Friday, November 28, 2014

Observations on Wyoming & San Diego State

A couple of observations from Jon Rothstein:

"Wyoming's defense has been flawless so far

The Cowboys have held their past four opponents to 46 points or fewer and 37 percent or worse shooting from the field. Wyoming hasn't played any juggernauts during that stretch but it did defeat Colorado -- which is expected to be one of the better teams in the Pac-12 -- 56-33 on Nov. 22. Larry Shyatt's team has role allocation, experience, and possibly the best the best player in the Mountain West Conference in skilled forward Larry Nance Jr. (12.8 points, 5.8 rebounds). If you defend, you have a chance at any level, and this team defends each time it takes the floor."


"San Diego State's length reminds me of the West Virginia team that went to the Final Four in 2010 with Devin Ebanks, Kevin Jones, Wellington Smith and Da'Sean Butler. The Aztecs have never been a program that has liked to put labels on positions, and that was obvious in the second half of the Maui Invitational final against Arizona. During a two-minute stretch late in the game, Steve Fisher opted not to play with a true post presence and instead played a "five long" lineup with Trey Kell (6-4), J.J. O'Brien (6-7), Dwayne Polee (6-7), Winston Shepard (6-8) and freshman Malik Pope (6-8). That's a nightmare lineup for opponents to potentially deal with down the road."

The Cowboys and the Aztecs match up on January 14 and February 11 -- keep an eye out for 0-0 ties.

Western Michigan bops the Spartans

Despite not having a big to intimidate inside offensively and defensively, Western Michigan still took it to San Jose State University tonight 79-60 down in Fullerton. It was 36-21 after the initial 20 minutes.

The Broncos shot 55% overall, 71% (10-14) from long distance.

For the Spartans, Frank Rogers nailed a trio of treys and finished with 17 points (7-10 shooting) but nobody else stepped forward.

Jimmy Durkin game reports.

Washington 78, SJSU 56

A win wasn't expected and neither did it happen tonight as San Jose State University met up in Fullerton with Washington as part of the Wooden Legacy tournament. The final score was 78-56 and this with 14 missed free throws by the Huskies. The Seattle-ites led 40-23 at halftime.

Rashad Muhammad led the Spartans with 15 points with Jaleel Williams totaling 11 points plus five boards. Frank Rogers fouled out in 18 minutes while Leon Bahner and Matt Pollard were whistled for three fouls apiece in 15 and 16 minutes respectively. Don't know if it's mostly a matter of trying to do too much but Jordan Baker shot 2-11 and had five turnovers.

It's Western Michigan Friday for the Spartans. WM fell 77-53 to Long Beach State tonight. The Broncos have two guys 6-foot-8 on the roster, both sophomores, plus 6-foot-10 and a 6-foot-11 freshman centers so there's inexperience up front. Their primary scoring is coming from two guards and two smallish forwards.

Spartan athletics game reports.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why hasn't more winning happened?

Jonathan Abrams digs into the question whether Loyola Marymount can ever become a consistent winner. The Hank Gathers, Bo Kimble, Jeff Fryer (remember him?) years were definitely an anomaly but the Lions have a wonderful campus, are located near the beach, play in a respected basketball league and seemingly should never have to leave southern California to recruit. So what gives? Can Mike Dunlap, the new coach, change the program's trajectory? If so, why? If not, why not?

Ask the same question about San Jose State University basketball. Obviously there are a different set of draws and objections for basketball talents here but it's worth serious thought.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Titans by four

San Jose State University went down to the Land of Orange (not to be confused in any way with "Orange is the New Black" territory and was turned back 70-66 on Saturday afternoon. Former El Cerrito High guard Alex Harris led Cal State Fullerton with 20 points.

For the Spartans, Jaleel Williams shot 6-9 overall, on his way to a team-leading 16 points. Jordan Baker shot 5-14 on the game but with five assists and Frank Rogers went 4-15. He was 1-4 from beyond the arc but did grab eight caroms.

SJSU generated just nine free throw attempts to 29 for the hosts -- the Titans were whistled for a mere 10 fouls -- but won the battle of the boards 40-33.

Spartan athletics game reports.

Fullerton athletics game reports.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The MWC this season (so far)

Mark Zeigler (who covers San Diego State sports) tweeted: "I might be wrong about the MW being a 1-bid league. NCAA selection committee might just say: Uh, we're not taking anyone."

But pretty soon, a sportscaster is going to confuse a San Diego State basketball win with a hockey score.

