Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brad Winton on Fresno State's JC recruiting

JC recruiting analyst Brad Winton offers a pair of tweets -- here and here -- on the junior college transfer trio coming to Fresno State.

Tuesday's a.m. WAC basketball items

Chris Murray is back with a vengeance: here's a catchup piece, another on a pair of 2011 recruits being eyed by David Carter and a poll featuring a hoops question.


A.W. Prince also has two prospects featured in his latest 'Round The Rim edition.


Anthony Ray offers a feature on 6-foot-1 Arizona prepster John Marshall, a junior-to-be garnering attention from a number of schools, including Utah State.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Matt Norlander on Utah State

In Matt Norlander's recent article, he has a section titled "Team commentary in 20 words or Less" and Utah State receives a mention:

"Utah State: It was another 30-win season for the Aggies. Will be class of the (now weaker) WAC again"
PTW imagines Norlander is referring to the departure of Boise State although he may also be projecting about the future moves of Nevada and Fresno State.

Digging into Utah State basketball 2011-12

Not to downplay what appears below but it's always critical to keep in mind that some of the players on any team will move forward over the summer, some will remain in a static state and some will regress. Coupling that with 'determining' the impact of new (unseen) recruits make the following a fun exercise but not much else.

PTW will say that Coach Stew Morrill doesn't necessarily reload as do the North Carolinas and Kentuckys but rebuild isn't in the Logan basketball vocabulary either. So we need a new word for something in-between.

Tai Wesley, the underrated Nate Bendall, sparkplug Brian Green and steady Tyler Newbold have departed the program but the cupboard of leftovers isn't bare as some intriguing redshirts, grayshirts and newcomers are also on hand. It's not a roster, more a rolodex, seemingly with more bodies than available scholarships.

In the middle, Igor Premasunac and Jordan Stone get first dibs at filling Bendall's shoes. In various writeups, it's been noted that Premasunac has a face-the-basket aspect to his offensive game so let's see if Morrill utilizes that element. Bendall would take the 15-footer at times but Premasunac's range extends further.

What also furthered Bendall's effectiveness was the presence of Tai Wesley but this team is absent of anyone filling similar.shoes. Stone has been on his LDS mission so a degree of rust and lack of  intense practice will slow his effectiveness. But his 7-foot, 240-pound size and four years of eligibility has visions of roundball sugar plums dancing in the heads of the Aggie coaching staff.

Circumstances indicate that both prospects have the likely possibility of being more effective as the season rolls on.

6-foot-10 Oklahoma State transfer Jarred Shaw will be sitting out the requisite season per NCAA rules.

At power forward, let's get this over and done with prior to the start of the season. That is, this team is Brady's Bunch, meaning the junior leaper of tall buildings,6-foot-7 Brady Jardine.  It's a new responsibility, not a light one at that and it remains to be seen if Jardine can meet that leadership challenge. He still lacks ball skills -- the ability to create -- so an improvement there, along with his abnormal athleticism, would be confounding to opponents. Jardine will be the leading Aggie rebounder but he'll also need to be the second leading scorer (behind Brockeith Pane). However, no longer can the Aggies toss it inside to Wesley and usually generate a basket or have a foul drawn or experience a keen kickout pass to an open teammate.

6-foot-7 Kyisean Reed encountered maturity issues at Antelope Valley College and, as Dr. Phil notes, the past is a predictor of future behavior. So let's see how that works out for someone whose game is a clone of Jardine's. A side note: Reed and Jardine would be killer in beach volleyball if they ever had the inkling.

What will be fascinating is what 6-foot-7 Ben Clifford, can bring to the court in 2011-12. A frosh redshirt,  he is the best Aggie corner prospect in the long term.

Morgan Grim at 6-foot-8 enjoyed a few good moments in the middle but he remains a gap player, someone who may not help a great deal but won't hurt you on the court.

The third spot, PTW will call it the wing, is wide open. Norvell Arnold, he of various legal charges, should easily earn the starting spot if he gets to Logan and also if he stays out of any future legal scrapes (1:41 a.m. 100 block of North Main Street. Norvell Arnold, 23, 301 Maple St.: possession with intent to deliver marijuana, criminal trespass and domestic abuse assault). More than likely all the initial charges will be plea bargained down but physical contact with another person, let alone a female, has no excuse (link) and is a black eye that shouldn't be lightly forgiven. Arnold fills a dribble-drive/creator need and should be the biggest overall immediate contributor

It's a veritable pick 'em conglomerate at shooting guard with Preston Medlin, Antonio Bumpus, Mitch Bruneel (three years of eligibility), and Steve Thornton. Medlin has the best shot and range, Bumpus is the most athletic, Bruneel is a plus rebounder who was also second on his College of Southern Idaho squad in free throws attempted but had a minus assist-to-turnover ratio and Thornton has take-it-to-the-hoop ability and good size but looks to be fourth in the current SG rankings.

More offense from this spot will be generated than in 2010-11 but the question of who will come close to Newbold's defensive tenacity and effectiveness can only be answered once the players take to the court in October.

It's Pane at the point, period. Brockeith Pane will be playing 35 minutes a game, creating with his forays to the hoop and fastbreaking on rebounds and especially steals. Yes, E.J. Farris is there for backup but Paine's bench minutes will really sedate the USU offense.


We hopefully didn't miss anybody as our player numbers total 13, the maximum number. Morgan Grim is the biggest question regarding being on scholarship.

For the first time in quite a while, there are a a lot of questions needing answers for the Aggies. But plenty of quality parts are available for the testing

It's a little surprising that there isn't a point on the roster to be groomed this season, what with Pane departing after that. It takes newcomers a period of time to adjust to Morrill's offensive schemes and any learning period lag could be problematic -- but that's not a concern until after this season.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Digging into Fresno State basketball 2011-12

Not to downplay what appears below but it's always critical to keep in mind that some of the players on any team will move forward over the summer, some will remain in a static state and some will regress. Coupling that with 'determining' the impact of new (unseen) recruits make the following a fun exercise but not much else.

It's Rodney Terry time now for Fresno State basketball as the former Texas assistant needs to ready his program for entry into the tougher Mountain West Conference a year hence.

But first comes the 2011-12 WAC season.

Go big or go home is a sometimes uttered sports phrase and as for living large in Bulldog land, it's Daquan Brown, Kevin Foster and Bracken Funk, meaning 6-foot-9 and 215, 6-foot-8 and 220 plus 6-foot-7, 240. There's nary a battleship among the trio but certainly athletic ability with the first two and a physical banger in Funk. Another one to make it a quartet is seriously needed, especially considering Brown and Foster are making the transition from JUCO and the fact that Funk averaged 6.4 points and 3.9 boards overall -- while not bad for a frosh -- but his stats diminished in league play and his shooting percentage finished at 41%.

PTW doesn't see 6-foot-7 Jerry Brown having membership among the bigs as some have posted elsewhere.

But Terry has announced his class so seemingly that's it for newcomers, meaning no fourth big.

Terry could really enjoy the flavor of a hot wing and there's a mighty Bulldog hope that 6-foot-7 sophomore redshirt Givon Crump will become a points producer. He had somewhat of a rep for scoring as a prep talent but didn't play much (15 games, 43 minutes) in his initial year at Baylor so any jury remains out at this point.

Jerry Brown and walkon Bennie Rhodes fill out the wing spots. The former missed last season due to injury and enjoyed a degree of success in taking the ball to the hoop as a freshman. His beyond-the-paint shooting prowess has yet to be established.

The latter is a backup.

Crump appears to have more range than Brown and that asset will be sorely needed in 2011-12.

The backcourt at shooting guard is manned by Kevin Oleikabe, Garrett Johnson, Tyler Johnson and juco transfer Larry McGaughey. The latter could also see some time at the wing.

