Sunday, September 30, 2012

Remember Fly Williams?

If you have more than a few decades under your belt you probably recall Fly Williams jacking up shots and scoring like 30 points per game for Austin Peay.

But there was always a sense that matters would not end up good for Williams and that was unfortunately fulfilled.

Eric Angevine reports on a Williams biography penned by Jack Link.

The holidays aren't too far away so keep it in mind as it sounds like a cautionary tale told truthfully.

Sunday's WAC basketball merry-go-round

Teddy Feinberg assesses New Mexico State athletics. Aggie football is a dead weight, basketball the shining light. What to do? Will a new Prez make a difference?

The Hoops Report folks evaluate the 2012-13 New Mexico State hoops squad and position the team as #49 in the nation.

For perspective, check out some of the other rankings: Connecticut #66, Washington #64, Alabama #57.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

More New Mexico State media

Jason Groves comes through once again, this time with his selections of the top talents on each WAC team.

Friday, September 28, 2012

More on Coach Reggie

Andy Katz writes:

"Former New Mexico State and Sacramento Kings coach Reggie Theus is on the verge of getting the job as head coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the NBA Development League, replacing Eric Musselman, who left for an assistant’s job with Arizona State. The deal is done, according to a source, but Theus hasn't signed it yet; there is a tryout Saturday and Theus will be there. Theus has been anxious to get back into college basketball but hasn’t been able to get a quality sniff of late. Getting a head-coaching job, regardless of the level, is crucial for him to convince an athletic director and/or school president that he’s worthy of another shot."
That last paragraph is telling. He produced on the court in his short stint at New Mexico State but still needs to prove something to future collegiate employers. What's that about? Off court player problems? That, in and of itself, isn't usually much of a barrier if you win games.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Carter Evans - SJSU no longer an item

Accord to Minnesota Fury Coach Ben Davis, 6-foot-10 Carter Evans and San Jose State University have ended their mutual interest society as the Spartans have received another commit from a five man.

Carter blending in well overseas

At the 1:12 mark of the video below, former SJSU frontcourter Wil Carter appears to talk about playing with his new team in Holland.

This is ominous

It appears recruiting will now be a matter of who is eventually determined eligible, not who your team signs.

Eamonn Brennan writes about the raised academic standards for NCAA eligibility and includes this tidbit.

"...For some, this represents a monumental task, which is why the NCAA estimates that 43.1 percent of men's basketball players who enrolled in 2009-10 would not meet the 2016 academic standards..."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A parent's perspective on recruiting

Recruiting. Although this premise may get some degree of argument, it's the foundation for success in college basketball. Do it well (a definition open to interpretation depending on one's position in the equation) and you have a future. Stumble as a coach and it's start ordering the packing boxes.

We've all read accounts of the process involving coaches and players but rarely has the vantage point of a parent been presented..

Here's a take after talking with the father of a three star D-I prospect son who is in the midst of the recruiting proceedings. His offering are in quotations.

"It's like high school dating -- an emotional roller coaster. Coaches get hot and cold. It's like a girl going steady with a boy until a boy with a cooler car comes along."

For the family, there was this experience: "one school sets us down for a big talk, telling us 'we love your son' but then we haven't heard boo from them since."

Yes, the phone calls end, the attention fades but hopefully replaced by a new suitor.

But sometimes, coaches make a return appearance.

"Coaches will call back after being out of touch for a long time saying 'we've been real busy working on our next class but we really love you.' When what has really happened is some more desired prospects declined offers from that school and the situation became 'remember so-and-so, let's call them back up."

Then there was this: "Last year, a handful of coaches come see him at his school in September. This September it’s a new handful of schools with little contact from last year’s schools.”

Followed by this: "When my son was a ninth grader, a coach had us to campus and said 'you're our top recruit  and can't wait to offer when you're older.”

They are no longer hearing from that school.

The father also introduced what was a new term to these ears.

"In some situations you have early offers or what we call projection offers because there are a number of schools in the state and the competition and pressure is there to go after the younger kids, to get a jump on the competition.  Then, the kid doesn’t grow or progress like they expected and they are dropped like a box of rocks."

