Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Utah St. 80, SJSU 71

Utah State came to town on Wednesday and ultimately departed with an 80-71 victory over San Jose State University. The Spartans got within four at one point in the second 20 minutes but the Aggies spurted ahead once again to put the game away. It was a 45-31 score after 20 minutes.

For SJSU, Frank Rogers posted a 23 point, 11 rebound double-double. In just seven minutes of play, Jalen James earned four assists while Jaycee Hillsman totaled eight points in 12 minutes.

Leading scorer Chris Smith managed just four points for USU but that still wasn't enough for the Washington Square crew to have a chance to win.

Shawn Harrison game reports.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

MWC weekly team report

From Geoff Grammer and all the Mountain West Conference beat reporters comes the weekly roundup.on each team. No SJSU report this week but I'll be covering the Spartans in this fashion from here on out.

New Mexico hoops

Geoff Grammer reports on interesting happenings in the New Mexico basketball program.

Utah State v San Jose State University

Senior guard Chris Smith is on a tear of late and the catch-and-shoot marksman is going to require a defender to stay on him. He's not a dribble-drive guy. Let the other Aggies shoot.

6-foot-8 junior Jalen Moore was supposed the The Man this season but his numbers aren't indicating this. Yes, he's at 14.2 and 6.1 in points and rebounds per game but he's shooting 42%, 30% and 65% respectively.

From Utah State athletics comes this analysis prior to Wednesday's matchup between the host Spartans and the Aggies.

Here's more, also from USU athletics:

December 28, 2015

USU men's basketball head coach Tim Duryea addressed the media on Monday and answered questions about the upcoming Mountain West road opener at San José State on Wednesday, Dec. 30. The complete transcript of the press conference can be found below.

On San José State
“San José State is a very big, long, athletic team. They have started a few different lineups and play 10 or 11 guys. The common theme is big and athletic. They are a totally different team than they were last year when they had so many issues with health and suspensions. I’m really impressed with Frank Rogers, who was hurt all last year, but played for them before that. He is a big, 6-9, left-handed, athletic post player that can score on the block, can make a 3-pointer, is a very good rebounder and a very good player. His stats are very impressive.

“They are big at the wings. Their wings are shooters, in Ryan Welage, who plays the three and the four. Cody Schwartz plays the two and three and they are a couple of 6-8, 6-9 freshmen that are getting their feet wet and shoot the ball very well. (Princeton) Onwas and Gary Williams are also really athletic players that play multiple positions. All-in-all a big, long, athletic team that plays multiple defenses and has played a lot better this year than they did last year.”

On addressing SJSU’s length and adjusting lineups
“We’ll kind of go game by game and feel that out. We’ll probably start a bigger five man between Lew (Evans) and Elston (Jones). Certain games may give us certain times when we’ll want to be more unorthodox offensively and make them react and match up to us. We may never start that small lineup, but just use it as a change of pace. 

“One of the issues with SJSU is rebounding. They are plus-three on the boards through the non-conference and that is one of the areas that we have to make sure to cover. We are a little undersized, so we need to put some bodies on people and clear some space for ourselves so we can get on the boards.”

On Elston Jones’ health
“With the rest and the tournament games, followed by more rest, he is basically 100 percent. He has a little bit of pain in there that he is working out, but it is not really hindering him right now.”

On Princeton Onwas
“He’s the kid that is not going to beat you from the 3-point line, but he is a really athletic player. He can guard multiple positions and can score a lot of different ways. Most of them are unscheduled points where he will get a layup off a steal, a stick back on an offensive rebound, he’ll drive the ball to the basket and score it. He is a little unusual offensively and not looking to shoot 3-pointers, but will score inside the lane a lot for a guy his size. He is also an impact defender on the other end.”

On how much different San José State appears with its different roster
“It is almost like playing a new team and a new coach. They are doing a lot of different things on both sides of the ball and as a coach, when you have a full roster of players, you can do a lot more things. It feels like a whole new team. There are a few holdovers that are playing a decent role for them, but mostly, it is a totally new-look team. It really isn’t unexpected after all they went through last year. Everybody figured you would see a new and improved San José State team this year and that is the case.”

More on TBrown

Josh Gershon: "2016 Moreau Catholic wing Terrell Brown was a nice pickup for San Jose State. Really long arms, athletic and has scoring mentality."

One decision not going over well

Via Geoff Grammer, more on the decision by the presidents to cut MWC tournament to eight teams in 2017:

"[Wyoming Coach Larry] Shyatt said it's embarrassing coaches, players and even league office was not informed of change before league presidents voted on it."

and

"Larry Shyatt, chairman of Mountain West coaches, speaking out strongly against school presidents making this decision w/o talking to coaches"

and

"Larry Shyatt says as troubling as decision itself is the apparent behind the scenes "plotting" to make decision w/o coaches finding out."

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Terrell Brown update

Moreau Catholic High in Hayward is playing in some far-flung tournaments this season -- in Palm Springs right now, earlier in Maui (playing in the championship game there) and in Nevada.

Twitter excerpts:

",,,San Jose State-bound Terrell Brown. ...athletic scorer"

"Moreau Catholic loses to Alemany 63-60 in Max Prep Classic 17 PG Damari Milstead 27pts, 16 G Terrell Brown"

"...G Terrell Brown (@hooplife_tj) scores 16 PTS in a win over Foothill"

"Moreau Catholic (CA) G Terrell Brown (@hooplife_tj) scores 17 PTS in a win over Douglas"

That can only aid the evolution of Terrell Brown's game and make him more prepared when he arrives at SJSU next season.

Two peas in a pod?

Maybe Walter Byers and Jerry Tarkanian had more in common than they thought. But Tark was much more loveable and much less vengeful. LINK

Grammer with more interesting tidbits

Geoff Grammer with a couple of tweets:

"My (debatable) Mountain West hoops tiers: 
Top tier: UNLV/BoiSt
2nd: FresnoSt/SDSU
3rd: UNM
4th: UtSt/Nev/CSU/Wyo
5th: AFA
6th: SJSU"

and

"Hard to imagine anyone pulling away from the pack this season in the Mountain West, but the question is how many teams will be in that pack."

Interesting take on the MWC regular season victor

Michael Wagner on the prowess of this season's MWC and the Big Dance: "whoever wins the regular-season title is no lock to get in. Conference tourney champ might be the only one who Gets in."




Larry Shyatt critical of Mountain West's plans for future of conference tournament by Ryan Holmgren

Wyoming Coach Larry Shyatt speaks his mind about the MWC tournament remaining at the Thomas & Mack and the lopping off of three teams. Of the latter:

"As I said, I’ve never been more distressed, upset, disappointed for the student-athletes involved who were stripped of the opportunity that they always thought they had when the inception of tournament play came into effect. It was all about never giving up and always having a chance to compete for the Big Dance.”

Friday, December 25, 2015

A fascinating time at Colorado State

What does it all mean? It being the brouhaha surrounding Colorado State basketball involving a former Ram dissing Coach Larry Eustachy by way of social media. Probably nothing more than a blip in time

It all began with Daniel Bejarano tweeting on December 21: "Hopefully my old teammates get a new coach. We all know who's the problem! Feel bad for them!"

Then on December 22, he tweeted: "My last tweet didn't have to do with anything with CSU. I love my old teammates as well CSU. I hope nothing but the best."

Stephens tweeted on December 22: "Just had a nice long chat with Daniel Bejarano. He's a guy who loves his teammates."

Then Matt Stephens, the beat reporter for The Coloradoan, asked Eustachy about the matter at the end of a press conference. He also provided some history of the Bejarano - Eustachy relationship from an earlier article written last season.

