Saturday, March 31, 2012

A San Jose State and Seattle recruiting note

From the LaJolla Prep Twitter account: "7-1 Mike VanKirk, La Jolla Prep, has scheduled officials to: Seattle, San Jose State, Evansville & Tenn Chatanooga in the next 3 weeks"

VanKirk is a post grad originally out of the Palmdale, CA area. 

Here's a piece on VanKirk from February.

Saturday's WAC hoops roundup

Continuing in his series, Jordan Finn goes under Chris Murray's microscope.

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Spencer Farrin offers an Idaho Vandal basketball look at the past season plus what's ahead.

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The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Big Wen did his thing last night in New Orleans.

Jason Groves works through next year's roster, to date, for New Mexico State.

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Missed this from earlier: Tony Jones' article looks at Danny Berger's season.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Remember James Walker?

6-foot-2 James Walker who was named a California Community College Co-Player of the Year this season and played at Utah State as a frosh, is supposedly deciding between University of San Francisco, Saint Mary’s, TCU, Colorado and Missouri State.

A community college guard tripping to USU

At the USU Fans Stew's Spectrum MB, bpd has posted that a community college backcourter will be visiting in Logan.

The WAC is drifting away

Travis Detheridge in The Longhorn (the Texas Arlington student newspaper) has a column up all about the present and future of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Do take a read as TA is waiting for any other shoes to drop and not exactly expecting a lengthy stay.

It's fairly certain that Utah State and San Jose State are next in line to exit, at least in regards to the MWC, whose Commissioner Craig Thompson didn't recently trip to Logan and San Jose for recreational purposes.

The unknown is when.

PTW's bias (or inelasticity, take your pick) is eternally looking through basketball-colored goggles when it's football that hogs the driver's seat and owns the fast lane.

We want to see New Mexico State basketball and Idaho hoops come along and also want to view how Coach Mike White continues to resurrect his Louisiana Tech program. However, it does make geographical and financial and therefore undeniable sense -- since operating costs are only going to rise -- for schools to adapt into more regional territory alliances.

One matter we always find odd (please send along an explanation if one exists) is the offering of a large television market as a prerequisite for interest. The WAC added Seattle and Denver for basketball, a pair of good sized population centers but a key question is just who (or really how many) people in those areas will be watching games on television, therefore being subject to the advertising? Or even showing up in person? We are unaware of any Chieftain or Pioneer hoops mania in circulation, not even as startups.

Also, there are surely a number of reasons for the disparity but why the cavernous difference between base salaries for Steve Alford at New Mexico ($1,089,000) and Marvin Menzies at New Mexico State ($280,500)?

Yes, the former has a more storied history (alongside some NCAA warts) but each falls into the category of one of the two top state educational institutions in the Land of Enchantment. Is there more state money pipelined to Albuquerque than Las Cruces? The former has 887,000 in population according to the last census while the latter is around 100,000, 200,000 in the surrounding county -- so is it simply the difference in the surrounding fanbase? New Mexico draws around 14,500 a game versus less than half that for the Aggies so there's a major money differential. Anything else? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Friday and the WAC basketball universe

BenD/Torn By Sports looks at next season's Utah State squad.

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Chris Murray looks at Jerry Evans' season and beyond. Chris has also posted a 'notes' column.

That's it so far.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday's WAC season finale report

Turn out the lights, the party's over ...

Well, that was a conclusion we didn't want but certainly a heckuva game as Mercer took down Utah State 70-67. It was a points-lean 31-22 at the half in favor of the visitors and then the lead exchanged hands until Mercer came out on top. Four Aggies scored in double figures: Kyisean Reed went for 15 points, Preston Medlin 13 and Danny Berger 13. Morgan Grim finished with 10 points. Both teams shot 41% for the game and Mercer buried 7-8 free throws in the last 35 seconds.

Tony Jones tweeted the matchup.

Tony, Shawn Harrison, Rhett Wilkinson, Kraig Williams and Matt Sonnenberg were all over the pairing.

Craig Peterson has posted 62 game photos.

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Chris Murray figuratively dissects Devonte Elliott who will enjoy a golden opportunity with the Wolf Pack next season.

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It looks like Reggie Theus finished second in a bid to fill the opening at Illinois.     

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Wednesday WAC-down, part deux

Mercer comes to town tonight to face an on-a-roll Utah State for the CIT championship. Matt Sonnenberg, Rhett Wilkinson, Tony Jones, Shawn Harrison and Kraig Williams all preview the pairing.

There's a USU Assistant Coach Tarvish Felton - Mercer area (not school)  connection as Michael A. Lough details.

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Andy Boogaard writes about the decision now facing big Robert Upshaw. Kansas State is out, per the young man.

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Jeff Portnoy look at Joston Thomas' decision and speculates on the possibility of others on the UH roster.

The Wednesday WAC-down

Chris Murray takes apart Deonte Burton (no, we're not talking an ankle breaker maneuver but an analysis).

Chris also profiles prep backcourter  Marqueze Coleman, the level of recruit the Wolf Pack needs to keep the present momentum going and to effectively compete in the Mountain West Conference.

Dan Hinxman writes that Nick Fazekas is heading back to the Philippines, the San Miguel Beermen in particular. PTW is open to repping the Sam Adams Gulpers if it can be arranged. Very little $$$ would be required just access to product.

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In big time news out of the islands, Dayton Morinaga has the details of Joston Thomas' decision to play-for-pay. This is best for all involved as UH will miss Thomas' contributions but having one less fiery personality in the mix is a good thing. 6-foot-8 Christian Standhardinger will certainly be a solid addition come next season and meet, if not exceed, the numbers Thomas posted. Trevor Wiseman is probably very happy at the moment as his PT projection is skying. But another good-sized frontcourter would be helpful even if a freshman.

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Sam Wasson has posted video on the Top 10 plays of the season for New Mexico State basketball.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Another reporter covering Utah State

Man, press row must be elbow-to-elbow at The Spectrum as PTW just found out that Rhett Wilkinson of the Standard Examiner also covers Aggie home games. We will add him to the sites PTW heads to for Utah State coverage and be linking to him in the future.

Jason Groves interviews Big Wen

Jason Groves talked with Wendell McKines.

Teddy Feinberg with more Aggie basketball coverage

Teddy Feinberg answers questions that arose from his previous New Mexico State basketball column.

Hawaii connected to a SoCal prepster

A Josh Gershon tweet: "2012 Pasadena (Calif.) SF Blake Hamilton officially visited Cal State Northridge this weekend. He'll also check out Hawaii"

Tuesday's WAC hoops rundown

Tony Jones writes about the evolution of the Aggies during the 2011-12 season.

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Jason Groves has a feature up on Wendell McKines' future.

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Chris Murray puts the spotlight on Jordan Burris in what will be a series of looks at the Wolf Pack reserves this season. Chris also reports that Coach David Carter is filling out next season's schedule.

