Williams (with Coach Stew applauding the character of his players).
Jason Groves previews Idaho coming to Las Cruces. Jason has also posted a very informative look back at the Aggie victory over Boise State.
Daniel Lyght sees Fresno State's trip tonight to San Jose as a W column one.
Nick Jezierny recounts the travelogue trials and tribulations for Boise State basketball as the Broncos head into Ruston.
Chris Murray serves up a Nevada basketball notes column. Mark Rauh at Silver and Blue Sports has posted some terrific Wolf Pack - Fresno State game photos. Joe Santoro has issued his grades for the game.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Finally came across something updating the status of former LA TECH signee D.J. Wright:
Coming home for the 'Wright' reason — D.J. Wright is back playing basketball — and taking care of his motherGo here for the remainder.
The Sault Star
January 28, 2011
For DJ Wright, basketball is "everything." But it still comes second to his mom.
Last year, when his mother fell gravely ill, Wright packed his bags and returned home to take care of her, even though it meant setting aside his hopes of playing professional basketball.
"At that time, I had to make a decision, either stay at school or tend to my mother," said Wright. "I tended to my mom."
It is that duty that sees the six-foot-seven guard back in Sault Ste. Marie, attending classes at Algoma University and playing for the Thunderbirds men's basketball team, as his mother recovers in hospital...
For anyone interested:
January 26, 2011
We hear former USC guard Bryce Jones is looking at Long Beach State, in addition to San Diego State.
Tony Jones was prophetic as visiting Utah State used Mr. Clean Energy in propelling past San Jose State University 84-65. Shawn Harrison and Tony Jones were there (thanks to HJ management and the suits at the Salt Lake Tribune respectively-- now, do they get to go to Hawaii?) plus Tony tweeted the game. Ray Hacke covered the game for the Mercury News.
Sam Wasson/Bleed Crimson is all over New Mexico State's overtime win against the Boise Staters. 21 crisp photos are here, AggieVision video here and the game report here. Jason Groves offers a game report. 47 Aggie free throws, 13 coming in the OT period, will probably require some floor touchup around the charity stripes in Las Cruces.
Host Nevada got past Fresno State -- read all about it from Chris Murray here, here and here. Joe Santoro is here. Mark Littlefield, along with three superb game photos, is here. The Fresno Bee's report is here. Daniel Lyght tweeted the contest.
Ethan Conley and Jason Pugh report on Louisiana Tech getting into the WAC win column with a victory over Idaho.
Besides the games, Dayton Morinaga has a feature revealing the nicknames of various UH basketballers. Brian McInnis writes about the Rainbow Warriors getting defensive, but in a good way (both the quality of the article and the effort and focus of the players). Jeff Portnoy muses about hoops and life, not necessarily in that order.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
It was in Ruston (the road being a fickle mistress) so maybe there isn't a PTW jinx along the lines of being on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Anyway, Kerry Rupp's squad notched its initial WAC win this season, downing Idaho 71-56. Olu Ashaolu scored 24 points plus 18 rebounds and Kenyon McNeaill added 21. Jeff Ledbetter led the Vandals with 20 points. LT out-rebounded Idaho 40-24.
Antelope Valley College frontcourter and Utah State signee Kyisean Reed was absent for another game.
In the previous contest, he sat out against San Bernardino Valley College for missing shootaround again -- this according to Mel Grussing.
Reed was absent last night against Mt. San Jacinto, not dressing nor on the bench.
Head to Mel's site for the details.
Utah State faces host San Jose State tonight now as a ranked team. Shawn Harrison and Kraig Williams preview. Tony Jones goes Green.
Nick Jezierny writes about Boise State losing its freshmen but gaining sophomores. It's Boise State venturing into Las Cruces tonight and Jason Groves fills us in on what should be a dandy. Plus, Sam Wasson presents Troy Gillenwater.
Daniel Lyght previews both the Fresno State matchup at Nevada and also Doc Cleveland. Joe Santoro employs the term score settling which conjures up Hatfield and McCoy visions. Chris Murray is here with his look at the game.
Dayton Morinaga has video, a photo and print on the evolution of Zane Johnson. Miah Ostrowskiis carrying around a heavy heart as Brian McInnis reports. We missed this from yesyerday but here's the latest from Jeff Portnoy.
Scott Ferrell's article on Louisiana Tech -- "Trials of Tech" -- lays out the Bulldog season to date. Idaho comes in tonight.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
On a couple of the message boards for WAC teams, some fans are wondering (maybe wishing) that USC transfer Bryce Jones might come to their respective schools. Uh, think again, just based on Jones' behavior -- head here.
Two days off for the USU players? Is any further evidence needed that Stew is mellowing into a basketball version of Mr. Rogers?
Tony Jones writes about the above and also has this blog entry on the Aggie point guard corps. Shawn Harrison goes in-depth on Brockeith Pane.
Here's Sam Wasson with his weekly Marvin Menzies interview.
Newcomer at the point Derrell Conner receives the celeb treatment -- both Joe Santoro and Chris Murray writes about the junior college transfer. Dan Hinxman looks at Wolf Pack point guards past and present.
Per Brian McInnis, Hawaii doesn't face Utah State until Saturday and the Rainbow Warriors are homeworkin' it to be ready and advance their three-game win streak.
Dayton Morinaga has the news that Gib Arnold will sport different attire depending on the crowd numbers for the USU matchup.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
UH is calling on all fans -- young, old and in-between -- to be present and accounted for when the Rainbow Warriors welcome Utah State on Saturday. Check out Dayton Morinaga's latest.
