Sunday, July 31, 2011

Not WAC-related but...

Came across this stat in the latest issue of SLAM: "Len Bias died 25 years ago ... Bias' lottery class included substance abuse casualties William Bedford, Roy Tarpley and Chris Washburn."


This is reminiscent of the days of drafting using a copy of Street & Smith. Astute judging of talent includes a holistic look at the individual, or should. It's true this isn't a science but we're talking millions of dollars going off the ledger and up the nose with a faulty selection.

Recounting the adidas 64 and the Fab 48

It was enjoyable to go off the grid if such an expression is appropriate in talking about visiting Las Vegas. The latter is where artificial is a way of being and a town that features so much female and (yes) male cleavage that we fully expected to come across a bra and bro shop side by side on The Strip.

So here's a three dot version of sorts recounting what was witnessed and experienced (and remembered). For the provincial, there's not a lot of WAC material below as we spent time at the Jam On It tourney located at The Hilton. It featured the Seaside Select 16 squad led by one Matthew McCarthy, among others. Utah State fans may wish to only partake of the Utah Pump-N-Run writeup at the conclusion of this piece.

The coaches were out and about as usual. John Calipari, Billy Donovan, Ben Howland, Eric Reveno and their many brethren were seen adorned in their various school logos. Roy Williams crossed our path, along with his entourage, coming out of the Hilton one early evening. He was sporting a pink polo shirt and yes, we do have to question his ability to recognize talent when it passes by. Ahem.

Seeking a respite from the Bishop Gorman High gyms that resembled a rush hour Tokyo subway car, we located a frozen yogurt establishment that appeared as if an oasis. Five minutes later, Isaiah Thomas and his Florida International staff came in to do the same. No, we cannot report on what flavors and topping he ordered thereby losing any chance of ever working for TMZ.

One quick comparison: adidas 64 was headquartered at Rancho High and the main gym contests featured a PA announcer, three referees (all the Adidas games had a trio of refs) pulled out bleachers for the fans, plus music during lulls in the action.

But a boo to the Adidas folks for pulling out of the pre-tourney Tip Off Challenge where the matchups were loaded. For example,  Dream Vision had been scheduled to play the Oakland Soldiers and that was but one example.

Loved the Team Loaded squad as well as Hoopaholics but unfortunately they never were matched up with each other.

Former Fresno State assistant Senque Carey was coaching the Bay Area Hoyas.

Team Future featured  Jalil (Berkeley High) Eppenger and Sterling (Chico High) Smith and both are listed as being at Stoneridge Prep in southern California.

Andre (Deer Valley) McPhail played on Team Superstar 17 and is listed as being at Westwind Prep in Arizona -- ditto for Quincy Smith.

Our focus was on a number of national players on teams located out of our viewing area. Here are one game snapshots (the objects described in the following may be better or worse than witnessed):

Dream Vision (a pair of viewings)

Robert Upshaw
- has lost a lot of weight and still had no physical matchup, he'll go Pac-12 and reminded us of Sean Rooks (the former Arizona big).

Shabazz Muhammed - he was close to gangbusters one game but disappeared the next (a ligament problem in his foot and then an ankle sprain slowed him)

Winston Shephard - wasn't sure if he had a dribble-driver component after one game but showed that plus three-point range and explosion in the paint during game two

Joe Rahon - definitely can shoot, even on the move and can run an offense if a coach is not looking for a dribble-drive creator at the point

Team 94

McKenzie Moore
2011 - which Pac-12 team will offer him a scholarship? Or is Providence going to nab another Bay Area soon-to-be star?

Mac Irvin Fire (Chicago)

Jabari Parker
2013 - he shot 5-12 overall, 7-8 from the foul line in the one game we saw, highlights included catching a pass, eluding two defenders near the top of the key and dunking plus tipping a pass, followed by a couple of dribbles and another dunk -- he wasn't dominant, just very productive

Worldwide Renegades  (Georgia)

Micheal Hall 6-foot-10 2012 and Charles Mitchell 6-foot-8 2013 will never get out of SEC territory

Philly's Finest

Amile Jefferson
6-foot-8 2012 is thin but strong and can ballhandle and kick plus shoot -- whoever lands him gets a very talented and versatile player -- he led Philly's Finest to a 68-66 win over Kyle Anderson and the Playaz

Playaz Basketball Club

Kyle Anderson
6-foot-8 2012 is old skewl, he passes well from his high perch viewpoint but would have great vision as a six-footer, he displays a hesitation with shot on dribble-drives and releases on his fadeaway as the defender is returning to earth -- at the end of game, he missed a free throw, later missed an in-key turnaround jumper with seven seconds left, then rebounded a missed free throw with 6.3 seconds but lost ball coming down the court -- still, he was fun to watch and in command on the court


Andre Drummond
6-foot-10 is a prototype big -- long arms, agile, quick, unselfish, great vision, can rebound outside of his area, did try to dribble too much bringing the ball up the court, can dunk when you think he is too far away from the basket -- he's a one and done if he even plays college ball. Heading into Vegas, Shabazz was the fave of my nephew Matty but it was all Drummond as we departed

Compton Magic

Aaric Armstead
  6-foot-8 260 - a bruiser who likes to lower his shoulder and bulldoze to the basket but he also displays a faceup jumper, will be play basketball?

Gabe York 6-foot-2 - nailed a verrrrry long 3, grabbed two lob passes he turned into dunks and also buried some floaters, loved his game and wondered why he isn't featured more in the offense?

Utah Pump-N-Run

Jordan Loveridge
6-foot-7 - could play PF in the WAC and the West Coast Conference but possibly not the Mountain West Conference and probably not the Pac-12, showed dribble-drive skills, was a good distance shooter and played very unselfishly --it's hard for PTW to believe that Loveridge will go the USU route because he will have some bigtime suitors after him

Marcel Davis 6-foot-2  (Utah State) - he didn't appear as a creator and didn't really show his shot but he looked comfortable running the offense and getting the ball to the right people at the right time

David Collette 6-foot-11 (Utah State) - he blocked some shots and even hit a trey but obviously needs to add a great deal of strength and weight, he could be something down the line if he changes his body

The Sunday morning WAC basketball file

Josh Wright offers a full-length update on former Idaho backcourter Mac Hopson, who is way south of many borders.


