Thursday, July 31, 2008

Congrats to Matt Bauscher

He's certainly not the only one heading overseas -- not even on his former team let alone the league -- but we wish to especially congratulate Matt Bauscher for earning a spot playing overseas basketball.

A former walk-on, Bauscher isn't gifted athletically and was more of an opportunistic contributor for BSU but boy did he excel in doing so. Every team needs a kid who can knock down open shots when teammates are double-teamed, who rarely turns over the ball and, most importantly, accepts his role.

Bauscher was also named to the WAC All-Defensive team this past season, a tribute to his headiness and grit.

Bauscher to continue basketball career overseas
Idaho Statesman

Former Boise State men's basketball player Matt Bauscher has signed a contract to play professional basketball in the Netherlands, he said Wednesday.

Bauscher, a native of Caldwell, will play for Aris Friesland in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. The team plays in the highest division league in the country. He will leave Aug. 20.

"It's good money for first my season overseas," said Bauscher, who becomes the fourth BSU player from last season's WAC championship team to pursue a professional career. "They take care of everything. Growing up in Caldwell, I just wanted to play college basketball. Now I'm getting an opportunity to play professionally, make some money and see the world. It's pretty unbelievable."

Bauscher averaged 9.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and made 49.1 percent of his shots, including 43.5 percent from 3-point range.

Bauscher joins former teammates Matt Nelson (Spain), Tyler Tiedeman (Spain) and Reggie Larry (NBA summer league) in the professional ranks.

Idaho will have a new backcourter, count on it

Although he will have to sit out the coming season and to date nothing is official, Steffan Johnson is headed to Moscow for his senior go-around. But the following article, if what is contained pin it lays out, indicates the civil court will be involved.

Jeff Goodman
Jul 31, 2008

Pacific was supposed to be the favorite in the Big West. Not any longer.

Bob Thomason just lost three of his top players for the season and one of them, the frontrunner for Big West Player of the Year honors, is leaving the school permanently....

Go here for the remainder.

Here's a link to an Stockton Record article where Michael Nunnally talks about the situation that led to his year suspension from the Pacific team.

Clearing up the Greg Smith situation

This Fresno Bee article makes it seem that the Smith clan are finally in agreement -- as opposed to earlier articles. Greg Smith is a fine 'get' for Coach Steve Cleveland although we continue to feel he is not (yet) a dominating big.

Smith makes his move to the Bulldogs
Ex-Edison hoops star may be one of Fresno State's biggest grabs.
Daniel Lyght
The Fresno Bee

Greg Smith liked the thought of being an Arizona Wildcat but the decision of which university to attend poured down upon the 6-foot-9, 17-year-old center. He made a regretful decision.

"I never should have committed to Arizona," Smith said Wednesday. "It's been overwhelming a little bit. It's a really, really big decision."

Two days earlier, The Bee's Player of the Year decommitted to Arizona and orally committed to play basketball for Fresno State.

"That's where I wanted to go since my freshman year," he said....

Go here for the remainder.

LT in the lead for this kid?

If indeed Kerry Rupp and Louisiana Tech are desirous of this kid down the road then we aren't going out on any sort of a limb in saying the Bulldogs must be considered the favorites. But four years is a long time and brother Shaun will be gone from Ruston by then.

Jay Drew
Salt Lake City Tribune
Prep Sports:
July 30, 2008

Basketball: 6-8 Idaho prep now headed to Louisiana

We told you a few days ago about Casey Oliverson, the 6-foot-8 high school freshman from Preston, Idaho, who was moving into American Fork's boundaries and was likely to perhaps even start for the Cavemen this season.

Well, the situation has changed -- dramatically.

Oliverson's father, Mike, will not accept a job teaching special education at American Fork after all. Instead, he has taken a job at Simsboro High in Simsboro, La....

Go here for the remainder.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Fresno State mention with this 'big'

Our understanding is that Fresno State has one scholarship left to offer and and is searching for a point who can come in and help right away. However, FSU gets a mention with this big who is looking for a new home in the next month or so:

USF releases freshman Akol from scholarship
Greg Auman
July 25, 2008

USF announced Friday that the school has released incoming 6-foot-11 freshman power forward Teeng Akol from his scholarship, an unexpected development just a month before the start of fall classes.

"It is really hard for us to lose Teeng. He is a great kid," coach Stan Heath said in a statement. "We love him and we were developing a great relationship. Unfortunately, USF was not the right fit for him. We will do everything to we can to make sure he ends up at the right institution and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors..."

...Because Akol was not admitted to USF, it appears he will be able to sign elsewhere and play this season despite taking classes at USF. Typically, an athlete would have to have a year in residence at a new school before being eligible to play. Muraisi listed several schools as options for Akol, including Missouri, Fresno State and UNLV; he also mentioned West Virginia, but Big East policy does not allow basketball players to transfer from one member school to another. It's unclear whether Akol falls under that policy, given his set of circumstances....

Go here for the remainder.

A bit more on a New Mexico State recruiting target

Here's some additional information on Mouphtaou Yarou, a prepster New Mexico State (among others) is pursuing. The competition looks fairly fierce right now and seemingly will get larger considering the kid's potential:

Initial Scouting Reports, High School Class of 2009 (#11-150 Recruits)

Jonathan Givony - President
Draft Express
July 30, 2008

Mouphtaou Yarou, 6-9, Power Forward, Rising Senior, Cecil Kirk
4-Star Recruit (UConn, New Mexico State, UCLA, etc)

On the advice of one of the college coaches, we went to take a look at Mouphtaou Yarou (#88 Scout, #31 Rivals, Unranked ESPN) at an out of the way gym on our last day in Vegas. That was definitely a smart move on our part. Yarou is a native of Benin (he supposedly has royalty in his blood) and has been in the States for just a few months now. He hasn’t been playing basketball for all that long from what he told us, but you would never guess based off the way he plays.

Yarou is a 6-9 post player with a solid build and an excellent frame. He has good size for the power forward position and a very nice wingspan. He runs the floor fairly well and is a solid all-around athlete. He’s not a freak like some of his African counterparts, but he can certainly jump and has nice body control as well....

Go here for the remainder.

A Louisiana Tech mention from this senior prospect

It's near impossible to discern a school's actual intentions, let alone that of a recruit, but the Texas Hoops Rivals site has a post about a prepster who mentions Louisiana Tech as one of the schools who have offered him. But he doesn't have LT as one of his faves: staff
July 29, 2008

The powerhouse known as the Houston Hoops certainly has its stars, but it's the supporting cast that has made the difference in the team's success this AAU season. Jacob Holmen is accustomed to playing more of a star role with his Whitehouse High School squad but the athletic 6-foot-8, 205-pound forward has fit right in with the Hoops. He's picked up a slew of scholarship offers as a result and has a favorite, but is holding off on any decisions with recruiting for the next couple of months....

Go here if you have a Rivals subscription.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Greg Smith now says he's heading to Fresno State

Jerry Meyers of Rivals is reporting that California big man Greg Smith has changed his mind about signing with Arizona and is now committed to Fresno State. Go here for the article -- a Rivals subscription is required.

Not being any sort of a basketball talent evaluator, nor having played such a role on television, we still offer this take on Smith's situation.

With that proviso in mind, Smith certainly fills a gaping need for Coach Steve Cleveland and possesses the best potential of anyone on the current Bulldog front court roster.

However, several people have told us that Smith is going to need a very, very good senior year of academics in order to be eligible next season -- the PAC 10 doesn't accept non-qualifiers.

He is supposed to be attending high school in Vallejo in 2008-2009 rather than Edison High in Fresno where he has been for three years and we were also told that Smith has a relative in the administration of his expected Vallejo high school which hopefully will be helpful in his focus on achieving the academic success he needs in order to play right away.

But even if his immediate college eligibility doesn't materialize, Cleveland will surely be happy to wait another year if Smith qualifies as a Proposition 48-er.

Although definitely in the minority regarding Smith's talent level, we see the WAC as a better level of play for Smith. It goes back to deciding if one wants to possibly be a star (in the WAC) or a player considered helpful (in the PAC 10).

We've been wrong before and certainly will fall into such a status again but this is our take. We will be more than happy if Greg Smith proves us incorrect with our assessments because this will mean the success of another young man and what's not to like about that?

****** UPDATE

Here's a Fresno Bee article from July 10 on Smith's situation:

Edison's Smith stuck amid shuffle
Prep basketball standout, uncle differing on wisdom of a transfer to Bay Area.
Andy Boogaard
The Fresno Bee

All along, Stephen Shelley has watched Greg Smith with a critical eye, from the time his nephew was making baskets at a 10-foot high hoop at 3 years old to last March, when he was throwing down dunk after dunk as a junior in the state basketball playoffs for Edison High.

"He was a beautiful kid who was going to be something special."

All along, sometimes as a guardian, Shelley treated the boy with the middle name Stephen with loving care.

"My sister gave him my name because she knew I would look out and take care of him," the uncle says.

It was out of Shelley's house for much of the past three years that Smith has grown into one of the nation's brightest prospects, launching a recruiting chase that finds Fresno State among the leaders.

