Mercury News columnist Jon Wilner doesn't flesh out his thoughts but here are his predicted finishes for the various WAC teams. Everyone is loving Nevada at the moment.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
What's going to happen when Boise State's Wes Perryman dribbles into the key against Idaho's Djim Bandoumel? Nick Jezierny provides some background on the friends.
Jahmar Young's unwise choices have been adjudicated.
Robert Kuwada reports that Kevin Olekaibe is bruised but will be back on the court on Monday.
San Jose State led Seattle 27-24 at the half and ended up winning the Elgin Baylor Classic 84-74, led by James Kinney's 31 points. Terry Wood offers a game report.
Tonight's New Year's Eve games:
Utah State has a very interesting matchup versus Mississippi State down in the Magnolia State. Kraig Williams, Shawn Harrison and Tony Jones spell out the details. A victory against any SEC team is a major plus in the RPI, especially so when it Miss. State 2011-12.
LA TECH is in Dallas to face Southern Methodist.
Hawaii hosts UNLV in a pairing that offers a statement opportunity for the Rainbow Warriors. Dayton Morinaga previews.
Idaho and Boise State go at it in Nampa. Josh Wright and Nick Jezierny both look at the matchup.
New Mexico State gets a chance for redemption in hosting Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Shawn Harrison writes about the next USU contest (Johnny Cash apparently spent a memorable night in Starkville, Mississippi) and also the beginning of WAC play.
The term 'bench' has a positive connotation in Chris Murray's latest.
Mark Rauh offers a number of game photos from the Wolf Pack - Cedarville contest.
Jason Groves alerts readers (at the conclusion of the article) to a change in the final score of the NMSU - New Mexico matchup.
Fresno State went up to Stockton and it 22-16 in favor of the Bulldogs after 20 minutes and it ended with a 55-47 Bulldog victory. Kevin Olekaibe scored but nine points (on 11 shots) and backcourt mate Tyler Johnson finished with an unusual 10 point/10 rebound double-double.
Bob Highfill/Stockton Record reports on the game.
San Jose State and Coppin State met up on a neutral court in Seattle and the Spartans took care of business 81-66. Forty of the 64 SJSU shots were three-point attempts and they nailed 40% of those tries. San Jose State also totaled 24 assists on 26 baskets.
SJSU athletics chronicles the matchup.
South Carolina State got a taste of Waikiki and hopefully enjoyed the beach elements because UH was 100-73 too much on the court.
Dayton Morinaga has the details.
SJSU takes on host Seattle in the Elgin Baylor Classic tonight in the sole WAC contest.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
New Mexico jumped out to a 46-25 half time lead over rival New Mexico State and kept the margin throughout the second half, winning 89-69. Jason Groves tweeted the contest.
Wendell McKines went for 25/14 but the Aggies shot just 33% overall, going 1-14 on trey attempts. Drew Gordon was also obviously inspired to the tune of 23 points and 19 rebounds as New Mexico shot 45% overall, 12-24 from long distance.
Sam Wasson offers a game report as does Jason Groves. Jason also has a blog entry posted.
Teddy Feinberg serves up an opinion piece.
Nevada jumped out to an early lead but was ahead by just two -- 38 to 36 -- at the half against Cedarville. Chris Murray tweeted the matchup.
The Wolf Pack then slowly expanded the lead to win 71-61. Malik Story led with 19 points, nailing 5-8 from three-point range.
Chris Murray provides a game report as does Joe Santoro. Chris also details Malik Story's first Wolf Pack dunk.
Louisiana Tech plays host to Spring Hill.
Pacific welcomes Fresno State. Robert Kuwada features Bulldog sophomore guard Tyler Johnson. Robert also has a blog entry on FSU wanting to stop its slow starts. Plus, he fills in the reasons behind Daquan Brown's departure.
Hawaii will aloha South Carolina State. Dayton Morinaga previews. Jeff Portnoy looks at this contest and the next one.
San Jose State matches up with Coppin State up in the Elgin Baylor Classic in Seattle.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Jason Groves is back with a lengthy blog preview and analysis of the New Mexico-New Mexico State matchup tonight in Las Cruces. Jason also provides some background on the familiarity Wendell McKines and Drew Gordon have with each other.
Sam Wasson/Bleed Crimson offers his weekly interview with Coach Marvin Menzies.
It's host Nevada versus Cedarville also tonight and Chris Murray offers his keys and prediction. Then Chris writes a bit about the opponent (PTW was going to guess it was a college in Utah).
In what has to be a Red Bull-fueled marathon (either that or Chris was dictating while running a marathon), he also serves up his WAC notebook and also his WAC team rankings.
Joe Santoro serves up a lengthy Nevada basketball notebook.
Everyone is a role player in basketball, some with larger stages, others in supporting setups. Dayton Morinaga writes about this subject in connection with UH hoops.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Okay, here are the numbers -- no feelings for or against the players listed, just statistics:
* Wendell McKines
In two games during December 19-25, McKines put up 20 points (8-18 overall, 2-5 from long distance) and 16 rebounds then 23 points (9-13 shooting overall, 4-5 from three-point range) and 17 boards. Granted, the numbers were against Southern and McNeese State, not exactly powerhouses but nonetheless D-1 teams.
* Kevin Olekaibe
He and the Fresno State Bulldogs went up against Boise State and then Arizona State. Olekaibe scored 28 points (10-17 shooting) versus the Broncos and 30 points on 11-19 shooting against the Sun Devils.
The WAC Player of the Week, Zane Johnson, put up these numbers (from the WAC press release):
...Johnson opened the week with an 18-point, six-rebound performance in a 65-62 loss to Auburn. He then helped UH overcome a 15-point second-half deficit in an 84-82 win over No. 14 Xavier. Johnson scored 14 points, including a clutch three-pointer late in regulation and recorded the assist on the game-winning basket with 0.8 seconds in overtime. The win marked UH’s first win over a ranked opponent in six years. After going 2-for-2 at the free throw line against Xavier, Johnson broke a 36-year-old record with 29 straight free throws made.PTW reports, you decide
Johnson scored a game-high 27 points in a 75-68 win over Clemson. The 27 points included a 6-of-12 performance from three-point range. He scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half to help UH overcome a three-point halftime deficit.
