Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday WAC links/game reports

Sam Wasson leads off with coverage here of New Mexico State's big road win versus Louisiana Tech. If it was Pistol Pete firing away, his six-shooter would have melted down as the Aggies shot 54% from the floor. Here is the Las Cruces Sun-News report.


Utah State revved it up opening the second half, San Jose State didn't respond and that was the game in the Aggies' Spectrum win. We open with Jared Eborn's game report. Shawn Harrison was there and here is his writeup. Tony Jones made it a trifecta here. Jones also provides a post game analysis plus a short feature on Nate Bendall.

So does College of Southern Idaho's Carrick Felix go with the Cameron Crazies, play ACC basketball, be on television quite often and compete for a national championship or choose another college where earning playing time and being among the top two or three players on the team are much more achievable? If such qualifies as a dilemma, then it's a good one to face. Jared Eborn has the scoop of Felix's visit to Logan this weekend.


Turnovers, foul trouble and amazingly poor outside-shooting contributed to Fresno State's fall in Boise, plus the absence of Paul George. Nick Jezierny was there and offers his game report. Daniel Lyght also has a writeup.


It came down to free throw shooting and Nevada was perfect while Hawaii was half and half in the Wolf Pack's win in Reno. Chris Murray provides the details. He also has a plethora of news and notes here. Darrell Moody covered the contest for the Honolulu Star Bulletin here. Here is a game report from the Honolulu Advertiser.


Bob Condotta covered Idaho's road win over Seattle.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday night scores so far

Utah State started fast in both halves and it was the second spurt that carried the Aggies to a 77-58 victory over San Jose State. Nate Bendall paved the way with 20 points and Brady Jardine added 17. It was 39-36 Utah State after 20 minutes but the Spartans scored just 22 second half points in Logan.


New Mexico State handled Louisiana Tech 91-77 in Ruston. That should definitely make some noise. 91 points? Wow!

It was 48-43 Aggies at the half. Hamidu Rahman led with a double-double of 22 points (10-15 shooting) and 12 rebounds, Jamar Young tossed in 19 and Gordo Castillo scored 17 points in 19 minutes, based on 5-6 three-point shooting. Magnum Rolle own 27/15 double-double went for naught while Kyle Gibson added 22 points but was a cold 3-12 from long distance. Jamel Guyton shot 1-10 including going scoreless on five trey attempts.


Host Nevada and Hawaii were tied at 28 after 2o minutes of play and the Wolf Pack got to the finish line with a six point advantage, 66-60.


A Paul George-less Fresno State is having trouble scoring points again tonight and Boise State is pulling away -- the final, 65-49.


Seattle led Idaho at the half 41-37 but the Vandals have pulled ahead and just closed out an extremely tight 87-85 victory.

A great Ethan Conley - LA TECH feature

We overlooked this one:

How the LA Tech men underwent a worst-to-first transformation
Ethan Conley
The News Star
January 29, 2010

Sometimes the numbers can be misleading. Statistics don’t always tell the entire story.

Box scores can’t tell you about all the intangible factors that have led to the drastic improvement of the Louisiana Tech men’s basketball team (18-3 overall, 6-1 WAC) in three years under head coach Kerry Rupp.

The leadership of seniors Kyle Gibson and Magnum Rolle, the rebounding and toughness of Olu Ashaolu, the playmaking of DeAndre Brown, and the defensive energy of Jamel Guyton can’t be quantified...
Go here for the remainder.

An overlooked All-WAC player prediction

We were surprised at the time but charitably thought that some of the WAC coaches knew more than we did on the subject. Now, it's clear -- whoever they were as we assume some got it right -- they missed the proverbial boat at least by one.

What are we talking about?

Check out the pre-season predictions for WAC first and second teams as done by the head coaches:

Preseason Coaches All-WAC Teams

First Team

Luke Babbitt, So., F, Nevada
Mac Hopson, Sr., G, Idaho
Armon Johnson, Jr., G, Nevada
Jared Quayle, Sr., G, Utah State
Jahmar Young, Jr., G, New Mexico State

Second Team

Roderick Flemings, Sr., F, Hawai
Paul George, So., G/F, Fresno State
Kyle Gibson, Sr., G, Louisiana Tech
Sylvester Seay, Sr., F, Fresno State
Tai Wesley, Jr., F, Utah State

The placement can be argued but did you notice who is missing?

SJSU's Adrian Oliver -- not even as a second-teamer.

Granted, he missed some WAC games last season due to injury and played at less than 100% in some others but still...

Plus hold on, as we aren't done just yet. The media picked a five-player All-WAC team and here that is:

Preseason Media All-WAC Team

First Team

Luke Babbitt, So., F, Nevada
Mac Hopson, Sr., G, Idaho
Armon Johnson, Jr., G, Nevada
Jared Quayle, Sr., G, Utah State
Jahmar Young, Jr., G, New Mexico State

By the way, the coaches also collectively predicted Louisana Tech would come in fifth in 2009-2010 -- the media offered a sixth place finish.

On October 1 of last year, we Karnak the Magnificent-ed Young, Hopson, Oliver, Babbitt and George as the top quintet. We may have updated these selections after that but can't find that at the moment.

Hopson has been good but Kyle Gibson has been great. Plus, let's see how many games Paul George misses and then his level of play once he returns.

Coby Karl to Golden State

Coby Karl has enjoyed quite the odyssey since leaving Boise State and his latest move is the San Francisco area:

Warriors' next move: Coby Karl on a 10-day
Marc Stein
True Hoop
January 30, 2010

The Golden State Warriors face another roster decision this weekend involving one of the two injury exemptions they've received from the league office.

Which will force the Warriors to make their fourth dip into the D-League this season...
Go here for the remainder.

A ton of links in Saturday's games and more

Sam Wasson present his weekly interview with Coach Marvin Menzies here.


Craig Hislop features one of the lesser known USU Aggies here.

Jared Eborn offers his own full-length article on the same here. Does this make the two reporters a Brady Bunch?

Shawn Harrison here, Tony Jones here write about surging San Jose State and Jones also offers this ode to Adrian Oliver.


Jason Groves previews the New Mexico State - Louisiana Tech personnel matchups here. Our suggestion: have Kyle Gibson and Jahmar Young play one game to 15, have to win by two and rest everyone else.

Here's the very latest on the Troy Gillenwater will-he-or-won't-he be eligible marathon watch.


Can Boise State make it two in a row? Check out the factors in play, per Daniel Lyght, here.

Nick Jezierny features one Daequon Montreal who seems to prefer WAC competition and certainly has found a second home.


It seems Nevada has too much offense for Hawaii to win on the road but that's why the games are still played -- to test the conventional wisdom. Chris Murray offers his preview here.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Another set of Friday links

With a tip o' the hat to Sam Wasson at, Bay Area sports reporter Jeff Faraudo offers a feature on Wendell McKines.


Chris Murray humanizes the WAC basketball referees who have to be perfect and then get better.


