Monday, November 30, 2009

St. Mary's tops San Jose State 78-71

From the St. Mary's athletics site:

Saint Mary's overcame a 16-point first half deficit to defeat the San Jose State Spartans 78-71 on Monday night from the Event Center in San Jose, CA. Mickey McConnell led the Gaels with 19 points, as he hit a pair of free throws with 5.9 seconds to ice the game.

Saint Mary's had three players scoring in double figures, as McConnell was the leading scorer for the game, and led the Gaels with eight assists.

Omar Samhan notched his 27th career-double-double, as he had 12 points to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds. Samhan added three blocks, one assists and one steal.

The third player to reach double figures for the Gaels was Wayne Hunter, as he had 16 points after making four 3-pointers.

After the Gaels took an early 5-4 lead, San Jose State went on a 14-2 run to take an 18-7 advantage at the 14:25 mark. The Gaels responded with a run of their own, and erased the 11-point Spartans lead at the 9:42 mark on a put-back by Mitchell Young.

After Saint Mary's tied the game at 21, SJSU regained the lead with a 9-0 run. The run came to an end when Young tipped in his third shot of the half at the 5:30 mark. The Spartans lead reached double figures again when Oakes hit a lay-up with 2:49 on the clock.

The largest lead of the half for SJSU was 16 points (43-27) following a three and a lay-up by Mac Peterson.

Saint Mary's did close the half by outscoring the Spartans 6-2 to enter the locker room trailing by 12 (45-33). The Spartans first half advantage was sparked by 59 percent shooting from the floor. Saint Mary's did a better job against the Spartans in the second half, holding SJSU to 28.1 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes.

After San Jose State scored the first three points of the second half, to extend its lead to 48-33, Saint Mary's went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to cut the deficit to five points with 15:11 remaining following a 3-pointer by Ben Allen. Saint Mary's completed the comeback when Steindl and Dellavedova hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, giving the Gaels a 54-52 advantage with 11:41 remaining. It was the first lead for Saint Mary's since leading 5-4 less than two minutes into the game.

SMC extended its lead to 70-62 at the 4:43 mark on a driving lay-up by Dellavedova off a great pass from Allen. After a SJSU basket, Saint Mary's took its largest lead of the night at 73-64 with 2:50 remaining, on the fourth 3-pointer of the night by Wayne Hunter.

The Spartans made one last push, as they cut the nine-point Gaels lead to 73-69 following a three by Peterson with 1:26 remaining. The Gaels would finish with a pair of free throws by McConnell with 5.9 seconds left to give the Gaels a seven-point win on the road.

Gary Wilkinson bound to Europe?

Gary Wilkinson's time in Korea is up and it appears he is next headed to The Continent.

From the Cache Valley Daily Full Court Press blog comes this:

Gary Wilkinson cut from South Korean team
Eric Frandsen
November 25, 2009

Contents of an email exchange between Sports Producer Hurricane John Newbold and Gary Wilkinson's agent, Ben Pensack indicate that Gary has been cut from his team in South Korea. There are no immediate plans for his future but his agent sounds optimistic about other opportunities for Gary...
Go here for the remainder.

The WAC likes Ike

Ike Okoye is the WAC Player of the Week this go-around. Thanks to Jason Erickson, the Director of Media Relations:

DENVER - Boise State's Ike Okoye has been named the Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 23-29. The honor marks the first career WAC Player of the Week award for Okoye.

Okoye, a senior forward from Sacramento, CA, helped the Broncos to a 2-0 record last week with wins over Eastern Washington and North Texas. Okoye recorded his second career double-double in an 82-69 road win at Eastern Washington, registering 21 points with a career-high 17 rebounds. He went 8-of-14 from the field, while making 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Okoye also tied a career high with six blocks against the Eagles. Okoye also scored 13 points with eight rebounds and three blocks in a 79-73 victory over North Texas.

On the week, Okoye averaged 17.0 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.5 blocks and 2.5 assists per game. He shot 54.2 percent from the field (13-of-24) and 80.0 percent from the free throw line (8-of-10).

Other nominees included:

* Idaho senior guard Steffan Johnson
* Louisiana Tech senior guard Kyle Gibson
* New Mexico State senior guard Jonathan Gibson
* San Jose State senior guard Robert Owns
* Utah State junior forward Tai Wesley

More Monday WAC links

MJ has a nasty dunk here courtesy of Travis Mason-Bushman/Vandal Nation -- the Idaho MJ.


Aggieville: USU Sports
Tony Jones
Salt Lake City Tribune
November 30, 2009

As a league, the Western Athletic Conference isn't setting the world on fire with its performance in the preseason. Hawaii looked bad on national television against a Northern Colorado team from the Big Sky. New Mexico State, without two of its best players, hasn't looked great and there hasn't been one single marquee win in the month of November...
Go here for the remainder.


Dwain Williams is back attending if not yet participating in practice for Hawaii.
UH glad to see Williams back
Brian McInnis

Honolulu Star-Bulletin

November 30, 2009

After falling apart in its last three outings of a five-game homestand, the Hawaii men's basketball team is trying to pull together before its first road trip of the season.

Guard Dwain Williams returned to practice yesterday in a limited capacity after missing all team sessions last week, including UH's 83-71 loss to New Mexico on Friday. It was the first part of a two-game suspension for the Providence transfer (for breaking a team rule) announced by coach Bob Nash after the loss to the Lobos...
Go here for the remainder.


Shawn Harrison/Herald Journal offers a feature on a Utah State frosh.
Medlin busts out big time
Shawn Harrison
Herald Journal
November 30, 2009

For more than 39 minutes of college action, Aggie true freshman Preston Medlin had not scored a point.

While that may not be a big deal for some freshmen, this one came to Utah State with his greatest strength being able to score. Men’s head basketball coach Stew Morrill had praised Medlin on several occasions this fall for his ability to shoot and score points in a hurry...
Go here for the remainder.

It's not Cyber Monday, it's Chris Murray Monday

Chris Murray/Reno Gazette-Journal covers the Wolf Pack game against North Carolina from every possible angle. So grab your coffee, chai or tea and be prepared to be here for awhile. Tell your boss that the Reno newspaper has some critical-to-your-industry information today and that you are volunteering to stay abreast of every last detail.

Nevada's upset falls short at UNC
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal
November 30, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- It's a safe bet Luke Babbitt and his Wolf Pack teammates didn't get a good night's sleep Sunday.

They were likely up most of the night replaying the game against North Carolina through their heads.

The Wolf Pack had the defending national champion Tar Heels right where it wanted them -- trailing by a basket with 7 minutes left in the game.

But Nevada couldn't hold the lead and UNC went on an immediate 7-0 run before holding off the Wolf Pack, 80-73, in front of 17,321 fans at the Dean Dome...
Go here for the remainder.

Johnson has another big game vs. UNC
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal
November 30, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Big players make big plays in big games. That's what Nevada's Armon Johnson says he learned while growing up playing basketball.

And that's what he's done in his two games against North Carolina in the Dean Dome.

Johnson rebounded from a 3-for-18 effort in his last game with a team-high 20 points on 10-of-20 shooting in the Wolf Pack's 80-73 loss at No. 11 UNC on Sunday night...
Go here for the remainder.

10 observations from Nevada-North Carolina game
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Ten observations from the Wolf Pack's 80-73 loss to North Carolina on Sunday night at the Dean Dome...
Go here for the remainder.

Plus, he has his WAC team rankings for this week:
Idaho slips ahead of Nevada in WAC rankings
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

Ranking the teams in the Western Athletic Conference. Included are team record and previous rank in parenthesis...
Go here for the remainder.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nevada falls short against NC

If there is such a thing as a moral victory, then Nevada just won one despite falling 80-73 in Chapel Hill. Going up against North Carolina, in the Dean Dome, and falling by seven points resonates for us.

Armon Johnson scored 20 points (plus four assists) and Luke Babbitt chipped in with 15. He led the Pack with 11 rebounds. Dario Hunt just missed a double-double with 12 points and nine boards. Nevada earned just six foul shots and made them all.

More on last night's WAC games

On the road, Louisiana Tech notches a solid win:

Rolle Gets Crucial Shot, Block in 68-63 Win at TCU
Tech off to best start since 1990
November 28, 2009

FORT WORTH, Texas - Magnum Rolle recorded the go-ahead shot and the game-winning block as Louisiana Tech escapes TCU with a 68-63 win on Saturday.

The Bulldogs improved to 5-1 on the season. It is the best start for a Louisiana Tech squad since the 1990-91 season.

"You need games like this where you just have to fight," Tech head coach Kerry Rupp said. "Down the stretch we just had to hang tough. Our guys found a way to make it happen and get the win."

Rolle finished the game with 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. His fifth block came against TCU's Ronnie Moss as he attempted to give the Horned Frogs the lead with under a minute left in the game...
Go here for the remainder.


It apparently is hard to find positives in Fresno State's loss at Santa Clara. Look for Coach Cleveland to crack the proverbial whip:
Cleveland: 'Dogs beat themselves
Daniel Lyght
The Fresno Bee
November 28, 2009

SANTA CLARA -- Fresno State committed turnovers on four consecutive first-half possessions Saturday against Santa Clara, and gave the ball away 20 times in a game for the third time this season.

The Broncos took advantage, scoring 22 points off turnovers. Santa Clara also grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, totaled 15 second-chance points and beat the Bulldogs 74-67 in a nonconference men's basketball game played in front of an announced crowd of 1,332 at the Leavey Center.

It was Fresno State's third straight loss and leaves coach Steve Cleveland knowing exactly the issues that need to be addressed: turnovers and defensive rebounding...
Go here for the remainder.

Daniel Lyght deserves extra credit for this catch (which we will admit knowing nothing about the band or song -- we obviously don't get 0ut much and are ancient, even in dog years): "...The Broncos played DMX's "Ruff Ryders Anthem" during pregame warm-ups ... haven't heard that song in YEARS..."


Travis Mason Bushman offers but two video interviews in his post about Idaho's splatting of Eastern Washington. With tongue firmly in cheek: let's all chant together -- we want three! we're used to three!
Vandals bury Eastern Washington in a blizzard of 3-pointers
Travis Mason-Bushman
Vandal Nation
November 28, 2009

With a minute and change gone in the second half of Idaho’s home contest against Eastern Washington tonight, Steffan Johnson grabbed a feed from Mac Hopson at the top of the key and buried his fourth three-pointer of the game to put the Vandals up by 25.

Twenty seconds and a Marvin Jefferson block later, it was an instant replay. Hopson dished off to Johnson in the wing and as his shot arced through the air, the 1,500 fans in Memorial Gym came to their feet even before it swished through the net. They knew it would be good — every one before had been.

On the strength of seven straight 3-point makes and a stifling defensive effort, the homestanding Vandals blew out Eastern Washington, 76-54, to go 4-1 on the young season — Idaho’s best start since 1988. EWU fell to 2-4...

Go here for the remainder.


Nick Jezierny/Idaho Statesman has the details on BSU's win over North Texas -- something very surprising took place.
Boise State men get it done vs. North Texas
Thomas provides spark as balanced Broncos win their home opener
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman

Anthony Thomas wasn't in the starting lineup Saturday in Boise State's first home game of the season.

But the senior point guard was on the court when it counted and his play helped spark a 79-73 win over North Texas in front of 2,650 fans at Taco Bell Arena.

Thomas hit a 3-pointer that gave the Broncos (4-2 overall) the lead for good and then assisted teammate Reggie Arnold on another trey that gave coach Greg Graham's team the cushion to win its home opener for the seventh year in a row...
Go here for the remainder.


Take your pick with the following or read both for extra credit.

We have a soft spot in our heart for Thunderbirds and Utah State seemingly does so too -- at least they did for the first 20 minutes of last night's game and much to Stew Morrill's chagrin.
SUU, Utah State basketball: Aggies blow away T-birds in 2nd half
Jared Eborn
Deseret News
November 29, 2009

LOGAN — Though his team held a 40-32 lead over Southern Utah at the half, Utah State coach Stew Morrill was far from a happy camper.

The veteran Aggie coach looked at the stat sheet, saw his team had been outrebounded by the Thunderbirds (19-11) and that his two post players had combined for just three shots. And he delivered a strong directive to change a few things.

"I think they got the message at halftime," Morrill said...
Go here for the remainder.

Aggies roll in 2nd half
Shawn Harrison
Herald Journal
November 29, 2009

It was not a happy Aggie locker room during halftime Saturday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

Utah State was ahead, but poor rebounding had the attention of Aggie head coach Stew Morrill. He gave a message that was heard loud and clear.''
Go here for the remainder.


The Mercury News used a wire story to cover the SJSU - Pacific contest so we're going with the writeup from the SJSU athletics site:
Men's Basketball Defeats Pacific Behind Owens' 22 Points
Courtesy: San Jose State Athletics

San Jose-Justin Graham banked in a shot with 11 seconds remaining, and C.J. Webster hit two free throws with one second remaining to seal the win as San Jose State defeated Pacific, 59-55, Saturday afternoon at The Event Center.

Graham got a pass from Adrian Oliver and took about a 12-foot jumper as he squared up to the basket and banked home the shot with 11 seconds remaining for San Jose State (2-2). Pacific (4-1) had two more cracks at the tying the game in the final three seconds but could not put it away. Webster, a 70 percent free throw shooter this year, made both attempts of the one-and-one to give San Jose State the four-point win.

The Spartan defense also contributed to the win as the team held the Tigers scoreless for the final 3:54 of the game. Pacific took a five-point lead at 55-50 on a made Terrell Smith three-pointer. The Tigers went 0-for-5 from the field the rest of the game...
Go here for the remainder.


We don't do a lot of game previews but this Chris Murray/Reno Gazette-Journal one deserves it -- how does a team have four players drafted after last season and still be a power?


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Games and scores tonight (Saturday)

San Jose State hosted undefeated Pacific Saturday afternoon and came away with a victory 59-55. Spartan athletics compiled this game writeup. Pacific athletics counterparted with this.

Fresno State traveled to Santa Clara and just couldn't get it going, falling 74-67. Senior Sylvester Seay led the Bulldogs with 26 points.

Here is the game report from the Fresno State athletics site. Santa Clara athletics provided this game report.

Louisiana Tech took down host Texas Christian 68-63. Magnum Rolle had 14 points, 12 boards and five blocked shots. LT athletics has a nice writeup here.

A strong second half by Utah State broke Southern Utah University 89-49. The Aggies led 40-32 after the initial 20 minutes. Pooh Williams led USU with 17 points.

Boise State took the measure of visiting North Texas 79-73. Kurt Cunningham led with 17 points and eight boards and Reggie Arnold came off the bench to score 13.

Idaho has doubled the score on Eastern Washington, 66-36, with 10 minutes left.

More tomorrow.

Wolves in Hawaii?

Yep. They got 'em. Unfortunately for the Rainbow Warriors. But it was close for 20 minutes. Add to it that Dwain Williams will miss at least another game due to suspension for academic issues.

Lobos blow by UH in 2nd half
Dayton Morinaga
Honolulu Advertiser
November 28, 2009

OK, enough with scheduling the former Western Athletic Conference teams.

For the second consecutive game, the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team lost to a former WAC rival at home.

New Mexico used a second-half surge to defeat the Rainbow Warriors, 83-71, last night at the Stan Sheriff Center...
Go here for the remainder.


Here is Brian McInnis' game report:
New Mexico pulls away from UH
Brian McInnis
Honolulu Star-Bulletin
November 28, 2009

Law of averages.

Hawaii held down potent New Mexico for 20 minutes, then watched as the Lobos came unleashed offensively in an 83-71 UNM victory last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

A crowd of 4,015 saw another former Western Athletic Conference foe go on a 25-4 run to open the second half, turning a one-point Rainbow Warriors halftime advantage into a commanding lead UNM did not relinquish...
Go here for the remainder.


Chris Murray offers his game report on the Wolf Pack's loss to VCU:
Wolf Pack's defense folds in loss to VCU
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

RICHMOND, Va. – Live by the jump shot. Die by the jump shot.

And on Friday night at Virginia Commonwealth, it was the jump shot that buried the Nevada basketball team in the first half. And in the second half, it was the defense that finished off the Wolf Pack.

Those two things combined to doom Nevada to an 85-76 loss to Virginia Commonwealth in front of 5,769 fans at the Siegel Center.

“The defense tonight wasn’t good enough,” Wolf Pack coach David Carter said after watching his team’s frantic second-half rally fall short...
Go here for the remainder.

He also has more on Dario Hunt's inital double-double plus more game analysis here.


Not for the faint of heart, the Refraction-ers are back jousting with SUU and especially Coach Roger Reid. They again fulfill their motto: “fully intended to leave you offended”


We didn't know that Coach Greg Graham adjusted the Boise State starting lineup last game as Nick Jezierny/Idaho Statesman notes in this pre-game feature.


Travis Mason-Bushman offers a deatiled look at Idaho's next foe -- Eastern Washington.


Here is Sam Wasson and Travis Mason-Bushman with their WAC update collaboration at Rush The Court.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Nevada falls to VCU

Nevada headed out on quite the road trip for the next few games and lost 85-76 to Virginia Commonwealth. Both teams made 29 baskets although the Wolf Pack needed 23 more shot attempts than the Rams to do so. Coach David Carter's squad also went 1-14 from three-point range.

From the VCU athletics site:

RICHMOND, Va. – While the rest of the country was running around stores and shopping malls, the Virginia Commonwealth University men’s basketball team was busy running up and down the hardwood, en route to an 85-76 victory over the University of Nevada on Friday night.

Led by 17 points apiece from juniors Larry Sanders and Ed Nixon, the Rams sped past a very talented Wolfpack (2-2) squad to pick up a third straight victory and improve to 4-1 on the year.

“I was very, very pleased with our guys tonight,” Head Coach Shaka Smart. “Nevada is an extremely talented team that will compete at the top of their conference and Luke Babbitt is just a phenomenal player. I’m proud of the way our guys buckled down on the defensive side and limited their explosive offense.”

With the VCU up just 6-5 early on, Sanders slammed home a dunk with 15:32 to play in the first half and ignited a 14-4 run that included three-pointers from both Nixon and Brandon Rozzell (Richmond, Va.) as the Black & Gold grabbed a 20-9 advantage.

Brandon Fields would make sure VCU would not get to far away, scoring 12 first-half points to keep the lead at just seven, 35-28, heading into the locker rooms.

At the half, Nevada standouts Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson were a combined 3-of-20 from the field.

The second half was much of the same with the Black & Gold running out to a big lead early thanks to outstanding play by Nixon who gave VCU its biggest lead, 60-40, with a dunk off a steal by freshman Darius Theus.

Babbitt would heat up big time, connecting on 10-of-14 in the second half, and bringing the Wolfpack within seven with less than two minutes to play.

Nixon would once again come up with a big time shot as he drilled a three-pointer from the left wing to push the lead to 10 with under a minute to play to seal the home victory for the Black & Gold.

“Ed has been outstanding for us,” Smart said. “He’s done a great job on both sides of the court. He’s such a dynamic player and can hurt opponents in so many different ways.”

Sanders led the way with his 15th career double-double, adding 14 rebounds to his 17-point output. He also blocked five shots on the evening.

Nixon had a career night with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting and 2-of-3 from long distance. Sophomore Bradford Burgess tallied double-figures for the fourth time in five games with 12 points, all in the second half.

“Our depth is really big for us right now,” Smart added. “When we can run 9-10 guys out there a night and get production from all of them, that’s huge for us.”

Babbitt was the game’s high scorer with 27 points and 11 rebounds, while Joey Shaw and Fields added 14 and 13 respectively. Dario Hunt was the force down low with 10 points and 13 rebounds, 11 of which were on the offensive end.

One more New Mexico State item

We loooove The Mid Majority site -- a most definite 'Can't Live Without' entity worthy of multiple daily visitations. MM selected the New Mexico State - North Carolina A & T contest as the game of the night yesterday. Read on:

North Carolina A&T at New Mexico State

It's an unspoken rule around here that the G!O!T!N! can't be a game in which The Mid-Majority was in attendance. Today, there are only three games which pit two teams from below the Red Line against each other. And, as you have come to expect, Kyle will be taking in two of them. That leaves the tussle between North Carolina A & T and New Mexico State as our sole option for the Game! Of! The! Night!. This isn't some sort of last resort, however. Instead, it's yet another chance to shine the light on an area of Hoops Nation that can sometimes seem neglected. Let's do that...right now...

Go here for the remainder.

Some may say it doesn't need repeating at this point but mention of the unavailability of Wendell McKines and Troy Gillenwater has to be listed when venturing into what NMSU has to do to right itself. A national audience more than likely wouldn't be aware of their absence.

New Mexico State notches a win

The Aggies of Las Cruces got what they wanted even though the Christmas is still a ways away so their holiday dinner/snack must have tasted especially good. We thought Jason Groves was going to have this day to himself but Brian McInnis also offers an inside look at Hawaii's Adhar Mayen.

Aggies close out A&T
Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News

New Mexico State got off to a 9-0 start and had to fight off a late run in an 84-68 victory over North Carolina A&T on Thursday at the Pan American Center.

NMSU led by 20 with 15:26 left to play, but A&T started to heat up from long range in the second half. A&T hit 7-of-22 (31.8 percent) from long range in the second half to pull to within five with 8:45 to play.

"They are the kind of team that if they make 3s, they can be scary," said Aggies coach Marvin Menzies, whose team improved to 2-3 on the season.

After a 20-percent performance from long range in a loss at Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday, the Aggies were slightly better, hitting 10-of-30 from beyond the arc on Thursday. Unlike that game, however, the Aggies closed A&T out rather than getting caught in a 3-point contest...
Go here for the remainder.

Plus, here is Jason Groves with a blog entry on the game:
Thursday, November 26, 2009


well there weren't many people there so I don't know who saw the Aggies 84-68 victory on Thursday. But here is what I noticed...
Go here for the remainder.


Here the Brian McInnis story on Mayen who is from the Sudan:
UH's Mayen a steady force
Brian McInnis
Honolulu Star Bulletin
November 27, 2009

Nothing as drastic as his family's move from civil-war-torn Sudan to Texas when he was 6, or his decision to transfer to Hawaii from junior college in his home state.

Nope, no world-spanning journey this time for the Rainbow Warriors' senior forward. All it took was a shift of a few inches; his jump shot was off...
Go here for the remainder.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A few Turkey (or Tofurkey) Day links

Here's a few links to tide you over:

Williams did not disappoint
Shawn Harrison
Herald Journal
November 26, 2009

When Pooh Williams was introduced as a starter Tuesday night, the home fans greeted him with a hearty applause.

The Utah State junior didn’t disappoint in his first start of the young season. No. 5 played tough defense and even got involved on the offensive end against Idaho State at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

“It was more comfortable being out there, having the fans behind your back and having more practices in,” Williams said. “It was hard to get in a rhythm last time. Today just felt a lot better...”
Go here for the remainder.


One backcourt newcomer is helping Bob Nash and the RBs:
Junior guard not one to lay low
Dayton Morinaga
Honolulu Advertiser
November 26, 2009

Jeremy Lay is still trying to figure out the lay of the land in NCAA Division I basketball.

For now, he is the sparkplug — on and off the court — for the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team.

"I just like to have fun, man," the 6-foot junior point guard said. "I'm the one always talking to my teammates, trying to fire them up, or joking with them if we need a laugh. But once the whistle blows and the game starts, I'm serious. I want to do what ever I can to help this team win..."
Go here for the remainder plus a note about the status of Dwain Williams.


Brian McInnis has more on newcomer Dwain Williams and it's a bit of a mystery. Let's hope all is well or turns out well -- Williams has a 'checkered' history and this will be his last D-1 stop if the issue or issues turn out to be more than illness:
Williams likely out against New Mexico
Brian McInnis
Honolulu Star Bulletin
November 26, 2009

There is likely one less thing for which the Hawaii men's basketball team to be thankful.

UH guard Dwain Williams missed a third straight team practice yesterday and the Rainbow Warriors (2-2) are proceeding as though the Providence transfer won't be available in tomorrow's game against unbeaten New Mexico (5-0) at 8 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The 6-foot Williams -- the Rainbows' second-leading scorer through four games with a 13.3 average -- has been dealing with an illness, the team has maintained. But coach Bob Nash hinted that it might be something more after yesterday's practice...
Go here for the remainder.

Now this is interesting

Maybe D.J. Wright is signed and sealed, if not actually delivered, to Louisiana Tech. It sure seems like it. But according to the latest report we came across, he did not sign a binding national letter-of-intent with Louisiana Tech but rather a grant-in-aid. The latter allows a player the freedom to honor his 'commitment' or not.

Louisville eyes another JUCO standout
Mike Hughes
The Ville
November 25, 2009

Rick Pitino is looking to the junior college ranks to round out his 2010 recruiting class....The Cardinals are also interested in 6'7 forward DJ Wright, the 2009 NJCAA Tournament MVP...

...Wright signed scholarship paperwork with Louisiana Tech this fall, but is still a recruitable prospect because he didn't sign a binding national letter of intent.

“He signed a grant in aid at Louisiana Tech this fall,” Springer said. “He has a scholarship at Louisiana Tech and he's asked me to report that to everybody. It's an awkward position with other schools recruiting him...”
Go here for the complete article and a Scout sub is required.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A double dose of LA TECH hoops

Louisiana Tech handled University Arkansas Little Rock easily tonight winning 86-66. Magnum Rolle's 23 points, combined with 22 from Kyle Gibson and 20 from Olu Ashaolu did the trick. Rolle shot 6-12 overall, 11-14 from the foul line. Gibson's line was also an impressive one: 6-9 from the floor, including 3-5 on trey attempts and 7-7 at the charity stripe. Ashaolu buried 8 of 11 shot attempts, including both his three point tries.

Plus, Coach Kerry Rupp officially announced his fall recruiting class:

...D.J. Wright, a highly sought after recruit from Sault Ste Marie, Canada, was the MVP of the 2009 NJCAA Tournament for Salt Lake Community College. The class has local flavor as well with 2008 Ruston High School graduate Josh Brown. Others include James “Deuce” Johnson (North Hills, Calif.) and Scott Farrington (Nassau, Bahamas).

“I am really excited about this class,” Rupp said. “Similar to what we accomplished the past few years, we have brought in another versatile class that fills multiple positions. We feel with the loss of four seniors who will all play significant minutes, that it was important to bring in an experienced class. This group will give us depth, toughness and athleticism as we continue to build this program.”

Originally from Canada, Wright is a 6-8, 240-pound wing-forward out of Toronto Academy Preparatory School. He started for Salt Lake Community College as a freshman and led them to the NJCAA National Title. Wright was named the tournament MVP and was a first team All-American. He is in his sophomore season at Mt. San Jacinto College in California.

“DJ is the highest-ranked player in this class,” Rupp said. “He is a big time wing player who gives us more length, great scoring ability and versatility. He also possesses an outstanding shooting touch and the ability to make the big play at key times in the game.”

Brown is a 6-4, 190-pound wing and has started both years at Odessa College in Texas. He averaged 24.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game at Ruston High School earning him first-team 5A all-state in Louisiana. He was also an All-American nominee.

“Josh gives us an athletic, big-time wing player with a ton of energy and bounce,” Rupp said.

Johnson is a 6-7, 240-pound power forward out of Campbell Hall in the Los Angeles, Calif. area. He earned first-team conference as a freshman and sophomore and helped lead his team to state championships in those years. He was named All-CIF and a finalist for conference player of the year as a junior after averaging 18 points and 11 rebounds.

“Deuce will bring freshness and youthful energy, along with the skills necessary to help us in the post immediately,” Rupp said.

Farrington is a 6-8, 220-pound power forward and is in his sophomore season at Odessa College. He attended Rodgers State as a freshman after graduating from high school at Christian Life Center Academy in Houston. While at CLCA, Farrington averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocks as a senior. During the summer of 2006, he played for the Bahamas FIBA Americas U18 Championships team and averaged 5.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in four games.

“Scotty is a very athletic player who can run, rebound, score and block shots,” Rupp said. “All the things we require from our post players.”

It's a, It's a Babbitt

Well, the skin pigmentation is the same.

We'll try not to make much of this but the comparison of Luke Babbitt to Larry Bird was hopefully more of a throwaway line to inflate the worthiness of an opponent. Chris Murray/Reno Gazette Journal has the details:

Is Luke Babbitt the new Larry Bird?
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

Well, look at how far Luke Babbitt has come. Earlier today, I put up a "Blast from the Past" post from his freshman season in high school when one of his main goals was to beat his coach, Matt Siebrandt, in a game of one-on-one. Five years later, he's being compared to Larry Bird. But by whom?
Go here for the remainder.


So why not bang?
Fewer fouls called on home team
Associated Press
November 23, 2009

They don't all need glasses. But if you always suspected basketball referees are biased -- well, you're right, according to a couple of professors who've studied the matter.

Refs favor the home team, the academics say. They're big on "make-up" calls. They make more calls against teams in the lead, and the discrepancy grows if the game is on national TV.

The professors studied 365 college games during the 2004-05 season and found that refs had a terrific knack for keeping the foul count even, regardless of which team was more aggressive...
Go here for the remainder.


While we are no fans of (Them Who Has The Gold, Rules) ESPN, it's difficult to work up any sympathy for the Gazelle Group (mentioned late in the following), an entity that hasn't exactly cornered the market on truthiness:
ESPN's big push alters early-season hoops landscape
Luke Winn
Sports Illustrated
November 24, 2009

On a week when we can be thankful that ESPN networks are televising more than 50 hours of college basketball, let us consider the way this came about. In January 2006, the NCAA made two moves that it knew would precipitate a boom in the number of early-season tournaments, or "multi-team events," on the November-December landscape. It repealed the "two-in-four" rule that kept teams from playing in multi-team events more than twice in any four-year span, and, in a less-publicized rule change, eliminated the events' certification process, which had required operators to provide detailed financial information to the NCAA and have the school or conference sponsoring the event be responsible for selecting the field.

The explosion in multi-team events (the attraction of which is that a team gets to play up to four extra games on top of the NCAA's 27-game base) initially happened, with the number of tournaments surging from 35 in 2005 to 58 by 2006. But it has since subsided: By SI's count, there are only 35 in 2009. Ultimately, the rule changes' effect wasn't to increase the quantity of multi-team events -- it was to empower the dominant cable television network in college basketball, which was freed to create its own programming without the NCAA's financial supervision.

"I don't think it was the NCAA's intention at the time, but they anointed ESPN king of the [early-season tournament] world from one day to the next," says Steve Cobb, the athletic director at University of Alaska-Anchorage, which is the last school left that owns and operates a full-format early-season tournament, the 32-year-old Great Alaska Shootout. The Maui Invitational and the Shootout had long been the game's signature early-season events, but when ESPN didn't renew the Shootout's television deal after the 2007 tournament, it fell from prominence. This year the event has shrunk to six teams. "ESPN didn't need me anymore," says Cobb. "All the barriers to them owning their own tournaments were lifted..."
Go here for the remainder.

Last night in the WAC

Utah State restored some sanity to the WAC with a drubbing of Idaho State:

Utah State basketball: Wesley has 19 as Utah State tops Idaho State 77-44
Jared Eborn
Deseret News
November 24, 2009

After three straight road games to open the season, Utah State got back exactly what it was missing — a little Spectrum magic and Pooh Williams.

The Aggies overpowered Idaho State almost from the opening tip and were never threatened in a 77-44 win over the Bengals in USU's 2009-10 home-opener.

"I was awfully pleased with our effort tonight and our intensity," Utah State coach Stew Morrill said. "We had good intensity coming off of a couple heartbreaking road losses...
Go here for the remainder.
Aggies blast Bengals
Shawn Harrison
Herald Journal
November 25, 2009

There was no worry about a second-half let down this time.

The Aggies put their collective feet to the pedal and never really let up Tuesday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Utah State men’s basketball team jumped on the visiting Idaho State Bengals early and cruised to a 77-44 win in front of 9,026 fans.

“It’s night and day with us,” said Aggie forward Tai Wesley, who had a team- and season-best 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. “We’re a better team at home right now. We need to close the gap between being at home and being on the road.”

Coming off two tough road losses, USU (2-2) was more than ready to return home for its season opener in the Spectrum. With the victory, the Aggies have won 35 straight at home, the second-longest streak in the country, trailing only Kansas (42)...
Go here for the remainder.

Tony Jones/Salt Lake City Tribune offer his thoughts on some Aggie players here.


It was Ike Okoye 'you can't stop him let alone contain him' night as Boise State righted the Good Ship Graham and won over Eastern Washington:
Okoye's monster game lifts Boise State
With a new starting lineup, Boise State never trails in victory at Eastern Washington.
Idaho Statesman staff

Senior forward Ike Okoye scored 21 points, snatched 17 rebounds and blocked five shots to help the Boise State men's basketball team defeat Eastern Washington 82-69 Tuesday night in Cheney, Wash.

It was the second double-double of Okoye's career at BSU and a career-best rebounding total. He missed career-highs in points and blocked shots by one apiece...
Go here for the remainder.

Steve Bergerum of The Spokesman-Review offers his story.


New Mexico State seemingly had the game in the bag very, very early but Cal State Fullerton eventually prevailed:
Up-and-down Aggies fall at Fullerton
Sun-News report

The New Mexico State Aggies got off to a fast start Tuesday night.

It fizzled out quickly, however, as the team lost an early 23-point led, fell down big in the second half and eventually lost 84-73 to Cal-State Fullerton in Fullerton, Calif.

The Aggies fell to 1-3 following the loss.

NMSU jumped all over the Titans early, going on a 10-0 run to take a 15-3 lead. Robert Lumpkins scored eight points during the run as a Jahmar Young 3-pointer forced Fullerton to take a timeout.

NMSU continued to extend the lead on three-point plays by Hamidu Rahman and Banja Sy, and went up 25-3 as Fullerton went on a nearly 11-minute scoring drought...
Go here for the remainder.

Jason Groves/Las Cruces Sun-News has a blog entry on the contest.


Travis Mason-Bushman/Vandal Nation provides the details on Idaho's win over visiting Sacramento State:
Diversity lifts Vandals to victory in home opener
Travis Mason-Bushman
Vandal Nation
November 24, 2009

Idaho’s star guards Mac Hopson and Steffan Johnson combined for just 15 points on 5-of-14 shooting in Idaho’s home opener tonight against Sacramento State. The Vandals must have lost, right?


It was a night for Idaho’s unheralded guys to shine, as Luiz Toledo led four Vandals in double figures to claim a 75-61 victory over the Hornets in Memorial Gym — giving the 3-1 Vandals their best start in nearly a decade...
Go here for the remainder. There is also a post-game video interview with Coach Don Verlin.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Additional WAC links

Idaho added another recruit for the backcourt -- Vonchae' Richardson out of Franklin High in Seattle. A few weeks back, we left several messages on his phone and sent a couple of emails to his high school coach but they remained incommunicado. Oh well, congrats to the young man for earning a college basketball scholarship. From a couple of reports we read, it appears Richardson is a fifth-year senior this season at Franklin.

The above is based on a post to the basketball message board by IdahoFan34.


Travis Mason-Bushman at Vandal Nation has video interviews up with Coach Don Verlin, Mac Hopson and Steffan Johnson here.


Chris Murray/Reno Gazette-Journal has a post up on freshman Patrick Nyeko, who has yet to get on the court so far this season.

Your WAC links for Tuesday

Fresno State hosted San Diego State in a game that went back and forth but it was the Aztecs who pulled it out:

Fresno State men lose to San Diego State
Aztecs thrive on second chances to sneak home with late victory.
Marek Warszawski
he Fresno Bee
November 23, 2009

Most of the time, it's a good thing when the other team shoots an air ball.

Monday night at the Save Mart Center before an announced 8,041, the opposite was true.

San Diego State's Billy White scored 22 points, none bigger than an easy putback with 2 minutes, 2 seconds remaining after he snuck behind Fresno State's zone defense and corralled a teammate's air ball.

The Aztecs' 15 to 8 edge on the offensive glass, including White's six offensive boards, was the biggest reason why Fresno State coach Steve Cleveland was left trying to make sense of a 62-58 nonconference loss.

"You've got to get a body on people, but it would've been nice to see the ball hit the rim," Cleveland said. "At the end of the day, it's three or four offensive rebounds that really hurt us..."
Go here for the remainder.

Nick Jezierny has a feature on 'slumping Thomas' -- no known relation to 'doubting Thomas' -- in today's Idaho Statesman. We have to believe that AT will turn it around.

Fields, Shaw and Kraemer is not a Reno law firm but Nevada's senior class and each is getting the job done as Chris Murray/Reno Gazette-Journal reports today.

Scott Ficklin has a post rating the WAC teams to date at his TrueBlueA site.

The Refraction-ers give Idaho State the special treatment in their latest issue. Shawn Harrison/Herald-Journal previews the contest as the Aggies are thankful to be off the road.

Ferd Lewis/Honolulu Advertiser has more and new details on Coach Bob Nash's contract. It's patience -- not panic time -- for Hawaii hoops per Coach Nash. Dayton Morinaga/Honolulu Advertiser has the story. Brian McInnis/Honolulu Star-Bulletin also has the story plus a Bill Amis update.

GAMES: Boise State plays at Eastern Washington tonight. New Mexico State is at Cal; State Fullerton. Utah State hosts Idaho State and Idaho welcomes Sacramento State.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A few more links and notes

Per the Juco Junction site, D.J. Wright has signed a letter-of-intent with a D-1 team. We don't have a subscription in order to access the full article so we're surmising that it's Louisiana Tech. Hey, bet the mortgage on it -- now there's phrase that has taken on new meaning the past few years. He is just what Coach Kerry Rupp needs since Kyle Gibson, Jamel Guyton and Magnum Rolle will be departing.

Jason Groves has a preview of the Aggie game against Fullerton, which is coming off a win against UCLA. This season is the time to play both UCLA and USC.

Speaking of Fullerton, 6-foot-10, 240 pounds Bryce Webster plays for the Titans. He's started both games this season and is playing just below 30 minutes a game. Webster is averaging 7.0 points per game (.636 from the floor) and 9.5 rebounds a contest. He signed with Utah State as part of the 2008 class but never played a game for the Aggies.

Chris Murray writes about an early holiday gift for the Pack

Chris Murray/Reno Gazette-Journal has a post up today about just what the Nevada fans have been lighting candles for -- apparently, Coach Carter has been very good and Santa has recognized this:

Elliott eagerly awaiting chance to join Pack
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

Devonte Elliott’s best Christmas present this year will likely be a spot on the Nevada Wolf Pack bench.

Elliott was the crown jewel of the Wolf Pack basketball team’s 2009 recruiting class, but wasn’t ruled eligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse when classes began in August.

As a result, Elliott has been forced to track the team’s games over the computer while at his home in Parmount, Calif., rather than help out on the court...
Go here for the remainder.

We missed this on UH hoops

Dave Reardon offers some debilitating anecdotes about the Rainbow Warriors effort in their last contest:

Plenty of jeers and jabs after BYU's blowout of UH
Dave Reardon
Honolulu Star Bulletin
November 22, 2009

They booed at halftime ... and this was basketball, not football.

But who, specifically, were the fans at the Stan Sheriff Center jeering?

1) The Brigham Young coaches, for arguing a call.

2) The Hawaii players, who had just been outhustled on their home court to a 10-point deficit.

3) The designer of the Rainbow Dancers' outfits.