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Antelope Valley shooting guard Jason Johnson had made his college choice and Mel Grussing offers the details. 

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Nobody knows as yet but Frank Martin's decision to leave Kansas State and head to Columbia, South Carolina just may play out in Fresno State's favor as Rob Dauster has the details of 6-foot-10 Robert Upshaw's deft decision earlier regarding document signing.

Of course, maybe Upshaw will set his sites on the Palmetto State too since players sign with colleges based on the coach and not necessarily the majors offered, the weather or other factors.

He would certainly fill a need for the Bulldogs and Coach Rodney Terry.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Three WAC talents to the PIT?

The Draft Express folks are projecting Wendell McKines, Olek Czyz and Dario Hunt as invitees to the upcoming Portsmouth Invitational tourney. Oh yes, Herb Pope too.

Reggie Theus and Illinois

Although Ohio University Coach John Groce seems to be the current frontrunner, there is some sentiment for Coach Reggie in the coaching carousel swirling for the head coach position at Illinois -- especially from this individual.

Reggie is a high maintenance guy (but certainly not the only one around in the NCAA coaching ranks) but if you want to make your program relevant again, then go for it.

Get your Utah State game photos

Deserving of a separate post, Craig Peterson/Cache Valley Daily serves up 53 game photos of the Utah State offensive blitz over Oakland.

More on Jason Johnson

Mel Grussing has more on Jason 'JJ' Johnson racking up the frequent flyer miles and 'killing 'em' in Moscow.

Monday's WAC, make that Utah State, hoops report

If this is slowing down the game (referencing previews), can Utah State reach the 150 point mark?

USU went over the century mark (60 points in the first 20 minutes) in routing Oakland 105-81 in a semifinal CIT contest. Preston Medlin went for 26 points and nine boards while Brockeith Pane totaled 20 points plus 10 assists. Another must mention: Morgan Grim's 18 points and 10 boards. The Aggies shot 64% overall, enjoying an amazing 26 assists on 37 baskets.

Tony Jones, Shawn Harrison and Kraig Williams each game reports. Matt Sonnenberg leads with a film reference for us very oldsters plus Dave Kragthrope chimes in.

Tony also tweeted the contest, very interestingly so.

It's Mercer (Atlanta) coming to Logan on Wednesday for the CIT championship game.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Confirmation on Bloodman

Per Zach Braziller/NY POST: JUCO guard Trivante Bloodman will visit Seton Hall, Milwaukee, Cleveland State, Texas Tech & Florida Atlantic.

With a limit of five officials, this confirms Utah State and Bloodman are no longer in suitorship (heck, if they ever were). We're hearing Stew Morrill was flourbombed during the breakup. TMZ will have photos within an hour!

Sunday's WAC hoops digest -- the Utah State version

It's Utah State still carrying the WAC flag, hosting Oakland (Michigan) this afternoon as Tony Jones, Shawn Harrison and Kraig Williams detail. The latter touches upon the good kind of senior-itis.

That's it unless we stumble across some recruiting items.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A possible Utah State recruiting note

Per Adam Zagoria, Illinois junior college point guard Trivante Bloodman is hitting Seton Hall this weekend. An earlier article at the same site had Utah State as among those offering.

A Hawaii recruiting item (or maybe a non-Hawaii recruiting item)

According to Brad Winton, Citrus College wing and shooter deluxe Brandon Parga has four offers but Hawaii isn't in the quartet. There was some earlier buzz connecting UH and Parga.

A few WAC recruiting notes

Patrick Kelly/The Bleacher Report has a post up on the national junior college basketball championship tournament taking place this week in Topeka, Kansas and which players are receiving recruiting attention from what colleges.

Here are the players with a WAC affiliation (but do keep in mind that interest is not an offer and such may also be from some time ago and therefore no longer valid, or not).

* Patrick Swilling Jr. (6'2", soph., G, New Orleans, La.): Swilling, the son of the former NFL star, is a transfer from St. Joseph's where he played a limited role as a freshman. Mid-to-high majors have been showing interest including Hawaii, UNC-Wilmington and Appalachian State, with bigger schools rumored to have interest as well.

* Demetrius Moore (6'8", F, soph., Paxton, Fla.): Moore is an athletic post with a lot of upside who committed to Louisiana Tech over Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Troy in September. (PTW: he signed in November to the best of our knowledge)

* Colin Borchert (6'8", F, soph., Phoenix, Ariz.): Borchert was a high-level recruit in 2009, with offers from schools such as Kentucky, USC, Nebraska, UNLV and Cal. Instead, he opted for the JUCO route, and now, three years later, is in a position to sign another scholarship with a big-level school. Borchert will look to improve his stock after already receiving interest from Baylor, Cincinnati, Fresno State, UAB, Memphis and Gonzaga, among others.

* Monty Wilson (6'4", G, soph., Decatur, Ill.): Wilson, despite only playing the second half of the season, has emerged as a legitimate mid-major recruit at the guard position. Central Michigan, Eastern Illinois, Georgia State, Louisiana Tech and Utah State are among the teams that are interested.

Saturday's WAC roundball rundown

It only seems a matter of when (plus, how long and for what amount) regarding a contract extension for Coach David Carter -- as Chris Murray details.

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Shawn Harrison writes about the walking wounded for Utah State -- meaning Morgan Grim.

That's it for today, at least so far.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Jason Johnson and the Weather Channel

Probably much ado about nothing but it was a high of 74 degrees in Lancaster, CA (home of Antelope Valley College) today. It will reach 72 tomorrow.

It was a high of 45 degrees today in Moscow, ID with 54 tops forecasted for tomorrow but the sun will be out and about.

AVC shooting guard Jason Johnson will be on the Vandal campus this weekend.

It's been in and around the 70s in Orem (home of Utah Valley University) where Johnson was tripping at mid-week.

Don't know when he will be hitting Logan but maybe Stew Morrill can 'coach' the weather gods and goddesses into some sunny mid-70s during that overnight.

Yes, thus ends the chronicle of atmospherics -- can you tell it's the off-season?

The faves for the Southern Utah opening

Hoop Dirt has who are apparently the top three candidates to replace Roger Reid at Southern Utah -- no WAC assistants.

Friday's WAC basketball roundup

Chris Murray looks at next season's Pack team, with feedback from Coach David Carter, departing Dario Hunt and returnee Malik Story. Chris also follows up on that status of Associate Head Coach Doug Novsek and the opening at Eastern Illinois.

Scott Daniel looks at Nevada this season and next, with both a critical eye and a lauding one. Credit him for a very well-written analysis.

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Mel Grussing (aka Mr. Antelope Valley College basketball, the one and only) has the latest on shooting guard Jason JJ Johnson who is out and about on visits (including Idaho) and now has another WAC suitor. It's got to be a great feeling to be wanted, that is, unless it's Dog Chapman doing the desiring.