On December 24, Stephens wrote an article titled "What's it really like to play for Larry Eustachy?"

There certainly is something to say for consistency and it's hard to believe, given Eustachy's longtime reputation, that his behavioral style came as a complete unknown to recruits.

Boiling it down, one of Eustachy's former guys expressed an opinion on social media. Granted, the subject is not something that usually sees the light of day. It's an interesting dustup of sorts. Period.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The condition of the Mountain West Conference

Yes, looking forward to next season is probably the best thing for Spartan fans to do but the conference, as a whole, is playing pitifully. So maybe there are some win in the remaining schedule.

San Diego State may be the first team to lose by scoring in the negative.

New Mexico recently blew a large second half lead and lost to Rice in The Pit. Fans have no idea which Lobo team will show up each game.

Glen Cavell, CSU's leading scorer at 20.8 points per game, is now out for the season due to injury.

UNLV is a Jeckyl-and-Hyde team. Make them run offensive plays and their scoring efficiency drops significantly.

Wyoming has Josh Adams, and not much else.

Fresno State looks good one moment but then plays poorly the next.

Nevada lost its starting center and injuries have sidelined/hindered a number of other talents.

Utah State enjoys an 8-3 record but has played just two games outside the Beehive State. The Aggies suffered a loss to Cal State Monterey Bay and have fallen to BYU and UC Irvine, the latter at home.

Air Force is Air Force.

Boise State is the team to watch with losses twice to Arizona, Michigan State but, yes, Montana. The Broncos have a win against Irvine in Orange County and a home victory versus Oregon.

James with a sprained ankle

It's a sprained ankle that is hindering Jalen James' playing time. Since the next game in January 30, the break between games should provide a solid amount of time for healing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A tidbit on Keith Fisher

From Frank Burlison after viewing a top talent tournament last weekend: "Keith Fisher (6-7/2016/L.A. Westchester): The Comets nearly pulled off a stunning rally (after being down 20 points) in an eventual first-round loss to Bingham before winning their next three games for the Platinum consolation championship. He was a big reason."

Wish he, a Spartan signee in November, was 6-foot-9 but then he wouldn't be signing with SJSU then. Great motor.

Rush The Court on the MWC

Andrew Murawa checks in on the Mountain West Conference and has Boise State as the top team this week.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Heading into 2016 with the Spartans

Yes, there is still one more game -- the league opener -- before the big ball drops but so be it. Here's one person's take on the future:

This season's San Jose State University team is mystifying because pieces that might make it whole remain absent. Therefore, it's difficult to judge how effective a player might be or become because who is surrounding him doesn't allow his best or better talents to be fully displayed. There is no inside power player on the team, no deep threat shooting guard, a point who can take his defender and then get to the hole, stop and pop or draw defenders so that teammates get better looks. Defensive effort and effectiveness comes and goes. You name it.

Overall and individual consistency remains a hope and dream. One player will have a career night but alongside weak or negligible production from too many others.

So let's focus primarily on the underclassmen because they are who will hopefully be here for a few years and therefore the ones who can make a difference in the future.

The Positive

Overall, the 'best' players, those with the greatest potential, are the newcomers and the youngsters. There is potential to be developed. The absence of that has been a longtime downfall for the program as whoever was brought in had seemingly already reached his apex. Generally, what was first seen was what was last witnessed from freshman to senior or junior college transfer to senior. Yes, there were some exceptions but certainly not enough.

This isn't the case with Ryan Welage and Cody Schwartz. Each has a very good chance of becoming an all-MWC player, that is, with continued physical and skill development. These are a pair who can bring home 15-20 points and 10-12 rebounds a night with added heft and experience, They are knocking on the door where nightly plus players reside and let's hope their progress grows during the remainder of this season.

Brandon Clarke will likely carve out a niche as a role player who uses his athletic ability and hustle to best opponents. His shooting range and offensive creativity levels remain uncertain. It's not all that difficult to see him as a defensive stopper down the road if he chooses such a role.

Gary Williams Jr. appears best suited as a two guard who can handle some ballhandling duties rather than be utilized as a one. Getting him more catch-and-shoot opportunities is critical.

Jaycee Hillsman is at 89% on the foul line which is a strong indicator of his shooting accuracy prowess. Obviously as a freshman. he's in the throes of figuring college basketball out but envisioning him next season or especially the following as a consistent double-figures scorer isn't a difficult task.

The Questionable

Ryan Singer is apparently redshirting this season and must come back with 15 more pounds on his frame. Otherwise, his effectiveness and therefore use will be limited.

Leon Bahner (just an observation, not a criticism) is not a starting center on a good team. The athletic prowess that is necessary to be a positive asset on the court at the D1 level is absent.

Jalen James, now in his third year, remains a conundrum. He has yet to show he can shoot well enough to force full defensive attention from his counterpart on him. Right now, it's looking like he is best suited as a backup at the point. Yes, he is a sophomore in eligibility and plenty of time remains but the hoping here was that this would be a sort of breakout season for him.

So there you have it. 2016 is going to bring more heartache even if the MWC is down. What we need to witness are reasons to believe in the future.

SJSU 128, Life Pacific 66

When you're matched up with a life insurance company, no, wait, Life Pacific actually is a college basketball team, the outcome is pre-ordained and so it was that San Jose State University manhandled the financial services entity Warriors 128-66.

Seven Spartans scored in double figures.

Jalen James remains MIA. Is it injury, illness, production?

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Collette lands at ... Utah

To the surprise of no one, former Utah State frontcourter David Collette is transferring to Utah.

There is no argument: the MWC is down

Geoff Grammer writes about the Mountain West Conference likely being a one-bid league this season and that this cannot be laid at the feet of the bottom dwellers.

Did not remember that the MWC in 2013 earned five bids but that was an anomaly.

Chris Murray's weekly MWC team rankings

Chris Murray has posted his Mountain West Conference team rankings for this week:

11. SAN JOSE STATE

Last week: 11
Record: 4-7
Comment: SJSU remains in the bottom spot and I don't really see a path for the Spartans to get out of this position for the rest of the year. Three years into the Dave Wojcik Era and SJSU is still severely undermanned. Nevada's jump from the WAC to the MW has been tough. SJSU's has been even worse.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Seattle 67, SJSU 64

It was there for the taking even if it was a home game for Seattle. San Jose State University had a seemingly solid second half lead and then a couple of good chances to tie at the end but the Redhawks held on and won 67-64 on Sunday.

Isaac Thornton, buoyed by 8-12 shooting, led the Spartans with 17 points. Freshman forwards Cody Schwartz and Ryan Welage tallied 15 and 13 respectively with the latter leading in rebounds with eight.

The Washington Square crew led 33-25 at the half but a Seattle press partway through the second 20 minutes reversed the momentum.

Percy Allen game reports.

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Wojcik and Tention each with 14

It was a tie of sorts on Saturday night as although Bellarmine College Prep downed Palo Alto High 57-43, Bell Jake Wojcik and Viking Miles Tention both finished with 14 points and two made three-pointers.

Bellarmine won the championship of the DJ Frandsen Memorial Tournament.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Aztecs are lacking points producers this season

In an obvious really big shocker, Grand Canyon challenged host San Diego State last night and grabbed a 52-45 victory over the Aztecs. Steve Fisher's guys shot 31% overall. 16% from long distance and 47% from the foul line.

Mark Ziegler game reports.

Coach Tention's son, Coach Wojcik's son

In a matchup tonight, Palo Alto High won by 20 over Sacred Heart Prep 66-48. The noteworthy Spartan element here is that Miles Tention, Coach Rodney Tention's son, scored 15 points, including three treys.

