Monday, May 31, 2010

The WAC late on Monday

Jeff Eisenberg provides a feature on the Leon Rice-ing of the Boise State basketball Broncos -- go here.


AW Prince at Silver and Blue Sports offers an update interview with Wolf Pack recruit Kevin Panzer -- a sub is required.


Among Jeff Goodman's latest Twitter tweets:

"Brady Heslip told he is leaving tomorrow for official visit to Georgetown and then will go to Baylor. May also go to Hofstra."

Jared Eborn checks in with his take on the Heslip situation.

Just asking: anyone else thinking about "Waiting For Godot"?

One note about Steve Cleveland

Sitting in the stands at Rumble In The Bay, many thoughts pass through the mind. Here's one on Steve Cleveland.

With all this talk about conference realignments, Fresno State fans should be especially thankful for Coach Steve Cleveland. Too often, Fresno State's basketball program was in the news for the wrong reasons -- a samurai sword for heaven's sake -- and that is exactly one of the reasons other conferences don't bring in certain colleges as new members.

Bulldog athletics are looking much more attractive to others as the negative baggage recedes from memory.

Yes, more wins are desired by fans but don't forget or dismiss the larger picture.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday and the WAC

It's Rumble In The Bay basketball tournament time so posting will be light to non-existent for the next few days.


This was enviously good: after TooSmall4Football posted Jeff Goodman's update on Brady Heslip at the Scout Boise State Taco Bell Arena basketball message board, MeridianBronco, in a stroke of utter genius, replied with this from "Dumb and Dumber": (the film, not the GOP presidential pairing of McCain and Palin) --

Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me... ending up together?
Mary: Well, Lloyd, that's difficult to say. I mean, we don't really...
Lloyd: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
Mary: Not good.
Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
Mary: I'd say more like one out of a million.
Lloyd: So you're telling me there's a chance... *YEAH!*

Friday, May 28, 2010

Some WAC recruiting notes

Yes, the coaches in the WAC are already working on their next recruiting classes and here is what we have discovered so far:

* Richard Obert at AZCentral updates readers on Collin Woods' suitors here -- Steve Cleveland has offered

* John Keith/Las Cruces Bulletin talked with Coach Marvin Menzies and posted his interview here

* Anthony Ray at ArizonaPreps features senior-to-be 'big' Deion Giddens and lists Boise State as interested -- go here and a sub is required

* Damon Sayles of TexasPreps offers an article on senior-to-be point Chris Jones who is also drawing interest from BSU -- head here and a sub is required

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A bit more on Paul George

The Draft Express site is loving Paul George. Here's a recent tweet: "Tough not to watch Paul George work out and not come away impressed. He's just oozing with talent already & has so much room to grow still."

They also offer a George photo -- on in which his Fresno State predecessor, also appears. Go here.

The DE gang are the best! Their evaluations are spot on and based on actually watching, both in-person and via video, the prospects -- including those overseas. Bookmark 'em.

Your Brady Heslip and Carrick Felix updates

Per Jeff Goodman (a must-read two or three times a day): "...Former BC guard Brady Heslip, who has visiting and is still considering Utah State and Boise State, told he may take visits to Baylor, Georgetown and Hofstra prior to making a decision. Heslip is a Canadian who enrolled at BC for the second semester a year ago..." 

Jeff also offered this: "...Schools that are in the mix for Carrick Felix are Michigan St., Butler, UCLA, Arkansas, Kansas State, BC, Arizona St., Villanova and Washington St..."

Eran Ganot back to St. Mary's /// Luke Babbitt CAN run and jump

Eran Ganot will go from UH to assisting at St. Mary's. Dayton Morinaga has the details here and Brian McInnis here.


EZRowdy at the Silver and Blue Sports Forum offers the details (from ESPN's Chad Ford) on Luke Babbitt's athletic prowess: try 37.5" vertical, 3.19 sprint and 10.98 lane agility. For the sake of comparison, Jmwp provides those of John Wall and the margin is mighty thin. EZRowdy also offers more numbers so go there and check it out.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ahyaro Phillips has a new destination

Former Wolf Packer Ahyaro Phillips is not heading to James Madison as was originally announced. Something came up and now it's Southern Mississippi and Conference USA. The Phillips family relocated to Virginia (where James Madison is located) after their home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Here is one link on this turn of events.

Here is another. 

For those with short memories, here is why Phillips is no longer in Reno.

Pump it up!

Hey, you think Dick Vitale and Jim Nance et al will even mention this next season?

We're having fun but how about the NCAA issuing a directive that any high school player associated with a Pump club basketball team will need to go through a 'special cleansing process -- say something like purgatory -- before his college eligibility can be officially determined. Maybe a special separate NCAA Clearinghouse should be set up for those individuals with any hint of the Pump taint

Plus, how about a special NCAA committee designed to examine any college coaching hire with even a whiff of Pump involvement?

The bottomline is the NCAA needs to quit chasing flyspecks on the wall when the living room is overcrowded with 800-pound gorillas (and we apologize to the silverbacks and blackbacks for such an NCAA association).

But in reality, this all reminds us of a portion of the ever-so-clever dialogue in "Casablanca" between casino owner Humphrey (Rick) Bogart and police chief Claude (Captain Renault) Rains:

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?

Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]

Croupier: Your winnings, sir.

Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.


Captain Renault: Everybody out at once! 

Ticket scandal rocks Kansas
Jason King, Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel
Yahoo! Sports
May 26, 2010

LAWRENCE, Kan. A high-ranking member of the University of Kansas athletic department and the father of a prominent Jayhawks’ athlete allegedly made more than $800,000 in a ticket scalping operation that was orchestrated by college basketball power brokers David and Dana Pump, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

The scope, breadth and duration of the scalping business – which included Big 12 and NCAA tournament tickets – extended beyond Kansas to other schools, a source told federal authorities...

Go here for the remainder.

Wednesday's WAC rumblings

Mike Christensen/Twin Falls Times-News talked with Carrick Felix and offers a lengthy feature. Even with this offering, it remains fuzzy -- at least to PTW -- as to why Felix departed from Duke. That is, other than Kyle Singler. Felix wants to be in the PAC-10 but it's worth noting that Boise State and Hawaii have reached out.


Tai Wesley is playing hoops on the BYU campus.

Okay, dial 911 and get immediate help for those Utah State fans who have keeled over (hey, but at least they are turning Aggie blue! --- yes, bad, bad, bad).

No, Wesley hasn't changed his allegiance, it's part of summer hoops that takes place everywhere in the country. Read Jay Drew's report.


Does Cal transfer D.J. Seeley, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, fit say at Fresno State? The most recent Fresno Bee article contained quotes from Steve Cleveland that indicate not -- if our interpretation is correct:

"...Ladd's departure leaves Fresno State with two open scholarships for 2010-11. Cleveland said he expects to add one player who will contribute immediately and one Division I transfer.

"Our intention is to add a Division I transfer who can address our depth issue as a premier post player," Cleveland said. "We are still currently involved in adding one more player to this year's roster..."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday and the WAC

To be fair (we try at least), we wrote earlier that Carrick Felix had been academically denied entry at Duke. Other reports have him changing his mind on Durham based upon Kyle Singler returning for his senior season. Anyone have the so-called truth?


Go here (and scroll down a bit) for Luke Babbitt's draft combine interview -- it runs 4:18.


AW Prince has another offering up today at Silver and Blue Sports. It features Derrell Conner, the 5-foot-8 junior college transfer coming to the Wolf Pack.


The Hartford Courant has some enlightening details on the coaching contracts of 15 of the most prominent college mentors. It's a fascinating read.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Two more WAC links for you

Jared Eborn has the scoop and reports on what level of landing spot Carrick Felix is desiring.

Hey, Oregon is in the midst of a casting call. Oregon State needs additional talent but is Felix interested in playing Craig Robinson's system? Felix is out of Phoenix, so does Herb Sendak have a schollie to give? Freshman Victor Rudd and Demetrius Walker have departed from Tempe but two frosh -- one 6-foot-7 and the other 6-foot-6, are already incoming and 6-foot-7 Kyle Cain is considering. Arizona is already bringing in a 6-foot-7 junior college transfer.

Something should break quickly.


