Saturday, August 30, 2014

Not there (yet)

Two items:

From Jerry Meyer:

Three-star prospect Nate Grimes has set up in-home visits with Boise State, Fresno State and San Francisco.

The 6-7, 190-pound forward from Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines High School will meet with Boise State September 9, Fresno State September 15 and San Francisco September 17. Iowa and Minnesota round out the top five school list for Grimes, who is ranked No. 136 by 247Sports and No. 133 in the 247Sports Composite.

So how/why can Mountain West Conference members Boise State and Fresno State plus USF of the West Coast Conference land visits for this prospect but not SJSU?

Grimes is exactly the type of prospect SJSU needs to land. He's not a high major but he displays the potential (nice inside/outside game) to be a go-to guy after a year or so for a college team. Not to be provincial but why even consider Raisinville versus Silicon Valley? It's not like the Bulldogs program is turned around as yet and the weather is abysmal, but, to be fair, the FSU roster contains much more potential right now than that of the Spartans. As a choice, Boise State is more understandable, even USF, but Fresno State?


Via Jeff Eisenberg:

New coach Wayne Tinkle secured a key commitment Tuesday from 6-foot-10 Drew Eubanks, arguably the top Class of 2015 prospect in the state of Oregon. The addition of the three-star center gives Oregon State a chance to assemble a formidable class given the ties the Beavers have to a pair of other top prospects.

Tres Tinkle, the son of the older Tinkle, is a 6-foot-6 small forward rated the No. 88 recruit in's class of 2015 rankings. And Stephen Thompson Jr., the son of Oregon State assistant Stephen Thompson Sr., is a 6-foot-3 shooting guard rated No. 74 in the 2015 class.

Both hold scholarship offers from numerous top programs out West, but both are thought to favor the Beavers.

SJSU has only received the added benefit of also landing one player when hiring a basketball coach and the was the late Ricky Berry. And it took a year at Oregon State plus a redshirt season before being able to put him on the floor.

Bill Berry, Stan Morrison, Phil Johnson, Steve Barnes, George Nessman and now Dave Wojcik. One.

Wayne Tinkle is going to get his son (got to make sure Dad turns the program around in Corvallis) and his hiring of former Syracuse great Stephen Thompson assures Tinkle that Thompson Jr. is coming too. The elder Thompson assisted at Cal State Los Angeles for three years before assuming the head coach position there for the last nine -- he's looking to move up in the coaching ranks and a resurgent Oregon State program is the best way for that to happen.

But what San Jose State University can pay for a head coach, let alone the assistants, certainly prevents package deals involving higher level recruits.

What's interesting is that Tinkle pursued (or was interested in, or both) the Fresno State program before the Bulldogs hired Rodney Terry and was asked to consider the SJSU but demurred.

Omolade & Peterson on 2014 SF Pro Am championship team

Two former San Jose State University Spartans are members of the 2014 San Francisco Pro-Am champions: Moses Omolade and Mac Peterson.

(2014 Champions Bryan Thomasson Rob Jones Winston Demmin Andre Martin Chris Adams Ryan Wessels Eric Crookshank Moses Omalade Charles Boozer Edward 'Topper' Allen, Don Johnson, Marquel Hoskins Marquel Hoskins Nefi Perdomo, Ike Count, Mac Peterson Cardell Butler Trevor Dunbar Trevor ST Dunbar)

Hit the link for a larger photo:

Friday, August 29, 2014

Getting together with Coach Wojcik

From SJSU athletics:

The always entertaining and informative "Night Out With Wojcik" is back! All San José State fans are invited to attend the event at Original Joe's on Tuesday, September 16 at 6:00 p.m.

For $25, your night will include great food, a mixer with fellow Spartans and a chance to hear the men's basketball program's newest updates from head coach Dave Wojcik.

With the 2014-15 season quickly approaching, Wojcik plans to discuss this year's team which features six new players, as well as highlights of the season schedule.

