Friday, July 31, 2015

MWC Pre-Season Media Day is back

Via Geoff Grammer: "Mountain West fixes last year's mistake, announces return of men's basketball preseason media day event. (Oct. 13-14 in LV, Nev.)"

Still cannot fathom any rationale for last season's decision.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gooch goes with SIU

Not sure if the Spartan offer out to senior-to-be Brendon Gooch was still active but he has selected Southern Illinois University.

Article out of Indiana on Nai Carlisle

Not news but a new article on Nai Carlisle re-committing to SJSU. He's also taking to the football field for his senior season of high school.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A note on Nai Carlisle

Eric Gardner/Prep Hoops Indiana tweeted: "Nai Carlisle having a very efficient July.  Nothing flashy but his Assist-to-Turnover ratio this week in Las Vegas is pretty good."


Full Time Hoops: "Indiana Elite has a pair of underrated guards in Nai Carlisle and Justin Thomas. Both defend at high levels, score and create for others."

Friday, July 24, 2015

A prospect to watch for :-)

Already have an 'in' here so the odds look good if SJSU decides to offer:

"Jake Wojcik rains in 6 treys (20 points) and Angelo Athens (@angathens) scores 17 in @TopFlight16uRed's second win."

"Jake Wojcik scores 20pts, @angathens scored 17pts, Travis Friar @travis_friar scores 8pts and grabs 12 Rebs in a 64-44 win over Onpoint."


"@TopFlight16uRed dominates Los Angeles Elite 70-20 in their first game at #adidasUprising. Jake Wojcik: 5-8 3FG, 3 steals, 6 rebs."

The 6-foot-0 Wojcik plays travel ball for Top Flight 16U Red team and attends Bellarmine College Prep where he will be a sophomore.

A little humor

Geoff Grammer with some humor about Spartan football doings: "At this rate, SJSU football may need basketball players to walk on to fill out the roster."

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Isaiah Nichols

From the recent Full Court Press event:

"Isaiah Nichols 6’5” 2016   Avon Old Farms (CT)/Oxnard CA
Multi-dimensional lead guard with size, impressive court vision and terrific passing ability is drawing interest from Utah State, Cal, Nevada, Santa Clara, Long Beach State, San Jose State and Cal State Bakersfield.  Nichols is also an underrated shooter and defender. Currently a full-qualifier, Isaiah has decided to spend a post-grad year at Avon Old Farms school in CT." 

Even with Nai Carlisle aboard, this young man would bring a different dimension because of his size.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The 2015-16 SJSU roster

A roster makeup is needed in order to offer any sort of forecast for the 2015-16 Spartans so here goes:


* Leon Bahner, 6-foot-11, center
* Ivo Basor, 6-foot-8, center
* Jalen James, 6-foot-3, point
* Danny Mahoney, 6-foot, point
* Brandon Mitchell, 6-foot-7, wing
* Princeton Onwas, 6-foot-6, wing
* Ryan Singer, 6-foot-10, center/forward
* Isaac Thornton, 6-foot-3, shooting guard


* Ashtin Chastain, 6-foot-11, center
* Brandon Clarke, 6-foot-7, wing
* Jaycee Hillsman, 6-foot-6, wing
* Cody Schwartz, 6-foot-8, forward
* Ryan Welage, 6-foot-9, forward
* Gary Williams Jr., 6-foot-5, point

Plus, the chatter is that an additional roster move is a possibility but such will probably require waiting until early September for confirmation yes or no.

The top five scorers have departed. So who creates shots for himself and draw defenders that open up good looks for teammates? Count on Gary Williams Jr. for one but he will need help or face doubleteams that force the ball out of his hands. So here's hoping that Jalen James enjoys a breakout season, for both his sake and that of the team. Can James shoot well enough from outside to force defenders up on him? That remains to be seen.

