Monday, October 31, 2011

More thinking about Idaho this coming season

PTW found these Don Verlin comments in Nick Groff's article very interesting:
“...We should be a ton more physical,” Verlin said. “We should be a lot bigger and a lot more physical than we’ve been any year since I’ve been here, even when Marvin (Jefferson) was here. This team has the opportunity to own the paint ...”
"... He’s [guard Deremy Geiger] worked really hard on his shot this summer — shot up a million shots. He’s feeling a lot more comfortable,” Verlin said. “He’s gotta shoot the ball for us. He’s going to be our No. 1 perimeter threat ...”
The Vandals were out-boarded by a mere 27 in conference play during 2010-11 so a 'guessstimate' is that Verlin's expectations are winning the overall rebounding matchup by a 5-10 margin per game. Such physicality also applies to inside scoring plus the # of free throws attempted.

As for Geiger, he shot 32% overall and 31% overall on 159 three-point attempts last season (32% and 25% in WAC action). He possesses some elements of creative ability which is not a strong suit in this season's Vandal backcourt so a winning-his-position output each contest is critical for Idaho to finish in the upper half of the WAC. In 20 minutes against Evergreen State (albeit not a true challenge), Geiger shot 0-2 from the floor, with no threes attempted. He was credited with five assists.

A brief Monday morning look at roundball in the WAC

All we have so far is Dayton Morinaga's feature on Hawaii commit Caleb Dressler, all 6-foot-10, 240 pounds of him.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

David Laury -- Utah State recruit?

Just came across this in an Adam Zagoria feature on David Laury, a junior college player who is transferring to Iona:

"... As reported last week, the 6-foot-8, 245-pound Laury committed to Iona but won’t be eligible until Jan. 2013. He chose the Gaels over Baylor, UMass, Southern Miss and Utah State ..."
Never saw this before but also have no way of determining degrees of interest or actual and current offers.

Here's an April 2010 feature on Laury which has him going to Massachusetts (he wasn't granted academic entrance) but also indicates he has been all over the map with his choices and adamant, at the time, that Iona was no longer in his future.

Landon Tatum calling

It's critical for a coach to have a point who not only can perform in the role but embraces it.

Ladies and gentleman, meet Idaho's Landon Tatum.

Tatum may not be that well known but he's a captain this season and sported a 2.20 assist-to-turnover ratio (97-44) while leading the Vandals in assists in 2010-11. He enjoyed five games in which he notched at least five assists combined with zero turnovers.

In 23 minutes a game, Tatum shot 42% in WAC play overall, 50% from long distance (just 1-2) and 65% at the free throw line. He was fourth but almost second on the team in free throws attempted during conference competition.

At 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, Tatum's a power point (no pun intended). This is his third year with the Vandals as he redshirted his first season after transferring in from a Texas junior college.

As with every player, Tatum brings strengths and weaknesses.

He will run the offense as drawn up and is hard to knock off the ball due to his size/strength ratio. Opposing coaches will draw up defensive plans determined to limit Tatum's dribble-drives while attempting to force him to shoot from outside. Let's see how he responds.

Tatum may or may not have some degree of long distance shooting prowess but a 65% success rate at the foul line doesn't indicate such. The latter figure is also a concern if the ball is to be in his hands during the late stages of games, especially close ones, so watch to see how he finishes out the first five or so games.

Also check on how Tatum and 6-foot-10 Kyle Barone work together since the latter should be the Vandal with the most shot attempts this coming season.

Sunday's WAC hoops hymnal

Jack Pollon reports on a SoCal prep power forward being offered by Hawaii.

Here's a photo and a little background on the young man.

Here's another article, which tells of his ties to the state of Hawaii.

Dayton Morinaga notes that Utah transfer Jace Tavita will redshirt for Hawaii in 2011-12 so that he can have a whole season to play after that.


Robert Kuwada interviews Fresno State AD Thomas Boeh about those upcoming NCAA recruiting, APR and scholarship funding changes.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Robert Upshaw on the road again

Fresno area big Robert Upshaw is in D.C. this weekend visiting Georgetown.

PTW would love to see him at Fresno State (even though the Bulldogs are departing the WAC) but our gut still says it will be the Hoyas at the end.

Saturday and the state of WAC basketball

Regardless of the level of competition, Aggie fans have very favorable impressions after Utah State took down UC San Diego.

Game reports: Tony Jones, Shawn Harrison, Kraig Williams and various posts at the Stew's Spectrum MB at USUFans site.

Here's Craig Peterson's photo gallery, which begins with Courteney Cox after a sleepless decade.

Tony Jones has an update on Antonio Bumpus' foot injury.


Idaho athletics offers a game report of the Vandal win over Evergreen State. 

The Argonaut's Theo Lawson checks in with his take on the contest 

rncke posted his thoughts about the Vandal players at the GoVandals MB.


Anthony Esparza has posted the first of three reports on New Mexico State basketball at the MB on the AggieAlert site.


It's 5 Question time with Wolf Pack sophomore Jordan Burris.

Big Devonte Elliott receives feature treatment from Chris Murray. Nevada is going to be especially tough to beat if Elliott has upped his game, especially inside.

Chris reports on an upcoming scrimmage and a walk-on added to Coach David Carter's squad.


Jeff Portnoy featured Coach Gib Arnold on the radio last night.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Reaction to the basketball recruiting changes

Jeff Borzello has college basketball coaches, club team coaches, prospects and parents all reacting to the proposed NCAA recruiting changes.

Some very interesting Jason Groves tweets, plus an article

Jason Groves has a feature on the reaction of the New Mexico State athletics administration to the NCAA additional $2k-to-student-athletes proviso, and more.

Here is Jason's Twitter account and he has some tweets on the same subject.

To cleanse or not to cleanse, that is the question

Actually, here's the most important question: is "cleansing" possible?

jc25 at Sea of Blue posted an intriguing article on the "cleanliness" of some of the big time college basketball programs -- here's a pair of quotes:

"... There's one particular program right now - an elite program that most fans wouldn't ever guess - that everyone in basketball knows is straight-up paying guys. Will they get caught? I don't know, but the more this stuff gets exposed, the more we can shatter these ridiculous media-fueled notions about who's dirty and who isn't ..."
"...Just got a text from a college coach about the Mike Beasley story. Here's what it said: "We have kids going to college who don't want to go to college. If the NBA doesn't want them, then the D League should be set up for them. But the sad fact is that these kids are getting paid more money to go to college for a year than to play in the D League ..."
But before unleashing righteous indignation on these players, coaches, runners, et all: would you support 'your' college basketball program and head coach if it was so-called clean yet continually finished at .500 or even below?

That's also part of this whole big equation.

Some of this seems counterintuitive

Jack Styczynski of the New York Times has a column up today about the stats a team needs to have in order to make it far in the Big Dance. Some of the numbers make "sense" while other seemingly don't. It's an interesting read, especially where some of the coaches quoted in the article stand on this or that statistic.