There was also homework to do and a reality to be discovered by the parents and prospect: "Before all this, we thought if they offered you a scholarship, you signed it and have your four years of school paid for. We didn't know they keep evaluating a kid annually and will cut him if they like a new recruit better.  Some schools have reputations for doing this so make sure your kid is at the top of their depth chart or he may be on the chopping block after his freshman year. Certain schools have much better reputations than others and are committed to seeing the kid through his education."

Regarding advice, a bevy was forthcoming.

*  “Beware that some schools hand out offers like candy.  Sometimes 15 offers for 2 available scholarships.  These are usually the schools that will throw out a lot of early offers or projection offers. Other schools are much more stingy with offers and patiently wait and evaluate the athlete until they are sure. One isn’t better than the other. You just have to be realistic and investigate what type of school is giving you that offer. A great sight is VerbalCommits. It is not totally accurate or up to date but it does give you an idea of which schools hand out the offers like candy.”

* As a warning, "you don't really know you have a legitimate offer until the call to sign the paperwork. They are all verbal offers and verbal commitments until signing day. A verbal offer is still better than no offer but either side can back out at any time. The coaches won’t tell you it’s not a good offer anymore. They just stop calling so you lick your wounds and go on to greener pastures. It all depends on who still wants you when it’s time to sign the letter of intent.”

* "Go to practices as well as games because you can learn so much more about coaching styles through practice."

* "'Do due diligence' as we actually made contact via Facebook with some former players at certain schools in order to solicit opinions about the education and coaches."

Now granted, all of the above is based on a small sampling. Coaching behavior runs the gamut -- good, bad and ugly -- just like it does in any other profession. An education on the process is necessary, much preferably before getting on the roller coaster.

The father closed with "I did fail to mention it has been pretty exciting when a program develops an interest in your son and then follows that up with watching him during the summer. Then it really is exciting when they like him enough to offer. Then it is even more exciting to have them follow an offer up with a visit. When you get the head coach on the phone and at your school then you know they are serious and want your son. Those are the best times!”

Wednesday and the world of WAC roundball

A Jason Groves tweet: "Bandja Sy and Terrel DeRouen out with minor injuries. Sy broke a finger, Derouen with a minor arm injury. Both out a couple weeks"

Do bookmark, like, befriend JG or whatever you do with Twtter accounts.

Jason also chatted with Coach Marvin Menzies in a piece that will definitely get your 2012-13 college basketball mojo flowing. Thank you Jason.


As expected, Land of Enchantment combo backcourter John Dawson went out of state -- Dave Telep: "Marquette's latest pledge, G John Dawson out of New Mexico, has a similar body to Rodney Stuckey as a HS SR" 


No necessarily WAC-related but bookmark Troy Machir @ CollegeNasketballTalk. He is a Monday - Friday must read and we're wishing for a Saturday and a Sunday Morning Mix.

Troy wrote it loud and clear today: "Is anybody else opposed to scrapping the rest of the college football season right now and start the hoops season next week? I know I’m not."


Let's sneak another football reference in here because it will make you laugh -- Rob Sievers - Green Bay is the first team in history to start the season 1-1-WTF.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An update on Justin Graham

The EuroBasket folks have an update on former San Jose State University backcourter Justin Graham. He'll be playing this season in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.

Not WAC-related but...interesting

Gregg Doyel would have to beat extremely longs odds if he ever wishes to be named honorary mayor of Durham. Such will happen the day Coach K goes gray.

Honorary mayor of Chapel Hill? It would seem to be a cinch right now but then Tar Heels fans surely recall this column.

Maybe Doyel, for his own safety, should never set foot in the state, period.

Yes, them that have the gold, rule.

Tuesday's WAC hoops roundup

New Mexico State athletics writes about Coach Marvin Menzies distributing WAC championship rings.


Hoopniks has tweeted: "6'5 SF Roderick Bernstine of Cherokee Trail (CO) announced he committed to Denver. NFL bloodlines, athletic combo forward slasher.

One description: "Bernstine is an athletic combo forward who can run and jump. He handles it ok and is a very consistent driver. He shoots it ok with 3-point range and is a solid rebounder. Bernstine’s ultimate level is somewhere in the low to mid major range."


What's missing from this list of teams -- Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Baylor, North Carolina, Georgetown, NC State, Syracuse, Murray State, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Florida State and Kansas -- ESPN is featuring during Midnight Madness?