Oleikabe is point size at 6-foot-1 but performs best as a scorer and distance shooter. Garrett did provide eight points a game but 37% overall shooting alongside 32% from long distance won't cut it this season if he expects solid playing time. Tyler Johnson had his moments as a frosh but struggled from 15 feet on out with his shot attempts. There's certainly playing time to be earned if McGaughey can quickly adjust in his jump from the JC ranks.

The point remains the province of Steven Shepp who maintains a good assist-to-turnover ratio but his shooting, never a strong point, regressed this past season. The Bulldogs may need to go with Oleikabe at the point regardless of his best talent being point production and hope that he can become an effective dual (shoot, pass) threat.

Jonathan Wills' numbers were disappointing and it also lessened as the season wore on -- plus he has to shoot better than 34%.

Julius Bilbrew, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard out of southern California, is the one prep signee for Terry. 

Not landing a prospect offering hope for improvement at the point hurts but give Terry's initial recruiting two-man class (Foster is a Steve Cleveland signee) a pass due to time constraints.


Short and long term, Terry must begin landing Mountain West level talent, with a focus on players from the prep ranks. But for next season, his best contributors will be Foster, D. Brown, Oleikabe and possibly Crump. Tim Steed would have been a surefire starter but for whatever reason(s) he is off in the find-a-new-home galaxy.

Play at the point looks iffy and that's a problem falling into the Must Solve category for the future.

What Fresno State needs in the new season is synergy, the whole being better than the sum of the parts, a la what Idaho achieved this past season. That's difficult to achieve with the variance among so many personalities -- just ask any coach -- but a new coach and new system allows for a fresh beginning

Slim pickin's this morning

Steve Hu (a Rivals sub is required) of the Nor Cal Preps site is reporting on a certain player in one of the many Memorial Day weekend tournaments:

Momir Gataric 6-foot-4 SG Homestead High (Bay Area Ballers 17U) 2011: Gataric has now gotten serious contact from Cal State Northridge and Fresno State. With a solid summer showing, these contacts may turn into offers. Gataric showed a very complete game. With his size and fearlessness of going inside, he scored in bunches for his team.
FWIW, here is some video

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday's WAC roundup

Jason Groves profiles the newest Aggie, point K.C. Ross-Miller.


SJSU Assistant Coach Talvin Hester was selected to participate in an upward bound coaching program.


Justin Rogers reports that San Jose State's Adrian Oliver worked out this week for the Detroit Pistons basketball brain trust.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Saw this headline

First glance at this headline -- "Goodman decommits" -- made me think that Jeff Goodman was not going to CBS Sports and remaining at Fox Sports. For better or worse, that's how the PTW brain rolls.

The world of WAC basketball on Friday

It's inconsequential (so why is PTW posting it?) but there's a spat of sorts taking place between the AD at Louisiana Tech and Keith Richard, the former Tech basketball coach.

The reason for listing it here? Because the pendulum swing between winning and achieving an acceptable APR is always a dilemma for coaches at colleges that don't have access to a wide array of high school and junior college prospects.

Yes, Tech academics weren't what they needed to be at the end of Richard's Ruston tenure and they did improve during Rupp's time but the latter was let go anyway, primarily because he didn't win enough games.

Rupp is still at LT had his team secured even a mid-teens number of wins in 2010-11. An improving APR provided no life line for him.


In the same vein, new Wyoming Coach Larry Shyatt has some sharp words for coaches he labels as 'sellouts.'

What makes this all more interesting is that Shyatt lists Central Florida Coach Donnie Jones as someone he admires but Jones is dealing with fallout from a recent NY Times article.


The USU Stats site has a new blog and Aggie commit Riley Bradshaw is boosted in a feature article.


Dayton Morinaga talked with JUCO beat reporter Brad Winton about Hawaii's contingent of junior college recruits.


Craig Hislop writes in a column that Utah Valley doesn't have a case against Utah State regarding interference with WAC membership. Tony Jones offers a feature on the subject.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Greg Smith's, Troy Gillenwater 's and Adrian Oliver's numbers

Don't know what the lane agility and modified lane agility tests consist of but Greg Smith did not fare well in either one -- third worst and second worst respectively at the 2011 NBA Combine athletic testing.

In earlier measuring, Smith stood at 6' 9.25" in shoes, weighing 253 pounds. He topped all other players in hand width (12") and tied for first in hand length (9.75"). His body fat percentage measured 7.4 and he displayed a 36" vertical.

Troy Gillenwater stood 6' 8.5", carrying 241 pounds. His body fat percentage registered as 13.7 and he showed a 35" vertical.

Adrian Oliver measured 6' 3" without shoes

Rule changes for next season in college basketball

Here's a brief summary of rule changes for next season.

Thursday's WAC basketball morning edition

Coach Mike White has added a frontcourt transfer with three years to play (maybe an Olu clone if he adds some pounds?) from Ole Miss to the Louisiana Tech roster. He doesn't appear in the 2010-12 Mississippi stats so maybe he redshirted last season.


Colorado State is the winner of the Daniel Bejarano (the transfer from Arizona) sweepstakes. Nevada got a visit and PTW thought Fresno State might be in the mix but that was never mentioned in any of the media reports.

Here's another report that makes it appear it was between CSU and Nevada.


Ferd Lewis writes that UH, the Stan Sheriff Center specifically, is getting a new bell or whistle (take your pick).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A little more on Olu Ashaolu

Head here and here (especially the latter) for more on Olu Ashaolu's commitment to Oregon.

Was it the court that convinced him?

Wednesday and the world of WAC hoops

Brad Rock writes about a USU change of mind regarding a neighbor.


The best PTW can do after the opener -- at least for now -- is offer some APR features:

Ferd Lewis writes about academics and UH athletics.

Here's the report from the WAC including links.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

K.C. Ross-Miller to New Mexico State

All credit for locating this one goes to wacbasketballfan who posted the information at the Sports Trough MB on the AggieAlert.com site.

Miller, who has three seasons of eligibility remaining, will team with senior Hernst Laroche at the point and give opponents an alternative look. This should also allow Aggie fans to breathe easier on the issue of who is going to replace Laroche after the 2011-12 season.

Olu Ashaolu...to Oregon

Justin Young checks in with the news that Olu Ashaolu has gone web, as in the Oregon Ducks and Coach Dana Altman.

Would love to know what that earlier tweet was about.

The Tuesday WAC basketball report

Dayton Morinaga has more on Hawaii's venture to the Far East.


Here's a Fresno State athletics release summarizing Coach Rodney Terry's initial recruiting class.


AW Prince writes about an upcoming Nevada visit from a big, someone really large. Here's hoping Mr. Armstead signs with a team featuring a crimson type uniform color because Arik the Red would be a moniker Chris Berman would diet for.


Teddy Feinberg writes about Gordo Castillo's heading to Mexico. Here's a second Feinberg article on the subject.

Jason Groves features NMSU sports and the once completely dreaded NCAA APR.


Bill Oram writes about mission returnee Josh Sharp and Utah hoops. Who knows at this point how the situation will play out but right now the young man cannot consider a move to Utah State or BYU.

Olu Ashaolu to Texas?

Former Louisiana Tech frontcourter Olu Ashaolu has cast his lot with Texas, this per a Myck Kabongo (fellow Canadian who will be a freshman at Longhorn U) tweet that has since been deleted.

Ashaolu tweeted this a few minutes ago: "An announcement is soon aproaching...stay tuned"

The mystery continues.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The figuring out of Idaho's scholarship count

Earlier today, we previewed the 2011-2012 Idaho squad but were confused about who was and wasn't on scholarship.