On the week, Johnson averaged 19.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He shot 43.2 percent (19-of-44) from the field, 38.7 percent (12-of-31) from three-point range and 90 percent (9-of-10) from the free throw line ...
Tim Steed surprisingly departed Fresno State after his junior season in the San Joaquin. PTW would love to know the reason why -- " a coaching change" is too amorphous -- because he would be a solid contributor in a mutually beneficial relationship right now for the Bulldogs.
Regardless, here is how Steed is doing as a senior at Cal State San Marcos:
Here's a feature on Steed.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Congrats to Zane Johnson but PTW wants to see the votes:
Hawai‘i’s Zane Johnson has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 19-25. The honor marks the second career WAC Player of the Week award for Johnson.
Johnson, a senior guard from Phoenix, Ariz. (Arizona), led the Rainbow Warriors to a 2-1 record at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamondhead Classic last week.
Johnson opened the week with an 18-point, six-rebound performance in a 65-62 loss to Auburn. He then helped UH overcome a 15-point second-half deficit in an 84-82 win over No. 14 Xavier. Johnson scored 14 points, including a clutch three-pointer late in regulation and recorded the assist on the game-winning basket with 0.8 seconds in overtime. The win marked UH’s first win over a ranked opponent in six years. After going 2-for-2 at the free throw line against Xavier, Johnson broke a 36-year-old record with 29 straight free throws made.
Johnson scored a game-high 27 points in a 75-68 win over Clemson. The 27 points included a 6-of-12 performance from three-point range. He scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half to help UH overcome a three-point halftime deficit.
On the week, Johnson averaged 19.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He shot 43.2 percent (19-of-44) from the field, 38.7 percent (12-of-31) from three-point range and 90 percent (9-of-10) from the free throw line.
* Fresno State sophomore guard Kevin Olekaibe
* Louisiana Tech freshman guard Raheem Appleby
* Nevada senior forward Dario Hunt
* New Mexico State senior forward Wendell McKines
* Utah State sophomore guard Preston Medlin
Robert Kuwada writes about Fresno State's Wednesday road game versus Pacific.
Also on Wednesday, New Mexico State hosts New Mexico -- Teddy Feinberg and Anthony Esparza preview. A win for the Aggies and they own The Land of Enchantment this season.
75-68. That the final score of Hawaii's victory over Clemson yesterday with Zane Johnson's 27 points (6-12 from long distance) along with a 14/10 double-double from Vander Joaquim paving the way for the Rainbow Warriors. It was a 10-point better second half than the opponents from South Carolina that vaulted UH to the success.
Wes Nakama offers a game report. Jeff Portnoy also checks in.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
No games to report on this morning so PTW thought this might be appropriate -- what would each WAC head coach enjoy seeing under his tree today?
Coach Rodney Terry: anyone 6-foot-10 or taller, packing 240 pounds of muscle, with the skills to operate in the paint and the attitude to declare it his home
Coach Gib Arnold: Bill Amis with another season of eligibility, no, no, actually another dependable shooter
Coach Don Verlin: a proven scorer/shooter at the wing or two guard spot
Coach Mike White: an inside scorer
Coach David Carter: more renditions of "Kumbaya" from his Pack
Coach Marvin Menzies: an outside shooter of almost any size
Coach George Nessman: a big who can score and rebound inside
Coach Stew Morrill: Brockeith Pane, version January, February, March 2011
Actually, such presents won't be available until April 11 at the earliest but one can dream.
Hawaii does play Clemson today -- let's find out which game participants have been naughty and which have been nice.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Is Kyisean Reed reaching you-can-'t-stop-him, only-hope-to-contain-him status? Check out this USU Stats article.
Scott Daniel/Silver and Blue Sports explores the evolution of this season's Wolf Pack basketball squad in a very solid feature.
New Mexico State freshman backcourter Terrel de Rouen is injured and out for the season.
Robert Kuwada takes a gander at Fresno State hoops, post-holiday.
As the schedule thins out for a few days save for Hawaii, the Rainbow Warriors faced Xavier Friday night in the Diamond Head Classic tourney and made national news by taking down Xavier 84-82.
Wes Nakama provides an early game summary. Brian McInnis serves up a blog entry.
Call this one the Thrilla in Manoa.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Robert Kuwada catches readers up on the status of Fresno State swingman Garrett Johnson.
Former Fresno State Bulldog Greg Smith has been let go by the Houston Rockets.
Ditto for Adrian Oliver by the Sacramento Kings.
Rush The Court offers an note on Khem Birch and New Mexico State as a possible landing spot. Birch would be quite the pickup.
Host Wisconsin Green Bay finished a bucket better than Idaho, winning 63-61 Thursday night despite a marvelous 13 point, 12 rebound and four blocked shots performance from Kyle Barone.
Idaho athletics checks in as does the Green Bay Gazette.
Arkansas was simply better than Louisiana Tech to the tune of 77-63 in Fayetteville. It was another point-producing performance by Raheem Appleby -- 23 points -- but he took an inefficient 22 shots to reach that total.
LT athletics reports.
In Reno, Nevada led Portland 46-26 at the half and generally maintained that lead to the conclusion, winning 75-58. A quarter of Wolf Packers scored in double figures, with Dario Hunt leading via 15 points and 11 boards. Deonte Burton scored just two points in 13 minutes of play (foul trouble).
Chris Murray tweeted the game. Chris also provides this game account plus notes. Liz Margerum serves up 34 photos of the matchup.
Utah State jumped out to a 14 point halftime lead over Kent State, 35-21 and extended it as the game went on, finally winning 81-62. Kyisean Reed shot an amazing 12-13, exploding for 27 points, while Preston Medlin added 20 and big man Morgan Grim put up a 14/14 double-double.
Shawn Harrison, Tony Jones, Matt Sonnenberg and Kraig Williams were crowding press row. Craig Peterson posted 34 game photos for your viewing pleasure.
