Friday, August 30, 2013

With LaKose gone, who should be considered?

By now, most fans have heard about the resignation of Coach Tim LaKose so the SJSU women's basketball team is without a captain. It won't take much convincing that there is a longtime hex on SJSU hoops.

First, we're obviously not privy to the cause of the resignation but here's hoping LaKose is able to return to the coaching ranks when it is appropriate and he is ready to do so. He certainly demonstrated a major talent for getting his teams to play hard and be competitive in a very short period of time.

Second, who should be among the candidates considered for replacing him?

Archbishop Mitty High's Sue Phillips is a national known coaching figure, is involved in the AAU ranks (San Jose Cagers) and, most recently, was the head coach of the 2013 United States women's under-16 national team. Phillips was also the lead assistant at Cal in 2000 so the college coaching ranks wouldn't be completely new to her.

The biggest question would be does she desire to take on a new  and different undertaking at this point in her life? Where her career is now has to be looking pretty good to her.

But at least she wouldn't have to move.

The other name that comes quickly to mind is Renee Jimenez, formerly the head coach at Cal State Monterey Bay. Her record there:

2009: 11-15, 6-14, 9th
2010: 18-9,14-8, 4th, CCAA Tournament
2011: 27-4, 20-2, 1st, NCAA Regional Semifinals
2012: 21-9, 15-7, 2nd, NCAA Regionals
2013: 20-9, 15-7, 3rd, NCAA Regional Semifinals

And this is a program with few, if any, scholarships to offer.

Jimenez interned with Tara VanDerveer at Stanford and also worked as an assistant at San Diego State so she has some DI experience.

In May, she resigned to take the head coach position at CSU San Bernardino. Here is her biography at that site.

It's visitation time

All sorts of recruits are tripping to various colleges this weekend so it wouldn't be surprising if some were at the SJSU - Sacramento State football game. Anyone see any especially tall young men being escorted around?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Smith checking out the Huskers

Zach Smith, a 6-foot-7 2014 prepster out of Plano, Texas, is officially visiting Nebraska this weekend.

From Brian Rosenthal/Lincoln Journal Star: "Smith...has offers from Marquette, Texas Tech, St. Bonaventure, San Jose State, UTEP, Washington State and TCU."

No word on his other trips.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Update on basketball practice facility

A tweet from Jimmy Durkin: "SJSU has already begun remodeling Yoshihiro Uchida Hall to serve as basketball practice facility. Completion target is Oct. 1, 2014"

Monday, August 26, 2013

A change of plans for Miles Martin

Miles Martin, who played two years at Homestead High before playing at Westwind Prep in Phoenix as a senior and, most recently, San Jose State University, is moving on elsewhere courtesy of an NCAA ruling.

The 6-foot-10, 240-pounder recently found out that none of his academic work at Westwind was accepted by the NCAA and thus his eligibility was denied despite an appeal. He is one of 42 Westwind student-athletes effected.

The bad news: he won't be a Spartan in 2013-14.

The good news: he has landed at Riverside City College (RCC) and will be playing basketball for Coach Phil Matthews, most recently a UCLA assistant and someone who headed the USF program from 1995-2004.

Martin has other options elsewhere but preferred to remain in-state.

"I'll probably be here for two years," Martin said.

Why southern California, Riverside in particular?

Martin and Westwind Prep participated in a tournament in Inglewood last season and he was noticed by a Riverside assistant. They got to talking and a relationship developed. What seemed insignificant then eventually proved fruitful.

The Tigers finished 19-9 last season and John Smith, then the head coach, was hired as an assistant at Cal State Fullerton. Coach Matthews will have RCC in a tournament come early November at San Jose City College so Martin will enjoy the opportunity to play in front of friends and family.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Meet Jared Swanson, the SJSU basketball Director of Operations

Jared Swanson has been named the SJSU men's basketball director of operations.

Here is his bio from his time at North Dakota State University.

Friday, August 23, 2013

If a tree (or a basketball program)...

Coming not in criticism but in caring, does San Jose State University athletics have a men's basketball program?

If the attachment to Spartan basketball wasn't present, the following wouldn't appear because there would no reason to bother with posting. But take the following for what you will, spot on or just another messenger to either shoot or ignore.