The "Night Out With Wojcik" promises to be a fun and exciting event. To register in advance, contact Blake Sasaki by email at or by telephone at (408) 924-3300. We look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Spartan facility upgrades

Jimmy Durkin reports on non-football facility improvements for San Jose State University basketball, volleyball and gymnastics.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

SJSU co-leaders for Wisconsin forward

Cody Schwartz has two current faves for his services -- per Mark Miller: "Saint Joseph and San Jose State remain the leaders for West De Pere senior Cody Schwartz, 6'8" F"

Out of Wisconsin, Schwartz weighs in at 190.

Here's an August feature, including video.

More video:

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fresno State removes AD

Fresno State President Joseph Castro has relieved Thomas Boeh from his duties as athletic director.

A new home for Denevir Duruisseau

Former SJSU recruit Denevir Duruisseau has both reclassified and will be attending a prep school in Virginia. Do note: he is not 6-foot-9, maybe in the future, but not now -- "2014 6'9 Fishburne Prep F Devenir Duruisseau has re classed to 2015..."

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Justin Graham makes his mark

Justin Graham is back in the Bay Area and he recently joined the Bay Pride (BP) squad in the San Francisco Pro-Am League. BP lost a playoff game Tuesday night but with Graham receiving great praise:

...Bay Pride had already relied on their guard play well before Justin Graham joined the team, as early in the season Quincy Smith routinely blew by his man often finishing with an emphatic dunk at the rim and Jourdan DeMunyck had been the league’s most consistent scorer all summer long. But the team struggled to find wins, even as DeMunyck and Smith had great individual nights. As good as the two guards were, turnovers and an unstable defense saw the team slip almost completely out of playoff contention altogether. That is until a few weeks back, when Graham showed up and the holes in the team that had once been their downfall were filled.

Graham is a player who fills the role of two players. He’s a talented individual player who is also able to do all the little things a team would hope to get from a role player.  Along with Wendell Mckines, he’s was probably the league’s best two-way player this summer.  In the team’s monumental win over Dream Team he did a phenomenal job on Isaiah Thomas. The NBA star rarely got a clean look at the basket and was visibly frustrated with how hard he had to work to get his points. As tough as Graham made the night for Thomas, he made it equally as easy for DeMunyck. Who was free to take helpless defenders off the dribble, with Graham occupying would be double-teamers. He could finally assert his elite ability to move without the ball, while Graham found him with crisp passes while he made his well-timed cuts. With Graham drawing defenses and kicking out he could spot up for open threes. Smith reaped the benefits of the versatile guard as well, with both DeMuynck and Graham occupying the majority of the defense’s attention he was free to use his quickness to get in the lane and ended up with an array of acrobatic finishes.When the final buzzer sounded to end the second overtime Smith had scored a large amount of the team’s biggest buckets on timely drives. DeMunyck had his best game of the summer, finishing the night with 57 points. Graham had made life a whole lot easier for his talented backcourt mates and in the process transformed the team from an entertaining bottom dweller to a serious contender...

What Gustavo Ayon could have done for SJSU basketball

Very, very few people recall that 6-10 Mexico native Gustavo Ayon signed with San Jose State University (SJSU) for the 2006-07 season.

From Wikipedia:
Ayón attended Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla in Mexico for three years of college. He was named Most Valuable Player of the Mexican national college championship tournament in leading the team to the championship. Following this season, he signed with NCAA Division I San Jose State University. However, Ayón never played for the Spartans, instead choosing to sign with a Mexican professional team, Halcones UV Xalapa.
His basketball bonafides (earliest to latest):

* 2006 Halcones de Xalapa (Mexico)

* 2007 Vaqueros de Agua Prieta (Mexico)

* 2007–2008 Halcones de Xalapa (Mexico)

* 2008 Dorados de Playa del Carmen (Mexico)

* 2008–2009 Halcones de Xalapa (Mexico)

* 2009 Baloncesto Fuenlabrada (Spain)

* 2009 Marinos de Anzoátegui (Venezuela)

* 2009 CB Illescas (Spain)

* 2009–2010 Tenerife CB (Spain)

* 2010–2011 Baloncesto Fuenlabrada (Spain)

* 2011–2012 New Orleans Hornets

* 2012–2013 Orlando Magic

* 2013 Milwaukee Bucks

* 2013–2014 Atlanta Hawks (On February 28, 2014, it was announced that Ayón would miss the rest of the 2013–14 season following successful surgery to repair a right shoulder injury.)