But, today, Shelley knows his relationship with the nephew is in jeopardy: "And I'm willing to take that risk...."

Go here for the remainder.

And here's a bit more from the Arizona side:

Jason Scheer Senior Writer
July 29, 2008

On Tuesday morning, news circulated that Vallejo (Calif.) Bethel center Greg Smith had decommitted from Arizona and instead had chosen to go to Fresno State. While this is partially true, here is what we know so far.

On Monday night, Smith placed a phone call to the Arizona coaching staff saying that he wanted to go to Fresno State rather than Arizona. The main reason for this is because his mother, who has newly entered his life again, wants him to stay close to home....
Go here for the remainder.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bringing heat, bringing light

A solid rule of thumb is don't type what you wouldn't say in person to the object of your post/email etc. Hopefully, we have followed this advice but surely some will think we have fallen short at times. Anonymity becomes too safe a refuge for some who fail to comprehend both the damage that can be done and the hurt inflicted. And for what as snark is fairly simple to create. Heat is good at times -- even necessary -- as long as it is accompanied by light.

In the Internet age, are things truth or blog?
chris gabel
Reno Gazette-Journal
July 27, 2008

"Some of these things that happen that are on blogs and on the Internet, there's no legs, there's just no reason. They just get out there and then you have to put them out."

That was Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona recently, responding to a rumor about his club that was circulating on the Web. Francona is far from alone in his view of the Wild West territory that is the sports blogosphere.

Athletes around the country say they steer clear of what is written about them on the Internet, much the way they avoid newspaper columns. Blogs can be the sports equivalent of the National Enquirer or the New York Post's Page 6 gossip columns.

Content ranges from facts to unconfirmed gossip, funny to sophomoric and boorish.

They can give a humorous take on the stories that go beyond the box score, and often beyond the field or court. The Kevin Hart saga (of the Fernley High football player who committed to play for a college that did not recruit him) made the national sites, as did Jessica Simpson's appearance at the American Century Championship golf tournament earlier this month.

"There's no doubt many blogs push the envelope as to what's acceptable," said Ryan Jerz, operator of the local blog, "Mr. Jerz...."

Go here for the remainder.

A JaVale McGee feature in the Washignton Post

Here's a full-length article on JaVale McGee in the Washington Post:

The Son's Time to Shine
Once a Star Herself, P. McGee Gives Wizards Rookie His Space
Ivan Carter
Washington Post
July 28, 2008

Around 5:30 one morning when JaVale McGee was a sophomore in high school, his mother, Pamela McGee, woke him from a sound sleep and trudged him out into Michigan's bitterly cold winter darkness to run a mile in a pair of heavy boots.

At the time, McGee was on the junior varsity basketball team at Detroit Country Day School, an exclusive high school with high academic standards, a reputation for athletic excellence and a high tuition. Pamela, an all-American at Southern California who also played in the WNBA, was an assistant coach for the boys' varsity team.

When Pamela had poked her head into the junior varsity practice the day before, she was not pleased to see JaVale merely going through the motions. The next morning, he was jogging through the snow.

"It's expensive to go to Country Day," Pamela McGee said recently. "My mom was a teenage mother and worked in a factory so her children could go to college and get an education. So, when JaVale had the opportunity to go to Country Day and I went to that practice and saw that he wasn't working hard, that he was just loafing around practice wasting time, I was like: 'No. This is not going to happen.' That was unacceptable. I told him: 'If you aren't going to work hard, we're going to do this every morning.' He got the message and I've never had to do that since."

Today, JaVale is a 7-foot, 237-pound center preparing for his rookie season with the Washington Wizards, who selected him with the 18th pick in the June 26 draft. He is the first son of a WNBA player to be drafted by an NBA team.

The combat boots McGee wore that frigid morning were replaced long ago with a fresh pair of basketball shoes, and he'll put in most of his hard work on the plush practice court at Verizon Center. But the lessons McGee picked up from his mother have stuck with him....

Go here for the remainder.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

He who has the gold ... rules

We're not going to get carried away with it but we will from now on be posting non-WAC-related articles -- but with a basketball focus -- that we find interesting. Here's our introductory post, one that lays bare the fickleness of sportswriters and sports talkers.

We do recall that Doc Rivers was being trashed by many as not up to the task as the head coach of the Celtics -- that is, until the Boston talent base exponentially expanded and suddenly Rivers became the toast of the town -- as silly a transformation in the minds of the public as his earlier derogatory-laden rep. Always keep in mind this nuggest from Damon Runyon: "The race is not always to the swiftest, nor the battle to the strongest, but that is the way to bet."

Cheering Section
In Coaching Universe, Genius Wears Sneakers
Vincent M. Mallozzi
New York Times
July 27, 2008

Am I a genius, or what?

The past two seasons, my teams of 7- and 8-year-olds have dominated the basketball competition in the St. Joseph Elementary School league in Keyport, N.J.

I enjoy strolling the sideline and watching my big three — Matthew Fitzsimmons, a mini Bill Walton; and Shane Keenan and Ryan Knoeller, the league’s most dynamic backcourt — wreak havoc on the hardwood.

“You’re the Red Auerbach of recreation basketball,” Matthew’s father, Tom Fitzsimmons, recently said to me.

That is high praise, considering that Auerbach is largely viewed as having been a coaching genius, as was Red Holzman. Pat Riley and Phil Jackson top the list of modern-day geniuses.

One day last month, I had an interesting conversation with Kevin Loughery on the subject of basketball brilliance. Loughery, the former coach of the New York Nets of the American Basketball Association, seemed to have a hoops I.Q. as high as Julius Erving’s Afro when Dr. J was leading his Nets to two titles in the 1970s.

Just before the 1976-77 season — the first season after the A.B.A. merged with the N.B.A. — the financially troubled Nets sold Erving to the Philadelphia 76ers. Without Erving, Loughery’s defending champions fell from the A.B.A. throne to the N.B.A. cellar with a 22-60 record.

“Suddenly,” Loughery said with a sad chuckle, “I got dumb overnight.....”

Go here for the remainder.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fresno State looking for a point guard recruit

Here's one Fresno State target (keep in mind there are probably 3-4 others unknown to us) to fill the void left by Reggie Moore's recent decision to back out of his letter-of-intent:

Bulldogs still hot after NorCal guard
Jed Tai
Special to
July 22, 2008

With the chances of Reggie Moore ever stepping foot on campus apparently nil, the Fresno State basketball coaching staff is working hard on finding another point guard for the Class of 2008. It's difficult to find an impact player at this stage of the game, but Coach Steve Cleveland and his staff may have unearthed a gem recently. It's going to be a battle for the services of Shannon Sharpe, a talented 6-foot, 190-pound point guard from Corona (Calif.) Centennial High School, but after his recent performance at the West Coast All-Stars camp, the Bulldogs program is sold....

Go here if you have a Rivals subscription.

USU recruiting tidbits

Nobody does a more comprehensive job of recruiting coverage than Jay Drew of the Salt Lake City Tribune, who not only 'covers' Utah State, BYU, Utah and Weber State recruiting but also Utah kids who are being wooed out of state.

Drew is back with more:

Provo's Davies is blowing up in Vegas

Utah and BYU lost the battle for one in-state basketball star from the class of 2009, Pleasant Grove's C.J. Wilcox -- who has committed to Washington -- and now it appears they will both have a tussle on their hands for another: Provo forward/center Brandon Davies.

The 6-foot-8 Davies is blowing up in Las Vegas this week, according to several scouts and club coaches I've talked to today. He's played so well that even Louisville coach Rick Pitino has asked about him. So have coaches from Arizona State and Gonzaga...

...Davies is still sitting on offers from BYU, Utah and Utah State, and I know for certain that BYU wants him desperately. African-American basketball players who are LDS and in the Cougars' own backyard don't come around all that often, obviously.


Ian Harward, the 6-10 big guy from Orem, is still sitting on an offer from Utah State, but sources say he wants to go to BYU and he is still waiting for an offer from the Cougars, who have told him to give them a couple more weeks to decide. My guess is that it hinges on what Davies decides.

Karl Benson on the WAC

Some of the following requires reading the proverbial tea leaves but here's Commissioner Karl Benson recently on the state of the Western Athletic Conference:

Commissioner sees WAC getting stronger
Graham Watson
July 23, 2008

SALT LAKE CITY -- Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson had little to complain about as he gave his state of the conference address to open WAC media days Wednesday.

The WAC sent a team to a BCS bowl for the second consecutive season and earned more BCS money than any other non-BCS conference for the second consecutive season.

So it was no surprise when Benson announced the bigwigs that were attending WAC media days, he made sure to note representatives from the Fiesta Bowl, Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl.

"The WAC has re-established itself as the second-most recognized conference in the West behind the Pac-10," Benson said. "It wasn't intended to compare the WAC to the Mountain West. The WAC is well-grounded, well-established and continues to perform at a high level...."

Go here for the remainder.

Another angle for Boise joining the MWC?

Take it with a grain of slat at this point, but here's a WAC-related excerpt from a recent Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal column:

Boise State might seek spot in league
Humanitarian Bowl bid could be part of effort
Mark Anderson
Las Vegas Review Journal

Could the Mountain West Conference's next step be adding Boise State?

