Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two Wednesday evening WAC items

Leon Rice goes big -- 7-foot Isaac Oeltjen in particular -- and he didn't have to trip to Sweden to do so. Nick Jezierny and Brian Murphy have the scoop.


Tony Jones provides a look at USU 2012 verbal Marcel Davis whose turning point mirrors this old ad:

Sam Wasson interviews Karl Benson

Sam Wasson of the site has posted his interview with WAC Commissioner Karl Benson. Go here to access it.

Wednesday's WAC-aroo

Mark Emmons of the San Jose Mercury News has a feature on the departed C.J. Webster here.

Coach Geoirge Nessman has added to his roster -- 'big' time you might say. Go here.


Dutch Perryman at the Arizona Varsity site writes about a 'big' -- 6-foot-9 former Bakersfield player Shaquille Wilson now living in Arizona due to a recent move -- who is receiving attention from Fresno State and many others. Go here and a Rivals sub is required.


Akachi Okugo, a 2012 6-foot-1 point out of the Sacramento area, is featured by AW Prince at the Silver and Blue Sports site. A sub is required.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A few more WAC items for Tuesday

Ethan Conley reports that Kyle Gibson has hooked up with the Miami Heat for the summer. It's a team needing more than a handful of players, having jettisoned most of the existing roster in preparation for the free agency bounty currently on the market. This could work out.


PTW noticed in the Deseret News that former Hawaii backcourter Dom Waters will summer with the Utah Jazz. He transferred to Portland State after his sophomore season in the islands.


Tony Jones reports on the signing of Norvell Arnold here.

A lean WAC Tuesday

Seldomseenmith comes through once again, reporting that Utah State has just landed 6-foot-5, 180 junior college transfer Norvell Arnold for the 2010-2011 season. Go to his message board and check out the news.

In a December 2009 Rivals article, Coastal Carolina, UW-Milwaukee and Northern Iowa all offered Arnold. He was 'partnered' with Iowa State at various times but it's unclear if an offer was ever extended. The moving on of the ISU coach to Creighton certainly impacted Arnold's recruiting.

Van Coleman/Hoopmasters described Arnold this way in a March 23, 2010 article: "...This slasher and driver went for 18 points and pulled down 6 boards in game we observed in Hutch. He has good pull-up jumper from 16-feet and is tough to stop in the paint..."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Boise State and a 2011 out of Oregon

On the Williamette Reign Twitter account, this is posted: "Andrew Batiuk, just got calls from Boise St, Portland St"

Who is he?

A 2011 6-foot-8, 195  high schooler out of Lake Oswego, Batiuk is capsuled by scout Gerry Freitas as: "skilled post player. Can turn and face effectively 12-feet and in.Good passer out of the post."

That's about all we can find so far.

A few more items

Here are a few extra low calorie treats:

Mike DeCourcey of Sporting News wrote this after the draft:

..10. Indiana Pacers: Paul George, SF, Fresno State. So kind of the Jazz to remove the pressure to select the hometown hero. The Pacers always liked George better. He's an amazing wing athlete and developing shooter who probably is in the draft a year early. But this is a team that can take time with him because of Danny Granger's presence in the lineup...

...16. Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to Portland): Luke Babbitt, SF, Nevada. There is a hard edge to Babbitt's game that will make him eventually successful in the league. He'll have to show he can defend small forwards because it's unlikely he'll survive in a post position. But he can shoot, handle and finish. He will not retreat. He's also a homebody who'll be thrilled with being dealt to the Blazers, closer to his hometown of Reno...
The remainder of his column can be found here.


Andy Katz did a piece on second-rounders and free agents, including this:
...Hard To Know

Armon Johnson, Nevada (No. 34 -- Portland): Johnson was a relative unknown nationally. He wasn't a lock to be in the first round had he stayed around Reno, so going this high in the second was probably better than expected. But it's unclear if he can make the Blazers, so the location might not work out well...

The Monday a.m. WAC-mobile coming at you

Boy, are we glad that all the uproar and hoopla have died down over how the Western Athletic Conference was a dominant factor in the NBA draft -- not. It's fascinating how blinders -- often self-imposed -- obscure reality. A story ripe for the writing and, quite apropos metaphorically, the ball was dropped. Guess that 4,050th story on John Wall was too compelling not to write.


Djim Bandoumel. No, he didn't score the winning goal in the World Cup -- he's an Idaho recruit out of the New York community college ranks who Vandals fans are wondering about, a la if he will be on the court in Moscow next season. Bandoumel was recently sighted on the Idaho campus but his eligibility remains up in the air. The NCAA Clearinghouse works in mysterious ways and most certainly on its own timetable. Our sense is Bandoumel will enroll and be in school even if a verdict on his eligibility remains pending. The stumbling block could be about core class acceptability or possibly when his eligibility clock began ticking


Thanks to mcgeorgeaggie for finding it and treesap32 for the translation -- Jared Quayle is heading to Belgium. The info can be found at the Basketball Forum of the Utah State Scout site.


Fresno State's Greg Smith is attending (invite only) the Amar'e Stoudmire Skills Academy. He was measured in sneakers at 6-10 and weighed 249, with a 7-1 ½ wingspan.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday and the WAC

Shawn Harrison leads us off with an overall look at Utah State come 2010-2011. What's very interesting in the piece is Stew Morrill talking about departing players who leave looking for playing time elsewhere. It's comprehensive and just the fix necessary to get the hoops juices flowing. When's the season begin?


Anthony Ray at Arizona Preps offers a feature on the new Fresno State Bulldog. Go here to access it and a Rivals sub is required. Here is Rays closing assessment:

"Arizona Preps Scouting Report: What makes Crump such an interesting prospect is the fact of him being a solid 6-foot-7, 215-pounds, while having an ability to stretch the defense with his range from the outside. In addition, he is strong physically and absorbs contact well, because of his man-like body. He is also very versatile because of his size and strength. He has the ability to play 3 positions on the floor and possesses a high basketball IQ and mature mechanics and fundamentals. He is also a strong rebounder that gains good position for rebounds, and is also a good interior defender. Still needs improved lateral quickness defensively and a more consistent handle in the open floor to reach his full potential as a player."

Andy Katz takes a very early preview of next year's NBA draft vis-à-vis the U.S. college ranks and only one WAC player is listed:

"...Adrian Oliver, San Jose State: Oliver is a big-time scorer in what has become a prospect-filled league. Look at Paul George of Fresno State and Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson of Nevada. Oliver will be next on the radar..."

The Gillen-meister will certainly be in the mix if his grades hold up. Our take: he has to come out next season because his age is creeping up there.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Givon Crump to Fresno State

6-foot-7 Baylor transfer Givon Crump has cast his lot with Coach Steve Cleveland and Fresno State -- this per the very reliable Adam Zagoria here. Crump will redshirt a year and have three seasons of remaining eligibility. He is best known for his distance shooting. We don't have any insight as to why it didn't work for him at Baylor.


In the very same article, Zagoria lists Roburt Sallie as down to Louisville, Oregon, Cincinnati and Indiana.

Saturday and the WAC

AW Prince spoke with Luke Babbitt on draft night -- go here and a sub is required. The Howl (NBA draft edition) is also available. It's a freebie.


We remember watching Scott Fisher play in college -- undersized but tough in the paint. Now he is on Gib Arnold's staff as UH hoops is reaching out even further. Go here.


Go here for a multitude of Chris Murray articles on the financial status of Wolf Pack athletics.

Friday, June 25, 2010

One more draft tidbit

Here's a tweet from Dave Telep:

"Magnum Rolle. Sam Presti thought about taking him when he was with the Spurs right out of high school. That's a true story, now he's OKC." 

He soon followed with this: "Don't think Magnum Rolle is going to be a Thunder ... could be getting moved"

Like Indiana.

Friday's WAC-aroni

Here's the report from the LA TECH athletics site on Magnum Rolle's drafting:

Rolle Drafted by Indiana Pacers
Forward becomes 11th LA Tech player ever selected in NBA Draft

Louisiana Tech forward Magnum Rolle was selected with the 51st overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers late Thursday night.