San Jose State was down 29-24 to host UC Riverside after 20 minutes, pulled close but fell 66-64. Alan Steele has the scoop plus here's 21 game photos from Frank Bellino.
Hawaii matched up with Auburn of the SEC to open its play in the Diamond Head Classic tourney and it was the visitors by three, 65-62.
Wes Nakama offers the details.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Adam Zagoria has posted an in-depth article on former New Mexico State frontcourter Herb Pope who has already graduated from Seton Hall, is manhandling opponents in the Big East Conference and is seemingly on the path to a spot in the NBA.
Here's Eamonn Brennan's take on Hawaii in previewing each Diamond Head Classic team:
Where they stand: Gib Arnold's team is 5-4 and ranked No. 231 in Pomeroy's rankings. That kind of says it all. The wins have come against Cal-State Northridge, UC Davis, Pacific, Hawaii-Hilo and North Carolina A&T; the losses were a product of matchups with Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, Pepperdine and Pacific. That's exactly what you'd expect. The good news? Hawaii doesn't have to do the traveling, time-change adjusting, touristing and everything else that comes with a trip to Hawaii. The Warriors can just play. Maybe that's good for an upset or two?
Key player: Zane Johnson is this team's leading scorer, but forward Vander Joaquim -- 11.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks per game -- is its most productive player, and one the Warriors will need if they plan on playing at the rim with the block-happy Tigers.
Key stat: 24.3 percent. That's Hawaii's turnover rate this season, which puts it near the bottom 50 or so in the country and has, along with subpar shooting, truly stunted this offense to date.
Best-case scenario: Auburn hasn't had to experience road basketball often this season, let alone road basketball in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, so Arnold's team might have an early upset (so to speak) in them here. But with LBSU or Xavier awaiting in the second round, it's hard to picture the Warriors going any further than that.
Worst-case scenario: Finishing without a win, which would mean (almost certainly) losing to Southern Illinois at some point. Losses to Southern Illinois are probably best avoided. To put it kindly.
We thought Isaiah Massey, the 6-foot-8 redshirt freshman transfer from Ole Miss, would be the most immediately helpful newcomer to the Louisiana Tech frontline But nNeither for the first time, nor the last, PTW was wrong.
That particular honor, at least so far this season, goes to 6-foot-9 Michale Kyser, also a year out of high school after a season at a prep institution.
However, what has stood out is Kyser's 31 blocked shots, culminating in seven rejections during 16 minutes of court time, versus Northeastern on December 20. Also, Kyser was credited with three swats in but seven minutes of play in the previous matchup with UALR and in the contest prior to that, Kyser blocked two shots in seven minutes.
Get him a flyswatter endorsement.
"Another player who deserves improper benefits: Wendell McKines got 23 points and 17 rebounds in New Mexico State's 82-62 win over McNeese State. The 6-foot-6 forward got 20 points and 16 rebounds in NMSU's previous game, a Monday win over Southern. That means he's averaging 21.5 points and 16.5 rebounds in his past two outings. (Note: I didn't even need a calculator to figure that out.)"
-- Gary Parrish
Looks like it between Kevin Olekaibe and McKines for WAC POW.
Well, well, well, it was a 3-0 WAC Wednesday evening
The Tempe-ture on the Arizona State campus is reaching boiling after Fresno State took down the Sun Devils 68-65, based on a 42-point second half. Kevin Olekaibe seemingly secured the WAC Player of the Week honor with his 30 point (based on 19 shots) performance. The soph backcourter also nabbed five rebounds and a pair of steals, alongside zero turnovers.
Jack Magruder reports from Tempe.
Robert Kuwada provides an account.
Robert also looks at who's #2 in an interesting piece.
It was 82-62 after forty minutes in Las Cruces, with New Mexico State downing McNeese State. Wendell McKines came close to a double-double-double with 23 points and 17 boards.
Teddy Feinberg checks in.
Utah State wreaked damage of Biblical proportions on St. Peter to the tune of 72-47. A 41-17 initial 20 minutes sent the Peacocks to the pearly gates. Morgan Grim's 17/10 double-double paced the hosts.
Kraig Williams, Shawn Harrison, Tony Jones and Matt Sonnenberg serve up game accounts.
Craig Peterson offers 29 game photos.
As for tonight:
San Jose State is at UC Riverside.
Louisiana Tech tackles Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Idaho is on the road in Green Bay to take on the
Nevada hosts Portland.
Chris Murray offers his usual look at the matchup and prediction plus a second feature.
Utah State welcomes Kent State.
Hawaii goes up against visiting Auburn.
Dayton Morinaga previews. Jeff Portnoy predicts all the opening round contests.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Dayton Morinaga writes about UH's Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic tourney which is loaded with some talented squads.
It was a tight one but host Wright State topped Idaho by two, 80-78, in overtime. The Vandals were better on the boards (41-28) and earned more assists (18-10) plus 12 more free throws and out-shot the Ohio team by three percentage points. Additionally, Kyle Barone achieved a 21/14 double-double. The guys from Moscow did commit seven more tournovers but, really, how did they lose? It was a three-point jumper at the buzzer that won it after Landon Tatum's halfcourt trey tied it in regulation. WS was 3-8 coming into the contest.
Idaho athletics recaps the contest.
Louisiana Tech won another, this one 56-53 versus visiting Northeastern. The Bulldogs were out-boarded 45-26 but posted 10 blocked shots (seven by freshman Michale Kyser) and nabbed 13 steals. Backcourter Raheem Appleby totaled 22 points and, yes, Brandon Gibson was second with 15, in addition to leading LT with five boards.
LT athletics has the details.
Host Utah State had a six point (34-28) halftime lead over Texas Arlington, lost two of those points in the second half and won 73-69. There was a heavy dose of Preston-digitation at work.
Tony Jones, Shawn Harrison, Matt Sonnenberg and Curtis Lundstrom each offer game reports. Craig Peterson/Cache Valley Daily serves up 24 superb game photos.