AW Prince has an item posted on his Silver and Blue Sports Forum message board connected to a Gary Parrish article on coaching changes. In it, Parrish features some of the behind-the-scenes reality concerning Mark Fox's departure from the Wolf Pack.


More for Monday

Here is some good news: Herb Pope is recovering well.


Here's the official announcement Fresno State on Mychal Ladd -- may he have the maturity to learn from his mistakes:

Ladd Leaves Fresno State, Cleveland Expects to Fill Final Scholarships This Summer
Stephen Trembley
Fresno State Athletics Communications (Men's Basketball)

FRESNO, Calif. -- Sophomore guard Mike Ladd has left the Fresno State men’s basketball program and will transfer to another institution, head coach Steve Cleveland announced today.

“The personal conduct of our student-athletes on and off the court will continue to be a priority,” Cleveland said.  “Mike has played a significant role in our program the past two years.  I do support Mike in this decision and I am confident that he will do those things that will help him reach his full potential as a student-athlete.”

Ladd reflected on his decision and appreciated the support of the Bulldog community.

“My decision to leave Fresno State is not a basketball decision,” Ladd said.  “I love the players and the coaches.  I learned a lot from Coach Cleve.  Right now, I just need to take a new direction in my life off the court.  I think being near family and friends will really help me during this time.  I want to thank all of the fans for being so good to me.  I will miss Fresno and my friends.”

Two scholarships remain for the 2010-11 season.  Cleveland expects to add one more individual available to compete immediately and one Division 1 transfer.

“Our intention is to add a Division I transfer who can address our depth issue as a premier post player,” Cleveland said.  “We are still currently involved in adding one more player to this year’s roster.”

The remaining scholarships will be finalized with athletic aid agreements.

Cleveland has already restocked the Bulldog roster with the signing of incoming freshmen Bracken Funk, Tyler Johnson, Kevin Olekaibe and John Ryan along with junior college transfer Tim Steed, who have committed to playing for the Bulldogs in the upcoming 2010-11 season that starts Nov. 12, 2010 in Provo, Utah, against nationally ranked Brigham Young University.

It's a given: there are abuses by all in the recruiting-and-then-remaining-on-a-roster equation. Plus, it can sometimes be difficult to 'officially' determine which players were pushed, which saw the handwriting on the wall and determined they would rarely play, which were recruited over versus which decided a higher level or more 'gifted' (read into that what you will) basketball program was where they wished to be.

It's simply not true that forcing a player out or possessing a rep for doing such is ever harmful because every kid thinks they are the one, the exception who will never face such pressure. Do you really think Mike Anderson's recruiting at Missouri is now irreparably harmed -- let alone even dinged -- by his decision on Tyler Stone? See Tim Floyd, see Larry Eustachy, et all. Gary Williams knows better. There is also no way the NCAA can spin this practice regardless of any Herculean effort.
Revoked scholarships surprise college athletes
Alan Scher Zagier
Associated Press
May 24, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — After scoring just 22 points all season in mop-up duty, Missouri freshman forward Tyler Stone has no illusions of bolting college for the NBA after a single year. 
Instead, the 6-foot-7 Memphis native is a different sort of one-and-done: a college athlete leaving a school sooner than his family expected as a prized recruit takes over his scholarship. 
"I can't see how a school can love him to death one year and the next year cut him loose," said his mother, Sharon Stone. "They had to get rid of somebody..."
Go here for the remainder.

Rise and shine for Monday's WAC report

Mychal Ladd is going in another direction and "Mr. Trey" -- 169 of his 285 shot attempts were from long distance last season) will no longer be a Bulldog basketballer:

Ladd leaves 'Dogs men's hoops team
The Fresno Bee
May 23, 2010

Sophomore guard Mike Ladd has left the Fresno State men's basketball team, Bulldogs coach Steve Cleveland announced Sunday.

Ladd started 29 of 32 games at shooting guard for Fresno State last season, averaging 10.3 points while shooting a team-best 39.1% from 3-point range.

No reasons were given for Ladd's departure, but both Cleveland and the player indicated the decision had nothing to do with basketball...
Go here for the remainder.


Carrick Felix of College of Southern Idaho was denied entry into Duke so there is a mad scramble for his services and, of course, the resulting speculation abounds about who will nab the athletic wing. We have never met the young man and have no insight into his priorities but it seems that if he is good enough to play in the ACC and for Duke then other high majors will certainly be investigating into acquiring his talents. His coming to the WAC seems a long shot.

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times, quoting an ESPN article, addresses speculation that Felix may be bound for Seattle.


AW Prince is back at Silver And Blue Sports with another edition of 'Round The Rim - a sub is required.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday's WAC news and notes

Dayton Morinaga has a lengthy piece today about Gib Arnold's recruiting class. It is an impressive feat and one accomplished in a very short time. What will be fascinating is how well it goes with the blending of all these players, plus the returnees. Josten Thomas should be getting the most touches next season which should keep him satisfied but he is going to have to keep earning such an offensive ranking. Trevor Wiseman's temper will be another factor to monitor because all freshman are going to bump into barriers and hurdles.

We (generally) get all excited over recruiting classes and rightly so -- they provide hope and are the future. But nowadays, it seems at least a third of recruits end up at another address before the completion of eligibility so which players in each WAC team's recruiting class are candidates to fall into this category?


I guess we woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning but we feel compelled to add our two cents on the possibility of Memphis' Roburt Sallie heading to a WAC team as Fresno State fans are speculating.

There are so many factors at play here:

1) Which school still has a scholarship available?

2) Which WAC coach is willing to wait until mid-to-late summer to see if Sallie is eligible and available?

3) Sallie is more a complementary type player and not a game changer

4) With but one season to play and obviously a desire to impress foreign and domestic scouts, what are the odds that Sallie will accept a role as the say the third option on offense?

Ultimately, we believe Sallie will try his hand overseas. Another college season just won't add much to what he is trying to accomplish.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Corey Stern located

Credit seldomseensmith for locating the news that former Idaho player Corey Stern is headed to Howard JC in Texas. Greg Allen, another former Vandal recruit, is down there playing for Navarro College but we believe Navarro and Howard are in different conferences.

The why of Brady Heslip's BC departure

What remains unanswered -- at least to us -- throughout the Brady Heslip Magical Mystery Tour is why didn't new Boston College Coach Steve Donohue desire Heslip to remain an Eagle?

It's not like BC has an overwhelming backcourt returning and/or reserves ready to flex any sort of muscles. As best as we can determine, Donohue has 6-foot-3 junior-to-be Reggie Jackson (12.9 points per game, 139 assists), 6-foot-1 senior-to-be Paris Biko 6-foot-1 (4.8 points per game, 126 assists) and 6-foot-5 junior-to-be Dallas Elmore and his 3.9 ppg.coming back. We couldn't locate any new backcourt recruits.

Every team needs a distance shooter, especially one who can also handle and distribute.

Was it a  a system decision? Something along the lines of Donohue bringing his Cornell style to Chestnut Hill and Heslip somehow not particularly a good fit?

Anyone know?

Friday, May 21, 2010

A couple of Friday p.m. items

AW Prince at Silver and Blue Sports has more on Deontè Burton here -- a sub is required.


The gang at the Draft Express site has the REAL numbers on the prospective WAC draftees.

Paul George: height w/o shoes 6' 7.75" - wingspan 6' 11.25" - weight 215 - 5% bodyfat

Luke Babbitt: height w/o shoes 6' 7.5" - wingspan 6' 11.25" - weight 215 - 5.6% bodyfat

Armon Johnson: height w/o shoes 6' 2" - wingspan 6' 8" - weight (it's listed as 19 so a typo was made) - 5.6% bodyfat

A Paul George feature plus Chris Murray all over WAC recruiting

Paul George sacrificed as a youngster in order to get out of being ball-and-chained in the paint. Go here for the details.


Chris Murray goes out (vacation) with a ginormous bang -- he offers to-date assessments on the recruiting class of each WAC team. Go here and be prepared to click away. This will kill any productivity at work today.

Friday and the WAC

Thanks to Ficklin for posting this link at the Scout Utah State site basketball message board. It's a solid Jeff Eisenberg piece on Aggie hoops.