At least two of the three above deserved it Friday night, you take your pick (since my regular fashion statement is a sauce-stained wrinkled dress shirt, I'll cut some slack on No. 3)...
Go here for the remainder.

It's too early to play Chicken Little

*** Do check the comments below as I made some errors here/rather than correct them it's appropriate to give credit to those who caught the mistakes

Boy, aren't we a tad testy. Two or three games into the season, some of the various WAC team message boards have calls for this or that coach resignation plus so-and-so player leaving due to lack of playing time.


Admittedly, we haven't a clue if the sky is indeed falling at any WAC member mens basketball programs but neither does anyone else -- yet. So let's look at each one.

Boise State to date- A win against Loyola Marymount and a 13 point loss to Montana, a 15 point victory against North Dakota plus a 26 point downer at Wyoming -- all road games -- is what the Broncos have to show. Traveling to Eastern Washington and hosting North Texas will tell us a bit more and then it's off to Champaign to take on powerhouse Illinois. At least three more games -- actually more -- are needed to denote any sort of trend as there is a host of new players still adjusting to D-1 ball in Greg Graham's rotation.

Fresno State to date - So far, the Bulldogs have a win against Northern Arizona and a one point loss to Seattle -- both road contests -- and now a game tonight against San Diego State. That will be followed by a challenging slate versus Santa Clara, Pacific, San Diego, Pepperdine and BYU. The Fresno youth/newcomers will need time to truly show their mettle as this is a squad which should grow better as the season progresses.

Hawaii to date - The hoops gods and goddesses haven't shone brightly on UH this season, what with Bill Amis' injury and Douglas Kurtz' six game suspension. Add in an almost all new backcourt and again, this is a squad which has the potential to be better come WAC play but Amis will be needed for the Rainbow Warriors in order to be respectable then. Bob Nash's team owns wins against Southern Utah and McNeese State matched with losses to Northern Colorado and BYU.

Idaho to date: That road win against Utah goes a long way even if it was followed by a loss in Houston to Texas Southern. Then it was another road victory against North Dakota. Sacramento State comes to Moscow on Tuesday, followed by Eastern Washington and a trip to Cal State Northridge. Then it's big time with Portland coming in and a short trip to Pullman to face Washington State.

Louisiana Tech to date - 3-1 right now with wins against Texas- Pan American, Miami (Ohio) and Nicholls State plus an 81-52 loss to New Mexico -- all road contests. Arkansas Little Rock is next in Ruston followed by a trip to TCU.

Nevada to date - Wolf Packers should currently be happy as the squad has beat Montana State and Houston at home plus a loss to UNLV in Sin City. But VCU, North Carolina and Pacific -- all on the road -- await Coach Carter and his team. We'll definitely know more after these games.

New Mexico State to date - A bad road loss at St. Mary's was followed by a 10-point defeat in Albuquerque (which is nothing worthy of shame). Fullerton, UTEP and a rematch with New Mexico are among the next contests which will be telling but always keep in mind that this is a Marvin Menzies group still minus Wendell McKines and Troy Gillenwater. If Las Cruces has any high buildings, don't climb the stairs to the roof until WAC play begins and we see who is on the playing roster then.

San Jose State to date - A 10-point road loss to Washington almost counts as a moral victory for the effort and fight displayed. But the loss to UC Riverside -- definitely a winnable game -- brings back the conundrum: which SJSU team will show up next? Hosting Pacific and St. Mary's next Saturday and Monday respectively will tell us a lot.

Utah State to date - A nice win at Weber State was followed by a one-point loss to Utah in Salt Lake City and a three-point loss to Northeastern in Boston. We don't see anything to fret about here. Hosting Utah on 12/02 and St. Mary's on 12/5 will be solid grist for the thinking mill and we'll check back then.

As a good friend keeps telling me, it's a marathon and not a sprint.

A tip o' the hat to Joey Shaw

Congrats to Nevada's Joey Shaw for his first WAC Player of the Week award. Per Jason Erickson, WAC Director of Media relations:

DENVER - Nevada's Joey Shaw has been named the Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 16-22. The honor marks the first career WAC Player of the Week award for Shaw.

Shaw helped the Wolf Pack to a 1-1 record last week with a 112-99 victory against Houston. Against UNLV, Shaw tallied 15 points and tied a career high with nine rebounds. Shaw then led
Nevada with a career-high 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting in the victory over Houston. He also tied his career mark with nine rebounds.

On the week, Shaw averaged 20.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He shot 61.9 percent from the field (13-of-21), 50 percent from beyond the arc (3-of-6), and 92.3 percent from the free throw line (12-of-13).

Other nominees included:

* Boise State junior
guard La'Shard Anderson
* Fresno State sophomore forward Paul George
* Idaho senior guard Steffan Johnson
* Louisiana Tech sophomore forward Olu Ashaolu
* New Mexico State senior guard Jonathan Gibson
* Utah State senior guard Jared Quayle

Sunday, November 22, 2009

LT wins, SJSU loses

Louisiana Tech bounced back with a 77-45 win over Nicholls State. 50% shooting from the floor overall and also from long distance paced the Bulldogs. Olu Ashaolu continued his double-double streak with 11 points and 13 boards while Magnum Rolle contributed his own via 11/10.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Jamel Guyton scored 19 points and Kyle Gibson had 18 Sunday to lead Louisiana Tech to a 77-45 victory over Nicholls State in the Basketball Travelers World Vision Classic.

Louisiana Tech (3-1) broke open a close game early in the second half, holding Nicholls State scoreless for more than seven minutes during an 18-0 run that turned a four-point Bulldogs lead into a 51-29 advantage...

Here is the game report from the Tech athletics site. LT gets off the road now and faces UALR on Wednesday.


UC Riverside held on and defeated visiting San Jose State.

The UC Riverside men's basketball team staved off a late San Jose State run Sunday afternoon to even their record at 2-2 with a 70-66 win over the visiting Spartans.

The Highlanders led by 10, 45-35, following a Brandon Dowdy (pictured) free throw with 13:29 remaining in the game, but the Spartans scored 17 of the next 23 points to take their first lead since early in the first half. Dwight Gordon stopped the run with a jumper in the lane to put UC Riverside back on top and the Highlanders scored 11 of their final 17 points from the free throw line to pull out the win...
Go here for the remainder.

San Jose State shot just 39% overall as the Highlanders packed into the paint and forced outside shots. The Spartans went 8-24 from three-point range.

The bugaboo of last season reared again as UC Riverside went 49% from the floor shooting for the game. Curiously, on Friday night, Washington shot 41% in defeating the Spartans.


Travis Mason-Bushman presents a slew of Idaho basketball numbers in his latest post at Vandal Nation.