The Pacers and President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird moved up six slots in the second round to obtain the rights to the 51st pick which was originally owned by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"The Pacers bought up from their pick at 57 to 51 to get to Magnum," said Rolle's agent Fletcher Cockrell. "Larry Bird really wanted him, or they wouldn't have bought up. There were a lot of really good players that weren't drafted."

Rolle starred at Louisiana Tech the past two seasons where he helped lead the Bulldogs to a 24-11 mark this past year while earning numerous individual accolades. He averaged 13.9 points and 8.4 rebounds while leading the Western Athletic Conference with 2.1 blocks per game.

"I am extremely excited for Magnum, his family and the opportunity he has at the next level," said LA Tech head coach Kerry Rupp. "I know it is an opportunity he has worked extremely hard for and will continue to work hard towards. It is also the completion of the plan we put in place for him when he arrived at Louisiana Tech along with getting his degree."

Rolle earned his bachelor's degree in sociology in March.

The 6-foot-11-inch forward was named second team all-WAC while also earning a spot on the league's all-defensive team for the second consecutive season. He was also named to the Lefty Driesell All-American Defensive Team.

Rolle made 33 starts during the year for LA Tech, scoring in double figures 24 times while recording 11 double doubles. He pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds on three separate occasions and scored a career-high 29 points in a win over Houston.

The Freeport, Bahamas native is the first Bulldog to be selected in the NBA Draft since Paul Millsap was taken by the Utah Jazz with the 47th pick of the 2006 Draft.

Rolle also became the 11th Louisiana Tech player ever selected in the NBA Draft, joining Millsap, P.J. Brown (1992, New Jersey, 29th), Ron Ellis (1992, Phoenix, 49th), Randy White (1989, Dallas, 8th), Karl Malone (1985, Utah, 13th), Willie Simmons (1985, Sacramento, 76th), Victor King (1979, Los Angeles Lakers, 39th), Mike McConathy (1977, Chicago, 79th), Mike Green (1973, Seattle, 4th) and Jackie Moreland (1960, Detroit, 4th).

Rolle was one of four WAC players selected in the NBA Draft joining Fresno State's Paul George (10th overall, Indiana Pacers) and Nevada's Luke Babbitt (16th overall, Minnesota Timberwolves) and Armon Johnson (34th overall, Portland Trailblazers). Louisiana Tech Bulldogs All-Time in NBA Draft

Year Player Pos. Team Selection

2010 Magnum Rolle F Oklahoma City 51st

2006 Paul Millsap PF Utah 47th

1992 PJ Brown PF New Jersey 29th

1992 Ron Ellis PF Phoenix 49th

1989 Randy White PF Dallas 8th

1985 Karl Malone PF Utah 13th

1985 Willie Simmons C Sacramento 76th

1979 Victor King PF LA Lakers 39th

1977 Mike McConathy SG Chicago 79th

1973 Mike Green C/F Seattle 4th

1960 Jackie Moreland F Detroit 4th


Daniel Lyght reports on Paul George's drafting by Indiana.


Here's Dan Hinxman on what Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson are walking into with the Trailblazers.

Chris Murray offers up a bunch of links on last night's draft -- go here and here (loved the headline) and here.


Leon "The Whirlwind" Rice is captured by Nick Jezierny.

More on Fresno State Bulldog Paul George

George Drafted 10th by Pacers as NBA Lottery Pick
Paul George is the highest Bulldog ever selected in an NBA Draft.
Stephen Trembley
Fresno State Athletics Communications (Men's Basketball)
June 24, 2010

Paul George's dream of being drafted by an NBA team came true tonight as the Indiana Pacers selected the former Fresno State basketball star with the 10th pick in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft on Thursday night.

The honor cemented George as the program's highest draft pick in Fresno State history as the first top 10 pick in an NBA Draft.

George, one of the selected future NBA players invited to Madison Square Garden in New York City for the national broadcast on ESPN, donned the NBA hat with a huge smile on his face before shaking the hand of NBA Commissioner David Stern. George was the third Bulldog ever invited to New York City for draft festivities.

George, a native of Palmdale, Calif., headlines the ranks of former Bulldogs playing professionally as the fifth `Dog selected in the first round and the first since Fresno State fielded a pair of first round draft picks in 2002 when Melvin Ely was selected 12th overall by the Los Angeles Clippers and Chris Jefferies went 27th overall to the Los Angeles Lakers.

With George's selection tonight, 21 former Bulldogs have now been drafted by NBA teams with seven more also playing in the league, dating as far back as 1958.

George is the second draftee for Steve Cleveland's system over the past five years of guiding his hometown team as Dominic McGuire was taken in the second round in 2007 by the Washington Wizards. While at BYU, Cleveland developed Rafael Araujo into the No. 8 overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.

Throughout his Fresno State career, George showcased his elite athleticism and passion for the game of basketball. As a sophomore, he delivered the program's best season at the free throw line (120-132, 90.9%), ranked as one of the top 20 sophomore NCAA scorers, and averaged 16.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.2 steals and 0.8 blocks per game while shooting 42.4 percent (154-363) from the field and 35.3 percent (122-308) on 3-point attempts. He scored a career-high 30 points in his first game back from an ankle injury in early February.

George also received one of 18 invitations to the Under 19 USA Basketball Training Camp (June 2009) and was named the West's Most Entertaining Player by in Fall 2009 after his breakout freshman campaign. He sparked his collegiate career with an appearance in ESPN's College Hoops Tip Off on the road at Saint Mary's College when George earned Sportcenter's Top Play of the Day for a one-handed slam dunk on two Gael defenders that instantly made him a YouTube sensation.

George prepped at Pete Knight High School and produced an average of 25 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals per game during his senior season.

With his NBA dream now a reality, George will take his game across the country and show basketball fans his skills on a nightly basis.

Fresno State All-Time First Round Draft Picks

Year - Pick - Player (Team)
2010 - 10th - Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
2002 - 12th - Melvin Ely (Los Angeles Clippers)
2002 - 27th - Chris Jefferies (Los Angeles Lakers)
2000 - 13th - Courtney Alexander (Orlando Magic)
1984 - 19th - Bernard Thompson (Portland Trail Blazers)



Cleveland reflected on George’s chance to play in the NBA and his opportunity to represent Fresno State across the country.

“I am excited for Paul and his family,” Cleveland said of George’s future.  “He will be a great ambassador for our basketball program, university and community. This is a great example of how a young man who was not highly recruited out of high school was able to grow and develop his perimeter skills because of his outstanding work ethic and attitude. Paul has such an upside and the NBA teams were very impressed with his growth and development over the past two years.”

Cleveland additionally credited his coaching staff for their work in developing George, who played center in high school, into a complete multi-dimensional player.

“This is also a reflection of our coaching staff and their commitment to developing and teaching a talented player the skills to excel in this game,” Cleveland added of his second top 10 draft pick in his tenure as a Division I coach. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

George, Babbitt, Johnson and Rolle land in the NBA draft

How soon will it take for Portland and Reno to formalize sister city status?

Minnesota takes Luke Babbitt at 16 and then trades him to Portland.

At #34, Armon Johnson just misses the first round


So who will have the better career: Gordon (#9 to Utah) Hayward or Paul George?

Here is a USA TODAY article on George going 10th to Indiana. The Pacers were definitely going in the PO direction.with this selection.


Mr. Rolle has been spoken for -- despite not appearing on any draft prognostication lists, Magnum Rolle was taken at #51 by the Pacers. He worked out for Indiana on June 18.

Thursday's WAC world

Jason Groves brings us up to date on Jonathan Gibson:

Gibson works out with Clippers, ready for NBA Draft
Jason Groves
Las Cruces Sun-News
Jonathan Gibson has tried to be patient since moving back to his native Los Angeles soon after the New Mexico State men's basketball team lost to Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
"I am getting a lot of interest late," said Gibson, who left NMSU No. 6 on the all-time scoring list. "We are trying to schedule workouts and talk about playing on a summer league team. My agent tells me to be patient but it's hard. I'm anxious and anticipating what is going to happen."
Gibson's patience paid off on Monday when he worked out for the Los Angeles Clippers, who pick eighth in the first round of tonight's NBA Draft...
Go here for the remainder.