Seldomseensmith reports the new home of former USU player Tyrone White. Go here and click on the Basketball Forum link.


palolo cruza begins a thread of concern about recent UH recruit Josten Thomas at the sports.hawaii site. Go to the University of Hawaii basketball forum and click on "should we be concerned about the attitude of a new recruit???" link. Thomas' season at CSI wasn't exactly Shangri-la for all involved and he also attended a few non-traditional high schools. Let's see what becomes of his new start. Will he emulate what Bill Amis has accomplished or tread the path of Jeremy Lay and Dwain Williams?


That's it so far.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Jared Eborn on Brady Heslip

Will it be 'Brady, we hardly knew ye' or 'Brady, welcome to the Spectrum and yes, that is a statue of Bill Sproat under the basket' for Aggie fans?

Jared Eborn writes that it down to Utah State and Georgetown, with Boise State in the Heslip rear view mirror. Go here.

Thursday's WAC basketball check-in

If it hadn't already reached such proportions, Brady Heslip's recruitment has gone bi-coastal and Tony Jones has the scoop here.


We didn't know there was an election held nor who was eligible to vote but this headline sure intrigued us.

Here's more and more on Dwain Williams and UH basketball.


That's it for now.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chris Murray's first round predictions

Anyone jonesing for NBA basketball draft predictions needs to head over to Chris Murray's first-round selections. Go here.

Not commenting on his selections but about some of the available prospects: we actually saw Derrick Favors play as a junior in Las Vegas during one of those summer tourneys -- mobile, athletic, good shotblocker, nothing to get excited about offensively ... next to John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins has the highest ceiling but will he stay in shape and be a team first guy once dollars are falling out of his pockets? ... doesn't it seem that Hoya Greg Monroe should dominate more than he does? ... Utah's system and Kansas' Cole Aldrich are a match made in heaven ... North Carolina's Ed Davis can be breathtaking on the court but will his impact be any different than that of Golden State's Brandan Wright, another Tarheel big who can run and jump with the best? ... our gut tells us that Hassan Whiteside should be preferred over Daniel Orton (we faintly recall that Whiteside was on Mark Fox's Wolf Pack recruiting radar at some point -- we don't know if Whiteside-to-Reno was ever even a possibility ... we love him (and Butler) but you are really taking your chances with Gordon Hayward (Luke Babbitt will outscore Hayward in the pros) ... did Kentucky's Patrick Patterson ever take over a game? ...

Tony Jones with more on Brady Heslip

Tony Jones has posted the very latest on Brady Heslip -- go here.

Maybe we are also confused but we're still thinking Tony had it right in the first place. Sign a national letter-of-intent with a college and you are signed, sealed and delivered to that school unless a release is offered. But sign an aid agreement and you remain the master of your domain.

Here is an April 29 Sports Illustrated column on 2010 Kentucky recruit Brandon Knight not signing a LOI but an aid agreement instead.

Here is another column, this one from the Birmingham News, on the same subjects: Knight and no LOI.

Here is yet another piece from A Sea Of Blue site.

Draft Express and the latest on Armon Johnson

Joseph Trautlein/Draft Express has the latest on Nevada's Armon Johnson:

"...One of the most impressive athletes in attendance, Johnson sports an outstanding frame for a point guard to go along with great explosiveness and quickness, both of which he makes full use of with his aggressive style of play. More impressive in scrimmages than drills, Johnson showed off a ton of intriguing qualities here, and looks to be making the most of going up against this tough competition every day..."
Go here and scroll down for the remainder.

Your Wednesday WAC Roundup

As expected, another of Bob Nash's recruits will be seeking a new landing spot:

Brian McInnis has the scoop here.

Who ultimately knows what were all the factors being considered but Gib Arnold ultimately decided taking a chance on such an individual talent ultimately wasn't worth it. He has a brand new squad, one loaded with young players and any possibility of a disruptive force on the roster was a danger he wasn't willing to take.


New UH assistant Bengy Taylor receives a formal introduction from Dayton Morinaga here.


Chris Murray has the draft ceiling and floor for Luke Babbitt here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Another AW Prince offering

AW Prince at the Silver and Blue Sports site has a new post -- including video -- up on three possible Wolf Pack recruiting targets for 2011. Go here and a sub is required.

Not WAC-related but fascinating

Who will reside on Coach Steve Alford's basketball squad come October is the subject of a fascinating discussion in The Land of Enchantment/Albuquerque area.

That's because Alford appears to have -- or will have -- one more player than scholarships allowed and who is presumed to be the odd player out has written a public plea to remain a Lobo.

Here is a Jeff Eisenberg article on the subject, including a copy of Brown's appeal.

Here is Mark Smith from the Albuquerque Journal covering the same territory.

PTW asks: was it a genuine plea and admission of guilt, an attempt to put Alford in a difficult position, both or neither? But how could going public have any positive effect in this matter?

One more a.m. item

Expansion is the word of the month right now in college athletics (hey, we've been working on expansion for years -- yes, going from one notch of the belt to the further one). But why no headlines about league and conference contraction? Oh yes, right, that's not news about those who matter.

However, Chris Murray writes about the possible effects on the WAC, with the jumping off point being a column by Dave Reardon.

This is it so far

Salter gives UH quick fix
JC transfer provides depth at point guard, flexibility on court
Dayton Morinaga
Honolulu Advertiser

The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team added a small but necessary ingredient to its mix of recruits for next season.

A dash of Anthony Salter.

The 5-foot-11 point guard fulfilled his commitment to Hawai'i by signing a national letter of intent yesterday to play for the Rainbow Warriors next season.

"The least depth we had at any position was point guard," Hawai'i head coach Gib Arnold said. "So to get a player on the level of Anthony is really big. For this time of the year, it's a huge get..."
Go here for the remainder.


Doug Gottlieb is not Luke Babbitt's agent but sure sounds like it. Scott Schroeder at Rediculous Upside offers some takes on the NBA draft with the Gottlieb/Babbitt meme predominating.

Schroeder has also compiled a listing of which prospects have visited which teams and it contains some WAC player mentions.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The latest on Paul George

Fresno State wing Paul George is makings the rounds:

Paul George Talks With Bucks
Stephen Trembley
Fresno State Athletics Communications (Men's Basketball)
May 17, 2010

Paul George, who finished his Bulldog career as one of the program's best free throw shooters and a dynamic scorer with 987 points throughout his freshman and sophomore seasons, has been working out with various NBA teams, including a visit today with the Milwaukee Bucks.

He talked with the Bucks about his expectations for the 2010 NBA Draft, the process of working out for different teams, the type of player he will be and more...

On how he would compare his workout with the Bucks to the one he had with the Bulls...

"This one was a lot tougher. It was a lot more transition type of stuff, but it was pretty similar as far as competition. We competed pretty hard and had some pretty decent players at both ends so it was kind of the same in a way.

On what he would bring to the Bucks...
"Just another guard that can kind of handle some pressure and take it off of Brandon Jennings a little bit in the backcourt. Just be another shooter and get out and defend. I think I can bring a lot to the Bucks."

On what the draft process has been like for him...

"It was definitely exciting. Not a lot of guys can say that they are doing this so I take every day as a challenge and when you get out of bed, this is what you really want to do. You get a chance to compete with top players around the world so it's definitely fun."

On having Craig Brackins (Iowa State) at the same workout as him...

"Craig is like a big brother. We kind of grew up in the same area, know each other pretty well, so it would be another addition of me being comfortable. I know Brandon Jennings a little bit."

On what he likes about Brandon Jennings...

"He's an amazing point guard. He's quick, sort of like Nate Archibald, and he's flashy. He brings another dimension to the point guard position."

On what type of NBA player he would compare himself to...

"Somebody like a Josh Howard, Rudy Gay, Joe Johnson type of player; pretty big shooting guards. I want to transition later in my career to someone like a Tracy McGrady."

Chris Murray with more on LB & AJ

Chris Murray has more on the Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson NBA draft scenarios here.

Doing our best Miss Cleo imitation, Babbitt goes anywhere from 13-20 in the first round and Johnson somewhere in round two.

Tony Jones on Brady Heslip

Tony Jones has returned and has the latest on Brady Heslip here.The ETA for his college decision is detailed in the article.