Two Vandal fans quickly responded, offering the same link to a Mark Nelke-penned feature in the CDAPress.

Gaylen Wood wrote:

"I think the answer to the scholarship/numbers questions can be found in this article from the Coeur d'Alene Press. In the lower half of the article it sounds like is Idaho is maxed out on scholarships this year Hill will pay his own way and then receive a scholarship next year. Washington State wanted him as an "invited walk-on" but apparently could not make that commitment."
GoVandals1893 wrote:
You asked for help regarding Idaho's number of scholarships being 1 over the limit. I believe one of the new recruits (Connor Hill) may be a walk-on and pay his own way for his first year and then earn a scholarship the next year - according to this article.
Thanks guys for both the answer and the quickness in sending it along.

Marsell Holden to Morehead State

Per this Brad Winton tweet, San Jacinto College shooting guard Marsell Holden, a New Mexico State recruiting target, has decided to play at Morehead State.

MSU, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, finished 25-10 this past season and power forward Kenneth Faried is going to be a first-round selection in the NBA draft. The Eagles beat Louisville in the Big Dance before losing to Richmond. 

Holden played prep ball in Pennsylvania and Kentucky is much closer to home than New Mexico but we have yet to read anything about the why of his choice.

PTW got lucky is 'predicting' Shaq Stokes choosing Hawaii and, although we didn't post this, thought Holden would go with the Aggies. You never know.

As far as we can determine, K.C. Ross-Miller, another NMSU target, remains uncommitted. he's not the offensive threat Holden is but is a better passer.

Gordo Castillo lands a job

Jason Groves reports that New Mexico State shooting guard Gordo Castillo is headed south to play for a former Aggie.

Digging into Idaho basketball 2011-12

Not to downplay what appears below but it's always critical to keep in mind that some of the players on any team will move forward over the summer, some will remain in a static state and some will regress. Coupling that with 'determining' the impact of new (unseen) recruits make the following a fun exercise but not much else.

Minus Jeff Ledbetter, Shawn Henderson and Brandon Wiley,  Idaho Coach Don Verlin needs to find a way of replicating the 2010-11 season where less talent was overcome through much improved cohesion. But that's a task so much easier typed and talked about than achieved.

Kyle Barone and Joe Kammerer return in the middle.  The former is PTW's candidate to earn a guest appearance on the new A&E show "Breakout Kings" as he appears poised to make a much more indelible impression in WAC basketball circles. this coming season. In 26 minutes an outing, he averaged 10.5 points (shooting 61%) and 5.8 rebounds with a body desperately in need of at least 20 more pounds. With a summer to add muscle, PTW expects Barone to be an All-WAC first or second team selection come 2011-12.

Kammerer looks to be a career backup.

Djim Bandoumel appears lost to the academic vortex but Luis Toledo returns and he's a decent inside scorer who needs to up his rebounding totals a bit.

6-foot-9 Wendell Faines is coming in from Saddleback College and he'll be the backup in the middle although he and Barone will also pair up at times. He was the co-MVP of the Orange Empire Conference in southern California (in a down year for talent in the league) and produced 13.6 points (56% overall shooting, 78% at the foul line), 8.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks a game. Faines is a WAC-level talent who will probably have the greatest effect on the boards.

Dazmond Starke at 6-foot-6, 260 pounds is another junior college transfer who will be in the frontline rotation. He signed a letter-of-intent with UTEP in the fall signing period but was released from it when Coach Tim Floyd eventually desired other frontcourters. Starke and Toledo will share time.

Look for Idaho to have a very solid in-the-paint game this coming season based upon having one of the better group of bigs in the WAC.

However, some outside sharpshooting will be needed to keep defenses honest since Ledbetter is taking his 45% long distance success rate with him.

Deremy Geiger comes up first among the returning wing/backcourt talent but his 32%/31% shooting numbers need to be dramatically upgraded. With his quickness, he should also have more than 24 steals in 32 games.

Landon Tatum looks to be up for the role of starting point (he led the squad in assists) but PTW's hunch is that he's more effective as a change of pace coming off the bench. His shooting prowess also needs to head north.

Stephen Madison looked good at times, especially for a freshman, and his 11+ minutes a game playing time should increase if he can improve his shooting accuracy.

Here are  the newcomers.

6-foot-5 Matt Borton redshirted last season and he brings a canny awareness to the court. He's not ultra quick nor an explosive leaper but he knows how to play (as the son of a coach) and should eventually be a glue-type guy.

6-foot-3 junior college transfer Mike McChristian will add positives all across the stat sheet and is a prime candidate at the point.

Xavier Bazile is a 6-foot-4 190-pound athletic freshman who seems a likely redshirt candidate.

Juco transfer Mansa Habeeb stands 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds and possesses dribble-drive shooting ability (51% overall, 32% from three, 64% from the foul line in 172 attempts).

6-foot-5 Anthony Jones is also out of the juco ranks with decent scoring and shooting stats.

Like Bazile, 6-foot-2 Idaho native and freshman Connor Hill just may be another redshirt candidate, depending on shooting adventures of his fellow backcourters.

* PTW needs Vandal fans to help out here. The players listed above total one more scholarship players on the roster than allowed. Is there a scholarship issue with Kammerer? Borton? Hill? Bazille?


Reproducing ephemeral 'magic' is nearly impossible to do in consecutive seasons but Idaho should be quite competitive if a consistent long distance shooter (or two) can be found.

Monday's world of WAC basketball

Tony Jones fleshes out the Jarred Shaw transfer to Utah State.


For the Fresno State fans wondering about the next destination of St. John's transfer Dwayne Polee -- it's San Diego State, especially with UNLV having just landed USC transfer Bryce Jones.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bryce Jones to UNLV

USC wing transfer Bryce Jones has committed to UNLV. New Mexico State and others were among the pursuers.

Sunday's WAC-aroo

Brian McInnis writes about how UH basketball's upcoming trip to Asia impressively came together. It's a blessing and quite an asset to be the sole D-1 university repping a state.


"Tim Steed isn't a superstar or even all-conference, but he was still Fresno State's third-best player last season behind Greg Smith and Kevin Olekaibe.
If new coach Rodney Terry can produce a winner with this roster, we'll be equal parts impressed and surprised."
PTW feels at least one new player will still be arriving in the San Joaquin, be it a point or a big.

That's it for now.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday's WAC basketball report

PTW is loaded with entries today -- watch tomorrow to be barren.

Jason Groves has a dose-of-realism blog entry up responding to a comment on his previous post. In it, he addresses an Aggie weakness of last season and the prospects of a newcomer's effect.


Dayton Morinaga is back with a look at Zane Johnson's summer school of sorts. The portion about manning the point is very interesting.


treesap32 has posted about yet another 2011 big possibility for Utah State -- a D-1 transfer -- on the Stew's Spectrum MB at the USUFans.com site.

Here's a link about the young man's emancipation from OK State. Here is another.


Brandon Tatera, in reporting on the recent Double Pump event in southern California, wrote this as part of his article (a Rivals sub is required):

"Marcel Davis (2012/American Fold High School/ Utah Pump N Run Red) 
Utah State is getting a good one in Davis. He has good size for a point guard at 6'2 and knows how to make the game easier for others by setting them up perfectly. Davis is also good off the dribble"

Matt Prehm (Mr. Oregon Ducks athletics) has tweeted on Olu Ashaolu:
"Olu Ashaolu has completed his official visits to Oregon, Texas, and SDSU. Arrived home late last night. Also considering Xavier"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday's WAC roundup

Omar McDade, a former Logan High star who went off to Sheridan College for two years, has signed with Fort Hays State. The reason we post this is because the article mentions Idaho at one time had offered.


