Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday's WAC roundup

Jerit Roser previews Coach Mike White's 2012-13 version of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Best quote (from White): "A lot of our Bullpuppies have grown into Bulldogs now..." 


Dan Hanner/The Basketball Prospectus forecasts a 13-5 conference record for Utah State, 10-8 for New Mexico State and another 10-8 for Denver.


Jeff Goodman rolls out his Top 50 Shooters and, yes, there is a Preston Medlin sighting at #27.

Matt Sonnenberg explores Riley Bradshaw's departure as do Tony Jones & Kyle Goon.


Picoso at the Crimson To The Core Cantina MB has a link to an interview with Wendell McKines. Wen checks in at the 4:40 mark.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday's WAC basketball digest

Louisiana Tech athletics offers a preview of this year's squad, with some player attribute updates.


2013 Backcourter Trey Dickerson lists an offer from Seattle. From New York City and also Los Angeles, here's a profile. It looks like he is doing a prep year in Dallas.


In a solid p.r. gesture, New Nexico State is inviting basketball season ticketholders to a practice.


From Frank Woodford's latest (a Rivals sub is required):

Zylan Cheatham - 2014 Small Forward from Westwind Prep -
...The six-foot-seven forward wowed the crowd with his athleticism and competitiveness, no one wanted to tell Cheatham that this was only a showcase. The small forward's greatest attribute is his effort and motor. He accedes at playing as a point forward, he is creative and showed good creativity over the weekend. There were many times the forward skied for a rebound, and then took the ball coast to coast for a dunk. Defensively, Cheatham was all over the court, blocking shots, rebounding and playing the passing lanes. The area that he must improve however is his outside shooting...
Jake Toolson - 2014 Shooting Guard from Highland High School -
...he is a terrific one on one player that utilizes several go-to moves to create separation for his favorite move, a step back jumper. The junior-to-be is an interesting prospect because he has the size and strength to be a wing, but is more productive with the ball in his hands at the point. Toolson is creative and can play a point forward at times, but his ball handling must improve if he was to slide over and play the position on a regular basis. His greatest attribute on the basketball court is his shooting, he has great range and is a threat from anywhere on the court...
Both hold offers from Utah State.

Bradshaw leaves USU

Per Tony Jones, freshman guard Riley Bradshaw has left the Utah State basketball program. His departure will have no effect this season but it's always tough to lose a very promising talent who owns four seasons of eligibility. What's interesting is that now he will have to redshirt somewhere, if that was his concern.

An easy prediction based on no inside knowledge: here comes Montana U and Coach Wayne Tinkle but many others outside of The Big Sky State will be rushing in to fill the void.

Here's mslacat with a 2010 feature on Bradshaw plus one from USUStats.

The interwebs in Logan will certainly be buzzing this morning.

Monday, October 29, 2012

So who is Chris Udofia and is he enough to overcome a team height disadvantage??

University of Denver's Chris Udofia is receiving praise and predictions as one of the top, if not the top, performer in the Western Athletic Conference in the upcoming 2012-13 season.

Denver is new to the WAC so very few have seen Udofia in action.

For the record, he averaged 14.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in 30 minutes of action a game as a sophomore. Udofia shot 57% overall, 72% from the foul line and 29% from long distance. His blocked shots totaled 74 and he posted an 82/74 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Plus, he sports a 3.5 grade point average.

Also for the sake of reference, check out his statistics as a freshman: 8.3 points, 50%, 62% and 26% shooting, 39 blocked shots and a 40/41 assist-to-turnover ratio -- in 29 minutes a contest.

He definitely plays bigger than his 6-foot-6 frame.

In the Sun Belt Conference last season, Denver went 11-5 (22-9 overall). The season featured home victories over very athletic Southern Mississippi and a St. Mary's squad with Rob Jones and Brad Waldow plus at Utah State (against the latter, Udofia had 15 points, six rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes while the Pioneers shot 52% overall, 40% from three-point range and lost the battle of the boards 27-22). Additionally, Coach Joe Scott's team beat Mountain West Conference member Wyoming at home but lost to Colorado State of the MWC on the road.

The Pioneers will certainly miss leading scorer Brian Stafford (he shot 50% overall, 46% on treys) but Udofia plus returnees Royce O'Neale (leading rebounder at 5.8), Brett Olson and Chase Hallam are a very solid heart of a team.

It's worth noting that 6-foot-7, 225-pound Rob Lewis, the starter in the middle last season, has graduated, taking his 7.4 point and 3.2 rebound averages per game with him. For the record, Scott was putting out Lewis, 6-foot-6 Udofia, 6-foot-4 Stafford, 6-foot-5 Chase Hallam and 6-foot-5 Brett Olsen as his opening quintet. It's not a tall group but very good-sized for the wing and guard positions.

All this leaves a legitimate question for Denver this season: where's the beef?

In 2012-13, 6-foot-8, 220-pound Jake Logan is a redshirt freshman and Dom Samac a 6-foot-9, 200-pound true frosh. 6-foot-7, 215-pound Marcus Byrd also sat out his initial college season.

That's it for possibilities vis-a-vis matchups in the middle.

On the other hand, New Mexico State will feature 6-foot-10, 270-pound Chili Nephawe, with 7-foot-5 Sim Bhuller as his backup.

The trio of 6-foot-10, 235-pound Jarred Shaw, 6-foot-10, 270-pound Jordan Stone and 6-foot-11, 245-pound Matt Lopez have Utah State fans dreaming of a bounty of points, rebounds and blocked shots in the paint.

The road to the WAC championship will definitely wind through Las Cruces and Logan -- there are no alternate routes. Obviously, some think Denver also.

Now Scott's offensive framework may negate needing power players inside but it's harder to mask that absence defensively.

For the record, the Pioneers were a -4 per game in overall rebounding in 2011-12 and shot 77 less free throws.

On the flip side, Denver was a +42 in blocked shots, a +69 in steals, shot 49% to 44% overall and committed 78 less turnovers.

Can Udofia carry the Pioneer frontcourt, and with his teammates, overcome a lack of size?

Some think so, but that's why the games are played.

Monday's WAC hoops roundup

Andy Glockner has the WAC at #16 in his conference rankings.


Matt Sonnenberg analyzes/evaluates what he witnessed in Utah State's win over Grand Canyon.


Texas San Antonio offered a pair of weekend visitors -- Westwind Prep tweeted: "WPA post grads Larry Lewis and Kevin Davis took official visits to Conference USA Texas San Antonio this past weekend. Both receive offers"

* TSA is in the WAC but headed to CUSA by the time said players would arrive.


Jeff Goodman issued his Top 30 Breakout Players -- no Preston Medlin or Chris Udofia. Maybe they are considered already past breaking out but more than likely just overlooked.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday's WAC week wrapup

Per Blue Zertuche/Texas Hoops (a Rivals sub is required), Utah State is among a number of teams checking out 6-foot-3 2013 point Zach Dickerson.

The Logan-ites also recently received a visit from 2014 prospect Jared Stutzman.

Landon Helmsley has posted the fave Spectrum moments in USU basketball history.


Vandal athletics reports on Idaho's victory over Seattle Pacific. Ditto for Josh Wright, who also reports that Kyle Barone is on the verge of returning.


Jason Groves offers news and notes after viewing New Mexico State's scrimmage. Jason also notes that New Mexico State basketball is appearing just in time for a school and community needing a sports boost.

Bill Harty also recap the scrimmage for the BleedCrimson site.


Per Brian Persky, 6-foot-6 Seattle backcourter Tucker Haymond has de-committed from Western Michigan. Might that provide an opening for Cameron Dollar to move in as Haymond also owned a Redhawk offer?

Here's a May 11, 2012 feature on Haymond.

Here's Kevin Cacabelos on May 4.


There's only so much room -- 30 spaces -- so congrats to Denver's Chris Udofia for making Jeff Borzello's Top 30 Under The Radar Players (but where in the heck is Preston Medlin?)