Paul George and Ryan Matthews are dueling to see who has the honor of being selected before the other. Go here.


He is. Go here to see why we typed those four letters.

Want to chat with Chris Murray about tonight's draft? Head here at 4:15 p.m.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Roburt Sallie update

We believe it was some Fresno fans who were speculating about Memphis State grad Roburt Sallie and where he would play his grad year (say the San Joaquin area?) as Sallie had indicated he wanted to play closer to home (Sacramento).

Jeff Goodman tweeted this today: "Memphis transfer Roburt Sallie - who is eligible this year - is visiting Louisville Thursday and Indiana on Saturday. He has one year left."


Aggieville has resurfaced! Tony Jones is back with a look at Luke Babbitt and Paul George and he certainly offers a no-holds-barred take on the latter. Everyone is familiar with Mighty Mo but drafts are often built around Mighty Po.


Mark Littlefield and A.W. Prince have each worked up the first round of the NBA draft at Silver and Blue Sports. Both have three WAC players hearing their names called.

Wednesday's a.m. WAC report

Sam Wasson at The Daily Aggie has done it again with a fine collection of links and items on the state of the dollar bottomline for some WAC members.


The Fresno Bee's George Hostetter offers a fascinating article that displays a keen financial eye on the WAC and beyond while moving way beyond the usual sports bar talk on and about expansion/contraction. He makes some predictions, backing them up with facts and analysis. This is a must-read.


FSU Assistant Coach Senque Carey is presented in a background piece from Fresno State athletics. Go here.


Chris Murray features David Aldridge on Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson. The media mouths would be FORCED to talk about the WAC if Johnson lands late in round one 'cause how does a 'non-descript' conference land three underclassmen in the first round?

Chris also offers some WAC draft history here.

T.J. Taylor of interest to Boise State

TJ Taylor, a 5-foot-9 point with scoring ability, is listed on Rivals as having offers from Boise State, Weber State, Santa Clara, San Diego State, Harvard.

Taylor verbaled to Santa Clara as a sophomore, along with Oakland High teammate Dom Taplin but the former rescinded his agreement in order to explore other options. He is playing on the Oakland Rebels club basketball team this spring and summer after participating on the Bay Area Hoosiers last season.

Go here for a February 2009 article we wrote on Taylor.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's spelled c-h-e-m-i-s-t-r-y and p-s-y-c-h-o-l-o-g-y

This is is a subject that always fascinates us -- the behind-the-scenes pluses and minuses of various players involving chemistry and psychology. This is what we as fans are not privy to and plays out -- unbeknownst to us -- in the coming and going of players, or not. But it's often quite evident in the W-L column.

Idaho, with its best collection of talent probably ever, certainly suffered this past season from not having all the players on the same page. Who knows at this point but the Vandals may do better in the coming season with no so-called 'big' names.

Do click on the link below and read the entire Dunleavy piece and you'll come away much better informed about certain players and teams.

Mike Dunleavy offered the following in today's Los Angeles Times:

"...The Lakers will have a lot of difficult decisions in the coming months, but this one is a no-brainer:

They need to keep Derek Fisher.

In a moment, I'll get into some of the other choices the franchise needs to make as it positions itself to make a run at a third consecutive NBA title. First, though, I'll explain why keeping Fisher is so important.

His leadership is essential, on the court and behind the scenes. His shooting is an obvious plus— he routinely makes shots in the fourth quarter that most guys not named Kobe Bryant might be hesitant to take — yet that's just one facet of what makes him such a valuable player.

Fisher has credibility in the locker room, and he's not the kind of guy who would have a problem delivering the bad news to Kobe if, say, he's trying to carry too much of the load himself. As a coach, you need someone who can deliver a message..."

A couple more thoughts

Just asking: nearing the end or right after the NBA draft concludes, will anyone in the national media make note that two WAC UNDERCLASSMEN went in the top 12 or 13 plus that three players -- ALL UNDERCLASSMEN -- from the little bitty league were selected?

This versus one second-rounder from the MWC.

Should we be holding our breath?


We are joking to a degree but waaaay too much credit is being given here -- c'mon, at worst PTW could have 'svengalied' John Wall into the #2 spot in LAST year's NBA draft (behind Blake Griffin) plus similar draft landings for fellow freshmen for DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton.

We're not knocking him (on this matter) but the meme that John-Calipari-gets-players-to-the-NBA as a major reason why kids sign on with Kentucky is a hollow and laughable one.

It's Marcel Davis Day

Marcel Davis gets the full treatment today as Jared Eborn and Shawn Harrison offer features on the 2012 verbal to Utah State. Utah and BYU were showing interest.

That looks like it for now.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chris Murray's NBA/WAC draft-a-palooza

Chris Murray is offering an NBA draft blowout as the date draws closer.

Here is a piece on the Green Room invitees.

Here is a breakdown of specific athletic and skill categories.

Here is Chris with his Top 10, Sleeper and Bust.

Here is an interview with Armon Johnson.

Here is the New Orleans paper after a Luke Babbitt workout in the Crescent City.

Your early Monday WAC report

Jared Eborn offers an update on Bill Sproat's medical condition -- go here. It's even odds that one of Bill's 'uniforms' next season in The Spectrum will be medical-related.


Tom Ziller's latest mock drat at the Fanhouse site has Paul George going off the board at #13 and Luke Babbitt hearing his name called 18th -- go here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A possible WAC recruiting target?

It's getting mighty late but Hawaii and Boise State are listed in the following article as at least onetime suitors of the now-eligible Gary Johnson.

Anthony Ray Recruiting Analyst
June 18, 2010

Former Arizona high school standout forward, 6-foot-7, 225-pound senior forward Chris Johnson left the state of Arizona after his senior season to attend South Kent Prep on the East Coast, one of the nation's elite prep schools...

...Johnson, the son of former track star and high-jumping talent Joey Johnson, and the nephew of former NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Johnson, is as impressive an athletic talent as there is in the country. At 6-foot-7 in heigth, Johnson possesses an amazing 43-inch vertical leap. Johnson also has a high-major division-I ready-body - so this young man is an immediate impact performer.

...Johnson is also the older brother of one of the nation's elite prospects in America's 2011 class, guard Nick Johnson of Findlay Prep Academy...
Go here for the full article -- a Rivals sub is required.

A correction

Per thelastdogman, Marcel Davis and Casey Oliverson are 2012 Utah State verbals, not 2011 as we typed earlier.

Sunday's WAC offerings

Jason Groves posted a link to a written Paul George Q-and-A and notes one specific answer -- it definitely jumps out at the reader.

Demonstrating -- not flashing -- in WAC play that you are worthy of an elevated showcase is one thing, talking about how you could have displayed much more going up against apparently greater competition is just that, talk.


Justin Young tweets a truth here, that 2006 was a terrible draft year --  go here if you cannot locate his link. We can't recall but hopefully the consensus prior to D-Day back then was spot on. 2010 will turn out to be much better.


Dave Rogahn at the California Preps site writes about summer league play in southern California and he mentions two members of Team Aloha -- Bill Amis and Trevor Wiseman -- in his latest article.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Matt Bauscher's team wins the championship

Matt Bauscher is also doing it overseas.

Remember the triple-overtime WAC tournament game in 2008 featuring Boise State against New Mexico State in Las Cruces? The Broncos won 107-102 to head to the Big Dance. Matt Bauscher did his part with 14 points and four steals in that victory and recently duplicated that role in leading his Gas Terra Flames squad to the top Dutch spot.

Bauscher, playing in the town of Groningen, was also named Player of the Year this season in Holland.

Here is Matt's blog -- do check it out.

Here is a video posted after the winning of the Dutch championship.