National Prep Showcase -- two WAC teams were repped

The National Prep Showcase is taking place this weekend in New Haven. Just about every name featured in every article is unfamiliar to us -- generally eastcoast prospects -- but what caught our eye is one article mentioned Nevada had a coach in attendance and an article the next day listed New Mexico State staff as present. That's a long, in-season plane trip so kudos to both head coaches for sending assistants in an attempt to bolster next season's rosters.

More Sunday links and notes

Chris Murray/Reno Gazette-Journal provides some analysis of the Nevada win over Houston here.

Travis Mason-Bushman/Vandal Nation has video interviews with Coach Don Verlin, Luiz Toledo and NDSU Coach Saul Phillips after last night's Idaho victory over North Dakota State..

We can't offer any reasoning since we weren't there (not sure how much we could provide if we were present) but Magnum Rolle has yet to leave a statistical imprint for the Bulldogs this season. Foul trouble was a factor last night. His line: 22 minutes played, four field goal attempts, four points, two blocked shots, three fouls, two assists, one rebound.

The good news for Kerry Rupp is that Olu Ashaolu has been Mr. Consistency so far this season having put up three consecutive double-doubles: 18-12, 14/13 and the latest consisting of 10/10. He'll earn the most improved player in the WAC nod if he keeps this up.

San Jose State is at UC Riverside this afternoon while Louisiana Tech gets no rest with a match against Nicholls State.

The Pack wins, LT loses

Well, Nevada came through with a solid victory, one that had to be a blast to watch.

Pack's rebounding efforts seal victory
Chris Gabel
Reno Gazette-Journal
November 22, 2009

Nevada is never going to be considered a big men’s basketball team, but its size has nothing to do with rebounding.

At least that’s what coach David Carter is trying to ingrain in his team.

After getting out-rebounded in its first two games, the Wolf Pack heeded its coach’s words and dominated the boards Saturday night in a 112-99 victory over Houston at Lawlor Events Center. Nevada more than doubled up the Cougars, as it corralled 57 errant shots to the visitors’ 27.

“I thought one of the keys to the game was going to be rebounding,” Carter said. “Rebounding is an effort thing. It’s not about size. We emphasize that.”

Luke Babbitt grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds and Dario Hunt had nine. But Saturday’s performance was about more than just the Wolf Pack’s big men...
Go here for the remainder.


Louisiana Tech traveled to Albuquerque and the result wasn't pretty. However, it was the second half that did in the Bulldogs.
Hobson Scores 30 in Lobos' 81-52 Romp
Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/

To put the beauty, the totality, of the Lobos 81-52 romp over Louisiana Tech into perspective, you first have to understand something about La-Tech. This is a wall-to-wall talented team.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they just ran into a wall-to-wall talented Lobos team Saturday night in The Pit that also stresses some of those fundamental, Steve-Alford-type things like defense, rebounding, and unselfish team play.

The dissection of La-Tech was a second-half exhibition in how little things can add up to a big victory, especially when those little things are coming out of extremely talented bodies...
Go here for the remainder.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday game results

New Mexico State handled Oklahoma Panhandle State 83-73 today in a game that really wasn't close or the outcome ever in doubt.

Gibson leads Aggies to first win of season
Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES — Game No. 100 was a big one for New Mexico State senior guard Jonathan Gibson.

It was also the Aggies first win of the season, beating Division II Oklahoma Panhandle State 83-73 on Saturday at the Pan American Center.

"It feels good to get a win and go out and execute the stuff that we have been working on in practice no matter what the other jersey said or the level of competition," said Gibson, who shot 11-of-19 from the field and 4-of-10 from 3-point range...
Go here for the remainder.

Travis Mason-Bushman reports on-site about the Vandals win in Fargo. No mention is made of any Frances McDormand sightings.
Hot-shooting Vandals freeze out North Dakota State
Travis Mason-Bushman
Vandal Nation
November 21, 2009

We’ll have video interviews with Don Verlin, Luiz Toledo and Saul Phillips posted shortly.

FARGO, N.D. — After falling to Texas Southern in a game where nothing went right, the Idaho Vandals needed a spark to avoid coming off a three-game road trip with a losing record.

In the inspired play of Luiz Toledo, they found it.

Dominating the paint defensively, pouring in 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting and pulling in 8 rebounds, Toledo powered Idaho to an 81-69 victory over the North Dakota State Bison in the Bison Sports Arena tonight...
Go here for the remainder.

Utah State tripped to Boston and came close against an underrated Northeastern squad:
USU lets early, big lead get away
Shawn Harrison
Herald Journal
November 21, 2009

BOSTON — It was another down-to-the-wire finish gone bad for the Aggies.

The Utah State men’s basketball team was 2,400 miles from where it last lost — Salt Lake City — but similar circumstances led to a setback Saturday morning at the newly renovated Matthews Arena. Northeastern used a second-half push and made enough free throws in the final minute to hand the Aggies a 64-61 loss in front of 1,830 fans.

“For whatever reason, it looked like we got tired out there, and they (Huskies) took advantage of it,” USU head coach Stew Morrill said. “They deserve credit for that. They are a veteran team.”

Once again the Aggies (1-2) suffered an offensive dry spell in the second half, which allowed their opponent to get back in the game. Northeastern (1-1) put together an 11-0 run , while USU went nearly seven minutes without scoring a point...
Go here for the remainder.
Utah State Aggies fall to Northeastern University
Ian Abreu
For the Deseret News
November 21, 2009

BOSTON — The Utah State men's basketball team can't get home soon enough.

Finally starting to feel the effects of their three game road swing to start this year's regular season campaign, the Aggies let a six point halftime lead falter as they were edged by upstart Northeastern University, 64-61, in Saturday afternoon's non-conference tilt at Matthews Arena.

They were more aggressive in the second half than us and it shows on the scoreboard, said Utah State head coach Stew Morrill. I'd like to see the last time a program like us started out with three road games in a row. This has certainly been a tough stretch for us, but we'll bounce back...
Go here for the remainder.

Nate Bendall is apparently okay after enduring a racing heart.

Boise State hit the road traveling to Laramie and things didn't go well for the Broncos, falling 87-61 to Wyoming. La'Shard Anderson scored 19 and Reggie Arnold 17 but 2-20 three-point shooting overall sunk BSU.

Additional Saturday WAC links

Matt Kamalsky @ the Draft Express site has a nice feature on Jaycee Carroll today. It's the fifth subject in the post so do some scrolling down once you go here.

Will Brandon Fields and Kelvin Lewis be matched up against each other today? Chris Murray/Reno Gazette-Journal has the scoop on the history between these two.

Jason Groves features a walk-on in his Aggie basketball article today along with an update on Tyrone Watson's playing status.

Travis Mason-Bushman is coming at you from Fargo (North Dakota State) today. Our unsolicited advice: stay away from any and all wood chippers.