USU athletics has released the 2011 Aggie basketball summer prospectus.


San Jose State University started practice yesterday in preparation of its August trip to Italy.


Speaking of sojourns, Dayton Morinaga informs readers about injuries possibly reducing the Rainbow Warrior roster as UH readies for the journey to Asia. Plus, Dayton has a special offer.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday's WAC-aroo

The USUStats folks continue the Jordan Loveridge coverage.


Non Conference SOS is not a distress signal issued when facing some quality out-of-league opponents. The WAC members should read this piece very closely if serious about nabbing a Big Dance extra bid.


One of the latest tweets from Josh Gerson:

"Dave Rose and an assistant, Arizona State, Utah State and Richmond watching 2013 Utah guard Nick Emery"
PTW repeats: do follow him.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A very lean Friday WAC hoops report

Dayton Morinaga reports on the doings of some of the UH players participating in summer league hoops.


Not WAC-related (at least at this moment), but remember the name Zeke Horton. If not basketball, he appears to have quite the future in advertising or business. The young man went out-of-the-box and received national publicity for doing so.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another offer extended by Fresno State

Caught this recent Josh Gershon tweet:

"Fresno State, Portland and Tulane are the newest offers for 2013 New Mexico guard Cullen Neal"
Gershon tweets about West Coast prospects quite often so he should be someone on your follow list.

As for the 6-foot-3 Cullen Neal, here is an ESPN evaluation on the 2013 prospect. Here is a Rivals article that apparently is free -- it turns out that Neal's father is the associate head coach on the New Mexico staff and a former pro player.

Fresno State checking out an Arizona big

Anthony Ray reports (a Rivals sub is required) on Coach Rodney Terry (as well as many others) looking at 6-foot-11 Lucas O'Brian, a 2012 Arizona prospect.

Mention of a Nevada offer

From Alex Schwartz comes this Nevada mention:

Three of the more well-known players at the Reebok Breakout Challenge were Tevin Glass, Travis Hammonds and Treshawn Bolden. Northstar Basketball had the opportunity to speak with each of them about the status of their recruitment.

Tevin Glass, a 6'8 class of 2012 combo forward, is transferring from Meadowcreek (GA) to Milton (GA) for his senior year of high school. He said he holds offers from Auburn, Mississippi State, Nevada, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Murray State, and Tennessee State, but is "not really" considering the five schools outside the BCS conferences.

Recruiting classes

We (usually) all get worked up over this class or that class of recruits signed by our favorite team. Getting caught up in the moment is understandable.

The flip side in this is portrayed in one of the latest posts at the must-visit-daily-even-in-the-off-season Rush The Court site:

We’re quite certain that if UCLA head coach Ben Howland could get a do-over on his 2008 recruiting class that was rated #1 in the nation, he’d take it in a heartbeat. Jrue Holiday had one lackluster season before he was 1-and-done; Drew Gordon fell out with Howland and eventually transferred to New Mexico; J’mison Morgan never produced and landed at Baylor; Malcolm Lee played three semi-effective seasons before bailing to the NBA Draft without a guarantee. That left Jerime Anderson as the lone survivor going into his senior season in Westwood. A role player in the backcourt who similarly never lived up to his prep on-court hype, he was recently arrested on campus for stealing another student’s Macbook Pro. A tracking device within the computer led police to Anderson, who was immediately suspended from the team and will miss at least the Bruins’ opener against Loyola Marymount on November 11. If this allegation turns out to be true, we wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the final nail in the coffin of the illustrious UCLA Class of 2008. Wow.
Also, Gonzaga recently had another transfer that erased its entire 2008 recruiting class. Coach Mark Few has endured seven transfers in the past two seasons.

More Loveridge

Caught this on Rivals about Utah State target Jordan Loveridge:  

"At 6 feet 6, Loveridge is a bully of an offensive player with a versatile skill set. He uses his big frame and craftiness with the ball to punish defenders in the midrange. When the defense backs off, Loveridge has confidence in his three-point shot. On a given possession, he might beat the press with his ball handling and then give it up and post up for a score. In short, he is an offensive threat everywhere on the court."
We'll get to our evaluation of Loveridge this weekend -- PTW caught him in one game in Las Vegas.

It looks like Marvin Menzies landed a good one

Anthony Ray at his ArizonaPreps site posted a feature on Joe Boyd, the 2013 post prospect who just gave a verbal to New Mexico State (a sub is required).

A snippet: "...Boyd's commitment comes as a major surprise, since his college recruitment was just beginning to take off. As one of the elite overall prospects in Arizona's 2013 class, Boyd had looked to receive very serious high major division-I recruitment - but [Coach BJ] Letcher advised me that Boyd found the right fit for himself.

Boyd is a very talented post prospect and is the most skilled post player in Arizona's 2013 class.

This 'pact' won't stop the competition from trying.

Thursday and the world of WAC basketball

Here's more on the Jordan Loveridge lovefest. Plus yet another article on various state of Utah prospects.


Josh Gershon tweeted this some time back:

"Jonathan Milligan picked up offers from St. Mary's and Fresno State. He has a favorite but won't say who."
Milligan is a 6-foot-2 2012 point out of Arizona. Here is tape on the young man.


At the SCOUT Warriors Sports Network MB, craighoops posted this on the fourth page of this string (a partial cut-n-paste): "...Norvell Arnold posted on his Facebook Wall today (Wed.) that it didn't work out with HAWAII unfortunately, and that he remains focused on finding a School to play at in 2011 to work to Redeem himself..." while nychoopsguy later added this: "Norvell is my brother they just dropped the charges down monday as of august 8 there will be no felony charges yeah he made a mistake with the weed but the domestic charge with false that's why it was dropped down there's no need to call my brother a punk hawaii never contacted me or norvell someone told us hawaii might have some intrest in norv utah st jumped the gun they thought the charges would not get dropped down I can tell you this if norv gets a offer from hawaii he would take it just to stick it to utah st and win the wac in hawaii's last year and he can play right away with 2 years left"

nychoopsguy also posted another message later on in the string.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jason Groves in NMSU's 2013 recruiting

Jason Groves is all over a pair of down-the-road talents who have given a verbal to Coach Marvin Menzies.