By the way, if the records we found are up to date, Bauscher's teammates on that winning BSU team are also playing abroad. Tyler Tiedeman is in Spain, Matt Nelson hooping in France and Reggie Larry is on the court in the Philippines.

Brandon Sperling to Humboldt State

Came across this but can't recall if we posted this earlier or not (ah, the golden years):

"...Brandon Sperling

Junior transfer Brandon Sperling comes in as a junior after playing two seasons for NCAA Division I Fresno State.

Humboldt State aggressively pursued Sperling out of high school before losing him to the Bulldogs. During his two seasons at Fresno, Sperling started 24 games, averaging more than 20 minutes per contest as a sophomore.

”Brandon brings us a versatile guard who can run the point, be a threat from the wing position, and can really defend at a high level,” Humboldt State head coach Steve Kinder said. “His length and athleticism gives us many options offensively and defensively. Brandon can make spectacular plays in an instant...”

Babbitt to the Green Room

Jeff Goodman tweeted this: "Been told that Luke Babbitt will be invited to NYC for the NBA Draft."

A couple of additions

The Draft Express folks have changed the positioning of some of their predictions and Paul George now sits at #8. Luke Babbitt in penciled in at #17 and Armon Johnson is a second-rounder at #35. Go here.


Chris Murray is pounding out the pieces -- go here and check out the right hand side of the screen for multiple articles.

Saturday's WAC news and notes

The New Mexico State squad and Coach Marvin Menzies are apparently headed to Canada this summer, per Jason Groves. Our guess is the sojourn will be centered around Toronto, where recruits ChUtahristian Kabongo and Renaldo Dixon played ball but Hernst Laroche will certainly stick up for setting foot in Montreal.


Jared Eborn is reporting that a second 2011 prospect -- joining forward Casey Oliverson -- has given the nod to Utah State. Go here. Tony Jones also blogs about this.


A 2012 point out of New Orleans has been noticed by New Mexsico State but the 'big boys' are already involved so 'destination Las Cruce's seems doubtful. Max Ivany has all the details here.


Friday, June 18, 2010

A little more about factors in college recruiting

PTW has previously written about the X factors in college basketball recruiting but we came across some information in a Jonathan (Draft Express) Givony Sports Illustrated penned piece that we thought deserved greater exposure.

About various NBA teams waiting on foreigner draft picks currently playing abroad, Givony typed this (and much more) on Ricky Rubio:

"...Another factor to consider could be Rubio's contract with Nike, which expires in two years. The company has made no secret of its preference to see Rubio in a bigger NBA market than Minnesota, according to sources, and it will be interesting to see whether the dollars Nike throw into the equation sways things. His agent, Dan Fegan, just put the finishing touches on a $25 million contract with Reebok for John Wall, the presumed No. 1 pick in next Thursday's draft, and will likely be looking to make a similar splash for Rubio, who is already the most marketable player in Europe..."
With college recruits (almost exclusively the top level ones), it's very unusual for a player to be on a Nike-sponsored club basketball team while in high school and end up signing with a school wearing Reebok or Adidas shoes and clothing. Under Armour also seems to be making a move, or planning one, into this marketplace.

Here's a 2005 Sports Illustrated feature by Luke Winn on prepster Kevin Love and the 'battle' between Nike and Reebok for Love wearing a certain brand of shoes.

In Winn's article, he writes: "...Of his favorites, five are swoosh schools -- Arizona, Washington, North Carolina, Duke and UConn -- and the other two, Kansas and UCLA, wear adidas..." 
Love eventually decided on UCLA (meaning Adidas) after starting out earlier in high school as a Nike wearer. Winn's article details why the switch was made.
Remember Drew Gordon deciding on UCLA/adidas when most, if not everyone, thought he would go with Washington/Nike? That call perplexed most everyone because Gordon participated all through high school as a member of a Nike-sponsored club basketball team.

By the way, Gordon's decision was also a strange one on another level: Gordon is a run-and-jump athlete and a tough competitor who needed to spend greater time working on his specific basketball skills. No-nonsense Ben Howland is noted for tough, physical players -- hey, for the most part okay -- and preferring to play at a 'safe' speed while pounding the ball inside offensively. Most -- but not all -- of this description fits for Gordon but the young man definitely prefers running the court.
On the other hand, Washington employs a lightning blur type of offense, preferring to get up and down the court as if in a sprint race. It would have been a perfect fit for Gordon, although not necessarily for aiding in his developing some go-to moves inside. Lorenzo Romar relates to his players on a much different level than Howland does to his.

Ultimately, the personalities of Gordon and Howland clashed -- something seemingly inevitable -- and the former is now at New Mexico --notably a Nike-affiliated school. We have offered this before but worth mentioning again is that Lobo Assistant Coach Wyking Jones is coming off a stint as a Nike travel team manager. Let's just call that quite the bonus for a school that has a solid -- if spotted -- basketball history but is generally considered out of any of the great basketball landing spot vortexes.

Keep all this in mind when a player X -- one at a prominent level -- is transferring from one of the basketball powers and you have the highest of hopes that he will come to 'your' school or when high school player Y is mentioned in conjunction with 'your' school and you are wondering about the odds of success. 

Check the shoes.

For those hoping G.J. Vilarino might become a WAC basketballer

Jim Meehan of the Spokane Spokesman-Review has the latest on Gonzaga backcourt transfer G.J. Vilarino:

"...Vilarino will visit Appalachian State and another school (it’s apparently not in the Northwest) this week. He’ll also visit Illinois next week..."

Friday's early WAC items

Nick Giannandrea's Fresno Bee article on a county all-star basketball game makes mention of Hanford West backcourter Rodney Webster walking on to Steve Cleveland's squad.

Here is what esteemed basketball trainer Jeremy Russotti said about Webster in November 2009 after a hoops camp: "Rodney was  one of the most competitive players in the gym. He has a very strong body and is quick with the ball. Just about everyone in camp had trouble with his handles and his foot speed. Should be one of the top PGs in the valley area but he needs to improve his decision making and shot to play at the next level."


At the Sports Hawaii basketball message board, BBfanfrom71 has posted his insight on Gib Arnold's initial recruiting class -- go to the status on recruits message. It appears one of the high schoolers is iffy academically.


The Knight Commission is wasting its time again as the NCAA does it's Dance of the Seven Veils.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

PTW has an idea...

PTW has an idea to continue spreading the insanity: how about conference membership being sports specific?

North Carolina and Duke carry the Atlantic Coast Conference in basketball plus a good portion of the national interest but does anyone really care about ACC football? The Tar Heels and the Dookies should be in a WAC-level pigskin conference.

Getting closer to home, Boise State football deserves Mountain West Conference membership, if not a step higher. Bronco hoops, well, is at a different level.

Yes, let go full-bore apocalyptic.

Magnum Rolle to visit with the Pacers

Tweeting on the NBA draft, Draft Express has Magnum Rolle in Indianapolis tomorrow along with a mix of other bigs and backcourters, both first and second rounders.


A couple more items

It finally happened. Draft Express has Luke Babbitt, Paul George and Armon Johnson going in the first round of the NBA draft --- 12th, 17th and 29th respectively. Head here.


K.C. Ross-Miller, a Nevada recruiting target at one point who signed with LSU, is still awaiting the green light from the NCAA Clearinghouse folks, who offer decisions like vintners aging wine. Go here if you wish to read more and a Rivals sub is required.

Friday morning's WAC report

George Hostetter channels Roger Ebert is laying out the relationship between Fresno State athletics and the Western Athletic Conference. John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart receive prominent play but not Lee Marvin. It's a fascinating and lengthy piece -- go here. Read it while listening to this.


Ferd Lewis writes about the WAC as a stepping stone conference here.


Jay Drew and Lya Wodraska have the answer about Greg Graham prep signee Mason Sawyer and Boise State. Go here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chris Murray with more Luke-mania and also the name of a 2012 recruit

Hey, did you know Luke Babbitt has a buttery jumper?