A: The western United States. Is it a matter of the three hour time difference?


From Michael Pina: "Former NBA player and head coach Reggie Theus has emerged as the leading candidate to become head coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders, tweets Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski."

So floating Texas Tech was a PTW pipe dream.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday's WAC basketball collective

Jason Groves checks in with some former Aggies on their current statuses and more. It's always enjoyable to reach this type of piece.


Chad Groth floats some names: "Marvin Menzies, Craig Neal & David Grace would be a perfect names for Texas Tech, said Area Codes Basketball" 

MM has to be thinking that, despite his accomplishments, where is the WAC heading?

SethC serves up nine replacement possibilities, such as they are.


Here's Frank Burlison viewing the Elite Athletic Training Utah Showcase:

 "...The 6-foot-7 [Jalen] Moore committed to Utah State University (in Logan) more than a year ago. His father (Jimmy) was one of the Aggies’ best-ever players during his 1972-75 playing career and is now the athletic program’s compliance director.

He scored 29 points and dominated play under both backboards and had the day’s most spectacular play with a soaring, one-handed dunk after beating 6-10 Nate Pollard (Kaysville Davis) on the dribble...."

Greg Crawford looks at Seattle basketball and what the Redhawks need to achieve this season.


Cavan Walsh adds a bit to what Texas Arlington will be getting next season with Anthony Walker.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A perfect match, to a degree

Now that Billy Gillispie is officially in Texas Tech's rearview mirror, Andy Katz offers up some names as his replacement. One is Coach Reggie.

Stream of consciousness thoughts on this pairing: Reggie Theus needs to get back into coaching somewhere and not as an assistant ... Texas Tech needs to make a splash but one that will also provide fulfillment ... Theus won't stay all that long if he can bring success to a program starved of such but that would take 3-4 years, so is that worth it to TT? ... Theus also needs, if at all possible at this age, to become less high maintenance because such is the last thing Tech's AD needs ... Evans and Sadler are possibilities but what indications are there on the résumé of each that either could turn the Red Raiders into a consistent winner? Evans couldn't do it at Arizona State while Sadler posted a winning record at Nebraska but never made an NCAA appearance (his predecessor earned five Big Dance invites) ... Theus would attract better talent plus transfers than most any other candidate

Friday's WAC hoops roundup

Per the USUFans Stew's Spectrum MB, foreveranaggie quotes Stew Morrill that Yuba College transfer power forward Sean Harris will miss this season due to injury.


Jerry Briggs writes that Texas San Antonio Coach Brooks Thompson is gladly welcoming back his former starting center who was out in 2011-12 due to injury.


Seattle U Hoops' latest is all about the Redhawks and the Big West Conference.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This season's WAC Preview is out

The WAC -- Jason Erickson in particular -- is out with its 2012-13 Men's Basketball Preview.

These Fast Facts surprised us:

University of Denver fan support and overall attendance hit
an all-time high with an average of 5,460 per game at Magness Arena last season, a two-year increase of 176 percent.
Senior center Kyle Barone enters his final season at Idaho on pace to become one of the best all-around big men in school history. He is Idaho’s active career leader in points (917), rebounds (578), assists (93) and blocks (86) and can become the first Vandal man to reach 1000/750/100/100 in those categories, respectively.
Also, a third assistant coach is not listed for Utah State.

One little link for today

Rob Dauster writes about oversigning in basketball.

Here is the companion piece mentioned.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A warning from Dave Telep

Per Dave Telep: "Once we hit October, mid-majors get nervous. HM's start missing targets, come looking for mid level guys. Players, who wants you more?"

Let's see if any WAC teams are hit.

Did you ever think you would see this?

Courtesy of Adam Pensack of the Pensack Sports Management Group, here's Tai Wesley and Wendell McKines sporting the same uniform, Spo Rouen (France):

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday's WAC basketball digest

Here's Michael Clay on a backcourter New Mexico State has offered: "Marquette and Creighton will be in Clovis, NM today to see PG John Dawson. The recruiting wars have heated up significantly"

Earlier this month, Dawson tripped to Wyoming. Auburn has also offered.

Marquette and Creighton are some heavy competition. Auburn too.