More on the new NCAA D-1 proposals

Here's the official NCAA release on what the Board of Directors are pushing.

From Jeff Borzello via Twitter:

"Dinos Trigonis on the changes: 'Nothing I see touches on agents and runners, and that's the number one problem right now.'"
Jeff Goodman has more.

Also, official visits can begin January 1 of the junior year, with schools able to pay travel expenses for the prospect and parent/guardian.

Friday and the WAC basketball galaxy

More accolades (PTW thinks) for the game night atmosphere in Logan:

"Majerus went on to say (the Spectrum) is like the Oakland Coliseum without the guns and knives."
It's from Rhett Wilkinson's article on USU in the Standard-Examiner.

Seattle Pacific topped Arizona last night so it's time for a Modou Niang update: in 13 minutes of play, the Utah State transfer went scoreless but did grab four rebounds.

Ex-Aggie big Gary Wilkinson receives more press in New Zealand.


Dario Hunt responds to his Five Questions.

Chris Murray looks at the NBA draft rankings of Dario Hunt and Olek Czyz, plus much more.

Chris writes about the effect of the NCAA legislation passed today on Wolf Pack athletics.


Dayton Morinaga covers another Rainbow Warrior scrimmage, this one worked by regular officials.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The ESPN/Blue Ribbon College Basketball WAC preview

Here's the ESPN/Blue Ribbon College Basketball WAC preview with lots of link to peruse.

Wallace down to two

Bakersfield area backcourter Tyrone Wallace now appears to be deciding between two schools, Cal and Colorado.

If this plays out as expected, Fresno State will need to look elsewhere for its next point. But maybe this will change if Robert Upshaw announces soon and that he's planning on wearing a Bulldog uniform.

That trio (counting Braden Anderson) would be the best recruiting class ever in the WAC).

One can wish.

This will be interesting

From Jeff Goodman:

"Mark Emmert said that Board of Directors passed rule today that allows leagues to pay up to $2,000 for full cost of attendance scholarship"
This won't be a recruiting factor for the well-heeled programs but how do the WAC teams react? Same for the Big West and even the Mountain West Conference. Is this affordable? If not, how will that effect getting kids to sign a LOI?

Those schools without football programs will be at an advantage.

More WAC-iness

Did you see the rumor about Boise State checking out the Big West for it's non-football sports? What's interesting is the Broncos don't feature a baseball team and that sport is one of the strengths of the BWC.


Shawn Harrison reports on the Utah State Blue & White scrimmage.


Jimmy Watson has more on the immediate eligibility of Isaiah Massey.


ESPN's Andy Katz lauds Stew Morrill and USU hoops as Karl Benson does the same:

"... Just like the WAC looked to Nevada several years back for national credibility -- Utah State has become the flag bearer for the league,'' said WAC commissioner Karl Benson. "The continuity of the coach is the key. Stew Morrill has built a system and brings in players who may not be blue chip players but creates a blue-chip team. I compare the job that he has done with what the Boise State football coaches have done from Dan Hawkins to Chris Petersen ...''

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thursday and your WAC hoops compendium

Posting this early in the morning or late at night depending where you live -- may have more on Thursday.

LT Coach Mike White just received the best news yet in his brief tenure.


It's Olek Czyz's time in the "Five Questions" barrel.

Chris Murray serves up a Q-and-A with Cole Huff, Nevada's second verbal commit as well as a solid feature on Jerry Evans.


Coach Marvin Menzies turns momentary scribe in the Las Cruces Sun-News.


Craig Peterson of the Cache Valley Daily has posted 41 photos of the Utah State intra-squad scrimmage.

Wednesday's WAC report

Jason Groves writes about the 'north of the border' troika manning New Mexico State's backcourt.


Chris Murray/Dan Hinxman 'Five Question' Richard Bell -- who reinstates the Bell lineage (remember Chad?) in Reno.

Joe Santoro of Silver & Blue Sports has more on less of Malik Story.


Running with Pane (not pain) is the subject matter encompassing Tony Jones' latest blog entry.

Tony also offers a feature primarily on Morgan Grim, one containing a little news about Preston Medlin.


Jeff Portnoy's blog entry covers the recent WAC polls and Hawaii's schedule this season.


Thanks to a MB post by TayIdaho83843 at the SCOUT GoVandals basketball MB, here's Nick Groff's feature on Idaho hoops.


Of course, the NCAA blinked on the APR-related entrance 'fee' to the 2012 Big Dance -- Eamonn Brennan has the details.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hauns Brereton according to Coach Russell Beck of Western Nebraska Community College

PTW contacted Coach Russell Beck of Western Nebraska Community College to obtain his thoughts and opinions about his former player Hauns Brereton:

"Hauns is 6'6" 210, he is a very hardworker. He does not have the quickest feet defensively and that is an area he will need to continue to improve on. However, at times he makes up for it with strength and hustle. After having coached him for a year, I would completely disagree with the comment about him being slow to get his shot off. He has a knack for scoring and has an excellent mid-range game which he compliments with the three and his ability to score on the block. He also has a good nose for the ball and is a very active offensive rebounder. Hauns is coachable and talented and he will do exactly what Coach Arnold asks him to. Hauns will contribute to the success of Hawaii this year."

Tuesday's WAC-aroo

Chris Murray and Dan Hinxman team up to feature Nevada sophomore Kevin Panzer.

Chris has details on the verbal from Cole Huff


Robert Kuwada writes about the new and improved Garrett Johnson who, with consistent shooting, will provide a missing component for the Bulldogs.

The Bee has a bit more on the securing of Braeden Anderson's services.


Shawn Harrison serves up quotes from Brockeith Pane and Brady Jardine in his Aggie basketball update.


Will it be 2012 or 2013 for stricter Big Dance APR requirements?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Robert Upshaw 'trips' locally

Josh Gershon is Mr. Basketball recruiting for California -- one of his latest tweets:

"2012 center Robert Upshaw is currently on Fresno State's campus for an official visit"
Follow Josh.

Nevada nabs another one

A torn MCL apparently caused some suitors to look elsewhere but David Carter had no qualms and now SoCal wing Cole Huff will be on the Wolf Pack roster next season.

Josh Gershon (as usual) has the details.

Here's a rundown on the 6-foot-7 Huff, a valid points producer.

This says something, actually more than one thing

There is a greater meaning, worthy of expounding on, behind the news that Nevada wing Malik Story has dropped 25 pounds in the off-season.

Losing weight is challenging, period, but for a young man away from home and with fast food outlets beckoning in numerous locations and on incessant media platforms, it's a tremendous feat.

Plus, it's not like Story was carrying a hundred extra pounds so that the weight he dropped was a relatively easy feat.

This shows a mettle, something coming from inside that not many will act upon, regardless of age.