Daniel Lyght talks about missed dunks here -- it goes back a couple of decades (the Mesozoic Age) but we remember a college head coach who pulled any player who attempted to dunk and failed.


Josh Wright has an Idaho - Fresno State game report that contains this interesting quote:

"...Hopson went on to say he hopes “Vandal Nation (has) got our back. It sounds like they don’t.” The senior guard was referring to the sparse crowd, the smallest of the three-game homestand."

A southern California high school junior is getting some major attention but Hawaii does receive a mention.
Spencer Dinwiddie, 6-3 JR PG Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft, is one of the elite point guard prospects in the West Coast class of 2011. A true point, Dinwiddie has exceptional length and vision for the position. He’s still maturing physically, but Dinwiddie has a good frame and he should be a terrific player down the road...
Go here for the full Greg Hicks-penned article and a Scout sub is required.


Brian Green is featured in Shawn Harrison's latest here.

Friday's WAC game reports

Alex Pavlovic leads us off with his game report of San Jose State's victory over Hawaii.

Spartans rout Hawaii, 80-63
Alex Pavlovic
Mercury News

From their pregame run through a cloud of fog to some impromptu dancing as they waited to warm up for the second half, the San Jose State Spartans were clearly having fun Thursday night, and it'd be hard to blame them.

Led by another ho-hum 30-point performance from Adrian Oliver, San Jose State topped Hawaii 83-60 at the Event Center, avenging a one-point loss in Honolulu earlier this month. The Spartans (12-8, 5-3 Western Athletic Center) are now 9-1 at home, and have 12 wins before the end of January for the first time since 1986...
Go here for the remainder.

Darrell Moody stepped in with a game report for the Honolulu Star Bulletin.
Hawaii run down on road
Darrell Moody
Special to the Star-Bulletin
January 29, 2010

Four trips to the mainland this season and four losses, three by huge numbers, including last night's 83-60 spanking at the hands of San Jose State before a crowd of 2,651 at the Event Center.

In those four losses, Hawaii (9-12 overall, 2-6 in conference) has lost by a total of 91 points, including a 44-point loss at Utah State on Jan. 11. And it doesn't get any easier tomorrow when UH visits the University of Nevada at Lawlor Events Center...
Go here for the remainder.


Travis Mason-Bushman was at the Idaho victory over Fresno State.
Inside game comes up big as Vandals snap losing streak
Travis Mason-Bushman
Vandal Nation
January 29, 2010

Seven seconds left in the first half, tie ballgame and Fresno State’s looking to add a seventh 3-pointer to their tally to take a lead into the locker room. Bulldog guard Steven Shepp aims a pass at forward Brandon Sperling and fires.

But the big man in white, Marvin Jefferson, was a half-step ahead. Idaho’s powerful center swiped the ball away and lumbered down the court as the clock ticked down. Jefferson’s 6-10 frame exploded into the air and slammed the ball home as the backboard flashed red. In your face, Fresno State...
Go here for the remainder including postgame video interviews with Coach Don Verlin and Mac Hopson.

TM-B offers a photo gallery of the game here.

Daniel Lyght also provides a game report.
Bulldogs men stumble at Idaho
Sloppy play results in road loss against Vandals.
Daniel Lyght
The Fresno Bee
January 28, 2010

Seeking a repeat performance, Fresno State instead flopped Thursday against Idaho, losing 74-59 to give the Vandals their first Western Athletic Conference home win this season.

In front of 1,301 inside the Cowan Spectrum, the Bulldogs committed 21 turnovers, just the opposite of the winning form they flashed against Nevada on Saturday...
Go here for the remainder.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Idaho wins, so does San Jose State

It was a night for the home teams as Idaho snapped a losing streak and San Jose State earned revenge over an earlier loss to Hawaii.

Host Idaho owned just a 32-30 lead over Fresno State at halftime but quickly expanded that and was ahead 62-47 with 6:15 remaining in the game. The contest ended with the Vandals righting their ship 74-59. Mac Hopson led the way with 21 points.

It was a Bulldog squad without Paul George and one that couldn't generate the offense that led Fresno to an 88-77 win over Nevada in the preceding FSU game.

Foul trouble on Bulldog wunderkind Greg Smith also hampered FSU's offensive efficiency, taking away yet another point producer.


San Jose State won a bit of a yawner over Hawaii 83-60.

The Spartans led 41-32 at halftime as a late UH scoring rush cut the point differential to nine. But SJSU took a 51-40 lead at the 14:39 mark to 59-40 and the outcome was known.

Adrian Oliver went off again tonight, finishing with 33 points. Roderick Flemings paced Hawaii with 19.

Utah State linked to a California high schooler

It's uncertain as to the degree of interest -- make that mutual interest -- but San Ramon Valley High (CA) backcourter Chris McNealy was just linked to Utah State, among a few other teams.

...They certainly have all the pieces, starting with John Raynor, one of the Bay Area's most respected coaches, who led the Wolves to back-to-back NorCal titles in 1991 and 1992 and mentored such well-known athletes as major-league outfielder Randy Winn, former NBA forward Mark Madsen and current St. Mary's College center Omar Samhan.

As an assistant at San Jose State in the early '80s, he also coached McNealy's father, Chris Sr., who played three seasons with the Knicks. Raynor said the younger McNealy, a 6-foot-3 guard, has many of the same traits as his dad - quickness, a strong penetrator and a good defender - though he is 4 inches shorter.

McNealy, the team's leading scorer at 15 points per game, has an offer from St. Mary's but is also considering Santa Clara, Boston College, Utah State and Portland...

Go here for the complete article.

Thursday's WAC links

Jason Groves writes about the firm Gibson and Gibson today -- go here.


Chris Murray ruminates over Tony Jones' all-WAC mid-season list and also offers his quintet here.


With a hat tip to Travis Mason-Bushman, Kraig Williams (Student, Best Buy Employee, Wannabe Writer, Headband Aficionado, Sports Fanatic, Strikingly Handsome and Refraction-er) offers a possible reason for Idaho's basketball woes:

Sigh. Quoted for truth. RT @KraigW: @VandalNation I think you might have used all your good karma up during football season
We've often though there was a not to exceed karma quotient at play -- Idaho basketball bathed in it last season, Vandal football in 2oo9-2010. It's more than likely because the BCS (them that has the gold, rules) consortium allows only excess karma to be filtered down to the tired, the poor, the huddled masses, the wretched refuse, the homeless and the tempest-tost. Thank you Emma Lazarus.


Mark Emmons offers a feature on San Jose State's Adrian Oliver. Go here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This will not be a big seller in Las Cruces

Here is another of the type of articles we love but it doesn't take a weatherman to know that the reception of it will be chilly -- to say the least -- in and around Las Cruces. Heck, Reno-ites will be quibbling too. We would have Luke Babbitt replace his teammate, Jared Quayle do the same and insert Jahmar Young in place of a really tall LT-er -- and that's the beauty of lists.

A near midseason WAC all-conference team
Tony Jones
Aggieville: USU Sports
Salt Lake City Tribune

Looking over who's done what, if the season were to end today, here's who would be on my first team all-league...
Go here for the remainder.