Sam Wasson at his Bleed Crimson site notes Aggie interest in a Gonzaga transfer.


Jim Hilley talks with Coach Marvin Menzies in a Las Cruces Bulletin article.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Utah State with interest in a big?

Jim Basnight, with solid basketball bonafides in his background, writes a blog covering Washington hoops as well as PAC-12 basketball. In his most recent post on May 17, he mentions Utah State being in the running for

"...Another player from the Canary Basketball Academy (CBA) that is considering UW is Marek Soucek. According to Husky Haul, Soucek will decide between UW, Gonzaga, Utah State, Providence "and a few others". Soucek is a face up post with skills, but not much of a banger or inside scorer, which is what UW seriously needs to improve their chances in post season play..."
Here is a five minute YouTube video on the young man who stands 7-feet tall and weighs 235 pounds.  He's 21, out of the Czech Republic and currently playing Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain.

Is it Oregon for Olu Ashaolu?

Jim Basnight, with solid basketball bonafides in his background, writes a blog covering Washington hoops as well as PAC-12 basketball. In it, he makes mention of the school he perceives as Olu Ashaolu's favorite:

"...Another potential Pac-12 2012 draft pick is possible one year Louisiana Tech transfer Olu Ashaolu, who Husky Digest sources feel is likely to go to Oregon, with Texas in the 2nd spot..."

What's up with Royce Woolridge?

Guard Royce Woolridge is leaving Kansas and has visited Washington State (this May 12 article also includes his interest in Utah Stanford and Pepperdine), Utah (this April 25 article includes a Nevada mention) and Nevada (that's the sole school mentioned in this April 28 article).

So it doesn't look like any other WAC team is in the running. PTW thought Fresno State would make a run (and maybe they tried).

It looks like he will decide in June.

Digging into Hawaii basketball 2011-12

Not to downplay what appears below but it's always critical to keep in mind that some of the players on any team will move forward over the summer, some will remain in a static state and some will regress. Coupling that with 'determining' the impact of new (unseen) recruits make the following a fun exercise but not much else.

Here's Coach Gib Arnold's current roster:

Dillon Biggs SF 6-foot-6 & 200 FR
Gerry Blakes SG 6-foot-4 & 175 FR
Hauns Brereton SF 6-foot-7 & 205 JR
Dominick Brumfield PF 6-foot-8 & 220 JR
Vander Joaquim PF 6-foot-10 & 240 JR
Zane Johnson SG 6-foot-6 & 210 SR
Bobby Miles PG 6-foot-1 & 190 SO
Pi'i Minns SG 6-foot-4 & 180 SO Walk-on
DeShawn Mitchell SF 6-foot-5 & 205 JR
Davis Rozitis PF 7-foot-0 & 215 SO
Ronnie Stevens PF 6-foot-8 & 225 FR
Shaquille Stokes PG 5-foot-10 & 160 FR
Jace Tavita SG 6-foot-4 & 205 JR Walk-on
Joston Thomas PF 6-foot-7 & 225 SR
Trevor Wiseman SF 6-foot-7 & 210 SO

That breaks down to Vander Joaquim, Davis Rozitis, Joston Thomas, Dominick Brumfield and Ronnie Stevens upfront.

Joaquim and Thomas should be the starters, the former a lock, the latter a strong probability. Joaquim and Rositis are the centers and it will be equally interesting to see if Joaquim can take his effectiveness up another notch or two like he did this past season and if Rozitis can contribute at this level (the PAC-10 was simply an overreach).

Thomas has to demonstrate he both understands and accepts where on the court he can contribute the most and simply forget the trey ball (of which his accuracy was 15%). There's also no way he should be at 45% overall shooting although his long distance attempts are dragging down this number. Bill Amis has departed so his minutes are there for the earning.

Brumfield is an unknown. He underwent microfracture knee surgery and basically disappeared from sight this past season. Again, playing time is available if he can take advantage of the opportunity and UH would be a much stronger team if he asserts himself as a solid forward option.

Stevens will be brought along slowly this season unless injuries create an opening.

The so-called 'Smalls' upfront are Trevor Wiseman, Hauns Brereton, DeShawn Mitchell and Dillon Biggs at the wing with a bit of two guard mixed in. Brereton has the most complete game, bringing in shooting and rebounding, Wiseman is the team's top defender and energy supplier while Mitchell, the ultimate in hit-and-miss recruits, could really help with dribble-drive scoring which is a need on the squad.

Brereton did go to the foul line 193 times last season in community college ball, so that combined with his catch-and-shoot talent, makes him the odds-on favorite for starting at the wing but he may have to play some four depending on the development of others.

The lefty Mitchell had previous stops at Rider and UNLV (did we miss any?) and seemingly is in a similar category as Joston Thomas was this season. That being he needs to earn the PT he desires or some resulting attitude may get displayed. But Mitchell has run out of possibilities if he wishes to play D-1 ball as yet another transfer isn't feasible. He can help the Rainbow Warriors if he buys in and plays the role designed for him by the coaches.

Wiseman will get his minutes because he does the dirtywork coaches relish plus he's a strong rebounder for his size.

Biggs has solid potential but the body isn't there yet -- in fact, he might be a redshirt candidate.

There are certainly a lot of interchangeable upfront parts to tinker with here.

As for strictly guards, it's Zane Johnson, Bobby Miles, Jace Tavita, Shaquille Stokes and Gerry Blakes.

Johnson can also play some at the three spot but should be employed major minutes as a shooter-scorer in the backcourt. Developing a fill-in (and eventual replacement) for him is a necessary goal for the upcoming season. Can frosh Gerry Blakes do just that? Right now, he's more of a transition talent so monitor his shooting prowess and progress.

Miles, Tavita and Stokes are the candidates for running the show, until Miah Ostrowski returns in December or so from playing slotback on the football squad. Miles was effective early on but hit a bit of a wall as the season progressed. Stokes, even as a freshman, looks like the likeliest candidate to earn the early-on starting nod. Tavita, a Utah transfer, is a January eligible who looks like he has some passing and defending skills.


With Bill Amis gone, this is Zane Johnson's team and him remaining healthy all season is a must.

PTW sees Brereton as the next leading UH scorer and second best distance shooter, with Thomas and Mitchell falling in next. For the sake of harmony, these are roles best suited for each. But Joaquim needs to get his portion of shots too so it's going to be a fascinating situation to study.

Stokes needs to be the real deal from the get-go at the point.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Olu Ashaolu's road trip continues

Per Adam Zagoria, Olu Ashaolu has worked his way down the west coast and is now at San Diego State.

Hawaii's JC recruits get some love

Brad Winton has UH ranked seventh in junior college recruiting classes. PTW isn't so sure about the outside shooting prowess of DeShawn Mitchell though.

More on Justin Edwards going with Maine

Gilbert Muako writes about Justin Edwards' commitment to Maine, including quotes from the young man. He went with his earliest suitor.

WAC early entries in the NBA draft

Dan Hinxman caught this peculiar Western Athletic Conference/NBA draft statistic.

Fresno State lands a wing

After being the one with the scoop about the visit and posting the news at the Save Mart Center MB @ the Barkboard site, Americanbulldog has followed up with the news that Larry McGaughey has signed with Fresno State basketball.

According to Rivals, the 6-foot-5 McGaughey visted the San Joaquin on May 6. He is attending Lawson State Community College in Alabama. 

It looks like in the 2009 season that McGaughey averaged 18 points per game last season on 44% overall shooting, 37% from long distancde. In 19 games, he earned 40 free throw attempts.

This past season, he averaged 13 points a contest, shooting 46% overall and 32% from three. McGaughey went to the line 57 times. He grabbed just under four boards each time out.

He was selected to the Alabama Community College Conference North First Team.