Story, who shot 36% overall, 30% from long distance and with 50 free throw attempts in 16 games is demonstrating that he will do what it takes to improve his game.

This accomplishment will allow the opportunity for translation into better shots and also a greater number of opportunities at the foul line.

Away from actual basketball skills, Story's achievement also gives him a stronger level of credibility among his teammates.

Congrats to him on the effort and outcome.

A not-much-Monday-morning WAC digest

Dayton Morinaga offers video and photos of Hoopfest in the islands.


A Concordia Stingers tweet:

"Men's Basketball -UBC tournament -Fraser Valley 95, Concordia 86. Evens Laroche scores 25 points for the Stingers"
Brother of Hernst? Evens is 6-foot-4 and both are out of Montreal.


A sign of the apocalypse?

A Nathan Fenno tweet:
"LSU chancellor Michael Martin: "I think we could ultimately end up with two conferences: one called ESPN and one called FOX." Laughter"

Indiana Faithfull is going to be might hard to top but since he plays in South Carolina (Wofford) PTW is going with UTEP's Hooper Vint. Troy Machir at Ballin' Is A Habit outdoes himself with all-name teams. Some WAC talents earn spots from Machir.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Watch for Brereton

Hauns Brereton.

Yes, a number of players on the UH roster can rightfully be considered keys to the season but PTW's sense is that the 6-foot-7 Brereton is going to bring a special trait to this season's Rainbow Warrior squad.

That is, being a glue guy.

If he wanted to jack up the requisite number of shots, Brereton could average 15-20 points next season what with his face-the-basket and dribble-drive scoring ability. But by his own design, he won't.

He'll be in the low teens in scoring, plus grab a solid number of rebounds and also distribute the ball to the guys on the team who needs a certain number of touches in order for them to stay focused on the collective and not the personal.

For the record, Brereton averaged 20.2 points, 7.1 boards and 1.5 assists last season as a sophomore at Western Nebraska.

Feel free to lord it over PTW if this prediction goes awry. On the flip side, send $25 and ask us about your future love life if we bulls-eye this one.

Sunday's WAC basketball report

Idaho Athletics reports on the Vandal an intra-squad scrimmage. PTW has no idea of Kyle Barone's nationality but here's hoping it's Italian or he adopts such a leaning because that leads to a B-a-R-O-n-e (heavy emphasis on the middle syllable) rolling off the tongue. The Idaho announcer should have fun with that one.


Backcourt newcomer James Kinney led SJSU in its intra-squad scrimmage.


The court firm of Jardine, Medline and Pane paced Utah State in its intra-squad scrimmage.


Take it for what you will -- Tony Jones reports on another conference realignment proposal, this one involving WAC members Utah State, San Jose State and Louisiana Tech.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Another WAC basketball preview

Sam Wasson and yours truly (Sam easily did the majority of the work) have a WAC preview up at Rush The Court, which is a must-visit-at-least- daily-if-you-call-yourself-a-basketball-fan site.

Utah State highlights

The National Hoops Report serves up close to 14 minutes of Utah State's 2010-11 season video highlights.

Idaho and AVC backcourter Jason Johnson

Mel Grussing reports on the latest between Idaho and Antelope Valley College guard Jason Johnson.

The Draft Express NBA eval of Herb Pope

For the New Mexico State fans here, the Draft Express folks offer a preview of Herb Pope, who is entering his senior season.

Saturday's WAC hoops-apalooza

Robert Kuwada offers a telling quote from Bulldog junior Garrett Johnson.


Nevada's Keith Fuetsch receives some exposure courtesy of Chris Murray/Dan Hinxman.


Brian McInnis has the scoop on Coach Gib Arnold landing his next big.

Here's a January 2011 Oregonian feature on the young man. It contains this prescient quote:

"... said he would like to play college basketball at a warm weather school ..." 

Here's a May 31 interview of the senior. 

Here's a video link. 

More on BA

Another aspect that is fascinating in the Braeden-Anderson-to-Fresno-State saga is that Anderson was looking for another high major landing spot after departing from Kansas.

Coach Rodney Terry's Canadian connections (established during his time at Texas) obviously aided access to Anderson but the fact that the Bulldog head coach was able to sell his vision for Bulldog basketball to the young man speaks volumes about Terry's communicative talents AND that entry into the Mountain West Conference is forthcoming.

PTW is willing to offer any odds you wish that Anderson has already been on the phone to Robert Upshaw, T.J. Wallace and some other Canadian talents.

Friday, October 21, 2011

This is big

Coach Rodney Terry has landed the first very significant recruit of his brief tenure.

Tarik Sbiet broke the news about former Kansas commit Braeden Anderson aligning himself with Fresno State.

Prior to Kansas, the 6-foot-8 forward had given a verbal to DePaul but asked to be released when the Blue Demons recruited over him. Hawaii had offered Anderson prior to his yes to the Jayhawks.

Anderson isn't an immediate day-one-change-a-program player but he has a good chance to be a very productive talent.

A point to consider: will there be an after effect of this get? Meaning, does Fresno area big Robert Upshaw now look longer and harder at the Bulldog program? Will Bakersfield point T.J. Wallace also think about it?

Anderson is the kind of talent/potential combo that the WAC really needs in order to garner greater national respect -- too bad Fresno is headed elsewhere after this season.

Friday's WAC roundball items

Chris Murray and Dan Hinxman double-team Deonte Burton.

Chris then dishes on Malik Story who should be switching to #23 this season.

Chris also fleshes out Nevada recruiting target Cole Huff, whose name conjures up the image of an Old West gunslinger.


Tony Jones looks at the small forward/wing candidates for Utah State.


The Utah Statesman men's basketball edition contains a number of quotes for Stew Morrill, including these:

“What’s important to me is that he [Brockeith Pane] gets better. Everybody in the league knows he’s a power guard and that he gets to the line and that he gets in the lane and makes plays, and we certainly need that and expect that, but we also need him to be a more consistent shooter and to be a better defender. We can’t hide him defensively like we could at times last year, so the parts of his game that weren’t as strong, I expect to improve and yet still remember where his strengths are”.
“Brady’s [Jardine] been like a starter the last couple years in a lot of ways, even though he hasn’t had the opportunities that a starter gets minute--wise and shots and those kinds of things, so I’m really anxious, and I’m sure Brady is too, to see what he can do as a go-to-guy, and that’s what he’s got to be for us is a go-to-guy. I have no question of the effort and the confidence he’ll put into it. Brady is a very valuable guy in terms of character and effort, so his senior season should be really special. That’s what we think and I know that’s what he wants too.”

Dayton Morinaga profiles Assistant Coach Scott Fisher who provides quite the closing line.


The Vandal Nation folks take a look at the Idaho roster.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tim Steed at Cal State San Marcos

Cal State San Marcos Coach Jim Saia, last at Fresno Pacific, has cobbled together a first-year team and one of those players is former Fresno Stater Tim Steed.

