Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Kyisean Reed feature

BIAH maestro Rob Dauster has posted an interesting piece on Utah State's Kyisean Reed, he of the sometimes they bite you, sometimes they nuzzle you variety.

Andy Katz summarizing the two WAC BB matchups

Andy Katz checks in on the Nevada - Iona and Drake - New Mexico State pairings:

"Nevada at Iona, Feb. 18 (4 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2): The Wolf Pack are undefeated in the WAC. Iona is tied with Loyola (Md.) and Manhattan in the MAAC. But both teams aren’t locks for the NCAAs if they don’t win their respective conference tournaments. That’s why this game will be critical to the cause. A win by Nevada thousands of miles from Reno will get the Pack credit with the selection committee. Neither team has a standout nonconference win but there is star power on the court. Deonte Burton is a legit scorer for the Wolf Pack. Scott Machado is one of the top four point guards in the country. This will likely be an up-tempo game and a good watch. Iona coach Tim Cluess didn’t want a West Coast team for return travel. But he can’t dismiss the good fortune of at least getting a conference leader"
and
"Drake at New Mexico State, 3 p.m., ESPNU: Drake has come on a bit lately with the weekend win over Wichita State. NMSU is the second-best team in the WAC. This game has potential between teams that could be pests in their respective conference tournaments"

A Daquan Brown update

Per Adam Zagoria, former Fresno State big Daquan Brown has transferred to Hofstra and will be looking to play in the fall semester.

Tuesday's WAC-aroo

Chris Murray writes about Nevada and door knocking on the Top 25. Chris also catches readers up on all four of the November signees for the Wolf Pack. With the BracketBuster announcement completed, Chris analyzes Iona.

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Robert Kuwada offers a WAC notes column, leading off with some illuminating numbers associating free throw attempts and home court status.

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Provocatively titled "The Road to Vegas," which conjures up the ghost of Hunter S. Thompson, Jason Groves has a post up with all sorts of WAC basketball items. Jason also offers up pertinent information on The Drake, New Mexico State's BB foe. You either love or hate The Drake and do not fret for this engagement will not be broken off.

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Dayton Morinaga includes information on Montana (the UH BB opponent and host), plus other WAC tidbits in his latest. 

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Shawn Harrison serves up a piece on UC Santa Barbara, the Aggie BB foe.

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Medlin-mania is spreading in Logan and certainly other WAC outposts -- Tony Jones has the details.

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Tony tweeted this on the 28th:

"San Jose State spokesman Lawrence Fan tells the Tribune that Keith Shamburger missed tonight's game with a bad back...not suspended"
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Jay Drew tweeted this recruiting update:
"Former Springville High basketball star Raul Delgado, now at Western Nebraska CC, has committed to sign with BYU"
Delgado had also been offered by Utah State among others.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The BB games

From Jason Erickson, WAC Director of Media Relations:

Pairings for the tenth annual BracketBusters – a three-day men’s college basketball event pitting NCAA Championship hopefuls Friday, Feb. 17 - Sunday, Feb. 19 – were announced ...

... The WAC received two of the 13 television games. Nevada will travel to play Iona, while New Mexico State will host Drake. Both games will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18. The Nevada game will be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2, while the New Mexico State game will be broadcast on ESPNU ...

... Saturday, Feb. 18 (All times Eastern)

Drake at New Mexico State, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
Nevada at Iona, 4 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN3) ...

... The other six WAC teams that were not selected to compete in a BracketBusters television game will play non-conference opponents on Saturday, Feb. 18. Those matchups are as follows:

WAC Non-TV Matchups (Saturday, Feb. 18)
Fresno State at Cal State Northridge, 7 p.m. PT
Hawai‘i at Montana, TBA
Portland State at Idaho, TBA
Central Arkansas at Louisiana Tech, 3 p.m. CT
San Jose State at Sacramento State, TBA
UC Santa Barbara at Utah State, 7 p.m. MT
A quick PTW take: maybe the exposure in New York will be beneficial but Nevada has to cross the country to play Iona. Plus, Hawaii has to fly all the way into Montana in mid-February, then hit Las Cruces five days later. On the other hand, Fresno State and San Jose State get relatively short bus trips.

Preston Medlin named WAC POW

From Jason Erickson, WAC Director of Media Relations:

Utah State's Preston Medlin has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 23-29. The honor marks the first career WAC Player of the Week for Medlin.

Medlin, a sophomore guard from Carrollton, Texas (Hebron HS), led Utah State to a 2-0 home record last week with wins over Hawai'i (77-72) and San Jose State (82-65). Against the Rainbow Warriors, Medlin scored 25 points as he was 5-of-11 from the field, 2-of-5 from three-point range and 13-of-14 at the free throw line. He also had two rebounds, two assists and one steal in the game. Against the Spartans, Medlin scored 15 points as he was 5-of-10 from the field, 3-of-6 from behind the arc and 2-for-2 at the free throw line. He also pulled down five rebounds and dished out four assists in the game.

On the week, Medlin averaged 20.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He shot 47.6 percent (10-of-21) from the field, 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from three-point range and 93.8 percent (15-of-16) from the free throw line.

Other nominees: 


* Fresno State sophomore guard Kevin Olekaibe 
* Hawai'i junior forward Vander Joaquim 
* Idaho senior forward Djim Bandoumel 
* Nevada senior forward Olek Czyz 
* New Mexico State senior forward Wendell McKines

Mike Adras -- bully and liar as coach

The December firing of Northern Arizona Coach Mike Adras has finally been explained, courtesy of Jacob May/Arizona Daily Sun.

Yes, college coaches are in a business that values winning -- despite official platitudes from higher ups and fans -- above all else but some behaviors are illegal and others should simply be intolerable. What Adras did surely pales in comparison to the behavior and actions of many others in his former shoes but that fails to offer any justification.

Here's a little something we authored on January 1 of this year.

Change the dates of the season

Dan Wolken has a proposal for college basketball and no, it's not raise the basket height to 12 feet or bring back the shorty pants from yesteryear. This one actually makes some sense.

Curses

Earlier this week in the WAC update at Rush The Court, PTW wrote this about New Mexico State's Hamidu Rahman:

"At the risk of sounding like a legal representative of the Department of Homeland Security, an apology is due. A pre-season prediction by moi that senior Hamidu Rahman would relegated to coming off the bench by 6-foot-10 sophomore Tshilidzi Nephawe in 2011-12 has proven to be invalid. Rahman has started all 20 New Mexico State games and is averaging 10.4 points (14.0 in conference action) and 6.6 boards while shooting 63% on the season. Meanwhile, Nephawe is a 43% marksman and averaging 5.2 and 3.1 respectively. Of late, Rahman has enjoyed 20 points and eight boards (in 22 minutes) matching up with San Jose State, followed by 16 points and six rebounds versus Hawaii (in 20 minutes). It was 12 and six in 17 minutes versus Idaho prior to SJSU.

The senior out of New Jersey was nagged by injuries last season, averaging 7.2 points per game while making 49% of his shot attempts. This go-around, he is healthy and showing his full potential."
Then what happens?