Jeff Portnoy focuses on freshman point Bobby Miles and seems ready to put his face on the back of milk cartons in the islands.
Jason Groves has a very interesting potpourri blog entry up -- do check it out.
Thanks to thevoice at the Silver and Blue Sports Forum for locating the whereabouts and status of former Nevada star Kirk Snyder.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Anthony Ray at Arizona Preps has two new articles posted today (Rivals sub required) about a pair of Westwind (Arizona) Prep bigs who have seemingly found their D-1 destinations.
6-foot-10 Nate Maxey, out of San Diego, just left Westwind in what looks like a case of departing before being asked to and his article is here. His academics were a problem, hence his decision to attend Westwind and he also needed to add strength and develop an offensive repertoire.
6-foot-9 Jordan Didier (earlier Fresno State interest but no longer apparently) is doing a post-prep season at Westwind and, besides greater strength, needs a higher ACT score in order to be D-1 eligible. His article is here.
What's fascinating is that one school has landed Maxey and is the leader for Didier's services -- Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Former Tulane and Miami coach Perry Clark heads the program there and a former Westwind player, center Ted Wang, is on the roster. Other than that, we can't determine any other TAMCC - Westwind connection. The bios of the Westwind coaching staff don't indicate a Perry Clark nexus.
But having two bigs from the same educational institution head to a Southland Conference program tells us there a story behind the story. We just can't figure it out.
Nevada’s Deonte Burton has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 17-23. The honor marks the first career WAC Player of the Week award for Burton.
Burton, a freshman guard from Los Angeles, Calif. (Compton Centennial HS), led Nevada to a pair of conference wins against New Mexico State (90-71) and Louisiana Tech (66-58) last week.
In the win over New Mexico State, Burton tied for game-high honors with 22 points making 8-of-11 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 shots from three-point range. He also dished out a game-high six assists and collected three steals. His five rebounds against the Aggies established a new career high for the freshman. Burton’s 22 points against NM State marked his third consecutive 20-point game and just one point off his career high.
In the victory against Louisiana Tech, Burton totaled a team-high 18 points making 7-of-9 field goals, including a 2-of-2 performance from beyond the arc. The game marked the fourth-straight game that Burton has led the Wolf Pack in scoring. For the second game in a row, Burton also tallied six assists and three steals, which were both game highs.
On the week, Burton averaged 20.0 points, 6.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 3.0 rebounds per game. He shot 75.0 percent (15-of-20) from the field and 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from three-point range.
* Boise State senior guard La’Shard Anderson
* Fresno State sophomore center Greg Smith
* Hawai‘i senior forward Bill Amis
* Idaho sophomore center Kyle Barone
* Louisiana Tech junior forward Olu Ashaolu
* Utah State senior forward Tai Wesley
Fresno State hosts Seattle tonight as Bryant Jon-Anteola reports. Beating opponents down the court at least once in a while and better outside-shooting are the two most attractive items for the Bulldogs on the win menu.
Dayton Morinaga has all the angles covered about a high-scoring junior college wing expressing interest in Hawaii (as well as many others).
Jeff Portnoy writes about the USS juggernaut Hawaii.
A quick question: if it's J-o-s-t-e-n Thomas why does does the UH athletics roster still have J-o-s-t-o-n? Hey, PTW is old and gets easily confused so let's have the o-f-f-i-c-i-a-l record corrected. Mahalo.
Joe Santoro grades everything Wolf Pack after the game against Louisiana Tech.
How does New Mexico State get out-rebounded with that height and athleticism? Guys, you gotta stick that nose in there. Jason Groves looks into this and the need for more scoring from the Aggies.
Shawn Harrison reports on a tired Utah State squad but it's one residing in the WAC catbird seat and that pays recuperative dividends.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
This longtime UH hoops fan offers excellent first hand insight and we appreciate the opportunity to publish these thoughts and observations:
Looks like [frontcourter] Dom Brumfield is done for the year as an academic casualty. Under the university of Hawaii system, if he did not achieve a 2.0 during the fall semester, then he would be on academic probation for this spring semester. If he does not make 2.0 this spring, then he would have to sit out a semester before being allowed to re-enroll.
At which point I am sure that Gib would release him or have no choice but to release him.
Brumfield was used sparingly even after it was announced that he was 100%. However, he seemed to be slow and was often outquicked and outmuscled.
Mama miah. Miah Ostrowski continues to make people shake their heads when they think that for the past three years Bob Nash didn’t even entertain a tryout for him. Miah is looking better and better with each game. You can see that with each time up the court that he is more and more confident. Sometimes he forgets the speed of the game but rarely makes the same mistake twice. He seems to focus on defense and passing it off at this point. Slowly, you can see him inserting himself offensively.
Vander Joaquim “the dream”, is gonna be a good one by the time he is done here. I keep forgetting that he is only a sophomore. The other night, he took the game in to his own hands.
Joston Thomas is a crowd favorite with his wear it on his sleeve energy. He too will be an all mwc guy in two years. Once he learns to control his energy under the boards, he will be chairman of the board. Off season, he needs to refine his shooting form so that he can shoot 80% from the line since he will get fouled a lot under the rim. He should forget about the trey and focus on a quick step to get a 10-15 footer instead.