His numbers aren’t as eye-popping as some of the other guys on this list, but he consistently makes an impact at both ends of the floor and is extremely efficient. He passes the ball well, blocks shots, rebounds – and still finds time to average nearly 15 points a game. Udofia is tough to defend because of his energy and nonstop motor. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The 2012-13 San Jose State University Spartans

Here's Coach George Nessman's 2012-13 roster:


David Andoh F 6-7 200 Fr. San Jose, CA (IMG Academy)

Alex Brown C 6-11 210 Jr. Colp, IL (John A. Logan College)

D.J. Brown G 6-2 185 So. Los Angeles, CA (Chino Hills HS)

Chris Cunningham F 6-9 240 Jr. Pomona, CA (Santa Clara University)

Louis Garrett F 6-6 215 Jr. St. George, UT (Salt Lake CC)

* Nick Grieves G 6-3 160 So. Aptos, CA (Aptos HS)

Chris Jones G 6-4 205 Sr. Hayward, CA (Newark Memorial HS)

Xavier Jones G 6-4 205 Jr. Gary, IN (John A. Logan College)

James Kinney G 6-2 180 Sr. Champaign, IL (Eastern Utah College, Ohio U.) (Centennial HS)

Aalim Moor G 6-3 194 Sr. Oakland, CA (St. Mary's HS)

Lavanne Pennington G 6-4 180 Sr. San Bernardino, CA (Barstow College) (Genesis One Christian School) (U. of Southern Mississippi)

Stephon Smith F 6-8 260 So. Dallas, TX (Body of Christ Christian Acad.) (Wilson HS)

Mike VanKirk F 7-1 240 Fr. Palmdale, CA (La Jolla Prep)

Jaleel Williams F 6-6 215 So. Killeen, TX (Ellison HS)

* walk-on


Here's what we wrote earlier (May 16) about San Jose State University:

Losing Wil (Mr. Double-Double) Carter and Keith Shamburger means two large holes must be filled and Coach George Nessman has a five-man recruiting class arriving to help. And there's nowhere to go but up after a 1-13 conference record.

It looks like James Kinney and DJ Brown as the backcourt starters for the Spartans. The 6-foot-2 senior Kinney led in scoring last season at 15.8 points per game but has to better his 85/92 assist-to-turnover rate to more like what the sophomore Brown achieved at the point, 73/39. More timely shot attempts with less degree of difficulty involved would also help.

Look for 6-foot-2 JC newcomer Xavier Jones to add a physical presence in the backcourt. He shot well at the foul line and overall but (if the numbers are correct) went 1-19 from beyond the arc so it looks like his game is moving towards the hoop with the ball since he attempted 145 free throws.

6-foot-4 seniors Chris Jones and Lavanne Pennington are back as wings/guards -- Jones is a pesky, mix-it-up guy and the latter's strength was  heralded as a shooter (although his accuracy was just 28% in 2011-12).

It's an interesting mix at the wing with little-used 6-foot-6 sophomore Jeleel Williams returning and two newcomers arriving in 6-foot-6 JC transfer Louie Garrett and 6-foot-7 prepster David Andoh.

It's just a hunch but look for Coach George Nessman to elect to go with Kinney, Brown and XJones as his out-of-the-paint starters.

With bigs, Joe Henson has left the program due to knee problems so it's 6-foot-7 sophomore returnee Stephon Smith, 6-8 transfer from Santa Clara Chris Cunningham plus newbies Alex Brown and Mike VanKirk upfront.

Smith is strong and bulky but still in search of an offensive game. It's hard to discern Cunningham's game from his previous stats but he's likely the starter at the four.

The 6-foot-11 Brown is a JC transfer who will be the man in the middle because of his shotblocking talent while the 7-foot-1 VanKirk is still in development.

In summary, newcomers Jones and Brown will help but it's still going to be hard to hold opponents to less than what the Spartans will score.


The Spartan starting five:

* Alex Brown
* Chris Cunningham
* Xavier Jones
* James Kinney
* DJ Brown

Saturday's WAC digest

It was host Utah State 76, Grand Canyon 44 last night -- Kyle Goon's Twitter account was on fire.

USU Hoops, Shawn Harrison, Kyle Goon and Matt Sonnenberg all check in with game reports. 


Jason Groves writes about what he's looking for in New Mexico State's Saturday scrimmage.

Jason also has a post up on feeding the beast(s) -- at least that's the idea for this season's Aggie offense.


Seattle Coach Cameron Dollar is certainly doing the outreach.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Listing and commentary on the WAC picks

Okay, the coaches have weighed in as well as the pixel-stained wretches that constitute the media covering the WAC and both are in agreement as to who will be honored as All-WAC First Team.

It's odd that the media is not asked to offer a Second Team as the coaches are but so be it.

2012-13 Preseason Men's Basketball Coaches All-WAC Teams

First Team

* Raheem Appleby, So., G, Louisiana Tech
* Kyle Barone, Sr., C, Idaho
* Preston Medlin, Jr., G, Utah State  
* Daniel Mullings, So., G, New Mexico State
* Chris Udofia, Jr., F, Denver

Note that two sophomores are listed, plus a pair of juniors. Such would bode well for the future if the league wasn't falling apart.

Second Team

* Kevin Butler, Sr., F, UT Arlington
* Jeromie Hill, Jr., F, UTSA
* James Kinney, Sr., G, San Jose State
* Kyisean Reed, Sr., F, Utah State
* Tyrone Watson, Sr., F, New Mexico State

The most intriguing inclusion here is Butler who averaged 10.8 points and 5.9 rebounds last season while shooting 45%, 29% and 70% respectively. He had 48 assists versus 63 turnovers but a team-leading 51 steals. Sam Wasson has Butler in his First Team All WAC quintet.

Preseason Player of the Year: Preston Medlin, Jr., G, Utah State

2012-13 Preseason Men's Basketball Coaches Poll
Rank - Teams (1st-Place Votes) - Points

1   New Mexico State (5) 77
2   Utah State (5) 76
3   Denver 65
4   Louisiana Tech 54
5   UT Arlington 48
6   Idaho 45
7   UTSA 31
8   Seattle U 22
9   San Jose State 18
10 Texas State 14

Idaho is the biggest surprise here as the coaches are seeing something PTW is missing (we have a fourth place finish for the Vandals). Jason Groves has Idaho coming in third, Sam Wasson #8 so there are divergent expectations.

Denver posted an 830-943 rebounding deficit last season and it's hard to see that improving considering the Pioneer frontcourt. Will style of play and committing less turnovers do it for Coach Joe Scott's squad?

+++++ +++++ +++++

2012-13 Preseason Men's Basketball Media Poll
Rank - Teams (1st-Place Votes) - Points

1  Utah State (15) 232
2  New Mexico State (8) 223
3  Denver (1) 181
4  Louisiana Tech 162
5  Idaho 144
6  UT Arlington (1) 137
7  UTSA 104
8  Seattle U 77
9  San Jose State 61
10 Texas State 54

Which media-ites selected Denver and UT Arlington respectively to finish first? Please, please, please post your reasonings.

2012-13 Preseason Men's Basketball Media All-WAC Team

First Team

Raheem Appleby, So., G, Louisiana Tech
Kyle Barone, Sr., C, Idaho
Preston Medlin, Jr., G, Utah State
Daniel Mullings, So., G, New Mexico State
Chris Udofia, Jr., F, Denver

Preseason Player of the Year: Preston Medlin, Utah State

Sam Wasson bucked the trend and went with Chris Udofia here.

Newcomer of the Year: Jarred Shaw, Jr., F/C, Utah State

Could very well be but New Mexico State really needs K.C. Ross-Miller to come through at the point and he was the selection of PTW.

Friday's WAC hoops weekly closeout

Kyle Goon writes about the Big Three and the Lilliputians in Logantown.

TornBySports is having technical difficulties, so head here to read a lengthy look at the USU Aggies.

Shawn Harrison writes that Utah State has an exhibition game tonight.


LA TECH athletics recaps an exhibition victory by Coach Mike White's squad.


Matt Norlander goes Mile High with his WAC team and player rankings.

There will be some contentions about the opinions expressed in the Coach's take section, especially the 'Brockeith Pane being the best Aggie last season' statement.

Plus, a quibble about Preston Medlin: it's true that over half of his shot attempts were treys but what many don't realize is that he went to the foul line 156 times last season -- so he wasn't just a catch-and-shoot type.


Seattle U Hoops tiers up the members of the WAC.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday's link extravaganza

Matt Sonnenberg checks in on the various WAC team and player predictions.


Seattle athletics has Coach Cameron Dollar commenting on the WAC polls and predictions:

Even though no Redhawk players were singled out in the preseason voting, Dollar is confident that members of this year's squad will become known during the season. He believes the team's trip to China in late August, where they played against tough competition in front of standing room-only crowds of about 5,000 people, prepared them for the upcoming schedule.

"Allen Tate played the best of anyone in China, and his solid play has continued since returning to the States. Clarence Trent has been getting better since the end of last season, as his potential has turned into production, and Sterling Carter has settled in and shown veteran leadership heading into this year," said Dollar.

InsideRunnerSports (as usual) is all over Texas San Antonio recruiting, with two prospects coming in.