Successful teams have at least a couple of guys who can create a decent shot late in the clock count or at the ends of games. Right now, Williams Jr. and James are the most logical candidates, probably the only ones.

But who can make the open shot? This question is wide open for debate. Neither Brandon Mitchell nor Isaac Thornton qualify unless one or both have immensely improved. That wasn't Princeton Onwas' role at Utah. Williams Jr., again, can do so but how much can one player be asked to do? Hopefully, Jaycee Hillsman adapts quickly and brings a don't-leave-him-open element. Fellow freshmen Ryan Welage and Cody Schwartz have displayed range but ultimately it's closer in where they will primarily be stationed.

Also, can this team score inside? That remains a large question mark as neither Bahner nor Singer showed much of this aptitude in the initial seasons. Ashtin Chastain won't be performing this role as a freshman plus Welage and Schwartz lack the strength and heft to consistently do so right now.

The prediction is this team will again struggle to score points.

So what will the Spartans show as a defensive unit since much more effectiveness at this end of the floor is also needed. Bahner has possibilities as a shotblocker but needs to better his athletic ability and fluidity to really be effective. Onwas has all the physical talent needed to be a solid defender and will be SJSU's best. Isaac Thornton showed flashes of such last season. But defending really begins outside so whichever guards earn the majority of playing time will need to step it up and reduce dribble penetration.

Overall, the best thing to take place would be someone unexpectedly displaying a skill/playing a role not necessarily expected of him. It has been a long time since such an element has appeared so does that make it overdue? Let's hope so.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Two Spartan ballers honored

Two members of the SJSU basketball team earned 2015 All Academic Mountain West Conference honors: Danny Mahoney and Ryan Singer.

To be eligible for selection, student-athletes must have completed at least one academic term at the member institution while maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better, and be a starter or significant contributor on their athletic team.

Former SJSU guard Dylan Alexander back in California

Brian VanderBeek tweeted: "Former Weston Ranch guard Dylan Alexander has signed with @CSUStan. That's a good signing for Stanislaus and a good fit for Dylan."

Here's a 2015 feature from his time in Casper, Wyoming.

Pollard to Midwestern State

Former SJSU center Matt Pollard has transferred to Midwestern State, a DII school located in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Once spent a month in Wichita Falls one sweltering July weekend in the 70s. A home mechanic named Orville Dill repaired two cylinders in our VW bug for $59. We embellished the story whenever we told it, saying "Flash" Dill was a former guard for Don Haskins at Texas El Paso.

A Nai Carlisle feature

Talked with Duane Carlisle, Director of Sports Performance for Purdue athletics, about his son Nai who recently re-committed to San Jose State basketball. Nai is a 2016 guard at West Lafayette High in Indiana.

"When Nai decommitted, it was at the urging of my wife and I. We wanted him to look at the Ivy League schools because he has a 3.9 grade point average and a high SAT score. SJSU was never out of the picture and continued to correspond. We were grateful they thought enough of Nai to do so."

"Nai wants to go to California and really likes Coach Wojcik who is a straightshooter. He laid out a plan and was very, very professional. Nai has an excellent relationship with Coach Wojcik and Coach Lepore and SJSU is going to be a contender at some point."

As for selection criteria, "we were looking at who offers a great education, who has the resources for Nai to be the best player he can be and it was important to us for Nai to have a strong relationship with the coaching staff."

"We're really connected to the Bay Area. We lived there for six years and have a lot of ties. As a parent, we would love to see him play and we'll make it out there to see him."

Nai is looking at majoring in engineering.

Carlisle also noted that Purdue was recruiting his son up until his first commitment.

About his son's skill set, Carlisle said, "Nai is a gym rat with a great work ethic. He has spent a ton of time honing his craft. He's high character with a high achiever mindset in both the classroom and court and a really good teammate. Nai is a high level defender, really committed to defense. He takes it as a challenge to beat his guy on offense and stop him on defense. He runs a team well but, on his high school team, he scored 19.6 points a game because he has to be a scoring guard. Nai will adapt to what his team needs. He can get to the rack and has a really good mid-range game but he'll continue to work on his shot. At 6-foot-1 and 205, he has a college body, big and strong and he'll probably end up at 210-215. His best [basketball] years will be in college."