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Dayton Morinaga serves up his final installment of the Coach Gib Arnold interview series.

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Shawn Harrison takes a second look at Utah State's downing of LMU.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A couple of additional links

Dayton Morinaga has posted the third part of his post-season interview with Coach Gib Arnold.

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Could or are Steve Cleveland and/or Kerry Rupp be in the mix for the heading coach opening at Southern Utah University? Surely others are involved say from the Utah State coaching staff so it will be fascinating who gets the nod.

Thursday's Utah State & Nevada WAC roundball roundup

And then there was one ...

Nevada got blasted 84-56 by host Stanford last night. Didn't see a lot of the game but limited viewing made it seem like the Wolf Pack had difficulty gaining any traction offensively against Pac-12 level bodies and athleticism. Open looks were few as Coach Carter's guys shot 39% while allowing Johnny Dawkins' bunch to go for 53%. Malik Story, Deonte Burton and Olek Czyz went for 14, 13 and 11 points respectively but Dario Hunt was a no-show (two points, four rebounds).

Chris Murray tweeted the contest.

Chris also filed game reports here and here. Scott Oxarart wrote about the supporters who made the trip.

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Utah State outscored Loyola Marymount in both halves in winning 77-69 in Logan. Preston Medlin paced the Aggies with 26 points (13-14 from the foul line) while Brockeith Pane added 17 and Morgan Grim contributed 16. It was a matchup producing odd stats, such as Stew Morrill's team going 32-35 at the free throw stripe while LMU produced a 7-14 night. Both teams were heavy on the turnovers, 22 for the victors and 19 for the visitors. USU shot 39% overall, LMU 41%. The latter also earned a pair of technicals as play got a bit chippy at times.

Kraig Williams and Tony Jones tweeted.

Kraig, Tony, Shawn Harrison and Matt Sonnenberg filed game stories. Tony also lauds the effort of Morgan Grim, this game and all season long. Craig Peterson has posted 38 photos of the contest.

Next up is Utah State hosting Oakland (the college, not the city) on Sunday.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Meet the 1992 Aggies

James Staley brings the past forward, connecting with the 1992 New Mexico State men's basketball squad which made it to the Sweet 16.

Wednesday's WAC hoops rundown

Matt Sonnenberg lets readers in on a little Utah State secret and it's not going to work in Loyola Marymount's favor tonight. Kraig Williams and Shawn Harrison game preview.

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Chris Murray offers up his keys plus a prediction as Nevada (WAC) and Stanford (Pac-12) tangle tonight on The Farm. Beat the brainiacs and it's time for MSQ as Chris writes.

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Jason Groves looks at next year, the Big Dance and the Aggie placement in it.

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Dayton Morinaga serves up the second installment of his interview with Coach Gib Arnold. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Titus Robles

No, Titus Rubles isn't a character from Shakespeare. He's a frontcourt basketball recruit who just committed to Cincinnati (here's the article, a Rivals sub is required). Rubles was mentioned in connection with Nevada a couple of years back but academics forced him to go the junior college route.

Tuesday's WAC roundball recap

Teddy Feinberg peruses the Aggie season and gives a thumbs up.

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Chris Murray writes about the surprising (PTW's word, not Chris') attendance at the last Wolf Pack game. It's Stanford next, on the road Wednesday, for Coach David Carter's crew. The NIT game will be televised on ESPN2.

Mark Rauh has posted photos from the Nevada victory over Bucknell. 

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It's also Wednesday for the Utah State - Loyola Marymount CIT matchup as the Aggies won't need their suitcases unless there is a next game. Shawn Harrison has the details.

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Dayton Morinaga interviews Coach Gib Arnold. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday morning's WAC hoops digest

Nevada proved to be rude hosts in taking down Bucknell 75-67 as Olek Czyz busted out for 24 points and Malik Story contributed 17. Isn't it nature's way for a wolf pack to down a bison?

Chris Murray game reports and also provides a notes column. Joe Santoro was also on press row. Dan Hinxman also checks in.

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Weber State lost to Loyola Marymount so now the latter will come to Logan on Wednesday night to face the Aggies in a quarterfinal pairing of the CIT. Shawn Harrison fills in readers.

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Dayton Morinaga and DaBeast Films closes it out with a Hauns Brereton interview.

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Jason Groves looks backwards and forwards vis-a-vis New Mexico State hoops.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Brady Heslip -- USU Aggie

Remember when Utah State was courting Brady Heslip, the shooting guard out of Canada who was unceremoniously tossed aside when Boston College made a coaching change (BC finished at 9-22 this season).

Heslip's name is all over the 'net today because he buried nine treys for Baylor on Saturday in an 80-63 victory over Colorado.

Here's Andy Katz today:

Former BC associate head coach Pat Duquette, who now has the same title at Northeastern, said he recruited Heslip out of Burlington, Ontario. Duquette said Heslip was “absolutely fearless, but physically more than you see. He had very long arms, which equaled a high release. And he had unusually big hands for a guard his size.’’

Former BC head coach Al Skinner said by phone Saturday night that he liked Heslip’s tough-minded approach.

“The thing about him was that he didn’t hunt shots; he let the game come to him,’’ Skinner said. “He executed well and was patient on the offensive end. He rarely takes a bad shot, and he had tremendous range.’’
Can you imagine the damage Heslip would be doing for Stew Morrill? He has USU offensive style written all over him.

What about Heslip and Preston Medlin paired up in the backcourt?

Coulda, woulda, shoulda is always fun.

Heslip also visited Oregon and Boise State.

Sunday morning's USU-UI game report plus other links

39-16. That was the halftime score with Utah State leading the Vandals of Idaho. It ended 76-56. Preston Medlin went for 17 points (plus five boards and four assists) and Kyisean Reed contributed 15. Brockeith Pane posted an amazing 11/1 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Aggies totaled 21 assists on 29 baskets. Nobody for UI scored in double figures. In fact, Landon Tatum with 10 shot attempts and Kyle Barone put up just four.

Josh Wright, Shawn Harrison, Matt Sonnenberg and Tony Jones game report.

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Chris Murray turns in his keys and prediction to the Nevada - Bucknell contest, which starts at noon. Chris also offers another look at the pairing. Joe Santoro also analyzes both teams.

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Dayton Morinaga's DaBeast film entity pays tribute to a pair of UH hoops fans.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

JJ is dyn-o-mite and maybe a Vandal

Mel Grussing has the latest on Antelope Valley College two guard Jason Johnson and a WAC team is involved.

Saturday's WAC hoops links

It's Idaho versus Utah State tonight as Shawn Harrison, Tony Jones and Kraig Williams preview, as does Josh Wright.

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Hey, Bucknell is proving quite the draw -- Chris Murray provides the numbers. Chris also writes about the ghost of Nick Fazekas coming in to face the Pack.