Here's some of John Maffei's article:

"... Steed was a prep star in Delaware on a team that won the state championship. He starred at Highland Community College in Illinois and averaged 10.7 points and 4.4 rebounds last season at Fresno State. He departed after coach Steve Cleveland was fired.

"I really enjoyed Fresno State," Steed said. "Playing at the Division I level was a good experience. I think my experience there will help me here.
"I didn't know a lot about Cal State San Marcos when I got here. Once saw the school, met the players, it put a smile on my face ..."

The coach and media choices in 2010-11

Here are the picks of the WAC coaches from last season -- Idaho and Hawaii sure rubbed it in the faces of the forecasters:

1. Utah State               
2. New Mexico State         
3. Nevada                      
4. Boise State                 
4. Fresno State                
6. San Jose State              
7. Louisiana Tech              
8. Idaho                       
9. Hawai‘i 

Here are the media selections:

1. Utah State
2. New Mexico State
3. Nevada
4. San Jose State
5. Fresno State               
6. Boise State                
7. Louisiana Tech             
8. Idaho                      
9. Hawai‘i 

Thursday's WAC basketball report

A tweet from Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop from October 18:

"New Mexico St & Fairleigh Dickinson are now interest in 2012 Robinson School (NJ) guard Marlon Cort. St. Francis (NY) watching him tonight"
Here's an August note on the 6-foot-5 Court. Here's a late July one.


Chris Murray remains on hoops fire: a Patrick Nyeko interview (w/Dan Hinxman) and a Cole Huff update.


Former Utah State center Gary Wilkinson continues to prosper:
"Big Red" Gary Wilkinson has picked up right where he left off last season with the likeable American shooting an incredible 60 per cent from the floor and 58 per cent from three point land"

The USUStats site is promoting an issue of The Statesman (the Aggie student newspaper) featuring nothing but Utah State men's basketball.


Here's Sam Wasson's/Bleed Crimson WAC team ballot:

1) Nevada
2) Hawai'i
3) New Mexico State
4) Utah State
5) Idaho
6) Fresno State
7) Louisiana Tech
8) San Jose State

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why doesn't every WAC school do this?

Maybe Utah State doesn't need to bother but the other WAC basketball programs surely should be formalizing this step.

Posted by DTDvandal4 at the Scout Go Vandals Basketball MB:

"Nick Popplewell done good

not sure if it was his idea, the teams or verlins but nick brought the basketball team into every fraternity this week and introduced the team on a more personal level, it was awesome and good to see and made me more excited for basketball to start! if any of the team reads the page thanks for stopping by DTD and best of luck this season lets win the ship!"
Nick Popplewell is the Director of Marketing and Licensing for UI Athletics.

Here's more

Stew Morrill will need patience while his patients absorb his teachings.


The USU Stats folks write about Aggie shrinkage with nary a mention of George Costanza.


Treesap32 at the USUFans MB pointed out this article in The Statesman, the Aggie student newspaper.


The following are the highlight quotes from Robert Kuwada's most recent Fresno State basketball article:

"We really wanted to come in and establish our culture and our environment the way we wanted to have it, and I feel like the guys we have returning really put both feet in with what we're trying to do, along with the newcomers, really trying to adjust in terms of how we want to play on every possession and really our plan," Terry said.
"I think we have to have good ball pressure, we've got to really stay in front of the basketball, we've got to do a really great job of being in the right position,'' Terry said. "We've just got to play really hard and with a lot of effort and try to limit second-chance opportunities and try to be a physical team in terms of rebounding."

Here's a WAC preview by David Fox of Rivals.

WAC basketball Wednesday-style

Diamond Leung writes about Nevada's Fab Four as the bulls-eye is placed on Coach David Carter's club.


Chris Murray offers more on the latter subject.


Joe Santoro at Silver & Blue Sports features Coach Carter in a lengthy piece.


Jason Groves  blogs about a new (or old) WAC tournament format.


Sam Wasson takes a look at the WAC team and player predictions as well as offering insight into New Mexico State hoops.


Louisiana Tech will win some games it shouldn't this season based on the combination of hunger and catching teams napping.


Andy Katz has a note on the WAC:

"Nevada was picked by the WAC coaches to win the league, edging out New Mexico State. Utah State was third. Utah State has been the dominant team in the WAC, and it is finally going through a rebuilding phase. Utah State has been in the mix an at-large berth for years and fellow bubble teams have sweated out the WAC final. No need to worry this season. Nevada probably won’t have the résumé to warrant an at-large berth in its final season in the WAC before going to the MWC. This is a one-bid league."

Texas prep guard Jordan Mason went with Colorado State in lieu of San Jose State University and others.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Here's the PTW ballot

In the interest of transparency, here's the PTW WAC ballot:

1 Hawai`i
2 Nevada
3 Utah State
4 New Mexico State
5 Idaho
6 San Jose State
7 Fresno State
8 Louisiana Tech

Player of the Year -- Deonte Burton, Nevada

All-WAC Team -- Wendell McKines, New Mexico St., Zane Johnson, Hawaii, Kyle Barone, Idaho, Brockeith Pane, Utah State

Newcomer of the Year -- Kevin Foster, Fresno State

Here's Jason Groves' WAC ballot

Jason Groves has posted his WAC ballot.

The official WAC basketball predictions

Here they are:

2011-12 WAC Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Nevada (5) 46
2. New Mexico State 41
3. Utah State (3) 38
4. Hawai'i 32
5. Idaho 24
6. Fresno State 18
7. San Jose State 14
8. Louisiana Tech 11

2011-12 Preseason Coaches All-WAC Teams 

* Deonte Burton, So., G, Nevada
* Vander Joaquim, Jr., C
* Hawai'i Zane Johnson, Sr., G, Hawai'i
* Wendell McKines, Sr., F, New Mexico State
* Brockeith Pane, Sr., G, Utah State


* Kyle Barone, Jr., C, Idaho
* Dario Hunt, Sr., F, Nevada
* Hernst Laroche, Sr., G, New Mexico State
* Brady Jardine, Sr., F, Utah State
* Malik Story, Jr., G, Nevada

Coaches Preseason Player of the Year 

Deonte Burton, So., G, Nevada


2011-12 WAC Preseason Media Poll

1. Utah State (13) 174
2. Nevada (5) 162
3. New Mexico State (3) 150
4. Hawai'i (3) 126
5. Idaho 89
6. San Jose State 66
7. Fresno State 59
8. Louisiana Tech 38

2011-12 Preseason Media All-WAC Team First-Team 

* Deonte Burton, So., G, Nevada
* Dario Hunt, Sr., F, Nevada
* Zane Johnson, Sr., G, Hawai'i
* Wendell McKines, Sr., F, New Mexico State
* Brockeith Pane, Sr., G, Utah State

Media Preseason Player of the Year

* Brockeith Pane, Sr., G, Utah State

Media Preseason Newcomer of the Year

Shaquille Stokes, Fr., G, Hawai'i

Now if only Jerry Evans said his culinary fave is Ruby Tuesday...