What's interesting is that most if not all of us outsiders look at being at the center of a college recruiting battle as a dream come true. In a way, it certainly is, but in a case like Heslip's, it would be easy to become jaded due to the treatment he received when the new coach took over at Boston College.

How do you tell what is being told to you by yet another coach is real? Will he get recruited over despite 'promises' to the contrary? What if his 'new' coach also gets let go or moves on to a higher paying position in say a year or two? All these scenarios -- with no conclusive answers -- are mentally wearing. Plus, the travel he has undertaken in the last few weeks has to be physically wearing.

Our sense is that Heslip will be happy when the decision on a new location is in his rearview mirror. The 'joy' in the process has long departed and it is a business decision he must make.

Mych Kabongo on tape

 NOTE: Well, we blew this one -- there wasn't even a rodeo to be late to -- read the comments.

We're probably late to the rodeo with this but here is a highlight tape of New Mexico State recruit Myck Kabongo.

It's impossible to tell much from these types of video but it looks like has has a very nice handle and plays unselfishly.

Add another to Gib Arnold's list of recruits and more

Gib Arnold has completed his recruiting class by luring an Iowa junior college point guard away from the Big 10 (or whatever it will soon be called). It appears being able to finish his A.A. degree while in the islands did the trick as Salter did visit Iowa the weekend before.

Brian McInnis is here and Dayton Morinaga here with the details.

One item of concern is that Salter shot 42% from the floor overall last season. That number usually sinks a bit come the transition to D-1 but maybe Salter will be required to shoot less and also rank lower as an opponent defensive priority on his new team.


Plus, a new 'Round The Rim -- The Draft is up at AW Prince's Silver and Blue Sports site -- a sub is required and, as always, worthwhile. Boy, Nevada keeps churning out NBA-ers.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday's WAC news, notes and links

Gib Arnold is still in the market for immediate help at the point:

Dayton Morinaga is here and Brian McInnis here on the latest UH recruiting target.

This is no knock at anyone, player or fan, but none of us really know how well Mr. so-and-so recruit is going to perform next season. We feel we have an idea, probably mixed in with some hoping and wanting to believe but the truth is that some signees perform better than expected, some as expected and some worse than expected.

The following is a prime example -- go here -- and read about Jeremy Lay's signing with Bob Nash and Hawaii in April 2009. Positive things were expected -- rightly so -- everyone was happy with the news but it all ended in a going off the tracks for both parties.

But hey, without hope, what else do we have?


Chris Murray is back with more on Luke Babbitt here.


Anthony Ray is officially reporting today at the Rivals ArizonaPreps site (a sub is required) that 6-foot-9 Arizona prepster Matt Korcheck, due to academics, will be playing at Cochise College next season. It's a community college in the southeastern section of the Grand Canyon state. What's curious about this decision is that Cochise plays a very uptempo style which oftentimes is not conducive to a big man. Korcheck had been mentioned in conjunction with Utah State and Fresno State.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Not really basketball related but...

Got a great laugh from one of Jared Eborn's recent tweets about his son's vocabulary:

Today in the car: Sam: "Let's get the hell home!" Mom: "Sam, did you know that hell is a swear word?" Sam: "What the hell is a swear word?"
We're taking it that Sam is Jared's son and nowhere near teen-aged (numerically). 

This reminded us of one of our favorite sites (beware: there are words used on this site that have been spoken in the White House, on Wall Street and probably a few houses of worship but may prove offensive).

The proprietor of this site has a new book out and is currently making the media rounds -- his father's vocabulary is proving financially fruitful (besides being hilarious).

So do the Eborns tame or cultivate their budding prodigy?

Saturday's WAC report

It's Saturday so what city is Brady Heslip in today? Will Brady, burned seriously by BC, sign a letter-of-intent or a financial agreement?


Brian McInnis has the report on Benjy Taylor coming aboard Gib Arnold's staff, plus who the third UH assistant will be. Taylor will finally have a chance to enjoy some winter weather.


Chris Murray has another story on Luke Babbitt and the draft. Luke, may the force be with you.


Eastern Arizona College backcourter Mike James has decided on his college choice...and it's a surprising one. LA TECH, among many others, had offered. Go here for Anthony Ray's report  (a Rivals sub is required). This is a case of a very talented young man not ending up at the level his talent indicated so there is definitely more to this story. Who has the 411 here?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday and the WAC

So who do you want in the WAC once the expansion/contraction smoke clears? It seems to be among Cal Davis, Cal Poly, Montana, Sacramento State, Portland State and Texas State. Teddy Feinberg has the details of Commish Karl Benson's trip to Las Cruces. 

We say forget Texas State unless a close-by companion also surfaces. The same goes with Montana.


Chris Murray has more on the hoops court firm of George, Johnson and Babbitt and we're still abiding by our stand that says Babbitt goes before Johnson.


Gib Arnold is trying to reach into Chicago and possibly middle America with his latest coaching hire. Dayton Morinaga has the scoop


Any WAC coach wishing to add former BYU player Michale Loyd might wish to consider the young man is also prolific in another type of court.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


There are surely still more announcements that will be made but here is what we have compiled so far. Who have we missed? Who should be included that is missing? One thing for sure is that each school should sell a lot of programs what with the dramatic roster turnovers.

Boise State


Tre' Nichols 6-foot-0 195 McClennan Community College (TX)
Thomas Bropleh 6-foot-5 220 New Hampton Prep School (NH)


Sam Hicks 6-foot-9 260 (freshman)
Sean Imadiyi 6-foot-7 200 (senior)

Departing other than graduation:

Tyler Young  6-8  215

Will be redshirting:

Drew Wiley 6-foot-7 215 UOregon

Fresno State


Tyler Johnson, 6-foot-2 170 CA HS
John Ryan 6-foot-8 245 CA HS
Kevin Olekaibe 6-foot-1 175 NV HS
Tim Steed 6-foot-4 220 Highland College (IL)


Jonathan Wills 6-foot-6 200 (junior)

Departing other than graduation:

Paul George
Brandon Sperling
Taylor Kelly



Jordan Coleman 6-foot-4 180 CA HS
Josten Thomas 6-foot-7 235 College of Southern Idaho
Vander Joaquim 6-foot-10 240 College of Eastern Utah
Trevor Wiseman 6-foot-7 200, CA HS
Bo Barnes 6-foot-4 180 Westwind Prep (AZ)
Bobby Miles 6-foot-1 190 CA HS
Dominick Brumfield 6-foot-8 210 Big Bend College (WA)

Not sure about Andre Almeida -- Nebraska Coach Doc Sadler said he isn't going to release him from his Cornhusker LOI in order for Almeida to follow the Brazilian assistant to Hawaii.


Zane Johnson 6-foot-6 210 (junior)

Departing other than graduation:

Jeremy Lay
Ji Xiang
Aleksandar Milovic



Djim Bandoumel 6-foot-8 215 Monroe Junior College NY (awaiting NCAA Clearinghouse okay)
Idell Bell 6-foot-2 180 North Idaho College
Renaldo Parker 6-foot-8 240 North Idaho College
Gary Winston 6-foot-1 185 Washington HS
Deremy Geiger 5-foot-9 160 Grayson County Community College (TX)
Stephen Madison 6-foot-6 190 HS Oregon


Joe Kammerer 6-foot-9 240 (freshman)
Landon Tatum 5-foot-11196 (junior)
Brandon Wiley 6-foot-6 220 (senior)

Louisiana Tech


Holton Hunsaker 6-foot-2 Utah HS (will re-sign after completing his LDS mission)
James Johnson 6-foot-7 240 CA HS
Antwon Roshell 6-foot-10 260 John Logan CC (IL)
Romario Souza 6-foot-9 240 College of Southern Idaho
Stojan Gjuroski 6-foot-7 190 Life Center Academy (NJ)
Kenyon McNeaill 6-foot 180 ARK HS
Jamison Sterns 6-foot 215 TX HS

There has also been talk about Adrien Coleman, a transfer from Nebraska, walking on but no confirmation.
Plus, November signees Scottie Farrington and Josh Brown are now headed to Louisiana Lafayette