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Wouldn't is be something if Bandja Sy actually had the last name of Holmes as he and Tyrone Watson will be the team leaders next season? Jason Groves looks ahead. Chris has more quotes from the Aggie loss to Indiana, including Coach Tom Crean on Big Wen. Sam Wasson has posted some Tim Barnett-Queen game photos.

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Dayton Morinaga serves up more UH - Vegas film courtesy of Davis Rozitis.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Honors handed oput at the Bulldog banquet

From Stephen Trembley, Assistant Director Athletics Communications @ Fresno State on the Bulldogs team banquet:

First-year Fresno State head men's basketball coach Rodney Terry recognized his team for their hard work and service this past season during the program's annual year-end awards banquet earlier this week.

"We really wanted to mirror this community," Terry said. "I grew up in a hard-working community. Nothing is given to you. You have to go out and earn it. Punch the clock. Rewards come with that hard work. They never gave up and always fought through adversity. They gave us everything they had."

Terry and his coaching staff handed out awards to each of the nine Bulldogs on the playing roster.

Here is the full list of awards, in order they were presented:

Outstanding offensive player: Kevin Olekaibe
Most assists: Steven Shepp
Playmaker: Jonathan Wills

Outstanding defender: Jerry Brown III
Outstanding rebounder: Tyler Johnson
Outstanding service: Garrett Johnson

Outstanding 3-point shooter: Kevin Olekaibe
Top free throw shooter: Jonathan Wills
Top field goal percentage award: Jerry Brown III

Outstanding student-athlete: Grant Hefeng
Bulldog award: Brad Ely
Most improved player: Kevin Foster

Additionally, Terry thanked the donors, support staff and administration during the event that was held on Monday night at Pardini's.

He took time to honor seniors Steven Shepp and Jonathan Wills, as well as the efforts of the team's athletic training staff under the direction of Brad Floy that helped prevent any Bulldog from missing a single game all season.

Terry also noted how this year's team laid the foundation for future generations of Bulldogs.

"We expect our young men to take care of business on and off the floor," Terry said. "We are going to be a team when you walk out of the building that you will be proud of supporting. The game is never over until the final horn goes off and we are always going to compete."

Friday's WAC basketball digest

Well, the WAC ain't Dancin' any longer.

Indiana seemingly had control of the game early on, kept a steady lead, then advanced it to the 20 point range before New Mexico State got the deficit down to 12. But that was as close as the Aggies would come as the game ended 79-66. Wendell McKines went for 15 points plus seven rebounds, Banja Sy scored 12 and Daniel Mullings contributed 10 points.

Indiana nabbed 12 steals as NMSU had 17 turnovers. Both teams shot well with the Hoosiers at 59% and the Aggies not far behind at 55%. Remarkably, each team had just 10 free throw attempts.

Jason Groves tweeted the pairing.

Jason, in Portland (kudos to Sun-News management), offers his game report. Jason also provides an after game video take.

Sam Wasson has post-game quotes.

Comments jotted down while watching the contest: As for the Hernst Laroche charge call at the 13:40 mark of the first half -- R U kidding? ... There was a Hoosier run where every score was layup after layup, which was remarkable considering New Mexico State's size ... Wendell McKines really showed consistency and range to his shot and deserves credit for adding such to his game ... Indiana contested entry passes very well and contained/contested the NMSU dribble-drives despite lacking a big body type on the roster ... separated at birth: Indiana Coach Tom Crean and Dwight Schrute of "The Office"



working on the suggestion made in the comment, we've added Tom Arnold

 
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Credit Ilya Pinchuk for photos and video of the Idaho triumph over UC Santa Barbara the other night.

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Chris Murray takes an early look-- here and here -- at the Nevada - Bucknell matchup scheduled for Sunday.

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Shawn Harrison reviews USU's win over Cal State Bakersfield and digs into the question of can the Aggies grab five straight victories to close out the season.

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Davis Rozitis proves what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Not cool at all

Hey, there's so much subject matter to choose from but this isn't one of them. Via Buzzfeed:

The ugly side of sports was on display at the first-round NCAA tournament game between Kansas State and Southern Mississippi game Thursday, when Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez was subjected to chants of "Where's your Green Card" from the Southern Miss. band.

Big Lead Sports notes that Rodriguez is from Puerto Rico, making him a U.S. citizen.

Two more Thursday links

Gaylen Wood has a report posted about the Idaho takedown of UC Santa Barbara.

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Joe Santoro evokes Neil Diamond in looking at Nevada's season.

Thursday-ing the world of WAC hoops -- 3-0

Nevada was down one at halftime to Oral Roberts but outscored the hosts by 10 in the second 20 minutes to win 68-59 in Tulsa. A pair of frontcourt double-doubles -- Dario Hunt 18/10 and Olek Czyz 13/10 -- plus 17 points from Deonte Burton paced the Pack. Hunt also blocked five OR shot attempts and David Carter's crew won the battle of the boards 41-27. 

Kevin Henry covered the game for the RGJ.

Bucknell comes to town on Sunday.

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Host Utah State enjoyed a 37-25 lead after the first period over Cal State Bakersfield and eventually won 75-69. A quartet of Aggies post double figure scoring led by Preston Medlin's 24 points (plus six assists and five boards). Bringing back memories of the Aggies of yore, USU shot 50% to 40% for the Roadrunners.

Shawn Harrison, Kraig Williams and Tony Jones game report. Matt Sonnenberg issues a reader challenge (and later makes a Bruce Willis reference if that helps, or hinders). PTW is one of those latte-sipping snobs who only watches films with subtitles while beret adorned so we're helpless in determining an answer.

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Idaho made it a trifecta, topping visiting UC Santa Barbara 86-83 as the Vandals led 43-30 at the half and then stifled a Gaucho comeback. Deremy Geiger exploded for 22 points (5-7 on treys), Stephen Madison scored 20 and Kyle Barone contributed 19. Plus, Landon Tatum passed for 10 assists versus zero turnovers.

Josh Wright checks in.

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On Friday, it's Idaho versus Utah State in Logan. With a victory, the Vandals will have 20 wins. A triumph for USU will put the Aggies at 19.

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Jason Groves, here and here, leads into the New Mexico State - Indiana Big Dance matchup tonight.

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From Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop: "Avery Holmes, a 2012 PG from North Salem (OR), has committed to San Francisco, per his coach"

Why post that here? Answer: From ESPN, a definite sleeper point guard out west is 6-1 senior Avery Holmes (Salem, Ore./North Salem). He needs to get better going left, but he has a solid frame with long arms, and he can knock down jump shots. He claims offers from Fresno State, Cal Poly and University of San Francisco.

Claims are sometimes real, sometimes not. Plus, the timing of when offers are extended and if still valid are items next to impossible to determine. 

Here's some video.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The WAC basketball signed recruits, plus commits

Below is who PTW has as signees-to-date (plus commits) for each WAC team. Please let us know who, if anyone, is missing.