San Jose State welcomed scoring challenged UC Davis (owner of a minus 15-point scoring differential) to The Event Center and enjoyed a 41-26 lead after the initial 20 minutes. James Kinney totaled 24 points as the Spartans cruised to a 79-59 win.
SJSU athletics serves up the scoop.
Adam Zagoria writes that Missouri and New Mexico State may be in the running for Pitt departee Khem Birch although the situation sounds like a mess with no future destinations anywhere near the horizon.
Robert Kuwada looks at Kevin Olekaibe's Monday night performance against Boise State. Fresno State travels to Tempe to face Arizona State tonight. Robert also provides this Bulldog update.
Jason Groves looks at various aspects of New Mexico State's numbers. Yes, Virginia, Christian Kabongo will be back on the court for tonight's matchup with McNeese State.
As Nevada prepares for visiting Portland tonight, Chris Murray has been furiously hitting the keys here, here and here. Then, he posted his WAC team rankings.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
First the why.
His totals may be modest: four games, 8.8 points per contest, 52% shooting, 45% from trey land, 8-8 at the foul line, a 9/6 assist-to-turnover ratio.
But a deeper examination shows (working backwards):
* versus Seattle: 29 minutes, 11 points 1-3 from three, seven rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals
* versus Wichita State: 24 minutes, 12 points. 2-3 from long distance
* versus Utah Valley: 18 minutes, 10 points, 2-2 from long range, three rebounds, three assists
* 19 minutes of play with negligible results against Pacific
Actually, what may be even more important is how he has now adapted to Stew Morrill's system. He 'gets' it -- at least to a very positive degree -- and this understanding will only grow larger in time. Obviously, Berger was a work-in-progress earlier in the season when he didn't even get off the bench so notice how quickly he moved forward.
Now the who.
The 6-foot-6 Berger is a late summer LDS mission returnee. He played in 2008-09 as a freshman for Chemeketa Community College in Oregon where he averaged 16.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals a game.
His father coached so being in that milieu has seemingly aided his grasping of the Morrill Way.
New Mexico State had no resistance from Southern University to the tune of 91-66 as a 54 point second half did the job. Wendell McKines' double-double of 20/16 paced the Aggies and Hamidu Rahman powered up his own DD of 16/9.
Jason Groves reports as does Sam Wasson.
Fresno State made it close but the Boise State Broncos prevailed up in Idaho 70-63. A healthier Kevin Olekaibe totaled 28 points on 17 shots while backcourt mate Tyler Johnson contributed 17. The Bulldogs shot 46% overall and held the Broncos to 40% but a 22-36 rebounding deficit played out well for the hosts.
Nick Jezierny tweeted the matchup, plus here is Nick's game report. The Fresno Bee also offers a take.
Matt Sonnenberg, as well as many, if not most Aggie fans, has developed a man crush on Preston (Reign of Terror) Medlin. Check out Matt's writing style -- he's living large injecting some 'Refraction' into his prose and PTW truly appreciates his efforts. You will too.
Per Tony Jones, it's Berger time in Logan.
Jeff Portnoy checks in with some frank analysis all about UH hoops.
Louisiana Tech hosts Northeastern.
Idaho is in Dayton to matchup with Wright State.
San Jose State University welcomes UC Davis.
In the Athletes In Action Classic in Logan, Utah State goes up against future WAC member Texas Arlington. Tony Jones and Kraig Williams and Shawn Harrison each preview.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Besides one at Northern Arizona, there's a head coach opening now at Idaho State (Big Sky Conference) as Joe O'Brien has stepped down.
Will any WAC assistants toss their résumés into the mix?
There is also an opening at UNC Greensboro as Coach Mike Dement has stepped aside.
Hawai‘i’s Vander Joaquim has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 12-18. The honor marks the first career WAC Player of the Week award for Joaquim.
Joaquim, a junior center from Luanda, Angola (Eastern Utah CC), led Hawai‘i to a 2-0 record last week with wins over Hawaii-Hilo and North Carolina A&T. In the 79-66 victory over Hawaii-Hilo, Joaquim recorded his second straight double-double of the season with 19 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. He scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half to help UH turn a two-point halftime deficit into a double-digit win. He also posted 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in a 65-57 win over North Carolina A&T as UH won its third straight game.
On the week, Joaquim averaged 17.7 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 assists per game. He shot 65.0 percent (13-of-20) from the field and 90.0 percent (9-of-10) from the free throw line.
* Fresno State sophomore forward Jerry Brown
* Idaho senior guard Landon Tatum
* Louisiana Tech freshman guard Raheem Appleby
* Nevada senior forward Olek Czyz
* New Mexico State senior guard Hernst Laroche
* Utah State sophomore guard Preston Medlin
So what has he accomplished so far this season for the Thunderbirds?
In eight games to date (21 minutes a contest), 8.3 points per game, 54% overall shooting, 2-7 from long distance, 10-14 from the foul line, 5.3 rebounds each time out, a 45/11 assist-to-turnover ration plus 20 steals.
Heck, his board work is tied for first on the team!
Landon Tatum is a senior for the Vandals, as is second-leading passer Deremy Geiger, so there will be opportunity for playing time to be earned and Douglas looks to be the primo candidate at the point.
Hawaii hosted North Carolina A&T Sunday night and, while it was closer than expected, the Rainbow Warriors took a 65-57 win. Dayton Morinaga reports.
New Mexico State hosts Southern tonight -- no word if Christian Kabongo will be in the lineup but it's very unlikely (and he won't be needed). Jason Groves previews.
Fresno State renews the relationship with Boise State, this one on the road. Robert Kuwada takes a look.
Practice doesn't make perfect since that an unreachable state but it facilitates progress -- Shawn Harrison authors the article.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
In 2008-09, he got his feet wet as a freshman but then as a sophomore, he was forced to redshirt after breaking a foot.
As a sophomore again in 2010-11, he averaged 9.2 points and 5.1 rebounds a contest but tore an ACL in the first conference game of the season and was lost.
PTW envisioned Gibson immediately taking to new Coach Mike White's up tempo styles offensively and defensively and being the top scorer and rebounder for the Bulldogs.
That hasn't happened.