League commissioner Craig Thompson didn't sound eager Tuesday to invite the Broncos, but he said an agreement appears in reach with the Boise-based Humanitarian Bowl.

The Mountain West could send a team to that game this season if the Atlantic Coast Conference fails to qualify an eighth bowl team, but a deal would be for a guaranteed spot in 2009 for the No. 5 MWC team. The league's other four bowl contracts expire then, and the Humanitarian could negotiate to move up and take a higher-finishing Mountain West team.

Thompson didn't deny Boise State might use the bowl as a means to gain admission into the Mountain West.

"It's two different deals, but they probably will," Thompson said. "I think we will get the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl done with or without Boise State's influence."

A Mountain West representative would face a team from the Western Athletic Conference, which includes Boise State. The Broncos played the past two seasons in the Hawaii and Fiesta bowls.

"I'm making a major presumption here, which is dangerous, but I've heard that Boise State doesn't always like to play in the Boise bowl," Thompson said. "If they're having a Mountain West opponent, they'll probably say, 'Sign me up!'"

NMSU's Jarmar Young rolls the dice

Both sides thought they had a deal but NMSU player Jahmar Young has changed his mind about pleading no contest and is now entering an innocent response to the charges against him.

Pleading out would have allowed the situation to be put to rest (not that Utah State fans are likely to forget -- just wait for that hopme game in the coming season) but now it will be raised again in September.

Of course, a verdict of innocence will also put all this behind Young and NMSU but a decision of guilt by the jury also raises the specter of a tougher sentence than that which would have been applied by a no contest plea.

Prosecutor: NMSU basketball player declines deal, will face trial
Jose L. Medina
Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES — A plea deal in place between prosecutors and New Mexico State University basketball player Jahmar Young has fallen through, setting up a September trial date on misdemeanor charges.

Assistant District Attorney Nelson Goodin said Young, 21, has decided to decline a deal he was set to accept last month....

Go here for the remainder.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A New Mexico State recruiting target

As always with recruiting, don't chisel anything in granite unless you have a very good eraser but here's a New Mexico State (and others) recruiting target:

Mouphtaou Yarou -- power forward 6-9 210
School: Woodstock (VA) Massanutten Military Academy Club Team: DC Blue Devils

Offers from: Florida State, Georgetown, Memphis, Pittsburgh, New Mexico State

As for the kid, here's an article:

West African Big Man Turning Heads in America
Ivan McDowell, Southeast/Mid-South Editor

May 30, 2008 - DC Blue Devils forward/center Mouphtaou Yarou may not be a household name on the high school hoops scene yet; that is until last weekend’s Nike Memorial Day Classic in Nashville.

The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Yarou (a rising senior) has only been playing basketball for a few years and while he has a long ways to go to be a complete player, he clearly is more advanced than most African big men at the same stage....
Go here for the remainder.

Fresno State looking at a point

With Reggie Moore having backee out out of his letter-of-intent to Fresno State, Steve Cleveland must land a point with his final scholarship. Here's one he is looking at, again with the proviso that the recruiting process, on both sides, changes every day. It will take a Rivals subscription to read the entire article.

Bulldogs still hot after NorCal guard
Jed Tai
Special to
July 22, 2008

With the chances of Reggie Moore ever stepping foot on campus apparently nil, the Fresno State basketball coaching staff is working hard on finding another point guard for the Class of 2008. It's difficult to find an impact player at this stage of the game, but Coach Steve Cleveland and his staff may have unearthed a gem recently. It's going to be a battle for the services of Shannon Sharpe, a talented 6-foot, 190-pound point guard from Corona (Calif.) Centennial High School, but after his recent performance at the West Coast All-Stars camp, the Bulldogs program is sold....

Go here for the remainder.

A possible Louisiana tech recruiting target

Always, always, always keep in mind that college recruiting is FLUID. What was yesterday is not today but could be again tomorrow.

With such in mind, Rivals' Justin Young is reporting that Kadeem Green has Louisiana Tech as one of his top schools, along with Pitt and Minnesota.

He's 6-8, 210 four out of the Montverde (FL) Academy and plays for the Ontario Magic club team but also in listed as a member of the Grassroots Canada squad.

Can the Canadian pipeline keeping flowing to Ruston?

Back from hell

How do the residents of Las Vegas do it? At least for six months out of the year? Better yet, why?

Yes, you haven't lived until you exit from a Vegas high school gym at 4 p.m. and it's 110 degrees with a warm, check that, hot, also check that, blistering wind blasting you like a furnace.

You don't dare sprint but you purposefully stride to your rental car, climb in and jam on the AC for that first hint of salvation coming at you from the dashboard.

Then you do it again and again and again...

Ah, the glamorous life college coaches lead!

Anyway, enough of this, we are back home and thoroughly enjoying the fog and 70 degree temps and vowing to get the late July club team basketball tournaments in Las Vegas bug out of our system forever so that we do not repeat such an act of self-punishment in 2009.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Boise State's summer prospectus is out

The BSU nedia folks have issued a summer prospectus on Greg Graham's Broncos, the 2008 Western Athletic Conference champions.

Here's a taste:

Key Returners:

Anthony Thomas (6-0, 205, Jr., G) – Started all 34 games for Boise State at point guard, finishing with 141 assists (the third most in Boise State history) ... Averaged 8.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.1assists and 1.4 steals per game, while finishing fifth in the Western Athletic Conference in assists, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio.

Paul Noonan (6-7, 210, So., G/F) – Played in 33 of Boise State’s games, starting one ... Averaged 4.8 points and 1.3 rebounds per game, while making a team-best 86.5 percent of his free throw attempts.

Jamar Greene (6-0, 203, Sr., G) – Played in 33 of Boise State’s games, averaging 3.4 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

Mark Sanchez (6-7, 235, Sr., F) – Played in 33 games for the Broncos, averaging 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in 9.3 minutes per game.

Kurt Cunningham (6-9, 265, Jr., C) Played in 33 of Boise State’s games, getting his fi rst career start at Hawaii ... Averaged 2.6 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, while making 62.1 percent of field goal attempts.

Aaron Garner (6-3, 175, Sr., G) – Played in 29 games, averaging 1.8 points and 0.7 rebounds per game ... Best game came when he scored a season-high 14 points in win over Utah State in WAC Tournament semifinals.

Other Returners:

Shawn Rouse (6-6, 187, So., F) – Played in 11 games, averaging 0.8 points and 0.5 rebounds per game. Zack Moritz (6-10, 246, So., C) – Played in just three games missing most of the season with an injury.

Returning Redshirts:

Ike Okoye (6-9, 230, Jr., F) – A transfer from Wyoming who redshirted during the 2007-08 season ... Averaged 3.1 points and 3.9 rebounds for the Cowboys while starting nine of their 31 games.

Top Newcomers:

Robert Arnold (6-7, 170, Jr., F) – Played two seasons at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, Calif., where he led his team to a 56-18 overall record and a 21-7 record in Foothill Conference action ... Helped team to a runner-up fi nish in the state tournament as a freshman and a pair of Foothill Conference championships ... As a sophomore, named first-team all-state and fi rst-team all-conference after finishing 14th in the state and second in the Foothill Conference in scoring ... Averaged 19.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 2.1 assists per game, while making 42 percent of field goal attempts, 31 percent of 3-pointers and 68 percent of free throws ...

Sean Imadiyi (6-7, 200, Jr., F) – Played one season at Arizona Western College in Yuma, Ariz., after a season at New Mexico ... Named National Junior College Athletic Association Third-Team All-America ... Named first-team All-Region I and fi rst-team All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference ... Finished among the nation’s top six junior college players and led the ACCAC in fi eld goal percentage making 71 percent of fi eld goal attempts ... Averaged 16.1 points and 6.1 rebounds while blocking 35 shots.

La’Shard Anderson (6-0, 160, So., G) – Played one season at Irvine Valley College in Irvine, Calif., where he led his team to a 27-5 record and a second-place finish in the Orange Empire Conference with a 10-2 record ... Averaged 9.9 points, 2.3 rebound, 3.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game, while making 44 percent of fi eld goal attempts, 42 percent of 3-pointers and 85 percent of free throws.

Key Losses:

Reggie Larry (6-6, 224, F) – Earned fi rst-team All-WAC honors, as well as being named MVP of the WAC Tournament ... Led the Broncos averaging 19.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game ... Finished season with 661 points, becoming just the third player in Boise State history to score 600 points in a season.

Matt Nelson
(6-9, 232, F) – Earned second-team All-WAC honors while also being named to the WAC All-Tournament Team ... Averaged 15.7 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Broncos.

Matt Bauscher (6-3, 205 Sr., G) – Named to the WAC All-Defensive Team and the WAC All-Tournament Team ... Averaged 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds ... Ranked in the top five in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (105 assists, 36 turnovers) while also making 49 percent of shots.