It's Chris Murray three times over

Chris Murray has an aptly titled blog entry -- As the recruiting world turns ... with K.C. Ross-Miller -- here. He offers a Luke Babbitt item here. We love 'trend' articles and Chris hits a grand slam with this one.

Idaho and turnovers

Dale Grummert of the Lewiston Tribune blogs about the Idaho - Boise State game here. He has some interesting analysis, including the claim that Vandal turnovers are up despite essentially similar personnel. We see that as half right.

As a collective, the Vandals to date have committed 265 turnovers to 225 for opponents. Last season, it certainly was a much, much better 406/447.

But backcourter Steffan Johnson (29 minutes a game) is an on-the-court addition and he owns a decent 54/30 assist-to-turnover ratio. Another newcomer, Kyle Barone (15 minutes a game), checks in at 5/23 and third newcomer Luiz Toledo (just under 26 minutes a game)is at 13/25.

Marvin Jefferson isn't a newbie but owns a 12/30 ratio, which indicates a sort of dead zone for ballhandling/passing among Idaho's power players.

Kashif Watson is currently at 39/38 after finishing at 85/75 in 2008-2009, with Mac Hopson at 77/60 after 194/96 numbers last season.

So, the newbies -- other than Johnson -- aren't helping with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio and Hopson is below par with his numbers of last season.

Is Idaho utilizing a faster pace this season and such is contributing to the rise of turnovers? Is it taking more chances, with lower-odds-of-succeeding type of passes? Is there some degree of complacency?

What have you Vandal fans noticed?

A case can be made for both sides

We will spare you weighing in on the "what is truth" debate since such has been here from Day One of humanity and will only cease for us when our existence disappears but how and why do you come down on this particular debate?

To foul or not to foul?

Nick Jezierny offers the background on the latest WAC scenario involving this subject:

Idaho coach defends decision not to foul late in game
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman

MOSCOW — Idaho men’s basketball coach Don Verlin never considered fouling at the end of regulation in Monday’s 77-67 loss to Boise State.

The Vandals had a 62-59 lead with 7.7 seconds left and junior Jeff Ledbetter on the foul line shooting a one-and-one.

Ledbetter, a 53.3 percent foul shooter, missed. That gave visiting Boise State a chance to tie the score with a 3-point shot, and that’s what happened when Bronco senior Anthony Thomas drained a long trey with Ledbetter’s hand in his face as time expired...
Go here for the remainder.

A case can be made either way -- this despite the holier-than-thou sermons of some opposing points of view.

Totally off-base and not to single him out, but how is Jeff ledbetter a 53.3% foul shooter? Outside-shooting is his strong point. Maybe he needs to move back, catch a pass from a teammate...

Your Wednesday WAC

Jeff Davis has a fascinating post about the how-and-why of Fresno State's takedown of Nevada -- minus Paul George.

Preparation paid off
Jeff Davis
Fresno Bee
January 26, 2010

I think most Fresno State fans would agree that Saturday's 87-77 upset of Nevada with star Paul George on the bench was something short of a miracle.

I'll tell you in sec why it wasn't.

George, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, was on the bench with a badly sprained ankle and couldn't play. That seemed to spell doom for the Bulldogs against one of the WAC's elite teams...
Go here for the remainder.

We would venture to day that what Steve Cleveland and his assistants did is something each WAC coaching staff (as well as elsewhere) does -- a sort of par for the course (which doesn't diminish the devising of any successful game plan one iota).

It's the actual carrying out, the fulfillment of what is the focus that is the far too often primary stumbling block. That, and how the opponent reacts and diversifies (or doesn't).

Planning is a necessity. Getting young people (or medium-aged or older) to carry about the specifics -- the box of chocolates, so to speak -- that's the part where coaches never know what they are truly going to get until it takes place. Steve Cleveland was rewarded with a pleasurable assortment of Knipschildts and Delafees.


Nick Jezierny analyzes the Boise State win over Idaho:
Broncos hope win starts a new streak
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman

MOSCOW — The Boise State men’s basketball team hopes that Monday night’s thrilling overtime victory over rival Idaho is the start of something big.

The Broncos (10-11 overall, 1-7 WAC) play five of their next six games at Taco Bell Arena, starting with Saturday’s WAC game against Fresno State. BSU had lost seven games in a row before Monday.

“We got the monkey off our back — we got one,” Boise State coach Greg Graham said. “We’ve got a homestand coming up, and we need to dig in and play. Hopefully the people will rally back behind us. We’ve got off to a slow start, but hopefully they’ll come out and support us...
Go here for the remainder.


Brian Green and Brady Jardine get some major love from Tony Jones:
Green, Jardine taking this team to next level
Tony Jones
Aggieville - Salt Lake City Tribune

Scanning the conference and the powers of the league, I see at least three teams with a starting five comparable, even better, than the one Utah State can trot out on any given night.

Louisiana Tech comes to mind as the most obvious team. They are quick, lengthy, powerful and explosive all in one when it comes to the first wave of players. If Utah State has the most balance, and Aggieville believes that, then the Bulldogs are the most explosive...
Go here for the remainder.

Jones also has underdone a change of mind:
San Jose surprise
Tony Jones
Aggieville - Salt Lake City Tribune

Raise your hand if at the beginning of the season, you looked at the two San Jose State games on the schedule and wrote "automatic W" right next to it. I admit it. I did. I never thought of the Spartans as a threat.

I don't think that anymore...
Go here for the remainder.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Franklin to San Diego State

He said he was going to wait until springtime to decide but maybe LaBradford Franklin has a different calendar. Nevada was in the possibility equation at some point:

Temecula guard to play for SDSU
Kevin Gemmell
January 26, 2010

SAN DIEGO – The good news for the San Diego State Aztecs is they’ve found a true point guard. The bad news is they won’t get him until next year.

LaBradford Franklin of Temecula Great Oaks High has accepted a scholarship offer to San Diego State, and it’s likely that as early as next season he’ll be running the SDSU offense...
Go here for the remainder.

BSU over Idaho in overtime

Wow, what a game! Plus, Anthony Thomas certainly made an appearance. Let's lead with Nick Jezierny:

Boise State men's basketball team stuns Idaho with late heroics
Senior Anthony Thomas forces OT with a 3-pointer, then BSU takes control.
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman

MOSCOW - What an epic way to stop what had been an epic losing streak.

The Boise State men's basketball team turned the tables on its in-state rival Monday night in a nationally televised game, rallying from nine points down in the second half to force an overtime period it dominated.

Boise State's seven-game losing streak ended with a 77-67 overtime victory against Idaho in front of 4,104 fans at the Cowan Spectrum.

"I forgot what it felt like to win a damn game," said guard Anthony Thomas, who again played the villain to the Vandal faithful...
Go here for the remainder.