Jason Groves' article has some quotes from various New Mexico State players regarding the coach and media polls.


Shawn Harrison adds some quotes from the northern Aggies on the same subject.


Here's Mike White discussing LA Tech's 2012-13 squad:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday's WAC roundup -- reading this will kill your morning plans

CBS Sports and its list of top 50 Bigs nationally contains zero WAC players. Who is going to step up and prove 'em wrong?


The WAC coaches and media polls have been released.

Check out these links: Kyle Goon, Josh Wright (including a note that Kyle Barone is back practicing),

Kyle Goon has the inevitable words from Coach Stew Morrill.


Jason Groves has posted his New Mexico State depth chart.

PTW is apparently missing the boat as Tyrone Watson is first at power forward. It's certainly the best spot for him regarding his shooting range but can he perform his best there at 6-foot-4? Remi Barry is also listed at the four as well as elsewhere.


Sean Kramer writes about how the early positional battles are shaping up in Moscow.

Mark Nelke covers similar ground.


Blue Ribbon Basketball Yearbook previews San Jose State University.

SJSU athletics covers a Spartan intra-squad scrimmage.


Justin Harrison covers the bigs for USU.

Jordan Dahl looks at the wing types and guards.

Kyle Goon adds a bit more to how matters in Logan are playing out.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The All-WAC Second Team

Want five more player names constituting the All-WAC Second Team?

Here you go:

* Jarred Shaw, Utah State

He is going to block shots and board well enough but will he hit double figures in scoring? The forecast is yes.

* James Kinney, San Jose State University

This spot is his if he upgrades his offensive efficiency.

* Matt Staff, Texas State

Leading your team in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots should do it.

* Kyisean Reed, Utah State

As strange as this sounds, he should be surrounded by enough offensive weapons to be the second leading scorer on the Aggies.

* Stephen Madison, Idaho

Expectations are that he will be the leading scorer for the Vandals in 2012-13.

Tuesday's collected WAC basketball items

Teddy Feinberg looks at Daniel Mullings 2011-12 versus what fans will see this season. There's a master plan in place to prepare Mullings for his post-Aggie hoops career.

Jason Groves dips deep into the point situation at New Mexico State.


No WAC appearances in CBSSports' Top 50 Point Guards.


Saw this poll (order of predicted finish) -- SDSU, UNLV, UNM, CSU, Nevada, WYO, Fresno State, Boise State, Air Force -- and thought moving into the Mountain West Conference really is a big step up from the WAC.

Yes, SDSU and Boise will be departing but the above demonstrates how much incoming teams better jack up their recruiting, or else.


There's Secret Santa and also secret practice games upcoming and CBS Sports has ferreted out some involving WAC teams:

Portland State vs. Seattle at Centralia CC

* San Jose State at Pacific

* UT San Antonio at UT Pan American

* Texas State at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

* UT-Arlington at Southeastern Louisiana in Shreveport


Not WAC-related but Luke Winn outdoes his usual superb self with this article on the 1990 LSU - LMU battle. Yep, they don't make play 'em like that anymore.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The 2012-13 Texas San Antonio Roadrunners

Here's Coach Brooks Thompson's 2012-13 roster:


A.J. Price G 6-2 175 Fr. The Colony, Texas (The Colony HS)

Devon Agusi G 6-0 170 Sr. Dallas, Texas (Trinity Valley CC)

Hyjii Thomas G 6-1 160 Jr. Houston, Texas (Navarro JC)

Larry Wilkins F/C 6-4 250 Sr. San Antonio, Texas (Midland JC)

Tank Mayberry C 6-10 295 So. Corpus Christi, Texas (Navarro JC)

Jeremy Hines G 6-1 165 So. Bellaire, Texas (Bellaire HS)

Michael Hale III G 5-9 150 Sr. Federal Way, Wash. (North Idaho College)

Jeromie Hill F 6-8 230 Jr. Cairns, Australia (Australian Institute of Sport)

Lucas O'Brien C 6-10 220 Fr. Chandler, Ariz. (Perry HS)

Edrico McGregor F 6-7 225 Jr. Nassau, Bahamas (North Idaho JC)

Kannon Burrage G 6-3 185 Sr. East Moline, Ill. (Des Moines [Iowa] Area CC)

Phillip Jones F 6-6 200 Fr. Freeport, Bahamas (Piney Woods [Miss.] HS)

Jordan Sims G/F 6-4 185 Jr. El Mirage, Ariz. (Liberty HS)

Tyler Wood F 6-6 230 Jr. San Antonio, Texas (Madison HS)

George Matthews G 6-5 220 So. Phoenix, Ariz. (Utah)

* not sure who the two walk-ons are


Here's what PTW wrote back on May 21:

Brooks Thompson just sounds like the name of a basketball coach and here he is heading the University Texas San Antonio program. A solid backcourter, Thompson played at Texas A&M and Oklahoma State and was also a first round selection in the NBA draft. He was hired to lead the Roadrunner program in 2006.

Coming off an 18-14 overall, 10-6 Southland Conference season, Thompson has lost four graduating seniors plus two transfers while bringing in four new talents.

Saying goodby are forward/center Alex Vouyoukas, forwards Stephen Franklin and Larry Wilkins plus guard Sei Paye. Additionally, Forward Igor Nujic has transferred to St. Mary's. Melvin Johnson, a top scorer, also departed for reasons of chemistry.

So the RR backcourters and wings are:

* Kannon Burrage 6-foot-3 senior

Averaged a team-leading 13.5 points per game and shot 152 free throws, also tops.

* Michael Hale III 5-foot-9 senior

Best in assists with 3.2 per game.

* A.J. Price 6-foot-2 freshman

It looks like he redshirted last season but should be in the rotation in 2012-13.

Swinging between guard and wing is:

* Jordan Sims, 6-foot-4 junior (he played little)

Plus, one of the four newcomers is a guard:

* Hyjii Thomas 6-foot-3 junior (Navarro TX JC)

A superb athlete who is just putting it together, it's a matter of seeing how quickly he adjusts and advances to D-1 basketball.

So it's Burrage, Hale plus maybe Thomas as the core strengths of the Roadrunners.


In the frontcourt are two returnees and a trio of newbies:

* Jeromie Hill 6-foot-8, 230 junior

Averaged 12.5 points and 6.4 rebounds a contest last season, the latter the best on the squad. What's perplexing is that he shot 41% on treys but just 60% from the foul line. At the end of last season, Hill was named the Southland Conference Student Athlete of the Year.

* Tyler Wood 6-foot-6, 230 sophomore (he played little)


There are a trio of incoming bigs:

* Tank Mayberry, 6-foot-10, 285 (Navarro TX JC)  

The loser of 65 pounds since he arrived at Navarro, that an impressive feat in and of itself but more must disappear. There's really no competition in the middle for him if Thompson wants to go with a traditional setup.

* Edrico McGregor, 6-foot-7 230 (North Idaho CC)
Out of the Bahamas, he displays scoring and rebounding ability and should enjoy the opportunity of solid, right away playing time.

* Lucas O'Brien, 6-foot-10 220 AZ HS center 6-foot-10 220

He'll need added strength and bulk but he already shoots and runs the floor very well. A redshirt year isn't out of the question but that's if Mayberry can play 30 minutes a contest.

As a team the Roadrunners shot 45% overall to 42% for opponents, plus 39% to 32% from three-point range.

In summary,  the Roadrunner guard set appears a strength and Jeromie Hill is the man upfront but will be looked at to do more. If Thompson can get solid play from a couple of his new frontcourters, then San Antonio will be competitive.


The Texas San Antonio starting five:

* Tank Mayberry
* Jeromie Hill
* Hyjii Thomas
* Kannon Burrage
* Michael Hale III

Monday's WAC hoops digest

USUStats provides an update on former Aggie Jaycee Carroll. He is one of the highest paid overseas players and will retire quite wealthy despite never having set foot in the NBA.


Kyle Goon writes about USU's initial scrimmage.


Sam Wasson goes a bit against the tide with his predicted WAC finish and top player picks. Certain Denver and Texas Arlington players will be very happy but Idaho fans not so much.