Nolan Shulman on the interest in Isaiah Watkins

New Mexico State receives a mention in this Nolan Shulman feature on 2013 Canadian forward Isaiah Watkins.

Grant Verhoeven down to three

JOVICHERN tweeted this, to the consternation of Fresno State fans:

"Grant Verhoeven (6'8 2012) Central Valley Christian HS (Fresno, CA) Is Down To His Final 3 Colleges Stanford, St Marys & Cal"
Our unsolicited advice: go with the Gaels.

Wednesday's WAC roundup

Bob Robinson was on to something as Dayton Morinaga writes about Victor Bermudez coming to terms with UH basketball. Dayton also reports on Gib Arnold at the Las Vegas recruiting marathon as well as a pair of Utah prepsters -- here and here -- looking at the Rainbow Warriors.


Head to USUStats for a series of recruiting features all about the various tournaments in Las Vegas.

Tony Jones covers the Las Vegas play of the Utah Pump-N-Run club team in a series of posts.


Randy Hollis offers a very good feature on Utah State athletics.


Daniel Lyght reports on the goings-about of Rodney Terry and his pursuit of new talent.

There is surely more to come later today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm back

Just got back from Las Vegas and being off the grid so to speak for a week and there is so much to catch up on. I'll do my best to be as timely as possible but realistically it may take until the weekend to wade through everything I missed on-line and noted in person.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sorry for the interruption

We are headed to Las Vegas for the various prep and junior college events taking place so we're on hiatus for about a week.

Deonte Burton and the NBA draft

Chris Murray covers the topic of sophomore Deonte Burton and the NBA draft.

A couple of Louisiana Tech updates

Former LA TECH Assistant Coach Curtis Condie is now the head coach at Central Wyoming. That's what must have led to James (Deuce) Johnson joining the program after he also departed from Ruston.

Tuesday's WAC roundup

Ferd Lewis offers a column about the eligibility status of two high schoolers being important in any extension of Coach Gib Arnold's contract.


Dayton Morinaga details the Rainbow Warrior roster for the upcoming trip to Asia -- no Vander Joaquim who apparently is involved with the Angola National team plus it looks like three walk-ons are getting the trip of their lives.


Jack Pollon reports on a pair of Pacific Hills High (Los Angeles area) players being offered by New Mexico State. One is 6-foot-7, the other is 6-foot-2 and both are 2014 prospects.


Austin Meek of the Topeka Capital-Journal has posted an in-depth look at college sports and the APR

Monday, July 18, 2011

Some Fresno State recruiting updates

At the end of his feature, Jeff Borzello notes that Bakersfield backcourter Tyrone Wallace has been offered by Fresno State as well as many others.

Also, add to that this Neal Nieves tweet:

"Fresno State now has offers out to 2012 Chris Reyes, David Andoh, Skylar Spencer and 2013 Paul Watson"
Off the top of PTW's head, Wallace, Andoh and Spencer will end up in the Pac-12. But stranger things have happened and there are always bouncebacks. These are a level of kids the Bulldogs didn't previously pursue -- now, can they land one?

A longer term Wolf Pack recruiting target

Chris Murray covers a local product already of interest to Coach David Carter.

A Dyshawn Pierre feature

Alex Schwartz offers a profile on Canadian small forward Dyshawn Pierre -- New Mexico State, among others, are tracking him.

Does Hawaii have a(nother) new recruit?

Bob (aka Mslacat) Robinson, who covers college athletics in Montana and the Big Sky Conference like no other, sent this along:

"Just heard a rumor that Victor Bermudez, a 6-3 shooting guard, has signed with Hawaii. I checked out his Facebook page and according to a post last Thursday (July 14th) he seems to confirm this.

I did a write up on Bermudez a while back here with some info.  I know the Bobcats were interested in him but I do not know if it was for a walk-on or scholarship. In any case, the Bobcats went mostly with JC guards this year and they did not offer him.  Last I heard he was looking to play with the Southern Idaho JC next year before the Hawaii offer. I was a little taken back by this signing but I think I did hear that Hawaii did lose a couple JC signing this year so this might explain it. He will be the third senior player off his 2010 Cheyenne HS (Nevada) team to sign with a D-1 school -- another is playing for a D-2 and a fifth I believe will be playing for a JC next year."

A blog entry on George Nessman's contract extension

Craw's Corner has a blog entry up on the extension of SJSU Coach George Nessman's contract.

AW Prince owns Monday

AW Prince at his Silver and Blue Sports site has the Monday WAC report all to himself as he reports on Deonte Burton via print, video and especially audio as the sophomore-to-be competes in southern California's top summer league.

There will be a lot of pressure on the young backcourter but PTW believes fans will be viewing a budding conference MVP, possibly in 2011-12.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jason Groves owns Sunday's WAC basketball report

A PTW thanks goes out to Jason Groves as he has posted another grist-for-the-mill article all about the basketball state of the WAC -- call it a giant-sized entrée in an off-season of hors d'oeuvres.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Daniel Lyght on Tim Steed and Bracken Funk

Daniel Lyght tweeted updates on Tim Steed and Bracken Funk.

Do check out Funk's blog -- he expresses an honesty not offered by many and backed by a thoughtfulness that is engaging. It makes the reader want to meet and talk with him.

Hawaii makes a 2012 offer

Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop tweeted this:

"Hawaii just offered Jordan Loveridge, a 2012 forward from Utah Pump N Run"
Here's an ESPN evaluation on Loveridge. 

Here's a June 2011 article on him.

A brief Saturday WAC basketball report

Dayton Morinaga goes all out -- print, photo and video -- in covering the UH players participating in summer league play.


Teddy Feinberg looks at New Mexico State athletics from a dollars and sense perspective.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Norvell Arnold to Hawaii?

At the Stew Morrill MB of the USUFans site, aggies1 has started a thread about former Aggie recruit Norvell Arnold possibly heading to the islands. Gib Arnold has at least one schollie to offer but there is that extra baggage that comes with it, if this is accurate.