Against Nevada, Rahman plays 15 minutes, scoring four points and grabbing the same number of rebounds. Then, it's 16 minutes, eight points and five boards against smallish Fresno State. (was there some sort of injury involved causing the diminished PT or foul trouble or simply situational?)

Has the hex of being on the Sports Illustrated cover enbedded itself onto hindering anyone receiving praise from PTW?

Earlier this season (maybe it was the pre-season), PTW was singing the praises of LT's Brandon Gibson and he's 'enjoyed' what apparently is a jinxed shooting stroke in 2011-12.

PTW and the Typhoid Mary Touch -- a match made in ...

Monday morning's WAC hoop digest

No games until Wednesday when New Mexico State welcomes in Cal State Bakersfield.

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Jason Groves looks at the Aggies and the upcoming BracketBuster contests.

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The UI Argonaut has an eight-plus minute post game video up featuring Don Verlin, Stephen Madison and Djim Bandoumel discussing the loss to Hawaii.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Marqueze Coleman update

Eric Sondheimer serves up the latest on Nevada signee Marqueze Coleman. Coach David Carter sure looks like he's getting a talent.

Sunday report on Saturday's games

It was 28 apiece at the half between host Louisiana Tech and Nevada and the second 20 minutes concluded with the Wolf Pack winning by two, 65-63. Olek Czyz posted a 24/10 double-double for the victors with Raheem Appleby coming off the bench for a team-leading 17 Bulldogs points. Coach David Carter's squad shot 48% to 31% for Coach Mike White's bunch but the Pack committed 22 turnovers to 11 for the Ruston-ites.

Chris Murray was twittering.

Jerit Roser has a game report and Chris Murray was in Ruston (yet another high five to the Gazette-Journal management). Plus, Chris offers a 'notes' column.

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In Las Cruces, New Mexico State led Fresno State 35-27 at halftime, then lost the lead and it was 45 up at the 8:40 mark. The score went back and forth until the the Aggies pulled slightly ahead late and then triumphed 60-56. Wendell McKines was again out front for NMSU with a 20/10 double-double. The Bulldogs were led by Kevin Olekaibe's 17 points. Coach Marvin Menzie's group won the boards battle 42-24, 17 of which were offensive. New Mexico State shot 7-18 from the charity stripe.

Jason Groves tweeted the matchup.

Jason also serves up a multi-media take on the contest while Anthony Esparza offers his perspective.

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Utah State, powered by Kyisean Reed's 21 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, notched a victory it needed with an 82-65 victory over visiting San Jose State. Wing Mitch Bruneel added a season best 15 on 4-5 from long distance as the Aggies overall shot 10-21 on trey attempts. James Kinney paced the Spartans with 21 points and five assists. USU took the rebounding battle 37-29.

Tony Jones and Kraig Williams tweeted.

Kraig Williams, Shawn Harrison, Matt Sonnenberg and Tony Jones were in the house. Tony also offers a separate piece on Mitch Bruneel.

Craig J. Peterson has posted 43 game photos.

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Idaho welcomed Hawaii into Moscow and it was next to even, 36-35 in favor of the Vandals, after the initial 20 minutes. UH eventually pulled it out 76-70 in what defines a true team victory.

Brian McInnis was twittering.

Dayton Morinaga, John Blanchette and Theo Lawson all offer takes on the matchup.  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ballin' Is A Habit folks heart USU experience

The BIAH guys stumbled into heaven recently -- although we're not sure why they found Kraig Williams residing there (just kiddin') --  enjoyed an audience with William The One and Only, took in the gastronomic splendors of Logan, were mesmerized by their Spectrum Experience, interacted with groupies of all sexes ... did PTW leave anything out?

You MUST check it out or you'll miss one of the best reads of this season. After reading the piece (and all those that came before it) you'll be wanting them to pull into your town and on to your campus next season. Maybe Rob and Troy, who look quite dapper in their photo, will arrange some sort of bidding process for stops on next season's road marathon.

A recruit with a New Mexico State mention

Here's a new name -- Gary Williams -- linked to New Mexico State as well as a number of other schools.

Saturday's game previews and more

Louisiana Tech enjoys the privilege of hosting Nevada tonight and it might be a Bulldog squad minus freshman backcourter Raheem Appleby due to injury. It's appearing to these eyes that the Wolf Pack will be way too strong upfront for LT.

Chris Murray provides his keys to the game plus a prediction. Chris also serves up another look at the pairing. Jerit Roser looks at how LT is approaching the game.

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Fresno State has to face what will be an undeniably upset New Mexico State squad in Las Cruces.

Robert Kuwada checks in. 

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Will San Jose State get Spectrum-ized or will facing a similar style of play to Thursday's opponent (Idaho) aid the Spartans against Utah State? Keith Shamburger is out for the game due his flagrant foul late in the loss to Idaho.

Tony Jones and Shawn Harrison pre-game the duet. 

Matt Sonnenberg has a piece up on the USU addition of Matt Lopez. Anyone have the details on the how and why of Lopez, a young man out of New Joisey, becoming a Logan resident -- usually there's a coaching connection of some degree.

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Hawaii meets up with Idaho in Moscow in a game the Rainbow Warriors really need but one the Vandals also want in order to keep close to Nevada and tied with New Mexico State.

Dayton Morinaga has a preview.

Brian McInnis provides a 'notes' column.

Friday, January 27, 2012

More for Friday

bpd posted some specific recruiting news at the USUFans Stew's Spectrum MB on another Aggie recruiting target.

espnaggie also posted confirmation that 7-foot LaSalle transfer Matt Lopez is indeed an Aggie. Here is his LaSalle bio -- he is a redshirt freshman so he'll be burning a year of eligibility. Lopez will be joining junior Jarred Shaw and sophomore Jordan Stone in the center rotation come 2012-13.

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Prior to the win tonight in Las Cruces, Jeff Goodman served up some national press featuring Coach David Carter and the Wolf Pack.

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Joe Santoro has a fascinating article up on past and present Nevada basketball mixing it up.

It's Friday morning ... so what happened last night?

Louisiana Tech played the role of rude host, topping Fresno State 59-58, on Brandon Gibson's thisclose-to-the-last-second deuce. Cordarius Johnson led the Bayou Bulldogs with 16 points while Kevin Olekaibe topped the visitors with 20. Tech's Raheem Appleby left the game with an injury in the second half.

Jason Pugh and Jerit Roser were on press row plus Robert Kuwada also checks in.

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Nevada led host New Mexico State 44-30 at the half and finished with a 68-60 victory. The Pack shot 56% to 33% for the Aggies. Wendell McKines went 2-12, Bandja Sy 2-9.

Jason Groves and Teddy Feinberg tweeted the pairing as did Chris Murray.

Jason serves up his take on the contest plus Teddy Feinberg added a commentary. Jason also authored a blog entry. Chris was also courtside (a shout out to the suits at the Gazette Journal is deserved) and also provided a second article.

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Utah State held an eight point lead over Hawaii after 20 minutes and the matchup ended with the Logan-ites owning a five point, 77-72, margin. Preston Medlin led the way with 25 points, a remarkable (in both makes and attempts) 13-14 from the foul line. Vander Joaquim posted a 24/14 double-double (is he entering WAC MVP territory?) but Zane Johnson shot 4-15 and Joston Thomas 4-12.