Tyler Tiedeman (6-7, 212, F) – Averaged 13.9 points and 3.4 rebounds ... Became just the sixth Boise State player to ever score 400 points, grab 100 rebounds and hand out 100 assists in the same season ... Made 48.8 percent of 3-point field goal attempts....... Go here for the remainder of the pdf file

Deundrae Spraggins returns to Texas

Deundrae Spraggins played junior college basketball in The Lone Star State before signing with Utah State. After a less-than-successful junior year in Logan, he has returned to Texas to attend school and play basketball.

Texas A&M Commerce: Lions Continue Pipeline With Signing of DeUndrae Spraggins

The pipeline of former Paris Junior College standouts to the Texas A&M University-Commerce men's basketball program added another member with the signing of DeUndrae Spraggins.

The pipeline of former Paris Junior College standouts to the Texas A&M University-Commerce men's basketball program added another member with the signing of DeUndrae Spraggins.

Spraggins, who played last year at Utah State after spending the previous two years at Paris Junior College. In his one season at Utah State, he played in 27 games on an Aggies squad that advanced to the championship game of the WAC Tournament and went on to play in the NIT...

Go here for the remainder.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fallout from the mess at Pacific

The names of three Pacific men's basketball players who won't be on the roster next year have been announced, with a twist for two of them but one name/player apparently is a goner for good -- that being Steffan Johnson. It's still unknown if he has transferred to Idaho or not:

Three players off Pacific men's basketball roster
Jagdip Dhillon and Jason Anderson
The Stockton Record
July 19, 2008

Three key players from last season's University of the Pacific men's basketball team were missing from the 2008-09 roster released Friday.

Pacific spokesman Richard Rojo said he could not disclose whether those players - senior point guards Steffan Johnson and Michael Kirby and senior center Michael Nunnally - were involved in an alleged sexual assault investigated by the school.

The school's investigation and judicial review process of the reported assault ended last week, but the school did not release the names of the students involved, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law protecting the privacy of student education records. No criminal complaint was filed, police said.

Sources said that the alleged assault involved three men's basketball players and a women's basketball player.

On Friday, Rojo would not discuss Johnson's status at the school but made a brief statement regarding Nunnally and Kirby...

Go here for the remainder.

Utah State has offered a 2010 kid

There are bound to be numerous names unknown to us now, multiple reversals, no's morphing into yes's and vice versa -- you name it -- with college basketball recruiting, especially for a 2010 prospect but Stew Morrill has offered a kid from Oregon:

Jed Tai Editor
July 18, 2008

In recent years, every class has had a talented big man and in Oregon's Class of 2010 Jordan Railey could be the top dog. The still-growing 6-foot-10, 215-pound post from Beaverton High School has made rapid progress in his body and game in recent years, and that development has continued this off-season. Railey is making strides with the Team Jones AAU program, having plenty of fun and picking up college interest in the process - including his first college scholarship offers...

Go here for the remainder if you have a Rivals subscription.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A twist-and-turn story on a former LA TECH recruit

Actually, this young man has a long list of suitors besides LA TECH but at one point in time it appeared that he was headed to Ruston -- at multiple points, he was headed to multiple colleges.

Men's Basketball: Sophomore Whitehead leaves Jays, goes home
Steven Pivovar
Omaha World-Leader
July 15, 2008

Tom Whitehead's Creighton basketball career is over before it began.

The 23-year-old junior college transfer, who would have been a sophomore this season, left the team and returned home to St. George, Utah. Whitehead said he made his decision to leave after discussions with Creighton coach Dana Altman left him with no alternatives.

"I knew I would have to compete to put myself in a position to get playing time," Whitehead said Monday from Salt Lake City. "Even when he told me there was a chance that I wouldn't play much this year, I was prepared to stay. I'm a sophomore. It wouldn't be all that unusual for me not to play a lot this first year.

"The more we talked, the more I felt he wanted me to quit. I didn't come to Creighton to quit, but it got to a point where I didn't feel I had any other choice..."

...He also completed two years of academic work in one and was prepared to transfer to Louisiana Tech last August. He graduated with honors but wasn't eligible to accept a scholarship from a four-year school because of an NCAA rule that required a non-qualifier to be a full-time student for three semesters at a junior college...

Go here for the remainder.

Hawaii's key player looks to be heading to the islands

The key player for Hawaii's 2008-2009 basketball hopes looks to be island-bound:

UH hoops recruit is 'on my way'
Dayton Morinaga
Honolulu Advertiser
July 18, 2008

The prized recruit for the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team has already displayed an ability to finish.

Roderick Flemings said he is "just about finished" with the summer courses he needed to complete to become eligible for the Rainbow Warriors this season.

"I'm on my way to Hawai'i," he said. "It's a big relief. It was tough, but I got it done."

Flemings said summer classes end next week in Texas, but he has already completed the necessary work to pass his courses...

Go here for the remainder.

A JaVale McGee update

The following article is one that can be re-written for probably at least the next couple of years on JaVale McGee. He's far from ready to contribute so tracking his progress -- not necessarily his numbers -- will be interesting.

JaVale McGee: Making it in Vegas
Sam Leeper
Special to the Gazette-Journal
July 17, 2008

LAS VEGAS — Being the No. 1 pick of an NBA franchise could put extra pressure on a player.

And when that pick is also the first son of a WNBA player to be drafted, the expectations grow even more.

But JaVale McGee, who left Nevada after his sophomore season and was picked No. 18 by the Washington Wizards, takes everything in stride.
The seven-footer is participating in the NBA Summer League on the campus of UNLV through Sunday...

Go here for the remainder.

A Nick Fazekas update

Here's an update on Nick Fazekas and the reception he is receiving while playing in the Las Vegas summer league:

Fazekas feels the love (and hate)
Andy Samuelson
Las Vegas Sun
July 17, 2008

The Los Angeles Clippers have had a larger Summer League following this past week, but one player in particular has heard just as many jeers as cheers.

“Sometimes it is kind of fun to play in front of people who don’t really like you. It kind of makes you play a little harder,” said Nevada product Nick Fazekas, who had his best Summer League showing Thursday when he scored 16 points in the Clippers last game of the session, an 80-76 overtime loss to New Orleans.

But coming back to such familiar (at times hostile) surroundings on the UNLV campus wasn’t all negative for the soon-to-be second-year player, who suited up 26 games for Dallas and the Clippers last year.

“I definitely have some Nevada fans here, cheering for and against me. It’s better than a neutral crowd,” said Fazekas, who averaged 9.2 points per game and 5.2 rebounds a contest in five Summer League games...

Go here for the remainder.

More on Fresno State's current recruiting efforts

Here's a compilation of recruiting 'news' for you Fresno State Bulldog fans:

Coach Steve Cleveland has reached an agreement with local player Elliott Berry, who will first attend Fresno City College in order to earn his A.A. degree. Berry is 6-7, 200 and out of nearby Clovis West High. Go here for the article if you have a Rivals subscription.


The following article contains a name we've already mentioned (or think we have) plus some details about Steve Cleveland's recruiting plans in the near future.

Bulldogs get big boost of basketball energy
JC hoops transfer Seals to provide defensive help.
Daniel Lyght
The Fresno Bee

The point guard is coming, Steve Cleveland said, but for right now the Fresno State men's basketball coach has signed 6-foot-7 power forward Brian Seals -- a player the coach hopes will add energy and aggressive defense.

"He brings a dimension we don't have and that's someone who loves to guard and rebound," Cleveland said. "He doesn't know how to play other than hard."

Seals played his two previous seasons at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds in 12 games before injuring ligaments in his ankle. As a freshman, he averaged seven points and 10 rebounds per game.

Cleveland said Seals sat out the entire season because Seals wanted his ankle to strengthen. Seals has been playing against the other Bulldogs during summer school, however, and Cleveland said "they love his energy."

The Bulldogs lacked a consistently effective defensive post presence last season and Cleveland hopes Seals can provide that. Seals is 210 pounds so he'll mostly front the posting player to deny him the ball, but he has banged often with Bulldogs center Brandon Webster (6-10, 250) in recent weeks.

"He has the potential to be the best defender on our team," Cleveland said...

Go here for the remainder.

Rosters changes for men's basketball at Pacific?

Yes, Pacific still resides in The Big West Conference but WAC member Idaho just might have a new basketballer -- a former Pacific one -- according to some digging by a Stockton newspaper reporter.

Jason Anderson of The Stockton Record does a superb job of covering Pacific Tiger basketball between his newspaper articles and his blog entries. It appears he has dug up some information on a story that has yet to break and also located a detail that at least seems to indicate a new backcourter is residing in Moscow, Idaho.

Sexual assault probed at UOP
Sources: Four basketball players were investigated
Jason Anderson
Stockton Record
July 17, 2008

STOCKTON - University of the Pacific officials have completed a sexual assault investigation and judicial review process that may affect the enrollment and roster status of as many as four student-athletes.

Pacific spokesman Richard Rojo said he could not identify the students because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law protecting the privacy of student education records.

Sources said the case involves three men's basketball players and one women's basketball player. Rojo wouldn't confirm the involvement of athletes but indicated there could be unanticipated changes to the men's basketball roster, a potentially damaging blow to a team with NCAA Tournament aspirations...