Here's Josh Wright with his game report:
Boise’s Thomas plays key role in overcoming Idaho
Josh Wright
The Spokesman
January 26, 2010

MOSCOW, Idaho – The unrelenting chorus of boos came in unison, almost as if they had been rehearsed for weeks. Every time Anthony Thomas touched the ball Monday night, University of Idaho students unleashed another round of catcalls.

But it was Thomas who had the final gesture for UI students: a quick military salute and smile after Boise State pulled out a heart-stopping 77-67 overtime victory.

Thomas, who made an ill-fated guarantee last year after losing to Idaho, sank a buzzer-beating 3 to send the game into overtime. The Broncos went on to dominate the extra session to end a seven-game losing streak and extend the Vandals’ misery...
Go here for the remainder.

Travis Mason-Bushman live-blogged the game and here that is so that you can catch the ebb and flow of the contest. He also has video post-game interviews with Coach Don Verlin and Marvin Jefferson.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Boise State v. Idaho

The halftime score of the Idaho - Boise State grudge match is 25-22 in favor the the Broncos.

Travis Mason-Bushman is live-blogging the game so go here for that. The initial 20 minutes have proven deafening and raucous with the shooting percentage of both teams seemingly near the PTW line (30%). How's that for self promotion? Hey, if baseball has Mendoza as a measuring stick...

Yes, Anthony Thomas is a focal point for the Vandal fans -- let's see what numbers he finishes with tonight.

Both teams need this one.

Monday's WAC news, notes and links

As previously known, here's next season's point for Boise State:

Future Bronco Is A Floor Leader
Jared Crews
January 24, 2010

Hill College PG Chris Kupets (Hillsboro, TX) signed with Boise State in the early signing period following his transfer from East Carolina. The future Bronco will have two years of eligibility left once he arrives on the Boise State campus and his goal is to simply be a pure PG on the court. "I just want to be the best teammate and PG I can be," he said. "Just simply make the team better," he added...
Go here for the remainder and a Scout sub is required.

Here is an earlier article from June 2008 about Kupets signing with East Carolina. Here is an article from his high school days in Georgia.


Nick Jezierny has a preview of the Boise State - Idaho matchup tonight. Can BSU finally nab a WAC win? Idaho is the host and really needs to take this one in order to achieve a better placement for the WAC tourney. He offers a second article featuring the individual matchups here.


It was but one viewing so it's both difficult and dangerous to extrapolate about a team and its players but here goes anyway. After viewing the New Mexico State - San Jose State game Saturday night, this is what we witnessed:

* Jahmar Young is a great jumpshooter, an NBA talent whose length allows him to get his shot off even from a veritable standstill. He does still need some added bulk and we don't recall much in the way of attempts to drive and score or drive and dish but his range and accuracy will land him a spot in The League. Is it after this season or the next one?

* The first half strategy of having Wendell McKines dribble-drive towards the paint, draw defenders and kick a short pass to a teammate for an open jumper, was successful. McKines totaled three assists for the game and our guess is he earned them all in the initial period. We don't know why -- a change in the defense? a different offensive focus? -- but that design was absent in the second 20 minutes. What predominated offensively for the Aggies in the second half was a couple of dribbles and quick jump shots, which were contested more often than not. McKines was absent for some of that time due to foul trouble.

* Hernst Laroche was very impressive -- 13 points, four assists and four boards, with zero turnovers -- and, while not necessarily a creator, he just may be the most valuable point in the WAC.

* Hamidu Rahman wasn't able to take advantage of his bulk inside partly because of San Jose State's zone but also due to Chris Oakes' length. Rahman shot 1-7 on the night and had difficulty maneuvering his body for a solid shot. He went 5-6 on last season's visit to San Jose.

* Jonathan Gibson took the honors for forced shots on the night. Unlike Young, he doesn't have the length to get good looks on his own creation and his attempts weren't falling.


Adrian Oliver is the WAC POY:

San Jose State’s Adrian Oliver has been named the Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 18-24. The honor marks the second career WAC Player of the Week award for Oliver.

Oliver, a junior guard from Modesto, CA, led San Jose State to a 2-0 record last week with home wins over Louisiana Tech (87-76) and New Mexico State (93-84). With the two wins, SJSU improves to 4-3 in WAC play for the first time since 1999.

Against Louisiana Tech, Oliver scored a career-high 39 points with five assists, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Oliver connected on 12-of-19 shots from the field against the Bulldogs, including a 3-of-5 clip from long range and a 12-of-12 mark from the free throw line. Oliver then tallied 22 points with five assists, three rebounds and a pair of steals in the victory over NM State. The performance marked his fourth-straight 20-plus point game as San Jose State registered its highest point total against a Division I opponent since 1996.

On the week, Oliver averaged 30.5 points, 5.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. He shot 54.3 percent (19-of-35) from the field, 44.4 percent (4-of-9) from three-point range and was 19-of-20 from the free throw line.

Other nominees:

* Fresno State freshman center Greg Smith
* Idaho senior guard Kashif Watson
* Louisiana Tech senior forward Magnum Rolle
* Nevada sophomore forward Luke Babbitt
* New Mexico State junior guard Jahmar Young
* Utah State senior guard Jared Quayle

Sunday, January 24, 2010

All you ever wanted to know about...

...Pistol Pete.

Hey, it's a paying gig which might interest millions nowadays but the opportunity is open only to New Mexico State students. We think PP ought to be on full scholarship but the weight we carry in such a decision can be summed up in one four-letter word: zero.

Anyway, if NMSU ever wants to look outside the student population, we offer Sam Elliott (above)

Go here for the full-length feature on the Aggie mascot. Tryouts are in mid-May.

Sunday's game reports of Saturday's matchups

Sam Wasson lead offs this morning with his game report on San Jose State's victory over visiting New Mexico State. Alex Pavlovic was on site and offers his take. If you can take more, here is a third review.


Daniel Lyght tells the tale here of host Fresno State's surprising win over Nevada. Lyght blogs about some keys to the game -- it's an important read with possible ramifications for the future. Here is another Lyght blog entry, this one pre-game.

Chris Murray writes about the game and the emergence of one Greg Smith here. He offers a bunch of Nevada hoops notes in this article.


Travis Mason-Bushman had the Idaho fall to Utah State covered, including a post-game press conference with Coach Don Verlin. Nick Jezierny was also present and his report can be found here. Jared Eborn was on the road and features Coach Stew Morrill nabbing victory #500. Shawn Harrison was also in Moscow and has a game report and a separate piece on Morrill's achievement. Likewise with Tony Jones here and here. Jones blogs about a ceremony being planned to salute Morrill at next Saturday's game versus San Jose State.


Louisiana Tech took care of business in Honolulu, winning 65-60 over UH. Dayton Morinaga has the game coverage as does Brian McInnis here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday night's game outcomes

Utah State didn't allow host Idaho to get a glimmer of an upset and won in Moscow 60-48. Travis Mason-Bushman has a game report here, including a nine-minute video post-game press conference with Coach Don Verlin.

TM-B also blogged the game here, providing a play-by-play account of the matchup.