All about Armon Johnson

Chris Murray features a Q-and-A with Armon Johnson.

Jaycee goes big

It's Real Madrid time for Jaycee Carroll, who keeps moving up to better and better clubs.

Uh oh, more ammunition for the Logan-ites

Changing gears for a moment, the sartorial splendor of Salt Lake City and Provo isn't measuring up. Rumor has it that Wild Bill's get-ups thankfully kept Logan out of the running.

A WAC look back and preview from Rush The Court

Credit Sam Wasson for the WAC basketball post at Rush The Court -- he did all the work, I'm just riding his coattails.

Friday's WAC-aroni

Jerry Meyer, writing about the under 16 talents at the Peach Jam, describes Canadian Tyler Ennis thusly:

Tyler Ennis (2013, CIA Bounce)

One of the top point guards in his class, Ennis has an exquisite feel for the position. He isn't an explosive athlete, but he changes pace and plays in between the beats. Beyond his feel for timely passing, Ennis is also a knockdown shooter and a terrific finisher of tough layups.
This makes it appear Ennis is going to be beyond the reach of New Mexico State.


Jace Tavita, shooter? You decide as Dayton Morinaga profiles the Utah transfer.


Craig Hislop writes about the state of the WAC, looking towards the future.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Regarding Rafael Carter

Does anyone know if Rafael Carter is still 'connected' to Nevada?

The 6-foot-8 Carter is out of Columbus, Ohio and came west due to attention from the Wolf Pack but academics forced him to first earn an A.A.

He's playing at Diablo Valley College (a bit north and east of San Francisco) for Coach Steve Coccimiglio and for a team that should be in the running for the state title.

As a freshman, Carter was selected as an honorable mention member to the all-state squad. DVC went 26-5 overall, 13-1 in conference play.

The Utah State roster

Responding to a request, here are the players PTW has for the Utah State roster plus best guesses -- noted by an * -- as to who is scholarshipped:

*Igor Premasunac
*Jordan Stone
*Jarred Shaw
(will redshirt after transferring)
*Brady Jardine
*Kyisean Reed

Ben Clifford
Morgan Grim
*David Collette
Danny Berger (on his LDS mission this coming season)
*Adam Thoseby
*Preston Medlin
*Antonio Bumpus
* Mitch Bruneel
*Steve Thornton
*Brockeith Pane

E.J. Farris
Sam Orchard (will mission after this coming season)

So who in this group has the 13th schollie? is it Clifford?

Mike White's contract is officially approved

Ethan Conley writes about the details of Coach Mike White's contract.

A Karl Benson interview

In a Diamond Leung article, Commissioner Karl Benson waxes ecstatic about the latest addition to and the state of the WAC. PTW isn't so sure about the multi-bid portion of the piece, at least in relation to expansion -- that's strictly wishful thinking without any indicators. But do watch Cameron Dollar and Seattle in the next few years.

Good news for Utah State fans

Mel Grussing has good news for Aggie-ites. Not so much for WAC opponents.

Coach Nessman receives an extension

Nessman Gets New 3-Year Contract
San Jose State Athletics

Following San Jose State University's first men's basketball post-season appearance in 15 years, head coach George Nessman agreed to a new three-year contract through the 2013-14 season. Athletics director Tom Bowen made the announcement.

Nessman directed the Spartans to the 2011 College Basketball Insiders (CBI) 16-team tournament and a first-round game against Creighton. To reach post-season play in 2011, San Jose State achieved a number of meaningful firsts:

    A 17-win season for the first time since 1981,
    A winning record for the first time since 1994,
    Reaching the semifinal round of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament for the first time since joining the conference in 1996.


"George Nessman took over our men's basketball program six years ago when it needed more than a cosmetic make-over. Systematically and methodically, he has put San Jose State on a sound footing that is realizing progress and success on and off the court," says Bowen, who cites the program's eight Academic All-WAC honors since 2006 compared to five in the University's first 10 years of conference membership as one measure of academic achievement. "We are looking forward to our continued growth in men's basketball with George in charge."
"San Jose State is a great university. I am honored to continue serving as its head basketball coach. I am especially thankful to our student-athletes and basketball staff for putting their all into the program," says Nessman. "It is important to note my deep appreciation as well for the support of (past) Presidents Kassing and Whitmore and Athletics Dierctor Tom Bowen."

Nessman took over the Spartans in 2005. Before his arrival, San Jose State had won no more than 10 games in any of the previous four seasons. Since 2008, the Spartans have won at least 13 games each season and their 57 cumulative victories are the most in a four-season span at the university since the 1985 through 1988 seasons.
In each of the last two seasons, the team set single-season scoring and free throw accuracy records.
Through astute and determined long-term planning, he and his staff built up the Spartans' home schedule from as few as 11 games his second season to 15 in 2010-11, the first time since 1955 that San Jose State had more regular season home than road games.
His players earned All-WAC post-season honors six times and guard Adrian Oliver, who completed his college eligibility in 2011, was San Jose State's first All-American player since 1997 when he was named to the 2011 Lute Olson All-America team.


"We are enthusiastic about our short and long term prospects to continue our upward arc and growth. We remain totally dedicated to building this program, achieving resounding success and making the San Jose State community proud of Spartan basketball," added the San Jose State head coach who will be taking the team on a nine-day, four-game trip to Italy in August prior to the start of the fall semester.

A Utah State offer

Danny Hazan at National Hoops report writes that Utah State (among many others) has offered Buddy Hield:

...Mike Krzyzewski, Bill Self, Billy Donovan and John Calipari were just four of the many coaches on hand Wednesday at the NY2LA Sports Summer Jam in Mequon, Wisconsin as they followed highly coveted prospects Shabazz Muhammad, Mitch McGary and Perry Ellis.

Conveniently, the stars with their respective teams all played each other Wednesday, but it was Kansas’ Pray and Play Players’ 6-foot-4 shooting guard Buddy Hield who may have had the best day.