Hard to see Coach MM winning this one but who knows what's the factors and thought processes of a teenager? Being non-discriminatory, adults too. Just look around.


Mel Grussing writes that Idaho has been in to Antelope Valley College, a team that is simply loaded this season, even more so than last year. Bigs abound at AVC and Idaho will need a replacement for Kyle Barone.


utaggies at the USU Fans Stew's Spectrum MB has posted that Lindy's is out with its annual basketball magazine and the folks there are going with Utah State as the winner of the WAC.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What might have been

Here's Eamonn Brennan on someone who supposedly strongly considered Utah State:

"And if the [Baylor] Bears are smart, they'll find [Brady] Heslip when he's open. No player in the country -- I'll repeat it: no player in the country -- posted a higher offensive rating in 2011-12 than Heslip's 138.6. He finished among the top 15 players in the country in effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage, made 45.5 percent of his 3s, and had the fourth-lowest turnover rate in the nation (7.5 percent). A couple of those figures are inflated, thanks to Heslip's role as a straight catch-and-shoot assassin, but even so, there's no denying how lethal the guard was last season. Unfortunately, he was also the second least-used Baylor player during his minutes, finishing with a usage rate of just 13.1 percent. That number needs to be much higher this season. When Heslip shoots, the ball usually goes in."
Imagine what the 6-foot-2 Heslip, now a junior, would do coming off single and double screens in the Aggie offense. He started 37 games for Baylor, averaging 27 minutes and 10.2 points per game.

Preston Medlin has a wider set of skills but Stew Morrill certainly would have a found a way to utilize both.

Monday's WAC linkup

Jason Groves writes about New Mexico State's non-conference matchups.


The WAC doesn't make an appearance in Luke Winn's Top 11 basketball conference rankings. The Pac-12 is fifth, the Mountain West Conference eighth and the West Coast Conference occupies the 10th spot.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday's WAC basketball preaching to the choir

Teddy Feinberg offers his take on the 'situation' facing New Mexico State athletics.


In Dave Reynolds' article on Bradley basketball, he wrote: "Carter Evans, a 6-10 senior at Rochester (Minn.) Century, left with an offer, but is still considering his options. He also has scholarship offers from San Jose State, New Hampshire and Presbyterian."

Carter's trip to SJSU is supposed to happen this coming weekend.


Doug Benton/NorCalPreps (a Rivals sub is required) offers a bevy of basketball updates and other items. Here's a couple:

Sheldon/PHPS Elite combo guard D'Erryl Williams had in-home visits with San Diego, Loyola Marymount and San Jose State with visits planned to all three schools. Columbia also came out to watch him play.

Eric Duncan of Weston Ranch/PHPS Black is being recruited by San Jose State, Boise State, Southern Utah and Hawaii
Duncan is a 6-foot point.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday's WAC news

Denver has a visitor this weekend, Jordan Scott arriving on an official.

Scott is a 6-foot-6 guard/wing with a 6-foot-9 brother attending Colorado. Per Rivals, offers have been extended from Air Force, Drake and Wyoming.

Jeremy Bauman and Peter Robert Casey wrotes this on Scott in May 2012: "He may not have the bulk, but Jordan Scott is a physical forward at 6’6”, 190 pounds. He gets his hands on a lot of loose balls, can rebound well for his size and can match up with multiple positions defensively. Scott picks up most of his points as a perimeter slasher. With refined range, there’s a lot of upside to his game."


Per Jim Hicks, Texas Arlington has landed a big, 6-foot-9 Lone Star Stater Jordan Williams.

Another Hicks tweet: "Brandon Williams had an offer from Miami (FL) during the April live period. Great catch for Scott Cross and his Mavericks staff."

One description: " Williams is a fluid, bouncy and athletic forward that can develop into a high major prospect in time. Williams can really block shots to go along with his size and athleticism."

From back in 2010: "Brandon (6″8) is an athletic kid, who has a high ceiling. Currently he is very raw, but his work ethic is causing him to progress at a very quick rate. He’s a great rebounder and shot blocker with explosiveness.  This is only his 2nd year of organized basketball." 