Here is a report featuring McGaughey in a 2008 high school game.

Here's a May 16 Scout feature about South Alabama's interest in McGaughey.

JucoJunction lists him as the #35 in it's national junior college rankings.

This article has him as a First Team NJCAA men's basketball Division II All American.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Darshawn McClellan to UL

Graduated Vanderbilt Commodore frontcourter Darshawn McClellan has chosen UL as Joshua Parrott details. Fresno State and San Jose State were mentioned in conjunction with McClellan but it seemed early on that he was headed to the Bayou State.

Zeke Chapman to the Midwest

Per Brian Snow, one time Utah State recruiting target Zeke Chapman has aligned himself with Ball State of the Mid-American Conference.

Daniel Bejarano visiting Nevada

Per this Jason Scheer tweet, Arizona freshman transfer Daniel Bejarano is on site checking out the Nevada campus and basketball program.

A nationally heralded talent coming out of high school, he played but 30 minutes this past season and star Wildcat recruits Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson are incoming freshman and expected to earn major minutes.

Everything printed about Bejarano's departure has been filled with superlatives about his character and team-centric focus.

One report PTW read (can't find it now) indicated Bejarano being more of a catch-and-shoot player than a creative talent and possessing decent but not topnotch athleticism.

Rafer Alston to coach high school

Former Fresno State backcourter Rafer Alston has accepted the head coaching position at the Humble Christian Life Center in the Lone Star State.

Smith listed late

The latest mock draft from the Draft Express folks has Fresno State's Greg Smith going 59th to the San Antonio Spurs. Troy Gillenwater and Adrian Oliver are not listed and, if true to form, such may actually work out in their respective favor because they won't be tied to a certain team. Their agents will seek what is deemed the best fit regarding NBA tryouts.

More on Nevada recruiting

A.W. Prince at the Silver and Blue Sports site has a new article up -- PTW is subtitling it 'Now or Later?' -- on Nevada basketball recruiting (a sub is required).

Taking it on the road

Brian McInnis reports that UH hoops is headed to China and Japan come August.


San Jose State University is traveling to Rome in August.

What will be fascinating to watch is if Hawaii and/or SJSU land any future recruits from the countries they are visiting.

On the culinary side, gotta go with the choice of the Spartans although PTW is sure the sushi-ites reading this will beg to differ.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Justin Edwards to be a Black Bear

Christophe at his European Prospects Twitter account tweeted this with the hour:

@ChristopheEPcom EuropeanProspects

Not a European prospect, but we were told right now that Justin Edwards from Canada verbally committed to play for UMaine
Maine is a member of the American East Conference with two sophomore frontcourters from Canada already on the roster.

A Greg Smith update

Here is some print and video from the Draft Express folks on former Fresno Stater Greg Smith working out in Las Vegas in preparation for going on tour prior to the NBA draft. It requires scrolling down a bit.

The Monday a.m. WAC hoops roundup

It's all New Mexico State so far. 

Jason Groves writes about 'to be or not to be' question facing the 2011-2012 Aggies.

Remi Barry, who sat out last season, has always been described as a talent with strong offensive potential so he is in the perfect spot.


Is Wendell branching out as has someone usurped his name? Go here. There ought to be royalties involved. ;-)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Sunday pickins' are slim

Doug Doughty has the word on 6-foot-2 Pacific transfer Allen Huddleston heading to the Big East, Boston College in particular. Fans of various WAC teams were hoping the junior would land at their respective school (the item is about halfway down the page).


Former Fresno State big Brandon Webster gets a mention in Max Ivany's latest post at his D1 Nation Prep report site:  

"There was a Brandon Webster sighting in the desert as the 6'10" post was attending the predraft camp at Grand Canyon University when I dropped by to see the workouts and take our guys on a campus visit.When I walked in to Grand Canyon University yesterday to watch some of the predraft workouts, I hear a 'What's up Coach Max?' from Texas D1 Ambassadors & Bryan High alum Brandon Webster. Big Webb has lost weight and looks good as he looks to continue his pro career.  He was in El Salvador most recently. Best of luck, Webb from the D1 Ambassadors Family!"

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Paul George honored

With a tip o' the hat to Daniel Lyght (who tweeted it), former Fresno State Bulldog Paul George earned second-team honors on the NBA All Rookie squad.

Olu Ashaolu's next two visits

Justin Young has tweeted that Olu Ashaolu will be hitting Texas next and then San Diego State, all next week. All three schools (counting Oregon) could use what he brings to the court as the Longhorns and the Aztecs are losing a lot of talent and the Ducks need upfront help.

Saturday's WAC items

John Hunt is reporting that Olu Ashaolu is in Eugene this weekend checking out the Oregon basketball program.

Here's an article on Justin Edwards (who is in Fresno this weekend) about his visit to Missouri last weekend.


tsbiet at the Northpolehoops twitter account is writing that 6-foot-10 Dejan Kravic is leaving York U (in Canada) and headed south of the border. Nevada, Florida International, Cal Poly, Tulane and Cal are in the mix.

Don't know the level of the competition but here's a mighty interesting tape on Kravic. Here is another.

Here is a May 2011 article on the young man.


It's not WAC-related but a very good read: SI's Bruce Schoenfeld offers a lengthy feature on the 'glamorous' life of a college basketball assistant, in this case Washington's Raphael Chillious.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A bit more on New Mexico State recruiting

A little crimson birdie who tweets the words to the "Aggie Fight Song" at sunrise each morning has informed PTW that it's an academic issue slowing down the Marsell Holden - New Mexico State connection. Keep your fingers crossed Aggie fans.

As for K.C. Ross-Miller, it's simply a matter of waiting for him making the decision about where he wants to play. NMSU is still in the running.

A good read about Wendell McKines

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News has a feature based on an interview with former Richmond High star Wendell McKines who is entering his senior season at New Mexico State.

Friday's WAC report

Not sure what happened to the PTW posts from Wednesday and Thursday but they've made a break and gone missing. Do let me know about any sightings. ;-(

Jason Groves has a great article on New Mexico State team leader Wendell McKines.


Jeff Davis has the details on Tim Steed's departure from Fresno State. There is obviously more to it than what is listed as Steed has but one season of eligibility remaining and certainly would have played plenty of minutes in 2011-2012. He was suspended for three games in late February for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Greg Smith update

Adam Zagoria reports (it will take some scrolling down) that Greg Smith is on the list of invitees to next week's Chicago pre-draft camp. No Troy Gillenwater or Adrian Oliver.

Thursday's WAC-aroo

Okay, we need the New Mexico State fans to chime in on this one -- why the drawing out of the process in both K.C. Ross-Miller or Marsell Houlden making their respective calls?

Ross-Miller has made three or four commitments during his various periods of eligibility and always mentions fairly high level possible destinations when asked about his next destination. NMSU would be a terrific place for his talent level and he would see early playing time. Plus, it would be close to his family home in Texas.

Houlden is smaller at 5-foot-11 but a better distance shooter and scorer (231 of his 285 shot attempts this past season were three-point tires, made 41%). Out of Pennsylvania and then San Jacinto Junior College in Texas, he would bring the scoring explosiveness that disappeared when Jahmar Young and Jonathan Gibson departed Las Cruces.

May 18 is the cutoff date for a letter-of-intent although recruits can sign a non-binding financial agreement after that date.


San Jose State University has landed 6-foot-3 Aptos High guard Nick Grieves (scroll down after clicking on the link) as an invited walk-on. 


Let's call this a trade of sorts:

Utah State reserve walk-on Brad Brown has found a new Utah home.This is from the Westminster site.