Go here to read the remainder.

Here is the beginning of Anderson's accompanying blog entry:

Turnover for the Tigers?

You’ll have to read Thursday’s paper or go to at midnight to find out why there may be some unanticipated changes within the Pacific men’s basketball program. There is an interesting side note I can share with you now, but first and foremost I want to stress that it may have nothing to do with what you’ll read tomorrow.

Efforts to ascertain players’ respective whereabouts while reporting the aforementioned story led to a peculiar bit of information on a social networking site. Senior point guard Steffan Johnson’s MySpace profile lists his location as “Moscow, Idaho/Kent, Washington.” Kent is Johnson’s hometown. Moscow is home to the University of Idaho – and not much else...
Go here to read the remainder.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Fresno Bee's Matt James on FSU men's basketball

Matt James pulls no punches in his blog entries and here's his latest take on Fresno State men's basketball and what has recently transpired:

Matt James
Fresno Bee
July 16, 2008

Bulldog basketball blues

I am still not exactly sure what goes on in college basketball recruiting. I think that people who do college basketball recruiting don't even know what goes on in college basketball recruiting. I suspect that it is very, very slimy. You know when you accidentally hold on to the release button on your fishing pole for too long and the hook goes slamming straight down into the edge of the river and you drag it out along with 17 pounds of seaweed? Pretty sure that's still big-time college basketball recruiting. Except with extra sludge and maybe a piranha on the hook that flies out and bites you on the eyeball.

I am referring, at least in part, to the case of Reggie Moore, the point guard from Seattle who notified the Fresno State coaching staff just before June 1 that he wanted out of his letter of intent to play for the Bulldogs. Moore was the supposed prize of a four-player freshmen recruiting class for Fresno State. He was rated the 34th-best point guard in the nation for the class of 2008 by someone who is probably never seen Reggie Moore in person. My column about the ordeal ran in Wednesday's paper, where I lamented about how this was the last thing Steve Cleveland's program needed right now. It's already dealing with unfair NCAA sanctions* and Dwight O'Neil's domestic disagreement** and Bryan Harvey's unsure status and the fact that if Harvey doesn't make next year's squad, that leaves exactly one senior (O'Neil) and one junior (Sylvester Seay) on scholarship. That could change if Cleveland signs a junior college transfer with one of his two remaining scholarships, but you get the point. It is not good to enter a season where your entire roster has exactly 60 starts*** at any level of college basketball. (Three asterisks in one paragraph could be a new world record. Let's get to them.)

*I could go on for many days about the stupidity of NCAA rules and penalties, but this example is perfect. Fresno State is losing four hours of practice time per week and one scholarship next season because it's APR (Academic Progress Rate) score wasn't high enough for the '06-'07 season. But the NCAA takes that scholarship away from the average number of scholarships a program has used over the last four seasons, as to equally penalize universities who don't fund the same number of scholarships. In other words, reducing a school's total number of available scholarships from 13 to 12, doesn't hurt much if it only funds 10 anyway. But since Fresno State had been penalized so much in the past for various other transgressions, it had only averaged 11 scholarships the last four seasons, so it's total number of scholarships for next season was reduced from 11 to 10, even though it had planned to finally have the full allotment of 13. You could of course argue that if it had stayed out of trouble in the first place, Fresno State wouldn't be in this situation. Sure. But you absolutely, positively, without a doubt, have to see that the Bulldogs were double-penalized for old violations. That's just wrong. So Fresno State appealed and lost. The NCAA couldn't see past a technicality, apparently. The excruciating part is that the team might not have gotten penalized at all had the APR score simply been an improvement on the year before. (The NCAA gives a reprieve for APR improvement, even if it's still a sub-standard score. Just ask the Fresno State softball team.) So if the '05-'06 Fresno State men's basketball APR score had simply been a little worse, Fresno State might have 13 scholarships. Instead, it has 10. Go figure that one out and try not to put your head through a double-pane window. On a bright note, though, the Bulldogs don't have to practice as much...

Go here for the remainder.

Utah State offers a local junior

Utah is always a bountiful state for college basketball recruiting and Utah State is eyeing a local junior prospect. Do check out Jay Drew and his recruiting column in the Salt Lake City Tribune for EVERYTHING recruiting in Utah and sometimes beyond:

The recruiting trail
Jay Drew
Salt Lake Tribune
July 17, 2008

Utah State offers Bingham junior-to-be

Just got word that Ben Clifford, the rising junior from Bingham High, has been offered a basketball scholarship by Utah State.

Clifford, 6-7, recently played for Salt Lake Metro Black at the Pangos Cream of the Crop tournament in California (see post below). He had 18 rebounds in one particular game.

Anyway, when Clifford returned home on Tuesday, the Aggies apparently contacted him and offered the scholarship.

It is Clifford's first offer (remember, he's only a junior), but more are expected in the next year.

Updates on WAC NBA hopefuls

The Draft Express site should be a daily visit for all basketball fans -- it certainly is for us. Here's the latest on summer league ball a couple of former WAC stars.

"Las Vegas Summer League Day Five
Matt Kamalsky, Mike Schmidt
July 16, 2008

Coby Karl: 18 Points, 5-13 FG, 3-7 3FG, 5-6 FT, 1 Rebound, 2 Assists, 1 Steal, 3 Turnovers

Karl had a nice game today, but spent quite a bit of time on the floor. He’s a gritty player, but has no issue taking his lumps. He made his fair share of impressive plays today, splitting a double team with a bounce pass for an assist, ripping the ball away from a couple of jump shooters, and getting an and one around two would be shot blockers by shielding the ball with his body. Karl is a tremendously cerebral player, he thinks the game like a veteran. His shot was falling today, and that allowed him to do a lot of damage from three point range. He’s got great form and his range allows him to get his shot off even when he’s facing a lot of pressure defensively. Though Karl wasn’t able to carry his team to a win, this was easily his best individual performance, showcasing his offensive skills. Karl took a beating today, and it is clear that he’s one of the most competitive guys here in Vegas."

Plus this:

"Ramon Sessions: 21 Points, 6-11 FG, 0-1 3FG, 9-12 FT, 6 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 2 Turnovers

Sessions had a great game today, carrying his team over Detroit in a defensive battle. He solidified his spot on the Bucks’ roster last season, and has been a standout all week here in Vegas. He’s got tremendous quickness and very good ball handling ability, allowing him to get into the lane at will. This game was just another instance of Sessions making a move at the top of the key and getting to the rim. Though he’s not going to play above the rim, he gets to the line at a high rate, and shows a lot of savvy attacking the basket. Sessions is a good rebounder for a point guard, and played solid defense throughout this game against Detroit’s lesser guards. Sessions has developed quite a bit since his days in the D-League, and given Milwaukee’s positive feelings about him, may get more playing time than most would expect."

Here's a little more on Ramon Sessions, this time from ESPN:

"Summer League: Midway Point Awards
Maurice Brooks
July 16, 2008

BEST PLAYMAKER: Ramon Sessions, Bucks

He is very good at changing up the speed of play, controlling the game and taking what the defense gives him. Against the Grizzlies, he took just four shots, but handed out a game-high nine assists. He was more shot-oriented yesterday against the Pistons, scoring 21 points on 6-for-11 from the field, but still found time to give out four helpers, while reducing his turnovers from seven to two."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A possible Nevada recruiting target

Recruiting is such a fluid entity and also permeated with feints and propaganda so we never get overly excited when we comes across a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) -related recruiting item.

With that in mind, the Rivals ArizonaPreps site, hosted by Anthony Ray, had a mention about 6-8 Brandon Garrett with Nevada apparently showing some interest.

Garrett is a 2008 high school grad (Paradise Valley) with up-in-the-air plans regarding the upcoming school year. He hasn't committed to either a college or a prep school as yet. His length and quickness are intriguing but he remains a ways off from being ready to contribute.

Our understanding is that Nevada doesn't have a scholarship to issue so maybe the Wolf Pack interest is as a walk-on.

An Idaho recruiting target

Now do keep in mind that college recruiting is best described by this one word: fluid.

Allegiances changes every day, sometimes on the hour it seems. Offers get extended, then pulled. Verbal commitments are mouthed but a new choice pops up the very next day. Heck, as we just saw, even a letter-of-intent signing is no guarantee.

Plus, here's something always to keep in mind: For both Rivals and Scout, the schools that are listed as interested in a certain recruit are rarely updated with new suitors or a mention of those who have fallen by the wayside or chose to bail -- meaning that the listings are rife with out-dated information.

The school listings for recruits are based on articles posted about said recruits. So if the latest story on a kid is a year old, then ... you get the picture.

Having typed all the above, here's a kid with an Idaho offer:

Markhuri Sanders-Frison

6-8 270
Jefferson High Portland, OR
Eastern Arizona College in 2007-2008 -- 8.8 ppg., 8.9 ppg., 58% shooting
Is now enrolled at South Plains JC (TX) as a sophomore

The kid apparently was at The Hebron Academy (a prep school in Maine) prior to Eastern Arizona College. Coincidentally (or not), Eastern Arizona played at South Plain JC last season.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

BSU's Matt Nelson off to Spain

Matt Nelson has found a professional basketball home abroad. Here's the link.