He already claims offers from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Utah State and Wichita State, with Kansas, Clemson, DePaul, Missouri and Boston College showing interest, but that list will surely grow after his performances the first two days at the Summer Jam...
This is from Daniel Poneman in a July 9 article:
Buddy Hield (Kansas City Pray and Play): Born and bred in the Bahamas, Hield recently moved to Wichita, Kansas to play his senior season Stateside. The 6-4 combo guard gave Five-Star rated Shabazz Muhammad fits en route to a shocking 87-78 upset against No. 6 Dream Vision. Hield carved up Dream Vision to the tune of 35 points, scoring from everywhere on the floor. After leading Pray and Play to a 69-64 win over 43 Hoops in the round of 16, Hield capped off the day by torching the Houston Hoopstars for 28 points in an overtime victory that earned his team a slot in the final four.

More Fresno State recruiting tidbits

Neal Nieves offers up a bunch of WAC-related recruiting nuggets after witnessing the Full Court Press All West Camp:

* 2013 Paul Watson received an offer from Fresno St after the camp was over.

* 2012 David Andoh and Chris Reyes both picked up offers from Fresno St.

There's more so get over there.

Additionally, here's David Andoh's ESPN profile. Ditto for Chris Reyes and Paul Watson.

Thursday's WAC basketball rundown

Former LT Director of Basketball of Operations Cody Fueger has landed in the same position at UC Riverside.


Brian McInnis reports here and here on another walk-on to the UH basketball program, this one a frontcourter. Brian will also be covering the Rainbow Warrior excursion to China and Japan in person so kudos to the Star Advertiser suits for okaying that.


A.W. Prince features Deonte Burton in print and video.


On Jason Groves refurbished Twitter account, he notes offers here and here to prospects.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Wednesday p.m. WAC basketball offering

At the risk of having zero to post tomorrow, here's a Wednesday night WAC basketball report:

Chris Murray blogs about an upcoming feature he is doing on Armon Johnson


The headline of this Diamond Lueng ESPN piece is a great jumping off point for discussion. Yes, Utah State lost a lot of talent, experience and cohesiveness but there is still The Spectrum, Stew Morrill and The System. The Wolf Pack, despite the highest level of star talent in the WAC, must still prove a winning record is attainable and New Mexico State usually has a negative surprise or two pop up prior to the season. If we are talking tag or hoops, USU is still 'it' regardless.


Jason Groves reports Marvin Menzies and NMSU have extended their marriage.

Mostly Hawaii this Wednesday morning

Back to WAC basketball items:

Dayton Morinaga will be alongside the Rainbow Warriors in early to mid August thanks to some very generous donors.

That is great news.


In another UH item, a southern California prep recruit didn't make the cut academically and two more are up in the air as Brian McInnis reports.


Coach Reggie soon will be a free agent.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quitters or seekers of fulfillment or...

Here is a fascinating mid-June article by Craig Morgan on college basketball transfers. Does such a trend simply mirror society or is it a seeking of fulfillment or (you fill in the blanks)? You'll enjoy this one.

Test your way to better drafting?

True Hoop's Henry Abbott posted the following in late June -- an article about psychological testing to determine the possibility/probability of future success regarding players available for the NBA draft.

It's an interesting read and maybe there is something to it. Some may pooh pooh such an approach or the inclusion of such as part of a combined approach but it appears Chris Washburn's trainwreck or the 'struggles' of Michael Beasley and O.J. Mayo were either missed or also pooh poohed. Such a test would have spelled out something to chew on at the very least

An internet basketball recruiting experiment

This isn't new but for those who missed it the initial time around:

Monday, June 20, 2011
An Experiment in Modern Recruiting News

I am not Jonathon Paige.

There is no Jonathon Paige. There is no SummerHoopScoop. In fact, there never was. A little over two months ago the college basketball season ended and the long off-season of recruiting events and commitment speculation began. Messageboards and popular basketball news sources began to populate with recruiting interviews, videos, news stories, and rumors. The summer circuit circus began and college basketball fans dug in for the slow rolling waves of recruiting information to parse through. Of course, the real issue is-- who's information can be trusted? Sometimes it feels to fans like recruiting services and "experts" are just sorting through twitter feeds and regurgitating third-hand information...
Go here for the remainder.

Not WAC-related but check this out

There's busted flat in Baton Rouge but that's nothing compared to going payless in Napoli as Lance Allred will attest. Allred has a new book out about his trials and travails in Europe where a basketball contract is more an interesting document than something legal and binding.

Shawn Harrison offers up the Aggie 2011-12 schedule

Shawn Harrison has busted out Utah's State's basketball schedule.

Check out Craw's Corner

Craw's Corner is an interesting new-ish blog that often posts columns on various aspects of western U.S. basketball. Check it out and see what you think.

More on Utah State scheduling

Steve McGargee has written an extensive Rivals feature on Utah State sports basketball scheduling and it's a worthy read.

One line towards the end jumps out: "We lost six seniors and will be picked in the middle of the pack in our league"

In your dreams Stew. The road to the WAC championship still goes through Logan, with Reno and Las Cruces in contention.

A note worth pondering

Received the following from a fan:

"Let the conference die a dignified death, right now they are the unwelcome guest in the living room, a 'black hole" swallowing a life ring, it seems like everything that the WAC touches turns to crap, just a couple examples, the additions of the Texas teams drives down the overall WAC RPI, you got the media running away, and raiding the Big Sky may stave off the inevitable, but will drag down everything near it, please, let the WAC die, as it should, it's out lived it's worth, and, we're not obligated to provide Karl Benson a job no matter what, and to the detriment of all those concerned."
In the interest of full disclosure, PTW has experienced similar thoughts at times. Our thinking is that USU and SJSU will both land in the Mountain West Conference sometime down the road (maybe Idaho too) but we shoulder on until that happens.