Benjamin Miraski is high on the Aggies of New Mexico State.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The 2012-13 Texas Arlington Mavericks

Here's Coach Scott Cross' 2012-13 roster:


Vernell Blackman 6-5/202 Forward JR Dallas, TX/Canarsie High School/Lon Morris JC

Kevin Butler
6-5/214 Forward SR Duncanville, TX/Duncanville/TCU

Cameron Catlett
6-3/188 Guard SR San Antonio, TX/Madison

Drew Charles
6-2/193 Guard FR Azle, TX/Azle

* Luke Davis
6-1/154 Guard RS FR Lubbock, TX/Monterey

Vincent Dillard
6-5/200 Forward JR Sanford, FL/Lake Brantley/Colby CC

Roger Dowell
6-1/183 Guard JR Duncanville, TX/Duncanville/Oklahoma State

Brandon Edwards
6-6/224 Forward JR Fort Worth, TX/South Hills

Greg Gainey
6-5/212 Forward JR Dayton, OH/Marshall/South Plains College

Karol Gruszecki
6-5/200 Forward SR Lodz, Poland//North Platte CC

Stuart Lagerson
7-0/220 Center JR Converse, TX/Judson

* Kyle McElvain
6-2/191 Guard JR Arlington, TX/Pantego Christian/Texas Wesleyan

Jamel Outler
6-2/183 Guard SO Houston, TX./Bellaire/Texas Tech

Jordan Reves
6-10/240 Forward SR Jeffersontown, KY/Jeffersontown

Deon Rodgers
6-6/265 Forward FR Fort Worth, TX/Dunbar

Shaquille White-Miller
5-9/176 Guard JR Port Arthur, TX/Memorial

* walk-on


Here's what PTW wrote earlier (May 29) about Texas Arlington hoops:

Scott Cross heads the Mavericks' program which is coming off a Southland Conference championship after posting a 15-1 record, 24-9 overall.

It looks like three seniors have moved on -- Bradley Gay, Bo Ingram (the second leading scorer at 12.8 points a contest) and LeMarcus Reed III (the leading scorer at 17.8 points per game) -- the latter two very effective as wings. Four newcomers are arriving.

The TA backcourters:

* Cameron Catlett, 6-3/185 guard senior

5.5 points per game, 86 assists and a second-on-the-team 48 steals but his shooting accuracy needs upgrading.

* Luke Davis, 6-1/160 guard sophomore (didn't play last season)

* Jamel Outler, 6-2/180 guard junior  (didn't play last season)

* Shaquille White-Miller, 5-9/165 guard junior

Just 4.8 points per game but a team-leading 123 assists as a regular starter.

As for recruits in the backcourt:

* Drew Charles guard TX HS 6-foot-2

Crafty with long distance shooting talent, he understands how to play plus how to use his teammates efficiently.

* Vincent Dillard Jr. guard Colby KS College 6-foot-5

12.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, shooting 42%, 37% and 59% respectively, he's a creative lefty who performs best in transition.

The TA frontcourters:   

* Kevin Butler, 6-5/210 forward senior
Produced 10.8 points and 5.9 rebounds a game and he led the Mavs with 51 steals.

* Brandon Edwards, 6-6/210 forward junior

4.3 points (shooting 60%), 4.4 rebounds and 23 blocked shots in 15 minutes a contest.
* Karol Gruszecki, 6-5/195 forward senior

41 of his overall 55 shots were of the trey variety -- he shot 37%.

* Jordan Reves, 6-10/240 forward senior

A starter last season, Reves averaged 9.1 points (shooting 55%) and 7.8 boards per game, plus 57 shotblocks overall, all in 24 minutes a contest
* Stuart Lagerson, 7-0/210 center junior

He's a backup with some inside shooting and shotblocking prowess.

The Maverick frontcourt recruiting class

* Greg Gainey forward South Plains C.C. 6-foot-5

14 points (on 62% shooting) and 5.4 rebounds a game   

* Deon Rodgers forward TX HS 6-foot-6 245

A knee injury slowed his senior season but he's thick, posts up and seals well as an inside scorer.

In summary, a fantastic last season in the Southland Conference will be met with an initial who-knows one in the Western Athletic Conference. It will be a one season trial whose finish will be determined by the level of  returnees and newbies stepping up.

The Mavs shot 45% overall in 2011-12 to 41% for opponents and out-boarded the competition by a remarkable six a game.

Turnovers played a hand in Texas Arlington's losses last year and will need reducing since the Mavs will likely not shoot as well this go-around. There is also minimal size in the frontcourt.

College Park Center is a brand new facility and the new homecourt for the Mavericks, who were able to play in it four times late in the  2012-13 season.

The Maverick starting five:

* Jordan Reves
* Brandon Edwards
* Kevin Butler
* ?
* Shaquille White-Miller

Sunday: Notes from a USU scrimmage

Utah State athletics provides some details on the most recent Aggie scrimmage, some a little surprising.

That's it.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The 2012-13 University of Denver Pioneers

Here's Coach Joe Scott's 2012-13 roster:


Marcus Byrd F 6-7 187 RFr. Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Highlands Ranch H.S.)

Nate Engesser G 6-3 180 Fr. Colorado Springs, Colo. (Colorado Springs Christian)

Blake Foeman F 6-7 205 RJr. Weston, Fla. (Cypress Bay H.S.)

Cam Griffin G 6-3 185 So. San Antonio, Texas (Judson H.S.)

Chase Hallam G 6-5 210 Sr. Mesquite, Texas (Mesquite H.S.)

Jake Logan C 6-8 215 RFr. Norwalk, Iowa (Norwalk H.S.)
Jalen Love G 6-2 165 Fr. Wichita, Kan. (Wichita East H.S.)
redshirting - Griffin McKenzie F 6-9 240 Jr. Cincinnati, Ohio (Xavier University) (Moeller H.S.)

Royce O'Neale F 6-5 202 So. Killeen, Texas (Harker Heights H.S.)

Brett Olson G 6-5 170 So. Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Highlands Ranch H.S.)
Bryant Rucker G 6-0 180 Fr. Frisco, Texas (Centennial H.S.)
Dom Samac F 6-8 203 Fr. Zagreb, Croatia (North Broward Prep)

Chris Udofia
F 6-6 194 Jr. Irving, Texas (Jesuit Prep H.S.)

* Charles Webb G 5-5 155 Jr. Erie, Colo. (Erie High School)

* walk-on


Here's what we wrote earlier (May 18) about University of Denver hoops:

Coming off a season that produced wins against Utah State, St. Mary's and Southern Mississippi, Coach Joe Scott's Pioneer crew in now a member of the WAC.

But it was a very successful Sun Belt Conference farewell tour as, overall, Denver went 11-5 (and 22-9). This despite not having a player on the roster larger than 6-foot-9 (and he played about 10 minutes a contest).

One of (if not the primary factor) the reasons is the patient offense the Pioneers employ, similar to what many recall Pete Carrill utilizing in his days at Princeton. It requires discipline, patience and selflessness until a defensive breakdown occurs and then the Pioneers strike.

Some very interesting numbers

Scott's 2011-12 team shot 49% overall, 40% from long distance -- opponents shot 44%

It was a three-point shooting machine on the court, attempting 640 versus 383 for opponents.

The Pioneers compiled 484 assists to 264.

Turnovers were 375 for Denver to 453 for opponents.

There was also a large differential in steals, 223 to 154.

For the season, DU was -4 in rebounding numbers, indicative of the lack of size

The Pioneer roster

In the backcourt, it looks like:

6-foot-3 prep shooting guard Nate Engesser could help

* Cam Griffin G 6-3 So (played just 42 minutes last season)
* Chase Hallam G 6-5 Sr (7.5 points, 4.1 rebounds per game, a team-leading 44 steals, started every game)

* Brett Olson G 6-5 170 So (as a frosh, he started every game, finished second on the team in minutes, averaged 7.6 points per game, his 46% three-point shooting  -- 117 attempts -- led the conference

* Royce O'Neale G 6-5 So (another freshman who quickly jumped into the fire, 9.9 points on 51% shooting and 5.8 rebounds per game, 43 steals

* Charles Webb G 5-5 155 Jr (maybe a redshirt, maybe just didn't play)

In the frontcourt, it looks like:

* Marcus Byrd F 6-7 Fr (redshirted)

* Blake Foeman F 6-7 Jr (played just 254 minutes)
* Chris Udofia F 6-6 194 Jr (14.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, 53% overall shooting, 72 blocked shots and named Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year)

* Jake Logan C 6-8 215 Fr (redshirted)

Size will be an issue in matching up with the Utah States and the New Mexico States.

The core is the two now-sophomore backcourters, Olson and O'Neale, who will only get better and the third man in the Pioneer troika, Udofia, who has All-WAC possibilities. Senior Chase Hallam is also one to watch.


The Pioneer starting five:

* Jake Logan
* Chris Udofia
* Royce O'Neale
* Chase Hallam
* Brett Olson

Saturday's roundup of WAC links

Idaho, except for its football squad, will have a new conference home in 2014, as Bob Murphy reports.

