Friday, August 31, 2012

College recruiting and academics

Dana O'Neill has been all over the myriad of sub-subjects involved with college basketball recruiting and academics this month and her latest column is another good one. Yes, some kids do just need the right setting and backing in order to blossom, as she points out.

Her writings brought to mind that there are also a percentage of kids who just aren't going to 'succeed' in school, be it high school or college, for a myriad of factors (yes, often self-inflicted) yet what roundball vocation options are available to them?

Not that such possibilities are anyone's or any organization's obligation because this involves the world of work -- an official exchange of skills for a set salary -- but how many 17, 18 or 19-year-olds are body-and-mind skilled ready for playing overseas, let alone the developmental league?

There is a tendency to jam on these young men but there are plenty of people for who a college setting, even the community college level, is inappropriate and these individuals enter the work force post high school.

But the difference is they aren't competing with adult men but rather in entry level positions. Basketball doesn't have this, at least not tied to also simultaneously performing in the classroom.

All in all, there are so many more serious issues needing addressing but our one size fits all approach post-high school basketball approach is underserving.

Friday's WAC pre-holiday weekend wrapup

Dayton Morinaga has the details about Bill Amis' choice to forsake professional basketball and get on with his life -- Amis has returned to Hawaii. PTW always liked him and his game and wishes him well.


ESPN's Fran Fraschilla tabs Texas Arlington's Scott Cross as one to watch in the college coaching ranks.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday's WAC group hug

Check out the Bobcat Experience, described as:

"The guide gives fans an inside look into the life of students at Texas State and in the surrounding community.

The Bobcat Experience includes videos of current Texas State student-athletes on a variety of subjects as well as pictures of the athletic facilities on campus.

The interactive guide includes information on all 16 Texas State sports as well as academic information for students' lives in the classroom."

Jaycee Carroll deserves a mention in this article. A state without a club basketball team in 2012? Amazing.


Yep, non WAC-relayed but...

Coach Rodney Terry keeps at it. The Bulldogs are heading to the top of the Mountain West Conference and soon.

Nathan Kotisso writes that Terry is crowding into Big 12 territory.

Fresno State can't be happier. PTW keeps waiting for Leon Rice/Boise State to make a move up in the basketball world.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday's WAC roundup

Per Bob Young, Grand Canyon University would love to be a member of the WAC but,as always, that path has a roadblock or two.


In a Benjamin Miraski article sparked by the discussion of changing the shot clock to 24 seconds, this appeared:

"...Perhaps if Brennan wants to see his faster brand of basketball, the better thing for him to do would be to follow the Southland conference. Of the top 20 teams in offensive possessions per game, four were from the Southland, including the fastest squad in the country, Texas State...
Had no idea Texas State plays so speedily.


InsideRunnerSports confirms that Texas San Antonio has indeed landed a new player -- meet Philip Jones.


Blue Zertuche reports (a Rivals sub is required) that 6-foot-9 Texas prep forward David Wacker, a 2014 prospect, has offers from Texas Arlington and Texas State, with interest from Utah State.

2014 Texas high school wing Trent Brinkley also owns a UTA offer.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tim Marrion back at SJSU

Tim Marrion is back home.

Of course, at different times during his life that has meant getting his mail in Nottingham, England, Melbourne, Australia, Pullman, Washington and San Jose but we're talking the latter address as he is the new 'old' assistant basketball coach at San Jose State University.

We recently had the opportunity to pose some questions to him, so here goes:

Q - What will be your duties and goals with San Jose State University?
TM - My responsibilities at SJSU will be a mixed bag. In addition to the basics of an assistant coach (recruiting, on-floor coaching, opponent scouting), something I'm most looking forward to is working with Coach Nessman specifically on our team's offense. I am excited about this responsibility especially as it allows me to really focus on one side of the basketball in regards to opponent scouts and even during drillwork in practice. Working with Coach [Ken] Bone & Coach [Jeff] Hironaka [while at Washington State], two coaches with outstanding offensive minds, I'm looking forward to using some of the knowledge I gained in my three years working at Washington State to help push the program forward here at SJSU.

It may be a bit premature to talk about specific goals that I have here at SJSU but I do have a few general goals. My number one goal is to help push the needle forward in any way possible and do my part daily to turn SJSU into a consistent threat for postseason basketball. From the limited viewings of the team that I've seen, I'm really excited about the potential that the group of players that the staff has brought in has. There is a significant increase in the amount of physical talent in the program and I'm looking forward to working with all of the guys.

Q - You were born in England and also lived in Australia before coming to the U.S. Were you involved in playing hoops as a youngster? If so, why basketball? How did basketball get into your blood when the national sports of both countries aren't played on a court?

TM - You've done your research! I was fortunate as a child to experience living in a few different countries and cultures. This experience opened me up to a mix of different things. It was in Australia around the age of seven that I first started playing basketball. My dad was my coach and like many children, I wanted to be exactly like him. We would go to NBL (Australian professional league) games together and I would constantly be watching everything basketball both in-person and on television. Although I still follow soccer ("football" in England) and Australian rules football, I can't imagine coaching either of those sports.