Some mentions of WAC teams evaluating prospects

Doug Benton and Steve Hu of the Nor Cal Preps staff covered the recent Bay Area Hoop Review and NorCal Community College Showcase events and a few WAC schools popped up in their respective writeups:

* Cole McConnell 6-foot-6 Sacred Heart Prep (Oakland Soldiers 17 Blue) 2012: McConnell is a big target for a spot up shooter. He has complemented his outside shooting with a dribble drive game. He will need it as his twin brothers Reed and Will are on their way UC Irvine and Dartmouth. The younger McConnell has looks from Columbia, Dartmouth, Fresno State, Lafayette, and Princeton.
* Theo Johnson 6-foot-6 W Franklin (Oakland Soldiers 17 Blue) 2012: Colorado, Fresno State, Santa Clara, UC Santa Barbara
* Harold Perry, 6-foot-6, Wing, Alameda JC, Pinole HS, 2012: Perry was an all conference player this past season. He can score from either the perimeter or in the lane. Alameda Coach Myron Jordan believes Perry will definitely be a low DI prospect. Buffalo, CSU Bakersfield, San Jose State, and University of Alabama Birmingham have been in contact.
* Demetrius Bishop, 6-foot-4, Wing, Alameda JC, Stagg HS, 2013: An athletic slasher who is not afraid of contact. Not surprisingly, Bishop may be a better football player as he is a talented wide receiver. Bishop has been getting looks from Fresno State, Georgia State, and North Carolina.
* Tony Gill, 6-foot-9, PF, Cosumnes River JC, Oakmont HS, 2012: Gill plays in the Ryan Anderson mode of being a power forward that can play both face to the basket and back to the basket. He averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds last season. He is getting Division I looks from CSU Fullerton, Loyola Marymount, Portland State, San Jose State, and UC Davis as he is academically qualified with a 3.80 GPA.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Jason King hands out an honor to one WAC coach

PTW can't help but thinking about part of Sally Field's cringing Oscar acceptance speech of many years back -- "you like me, right now, you like me!"" when names are included or mentioned as top mid-major coaches.

What spurred this memory was Jason King's article listing his choices of the top level non-power league coaches and the inclusion of Stew Morrill. Not that the USU coach could give a damn but it still good to see him receive the national recognition.

No other WAC coach was on the list, not even among the others receiving consideration portion.

Will Hawaii's Gib Arnold or possibly Marvin Menzies down at New Mexico State make King's honor roll at the conclusion of the coming season?

But here's an interesting question, one in which we have a mixed response: does Shaka Smart deserve his spot? Nobody can ever take anything away from VCU's run in the latest Big Dance but isn't this type of notice based on an overall record and not a five game run? Just asking.

It's also interesting that Kerry Keating (whose seat was about to get en fuego) and Rex Walters receive mentions but would not have been selected a year ago. Keating's Santa Clara squad won 24 games and took the CIT post-season tourney title while Rex Walters' Dons finished 19-15.

Utah State and San Jose State out there looking

Cameron Schott was covering this past weekend's Bay Area Hoop Review and tweeted this:

"College coaches in attendance include Utah, Utah St, Pacific, SJ St, Arizona St, Chico St, Princeton, UCSB, and Columbia. 25 coaches in all"

Were the Bulldogs watching all three, two or one?

Here's a Josh Gershon tweet that needs breaking down -- who was watching which talent?

"Oregon State (head coach, assistant) + assistants from Cal, Fresno State & St. Mary's watching Jeremiah April, Payton Banks, Jaron Hopkins"
April is a 6-foot-10 2013 prospect out of Arizona, Banks is a 6-foot-5 2013 forward out of Orange County and Hopkins is a 6-foot-3 2013 backcourt prospect also playing in Arizona.

Fresno State looking at a SoCal big

PTW is a bit late with this Josh Gershon tweet:

"Cal and Fresno State watched Kameron Rooks"
Rooks is the 6-foot-10 son of former NBA-er and Arizona player Sean Rooks and was playing at the Pangos camp this weekend. He inherited the big body of his father but may be below the level of the Pac-12.

Two WAC schools watching this prospect

A tweet from Josh Gershon that includes two WAC mentions:

"Sean Miller, Dana Altman, Herb Sendek, Marvin Menzies + coaches from UTEP, Arizona, Portland, New Mexico, Fresno State watching Kenny Martin"
Martin is a 6-foot-9, 200-pound 2012 prep forward out of Arizona.

Opening the week with Monday's WAC dispatch

Dayton Morinaga writes about the Rainbow Warriors conducting their own practices.

Brian McInnis covers "The Little Aristotle" and other UH players regarding their participation in summer league play.


Mike Sorenson checks in about Beehive State school scheduling. Our take: regardless of affiliation, the so-called state Big Dogs aren't if they can't 'find' a way to match up with local and regional opponents.

That's it for now.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rodney Terry has offered an Oklahoma prep

Here's a Sam Duren tweet with a tantalizing Fresno State inclusion:

"Add Clemson to the growing list of schools to offer Lawton Ike's D'Andre Wright. TCU, Fresno St, SMU and Tulsa are previous offers"
Wright is a 6-foot-9, 215 pound prep.

Here is a January 2011 feature on Wright.

This sums it up

From a Neil Nieves tweet that says a lot in a few words:

"Kid to a ref after he gets with a travel - 'I move so fast it looks like a Travel'"

An interesting read about Greg Graham and recruiting

Here's an interesting read featuring former Boise State Coach Greg Graham talking about recruitng now and then:

Recruiting road shorter at BU
Dave Reynolds
Peoria Journal Star
July 8, 2011

Greg Graham’s first exposure to a Midwest summer AAU tournament was a positive one on a couple of levels.

Graham, hired as Bradley’s top assistant last month, is working the NY2LA Next Level Invitational in suburban Milwaukee this week and was impressed with the event’s organization and the great advantage of having all the games in one building.

All of Graham’s recruiting assignments for the Braves during this first nine-day evaluation period are within a five-hour drive of Peoria — quite a change from his last job as head coach at Boise State from 2002-10.

“The closest tournament to Boise was Portland, a six-hour drive,” he said. “Seattle was seven hours. That’s pretty tough. And you’re usually driving back and forth to different gyms once you’re there. So, in some cases, you might have one-half of one game to evaluate a kid. We just didn’t get to see ’em very often...”
Go here for the remainder.

Sunday's WAC basketball report

Kraig Williams writes about the WAC's expansion plans.


Dayton Morinaga goes multimedia on the true height of newcomer Hauns Brereton.


Jimmy Watson writes about Louisiana Tech and the WAC -- no marriage dissolution appears pending, let alone on the horizon.