And PTW has a "I Can't Believe It's Not Margarine' shooting range.

Actually, those two sentences have nothing to do with each other. But plowing forward nonetheless, we ask is "buttery" above and beyond (feel free to substitute artery clogging, if you wish) or does it work for you? We kinda like it. Just not too often, okay?

Will one of the talking heads on SportsCenter pick it up (or have they already)? Is "his shot is neck-and-neck with sipping a Screaming Eagle Cab 1992" next? Or if the shooter is not particularly prevailing in putting the basket in the hoop, how about "his point production is flowing as smooth as a tepid Burgermeister"?

Anyway, let's get to the meet and potatoes. Go here for Chris' article

Seeley had a Bulldog offer

According to an article today on the Rivals site, Fresno State was among those who offered Cal transfer D.J. Seeley. The backcourter signed on with Cal State Fullerton.

All we have so far today is...

Wild Bill Sproat is laid up. With a tip o' the hat to Kraig Williams at Twitter, here is an article on Bill's situation. A little birdie told us that a visit from the Utah State cheerleaders/dance team would be just what the doctor ordered.


Hey, UC Riverside of the Big West Conference is offering this as part of the package for purchasing a season ticket on Scholarship Row: complimentary drink service. PTE hereby offers this as a recommendation to every WAC team: complimentary drink service for those on press row. PTW and Captain Morgan -- he, of course, of such military valor -- make up quite the team. The game writeups would be, um, more interesting.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Da'shawn Gomez resurfaces

Melvin Grussing, who runs the best fan community college basketball site in this country, has the news that Da'shawn Gomez, out of Inglewood High and ex-of New Mexico State, will be playing at Antelope Valley College this coming season. It's located in Lancaster, CA.

Gomez is a 6-foot-2 combo guard. Here is his bio from the New Mexico State athletics site. Here is a brief report on his signing with the Aggies.

Tuesday's WAC ensemble

Hey, just when some positive news is needed...

Travis Mason-Bushman, who superbly covered Idaho athletics this season, has landed employment. Put another way, someone got right-minded and made a tremendous addition to the sports staff. Check out his tweets with the news:



Sam Wasson is back with another feast of information about the WAC and possible directions to head. Go here and we thank Sam for going above and beyond by really digging into this subject.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lee Neves (Valley Sports Spot) on college conference expansion/contraction

Lee Neves of the Valley Sports Spot has weighed in on all the conference-changing talk and action:

Sunday, June 13, 2010
We all fall toy soldiers....

Well Spot fans...there only seems too be two things on people's minds this weekend in the world of sports: How England's goalkeeper can have hands of clay (or jelly, or any other unflattering adjective) and whats up with the big boys of college sports and conference realignment?  As for the's England, when DON"T they choke in the World Cup? (see Beckham, David)  As for the the second, well, to quote that one hit wonder from the 80's, Martika...."Step by step, heart to heart, left right left, we all fall toy soldiers"....and yes, the domino effect will be felt even here with our valley D-I schools.  How so you may ask the Spot? Well, let me explain....(and yes, you will be quizzed afterwards, so pay attention!)..
Go here for the remainder.

Holy moly! Or as they say in Las Cruces, Holy Mole!

PTW has received secretly smuggled videotape of WAC Commissioner Karl Benson's reaction surrounding all the hubbub about the various conferences in re-shuffling mode.

Responding to Boise State's departure from the WAC in particular, plus the plaintive rumblings about the willingness of Nevada and Fresno State to latch on to a lifeline, any lifeline, from another conference, Benson demonstrated a previously unknown talent.

We won't display it but the tape shows Benson morphing into musical mode using the moniker KBe and offering Edwin Starr-like in a basso profundo voice:

Conference changing, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Conference changing, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, y'all

Conference changing, huh, good God
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me...

A couple more Monday items for you

Chris Murray has multiple links and a ton of information on Luke Babbitt and the draft. Go here.

Just a thought: when the WAC has two front-end first-rounders and possibly a late one with Armon Johnson (and all three players are underclassmen), what is the kingmaker conference on the west coast offering? Quincy Pondexter.

Plus, look at Nevada's handful of NBA draftees the past few years. Who is the last player to be drafted out of Colorado? Was it really Chauncey Billups back in 1997? Yowza.


Marvin Menzies and Stew Morrill are quoted in Eric Prisbell's Washington Post feature on basketball game scheduling, or actually lack thereof. Go here. Prisbell, like ESPN's Andy Katz, once worked for the Fresno Bee.

This is it so far today

Rush The Court (still worth a daily visit even in the off-season) profiles Paul George:

RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Paul George
June 13, 2010

Player Name: Paul George
School: Fresno State
Height/Weight: 6′9, 215
NBA Position: Small Forward
Projected Draft Range: Late lottery
Go here for the remainder.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

College Basketball Jeopardy: Alex, we'll take Memphis State for $10 million

Is this a(nother) sign of the apocalypse or just someone -- Fred Smith -- being out in the open regarding the primary driving force in college athletics?

Memphis attempts to buy its way into a BCS conference
Jeff Eisenberg
June 13, 2010

Instead of relying on a powerful football program, a widespread fan base or a strong academic profile to earn an invitation to a more formidable conference, Memphis is taking a slightly more unconventional approach.

The Tigers are offering a bribe.

Multiple sources told that deep-pocketed FedEx CEO Fred Smith has made it known his company is willing to pay as much as $10 million a year to any BCS conference willing to pluck the Tigers from Conference USA obscurity. Memphis-based FedEx is a major supporter of the university, but the corporation would also benefit from the Tigers joining a more prominent league because the naming rights to the school's arena would increase in value...
Go here for the remainder.

Draft Express and the small forward prospects

Matt Kamalsky/Draft Express checks in with a look at the small forwards available in the NBA draft and we'll focus on Paul George and Luke Babbitt exclusively. The following are excerpts from analyses of George and Babbitt  -- go here for the complete article.

Situational Statistics: This Year’s Small Forward Crop
Matt Kamalsky - Director of Operations
Draft Express
June 12, 2010

...Paul George looks the part of a lanky athletic two-guard with immense promise, but his confidence ,the work he’s put in this summer, and his tremendous productivity as a freshman look much better than his situational statistics from last season.

The first thing that pops off the page when looking at George’s numbers is his high turnover percentage. The Fresno State product coughed the ball up on some 18.8% of his total possessions. He seldom gave the ball up in spot up situations, as he often just took the first available shot, but he turned the ball over on 30% of his one-on-one opportunities and 25% of his transition touches. Obviously, his ball-handling ability will be something that he needs to refine in order to reach his potential as a player...
...Luke Babbitt’s touch made him a highly capable scorer in almost every situation last season and speaks to his high skill level.

The highest usage player in our ranks at 20.6 possessions per-game, Babbitt’s 0.97 overall PPP isn’t terribly impressive. His lack of great overall efficiency stems from the fact that he ranks last in transition points per-possession at a dismal 0.90. His lack of great leaping ability is clear in that metric, but his 0.98 PPP in 18.1 half court touches per-game is highly impressive, as are his low 12.2 turnover percentage and his 8.4% shots fouled mark. ..

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday's WAC report

Tom Ziller at Fanhouse offers his latest NBA draft take, with Luke Babbitt going in the 12 spot and Paul George at #20. Go here.


Longdog at the Bulldog Barks & Bytes (Louisiana Tech) site, posts about an Arizona newspaper article (Phoenix Suns) featuring Magnum Rolle, among others. Rolle says he is up to 230 pounds now. Go here.


Head to Sam Wasson's Daily Aggie for everything you could ever want to read about the WAC and expansion/contraction. There are links a'plenty as well as an abundance of other information that Sam has corralled.


Friday, June 11, 2010

One more D.J. Wright note

Here's a June 4, 2010 video about Canadian basketball -- D.J. Wright's name is mentioned at the end as working out that evening at Ryerson University in Toronto.