UNLV was just routed 89-60 by Stanford. Granted the Running Rebels are young but still.

New Mexico has lost Cullen Neal for a while due to injury and he's been playing the best ball on the team with 26 and then 23 points in the first two games for the Lobos.

Fresno State has been pitiful thus far (a 73-52 loss to host Northern Arizona, previously an 89-74 defeat in Malibu to Pepperdine).

Utah State has been behind at halftime all three games but come back to win each one (Weber State, Illinois State and Santa Clara).

Boise State stands 3-0 but each has been a single figure victory versus San Diego, Loyola Marymount and Montana respectively. It's at Wisconsin is tomorrow so that will be a big test.

Colorado State is 2-0 but that's been home games against Montana and Georgia State.

Wyoming is also undefeated versus Northern Colorado and Western State. Colorado comes to Laramie tomorrow.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Aztecs give up 27

It may seem like a football score but San Diego State defeated Cal State Bakersfield in Maui 51-27 last night.

The Aztec defense is going to set some records this season. The Roadrunners shot 12-56 overall, 1-20 from long distance and connected on 2-5 with free throws.

Steve Fisher's guys weren't all that much better though, going 14-57 on the game and 3-24 beyond the arc. 20-29 on free throws helped out.

San Diego State comes to Walt McPherson Court on February 21. Will a scoreboard be needed or will fingers and toes do?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pepperdine 66 - SJSU 44

The Waves rolled over host San Jose State University tonight, 63-44, as the Spartans damaged their chances for success more than the opponents. SJSU shot 15-50 overall, 3-17 from long distance and was guilty of 20 turnovers. The score was 26-22 at the half.

Points in the paint was also a killer, 20-2 in favor of the visitors.

On the positive side, it was 14 assists on 15 baskets for Coach Dave Wojcik's guys and Frank Rogers just missed a double-double with 11 boards and nine points. He also blocked two shots.

Jordan Baker didn't exactly wreak havoc on his former college team, finishing with five points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. He shot 2-11 overall in 36 minutes.

Jimmy Durkin game reports.

Samuel Brannan game reports.

Here's the Spartan athletics game report.

Here's the Pepperdine point of view.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Portland 73, SJSU 68

Portland Coach Eric Reveno returned 'home' today (if the 18 miles to Stanford constitutes a close enough proximity) and doubled his enjoyment with his Pilots winning 73-68 over San Jose State University.

But for the first time Spartan fans got to witness guard Jordan Baker and forward Frank Rogers on the court and that dynamic duo produced 17 points and 16 points respectively. They teamed up in a manner as with 0:54 on the clock, Baker missed both free throws but Rogers grabbed the second miss, scored the basket while being fouled and made the resulting free throw. That effort put SJSU up 62-60 at the time.

Baker shot 3-8 at the free throw line and committed six turnovers so let's hope his being back for the first time accounts for these.

A highlight was freshman guard Darryl Gaynor II's 12 points against a very solid opponent this time. Portland was listed in sixth place (of 10) in the 2014-15 West Coach Conference coaches poll.

The Washington Square crew led 37-26 after the first 20 minutes and also led in overtime at one point but Portland prevailed.

Spartan athletics game reports.

Portland athletics game reports.

Jimmy Durkin game reports.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Spartans handle Bethesda

If you knew where Bethesda University was located before tonight, well, get thee to a Jeopardy contestant audition pronto.

Said school's basketball team matched up with San Jose State University tonight and the result was a 67-44 victory for the Spartans.

The most important takeaway? The continued productive play of freshman guard Darryl Gaynor II who enjoyed nine assists to but a single turnover.

The Spartan athletics game report is here while the Jimmy Durkin/Mercury News narrative is here.

Isaac Thornton, Jordan Baker and Frank Rogers did not play for SJSU.

Portland is in Sunday at 1:00 p.m. for the first 'real' opponent of the season.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cody Schwartz on his signing with SJSU

In both video and print, Cody Schwartz explains his commitment and signing with San Jose State University.

More on signee Brandon Clarke

Spoke with Tony Darden, the head basketball coach at Desert Vista High in Phoenix, and he elaborated about his player Brandon Clarke who signed a letter-of-intent with San Jose State University today.

"Brandon is a great student and leader who is going to do big things. He's the best defender in the state and can guard the 1-5 spots. Brandon is a pass-first guy and a good scorer who can take guys off the dribble. He's very athletic and really smart."

He added, "Brandon is very fond of the San Jose State coaching staff" and noted that Tyler Ojanen, who earlier coached high school basketball and played his first two years of college hoops in Phoenix, was instrumental in Clarke's signing.

Northeastern, Lafayette, Columbia, Colgate, Santa Clara among others recruiting the 6-foot-6 Clarke.

Note: Darden, who played collegiately at Coastal Carolina and professionally overseas and in the American Basketball Association, also was an assistant coach at the high school current Spartan guard Jordan Baker attended. That team went all the way to the state championship game one year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The signings of Cody Schwartz and Brandon Clarke

SJSU athletics on new basketball signees Cody Schwartz and Brandon Clark:

An ESPN four-star rated forward, Cody Schwartz, and one of the most versatile small forwards in the state of Arizona, Brandon Clarke, have signed national letters-of-intent to compete for San José State University beginning the 2015-16 season. Head coach Dave Wojcik made the announcement.

"We are pleased to announce the addition of two fine young men to our basketball family," Wojcik said. "Brandon Clarke is an extremely versatile forward that can play multiple positions. Brandon is someone who will make everyone else on our team better by utilizing his length, playmaking ability, and intelligence." 

"Cody Schwartz is an exceptionally skilled forward that will be a very difficult matchup for teams because of his ability to score in the post and from the perimeter. Cody's skill level and basketball IQ will impact the game for us on both ends of the floor."

Schwartz, a 6-foot-8 forward, averaged 18.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals as a junior at West De Pere (Wis.) High School. Schwartz was dominant, scoring 20 or more points in 12 games while leading the Phantoms to the Division II Wisconsin State Championship tournament. 

Schwartz garnered attention from around the country for being the top perimeter shooter in the state. He was a 2014 Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) first-team Division II All State selection, and received an AP All-State honorable mention. The four-star recruit according to ESPN is also ranked 26th on ESPN's Top-100 Power Forwards list in America. Schwartz becomes first ever four-star recruit to sign with San José State men's basketball. Schwartz had received scholarship offers from Creighton, Marquette, Toledo and Nebraska before committing to San José State University. 

Clarke, a 6-foot-7 forward, starred as a junior at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Clarke averaged 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks, and 2.5 steals per game in 2013-14, and was rated in the state's top-five for most versatile players by Arizona Power Basketball. 

The All-Tribune honorable mention player is also ranked 12th on's Top-20 Recruit List. 

"Both Brandon and Cody come from tremendous families that stress the importance of the standards that our program has been built on," Wojcik added. "Both are honor roll students with above 3.0 GPA's and value hard work and dedication in the classroom. There is no doubt that both young men will make a significant impact to the San José State community."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Big week for SJSU and Cody Schwartz

2015 high school basketball prospects can begin signing national letters-of-intent on Wednesday, November 12 and it's fully expected 6-foot-8 200 pound Cody Schwartz will ink with San Jose State University Coach Dave Wojcik on that day or soon thereafter.

Out of West De Pere High and the Wisconsin Blizzard club team, Schwartz blew up over the summer  and here's what Blizzard Coach Chas Pronschinske recently said about the young man:

"Cody has tremendous upside and his ceiling is very high once he fills out his body. He's very versatile -- he can play the perimeter and shoot to 23 feet plus go inside and get to the basket. He'll be a great addition."

He added, "Nebraska, Creighton and Marquette all offered" (two of of which were in the Big Dance last season) but Schwartz made the call to go with San Jose State University.

Schwartz also led his West De Pere team to the Division 2 state semi finals last year.

It's obviously up to the Spartan coaching staff to decide but playing Schwartz as a stretch forward seems the most advantageous given his inside.outside offensive talents.

Pronschinske also said Schwartz "is a very good student" with a 3.0+ grade point average. "He's going to bring great energy to the program."

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shamburger leads Missou

Missouri handled University of Missouri-St. Louis 77-54 on Saturday in an exhibition game with former Spartan Keith Shamburger leading the Tigers with a well-rounded 13 points, six rebound, six assist, three steal line. He is in his final year of eligibility after having transferred from Hawaii.

SJSU 65 - ND de Namur 58

No this wasn't a Greek mythology tale pitting the Spartans against the Argonauts, it was real as San Jose State University matched up with visiting Notre Dame de Namur last night and emerged with a 65-58 victory.

SJSU freshman Darryl Gaynor II came through in the second half and finished with 15 points while fellow frosh Leon Bahner led on the boards with 14. Doing his usual stat-stuffing effort despite not shooting well, Isaac Thornton enjoyed an 11 rebound, six point, four steal, two assist line.

Solid free throw shooting, 22-28, aided the victory as otherwise it was 19-53 overall and 5-23 from beyond the arc.

Spartan athletics game reports.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

When you're the only game in town, or the state...

Via Mike Vorel: "Our 36-page Wyoming hoops preview drops a week from today. Extremely proud of this. You don't want to miss it."

He covers Wyoming sports for the Casper Star-Tribune

The San Jose Mercury News will likely do one article, consisting of maybe eight paragraphs.

But enough of beating that ol' dessicated horse.

Lowery at San Houston State

It's official -- former SJSU assistant coach Omar Lowery is on the staff at Sam Houston State of the Southland Conference.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Three player updates


Senior guard Devante Wilson will be redshirting this season which will allow him to have the chance of playing in the Mountain West Conference tournament come 2015-16. With that season off, he really needs to upgrade his shooting accuracy and consistency (32% overall, 32% from long distance). 171 or his total of 238 shot attempts were three-pointers but that will percentage will lessen.

Juniors Jordan Baker and Frank Rogers were suspended for the Cal State East Bay game which isn't quite demonstrating upperclassmen leadership. Get it together guys.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

SJSU 84 - CSEB 65

Cal State East Bay hung around but the outcome was never in doubt as San Jose State University downed the Pioneers 84-65 this afternoon.

For the Washington Square crew, Rashad Muhammad led with 19 points and added three assists. Jaleel Williams and Jalen James each totaled 16, with the former shooting 5-8 overall, 3-4 from long distance. Rounding out the starting five, sophomore Isaac Thornton proved to be a stats-stuffer with eight points, seven boards and a team-leading five assists while freshman big Leon Bahner finished with seven boards and a pair of blocked shots.

Freshman guard Darryl Gaynor II contributed 15 points, aided by going 10-10 from the foul line and frosh power forward Ryan Singer nabbed six rebounds in 18 minutes.

Not playing for the Spartans were upperclassmen Jordan Baker, Frank Rogers and Devante Wilson. They were on the SJSU bench but not suited up.

Here's the game reports from Spartan athletics.

SJSU versus Cal State East Bay

San Jose State University opens the season today at 4 p.m. hosting Cal State East Bay. The latter fell 94-50 to California on Halloween night and also faces Santa Clara later this week. The Bears were just too athletic and physical for the Pioneers.

This means former Spartan guard Nick Grieves is returning and look for him to roam the perimeter for three-point shot openings.

Probably the most important aspects to watch for is who plays the most in the paint for SJSU and who displays rebounding and defensive prowess -- two critical areas needing improvement for the Spartans. Can freshmen Leon Bahner and Ryan Singer contribute in Mountain West Conference play? Has sophomore Matt Pollard improved?

Also, is Frank Rogers willing to bang bodies?

It will be the debut for junior guard Jordan Baker so do note what shots he and Rashad Muhammad get within the offense.

Boise St. with two out of CA

Boise State is mining northern and southern California and this isn't a good trend:

"The Broncos picked up a verbal commitment Saturday night from Paris Austin, a point guard out of Bishop O'Dowd High in Oakland, Calif. Austin is rated as a four-star recruit by and is one of's top 150 national recruits, at No. 142."

A 5-foot-11 point, Austin was a SJSU target until he cut his list of suitors to three. Montana made the semifinal cut, meaning SJSU couldn't beat out a Big Sky program, albeit a very successful one.

6-foot-7 190 guard Chandler Hutchinson is a BSU freshman out of southern California:
"Three-year letterwinner at Mission Viejo High School under head coach Troy Roelen...believed to be first top 100 recruit in program history, ranked No. 80 in ESPN 100 for class of 2014, rated as No. 7 prospect in California and No. 19 small forward in the country."
Gotta win some games this season, meaningful ones, or this will keep happening.

Playing catchup requires discovering and lining up guys before the hordes of others. That's what the Broncos did with Hutchinson.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The rich getting richer

UNLV has landed another promising recruit -- via Jeff Borzello: "Jalen Poyser is a quality pickup for UNLV. At his best off the dribble, but he also shot over 40% from 3-point range on the EYBL circuit." 

Poyser is a 2015 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of Canada, and while not necessarily a blue-chipper, he looks to be someone who would likely spend four years on campus which is a need for the Running Rebels program..

He visited Rhode Island and Oklahoma but played for Todd Simon, now a Vegas assistant, when both were at Findlay Prep.