More Moore from the Fresno Bee

Wow. This and the timing of such really hurts Fresno State. There is no true point on the current FSU roster and Moore's earlier signing is the primary reason for this. We will never know but it would be fascinating to learn how this came about -- was it generated solely by Moore? Did another school or schools continue to 'recruit' him after his signing of a letter-of-intent?

Various Fresno State mesage board posters (yes, take it for what it's worth) have Washington, Washington State and Gonzaga individually and collectively as the so-called 'culprits' in this matter. However, Washington has no scholarships to offer and we're unsire where WSU and Gonzaga stand. But that's all speculation anyway. Heck, former Arizona recruit Brandon Jennings, a point with a national reputation, just announced plans for playing in Europe instead. Will Moore be traipsing to Tucson? And yes, in fairness, take that for what's it's worth too.

'Dogs recruit out before he starts
Reggie Moore was expected to take over at point for 'Dogs.
Daniel Lyght
The Fresno Bee

Seattle prep basketball standout Reggie Moore is seeking a release from his letter of intent to attend Fresno State, sending the Bulldogs coaching staff on a last-minute hunt to find another scholarship point guard.

Moore, who was named the Washington state 3A MVP and helped lead Rainier Beach High this past season to a state championship, asked to be released in late May.

Fresno State has not released Moore and coach Steve Cleveland wouldn't comment on when or if it would.

Moore said Monday he never felt comfortable signing with Fresno State during the early signing period in November, but felt pressured to do so.

"Something just didn't excite me about going to Fresno," Moore said....

Go here for the remainder.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mike Hall finds a new home

Three-point shooter deluxe Mike Hall, who was recently dismissed from the team by new Idaho Coach Don Verlin, has found a new home -- but with his old coach.

Hall has again joined forces with George Pfeifer at Montana State Billings.

Here's the link.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Another blow to Fresno State? -- UPDATE The Barkboard says it is so

******* UPDATE -- Mario Gomez, the editor of the Barkboard (the SCOUT site for Fresno State), has a premium article posted indicating Moore has cut his ties with Fresno State. This obviously really hurts as the Bulldogs now have no roster replacement for Kevin Bell. Moore wasn't going to set the WAC alight this coming season but he more than likely would have been a freshman starter. It will be fascinating to see where he eventually re-signs and what darts, arrows and other ordance will be tossed in the direction of that school's coaching staff.


If we could, we would type this entry in pencil because no authoritative word as yet has appeared about Rainer Beach High point Reggie Moore and his supposed decision not to attend Fresno State.

The Fresno State Save Mart Center message board has a long string about this subject but no official confirmation from Moore, Fresno State Coach Steve Cleveland or any other parties involved.

We've put out several feelers seeking information and are awaiting responses.

Out of Washington state, Moore transformed his game into that of a lead guard after being seen mostly as a shooting backcourter. It's always difficult to put such in perspective but Moore was probably the best Bulldog recruit -- he certainly is the most important since uber-point Kevin Bell has completed his eligibility at FSU.

Here an ESPN description of Moore:

"December, 2007: Moore (Fresno State signee) was the best point guard at this event and clearly demonstrated why he should have been recruited at the Pac-10 level. He has the ideal size, skill and savvy to play at the highest level of college basketball. He is a true point guard (hard to come by nowadays) as he sets up his teammates first before looking for his own shot. He's an excellent open court passer, though he does have a tendency for the spectacular, and can create off the dribble equally as well (solid crossover move). His jump shot is solid out to the stripe as well. In addition, he displays the leadership skills of a point guard and is a tough competitor. Moore should start as a freshman for the Bulldogs during the 2008-09 season and have an excellent career before he graduates..."

In a Seattle Post Intelligencer, Mike McLaughlin-penned article from March 18, this appears:

"...He also earned a scholarship to Fresno State, along with teammate Mike Ladd.

"That's just icing on the cake," Moore said. "To play college basketball and to experience it with one of my best friends is as good as it gets."
Maybe, maybe not.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

ESPN sees the light

Granted, we are obviously WAC-biased but it's great news that the Western Athletic Conference was finally able to reach an agreement with 800-pound gorilla in the living room ESPN, thereby allowing more WAC football and basketball games to be televised. Thank you to the Boise State and Hawaii football teams for their part in providing leverage.

A hat tip to Aggie Sam at for letting us know of the article.

WAC to get boost from ESPN
Proposed deal would increase exposure, pay $4 million per year
Ferd Lewis
Honolulu Advertiser
July 11, 2008

All signs point to the Western Athletic Conference shortly announcing a significantly upgraded and expanded contract extension with ESPN.

Conference officials have been in negotiations with ESPN for several months and WAC members held a conference call yesterday apparently to approve a deal in principle.

The new agreement, when announced, is expected to run from 5 to 7 years and, on top of a several-fold increase in rights fees, include heavily expanded exposure for conference teams.

The WAC had been receiving $900,000 per year on a six-year deal set to run through the 2009-10 academic year. That figure was down from $1 million after Texas-El Paso and three other schools left for Conference USA in 2005. The new agreement is expected to be worth, on average, approximately $4 million per year to the conference...

Go here for the remainder.

Friday, July 11, 2008

An informative article on USU AD Scott Barnes and his plans

Here's a look at the current state of Utah State athletics, with a little history and big plans for the future included. It's a good read even if you're not an Aggie fan as the article details what a number of WAC schools are facing.

Barnes angling for USU success
Aggies' new AD planning three-pronged program
Nick Newman
Deseret News
July 11, 2008

LOGAN — Scott Barnes recently spent a free Friday night to scout out a section of Blacksmith Fork after another long day in the Utah State athletic department.

The next day, USU's new athletic director spent hours working harder than ever — not encouraging the next donor to plunk down cash to advance another athletic project on campus, but rather in pursuit of a rare salmon fly.

After four hours of searching, Barnes finally found one. He grabbed the fly, tossed it in the river, then followed it for 100 feet before a trout came up and snagged it. Barnes figured he had the perfect opportunity for a catch, so he threw his own fly in and waited, knowing a bite was coming soon. Eventually, the fish came up and pulled on the line, but the new leader of Aggie Nation missed the catch.

"That was the only action I had all day," Barnes said.

In the past, with the exception of basketball, Utah State athletics has been much like Barnes' experience fishing — a huge investment of time and work, but very little action.

The glory years of the 1960s have long since faded, and Aggie fans have been subjected to countless years of football mired in mediocrity or worse. The Aggies were Division I vagabonds, becoming an Independent, making an ill-fated jump into the Sun Belt, and finally finding a safe haven in the Western Athletic Conference. Hoops success at the Spectrum made Logan winters bearable, but the program that alumni and boosters once cared most about — Aggie football — had been at the bottom of the competitive sports dumpster in three different leagues for too long...

Go here for the remainder.

An update on Matt Gibson

We always enjoyed seeing Matt Gibson on the court -- he played as the ultimate competitor...which is our ultimate compliment. Yes, he 'enjoyed' some 'time outs' from the court while at Hawaii but gave his all to Rainbow Warrior basketball. Let's hope he succeeds at whatever become his future endeavors.

Ex-’Bow Gibson keeping busy
Jason Kaneshiro
Honolulu Star Bulletin

Running the transition game has taken on new meaning for Matt Gibson.

Since completing his four-year run at Hawaii in March, the former Rainbow Warriors guard experienced basketball at a new level in a different country all while awaiting the arrival of a new addition to the family.

Gibson returned to Hawaii this week to finish up some remaining school work following a 13-game stint with Marinos de Anzoategui, a professional team in Venezuela.

"For my first deal it was pretty good and it was a good experience," said Gibson, among the Rainbow seniors now pursuing professional careers overseas along with Jared Dillinger (Philippines) and Bobby Nash (Japan).

"I got to see a pretty good level of basketball. They have some pretty big, athletic guys over there and the American guys are all veterans, 28-29, big, strong and have been playing professional for a while."

He joined the team on June 6 and averaged 15.9 points and 3.2 assists in his first taste of pro ball. He shot 53 percent from 3-point range (41-for-78) and hit for 30 points in an 85-84 win over Deportivo Tachira on June 17....

Go here for the remainder.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Jason Groves update on Justin Hawkins

Here's Jason Groves with an update on Justin Hawkins:

Hawkins makes Kings' summer team
Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES — When former New Mexico State forward Justin Hawkins didn't hear his name called on draft night, he took a breath before moving on.

Prior to the June NBA Draft, Hawkins said he had guarantees from four different teams, promising a roster spot on their summer league squads.

"It didn't change the fact that I still wanted to get drafted, but it eased my mind," said Hawkins on Tuesday from Los Angeles.

One of the teams that was interested in Hawkins was the Sacramento Kings, led by former Aggie head coach Reggie Theus. The Kings picked Hawkins up for the 2008 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Sacramento plays its first Summer League game on Friday as the schedule lasts through July 20...

Go here for the remainder.