Bo Barnes has also become a hometown crowd favorite. Against Fresno St., he regained his touch. He probably works harder than anyone else on this team defending a quicker 2 or 3 guy.
Once Bobby Miles’ light goes on, he will be the Bobby Miles-Serrano of Workman High. Scoring 27 ppg. He, too, like Miah, work on their defense and distribution skills and have not let loose offensively. However, one can see the potential offensively. Once his confidence kicks in, he will amaze.
Amis is slowly getting back to form. We forget that he was out for nearly two years. After being called out by his coaches and teammates, he is no longer hangng his head after missing some easy shots. It has taken him longer to get back to speed, but he is getting there. He is the key to any late season surges.
As the younger guys turn off the “deer in headlights” effects of their first time D1 experience, one can see the potential. This team likes each other and there are no selfish guys left on this squad. Only good things can happen now.
Many are exited about new 2011 recruit Gerry Blakes. He is having a great senior year. It is a good thing we got him in the early signing period. There’s not too much info about how Ronnie Stevens is doing.
It will be interesting since Gib picked up Utah transfer Jace Tavita. He could compete for the starting PG spot. Word is, that if he gets a year back from the NCAA, he will be on scholarship.
Gib has two more scholies for next year to give. Possibly one is reserved for Rafael Maia. Findlay prepster Kevin Kaspar was also high on their list. Bringing Tavita in with two years makes if interesting. Although I think Blakes shoud be at the 2. Then again, if Brumfield falls through the academic cracks, there would be room for one more.
Gib has a long list of prospects. It will be interesting to see who lands here after the late signing period.
Even lipstick wouldn't cover the fact that the Utah State - New Mexico State matchup was, for the fans, an I-went-to-a-college-basketball-game-and-a-hockey-match broke out. This just in: Wendell's feelings about Logan just intensified.
Shawn Harrison, Tony Jones, Kraig Williams and Weston Mangum all report on the game. The Cache Valley Daily News' Craig Peterson offers 38 game photos.
From the NMSU perspective, here is Sam Wasson.
Anyone know what outfit BillS wore in The Spectrum last night? Better yet, any photos?
Chris Murray is all over -- game report, game notes -- Nevada's getting past visiting Louisiana Tech. It was another not so pretty affair. Mark Littlefield offers a game report plus a pair of ultra crisp photos. Joe Santoro completes the trifecta with his take. The Wolf Packers are now riding a three-game winning streak.
Make it three in a row also for resurgent Hawaii as the Rainbow Warriors downed visiting SJSU. The Rustoleum folks should be approaching Bill Amis ASAP.
Dayton Morinaga and Brian McInnis took it in.
Boise State went into the heart of darkness and emerged with a close win, abetted by a controversial non-call with just over a minute to play. Hint: the ball didn't touch metal.
Nick Jezierny traveled to Moscow, as did Josh Wright.
PTW resides in central California and we have a very basic cable package. While dial flipping early last night, we caught the last five minutes of this contest on a Comcast station that usually shows regional high school games. There was a WN (we think) insignia on the screen but we're not sure what that stood for. Who really impressed us (but we don't know who it was): the color announcer. He was sharp, knew the game and wasn't afraid to spell it out when a player did something poorly. Can anyone fill us in with a name?
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Boise State beat host Idaho 70-67 tonight. Nick Jezierny tweeted the game.
Host Utah State leads New Mexico State 35-23 at the half. It's now 45-29 with 11:48 left.
Nevada leads LT 57-49 with 6:33 remaining. Now at the 3:22 mark, it's 60-56 W9olf Pack.
Brian McInnis is tweeting the UH - SJSU game which just started.
We missed this earlier: Josh Wright's preview of the Idaho - Boise State matchup.
New Mexico State's Wendell McInnis-- oops, he's going to posterize me, it's McKines -- is constitutionally incapable of ever being milquetoast and thankfully so. He is having fun on his Twitter account as he searches for a summer home in Logan while awaiting being awarded a key to the city by the mayor.
The Refraction guys have the New Mexico State edition posted -- head here but not while you are eating.
Sam Wasson provides a loaded Daily Aggie as usual as New Mexico State heads into The Spectrum to face USU. Jason Groves writes about The G-Ness and Sir Tai. Also check out Kraig Williams, Shawn Harrison and Tony Jones.
Nick Jezierny has the details as state bragging rights are on the line with Idaho welcoming Boise State into Moscow. Nick also offers some background on the latest Bronco commit.
Joe Santoro issues grades based on the Wolf Pack performance versus New Mexico State. Neil Henderson at Silver and Blue Sports has a Nevada and visiting Louisiana Tech preview.
Can host Hawaii remain ahead of San Jose State University as the two tangle tonight?
Brian McInnis, Dayton Morinaga (including video) and Jeff Portnoy all write about the matchup. Brian also offers some Court Sense notes.
Fresno State is out of conference tonight, hosting Seattle. Daniel Lyght serves up more perspective on the Bulldog loss in Hawaii. The Chieftains lost early in the season to LA TECH in Irvine, beat Idaho at home and lost to SJSU at home. Daniel also provides a blog entry on the need for a three-shooter to emerge for Steve Cleveland. The Fresno Bee's Jeff Davis has the Bulldogs as full-fledged members of the Bricklayers Union.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Here is a game report for College of Southern Idaho featuring another photo of Mr. Buckner. who measures 6-foot-9, 245.The height might be a tad generous.