Brian McInnis was a-twitterin'.

Shawn Harrison, Tony Jones, Matt Sonnenberg and Dayton Morinaga all supply game reports. Craig J. Peterson offers 42 game photos.

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San Jose State challenged Idaho up in the Land of Famous Potatoes and encountered (Kyle) Barone Night to the tune of 21 points and 11 boards and a 74-66 defeat. But the best Vandal stat was 14 shots on the night for the Idaho junior center. Djim Bandoumel also posted a double-double consisting of 11 points and 10 boards. Coach Don Verlin's squad shot 50% on the night and a remarkable 48% on 23 trey attempts. For the Spartans, Wil Carter came close to another double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds and freshman guard D.J. Brown led with 18 markers.

John Blanchette has the details as does Vandal Nation and Gaylen Wood. VN also offers an 11-minute video featuring post game interviews.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday's a.m. look at tonight's matchups

Four games tonight ...

* Louisiana Tech hosts Fresno State in what should be a close one.

Jerit Roser writes about Tech's homecourt troubles so far while Robert Kuwada profiles Bulldog Jerry Brown.

* New Mexico State and Nevada go at it in Las Cruces (to ESPN: in what should be a televised game). This one will feature duels between equally talented, skilled and athletic bigs and smalls.

Jason Groves previews as does Chris Murray with his four keys/prediction piece and then Chris takes a second look. Sam Wasson also previews

* Idaho and San Jose State face off in Red Square, make that Moscow. Which team is Putin rooting for?

Vandal Nation serves up a five minute Spartan scouting report video out of the mouths of Kyle Barone and Mansa Habeeb.

* Utah State welcomes Hawaii Spectrum-style.

Dayton Morinaga takes a multi-media look at the pairing with Kraig Williams, Tony Jones and Shawn Harrison all also checking in about a contest that should tell us much more about both teams.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday's world of WAC wonderfulness

Chris Murray goes long about Coach Carter getting some Big Love up in Reno (and no, PTW isn't referring to a second or third wife, not that there's anything wrong with that as all Seinfeldians agree). What's always fascinating is some supporters are so trigger ready to offer the Flying Fickle Finger of Fandom when sometimes just a bit of patience is what is necessary. Chris also serves up a Wolf Pack and WAC 'notes' column. Finally, Chris offers a brief item about Luke Babbitt creating a run on chalupas.

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To be or not to be "fragile' is the key takeaway in Shawn Harrison's latest on the mysterious Aggies.

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Jason Groves offers an early preview of Thursday night's Nevada @ New Mexico State matchup. If there are few or no treys made in the contest or the key baskets are two-pointers, hopefully someone will headline the game report as "The Deuces in Las Cruces"

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Dayton Morinaga goes culinary in his latest of UH basketball. No waffles?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Appleby honored as WAC POW

Louisiana Tech’s Raheem Appleby has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 16-22.

The honor marks the first career WAC Player of the Week for Appleby.

Appleby, a freshman guard from Jacksonville, Ark. (Jacksonville HS), led Louisiana Tech to a pair of WAC road wins last week over Hawai‘i and San Jose State.

The two wins mark the first time in LA Tech’s history that the team has
swept the UH/SJSU WAC road trip. The win over Hawai‘i also marks the first WAC road win for the Bulldogs since Jan. 23, 2010.

Appleby scored a career-high 28 points in a 74-70 victory at Hawai‘i on 10-of-15 shooting, including a pair of threes and a 6-for-6 performance at the free throw line. He also pulled down three rebounds in the win. Appleby scored 19 points in the 71-67 win at San Jose State, connecting on 7-of-13 shots. He tallied a team-high five rebounds and dished out a team-best four assists against the Spartans.

On the week, Appleby averaged 23.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He shot 60.7 percent (17-of-28) from the field and 78.6 percent (11-of-14) from the free throw line.

Other nominees:

* Fresno State sophomore forward Jerry Brown
* Hawai‘i senior guard Zane Johnson
* Idaho senior forward Djim Bandoumel
* Nevada junior guard Malik Story
* New Mexico State senior center Hamidu Rahman.

PTW hearts Matt Sonnenberg

At the risk of a self-promotion accusation, do take a look at Matt Sonnenberg's latest.

Also, at the risk of alienating some, the opinion here is that Matt is offering the best writing on WAC basketball. Read through his list of articles -- not only his latest -- and you'll really appreciate his work.

Some entity should be compensating him for his efforts and yes, PTW tremendously appreciates all the WAC hoops scribes.

Tuesday's WAC hoops digest

The Spartans (San Jose State) played the role of The Roadrunner while the Roadrunners (Cal State University Bakersfield) assumed the duties of Wile E. Coyote in Monday night's as 78-70 homecourt victory for SJSU as freshman D.J. Brown exploded for 30 points.

Jeff Evans/Bakersfield.com has the game report.

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No games are on tap until Thursday night when all the team will be back on the court.

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Tony Jones has more on Casey Oliverson and Utah State, plus Tony takes a look at Kyisean Reed.

Stew Morrill turns philosopher in Shawn Harrison's piece on the Aggie road trip. The quote de resistance: "It's sad when you don't dare to fail"

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Robert Kuwada offers up his weekly look/take on the WAC and it's chock full of interesting items as usual.

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Jason Groves catches some WAC and Aggie trends.

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Chris Murray writes about the Wolf Pack's positioning among West Coast teams.

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Jimmy Watson has a killer opening two paragraphs in his look at Louisiana Tech's Thursday/Saturday upsurge.

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Hauns Brereton does his best lip balm promo in Dayton Morinaga's latest as it's absolutely true that Hawaii's travels are different from any other WAC member.

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Joe Santoro does a really good job at presenting Nevada walk-on Brice Cook.

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Sam Wasson delves into the ESPN Brackbuster matchups which aren't all that far away.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Step away from the ledge in Logan

After learning that an emergency shipment of Prozac has been routed to Logan, Utah, PTW will try to talk down the blue-clad residents of Cache County.

Okay, hit the couch.

It will be okay.

In time, matters will be fine. A short time actually.

Now the textbook says don't do this, at least not right now, but we're going to anyway. You know you are a bit spoiled, don't you? Winning isn't a right, it's not something that can be bequeathed.

It's earned, it will come back to The Spectrum and very soon.

Being a bit shocked is understandable but let's reason this out.

Remember that Tai Wesley, Brian Green, Tyler Newbold, Pooh Williams and Nate Bendall are no longer suiting up.

Plus, Brady Jardine is out for the season.

That's an absence of six out of the seven top 2010-11 talents.

Heck, even throw in Antonio Bumpus and Steven Thornton too. Bumpus' outside-shooting appeared like he could be of help this year, Thornton to a lesser degree.

Really, is there any other WAC team (or non-WAC program for that matter) who could endure such a talent loss and even play .500 basketball, let alone be 8-2 at home?

You know the answer.

Maybe you got a little too relaxed or even sassy, figuring Coach Stew would find a way.