The latest:

In the current Centrobasket 2014 tournament, Mexico just topped Cuba 85-70 and "Gustavo Ayon continues to be the go to guy for Mexico, nailing 28 points and 15 rebounds for an impressive double-double..." 

In the title game versus Puerto Rico, Mexico won 74-60 and "Gustavo Ayon has impressed for the winners throughout this year’s competition and was the MVP here as he collected a 16 points/16 rebounds double-double..."

Had Ayon played back in the 2006-07 season (and the rumors are many as to why he never suited up before disappearing), could Ayon's presence have led Spartan basketball into a positive direction way back when?

The answer can obviously never be factually determined. Initially he would have shared the center spot with senior Menelik Barbary, alongside guards Carlton Spencer and Jamon Hill plus forward Tim Pierce. Freshmen Justin Graham and center Oliver Caballero redshirted the season, with 6-foot-10 Chris Oakes being added to the team as a redshirt in December after transferring in from Pepperdine. That squad finished 5-25 overall, 4-12 in the Western Athletic Conference. Ayon's presence certainly would have produced more victories but how many is simply conjecture. The question of would Oakes have come if Ayon was present is valid if unknowable.

In 2007-2008 with Ayon but a dream, 6-10 Clint Amberry was added to the roster alongside Oakes, who would gain his eligibility in mid-December, CJ Webster and Caballero. Amberry ultimately redshirted the season but it appeared SJSU was finally going to have some size, bulk and hopefully depth available in the frontcourt. But again, like with Oakes, would Webster have chose SJSU with Ayon's presence?

That 2007-2008 team finished 13-19 overall and 5-13 in conference (counting the tournament) yet with five players averaging double figures: Webster 11.3, Pierce 11.2, Graham 10.7, Oakes 10.3 and DaShawn Wright at 10.1. How would the presence of Ayon have played out? Probably not positively as Webster and Oakes would have been on the court for less minutes and Caballero might not have gotten any time. A Webster - Ayon clash for the top shot taker on the team again is conjecture but seemingly valid. Another important point to consider is that Adrian Oliver transferred in during mid-season.

Come 2008-2009, it was Oliver's team as he led in scoring at 17.1 points per game. Webster averaged 12.0 points and Oakes 8.2. It was a team that finished 13-17, 6-11 (again counting the tournament) despite the presence of Oliver, Webster, Pierce, Graham, Oakes, Wright plus Robert Owens and Mac Peterson. Simply put, this was the best opportunity for a winning season.

In the 2009-10 season, the Spartans finished 14-16, 6-11 (again counting the tournament). The wheels began coming off for Webster who averaged just 8.8 points. An eye injury took a toll as well as him no longer being the featured player. He then departed school with a year of eligibility remaining.

Granted, Ayon more than likely would not have played four years at SJSU and recruiting at the center position certainly would have been different with him on the roster. But the guy became an NBA talent -- not a star by any means but someone who is still in the Big Show, unlike Oakes and Webster.

It seems safe to say that Ayon would have aided Spartan basketball had he participated. To what degree and how long he would have remained is speculative. The question what difference, if any, would have transpired had he been present in lieu of Webster and/or Oakes in intriguing. The combination of Webster and Oakes never worked to the best potential of both but an Oakes - Ayon pairing would have been fun to see since Oakes didn't require a certain numbers of touches/shots per game in order to remain happy.

As soon as someone invents a time machine, were getting it to go back and see how the various possibilities would have played out.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Evaluating SJSU's recruiting

So with a second recruiting class in the books (the first with a full time period available for getting to know and evaluate prospects), what can be ascertained about Coach Wojcik's prowess for bringing in talent?

First off, what must be mentioned is the difference in coaching staffs from Wojcik's initial season to this one as two assistants departed after year one.