Jared Eborn/Deseret News with more on Jaycee Carroll

Jared Eborn has posted a lengthier take on Jaycee Carroll and his chances of landing an NBA roster spot:

Does Carroll really have a chance to stick with Nets?
Jared Eborn blogger
uly 9, 2008

After one summer league game, Jaycee Carroll looked like the rookie free-agent signing of the year. Playing against lottery picks, veterans and other players hungry to impress a team, the former Utah State star looked everything like a future NBA player.

But exactly how telling -- or misleading, perhaps -- were the 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists?

Sure, those numbers led the New Jersey Nets in all three categories, but would that kind of production last? Would Carroll continue to post impressive numbers in subsequent games and give eager Aggie fans something to thump their collective chest about?

The answer is no -- and yes.

Carroll scored just five points on 1-of-6 shooting in his second outing with the Nets.

Game 3, however, was more like what USU fans have been so used to seeing. The guard from Evanston, Wyoming was asked to come off the bench against Oklahoma and responded with an impressive 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting while tossing out three assists and grabbing a pair of rebounds...

Go here for the remainder.

Utah State issues a summer prospectus

Utah State's staff in the sports info office has been at it already, producing a summer prospectus on the Aggies:

As for the positional breakdown:


Deremy Geiger, 5-10, 165, Fr., HS
Skyler Halford, 6-1, 170, Fr., HS
Jaxon Myaer, 5-9, 150, Fr., RS
Jared Quayle, 6-1, 180, Jr., JC

For the first time in three seasons, Utah State will look to someone new to run the point after the graduation of two-year starter Kris Clark, who averaged 5.6 points and a Western Athletic Conference best 6.4 assists per game during his senior season. USU does return one player with experience in the program in freshman Jaxon Myaer who redshirted last season after being named the 3A Most Valuable Player as a prep senior at Judge Memorial High School in Salt Lake City as he averaged 18.6 points and 6.5 assists per game.

Two other players who could see plenty of action at this position include junior college transfer Jared Quayle and incoming freshman Deremy Geiger. Quayle earned second-team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American honors as a sophomore at Western Wyoming Community College as he finished fifth in the nation in scoring with 24.4 points per game. He also averaged 7.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.4 steals per game and shot 51.2 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from three-point range and 76.7 percent from the free throw line. Geiger was named the Most Valuable
Player of his region as a prep senior in Las Vegas as he averaged 25.0 points, 6.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game and shot 49.3 percent from the field, 36.7 percent from three-point range and 88.2 percent from the free throw line. USU’s fourth point guard going into the fall will be freshman walk-on Skyler Halford who
earned second-team all-state honors as a prep senior after averaging
23.6 points per game at Timpanogos High School in Orem, Utah.


Richard Sirju, 6-2, 200, Jr., JC
Stavon Williams, 6-3, 180, Jr., JC

Utah State’s biggest question mark heading into the 2008-09 season is without a doubt who will start in place of the school’s all-time leading scorer and two-time All-American Jaycee Carroll, who averaged 22.4 points and 6.0 rebounds as a senior and shot an unbelievable 52.6 percent from the field, 49.8 percent from threepoint
range and 91.9 percent from the free throw line. Coach Morrill is realistic in that no one player will have the same production as Carroll, but he is hoping that Richard Sirju and Stavon Williams, a pair of junior college transfers, can combine to solidify that position. Sirju, who could also see time at the point for the Aggies, earned second-team all-conference honors as both a freshman and sophomore at Daytona Beach Community College in Florida. During his sophomore season, he averaged 19.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game and shot 39.4 percent from the field, 39.8 percent from three-point range and 77.3 percent from the free throw line. Williams earned all-region honors as a sophomore at San Jacinto Junior College in Texas as he averaged 15.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and shot 49.4 percent from the field, 43.5 percent from three-point range and 72.2 percent from the free
throw line. Other players who could see time at this position include Quayle and Halford, along with sophomore Tyler Newbold who started 25 games at small forward as a freshman last season.


Brady Jardine, 6-7, 220, Fr., HS
*Tyler Newbold, 6-4, 200, So., 1L
Pooh Williams, 6-3, 200, So., 1L
* - returning starter last season.

Utah State welcomes back one of its three returning starters at the small forward position in Newbold who averaged 5.4 points and 2.5 rebounds last year and shot 54.7 percent from the field, 51.5 percent from three-point range and 83.9 percent from the free throw line. Newbold, who scored in double-figures six times during the season, averaged 7.1 points and 3.0 rebounds as a starter. USU also has another letterwinner returning at this position in sophomore Pooh Williams who started three games and averaged 2.4 points and 0.8 rebounds during the season. Williams, who played 12.1
minutes per game in his first year at USU, seemed to hit his stride late. in the year as he averaged 5.5 points during his last four games and shot 60.0 percent from the field. Joining Newbold and Williams at the small forward position will be incoming freshman Brady Jardine who has spent the past two years on an LDS Church Mission in San Antonio, Texas. As a prep senior in 2006, Jardine was named the Idaho Gatorade and 5A Player of the Year at Twin Falls High School as he averaged 17.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.8 blocks per game.


Matt Formisano, 6-8, 235, So., 1L
*Tai Wesley, 6-7, 240, So., 1L
* - returning starter

Another position where Utah State returns a starter is at power forward in sophomore Tai Wesley who averaged 9.9 points and 4.5 rebounds and finished the year ranked third in the WAC in field goal shooting at 63.5 percent. Wesley, who started 24 games during the season and averaged 11.6 points and 5.4 rebounds in that role, also
led the team with 33 blocks (0.9) to rank eighth in the WAC. Wesley finished the season by scoring in double-figures 18 times and also posted two double-doubles during the season. Also returning for USU here is sophomore Matt Formisano who played in 22 games as a redshirt freshman and averaged 1.3 points and 1.2 rebounds per
game. Another player who could see time on the block for Utah State this fall is Jardine who has matured physically since signing with the Aggies following the 2006 season.


Modou Niang, 6-9, 220, So., 1L
*Gary Wilkinson, 6-9, 240, Sr., 1L
* - returning starter

After earning second-team all-WAC and all-newcomer team honors during his first season at Utah State, senior Gary Wilkinson is the most productive starter returning for USU this fall. As a junior, Wilkinson had an outstanding rookie season as he started all 35 games at center and finished second on the team and 13th in the
WAC in scoring with 13.3 points, and first on the team and eighth in the conference in rebounding with 7.0 boards per game. Wilkinson also ranked fourth in the WAC in field goal shooting at 58.4 percent and was fifth in free throw shooting at 81.5 percent. Wilkinson finished the year by scoring in double-figures in 18 of his final 19 games (28 overall) and posted seven double-doubles during the year. Also
back in the middle for Utah State is sophomore Modou Niang who played in 18 games as a true freshman and averaged 0.6 points, 0.6 blocks and 1.2 rebounds per game.

Again, read it all here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

An update of Keith Richard

Here's an update on former Louisiana Tech head coach Keith Richard, now Trent Johnson's top assistant at LSU. Richard's departure from Ruston remains a mystery -- at least the timing of such. He was let go the week the conference's basketball coaches were meeting but apparently after he left for the get-together -- so was his departure a spur of the moment event? Or something that had been in the works but somehow finally came due to some other event or possibly someone else becoming available or agreeing to come aboard (Kerry Rupp)? Was the game-scheduling connection to Los Angeles City College Coach Mike Miller and his other business, D-1 scheduling, a prominent factor?

Former ISU head coach Wayne Morgan lost his job at least in part to his connection to D-1 Scheduling.

Here's a link to the D-1 scandal.

Granted, the Tech program was slipping with no sign on the horizon of getting back in the mix for a conference championship so a change was probably inevitable but it sure seems there are some unanswered questions.

Yes, it's water long past under the bridge but can anyone help on this?

LSU’s Richard happy to be home
Randy Rosetta
The Advocate
July 9, 2008

After 30 years away, it figures to take Keith Richard some time to adjust to being back home.

His parents, Leonce and Shirlene, are doing whatever they can to expedite the transition.

“I’ve probably seen them more just stopping by a few nights a week since I’ve been back here than I would in a full year before,” said Richard, the first assistant coach Trent Johnson hired after he took over the LSU men’s basketball program in April. “My mom and dad have made some old Cajun dishes for me they used to make when I was growing up, and that really brings back some great memories.”

Yep, Richard is home.

And as winding as the road to get here might seem, the 48-year-old former Redemptorist star couldn’t be happier about the end result.

From 1976-78, Richard was Redemptorist’s starting point guard when the Wolves rolled up a 102-12 record and claimed consecutive Class 3A state championships (1977-78).

Richard had his sights set on playing college basketball, but he had to leave home to make that dream come true.

LSU had just started to emerge as a power in the Southeastern Conference, but the Tigers’ fiery young coach had plenty of point guards to choose from.

“Dale Brown was smart enough to realize that he had a pretty good point guard named Ethan Martin and another one named Derrick Taylor on the way,” Richard said with a chuckle. “Not recruiting me really showed how great a coach and evaluator of talent Dale Brown was.”

Northeast Louisiana coach Lenny Fant saw things differently. So Richard departed for Monroe, beginning a journey as a player and coach in northern Louisiana that covered most of the last 30 years....

Go here for the remainder.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

So how will the WAC men's basketball teams finish in 2008-2009?

But first comes a word of warning: if anyone sidles up to you and says that he or she knows who will win the WAC in men's basketball this coming season and also offers that you can take it to the bank...well, do check for dilated pupils and/or alcohol on the breath, plus probably a hand stealthily reaching for your wallet.

There are so many new faces in the WAC, plus current rosters that may be minus a few names come the beginning of the school year -- any predictions at this point must be fronted with a myriad of ifs, ands and buts.

But it's still fun to try.

So, if we were to list our July 8, 2008 perceptions -- with the proviso that such may change even by tomorrow -- here we go providing the grist for our own pummeling. We'll keep it short but respond to your entreaties with fuller explanations:

Nevada -- It will be a new Nevada team but there's a nice blend of returnees who have or are in the process of stepping up and some marvelous new recruits -- the Pack has to prove it can compete in the paint, especially on defense.

Louisiana Tech -- Only Jamel White was 'doing it' before his move to LA TECH but a number of people have indicated to us that fellow transfers Kenneth Cooper and Magnum Rolle are going to shine from the get-go, along with redshirt Olu Ashaolu and returnee Kyle Gibson and that's your Tech starting five right there.

New Mexico State -- The eligibility of Terence Joyner and even Jahmar Young remain up in the air for NMSU but the odds are likely that both will be on the court come November, alongside Herb Pope, Troy Gillenwater and Jonathan Gibson. The loss of Faisal Aden hurts as his size and skills set placed him into the category of being the best Aggie backcourter down the road.

Utah State -- Gary Wilkinson, Tai Wesley and Tyler Newbold are three very good players and quite the core to build around -- the key for USU is how quickly Morrill's newcomers can adapt to his system and become consistent contributors.

San Jose State -- We're going to label the Spartans a WAC darkhorse as the team may still be a year away from top doggin' it.

Each of the five teams above has a valid chance to win the WAC and it is unduly difficult to differentiate the predicted order of finish. The listings may change as we learn more but the order we have listed is where our thinking is right now. Nobody is going to run away with the league title in 2008-2009 and the determination of the WAC winner could very well go down to the actual last weekend of play.

The teams below just don't appear to have the ready nucleus to compete in 2008-2009 for the top division/spot.

Boise State -- Greg Graham loses so much and it's a near impossibility that a new core of his youngsters and newcomers can step up enough in the coming season.

Hawaii -- Bob Nash need a couple more full recruiting seasons and added experience to the current players on his roster.

Fresno State -- It's unimaginable that Steve Cleveland and his squad could have another season as tumultous as last year but the Bulldogs are still missing too many pieces to stay out of a second division finish.

Idaho -- Coach Verlin needs a couple of full recruiting season at the minimum before he can have his Vandals truly competitive.

Confirmation that two NMSU players are gone

Here's a nice NMSU men's basketball update from Jason Groves, with confirmation that two Aggies won't be in Las Cruces this season. One in particular, Faisal Aden, really hurts as he had the promise of being the best New Mexico State backcourter once he gained some experience.

Aggies men's hoops coaches hit the road
Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES — New Mexico State staffers are currently on the road across the country, including Akron, Ohio, to watch 75 players at the Lebron James Academy...

...The July evaluation period is divided up into two weeks. The first started on Sunday and runs through July 15. Coaches are again allowed to evaluate players from July 22-31...

...Two players who won't have scholarship needs are incoming freshman and San Diego product Faisal Adenn and junior college transfer Paris Carter. Both players struggled academically — Carter missing the majority of last season with academic issues and Aden struggling academically while on the NMSU campus in the spring semester last year. Menzies said both players will not return.....

Go here for the rest.

A Jaycee Carroll upate

It appears the Deseret News has a new blogger -- Jared Eborn -- covering Utah State. We're not sure what happened to Jay Hinton -- maybe he has been reassigned or moved on to newer pastures. Eborn's initial entry provides an update on Jaycee Carroll:

Carroll makes his point
Jared Eborn blogger
July 7, 2008

Jaycee Carroll, if one game is any indication, is going to make some NBA general managers kick themselves for not drafting him.

The all-time leading scorer in Utah State history had some poor showings at a pre-draft camp and slipped off the draft boards for pretty much every team in the league. The New Jersey Nets, however, thought enough of him to invite him to their training camp and gave him a spot on their summer league roster.

Against Orlando Monday night, Carroll showed he can still score points in bunches as he led the Nets with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting. And, as Aggie fans will surely remember, he showed he's capable of much more than just putting the ball in the hoop.

The 6-foot-2 shooting guard led the Nets in rebounding with seven and in assists with five......

Go here for the remainder.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Some Utah State recruiting target news

If forced to choose who is the best non-national reporter at uncovering recruiting nuggets, Jay Drew of the Salt Lake City Tribune is at the top of the list. His focus is obviously state of Utah centric -- BYU, Utah, Utah State, Weber State and a number of the community colleges-- but he also includes kids who are leaving the Beehive State to sign and play elsewhere.

Here are some of Drew's latest notes, with an obvious Utah State focus:

Basketball: Bingham's 6-8 Clifford awaits first offer
Jay Miller
Salt Lake City Tribune
July 1, 2008

Readers of this blog are familiar with the top boys basketball players in Utah from the class of 2009: Lone Peak's Tyler Haws and Nate Austin, Pleasant Grove's C.J. Wilcox, Provo's Brandon Davies, Bountiful's Sean Carey and Travis Parrish, West Jordan's Reyes Gallegos, Oly's Corbin Green and Orem's Ian Harward.

It's also apparent that the top player in the class of 2011 is Brighton guard Corbin Miller.

But what about the class of 2010?

Provo's Kyle Collinsworth is probably the top prospect who will be a junior this coming season, but another player has emerged this summer: Bingham's 6-foot-8 Ben Clifford.

"Clifford is getting a ton of college interest," Bingham coach Mark Dubach said.

Clifford told me Monday that he doesn't have any offers yet, but expects some shortly. He said Utah, Utah State, Southern Utah, Portland, Miami of Ohio and Louisiana Tech have shown the most interest.

His aunt went to Miami of Ohio and told her former school about the rising star.

"I think Utah State is close to offering, and maybe Utah," Clifford said.

He said he has not been contacted by BYU. No matter, he said, because he has no interest in the Cougars, partly because he is not LDS.

Thursday, July 03, 2008
Basketball: Box Elder soph Mecham could be the next Haws

We mentioned earlier this week that the top basketball player in Utah's class of 2001 (guys who will be sophomores this coming year) was undoubtedly Brighton's Corbin Miller, a 6-2 combo guard who helped the Bengals get to the 5A state semifinals last year as a freshman.

Well, there's apparently another 2011 prospect in the state who might be just as good, I've been told.

His name is Brant Mecham, and he is a 6-5, 191-pound phenom at Box Elder High in Brigham City. Mecham was the Bees' sixth man as a freshman most of last year, but still led the team with 33 three-pointers.

The kid can shoot it with Danny Ainge-type range, one college source told me.

His father, Keith, is also his high school coach, and his mother, Robin, is Box Elder's volleyball coach. He's got athletic bloodlines and has grown up in a gym.

Keith Mecham told me this morning that his son doesn't have an official offer yet, but that Weber State coach Randy Rahe has jokingly reminded him that when the big boys come around to remember that the Wildcats offered him first.

Recently, Utah State invited Brant to play in their weekly pickup games, and he ended up guarding Tyler Newbold for an hour.

"For his age, he's getting some nice attention and some good exposure," Keith Mecham acknowledged.

All the locals are familiar with the young man's skills, from Southern Utah coach Roger Reid to BYU coach Dave Rose to Utah's Jim Boylen. Louisiana Tech, with former Ute assistant Kerry Rupp at the helm, sends him three letters a week.

Brant spent much of the past two weeks at BYU's team and individual camps, and assistant coach Dave Rice is said to have kept a close eye on him in every game. Last October, he attended a Utah practice and got some one-on-one time with Boylen.

Mecham plays for Dave Hammer's Salt Lake Metro club team in the spring and summer, and helped Metro's 15-under team reach the championship game at the Las Vegas Easter Classic.

He will play on Metro's 17-under team later this month at a tournament in Vegas alongside Lone Peak's Tyler Haws and some of the state's other top rising seniors.

Keith Mecham said his son is good friends with Brighton's Miller and that the two have joked about being a package deal for some lucky college.

Mecham turns 19 the September after his senior season ends, so he will likely go on an LDS Church mission before enrolling at a college, his father said.

Here's one Stew Morrill, if indeed serious in his attention, missed on:

Pierce Hornung, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound forward from Arvada, Colo., has commited to Colorado State, according to a story in today's Coloradoan newspaper. Hornung is CSU coach Tim Miles' first in-state recruit.

The article says that Hornung, who averaged 18.6 points and 10.7 rebounds a game last year for Ralston Valley High, was also receiving interest from Utah, Utah State and Weber State.

So bookmark Jay Drew's column.