Palo Alto 66, Sacred Heart Prep 46

Palo Alto: Stern 3-2-8, Jackson 4-1-9, Dorward 1-0-2, Schlemmer 2-0-4, Hull 4-2-10 Simison 4-3-11, Tention 5-2-15, Smallwood 0-2-2, Jefferson 0-3-3. Totals 23-17-66

SHP: Longaker 1-0-3, Carney 2-0-6, Panchal 3-4-11, Cacchione 1-0-2, Moses 4-6-16, Papermaster 4-0-8. Totals 15-10-46

Three-point goals -- Tention 3; Carney 2, Moses 2, Longaker, Panchal

+++++++

In the same tournament held at Bellarmine, Jake Wojcik tallied 25 points, aided by five three-pointers:

Bellarmine 63, Leland 60

Leland: Lin 1-0-2, Wong 3-1-9, Mynick 0-2-2, Kelbert 11-7-29, Chen 4-0-12, White 1-0-2, Bal 1-2-4. Totals 21-12-60

Bellarmine: Wojcik 7-6-25, Athens, 5-6-18, Denzel, 3-0-6 Saso 2-0-4, Gaffey 2-0-4, Bradford 4-0-8. Totals 21-12-63

Three-point goals -- Chen 4, Wong 2; Wojcik 5, Athens 2, Bradford 2

Friday, December 18, 2015

UNLV's Stephen Zimmerman -- unfortunately, the Rebels aren't playing here in 2016

Ken Pomeroy calling it as he sees it: "#64 Arizona State 66, #62 UNLV 56 (4.2%), Wednesday. A lot of smart basketball people say UNLV is “talented”. To my knowledge, basketball is the only vocation where saying one is talented does not mean one has ability. If an artist was constantly putting out crappy works of art, we wouldn’t say that artist was talented. If a singer made our ears hurt we wouldn’t say that singer was talented. Yet Stephen Zimmerman is making 42% of his 2’s and people call him talented. Look, Zimmerman will eventually make many dollars playing basketball, probably in the world’s best league. And at some point it will be appropriate to call him talented. But right now he is still learning. Sadly for Dave Rice, he will probably not be coaching Zimmerman when he regularly demonstrates talent. Anyway, this was not Zimmerman’s best work (though with nine points he was UNLV’s leading scorer), and Arizona State overcame a 14-point deficit with 16:48 left to win easily, outscoring the Rebels 35-11 the rest of the way."

It would be of great benefit to all parties involved if the 7-foot Zimmerman played with a plus point guard but that's not the reality this season at least. Besides the basketball education that the Nevada coaching staff in trying to impart to the freshman, Zimmerman needs to physical up in order to reach his full potential. It appears now that he's Dirk Nowitski-very lite but, all in all, he's just in the first half of his initial season of college ball.

New Mexico has played above expectations so far

"Lobos men’s hoops team in mix at top of Mountain West"

It's the Thomas & Mack with eight

The always reliable and prolific Geoff Grammer: "Mountain West tourney cut to top 8 seeds, will remain in Thomas & Mack"

A longform piece on Frank Rogers

Andrew Murawa goes long in a feature on the loss and redemption experienced by Frank Rogers. Excellent work.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fisher leads Westchester at the Tarkanian Classic in Vegas

From Frank Burlison on Westchester High's 6-foot-7 Keith Fisher, an SJSU signee:

"...Bingham seemed well on its way to an eased-up victory over L.A. Westchester with a 19-point advantage at intermission.

But the Comets had other designs and used their full-court defensive pressure to force numerous turnovers and get to within two points a couple of times in the final minutes. But Bingham hit just enough free throws and made just enough solid passing and handling decisions to hold on, 67-61.

BYU-bound Yoeli Childs had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Bingham with Keith Fisher using a strong second-half effort in the lane to score 21 points for Westchester..."

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Flying by the seat of your pants at AF

Gary Parrish lays out the case for Air Force Coach Dave Pilipovich having the most difficult job in D1 basketball.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Chris Murray's weekly MWC team rankings

Chris Murray has his weekly Mountain West Conference team rankings out:

"11. SAN JOSE STATE
Last week: 11
Record: 4-6
Comment: SJSU dropped two games last week, to Marquette and Montana State, but draws a couple of winnable games in its final two non-league matchups, Seattle and Life Pacific. Five of the Spartans' top-six scorers are newcomers, so this is a completely different team that last year. SJSU's goal this season should be double-digit wins. That would be a big step in the right direction."

West leaves Nevada

Maybe this will eventually be addition by subtraction but it does put much more pressure on freshman frontcourter Cameron Oliver.

"AJ West leaves Wolf Pack for personal reasons"

Staying at the T&M

"MW poised to keep hoops tourney at UNLV" - Mark Ziegler

Like so many things, good and bad in this world, this is a financially driven decision.

Monday, December 14, 2015

It's building in Reno

Chris Murray: "At the Wolf Pack's first basketball booster luncheon. Last year, there were always 5-6 open tables. This year, they're short 3-4 tables."

No MWC expansion

Geoff Grammer tweeted that the Mountain West Conference has decided expansion isn't in the works at the moment.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Montana St. 91, SJSU 83

The meme is that it's difficult to beat a team twice in one season, let alone three times, if another matchup happens to take place during the conference tournament. Montana State has smashed that bromide this year with its second victory over San Jose State University in two tries, 91-83, on Sunday.

The Bobcats led 45-38 at the half.

The Spartans did make 10 more free throws, always a plus, but allowed Montana State to shoot 49% overall and 46% from beyond the arc.

Freshman Cody Schwartz led SJSU with 16 points on four treys (out of eight attempts) and going 4-4 at the foul line. But the frontline of Schwartz, Rogers and Welage combined for just six rebounds.

Brandon Onwas paced the Washington Square-ites with seven boards himself and he scored 13 points. In 15 minutes of play, Gary Williams Jr. didn't shot all that well, 3-9, but provided nine points, four boards and a trio of assists. Brandon Clarke's nine points was achieved efficiently: 2-3 from the floor and 5-7 from the charity stripe.

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Friday, December 11, 2015

MWC expansion?

Via Chris Murray: "CBS SPORTS REPORTED THE MW will discuss Rice and UTEP as expansion candidates during its meetings this weekend. An addition was termed more exploratory than imminent, which is good. Expansion doesn’t makes much sense unless the team entering the league can sweeten the television revenue package (I don’t think Rice or UTEP does that). I get the appeal of landing a school located in Texas (I advocated for a team from Texas over San Jose State a couple of years ago). But Rice and UTEP doesn’t bring anything great outside of the Owls’ awesome baseball program and Rice’s academic reputation. The only way I’d expand the MW is if BYU can crawling back. Beyond that, I’d try to build up the schools currently in the conference in an effort to emphasis quality over quantity."

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Utah State standing fast

Andy Katz: "Utah State denied David Collette's appeal for a full release Tuesday. Utah State's faculty rep Edward Heath said in an email to Collette, "The committee was not able to identify extraordinary circumstances, or inequity in the application of established policies or procedures that would support providing relief in this case. Therefore, the committee has denied your appeal and upholds the USU Athletic Department position." Collette, who informed Utah State of his intentions to transfer days before the season, would now have to pay his own way if he were to transfer next month. Collette told ESPN last month his reasons for transferring had to do with how coach Tim Duryea handled discipline on the team and his approach to coaching. Collette, a 6-8 sophomore, averaged 12.8 points and 5 rebound last season as a freshman for Utah State."

Marquette 80, SJSU 62

So if the trend continued and if the Spartans played another 20 minutes against Marquette, the final score would have been 120-93, yes?