Q - How did you graduate in three years (with a degree in sports management) from Washington State when most students take five or so years? That's quite an achievement.

TM -  I chose to accelerate my undergraduate education while at Washington State, to the confusion of many of friends, because I genuinely enjoyed the challenge academically. I was fortunate to know what path I wanted to go down before I entered college so this allowed me to really map out classes and courseloads to set myself up to complete my degree a bit ahead of schedule. A college degree is something that I hold with a lot of pride and I hope to be able to continue to instill the importance of academics and working towards earning a college degree into all of the student-athletes that I'm fortunate enough to work with.

Q - You were an assistant coach at San Jose State University at age 22 -- which has to be a first. Did you ever imagine working in such a position at that age?

TM - I was extremely fortunate to have a year under my belt as an assistant coach when I was 22. I am somebody with a lot of self-confidence and did think I was capable of handling the rigors that come with being an assistant coach at that age. I learned a tremendous amount as there really is not much substitute for on the job training. It's one of those situations where I always think what if I could go back then with the knowledge & experience that I have now. I was very thankful for the opportunity and even more grateful to return to SJSU to finish off what I started a few years ago. 
Q - ESPN's Dana O'Neill recently wrote an article about the evolution of assistant coaches from primarily earning bona fides as a recruiter to now needing a much more well-rounded skill set. Your take?

TM - I would agree with Dana's assessment of assistant coaches in college basketball today. There has always been a demand on assistants to have connections within recruiting as players are the lifeline of the program - they are the ones that go out there and actually decide the outcome of the games. With that being said, there is more demand in today's world of college basketball for assistant coaches to now do something with the players that have been recruited into each respective program. There's now more of an emphasis of having well-rounded assistant coaches who are able to develop players into reaching their basketball potential.

I think every successful coaching staff is set up where each coach brings a unique set of skills to the program to help it succeed. You've got staffs with a certain coach or two who is known for recruiting, others may be known for game planning, and so forth. When it comes to hiring a head coach, I think an athletic director is going to look for somebody who embodies multiple characteristics of a successful assistant coach. This is where the importance of working on your perceived weaknesses as a coach to help you become a better well-rounded assistant comes into play, in regards to making yourself a viable candidate for head coach openings if that's what you aspire to do.

Q - Are you familiar with Villa 7, the annual summer get-together for assistant coaches across the nation? Is it something on your schedule for next summer?

TM - I am familiar with Villa 7. It's definitely a prestigious event for assistant coaches and something I would absolutely love to be one day invited to. The caliber of assistant coaches that have attended the past few years is extremely impressive, as is the number of assistant coaches who have attended Villa 7 and soon after been hired as head coaches (Anthony Grant, Dave Rice, Shaka Smart, just to name a few). It looks like a tremendous opportunity for assistant coaches who aspire to be head coaches to not only network but improve their interview skills.

Q - Can we expect a San Jose State University - Washington State basketball matchup in the not too distant future?
TM - Funny you should ask this as right before I accepted this position at SJSU, I was responsible for scheduling at WSU and spoke with Coach Nessman a couple of times about the potential of a home-home series between the two schools. It ended up not working out but talks were definitely in progress.

Two more WAC notes

Dayton Morinaga has the details on Zane Johnson's first pro gig.


At the InsideRunnerSports MB, it appears Texas San Antonio may or may not have garnered another player.

Tuesday's WAC news journey

Doug Benton's NorCalPreps article on Sunday's Nor Cal Clash event, which pitted the top 2013 talents against those in the 2014, contained these recruiting items:

* Rae Jackson, El Cerrito, 2013 guard (formerly of Rodriguez High in Fairfield) holds an offer from San Jose State University, among a number of potential destinations.

* Kendall Smith, Deer Valley, 2013 guard also has San Jose State University on his long list of colleges to check out. "He is going on an unofficial visit to San Jose State in the next week or two..."

* D'Erryl Williams, Sheldon High, 2013 combo guard, is exploring the possibilities of San Jose State University as well as a handful of other schools.


Thanks to Krimson Krazy for posting the link to the Kelsey Crooks memorial.


Kevin Cacabelos is out with his Top 25 Seattle basketball talents and Coach Cameron Dollar is naturally after some:

* D.J. Fenner (Delaware, Hawaii, Nevada, Seattle University, UC Irvine, Utah)

* Tucker Haymond (Idaho State, Montana State, Seattle University, Western Michigan)

Speaking of the Redhawks, Director of Athletic Communications Jason Behenna provided PTW with the information necessary to finally determine Coach Dollar's 2012 recruiting class and we thank him for it.

Neither Nkosi Ali nor Kentari Nettles signed with Seattle (as we had come across elsewhere) so here is the Redhawk roster for 2012-13:

Backcourt transfers Emerson Murray (California) and Isiah Umipig (Cal State Fullerton) are redshirting this season.