In 10 games (four starts) so far this season, Gibson is playing just under 15 minutes a game and averaging just 2.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 17% overall, 16% on trey attempts.
What's the story?
Is he still feeling the effect of his ACL injury?
Maybe we missed it but PTW hasn't seen any coverage regarding Gibson. Louisiana Tech is 6-5 with his minimal contributions -- imagine where they might be with Gibson leading the way.
Louisiana Tech is winning the close ones, this time 71-68 against University Arkansas Little Rock. A 46 point Bulldog second half overcame a nine point halftime deficit. Raheem Appleby exploded for 26 points and Kenneth Smith contributed 18 -- both off the bench. PTW apparently has a junx a la Sports Illustrated covers as Cordarius Johnson went scoreless.
LT athletics has the details.
It looks like the Wolf Pack is clicking as Nevada downed UC Riverside 71-47. Four of Coach David Carter's crew went for double figures: Malik Story and Olek Czyz with 15 points apiece, Dario Hunt went for 12 and Deonte Burton 10 points. UNR held the Highlanders to 30% shooting and just nine free throw attempts.
Chris Murray reports on the game. Then, Chris offers various notes.
Utah State continued the streak with a 78-53 victory over Seattle. Preston Medlin led with 22 points while Kyisean Reed put up 13 and Danny Berger 11 points. The Aggies shot 50% overall, holding the Redhawks to a paltry 29%.
Martin Renzhofer checks in. As does Curtis Lindstrom plus Shawn Harrison.
Idaho enjoyed a 28-24 lead over Cal State Bakersfield after 20 minutes but R-E-A-L-L-Y expanded it later to the tune of a 72-44 walloping. Kyle Barone paced the Vandals with 13 points and Landon Tatum was right behind with 12. The shooting differential: 57% to 27%.
Josh Wright was present.
Cal Poly won both 20 minutes on the way to a 65-46 win over host Fresno State. Jonathan Wills totaled 14 points and Jerry Brown added 10. The Bulldogs were out-shot 34% to 51%.
Robert Kuwada offers the details.
Dayton Morinaga updates his take on the UH win over Hawaii-Hilo on Friday.
Brian McInnis looks back (Hawaii-Hilo) and forward (North Carolina A&T, tonight plus Hawaii-Hilo, future) and spotlights Zane Johnson's shooting.
Dayton Morinaga looks at travel arrangement involving today's matchup.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Dayton Morinaga reports that UH took down island brethren Hawaii-Hilo 79-66 behind the trio of Shaq Stokes, Vander Joaquim and Joston Thomas.
A large set of games tonight, all home contests. The competition looks less than fierce though.
Utah State hosts Seattle. Tony Jones writes that football will subtract from hoops. Tony also provides quotes from Coach Stew Morrill's press conference.
Shawn Harrison checks in with a game preview.
Idaho athletics does the same with Cal State Bakersfield.
And Fresno State athletics with Cal Poly.
Louisiana Tech athletics covers the welcoming of UALR.
Finally, Nevada has UC Riverside coming to town. Chris Murray provides his keys to the contest and prediction. Chris also looks at the numbers -- of fannies in the seats. Completing the trifecta, Chris also digs into the Wolf Pack 2008 recruiting class in a very interesting piece.
Joe Santoro also previews the matchup for the Silver & Blue Sports site.
Beky Beaton has tweeted that 6-foot-7 Beehive State prepster Erik Mika has gone with BYU -- Utah State and Weber State had offered.
InterMount offered a followup tweet.
Friday, December 16, 2011
In 11 starts in 31 games as a frosh @ Louisiana Tech (16.4 minutes per game), he averaged 4.3 points on a team badly in need of offensive any firepower available.
After a coaching change and with greater talent (added competition plus more players requiring defensive attention) added to the team, Johnson has blossomed in a 13 points per contest sophomore stalwart in 27+ minutes per game. He is shooting 44% overall, 39% from long distance. Plus, Johnson is grabbing a second-on-the-team 4.6 rebounds each time out.
If Johnson keeps climbing, look for him to start receiving some All-WAC attention as an upperclassman.
Jeff Portnoy goes all acronym-y in relation to Rainbow Warrior hoops.
It's finals and Malik Story dominating Chris Murray's latest.
Tony Jones covers the Aggie season to date, Brockeith Pane and what is set for the rest of the year.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Last season for Idaho, it was primarily the Jeff Ledbetter Show in the Vandal backcourt. The senior wanted to take the tough shots and made a number of them, to the tune of 45% on 218 long distance attempts.
But Ledbetter graduated.
This season, Geiger has taken the reins of go-to guy.
After shooting 32% overall and 31% on 159 three-pointers in 2010-11, the senior has stepped it up.
He has moved his points per game average from 8.7 to 14.1 while upping is accuracy to 48% and 46% respectively.
In fact, as a team Coach Don Verlin's squad sits at 50% overall shooting while holding its collective opponents to 40%, 44% on treys to 34%.
It's a remarkable improvement from one season to the next and congratulations to Deremy Geiger for putting in the work necessary to accomplish what he has done.
It was a 2-0 evening.
Follow Anthony Esparza on Twitter, especially on game night, where and when he tracks New Mexico State games.
Speaking of such, the Aggies slammed visiting Western New Mexico 92-65 last night. Wendell McKines and Hernst Laroche each scored 18 points and Hamidu Rahman grabbed 13 rebounds. Remi Barry totaled 18 minutes on the court, scoring seven points and nabbing four boards. NMSU went to the foul line 42 times compared to 13 attempts for WNM.
Jason Groves was present and accounted for. Sam Wasson serves up photos of the matchup. Jason also blogged about the game.
Host Louisiana Tech proved to be two points better than McNeese State, 60-58, as Cordarius Johnson paced the Bulldogs with 19 points. Coach Mike White must have enjoyed the ball movement as LT racked up 18 assists on 24 baskets.
Louisiana Tech athletics has a game report.
Chris Murray offers a story/link on an incoming recruit who is receiving some media attention. PTE doesn't know how he pronounces his first name but we're going to tag him The Marquis of D.