His stats to date: 17 games/16 starts ... 23.4 minutes per game ... 12.2 points per game ... shooting 55% on 166 attempts, has taken and missed his only trey attempt ... shooting 49% on 49 free throw attempts ... a team-leading 8.9 rebounds a game, looks like a solid offensive boarder ... eight assists, 22 TOs ... 19 blocks
Jason Groves has a blog entry about Troy Gillenwater and also how dribble-drive proficient guards are causing problems for New Mexico State.
Chris Murray is already on-line with his keys to the Wolf Pack - Louisiana Tech matchup on Saturday plus the lineups and a prediction. Chris also has an article up on David Carter telling his guys not to overlook the Bulldogs.
Freshman wing Bryce Jones has announced he is leaving USC and some UH hoops fans are wanting him to head to the islands. San Diego State has been mentioned (not by Jones) as a leader for his services. Here is some of the basic information, including some quotes. Scott Wolf of The Daily News posted this prior to USC's 65-42 victory over Stanford.
As expected, Utah State had very little trouble with Louisiana Tech, rolling to a league consecutive victory record.
Shawn Harrison, Tony Jones and Kraig Williams all report. Weston Mangum also has an article along with 56 game photos.
Brad Rock offers a column all about Stew.
Has Nevada turned the proverbial corner with a solid win over New Mexico State?
Here are Chris Murray, Joe Santoro, Mark Littlefield, Sam Wasson and Jason Groves plus a notes post by Chris. Do catch the Marvin Menzies and Doug Novsek items in the latter. Also, the Nevada Sagebrush serves up 30 game photos.
It was a bit too little and too late for Fresno State as the Bulldogs fell to UH in Hawaii.
Catch Brian McInnis, Dayton Morinaga and a Fresno Bee report.
Nick Jezierny writes that Idaho wants to break some attendance records when Boise State visits on Saturday.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
The higher capability level and greater accolade potential for last season's collective are indisputable.
So is not being better.
For the sake of comparison, here's that complete roster:
Mac Hopson G 6-2
Jeff Ledbetter G 6-3
Shawn Henderson G 6-3
Steffan Johnson G 6-1
Landon Tatum G 5-11
Justin Stewart G 6-1
Kashif Watson G 6-4
Corey Stern F 6-7
Brandon Wiley F 6-6
Luciano de Souza F 6-7
Luiz Toledo F 6-8 225
Travis Blackstock F 6-5
Kyle Barone C 6-10
Joe Kammerer C 6-9
Marvin Jefferson C 6-9
Here is the current Vandal roster:
(two players have departed since the beginning of the school year -- forward Renado Parker and guard Gary Winston both leaving for Portland State)
Matt Borton G 6-5
Deremy Geiger G 5-11
Shawn Henderson G 6-3
Jeff Ledbetter G 6-2
Shayne Sheridan G 6-0
Landon Tatum G 5-11
Brandon Wiley F 6-5
Paul Jorg F 6-8 200
Stephen Madison F 6-5
Luiz Toledo F 6-8
Kyle Barone C 6-10
Joe Kammerer c 6-9
In a way, it's simple -- Coach Don Verlin has a better t-e-a-m this season.
But how are they really doing it?
Let's take a look at some of the numbers
Last Season This Season (so far)
averaged 71.2, allowed 70.6 66.9 to 66.4
shot 46%, allowed 44% overall 45% to 42%
shot 38%, allowed 35% on treys 39% to 33%
earned 71 more free throws have 53 more free throws
34.6 rebounds, to 33.4 boards 34.7 to 31.0
earned 92 more assists have 20 more assists
committed 34 more TOs have 34 more TOs
nabbed 42 less steals have 25 less steals
The comparative numbers aren't remarkably different -- even the trends are fairly close.
*** Also injecting some individual numbers, Jeff Ledbetter shot 32% and 34% respectively while averaging 2.9 ppg. in 2009-2010. But this season, he is at 45% and 44% and 8.8 ppg.
Matters could have gone way south after the November 22 meltdown in Missoula, an embarrassing 75-33 loss to Montana.
But character prevailed.
And a three game winning streak ensued.
In league play, Idaho currently owns a 5-1 record, plus with a win over Bakersfield mixed in and four of those matchups were on the road.
We repeat: how are they doing it?
At this point, Verlin has to be the favorite for WAC Coach of the Year. Yet it's likely that none of his players will earn All-WAC honors.
Crediting all involved, this is a whole being greater than the sum of the parts -- a monumental achievement in any endeavor.
Sure, the Vandals could nosedive in the remaining conference games. Maybe an injury will curtail the momentum but the absence of Luiz Toledo in the last two games has been overcome.
All basketball fans should be acknowledging this achievement-to-date -- yes even the Boise Staters. Creating a group dynamic that results in success is always a monumental task and Idaho is over-achieving (the latter term is not to be considered anything close to a backhanded compliment).
So hats off to this bunch of true teammates.
Chris Murray offers even more on the Nevada - New Mexico State pairing tonight.
With a tip o' the hat to VandalBuff at the Taco Bell Arena Talk MB -- part of the Scout Boise State site -- John Blanchette of the Spokane Spokesman-Review looks at Leon Rice and the task before him.
Not looking to flame or inflame but this description of Boise State hoops appears in the article -- a “sleeping giant” in basketball -- and it's worthy of discussion back and forth in order to decide if that is accurate.