* Luiz Bidart, 6-foot-1, guard redshirt freshman

* Sterling Carter, 6-foot-0, guard, junior -- 10.1 points but 37% overall shooting, 36% from long distance, just 23 free throws attempts on the season

* Jarell Flora, 6-foot-0, guard, sophomore -- 3.4 points per game, shot 43%

* Prince Obasi, 6-foot-2, guard, senior -- 4.8 points per game, shots 41% overall, 38% from long distance, 73 assists

* Emmanuel Chibuogwu, 6-foot-6, guard, freshman

* D'Vonne Pickett, 6-foot-0, guard, junior -- Central Arizona transfer, he scored 11.7 points and passed for 5.5 assists a game this past season, shooting 42% overall, 36% from three-point range and 53% from the foul line.

* Allen Tate, 6-foot-5, guard, senior -- 2.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, shot 35%

* David Trimble, 6-foot-1, guard, freshman


* Jack Crook, 6-foot-11, center, freshman

* Tidiane Diop, 6-foot-8, forward, senior -- 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game, shot 45% overall

* Louis Green, 6-foot-9, center, senior -- 3.8 points and 2.6 rebounds, shot 54% overall

* Chad Rasmussen, 6-foot-7, froward, senior -- 5.2 points per game, 36% overall shooting, 36% from long distance, shot four free throws in 505 minutes

* Deshaun Sunderhuas, 6-foot-9, forward, redshirt freshman

* Clarence Trent, 6-foot-6, forward, junior -- 9.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, shot 46% overall

Monday, August 27, 2012

Morrill gets a 2014-er

Sam Merrill announces it himself: "I'm gonna be an Aggie. I've committed to play basketball at Utah State!!" (before catching the error, we had it mis-spelled as Sam Morrill, not Sam Merrill -- talk about a Freudian)

Tony Jones scoops with the details.

From Hoopniks on April 29:

Sam Merrill, 6′-3″, 2014, PG/SG, Utah Hoops/Bountiful (UT) – Like his teammate Chapman, Merrill has an unassuming demeanor but a highly-skilled game. He is capable with the ball in his hands, and is adept at both mid-range to outside shooting, and on takes to the paint. With suitable size and court vision, Merrill played exceedingly well, especially in tight situations.
With really only three prominent D-1 programs in state, Utah State enjoys a nice home state advantage vis-a-vis other WAC opponents. That's built-in but there's still the issue of landing kids and Morrill does a fine job there.

Monday morning's WAC basketball news

Tony Jones breaks the news about a certain someone REALLY wanting to be an Aggie.

Matt Sonnenberg recaps a zany recruiting experience and also weighs in on the ramifications of having another wing in Logan.

Don't know how it works in other states but an out-of-stater coming to California would be forking over major bucks, easily over $10k for a year's expenses. That's a hit to the pocketbook unless you are a one percenter of which this MJ isn't a card-carrying member.


Dinos Trigonis offers: "Cezar Guerrero officially visiting Fresno State today. Getting interest from Wash State, UTEP, Long Beach State, NM State, CSUF & CSUN"

It's hard to see that being in Pullman, El Paso and Las Cruces puts him so-called 'closer to home' so those destinations are going to have to really nail their pitches.

Braeden Anderson, Robert Upshaw, Paul Watson and possibly Guerrero (hey, getting a visit is a win in and of itself) -- the FSU admin folks netter start wondering what can be done to keep Coach Terry.


Just asking, does this really matter? Basketball directors of player operations are usually at the very low end of the coaching salary totem pole, at least for schools who have to count their pennies.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday's WAC scripture

A tweet from Coast2CoastHoops: "'13 Clovis (NM) G John Dawson cuts it to Creighton, Colo St, Wyoming, Auburn, NMSU, Ariz St, UTEP, NAU, TXTech, Colorado, Baylor & Cal Poly"


Coast2CoastHoops has posted about a 6-foot Texas backcourter and Texas State has placed a welcome mat: "'13 Hebron (TX) PG Ridge Shipley has an offer from Texas St & interest from Texas A&M, Rice, UCSB, UC-Davis, Wofford & Brown"

C2C also linked to a video of Shipley:


The Minnesota Fury twitter account contains another offer for its big: 
"Carter Evans picks up another D1 offer today, this one from Presbyterian."

San Jose State University has offered and will be getting a visit.


For the Fresno State fans still visiting:

The Compton Magic folks have tweeted: "Compton Magic's Paul Watson commits to Fresno State! Let's gooooo......"

Doesn't happen w/o Mountain West Conference affiliation -- Rodney Terry continues his roll.

Watson is a 6-foot-7 wing out of Arizona. Area Codes Basketball offered this description: "Paul is a long, rangy, wiry & athletic talent. Paul is a true (W) who handles the ball very well for a player his size, Paul can also stroke it from the outside with consistency. Another one of Paul’s big assets is his athleticism; Paul has the knack for going up & over defenders for the frequent throw down. Defensively Paul is just as good, with his versatility, very good agility, length & court awareness, Paul is usually a problem for opposing teams on the defensive end"

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday's world of WAC hoops

Percy Allen writes about Seattle touring China.