Marquette beat San Jose State University 80-62 based on separate 40-31 20 minutes periods tonight. The matchup gave family and friends of Cody Schwartz the opportunity to see play college hoops as its about 120 miles from his hometown to Milwaukee.

Princeton Onwas led SJSU with 15 points but he didn't shoot well and committed eight turnovers.

A highlight: Brandon Clarke's 10 points (5-7 shooting) and four rebounds in 20 minutes.

The Washington Square-ites shot 4-22 from long distance.

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

FYI

All was not lost on Saturday as Bellarmine Prep manhandled Sequoia 71-29 with Jake Wojcik pacing the Bells with 27 points, including five treys.

Santa Clara 78, SJSU 75

Well, that's why Las Vegas doesn't allow me to set the odds for sporting events although the Spartans 'won' with points (see previous post). Santa Clara frontcourter Nate Kratch went for 29 points and 12 rebounds while leading scorer Jared Brownridge totaled just four points (2-8 shooting) as SJSU couldn't close it out and fell 78-75 to Silicon Valley rival and host Santa Clara.

It was another double-double for Frank Rogers (18 & 13) with Cody Schwartz shooting 4-8 from long distance on his way to 15 points.

Here's the last 1:07 of the game:

1:07 Frank Rogers made Three Point Jumper. Assisted by Ryan Welage 74-74
0:48 74-76 Nate Kratch made Layup. Assisted by KJ Feagin.
0:31 San José St Timeout
0:24 Ryan Welage missed Three Point Jumper 74-76
0:24 74-76 KJ Feagin Defensive Rebound.
0:15 Foul on Ryan Welage 74-76
0:15 74-77 Kai Healy made Free Throw.
0:15 74-78 Kai Healy made Free Throw.
0:10 74-78 Foul on KJ Feagin.
0:10 Princeton Onwas missed Free Throw 74-78
0:10 San José St Deadball Team Rebound 74-78
0:10 Princeton Onwas made Free Throw 75-78
0:10 Princeton Onwas missed Free Throw 75-78
0:10 Frank Rogers Offensive Rebound 75-78
0:02 Princeton Onwas missed Three Point Jumper 75-78
0:01 75-78 Matt Hubbard Defensive Rebound

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Spartans are +8

Is home advantage worth that much? Depending on the route you take, it'a around 5.5 miles between San Jose State University and Santa Clara University. SJSU is 4-3 on the season, the Broncos 1-7. So why are oddsmakers giving eight points to the Spartans in tonight's Leavey Center matchup? Is a 75-73 overtime neutral court loss at Arizona where Jared Browridge went for 44 points a true indicator of SC's hoops prowess? Or is a 55-33 home loss to Denver a more accurate indicator?

We'll find out soon enough.

Friday, December 4, 2015

We're #303 but that's okay

From Geoff Grammer: "Per CBSSports, current MWC strength of schedule:

7 SDSU
33 CSU
87 AFA
119 UNM
155 BSU
177 Wyo
200 FS
205 USU
213 Nev
276 UNLV
303 SJSU"

Yes, the Spartans are a youngish squad this season (not too many teams have four freshmen playing solid minutes), one in need of confidence and also familiarity with one another under actual game conditions.

The early pre-season slate hasn't been a formidable one, and for good reason (see paragraph above). Forget the Pacific Union contest because it seems every D1 team opens with a similar opponent. Idaho, Montana, Montana State, Toledo and San Diego have actually been proper level opponents.

Looking at the various coaches polls for the respective leagues, Idaho was selected to finish 8th, Montana second, Montana State 11th, Toledo second in the West Division of the Mid-America Conference and San Diego ninth in the West Coast Conference. Granted, the Grizz were minus their starting point when they lost to SJSU but breaks such as this tend to even out over a season.

DII Alaska Anchorage was designated as a fourth place finisher in the Great Northwest Athletic League and University of Antelope Valley, an NAIA member, was forecast to land in the fourth position.

Also for the record, SJSU is being predicted to finish last in the Mountain West Conference.

Yes, we all would like to see a higher quality of visiting teams (and players) coming out on Walt McPherson Court during pre-season games but it's appropriate that such not necessarily take place this season. Next year, though, should bring an upgraded schedule even with the difficulty of getting quality opponents to play on the road.

Coming up quickly is Santa Clara, predicted to land in the sixth spot in the WCC and currently standing 1-7. If guard Jared Brownridge (18.6 points per game) can be stifled at least a bit, another victory will be possible. As a team, the Broncos are shooting 37% overall, 28% from long distance. The Spartan are shooting 45% and 30%. Do watch the Frank Rogers - Nate Kratch matchup.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

SJSU 90, UAV 60

San Jose State University powered past University of Antelope Valley 90-60 on Wednesday. Forward Frank (Salinas High) Rogers posted a 20 point, 10 rebound double-double to lead the Spartans in both categories.

It was 33-25 at the half before the Spartans put on a second half blitz.

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Brown hits winning shot

(TBrown photo courtesy of BallIsLife)

SJSU commit Terrell Brown scored on a driving layup as Moreau Catholic High turned away Sierra Canyon High (out of Los Angeles) 60-59 last night at the Prep2Prep Classic held at Newark Memorial High. He finished with 13 points.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving in Alaska.and the turkey is tasting great

Courtesy of Danny Mahoney's Instagram account: "Thanksgiving in Alaska."

SJSU 91, AA 87

Up in Alaska, the Spartans nabbed another win 91-87 over Alaska Anchorage on Saturday. Senior forward Frank (Salinas High) Rogers was big once more with 32 points and 12 boards as he shot a remarkable 14-18 on the day. Speaking of shotmaking, freshman forward Ryan Welage went 5-7 from beond the arc on his way to 17 points.

19 of the SJSU 40 rebounds came from players off the bench. To keep noting this number, it was 20 assists on 34 baskets for the Washington Square crew.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

SJSU 76, San Diego 67

It was unannounced but definitely Frank Rogers Night as the senior frontcourter posted an 18 point, 14-rebound double-double in San Jose State University's 76-67 defeat of West Coast Conference member San Diego up in Anchorage on Friday. A 38-29 second half broke the halftime tie for the Spartans. Junior guard Isaac Thornton enjoyed a plus night with 15 points and four assists.

Coach Dave Wojcik's guys again were moving the ball and shooting well after catching it in earning 21 assists on 27 baskets.

SJSU now have a pair of D1 victories on the season while the Toreros are 0-5 thus far.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Toledo too much for Spartans

It was 47-38 in favor of Toledo at the half and the Rockets also won the second 20 minutes 42-36 to take an 89-74 victory over San Jose State University on Wednesday in the Great Alaska Shootout. It was a late 9-2 Toledo run that opened up the spread going into halftime.

For the Spartans, Frank Rogers was efficient with 16 points (6-11, 2-3, 2-3) plus eight boards and three blocked shots and freshman forward Ryan Welage totaled 16 points (three treys) and five rebounds. Princeton Onwas scored 14 points (6-12, 1-3, 1-3), six caroms and a team best five assists.

SJSU was credited with a very admirable 21 assists on 28 baskets.

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A verrrry interesting situation

Don't know if Utah State can keep this up but the AD is not making David Collette's future easy. USU believes tampering took place by, let's just say, an in-state school and that Collette's decision to depart two days before the first game of this season was inappropriate.

Utah State denies transfer permission to speak with any other schools

Matt Norlander offers his take

Parsing SJSU hoops

With any of the college basketball teams thus far, it's simply way to early for any judgments of any finality as what appears as a asset in one matchup then morphs into a presumed deficit a game or two later, and then reverses again.