Here's Tuesday's WAC hoops compilation:

Dan Hinxman talks with extra droll Wolf Pack wing Jerry Evans. PTW says let this guy tweet during the season, please, please, please.

Dan also interviews Malik Story.


Jason Groves busts out his choice for the top player in the WAC.

Jason also has a feature on Aggie assistant coach Tony Delk and what he is bringing to the NMSU program.


Per Anthony Ray (a Rivals sub is required), 6-foot-8 Joe Boyd (a 2013 prospect) has de-comitted from New Mexico State. The young man says he wants to survey his possibilities and still includes the Aggies as a contender for his services.


6-foot-5 Bayou State basketballer Michael Qualls chose Arkansas over Louisiana Tech, which is still a plus in that the Bulldogs were running with a bigtime program.


Brian McInnis reports on the makeup of the TV crew for UH games this season plus he has a scoop on the Rainbow Warriors director of operations opening.


Fear the beard may or may not reappear, per Dayton Morinaga.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday morning coming down with your WAC basketball items

Gerard Martinez (a Rivals sub is required) reports that Sacramento area football/basketball player Aric Armstead has de-comitted from USC and that Nevada (plus a handful of heavy hitters) remain in contention.


Nevada's Deonte Burton receives Jason Grove's nod as the second best WAC talent.

Using the process of elimination, Las Cruces hoops fans will enjoy the rollout of #1 (which should happen on Wednesday, right?).


From ESPN's Andy Katz:

"If Boise State and the Big East end up reaching a football-only agreement, it'll leave the men's basketball program in a precarious spot. Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said on a conference call Friday that BSU can’t be in the MWC without football. Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson said Sunday he hasn’t talked to Boise about its other sports programs, but the options are limited. The West Coast Conference doesn’t want state schools and the Big Sky or Big West would be a perceived step down. Coach Leon Rice came to Boise thinking the MWC was the future home, playing programs like UNLV, San Diego State and New Mexico. That might last all of one season."
Would the WAC take Boise back for everything but football? PTW doesn't think so for what purpose would it serve? Your takes?

Why Butler and not a team in the WAC?

You can have Calhoun and Cal and Howland and Williams -- PTW is most intrigued by Butler's Brad Stevens among the well known college basketball coaches.

Just how has Stevens, his assistants and his players achieved a pair of Final Four Two finishes coming out of the Horizon Conference? This minus major funding and, most important of all, without blue chip recruits.

What the Bulldogs have accomplished is not an aberration, which typically is a one-in-a-whatever-number-you-wish-to-insert-here occurrence. It's a bloomin' miracle!

Yes, various pundits believe that the level of college hoops has been diminishing for some time now but, even if true, this does nothing to lessen the attainments of the Hinkle Fieldhouse bunch. Stevens' group earned the participation in back-to-back national championship contests while others failed to do so and last season's final game was reached minus the best player in modern school history in Gordon Hayward.

Here is Stevens at a recent United Way event laying out his philosophy:

Stevens, who is 117-25 in four seasons as Butler's head coach, spoke about the pyramid to success he's used with the Bulldogs.
Character provides the anchor for the pyramid, Stevens said, as a base to assess core values, such as passion, serving others, remaining humble and being accountable to one another.

Next comes preparation.

"You have to prepare well to ultimately get where you want to go," Stevens said.

After the preparation come performance.

"Do your job one play at a time," Stevens said.

Results forms the smallest portion at the pyramid's top, said Stevens, who noted Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Walsh's book "The Score Takes Care of Itself."

"If you take care of the character side, prepare the right way and perform together, results take care of themselves," Stevens said.
Stevens goes on to praise the departed Matt Howard with the ultimate compliment.

Here is an intriguing Stevens audio all about the use of data which goes way beyond simply perusing the actual numbers -- it runs 3:46.

Do take note that the Bulldogs 2011-12 schedule has dates all the way to the Final Four, and rightly so.

So what does this have to do with WAC basketball?

Granted, Butler has a venerable venue and attendance ranges from 5,000 to 9,000 for home games but why Butler with all this success and not a team in the Western Athletic Conference?

Of all the teams in the WAC, Utah State, with great fan support and a coach lauded as one who can get five to meld into one, comes to mind first.

The Aggies have certainly ruled the conference roost but without success, let alone off-the-chart triumphs, in the Big Dance.

What's the difference(s) between the two basketball programs?

It doesn't appear that Butler has been landing more -- or maybe it should read much more -- talented recruits than the Aggies or is PTW missing something in this regard?

Both programs can be characterized as the result exceeding the sum of their respective parts. But Butler obviously much more so.

Also, what about the rest of the WAC members (as the post is not meant to ding USU)?

With many, if not all, of the others, two items stand out for falling short(er): both lower talent level and inconsistent year-to-year recruiting plus having to take chances on players with less than stellar reputations for buying into the one-for-all, all-for-one philosophy.

It seems near impossible to coach core values into a player (and his game). At least some residue must already be there in order to build upon it. The majority of WAC coaches have to take far more chances on kids -- even Morrill to a degree but never at the core of his program -- and some work out and some don't which causes zigs and zags in the direction of a program.

It does look like Butler is beginning to land higher-ranked talent (the result of the last two years) but still not so-called five star recruits who are the typical one-and-dones and with much more volatile egos.

Can Stevens continue to replicate the success of the last two seasons? That will be fascinating to watch but there shouldn't be anyone in this country expecting a third Final Four appearance in 2011-12. The odds are stacked against this happening.

While typing all this, Gonzaga came to mind. Best characterized as a moving-from-a-little-engine-that-could to a national known entity, Coach Mark Few has definitely gotten the Zag program on the map. But this also hasn't resulted in any blue-chippers coming to Spokane. In fact, Gonzaga has performed best with gritty overachievers and the luster is actually beginning to fade, at least a bit as Few has lost 17 players in an 11-month period, including every signee from the 2008 class. But that's a whole 'nother story.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Utah State interested in a British Columbia guard

Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop tweets that 6-foot-2 Canadian backcourter Manroop Clair is listing Utah State (and many others) as pitching him some love.

Here's more.

In this video, his form looks very good and his distance shooting tremendous.

Two former WAC players trying out

Golden State Warrior D-League tryouts included a pair of former WAC talents -- Cardell (USU) Butler and Robert (SJSU) Owens.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sunday's galaxy of WAC hoops -- it's all Hawaii today

Credit Sportsbow @ the SportsHawaii MB for locating this Shaq Stokes interview in which the freshman is definitely saying all the right things.


Brian McInnis lets readers know who will be captaining the Rainbow Warriors this season.


Dayton Morinaga reports on a scrimmage after a double practice day.

Jeremiah Ostrowski scores

Point Jeremiah Ostrowski scores a six-pointer, a double trey, for Hawaii!