For Vandal basketball, the overall competition should lessen but now it will be Montana playing the role of Utah State/New Mexico State plus Weber State looking to continue on with it's rise, even post-Damian Lillard.

What's difficult to determine is what, if any, effect the move will have on Idaho hoops recruiting.


Jason Groves offers his WAC ballot plus recruiting items.


Shawn Harrison takes a peek at this season's Aggies and provides some interesting Kyisean Reed quotes.


InsideRunnerSports looks back at the first week of practice for Texas San Antonio.


Seattle U Hoops ponders the Redhawk starting five.

+++++Utah State

College Sports Madness serves up various All-WAC picks but with no accompanying explanations and some very interesting choices.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The 2012-13 Idaho Vandals

Here's Coach Don Verlin's 2012-13 roster:


Robert Harris, Jr. G 5-10 180 Jr. Kent, Wash. (Eastern Arizona)

Mansa Habeeb G 6-3 215 Sr. Buffalo, N.Y. (Southeastern CC)

* Mac Stannard G 6-2 170 Jr. Moscow, Idaho (Walla Walla CC)

Connor Hill G 6-2 190 So. Post Falls, Idaho (Post Falls HS)

Denzel Douglas G 5-10 180 Jr. Los Angeles, Calif. (Casper College)

* Westin Hill G 5-11 180 So. Bakersfield, Calif. (Liberty HS)

Mike McChristian 6-2 200 Sr. Vacaville, Calif. (Yuba College)

* Max Salesky G 6-2 170 Fr. Priest River, Idaho (Priest River Lamanna HS)

Matt Borton G 6-5 195 So. Yakima, Wash. (West Valley HS)

Antwan Scott G 6-1 170 Jr. Wylie, Texas (Ranger College)

Marcus Bell F 6-8 220 Jr. Modesto, Calif. (Marshalltown CC)

Allen Jiles IV G 6-2 200 Jr. Los Angeles, Calif. (Cal State Northridge)

Kyle Barone C 6-10 220 Sr. Garden Grove, Calif. (Pacifica HS)

Stephen Madison F 6-5 205 Jr. Portland, Ore. (Jefferson HS)

Ty Egbert F 6-8 195 Fr. Coulee Dam, Wash. (Lake Roosevelt HS)

Joe Kammerer C 6-9 225 Jr. Eugene, Ore. (North Eugene HS)

Wendell Faines F 6-8 250 Sr. Lincoln, Neb. (Saddleback JC)

* indicates walk-on


Wrote this back on May 13:

Roster inhabitants for the Idaho Vandals always seems a super secretive subject, which probably goes with the territory when you're based in Moscow. So without the use of moles, double agents and the like, here we go.

In the middle, it's 6-foot-10 senior Kyle Barone (hopefully). Let's just hope 20-25 additional pounds have settled in on his frame come next November because then he'll be close to an unstoppable force in the paint. 6-foot-9 junior Joe Kammerer is back to fill in as is Wendell Faines, a 6-foot-9 senior who can also be positioned at the four.

Add athletic 6-foot-8 JC transfer Marcus Bell to the mix in the middle and also to battle Faines for playing time as a corner. 6-foot-8 frosh Ty Egbert is a likely redshirt candidate so he can add the necessary weight and muscle for college competition. Someone has to step up and be this coming season's Djim Bandoumel for Verlin and Bell is at the top of the line upfront.

6-foot-5 junior Stephen Madison is secure at the three and one of the two possibilities (alongside Barone) as the leading scorer for the Vandals. Who backs him up remains to be seen.

Replacing the backcourt production AND efficiency of Deremy Geiger and Landon Tatum will be a tough task but there are plenty of candidates.

6-foot-3 senior Mansa Habeeb returns as a jack-of-all-trades but distance shooting isn't in his arsenal. However, 6-foot-2 sophomore Connor Hill is a beyond-the-arc specialist as only 21 of his 153 shots last season were two-point attempts. Mike McChristian, a 6-foot-2 senior, has the capacity to emerge at the point.

Coming to town are Antwann Scott, Denzel Douglas and Robert Harris, all JC transfers. Scott is a 6-1 junior with shooting and scoring talent, the 5-foot-10 Douglas is more a true point and the 5-foot-11 Harris led his squad with 4+ assists per game but his shooting accuracy needs upgrading.

The situation with 6-foot-5 sophomore Matt Borton is cloudy as he suffered another knee injury.

In summary, expect Barone and Madison to lead the charge but the key will be getting consistent performances from two to three backcourters, whoever that may eventually be.


The Vandal starting five:

* Kyle Barone
* Marcus Bell
* Stephen Madison
* Connor Hill
* Denzel Douglas

Friday's WAC hoops compilation

Denver athletics takes a look at conference opponent Louisiana Tech.


RioGrandeAg posted an update link about Wendell McKines at the AggieAlert MB.


Just asking: what happens to the triangle offense of teams when the plane touches down in Bermuda for a summer trip?


Love this pre-season tweet from Dave Telep: "Cannibal of the year award goes to a Big East assistant who just asked me if I knew of any transfers. It's only been a week!"

Thursday, October 18, 2012

PTW's 2012-13 WAC picks and finishes

Aw, the heck with it, while hold it back any longer.

With the accuracy of a sightless man swinging at a piñata, here goes with the Parsing The WAC picks and finishes for the upcoming 2012-13 season.

The reference employed above is due to witnessing but five/never setting eyes on a quintet of the teams making up this season's Western Athletic Conference.  

The proverbial is the glass half full or glass half empty question is truly impossible to answer, at least with any degree of certitude

So in order of finish, here goes (hold the drum roll):

1  Utah State
2  New Mexico State
3  Louisiana Tech
4  Idaho (if the Vandals aren't Barone-less)
5  Denver
6  UT Arlington
7  UT San Antonio
8  Texas State
9  San Jose State University
10 Seattle U

Player of the Year: Preston Medlin, Utah State (but watch for Denver's Chris Udofia)

Newcomer of the Year: K.C. Ross-Miller, New Mexico State

The All-WAC Team (four players in addition to POY):

* Kyle Barone, Idaho (counting on him returning)
* Raheem Appleby, Louisiana Tech
* Daniel Mullings, New Mexico State
* Chris Udofia, Denver Pioneers

Call all this chopped liver or sterling silver -- we'll know in March.

The 2012-13 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Here's Coach Mike White's 2012-13 roster:


Chris Anderson 6-6/210 F JR Muskegon, Mich. Weatherford College

Raheem Appleby 6-2/160 G SO Jacksonville, Ark. Jacksonville HS

Brandon Gibson 6-5/225 G SR Marianna, Fla. Marianna HS

Stojan Gjuroski 6-7/195 F SO Gostivar, Macedonia Life Center Academy

Alex Hamilton 6-4/180 G FR Chipley, Fla. Chipley HS

Cordarius Johnson 6-5/215 G JR Coushatta, La. Red River HS

Jaron Johnson 6-6/205 G  JR Tyler, Texas  Tyler Junior College

Michale Kyser 6-9/210 F   SO Lancaster, Texas Christian Life Center

J.L. Lewis 6-8/240 F/C SR Gonzales, La. University of New Orleans

Isaiah Massey 6-8/220 F SO McDonough, Ga. Ole Miss

Kenyon McNeail 6-1/185 G JR Conway, Ark. Conway HS

Kenneth Smith 6-3/185 G SO St. Petersburg, Fla. Boca Ciega HS

Gilbert Talbot 6-10/240 F/C FR Houma, La. Ellender HS

(Wrote the following back on May 14):

Coach Mike White and Louisiana Tech are entering season two and preparing a followup act to last season's 18-16, 6-8 turnaround.

Two players have departed -- Lonnie Smith and Alex Carr -- but such will have no effect. Two have graduated, Trevor Gaskins, who contributed mightily and Romario Souza, to a lesser degree. But with the latter pair, returnees and newcomers will step up with no dropoff.

Here's the 2012-13 Bulldog roster.

In the middle are:

* Michale Kyzer, 6-foot-9 sophomore
* J.L. Lewis, 6-foot-8 senior
* Gilbert Talbot, 6-foot-10 freshman

Kyzer led the squad with 60 rejections -- this while playing but 13.5 minutes per game. Add some strength/weight and his rebounding effectiveness will elevate but his offensive game is still evolving.

Lewis was a nice surprise but remains a fill-in talent

Talbot is a frosh who advanced his skills set a long way as a prep senior but will probably benefit from being a redshirt next season.