With having typed such, here are some reactions to the collective performances of San Jose State University players to date:

* Idaho, Montana (missing its best guard) and Montana State are not soon to be mistaken for a Murderer's Row of opponents (sorry for the cross sport reference).

* The current squad remains a major work-in-progress, majorly dependent on the progress and maturity of freshman Ryan Welage (who has been a pleasant surprise -- got it wrong on him in thinking a redshirt season would be best) and Cody Schwartz. They offer the best hope for a future frontline that can engineer plus performances against opponents, thus allowing a chance to win.

Brandon Clarke has been another plus thus far but his ceiling as a three is limited unless he can lengthen his shooting range. That and better ball skills needs to be an off-season priority for him.

* Leon Bahner's foot movement is just too slow and he isn't a good fit with the current offensive system. However, he is the only real big on the roster and can still help defensively and on the boards to a degree but it wouldn't be surprising to see him looking elsewhere for a better basketball fit.

* Jalen James has never been considered a plus shooter but something is really wrong here (2-17, 0-9) thus far.

* Would like to see Gary Williams Jr. at the two for an extended time if only there was a better answer at the point.

* Princeton Onwas and Frank Rogers are certainly going to help but would be around sixth, seventh or eighth in the rotation of successful teams.

* The Spartans will face zone defenses of some sort from opponents until and unless SJSU's outside shooters make it impossible to continue in such a defensive set. The ball movement will have to become much quicker and precise but even then it appears a lack of consistent outside and mid-range shooters still dominates the roster.

MANDATORY READING

Yes, the links below refer to Nevada athletics but there is so much applicability to Spartan sports. Give credit to Chris Murray for producing this.

* The fight to fund the Wolf Pack's future

* How the Wolf Pack must court its fans

* The case for investing in athletics: Boise State

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Falls set for Montana

From a Montana men's basketball MB"Timmy Falls will take his Official visit to Missoula on Feb 12 for the Northern Arizona Game on the Saturday the 13th."

Falls is a 6-foot-2 2017 shooting guard out of Dublin High. SJSU has also offered as has Weber State. He's on the slim side but is a very good shooter.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Montana St. 81, SJSU 69

Coming off a homecourt defeat of Montana, San Jose State University went out on the road to face Montana State on Friday and fell 81-69. The Bobcats won both halves, 42-31 and 39-38.

Spartan senior forward Frank (Salinas High) Rogers enjoyed 15 points, five boards and three assists but it was Princeton Onwas who led with 21 points.

Even though Montana State committed eight more turnovers, they owned the boards by a whopping 45-25 margin.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Not breaking news: dollars lagging at SJSU

From Chris Murray: "On Friday, I’ll publish an in-depth story on the future financing of Wolf Pack athletics and how that relates to the department’s success, or lack thereof, on the playing field.

The Wolf Pack ranks 11th out of 12 Mountain West schools in annual budget at $27.3 million, according to the latest NCAA Financial Reports. The Wolf Pack receives a relatively small amount of state and university support when compared to other MW schools and also lags in fan support.

Here’s a look at which MW fan bases support their teams the most via donor support and ticket revenue, which often are tied together because season tickets are usually tied to mandatory donations.

Listed is the total fan support (donations plus ticket revenue), the donor support, the ticket revenue and overall budget, which is inflated by about 10-15 percent per school because the NCAA Financial Reports requires schools to include non-cash items such as deprecation, debt services and income such as camps and courtesy cars. Also included is the rank of each school in the MW in each category (out of 12)."

The SJSU element:

MW FAN SUPPORT
12. SAN JOSE STATE
Total fan support: $5,248,737 (12th)
Donor support: $3,765,020 (10th)
Ticket revenue: $1,483,717 (12th)
Overall budget: $29,666,940 (10th)

% of budget funded by fans: 17.8 percent (11th)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

SJSU 64, Montana 61

It came down to the last possession and San Jose State scored to move from a one to a three-point lead in besting visiting Montana 64-61 on Monday as the Grizz missed on a last-second trey attempt.

The Spartans led 36-24 after 20 minutes and handily won the overall rebounding battle 46-29.

It was a plus frontcourt game for the victors with senior forward Frank (Salinas High) Rogers totaling 16 points plus 10 boards while freshman forward Ryan Welage finished with 10 and 10.

Game report

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Coach Wojcik talking about his two-man (so far) recruiting class for 2016

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Nai Carlisle makes it official

Here's the Carlisle family proudly backing Nai as he signs his letter-of-intent with San Jose State University.

Provocatively titled Aztec preview

From Mark Zeigler/Union Tribune beat reporter: "Aztecs men have soar or crash potential"

Tidbits on Keith Fisher

Via recruiting analyst Gerry Freitas: "West Coast Steals: ... High School: Keith Fisher from Westchester to San Jose State."

This sounds really promising.

From Double Pump Bball: "Congrats to @Nation_GQ on signing his NLI to SJSU! Proud of you lots of growth over the last year"

Two backcourters heading to BSU

Boise State brings in a pair of well-thought-of prep guards.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Brown to be a spring signing?

Phil Jensen/Bay Area News Group-East Bay sports writer tweeted: "@fknightsays just texted me that his players will sign in the spring."

Frank Knight is the head coach at Moreau Catholic High of which Terrell Brown, one of his players, committed to SJSU basketball in late August.

Oscar Frayer, another Moreau player, is a longtime Cal commit, having done so in 2014. He also hasn't signed.

Here's a Frank Knight tweet: "@JeffFaraudo the Moreau Catholic Boy's Basketball players will all sign in the spring at an event hosted by our schools Booster Club."

Carlisle signs

Sam King/Lafayette Journal & Courier: "Williams sat alongside classmate Nai Carlisle on Wednesday afternoon as Carlisle made his commitment to play basketball at San Jose State official.

Carlisle, who will be a four-year starting point guard for the Red Devils, was an Indiana junior all-star last season after averaging 19.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.2 steals and shooting 49 percent for West Lafayette.

Carlisle moved to West Lafayette from the California Bay Area prior to high school, living 10 minutes from San Jose State’s campus.

“I can just focus on the season and winning games and not have to focus on the college process anymore because I know where I am going,” Carlisle said. “The coaching staff and players and the setup, it all was the right fit for me. That’s why our family prayed about it and thought about it again and decided that was the school for me.”

Collette leaves Utah State

If timing is indeed everything, 6-foot-10 David Collette's departure from Logan, Utah prior to the Aggies Friday night opener at Weber State should be busting a few watches and timepieces throughout the Beehive State.

The killer quote“I was shocked when he came into my office today and said he was going to quit,” Duryea said in the release. “I think there are a lot of factors in play that, unfortunately, have become a trend in college basketball of schools poaching other schools’ players. I don’t feel good and don’t like how things transpired, but we will move on and get ready for our season opener on Friday.”

Collette redshirted at Utah State, went on his two-year mission and then returned to average 12.8 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 59% in his initial season.

From Isaac Draxler: "There are also rumors that he had a problem with one of the coaches and that he has wanted to transfer for some time. After some digging and a small bit of second hand inside information I believe he will transfer to Utah."

From USUBlue: "I had a private conversation with Collette last spring during the coaching search process. He made it clear to me that he didn't want Duryea to be the coach and was hoping to get a more high profile coach in..."

Harry Palmdale: "Decision was made today when he found out there was an opening at new school."

rezaggie: "A few things I can confirm from very good sources. First, DC and his family had always hoped he would get offered by byu. They have no real tie to USU. Second, Byu, Utah, Stanford, and Villanova all contacted DC after the season and asked him to transfer. Third, the loss on Friday did factor in, to what degree I do not know. Fourth, DC has a confidant that has close U ties. My best guess is he goes there, his wife wants him to stay close to home. this confidant had tried to talk him out of byu based on their style of play. Finally, he was not a TD fan."