Utah State hoops is adding walk-on Sam Orchard, a point out of Salt Lake City whose brother plays at Westminster College.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday's world of WAC basketball

Brian Mcinnis is back with a full-length writeup on Shaquille Stokes' nod to Hawaii, even invoking a connection to Jesus Shuttlesworth (Spike, that was such a delicious name choice). Plus, Brian found time to do a blog entry.

Per Dave Reardon, unlike a certain salsa and picante sauce, Hawaii hoops is extremely happy Stokes earned his bones in New York City.


Vote early and often on the Troy Gillenwater question posed by the Las Cruces Sun-News (left hand side). At least the LCSN isn't requiring voters to display their baptismal or circumcision certificate a la a push by certain Arizona legislators. Small government indeed.


Shawn Harrison writes about Gary Wilkinson's season in NZ.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shaq stoked about Hawaii

New York City point Shaquille Stokes has made his college decision -- get ready to nestle a lei around his neck once he arrives this summer.

The announcement coverage includes Adam Zagoria, Brian McInnis, Dayton Morinaga and Hawaii athletics

Tuesday's a.m. WAC basketball report

David Folse II has been busy at the BleedTechBlue site, producing two features on the latest signees of Coach Mike White. One is on shooter Raheem Appleby, the other about passer Kenneth Smith (a Rivals sub is required for both).


Dayton Morinaga lays out the case for recruit Shaq Stokes to select UH.


It's now official: Daniel Lyght reports that Coach Rodney Terry has filled out his coaching staff.

Monday, May 9, 2011

This kid is building a rep

Backcourter Justin Edwards sure isn't hurting his chances of nabbing a D-1 schollie (Fresno State and others are interested). Here's the latest, part of an article by Luc Stevenson about a basketball tourney this weekend up in Eh? Land:
Justin Edwards 6’2 CG Whitby Wildcats 2011

MVP from this tournament without a doubt. Had an offensive outburst to match Presutti’s in the semi-final game against Burlington with 42 pts. 3 point range is getting deeper, opponents beware, Edwards is pushing for big things and has a great future ahead of him.

A note on Fresno State recruiting target Kevin Edwards

Gilbert Muako is tweeting:

"2011 SG Justin Edwards says he will not visit Fresno State tomorrow as first scheduled, instead he'll visit May 11-13"

Monday's thin (so far) WAC-itude

The departure of an All-League player such as Troy Gillenwater is always seen as a minus and understandably so. But the subtraction also provides opportunity because every talent has deficits. What Coach Marvin Menzies needs to do is field others on his roster who can provide the now missing inside/outside scoring and the ability to get his own shot (the latter will be the hardest to replicate) plus some rebounding.

But what Menzies also has the chance to improve on is better individual and team defense plus the all important team chemistry.

If Remi Berry is the real thing and not rust laden (he has been sidelined for two years), if the young frontcourters already on the team step up and if a creative point/scorer and/or a creative two guard/scorer sign on, then the effect of Gillenwater's absence can be lessened.


Brian McInnis' next post will be titled "and then there was one" regarding Shaq Stokes.

As for the accuracy of our predictions (PTW sees Stokes not having any compelling reason to select Colorado State), we think we hit on more than we miss with our forecasts but don't keep track. However, it's worth noting that Vegas has yet to offer us a lucrative contract to come and earn money for the house. We all should know soon if the PTW's face has a look of satisfaction or is covered with egg.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Goodby Mr. G

Jason Groves has the scoop: Troy Gillenwater is remaining in the group of NBA draft eligibles.

PTW ample gut says this was decided some time ago and we wish him professional success.

The Aggie frontline youngsters just became laden with both opportunity and pressure.

In a gender-bending take, Stew Morrill got a gift on Mother's Day.

Olu Ashaolu to spend another year in college

Alex Kline is reporting that former Louisiana Tech forward Olu Ashaolu has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will decide among four college suitors.

An unsolicited piece of advice: choose a school with at least one if not two actual centers on the roster plus another power forward present because the NBA wants to witness a face-the-basket game from you.

Shaq Stokes down to two

Alex Kline is reporting this:

"2011 Lincoln (NY) PG Shaq Stokes will make his college choice this week between Hawaii & Colorado State"

Colorado State is an up-and-coming program in a solid basketball conference -- the MWC -- and rejuvenated under Coach Tim Miles (who should start getting consideration for higher level positions). It's a much shorter flight home for visits than Hawaii but PTW's gut is indicating that Stokes will make UH his choice.

The connection of Stokes' high school coach to Gib Arnold, the opportunity for immediate PT plus a starting spot and, of course, the weather is what is driving this opinion.

The WAC on Mom's Day

The G-Man headlines it today.

Teddy Feinberg and Jason Groves team up on the to be or not to be a collegian or a pro decision coming up for Troy Gillenwater.


It looks like Gary Wilkinson will be back with his championship New Zealand team next season.


Here's another article on Mike McChristian's signing with Idaho.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A pair of USU recruiting notes

Purported 2012 Utah State 'big' of interest Lucas O'Brien has an offer, this one from Northern Arizona as Anthony Ray reports (a Rivals sub is required).

Also per Anthony Ray, 6-foot-9 Jonathan Underwood has cast his lot with Cal State Fullerton (a Rivals sub is required). The article mentions Underwood having offers from Utah State and Louisiana Tech at some point. Fullerton is known as Transfer U and Underwood is coming from Missouri. What's curious is that the Titan program isn't known for producing productive bigs but Underwood left the Show Me state to be closer to his father.

Some Olu Ashaolu updates

Regarding the NBA draft workout in New Jersey, Nolan Shulman has tweeted via Ryan Feldman:

Olu Ashaolu recorded a 36.5" vertical leap
Feldman himself tweeted:
After talking w/ NBA people here at the Nets Combine, the biggest winners today were Olu Ashaolu, Jamine Peterson and Diante Garrett.

Saturday a.m. and the state/world/galaxy of WAC basketball

Matt James is departing the Fresno Bee and that's a negative all the way around. Newspapers are in a very tough spot but giving subscribers less of a reason to remain on board isn't the answer.


A hearty congratulations goes out to New Mexico State point Hernst Laroche for earning his B.A. in three years -- this while participating in basketball. Talk about a major achievement!

PTW did it in five at three different schools while playing nothing although financial survival might qualify as a life sport.

Brian McInnis writes about "Shaq in the house" and this weekend's visit is a result of a connection between Gib Arnold and a high school coach in New York City.


The Idaho basketball program has announced its various awards:
The Idaho men's basketball team held its annual banquet on Tuesday to celebrate another solid season that ended with an 18-14 record and a second berth in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.

Idaho finished third in the Western Athletic Conference, posted a top-25 upset for the second year in a row and defied every preseason prediction with its most wins since 1994.

"As I told the guys at the banquet, I thought we had a great season," Head coach Don Verlin said. "We overachieved, and the team got better after every practice and every game. We had three seniors and every one of them had a great year for us, and most importantly, they're all graduating.

"I've had a chance to look back at this season and I feel great about it, they feel great about it."

Senior guard Jeff Ledbetter broke Idaho's single-season 3-point field goals record and led the Vandals with a 12.8 scoring average. He was honored as a second-team all-WAC selection, as voted by the league's coaches, and was also honored once as a WAC Athlete of the Week.

Ledbetter earned Idaho's Ronald White Award, which has been given every season since 1947 to the team's most outstanding player, as voted by his teammates.

The Oz Thompson Award, which is dedicated to the memory of a member of Idaho's 1923 Pacific Coast Conference championship team, honors the member who best inspires sportsmanship, scholarship and leadership. This year, the award was split between junior Landon Tatum and senior Brandon Wiley.

Tatum was honored a second time on Tuesday with the George Green Award, which has been given since 1989 to the team's most unselfish player and/or leader in assists. Tatum led Idaho with 97 dishes this year, and led the WAC with a 2.20 (97:44) assist-to-turnover ratio.