Is anyone in the Mountain West Conference considering a giant? BYU (which is departing)? UNLV? San Diego State? New Mexico? The Cougars have been the winningest. The Rebels are strong of late but any Herculean branding is premature. The same for Steve Fisher's squad. As for NM, the respect is there but a national powerhouse it is not.
Maybe we are over-inflating the definition of giant. Is that it?
At his one-and-only site (hint, hint, can others try to duplicate for their favorite teams?), Melvin Grussing has the details and a telling headline on Utah State signee Kyisean Reed missing the latest Antelope Valley College game due to behavioral reasons.
Stew Morrill has sent players home from road trips for what was probably less antics so the young man better get such out of his system now or he'll face quite the rude awakening in Logan.
Richard Obert at AZCentral.com has a new entry up about the lack of prep post players and in it he mention New Mexico State in the state to watch a 6-foot-8 sophomore -- head here.
Tony Jones lauds the Utah State basketball program, a collective which has the chance to set a consecutive winning streak record.
The last shall be first and the first shall be last, unless we're talking USU hoops. Shawn Harrison continues the theme of the Aggie steamroller.
Kraig Williams also previews the Utah State - Louisiana Tech matchup.
To DH or not to DH (and we're talking basketball), that is the question posed by Nick Jezierny.
Daniel Lyght looks at what Fresno State must upgrade as the Bulldogs faces Hawaii in the islands.
Dayton Morinaga previews the FSU - UH get-together.
Brian McInnis does the same.
It's Reno and Logan next for New Mexico State and Jason Groves fills us in.
Per Joe Santoro, Nevada wants "to be a contender" (using your best "On The Waterfront" Marlon Brando imitation) in the WAC and feels ready to do so.
It's not Gillenwater v. Story per se tonight but the pair have some history and each would like to top the other as Chris Murray writes.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The Collegian, the Fresno State student newspaper, looks at Fresno State hoops of late.
Chris Murray offers his four keys to the game for the Wolf Pack when New Mexico State comes to Reno on Thursday.
Just warming up, Chris also writes about Nevada facing Mr. G and the entire Aggie frontcourt.
For dessert, Chris features the Nevada reserves and role expectations.
Jeff Portnoy's radio show tonight will serve up ESPN's Andy Katz, BYU Coach Dave Rose and someone named Gib Arnold to complete the trifecta.
Gary Wilkinson is en fuego for his New Zealand squad.
UPDATE: it looks like it will be Cal for Anderson, Berkeley, not the Kentucky coach -- go here.
From an article at the New England Recruiting Report site today on Braeden Anderson -- who just decommitted from DePaul -- comes this: "I think it just came down to the fact that Braeden wanted to be closer to his family in Alberta"
But then some other possible destinations listed are much further away than Chicago is from Alberta.
So does Hawaii have a shot?
Nate Bendall, who will be a finance and economics grad in a few months, gets the front and center treatment today from Shawn Harrison and Tony Jones.
Shawn also has the news that E.J. Farris is in and James Walker out as Brockeith Pane's relief.
Boise State will be in Moscow on Saturday and Nick Jezierny provides the background.
Sam Wasson's weekly interview with Coach Marvin Menzies is available.
With a tip o' the hat to Sam for finding it, Lukas Eggen of the Nevada Sagebrush digs into the Wolf Pack's upcoming games.
The Nevada Appeal's Joe Santoro writes about Coach David Carter becoming enamored with the play of his bench.
It's Bill Amis time with Brian McInnis' latest and Dayton Morinaga has the details on Late Night with Gib Arnold.
Marek Warszawski comments about attendance at the Save Mart Center.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Has a corner been turned? Will there be some blips along the way?
Chris Murray offers up a lengthy feature on freshman Deonte Burton who is making progress towards joining the ranks of Ramon Sessions and Armon Johnson.
From the WAC sports basketball site, here are some important team numbers:
FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGES
1. Utah State .506
2. New Mexico State .500
3. Idaho .488
4. Nevada .452
5. Boise State .413
6. Hawaii .407
7. San Jose State .395
8. Fresno State .395
9. Louisiana Tech .378
FIELD GOAL PCT DEFENSE
1. Idaho .370
2. Utah State .398
3. New Mexico State .407
4. Boise State .426
5. Hawaii .433
6. Nevada .456
7. Fresno State .469
8. Louisiana Tech .470
9. San Jose State .471
3-POINT FG PCT
1. New Mexico State .389
2. Idaho .383
3. Utah State .361
4. Nevada .357
5. Boise State .352
6. Louisiana Tech .306
7. Fresno State .289
8. San Jose State .286
9. Hawaii .253
3-POINT FG PCT DEFENSE
1. New Mexico State .245
2. Idaho .264
3. Utah State .292
4. Nevada .321
5. Hawaii .357
6. Fresno State .363
7. Boise State .365
8. Louisiana Tech .366
9. San Jose State .382
It was the tale of two halves (or make that 24 or so minutes in favor of Idaho to 16 or so for the Bulldogs) last night in Fresno as Don Verlin's squad took a 67-57 victory. This minus starter Luiz Toledo, out with an injury.
Daniel Lyght offers his game report and also a blog entry.
Jason Groves writes about the depth on the New Mexico State squad this season. With a tip o' the hat to Sam Wasson at the Bleed Crimson site, here's the opening two points of the Aggie win over SJSU, courtesy of Bandja Sy.
Chris Murray goes 'trendy' about Wolf Pack basketball.
Meet Joston Thomas, role player, per Dayton Morinaga.