On the flip side, Utah State announced the signing of three new talents.

The new math

New Mexico is signing three new prospects as Geoff Grammer reports. This despite having just one scholarship currently open.

Via Grammer: "Craig Neal on recruiting: Likes the 3 signed today "and we could have some more. We're not done recruiting." Team is already oversigned by 3."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Quality home games must be purchased

This Marek Warszawski feature on Fresno State basketball contains some fascinating tidbits on the difficulty of scheduling quality home games.

Looking at MWC teams' out-of-conference schedules

Matt Stephens evaluates the out-of-conference schedules this season for each Mountain West Conference member.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Now Wyoming falls to a DII

First, Utah State loses at home to Cal State Monterey Bay and now Wyoming falls 77-69 in Laramie to DII Fort Lewis. It's early but the Cowboys are looking vulnerable.

Spartans offer 2016 SoCal guard

Josh Gershon tweeted: "2017 Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon SG Adam Seiko was offered by San Jose State."

Here's a March 2015 feature on him as he averaged 11.4 points per game as a junior. His physical numbers are impressive for a high schooler at 6-foot-3, 215.

Cal State Northridge offered about a week and a half ago.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

SJSU 112, Pacific Union 59

As expected, host San Jose State University blew past Pacific Union 112-59 last night. Junior newcomer Gary Williams Jr. led with 19 points in just 18 minutes as he shot 4-8 from long distance. The Spartans generated 31 assists on 43 baskets.

The Pioneers were missing two of their better backcourters but the Washington Square crew annihilated them in the paint 68-24.

Former Columbia College guard Jarron Crump paced the visitors with 17 points.

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A few MWC items

"College basketball: 5 Mountain West questions to be answered this season"

Utah State lost badly 77-60 last night  in Logan to Cal State Monterey Bay, a DII team. The Otters match the Aggies rebound for rebound (40-40) and shot 47% overall, 39% from long distance to 33% and 18% for the hosts.

Also, this is a bit of a surprise from Fresno State MBB: "Freshman Nate Grimes will redshirt the 2015-16 season. He'll continue practicing with the team and getting ready to play next season."

Grimes was a very nice pickup, not a dominant player yet but one with major promise. Wonder if the decision was made due to depth, a slower-than-expected take on picking up matters, academics, or what? He does have a pair of junior starters ahead of him and he would be more effective with greater strength..

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Marrion joins Idaho staff

Former SJSU assistant Tim Marrion has moved from his Associate Head Coach position at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington to Director of Player Development at the University of Idaho, a member of the Western Athletic Conference.

His Clark bio.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Musselman's large staff

Chris Murray reports on Nevada Coach Eric Musselman's 10-person staff. What really jumps out is how the Wolf Pack's latest commit was so impressed by the work of Musselman's analytics guy. That's quite the recruiting bonus.

MWC alumni in the NBA

Geoff Grammer takes a look at which Mountain West Conference teams have the most alumni in the NBA. What's startling, considering the recent success of the Aztecs, is San Diego State having but one. That will change in the near future but it demonstrates that Steve Fisher has previously collected a bunch of good talents, not necessarily outstanding ones. That and having kids for four years, paved the way for strong teams.

Monday, October 26, 2015

SJSU Basketball Fan Fest

"The 2015-16 San José State Basketball Fan Fest is set for Tuesday, October 27 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., on the lawn next to the Associated Students House on the SJSU campus. Fan Fest features student-athletes and coaches from both the men's and women's basketball programs and is an opportunity for fans to meet the teams and interact with them.  

In this first of its kind collaboration, there will be games with members of each team, the opportunity to mingle with the players as well as head coach's Dave Wojcik and Jamie Craighead, prize giveaways, and, for the first 150 in attendance, a barbecue dinner catered by Spartan Shops.

Representatives from the athletics department will be on hand to answer any questions about this season's schedule and ticket opportunities. 

The first exhibition game for the women's team is on Sunday, November 1, 2:00 p.m., in the Event Center against the Sonoma State Seawolves. The men are set to battle the Pacific Union Pioneers in their exhibition opener in the Event Center on November 7, at 7:00 p.m."

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Yet another MWC preview

Sam Vecenie/CBS Sports offers a Mountain West Conference preview.

Here's Geoff Grammer with last season's look at SJSU hoops. Yes, it may hurt a bit but it's a prime example of unforeseen circumstances turning matters head over heels.

Grammer's 2015-16 look at the Spartans is here - (somehow Onwas became Owens).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Looking at this season

Hey, any team can have a bad century.

Sorry, couldn't resist. It's just that will SJSU men's basketball program become a respected one in our lifetimes is a valid question because the majority of readers here are more than likely getting discounts on purchases of all things and we don't necessarily have all that many more renditions of Auld Lang Syne left to sing.

So with Coach Dave Wojcik's third season beginning shortly, what can fans expect?

There are many 'tests' to apply in judging a team and here's a critical yet simple one: take the Spartan starting five and determine who has the capability of winning their position each game? Forget the guys off the bench for now and simply look at which talent can out-play his opponent on a given night and determine are their enough 'wins' in these matchups to provide an opportunity for a victory when the final horn sounds? Make the focus conference pairings since these are the most important.

Let's begin. Position by position:

If healthy, Leon Bahner is the most likely candidate to start at center. He's not going to outscore his opponent except on odd occasions so his primary focuses will need to be on plus rebounding and defending. Can the latter two categories make up for a scoring deficiency? Yes, if he can impact games in these two elements.

Will it be Frank Rogers starting at the four or will 6-foot-8 freshman Cody Schwartz show enough consistency early on? It just doesn't seem like it's in him (an observation, not a criticism) for Rogers to get and stay physical. He can produce points and some rebounds but the three-point attempts need to really be limited. It's his last opportunity to do what this team really needs, fair or not to ask of him, considering his strengths and weaknesses. The odds of winning this position in league games this season seem low. Give Schwartz a year and the prediction certainly has good odds of swinging in the other direction.

Who will be positioned at the three? Will it be Princeton Onwas (see next paragraph). Freshman Jaycee Hillsman has the best body and away-from-the-basket offensive repertoire of any newcomer but it's a lot to expect any newcomer, let alone one making the jump from high school, to play well enough to give his squad an advantage game-to-game. It's hard to see emerging on top at this spot.

In recent media coverage, it was said that Princeton Onwas would be at the two spot. Strong, very athletic and the best defender on the team, it's his shooting history that brings some worry here. He averaged 4.2 points per game as a Utah junior while shooting 51% overall but he went 5-25 on threes and a dismal 42% from the foul line, 29-69. Maybe him at shooting guard is incorrect or possibly he has really worked on his form. It's difficult to envision winning this position unless his range and accuracy has been transformed.

Gary Williams Jr. at the point is a big and strong backcourter -- a 'man guard' to use the term learned recently from a coach -- and there's no argument here vis-a-vis that aspect. He has the best chance of any Spartan of consistently winning his matchup.

Others:

Now where does Jalen James stand? Will he relieve Williams who would then switch to the two with Onwas heading over to the three? James is entering his third season in the program and the time is now for stepping up and consistently providing the chance to best his opposing player.

Not sure what to think of the fits for Isaac Thornton and Brandon Mitchell but their shooting last season prevents envisioning them as starters. The same for Ryan Singer. What are their strengths and do they override any weaknesses? Thornton had a fairly strong frosh season but went backwards in 2014-15.

And what of newbies Brandon Clark, Ryan Welage and Ashtin Chastain. Clark needs better ball skills and an improved offensive repertoire to go with his athleticism and defending talents. There's been no word but Welage is actually a good candidate for redshirting since he desperately needs weight and strength. Chastain has a foot injury and is already a planned redshirt.