A pair of afternoon WAC items

seldomseensmith is reporting at the BlueAggies site that Utah State transfer Modou Niang has landed at Seattle Pacific. Gonzaga 'big' Andy Poling transferred there earlier this past season. Seattle Pacific is the current basketball champ of the great Northwest Basketball Conference.


Chris Murray has Coach David Carter talking about the adios to the WAC from Boise State.

Friday and WAC hoops

Shawn Harrison has more on Casey Oliverson's USU commitment -- including the plan that he won't be in Logan until four years from now.


Expansion, conference realignment -- call it whatever you will. Chris Murray offers his prioritized bucket list that schools must demonstrate in order to be an attractive candidate for being wooed elsewhere.


Fresno State athletics provides a feature on academics and Associate Head Coach Jeff Reinert.


CougarMVP at the Scout (BarkBoard) Save Mart Center basketball message board posts that Mychal Ladd has returned to his home state and will play at Washington State.


Before we post them elsewhere, here's a couple of random thoughts on the college sports news of late:

* So Colorado, forfeiting scholarships in basketball and football due to a unacceptable APR, receives an invite to the PAC-10. Doing our Jon Lovitz/Tommy Flanagan best: yeah, yeah, that's the ticket for other schools to emulate.

* This just in: the NCAA says Tim Floyd is cool but has two provisos -- he can no longer drink OJ for breakfast and inspections of his refrigerator must yield no presence of any Mayo.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday night WAC links

Jonathan Givony (of Draft Express) has a feature on five draft sleepers at Sports Illustrated and Paul George is included. We're not so sure anyone is snoozing on Mr. George any longer. Go here and scroll down.


Casey Oliverson is apparently the one to back when the Oliverson family (think Shawn of Lousiana Tech) goes against each other on the backyard court. Tony Jones/Aggieville provides a feature.


It seems a bit odd but we'll never know the full equations that landed former USF guard Kwame Vaughn, former Cal backcourter D.J. Seeley and former Cal frontcourter Omondi Amoke at Cal State Fullerton. The Orange County school is known as Transfer U, with but one high school recruit on the Titan roster. Amoke had a legal problem that spurred his departure. Seeley had been mentioned as a possibility on various WAC basketball message boards but that didn't happen.


Chris Murray has a bunch of new articles so start clicking here (subtitled See You In September), here (Olek Czyz To Polka Across Europe) and here (a hoops tour of China that, who knows, may yield a prospect or two).

Thursday's WAC news and notes

Steve Cleveland says Fresno State can now look forward to talking about academics with recruiting prospects -- quite the change from what he inherited. Go here.

Baylor transfer Givon Crump, 6-foot-7 and 210, is visiting Fresno State on Monday, per Adam Zagoria here. Crump also has a pair of Big East schools on his itinerary. More on Crump can be found here and here.


Jared Quayle worked out for the Utah Jazz and is doing what he can for exposure to scouts here and abroad. Go here.


Here is Jeff Goodman's off-season WAC rundown. Of note: he has Marcus Lawrence transferring out of Idaho.


San Jose State has filled its assistant coach vacancy:

Talvin Hester, formerly the associate head coach of the Prairie View A&M University men's basketball program, has accepted a men's basketball assistant coaching position at San Jose State University. George Nessman, the Spartans' head coach, made the announcement.
Hester spent five seasons (2006 through 2010) at Prairie View A&M and helped the Panthers to winning records in 2009 and 2010. Prior to 2009, Prairie View suffered five consecutive losing seasons, failed to win at least 10 games in each of those seasons and did not have back-to-back winning records for a 50-year span...
Go here for the remainder.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's APR announcement time

 Per the latest APR calculations, Louisiana Tech is losing a men's basketball schollie but it appears the rest of the WAC programs are doing well enough.

It's generally difficult for PTW to feel sympathy for the haves in college athletics but Jim Boeheim has a point in the following. Both Devendorf and Harris truly needed to prepare for the draft as they were iffy prospects at best (although it didn't matter when the process was over) but the argument can also be made that the pair needed or will need a college degree just as much.

But there's no need for fretting as the NCAA will never kill the geese laying the golden eggs, APR be damned.

Jim Boeheim takes aim at the APR
Dana O'Neil
June, 9, 2010

Jim Boeheim has taken his APR-meted out lumps. Now the coach has a question: How was he supposed to prevent it?

According to the NCAA data released on Wednesday, the Syracuse’ s four-year APR of 912 fell well below the Mendoza line of 925 and, consequently, the Orange were docked two scholarships.

Here’s what the numbers don’t explain: Syracuse’s numbers dipped following the 2008-09 season, when Eric Devendorf, Jonny Flynn and Paul Harris all declared for the NBA draft. All three elected to leave campus immediately -- before completing their spring coursework -- and work out with trainers assigned by their respective agents...

Go here for the remainder.

Whither Magnum Rolle?

Is Magnum Rolle the WAC mystery player of the draft?

There has been little mention of him in NBA circles, with visits to possibly four teams at most. While a marvelous athlete, he is 25 so there is the question of his body (strength and bulk) simply being what it is and not will be and his 'game' also in this category. Plus, he never dominated more than momentarily in the WAC despite these physical talents.

We haven't been able to find a site or a projection of Rolle going in either round of the draft but that is something that may work in his favor as free agency will grant him the power to decide on the best NBA location for what he has to offer.

He will certainly have the opportunity to earn money overseas but we thought early on that there would be greater interest in Rolle.

Here's an interview running 2:20 with Rolle.

Here's a June 7, 2010 Kyle Weidie article on Rolle.

A few more WAC items

Here's the Draft Express folks with the latest on Armon Johnson:

Armon Johnson is one of the more dynamic and aggressive situational players in our ranks, but doesn’t stand out in terms of efficiency.

With an overall PPP of .837, Johnson ranks below average, though his 63% shooting in transition is good for third in this group. Unfortunately for Johnson, Nevada didn’t push the ball too frequently last season, as nearly 83% of his possessions came in half court situations.

When the game slowed down, Johnson took advantage of spot up situations, shooting a second ranked 48.7%, but did most of his damage one-on-one. Johnson’s 6.11 isolations possessions per-game is second to only Devan Downey, though his 0.716 PPP represents his sometimes over-assertive nature. The same is clear in his shot selection. Though he got to the rim 4.26 times each game, he shot 4.5 pull-ups as well (2nd). Considering he only made his 38.8 percent of his shots off the dribble, it is clear that Johnson is on the ball-dominant side, and will need to be a more efficient player in a smaller role on the next level.

Jason Groves provides a full-length feature on Aggie academics.


Chris Murray delves into the Wolf Pack scedhule for 2010-2011 -- Washington, Portland, Arizona State, UNLV and possibly UCLA should gather Coach Carter's squad some plus points if a majority of those contests are cast into the 'W' column, as opposed to the Dubya one.

Brady Heslip decides (hat tip to Chet Johnson)

It took him into WAC territory and the west coast rain forest. He also tripped to D.C., with invites being proffered from other points on the compass but, ultimately, Brady Heslip's magical mystery tour has concluded, landing him in the big D. CORRECTION: make that Waco, Texas, not Dallas.

No tweet as yet from Heslip.

Tony Jones has the scoop -- per Adam Zags -- here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bob Nash is back in coaching

Bob Nash will be coaching the Saitama Broncos in one of of the Japanese leagues:

Broncos name Nash as next head coach
Ed Odeven
Japan Times, Tokyo

Jun. 8--Bob Nash has been named the Saitama Broncos' third head coach in as many seasons, the bj-league team announced on Sunday. He accepted a one-year contract.

Terms of the contract were undisclosed...
Go here for the remainder.

The Aggies are back to 13

Jason Groves is back with a column on New Mexico State hoops now up to 13 scholarships -- go here.

Finally a feature on Jamison Sterns

Damon Sayles at TexasHoops has a feature on Waxahachie (TX) High's Jamison Sterns who is proportioned like a linebacker -- 6-foot-5 and 215 -- but will be playing the point at LA TECH.

Sterns also played on the gridiron during high school but is focusing on the court in college.

Go here and a sub is required.

Your early Tuesday WAC links

AW Prince at the Silver and Blue Sports site has a feature on Luke Babbitt -- go here.


Armon Johnson is idled with strep throat, per Chris Murray. Chris offers up his top point guard prospects ranking and one quick look tells us there is but one 'sure thing' entering the NBA at that position.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Paul McCoy and Boise State

Fox's Jeff Goodman made mention today of SMU backcourter and transfer Paul McCoy visiting Boise State and Portland State this past week.

McCoy had a very solid freshman season (12.4 points per game) but his production was down this past season -- 21 games played, 16 starts, 7.4 points per game, 39% overall shooting and more turnovers than assists. He earned a pre-season all conference projection but then tore an ACL in February and missed 10 games.

His desire for a new home surprised some but not others as the squad had a 'teammate chemistry problem' on the floor. McCoy spent the summer between his freshman and sophomore seasons back in Portland rather than Dallas and one report had an SMU assistant coach traveling to Oregon in order to convince McCoy to return.

So maybe this latest turn was inevitable.

One factor to consider: McCoy isn't really a point, even at 5-foot-11, 160.

McCoy has quite the interesting history. He was a track, basketball and football star in high school and many thought he would play on the gridiron in college. But in November 2008, he signed with Pepperdine of the West Coast Athletic Conference but the coach who signed him was subsequently fired and McCoy then decided upon Matt Doherty and Southern Methodist.

Does BSU have any schollies open?

Bryce Cartwright to the Big 10

Former Fresno State backcourter Bryce Cartwright, after a season in the Texas junior college ranks, has landed at Iowa.

Go here.

Cartwright played last season at Ranger Junior College and averaged 8.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, shooting 43% overall and 29% from long distance.

Monday morning WAC nuggets

Relative to our last post, Chris Murray is also writing about the 'ceiling' but he is measuring the potential of each Wolf Pack player. By the way, we didn't realize this earlier but Nevada has no seniors. But in today's climate that doesn't mean there won't be an opening or two come next April/May:

Ranking the Pack basketball players by 'upside'
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

Summer school at UNR begins today, which means a handful of incoming Wolf Pack basketball players will be on campus for their first set of classes. Coach David Carter said last week he expected freshmen Deonte Burton, Jordan Finn, Jordan Burris and Jerry Evans to take part in the session, as well as junior-college transfer Illiwa Baldwin. Devonte Elliott, Kevin Panzer and Derrell Conner are all expected to take part in the second session of summer school.

So, this is probably a good time to look at some of these new additions to the team. Let's rank the Wolf Pack's 13 scholarship players based on how much "upside" they have (if we're doing walk-ons as well, I'd rank them Keith Fuetsch, Keith Olson, Adam Carp). The word "upside" can often be a hard-to-describe term, but we'll take a crack anyway...
Go here for the remainder.


The name George Matthews doesn't conjure up excitement as the word accountant probably comes next. But the following GM breaks the mold and is collecting basketball offers, including one from Fresno State -- but he's going to land at a high major:
Anthony Ray Recruiting Analyst
June 6, 2010

St. Mary's High School graduate, 6-foot-6, 215-pound senior forward George Matthews is headed to Westwind Prep International (WPI) next fall, but this summer he is working on his college recruitment.

As a result, Matthews has quickly become one of the top sought after wing prospects on the West Coast as of late - first generating serious interest from the University of Oklahoma last month, and now bringing home his biggest scholarship offer up to date...
Go here for the remainder and a Rivals sub is required.


This is news to us or our memory is playing tricks (yet again):

Jeff Goodman is reporting that former Hawaii backcourter Jeremy Lay is now at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, a member of the Division II Lone Star Conference North Division.

Here are Goodman's other WAC listees (a number of other WAC transfers are absent):

* Yonas Berhe, 5-10, G, Soph., Louisiana Tech
* London Giles, 6-3, G, Soph., Nevada
* Da’shawn Gomez, 6-1, G, Fr., New Mexico State
* Taylor Kelly, 6-2, G, RS Fr., Fresno
* Mychal Ladd, 6-5, G, Soph., Fresno
* Aleksandar Milovic, 6-7, F, Soph., Hawaii
* Brandon Sperling, 6-4, G, Soph., Fresno
* Corey Stern, 6-7, F, Fr., Idaho
* Tyler Young, 6-7, F, Fr, Boise State ­ COLLEGE OF IDAHO

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"My ceiling is pretty high"

No, PTW hasn't moved it's headquarters into some palatial new environment which has us momentarily transfixed looking skyward -- "My ceiling is pretty High" is Paul George describing his potential as Draft Express has even more coverage on the Fresno Stater:

Paul George: "My Ceiling is Pretty High"
June 6, 2010

Paul George has an unabashed confidence in himself as a basketball player.

“I haven’t been exposed to this game as much as a lot of other players and I think I’m already a great prospect with good potential,” he says. “Once I get that chance to really get that experience and learn about the game, I think my ceiling is pretty high.”

Modest? Not exactly.

Accurate? With the way his stock is rising the past few weeks, few of the general managers in attendance would have a hard time arguing...
Go here for the remainder.

Dayton Morinaga reminisces

Dayton Morinaga -- Mr. Hawaii basketball for the Honolulu Advertiser -- offers a farewell column featuring his memories associated with UH hoops. To the best of our knowledge, Dayton isn't transferring over to the Star-Advertiser so we wish him all the best and thank him for his coverage (of which we have greatly partaken of since our inception).

An interview with McKinley Boston

Teddy Feinberg interviewed New Mexico State AD McKinley Boston on the state of Aggie athletics -- here's a portion of the men's basketball discussion:

SN: On men's basketball going to NCAA Tournament.

MB: In my first year....We were coming off a five-win season....Reggie's first year we went .500 and his second year we went to the NCAA Tournament. In Marvin's first year we shared a WAC title....This year we win the WAC Tournament and we're in the NCAAs....We're pretty competitive....Hamidu (Rahman) has made great strides, Troy (Gillenwater) could arguably be considered WAC preseason player of the year.

SN: Academically, will everyone be in place at the start of 2010 season?

MB: There are some question marks but they're not what I would call major question marks. They still have to get the work done....As I said to Troy, for example, all of his dreams are in place. Now, all he has to do is prepare himself to take advantage for everything that he's worked for.

Go here for more basketball talk plus the entire article.

Carrick Felix to ASU

As expected, CSI's Carrick Felix has landed in the PAC-10, Arizona State specifically.

Go here for a brief report. Here is another.

ASU was the only school Felix visited after parting ways with Duke.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Boise basketball and the MWC

Here's a very interesting piece and the subject matter is one that played a large role in the decision to let Greg Graham go. Boise's AD and school president certainly had the need to upgrade the level of recruiting in mind when the choice was made.

Joining the Mountain West would be a big step for hoops
Boise State basketball teams have work to do if Mountain West beckons
Nick Jezierny
Idaho Statesman

Boise State is no stranger to successfully navigating different conferences - having moved from the Big Sky to the Big West and to the WAC.

The men's and women's basketball teams reached the top of all of those conferences - whether it was a division title, a regular-season crown or a conference tournament championship. Accomplishing that in the Mountain West would require some heavy lifting - that is if the MWC presidents decide next week to invite Boise State into the league.

"Boise is going to have to upgrade the talent considerably if they are going to compete in basketball in this league," said Jerry Palm, who publishes, a website that predicts the NCAA's RPI results. "There's just no other way about it..."
Go here for the remainder.

The Draft Express group goes all Paul George-apalooza

Draft Express is smitten -- make that head-over-heels in looooove with Paul George -- go here for the article and a pair of workout videos featuring George and others.

Could George become the first of the WAC 2010 draftees? It's sounding like it. Should we employ a horse race metaphor and call it neck-to-neck coming down the back stretch between George and Luke Babbitt?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Two more Friday WAC notes

Don't get too close but credit catpooptv (no, we are not making this up) for discovering that Coach Leon Rice has a walk-on with an interesting past headed to BSU. The Bronco fan posted the news at the Taco Bell Arena basketball message board at the Boise State Scout site.


Plus, homeytennis posted an update on Jaxon Myaer at the same Boise State Scout site and the same Taco Bell Arena basketball MB. In a six degrees of separation situation, Myaer will be playing for a former WAC coach. Here is a direct link to an article on the subject.

A pair of Friday WAC-related items

Brady Heslip has done D.C. (Georgetown) and is now in Dallas (Baylor). Does Hofstra really fit into the mix?


We sent an email to Ro Russell (Mr. Grassroots Canada basketball and now heading the hoops program as well as being the Associate AD at Christian Faith Academy in North Carolina) regarding the whereabouts of former Louisiana Tech commit D.J. Wright and he quickly responded. We wrote about being a bit surprised Wright didn't declare for the NBA draft and asked Russell if Wright was heading overseas. His response: "overseas."

So there you have it. But fully expect Wright to try and get into "The Show" before long.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Luke and Armon Show

Misters Babbitt and Johnson continue to receive big love (when is HBO going to begin a series on the duo?) -- Chris Murray on Babbitt is here and here with Johnson here and here.

Throw in Paul George and you have three WAC underclassmen -- two sophs and a junior -- playing important roles in the NBA draft.

Has that ever happened before?

Anyone have a clue what's up with Jahmar Young? Please, serious responses only.

How about D.J. Wright who never arrived in Ruston? He certainly had first-round potential.

A Jordan Didier update

Anthony Ray at the Arizona Preps site has a new feature on 6-foot-9 Jordan Didier who has decided to attend Westwind Prep International (Phoenix) for a year in order to develop his body and game:

"...[Jordan] Didier is already receiving strong interest from numerous division-I schools, including Washington State, New Mexico, Fresno State, San Diego, San Diego State, Portland, Cal Poly-SLO, UC Santa Barbara and Texas San Antonio. Fresno State has already officially offered Didier a scholarship..."
A Rivals sub is required to access the article.

Since we are entering recruiting season...heck, it's always recruiting season

We have no WAC news, links, etc for you today so far so we figured it was time to roll out another 'beware' post regarding recruiting and the various on-line services and rankings of players.

PTW has nothing against any of these sites, in fact, we subscribe to one of them. The information they provide can be very useful and, more importantly, accurate. It can also be woefully outdated and once in a while presented with a thumb of the scale so to speak. What also needs to be kept in mind that some evaluations may be based on a one-time viewing and the player in mind could have had the best/worst showing ever in that particular setting.

College coaches do not utilize these services. Actually, let's amend that previous statement: some college coaches may become aware of a certain player due to an article being posted but none put faith into any sort of descriptions within the piece. They may become intrigued enough to want to learn more and possibly take a look themselves but that's about the extent.

What is important to be aware of is the list of schools of interest/interested in Player X -- interest is defined by the beholder as it could be a questionnaire sent out, a letter expressing interest, a call to a club team or high school coach, an unpaid-for or paid-for recruiting trip to the college, all the way to an actual offer being extended.

That's because the problem is once an article appears, any schools that are mentioned in conjunction with someone are then entered into that player's site profile. Sometimes forever.

It doesn't matter if a player has narrowed/expanded his list or a school has moved on -- changes are rare, at least on site profiles.

So 'your' school may have been interested in Player X in June of 2009 or January 2010 but one or both parties decided to pursue other options. However, nothing will change in the profile until another article is done with a more current listing of the priorities of Player X or School Y -- and even then it's not necessarily a guarantee the player profile/school's preferred recruiting targets will be system updated. It seems those profiles of major recruits are updated much more so than those of mid or low major level players.

Plus, any ranking (say #89) assigned to a recruit is at the very least questionable but especially so for the mid and low major prospects. They are seen much less and usually evaluated by someone other than the Dave Telep's, the Eric Bossi's and the like..

Additionally, we are aware of rankings affected and articles written by those closely connected to certain players and. well, objectivity has been cast aside in order to falsely pump up a prospect's ceiling.This may not be practiced a great deal but it unfortunately still occurs.

The bottomline is enjoy whatever you come across in the recruiting realm but remain aware that some gold is the real thing while the other tarnishes quickly.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Kerry Rupp completes his coaching staff

LA TECH Coach Kerry Rupp has filled the opening created when Nikita Wilson departed:

Tech hoops hires Jones as assistant coach
Shreveport News
June 2, 2010

RUSTON – Louisiana Tech head coach Kerry Rupp completed his coaching staff this week announcing the addition of Louisiana native Derrick Jones to the Bulldog staff.

Jones, a native of Erwinville, will serve as an assistant coach for Rupp after the departure of former associate head coach Nikita Johnson following the season...
Go here for the remainder.

Here is Jones' bio from the UNO athletics site.

Thoughts about a few of the prospects in the Rumble In The Bay tournament

The Rumble In The Bay tourney was held this past Memorial Day weekend. We certainly didn't see all the D-1 prospects but here are our notes from the players we viewed:

Juan Anderson, Oakland Rebels, (Castro Valley High, CA, 2011)

It's not really a dilemma (but if you so consider it, then it a great one to face) -- does Anderson go to the PAC-10 and be a definite rotation guy/starter with the possibility of developing into a star or play at the next league level and be an all-conference star? Anderson is still on the slim side, very quick and gets off the floor in a blink. His handle can be tightened but it's solid in either direction. He works as a rebounder and displayed a strong defensive effort over the three-day weekend. His range is the three-point distance but his shooting consistency waxes and wanes. We don't see him leaving the west coast area (but let's include Arizona), possibly not even California. Utah State has offered.

Brendan Keane, Oakland Rebels (St. Joseph's, CA, 2011) 

You want a banger? Keane shows excellent form and footwork on moves offensively and also nailed a pair of 15-footers facing the basket in games we witnessed. He isn't a high-flyer but he gets the job done rebounding and defendingt. Watching Keane, we were reminded a bit of a couple of the foreign 'bigs' Tom Izzo's Michigan State Spartans have utilized the last few seasons. We could certainly see a lot of WAC teams vying for this young man.

Chris Read, 6-foot-4, Lakeshow, (Castro Valley, CA, 2011)

Read is a superb athlete who can run and jump with the best. His to-do list includes upgrading his ballhandling so he can create more opportunities and displaying a consistent 15-18 foot jumpshot. We also saw someone who could develop into an ultra defender if he desires to do so.

Mark Tollefsen, 6-foot-8, Lakeshow (San Ramon Valley, CA, 2011)

How badly does he want it? There are multiple assets to his game -- great range facing the basket, extra long arms for defending and also scoring inside but he must add better ballhandling/creating skills and greater rebounding prowess to his repertoire. Developing the necessary strength to play at the college level will aid in facilitating his progress. Tollefsen is on the edge of being an impact player.

Jacari Whitfield, 5-foot-8, Lakeshow, (St. Joseph's, CA, 2011)

We didn't see anybody able to keep Whitfield from penetrating over the weekend as he is a blur, equally proficient going to his left and right. His height is going to deter some and others will want to witness more playmaking ability for his teammates but he needed to score --that seemed his role -- this weekend.

Payton Pervier 6-foot-11, Pioneer Technologies, (Glacier Peak High Snohomish, WA, 2011)

The possibilities are here a la a nice touch, ability to run the floor, mobility and good hands. His collegiate future will be dependent upon his work in the weight room as he probably checks in at 200 or less at the moment. Give him a redshirt year and possibly another to get further adjusted and he could be a serviceable or more WAC center.

Alex Weber-Brader 6-foot-5, Pioneer Technologies (Olympia High Olympia WA, 2011)

Besides Juan Anderson, Weber-Brader is the other guy whose play on the court was captivating. He is an excellent jumper, displayed a solid dribble-stop-shot, created space for his shot with his ballhandling and showed a remarkable talent for staying on balance at both ends of the floor. He seemed like a glue-guy but much more productive. An Idaho or a Boise State should be on this kid.