Throughout the summer, Mountain West Conference and other schools have offered updates on their roundball student-athletes, features on the faces of the program, highlights of the 2013-14 schedule and the like. Most recently, this and this.

Yes, this SJSU item appeared on August 9 and that's what we're talking about.

But is there a comprehensive plan to roll out the Coach Dave Wojcik era? If so, where is it? Who is going to reach out, to who, where and in what manner? Does it have both media and financial components and a delineation of responsibilities and duties?

Because otherwise...

So where's continuing updates on hoops happenings?.

So where's the visible and viable efforts for growing the Spartan basketball tribe and the how will this be accomplished?

SJSU basketball didn't have its genesis in 2013 so why the longtime and continuing ignoring of previous generations of Spartan basketballers? In generality, there's overall major lip service paid to past glories but backing such up with inclusionary planning and efforts is apparently a nothing burger. Does anyone in the athletics department even have a list of former Spartan basketballers and how they can be contacted in order to be both acknowledged and brought back into the fold? Does anyone see that as beneficial?

Whose duty is it to reach out to former basketball contributors and make them feel welcome again? Has anyone dialed up Joe Gagliardi? Who has thanked George Clark for his previous financial largess? There are a number of those who, for good reason, self-selected to no longer contribute -- how many have been targeted in a personalized 'we want you back and here is how and why things will be different' campaign?

Plus, is a 2013 version of the Spartan Rebounders to appear or does anyone care, let alone have a better idea?

The question is begged: how can the men's basketball budget be grown in a void?

Because without any financial advancement, progress will be stunted, at best, and SJSU athletic annihilations commonplace. It's Mountain West Conference time folks, a league where hosts devour visiting basketball teams and also go out and dominate on the road.

Will it be the same old/same old where periodic contacts are attempted when donations are desired -- treatment as a 'hey old buddy' ATM and nothing more -- while the rest of the time is the sound of crickets?

Time will tell but some has already passed without visible we-get-it efforts.

Just how will tickets be sold, seats be filled and the athletic budget grown?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Predicting the Bulldogs at #6

Joel Welser places Fresno State as the 81st team in the nation and #6 in the Mountain West Conference.

The men's basketball 2013-14 schedule

From Marty (and thank you for the work in assembling this).

How about Pacific to make it a trifecta? The first two contests and a pair of the December games should not require a full price ticket. Santa Clara is now Kevin Foster-less so let's see what they have. UC Davis just lost its best frontcourter for the season so that's Spartan favorable.

* Monday, November 4

* Wednesday, November 6
7:00 p.m.
PACIFIC UNION (exhibition)

* Tuesday, November 12
@ Santa Clara

* Friday, November 15
Wisconsin Milwaukee @ N. Illinois (exempt)

* Saturday, November 16
N. Illinois @ N. Illinois (exempt)

* Sunday, November 17
James Madison @ N. Illinois (exempt)

* Wednesday, November 20
@ Pepperdine

* Saturday, November 23
12:30 p.m.

* Wednesday, November 27
@ Portland

* Saturday, November 30
@ Weber State


* Saturday, December 7
@ Houston

* Wednesday, December 18
8:00 p.m.

* Saturday, December 21
12:00 p.m.

* Saturday, December 28
7:00 p.m.


* Wednesday, January 1

* Saturday, January 4
@ Utah State

* Wednesday, January 8

* Saturday, January 11

* Wednesday, January 15
@ Air Force

* Saturday, January 18
@ Wyoming

* Wednesday, January 22

* Saturday, January 25
@ Boise State

* Wednesday, January 29


* Saturday, February 1
@ New Mexico

* Saturday, February 8
@ Fresno State

* Saturday, February 12

* Saturday, February 15

* Tuesday, February 18
@ Nevada

* Tuesday, February 25
8:05 P.M.
@ San Diego State


* Saturday, March 1

* Wednesday, March 5
@ Colorado State

* Saturday, March 8

* March 12-15  -- MWC Championships -- Las Vegas, NV

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Making a guess on Andrew Young

A pair of tweets are indicating that Andrew Young has returned to the Texas A&M basketball team:
"Early flight back to TX. Hoping for that exit row to stretch ma legs"
"I can confirm that is back in the promised land"
Either his appeal was turned down or he ran out of time awaiting the NCAA ruling.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why McNeace is the top target

In tracking the various prep prospects that San Jose State University has offered, one in particular stand out: Jamuni McNeace of the 2014 class.