He will, just not in the time frame you wish.

This is an Aggie squad that will get better this season.

Valuable experience is being gained.

Jardine is coming back. Jordan Stone and Jarred Shaw are both really going to help and beginning the next go-around. Sophomore Preston Medlin will be on one of the All-WAC teams come March. There's a load of promise in Danny Berger despite him being just a short time off his mission. Plus, Bair, Bradshaw, Davis and Harris are coming in as reinforcements for next season.

Think of it this way, you're just sharing your gold in 2011-12.

Same time next week?

Catching up with Mark McLaughlin

For those still keeping track, former Nevada (plus a few others) commit Mark McLaughlin is leading the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges in scoring at 28.4 points per game. He's a sophomore at Tacoma (WA) Community College.

Monday's WAC rundown

San Jose State is going out of conference tonight in an attempt to turn matters around -- the Spartans will be hosting Cal State Bakersfield. The Roadrunners are a hard team to figure, having beaten Cal Poly (winners of road and home games this season against SJSU) 60-58 down in San Luis Obispo but losers to Idaho (72-44 in Moscow) and 73-72 to visiting New Mexico State.

It's the only game scheduled involving a WAC team.

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VandalNation offers a photo slideshow followed by a 15-minute video covering the Vandals home win versus Utah State.

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Jason Groves looks back at New Mexico State falling just short against Hawaii.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The search for Casey Oliverson is over

treesap32 has sleuthed out the status of one-time Utah State commit Casey Oliverson. He's staying in-state but not in Logan. The link is outdated so go here.

Kabongo finds a new home

Jason Groves reports that ex-Aggie Christian Kabongo has landed at Southern Mississippi. The coach there, Larry Eustachy, is not exactly known for his warm and fuzzy player relationships but maybe that will work to Kabongo's long term benefit. It's also a team loaded with D-1 and especially junior college transfers and currently holds a 17-3 record, 4-1 in Conference USA play. SoMiss ranks third in scoring in the league.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday's WAC results on Saturday night

Four games tonight and no big surprises as teams seem to be settling into place.

Host Nevada maintained its spot at the top, defeating Fresno State 74-61.Four starters scored in double figures: Deonte Burton with 18, Malik Story had 17, Dario Hunt totaled 13 and Olek Czyz finished with 10 points. Tyler Johnson topped the Dogs with 17, Jerry Brown contributed 14 and Kevin Olekaibe ended with 13. The latter shot just 4-17 on the night. It was a 51% versus 37% overall shooting divide favoring the winners. Chris Murray tweeted the game.

Chris offers a game take as well as a notes collection and Robert Kuwada checks in.

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Visiting Utah State enjoyed a four-point halftime margin over Idaho. At the eight minute mark, it was the Aggies still leading 46-44. But the Vandals has 57 to USU's 54 at the buzzer. Forward Djim Bandoumel was the top scorer and rebounder for Don Verlin's squad with 16 points and Deremy Geiger added 12. Despite an off 1-7 long distance shooting night for Preston Medlin, he still paced the Logan-ites with 17, plus his seven rebounds also led. The turnover differential: eight for Idaho, 16 for USU. The latter also totaled but six assists. Josh Wright and Theo Lawson both tweeted the pairing.

Shawn Harrison was in the building (more thanks to HJ management for making it happen) as was Josh Wright and Gaylen Wood while Theo Lawson plus Tony Jones chime in. Matt Sonnenberg is not a happy camper here and here.

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Louisiana Tech came into Silicon Valley and emerged with a win, 71-67, over San Jose State. The Spartans held a 33-31 lead after the initial 20 minutes but the Bulldogs came on after intermission. Raheem Appleby and Brandon Gibson matched point totals with 19 apiece as LT finished at 49% to SJSU's 39%. James Kinney was the top producer for the home team with 22 points, followed by Keith Shamburger's 16 (but on 18 shots). Frontcourter Wil Carter put up a 12/11 double-double.

Louisiana Tech athletics and Spartan athletics both serve up game reports.

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Yes, PTW isn't counting this one as a large surprise -- the second game of a road trip, the various distractions in Hawaii, you name it for New Mexico State -- as UH led 44-34 at the half, extended the lead to 71-52 at the 11-minute mark and won 91-85. As predicted, Zane Johnson and Jeremiah Ostrowski played major roles, the former finishing with 29 points on 7-13 from long distance and the latter passing for eight assists. Vander Joaquim enjoyed an 11/10 double-double. When's the last time NMSU encountered 10 blocked shots in a contest? For the Aggies, Bandja Sy posted a fantastic line of 17 points, 10 boards, four assists and a trio of steals. 16 shots attempts (four made) by Daniel Mullings was probably not in the pre-game plan of Coach Marvin Menzies.  Jason Groves was a-twitterin' as was Sam Wasson as well as Brian McInnis.

Wes Nakama was present and accounted for. Sam Wasson and Jason Grovesalso posted reports.

Saturday's showdowns in the WAC

Utah State and Idaho --- aka Morrill v. Verlin -- meet up in Moscow. Can the Vandals add to the road woes of the Aggies?

Kraig Williams, Tyler Huskinson, Tony Jones and Shawn Harrison all preview the matchup.

Missed this earlier: Theo Lawson has issued his grades for the Vandals.

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Fresno State will be entering The Biggest Little City in the World in pairing up with Nevada. Can the little Dogs handle the big Pack?

It's "target: Burton" for FSU as Robert Kuwada explains.

Chris Murray serves up his pre-game analysis plus a prediction. Chris also serves up another look at the game.

Chris further notes that ESPN's Doug Gottlieb has taken a fancy to Malik Story.

Joe Santoro provides a 'notes' column.

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Hawaii hosts New Mexico State in what appears to be the game of the night. The obvious key: who is available to play for the Rainbow Warriors? Expect Zane Johnson and Jeremiah Ostrowski to both be back but UH will be feeling a degree of pressure to win at home.

Dayton Morinaga goes multi-media on the matchup and Jeff Portnoy looks backwards and forwards. Jason Groves checks in with his pre-game take.

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San Jose State throws out the welcome mat for Louisiana Tech. With Raheem Appleby (28 points in the Thursday win in Hawaii) in the neighborhood can the Spartans make him shoot 2 for 20? SJSU is still looking to get off the schneid in league play.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday's WAC roundball report

New Mexico State went into San Jose and Hamidu Rahman must have really liked the weather or the cheerleaders or the sense of tech permeating the air ... something, because he shot 7-7, totaling 18 points at the half and the Aggies led 41-26. It finished at 79-63 and Rahman with 20. Wendell McKines led with 24 points as both he and Rahman grabbed eight boards. Keith Shamburger's 19 paced SJSU. The Aggies shot 51% for the game and won the boards battle 39-25.

Spartan athletics has the details.

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Utah State met host Seattle and the Redhawks led 22-9 at the 12-minute mark, 30-20 with four minutes remaining in the initial 20 and 34-27 at halftime. It ended 73-66 in favor of the Washington-ers, who shot 53% overall, 57% on 14 trey attempts. Seattle also won the rebounding battle 32-21. Brockeith Pane led the Aggies with 20 points and Preston Medlin was right behind with 19, although the latter went 2-10 on threes.