Arizona Hot Spot has the news of USU offering a 2013 backcourter: "Poston Butte High 2013 6'4 SG Jalen Richard picks up new offers from Tulsa, Boise State, Drexel, Utah State and Air Force."

Here's a photo and description.


Ben Davis, the founder, director and coach of the Minnesota Fury club team offers an update on his big, 6-foot-10 Carter Evans: "Carter does still have an offer from San Jose State and will be making an official visit out there in the middle of September. Carter currently has 8 offers (3 at the Division 1 level). His other two D1 offers are from Bradley and New Hampshire. Loyola, Boston, Holy Cross, and Colgate are also highly interested and I wouldn't be surprised if any of those teams offered in the near future as well."

PTW thanks Coach Davis for his update. Much appreciated.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday's world of WAC-dom

Dinos Trigonis and Etop Udo Ema, the Fullcourt Press folks, have posted their rankings of the prep talent available in New Mexico.

20 players are listed, with the first two already lined up collegiately. But the third is still on the market:

3 Jon Dawson 6'3” PG Clovis (Clovis NM)
Athletic point guard can score when he wants, but will look to get teammates involved first. Dawson has legitimate “3-point” shooting ability but prefers to take it inside when the opportunity presents itself. Solid defender is receiving interest from Arizona State, Creighton, UTEP, Wyoming, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona and Texas Tech.

Louisiana Monroe has hired former LA TECH star Lonnie Cooper. Doing the hiring is Keith Richard who himself had a coaching stay in Ruston.


InsideRunnerSports offers more on Texas San Antonio's pursuit of Houston prep frontcourter Tavario Miller. Louisiana Tech has also offered.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Transferring is an epidemic"

It's an interesting topic but it's also curious that nowhere in the latest edition of CBSSports' polling of coaches -- all about transfers -- is there mention of any "problem" with movement of coaches. Coaches departing is mentioned in the piece but not as an issue in need of addressing.

Not to highlight anyone but simply to demonstrate: the Western Washington coach just took a job at Washington. Realistically, his roster signed on to play for him. That won't be happening but what are those young men to do at this late date?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If restrictions are deemed necessary, something we are not in agreement with, then they should apply equally.

LT after a Texas prep froncourter

From Blue Zertuche: "The Village high school's Dylan Jones (GCBC Cagers) had once made a verbal pledge to Pepperdine, but parted ways a few weeks back. Once his recruitment reopened, offers from Tulane, Brown, LA Tech, Penn, Iona, Rice and Sam Houston came pouring in. The versatile forward likes his options will set dates to visit the campuses listed. He is going to set unofficial visits with Sam Houston and Rice, while scheduling official visits with the rest. Jones is going to sign early."

Jones is 6-foot-8, 210.

From Horace Neysmith: "...We got a look at Dylan Jones at last years EliteHoopsShowcase Camp in Houston and liked what we saw. An active post player with a good nose for the ball, loves contact and good athleticism. He consistently plays through contact and finishes plays. At that time the 6-foot-8 Jones was committed to Pepperdine University..."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday's WAC hoops digest

Anthony Esparza writes about New Mexico State's path forward.


Per Adam Zagoria, it was between DePaul, New Mexico State, Auburn and Iona for big Norvel Pelle and he went with the latter.


Andy Glockner at SI lists his choice for must-watch non-conference battles and among his picks are:

18. Saint Mary's at Utah State (Nov. 15)

Sooooo tempted to try to get to this game in person. It's an enormous chance for a maturing USU squad to signal its intent in its farewell season in the WAC. Love to see great regional matchups between top mids. Also a matchup that has two of the guys who look the least like lethal basketball killers in Matthew Dellavedova and Preston Medlin.


25. San Jose State at New Orleans (Nov. 9)

After years of post-Katrina decline, a two-year dalliance with a drop from Division I athletics and a switch from the Louisiana State system to the University of Louisiana system, the Privateers have decided to stay in D-I. Good for them and good luck helping rebuild the school and reconnecting with the city.


The Inside RunnersSports folks have posted that 6-foot-8 in-state frontcourter Tavario Miller has an offer from Texas San Antonio.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday's WAC items

Jason Groves is all over the forcing of the WAC's hand to bid adieu to football.

Teddy Feinberg checks in with a New Mexico State assessment.


George Pfeifer, the former Idaho head coach, is leaving Montana State. Maybe Gonzaga will have a future opening as the names of Ray Giacoletti and Donny Daniels pop up every now and then for other positions.


According to Blue Zertuche (a Rivals sub is required), Denver has been in touch with 6-foot-8 Texas prep frontcourter Michael Hoffman.


Former So Cal prep backcourter Cezar Guerrero is departing Oklahoma State and Fresno State is among the transfer possibilities. This is being listed because 1) the Bulldogs would not be in play without Mountain West Conference affiliation and 2) Rodney Terry's mojo. No WAC possibilities.