The USUStats site provides some interesting information about the WAC's additions and subtractions in relation to the RPI. A major tip o' the hat is deserved for the compilation of stats that bulwark this article. Does this mean addition is actually subtraction?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday's WAC report

It's a guess but there has to be something more to this -- gotta be a courting for a donation of some sorts?


Brian McInnis has more on Hawaii's latest player pickup.


Sportsbow has posted a very interesting item about UH starting center Vander Joaquim, something that could seriously effect the season of the Rainbow Warriors.


Utah State scheduling makes the must-write-about list for ESPN's Diamond Leung.


Here are a Daniel Lyght tweet that caught the eye of PTW:

"Bulldog bball really needs to nail down some top recruits in the '12 class. I'm not sure the roster they have is going to make it in the MW"
First and foremost, Rodney Terry has to land some bigs.

You have to read these articles on WAC expansion

PTW was at a tournament most of yesterday so we missed this from Sam Wasson/Bleed Crimson. It's a must-read about WAC expansion -- in fact, there are two links to pore over, here and here.

Sam also offers some Aggie recruiting tidbits in the latter.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday and the world of WAC hoops

Sam Wasson/Bleed Crimson serves up a pair of items: Aggie interest in Chase Colman (gotta love that first name but he should be a running back) plus the Las Cruces version of Where's Waldo?.


Dayton Morinaga writes about the latest pickup of Gib Arnold -- a curious addition.

Brian McInnis offers more on summer league play in Hawaii -- the Shaq-tastic momentum is building.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

You get some blingy award if you recall this name: Titus Rubles

Does the names Titus Rubles ring any sort of bell for you, Nevada fans especially?

It was a year ago that Rubles was talking Nevada (and other schools), signed with Oral Roberts but it looks like academics detoured him to the junior college route. After a successful freshman year, he's returning to the Lone Star State. Brad Winton has the scoop:

"Titus Rubles (6-8, 205/PF) will be leaving Independence CC (KS) and heading to Blinn College in Texas for his sophomore year. Rubles averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds per game this season and was named 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-Region and Jayhawk Conference Freshman of the Year"
Do bookmark both Winton's site and Twitter account to keep up with his offerings.

Rubles was named Freshman of the Year, First Team All Leagu and All Region.

PTW has no idea if any sparks of interest -- either way -- remain between the young man and Nevada but we duly note that "Coach Carter" is Rubles' favorite film..

Here's a July 2009 feature on Rubles.

Another USU scheduling article

A two-for-one -- who says a leopard can't change his spots? Tony Jones offers more on Utah State's scheduling.

It's Thursday and all Utah State

Tony Jones writes about next season's schedule for the Aggies.

Bouncing off of that, PTW feels the need to toss out the proposition that nobody in the present or future WAC can catch USU -- certainly not on any consistent basis -- because of the recent recruiting status change, especially in-state, of the Stew Morrill brand.

Kids know they are going to win many more game than lose while luxuriating in a Spectrum atmosphere that some high majors envy. Tripping to the Big Dance is also a major lure. Morrill is the state of Utah basketball at the present.

Granted, ours is a broad statement to issue but it's built around this: USU is nabbing very good in-state players, more than usual, and getting commitments from non-senior prospects.

Such as Marcel Davis, Casey Oliverson and Quincy Bair.

No other WAC member is operating in that capacity or has that capability.

Now LDS missions will play a major factor on who actually arrives and when but 'owning' a state to a healthy degree and being in the position of supplementing these riches by picking off players from elsewhere (see Jarred Shaw) is an otherwise unheard of WAC capability.

Heck, some of the Aggie walk-ons would be rotation players elsewhere in the conference.

Now having typed all this, PTW must also issue this proviso: other league members better go after the Aggies this coming season and possibly next before this recruiting uptick -- the youngsters gaining experience -- goes full blown. The absences of Tai Wesley, Tyler Newbold, Pooh Williams and Nate Bendall leave a brief opening.

Carpe diem.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday's WAC roundup

Shawn Harrison writes about the Jalen Moore pledge to Utah State.


Dayton Morinaga offers multiple media on the splashes Shaquille Stokes and Hauns Brereton made during summer league play.


It's July so that means rental cars and hotel rooms and gymnasium bleachers for college coaches. Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman are experimenting involving the upper crust and the hoi polloi of the coaching fraternity.

ESPN's Dana O'Neill offers more on the July blitz.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday's world of WAC basketball

Brian McInnis offers the latest on the UH newcomers who have arrived on campus and who has yet to touch down.


Brian doubles up today with a scheduling feature -- start winning and other coaches 'lose' your telephone number, 'forget' that you called and just don't know you anymore.


Jimmy Moore is heading back to the athletics complex for Utah State.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A feature on new Bulldog Allen Huddleston

Former Pacific backcourter Allen Huddleston is now a Fresno State Bulldog and his hometown newspaper has a feature.

It looks like Boston College was tried but academic issues nixed that possibility. The hiring of Rodney Terry made Fresno State the next choice.

Going Miss Cleo on the 2011-12 WAC

Playing again off of Jason Groves' post from a while back (here it is):

First team
C — Dario Hunt, Nevada
PF — Wendell McKines, NMSU
SF — Zane Johnson, Hawaii
SG — Malik Story, Nevada
PG — Deonte Burton, Nevada

Second team
C — Kyle Barone, Idaho
PF — Olek Czyz, Nevada
SF — Brandon Gibson, Louisiana Tech
SG — Keith Shamburger, San Jose State
PG — Hernst Laroche, NMSU

Third team
C — Vander Joaquim, Hawaii
PF — Chili Nephawe, NMSU
SF — Brady Jardine, Utah State
SG — Kevin Olekaibe, Fresno State
PG — Brokeith Pane, Utah State

So I think Nevada had four of the top 10 players in the WAC, but the Aggies have some depth there while Nevada drops off after those four, but I'm assuming each team has new players who will contribute.
PTW has to put Brockeith Pane on the first team instead of Malik Story -- if Pane's upcoming season doesn't justify such a placement then Utah State will have no chance to win the WAC.

With four players on the top two teams as Jason writes, why shouldn't Nevada be the league fave in 2011-2012? Why are we 'seeing' David Carter just throw a cease and desist order in our direction?