Senior Shawn Henderson took home the Jay Gano Award, which was first awarded in 1952. The award is named for a former Vandal letterwinner who was killed in action during the Korean War in 1951, and honors the player who is voted most inspirational by his teammates.

The Gus Johnson Award is named for the Vandal legend and Naismith Hall of Fame inductee who averaged 19.3 points and 20.3 rebounds in his one season at Idaho. Sophomore Kyle Barone claimed the award, which was created in 1988 and is given to the team's top rebounder or top defender.

Barone also broke the Western Athletic Conference career conference-only field goal percentage record this year. Through 32 career WAC games, the sophomore center is shooting 63.1 percent from the floor, which breaks the previous record of 62.0, which was set by Utah's Danny Vranes in 1981.

Redshirt freshman Joe Kammerer, who has a 3.49 overall GPA in Digital Media and Broadcasting, earned the team's Kathy Clark Scholar-Athlete Award. The award is named for the former Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator who served 25 years in the Idaho Athletics department and helped build the foundation for women's athletics at the school. The award is given to one player from each team every season.

Verlin said the thing that left him most pleased about the awards, all of which are voted upon by the players, was that they reflected the characteristics that made the team so successful during the season.

"Six awards, six different names," Verlin said. "If there was one thing this team was this year, it was balanced. I think that's what made this team hard to guard. We were very unselfish, we played together well and we trusted each other, and that's what gave this team the chance to succeed."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tony Jones with more on USU 2011-2012

Tony Jones writes about what he believes the Utah State roster will look like this coming season and notes the expectation that Norvell Arnold will be an Aggie despite recent legal troubles.

More on Shaquille Stokes

Dayton Morinaga writes about 2011 point Shaquille Stokes visiting the islands. No word yet if a surfing lesson is involved.

Anthony Odunsi heads to the Beehive State

Jim Hicks is reporting that onetime Hawaii recruiting target Anthony Odunsi has made the call and it's Utah.

Shaq Stokes visiting Hawaii

Per Alex Kline, NYC prep point Shaw Stokes is in the islands for the weekend. The temperatures are going to be in the mid to low 80s in Honolulu, 67-68 degrees in the Big Apple but with memories of Snowzilla still fresh. Most importantly, the UH starting point position is open for the taking.

Tyrone White to Cal State Bakersfield

Per Brad Winton's Twitter account, former Utah State player Tyrone White has cast his lot with new Coach Rod Barnes at Cal State Bakersfield. White scored 12.6 points per game last season on 43% overall shooting, 35% from long distance. He grabbed just under six rebounds a contest.

Another Greg Smith workout

Rodger Bohn has tweeted that former Fresno State center Greg Smith is working out for the New York Knicks.

New Fresno State assistant?

FresnoRocks has posted at the Barkboard Save Mart Center MB that a Fresno area media guy is saying that former DePaul, Richmond and UNC Wilmington mentor Jerry Wainwright is in as a Bulldog assistant coach. Rodney Terry and Wainwright worked together at the latter.

A very lean Friday

Not much to post so far this a.m.

A.W. Prince has posted (a sub is required) the news about the NCAA adopting a rules change that will require adding to the markings on the court.

Here is the subject AW is writing about, plus more areas of discussion the coaches are working on to better. 


Just asking: are Raheem Appleby's (Louisiana Tech's latest addition) parents fans of Spike Lee's filmmaking talents, in particular 1989's "Do The Right Thing"?


For those who missed it yesterday, in Jason Jones' latest interview with new LT Coach Mike White, the latter offers two critical insights:

“Are we going to go out and sign a junior college All-American or a transfer with just one or two years left,” asked White. “We’re going to evaluate those situations of course, but that’s not us. The main goal is not to win win as many games as we can next year, it’s to build this program.”
In three years, I think you will see a different kind of raw athlete across our roster. I’d love to play as fast as we can and press and run as much as possible.”
The hiring of a new coach frees up the any fixation on the requirement to win right away. It allows the time for another attempt at rebuilding, minus the pressure that comes for a coach in place for a few years. PTW predicted earlier that White would sign two or three JUCO transfers (plus some high schoolers) for a shot at a level of immediate stability but that doesn't appear the route or timetable he is taking.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Idaho gets another

SeldomSeenSmith is branching out -- on the GoVandals.net basketball MB, he's reporting that Yuba College point Mike McChristian has aligned himself with Coach Don Verlin and Idaho. The young man will help the Vandals in a lot of ways -- look for him to be a candidate for the All-WAC defense squad.

Thursday's world of WAC hoops

Tony Jones writes about Coach Stew Morrill's plans to go all 'Hey Marcel' at the point.


Jason Jones talks with LT Coach Mike White about recruiting and playing style -- look for the Bulldog 'Fast Five' to be the norm.


Jonathan Ford writes that Appleby's coming to Ruston (a Rivals sub is required). Don't know if the 6-foot-2 backcourter is bringing the 2 for 20 menu with him. Here's a YouTube video of the young man.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Canadian point to visit Fresno State

Nolan Shuman recently tweeted this:
"According to text by 2011 SG Justin Edwards (Anderson CVI, ON), he is visiting Missouri tomorrow and Fresno State on the 9th"
Shuman has the 6-foot-2 Edwards ranked as the top 2011 shooting guard in his Canadian rankings. 

Here is a February 15, 2011 feature of Edwards by Shuman.

Fresno State Coach Rodney Terry is utilizing his Canadian connections.

There are a couple of on-line Edwards videos but neither seem worthy of posting.

Carter Warnock to transfer

Anthony Ray has an article up today (a Rivals sub is required) on 6-foot-9 Carter Warnock who spent his freshman year at Eastern Washington but is transferring out due to a coaching change. He's out of the Arizona high school ranks and redshirted his initial season at EW.

No mention is made of any WAC mutual interest but he's a name to remember simply because of his height. Strength was his greatest deficiency coming out of high school and maybe a year off and in the weight room has helped.

Troy Gillenwater's advisor

Someone was wanting to know who is advising Troy Gillenwater in his decision about the NBA draft -- it may involve more than one person but Rick Isaacs is certainly a primary guy.

The following article can no longer be fully accessed which is a shame

With no sneaker support, LA entrepreneur foots the bill
Bob Hohler
Boston Globe
July 24, 2006

LOS ANGELES -- The cellphone rang as Rick Isaacs, an entrepreneur who says he gave up cocaine to help kids chase their basketball dreams, steered his sleek black Mercedes toward the headquarters of his multimillion-dollar business.

The caller wanted one of Isaacs's best prospects, Boston native Troy Gillenwater, to attend a college camp for elite high school players. But Isaacs, who coaches the Los Angeles-based H Squad, one of the nation's top youth travel teams, wanted none of it.
"Troy doesn't have the money," Isaacs told the caller as he weaved his six-figure roadster through traffic. "And it's not in my budget."

Yet Isaacs's basketball budget is rich enough -- he said he spends as much as $100,000 a year out of his pocket -- that teenagers such as Gillenwater entrust their futures to him. Gillenwater, 17, who played most of the 2004-05 season for Charlestown High School, left his family in Mattapan to travel the country with Isaacs after he rejected a similar opportunity with the Nike-backed Boston Amateur Basketball Club.

In an era when a sneaker company sponsors nearly every major youth travel team, Isaacs is a different breed, a coach who underwrites some of the country's top college prospects without corporate support. He said he does it because he enjoys helping potential stars like Gillenwater -- underprivileged youths with academic challenges -- secure college scholarships and a shot at the NBA.

"This is my cocaine," he said. "It's my high."