UC irvine is also mentioned -- interesting. Would Guerrero go with San Diego State or Long Beach State? (also Big West Conference but winning programs who get to the Big Dance)

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Monday so what's happening with WAC hoops?

Jason Groves offers an update on Troy Gillenwater.

Per Jason Groves, former New Mexico State star Kelsey Crooks has left us at age 31.


Ryan James tweets: "6-ft-10 Center Carter Evans of Roch Century/MN Fury picked up 3 (2 D1) more offers this weekend from Mary, New Hampshire, & Bradley"

San Jose State University was the first D-I to offer.


Henry Abbott has a tremendous piece on how the contrasting behavior by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen towards teammates just may be emulated by Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash and work just as well.

Yep, not WAC-related but interesting because internal dynamics is a subject rarely covered in college athletics yet is just as important as talent levels.

Plus, Pete Thamel's latest article is still an eye-opener even though depicted/played out so many time before -- may Jonathan Hargett find the equilibrium necessary for a more constructive life from here on out.

Connected to Thamel's piece is this anecdote.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Points for New Mexico State?

Not much else to post, so worked up this:

So who is going to consistently score while shooting a solid percentage for New Mexico State in the 2012-13 season?

The question is applicable because the top four scorers for the southern Aggies have vamoosed, those being Wendell McKines, Christian Kabongo (he left mid-season), Hernst Laroche, Hamidu Rahman.

Next in line was Daniel Mullings who totaled 9.3 points per game, shooting 49% overall, 22% from three-point range.

Banja Sy was the #6 point producer at 8.8 a contest, on 45% and 33% accuracy.

Coming in at 7.0 points was Tyrone Watson, shooting 49% overall but less than 10% on treys.

Tshilidzi Nephawe contributed 5.8 points each time out on 52% overall.

Each will score more this coming season but who will step up from being a contributor to a count-on-15 points-a-game guy without turning into a a volume shooter?

Mullings certainly has that capability. So does Sy but usually such a turn takes place by the junior and not senior season so he's in real prove-it territory. Nephawe needs more touches to increase his effectiveness and that will be job one for point K.C. Ross-Miller.

Going further down the roster, Remi Barry still needs to show he can create his shot and then sink it. Plus, newcomers Kevin Aronis and Matej Buovac must catch-and-shoot accurately from the get-go.

The number of candidates in the mix produces the feeling that someone, or two will come to the fore -- but who?

New Mexico State is not an overpowering team, at least not on paper and combined with past production. However, Joe Lunardi sees a WAC championship coming to Las Cruces.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday's easing into the weekend WAC compilation

John Blanchette holds nothing back in his Idaho-to-the-Big-Sky column assessment.


NY2LASports has tweeted: "Per his father 2014 Riley LaChance is planning unofficial visits to Missouri, Virginia, and Utah State. He visited UWM earlier this month"

He's a 6-foot-1 guard out of Wisconsin. Here's an article on him and his club team.

Plus, here's some video:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mention of Kyisean Reed

In the second item of his daily post, Troy Machir makes note of the exclusion of Utah State's Kyisean Reed from a compilation of high-flying dunkers.

Troy's "Morning Mix" (actually that and his other multitude of posted items) are a not-to-be-missed daily roundball highlight. In fact, the weekends when he's off are just a little less enjoyable (hint, hint).

Friday's WAC basketball digest

Teddy Feinberg checks in with the New Mexico State perspective after the reveal of Idaho's status.


Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop (a Rivals sub is required) on 6-foot-9 2013 Canadian Matthew Atewe currently at Notre Dame Prep: "Scholarship offers are presently on the table from Kansas State, Auburn, Marquette, Dayton, St. Bonaventure, SMU, Duquesne, Charlotte, Marshall, Western Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico State and Memphis, among others."


Blue Zertuche (a Rivals sub is required): "Six-foot-10 Ray Barreno (Latinos Select) has cut his list according to Ron Vicencio, Barreno's guardian. The El Paso Faith Christian big has six schools on his list and two have set official visits. Tulane is set for August 25, while Utah is getting Barreno in on October 4. Also making the cut are UTA, Texas State, Tulsa and Colorado State."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Idaho has landed

Brian Murphy writes that the Vandals are going Big Sky-ing, except for football.

Regarding hoops, this gives Don Verlin a solid shot at going to the Big Dance every season, much more so than being in the WAC, which remains at death's door and knocking heavily.

Divining what it means for Idaho football will be left for Murphy and others to detail.

The Thursday WAC roundball digest

Backcourter Leon Cooper, formerly of a redshirt year at Utah State, will be playing for Maine this year. The Bahamas to Orono is quite the climate change.


Seattle is headed to China for some hoops.


Texas State disposed of another Costa Rican opponent as former Idaho Vandal Corey Stern scored 13 points. Will fans in Moscow remember this season?


It's apparently final -- Boise State is moving its Olympic sports programs to the Big West Conference. What seems particularly torturous to follow is that both Hawaii and San Diego State are Big West basketball entities, although UH football is in the Mountain West Conference and the gridiron Aztecs in the Big East Conference. Got all that?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday's world of WAC hoops

Texas State continues to roll in Costa Rica.


From the Minnesota Fury: "Interest continues to gro on 6'10 Carter Evans, has received new calls/interest from Bradley, Loyola, Colgate, & Boston this week"

San Jose State University has also offered the 6-foot-10 2013 prospect.


In the continuing series by CBSSports, the question of the day is regarding the percentage of club basketball teams connected to agents and the highlight response is:

“If 60 percent of AAU coaches are tied into agents, the other 40 are trying to get tied in.”
Rim shot.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday and the WAC basketball galaxy

So much for the projected M - W - F publishing cycle...

UT Arlington Coach Scott Cross announces his new director of basketball operations.


Joe Lunardi has New Mexico State matched up with Duke in Salt Lake City come the opening round of the 2013 Big Dance. No reasoning is supplied, it's just a listing of qualifiers. Expect Logan-ites to fill up Lunardi's mail box but not with bonbons and petit fors.

Speaking of the southern Aggies, not much is appearing even on Twitter regarding recruiting which is unusual.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday's WAC roundup

Chris Murray has the next basketball destination for Olek Czyz and it's not Poland.


Missed an interesting feature back on April 11 @ Seattle U Hoops.

Isiah Umipig and Emerson Murray transferred in after the season from Cal State Fullerton and Cal respectively. D'Vonne Pickett came up from an Arizona JC. Not sure where Kentari Nettles and Nkosi Ali, two other JC guys, stand at this point with Coach Cameron Dollar.


Blair Thomas writes "I'm a die-hard fan of Seattle U basketball because..."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday and the WAC basketball universe

Blue Zertuche (a Rivals sub is required) writes that UT San Antonio recruiting target Michael Grant, a 6-foot-4 Lone Star State prep wing, has decided to attend Abilene Christian.


Jason Groves checks in with a very interesting story involving the Denver Pioneers. As PTW has noted, Coach Joe Scott's squad lacks size and experience at the one and two spots, plus co-leading scorer and outside sharpshooter Brian Stafford has graduated. Call Denver the most stylized team in the new WAC and now someone is chiming in as also the second best.


Check out Brian Murphy tweeting away:

WAC and Big Sky are back in discussions about alliance to keep WAC alive & keep 2 NCAA bids, according to Idaho officials.
Will have much, much more about Idaho's situation in Sunday's
Here's Murphy's Sunday column.


At the USU Fans Stew's Spectrum MB, Spectrum Magic has the destination for Dalton Nixon, an Aggie 2014 target but someone with certain bloodlines which made it impossible to overcome.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday's WAC hoops items

Hard to believe a WAC team will be in pursuit but... 

"Coach Romar: "Mark McLaughlin has decided to leave the University of Washington to pursue other opportunities..."

This one seemed so right for the former Nevada signee on so many levels, especially geographically.  

Percy Allen has more. 


Cody Fueger is the new director of basketball operations for USU.


Athlon does recognize Stew Morrill in its ranking of mid-major coaches but no Marvin Menzies. That's an oversight.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday's WAC roundup

Brad Winton posted: "Raphael Carter, a 6-9 forward/center out of Diablo Valley CC in California, is waiting on his final summer grades to be posted before he makes a decision. Carter will know early next week whether he graduates and qualifies for the NCAA D1 level. Carter originally signed with Nevada, but was released from his NLI. He now has offers from Rhode Island, Bowling Green and Oakland."

Thought some WAC teams might jump in but apparently not.


A 2013 homegrown point has Texas San Antonio in his top four.


Speaking of the Roadrunners, junior backcourter Ryan Whitehead has announced his departure. He played but 37 minutes last season.


Dayton Morinaga has a post up on 6-foot-7 CA power forward Kaiako Kaluna who appears a very strong Hawaii lean but Utah State is also mentioned.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The golden years ain't

Don't let anyone fool you -- getting old isn't all being a free agent, no timeclock, all y-o-u time, etc. More like when or if the back or stomach or hearing or eyesight will cooperate.

Let's have Kyisean Reed demonstrate, or at least a photo of him.

Saw this (below) and immediately thought 'that's the strangest punk mohawk I've ever seen on a basketball player, Dennis Rodman included' until luckily sanity prevailed as my eyes adjusted. Yeah, as if Stew Morrill would say, 'I'm cool with that.'

A major tip o' the hat to Mel Grussing for making my embarrassment possible.

Thursday's wide world of WAC hoops -- New Mexico State edition

There's one more McKines in this world -- can't flush as yet but Daddy and Mama will take care of those duties for a couple of years.


Crimson Illustrated has a note that redshirt walk-on Temjae Singleton in no longer a member of the New Mexico State Aggies.

Look for him to go the JUCO route for next season.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jahmar Young to France

Former New Mexico State backcourter Jahmar Young has signed with a team in France.