Credit John Ralston at the basketball message board for locating this Matt Hickman-penned story on Ajak Magot, a 6-foot-10-er out of Sudan who has an offer from Idaho. The story behind the story is often the most fascinating.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday's WAC roundup

Tony Jones is spot on -- even a handful of first division quality teams doesn't carry any cachet with ESPN.


Jason Groves is all over the factors indicating any New Mexico State to the Big West Conference movement is hope and prayer.


Seattle U Hoops writes about Redhawk basketball media exposure, actually lack thereof. It's also difficult to see the following year offering improvement for WAC member media appearances.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday's WAC hoops digest

The recent offer from Texas Arlington didn't sway 2013 Minnesota prepster Conor Voss. Per Ryan James: "St Cloud Cathedral/MN Comets 7-ft center Conor Voss has committed to play at Ivy League school Columbia"


It's sure looking like Idaho is Big Sky bound, football excepted at least for now, as Bob Murphy writes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blue Zertuche (a Rivals sub is required) writes that 2013 Texas prep point Ridge Shipley came away impressed with his Texas State visit.

Below is some video:

Wednesday's WAC-aroo

From the If-It-Has-To-Happen, Better-Today-Than-Two-Months-From-Now Department: USU's Marcel Davis has a mysterious ailment and, also per Tony Jones, is impressing mightily as a freshman point.


UT San Antonio athletics officially announces the addition of three new talents to Coach Brooks Thompson's squad, one 'shipped, two walk-ons.


Ryan James tweets: "Conor Voss grabbed an offer from Texas- Arlington today. They were recently up to watch him workout, Voss visits MIT this weekend"

Voss is a 6-foot-11 2013-er out of Minnesota.

Per Rivals, he also has an offer from Seattle. He just visited Columbia and has an upcoming trip to Davidson and both have extended offers.


Per Josh Gershon: "2013 Tulare (Calif.) Union PF Keonta Vernon is hosting Northern Arizona and Wyoming on in-homes tonight"

The 6-foot-6, 210 Vernon also has an offer from Seattle. He projects as a three in college.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday's WAC basketball roundup

Per Anthony Ray: "Brophy Prep 6-foot-9 senior post Tim Kempton has given a big verbal commitment to Lehigh University, after taking a recent visit"

He's 6-foot-8 and 210, the son of former Notre Dame and NBA big of the same name

Idaho and others had offered the Arizona prepster.


From the Minnesota Fury: "KJ Bluford now has D1 offers from Tulsa, Idaho, Arkansas State, Detroit, Murray St, SE Missouri, New York-Albany, and Northern Arizona!"

Wrote about the 6-foot-3 Bluford earlier here. LA Tech is sniffing around the shooting guard.


This is probably old news but the Arizona Hot Spot Basketball site lists 6-foot-5 Westwind Prep talent Josh Braun as owning a New Mexico State offer. His academics are off the chart.

Here's some video on Braun.


The SeattleU Hoops folks feature freshman guard David Trimble as one to watch when the Redhawk season unfolds.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Winning the position(s)

I have no idea if coaches give any thought to this matter but here goes anyway.

To typically be a successful basketball team, five need to become some degree of one on the court as in the sum of the talents being greater than the parts or the meshing of players individual talents making each more effective. That's well known and really important for any team in the WAC because guys who can carry a team are non-existent in the conference this coming season.

Even as individually talented as they are/were, the Kentucky 2011-12 guys played unselfishly together, not apart, and we all know the result.

However, the centerpiece of this post is the thought that victory also includes winning the position offensively and defensively, meaning your center performing better than his opponent, your four doing the same and so on down the line.

To triumph generally requires winning the overall mano-a-mano battles at the majority of the five positions.

The exception -- and there always seems to be one -- being when a player just goes off for 35 points or some sort of never-to-be-reached again career night while his direct opponent manages say five.

In that scenario, winning at the other positions isn't such a requirement in order to nab a W -- but how many times do such individual efforts occur?

But it's also critical to understand the connection between playing as a unit and succeeding in the battles at the individual positions. They are intertwined.

Making all this somewhat more concrete, let's have some fun and predict/project the starting fives for New Mexico State and Utah State in the upcoming season.