Along the way, Isaacs said, he has helped pay tuition for several needy players to attend Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, which specializes in helping borderline students meet NCAA academic eligibility standards. The NCAA permits individuals outside a player's family to pay tuition at private secondary schools as long as the individuals are not agents or connected to college or professional teams.

Isaacs, 48, said he also has provided financial support to the mother of Danny Williams, an Oklahoma State recruit from Los Angeles who suffered a serious head injury last year in a car crash. He said he has helped Davon Jefferson, a hotly recruited star of his current team, travel from Los Angeles to the Patterson School in North Carolina. And he said he has helped provide housing and clothing for Gillenwater..."

seldomseensmith nails it again

seldomseensmith does it again, with a scoop telling Utah State basketball fans at the USUFans site/Stew's Spectrum MB that Norvell Arnold isn't coming to Logan because...he has horticultural and other issues.

One other thing that jumped out at us from the linked article: Arnold is 23 and was in the midst of finishing up his AA degree -- we can assuredly say that a mission did not contribute to his age/college status.

Your Wednesday a.m. WAC basketball report

Mike White has lured his second recruit to Ruston, a 6-foot-3 backcourter out of Florida. Jonathan Ford has video. Jonathan also has a writeup on the signing (a Rivals sub is required).

Here is another video courtesy of Ryan Pannone


A.W. Prince has a new recruiting feature up on Nevada hoops (a sub is required).


The Fresno Bee offers more on new Bulldog signee Daquan Brown. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A name from the past, a recruit for now - Darshawn McClellan

6-foot-7 Darshawn McClellan came out of the Fresno area and landed a scholarship at Vanderbilt four years ago. He now has his B.A. degree but with a season of basketball eligibility remaining and he's currently looking for a new school at which to both begin his graduate work and play in his remaining senior season. Possibilities include Fresno State, San Jose State among others.

Read all about it here.

A bit more on Daquan Brown

From Michelle Gardner in the San Bernardino Sun, here's a bit more on Daquan Brown (this is the first PTW has seen Boise State as in the mix):

"Barstow College basketball standout Daquan Brown is headed to Fresno State. Brown was an All-Foothill Conference selection, averaging 11.7 points and 9.8 rebounds in helping the Vikings to their first playoff berth.

Brown, 21, also visited San Jose State, Pepperdine and Boise State before choosing the Bulldogs.

"It just seemed like the best place for me," he said.

Brown, who plans to major in criminology, had originally signed with Oklahoma State out of high school but didn't get through the academic clearinghouse. He ended up at Barstow through the school's assistant coach Kenneth Roy, who knew him from the AAU circuit.

"I thought my basketball career was over so it's nice to be going on to a Division I school," he said. "Everything worked out in the end."

Fresno State went 14-17 overall this past season, but just named a new head coach last month in Rodney Terry, a former assistant at Texas.

Brown's decision gives the Vikings two Division I players. Earlier, guard La Vanne Pennington decided on San Jose State."

Frontcourter Daz Starke to Idaho

With all credit due to Sam Wasson/Bleed Crimson, PTW has learned that 6-foot-7, 230 pound (we've also seen his weight listed as 260) Daz Starke -- a former UTEP commit -- has given his signature to Coach Don Verlin and Idaho.

He averaged 14.3 points (52% shooting) and 8.4 rebounds per game for Eastern Arizona College in the 2010-2011 go-around.

Here's a photo supporting his Vandal allegiance.

Here's an October 21, 2010 article on his commit to UTEP.

Starke was a second team All ACCAC selection after this past season.

Eric Jacobsen commits to Arizona State

Per Rick Schramm (a Rivals sub is required), junior-to-be Eric Jacobsen has decided to remain home and just gave a verbal to Arizona State. The 6-foot-10 big had received interest from Utah State among many others.

Brad Winton's top JUCO players

Brad Winton is out with his list of the top JUCO transfers across the country and there are a number of WAC inclusions:

* #23 Kevin Foster, College of Central Florida to Fresno State

* #30 Hans Brereton, Western Nebraska to Hawaii

* #43 DeShawn Mitchell, Snow College to Hawaii

* #50 Kyisean Reed, Antelope Valley College to Utah State

* #80 Daquan Brown, Barstow College to Fresno State

# #87 Kenny Buckner, College of Southern idaho to Boise State

* #97 Wendell Faines, Saddleback College to Idaho

The WAC on Tuesday morning

Jason Groves offers some background on the Coleman brothers who will be joining the New Mexico State basketball program down the line.


Dayton Morinaga provides more on the official visits this past weekend of Gerry Blakes and Dillon Biggs.


Chad Wood writes about Louisiana Tech, the WAC and the Sunbelt Conference. PTW is hearing some Mary MacGregor right now.


Ferd Lewis writes about the WAC meeting being held today. The background music to be heard throughout the room is from Pink Floyd.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kevin Kaspar to Western Kentucky

Findlay Prep point Kevin Kaspar recently tripped to Fresno State but ultimately decided to cast his lost with Western Kentucky.

Mel Grussing has the DaShawn Gomez decision

Mel Grussing has the details on the decision by Antelope Valley College point DaShawn Gomez, who was being offered by Idaho and Chicago.

A few more notes from the p.m.

One time USU wing recruit Matt Glover apparently liked the sights and sounds of Happy Valley and has committed to Penn State. Read about it here.

This article states that he selected PSU over Nebraska, with Iowa dropping out.


Chris Murray has more on the accolades coming Nevada's way via Jeff Goodman's recent hidden gems feature.


Adam Zagoria has the news that Olu Ashaolu, Troy Gillenwater and Greg Smith will be among the many on display this weekend in New Jersey as part of an NBA draft display.

Biggs and Blakes get the VIP treatment

Brian McInnis has an article up on the official visits of UH signees Dillon Biggs and Gerry Blakes, who are seen as future cornerstones of the program.

Fresno State has a new big

Yahoo Sports is reporting that 6-foot-9 Daquan Brown, out of Barstow Community College, has committed to Fresno State. He visited the San Joaquin campus this past weekend.

Brown's shooting range goes to 15 feet and he rebounds his area well. He checks in at 210 pounds so he doesn't carry the beef that Greg Smith did.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fresno State also has a second recruit on campus

KOFan at the Save Mart Center MB (the BarkBoard site) has posted that Findlay Prep point Kevin Kaspar is in Fresno this weekend.

Here is an Alex Schwartz-penned March 30 article on Kaspar but strangely with no Fresno State mention. But that can probably be attributed to the recent hiring of Rodney Terry as head coach at FSU.

At Yahoo sports, Kaspar is listed as having an offer from the Bulldogs and tripping earlier this month to Northern Illinois and last weekend to Western Kentucky.

Hawaii has some connection to Kaspar at one point.

Sunday and the quieting world of WAC basketball

Jimmy Watson's report card on LA TECH athletics includes this about Bulldog basketball:


Despite support from the greatest men’s basketball player in Tech history (Karl Malone), the Bulldogs program went nowhere in four years under Kerry Rupp. A 24-11 mark and a visit to the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament in 2009-10 was the only highlight of the Rupp era. That was the most wins for Tech since 1985-86, but the team slumped to 12-20 2-14 in the WAC this past season. The Bulldogs were 57-73 overall and 20-44 in the WAC under his watch. Even worse, there was a constant turnover in talent with Rupp appearing to constantly announce the departure or discipline of a student-athlete.
Grade: D

PTW owes an apology to Chairman of the Boards Paul Millsap and thus Louisiana Tech hoops for overlooking him in Jeff Goodman's hidden NBA draft gems piece. We thank student4ever for pointing out this PTW miss.


Dayton Morinaga reports that the Hawaii coaches teach on the court and also in the water. Is skydiving next?