Wednesday's WAC roundup

Tony Jones breaks the news that JUCO wing transfer Marvin Jean is academically ineligible to play D-I. Matt Sonnenberg offers analysis.

Jean would have been the best athlete at the three spot, a solid defender and a nice all-around talent but it's not like Stew Morrill is bare on the wing.

PTW has always wondered about such situations -- who is responsible for the cost of Jean's thumb surgery when he was working out in Logan this summer if he never was an official Aggie? Funny how the mind works, or doesn't.


The USU Stats folks have an update on Jared Stutzman, an Aggie recruiting target.


Former UT Arlington star LaMarcus Reed has landed a paying gig in Antwerp.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday's WAC hoops collective

The USU Stats folks perform an Aggie roster analysis and also supply a projected playing minutes breakdown. Real good stuff!


Ray Thomas notes the first offer extended to Gabe Vincent, a 6-foot-1 2014 guard out of the Stockton, CA area, and it's from a WAC member, at least this season.


Per Blue Zertuche (a Rivals sub is required), UT San Antonio has landed homegrown 6-foot-5 wing Luke Wilshire as its opening commitment in the 2013 class. Wilshire also checked out Denver. Here's a compilation profile.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Fill-A-Need Guy

Let's try and determine not the team MVP on each WAC squad but someone who must fill a need by providing a level of production no other on the team can.

* Denver

Going to go with 6-foot-8 redshirt freshman Jake Logan here as he, although a blank slate at this point, is the tallest and heaviest on the roster and the Pioneers will need someone to play major minutes, at least defensively, in the middle.

* Idaho

 A second productive big will be critical but PTW is going with junior Denzel Douglas, a 5-foot-10 JC transfer point who is also a strong rebounder and defender.

* Louisiana Tech

His shooting prowess is a work-in-progress but 6-foot-3 sophomore point Kenneth Smith is by far the top get-the-ball-to-the-right-man-at-the-right-time passer for the Bulldogs.

* New Mexico State

Sophomore K.C. Ross-Miller must be effective at the point for Coach Marvin Menzies.

* San Jose State University

6-foot-11 junior Alex Brown, a JC transfer, needs to block shots, rebound and score in the paint. He has shown capability in the first but not yet consistency in the latter two.

* Seattle

Clarence Trent, who should be a load down low at 6-foot-8, has the capability to perform as a junior and the Redhawks need that if they are to make a WAC impression this season.

* Texas State

6-foot-3 sophomore Wesley Davis looks primed for a breakout season after showing talent in defending, rebounding and scoring but must pick up his accuracy.

* UT Arlington

PTW is choosing 6-foot-5 senior Kevin Butler, who led the Mavericks in steals and was second in rebounding but has to show better shot selection (get closer in) and consistency.

* Utah State

It would be easy to select 6-foot-6 senior Kyisean Reed as power forward is the most hard-to-predict Aggie position for 2012-13 output but let's mix it up and go with Jarred Shaw, as the Aggies need multi-dimensionality from a big.


How about 6-foot-10 sophomore JC transfer Triton Mayberry or 6-foot-8 junior JC transfer Edrico McGregor as the Roadrunners need a presence inside to take away defensive attention on forward Jeromie Hill and backcourter Kannon Burrage. McGregor is the likeliest of candidates.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The WAC basketball roundup for Saturday

Spencer Farrin has the updates on Don Verlin's coaching staff.


Jason Taylor writes that the Utah State - Casey Oliverson pairing is still a down-the-line possibility.


InsideRunnerSports has the details of UT San Antonio's mutual interest with Arizona prepster Larry Lewis, a scoring guard.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday's WAC report

Benjamin Haynes makes the case, given the choice, for hitting Europe over the NBA Developmental league. It's a no-brainer for WAC non Babbitt and McGee talents.


Packers90 at the USUFans Stew's Spectrum MB has the latest on one time USU verbal commit Casey Oliverson. Wasn't LA TECH his very first commitment?


It's hard to top an Ivy League school:

Yale picked up a commitment earlier this summer from J.T. Flowers, a six-foot-six big guard from Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon.  

Flowers graduated in June and will attend Choate Rosemary Hall as a post-graduate next year. He held previous offers from Arizona State, San Francisco, and Idaho among others and shined at the Yale Elite Camp in June.  

With good size and athleticism along with tremendous length, Flowers has the skill set and versatility to play multiple positions and impact the game on both sides of the floor. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Left Coast Recruiting has tweeted: "2013 6'9 PF Josh Hawkinson (Shorewood HS) informed LCR that he has offers from Idaho, Portland State, and Santa Clara" 

Here's a June 2012 interview on the Washington prepster.

Wil Carter signs with a team in Holland

First, it was smallish town Pocatello. Then off to larger Salt Lake City, followed by a two-year stay in Portuguese-speaking Brazil on a mission and a return to the Crossroads of the West. Next came a couple of years in Silicon Valley, San Jose specifically.

Wil Carter is a road veteran, ready and able to pack a suitcase when called upon.