Jordan Burris 6-foot-6 190 CA HS
Jordan Finn 6-foot-4 190 Air Force Prep
Illiwa Baldwin 6-foot-11 270 Pratt Community College (KS)
Deonte Burton 6-foot-2 180 CA HS
Derrell Conner 6-foot-0 165 Kankakee College (IL)
Kevin Panzer 6-foot-9 190 CA HS


Malik Story 6-foot-5 225 (junior)
Olek Czyz 6-foot-8 240 (junior)
Jerry Evans 6-foot-7 180 CA HS (freshman)
Devonte Elliott 6-foot-8 210 (freshman)

Departing other than graduation:

London Giles
Luke Babbitt
Armon Johnson

New Mexico State


Tshilidzi Nephawe 6-foot-10 240 Stoneridge Prep CA
Christian Kabongo 6-foot 4,190 God's Academy (TX)
Renaldo Dixon 6-foot-8, 210 Quality Education Academy (NC)
Kofi Mensa 6-foot-4 170 Mountain State Academy (WVA)

Departing other than graduation:

Jahmar Young

San Jose State


Derek Brown 6-foot-1 175 CA HS
Keith Shamburger 6-foot-0 175 CA HS
Wil Carter, 6-foot-8 210 Salt Lake Community College
Calvin Douglas, 6-3 190 City College San Francisco
Brylle Kamen 6-foot-7 230 Western Nebraska College

Departing other than graduation:

C.J. Webster

Utah State


James Walker 6-foot-1 CA HS
Brockeith Paine 6-foot-2 Midland College TX
Ben Clifford 6-foot-8 200 Utah HS
Antonio Bumpus 6-foot-3 195 Harcum Community College


Jordan Stone 6-foot-11 245 (possible LDS mission returnee -- is he coming back this next season or the following one?))

Departing other than graduation:

Modou Niang
Tyrone White
Anthony DiLoreto
Jaxon Myaer

Duplicating the Butler Way

Lee at The Valley Sports Spot looks at the men's basketball programs in his domain and ponders which, if any, have the wherewithal to replicate The Butler Way.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If the Butler did it...why can't we?

Well Spot fans, its been over a month since the new “America’s team”, the Butler Bulldogs, almost went all Hoosiers on us, and that evil empire known as the Duke Blue Devils almost got “caught watching the paint dry”.

Of course now with the day to day excitement of the Madness over, it has given the spot an opportunity to sit back, analyze and ask the question, “If Butler can do it, why can’t we?” Now when I say we, I’m referring to the 5 Division one basketball teams that’s call the Central Valley Home: University of the Pacific Tigers, Fresno State Bulldogs, UC Davis Aggies, Sacramento State Hornets and CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners...
Go here for the remainder.

Herb Pope getting better

The health of former New Mexico State basketballer Herb Pope is improving:

Hall’s Pope Expected to Make ‘Full Recovery’
Bob Zagoria
Zag's Blog
May 12, 2010

NEW YORK – Seton Hall sophomore forward Herb Pope is expected to make a “full recovery” from his April 28 collapse and could return to the basketball court next season, multiple sources with knowledge said...
Go here for the remainder.

Thursday's WAC links and notes so far

New Mexico State has been selected to play in the 2010-2011 season Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. Go here for the details.


Remember wing Titus Rubles at God's Academy in Texas? He was a teammate of K.C. Ross-Miller and, like Miller, said to have formed a mutual interest society with Nevada basketball. But something just seemed askew vis-à-vis the interest in the Wolf Pack. Ross-Miller ended up signing with LSU and now Rubles has made his choice: Oral Roberts.

The following article also lists Christian Kabongo as an New Mexico State signee (something which was already known).

Damon Sayles Senior Writer
May 13, 2010

Even though recent LSU signee K.C. Ross-Miller has been the face of Dallas God's Academy the past few years, head coach Tim Miller has said on several occasions the program produces college players...
Go here (a Rivals sub is required).


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fresno State: cheeks in the seats

 Fresno State hoops continues to draw fans and all involved deserve credit for making this happen:

Men's Basketball Ranks Fourth on West Coast in Attendance   
Stephen Trembley
Fresno State Athletics Communications
May 12, 2010

After winning the second-most home games in Save Mart Center history, the Fresno State men's basketball team ranked third among the 23 Division 1 programs in the state of California and fourth among the 33 Division I programs along the West Coast.

"We appreciate our fans for supporting our program," head coach Steve Cleveland said. "Our team enjoys playing in front of packed arenas. We are excited to keep working hard through this offseason to compete for a WAC championship."

Over the 17 home games, the Bulldogs averaged 7,767 fans per contest and matched the second-highest number of wins in a season (12) in arena history.

The California Golden Bears, Washington Huskies and UCLA Bruins, all members of the Pacific-10 Conference, ranked in the top three for attendance among the Division 1 men's basketball programs located in the states of California, Oregon and Washington. Fresno State finished ahead of Washington State, San Diego State, Oregon, Stanford, Oregon State and Gonzaga in average attendance to round out the top 10 West Coast programs.

The Fresno State men's basketball team drew 132,045 total fans to the Save Mart Center during the 2009-10 season, the second highest mark of any Division 1 school in the state of California and Western Athletic Conference.

Top 5 2009-10 Men's Basketball Overall Average Attendance (California)

1. California (150,773)
2. Fresno State (132,045)
3. UCLA (129,290)
4. San Diego State (108,412)
5. Stanford (105,561)

Top 10 2009-10 Men's Basketball Average Attendance (West Coast)

1. California (9,423)
2. Washington (9,383)
3. UCLA (8,081)
4. Fresno State (7,767)
5. Washington St. (7,323)
6. San Diego St. (7,227)
7. Oregon (7,122)
8. Stanford (6,598)
9. Oregon St. (6,084)
10. Gonzaga (6,000)

Note: West Coast includes all Division 1 programs located in the states of California, Oregon and Washington.

P.M. WAC-itude

Fresno signee Tim Steed receives some local (Freeport, IL) attention for his achievement. Go here.


A shoutout to PrinceThomas at the Utah State Scout site basketball forum for posting the link to Jay Drew's feature on a 2011 player of interest to USU and many others.


Chris Murray has an item detailing an recent workout of Armon Johnson. Go here.

Your Wednesday a.m. WAC fix

Sportsbow at the sportshawaii site has the scoop on another player coming in for a visit with Gib Arnold -- it's a junior college backcourter.


Daniel Lyght has ESPN's Chad Ford elucidating on Paul George's NBA draft prospects.


Chris Murray writes of Jonathan Givony/Draft Express (the best of all the NBA draft sites) providing his takes on Luke Babbitt, Armon Johnson, Paul George and Jahmar Young (and many others).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A couple more WAC tidbits

Chris Murray offers the latest on Fresno State's Paul George. What will be fascinating is does an NBA team go after the highest ceiling (George) talent from the WAC with the hopes such an altitude is reached or nab an instant producer (Luke Babbitt) with less physical gifts?


Gotta love the NCAA "the we do it all for the student-athletes) -- read on:

Bob Gottlieb of the Branch West Recruiting Assistance Service offers this on one-time Boise State recruit Maverick Ahanmisi:

"Maverick Ahanmisi, outstanding shooting guard from Golden Valley H.S. two years ago, visited the prestigious Big 10 school Minnesota, last Wednesday and was offered a full basketball scholarship by Head Coach Tubby Smith. 

The recruiting process was not an easy road for Maverick. Unless you are a super prospect that everybody wants, it never is. When quality athletes are on the bubble of being recruited at the mid or hi major levels, usually it involves finding a school that really needs what you bring to the table. Minnesota needed a hi quality combo gd who could reall shoot and score.

Maverick is a highly talented scoring combo guard. Probably the best shooter we have had at Branch West in the last 10 years. Maveric averaged close to 23 ppg as a senior in high school, including a 41 point explosion in the CIF playoofs vs. Foothill H.S. (OC).

He literally shot the lights out for Branch West last summer including 37 vs. Joe Ward's All Stars from Phoenix. (including ten 3 pointers) A great many D1 coaches were in attendance at that game, but it was late in the recruiting process and very few still had scholarships left at that point. 

However, the Head Coach of Boise State Greg Graham, fell in love with him, had a scholarship left, and flew Maverick to Idaho in the WAC Conference, and offered him a scholarship. Maverick was going to accept as he liked the school and the program, however, they discovered that his paperwork for the NCAA Clearinghouse was not complete.