Sorry, wrong sport.

Jason Johnson still tripping to Moscow

Mel Grussing (thankfully he's back from his road trip) reports that shooting Antelope Valley College guard Jason Johnson's trip to Idaho is still on.

Saturday's WAC link collection

Robert Kuwada previews the Fresno State frontcourt, aided by Bulldog Coach Rodney Terry.


Jason Groves offers a comprehensive look at the 2011-12 New Mexico State squad touching upon identity, physical and mental toughness and maturity.

Jason also reveals his #3 player in the WAC.


Shawn Harrison reports on 17 Utah State players participating in the initial Aggie practice. The pace of new player development is going to be a mjaor key to the USU season.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday's Almost-The-Weekend WAC Hoops Digest

Chris Murray offers seven observations from Wolf Pack media day.


Robert Kuwada goes long with Coach Rodney Terry about the Bulldog backcourters.


Tony Jones checks in with a USU basketball overview that brings to mind "Are You Experienced?" -- the debut album (boy am I dating myself with that term) of the late Jimi Hendrix.

Tony is also tweeting away about the Aggies.

Here is a video interview with Coach Stew Morrill. 


David Folse II/Bleed Tech Blue looks at Louisiana Tech's basketball recruit on campus and elsewhere weekend (a Rivals sub is required). 


Brian McInnis present his WAC team and player finish projections.


Jason Groves looks at this season's Aggies.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday's WAC hoops roundup

VanGator has posted on the forum at the GoVandals site about yet another Vandal hoops commitment. This one is a big big (no that's not a typo) out of the Iowa community college ranks. It sure looks like Coach Don Verlin is finishing early with his shopping for next season.


Marvin Menzies has completed his coaching staff.

We're waiting for a hoops hire or the landing of new basketball recruit to be described as nailing a three-pointer (or even a four-pointer) rather than the baseball phrase of hitting a home run (as is used in the article).


Chris Murray is getting prolific even though we're in the midst of football season. He offers an overall look at the Wolf Pack as a team (PTW didn't know that Malik Story donated 20 pounds to Jerry Evans) and then looks at the each player on the roster.

Dan Hinxman also checks in with a Wolf Pack feature.


Jason Groves heads to Reno for his fifth best talent in the WAC and then double dips for #4.


Teddy Feinberg blogs about New Mexico State hoops.


Coach Gib Arnold makes two coaching moves.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Missed this one

Jason Groves offers his sixth best WAC talent.

Just a question

If the administration at Hawaii ran the Mafia ... would that result in the end of contracts being put out on foes?

Not trying to create wiggleroom but...

The reality is that any one of four teams -- Hawai`i, Nevada, Utah State and New Mexico State -- have the chance to take the WAC this season which should make the race a very, very compelling one.

This means more late season games will be considered 'critical' to win and that's what commissioners, coaches, players and fans long for and deserve.

Might that also result in some games added to television schedules?

Wednesday's WAC-itude

Andy Boogaard reports that Coach Rodney Terry gave it the good ol' college try in trying to land San Joaquin area star Grant Verhoeven but the 'unknowns' got in the way.


Jeff Portnoy offers his WAC poll results and also focuses in on Coach Gib Arnold's "Waiting For Godot" contract.

In a logical and deserving move, Scott Fisher is being promoted into the assistant coach opening at UH.

Brian McInnis confirms in his article opener.


Tony Jones has the latest on Antonio Bumpus' status.


USUStats serves up an interesting report on a USU recruiting target visiting the Logan campus last weekend.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A pair of posts from Chris Murray

Still alive here, waiting for the shock and awe to begin.

Chris Murray has also decided to live dangerously.

Plus, Chris is surveying for the most important Wolf Pack player.

The roster contains nowhere near any replacements for what Dario Hunt and Deonte Burton bring to the court so it seems the choice should be between them.

The WAC finish in 2011-12

Okay, here it is.

After much thought, multiple rounds of rock-paper-scissors and donning the headdress of Carnac the Magnificent, PTW has decided this will be the order of finish in the 20 11-12 WAC season.

1 Hawai`i
2 Nevada
3 Utah State
4 New Mexico State
5 Idaho
6 San Jose State
7 Fresno State
8 Louisiana Tech

Now we will head to the family bunker for an extended period of time before the incoming ordnance starts arriving hot and heavy.

But first, here are the 'whys' for each selection.

1. Hawai`i

This selection is based on a healthy Zane Johnson throughout the season and a non-mercurial Joston Thomas season. Yes, we either have grande cojones or mucho rocks in la cabeza to go with a team boasting a freshman (Shaq Stokes) at the point. There won't be a lot of depth available but the talent at Coach Gib Arnold's disposal who will be playing major minutes is the highest number in the WAC (Johnson, Thomas, Shaq Stokes, Vander Joaquim, Trevor Wiseman and Hauns Brereton, plus Bobby Miles, Garrett Jefferson on the cusp and possibly even Jeremiah Ostrowski (depending on his health after football).

2. Nevada

The Wolf Pack's journey to the promise land is predicated on improvement as a sophomore by Deonte Burton, an expansion of Olek Czyz' skills set but the primary question is can 6-foot-10 Devonte Elliott begin impacting games?

Burton will get even better, we're not sure if Czyz has a dribble-drive capacity in his arsenal and just flat don't know the answer about Elliott. Nevada falters some when Dario Hunt is in foul trouble and that would lessen, if not disappear, if Elliott asserts himself in the paint.

3. Utah State

Lots and lots of new personnel plus not a lot of experience makes us probably in a minority in not going with the perennial champ. It's not out of the question but asking Jordan Stone, just back from his LDS mission, to play a major role this season is extending out on the proverbial limb. But there's always The Spectrum, the Aggie sixth man, that can be counted on.

4. New Mexico State

It's Wendell McKines in a starring role and bigs a-plenty but is there enough middle distance but especially outside shooting to keep defenses honest? Plus, will the Aggies defend like never before? Possibly. This should be a hungry team.

5. Idaho

Calling last season's 18-14, 9-7 finish something along the lines of a harmonic convergence shortchanges the effort put in by the Vandal players and coaches. Now the question is: can Don Verlin and crew do it again? Yes, if enough accurate outside shooting appears and the Idaho backcourters can win or at least finish in a draw with opposing guard sets.

6. San Jose State

This is a squad now minus longtime backcourt stalwarts Adrian Oliver and Justin Graham. Besides a new identity, the Spartans must establish they can win three of the in-game battles at the five positions -- center, power forward, wing, two guard and point. Wil Carter and Keith Shamburger offer opportunities for doing this but it's a matter of enough others stepping up.

7. Fresno State

A critical mass of the necessary 'tools' just aren't quite there as yet but it's just as important that the mindset of the team has been changed offensively and defensively. Both the Bulldog frontcourt and backcourt are thin but with a few solid players so here are the FSU questions: will the Bulldogs get tough on D, scrap on the offensive boards and play unselfishly with the ball? To invoke and paraphrase the venerable Meatloaf, Coach Rodney Terry will not accept that two out of three ain't bad, and that's good but just not enough in 2011-12.

8. Louisiana Tech

Like Rodney Terry, new Coach Mike White will need time. There's a lack of talent and too much inexperience but those minuses can be soothed, at least to a degree, by effort. Bulldog fans can take heart that White is hauling in point, two guard and wing recruits who offer much better combinations of basketball skills and physical gifts than Tech the past few years. But a couple more frontcourters fitting this description need to be landed.

Tuesday's wide world of WAC basketball

Alex Schwartz updates the recruitment of 2012 Alabama prep backcourter DeOndre Haynes who lists Louisiana Tech as one of the two suitors coming at him the hardest and the young man says he tripping to Ruston this weekend. The 6-foot-2 guard earned County Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons.


Jason Groves writes about the new and improved Wendell McKines.

Jason also lists Nevada's Olek Czyz as his #7 player in this year's WAC.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Here's Jay Bilas on defining toughness

Defining toughness in college hoops
Jay Bilas

I have heard the word "toughness" thrown around a lot lately. Reporters on television, radio and in print have opined about a team or player's "toughness" or quoted a coach talking about his team having to be "tougher" to win.

Then, in almost coordinated fashion, I would watch games and see player upon player thumping his chest after a routine play, angrily taunting an opponent after a blocked shot, getting into a shouting match with an opposing player, or squaring up nose-to-nose as if a fight might ensue. I see players jawing at each other, trying to "intimidate" other players. What a waste of time. That is nothing more than fake toughness, and it has no real value.

I often wonder: Do people really understand what coaches and experienced players mean when they emphasize "toughness" in basketball? Or is it just some buzzword that is thrown around haphazardly without clear definition or understanding?
Go here for the remainder.

An Interesting feature on teaching toughness

Teaching Toughness: Creating an intense, disciplined, hustling team begins with a program of exercises for mind and body   
R.J. Anderson, Assistant Editor at Coaching Management 
Coaching Management, 14.6, August 2006
When UCLA made its run to the 2006 NCAA Final Four, the word coaches, players, writers, and TV commentators used to describe the Bruins was “tough.” Using chest-to-chest pressure defense and a methodical ball-control offense, UCLA imposed its will game after game, forcing opponents out of their comfort zones and into a lower-scoring tempo. The effect of this in-your-face style was never more evident than when UCLA held the University of Memphis, a high-scoring number one seed chock full of NBA-caliber talent, to a season-low 45 points in the tournament semifinals.

UCLA’s transformation from a freewheeling, hard-driving, running team to a disciplined, cerebral, defensive-minded unit was no accident. Since arriving at UCLA in 2003, Head Coach Ben Howland has carved a place in Bruin lore with an approach that stresses taking care of the ball, maintaining great defensive and rebounding intensity, and toughness. After playing under Howland, student-athletes walk away with their bodies stronger, their minds more disciplined, and their game more controlled.

For many coaches, toughness seems like the kind of intangible quality that can’t be taught. There’s no single way to measure it, no standard textbook, and no set of time-tested drills. Too often, it’s seen as the byproduct of good coaching and willing students. But coaches like Howland, Metropolitan State College of Denver’s Mike Dunlap, and Michigan State University’s Joanne McCallie include it as part of their daily workouts, coming up with new ways to build the discipline that underlies both mental and physical toughness to create a culture shared by every member of the team...
Go here for the remainder.

Monday's WAC basketball compilation

Remember Corey Stern, who spent a year at Idaho before transferring to Howard College, a community college in Texas?

It turns out he will be back in the WAC as Texas State joins up on July 1, 2012:

Men's Basketball Adds Corey Stern to Signing Class

San Marcos, Texas – Corey Stern is the latest student-athlete to join the Texas State men's basketball team. Stern signed a letter of intent and will join the 2011 Southland Conference Co-West Division Champs this fall.

Stern, a 6-foot-7, 220 pound junior forward from Seattle, Wash., comes to Texas State from Howard JC. An honorable mention All-WJCAC pick, Stern ranked second in the league in blocks and fifth in rebounds. He averaged five points per game and had a season-high 13 rebounds. The Hawks finished the season 22-7 and 12-2 in conference play.

“Corey is a versatile forward that has an extremely high motor and passion to defend,” said head coach Doug Davalos. “On the ball, he has the quickness to guard smaller players and is a physical low block defender as well.  Off ball, he is an active rebounder and shot blocker ...” 
Head here for the remainder.


Idaho athletics has introduced a new logo:


Here's ESPN's Andy Katz on Utah State and conference realignment:
Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes said the Aggies would be interested in replacing Air Force in the Mountain West if the Falcons bolt. Now this is a move both sides should support. The MWC can get the state of Utah back in its footprint. Utah State basketball is an upgrade over any other recent addition (Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada). Utah State would immediately be a contender with UNLV, New Mexico and San Diego State every season (waiting on Colorado State to get there, too). Utah State coach Stew Morrill deserves one more shot in an established league (even though the MWC is looking more like the old WAC).

Central Arizona JC point D'Vonne Pickett lists Fresno State as displaying major interest in Anthony Ray's feature on him. But Seattle leads as the young man is from that area.

Also according to Anthony Ray, the Bulldogs are seriously tracking Jonathan Milligan, a 6-foot-2 Arizona prep point who has some academic catchup to complete.

Both require a Rivals sub to access.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Coach Mike White & LT land another

Eric Bossi tweeted this tonight:
"Very nice pickup for Louisiana Tech tonight, three-star guard Alex Hamilton is off the board"
Here's Jonathan Ford with the news.

Hamilton is a 6-foot-4 2012 point guard out of the Florida HS ranks. He is the son of a coach but his father died late last year.

Here's a video about the young man and his father. In the video, he curiously shoots a free throw lefthanded but dunks righthanded.

Sunday's WAC-ar00

Hey, it's the Hernst Laroche weekend as Jason Groves also features the New Mexico State floor leader in his Top 10 WAC player countdown.


Dayton Morinaga reports in multi-media that Hauns Brereton is the new "King of the Beach" for UH basketball. No word is Brereton then jumped over to Kailua-Kona to challenge the pros in the Ironman event.


Lance Frazier finds out that Brady Jardine does birthday parties, and PTW offers kudos to the Aggie senior.


Well, this is interesting. At the GoVandals Scout site in the Basketball Forum, gcheck2181 has posted that Coach Don Verlin received a commitment from another junior college backcourter, Darrington Banks (originally out of Las Vegas) -- Denzel Douglas and Tim Johnson being the earlier ones. But some of Johnson's writeups make it sound like he's more of a points producer. The 6-foot-1 Banks totaled 36 assists in 20 games last year at Grayson County JC where he was a second team all conference selection so he may also be more shooter than passer. Each of these guys are jet quick.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

So who will be the top assist(er) in the 2011-12 WAC?