The southern Aggies:

* Tshilidzi Nephawe
* Bandja Sy
* Tyrone Watson
* Daniel Mullings
* K.C. Ross-Miller

The northern Aggies

* Jarred Shaw
* Kyisean Reed
* Spencer Butterfield
* Preston Medlin
* Tenale Roland

Granted, bench production is being ignored in this equation but who wins which of the individual positional struggles between these two opponents, takes a majority and thus a victory?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bill Self is blinded

Bill Self feels obligated to stick up for his friend Billy Gillispie but, of course, Self didn't experience the behavior exhibited by Gillispie and is also blinded to the fact that his buddy needs to stay away from the coaching ranks from here on out both for his physical and mental health and of those under his supervision.

A prime example:

"I'm sure he's done some things as a coach that he looked back on and said, 'Whoa ... I got up against the line today. I toed the line a little bit.' But you know what? We've all done that at some point in time when we're trying to get our teams prepared to play at a high level. Ask any coach in America and he'll tell you there was a time when he said something when he was under stress or something he did under the gun where he went back and said, 'Ooohhh, I wish I would've handled that differently.'
"I just hate what's happened. I hate it because he's a friend and hate it because he's a colleague. I still just don't see how so many things can become public from such a short amount of time from sources that are supposedly inside the department. Basketball teams are supposed to be a family. There may be problems, you may have to work through them and there may be harsh realities.
Crossing the line (or actually swinging way past it) is Gillispie's method of operation, not something incidental. Physical and mental abuse and bullying are NEVER acceptable in ANY setting. Just who was "working through them?" Certainly not Gillispie.

The faux job offers for assistant coaching positions, the exodus of basketball program employees (let alone student-athletes), the NCAA practice time violations, having players work out despite stress fractures, layup lines for adults -- yes, Bill Self thinks (or desperately wishes to) that it's all some sort of misunderstanding.

No line of work should ever induce the expectation that unacceptable behavior and inhumane treatment is okay. Is that really want we want to be as a society?

Sunday's WAC items

6-foot-6 WA shooting guard Tucker Haymond has committed to Western Michigan. Seattle had also offered.


Hipsterdoofus21 at the USUFans Stew's Spectrum MB indicates that JC transfer forward Sean Harris is still hampered by the surgery he had some time ago.


PTW notices that Brian Jackson (1978-81) has entered the Utah State University Athletics Hall of Fame. He goes way back but we still remember his play -- good for him.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday's WAC hoops compendium

Ryan James has tweeted: "Carter Evans of Roch. Century will visit Bradley next weekend, San Jose St in three weeks"

Evans is a 6-foot-10 2013 prospect out of Minnesota who played his way into D-I interest this spring and summer.

Again per James, KJ Bluford has interest from a pair of WAC teams:
Check the list recruiting former Armstrong wing KJ Bluford: Tulsa, Idaho, Ark St, Detroit, Murray St, Missouri St, Missouri, Albany, N. Arizona
KJ Bluford is also hearing from LA Tech, UTEP, and SE Missouri. Last tweet I accidentally deleted the SE in front, meant SE Missouri
Originally out of Minneapolis, he is a 6-foot-2 guard at Northeast College in Nebraska who averaged 17.6 points per game on 39%, 34% and 77% shooting as a freshman.

Bluford is tripping to Arkansas State this weekend.


From Marc Porcoro writing about various pro teams in France:

Other notables - Jahmar Young.  The former New Mexico State Aggie comes from Latvian powerhouse Ventspils where he led the team with 15.3 points per game.  He will be a major factor in how good Orleans can be this season.

Mark Perrault (a Rivals sub is required) has an article up on 2013 Clovis New Mexico prep guard John Dawson who is tripping to Wyoming this weekend and getting major love from Creighton.

Gut feeling: he's not coming to Las Cruces (Voach Menzies has offered) but it appears right now that even he doesn't know what his final answer will be.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday's WAC hoops wrapup

Ryan James tweeted: "Prior Lake C Carson Shanks is taking his official visit to Utah State this weekend. Carson committed there last year"

Shanks is a 7-footer out of Minnesota.

Here's a January 30, 2012 interview.

USUStats has word on two other visitors coming to Logan.


Coast2Coast Hoops tweeted: "UT-Arlington is now expressing interest in 2013 Belton (TX) shooting guard Thomas Barnes"

He's 6-foot-1, 165 pounds and listed as a combo guard.