Let's start with his August 8 tweet: "I'm officially 6'9 193.5lbs with a 7'1 wingspan and a 9'1 reach"

Yes, he still has to grow into his body but the wingspan and reach are unlike what any other current Spartan or recruit brings to the court. With Chris Cunningham and possibly Andrew Young departing after this season at the power forward spot, McNeace has great potential for being a mismatch and difference maker upfront.

Originally out of Chicago, he recently moved with his father to Texas. His basketball participation began in high school so he's still a virtual newbie.

West Virginia most recently started showing some love as has Texas.

Wright State, Long Beach State, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Southeastern Louisiana, Utah, Duquesne and Texas State have offered.

He was also down at New Mexico on August 2 and will be back on an official visit come October:
"...McNeace told the Journal that the Lobos said they’d like him to redshirt his freshman season. McNeace, who said he only started playing basketball two years ago, expects to redshirt wherever he goes.

McNeace is a former club teammate of both Eldorado’s Cullen Neal and La Cueva’s Bryce Alford. He is expected to take an official visit to UNM in the fall..."

Monday, August 12, 2013

Arogundade goes with The Drake

From Ore Arogundade: "Officially committed to play ball at Drake University! Extremely blessed, can't wait! Missouri Valley Here we come!"

The 2014 backcourter out of Illinois was offered by SJSU.

Here's Joe Henricksen on the news.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Nevada says ciao

Nevada is tripping to Italy this month, something that should be really beneficial for an unsettled roster and a squad and coaching staff facing a high level of pressure in 2013-14.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Great to see

It's great to see the SJSU basketball players out and about in the community and to see some Spartan basketball news prior to November -- LINK.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A familiar name

Per Verbal Commits, 6-foot-1 Michigan 2014 backcourter Lindsey Hunter IV has been offered by San Jose State University.

The young man already has a slew of offers including Cal Poly so Omar Lowery must have been on him early and has continued the interest.

Hunter is the son of former longtime NBA sharpshooter Lindsey Hunter.

Here's a just short of two minutes video interview.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rae Jackson Jr. heads elsewhere

From the Casper College Basketball Facebook page:
"Former San Jose State University commit Rae Jackson Jr. has signed to play basketball with the Casper College Men’s basketball program this upcoming season. Rae is from Oakland, California where he went to high school at El Cerrito high school and played his AAU basketball with the Oakland Soldiers. The 6’2” 175 pound guard is a very explosive scorer. Getting to the rim off the dribble or shooting the ball, Jackson is a very talented player offensively. Continuing the line of Bay Area players to make their way out to Casper College, Jackson was one of the featured players in the Bay Area for the past couple of years. Rae will add depth to the guard play for head coach Dan Russell because of his ability to play both guard positions. We are very excited to add a player of Jackson’s caliber to the Casper College program."

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A must-read feature

An exception is being made here -- the posting of an entire article -- so an apology is due to Chris Murray. Read this keeping in mind San Jose State University athletics.

With Wolf Pack at critical stage, new AD Doug Knuth can't fix all problems by himself
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal
August 2, 2013

I’ll start by being blunt.

The Wolf Pack athletic department is one of the nation’s worst in terms of on-the-field success.

It’s not what people want to hear, but it’s hard to argue.

The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, which uses a mathematical formula to rank the success of each athletic department, pegged Nevada tied for 257th out of 294 departments in 2012-13.

Only 11 departments had a lower score than Nevada, including just one FBS school, Texas State, which is reclassifying from a lower level. The Wolf Pack has been a Division I school for two decades and hit rock bottom last year. Nevada was destroyed by UNLV in last year’s inaugural Governor’s Cup series.

Yes, the Wolf Pack football team has reached eight straight bowl games, including a magical run in 2010. Yes, the Wolf Pack basketball team reached four straight NCAA tournaments from 2003-07 and has a nice pipeline to the NBA. Those achievements are the silver lining to a half-decade of underachieving.