New Mexico State's Hernst Laroche is back to defend his 5.1 assists per game WAC crown and that's who PTW is going with as the coming season's top passer.

What would aid Laroche's total is a sharpshooting two guard or wing who can catch and deliver. His likely shooting running mates: Christian Kabongo finished at 26% from long distance in 2010-11 and Remi Barry hasn't played in two years. But we're still going with the senior from Canada.

Effective outside shooting would also open up the inside more, playing to an Aggie strength.

Brockeith Pane was tied for third last season at 4.4 assists a contest and we see that number going higher. He is going to score more in 2012-11 but PTW also expects him to generate offense for others.

Fresno State's Steve Shepp and Idaho's Landon Tatum finish fifth and sixth respectively with Deonte Burton seventh and Deremy Geiger ninth.

PTW sees neither Shepp nor Tatum raising their per game averages all that much while Burton has the possibility of doing so but remains a shooting point. Geiger is also more shooter than passer.

Hawaii newcomer Shaq Stokes will finish in the top 10 but, again, his focus is more on scoring.

Saturday's WAC basketball galaxy

LouisianaSelect at the Bulldog Barks & Bytes MB has posted that recruit Michael Qualls includes Louisiana Tech as one of his final two choices.

Qualls is a 6-foot-4 wing out of Shreveport. Back in August 2009, Rivals' Jerry Meyer wrote this about the young man:

"At 6-foot-4 and as about as long as a prospect can get at that size, Qualls was the top athlete at the event. A promising transition and baseline dunker, Qualls played with an impressive intensity. He's a dangerous rebounder and defender and also displayed flashes of a developing skill game. It is tough to say what level Qualls will end up at as a prospect, but his upside makes him a prospect that high majors need to be tracking."
ESPN's Dave Telep wrote this in July 2011:
"He's an incredible athlete who soars above the rim to score and grab rebounds. He scores his points using his athleticism whether he is filling the lane in transition or flying in for an offensive rebound. He can go and find most balls near or above the rim and shows the ability to drive when there is a clear path to the basket. Inside of 15 feet, he is comfortable and dangerous. Mid-majors are offering."

Jason Groves has Idaho's Kyle Barone coming in at #9 in his ranking of the top 10 WAC talents.

Here's Jason with his feature on Aggie hoops and the Pan-Am Center.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Eamonn Brennan on the USU schedule

Eamonn Brennan has posted this about the Utah State schedule:

"Toughest: BYU (Nov. 11), at Wichita State (Dec. 10), at Mississippi State (Dec. 31)

Next-toughest: at Weber State (Nov. 15), Kent State (Dec. 22)

The rest: Southern Utah (Nov. 19), at Texas A&M-CC (Nov. 22), at Idaho State (Nov. 26), Denver (Nov. 30), at Pacific (Dec. 3), Utah Valley (Dec. 6), Seattle (Dec. 17), Texas-Arlington (Dec. 20), St. Peter’s (Dec. 21), at Seattle (Jan. 19), Montana Tech (Feb. 14), BracketBusters opponent (Feb. 18)

Toughness scale (1-10): 7 -- Stew Morrill did well to schedule a series with Mississippi State, but a trip to Starkville isn’t the only highlight of the Aggies’ schedule. In a rebuilding year for the defending WAC champs, they face Wichita State on the road and have rival BYU coming to the Spectrum for the season opener. The Spectrum is usually wild anyway. When BYU comes to town? Hide the women and children."

It's Friday morning and here's what we have so far

Mario Gomez, publisher of The Barkboard, clears up the Julius Bilbrew situation at Fresno State. Simply put, some academic debris needs cleaning up before Bilbrew can set up shop in the San Joaquin. PTW's earlier question about redshirt Allen Huddleston was way, way off target.


Idaho and Coach Don Verlin have landed a high school talent out of Washington -- Ty Egbert is a 6-foot-8 power forward.

Here is a 2009 article when he was a sophomore.

Here is a 2011 piece.

Here is a photo of Egbert.


Here's more on Idaho prepster Marcus Colbert and his commit to Montana State.


Jason Groves looks at the top seven sophomores in the WAC.

Then, Jason moves on to his list of the Top 10 WAC talents, beginning with a Utah State player.


Sam Wasson goes in depth on Aggie basketball attendance.


Who else in the WAC but Hawaii could hold a "King of the Beach" contest -- Dayton Morinaga fills us in.


The USUStats folks break down the Aggie roster from all sorts of angles and include photos.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday night WAC hoops updates

A set of p.m. links ... in October? Here's hoping we have something for Friday a.m.


Andy Boogaard/Fresno Bee tweets a positive news Robert Upshaw update.

Going on a hunch and nothing else, Georgetown and its litany of bigs (although that's bordering on ancient history now) appears the toughest Fresno State competitor.


Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop comes through yet again:

"2012 Post Falls (ID) guard Marcus Colbert committed to Montana State tonight"
Can't gauge Idaho's interest in the high schooler but with at least two JC commits at the point ...


This move by New Mexico State makes sense. Big Wen should have the venue rocking this season so no excuses for not being there.


Per dabowman at the Hawaii/Scout Ohana MB, JC wing Du'Vaughan Maxwell now owns a Hawaii offer.

Here's some background on the young man.

Here's an item on him from late September.


An error or not? house 32 at the BarkBoard Save Mart Center MB has posted that freshman backcourter Julius Bilbrew is no longer showing on the official Fresno State roster. He signed in April as Coach Rodney Terry's initial recruit.

If true, was it the presence of redshirt Allen Huddleston?

Thursday's wide world of WAC basketball happenings

We're amazed anything is left after posting 5-6 separate entries yesterday afternoon.


Gary Wilkinson receives some major props from a new New Zealand Breaker teammate:

"[Daryl] Corletto believes centre Alex Pledger will step up this year and tips Gary Wilkinson might lead the league in scoring"

Tony Jones reports that USU's Antonio Bumpus isn't 100% -- that could be a problem as Coach Stew Morrill is replacing four starters, plus Brian Green.


Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop tweets that Utah State (among others) is showing interest in a 2013 SoCal power forward.

Here's a video on the young man, who appears ambidextrous.


Dan Hinxman writes about former Nevada stalwart Nick Fazekas, who is adding Hungarian citizenship to his basketball portfolio.


Jason Groves tackles (sorry for the mixed sport metaphor) the WAC juniors in another very interesting read.


2013 Arizona prep big Torren Jones has an offer from San Jose State University:
"Jones is a 6'8" forward who has the athletic ability to play in an up-tempo system and run the floor, and when the effort's there he's a tough player to keep in check. The schools that have shown the most interest are Colorado and San Jose State (offers), Arizona State, Auburn, Penn, Oregon State and Washington. But the five schools he'd like to receive offers from are Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and USC."