Carlisle also talked about basketball in Indiana and the competition Nai faces daily with his Indiana Elite travel team and the high level opponents they face in tournaments. "Nai's playing with and against high major guys" as the Elite have recently gone up against  prospects like 6-foot-1 Dennis Smith Jr. (ESPN's #4 player in the 2016 class) and 6-foot-4 Rawle Atkins (#17 in 2016) and some of Nai's teammates have already committed to schools such as Louisville, Virginia and Syracuse. As for in-state competition, "the players are so well-coached and play with a high collective IQ. Indiana is a basketball state and what basketball means in the Midwest is so different than the West Coast. The gyms here are full of nostalgia and character like the one where "Hoosiers" was filmed and 2,500 to 3,000 fans show up to games."

Important points to note about Nai Carlisle:

* He was named a Indiana Junior All-Star which is a prestigious honor in the state of Indiana

* He was also named to the Indiana Underclass All State "Supreme Team"

* A three-year starter, he enters his senior year 25 points shy of 1,000 career points

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Norlander on the MWC

Matt Norlander looks at the upcoming Mountain West Conference season, including a prediction of the standings at season's end.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Five hitting San Jose State University

The Nor Cal Report tweeted: "@TeamSuperstarTS quintet, JoVon & Jaden McClanahan, Rob Prince, Derrick Langford, & Jamario Bibb are visiting San Jose State Thursday."

Love the strategy. These are all prospects a couple of years or more out -- get them aware of SJSU now and when the corner is finally turned...

Monday, July 13, 2015

For the financially inquisitive

Geoff Grammer/Albuquerque Journal has the facts and figures on the contracts for ADs, football coaches, basketball coaches and others at various Mountain West Conference schools.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fascinating look at Darryl Gaynor II

Here's a feature on Darryl Gaynor II who will be donning the uniform of College of Southern Idaho this coming season. It contains loads of background information including about how the Spartans were able to land him plus why he departed (to a degree).

Good info here.

Rick @ Falcon Review posted a very informational article on which MWC teams are losing what players (plus what they contributed in scoring last season) and, to some degree, who is coming aboard.

San Diego State, Wyoming, UNLV and Colorado State will be missing major scoring so their respective recruiting classes will be critical.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A 2017 prospect offered

Marshawn Cherry tweeted: "San Diego Allstars / Army Navy Forward Richard Polanco has Received  scholarship Offer from San Jose St."

He's a 6-foot-6, 210 2017 prospect. USC, San Diego, New Mexico State and Nevada have also offered thus far. Polanco averaged 13.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists a game this season as a sophomore.

From a December 27, 2014 article:

"...That fellow sophomore Richard Polanco of San Diego (Calif.) Army & Navy was taking the floor was an added bonus. As it turned out, Polanco ended up stealing the show.

A strong 6-foot-6 wing, Polanco went absolutely nuts from deep. He made eight three-pointers and at one point over the course of the second and third quarters he made seven straight. When he wasn't bombing threes, Polanco showed that he can handle the ball, rebound and be a crafty playmaker for others.

Obviously, he's not going to shoot the ball like that every time out, but with his size and sturdy frame, that he can shoot is a huge selling point when it comes to college coaches that will eventually have interest. Polanco isn't a high flyer, but already has a pretty good feel for how to use his body and mostly needs to eliminate a little extra flash from his game that can lead to careless turnovers. A native of the Dominican Republic, Polanco has been in the States for a few years now..."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Recruiting timeframes

From a recent Mark Ziegler article comes a good summary of basketball recruiting important dates and time periods:

"...It is a long, grueling, unglamorous slog through nameless gyms across every time zone, and it is arguably the most important three weeks of the offseason in college basketball. Coaches can’t contact recruits or their families, but they can watch their AAU teams play other high-level AAU teams and crystalize opinions of whether to pursue them further. You get only 13 scholarships; you must use them wisely.