USU beat Seattle 78-53 in Logan back on December 17.

Shawn Harrison was in the Emerald City (more kudos to the management of the Herald Journal) and has the details. Heck, both Seattle newspapers used AP game accounts so Shawn being there was even more important. Matt Sonnenberg also checks in.

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From Ruston to Honolulu sounds like the title of an interesting book but it's what Louisiana Tech did and it proved worthwhile as the Bulldogs beat the Warriors 74-70 behind 28 points from Raheem Appleby. Jeremiah Ostrowski and Zane Johnson were absent due to injury for UH.

Dayton Morinaga was present and accounted for with a lengthy read.

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Chris Murray has a 'Pack notes' column posted.

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No games tonight but every team is back in league action on Saturday.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Q: what's the matter with Idaho?

A: nothing.

PTW has nothing against the citizens in the great state of Famous Potatoes.

Additionally, we feel no acrimony against the Vandal basketball program.

However, there is a sense -- correct or not -- that Idaho is underperforming right now. Fans -- again right or wrong -- expected more this season after last year's 18-14, 9-7.

But why?

What was this rosy outlook based on?

Jeff Ledbetter, the leading scorer at 12.8 points per game and the on-court leader, graduated. Second-leading scorer Kyle Barone has returned (10.5 points) but the third and fourth scorers, Luiz Toledo (9.2 points) and Shawn Henderson (8.9 points) also departed.

Those are some major losses.

Returnee Deremy Geiger was coming off shooting 32% overall, 31% from long distance. Note: in conference action so far, he is at 15-38 overall, 12-26 on trey attempts.

Plus, the Vandal program enjoyed a sum-being-better-than-the-personnel-parts season, something that is extremely difficult to duplicate considering the changes year-to-year in talents and personalities.

Don Verlin's squad is currently tied for fourth place in early league play. For reference, the WAC coaches have predicted a fifth place finish, as did the media, for Idaho.

So what's to complain about at this point?

Yes, allowing its 2011-2012 WAC opponents to date to shoot 51% overall and 47% from three-point range are frightening statistics especially compared to 41% and 30% from last season (for the record, Verlin's team is current squad is at 44% and 36% shooting respectively).

But while 60 turnovers to 57 for opponents is not exactly smile-inducing for head coaches, it's not necessarily a guaranteed ticket to mediocrity.

Power recruits Desmond Starke (now departed) and Wendell Faines, fair or not, brought a sense that Idaho would be a force in the paint but that hasn't materialized.

Absorbing all this, maybe the Vandals are where they should be at, at least in the standings? The defensive numbers must be improved in order for Idaho to make an upper division run but right now it sure seems all is as should have been expected.

Fire away.

Thursday's WAC hoops digest

The Fresno State - Cal State San Marcos pairing was interesting enough on paper due to prodigal son of sorts Tim Steed returning. Add in a 26-all halftime score and the intrigue expanded. Finally, the Bulldogs burst out in the second 20 minutes and won 66-55. Jerry Brown put up 17 points and nabbed seven boards for FSU. Kevin Olekaibe went for 14 but took 17 shots in doing so. By the way, Steed scored 10 points in 33 minutes but added four rebounds, four steals and three assists.

Robert Kuwada game reports.

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Games tonight:

Louisiana Tech is in the islands versus Hawaii in another battle of small versus big.

Dayton Morinaga has the latest.

Utah State is up in Seattle for an out-of-conference matchup.

Kraig Williams, Shawn Harrison and Tony Jones look at the pairing.    

New Mexico State is roadin' it in Silicon Valley against San Jose State. The Spartans missed facing Big Wen on Wednesday by 24 hours as Mr. McKines is back in the Bay Area for a final collegiate appearance.

Sam Wasson serves up his weekly interview with Coach Marvin Menzies.

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Joe Santoro profiles Jerry Evans.

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Vandal News goes ditto on Deremy Geiger.

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Chris Murray writes about a confounding issue for Nevada.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday's world of WAC hoops

Nevada had a tougher time than expected but downed visiting Nebraska Omaha 81-69 behind a team effort led by twin double-doubles from Olek Czyz (18/10) and Dario Hunt (14/10) and 20 points from Malik Story.

Joe Santoro reports for Silver and Blue Sports. Chris Murray adds his take. Chris also posted his WAC team rankings plus a column of interesting notes, heavy on Wolf Pack hoops.

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kieshbecrimson has posted on the Aggie Alert Sports Trough MB that Renaldo Dixon is back.

Jason Groves covers the same subject.

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Shawn Harrison writes about the USU senior point becoming a Big Pane again, as well as a Morgan Grim update.

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Teddy Feinberg focuses on the NMSU Aggies and their facing of SJSU and UH next.

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Brian McInnis checks in with a nickname piece, one about Hawaii that has confused PTW (yeah, neither the first time, nor the last) for some time.

Dayton Morinaga looks at the Kerry Rupp - Louisiana Tech connections that are still remain and Rupp offers some 'advice' for the Bulldog crew while they are in Hawaii.

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Tonight, it's Fresno State welcoming 12-8 Cal State University San Marcos, a team that features none other than former Bulldog Tim Steed. He is averaging a team-leading 15.4 points per game on 48% overall shooting, 35% from three point range. Steed is also grabbing 5.1 rebounds a contest along with nabbing 43 steals, tops on the squad. CSUSM Coach Jim Saia also returns, he having run the program at Fresno Pacific prior to moving over to San Diego County.

Robert Kuwada game previews.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interesting takes from Doug Fullerton

Doug Fullerton, the Big Sky Conference commissioner, offered some thoughts in a recent Martin Renzhofer-written article, including:

“If we look around, we can win this game,” he said. “In three or four years, there will be three football playing conferences left in the West — the Pac-12, the Mountain West and us.”

Fullerton predicts the WAC will eventually become a basketball conference.

“Is there a school in the WAC that’s not trying to go somewhere else,” Fullerton asked. “That’s not a good sign.”

More on Derrick Randolph's commit to FSU

Roy and Harv Schmidt, as usual, are on top of all things Chicago prep basketball, including the commitment of Derrick Randolph to Fresno State hoops. RedDog posted the link at the SaveMart Center MB at the Bark Board site.

A Brady Jardine interview

Aglicious has a link up at the USUFans Stew's Spectrum MB heading to an interview with injured Aggie Brady Jardine.

Tuesday's WAC hoops merry-go-round

Nebraska Omaha is in Reno to challenge the Wolf Pack in tonight's only matchup. The 7-12 Mavericks (PTW thought they would be the Meatpackers) are in their initial season as a reclassifying D-1 program and will be a full-fledged Summit League member come 2012-13.

Chris Murray has this contest as a rout. Chris also serves up a knocking-on-the-door Top 25 post as well as a numbers-crunching post.

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Robert Kuwada goes l-o-n-g in providing his weekly look back at the WAC. His insight is a real plus and should be looked for every Monday.