A Paul George-less Fresno State took down visiting Nevada 87-77. Freshman center Greg Smith produced a double-double of 25 points and 11 boards, shooting 8-12 from the floor and 9-15 at the foul line. The other four Bulldog starters scored in double figures and the squad shot 59% from the floor, 7-14 from three-point range.

Luke Babbitt led the Wolf Pack with a double-double of 29/10 but Armon Johnson shot 5-16 and Ray Kraemer 1-5 (all trey attempts).

Chris Murray has a game report here.


Host San Jose State was down by nine points, 41-32, at the half but ended up bagging a win 93-84 against New Mexico State. Mac Peterson scored 25 points and Adrian Oliver 22 as the Spartans went 12-20 from long distance. Jahmar Young went for 34 as the leading scorer for the Aggies. Jonathan Gibson contributed 19 but shot 6-20 overall. The Spartans shot 56% overall for the game to New Mexico State's 39% although the Aggies got up 16 more shots.

Alex Pavlovic has a game report here.


Louisiana Tech took down host Hawaii 65-60 on the strength of Magnum Rolle's 23/17 double-double. UH's Brandon Adams just missed his own with 20 points and nine boards.

Here is an early game report from the Honolulu Advertiser.

An aspect that is great for WAC basketball

There is another aspect of WAC basketball that deserves attention and commendation. That is, Wendell McKines and Jahmar Young speaking their respective minds.

Neither does it in a me-me-me manner a la changing their surname to a number or 'conveniently' having a Sharpie available for autographs and such while on the court. No, they speak what they are feeling -- something generally unique in this day and age of pre-programmed responses and sports adages that have long ago been worthy of burial.

Here's McKines today, via Jason Groves: "We have the best talent in the WAC..."

Good for him!

We are sure Coach Marvin Menzies would prefer not to have so-called "locker room material" available for opponents but damn is it refreshing.

Young offered this to Brian McInnis after the game-winning shot against Hwaii on Thursday night:

"...After UH point guard Hiram Thompson put himself in contention for hero of the game -- again -- with a tying 3-pointer with 12.9 seconds left, the Aggies took the ball straight upcourt and waited until about 5 seconds were left at the top of the arc. Young dribbled right in rhythm and drained the stepback jumper over an outstretched Roderick Flemings.

"They didn't give up, I just made a good shot. My JY sense kicked in," said Young, who finished with a game-high 26 points on 11-for-23 shooting. "I knew it was good. Not to be cocky, (never had a game-winner) in games, never had that predicament before. But in practice I make a lot of those...'"
Jason Groves/Las Cruces Sun-News is quite the lucky reporter and we are the fortunate recipients.

Saturday's WAC news, links and notes

Stew Morrill is 499 (yes, it seems like he has been in Logan forever), make that is going for victory #500 and even the dimmest of wits should buy into the idea that his players are going to have a little extra incentive tonight versus Idaho. But don't dare raise that subject in Morrill's presence unless you wish to be the subject of the evil-ist of eyes and probably a few choice words. In a couldn't-plan-it-better coincidence, Morrill is coaching tonight against Don Verlin, his former protégé.


The league-leading Lousiana Tech Bulldogs are scheduled to hula against Hawaii tonight and probably loaded for bear, or at least Rainbow Warrior. Which UH player faces the unenviable task of going up against Kyle Gibson? Or for that matter, Olu Ashaolu, Magnum Rolle, Jamel Guyton et al? Will foul trouble decide the game since neither team has great depth?


Can a Paul George-less Fresno State match Nevada's scoring firepower? That breeze you are feeling is the WAC head coaches rushing to check their schedules in hopes of seeing the Bulldogs listed as an opponent in the next couple of weeks (George is presumed out for 2-3 weeks and probably won't be at full strength for some time).


We had forgotten this angle: Wendell McKines is returning 'home' and will have a sizeable contingent of family and friends in the house tonight when visiting New Mexico State takes the court against San Jose State. The Aggies also boast a nine-game winning streak versus the Spartans. One key question: who matches up with McKines in the SJSU four-guard offense? Another: will Jahmar Young's "JY sense" make another appearance?


Sam Wasson and Travis Mason Mason-Bushman do their usual best with the weekly "Checking In On The WAC" at Rush The Court.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A few more Friday links and notes

Hey, you learn something every day: Louisiana Tech basketballers -- male hoops in this instance -- are the Bulldogs. The Techsters refers to the lady hoopsters in Ruston. Can anyone provide the history on this division?

I sure hope this isn't some sort of political correctness at work here because my neighbor has a female bulldog and I would certainly insult him if I insisted on calling her Techster (yep, it's late, that's the best I could so). But seriously, why the two names?


Travis Mason-Bushman must be back to 100% or close to it and making up for any lost time as he has separate video interviews with Coach Don Verlin, wing Kashif Watson and center Marvin Jefferson here. The Vandals are hosting Utah State on Saturday night and, as tough (and maybe foolish) as it is to do this, isn't Idaho due for a statement game?

This is the first we read of a pair of Idaho suspensions -- go here.


A basketball prospect enters school at Nevada, one who is moving from purgatory to limbo -- yes, that's how progress is measured in the ecclesiastical ranks of the NCAA mothership -- as Chris Murray reports here.

A few more WAC links

Jason Groves offers two points on New Mexico State's Wendell McKines here (what Wendell brings to the team) and here (the latest dustup and do read the comments section).


Hawaii signee Jordan 'aka J Smoove' Coleman receives a nice hometown writeup (we didn't know that Boise State also offered him):

Air Jordan
Calabasas shooting guard is Marmonte’s most explosive player
Eliav Appelbaum
The Acorn
January 21, 2010

This was Jordan Coleman’s moment, and he was going to make sure everyone in the building knew it, too.

In the opening minutes of the Calabasas High boys’ basketball game at Thousand Oaks on Jan. 8, Coleman threw down a ferocious dunk on the reigning Marmonte League most valuable player, Alex Tiffin.

By turning Tiffin into poster fodder, the message was loud and clear.

“We’re here to play and Calabasas is for real,” said Coyote teammate Josh Langer of Coleman’s monumental slam.

Coleman, who shares a name with another high flyer—some guy named Michael Jordan— doesn’t share the Air Jordan moniker. Instead, teammates and coaches call Coleman “J Smoove,” because basketball comes naturally to the soft-spoken senior guard...
Go here for the remainder.

Your Friday game reports on Thursday's WAC games (got that?)

New Mexico State rode the right arm of Jahmar Young to a win in Hawaii as the junior nailed the last shot of the game in a 71-69 victory for the Aggies.

Sam Wasson begins the coverage here. He also has his weekly interview with Coach Marvin Menzies here.

Brian McInnis was there and here is his game report. Dayton Morinaga likewise here.


San Jose State played the role of rude host to Louisiana Tech in handing the Bulldogs an 87-76 loss. The San Jose State athletics site has this game report. Adrian Oliver led the way with 39 points and the SJSU four-guard offense still out-boarded Tech 31-2, with 55% SJSU overall shooting limiting Bulldog defensive rebounding opportunities.


Paul George's absence due to injury cast a psychological and scoring pall over Fresno State as the Bulldogs fell to visiting Utah State 69-43. Daniel Lyght has the game report. Matt James goes all George here. Shawn Harrison was also there (bravo to the Herald-Journal management) and wrote this game feature. Tony Jones (a second shout out to Salt Lake Tribune management) was in the house and offers this game report. Here are Jones' post-game thoughts. Also, Jones blogs on why the Aggies stay at the Ramada when visiting Fresno. Try and guess before you get to the entry.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday night games and scores

Yikes! We thought Fresno State was a solidifying club on the uptick but 69-43 versus Utah State in the San Joaquin? Granted, Paul George played just seven minutes due to spraining an ankle but...

The Aggies' Brian Green nailed five treys (in seven attempts) to lead with 17 points. Utah State shot 48% overall and 57% from long distance. The Bulldogs managed just 28% shooting for the game and 4-17 from three-point land. Sylvester Seay made one basket in 12 attempts and Mychal Ladd misfired on all five of his three-point shots.


Host San Jose State played a complete game and took down league-leading Louisiana Tech 87-76 behind Adrian Oliver's 39 points (12-19 shooting, 12-12 at the foul line, 3-5 from long distance).

Bulldog Kyle Gibson totaled 22 points, 20 of those in the second half.

SJSU shot 60% from the floor, 7-15 on treys and 24-28 from the foul line. In contrast, LT shot 45% but had just 12 free throws, making eight. Coach Kerry Rupp's squad went 10-22 from downtown with Gibson leading the way at 4-8.

Olu Ashaolu just missed a double-double with 19 points and eight boards.

Foul trouble plagued Gibson (who collected #5 late in the game) and also Magnum Rolle, allowing the pair to be on the court for just 24 and 28 minutes respectively.

C.J. Webster missed the game for SJSU with an eye injury.

There is going to be a dip next season

This isn't crying wolf nor climbing into a Chicken Little suit (doesn't the latter create quite the visual?). It's cold, hard reality. WAC basketball, while still being fun and full of rivalries, is going to be a one-team-to-the-Big-Dance entity again in 2010-2011. Digging even further, the overall conference talent level is going to drop from the current season.

That's because it's adios to Mac Hopson, Jared Quayle, Kyle Gibson, Jonathan Gibson, Sylvester Seay, Magnum Rolle, Roderick Flemings, Ike Okoye, Steffan Johnson, Chris Oakes and probably a few more notables worthy of inclusion.

There is also the possibility/probability of Luke Babbitt, Armon Johnson, Adrian Oliver, Jahmar Young and Paul George moving on to new destinations in the play-for-pay arena. Based on absolutely nothing concrete, our guess is at least three of the five make the leap.

The early take is this year's NBA draft is going to be a weak one and that will only further entice the WAC underclassmen -- as well as otherselsewhere and even abroad -- to come out.

Thankfully, Tai Wesley isn't going anywhere. Neither is Greg Smith. It's anyone's guess with Troy Gillenwater and Wendell McKines. The recruiting classes for each WAC team are incomplete at this point so time will tell how many future league stars are coming in to bolster the talent inventory.

Thursday's WAC links

Can you 'spiral' upward? It sure seems the word is used mostly, if not only, in conjunction with a downward trajectory but it seems like it should allow for moving both ways. Anyway, Nevada continued Boise State's hurt last night with a victory over the Broncos but the final score was close and the game was tied at halftime. Kudos to the Gazette-Journal management for sending Chris Murray on the road to cover the contest:

Nevada nets thrilling win over Boise State
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal
January 21, 2010

Nevada's Luke Babbitt got the ball in the post, turned over his right shoulder and hit a shot while being fouled. He flashed a toothy grin and then canned his free throw.

On Boise State's ensuing possession, Brandon Fields snared a steal and passed it ahead to Babbitt, who jammed home an uncontested dunk with 3 minutes, 10 seconds left in the game.

Another wide grin. A double-digit Wolf Pack lead. Game over.

Despite fighting foul trouble and its own ability to hang on to the ball, the Nevada basketball team hung on to score an 88-82 victory over Boise State on Wednesday night at Taco Bell Arena...
Go here for the remainder.


If it was a game decided by the numbers other than the final score, the Broncos did quite well:
No dice: Boise State men can't stop their skid
Nevada knocks off BSU as the Broncos fall to 0-7 in WAC play.
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman

The Boise State men's basketball team scored the first seven points of Wednesday night's WAC game against Nevada.

It didn't matter - an unlucky seven turned out to be the result.

The Broncos lost their seventh game in a row - an 88-82 setback to the Wolf Pack in front of 2,883 fans at Taco Bell Arena.

The losing streak extends the school record for most defeats in a row to start conference play and is the longest negative streak since BSU dropped seven in a row in the 2001-02 season...
Go here for the remainder.


Tony Jones blogs about the latest off the court incident involving New Mexico State basketball and employs the words (we'll use shorthand here) IC which shivers the timbers of anyone at the collegiate level:
New Mexico State - Institutional control?
Tony Jones
Salt Lake City Tribune
Aggieville: USU Sports
January 20, 2010

When I was playing basketball at the college level, and there was a program with all sorts of arrests, academic trouble, and players basically running afoul of seemingly each and every rule, me, my teammates, and my coaches would laugh and call it a "renegade program".

That's what New Mexico State is. A renegade program.

I challenge anyone associated with that program to try and prove me wrong. Wendell McKines, who is a baller at power forward by the way, and I think a good articulate kid, (I read his blog and got laughs out of it), was arrested on a warrant for failure to pay a fine stemming from a previous incident. Ok, I get that.

McKines spent 10 hours in the slammer.

McKines gets bonded out.

McKines PLAYS THAT NIGHT against Fresno State. Are you serious?
Go here for the remainder.


A prep point guard out of southern California is getting some attention from Hawaii, as well as non-WAC schools:
Douglas Drawing New Interest
Greg Hicks
West Coast Recruiting Analyst
January 21, 2010

Tim Douglas is the best passing point guard in the West Coast class of 2010 and he tells us about some of the schools that have been involved in his recruitment...

Tim Douglas, 5-8 SR PG Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair, is an outstanding passer and one of the top unsigned point guards in the class of 2010. Douglas has excellent vision and he’s a true point guard that can also create his own shot...
Go here for the remainder and a WAC sub is required.


Scout also has an article on San Diego area point LaBradford Franklin and the young man does not list Nevada as a school of mutual interest.


Per Zach Bell, an Illinois community college point is being eyed by Nevada -- the degree of interest falls into the 'who knows?' category:
"Wabash Valley starting point guard Brandon Dunson has led his team to a 15-2 record and a No. 6 national ranking.

Oklahoma State and Nevada have recently evaluated him. Arizona State is expected on Wednesday, with Gonzaga coming in later in the week...
Go here (and scroll about halfway down) at The Slipper Still Fits site for the remainder of the post -- gotta love the name chosen for the Gonzaga basketball super site.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What about Louisiana Tech next season?