Kevin Olekaibe is going to lead Fresno State in scoring and have a greater points per game average than last season's 13.6, so PTW is putting him in Hernst LaRoche's spot on the second team.

So who is this Brandon Gibson guy? Yes, PTW is joking. As a soph who had a torn ACL end his season early, Gibson averaged 9.2 points and 5.1 boards a game in 15 contests but shot 40% overall and 32% from long distance. He has excellent athletic prowess and the Bulldog squad will need a big points producer (or two) so the opportunity is there for the taking if he can become more accurate.

With Bill Amis gone, 251+ shots (he was injured for part of the season) open up and, despite early questions about who plays at the point (and gets the ball inside), PTW sees Vander Joaquim averaging a double-double (he was at 11.9 and 9.1 last season) and leading the WAC in blocks so he has to go on the second team.

Also, watch for Wil Carter. With Adrian Oliver and Justin Graham but memories now, Carter should reach double-double territory. He put up 9.8 points and 8 boards a game in 2010-11.

So who is going to be the top newcomer? Candidates we see as in the running number three:  

* Kevin Foster - Fresno State

* Hauns Brereton - Hawaii

* James Kinney - San Jose State

Monday's WAC basketball post (such as it is)

Sam Wasson/Bleed Crimson has quite the interesting post up today. He looked at each WAC school, locating the assistant coach with the most experience plus the total numbers of years the assistants bring to the staff.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A New Mexico State recruit of interest

From Alex Kline/Recruit Scoop comes this tweet:

"2012 Team NJABC forward Jarrod Davis, who recently added an offer from UTEP, spoke with New Mexico State tonight"
The 6-foot-6 Davis is listed as a 2011 recruit by ESPN, with this description:
Jarrod is a skilled wing. He is a very good scorer that can attack from anywhere. He is a good shooter to 20 feet and is also a very good slasher that can finish above the rim. Davis is a solid basketball athlete. He is a good rebounder for a wing player. He has long arms that allow him to grab rebounder over his opponents. Defensively Jarrod is decent but he has solid tools to be good defender down the road.
He needs to continue to improve the range and consistency of his jump shot. But to his credit, he seems comfortable in the midrange and rarely ventures beyond the 3-point line for offense. He will also benefit immensely from improving his ballhandling skills.
Bottom Line: 
Davis is a natural small forward that can play power forward or shooting guard if needed. Jarrod displays physical toughness, a willingness to learn and carries himself well while experiencing adversity.
Here's another Davis feature but PTW couldn't locate a date on it.

Here's a July 20, 2010 one.

There are reports on the net of Davis committing to Seton Hall back in 2010 and plenty of links indicating interest from some high majors.

It appears something happened academically moving him back a year and the recruiting attention he is currently receiving is mid-major level.

Sunday morning's WAC roundup

Credit Seldomseensmith for this one at the USUFans Stew Morrill MB -- Adam Thoseby has already encountered the dreaded "Aggie shrinkage" but as a malady, it's nothing compared to Costanza shrinkage. Agreed?


New Mexico State athletics has a release out on all the Aggie coaching machinations.


Jason Groves offers a feature on Tony Delk -- any hire that should add a positive to recruiting is a good one.

Jason also provides a Delk blog entry.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday's WAC-aroo

Pickings will be lean this holiday weekend but Jason Groves, Sam Wasson and Daniel Lyght came through and PTW thanks them.

The latter has the details surrounding Allen Huddleston's move to Fresno State, plus another personnel item.


Jason Groves offers the details on Coach Marvin Menzies' staff changes here, here and here.


Sam Wasson/Bleed Crimson is all over the New Mexico State assistant coaching changes as well as providing a recruiting tidbit.

Friday, July 1, 2011

You know July is here when...

 after a long Vegas day and a rough night

 Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish are playfully jabbing one another and a few of the club team coaches. PTW has it on good authority that the antics of JG and GP were not the genesis of "The Hangover."

As for their duel, let's begin with JG:

* Will Gary Parrish break out his Velcro kicks again?
Inquiring minds want to know whether he's finally learned how to tie his sneakers in the past 12 months.

* AAU Coach Watch: Who attracts unwanted attention?
Mitch Malone goes with the double-earpiece look on the sidelines, one guy last year wore a sombrero, Derrick Rose's older brother, Reggie, had to be escorted out of the gym a couple summers ago after getting into it with referees and a writer. You never know what you'll see from some of these guys on the AAU circuit. 
From GP:

* Seeing whether the ATM machines in Vegas have upped their daily withdrawal limits
If I had a dollar for every time I had to hand Jeff Goodman $500 because he exceeded his daily withdrawal limit, man, I might have $500. The guy is good at telling you exactly where every transfer is going. But he gambles about as well as Bobby Gonzalez stays composed.

* Bumping into a college coach in a corner booth at the Playboy Club with a 21-year-old model
The major tournaments in Las Vegas bring every staff to Sin City and some of them, well, they're human, and it creates some awkward conversations when you bump into them in awkward situations. Mostly, you just try to look away unless the girl is super hot. Then you just try not to get caught staring.

A three item Friday a.m. edition

Shawn Harrison writes about Utah State's addition of Adam Thoseby.


Sam Wasson confirms Gerald Lewis' move from the NMSU staff to Southern Methodist.


Utah State athletics offers the 2010-11 basketball highlight video.

Fresno State adds a backcourt transfer

This one will help in a year:

sactophil at the Pacific sports MB writes: "Huddleston will reportedly sign a financial aid agreement with Fresno State. The decision, if it is indeed a final one, came after offers from Arkansas, Arizona State, Boston College and Missouri..." 

It's a done deal as at Allen Huddleston's Twitter account, he describes himself thusly: "From Merced,CA. Shooting Guard at Fresno State. Easy Going, Nice, Focused, Sincere. Well rounded and will tweet/talk about anything under the sun"

Here is Huddleston's bio (not including his sophomore year).

His stats this past season: 11.1 points per game, shot 42% overall, 40% from long distance, 149 of his 249 shots were trey attempts, plus he went to the foul line 115 times, shooting 67%.