According to Brian McInnis, a win salved any complaints about the interminable journey back home for the Rainbow Warriors. Brian also provides a Court Sense blog entry.
Here's a News Star feature on the state of LA TECH hoops.
Shawn Harrison reports another record is within reach for the USU.
Tony Jones is in the Nate Bendall is back camp -- the opposition to such is thinning, if not bare.
Monday, January 17, 2011
The Vandals should be good on the road, right? After all, weren't the Vs of old always on the road, sacking this city and pillaging that country?
Well, Don Verlin's band went into Fresno tonight and nabbed a 67-57 victory.
The Bulldogs led 32-30 at the half but Idaho enjoyed a 59-46 margin with 4:44 remaining.
Much more tomorrow.
Idaho's Jeff Ledbetter has been named the Verizon WAC Player of the Week award for Ledbetter.for Jan. 10-16. The honor marks the first career
Ledbetter, a senior guard from Brea, Calif. (Irvine Valley CC), led Idaho to a pair of wins against Nevada (72-67) and Cal State Bakersfield (78-77, OT). The win over Nevada extends Idaho's WAC winning streak to a school-record four games. Against Nevada, Ledbetter went 4-for-8 from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line, scoring 17 points with a career-high three steals and two assists. He grabbed steals on three consecutive possessions late in the first half and scored seven straight points for Idaho to eliminate a four-point Nevada leads to put the Vandals ahead at the half.
at Cal State Bakersfield, Ledbetter played a key role in the overtime victory. He stole the ball late in the game and scored on the break to get the Vandals to within one point, the shortly after, hit a buzzer-beating three-point to give Idaho the 78-77 victory.
On the week, Ledbetter averaged 15.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.5 steals per game. He shot 50.0 percent (9-of-18) from the field and 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from three-point range. He also hit 100 percent (6-of-6) of his shots at the free throw line.
* Boise State senior forward Robert Arnold
* Nevada freshman guard Deonte Burton
* New Mexico State junior forward Troy Gillenwater
* Utah State junior guard Brockeith Pane
It's Fresno State hosting Idaho tonight in another intriguing matchup as Daniel Lyght notes.
Shawn Harrison looks back at a very successful Utah State week on the court.
Bill Amis scored 22/12 in the last game of the road trip, acted as videographer, probably drove the team bus but hopefully didn't pilot the jet even though he jumps pretty high -- Dayton Morinaga offers the details.
Chris Murray provides a week in review of Wolf Pack hoops.
Sam Wasson has plenty of games photos from the New Mexico State - San Jose State matchup.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Led by a Bill Amis double-double and an almost one by Vander Joaquim, visiting Hawaii finally notched a conference victory, leaving Louisiana Tech by its lonesome.
Here's Ethan Conley, Jeff Portnoy and Dayton Morinaga.
Nevada punctured a second hole in host Boise State's WAC season. Has Deonte Burton already turned the corner this early in his college basketball career?
Here's Nick Jezierny, Mark Littlefield and Chris Murray with game reports plus Chris re-visiting his checklist preview.
Yikes! 52-39, it's the Aggies over the host Bulldogs. Tim Steed returned from injury for Fresno State and played 31 minutes but provided rusty-like numbers.
Daniel Lyght, Shawn Harrison and Tony Jones all were present (thank you) and provide their takes.
New Mexico State took out visiting and Adrian Oliver-less San Jose State 78-53.
Here's Sam Wasson and Jason Groves. Jason also offers a number of blog posts.
Host Cal State Bakersfield got Ledbetter-ed as the senior Idaho backcourter nailed a very last second overtime trey to put the Vandals into the win column. Kyle Barone led with 20 points.
Jeff Evans of the Bakersfield newspaper has the writeup.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
* Hawaii did it tonight, on the road. Led by Bill (Famous) Amis' 22 points versus just five from Olu Ashaolu, UH shot 42% and held LT to just 29%.
* New Mexico State came out blazing and beat San Jose State 78-53
There's use of 'rumor' and 'apparently' and 'word is' in the following plus PTW is also unfamiliar with the writer and site -- so you're on your own. What we can write is that Jim Boylen's derriere is certainly en fuego but any StewM consideration or movement, if at all, isn't happening until the USU season is in the books.
‘Stew’ing Over a Move to Salt LakeGo here for the remainder.
Rumor has it that the University of Utah has offered Aggie Coach Stew Morrill the head coaching position over next year’s Runnin’ Ute basketball team. Jim Boylen is currently the coach at Utah, but it’s no secret he’s on the hot seat. Boylen has fared similarly to previous Ute coach Ray Giacoletti; initially starting well, but underachieving quickly thereafter. One of the main issues with Coach Boylen has to be with the relationships he has with his players. Players have been jumping ship like crazy lately. During the past offseason, two of the Utes’ top perimeter scoring threats, Carlon Brown and Marshall Henderson, transferred to Colorado and Texas Tech, respectively. And the trend has continued during the season as Team Captain Jace Tavita also recently left the team. University of Utah brass want to return the Utes to their previous glory days and they apparently believe Stew Morrill is the man for the job...
Braeden Anderson has freed himself from DePaul:
"Source said DePaul signee Braeden Anderson has asked for and will be given his release following the transfer of Miami's Donnavan Kirk."Hawaii was mentioned at one point in conjunction with Anderson but who knows the status now. Here is an ESPN evaluation.
Utah State is in Fresno for the 4-0 Aggie v. 3-1 Bulldog fray.
Read Kraig Williams and Tony Jones.
Freshman talent Kevin Olekaibe is featured in a very informative article by Daniel Lyght.
The big question prior to this game is the status of Tim Steed's ankle? His athleticism and aggressiveness is needed if the Dogs are to match up.
New Mexico State hosts an Adrian Oliver-less San Jose State in one of the interesting matchups tonight.
Jason Groves has a post about the matchup, writing about the health of both teams here.
The Nevada versus host Boise State get-together should be a fascinating one with a youth against seniority theme. Plus, will the Broncos still be thinking about the loss to USU?
Chris Murray and A.W. Prince preview the game which features prime time athleticism. Nick Jezierny offers the BSU perspective.
LA TECH welcomes Hawaii in a battle that will get one team into the WAC win column.
Check out Brian McInnis and Dayton Morinaga.
Idaho goes out of conference tonight at Cal State Bakersfield against the Roadrunners. Here is CSB athletics with a preview.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Teddy Feinberg comments about this year's edition of WAC basketball.
Tony Jones lauds Brockeith Pane who is adding a dimension -- one on one- ability -- to the USU backcourt.
A 'closer' is usually a baseball term but Chris Murray takes it to the Nevada basketball realm.
Per Daniel Lyght, Fresno State must not go 'Smith-less' if expecting to remain in games.
It was a very good game witnessed by a crowd just short of 9,000 as Utah State prevailed on the road against Boise State.
Nick Jezierny is here, Shawn Harrison here, Kraig Williams here and Tony Jones here. Here is Tony's blog entry on the matchup.
New Mexico State had little trouble with visiting Hawaii.
Jason Groves is here and Sam Wasson here. 25 game photos offered up by the Bleed Crimson folks are here.
Here's Dayton Morinaga and here is Jeff Portnoy.
San Jose State University nabbed a road win in Ruston.
Here is Ethan Conley's game report.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
* San Jose State 79, host Louisiana Tech 74 -- final
* Host New Mexico State 41, Hawaii 29 at the half -- now it's 67-40 with 7:20 left.
* Tony Jones is tweeting the host BSU - USU game -- it's 14-13 Utah State with 8:06 remaining.
Here's a bevy of Stew Morrill quotes provided by USU athletics:
"Last Saturday was a positive week for our team. We had a good week of practice and showed some character and some toughness by hanging in when we were down by 10 in the second half. We got out of Nevada with a road win. When you get road wins, they are seldom easy. You have to get them any way you can and that is kind of what our team did. We had a spurt in the second half where we made about every shot and made about every play and went from down to ahead in a short span of time. I had been pretty hard on them during the week in what we expected and not being satisfied in the weekend before. It was nice to see them respond."
"You get home late Saturday night, and we were fortunate we got home Saturday night, normally we get home Sunday afternoon, and you turn around and have another week where you go on the road. Back-to-back road weeks are tough, just from a logistics standpoint. We will leave [Wednesday] after having been out on the road. It will be really interesting to see what our team has Saturday night on the road. I always talk about Saturday night on the road and obviously there is a lot of emotion and excitement for the Boise [State] game and that will certainly be a challenge. I will be real interested to see what we are all about Saturday night on the road. Three straight road games and two straight weeks on the road, Fresno [State] will be playing their first game of the week at home. Will we be able to compete and match up and match their intensity and all that will go on that night?"
"Obviously before that Boise presents a lot of challenges. We knew that they would have a good basketball team this year; there was no doubt in our coaching staff's mind. They return four senior starters, whether Greg Graham was coaching them and he recruited all those kids or Leon Rice who is doing a really nice job. I felt like they were going to have a good team. It is unfortunate for Greg that he isn't getting to coach this group their senior year, and fortunate for Leon that he inherited some talent and some seniors that have been around."
"One of the things I have stressed to this team recently, our team, is that they need to enjoy the process of trying to win a fourth straight WAC championship, because there are not a lot of programs, and players, and teams that have that opportunity. So why not enjoy the process of trying to do that. What is the worst that can happen? Some guy is going to say you really screwed up, you only won three in a row. Let's try and enjoy, for six of these guys it is their senior year so let's try and enjoy it. Your careers are short. Try and enjoy what we have got going, try and get better because we need to get better. We needed to get better last week and we need to get better this week. We had a good practice yesterday."
On what Coach Morrill demands of his players:
"I don't know how to do it any other way. It isn't phony, they are getting what I feel out there, and what I think we need to do to have a chance to win. There is fear of failure; there is urgency, whatever you want to call it. They [the players] have to decide how to respond to that. We have got a lot of really good kids, at three different universities, respond well and try and do everything they can to be successful. So you feel fortunate that you had good players in all of that. There are some days that I am a good guy. Maybe it means I am maturing. Maybe that is what it means if the edge and the craziness leave. What happened after San Jose [State], I don't like that. I don't like when I act like that, what a temper tantrum. I don't like it and I feel like crap the next day, but it is real. It is going to happen sometimes, hopefully not very many times every year. If the edge goes maybe it means you are maturing, maybe it means it is time to be done, I don't know. I still have got the edge, and I still plan on doing it for awhile."
On Boise State's Paul Noonan:
"He didn't have the kind of year that he could have had. Based on back when he was a freshman, we saw him and went, `Wow, this is going to be a really good player.' I think what is happening this year is maybe he is healthier; maybe he realizes this is his last year. The fact that he is playing two positions really causes you to concern. He plays a wing position and you are guarding him with a wing player, and then he goes to a post-position and it really is a tough match up. It is a match up like we used to have with Spencer Nelson where he has got a lot of wing talent but the posts have to match up with him. You have to find him quicker in transition. When he is in the post, the posts are not used to finding him. You have to get back to him quicker on ball screens. There are a lot of things. He is playing really well. You look at all those guys, La'Shard Anderson is player of the week in the WAC, Robert Arnold is really aggressive offensively, Montreal is an athletic, big post guy. So they have got good pieces."
On finding Noonan on the perimeter:
"That is the first priority. He is a really good passer; he can use a shot fake and go by you. You have got to be disciplined when you guard Noonan. You can't get easily faked out, easily distracted. You have got to have a disciplined guy on him. Tyler Newbold is the kind of defender who has a chance to guard him. Tyler is very disciplined in how he approaches the game defensively and he is very experienced. He has [defended] a lot of good players."
On Brady Jardine playing well at Nevada and returning to Idaho this week:
"It was really good to see Brady [Jardine] play well at Nevada. He had not had a great start to league in the first weekend. He got a lot of minutes, Nate Bendall got in foul trouble, plus Brady was playing well. We could've played Nate a few more minutes but Brady was playing so well that we left him out there and he had a really good game. Boise [State] recruited him, he is an Idaho kid, and certainly when you play in the state of Idaho or anyone from the state of Idaho it is going to have a little bit of special meaning to Brady. I remember Greg Graham got a little bit of heat for not getting Brady. Brady belonged at Utah State, I will always believe that. It is a good place for Brady Jardine. He is married now, he found his wife here, it is just a good fit in the cultural and social part of the school."
On Brockeith Pane being more productive:
"He is definitely playing better. He is taking better shots, he has settled in a little bit and understands what we expect from him. He is getting more confident because he is playing better. Brockeith has gotten to the basket, and I think the main thing is he has gotten a better feel for when to attack and when not to within our system. He has not been in a system quite like this and it is a big change. One thing I will tell you about Brockeith is he cares, basketball is important him. He tries to do what we ask and he is hard on himself. All of that, with some talent, gives you a chance to be playing well and that is what he is doing."
On Tai Wesley's minutes:
"Tai Wesley playing minutes is huge. I would like to play Tai, with all he does for our team, 34 to 36 minutes. I think he needs a breather now and then, he did get 38 the one game. I would like to leave him in the whole second half if we have enough timeouts, and if he doesn't need to come out. That being said, the foul issues always seem to come up and it really helps when they don't. He makes our whole system work better. He makes it easier on Brockeith because we can enter through Tai. We run a lot of our stuff through Tai. It is like having another point guard out there with all the things we run through our four-men, and we have for a long, long time. I hope that we can get players to continue to do that. Tai's assist-to-turnover ratio needs to get back to where it was last year but he is an extremely good passer and smart player. One of the smartest I have ever had, he understands everything that you are doing."
Om Tai Wesley doing a better job of staying out of foul trouble:
"Yes, it still flares up now and then but he is really trying hard. It is a priority in his mind that [there are] no dumb fouls. That is where he gets in trouble. If you want to get into a physical thing with him, he often times responds. That is his nature and sometimes he needs not to respond because that is when he picks up a dumb foul. Just the ones here and there that he can avoid really helps us. Maybe we need to do some things too, we are trying to. Play a little more zone, sometimes we will do that if it is working. Or we will double the post if it makes sense against the team we are playing. We have got to try and do things to keep him out of foul trouble but it is not always that simple. He has a reputation. The refs know Tai, they know that he is a physical guy, they know that he is not going to hesitate to mix it up. If you cheap shot him, there is a chance that he will cheap shot you back. I don't say that in a condescending way. I have always told players don't back down but use some common sense."
On La'Shard Anderson:
"He is the deal. He kind of sets the tone for how they play. Their style of play is about the things he gives them, but the other players then feed of him. In transition, they are flying down the court and he leads the break a lot of the times but it gets them playing fast. Making aggressive plays on ball screens, that is a big part of his game. Can we defend the on ball screen? He is really good at that. He shoots three's, he drives it, he is one of the better guards in the league right now, no question."
On playing so many doubleheaders in league this year:
"I have never liked doubleheaders, at home or on the road. Unless there is a gap there so you know when it will be. Like sometimes our women will play at three o'clock and that doesn't affect anything with us. It is the same the other way around if we play at three and they play at seven, that just makes sense to me. You hang out a lot [with doubleheaders]. You don't know what time the game is going to start, it is a pain. That is not a title nine statement. You have to qualify everything these days, I don't do a good enough job of that. It is just a fact, whoever plays first there needs to be a gap, that is what I think. I don't think it should ever happen in conference. When we are on the road, [the women] should be at home, when they are on the road we should be at home. The conference should have the same exact schedule. It just makes sense, why wouldn't you? It just makes practicing easier."
PTW wishes we knew what this meant. It's a Jonathan Givony Twitter post at Draft Express:
DraftExpress: There's a very fine line between Steph Curry and Jaycee Carroll. A very fine line. Much of it has to do with situation.We're thinking it's connected to Jimmer Fredette's draft prospects. And/or a response to SpenceDee and his Twitter post of 20 hours ago:
Why isn't Carroll in the league? A team like Miami could use him. Hell, any team could.