Matt Sonnenberg slogged long and hard through 30 degree temps to keep his appointed round in checking out a pair of Utah State signees.
No games are scheduled for today (Thursday).
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Per Jason Groves: Christian Kabongo is suspended.
Dayton Morinaga reports that Zane Johnson and Jeremiah Ostrowski will very soon be moving their mortarboard tassels from right to left. A hearty congratulations to both.
Chris Murray serves up a WAC notes column.
Louisiana Tech hosts McNeese State tonight. There's 200 miles of distance between the two Bayou State schools and Bulldog Coach Mike White is hoping at least a few points in LT's favor.
New Mexico State welcomes Western New Mexico and a Remi Barry sighting may be upon us!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
James Treadway writes about basketball and life in Serbia, employing former Gonzaga idol Adam Morrison as a focal point. Read it and you'll find it was time well spent.
Former Utah State star Jaycee Carroll is mentioned in the piece.
Oscar Robertson checks in with suggestions to balance the wielding of power between the NCAA plus its schools and student-athletes. His offerings seem sensible but the NCAA won't budge unless forced to do so by the courts or Congress.
Talked briefly with Utah State signee/Yuba College frontcourter Shawn Harris' father a weekend ago as Yuba College was winning a tournament in Monterey. In fact, it seemed the Harris family had come down from northern California to watch the family pride play.
Sean looked like he'll help out the Aggies at power forward and possibly even play away from the basket some although the latter is not his current role. Depending on the USU roster makeup, it may be worthwhile to have him redshirt his first year in Logan so as to advance both his body and skills set as he's in his first season back from a two-year mission.
Yuba College is loaded with talent, 10-deep, so numbers won't be an accurate measuring stick for any player on Coach Doug Cornelius' squad. It's a hustling, unselfish group of talents who are used to winning so basketball programs landing anyone from YC will be bolstered.
Sam Wasson writes about the Aggie Sunday loss to UTEP.
Jason Groves does also, looking at some of the on-court lapses in the contest plus in earlier matchups.
Teddy Feinberg serves up a commentary on the Aggies and the game.
Anthony Esparza has started up a New Mexico State blog -- bookmark it.
Chris Murray identifies a major factor in the Wolf Pack rise this season.
Jeff Portnoy's latest is in praise of Miah
Matt Sonnenberg had PTW at Pre-Med.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Nevada's Deonte Burton has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 5-11. The honor marks the third career WAC Player of the Week award for Burton.
Burton, a sophomore guard from Los Angeles, Calif. (Compton Centennial HS), led the Wolf Pack to a pair of road victories over Arizona State and Montana last week. Burton began the week scoring a game-high 28 points in a 69-61 victory at Arizona State, connecting on 6-of-11 field goals, 3-of-6 three-pointers and 13-of-15 free throws. It was Nevada's second consecutive victory over a Pac-12 opponent. In a 70-64 win at Montana, Burton again posted a game-high for the third consecutive outing scoring 21 points on 5-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-6 makes from beyond the arc. He finished the night against Montana with a game-high five assists without a turnover.
On the week, Burton averaged 24.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He shot 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from the field, 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from three-point range and 87.5 percent (21-of-24) from the free throw line.
* Fresno State senior guard Jonathan Wills
* Hawai'i junior forward Vander Joaquim
* Idaho sophomore guard Stephen Madison
* Louisiana Tech sophomore guard Cordarius Johnson
* New Mexico State senior guard Hernst Laroche
* Utah State sophomore guard Preston Medlin
6-foot-5 San Diego guard/wing Ben Vozzola has decided to transfer. It's a whole new world now but he was being recruited by Nevada and Fresno State (and others) as a senior.
Here's an ESPN July 2009 evaluation:
Despite having a willowy frame that needs a significant amount of strength, Vozzola is a high-major recruit. He is a deceptive athlete with good quickness and he can get to the rim off the bounce. The most intriguing aspect of his game is his perimeter skill package. His passing and handle are high level both in transition as well as in the half-court set. Despite a frame that is craving muscle he can break down defenders with his slick handle and either deliver a nifty assist or finish at the rim. His jump shot is streaky, but it's not uncommon for him to have games with more than 5 threes. He is much better in a catch and shoot situation because he lacks the strength to pull-up in traffic off the dribble.For what it's worth, he is listed as 180 pounds on the Torero site. He played in three games this season for a total of 10 minutes but hadn't been on the court for the last three games.
Idaho is liking it on the road, this time downing Seattle 73-62. The Vandals took 27 less shots than the Redhawks but 55% shooting carried the day. Stephen Madison led the scoring with 17 points (plus seven boards) while Djim Bandjoumel and Matt Borton each tallied 13.
Vandal athletics offers a game report as does Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
Not to offer any cloudiness on a very nice effort but Kyle Barone took but seven shots. Are opponents just 'Welcome Wagoning' it into the paint on him?
It was host UTEP four points better than New Mexico State, 73-69. Hernst Laroche led with 13 points and Wendell McKines totaled but four points in 35 minutes. He did grab 11 rebounds.
Jason Groves was present and accounted for. Jason also offers a game review blog entry. Frank Knight looks at the contest from the Miner perspective.
Another blog entry by Jason is a must-read.
Hawaii took down visiting UC Davis 74-61 after being behind 39-34 at halftime. Zane Johnson returned to shooting form with 19 points while Vander Joaquim went big via a 16/15 double-double. Bobby Miles started at the point, playing 27 minutes while starter Jeremiah Ostrowski manned the other backcourt slot for 24 minutes -- Shaquille Stokes was on the court for 13. The Rainbow Warriors attempted seven treys, UC Davis 30.
Wes Nakama has the details on the Hawaii 2.0 contest.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
From one of Richard Obert's latest columns:
"Glendale Joy Christian, off to a 3-3 start im boys basketball, will be without 6-foot-11 junior forward/center Jeremiah April indefinitely with a leg injury. April had 18 points in his last game. He was averaging more than 14 points and six rebounds.
Pamela April, Jeremiah's mom, said she expects her son to be back playing this season. There is no timetable.April is being recruited by New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Loyola, among others."
New Mexico State is in El Paso today looking to sweep the Miners -- Jason Groves previews the matchup. Jason also offers a blog entry on how teams are attempting to negate the skills of Wendell McKines. Sam Wasson also writes about the Aggie - Miner contest.
Hawaii is hosting UC Davis as Dayton Morinaga takes a look at the game.
Fresh off a solid win over Oregon State, Idaho is in Seattle to face the Redhawks.
Also, former Fresno Stater Greg Smith will be in the training camp of the Houston Rockets.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
It was a 1-4 Saturday for the Western Athletic Conference.
Host Oregon was two better than Fresno State in each half and won 74-70. Jonathan Wills led the way with 20 points while Kevin Foster totaled 11 points and six boards. The Ducks took 13 less shots but connected on 56% of their attempts. Kevin Olekaibe tweaked an ankle and played just 18 minutes.
The Fresno Bee offers a game report as does the Register-Guard and The Oregonian.
Visiting Louisiana Tech lost both halves, the initial one by 13 points, and fell 78-62 to Southern Mississippi. Trevor Gaskins paced the Bulldogs with 15 points. LT was out-shot 38% to 51%. Louisiana Tech athletics provides a game report as does The Clarion-Ledger.
Utah State went to Wichita State and the Shockers came away with an 83-76 win. Brockeith Pane topped the Aggie scoring with 18 points and Preston Medlin contributed 15. Redshirt frosh Danny Berger was again in double figures with 12. USU was out-boarded 35-20 plus the Shockers made six more treys.
Shawn Harrison was on-site (thank you to the HJN execs)
Nevada was six better -- 76 to 70 -- than host Montana. Deonte Burton led the Wolf Pack with 21 points while Olek Czyz was next with 17 points. Dario Hunt garnered 10 rebounds.
Chris Murray offers dual reports here and here.
Cal Poly came north and made it a sweep of San Jose State by the score of 47-40. SJSU shot 24% overall, 28% on treys and had nine more free throw attempts than the Mustangs who shot 33% and 29% respectively. Keith Shamburger went for the trifecta, leading the Spartans in points (19), rebounds (7) and assists (4).
SJSU athletics serves up a game report.
Northern Arizona University Coach Mike Adras resigned last night after posting a 2-7 early season record. NAU is a member of the Big Sky Conference.
Dave Brown, a former women's team coach at the school and longtime holder of many positions at the school, has been named interim coach.
It's interesting that none of the three assistant coaches were placed in that position but experience may be why as two assistants have been in Flagstaff going into their third season and the other is entering his second year.
So why is this posted on a WAC blog?
The coaching search is supposed to begin immediately but will someone be hired before the current season is completed? Would that have to be someone not currently in the D-1 ranks or even the other levels?
It seems unlikely that a current head coach would his his team in mid-season but possibly an assistant would make that jump, however awkward.
Could that be a WAC assistant coach?
All of the following is SPECULATION and has NO BASIS in fact but might former Louisiana Tech Coach Kerry Rupp, now operations director at Hawaii, be interested? He's coached at nearby Utah as well as at UAB and Indiana.
How about Idaho Associate Head Coach Ray Lopes, whose coaching résumé is basically out west and Oklahoma?
Or Nevada Associate head Coach Doug Novsek?
Maybe Tim Duryea, in his 11th year at Utah State?
Northern Arizona was 19-13 last season, 9-7 in conference play. The record was 14-14, 8-8 the year before, under .500 prior to that but a solid 18-12 and 11-5 in 2006-07.
The Lumberjack program is known for its shooting guard style so current players and prospective recruits have to be wondering if that will remain the same, or not. There are three touted frosh backcourters, two who are playing 27 and 20 minutes per game thus far.
It's hard to determine the level of attractiveness of NAU's basketball program and, of course, pay would also be a consideration.
Idaho tripped to Corvallis last evening and led 35-24 after the initial 20 minutes. It was 56-38 a little more than halfway through the second half but the Beavers closed to within eight points with four minutes remaining. However, Idaho finished strong and won 74-60, outscoring OSU in both halves. Deremy Geiger exploded for 27 points, including shooting 7-9 from three-point range. The Vandals shot 50% overall, 57% from long distance to Oregon State's 33% and 13% respectively. It's a big, big win.
Kevin Hampton reports.
Nevada is in Missoula tonight for a match with Montana and Chris Murray serves up his keys to the game plus a prediction. Chris also offers another piece on the game. FYI: the weather at 8 p.m. Friday night was 20 degrees. Grizzly fans must be very hearty or maybe PTW is just a wuss. I wonder how a poll on those subjects would play out? Hmmmmm.
San Jose State hosts Cal Poly in a rematch as the Mustangs took the earlier contest 79-52.
Louisiana Tech is in Hattiesburg to battle tough Southern Mississippi, owners of two wins this season against New Mexico State.
Utah State is in Kansas, Wichita to be specific, to take on the Shockers. Wichita State hosted UNLV back on December 4 and took out the Rebels 89-70.
Shawn Harrison and Tony Jones preview.
Fresno State is facing Phil Knight U, otherwise known as the Pac-12 Oregon Ducks, who are coming off a 79-65 road loss to BYU.
PTW loves it! Matt Sonnenberg/The Sagebrush begins his article on Steven Thornton's departure with a cultural reference. He even adds a film reference, consciously or unconsciously, later on. We've been telling ya, the man has style.
Zane Johnson is back with another video about life on the road.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Chris Murray has a feature up on Nevada's propensity to get to the foul line so far this season.
Hawaii's Big O is back on the basketball team as Dayton Morinaga and Brian McInnis report.
Idaho is in Corvallis to face 6-1 Oregon State in the only WAC game tonight. Coach Craig Robinson's squad is averaging 80 points per game after putting up 69.3, 60.3 and 60.8 in the past three seasons. Also worth noting: employing a man-to-man defense has produced just under 11 steals a game, fourth in the nation, for OSU.
The 24+ minute Vlog of the New Mexico State - Arizona matchup is available courtesy of Ben and Keegan Prezlak.
Nick Jezierny (remember him?) writes about Boise State's basketball return to the WAC.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Mark Knight @ WestCoastRecruiting has a feature up on Trey Dickerson, a 2012 6-foot-1 SoCal backcourter, with Nevada and Fresno State getting serious.
Tony Jones has confirmation that Utah State's Brady Jardine is gone for this season. Tony also liked what he saw of Danny Berger (I had earlier typed Mitch).
Shawn Harrison looks back at USU's victory over Utah Valley.
Jason Groves looks backwards and forwards at New Mexico State so far this go-around.
Sam Wasson has posted his weekly interview with Coach Marvin Menzies.
Every season requires some sort of tweaking for a player and Dario Hunt is no different as Chris Murray reports.
Jeff Portnoy assesses the positive and negatives of the Rainbow Warriors.
Dayton Morinaga serves up the latest video from Zane Johnson.
Coach Don Verlin is direct and honest in this tweet from Vandal Nation:
Verlin on why [Djim] Bandoumel didn't play first half, "Djim didn't make the last road trip, I haven't been happy with his effort in practice."
Welcome back Boise State basketball (as of July 1, 2013). That was short.
Host Colorado was up 38-23 at the half against Fresno State and that margin proved too difficult to overcome and the Boulder-ites prevailed 71-64. Soph backcourter Kevin Olekaibe scored 26 points but on 8-24 overall shooting. It was a weird numbers game altogether as the Bulldogs took 61 shot attempts (making 22) while the victorious Buffaloes put up but 37 shots, making 19. Colorado was 27-32 at the foul line, Fresno State 14-19. In 15 minutes of play, Kevin Foster registered just one rebound.
The Fresno Bee and the Boulder Daily Camera offer game reports.
It was ASU by two, 28-27, versus Nevada after 20 minutes but the Wolf Pack turned that around in the second half and won 69-61 in Tempe. Deonte Burton continued his recent upsurge in point production, totaling 28, boosted by going 13-15 from the foul line. The going-to-the-free-throw-line differential: 33 for Coach David Carter's group to 18 for Arizona State. Burton also racked up four rebounds, four steals and three assists.
The Reno Gazette-Journal has the details.
Washington State was 10 better than Idaho (35-25) in the initial period But the Vandals drew close, in a tie actually, before falling 66-64.
Vince Grippi serves up the scoop on the last second Couger shot that pushed WSU to victory. It was made by Reggie Moore, a former Fresno State commit.
VandalNation serves up a post-game video.
Host California took it to SJSU early, leading 43-15 at the half. It finished a Bezerkeley-like 81-36.
John Crumpacker and Jeff Faraudo check in.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Former San Jose State University star Adrian Oliver is back from playing in Greece and made this Twitter announcement:
#SacramentoKings training camp I'm comin. Bringing it back home where it started to start a dream"
Josh Gershon recently tweeted on Nevada signee Marqueze Coleman:
"Marqueze Coleman giving good effort for Alemany. Very good defender. He should be a nice player for Nevada"
It's early but at some point it won't be -- here are the ratings for each WAC team:
* New Mexico State 65
* Nevada 139
* Fresno State 154
* Utah State 191
* Louisiana Tech 243
* San Jose State 258
* Idaho 291
* Hawaii 308
Is 26 points and 20 rebounds a double-double-double? Those are the numbers Tanner Giddings put up last night as Howard Senzell reports.
Willy Shakes could break your ankles with a sonnet or two so PTW is employing him vis-a-vis our headline about Nevada fans taking to the court after topping Washington -- Eric Castillo reports.
For those thinking we were going to debate joining fraternities and sororities, sorry.
Utah State righted its ship to the tune of a 63-54 homecourt victory as a nine-point first half point differential did the trick. Preston Medlin led with 13 points, Kyisean Reed contributed 11 and former redshirt-this-season Danny Berger reached double figures with 10. Brockeith Pane had another off shooting night, going 3-11.
Matt Sonnenberg (loved the B & R photo), Shawn Harrison and Kraig Williams all offer game reports, with Olivia Newton-John's second biggest hit playing in the background.
Craig Peterson has posted 36 game photos.
Host Pacific led Hawaii 29-27 at the half and the home sweet home meme rang true as the Rainbow Warriors fell 64-54. Coach Gib Arnold's guys shot 12% from long distance, including 1-7 from Zane Johnson.
Dayton Morinaga checks in. So does Jagdip Dhillon for the Stockton Record.
Louisiana Tech is on a two-game in-state winning streak after stopping Northwestern State 94-93 in double overtime. The blossoming Cordarius Johnson, a sophomore, led the Bulldogs with 23 points and nine boards. Four other Techers scored in double figures. Coach Mike White's bunch tallied 23 assists on 33 baskets, including going 13-25 from three-point range.
Jimmy Watson provides the details.
Chris Murray serves up his keys to the Wednesday night matchup with host Arizona State and also offers a prediction. Chris has also posted a second piece.
Fresno State is going Rocky Mountain High in Boulder tonight.
Idaho is welcoming Washington State.
San Jose State makes it a Pac-12 quartet of contests by visiting Berkeley to play Cal.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
What did Stew Morrill ever do to deserve what his Aggies have encountered this season? With Brady Jardine now waylaid for possibly the season, now Morgan Grim is ill, all per Tony Jones.
The Aggies host Utah Valley tonight. Kraig Williams, Shawn Harrison and the Tony Jones link above all cover the pre-game territory.
Jason Groves takes on the "If Only Remi Barry Fan Club" as the young man who is probably still applying Rustoleum in getting ready for his debut doesn't need this pressure. Why not go with Coach Marvin Menzies' judgment on this? After all, he's paid to win games (or else) and would surely use someone he deemed ready and able to contribute.
Dayton Morinaga writes that Hawaii will be seeing stripes again, but on the road this time tonight.
Continuing a series of matchups with in-state rivals, Louisiana Tech hosts Northwestern State. LT athletics looks at the contest.
Robert Kuwada writes about Coach Rodney Terry and recruiting sensibilities.