Though he was over a 3.0 gpa student and solid SAT scores, without Clearinghouse approval, a college may not extend an athlete a scholarship. 

The family quickly completed the paperwork, but were informed that the Clearinghouse had a major backlog, mostly due to football, and that it would likely be a month to two months before they got the approval.

Dad would have had to pay $10,000 towards the cost of his schooling until the school received NCAA Clearinghouse Approval, and only then could he be put on athletic scholarship. Dad turned it down. This was in August.

We (meaning his dad primarily-with my advice) decided to put Maverick into prep school and reopen the recruiting process. SMU and Weber State tried to sign him in November and he opted to wait until the spring and see what else developed. 

His dad decide to formally retain BG and the Branch West Recruiting Assistance Service last December. His dad asked me to put together a new film package for Maverick, which included his 41 pt. explosion in the CIF Playoffs vs. Foothill H.S. (OC) in Spring 2009, but mostly some of his truly superb games playing for Branch West, mostly from last summer, but we subsequently added some excellent film from this spring.

Pacific and St. Marys both showed great interest as did a number of other schools. Pacific ended up offering another guard who took it, and St. Marys was hoping a scholarship would open up. A number of schools such as St. Louis and Loyola of Chicago also began to show significant interest. 

However at the Final Four, BG ran into Joe Esposito, Administrative Assistant at Minnesota, and formerly the Head Coach at Angelo State in Texas, where some years ago, he had taken a guard from Alaska who had turned out real well.

As we talked and I asked what they were still looking for, he indicated that they badly needed a quality guard, a combo guard or a point guard. 

They had pursued the best guard in the country, Cory Joseph from Findlay Prep and had lost him to Texas. Not only that, but Justin Cobb from Bishop Montgomery here in LA, had shown real promise, but became disenchanted when he only played 10 minutes/g as a freshman and he had decided to transfer to Cal in the Pac 10.

Every year I attend the NCAA Final. Have missed once since 1968. Though it's been a while, I was an NCAA D1 coach for 15 years (Creighton, Kansas State, Long Beach State and Oregon State as an assistant and 7 years as a Head Coach at Jacksonville and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee) 

Most college coaches at all levels throughout the USA, attend the Final Four as the Annual NABC Convention is always held at the smae time in the same town as the Final Four. Its also a dead week in recruiting. I have been and still am a member, for 42 years.

Most coaches use the convention to assist in looking for a better job. The relationships you make there are invaluable professionally to college coaches of every level, and many high school coaches attend as well.

I, on the other hand use it to primarily promote the many athletes we are formally involved in their recruiting . I use it to identify school that still need players, and which position they are looking for, and to recommend and promote our many client athletes.

When I told Joe Esposito of Maverick and described him as a player and as a person, he became highly interested and asked that we send him Maverick's film package as soon as we got back to California. Duquesne, Tulane, Miami and Florida State were other schools that we met that also requested Maverick's films.

Once Joe Esposito received the films back home in Minnesota, he watched them himself and fell in love with Maverick and called BG immediately. He then turned them over to Ron Jursa, their Recruiting Coordinator and he watched them and was equally impressed. They both indicated that Head Coach Tubby Smith was out of town but was due back in the office in a couple of days and he would look at them himself.

Tubby not only looked at the films, and also fell in love with Maverick, as a player. He immediately personally called BG. We have known each other casually for some 30 years, but got to know each other much better when he was the Head Coach at Kentucky and was recruiting former Branch West star big man Deon Thompson.

Kentucky came a close 2nd to North Carolina with Deon. I was asked by Deon's mom to sit in on all his home visits and was exceptionally impressed by Tubby Smith, the man. He is about as classy as it gets. Comes from a family of 17 children. Great role model.

When Tubby called, he told me that he loved what he saw on the films. However, he wanted to know, what was he really like as a young man? What was his family background? What else could he do besides shoot? Tell me about his ball handling. Could he play the point guard as well as the shooting guard. Tell about his speed, his size, his mental and physical toughness. 

Maverick is one of the best we have had here at Branch West as an all around outstanding offensive player, and maybe the best end of the game shooter/scorer that I have ever coached. 

Not only that, he is bright, picks up everything extremely quickly, plays within himself and is a delightful young man to be around and to coach. We have exceptional mutual respect as far as player/coach relationship, as well as with his dad Victor Ahanmisi.

Tubby decided to bring Maverick in for an official paid visit last Wednesday. Usually a Head Coach meets the young man and they assign an assistant to show him around. 

Tubby Smith himself spent most of the day with Maverick and then brought him into the office, and without ever seeing him play in person (they did not ask him to work out while on the visit), they offered him a scholarship. (highly unusual) Maverick was so excited he wanted to sign right there and then, but Tubby advised him to return home, sit down and discuss this with his family, and then if he wanted to come to Minnesota, they would love to have him.

Knowing their team for next year, they are loaded with at least four 7'0" athletes and badly needed a quality guard. I expect Maverick to play 15-20 min/g and possibly start before the season is over.


Tuesday's WAC offering

Brian McInnis saves the day with a great interview of Gib Arnold. A pair of assistant coaches are still to be added at UH, plus possibly additional recruits. Go here.


Zach Moritz offers a player viewpoint of the so far off-season at Boise State -- in a very well-written article posted at the Boise State athletics site.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chris Murray is back with a vengeance

No, Chris isn't trying to one-up "A Nightmare On Elm Street" but he is back from an apparent vacation with a fistful of fury:

His news and notes catchup column is here.

Olek Czyz gets posterized (in a different manner) here.

Deonte Burton receives some major love courtesy of the Long Beach Press-Telegram. A Press-Telegram prep basketball article not written by the venerable Frank Burlison? Can some things please stop changing?

Jared Eborn with the latest on Brady Heslip

The pickings are slim this a.m. but Jared Eborn came through with a Brady Heslip update:

Heslip decision soon?
Jared Eborn
Deseret News
May 10, 2010

Utah State basketball coaches, not to mention fans, are eagerly waiting to hear where Brady Heslip will go to college.

The 6-foot-2 combo guard from Canada is a freshman transferring from Boston College and just completed a recruiting visit to Oregon on the heels of a visit to Logan where he checked out the Aggie program...
Go here for the remainder.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday's WAC report

How is it that Hawaii is the sole WAC holdout in having a student fee supporting athletics? Ferd Lewis has the details here.


Thanks to seldomseensmith at, we have a look at the 2010 California juco ranks and the number of basketballers moving on to D-1. We would have guessed higher, especially considering the number of schools and likewise the out-of-state players playing on CA squads. Go here.


AW Prince at Silver and BlueSports offers up new interviews with Nevada recruits Jordan Finn and evonte Elliott a sub is required.


The Ben Mills saga has concluded with the Wisconsin 7-footer aligning himself with Colorado. Go here. Greg Graham is quoted in the feature. Utah State also offered Mills in the his second go-around as listed here.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Saturday morning WAC offerings are slim

Credit to sindog for this catch, posted at the Barkboard's Save Mart Center MB: Oregon's Josh Crittle is transferring and Fresno State is one of many destinations he is considering. He's 6-foot-8, 250 and played high school ball in Chicago.

Here is an earlier story on Crittle.

Plus, Daniel Lyght offers some information on a player transferring from Loyola Marymount who seemingly would be a good fit for Fresno State.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mostly WAC recruiting news

Shawn Harrison checks in here about Anthony DiLoreto


Jay Drew and Lya Wodraska are reporting a Utah senior-to-be backcourter has an offer from Kerry Rupp.

Jonathan Ford at has the news of another LA TECH signing.Go here (a Rivals sub is required). Here is an older report of Kenyon McNeaill's earlier commitment to Nebraska. Here is the young man's Facebook page.

Jamison Sterns, a previous signee with UTEP, has also become a Bulldog. Small but wide, here he is dunking against a big. What's odd is that here is Tim Floyd quoted as saying Sterns is more interested in playing college football. As a freshman, Sterns verbally committed to Baylor.


Collin Woods, a 6-foot-3 2011 guard out of Horizon High (Arizona), now has an offer from Fresno State. All indications point to him eventually going with Arizona State. Utah State also received previous mention.