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Mark Rauh/Silver and Blue Sports has 18 photos on-line from the Nevada - Hawaii game.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Vander Joaquim named WAC POW

From Jason Erickson, WAC Director of Media Relations:

Hawai‘i’s Vander Joaquim has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 9-15. The honor marks the second career WAC Player of the Week award and second this season for Joaquim.

Joaquim, a junior forward from Luanda, Angola (College of Eastern Utah), led Hawai‘i to a 1-1 record last week with a 74-68 overtime win at Fresno State and a 77-74 setback at Nevada.  Joaquim scored a season-high 23 points, while adding 16 rebounds and three blocks for his fifth double-double of the season in the overtime win at Fresno State. Joaquim helped UH to the win after scoring his team’s final two baskets of regulation, including the game-tying field goal with five seconds remaining. He then scored 10 of UH’s 16 points in overtime to secure the victory. Joaquim recorded his third-straight 20 point game with 23 points in a near-upset at Nevada. He also added seven rebounds and a career-high seven blocks. The seven blocks were one short of the UH school record.

On the week, Joaquim averaged 22.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game. He shot 73.9.4 percent (13-of-23) from the field and 61.1 percent (11-of-18) from the free throw line.

Other nominees included:

* Fresno State sophomore guard Kevin Olekaibe
* Idaho senior guard Deremy Geiger
* Nevada sophomore guard Deonte Burton
* New Mexico State senior forward Wendell McKines
* Utah State senior guard Brockeith Pane

Fresno State looking at Jonathan Milligan

Jonathan Milligan, a 6-foot-2 senior prep point out of Arizona, is listing Fresno State as a team interested in him (as well as other mid and high majors), per Anthony Ray's feature today (a Rivals sub is required). The young man is behind academically but trying to catch up on the requirements.  

From back in June 2101, Reggie Rankin/ESPN wrote this on Milligan:

"He drew a lot of attention during the drills, where he handled, passed and shot the ball very well. Milligan is a wiry thin, but very skilled combo guard who has good speed and quickness. He displayed excellent court vision and delivered the ball on the money when he attacked off the dribble and drew multiple defenders. He can also get to the rim and finish with a nice touch, as well as hit mid-range jumpers with ease. Milligan, who mentioned Oregon State, Clemson and Denver, has a good feel for the game and is a player to keep an eye on"
Here's a video featuring him.

Monday morning's WAC-aroni

No games tonight ...

Here are the standings to date:

* Nevada 4-0    
* New Mexico State 3-0    
* Hawai'i 2-1    
* Utah State 2-2    
* Idaho 2-2    
* Fresno State 1-3    
* Louisiana Tech 0-3    
* San Jose State 0-3

The numbers of games have yet to equal out for all the teams and the same for home games versus playing away but the current placements sure look like most have predicted -- the exception being Utah State.

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Trolling for Land of Enchantment hits ... Anthony Esparza has a game report on the Aggie Saturday victory over Idaho ...Tim Barnett-Queen offers 12 game photos of the win ... Sam Wasson provides 10 photos surrounding the ceremony honoring Jack Nixon calling his 1,000 NMSU basketball game ... Jason Groves looks at this past weekend and beyond

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday's posting of Saturday's WAC results

It was 31-29 Utah State at the half down in Ruston but then the Aggies went on a 12-2 run and eventually closed out a 69-65 victory over Louisiana Tech. Brockeith Pane exploded for 24 points on eight baskets plus eight free throws. Kenyon McNeaill went 5-6 from three-point range and led the Bulldogs with 19. Tony Jones was a-tweeting.

Shawn Harrison and Tony Jones were on press row (a salute again to the managements of their respective newspapers) and Matt Sonnenberg also provides a lengthy writeup and analysis. Tony also blogged about Brockeith Pane and then Morgan Grim.

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Idaho also led by two points, 31-39, after 20 minutes in Las Cruces but eventually fell 80-68 to the Aggies. Wendell McKines enjoyed a 23/10 double-double (8-12 shooting) and Hernst Laroche totaled 20 points. Freshman Conner Hill paced the Vandals with 12 points, going 3-5 from long distance. Sounding like a broken record (when will that out-of-date phrase be deep-sixed?) Kyle Barone put up but seven shots in 32 minutes. New Mexico State shot 59% overall, out-boarded Idaho 36-20 and was whistled for just 14 fouls. Jason Groves tweeted away.

Jason and Sam Wasson offer game reports and Teddy Feinberg also took in the matchup. Jason has posted a four minute video providing his analysis of the contest.

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Continuing with the theme, host Nevada was one point better, 35-34, at halftime than Hawaii. But Dario Hunt became foul-saddled (ending up with four while Devonte Elliott fouled out) and Vander Joaquim began pounding away inside. UH went up by seven before the Wolf Pack turned the tide (even if Reno isn't a seaport) and surged ahead near the end to win 77-74. Joaquim finished with 22 points and seven blocks and Joston Thomas was right behind with 22. Deonte Burton's 25  topped Nevada and Olek Czyz (11-14 shooting) produced a 24/11 double-double. Chris Murray tweeted the contest as did Brian McInnis.

Dayton Morinaga provides print, photos and video. Jeff Portnoy is a believer. Chris Murray has the game report plus a bevy of photos taken by Julie Dawes. Chris also serves up a 'notes' column.

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Both host Fresno State and opponent San Jose State went into their matchup looking for an initial conference win. The Bulldogs had the largest WAC contest lead of the night after 20 minutes -- that being 38-31 -- before winning 82-73 by KO.

Yes, Kevin Olekaibe went off for 32 points, buttressed by going 6-11 from long distance. A newly healthy Kevin Foster produced his first double-double, 19 points plus 14 rebounds. Spartan Wil Carter posted his own 20/13 double-double. Coach Rodney Terry's squad notched an amazing 21 assists on 24 baskets.

Robert Kuwada has the details, which included a couple of MMA moments.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Teddy Feinberg on Jack Nixon

Teddy Feinberg profiles Aggie announcer Jack Nixon who everyone should have a chance to hear in their lifetime. Put it on your bucket list.

Saturday's WAC basketball rollout

So it's Nevada hosting Hawaii tonight matching up the current heavyweight and a light heavyweight wanting to move up. This will certainly be the opportunity to do so but Vander Joaquim and Joston Thomas have to shine, starting by reducing the 11 turnovers they paired up for against Fresno State.

Chris Murray looks at the matchup as does Dayton Morinaga.

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Coming off the 20-point win versus Utah State, New Mexico State welcomes Idaho. A second road win will boost the Vandals confidence but Wendell McKines and Company are riding high.

Jim Hilley and Jason Groves each goes pre-game. 

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Do you want to be Louisiana Tech? The Utah Staters is coming to Ruston after a reaming out and a charge of quitting issued by Coach Stew Morrill. Let's see how the Aggies respond. Let's see how the Bulldogs respond to the USU response?

Tony Jones, Shawn Harrison and Kraig Williams all look at the pairing. Jerit Roser comes from the Ruston perspective, with Tech Coach Mike White calling the game huge.

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Fresno State has San Jose State entering the SaveMart Center in a matchup where each squad sees a victory after 40 minutes. But alas, only one vision will prove correct.

Robert Kuwada looks at the contest as well as Garrett Johnson's strong last game. Robert also writes about Fresno State getting thisclose in a couple of the WAC contests.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Braeden Anderson sighting

Robert Kuwada notes that Braeden Anderson was at the Fresno State - Hawaii game but, unfortunately for the Bulldogs, not in uniform.

Friday's report on last night's matchups

Yowza wowsa! New Mexico State 80-60 over visiting Utah State as a 46-26 second half did the job. Give the Freshman of the Year award to Daniel Mullings now as he led the southern Aggies with 17 points. Kyisean Reed paced USU with 18 points and six boards.

Sam Wasson reports while Jason Groves offers print and photos plus a video report on the outcome. From the northern Aggie perspective, Tony Jones and Shawn Harrison were in Las Cruces (a shout out to the The Salt Lake Tribune and Herald Journal execs) plus Matt Sonnenberg weighs in.

Tony also tweeted the game as did Jason.

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In overtime, it was Hawaii 74 and host Fresno State 68 as Warrior Vander Joaquim posted a 23/16 double-double while Zane Johnson totaled 24 points on 6-12 from long range. Garrett Johnson paced the Dogs with 18 markers and Kevin Olekaibe scored 15 (on 5-17 shooting). UH defender deluxe Garrett Jefferson played 43 minutes so let's look at the game reports to see if his presence was a factor.

Dayton Morinaga, Jeff Portnoy and Robert Kuwada serve up summaries. Brian McInnis tweeted the tussle.

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Idaho went into Ruston in need of a win and did just that, 90-88 in overtime versus Louisiana Tech. Kyle Barone went for 13 points and 15 boards while Deremy Geiger went for 23 (6-9 on treys), Landon Tatum 20 and Stephen Madison 18. For LT, Brandon Gibson was feeling it with a 22/13 double-double and Raheem Appleby had 19 points (17 shot attempts), Trevor Gaskins 15 and Cordarius Johnson 12.

Josh Wright has the very interesting details as does Theo Lawson and Jerit Roser.

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Nevada hosted San Jose State University and won both halves in an 81-57 victory. Jerry Evans scored 19 points to lead the Pack (an en fuego 5-6 from long distance) and his seven boards also were tops on the team. Coach David Carter's squad shot 54% overall and an amazing 16-32 from three-point land. James Kinney led the Spartans with 16 points but on 17 shot attempts.

Chris Murray supplies the details and also a notes column. Chris also tweeted the contest.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fresno State with a point commit

FresnoRocks on the SaveMart Center MB at the Scout BarkBoard site has posted an item about a prep point from Chicago heading to Coach Rodney Terry's program. Read the thread -- not sure if the young man is at Fresno State or still in HS next season.

Praise for Marqueze Coleman

A tweet from Josh Gershon:

"Love the effort Nevada signee Marqueze Coleman brings for Alemany every night. Kid is a competitor who doesn't take a play off"

James Johnson to SDSU

6-foot-9 Virginia transfer James Johnson has gone with San Diego State University. He had tripped to New Mexico State.

Medlin to the rescue

Was there anyone who expected this so soon?

"This' being the emergence of Utah State sophomore backcourter Preston Medlin into All-WAC consideration? (Yeah, yeah, only two conference games have taken place so far so PTW is looking at what Medlin has achieved all season).

Try 15 points a game, with remarkable shooting numbers -- 52% overall and 49% on 77 three-point attempts. Add in 3.8 rebounds a contest plus a 50/32 assist-to-turnover ratio.

It's been Medlin who has carried the Aggies from the get-go, being the steadiest Utah State guard. He is playing just short of 34 minutes a game, tops on the team.

Maybe his numbers won't earn him a First Team slot but how will he not be included among the second five?

McKines getting close

Wendell McKines is on the cusp of a tremendous achievement. Cribbed from a note by Jason Erickson:

NMSU’S MCKINES ON HIS WAY TO ELITE 1,000 POINT/1,000 REBOUND CLUB

With 1,162 career points and 932 career rebounds, New Mexico State senior forward Wendell McKines is on his way to the 1,000 points/rebounds club. There is currently only one active player in all of Division I that has at least 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds (T.J. Robinson, Long Beach State - 1,510 points/1,024 rebounds). McKines will become just the 12th player in WAC history to reach the double-milestone.

Thursday's WAC hoops report

Finally, it's game night.

Kraig Williams leads off with his look at the USU - New Mexico State matchup in Las Cruces -- add Tony Jones and Shawn Harrison to the northern Aggie mix. Jason Groves offers his southern take. Jason also posted a blog entry.

The Sun-News is going all out with live coverage of the pairing.

Professor Sonnenberg has issued his first semester grades for Utah State's players. There's no cruising through Sagebrush 101.

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Nevada is welcoming San Jose State so that means Chris Murray has his 'keys to the game' and his 'prediction' posted. Plus, Chris also serves up a 'notes' column. Making it a threesome, Chris has posted a third piece on the Spartans and Wolf Pack.

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Louisiana Tech is hosting Idaho in what actually is an important early season match because LT needs to defend its home court at every opportunity while the Vandals have to nab a road victory here and there to end up beyond .500. 

Josh Wright provides the Idaho perspective plus updates and Cody Futrell does the same for LT.

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Hawaii is away from the islands and in Fresno. While the Rainbow Warriors need proficiency at the point and 15-20 points from Zane Johnson, the primary key is who wins the paint -- the UH bigs versus the Bulldog not so bigs.

Robert Kuwada writes about possessions, efficiency and KO. Robert also has a blog entry on Bulldog Kevin Foster getting back to normal physically.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Missed this on Mullings

Jason Groves has an article up on New Mexico State freshman Daniel Mullings. Go figure but PTW missed it despite it being the lead story at the Las Cruces Sun-News sports site.

A Marko Cukic update

Marko Cukic played two years at Nevada before deciding to transfer. He landed at Hawaii Pacific, a D-2 school.

His numbers this season in 19.6 minutes per game:

* 6.0 points
* 3.4 rebounds
* shooting 56% overall
* 11 games, one start

This adds up to a mutually beneficial move. Cukic is playing much more than he did (and would have) with the Wolf Pack and Coach David Carter had a scholarship freed up. Win-win.

Wednesday's WAC-apalooza

Jason Groves Teddy Feinberg (thanks for the correction) has posted an insightful and holistic column, boring in on the New Mexico State squad, the program, the fans, expectations -- you name it. It's easily the top read today.

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Chris Murray has his WAC rankings out and it's pretty hard to find any areas of disagreement. Chris then offers a notes and nuggets column. Making it a trio of articles, Chris also writes about role acceptance among the Pack members.

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Dayton Morinaga covers the Rainbow Warriors leaving the islands for a pair of games. Jeff Portnoy looks at the same scenario.

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Robert Kuwada fleshes out the Larry McGaughey departure and it's on court ramifications for Fresno State.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fresno State loses McGaughey

"Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh announced Tuesday that Fresno State men’s basketball student-athlete Larry McGaughey (Memphis, Tenn.) has been ruled academically ineligible for the 2012 spring semester and has left the program"

McGaughey wasn't ever going to be a big factor so the talent won't be missed but this lessens the (lack of) depth of the Bulldogs even further. Plus, it will be an APR hit.

Caught the Vandal - Bulldog game

Television-watched the Idaho versus Fresno State matchup Saturday night -- here's a few takeaways:

* 58-54 in four years is a damn good job by Don Verlin, lest anyone has a short memory of the preceding seasons -- really, think about it

* Kyle Barone's less than requisite bulk is still negatively affecting his shooting rhythm -- imagine what percentage he would be hitting if he could bang and maintain position or even cause opponents to go backward or off-balance -- the junior center is shooting 57% thus far (but it 61% in 2010-11)

* The charging call -- I think the third foul Barone was given -- was an atrocious decision by the ref

* Liked Stephen Madison's game a lot -- he'd be even more effective with a penetrating point and maybe a two guard long distance shooting teammate situated on the other side of the key (Geiger is solid enough but at 5-foot-9 is a less than needed sized passing target)

* Why do the Vandals have 22% of possessions devolving into TOs? Point Landon Tatum bears no fault here

* Does anyone teach blocking out anymore, or attempt it on the court?

Tuesday's WAC hoops offerings

Robert Kuwada/Fresno Bee takes a solid look back at last week's WAC action -- do read it.

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Dayton Morinaga goes multi-media about an international addition to the UH basketball squad.

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Say Nevada wins a game played in a forest somewhere -- will anyone be there to view it? Sorry for the tortured beyond recognition zen-like posing -- let's have Chris Murray bail us out. Chris also has another piece on David Carter, hunger and humility to which PTW offers slices of humble pie.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Well deserved kudos to Jack Nixon

New Mexico State’s Jack Nixon, the ‘Voice of the Aggies,’ has been named the New Mexico Sportscaster of the Year, announced Monday by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

Nixon, receives this award for the second time in his career, the first was back in 1980.

"It's an honor to be recognized by your peers," Nixon said. "I feel blessed to have this job for so many years in a great town like Las Cruces."

Nixon, a native of Omaha, Neb., has been in the booth at Aggie football games and on the sidelines of Aggie men’s basketball games since 1976, bringing Aggie fans the play-by-play action.

This coming Saturday, January 14, when the men’s basketball team takes on Idaho in the Pan American Center at 7 p.m., Nixon will call his 1,000 men’s basketball game as the ‘Voice of the Aggies.’

Deonte Burton WAC POW

Nevada’s Deonte Burton has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 2-8. The honor marks the fourth career WAC Player of the Week award and third this season for Burton.

Burton, a sophomore guard from Los Angeles, Calif. (Compton Centennial HS), led Nevada to a pair of WAC road wins to open conference play last week. In a 73-55 win at Idaho, Burton scored a game-high 26 points connecting on 9-of-13 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc. He finished the game with a game-high six assists, three rebounds, a steal and a block in 33 minutes of play.

At Utah State, Burton scored a game-high 25 points in helping the Pack to a 78-71 victory. The win snapped Utah State’s 33-game WAC home win steak. Burton hit 10-of-19 shots from the field, including three makes from three-point range. He dished out five assists, grabbed three rebounds and had two steals while playing all 40 minutes. With Nevada leading 70-68 with 41 seconds to play, Burton nailed a three-pointer and made a free throw after being fouled to complete the four-point play to put the Pack up by six to help secure the win.

On the week, Burton averaged 25.5 points, 5.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. He shot 59.4 percent (19-of-32) from the field, 46.7 percent (7-of-15) from three-point range and 60.0 percent (6-of-10) from the free throw line. In the two games, Burton had 11 assists and just three turnovers, an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.7.

Other nominees:

* Fresno State sophomore forward Jerry Brown III
* Hawai‘i junior forward Joston Thomas
* Idaho sophomore guard Stephen Madison
* New Mexico State senior forward Wendell McKines
* San Jose State senior forward Wil Carter
* Utah State sophomore guard Preston Medlin

No Birch but...

New Mexico State did not land Khem Birch but hasn't gone emptyhanded.

First, here is the Birch story.

Then, Jason Groves has a possible Aggie personnel item. Here's more and here's even more on the young man.

Monday morning's WAC basketball entry

No WAC games until Thursday.

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Jason Groves offers a commentary on the first half of New Mexico State's season.

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Matt Christensen/Aggie Fanatics serves up a Monday morning look at the USU loss to Nevada.

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Chris Murray brings back The Tremeloes in his feature on quieting the Spectrum. Chris also pixelized a post-game notes column.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The latest on Khem Birch

To the best of PTW's knowledge, Khem Birch has yet to decide tonight as expected earlier and this Kevin Brockway tweet sez it will now be a Monday decision:

"Just talked w Khem Birch's mother, Wendy Sparks. She said he plans on sleeping on decision, will decide between UF and UNLV on Mon"

Two more Sunday hoops links

Has the old Pane gone away? Tony Jones writes about the Brockeith Pane - Deonte Burton Saturday matchup and wonders if the former has turned the proverbial corner and jettisoned his earlier season level of play.

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Gaylen Wood/Go Vandals writes about the initial pair of Idaho games this season, including some informative quotes.

Khem Birch to announce today

Adam Zagoria has the latest on Pitt transfer Khem Birch.

Sunday morning's report on last night's games

Nevada did some of its own Spectrum-izing, downing Utah State in Logan 78-71. Tony Jones tweeted the pairing as did Chris Murray. Deonte Burton totaled 25 points with three other members of the Wolf Pack starting five reaching double figures. Brockeith Pane went for 21 points with Preston Medlin right behind at 20. Nevada attempted 12 more shots than USU and outrebounded Stew Morrill's squad 32-23, including eight more offensive boards.

Kraig Williams, Shawn Harrison, Tony Jones and Matt Sonnenberg present the Utah State perspective while Chris Murray serves up the Nevada take. Chris also authors another piece on the game. Craig Peterson has posted, count 'em, 54 game photos.

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It was Idaho four better than visiting Fresno State, 64-59, in a game that went to the wire.

Josh Wright offers a report on the game plus a couple of Vandal personnel items and Robert Kuwada has posted his take. Josh also tweeted the contest.

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New Mexico State proved to be 10 points better, 83-73, than host Louisiana Tech. It was yet another double-double for Wendell McKines at 25/4 while freshman starting guard Daniel Mullings put up this intriguing line: 10 rebounds, eight points, three assists and a trio of blocked shots. LT shot 35%, 17% and 53% but did induce 20 turnovers by the Aggies.

Sam Wasson and Jason Groves check in. Jason also tweeted the matchup. Cody Futrell has the view from LT territory.

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It was host Hawaii and San Jose State tangling with a 42-31 lead in favor of the Rainbow Warriors at the half. Brian McInnis tweeted the contest.

Dayton Morinaga has the coverage of UH's 82-69 final over SJSU despite Will Carter's double-double-double of 21 points and 20 boards.The Rainbow Warrior frontline led the way as Joston Thomas put up 20/8 and Vander Joaquim had a 20/14 DD.