At the four:

* Isaiah Massey, 6-8 sophomore
* Demetrius Moore, 6-foot-8 junior

Massey got off to a promising start before an injury ended his season early and, between him and newcomer Moore, the four spot should become a real strength for the Techsters. But remember that Massey has missed virtually two straight seasons (redshirting at Mississippi two years ago) and Moore will be making the jump from the JC ranks so progress may come with sits and starts.

Beginning with the outside-the-paint talents:

* Brandon Gibson, 6-foot-5 senior wing
* Jaron Johnson, 6-foot-6, junior wing
* Stojan Gjuroski, 6-foot-7 sophomore wing

PTW keeps expecting Gibson to explode into an All-WAC player but his shooting percentages need to elevator up dramatically. Johnson is just out of the the JC ranks but is a superb athlete with solid basketball skills and perfect for White's uptempo offensive and defensive systems. Gjuroski redshirted two years ago, played little last season and it doesn't look like much of an opportunity for playing time will be available for him in 2012-13.

At shooting guard:

* Raheem Appleby, 6-foot-2 sophomore
* Cordarius Johnson, 6-foot-5 junior
* Alex Hamilton, 6-foot-4 freshman

Appleby enjoyed a remarkable freshman year and such should be a jumping off point as he'll be an All-WAC selection and a contender for WAC POY come the new season. Johnson was streaky but certainly contributed to the positive Bulldog reversal. A better assist-to-turnover ratio is needed from him. Newbie Hamilton faces a crowded situation but PTW still thinks he'll earn his way on to the court and be a contributor even if he has to play some one (which he is capable of).

Getting to the point:

* Kenneth Smith, 6-foot-3 sophomore
* Kenyon McNeail, 6-foot-1 junior

Smith was a 27-minute-a-game player in 2011-12 -- even as a frosh -- and piled up the assists as the LT team leader in that category. He also topped the Bulldogs in steals but does need to improve his shooting accuracy. McNeail also contributed with his passing and scoring but likewise needs to reach the net more often with his attempts.

In summary, keep an eye on Massey and Hamilton to help and then eventually emerge as prominent contributors. Plus, Johnson will solidify the three spot. Coach Mike White keeps stealthily building in Ruston.

The Bulldog starting five:

* Isaiah Massey
* Demetrius Moore
* Brandon Gibson
* Raheem Appleby
* Kenneth Smith

Where Michale Kyzer fits is a big question -- has he developed enough physically and regarding offensive skills to nab the five spot starting role?

Thursday two-item roundup

Mel Grussing informs his readers that Utah State is back at Antelope Valley College, having enjoyed success there earlier. Here's an idea: some team(s) ought to focus their recruiting class solely on AVC and use their recruiting budgets in other categories -- there are top flight bigs, wings and backcourters available.


The Inside Roadrunner Sports staff identify a Texas San Antonio JUCO recruiting target.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The 2012-13 New Mexico State Aggies

Here's Coach Marvin Menzies' 2012-13 roster:


Sim Bhullar C  7-5 360 Fr. Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Huntington Prep)

Remi Barry F 6-7 210 So. Paris, France (Del Oro HS)

Kevin Aronis G 6-3 185 Jr. Sebastopol, Calif. (Santa Rosa JC) (Analy HS)

Bandja Sy F 6-8 214 Sr. Cergy, France (Stoneridge Prep)

Eric Weary G 6-5 210 RFr. New Orleans, La. (Warren Easton HS)

K.C. Ross-Miller G 6-1 175 So. Grand Prairie, Texas (New Orleans)

* Terrel de Rouen G 6-1 165 RFr. Las Cruces, N.M. (Onate HS)

Tshilidzi Nephawe C 6-10 268 Jr. Johannesburg, South Africa (Stoneridge Prep)

Matej Buovac F 6-7 220 Fr. Zagreb, Croatia (La Lumiere)

* Emery Coleman G 6-3 180 RFr. Tularosa, N.M. (Tularosa HS)

Daniel Mullings G 6-2 170 So. Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Laurier)

Renaldo Dixon F 6-10 210 Jr. Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Christian Faith Academy)

* Aaron Kubinski F 6-5 195 Fr. Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva HS)

B.J. West F 6-11 240 RJr. Cheneyville, La. (Rapides HS)

Tyrone Watson F 6-5 225 Sr. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (Hamilton Cathedral HS)

* walk-ons -- Kubinski is definitely one and it appears either de Rouen or Coleman are as that would make 13 scholarship players


Here's what we wrote earlier (May 15) breaking the NMSU personnel down by position:

Losing Wendell McKines and Hernst Laroche, two starters and major stabilizers on the floor, would set back most teams so it will be fascinating to watch who steps up as replacements in the 2012-13 season for Coach Marvin Menzies.

The Aggies have filled holes from last season (shooters wanted in Las Cruces) but it will be a year of experimentation, at least to a degree, for New Mexico State basketball.

In the middle, it's finally the Tshilidzi Nephawe Show as the 6-foot-10 junior should be the starter and a 30+ minute per game mainstay. 6-foot-11 B.J. West and 6-foot-9 Renaldo Dixon will both enjoy golden opportunities to earn major playing time at the four and the five. In fact, all three prospects have a wide open chance to step forward so it will be fascinating to witness who does and doesn't. 7-foot-5 frosh Sim Bhullar is going to be the topic of a lot of buzz -- actually he already is. Can he stay healthy, how close is he ready to contribute and how long can he play at a stretch are legitimate questions but the foremost query is how does Menzies use him in an uptempo offense?

Besides West and Dixon, Bandja Sy is also a four prospect. His quickness will be an asset but can he succeed as a back-to-the-basket performer? That's a big question. Plus, his length can be a force defensively against threes but not necessarily fours. Maybe Menzies goes one in and four out when Sy is in as a cornerman. With better shooting consistency, the 6-foot-9 junior would easily earn a starting spot.

Speaking of threes, is sophomore Remi Barry ready to fulfill his potential as a points producer? A dribble-drive game would really help his cause. 6-foot-5 senior Tyrone Watson will probably be a starter -- somewhere -- because of his overall efficiency and the intangibles he provides. His distance shooting remains a deficit but he's a glue guy in a year where such is really needed. Matej Buovac, a 6-foot-7 prep recruit, was specifically signed to pop from outside.

It's 6-foot-2 sophomore Daniel Mullings as the two starter plus all eyes will be on redshirt sophomore K.C. Ross-Miller's handling of the point.

6-foot-3 JC transfer Kevin Aronis will be stationed at the three point line.

A host of other redshirts are in the backcourt mix: husky 6-foot-5 Eric Weary, 6-foot-1 Terrel de Rouen and 6-foot-3 Emory Coleman.

In summary, it will be critical for Ross-Miller to both stay healthy and perform efficiently from the get-go because there is no other proven quarterback candidate on the roster.


The Aggie starting five:

* Tshilidzi Nephawe
* Bandja Sy
* Tyrone Watson
* Daniel Mullings
* K.C. Ross-Miller

Unless improvement is forthcoming, this quintet displays some shooting deficiencies but also tremendous athletic prowess.

Tuesday's brief digest

From one of Chris Murray's latest articles on Nevada basketball:

"...The last offseason addition was 6-foot-9, 250-pound center Ali Fall, who was born in Africa, played high school ball in Japan and came to America to play for Utah State. He never suited up for the Aggies, spending two years at the junior-college level before coming to Nevada this season..."
Never heard of this connection before.


Saw this article on Vincennes University (a JC in Indiana) and New Mexico State plus Idaho were mentioned as checking out the hoops talent.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The 2012-13 Utah State Aggies

The following is the current USU roster (alphabetized):

Marcel Davis 6-2 180 Guard FR American Fork, Utah/American Fork

Ben Clifford 6-7 220 Forward SO    South Jordan, Utah/Bingham

* Quinn Taylor 6-7 185 Guard/Forward FR Houston, Texas/Langham Creek

Matt Lopez 6-11 245 Center SO Erial, N.J./Washington Township/LaSalle

Jarred Shaw 6-10 235 Forward/Center JR Dallas, Texas/Carter/Oklahoma State

Danny Berger 6-6 205 Guard/Forward JR Medford, Ore./North Medford/Chemeketa (Ore.) CC

Preston Medlin 6-4 175 Guard JR Carrollton, Texas/Hebron

* Marvin Jean 6-4 190 Forward JR Harriman, N.Y./Mt. Zion (NC) Christian Academy/Sullivan CC

TeNale Roland 6-1 170 Guard JR Louisville, Ky./New Albany (Ind.)/Rend Lake College

Spencer Butterfield 6-3 205 Guard/Forward JR Loomis, Calif./Del Oro/Yuba CC

Riley Bradshaw 6-2 180 Guard FR Corvallis, Mont./Corvallis

Jordan Stone 6-10 270 Center SO    Smithfield, Utah/Sky View

** Sean Harris 6-7 220 Forward JR Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin/Yuba CC

Quincy Bair 6-5 180 Guard/Forward FR American Fork, Utah/American Fork

Kyisean Reed 6-6 215 Forward SR    Palmdale, Calif./Highland/Antelope Valley (Calif.) JC

* denotes walk-on

** Harris has been declared out this season due to injury


Utah State shot 49% overall in conference play last season (first place), 37% in trey attempts (second place), and held opponents to 42% overall shooting (second place), 32% in long distance defending (second place).

Those numbers are going to be bettered in the 2012-13 go-around.

For many reasons.

Because Jarred Shaw, Jordan Stone and Matt Lopez will man the middle, an upgrade over the duo of Morgan Grim, despite his solid numbers last season, and Stone as a freshman.

Lopez probably has the best offensive potential of the trio at the moment, with Shaw leading as a defender. None are well-rounded at this point but a bevy of shooters at other positions on the team is going to open up put back and close-in opportunities for Stew Morrill's bigs.

Power forward will be the most interesting position as Kyisean Reed returns. Sean Harris was supposed to the backup here but an injury has sidelined him for the season. Again, the need to protect against the perimeter shooters on the team is going to open up more spectacular opportunities for Reed but the question of his overall consistency remains unanswered as he enter his senior year.

This position is the biggest concern for Stew Morrill as he needs point and rebound production, especially the latter as the Aggies finished just +0.4 in rebounding last season. USU won't be big so it's likely going to have to be a team effort on the boards.

Returnee Danny Berger, JC newcomer Marvin Jean and fellow community college transfer Spencer Butterfield are the leaders on the wing. Berger struggled with consistency as a frosh -- not unexpected coming off a mission -- but enjoyed some solid shooting streaks. Between Jean and Butterfield, hard-nosed play will be on display, alongside outside shooting and dribble-drive efforts.

Preston Medlin owns the two, period. Look for him to be the leading Aggie scorer and assist man.

It's between JUCO TeNale Roland and frosh Marcel Davis at the point. Both will play but the sophomore Roland has more experience, a very solid résumé and the likelihood of offering greater consistency from the get-go.

Where freshman Riley Bradshaw fits in 2012-13 is anyone's guess at the moment.

In summary, the USU wing and guard positions offer Morrill multiple options and the going with the hot hand. That's not necessarily so at power forward and what each center will produce each night remains to be seen. The Aggies have question marks upfront but also quality talents to turn to in addressing such.

It will be fascinating to see at what level this team performs:

* dominating the WAC?
* good enough?
* up-and-down?


The expected Aggie starting five:

* Jarred Shaw
* Kyisean Reed
* Spencer Butterfield
* Preston Medlin
* TeNale Roland

Tuesday's WAC hoops digest

Kyle Goon video interviews Jarred Shaw, who will play a big role in the middle for Utah State.


Shawn Harrison also takes a look at USU.


The USU Stats folks write about George Costanza, shrinkage and Aggie roundball, not necessarily in that order, and such will surely get you to read it.


Texas Arlington's Jordan Reves is selected as the pre-season WAC best defender by the Yahoo staff. Better fear the beard -- 57 shotblocks -- when you enter the paint!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Back in the saddle Monday

Nate Schmidt tweeted: "Leo Edwards 2013 F Romulus (MI) just committed to Louisiana Tech while on his official visit"

Congrats to Coach Mike White for landing the 6-foot-8 frontcourter. The young man is on the thin side and raw but displays plenty of potential.

One description from back in 2010:
Edwards is an intriguing prospect for many reasons but one of the main reasons is that he’s 6-8 at the age of 14. He’s slim but athletic and once he grows into his body he’ll have a good build. He still has a lot of work to do, but showed a ton of promise. He doesn’t have much in the way of post moves, but he went after every rebounds and played pretty good defense in the post against some stronger players. I would have liked to see him call for the ball more and assert himself in the post but he seemed content to get putbacks off of misses by Morris and Watts. He’s so young you can’t really fault him for not asserting himself, especially since he’s playing with a bunch of 16-year-olds. Very exciting prospect.
One question: what's LT's connection to Detroit or Michigan?


Denver's Chris Udofia receives some national print from Nick Masulo:
"...Playing for a team that won nine more games last season than it did the year before, Udofia has become the centerpiece of a program that is knocking on the door. One of the most physical big men in the country, the senior will look to lead the Pioneers and challenge Utah State in the WAC for the program's first NCAA Tournament berth. Check him out in early season games against the PAC-12's Cal and Stanford." 

Jason Groves features Tyrone Watson and Chili Nephawe.


Kyle Good writes that Kyisean Reed wants to erase the word 'consistency' from ever being mentioned again alongside his name.


The InsideRunnerSports staff write about Texas San Antonio's initial practice appearance.


Vandal Nation offers print and video of Idaho Coach Don Verlin plus returnees Stephen Madison and Mike McChristian.


Kyle Goon goes likewise with Utah State hoops.

Kraig Williams tweets: "TeNale Roland is All-Amalgamated first-team, Preston Medlin All-Country Club third-team and Danny Berger and Spencer Butterfield All-Edible"


Former SJSU frotncourter Moses Omolade was among those trying out for the Santa Cruz Warriors.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dark this weekend

Going dark again this weekend so please bear with us -- back on Monday.

PTW understands there will be a "The Real Housewives of Hillbilly Handfishing" marathon on this weekend so that should certainly tide you over.

Gentlemen, start your dribbling

Today is THE day.

Official practice begins.


Ray Thomas tweeted: "Update on 2014 Soldiers ..Utah St, Portland, Sac st, and San Jose St have all offered Gabe"

Vincent plays for St. Mary's (Stockton) and averaged 13.5 points per game last season. He's a 6-foot-1 2014 prospect.


Jason Groves offers a Q-and-A with Coach Marvin Menzies.


Frank Richardson tweeted: " 2013 California PG Brandon Randolph says he is talking to Arizona State, Oklahoma State, and San Jose State. Wyoming is recruiting him hard."


Kyle Goon is stepping in for Tony Jones in providing the Salt Lake City Tribune Utah State basketball coverage.


Denver athletics writes about the beginning of the Pioneer basketball season.


UT San Antonio athletics goes ditto on the Roadrunners.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday's WAC roundball digest

SoCal power forward Kyle Benton has committed to Portland State of the Big Sky Conference.

In a September 26 article, the 6-foot-7 senior described Idaho as his leader.


But this probably had something to do with the above as Coach Don Verlin recently landed Ayodele Ojo, a JC frontcourter out of Missouri as Loyalvandal has posted at the MB.

Here's a brief note. Ojo scored 6.8 points, nabbed 5.5 rebounds and blocked 1.1 shots per game as a freshman, shooting 49% overall and 58% from the foul line.


Here's the Utah State out-of-conference schedule analyzed by Myron Medcalf/ESPN:


at BYU (Dec. 5)
Next-toughest: Saint Mary’s (Nov. 15)
The rest: Idaho State (Nov. 10), Texas A&M Corpus Christi (Nov. 17), Weber State (Nov. 24), at Santa Clara (Nov. 28), Western Oregon (Dec. 8), at Utah Valley (Dec. 15), Nicholls State (Dec. 20), UC Davis (Dec. 21), Southern Illinois (Dec. 22)
Toughness scale (1-10): 4 -- Before Utah State takes its talents to the Mountain West, it will finish its tenure in the WAC vying with New Mexico State for the conference championship. If the Aggies can win at BYU and take out SIU and Saint Mary's at home, they’ll certainly be prepared for another run to the WAC title. But one or two additional matchups against high-major opponents wouldn’t have hurt.
Speaking of the Aggies, Matt Sonnenberg writes about the suitorship between Stew Morrill and Rashard Figures.


Chris Johnson is not overly impressed with the recent additions to the WAC.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday's WAC basketball roundup

It is indeed a new era of New Mexico State basketball as Jason Groves writes. Who are the Aggies this season? What will be the 'personality' of the team plus who will lead?


Rob Dauster feature quotes Stew Morrill in his piece on the Mormon Church changing mission requirements and the resulting effect on recruiting.


 Jason Groves is back with more on Aggie hoops.