2011 Arizona backcourter Luke Roh -- 6-foot-3, 180 -- is received attention from many, including Boise State. Rival's Adam Gorney has a feature here (a sub is required).


Nick Jezierny fleshes out the proposal from the WAC coaches that rearranges the tournament matchups.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Coach Morrill does do the right thing

We try to be an informative as possible at PTW and also attempt to apply fairness to who and what is presented here.

Not too long ago in a post here, we didn't much like the jettisoning of Modou Niang from the USU roster vis-à-vis Anthony DiLoreto's remaining an Aggie.

Today, it was announced the Coach Morrill has also decided that DiLoreto's off the court decision-making has not been up to par while a member of the Utah State basketball team:

Utah State cuts ties with troubled DiLoreto
Diamond Leung
May 6, 2010

Utah State announced today that it has dismissed center Anthony DiLoreto from the program. DiLoreto, a freshman, redshirted this season. He already had strikes against him after pleading no contest to a bank robbery charge coming out of high school, and had been on suspension after an arrest in February for marijuana possession...
Go here for the remainder.

Not that he needs the following (or should care) but this was a necessary and appropriate move for Morrill and we applaud him for it.

As for Anthony DiLoreto, we bear no animosity (nor should anyone other than possibly the bank personnel involved) -- here's hoping he gets his personal life and decision-making  in order and prospers, first and foremost, as an individual. Basketball ranks as unimportant right now.

Listen To The Howl

No, this isn't what PTW emits when the salsa jar is empty and plenty of chips still remain, it's a Neil Henderson audiocast of all things pertaining to Nevada Wolf Pack sports and can be found at the Silver and Blue Sports site.

The May 5 episode runs 39 minutes -- go directly here, sit back and enjoy.

Need more convincing? Try this subject lineup:

    * It’s Carter’s team now
    * Getting out and running, next year’s offense and defense
    * Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson’s NBA feedback
    * Newcomers with early NBA potential
    * Jordan Burris
    * Jordan Finn
    * Versatility
    * Derrell Connor
    * Illiwa Baldwin
    * Deonte Burton
    * Kevin Panzer
    * Malik Story
    * Jerry Evans
    * Olek Czyz
    * Devonte Elliott
    * Midnight Madness, yea or nay
    * Listener questions

It isn't much this morning...

Who wants the Wear twins?

Travis and David Wear are departing North Carolina after one year. Neither are or will be 'forces' on the court at the level they were playing at -- more complementary types -- so will their next destination(s) be in the PAC-10? We don't see a match with the style of play at UCLA and USC is probably dependent on wanting to play for Kevin O'Neill. How about one of the Oregons? Plus, maybe the pair will choose separate destinations.The Mountain West seems a better talent level fit, even the WAC. How this ultimately plays out will be fascinating because there is no more wiggle room for a vanity pick. Go here and here.


Utah State has offered Corbin Miller, a 2011 Beehive State backcourter with superb shooting range. Go here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tony Jones with a great Jaxon Myaer interview

Tony Jones offers up an interview with Jaxon Myaer in which the young man details his options and the thinking and feelings behind his decision. Go here.

Kirk Snyder sentenced

Former NBA-er and Nevada basketballer Kirk Snyder received his sentence today -- go here.

PTW's Brady Heslip prediction

Here is Tony Jones/Aggieville on Brady Heslip and his tripping to Oregon plans.

At the risk of repeating, Heslip will play right away at Oregon. He will also have a similar opportunity at Boise State. Such is not necessarily so with Utah State although he would certainly get on the court to some degree next season if he chooses Logan.

Oregon is in the PAC-10, Utah State and Boise State reside in the WAC. Remember that Heslip is coming from the ACC, as short as his stay was at BC.

None of the coaches at three three schools will be fired (if at all, but certainly not before Heslip completes his eligibility). Heslip is not getting anywhere near that experience again.

Utah State has the best chance to get to the Big Dance next season and beyond. Boise State will become more competitive in the WAC fairly soon while Oregon is a basket case at the moment.

Utah State offers the best game experience for a player. Oregon is moving into a brand new facility and a solid number of the student fans are rabid (don't let 'em bite you) but enthusiasm is lessening. Boise State is in wait-and-see mode, literally. Will a new head coach stoke the fire of the existing fans plus, more critically, bring in new ones?

All in all, we predict Heslip will say "the magic word" and a duck will appear in his future.

If it's Wednesday, it's time for your WAC a.m. update

Tony Jones provides the background on Jaxon Myaer's decision to depart from Logan. He offers a pair of features -- first go here and then this one is an interview with Myaer's father.


Ferd Lewis has a fascinating article on possible/probable changes to the WAC basketball tournaments -- PTW (for what that is worth) endorses the proposal because it rewards conference play.


AW Prince @ Silver and Blue Sports has posted a couple more Wolf Pack basketball features -- a sub is required. Catch an interview with Coach Carter and also recruit Deontè Burton on his new head coach.


Remember Chris Herren, the Fall River high school phenom who struggled mightily with addiction throughout college, his stints in the pros and afterwards? Herren has a web site titled (quite appropriately) Hoop Dreams that features his basketball training and other services. Clean since the summer of 2008, here's hoping Herren stays on top.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Another Utah State departure

Per Jared Eborn, backcourter Jaxon Myaer is leaving Logan.

Jaxon Myaer leaving USU
Jared Eborn
Deseret News
May 4, 2010

Jaxon Myaer, a backup point guard at Utah State, is leaving the team.

According to a source close to the Myaer family, the former Judge Memorial star has decided to transfer from USU...
Go here for the remainder.

Remember Maverick Ahanmisi?

Maverick Ahanmisi gotta love that first name) is a southern California prep backcourter who was headed to Boise State last year but NCAA Clearinghouse issues put the kibosh on that. We thought he then headed to a community college but that's incorrect. He played at Stoneridge Prep (CA) this season and now is looking at Minnesota as a possible landing spot.

Ryan James
May 4, 2010

With Justin Cobbs transferring out of the Gopher program coach Tubby Smith is short on guards. The spring answer to that solution looks to be 6-foot-1 point guard Maverick Ahanmisi out of Stoneridge Prep in California. Ahanmisi is visiting the Twin Cities tomorrow.
Go here. (a Rivals sub is required)

Tuesday's WAC menu

 Daniel Lyght mentions that Steve Cleveland is still looking for a post player? Just asking (not knowing anything): could Matt Korcheck in the mix?

JC transfer signs with 'Dogs men's hoops
Small forward Steed is fifth recruit for 2010-11.
Daniel Lyght
The Fresno Bee
May 4, 2010

Fresno State basketball coach Steve Cleveland continues to search for scoring options, and Tim Steed could be that man.

Fresno State on Monday announced it has signed the junior-college transfer, who last season was named Arrowhead Conference MVP for Highland Community College, averaging 16 points, seven rebounds and 4.7 assists while playing every position but center...
Go here for the remainder.


Another player is exiting from Boise State:
Forward Tyler Young leaves Boise State basketball program
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman

Boise State basketball player Tyler Young will leave the program at the end of the semester, coach Leon Rice said Monday.

The 6-foot-8, 219-pound forward from Leesburg, Va., would have been a sophomore this season.

He played 24 minutes in 10 games last season, averaging 1.2 points and 0.8 rebounds...
Go here for the remainder.


Ferd Lewis has a column on Gib Arnold's first 44 days. Forget "The Amazing Race" -- wouldn't filming Arnold have made for a compelling reality show?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Your Monday p.m. WAC update

Per Tony Jones, the Brady Heslip suitor list is expanding. Go here for the latest.


Steve Cleveland will have a trusty steed to count on in 20010-2011.

Cleveland Signs Steed
Steve Cleveland signed his fifth future Bulldog in the 2010-11 recruiting class with the inking of junior college guard Tim Steed to a National Letter of Intent
Stephen Trembley
Fresno State Athletics
May 3, 2010

As the Bulldog men's basketball team prepares their 2010-11 campaign for a Western Athletic Conference Championship, head coach Steve Cleveland has secured the fifth recruit of the 2010-11 recruiting class with the signing of incoming junior guard Tim Steed to a National Letter of Intent to attend school and play basketball next season for Fresno State.