Overall:

Do not discount the phrase the sum being mightier than its parts because it happens. But this Spartan squad seems a year away from having the critical mass to reach that level. The work of the backcourt will be the most critical because so many of the players still need to be set up for good looks so penetration and passing plus accurate outside-shooting are musts. Remember that the new 30 second clock will add pressure due to less time to generate a good look.

Will SJSU post victories over San Diego State, Boise State, UNLV and Utah State? Not likely. Fresno State will also be tough but with a question mark surrounding its power game inside. New Mexico won't be killer this season but better than last year. Colorado State also has an unproven front line but looks solid at the 1-3 positions.

In the next tier, Nevada is take-able but watch out for next season. Wyoming lost a lot and returns a very solid guard alongside a 'who knows' in the power spots. Air Force will struggle so look for at least one SJSU victory this season over the Falcons.

So what will a 'successful Spartan season look like? Games against Colorado State and Wyoming are at home early on, alongside a trip to Air Force, so the opportunity is available to start league play with opportunities for victories. There are 18 Mountain West Conference matchups. Barring injury, SJSU will emerge on top in five, maybe six of them.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Falls offered by SJSU

Tim Falls tweeted: "Proud to receive my 3rd offer from San Jose State."

He's a 6-foot-2 2017 shooting guard out of Dublin High also with offers from Montana and Weber State.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Coach Wojcik interviews

Andrew Pang/Inside The Spartans with a from MWC Media Day Coach Dave Wojcik interview.

Key points:

* Frank Rogers is back

* Princeton Onwas will play the two

Here's more from Media Day:

The Spartans and Tim Falls

Via The NorCal Report"Head Coach from @SJSUMBB in the house for open gym to see #CoachRob's #3 2017 Timmy Falls (@TF1000_)."

San Jose State University needs to build on the landing Gary Williams Jr. and bring in many more from northern California.

Nevada keeps rolling

Nevada lands another highly-rated 2016 prospect.

Coach Eric Musselman's right-hand guy.

Coach Dave Wojcik at the MWC Media Days

Coach Dave Wojcik at the MWC Media Days:

Arizona backcourter hitting SJSU

Richard Obert tweeted: "Chaparral junior PG Colten Kresl taking unofficials to San Jose St today, Santa Clara on Thursday, and San Francisco on Friday."

He's a 6-foot 2017 talent out of Chaparral High in Scottsdale.

Also this:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

To remain in Vegas seems a certainly, but where?

Mark Ziegler: "MW might move conference tournament"

Best MWC Media Day tweet

Geoff Grammer tweeted: "CSU's Larry Eustachy on @John_Gillon1: “There's not a better PG in the league. I don't give a shit...nobody can stay in front of him."

Cut the doubletalk coach and tell us how you really feel.

Williams Jr. with bold prediction

Geoff Grammer tweeted: "Ton of confidence from @SJSUMBB's Gary Williams Jr & Princeton Onwas, who transferred from winning programs. GW says team can be top 3."

A Gary Williams Jr. quote

From the San Jose State MBB Twitter site: "Princeton and I are coming into this together with a chip on our shoulder. We have a good team this year." G-Will 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Vegas to pressure and trap 94 feet

Taylor Bern tweeted: "Rice on the full-court pressure: "We’ll never come out of it the whole season long. … We’re trying to force tempo."

UNLV Coach David Rice will be employing a new tactic this season -- a 30-second shot clock is one reason for this. Personnel another.

The complete MWC media poll

Geoff Grammer is out with the complete Mountain West Conference media poll. Most intriguing: Fresno State received a first place vote

Also, from Mark Ziegler's article on the same subject:

"...So Malik Pope, Cullen Neal, A.J. West, Jalen Moore and anyone else who feels slighted by not making the preseason all-conference team, take solace. The Mountain West media, truth be told, isn’t very good at these prognostications.

A year ago, they named five players to the preseason all-conference team, a player of the year, a newcomer of the year and a freshman of the year. It got one of the eight picks right when the postseason awards were announced five months later..."

Onwas & Williams Jr. at Media Day

Princeton Onwas and Gary Williams Jr. repping the Spartans at MWC Media Day:


Monday, October 12, 2015

Williams Jr. and Onwas repping the Spartans

Coach Dave Wojcik has selected Gary Williams Jr. and Princeton Onwas as SJSU player representatives for Tuesday's Mountain West Conference Media Day.




Taylor Bern's MWC prognostications

Taylor Bern/Las Vegas Sun provides his predicted Mountain West Conference finish as well as First Team selections, Newcomer of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year. If New Mexico does finish in seventh place, it will  then become The Land of Dis-Enchantment.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Friday, October 9, 2015

The latest on Scott Sonnenberg

Former Spartan guard Scott Sonnenberg is the Vice President of Corporate Sales for the Chicago Bulls:

Vice President, Corporate Sales
Chicago Bulls
May 2004 – Present (11 years 6 months) Chicago, illinois
Responsible for overseeing Bulls and United Center sponsorships, in and out of arena advertising sales, Bulls radio broadcast, Bulls play-by-play radio advertising, digital sales, partnership activation, and game entertainment ...

Manage the day to day sales efforts of the corporate partnerships department and responsible for the gameday entertainment experience for fans which includes halftime acts, the Luvabulls, scoreboard promotions, concourse entertainment, etc... 

The Bulls have consistently been ranked among the top sponsorship revenue teams in the NBA and received multiple awards for account growth, retention, and new business while developing key partnerships with some of the largest brands in the world.

His latest triumph: "Bulls go global with sponsorship deal"

Garrett Ton has returned

 
Browsing Garrett Ton's LinkedIn page, the following is his latest employment entry:

Events and Facilities Coordinator
San Jose State University
October 2015 – Present (1 month) San Jose, CA

He was working as an Athletic Marketing Assistant at Marshall and also a Graduate Assistant in Marshall athletics prior to that. He has a Master's Degree in Sports Administration.

Here's an update we did in 2013.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Wyoming recruiting

Don't know how Wyoming does it -- maybe get 'em in before winter really hits is the m.o.

Cowboy recruiting article (one of these kids also has a Hawaii offer so let's see if his brain is fully functioning)

UNLV nabs another good one

Zachary Lyons reports on another talent headed to UNLV -- this one an all-around guard.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

One more MWC honors and team finish prognostication

Keegan Pope offer his pre-season choices for Mountain West Conference honors plus the team finishes come March.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Matt Stephens as the Amazing Kreskin

Matt Stephens goes into Miss Cleo mode and determines which players will earn accolades and how the teams will finish in the Mountain West Conference this season.

Geoff Grammer's predictions for All MWC and team finish

Geoff Grammer peers into his crystal ball and offers his choices for 2015-16 Mountain West Conference player honorees as well as team finish.

Even minus guard Derrick Marks, Boise will be tough again

Phil Kasiecki writes: "Boise State has often reloaded on the gridiron, where the Broncos have had plenty of success. The hardwood, however, has been a different story – until now. They may have made the NCAA Tournament last year for the second time in three seasons, led by a senior, but with him gone, they shouldn’t drop much this year, if they drop at all..."

Hit this link for the remainder.

Highly-rated point goes with Nevada

Chris Murray tweeted:

"BREAKING: Four-star PG Devearl Ramsey, the No. 106 recruit in 2016 class, commits to play for Wolf Pack basketball"

and

"Devearl Ramsey's final grouping was USC, Pitt, UNLV and Michigan, so not a bad win at all for the Wolf Pack"

Here's a full-length feature.