The good news comes in the form of Doug Knuth, Brian Polian and Jay Johnson.

The new athletic director (Knuth), football coach (Polian) and baseball coach (Johnson) are mirror images. Each is between the age of 36-40. Each blends energy, creativity and optimism. Each doesn’t want to hear about Nevada’s perceived limitations. Together, they are the future of Wolf Pack athletics.

But here’s the tricky part: This trio alone can’t fix Nevada’s recent history of poor performance. Simply switching an up-and-coming Knuth with an ineffective Cary Groth, the former AD, won’t fix everything.

There’s a huge money issue here, one that Knuth won’t be able to solve by himself.

For starters, Nevada needs to renovate Mackay Stadium ($10 million), build an indoor practice facility ($18 million-$24 million) and tennis facility ($1.5 million) and increase individual sports budgets and coaching salaries by a good percentage just to get to a break-even point with Mountain West foes.

The Wolf Pack had the lowest football and men’s basketball budgets in the MWC last season. In fact, Nevada spent less on football and basketball combined than any MWC school spent on football alone in 2012-13. The department’s overall budget of $20 million is nearly $15 million below the MWC average.

On her final day in office last April, Groth was frank about the financial issues.

“We’re so far behind,” said Groth, whose department took a major cut in state funds during her tenure. “We’ve done so well on smoke and mirrors. You don’t need a lot of finances to do well academically. You don’t need the finances to do well in your community services and your citizenship. But competitively, you’ve got to have the funds and the tools for your coaches to have success.”

The Wolf Pack’s future success hinges on money and that money must come from three groups of people, each equally important as Nevada tries to scrape itself of the doormat of Division I schools.


Wolf Pack fans really don’t know how much of an impact they have on Nevada’s bottom line.

The difference between selling out Mackay Stadium each game and the current level of attendance is roughly $2.1 million. Sell out every game at Lawlor Events Center, too, about that’s $2 million more.

The financial issues could largely be solved if Nevada simply packed the stadium with regularity.


Nevada’s previous administration used Wolf Pack fans like an ATM machine, asking for money without really listening to their needs. Knuth has promised to make the relationship more of a partnership.

The disconnect between the Wolf Pack administration and fans was growing in recent years. Groth was unpopular and Chris Ault, whose football mind can’t be questioned, has long been a lightening rod.

Knuth and Polian are the perfect elixir to this problem, two likeable guys who are willing to get into the community. Groth also struggled with her coaching hires; Knuth, meanwhile, hit a homer with Johnson.

State and university

You can have a spirited debate on whether state money and student fees should be used to fund college athletics, but the bottom line is almost every school gets a ton of subsidies, most more than Nevada.

According to USA Today, Nevada received $8.8 million in subsidies in the last reporting year (2012), bottom in the MWC. The average MWC school, according to USA Today, received $17 million in subsidies, nearly double what the Pack gets. Nevada got a big state-fund cut in 2008 and hasn’t recovered.

“We can’t win championships here year-in and year-out if we’re the 11th-largest budget (in the MWC),” Knuth said. “We have to grow. We have to grow our budget. We have to grow our annual fundraising. We have to grow our ticket sales. None of that is surprise. Everybody in our community knows that.”

The question is whether the community, the administration and the university is ready to treat Nevada like a real D-I entity rather than try and sneak by on a meager budget while thinking everything’s fine.

This year marks the Wolf Pack’s 22nd season at the D-I level and it faces a critical time in history. In many ways, it’s still asking the question, “What do we want to be when we grow up?”

“One of the reasons I came here is because there’s just so much opportunity,” Knuth said when I spoke with him last month about the future of the department. “I look everywhere and I see opportunity.”

Opportunity, yes, but also a lot of work ahead. Knuth seems prepared for that work, but is the community and the university? That question can only be answered with time. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

MWC preview by College Sports Madness

College Sports Madness ranks Nevada as #101 in its team preview countdown. The list started at #144.

Took a quick look and it appears the Wolf Pack is the initial Mountain West Conference squad to appear. No, actually Wyoming is #118.