Vandal Nation checks in on the two new additions to the WAC and the effect for Idaho athletics.


Speaking of new, who is Jarred Shaw at Utah State? The 6-foot-10 and the 235 pounds is known but is he the 1.2 points and 1.2 rebounds a game that he put up as a sophomore at Oklahoma State? It may or may not be telling but he averaged 13.5 points and 9.7 rebounds as a high school senior, so take from that what you will. Defense has seemingly been his forte all along but has he developed to the point of possessing a go-to move or two inside as such would really benefit USU.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The conspiracy theorists will have a field day

The Moscow Pullman Daily News has the factor behind the Barone suspension.

The Vandals play in Pullman on November 28, the arrest was in Pullman, so ... have at it.

Guaranteed, some Vandal fan in the great state of Idaho will offer up that Cougar subterfuge was at work.

Actually, PTW doesn't want to be facetious about a serious offense as Barone is very lucky he and others were not injured, or worse.

But something so much more important is at play for Barone and that should rightfully be the focus. Even basketball is a distant second.

A few more Tuesday links

Brian Murphy writes about the WAC becoming a non-football league (which isn't the end of the world).


Think we missed this Jason Groves column.


SeattleUHoops also checks in on the WAC expansion.

Tuesday's WAC compilation

Michael Rogner Miss Cleos the Western Athletic Conference finish and the top five talents. Most striking: having Denver finishing as the bridesmaid this season plus Louisiana Tech and Idaho ending at #5 and #6 respectively.

One bigtime error: Keith Shamburger is now at Hawaii.


Utah State working it back east, offering 2014 backcourter Rashad Figures, per Alex Kline


Remember Jaycee Carroll? A lot of former WAC defenders do. AJ Mitnick rates the top players abroad: 

3. Jaycee Carroll, G, Real Madrid (Spain), College: Utah State

Arguably the best shooter in Europe, Carroll’s shooting ability makes him one of the continent’s deadliest weapons. His ability to shoot coming off screens rivals the greats such as Reggie Miller, Richard Hamilton and Allan Houston, and demands an inordinate amount of defensive attention, opening things up for the rest of the offense.

Carroll definitely could cut it in the NBA as a shooter, but his lack of size for a shooting guard and his slight frame would likely make him too much of a defensive liability to make a big impact. In the right system, he probably could be a big weapon like Steve Kerr. But at this point, it seems more likely that Carroll will continue giving opposing European coaches nightmares.
dyedblue found the article and posted a link at the USU Fans Stew's Spectrum MB.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Barone suspended

Thanks to a tip -- KREM has a post up about Kyle Barone being suspended by Coach Don Verlin.

Seniors are supposed to be leaders. Why mess up now when the Player of the Year Honor is achievable.

A load of new players are being indoctrinated into The Verlin Way so you can't have anyone, let alone a vet, dogging it in any aspect.

Monday's WAC hoops digest

From Coast 2 Coast Hoops: "Utah State will check out 2014 Hackensack (NJ) shooting guard Rashard Figures tomorrow" 

Here's a June 2012 feature on the 6-foot-3 Figures, a 2014 prep prospect.


Jason Groves catches up with Reggie Theus.


Thanks to CrimsonPhantom at the Crimson To The Core Cantina MB for locating a solid feature on New Mexico State's Sim Bhuller.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

All we have today

Seattle's Sterling Carter, the top talent on the Redhawks, receives the feature treatment.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Utah Valley University & CSU Bakersfield coming to the WAC

Neil K. Warner has the scoop about Utah Valley University and CSU Bakersfield being WAC-bound.

Friday's WAC hoops digest

Seattle and Coach Dollar are poking around Georgia (his father Donald is a Redhawk assistant coach as well as longtime prep coach in the Peach State):

First the set up via- Garrett Tucker:  

"Ohio State and Indiana are the latest schools to express interest in 2013 PF Lamarcus White of Kingdom Prep (GA)."
Seattle University was also in today to see White & his teammates. Justin Pride, Sekou Wiggs, Rozelle Nix & Rasheed Brooks among those guys 
Wiggs just committed to Idaho. 

One description of White: "The 6-foot-10 power forward from Georgia is a newcomer to the AAU scene but made a splash on Thursday with his ability to get up and down the floor and make things happen on both ends of the court. White even displayed a little range stepping out a couple times to knock down the three point shot."

It looks like he'll land in the SEC or ACC.

Justin Pride is a 2013 point described thusly: "The 5-foot-11 playmaker is the definition of a pass-first point guard. He spent the weekend loading up on assists, especially in the Top 20 game with sharp-shooter Jarvis Calhoun. Pride understands how to run the game and get his teammates involved."

Rozelle Nix stands 7-foot-1 and at least at one point checked in at 300 pounds. His description from one tourney: "Nix was the biggest player in attendance, and he took advantage of it. The big man showed he can use his body to protect the ball in the post, along with some nice post moves and finishes. He has a nice baby-hook inside, but he also has a soft tough that allows him to extend his game."

As for Rasheed Brooks: "Brooks has a college-ready body at 6-foot-6, and he also has great characteristics of a shooting guard. He shoots the ball well, but his best quality is getting to the basket and finishing with contact. His athleticism and length allow him to do a lot of different things on the court. He is definitely a slasher at this point in his career." 


SJSU Assistant Coach Tim Marrion is on the prowl: "drove over 700 miles today looking for future spartans. feel good about the guys we're looking at. looking forward to finding more soon."


Jason Groves checks in with his takes on some of New Mexico State's strengths and concerns. 


Jeff Eisenberg previews this season's WAC, offering team and player predictions.


From Garrett Tucker: "New Mexico, Denver, and Indiana State have offered 2014 SF/PF Jeremy Combs of Dallas Carter High School (TX)"

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday's very abbreviated WAC digest

Since when did the WAC turn into a football conference? Utah State, San Jose State University, Texas San Antonio, Louisiana Tech ...


All PTW has today is a couple of posts from the basketball MB on the starter and the coming-off-the-benchers for Idaho plus a questionable inclusion.

We've never seen him play but don't discount Denzel Douglas at the point.


Let's go step into the Conjecture Machine for a moment.

Bear with PTW.

Coming out of Washington as a prep backcourter, Xavier Bazile signed with Idaho, redshirted last year but got into trouble and finally landed at State Fair Community College in Missouri for this season.

Saw this today at JucoJunction: "Practice officially started this past week in the junior college ranks and some players have decided on a future school. Read more about which player will take his game to the northwest next season..."

The State Fair Community College Roadrunners logo is also presented.

Not having access to the complete article, PTW is speculating that it is Bazile heading back to familiar territory (he is the only player from the Northwest on the roster). If so, where is he headed?

Anyone know? Or is JucoJunction referring to someone else?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday's WAC roundup

Frank Burlison is first with this news: "The University of Idaho has received commitments from Seattle-area guards Perrion Callandret (Bothell) and Sekou Wiggs (2012 grad of O’Dea)"


From Mark Knight/Left Coast Recruiting in January 2012 on the 6-foot-2 Callabdret: "...A very quick point guard, he can slice through the land and get to the hoop. He excels at finding his teammates the ball and finds plenty of opportunities playing alongside Zach Lavine. He shows tremendous upside. He has interest from a few Pac-12 schools."

Kevin Cacabelos in August 2012 wrote: "The combo guard excels in transition and projects well at the shooting guard position in college. His long arms enable him to grab rebounds and get into passing lanes on defense. He'll need to make adjustments on his jump shot - his release is slow right now. He'll also need to bulk up, he's a tweener right now and stronger guards will expose him on defense. Idaho has offered, while Wyoming, Saint Mary's, Portland State are showing interest."

The 6-foot-3 Wiggs is at Kingdom Prep in Georgia, having reclassified to 2013, per Cacabelos.

Cacabelos again on Wiggs in 2011: "What word best describes Sekou Wiggs' game? Crazy. He's crazy quick and athletic, he finds crazy ways to get to the basket and he's just plain unpredictable. The one thing you know you're going to get with Wiggs is a polished basketball player. He is a one-man fast break and can easily beat his man off the dribble with a variety of spin moves. He projects as a combo guard at the next level."


That didn't take long.

At 6:17 p.m. yesterday, Jerina tweeted: "San Jose State watching 2013 G Jason Webster & 2014 F Jalen Canty & G Jose Flores at St.Patrick-St.Vincent open gym"

Then Cameron Schott at 9:11 typed: "San Jose State has offered 2014 St. Patrick/St. Vincent F Jalen Canty"


Good new for New Mexico State hoops fans as less is more regarding Sim Bhullar.