Ramsey stands just 5-foot-9 but he is talented and will do well in the Mountain West Conference.

Friday, October 2, 2015

A new culture in Reno

Chris Murray writes about the change in culture surrounding Nevada basketball.

Previewing SDSU

Here's a look at San Diego State basketball as practice is about to begin. A lot of question marks countered by a great deal of promise.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

MWC predictions

Geoff Grammer/Albuquerque Journal reports on predictions from Athlon, Sporting News and Lindy's magazines on the 2016 finish in the Mountain West Conference plus the top talents. SJSU is predicted to finish last by all three. Athlon also has no SJSU players on any of its three all-conference teams.

He also writes: "...Preseason media ballots for all-Mountain West voting are due Monday. The league’s coaches have again asked select media around the conference to handle the preseason voting, and the coaches will not conduct any preseason polls. Those picks should be made public during the two-day media conference in Las Vegas in mid-October..."

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

SJSU & Falls again

Via The NorCal Report: "Cal, Montana, & San Jose St expected to be at open gym tonight at Dublin HS to see our #3 2017 SG Timmy Falls (@TF1000_)."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Falls, Fadal and SJSU

Via The NorCal Report"#3 Timmy Falls (@TF1000_) and #12 Austin Fadal (@A_Fadal) scrimmaged Saturday afternoon with San Jose St."

Timmy Falls:


Austin Fadal is also a 6-foot-3 2017 backcourter.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fascinating tweet

From Ballers Bridge about 6-foot-6 junior Darrin Person out of the Fresno area: "@userdpj32 is hearing from Fresno State, Nevada, UCSB, Portland, San Jose State & St. Mary's. 2017 F is one to watch."

SJSU and Fresno have offered. So has Cal State Bakersfield but Person becoming a Roadrunner would be the recruiting shock of the century.

Person is likely to commit around this time next season. Now he's not in the program-changer category but rather a solid cog for a winning team. So how can the Spartans finish on top in this chase?

Fresno has a solid group of talents and should be MWC competitive in 2015-16, plus, never count Rodney Terry out in any recruiting challenge, especially with a hometowner. The Bulldogs have a 6-foot-7 freshman who should own the small forward spot for some years and that will make the San Joaquin a tough sell.

Nevada is on a recruiting roll so Coach Musselman may not have Person at the top of his wish list or may go/be going in a different direction considering who he has proven access to.

UC Santa Barbara will have playing time available to be earned but let's see how the Gauchos do post-Alan Williams who carried the team the past couple of seasons. The beach next to campus is always an element Santa Barbara coaches keep in their respective back pockets.

Portland has playing in the West Coast Conference as a lure but opposing coaches will continue to hammer on the Pilots inability to ever finish in front of Gonzaga, BYU and even St. Mary's.

It's hard to go after St. Mary's in almost any area but the Gaels do already have a pair of young small forwards and that may be a turnoff.

Proactively for the Spartans, finishing ahead of Fresno State overall and taking both matchups this season would help. But that will certainly be a challenge. Ending with a winning record, especially so in conference, would majestically aid the matter. Probably most important of all, getting Person to strongly connect with Coach Wojcik is the biggest aspect of all. Such often eliminates most other roadblocks. The new fiscally-induced emphasis on landing prospects from in-state makes the landing of this kid even more important.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Chris Murray on Musselman's recruiting

Chris Murray goes deeper into the question "Is Musselman the Pack's best recruiter ever?"

Remember, this is a coach really just into his first full recruiting period. The evidence, including northern California'ers Cameron OliverKenny Wooten and Shawn Smith, makes for a pretty strong case.

The Runnin' Rebels will finally live up to their name

Taylor Bern writes that fast-paced offensive and defensive systems for UNLV seem likely to finally make an appearance in the 2015-16 season.

Matt Youmans covers the same subject.

Terrell Brown

Did a feature on new SJSU commit 6-foot-1 guard Terrell Brown for the NorCal Preps site but it's behind the subscription wall.

An excerpt: "Here's Frank Knight, the Moreau High head coach, on his senior guard: “Terrell played JV here at Moreau Catholic and was really what we would call a late bloomer. He did not come in with all the hype like many others and I think that's what motivated him to work on his game, a true chip on his shoulder. Terrell's best basketball is ahead of him. He has a super high ceiling and I think he was a steal for San Jose State. He will give that conference problems for four years.”


A James Jenkins update

Very few Spartan basketball fans will remember 6-foot-7 James Jenkins. After his freshman year as a walk-on to the men's basketball team, he died in an accidental fall while hiking.

Here's more on the tragedy.

And even more.

The latest is that his mother had dedicated a bench to her son close to where his life ended.

Jenkins had a real chance to become a solid contributor to SJSU basketball. Even more important, he sounds like someone who was a great teammate, wonderful to be around.


Monday, September 21, 2015

A Jamie Craighead interview

Switching things up a bit, Alleywhoops provides a Q-and-A with SJSU Coach Jamie Craighead.

Musselman doin' it in Reno

Coach Eric Musselman has fast become a game-changer for Wolf Pack hoops. Now, he has landed a top-ranked JC power forward away from Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Missouri and Memphis and others as Chris Murray reports.

Brad Winton tweeted: "Arlando Cook (6'8/F/2016) from Connors State has committed to Nevada. Big addition for them. Impact player next season."

Two tweets from Murray:

"It's early, but is it fair to say Eric Musselman is best recruiter Nevada has had? All eight of his signees had P5 offers, most had many."

and


"Of course, we have to see how the players turn out but I can't remember a Wolf Pack coach who routinely beat BCS-level programs for players."

Monday, August 31, 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Person Jr. is offered by the Spartans

From Team Superstar: "2017 6'7" Darrin Person Jr Immanuel HS received an offered by San Jose St."

Person is a physical pounder with some outside abilities who was the Fresno Bee Co-Player of the Year as a junior.

Fresno State offered six or so weeks back.

From a December 14, 2015 article:

"...For one player the improvement is especially notable because it involved a growth spurt. Sophomore Darrin Person Jr. grew two inches and is now 6-foot, 7-inches tall, and often tasked with guarding the opposing team's biggest player.

Person also maintains his perimeter game, offering the Eagles valuable position versatility.

"He's uniquely talented for a guy his size to move the way he does and the skill set he has," Haydock said.  "There is a selflessness about that which is pretty redeeming. It's, 'What do you need me to do today?' That's pretty fun."

Person has developed so quickly that Haydock said it's easy to forget he's only 16.

"His talent will take him a long way," Haydock said. "For us to achieve what we are trying to achieve, his talent alone won't be enough. I was encouraged by the way he asserted himself, was vocal and played hard every possession. That's building good habits."

It's still a learning experience, Person said of the added responsibilities, but one he genuinely enjoys.

"That adds more to the game of basketball for me, too," Person said. "It gives me more stuff to do. I can work harder, and I can play harder..."

Spartans with a commit

This is an interesting one. Moreau Catholic High (MCH) Coach Frank Knight: "Congratulations to Moreau Catholic's 2016 Guard Terrell Brown @hooplife_tj on his commitment to play at San Jose State University!"

Brown is a 6-foot-3 guard who averaged 12.6 points last season on a team loaded with talent -- try at least four and maybe five D1 level prospects. It's a squad in Hayward that gets up and down the court quickly because that plays to its strengths since the quintet stands 6-foot-6, 2 @ 6-foot-3, one measuring 6-foot-2 and a 6-footer.

MCH finished 23-7 last season, 14-0 in the Mission Valley Basketball League.

He played with Team Arsenal in the spring and summer.

Brown will need to add more more and strength but that's a do-able.

Video from his junior season: