Wednesday, August 31, 2011


We can't tell is this individual is a Fresno State or a Louisiana Tech fan? We don't see any red so ...

This is one Photoshop work of art.

Gerry Freitas with a Garret Jefferson evaluation

Here's Gerry Freitas (scroll down just a bit) with an evaluation of recent Hawaii signee Garrett Jefferson after viewing him in the Southern California Community College Showcase on July 30- 31:

6’3 SOPH Garret Jefferson SF Citrus College (Mayfair HS). Jefferson is an athletic wing who runs very well. He can handle it okay, he’s a decent shooter with three point range, and he pulls up very well in the half court. He is also a good driver who can break down the defender one on one but his best asset is his ability to defend. Jefferson recently committed to the University of Hawaii for the 2011-2012 school year.

Stay classy Jim Calhoun

The next time Connecticut Coach Jim Calhoun talks about loyalty and says he has the backs of his players ...

Go here.

The latest from CrawsCorner

CrawsCorner has an entry on Hawaii hoops as well as other western U.S. basketball items. Call Mr. Crawford provocative and informative which translates into bookmark his site.

Wednesday and the world of WAC hoops

Chris Murray offers a collection of Wolf pack basketball coaching and player updates.


Dayton Morinaga goes a similar route with UH hoops.


NMScrewed at the Aggie Alert Sports Trough MB has come up with the headline of all times. Give him a free subscription for life.


Here yesterday, gone today -- Momir Gataric, a walk-on guard announced on August 15 as a member of the Fresno State squad is no longer on the team.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday's WAC basketball compilation

To the surprise of no one, high school junior Nick Emery and sophomore T.J. Haws will be following their older brothers to BYU. Emery had a Utah State offer. Jay Drew offers the details. Even Mountain West affiliation for the Aggies wouldn't have mattered here.


Dayton Morinaga features Zane Joihnson finishing up with his series of foreign travelogues. Heated toilet seats? Really? Guess we'll have to refurbish the ol' PTW outhouse.


Craighoops has  a very informative UH basketball summary based on Coach Gib Arnold's recent radio appearance. It's at the Scout Warrior Sports Network Ohana MB. If the link doesn't take you directly there, go to this heading on the Ohana MB: Gib on Animals show today ESPN 1420 this pm

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mel Grussing welcomes Kyisean Reed to USU

MelG offers a pictorial essay on former Antelope Valley College player Kyisean Reed, now at Utah State.

Monday's WAC basketball-aroo

Former Bulldog Paul Millsap will soon enter the LT Hall of Fame -- what an example of someone who could do one thing really well expanding his game in the pros. He's a poster player for what hunger and hard work can achieve.


Dayton Morinaga reports on Coach Gib Arnold speaking Mandarin -- the fluency will be exemplified when -- not if -- UH lands a talent from China. This trip made so much sense for the Rainbow Warriors program.


Are you an Idaho student with college basketball aspirations? Then go here.


ericsil7 has posted on the USU Fans Stews' Spectrum MB that former Aggie backcourter James Walker's new home is a SoCal junior college. It's the same school as new Hawaii signee Garrett Jefferson.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spencer down to two -- no Nevada

Inna Lazarev tweeted that SoCal frontcourter Skylar Spencer has narrowed his choices:

"2012 center Skylar Spencer is down to two: San Diego State and Washington. Spencer says his decision should come by November"

Watch out for this WAC newcomer

Some see dead people. But Craw's Corner goes one step further in seeing dead people in the West Athletic Conference once Seattle joins the league.

A one item Sunday a.m. WAC hoops roundup

The Silver and Blue Sports folks have the replacements for A.W. Prince -- and yes, it takes more than one individual to fill those shoes:

"First, we are happy to announce the addition of Joe Santoro as our senior writer. Many of you may remember Joe from the RGJ where he was a sports writer for 20 years. Joe currently writes for the Nevada Appeal and The Examiner. We feel that Joe brings a great depth of experience, professionalism and extensive knowledge and history with regards to the Wolf Pack. We are excited to have Joe on board as a writer moving forward.

Second, we have added Lukas Eggen to the team. Lukas is a current student at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada. He has written for several publications including the Nevada Sagebrush, Green Bay Press-Gazette and Tri-County Tribune. We feel that Lukas will be a great addition to the Silver and Blue Sports team and he will assist Joe in covering the Wolf Pack starting this football season.

Brandon Russell and Mark Rauh are both going to continue doing photography for SBS moving forward. I have had a few people ask me that question so I wanted to make sure to let everyone know that we are keeping both of them on board and we are excited for another great year ahead. Neil Henderson will also continue doing The Howl and various other visual/audio and social media contributions. All in all, I think our new additions compliment our existing staff and combine to make a very strong team."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another WAC MVP candidate

The Bigs have arrived. The Bigs have arrived.

Actually, the truth is some have been in the WAC for a while but are now ready to express some dominance

There's Vander Joaquim at Hawaii, New Mexico State's Tshilidzi Nephawe, Kyle Barone up in Idaho plus Nevada's Dario Hunt, who is entering his final season.

The latter is the one most ready to do consistent damage if 9.4 rebounds, 11.8 points and 2.1 blocked shots per game doesn't already qualify. Add 55% shooting from the floor and 68% on free throws.

By the way, Hunt jumped his foul line shooting up from 47.4% the previous year -- a remarkable achievement.

A Second Team All WAC selection after the 2010-11 season, Hunt will surely make the leap to the top five after the approaching season concludes.

But certain statistics, the length of his court appearances and the proficiency of the Wolf Pack backcourt will all be factors in his bid for the most valuable player honor.

1) There is a great deal of still untapped talent on the Nevada roster and thus the majority of shots will be shared among the quartet of Hunt, Olek Czyz, Malik Story and Deonte Burton. It's near impossible for top player in the league honors to be earned by someone tallying less than 15 markers a contest. Hunt can do this but will the shots be there?

2) Hunt fouled out five times in 16 conference games, a number that must be reduced in order to produce an overall effect on the court that is in the same territory as the other MVP contenders.

3) Concurrently, Hunt needs to be flanked by guards who can get him the ball inside when and where he wants it and who also can shoot the trey with enough accuracy so that double-teams inside are reduced. Besides Deonte Burton, who will fill this role for the Wolf Pack?

Saturday's WAC basketball report

Brad Winton offers a report on an Arizona junior college point catching the interest of Fresno State and Idaho, among many others. A trip to Moscow will be happening soon.


Brian Smith speculates via Twitter on Utah State commit Marcel Davis here and here and here now that club basketball teammate Jordan Loveridge has announced for Utah. No smoke and certainly no fire -- Smith just raises the question.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jordan Loveridge to Utah

For those interested, the top state of Utah high schooler just gave a verbal to Utah. Lya Wodraska has some of the details, as does James Edwards.

Tom Lewis back to the OC

Former New Mexico State assistant Tom Lewis is the new head coach at Saddleback Valley Christian.

Victor Bermudez lands at a Wyoming JC

Bon (Mslacat) Robinson has informed PTW that former Hawaii recruit Victor Bermudez has joined the basketball program at Sheridan College in Wyoming.

Was it simply a matter of Hawaii choosing Garrett Jefferson over Bermudez or did the latter have an academic issue?

A couple more UH basketball links

Matt Norlander at CBSSports reports on Hawaii's trip to China and Japan.


Brian McInnis tweets that the Rainbow Warriors will be part of ESPN's Midnight Madness.

Friday's WAC basketball roundup (so far)

Forward Dominick Brumfield is no longer listed on the UH basketball roster. Anyone know his whereabouts?

Dayton Morinaga offers multi-media reports on the Rainbow Warrior basketball fans who were part of the UH sojourn to China and Japan.


Here is a little more on SJSU's Adrian Oliver heading overseas.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nick Jezierny is the Answerman

Taking a break from his Boise State coverage, Nick Jezierny offers a couple of tweets -- here and here -- on the fate of Luiz Toledo.

Toledo's journey was always a mysterious one for PTW. He signed with BYU out of Modesto Christian High, seemed to disappear and later on, it was noted that he was planning on playing professionally in Brazil. Here's that link. We're not sure if he ever played for pay but apparently not if he was granted NCAA eligibility. He was also known as Luiz de Toledo back then.

Is this important or an oversight?

Some of the folks at the Go Vandals basketball MB are wondering about the status of forward Luiz Toledo, who isn't listed on the official Idaho 2-11-12 roster. Toledo was a junior last season. 

Just wondering: who will be the Jeff Ledbetter of last year for the Vandals in the approaching season? Not just a solid points producer but the team leader?

Thursday's world of WAC basketball

Rivals' Jeff Eisenberg writes about the landing of Sim Bhullar by New Mexico State.

It's been interesting perusing mixed the message board reaction of this signing. PTW calls it a win-win for the Aggies. New Mexico State basketball receives priceless national attention, in late August at that. Plus, landing a 7-foot-5 prospect/project is the dream of any basketball coach and a bonafide steal at the level of the WAC. Consider how many other signings don't work out as hoped, what's the downside to landing a center who has a chance to help? It really boils down to this: is there a WAC head coach who would have declined this opportunity?


New Mexico State also announced some coaching staff changes.


Dayton Morinaga notes that when someone from New York City is afraid of traffic in China, that's the ultimate. Dayton also has the details of the Rainbow Warriors breaking bread (not heads) with an opponent after a game.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Adrian Oliver signs overseas

Irony abounds: former San Jose State Spartan Adrian Oliver is heading to Greece.

He tweeted:

"Signed a contract to play this lockout season in Greece. Thank you all for the good wishes. Leave in about a week so gettin everything..."

Tony Jones with a Marcel Davis update

Tony Jones blogs an update in the ESPN rankings of Utah State point guard commit Marcel Davis.

The top ESPN prospect in the nation is Shabazz Muhammad. What's fascinating is PTW saw Muhammad play three games in the Las Vegas-based adidas tournament at the end of July. He earned his ranking in two of the contests but ankle/ligament ailments made him quite ordinary in the third. If a scout had seen but the latter game, then any national ranking would have been out of the question. The moral of this story: one game evaluations are dangerous and may be harmful to your employment in the recruiting field.

Jason Groves comes through

As expected, Jason Groves fills in the gaps regarding Sim Bhullar's move to Las Cruces. Jason also posted a couple of blog entries on the subject.

Idaho minus a recruit

A little birdie informed us that Anthony Jones, the 6-foot-4 sophomore out of Paris (Texas) Junior College who signed with Idaho in November, has found a new home -- Southeast Missouri State.

A message board string here (scroll down to the fifth post) is the source.

Marty Mishow of the Southeast Missourian then provided these details.

It's impossible to tell what impact, if any, this will have on the Vandals squad.

Jones was at a Mississippi junior college as a freshman and played high school ball in Memphis.

This is confusing

In Alex Kline's report on Sim Bhullar heading to New Mexico State, this perplexing quote appears:

“The school system is different in Canada compared to America,” stated Bhullar on Tuesday night. “I would not have been able to qualify because my grades from Canada were messed up.”
The NCAA doesn't have different standards for Ohio (Xavier) than New Mexico so was it an Xavier standard that forced Bhullar to look elsewhere?

PTW senses that Jason Groves will be on this one, digging for an explanation.

Wednesday's world of WAC hoops

vandal427 at the Go Vandals Scout site basketball MB, notes that Jeff Ledbetter is headed to The Land of Yodel.


Sam Wasson has much more on the signing of 7-foot-5 Sim Bhullar by New Mexico State.

Mike DeCourcey offers further information. 

Aggie Assistant Coach Paul Weir has certainly earned himself a raise.

It will be interesting to see if Bhullar goes the route of a number of former Aggies and takes courses at a New Mexico community college in order to fortify his eligibility during his initial year in The Land of Enchantment or if he will be green-lighted to play right away.

Will this also down the line change the Aggie style of play?

Big (in more ways than one) New Mexico State recruiting news


Head here.

He's not a blue chipper but what potential. New Mexico State has a way with prospects having eligibility concerns.

Wendell McKines will have quite the mate this season.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

John Gasaway on NCAA athletics

What to do? What to do?

Just what should the NCAA do in order to realistically re-define the relationship between it members, and their student-athletes vis-a-vis college football and basketball? John Gasaway delves into this Rubik's cube.

Not WAC-related but this tweet made us chuckle

Not sure who to attribute it to: “BREAKING: House won't accept Gaddafi surrender w/out cuts to Medicare & SS, & no revenue increases.”


JUCO recruiting

Big Apple Buckets has posted a 'research' article on the effects of junior college transfers on mid major basketball programs, at least for last season, and it's an eye opener. Transfers who are expected to come in and have an immediate effect due to greater age and experience don't necessarily come through in big numbers. But, of course, there are exceptions.

Matt Norlander then wrote about what was discovered.

Tuesday's WAC basketball-aroo

Yikes, take a photo and trouble ensues...


Louisiana Select has posted a note on the Bulldogs Barks & Bytes MB on LA Tech in-state recruiting target Michael Qualls, a 2012 prospect.

Here is an old report (August 2009) from Jerry Meyers on the young man:

"At 6-foot-4 and as about as long as a prospect can get at that size, Qualls was the top athlete at the event. A promising transition and baseline dunker, Qualls played with an impressive intensity. He's a dangerous rebounder and defender and also displayed flashes of a developing skill game. It is tough to say what level Qualls will end up at as a prospect, but his upside makes him a prospect that high majors need to be tracking."

Chris Murray writes about Cole Huff, a CA talent of interest to Nevada. The Wolf Pack appear to be the top team looking at him.


Jeff Borzello has a post up on 2013 basketballer Torren Jones, a frontcourter out of Arizona who is earning Pac-12 interest plus that of San Jose State University.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Not WAC-related...

... but here is a great story.

Another recounting of Scotty Robertson

Columnist Bob Young of The Arizona Republic offers his fond memories of former Louisiana Tech Coach Scotty Robertson, who recently passed.

Having never met Robertson, what PTW can write is that Robertson comes off as a human being first and a coach second -- and that's high praise.

Olu Ashaolu feted

The National Hoops Report has now Oregon Duck Olu Ashaolu as its 71st best player in the nation (but do note that the previous selection (Drew Gordon) was also listed at #71.

Monday's WAC basketball roundup

San Jose State University closed out its Italy tours with a laugher.


Andy Boogard/Fresno Bee has an article up today detailing the schools in the running for seven-footer Robert Upshaw. A key quote: "I feel I could go in at Fresno State and be a key part of the program, to be the main guy..."

Most definitely. At the other schools, not as much. Looking at the list, PTW sees the Bulldogs having a shot, if Coach Rodney Terry can land a plus point and another blue chip level scoring talent.


Brian McInnis reports on where Hawaii recruit Gerry Blakes will be ensconced for the next six months or so.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Morning Coming Down

San Jose State University came back and won its second contest in Italy.


Stew Morrill comes in at #20 in Kurt Kragthorpe's Top 25 Most Influential People in Utah Sports.


sports ADDICT at the Bulldog barks & bytes Louisiana Tech MB has posted that former Bulldog Magnum Rolle is headed overseas. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Olu Ashaolu featured in a writeup

Bob Clark/The Register-Guard shares a column all about what former Louisiana Tech star Olu Ashaolu will be bringing to Oregon Ducks basketball this coming season.

Another SoCal talent linked to Nevada

Jack Pollon is reporting that 6-foot-8 southern California prep forward Cole Huff has Nevada listed in his top five.

Here's an ESPN evaluation.

Here's a CaliHighSports report.

Saturday's WAC hoops roundup

Bill Amis is headed to Eastern Europe. The video showdown with Zane Johnson will have to be postponed.


Tony Jones reports that prepster Jordan Loveridge is no longer considering Utah State. However, what is incongruent (read the article) is that Weber State is still in the running despite its Big Sky Conference affiliation. Yes, Weber has been doing very well under Coach Randy Rahe but certainly no better than the Aggies. USU basketball needs to get to the Mountain West in order to pick off some of the higher level high schoolers, particularly the in-staters, Marcel Davis et al notwithstanding..


Chris Murray has much more on southern California frontcourter Skylar Spencer.


Last but certainly not least, Dayton (Mr. Multi-Media) Morinaga is back with another pair of posts here and here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Robert Upshaw - Fresno State sighting

Dave Telep recently tweeted this (to the delight of Bulldog fans):

"Robert Upshaw was scheduled to be on Fresno State's campus last night. Bulldogs trying to keep the local guy home; Rodney Terry working it"
Here's an ESPN evaluation of Upshaw.

Andy Katz on basketball out west

Stew Morrill is quoted, as well as many other coaches, in this Andy Katz look at the level of college hoops out west.

Friday's world of WAC basketball

Our condolences go out to the family of Scotty Robertson -- Jimmy Watson reports.


Seldomseensmith has the scoop on Tyler Newbold's next basketball destination.


Dayton Morinaga is back with three multi-media posts here, here and here. The latter announces the signing of Christian Standhardinger, the forward from Nebraska. Dayton also includes updates on recruits Dillon Biggs and Gerry Blakes in it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dan Wetzel nails it

Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel has a column up today that lays bare the hypocrisy running rampant in NCAA football and basketball (and throughout our society).

One brief snippet:

"...The people running college athletics are desperate for money – for themselves and their salaries and their facilities, for their private planes and their comped cars and their golf-course memberships.

They want to avoid paying players and taxes as if they run a little league, then get paid and pampered like they run the NFL.
 Everyone is chasing the cash. Everyone was chasing Nevin Shapiro..."

Nevada in the running for a SoCal prep forward

At the Gonzaga fan The Slipper Still Fits site, mention is made of Skylar Spencer (a 6-foot-8 SoCal prep forward) as having four favorites and Nevada is included in the quartet.

Here is an ESPN evaluation of Spencer.

Brockeith Pane for WAC MVP?

So will Utah State senior backcourter Brockeith Pane compete with New Mexico State's Wendell McKines for the conference most valuable player crown?

Pane was a First Team All-WAC selection last season, his first in Logan after  transferring from Midland College. He averaged 12.5 points per game (15th in the WAC) while shooting 50% from the floor. He tied La'Shard Anderson for third in assists at 4.4 a contest, versus 2.9 turnovers and,  surprisingly, he nabbed but 14 steals in 16 games. Shocking was his three point field goal percentage, a measly 13% on 38 attempts but Pane shot 76% from the foul line which indicates the proficiency to do better from a few feet further out.

To garner the top player award, Pane will need more points, obviously better outside shooting plus less TOs per contest. With his hands, he should also be coming up with a couple of steals each time out. What all these numbers mean is simple: having a greater overall effect on the outcomes of games.

Pane is the 2011 Aggie team leader what with Tai Wesley, Nate Bendall, Tyler Newbold, Pooh Williams and Brian Green being but fond memories. There are quite a number ifs and ands associated with Stew Morrill's current roster, something not often connected with Utah State basketball for a long time.

So Pane ultimately will need to make his teammates more effective than their talents might usually allow at this point in their college careers but it will also be incumbent upon the other four players on the floor at the time to rise to the occasion.

Pane's game is dribble-drive penetration, at least that was what was demonstrated last season. He's not necessarily the quickest but his strength -- he weighs 195 -- is utilized as his best physical asset.

It's impossible to think of Utah State as anything but an annual conference contender, if not the outright favorite. Something's not right in the universe if conventional wisdom says otherwise. 

However, New Mexico State will be tough, as will Nevada and don't count out Idaho if Kyle Barone can take a big step forward.

But USU must be beaten before any handing off of the crown takes place.

Losing some games will take place on the road -- to a degree -- this coming season but the $64,000,000 question is if Aggies can be taken down in The Spectrum? That's the key if any team wishes to end up higher in the WAC standings.

So will Pane rise to the challenge?

Check his outside-shooting numbers after a few games. He's going to receive greater defensive focus this season and it will be necessary for him to make adjustments as opponents dictates.

He has the capability but will he carry the team? That's why the games are played.

Thursday's WAC basketball report

Hopefully, Dayton Morinaga is getting a chance to see and experience China because he sure is spending a lot of time behind his camera and computer: here, here and here.

Here's a suggestion: pit Zane Johnson against Bill Amis in a video off back in Hawaii. One hour, one camera, Honolulu to see who can produce the most compelling film. Every year, the Rainbow Warriors have someone who is video talented -- is that a major UH offers?

That's it so far.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A pair of reponses to the question about needing three assistant coaches

PTW has received a pair of reponses to date regarding our query about the necessity for three assistants to the head coach.

Kendall offered this:

"When I was coaching basketball, the more assistants you had the better it was for working one on one with your players.

I always say the more the merrier. For college basketball I would figure that you can have more assistants out looking for talent and recruiting."
Later, Jon sent along this:
"I would say 3 is pretty vital, just because of the time element.

Having an extra guy to be out on the recruiting trail (if only to be seen by players), or to do advance scouting, or because he might have just a little extra time to study film... I just think that type of stuff is not replaceable.

As Gary Parrish wrote, even hiring the AAU coach of a guy Pastner is recruiting would be a better use of the coaching spot... it is not like Memphis is hurting for cash."

Chris Murray asks if there is more cheating than ever before?

Chris Murray posted this piece on cheating in NCAA athletics, ending with "So, is cheating on the rise or is more of the cheating being unveiled now than ever before because of the proliferation of online media?"

Lacking actual evidence, the easy answer is no. Cheating (not sure if that is really the correct word here) was THE method of operation in years past, especially so in football but with basketball too, for so many programs. It's been tamed somewhat but remains rampant, especially at the BCS-level schools which always have the money and resources plus the boosters bunco artists to go rogue, employ chicanery, name it what you will. Heck, UCLA basketball was the late Sam Gilbert's personal domain for many years.

An update on Jordan Chatman's recruiting

Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop has the latest on Jordan Chatman's recruiting:

"BYU, Stanford, Utah & Washington State comprise the final four of Jordan Chatman, a 2012 PG from Skyview (WA)"
The young man's father played basketball at BYU -- so read into that what you will. PTW's completely uneducated guess: it will be down to BYU and Stanford.

Portland and Utah State also offered.

In a June 14, 2011 article by Brandon Gurney in The Deseret News, Chatman offered this about USU:
"...I’ve been up there. I was actually up there when they played BYU and they beat them,” said Chatman. “The atmosphere was great, and I love Coach Morrill. Utah State is a school that goes to the NCAA tournament every year, and they win. I also love the style of ball that they play...”

Are three assistants necessary?

Memphis State's Josh Pastner says he is going with just two assistants this season. The reason we posted this non-WAC-related item is why did three become the norm? Is a trio of assistants really needed?

PTW welcomes a different opinion (so send in a response and we'll post it as a stand alone entry and not a comment) but college basketball coaches have a lot of time on their respective hands. Two should work just fine.

What PTW would like to see is two assistant coaches and a bonafide skills trainer making up the staff, alongside NCAA rules instituting periods of off-season time for individual skill training. One can dream.

A redshirt frontcourter at San Jose State

Chris Cunningham has transferred over to San Jose State University from Santa Clara. He's a 6-foot-8 225 pound center-forward originally out of Diamond Ranch High in Diamond Bar, CA (southern CA).

Cunningham signed in November 2008 with Coach Kerry Keating/Santa Clara. He also had an offer from UC Riverside.

As a Bronco in 2009-2010, he played 310 minutes in 30 games, shot 55% from the floor, 53% from the foul line, averaging 2.0 points and 2.2 rebounds a game with 10 shotblocks.

In 2010-2011, he played 189 minutes in 15 games, shot 62% from the floor, 70% from the foul line, averaging 4.4 points and 2.8 rebounds a game with 2 shotblocks.

It appears he departed from the Santa Clara squad some time in January or so but PTW isn't sure if he enrolled at SJSU right away or with this new school year so he may have two or possibly two and a half years of eligibility remaining.

One description of him in high school said this: "skilled big man with a good feel for the game. Nice feet and hands. Not real explosive, but he can score around the basket"

Another offered:  
"January, 2009: After a subpar performance at the Pacific Shores tournament, Cunningham was dominant against 6-8 up-and-coming junior Richard Solomon (Torrance, Calif./ Bishop Montgomery). Although he is a below the rim player, his footwork and savvy are a sight to see. His dexterity and deceptive quickness allows to him to convert over taller players and he uses his thick frame to muscle his way through contact. Overall, Cunningham doesn't have great bounce, but his skill level and fundamentals are high-level."

Wednesday's early look at WAC basketball

Dayton Morinaga remains at it, here, here and here.

So do we award Shaquille Stokes Freshman of the Year honors now and not bother waiting?


San Jose State University fell by four points in its initial game in Rome.


Jason Groves offers an update on Aggie academics.


Diamond Leung checks in on Fresno State's recruit from China.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It used to be...

It used to be that the most chilling words were "Hi, I'm Mike Wallace with "60 Minutes'" but now, at least in the sports world, it's "Hi, I'm Charles Robinson with Yahoo! Sports" -- head here. Let's just say The Grim Reaper is approaching Miami football.

If you're relationships are based on handing over money and the latter disappears from the equation, then why be surprised when nobody no longer knows your name?

Is this really the role of college athletics?

Rush The Court offers a look at what MIGHT be the future of NCAA basketball.

Will the end all pursuit of the maximization of college athletics dollars in football ultimately destroy the overall golden egg that is college hoops?

Tuesday's world of WAC basketball

ESPN's Andy Katz goes full length on Fresno State basketball and the hiring of Coach Rodney Terry.

Katz also offers an in-depth look at college basketball out here in the West.


Two additions, a power forward and a wing as invited walk-ons, round out the 2011-12 Fresno State roster.


Dayton Morinaga is fast and furious again with features from China here, here, here and here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Something official surely will be announced on the status of Christian Standhardinger heading to Hawaii.

The best PTW can deduce is that Standhardinger will need to sit out two semesters/three quarters/whatever amounts to a full year before eligible again to play NCAA D-1 basketball.

He apparently was in limbo the second half of last season and our take is that he needs to be enrolled for whatever qualifies as an academic year at his new home before his eligibility is restored.

He was headed to LaSalle in January of this year but a legal situation caused the powers-that-be at LaSalle to rescind the offer.

Monday morning's WAC basketball news comin' at you

Jason Groves goes full length on the proposed APR uptick.


Dayton Morinaga reports that the Chinese basketball fans are embracing the UH hoops players.


Sportsbow is on a roll -- now he has the scoop of a Nebraska transfer heading Hawaii's way.

There are a lot of 'reports' out there on the newcomer -- here, here, here -- so make up your own mind.

In January 2008, Jonathan Givony/Draft Express offered this evaluation:

The best player the Germans had to offer, Standhardinger did a nice job showing off his value as a high-major collegiate prospect. Standhardinger is first and foremost a competitor, an extremely emotional player who feels the game and lives every moment of it. He’s a good athlete who is clearly most comfortable playing on the wing even though he’s 6-8, where he can knife his way through defenses creating his own shot with superb aggressiveness. Standhardinger wants the ball in his hands and will look to score every time down the floor if given the opportunity to do so: he has a good first step and an excellent understanding of angles to get the job done. He’s also extremely unorthodox, jumping off the wrong foot in typical European style, finishing craftily around the hoop, and knowing how to provoke the refs into making a call that favors his team (for example with a flop).

Standhardinger is a tough kid, not being afraid to hit the deck to go after a loose ball, and usually being in the middle of any scrum that goes on during the course of the game. He moves off the ball well and seems to have a nose for the rim. He clearly has nice size for the small forward position, even if he might lack the lateral quickness to guard that spot on the other end of the floor.

On the downside, Standhardinger has quite a few holes in his game that need to be polished up before he can reach anywhere near his full potential. For one, his left hand is non-existent, making him pretty predictable eventually with his slashing moves going right. His perimeter shot is not a weapon for him at all from what we saw, and he doesn’t seem to have a reliable pull-up jumper he can utilize to compensate for that. Defensively, his lateral quickness is pretty suspect as mentioned, so there is some concern that he might have to play the power forward position in college where he doesn’t quite fit either due to his underdeveloped post-up game. These are all correctable weaknesses, but it will take time and plenty of work until Standhardinger gets there. Still, his potential is pretty intriguing considering he manages to be so productive even despite his obvious limitations. His passion for the game should carry him pretty far in the meantime.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday's WAC basketball-aroo

Dayton Morinaga's middle name must be Prolific as he has four more posts up covering the Rainbow Warriors in China: here (conference travel is going to be a breeze), here, here and here.


Sportsbow at has located the eligibility determination of Hawaii recruit Dillon Biggs.


Speaking of such, Jason Groves offers a tweet about New Mexico State recruit K.C. Ross-Miller.


It's neither here nor there at this point but Brady Heslip would be looking mighty fine in a Utah State uniform. Imagine him and Brockeith Pane in the backcourt. Whew, that was a bullet dodged by the other WAC coaches.


The term/concept 'Full cost of attendance' is something new to PTW and Chris Murray offers an in-depth look on this very subject.

Our quick editorial: teenagers are 24/7 hungry so any additional $$$ in the stipends of scholarship players will absolutely help but 'full cost of attendance' better not be open ended or we're talking bankruptcy declaration. Ask any parent.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Skyler Halford resurfaces

Former USU player Skyler Halford will be at Salt Lake City College this season.

Here's another tweet on Halford from Dave Hammer.

Saturday's WAC basketball rollout

Jason Groves has a blog entry up on the proposed changes in NCAA hoops and the effect on New Mexico State.

It looks like the Sun-News is soon going the way of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. That's not good news for PTW but hopefully Jason's blog will remain accessible.


Dayton Morinaga is blasting out the posts from China -- go here, here, here and here.


Whither Givon Crump? American Bulldog at the Barkboard Save Mart Center MB notes that the redshirt transfer from Baylor is no longer on the Bulldog roster.


Pete Thamel/New York Times writes about the flurry of 'change' proposals emanating from the NCAA.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A possible 2013 Hawaii recruiting target

Neal Nieves tweeted this today:

"2013 PG Mark Rodgers (Compton Magic/Serra HS) Will be taking unofficial visits to Portland, Hawaii and San Diego State sometime this fall"
Here's what Van Coleman had to say about Rodgers in mid-May:

"Mark Rodgers (Compton Magic Black)   2013   6-0   Gardens Serra (CA) - Glue guy who plays harder than anyone. Vocal leader who really knows how to run a team. Defensive stopper who leads by example on both ends of the floor. Can knock down the deep ball"

Deonte Burton checks in at #83

National Hoops Report has chosen Deonte Burton as its #83 best college basketball player in the country.

It's Wendell-mania

Jeff Borzello at CBS Sports also is on the WM bandwagon as well as digging a bit into the remainder of the New Mexico State roster.

Plus, Jeff Faraudo offers his article on the Bay Area native who totaled 53 points in the championship game of the San Francisco Pro-Am League.

A jam-packed Friday WAC basketball digest

Craig Hislop has a very important post up about the possibility of college athletics basketball revenue sharing -- it's overused, including by PTW, but this is a must read.

Just as important is Sam Wasson/Bleed Crimson being all over the new NCAA APR proposal. Plus, Sam generously offers links galore on the subject. Picture this: Utah State versus Idaho consisting of the WAC tourney? Otherwise, what would happen if either of the above don't take the tourney and overall records exclude the Aggies and Vandals from an at-large bid? Would the default then be which of the two had the best conference record? Or the highest RPI?


Not to rain on his parade (hey, that's impossible, plus Wendell is PTW's choice for MVP in the WAC next season) but look at YayAreasFinest mixtape on McKines in the SF Pro-Am and you'll notice how different the play is outside of organized college hoops. In summer, most of the time there are very few defenders in the paint while the opposite is true November through March.

Speaking of W, ESPN's Diamond Leung offers a feature.


Dave Rogahn covers the state of California basketball. Here he makes mention of former Louisiana Tech star Kyle Gibson, Wendell McKines and former San Jose Stater Justin Graham.


Dayton Morinaga reports it's Jefferson and not Bermudez in with UH basketball. Dayton also has trip updates here and here. Scott Fisher still has ice in his veins.


Stacy Davis, a 6-foot-7 Arizona 2012 prepster, has offers from Utah State and Fresno State as well as many others -- Anthony Ray has the details (a Rivals sub is required).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Will this effect any WAC teams down the line?

It's all still a bit hazy -- any specific date, numbers that must be met, etc. -- but the NCAA is making the APR number a benchmark for participation in the Big Dance.

Steve Wieberg/USA TODAY reports.

It's PTW's guess that Utah State should have no concern -- not sure about others.

Thursday's WAC basketball report

Dayton Morinaga has been ultra busy -- here, here and here -- in covering the UH basketball sojourn in Asia. Rainbow Warrior fans should be thanking the many donors who made this possible.


Sportsbow reports that CA JC backcourter Garrett Jefferson has indeed signed with Hawaii. He'll be a sophomore.

Does this mean that prep guard Victor Bermudez is no longer in the picture?


Fresno State basketball will have a 7 p.m. version of Midnight Madness on October 25, which only makes sense since Coach Rodney Terry and a number of the players are brand new.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A piece on Stew Morrill

Craw's Corner has posted an article on Stew Morrill -- do check it out.

The WAC basketball world on Wednesday

Anthony Ray reports (a Rivals sub is required) that former Hawaii backcourter Bo Barnes has landed at Arizona State University. Coach Herb Sendek's backcourt is lacking a guard who shot at least 30% from long distance last season and Barnes can do better than that with his eyes closed.


Dayton Morinaga goes print, photo and video with UH's initial game in China. It's way too early to extrapolate but point Shaquille Stokes is looking like the real deal so far.


Wendell McKines' 51 points led his squad to the San Francisco Pro-Am championship last night.


We love it: Facemask -- read Pete Thamel's  article about the preferred methods of communication for prep athletes. PTW is Luddite and proudly so as we deem it important to be able to string sentences together beyond a certain number of characters whether in speaking or writing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chris Murray with some Arik Armstead news

Chris Murray has a post up on Arik Armstead who says the Wolf Pack is in the running. Hey, there's no downside to this whatsoever even if the 6-foot-8 two-sport star keeps his commitment to USC (where his brother plays football).

We recently saw Armstead play in Las Vegas with the Compton Magic squad. Keeping in mind this is a one game analysis, here's what we witnessed:

Armstead loves and initiates contact. A couple of plays in a row, he lowered his shoulder and bulldozed his opponent, which unfortunately resulted in a pair of offensive fouls. He then took to the perimeter a bit (10-15 feet) and effectively popped some faceup jumpers. He moves well but that being qualified as quickness for a 270 pounder. It seemed unlikely he could keep a quality big as tall or taller than himself away from earning good looks at the basket but the reverse is also true.

Our guess: he is a future pro football player, not necessarily so in the direction of the NBA even though it appears he enjoys hoops more. But he has a great dream and more power to him.

A dunking video courtesy of Jason Groves

Jason Groves tweets a video link to the leg juice display of Eric Weary, Daniel Mullings and Renaldo Dixon.

Adam Zagoria with a Norvell Arnold update

Adam Zagoria has a blog entry up all about former USU recruit Norvell Arnold, his latest legal adjudication and his D-1 college basketball options.

It's not Ruby Tuesday -- it's WAC basketball Tuesday

Nevada basketball without A.W. Prince's coverage? That ain't right. Here's hoping A.W. re-surfaces (which he undoubtedly will) quickly as there is now a gaping hole in hoops news.


San Jose State's Calvin Douglas says he is even more dialed in from long distance and that should be on display as the Spartans head to Rome for some matchups and gelato, not necessarily in that order.

Here is more on the games itinerary.


Dayton Morinaga offers more from the InZane video channel.

Plus, why did the chicken cross the road?

To tempt Davis Rozitis. Read about it here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

An Arizona prep point connected to Fresno State

Anthony Ray at his Arizona preps site has an article up on 2012 backcourter Demitrius Balark. helped lead his high school program to an impressive 22-4 record on the season last year, and a 4A Division-I semi-final finish.

An excerpt: "Balark advised me that his college recruitment is going very well at this point, and that he is currently hearing from such schools as Colorado, Fresno State, Pepperdine and Saint Mary's..."

Here is ESPN evaluation.

A few words about Wendell McKines

 here's Wendell as a Richmond Oiler back in high school

Wendell McKines, a fifth-year New Mexico State senior, is the top pre-season candidate for the most valuable player honor in the Western Athletic Conference in 2011-2012. That positioning is because he will definitely score in double figures (likely close to 20 points a game) and also rebound in double figures. It will be fascinating to see how high the latter average reaches.

It's true that Nevada's Dario Hunt will also likely achieve such a status but his scoring won't be close to that of McKines, who ruled the San Francisco Pro-Am this summer, earning most valuable player honors. Granted, there are no actual systems of play employed in the Pro-Am and team defensive effort is nowhere near as intense as in conference play but an honor is an honor and McKines earned such by putting up some wild figures.

He has the spectacular down, probably blessed with such from the initial time he picked up a basketball. That's a given. But what about the other elements of the game?

Two seasons ago (McKines sat out last year), he displayed an accurate set shot from long distance and some dribble-drive prowess but that generally finishing with a kickout to Jahmar Young or Jonathan Gibson for a jumper. Both of these aspects of his game have likely improved -- that's another given.

Plus, it's McKines' team in 2011-12 and Coach Marvin Menzies needs a creator on offense, with the 6-foot-5 forward being the Aggie best suited for such a role. 

What will be even more fascinating though is to watch to see if McKines can he set a tone defensively. The Aggies have never demonstrated a persistent attention towards defending but New Mexico State won't have tremendous firepower in the coming season so a consistent defensive tenacity will be critical in order to succeed.

Can McKines get his teammates to focus on reaching the 39% defensive field goal percentage Utah State achieved or even the 41% earned by Hawaii and Idaho last season?

Watch for that.

Such would go a long ways towards McKines easily wearing the MVP crown as well as the Aggies fighting for the top spot in the conference.

The Monday morning coming down WAC basketball chronicle

David Kay of The Sports Bank offers an assessment of the 2011 Utah State Aggies. He ranks Stew Morrill's squad as #89 in the nation.


Dayton Morinaga matches Zane Johnson up with a video camera. Dayton also provides a pair of other videos, documenting the early stages of the Rainbow Warrior journey.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

WAC talents in the SayNo League

Received this from RS and we thank him for sending it along because PTW was unaware of the WAC affiliations:

"4 WAC Players in the Sayno Classic Championship Game

Hey Kevin,

Maybe you noticed but there are four WAC Players in the championship game for the Sayno. Jonathon Willis from Fresno State, Jordan Burris, Devonte Elliott, and Deonte Burton from Nevada ... By the way Burris and Elliott had pretty strong games last night in the semi-finals."
Willis, Burris and Elliott are playing for the I-Can All Stars while Burton leads the Top Prospects, leading to what should have been some interesting matchups at times. 

Burris tallied 23 points on 10-12 shooting in the semis.

The Top Prospects won the championship yesterday afternoon but no box has been posted as yet.

Sunday and the state of WAC basketball

The new subscribe-for-access deal at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser eliminates any chance for PTW posting links to HSA articles -- here's hoping Brian McInnis' blog remain free.


The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Makhtar Diop is doing better.


Thanks for Sam Wasson/Bleed Crimson for catching this: Bob Meseroll's feature on former New Mexico State Assistant Coach Mick Durham.


WSUGuy 1982 has posted on the Scout Go Vandals basketball message board that Coach Don Verlin has extended an offer to a 2012 Washington state backcourter. Here is a June 2012 interview by Kevin Cacabelos. Here is an ESPN evaluation.


Per Blue Zertuche/Texas Hoops (a Rivals sub is required), 6-foot-7 Texas prepster Zeldric King has 14 offers, including one from San Jose State University.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jordan Loveridge checking out BYU

Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop has posted this (of interest to USU fans):

"BYU will host Jordan Loveridge, a 2012 forward from Utah Pump N Run, for an unofficial visit today"
Alex is another one who should be a daily (or more) read. 

Saturday's WAC basketball items

Dayton Morinaga reports that UH has endured the toughest component of its Asia trip -- the flight.


Chris Murray has an interesting post up on Luke Babbitt, who is a few million dollars richer today (rather than in limbo) because of the timing of his decision to go pro.

Chris also offers more on Wolf Pack recruiting target Robert Selmon who (in the humble opinion of PTW) should smartly go with one of his two WAC (soon to be MWC) suitors.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Luke Winn and player transfers

Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn has a fascinating article up on recruit and player 'movement' -- transfers prior to college plus afterwards, including numbers, reasons given, et al. Is it endemic, an epidemic or pandemic, or none of these?

NCAA recruiting rule changes are coming

Matt Norlander reports on what will be forthcoming NCAA recruiting changes.

Nick Stover has an offer from a WAC school

Cali High Sports offers a feature on 2012 small forward/wing Nick Stover who has an offer from Fresno State as well as other colleges.

Friday's WAC basketball compendium

Randy Hollis offers a lengthy look at Utah State basketball and includes some very honest quotes from Stew Morrill. Even more re4spect goes out to the Aggie helmsman for not resorting to the party line -- his forthrightness is refreshing.


The Seattle Times has posted excerpts from an interview with WAC Commish Karl Benson who gets an and1 for his response to the inevitable Montana question.


Dayton Morinaga reports that Hawaii is prepared for liftoff today as three UH walk-ons will be cherishing the trip of a lifetime.

Brian McInnis supplies a recruiting note as he prepares to hook up with the Rainbow Warriors in Asia.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Thursday two item WAC basketball report

How often does a U.S. born college basketball player also act as an interpreter and native language instructor for his elders? Dayton Morinaga writes and offers video about Hauns Brereton's off court talents -- the young man has a future in the diplomatic corps should he choose such a direction.


A 2011 state of Arizona late qualifier has caught the attention of Fresno State and Nevada, among others, as Anthony Ray profiles 6-foot-4 Robert Selmon (a Rivals sub is required).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Josh Gershon on Jordan Loveridge and Nick "Jimmer" Emery

This one is for Utah State fans -- Josh Gershon writeups on a pair of USU recruiting targets (and others). You'll have to scroll a bit.

Here's Chris Murray on Wolf Pack recruiting

Chris Murray writes about David Carter as fisher of basketball prospects.

Another Utah State offer

Bill Oram reports on another in-state player who has been offered by Stew Morrill.

Wednesday's bountiful WAC basketball harvest

Jay Drew and Lya Wodraska update the recruitment of Jordan Loveridge and also offer a tidbit on in-state product Parker Van Dyke.

PTW 'sees' Loveridge heading to the Pac-12 -- based on no particular insight, just a gut feeling that is hopefully more accurate than Bush 43's numerous alimentary-based calls -- but Utah State would be getting a 3-4 year player who would start from day one if he decides to head to Logan. Not to compare talents because they are different but just think of the effect Tai Wesley had for the Aggies.


Speaking of Wesley, the Salt Lake Tribune offers an update, including Stew Morrill's matrimonial advice to his former star.


Chris Murray reports on a versatile big signed by Nevada for the upcoming 2011 season. It looks like patience was indeed a virtue for David Carter.


Dayton Morinaga has Gib Arnold announcing his team (but the video didn't appear for PTW).

Brian McInnis reports on various Rainbow Warrior ankles biting the dust.

Jeff Portnoy is back sooner than expected with a column and an upcoming radio broadcast.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gary Wilkinson re-ups

No, don't even go there -- further eligibility hasn't been discovered for Gary Wilkinson at USU. It's that he has signed a new contract with his New Zealand club, one that recently lost top scorer Kirk Penney.

Two items from Chris Murray

Chris Murray has a pair of posts up. One covers the new home of former Wolf Pack point Derrell Conner. He'll be playing for former Boise State assistant Shaun Vandiver. The second is about a Nevada recruiting prospect who decided to cast his lot with Wyoming. PTW witnessed this player last week in Las Vegas -- he had some nice moments but PT was going to be minimal in Reno 2011. In fact a redshirt season would have been most appropriate so it's understandable why Laramie was the choice.

Another Bracken Funk feature

It's a week old (PTW's fault) but the Daily Herald offers a look at former Fresno Stater Bracken Funk.

Tuesday morning's WAC-itude - all Hawaii (so far)

From Ferd Lewis, here's what we missed on UH basketball while in Vegas -- it doesn't seem like much to paraphrase Willie Shakes.

Dayton Morinaga writes about the generosity of a quintet of corporate sponsors underwriting the Hawaii sojourn to Asia.

Monday, August 1, 2011

WAC basketball on this gorgeous Monday

The sky is blue, the sun is shining and it isn't 102 degrees, so PTW is living large.

Brian McInnis plays catchup in a column after his trip to the Land of Eh.The last item is something new to PTW -- is it related to this tweet?


Dayton Morinaga writes about one of Gib Arnold's former players speaking to the UH squad.


Spartan athletics writes some more about SJSU's upcoming trip to Italy.


Rarely does 'good' happen in bars, let alone after midnight -- here's more proof plus the hope that the injury isn't serious.