Sometimes we are accused of looking for rain on the days of universal sunshine, and this just might be another such occasion.

All those associated with Louisiana Tech basketball are rightfully reveling in the enormous success of Coach Kerry Rupp, his staff and his players so far in 2009-2010. By no means, do we wish to detract from this success. In fact, we don't think such is even possible regardless of what is written.

So please don't consider the following in that mode.

However, with D,J, Wright's leaving school in California and thus seemingly putting his status for next season up in the air (he would be the top scorer in Ruston if he arrives), we got to thinking what the Bulldog roster will be looking like come 2010-2011.

Without Wright, it's Olu Ashaolu's team as Kyle Gibson, Magnum Rolle, Jamel Guyton and David Jackson will have completed their eligibility. As a plus, point DeAndre Brown does return for another season.

But that appears about it regarding established players.

As for recruiting, here is what seems to be known:

Deuce Johnson, a 6-foot-6-ish prep frontcourter out of California is signed for next season. The WestCoastHoops folks described him thusly: "Explosive and strong lefty. Really elevates to finish on post moves, goes through contact. Showed some ability to hit 15-foot jumper, but could improve in this area. Needs some polish, but great physical tools."

6-foot-9, 210 sophomore Scottie Farrington, a runner and jumper currently at Odessa College, also inked a letter-of-intent. He is currently averaging 5.3 points a game while shooting 57% on 33-58 from the floor.

Josh Brown, a 6-foot-4 sophomore backcourter, signed with LT out of high school but his academics forced a detour to Odessa College. He was supposed to return to Ruston but he didn't sign back in November. Brown is averaging a team-leading 17 points per game this season and shooting 48% overall. But he is 7-39 from long range and 38-67 on his free throw attempts.

LDS mission return Holton Hunsaker also appears in the mix. He signed with the Bulldogs out of high school but then went on his two-year mission. He's a 6-0 point and here is a description of Hunsaker from September, 2007:

"A lot of people assumed that Woods Cross point guard Holton Hunsaker would stay in state to play college basketball, perhaps because his father, Dick, is head coach at Utah Valley State College...

...Holton gave a verbal commitment to Louisiana Tech on Tuesday morning and will sign a letter of intent with the school in Rustin, La., in November. Louisiana Tech is the alma mater of former Jazz great Karl Malone. It's head coach is Kerry Rupp, who served as interim head coach at the University of Utah several years ago when coach Rick Majerus quit midway through the season.

"The people are great down there," Holton Hunsaker said. "It will probably be good for me to branch out and get out of the Utah bubble." Hunsaker turns 19 in June and will go on an LDS Church mission before ever enrolling at La Tech. His first year in a Tech jersey will be 2010, he said...

...Woods Cross coach Todd Street said Hunsaker will do well in the Western Athletic Conference because he is so smart on the floor. "He gets the ball in the right spot and gets the offense going,' Street said. "He's a true point guard, a tough, hard-nosed kid who will battle on every possession."
Did we miss anyone? Do let us know if our memory hasn't served us well.

We see a major rebuilding project needing to be undertaken. But that doesn't matter -- and shouldn't matter -- right now. The Techsters are enjoying their hard-earned success to date, as should be.

Do bookmark Jeff Portnoy's blog

Jeff Portnoy is certainly adding to the information about Hawaii men's basketball and we appreciate his forthrightness. He has another column posted at the Honolulu Advertiser site in which he offers a shout out to Brandon Adams plus an item speculating that Dwain Williams might not be collecting his mail in Honolulu for much longer -- for a combination of reasons.


Jared Eborn weighs in

Jared Eborn/Deseret News weighs in here on the news about Wendell McKines and his three teammates.

We know what Dr. McKinley Boston meant in his statement but his quote -- "...We are not engaged at all..." is definitely going to be employed out of context. Just wait.

It wasn't needed but you can bet The Refaction-ers just got a jolt of adrenaline even though the Aggies - Aggies matchup in Logan isn't until March 6. We expect to see such phrases used like "a mobile study hall" for the car containing the four players or even worse/better.

Additional WAC basketball links, news and notes

Shawn Harrison shines a light on one of the unsung USU Aggies:

Difference maker
Shawn Harrison
January 20, 2010

It was not looking good for the Aggies a week ago at Nevada.

The Wolf Pack men’s basketball team had scored nine straight points to build a 62-52 lead. Utah State had come up empty on three offensive possessions, hadn’t scored in two-and-a-half minutes and the Nevada fans were howling.

The Aggies needed a field goal.

Enter Pooh Williams. The junior dialed up a 3-pointer to slow the Wolf Pack. The Aggies would end up rallying for a 79-72 overtime win...
Go here for the remainder.

Plus, he offers a slew of notes and quotes in a separate article here.


With a top of the fedora to Sam Wasson/ for first finding this, Scott Ficklin tells us why Jared Quayle deserved the WAC Player of the Week award over Jahmar Young, his closest competition.


Dayton Morinaga features Hiram Thompson, Brandon Adams and others here in his Hawaii basketball report. Brian McInnis salutes Adams in a feature here.


Ah, the vagaries of recruiting. Portland, Portland State, Fresno State and Nevada all received mentions as places of interest once Andy Poling left Gonzaga. So where does he end up? Seattle Pacific.

Here's Jim Meehan with some quotes from Poling on his choice:
"...I just think it should be a really good fit,” Poling said in a telephone interview from his home in Portland. “I really liked the coaching staff, they’re all really good guys and the team is really competitive, top 15 (in NCAA Division II) right now. I lived in Seattle until I was 9 or 10. It’s a great city and it’s a little closer to home. My family can come watch me and it’s a smaller school, and I really liked that about Gonzaga.”

Poling said he’ll enroll for spring quarter in March. He’ll have three seasons of eligibility..."
Portland State, Portland and Nevada were mentioned by Poling in a previous article in the Oregonian.

Nick Jezierny breaks down the Bronco woes

Nick Jezierny analyzes the factors behind Boise State's being winless in the WAC to date:

Boise State basketball teams take a combined 0-9 WAC record into Wednesday's games
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman

Zero. That's the combined number of WAC wins for the Boise State men's and women's basketball programs this season, placing both teams in last place in the conference standings. Promising nonconference starts - the men were 9-4 and the women 11-3 - have been dampened by January blahs that have players and coaches searching for answers. The teams hope to find them Wednesday when they play a doubleheader at Taco Bell Arena. The women (11-6, 0-3 WAC) play San Jose State (4-12, 0-3) at 6 p.m., while the men (9-10, 0-6) take on Nevada (11-7, 3-2) at 8:15 p.m. To win their first games in 2010, the Broncos must overcome a few issues that have ailed them.

Go here for the remainder.

Plus, here's a prospect with a Boise State recruiting mention (other schools are Texas-Arlington, Alabama, South Alabama and Prairie View):
Damon Sayles Senior Writer

Fort Bend Bush senior Jordan Clark has a problem that all high school athletes would love to have. He didn't immediately remember his team's last defeat on the basketball court.