In mid-July, it was tweeted that Louisiana Tech was evaluating him.


Former New Mexico State backcourter Christian Kabongo is now at Morgan State, having departed from Southern Mississippi (it will take a bit of scrolling down).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday's digest of WAC links

37 days until basketball season launches.You can make it, hold on.


From a Blue Zertuche article: "Trinity high school standout Myles Turner has been invited by UTA, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas, Kansas, Rice, TCU, North Texas, SMU, Houston, Baylor, and Creighton. The 6-foot-10 power forward missed all of summer with a broken ankle. Turner will return to action September 13."

The competition looks mighty fierce for the 2014-er.

One 2012 description: "A wiry thin low post player who can step out and shoot it. He only got four shots off on the night (4 for 4) due to quick double teams and perimeter pressure defense. He has a very soft touch and range to the 3 point line. He is a good rebounder and shot blocker but really needs to get stronger in his base…legs/butt/hips."


SeattleUHoops has a column up on the Redhawks results in China and the benefits of playing in August/September.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday's WAC basketball wrapup

This tidbit of Denver University basketball information in a recent athletics release caught PTW's eye:

"...Last year DU men's basketball student-athletes were once again leaders in their league with regard to academic performance. Eight members of the team were named to either the Sun Belt Conference Commissioner's List or Honor Roll, given to players with a 3.0 grade-point average or higher..."
That is extremely impressive.


PTW was wondering about what seemed like an update embargo on Seattle's visit to China but this, from Coach Cameron Dollar, explains it all: "Sorry for not being able to update as the trip unfolded. China takes its social media policies seriously. Also, limited internet access."

Talk about the Chinese authorities shooting themselves in their respective feet. Gotta love the authoritarian counterproductiveness.


From Hoopniks: "RT : JUCO PF Anthony Walker has committed to UT-Arlington, sources say."

He's a 6-foot-9 sophomore at South Plains Junior College this season after averaged 3.7 points and 2.5 rebounds per game while shooting 63% overall from the floor, 37% from the foul line in eight minutes a contest.  

Here's a November 2010 article regarding Walker signing with Texas Arlington out of high school.

Get Billy Gillispie out of coaching

We wish Billy Gillispie a speedy recovery from his health woes and simultaneously a ban as best that could be enforced from the basketball coaching profession.

Jeff Goodman has the sordid details of the prevarication and the bullying of both adults and players by Gillispie, who based on his behavior, is a mentally ill individual.

Just where was Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt in all this?


Just where was the Board of Regents?


It will be interesting to see what the NCAA  does since there were infractions involved but will the suits also pursue lack of institutional control? Granted, that's a stretch but...

On radio this morning, Jeff Goodman offered that Bill Self might throw Gillispie a lifeline since they are good friends but does Kansas need that firestorm? Self could easily survive such a move but his friend needs to stay out of coaching. Remember, friends don't let friends drive drunk (it's a metaphor, not a reference to Gillispie's earlier drinking problem).

But Dave Bliss got back into coaching at the prep level so...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Not necessarily WAC-related but...

Matt Norlander channels the late Ann Landers and dispenses advice to college basketball freshman.

One of the best lines: "And you? The mid-major player who had three D-I offers, nothing beyond a school with a direction in its name? Yeah, you can't screw up."

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Top 10 WAC players

This one doesn't have to be a top talent from each WAC member but rather the 10 best players regardless of team affiliation, and that ought to bring forth both some thumbs up and a bevy of naysayers.

The listing is alphabetically ordered so please don't read anything into the following.

* Raheem Appleby, Louisiana Tech, 6-foot-2, guard, sophomore - The Bulldog top scorer as a frosh, he'll be more of a marked man this season but also surrounded by a greater level of talent.

* Kyle Barone, Idaho, 6-foot-10, center, senior - He can shoot, rebound and block shots but is the mindset and body there to vault into position as the top dog of the conference?

* Jeromie Hill, Texas San Antonio, 6-foot-8, forward, junior - Hill will add around 3-4 points and 2-3 rebounds to his per game averages as a soph (12.5 & 6.4) but actual dominance needs to be added.