It was Chris Brazelton, Jack Kennedy and Omar Lowery last season and is currently Chris Brazelton, Mike Lepore and Tyler Ojanen

Yet a case can be made (although obviously not fully played out as yet) that the first group of signees brought in as Spartans is the more talented bunch. But time will eventually tell.

But seemingly contradictory is that it appears that the present group of assistants are a stronger crew vis-a-vis recruiting due to greater contacts and coming from higher levels. Lepore is a middle America guy due to his time in St. Louis and Ojanen had a solid run at St. Mary's.

So let's look at the two recruiting classes.

Last year's class:

* Jordan Baker
* Jalen James
* Rashad Muhammad
* Brandon Mitchell
* Matt Pollard
* Frank Rogers
* Isaac Thornton
* Devante Wilson

Dylan Alexander was a walk-on so he isn't being counted.

The top three are presently the keys. Baker (coming from Pepperdine) will be the best Spartan player this season but we want to see if Muhammad can add some dribble-drive to his offensive arsenal. James was up-and-down as a frosh (not surprising) but in his favor he didn't have a lot of offensive options to work with. These were three very solid additions.

Like Baker, Rogers redshirted (coming from USF) and his key will be how physical he is willing to play. Thornton showed prowess in a lot of areas -- count him as a darkhorse and here's hoping Matt Pollard develops some footwork and fluidity with his movement.

This year's group:

* Leon Bahner 
* Darryl Gaynor II
* Princeton Onwas
* Ryan Singer

Danny Mahoney is a walk-on so he isn't being counted.

Granted, landing eight (versus four) recruits increases the odds of getting a bigger boost and someone emerging but none of these quartet of guys was being that heavily wooed. Getting two bigs was a necessary move but neither will help all that much right away. Gaynor has the best chance of providing something early while Onwas, apparently a strong defender, is sitting out due to his transfer from Utah.

As a side note, Jamuni McNeace (who went with Oklahoma) and Rokas Gustys (who went with Hofstra) were two centers certainly wanted by SJSU but each decided to play elsewhere. McNeace is probably a redshirt candidate in Norman due to his weight of 200 and so pounds and Gustys is strong beyond belief and willing to own the paint but needs greater facilitation with his movement. Right now, each looks more promising than who SJSU was able to land but, again, time will tell.

What we know

It is really beneficial for recruiting being in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) as Jalen James and Rashad Muhammad do not come to Washington Square if the Spartans still had residence in the Western Athletic Conference. Probably not Jordan Baker either.

Beating in-conference competitors for specific recruits -- not necessarily UNLV or San Diego State (just not going to happen) but rather Nevada, Fresno State and Utah State -- is critical.

It doesn't appear that the basketball fortunes of SJSU will be changed by the landing of a blue-chipper or someone close to that level. There just isn't any hoops history to cause an elite prospect to even consider coming to Silicon Valley.

What it looks like is a grow-up-together group that parlays experience into being a formidable unit is what the Spartans must achieve in order to be successful. That is something do-able.

The bigs brought in will continue to be major projects.  

Even a look at the two future arriving commits offers indicators. 6-foot-7 2015 small forward Brandon Clarke is not going to light up the MWC as a frosh. The same for 2016 point Nai Carlisle (although he has two years to change that evaluation).

Lowery now teaching

It looks like former SJSU basketball assistant Omar Lowery is now a teacher in Milwaukee.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Press for Brandon Clarke

Jason Skoda writes about newest San Jose State University commit Brandon Clarke.

SJSU releases men's basketball schedule

San Jose State University athletics has released the 2014-15 men's basketball schedule:

San José State's 18-game regular season Mountain West schedule was announced by the conference this week. The initial schedule release has the Spartans hosting two nationally televised contests on ESPN3 -- February 24 versus San Diego State and March 7 versus UNLV.

"The Mountain West schedule presents some great challenges for our team again this year," said second-year Spartans head coach Dave Wojcik. "We are excited to take on these challenges now in our second season in the league." 

The Aztecs along with New Mexico will be SJSU's one-time opponents in 2014-15. The Spartans will not host the Lobos, but travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to face the reigning MW Tourney champs in The Pit on January 31.