FRESNO STATE

* Aaron Anderson
point OK HS
* Braeden Anderson power forward Canada HS
* Tanner Giddings center CA HS
* Marvelle Harris shooting guard CA HS

HAWAII

* Caleb Dressler
center WA HS
* Orel Lev shooting guard Israel HS
* Isaac Fotu power forward New Zealand HS

IDAHO

* Tim Johnson
point CA JC
* Denzel Douglas point WY JC
* Ty Egbert power forward ID HS
* Marcus Bell power forward IA JC
* Robert Harris point AZ JC

NEVADA

* Rafael Carter
power forward CA JC
* Marqueze Coleman point/shooting guard CA HS
* Cheikh Fall center CA JC
* Cole Huff wing CA HS

LOUISIANA TECH

* Demetrius Moore
power forward FL JC
* Alex Hamilton shooting guard FL HS

UTAH STATE

* Sean Harris
power forward CA JC
* Marcel Davis point Utah HS
* Riley Bradshaw shooting guard MT HS
* Quincy Bair wing Utah HS

Wednesday's world of WAC hoops

Nevada is in Tulsa tonight to face Oral Roberts (who is undefeated at home) and Chris Murray offers his keys plus a prediction. Chris also writes about Jerry Evans having the toughest individual matchup. Chris then outdoes himself with a third Wolf Pack - OR piece.

Joe Santoro writes that Nevada is in a New York state of mind despite no Billys or Joels residing on the roster.

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Jason Groves points out a pair of key areas for the Aggies if New Mexico State is to take down Indiana on Thursday. Teddy Feinberg profiles Big Wen and then he peeks at the Aggie - Hoosier pairing.

PTW is getting the sense that NMSU is on the cusp of becoming a media darling and a W on Thursday will cement the relationship.

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Kraig Williams, Tony Jones and Shawn Harrison look at tonight's Utah State - Cal State Bakersfield duel. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Who, where and what time for the matchups in the various tournaments

Wednesday March 14

* CollegeInsider.com Tournament - First Round
UC Santa Barbara at Idaho, 7:00 p.m. PT

* CollegeInsider.com Tournament - First Round
CSU Bakersfield at Utah State, 7:00 p.m. MT

* National Invitational Tournament - First Round
Nevada at Oral Roberts, 8:15 p.m. CT
Television: ESPN3

and

Thursday March 15

* NCAA Tournament - Second Round
#13 New Mexico State vs. #4 Indiana, 6:45 p.m. PT
Television: CBS

Overlooked this

Here are the players who made the WAC All-Tournament Team:

* Trevor Gaskins, Louisiana Tech
* Raheem Appleby, Louisiana Tech
* Tyrone Watson, New Mexico State
* Hernst Laroche, New Mexico State
* MVP: Wendell McKines, New Mexico State

Not only does Matt Sonnenberg has a way with words and stories, add headlines to his harvest. Matt also extends a challenge.

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Jason Groves says the Chairmen of the Boards will win the New Mexico State - Indiana pairing. Jason also writes about not getting Chili hot.

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Jerit Roser surveys the steps forward taken by the Louisiana Tech basketball program in 2011-12.

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Chris Murray's latest looks at one primary benefit for Nevada in joining the Mountain West Conference. Chris also notes a report on teams wishing to gain entry to the Mountain West Conference - Conference USA amalgamation.

A pair of former WAC player updates

Credit to Andrew Pang for these two items:

* Former SJSU forward CJ Webster is now with Panteras de Miranda in Venezuela.

* Former Hawaii forward Bill Amis is now with the University of Tartu basketball team, a professional team in Estonia.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shamburger departing

Here's the first of what will be many player change of residences across the WAC -- via Twitter, San Jose State's Keith Shamburger has announced he is transferring.

Because Shamburger is from southern California ... 

San Diego State has Jamaal Franklin and Xavier Thames now as sophomores but Chase Tapley and James Rahon will have just one year of eligibility after this season. Coach Steve Fisher has two frontcourters and a shooting guard, all high schoolers, coming in.

Long Beach State will be missing Casper Ware and Larry Robinson after this year but Mike Caffey and James Ennis return (however, Ennis will be gone once any redshirt can play again). Coach Don Monson has already signed prep backcourters Branford Jones, Javion Watson and Deng Deng.

Monday's WAC basketball digest

Jason Groves has some tidbits on Indiana, New Mexico State's Big Dance opponent. Do check out which team Doug Gottlieb is predicting to win. Jason also likes the Aggie chances. Sam Wasson serves up an interview with Coach Marvin Menzies.

Anyone still calling for MM's ouster?

Hey, are we all southern Aggies for now?

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Chris Murray offer background on Oral Roberts, Nevada's Wednesday night NIT host opponent. Chris then digs even further into the Golden Eagles. Completing the trifecta, Chris posts Coach David Carter's thoughts on Nevada not receiving a Big Dance invite.

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Shawn Harrison and Kraig Williams both report that Utah State will host Cal State Bakersfield as part of the CIT.

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Josh Wright has the details of Idaho hosting UC Santa Barbara, also in the CIT.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Two WAC teams in the post-season

Big Dance: New Mexico State versus Indiana in Portland, #4 seed matched up with a #13 seed.

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NIT: Nevada versus Oral Roberts in Tulsa, a #4 seed matched up with a #3 seed.

That's it until the other post-season tourneys make announcements.

Video of the after-game celebration

Here's a one minute video of the celebration after the New Mexico State victory.

The latest on Yuba College's Spencer Butterfield

The Sacramento Bee's Bill Paterson has an article up on Yuba College (playing for the state championship today) and this portion is on recruiting:

"... While maintaining a 3.8 grade-point average, Butterfield has received scholarship offers from Utah State, Hawaii, Pacific, UC Riverside and San Jose State but could see more come his way with a strong performance this weekend ..."

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/10/4326418/yuba-college-enters-final-four.html#storylink=cpy

Time for southern Aggie mania

Sam Wasson has this celebratory photo posted.

Jason Groves recaps the New Mexico State triumph. Jason also posted a pair of blog entries here and here. Tyrone Watson talks about the game. Teddy Feinberg serves up a commentary on the contest and about this season's Aggies.

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In other links: 

Joe Santoro (to mix sports metaphors) pulls no punches with his commentary. The opening:

"What happened in Vegas Friday night to the Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball team should not stay in Vegas. The Wolf Pack was simply robbed of a chance to compete for a Western Athletic Conference tournament title ... "
Robert Kuwada looks at needs and next season for Fresno State basketball.

Brian McInnis offers a blog entry on UH roundball.

Chris Murray and Dan Hinxman have a Nevada hoops 'notes column' up. Chris also writes about will it bee the NCAA or the NIT for the Pack.

New Mexico State is the champion of the WAC

New Mexico State burst out from the get-go, led 38-20 after the initial 20 minutes and won convincingly 82-57. Wendell McKines shot 12-16 on the night in posting a 27/14 double-double. Tyrone Watson played an all-around game finishing with 12 points, seven boards and four assists. The Aggies shot 56% overall and won the rebounding battle 45-25.