* James Kinney, San Jose State University, 6-foot-2, guard, senior - If he can shoot from the floor with greater judgment and tamp down the turnovers, he'll provide very solid effectiveness for the Spartans.

* Stephen Madison, Idaho, 6-foot-5, wing, junior - Label this one a hunch as he improved tremendously in his freshman to sophomore season output but needs to display greater ability to create and get his own shot.

* Preston Medlin, Utah State, 6-foot-4, guard, junior - Medlin is certainly the Aggie leader but will he reach Jaycee Carroll-type status? Call him the leader in the yet-to-be-run race for most valuable player.

* Daniel Mullings, New Mexico State, 6-foot-2, guard, sophomore - He'll lead the southern Aggies in scoring this go-around but he also rebounds and defends.

* Jordan Reves, UT Arlington, 6-foot-10, forward, senior - Get him up to 30 minutes a game and he should be averaging a double-double in 2012-13. Last season was 24 minutes, 9.7 points and 7.8 boards along with 57 blocked shots.

* Matt Staff, 6-foot-10, forward, senior -- Ditto here (13.3 points, grabbed 7.9 boards and swatted 44 shots in 25 minutes per game)

* Chris Udofia, 6-foot-6 forward, junior - A do-it-all type and a lock for an All-WAC spot plus consideration for most valuable player.

Okay, attempting to curb some of the incoming ordnance...

You say Kyisean Reed? Yep, he certainly has a very good chance. Let's also throw UT San Antonio's backcourter Kannon Burrage into the conversation. How about 6-foot-7 Texas State newcomer Joel Wright? PTW also likes the skills set and overall production of Denzel Douglas, a JC transfer at the point for Idaho.

Who did we miss? Who is undeserving?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

High school rankings and making the Big Show

Someone has probably done this already, that being taking a decade or so of the high school talents making the Parade, McDonald's, et al All-American teams and checking to see how that correlates to playing in the NBA.

In August, 2011, Jeff Goodman wrote about the 2002 Mickey D AA squad and in it you'll come across some names requiring digging very deep into the memory bank.

It's an interesting read even if ultimately nothing can be divined of it due to the small sampling.

Rooting for losers and why we can't help it

So why are you wedded to rooting for 'your' team even if their success on the court, field, diamond, ice, et al is far less than stellar?

Steve Almond writes about just that subject, including this line:

"...I mean hard cases like me, who spend decades rooting for teams that almost invariably stomp our hearts..."
There has to be a medical term for such an ailment.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Raphielle Johnson on the traveling WAC teams

Raphielle Johnson, NBE Basketball West Coast Editor, weighs in with some WAC news:

These are tough times for the WAC, which is likely entering its final season as a full-fledged conference thanks to football-sparked realignment. The two teams that took trips are both entering their first season in the WAC, with Texas State headed to the Sun Belt in 2013. The Bobcats took on competition in Costa Rica, winning all three games by an average margin of 44 points per contest. To say the least the level of competition wasn’t on the level that Texas State will see once November rolls around, but the offensive production wasn’t dominated by just one or two guys.
Leading scorer Matt Staff returns and he capped the trip with an 18-point, 12-rebound outing, and each game featured a different leading scorer with Reid Koenen being another standout. But offense wasn’t the issue last season for the Bobcats, who averaged 76.4 points per game. It was the defense that ultimately led to Texas State going 5-11 in Southland play, as they allowed opponents to score more than 74 points per game. That will be the area in which a definitive answer on Texas State’s improvement won’t be truly offered until they take on better competition.
Seattle will be in China until the day after Labor Day and the trip will feature seven upperclassmen. Just like Texas State the Redhawks didn’t have much trouble scoring last year, but with the departure of Aaron Broussard there are 18 points per game that need to be accounted for. Second-leading scorer Sterling Carter returns for his junior campaign, and junior Clarence Trent should perform even better in his second season at Seattle after transferring from Washington in 2010.
But the trip will allow for Seattle to work on improving defensively, as they allowed opponents to score 75 points per game in 2011-12. Can veterans such as Prince Obasi and Allen Tate show themselves to be capable of taking on added responsibilities? That’s another question that will need answering as the Redhawks enter their first season in the WAC. They’ll get five games in China, and that should be a solid preparation for the coming season.