It's been a while - over a month and a half ago against Austin Reagan at the Jack Frost Invitational in Georgetown - since the Broncos last left a gym floor with a loss, and that's something Clark takes pride in. The 6-foot-5, 190-pound forward is the leading scorer for a Bush team that is 21-3 and winners of 14 consecutive games...
Go here for the remainder and a Rivals sub is required.

Not what Marvin Menzies needed

Maybe this won't effect the positive on court momentum the Aggies have generated of late -- they still beat Fresno State -- but it certainly refills the figurative 'ammunition cache' of those in the community harping about the basketball program:

McKines arrested for not paying fines; out on bond
Las Cruces Sun-News

New Mexico State junior basketball player Wendell McKines was booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center Friday evening and released on bond early Saturday morning, according to the jail...
Go here for the remainder.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

D.J. Wright no longer at Mt. San Jacinto

Louisiana Tech signee D.J. Wright, who played at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) last season but switched to Mt. San Jacinto College in southern California for academic purposes, has encountered a family emergency and left school.

"...Standout sophomore forward D.J. Wright has left the team to help care for his sick mother. Wright is most likely done for the year.

"With the severity of the family issues, we don't expect him to be coming back," Springer said.

Wright left the team after Mt. San Jacinto's 68-61 loss to Saddleback on Dec. 12..."
This obviously doesn't bode well for his move to D-1 since he would need to earn an A.A. degree in order to be eligible. Maybe the 6-foot-7 Wright will instead head to the pros if and when his mother's health allows.

Wright won most valuable player honors in the national tournament last year for SLCC as his team took the crown. He was averaging a Foothill Conference-leading 18.9 points per game this season prior to his departure.

Additional Tuesday WAC links

Jahmar Young receives some major love from the Mid Majority folks here.


With a top o' the hat to Sam Wasson at, here's a feature on Hamidu Rahman.


Jeff Goodman gives a national salute to the 2009-2010 Louisiana Tech squad here.

Tuesday's early WAC links

PTW is up early because the gods and goddesses are playing a thunder and lightning set in the heavens, so...

Nevada walk-on Keith Fuetsch is nicely featured today by Chris Murray here . Chris has a ton of recruiting news in another post here, with one item of particular interest to northern Bulldog and southern Aggie fans. As he states, one prepster's recruiting is bringing to mind a kid in a candy store.


Shawn Harrison offers an interview with one of the USU boosters, a former player, here.


More later if we stumble across anything. Time for additional caffeine.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jared Quayle WAC POW

Per Jason Erickson, WAC Media Relations Director:

Utah State’s Jared Quayle has been named the Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 11-17. The honor marks the second career WAC Player of the Week award for Quayle.

Quayle, a senior guard from Perry, Utah (Western Wyoming CC), led Utah State to a 3-0 record last week with home wins over Hawai‘i (98-54) and Boise State (81-59), and an overtime win at Nevada (79-72). In the overtime victory at Nevada, Quayle scored 21 points to go along with seven rebounds, five assists and one steal in 42 minutes. He was 8-of-15 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range. Quayle also had 11 points, five assists, two rebounds and two steals against Hawai‘i in just 22 minutes. He also tallied 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in just 28 minutes against Boise State.

On the week, Quayle averaged 14.0 points, 5.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. He shot 55.2 percent (16-of-29) from the field, 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from three-point range and was 3-of-3 from the free throw line.

Other nominees:

* Fresno State sophomore guard/forward Paul George
* Hawai‘i senior forward Brandon Adams
* Idaho senior guard Mac Hopson
* Louisiana Tech senior guard Kyle Gibson
* New Mexico State junior guard Jahmar Young

A Matt Simpkins update

It's probably not 'news' at this point but former prep wunderkind Matt Simpkins, whose basketball promise and personal issues have had him playing all around the country since his freshman year in high school, is no longer headed to Nevada.

The latest plan was for Matt Simpkins to get his academics in order at Diablo Valley College and then head up to Reno on a Nevada basketball scholarship.

Call this detour #45732.

That's because he was recently jailed Memphis (in December), Nevada has moved on (this may have happened even prior to the latest trouble -- we don't know) and another opportunity to display his skills and earn a college education has been squandered.

Go here.

It's never to late to grow up and turn matters around but the first step is quit deepening the hole you're digging/have dug. At this point, Simpkins needs to focus on and resurrect his life, period. Forget about basketball maybe altogether but certainly at least until some personal progress and stability have been established.

But enough moralizing. Let's move on.

Damon Powell no longer playing at Los Medanos College

One-time Fresno State recruit Damon Powell, whose 'hops' rival those of anyone, is no longer playing for Los Medanos College. the 6-foot-5 Powell needed to shore up his academics, hence his not being in Fresno. We will try and find out if he is still attending school or if that has ended also.

Monday WAC news and notes

Dayton Morinaga has the details here on Hawaii's last-second win over visiting San Jose State last night. Brian McInnis offers his game report here. Hey, here is our game report although the PTW fiscal controller -- otherwise known as she-who-must-be-obeyed (thank you Rumpole) -- precluded our being in actual attendance even though we devoutly countered with the vow to avert our eyes at the sight of any bikinis -- even on mannequins, and limit mai-tai consumption to strictly medicinal purposes.


Shawn Harrison reports here that Utah State's bench is developing nicely -- just what opposing WAC teams want to see.


Daniel Lyght says here that Fresno State has a new backup point and, at his size, he'll be more of a nightmare to opponents than usual.


We'll be back with the selection of the WAC Player of the Week as soon as it is announced.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday game reports on Saturday night's WAC matchups

Due to gremlins -- no, not those AMC (but best selling) clunkers of yesteryear (or if you prefer, Ghosts In The Machine -- The Refaction has been MIA. But now it's back with a vengeance. Here's the Boise State edition. Plus, for those who missed it (including us), here's the Hawaii smackdown.


Sam Wasson has the game report on New Mexico State's takedown of Fresno State here. Plus, plenty of game photos can be accessed here.

Jason Groves writes that the Aggies tripled up on the Bulkldogs here. He blogs about Jonathan Gibson's season here.

Daniel Lyght offers his game report here as Steve Cleveland talks about this and the next two games versus USU and Nevada at home.


Jared Eborn offers his game report of the Aggie romp over Boise State here. Shawn Harrison provides his equalizer here. Tony Jones likewise here. Jones also features transfer Brian Green's season-to-date here and well as blogging some post-game rumination here.

Nick Jezierny made the trip south (a big tip o' the hat to Idaho Statesman management) and his game perspective is provided here.


Chris Murray is all over Nevada's win over Idaho here. He profiles Wolf Pack recruit Jordan Burris here, along with other assorted notes.


The headline on Dayton Morinaga's game preview here says it all. Brian McInnis complements with his preview of Hawaii versus San Jose State here.

The Curious Case of Roderick Flemings is examined here.