Trevor Gaskins paced LT with 24 points but shot 6-19 while Raheem Appleby contributed 15 as the Bulldogs shot just 33% for the contest.

The contrast was evident from the beginning with Louisiana Tech misfiring badly as NMSU methodically worked the ball inside for close in shots.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Mexico State - Louisiana Tech

The WAC tournament championship game tonight is on ESPN2 beginning at 9 p.m. Pacific time.

Looking at the Pack

Nevada has not played all that well of late and the fall to Louisiana Tech last night may just not be a so-called aberration as even the 10-point win over SJSU a night earlier was not really what David Carter wanted on his team's résumé.

Going back a ways and then moving forward, the BrackBuster matchup with Iona had the Wolf Pack surrendering 90 points in a loss, followed by a three overtime 79-76 victory at Fresno State.

Two wins followed -- a four-point takedown against New Mexico State and a 10-point triumph versus Louisiana Tech, both in Reno.

This doesn't appear to be the latest work of a dominant team, which some, even Nevada fans may argue such a label doesn't apply, or a squad that went 13-1 in regular season play. Despite the uber-success in league, the Wolf Pack encountered a number of very close games.

The shock of the loss to LT probably stems from the expectation that Deonte Burton would turn it on down the stretch, that Olek Czyz and Malik Story would drill shots when needed. It's certainly happened before.

Just not last night.

Be sure to give the Bulldogs from Ruston some credit.

Wasn't that a night!

A warning for today: get used to all manner of Cinderella references (hope nobody dribbles the ball off his shoe in the last seconds), possibly David and Goliath tales too.

Jason Groves, Teddy Feinberg and Sam Wasson all cover New Mexico State's triumph over Hawaii. Wes Nakama goes multi-media from the UH perspective.

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Chris Murray offers this descriptive line in his report on Nevada's fall to Louisiana Tech: "... The game went from a beauty show in the first half to a bloodbath in the second ..."

Liz Margerum has posted 53 photos.  

JasonGroves checks in with Louisiana Tech-subject print and video.

Dan Hinxman makes the case that the Wolf Pack deserves an at-large Big Dance berth.  

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Tony Jones features Danny Berger whose performance against LA Tech is being labeled 'breakout' -- so does USU have a count-on scoring wing?

Shawn Harrison reports that Utah State will accept a home or road game in any of the post-season tournaments.

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Robert Kuwada attended what will probably be Karl Benson's final WAC press conference.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Louisiana Tech takes down Nevada

Louisiana Tech held a 42-39 halftime lead against Nevada as both teams were more than en fuego: 67% for the Bulldogs, 56% for the Reno-ites.  Trevor Gaskins led the Bulldogs effort with 15 points and three boards, both team-leading figures. Deonte Burton had three points after the initial 20 minutes.

It stayed close with the lead going back and forth until the guys from Ruston finally emerged with 78-73 victory. Gaskins finished with 21 points, followed by 17 from Raheem Appleby and Romario Souza's 16.

Malik Story led the Wolf Pack with 21 points and Olek Czyz put up 18. Deonte Burton finished with five points (2-10 shooting), five assists and four turnovers.

Louisiana Tech, which shot 53% for the game, faces New Mexico State in the final tomorrow. Nevada finished at 41% shooting.

Chris Murray tweeted the matchup.

NMSU 92, Hawaii 81

New Mexico State blitzed Hawaii coming out of the gate tonight to the tune of 17-0 but the Rainbow Warriors fought back to within a point in the second half before falling to the Aggies.

Wendell McKines posted 22 points plus six assists while Hernst Laroche went for 18 points and another six assists. Tshilidzi Nephawe came off the bench and produced 15 points and eight boards in 26 minutes of play and frosh Daniel Mullings enjoyed 12 points and 10 boards.

Freshman guard Shaquille Stokes led Hawaii with 21 points and Vander Joaquim scored 18. Gib Arnold's bunch needed a third big scorer but that didn't happen.

The shooting numbers were remarkable for a tournament game: 57% for UH, 53% for Marvin Menzies' crew. Was it just-couldn't-miss time or less than active defending, or a combination of both?

Jason Groves and Brian McInnis tweeted the game.

Tweeters to follow

Follow the action tonight on Twitter:

Chris Murray

Jason Groves 

Brian McInnis 

Sam Wasson

Pass 'em on if we missed any for the four remaining teams.

Take a minute to think about Zane Johnson

Without ever being in a similar situation, it's impossible to truly imagine what Hawaii's Zane Johnson is feeling. He's a senior, his collegiate basketball tenure is ending and he's unable to take the court due to mononucleosis. On top of that, he isn't even able to travel and be with his teammates. That's the definition of rough.

Missed these two links

Shawn Harrison has a piece up on the Utah State fan factor regarding the WAC tournament attendance.

Plus, Craig Peterson provides 40 photos from the USU - LT game.

It's Friday -- here's the media on last night's games plus more

This evening, Hawaii and New Mexico State will square off @ 6 p.m. with Nevada and Louisiana Tech hitting the court @ 8:30 p.m.

On to the games and more:

Chris Murray reports on the Nevada - San Jose State pairing, then Chris writes about the next Pack opponent, Louisiana Tech. Dan Hinxman assesses the game, such as it was. Mark Rauh offers a bevy of photos.

Chris also has a piece on Coach David Carter's contract status.

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Wes Nakama is all over the Hawaii upset of Idaho. Jeff Portnoy was present and accounted for. Theo Lawson comes from the Vandal perspective.

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Jason Groves blogs about the upcoming New Mexico State - Hawaii duel.

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Robert Kuwada checks in with his Fresno State - New Mexico State game report, loss #20 for the Bulldogs. Sam Wasson provides print plus video.

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Tony Jones leads off with his sizing up of the Louisiana Tech triumph over Utah State. Shawn Harrison was also in Vegas.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's LT over USU

So much for the PTW prediction that the faves would triumph today ...

Continuing the bizarro world inhabiting the Orleans Arena, Louisiana Tech burst out to a 10-1 lead over Utah State at the 15:40 mark of the first period. LT's lead lessened, dropping three, 35-32, at the half -- this despite being out-boarded 18-9.

It remained close throughout the second 20 minutes with the final score 72-70, Louisiana Tech.

Four Bulldogs scored in double figures -- Romario Souza and Trevor Gaskins with 16 points apiece, with Raheem Appleby and Brandon Gibson both contributing 13 as Coach Mike White's team shot 53% for the game.

Danny Berger came off the bench to score a team-leading 17 points for the Aggies. Brockeith Pane totaled 13 points and Ben Clifford 12. Preston Medlin end the contest with six points on 1-7 shooting but he did pass for eight assists while grabbing five rebounds.

USU shot 46% overall and won the boards battle 32-21. Stew Morrill's group also shot 27 free throws to 16 for Louisiana Tech.

So for tomorrow, Hawaii and New Mexico State will square off @ 6 p.m. with Nevada and Louisiana Tech hitting the court @ 8:30 p.m.

Nevada wins in a hold-your-nose outing

Burn the tape.

San Jose State led Nevada 14-13 at the half (PTW kids you not, although we should have issued a warning to those who either just ingested a liquid or whose seating arrangement might produce a serious distance fall to the floor).

Matters picked up in the second 20 minutes, as SJSU led by eight early in the second period but Nevada eventually came from behind and garnered a 54-44 victory.

The Pack shot 40% overall to 33% for the Spartans, who also went 1-16 from three-point range.

Deonte Burton topped the Reno-ites with 16 points while Wil Carter led all scorers with 18.

New Mexico State takes care of business

New Mexico State led Fresno State 25-19 at the half, then broadened the lead early in the second 10 minutes and eventually won 65-49 this afternoon. It was a victory powered by offensive rebounding, second-chance points and defense.

Wendell McKines went for 15 points (but 3-15 overall shooting) and 13 rebounds while Tyrone Watson contributed 13 markers but the Aggie mainstay was holding the Bulldogs to 31% shooting (NMSU shot 37%).  Marvin Menzies' crew won the battle of the boards 42-28 and shot twice as many free throws (36-18). 

Kevin Foster paced FSU with 14 points while Kevin Olekaibe totaled 13 (4-16 overall shooting).

For tomorrow, it's a pairing of NMSU and Hawaii.

Well, Hawaii did it

After being left for road kill and a mix of home kill too and also minus its top three-point shooter at that, Hawaii took down Idaho 72-70 in the initial game of the WAC tournament. Being in the right place at the right time, Hauns Brereton picked up a loose ball and scored from the baseline to secure the win.

Vander Joaquim posted a 20/13 double-double for the islanders, as did Brereton with 17/11. Shaquille Stokes added 17 points. Kyle Barone led the Vandals with 19 points, Stephen Madison contributed 16 plus Djim Bandoumel garnered 16 rebounds.

UH won the rebounding battle, 41-32 plus committed but six turnovers.

Josh Wright early reports as does Brian McInnis.

Catch these Twitterers

Chris Murray will be tweeting the Nevada - SJSU game and seemingly some of the others too. He has already provided this: "And I must say that seeing Stew Morrill in cargo shorts is awesome." Somehow, PTW has never previously associated those two subjects. 

Jason Groves is already a-tweetin too as is Brian McInnis and Josh Wright is also at it right now as Idaho is down early to Hawaii.

It looks like Tony Jones will come on board when Utah State hits the court.

SJSU after a SoCal forward

Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop mentions SJSU (as well as others) being in pursuit of a southern California frontcourter: "Utah saw 2012 PF Kahlil Johnson of Price (CA) yesterday. Colorado, Arizona State, Duquesne, Montana State & San Jose State are on him"

He stands 6-foot-7, 200 pounds.

From ESPN: "Johnson has a great frame with strong shoulders and long arms. The lengthy face-up 4-man has a soft left-handed stroke and some bounce as well. He can face-up his defender and knock down the 19-foot jump shot or put it on the floor and get to the rim."

From Dinos Trigonis: "One of the most improved players in the 2012 class, Khalil has transferred to Price for his senior season. Long and athletic, Johnson is extremely agile and has intriguing upside."

The ingredients needed to win the tournament

ESPN's Paul Biancardi offers his necessary elements to capture a conference tournament championship.

How to destroy a basketball program

Be thankful you're not a Northern Arizona fan.

True, this isn't WAC-related but it is worth posting. The Hoop Dirt site, which covers coaching changes at all college basketball levels, recently offered this:

"Now NAU hopes to have an AD in place in 8 weeks, with the new men's basketball coach to follow after that. It's crazy to think that Mike Adras was the first coach fired this season (12/9/11), and that NAU may be one of the last schools to hire."
The exodus of current players will likely become a torrent, with newcomers a trickle. Whoever lands the opening better be willing to accept suffering big time next season and probably for seasons to come. So why be a fan?

Thursday and the beginning of the WAC tourney

So it has come down to this: 

Game 1: #3 Idaho vs. #6 Hawaii at noon
Game 2: #2 NMSU vs. #7 Fresno State at 2:30 p.m.
Game 3: #1 Nevada vs. #8 San Jose State at 6 p.m.
Game 4: #4 Utah State vs. #5 Louisiana State (yikes) Tech at 8:30 p.m.


On Friday, the game one victor plays the winner of game two while the top dog in game three receives the opportunity to face the game four vanquisher.

It's really difficult to go against choosing New Mexico State and Nevada as initial winners. Idaho has momentum if not a successful tournament track record but PTW is sticking with the Vandals because, minus Johnson, it doesn't appear UH has a player who can go off and score 30 and/or consistently hit from outside. Plus, we're among those in the throes of Medlin-mania so it's USU triumphing over the Bulldogs.

That was really bold, going with all the favored teams.

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Kraig Williams, Tony Jones, Shawn Harrison and Jerit Rosser each preview the Utah State - Louisiana Tech matchup which should be a fascinating game. Can USU maintain its momentum or will LT's style win out?

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Chris Murray breaks down the Nevada - San Jose State pairing and then writes about Coach David Carter going the video motivation route. Chris also does some bubble residency comparing.

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Josh Wright looks at the Idaho - Hawaii pairing while Dayton Morinaga goes multi-media with his preview. It certainly seems like the absence of Zane Johnson will hurt the outside-shooting deficient Rainbow Warriors but this situation also allows someone to rise to the occasion. The Kyle Barone - Vander Joaquim duel inside will also be fascinating.

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Robert Kuwada and Jason Groves analyze the Fresno State - New Mexico State showdown, with the latter also picking the Aggies to win the WAC tourney. 

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A recruiting note:

Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop tweets about a player also of Utah State interest: "Pepperdine & Jacksonville offered Tanner Lancona, a 2013 PF from Tesoro (CA), today. UC Irvine has also offered"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hawaii recruiting interest

This Miguel Melendez feature on Pasadena (CA) High hoops has a mention of Hawaii interest in 6-foot-5 wing Blake Hamilton.

Wednesday's WAC hoops roundup

Jason Pugh captures Coach Mike White, his Bulldogs and the season enjoyed in quite the deserving feature. PTW didn't know that White is just 35 years old.

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Chris Murray is back with a check on Nevada's mindset going into Thursday. Dan Hinxman writes that it's free but too often a throw for the Wolf Pack and such may prove to be an Achilles heel. Joe Santoro 'capsulizes' the WAC competitors.

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Theo Lawson serves up his WAC tourney initial round game predictions. It is hard to see any upsets on Thursday.

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Timothy R. Olsen works his way through the ups-downs-ups of the USU season.

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Jason Groves and NMSU AD McKinley Boston talk Aggie post season. Jason also features Bandja Sy and Daniel Mullings as unsung performers this season.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hawaii offers Minnesota wing

2012 Minnesota prepster Zach Stahl recently received an offer from Hawaii. The 6-foot-6 wing missed time early this season with an injury but is back and performing well.

Here's a feature/interview from back in July (the recruiting mentions are out-dated).

Here's video:

Tuesday's buffet of WAC basketball links

Robert Kuwada has posted his weekly Talkin' WAC column. There are chicken nuggets and then then are numbers nuggets -- Robert serves up the nutritious latter, add your own condiments.

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Jason Groves offers reactions from Coach Marvin Menzies and three of the Aggies to the All-WAC selections. Jason also looks back and thus forward in what worked for New Mexico State this season.

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Vandal Nation serves up a close-to-14-minute video featuring Coach Don Verlin and players Deremy Geiger and Landon Tatum talking about the tournament.

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Not the news Hawaii needed -- Zane Johnson is ill, per Dayton Morinaga.

Absolutely love the last paragraph from this Brian McInnis blog entry.

Jeff Portnoy writes about Hawaii and the WAC tourney.

DeBeast films is back.

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Chris Murray is burnin' up the bandwidth:

* why Nevada will win the tourney
* why Nevada won't win the tourney
* the odds for each tourney team
* capsules on each tourney team
* the Pack is feeling good where they are at right now 

Joe Santoro checks in with some of the Nevada players on Thursday's opponent, San Jose State.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wendell McKines WAC POW

From Jason Erickson, WAC Director of media Relations:

New Mexico State’s Wendell McKines has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 27-March 4. The honor marks the first career WAC Player of the Week for McKines.

McKines, a senior forward from Oakland, Calif. (Richmond HS), led the Aggies to a 1-1 road record last week. McKines pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds and scored 20 points in a come-from-behind win at Fresno State in overtime on Saturday. The performance marked his 16th 20-point game of the season. He tied personal-best marks with four made 3-pointers, including three in the overtime period, and eight 3-point attempts. He also recorded his 18th double-double of the season and 45th of his career in the victory at Fresno State. At Nevada on Thursday night, McKines had a team-high 10 points and 13 rebounds.

On the week, McKines averaged 19.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He hit 8-of-16 three-point field goals on the week.

Hawaii checking out McLaughlin

Clint Parks recently tweeted this: "Gib Arnold from Hawaii and Jim Shaw assistant from Washington are here in Kennewick to see Mark McLaughlin"

Bob Condotta has a feature on McLaughlin, addressing his many moves.

A question for you

Viewing the full and noisy stands in the Orleans Arena for the West Coast Conference semi-finals, it got PTW wondering why the attendance for the WAC tourney pales in comparison?

As for what was witnessed over the last few days (and what will be seen tonight), is it because Gonzaga brings a large number of fans and possibly St. Mary's too? Having BYU around this time also had to help.

It doesn't seem likely that Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Portland, San Diego, USF and Santa Clara lured all that many behinds in the seats (is PTW off base with any of the listings here?).

Having some of those schools also not being all that geographically far away from Sin City probably aided the numbers but again, the majority of the closer schools aren't draws.

So who are the WAC schools bringing in sizeable numbers to the tourney? Does Utah State lead? Will a goodly contingent of Reno-ites be heading south for Thursday? How about any exodus from Las Cruces? The rest of the WAC members either have either virtually no chance of winning or are fairly distant from LV and don't seem to travel well fan-wise.

Having the game setup adopted this year will help -- last season's format seemed a disaster for attendance -- but will the Orleans be jammed for any WAC tourney contest?

Monday's WAC hoops digest

Matt Sonnenberg comments on the various All-WAC choices while Shawn Harrison talked with PMed.

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iamloyaltonewmexicostate has posted at the Sports Trough MB (AggieAlert site) about NMSU offering Givon Crump, a wing from Pasadena (CA) City College.

Coincidentally, PTW did a story on Crump in late January.

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Mark Rauh shares photos from Senior Night at the Nevada - Louisiana Tech Saturday contest.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

PTW's WAC honors

For better or for worse, here are our selections for Western Athletic Conference honors:

Player of the Year

* Deonte Burton
, Nevada,
His numbers: 17.3 points and 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals a game, 75% on free throws, 39% on treys

Why:

* Nevada winning league
* his numbers
* his making Dario Hunt and Olek Czyz more effective offensively
* his being the team leader and yet just a sophomore

With profuse apologies to Big Wen.

Coach of the Year

* David Carter
, Nevada

Why:

He has obviously done well, buttressed with a load of talent in the starting five, but also give him credit because there really hasn't been all that much help off the bench in Reno this season. Carter really has but one creator offensively. Plus, the Pack is #1 in field goal percentage defense in the WAC.

*** But Louisiana Tech's Mike White deserves public notice for what he and his Bulldogs accomplished this season -- both a record and a competitiveness nobody predicted.

Solid cases can also be made for Marvin Menzies and Don Verlin.

All WAC First Team

* Wendell McKines
, New Mexico State

Why: a double-double average of 18.6 points and 10.9 rebounds a game  46% shooting, 78% free throw

* Vander Joaquim, Hawai

Why: 15.4 points and 9.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots a game while shooting 63%

* Kevin Olekaibe, Fresno State

Why: 16.3 points per game, most minutes played (39.7 a game), with a neon target on his back every second, the Bulldogs go empty in league play with Olekaibe

* Preston Medlin, Utah State

Why: 18.5 points and 2.6 assists a game, 52% shooting, 46% on treys, most treys made (42), 84% free throw

* Olek Czyz, Nevada

Why: 14.9 points and 7.3 rebounds a game, 57% shooting

All WAC Second Team

* Hernst Laroche, NMSU

Why: 12.6 points and 4.0 assists and 2.2 steals a game, 41% on treys, running the show alongside a now departed player and then a freshman

* Dario Hunt, Nevada

Why: 10.1 rebounds and a league-leading 2.8 blocks a game, 52% shooting

* Wil Carter, SJSU

Why: a double-double average of 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds a game, 54% shooting, 79% free throw

* Joston Thomas, Hawaii

Why: 16.9 points and 6.0 rebounds a game, 51% shooting

* Malik Story, Nevada

Why: 14.6 points a game, 41% on treys

Other Candidates

Sorry to:  

* Kyle Barone, Idaho

* Hamidu Rahman, New Mexico State

* Zane Johnson, Hawaii

* Brockeith Pane, Utah State

* Deremy Geiger, Idaho

Freshman of the Year

between

* Daniel Mullings
, NMSU

Why: 10.4 points. 52% shooting, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 25 steals, 52% shooting

* Raheem Appleby, Louisiana Tech

Why: 15.1 points per game, 44% overall shooting, 20 steals

Heck, a case can be made for either one so it's co-winners.