Three of the first four conference games will take place on the road. The Spartans' MW action begins on December 31 at Utah State. The home conference opener versus Wyoming will be on January 3. 

San José State will play four of its last six games of the season in the Event Center, highlighted by marquee MW matchups against Boise State (3/4) and UNLV (3/7).

The nonconference portion begins November 14 with the season opener in The Event Center against Bethesda. It will be the first of three consecutive home games to open up the year before the team heads to Fullerton, Calif., for the prestigious Wooden Legacy. 

"The Wooden Legacy continues to be one of the best tournaments in college basketball," Wojcik said. "It will be an honor to represent the Mountain West at this year's event, which features some top teams from across the nation."

All three of SJSU's games in the Wooden Legacy will be broadcast live on the ESPN family of networks. Opponents and game times for the event have not yet been announced. 

The Spartans also travel to UC Davis (12/3) and host the crosstown rival Santa Clara Broncos (12/6) in nonconference games.

Nonconference play:

11/02/14 vs. Cal State East Bay
11/08/14 vs. Notre Dame De Namur
11/14/14 vs. Bethesda
11/16/14 vs. Portland
11/19/14 vs. Pepperdine
11/22/14 at Cal State Fullerton

Wooden Legacy
11/27/14 TBD Fullerton, CA
11/28/14 TBD Fullerton, CA
11/30/14 TBD Anaheim, CA

12/03/14 at UC Davis
12/06/14 vs. Santa Clara
12/09/14 vs. St. Katherine
12/13/14 vs. Seattle University
12/21/14 at Washington State

Conference play:

* Wednesday, Dec. 31 at Utah State
* Saturday, Jan. 3 vs. Wyoming
* Wednesday, Jan. 7 at Air Force
* Saturday, Jan. 10 at UNLV
* Wednesday, Jan. 14 vs. Fresno State
* Saturday, Jan. 17 vs. Colorado State
* Wednesday, Jan. 21 at Boise State
* Wednesday, Jan. 28 vs. Air Force
* Saturday, Jan. 31 at New Mexico
* Wednesday, Feb. 4 at Fresno State
* Saturday, Feb. 7 vs. Nevada
* Saturday, Feb. 14 at Wyoming
* Wednesday, Feb. 18 vs. Utah State
* Saturday, Feb. 21 vs. San Diego State (ESPN3)
* Wednesday, Feb. 25 at Colorado State
* Saturday, Feb. 28 at Nevada
* Wednesday, Mar. 4 vs. Boise State
* Saturday, Mar. 7 vs. UNLV (ESPN3)

SJSU offers 2016 prospect

A Chris Monter tweet: "San Jose State has offered Rochester John Marshall junior forward Michael Hurt. It is his third offer to-date.”

Here's Monter's July 25 feature on the 6-foot-7 Hurt, who also has offers from Davidson and Drake and resides in the 2016 class.

More on SJSU target Isaiah Moss

More on the recruitment of 6-foot-6 2015 Illinois prep prospect Isaiah Moss:

From Jeremy Woo:

...After the second week of the July evaluation period, Moss picked up offers from Auburn, Rhode Island and San Jose State. As word spread of his immense talent and stellar play, the Mac Irvin Fire offered him chance to return to their roster for the final week of the AAU season. Moss went to Las Vegas with the Fire and dominated, helping lead them to a 7-1 record and a championship at the Bigfoot Classic.

In his first two games with the Fire, Moss posted games of 14 points (including two threes and two dunks) and 18 points (with four threes and a dunk), and the glowing reviews from college coaches began rolling in.

“He’s killing right now,” one college coach said in a text.“He’s smooth, man.Very efficient, limited touches and still got a lot done,” said another.“Isaiah Moss did extremely well tonight!” Texted a third.

“In Vegas, I played more point guard than I usually do, so I showed I could handle the ball and be versatile. I was shooting really well too,” said Moss. “When I first played with the Fire, I didn’t play as much, so I went to Playground Elite. I guess I just proved everybody wrong that was doubting me and thought I couldn’t play...”