Now he's on the move again as Carter is going to be challenging some of the best in the play-for-pay overseas basketball game, having signed with Eiffel Towers, a team in Den Bosch, Holland, located 80 kilometers south of Amsterdam. 

Coming off a San Jose State University season where he averaged a double-double -- 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds --  the 6-foot-8 Carter impressed a number of opposing coaches and fans with his skills set. That effect obviously carried over to Adam and Ben Pensack of the Pensack Sports Management Group and ultimately representatives of  the team in Holland.

So how did this come about for Carter?

Self-effacingly, Carter said, "I was fortunate to have a good season."

It all began when his play caught the attention of the San Francisco-based Pensack's.

Explaining the interest in Carter, Adam Pensack said, "we first saw him at San Jose State as a junior. We then saw him in the San Francisco pro-am and couldn't believe how much better he was in that setting than at San Jose State. This isn't to say Wil wasn't good at San Jose State, as he obviously was very good there. In the pro-am, though, Wil was knocking down 18-foot jumpers consistently and really getting out on the break and finishing with authority. At that time, Ben and I thought Wil was probably one of the most underrated players in the country for a variety of reasons (smallish D1 school, losing record, playing center instead of power forward, etc.) and we knew that his upside was immense. We think the next few years are going to be extremely exciting for Wil on the court as he builds his professional career."

"We had lunch in San Jose and it felt right," Carter explained. "Later, I talked with one of my good friends, Spencer Nelson, and he spoke highly of the Pensacks." Nelson, out of Pocatello High and Utah State, has long been a Pensack client and is playing with one of the very top teams in Europe, Spain's Gran Canaria.

Carter credits the Pensacks for paving the way to Europe -- "They made the process real simple."

There is housing and a car awaiting Carter's arrival  He departs on August 20 and the season concludes in May and his wife, Kim, will be accompanying him. What will also be beneficial is the team has "an assistant coach who is American and I've talked with the head coach and he speaks perfect English."

So what did Carter do since his college season concluded?

"I just kept up my routine, working out and lifting," he offered. "I'm very self-driven and pride myself on that."

But playing professionally was not something Carter thought would really happen.

"As a kid, I was telling everyone I was going pro but I really had no idea," he said. "Guys from Pocatello, that's not something we're generally aspiring to."

That changed as he got older.

"People started telling me I had the body and skills to do so. [San Jose State University] Coach [George] Nessman sat me down and explained what I needed to do. He pushed me real hard to develop in the right ways."

One element of Carter's game most don't know about is his outside-shooting ability. The lack-of-height makeup of the Spartans required that he play exclusively inside but in Europe he'll have the opportunity to demonstrate his full skills set.

Here's Adam Pensack on that aspect: "he will be asked to play a slightly different role than he did in college. The team wants him to play minutes at the 4 and 5 positions and they welcome his ability to knock down perimeter jumpshots. In Europe, big guys are often looked upon to stretch the floor and draw post defenders away from the basket and Wil absolutely has the ability to do that. Combine that with his athleticism, work ethic, and willingness to learn and the sky is the limit for Wil."

There is also one other lure for Carter. Fries with mayonnaise is particular delicacy, a so-called national snack throughout Holland. Carter wasn't aware of this but as he put it, "I love mayonnaise." Potatoes too -- hey, he's from Idaho.

Thursday's WAC digest

Sad news out of Ruston.


From Hoop Dirt: "Multiple sources have told me that Washington State DBO Tim Marrion will join the staff at San Jose State as an assistant. Marrion is a WSU alum who has been on the Cougars staff for the past three seasons. He has previously worked at San Jose State – he held various roles on the SJSU staff from 2006-2009. The official announcement is expected shortly."


Denver received some positive national pub from Sports Illustrated.

Utah State was also included in Andy Glockner's piece.


Texas State is spending a week in Costa Rica this summer. Former Idaho Vandal Corey Stern is a member of the Bobcats, at 6-foot-7 but 270 pounds. He wasn't anywhere near the latter while in Moscow.


Hey, there are many reasons Prospect X didn't sign (or did) with your favorite college team. Eric Prisbell (now with USA TODAY) is out with another in the never-ending supply of stories involving benjamins, college recruiting and the I-got-to-get-mine crowd.

Opportunity produces motivation which leads to what we have the so-called adults doing now, a 'system' in which the individuals possessing the talent are bartered like pork bellies while being recipients of the least of the largesse.

Rob Dauster provides a guessing game -- and if you can't guess the winner then any of the Las Vegas casinos will gladly fly you free-of-charge to Sin City.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday's WAC roundup

6-foot-9 Matthew Atewe has an offer from New Mexico State, among many others.


Another of those Top (fill in the number) Coaches in D-I has been published and, while such are interesting reads, they are also meaningless because institutional, locational and financial advantages are littered almost universally among the names on the list.

How about we metaphorically even the playing field and then see who continues to stand out?

Marvin Menzies has won two WAC titles in the past three seasons in Las Cruces and there's always Stew Morrill in Logan but unfortunately neither of these names will ever appear in such articles.