"Tim is a strong and athletic guard who can bounce it and score off the dribble," Cleveland said of Steed, who will join the Bulldogs with two years of eligibility remaining. "Tim will bring a much needed competitive toughness and aggression level to the program."

Steed, a 6-5 guard originally from New Castle, Del., delivered an impressive two-year career at Highland Community College in Freeport, Ill. and concluded this past year as the Arrowhead Conference Most Valuable Player.

In his sophomore season, he led the Cougars with an average of 16.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Steed also produced a 56 percent clip (85-151) from the field, a 39 percent mark (11-28) on 3-point attempts and converted 70 percent (46-66) of his free throw attempts. His physical and versatile style pushes the ball up the floor and dominates the post with a powerful strength in the paint. Steed is also known to pound the offensive and defensive glass as a premier rebounder.

Cleveland expects Steed to make an immediate impact for the Bulldogs next season and provide a source of strength and experience to a talented core foundation.

"I also love the fact that he can defend four positions on the floor," Cleveland added. "Tim will have an immediate impact in our program."

As a Delaware prep star at Christiana High School, Steed sparked the Vikings to the school's first state championship with a 67-41 victory over Sanford to cap a 22-4 overall record. In the title game, Steed recorded 14 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals. He showcased his host of drive-and-dish moves and slammed down an emphatic dunk off an alley-oop pass in the closing minutes of the contest. In that senior season, he averaged 12.4 points per game.

Steed is the most recent member of a deep 2010-11 recruiting class. Cleveland has already signed freshmen Bracken Funk, Tyler Johnson, Kevin Olekaibe and John Ryan. The rest of the roster for the 2010-11 season could be completed during the remainder of the spring signing period.

2010-11 Fresno State Men's Basketball Recruiting Class
Bracken Funk, F, 6-8, Fr., Highland, Utah (Lone Peak High School)
Tyler Johnson, G, 6-1, Fr., Mountain View, Calif. (St. Francis High School)
Kevin Olekaibe, G, 6-1, Fr., Las Vegas, Nev. (Cimarron-Memorial High School)
John Ryan, F/C, 6-10, Fr., El Segundo, Calif. (El Segundo High School)
Tim Steed, G, 6-5, Jr., New Castle, Del. (Highland Community College) 


High-horsin' it on Monday morning

Let's go at it once more and then we're done: so Brady Heslip can't be on immediate scholarship with another ACC school because the new Boston College coach ran the freshman off the team and league rules state he cannot go intraconference unless he pays for his first year at the new school.

That's classy, times two.

Where's the NCAA -- you know, the folks always looking out for the interest of the student-athletes -- on this one? Better yet,

We actually wish Heslip would sign with either Utah State or Boise State because that will help the WAC but he should have the option of looking into Miami AND have a the option of accepting an immediate  scholarship if one is offered. 

By the way, this is from a front page essay written by Boston College President William Leahy at the school site:

"...Today, the call emanates from a world that has experienced an explosion of knowledge, but not a corresponding growth in understanding; a world that lacks trust in its leaders and faith in its institutions. It is a world that has developed wondrous technologies that link continents, but isolate humans, leaving many men and women weary and dispirited, feeling distant from moral purpose, uncertain about knowledge or the very worth of human endeavor.

Boston College is uniquely capable of answering this call, of speaking to this world, to our time. As an institution of higher education, Boston College is committed to the discovery and transmission of knowledge. But reflecting its Jesuit and Catholic heritage, it also seeks to integrate excellence and religious commitment, to both inform and form its students..."
 Repeat after PTW (and this is not particular to Boston College ), "those who have the gold, rule."


Chris Murray offers an early look at the Wolf Pack roster here.


AW Prince @ SilverandBlueSports provides a scouting report on each of Nevada's new guys here. A sub is required.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Your Sunday evening Brady Heslip update times two

Jared Eborn checked in with Brady Heslip and filed this:

Heslip undecided
Jared Eborn
Deseret News
May 2, 2010

Brady Heslip, a hot-shooting guard from Canada made a quick recruiting visit to Utah State this weekend and left Logan impressed.

He also left without making a commitment to Aggie coach Stew Morrill...
Go here for the remainder.


Tony Jones posted his contact with Heslip:

Brady Heslip's visit to Utah State
Tony Jones
Salt Lake City Tribune
May 2, 2010

According to a source close to the program, Heslip's visit was , "big time".

"He said that he can really see himself coming here," The source told Aggieville. "He had a great visit..."
Go here for the remainder.

Both articles are must-reads and, while we are at it, shame on the ACC. You'll understand why.

Who will Matt Korcheck sign with now?

Our intent is not to 'create' recruiting interest when it is not or no longer present but 6-foot-9 Arizona prepster Matt Korcheck has been released from his letter-of-intent by new UTEP Coach Tim Floyd. Korcheck signed with the Miners back in November but that was when Tony Barbee still headed the program -- Barbee is now at Auburn and the SEC typically requires a higher level athlete than the Conference USA does.

Both Utah State and Fresno State had interest at one point with Rivals listing both as having offered. But that was then, this is obviously now.

A bit more WAC-itude for you

AW Prince at Silver&BlueSports has a video spotlight on new signee Kevin Panzer -- a sub is required.


Americanbulldog started the posting at the SCOUT Barkboard Save Mart Center basketball message board with an item about junior college backcourter Tim Steed coming to Fresno State.

We also found this: "Tim Steed, a 6-foot-4 sophomore from Highland (IL) CC, was named the Arrowhead Conference MVP. Steed has received scholarship offers from Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State and Southern Illinois. He is leading the Cougars with 16.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game."

Here's much more -- from MidStateHoops on May 2 comes this:

Highland star to west coast
May 2, 2010

Tim Steed of Highland Community College has given a verbal commitment to Fresno State. Steed ranks as the #5 sophomore in our Illinois JUCO play rankings...

Go here for the remainder.

From MidStateHoops in December 2009 is this: "Steed is a very physical perimeter player with good versatility. A natural wing, Tim is also adept to pushing the ball up the floor. He has great body control when he gets in to the paint and has the strength to finish. He’s got a quick first step and a solid jumpshot that keeps defenses honest. Steed is also a big time rebounder who has the ability to play above the rim. Motivation has been a question as sometimes Tim has been known to play ‘uninspired’, something that has been the question of Highland’s team in general. Steed has, however, been the only player on Highland’s roster to score double figures in every game."


It's non-WAC-related but George Schroeder has an article up today that must contain everything you would want to know about new Oregon mentor Dana Altman. But what's typical is that, while a shrine should be built for Altman based upon his achievements in Omaha, the feeling about his departure from Creighton can seemingly best be described with a shrug. Go figure but that's the nature of sports coaching.

Sunday's WAC news and notes

The Brady Heslip Watch continues unabated. Nothing new on his Twitter account as yet (although he gives Aggie fans a dose of panic before pulling it back)

Matt Sonnenberg checks in with some early predictions on next season's WAC finish.


Joe Santoro offers a 'Luke and Armon We Hardly Knew Ye' column.

Chris Murray provides a post featuring the question about Luke Babbitt's upside, or possibly lack thereof. Maybe we are WAC-biased or even Luke-biased but all boils down to this for PTW: it's a guarantee (and there aren't many of those in the NBA draft when you get into picks 12-20) that Babbitt will do everything possibly to maximize the level potential he has. It's also a guarantee that he will be an upstanding NBA citizen. He can shoot inside and most definitely outside and can board at an NBA level. Yes, a GM might select a player with far less present production but a seemingly higher ceiling but consider how many of those choices/reaches have actually worked out well in the last decade?


We offer a big-time thank you to Dayton Morinaga/Honolulu Advertiser for his superb coverage of UH basketball. The HA is disappearing into the ether tomorrow but we're hoping the powers-that-be at the Star Bulletin make a move on him.


Former Boise recruit Chris Kupets just made a curious decision. The junior college backcourter signed on with Utah (aka The Revolving Door For Players)  right after acclaimed juco point, Josh Watkins did so. This article labels Kupets a combo guard despite his 5-foot-11 height.

The 6-foot Watkins just won the most valuable player award at the national junior college tourney in which his team triumphed as detailed here. Can Coach Jim Boylen play a pair of 'smalls' at the same time in the backcourt?