There are five such evaluation periods each calendar year – two Friday-to-Sunday windows in April and three Wednesday-to-Sunday windows on consecutive weeks in July, beginning this week. Coaches can watch players from Wednesday at 5 p.m. to Sunday at 5 p.m.

The third and final week in July is easy; everyone converges on Las Vegas for a flurry of AAU and junior college games on every available indoor court in Clark County. Not so the first two weeks.

Some coaches will fly to Atlanta on Wednesday for the Adidas Uprising Gauntlet Finale, then drive 2½ hours to North Augusta, S.C., for the Nike Nationals or further north to the Under Armour All-American Camp in Charlotte, then fly to Los Angeles for the weekend for more prep events or St. Louis for the Mullen’s Junior College Showcase. There’s another Adidas event in Indianapolis, and dozens of smaller tournaments in practically every other city.

The middle weekend has major events in Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Who you want to see becomes as important as where and when you want to see them..."

You haven't lived until climbing into a car that's been parked for hours outside a Las Vegas gymnasium in the late July sun.

Monday, July 6, 2015

MWC basketball home attendance figures

Geoff Grammer writes about New Mexico's game attendance as well as that of the other members of the Mountain West Conference.

New Mexico State is also included -- SJSU came in last. It's surprising that Boise State was middle of the pack considering the latest success of the Bronco program.

A DePaul visit for Muhammad

Jon Rothstein tweeted: "San Jose State transfer Rashad Muhammad told @CBSSports that he will visit DePaul on 7/15. Averaged 13.9 PPG last season."

The Blue Demons were not among his initial list. DePaul just signed a 6-foot-4 guard out of Cyprus.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The jump is gigantic

Not SJSU basketball related per se but posting it here because it demonstrates how enormous the jump is when facing national all stars, let alone professional ballplayers. Below is a guy, James Webb, who is being talked about as in the running for Mountain West Conference Player of the Year in this coming season. He's a redshirt junior who averaged 11.2 points plus 8.0 rebounds in just under 28 minutes a game in 2014-15. The holes in one's game get magnified with each move up in level of competition.

"Scouting reports on six of the most intriguing college small forward prospects seen at the Nike Academy in Santa Monica this past weekend:

James Webb III, Small Forward/Power Forward, 6' 9”, 6' 10.5” wingspan, 199 lbs

Mike Schmitz
Draft Express
July 3, 2015

After shooting 40.9% from three (110 attempts) in his first year with Boise State, former JUCO transfer James Webb III continued his torrid shooting pace at Nike Academy. Although he shoots a line drive and doesn't have the most natural wrist action, Webb shot it with extreme confidence and a high success rate from every spot behind the arc.

Playing both the three and the four, Webb was put in a lot of pick and pop situations and did an excellent job taking advantage of slower bigs closing out to him by drilling triple after triple. Given the trajectory of his shot and his somewhat mechanical release, it will be interesting to see if Webb's 3-point shooting numbers will stand the test of time in his junior season at Boise State.

In addition to Webb torching the nets, he also played with the high motor Broncos fans got used to seeing form him all season long last year. He crashes the offensive glass relentlessly and flies around the floor despite his thin frame.

Although Webb had some really nice moments, he didn't seem to progress in some of the most important areas where he still has room to develop. Webb is still very thin (199 pounds) and doesn't have the frame to play the four consistently in the NBA. He also lacks the length (6' 10.5” wingspan) to contest shots around the rim as a power forward.

While he's more of a three on the defensive end, Webb still lacks the ball skills to consistently play on the wing offensively. He isn't very comfortable putting it down more than once or twice, and often looks to quickly swing the ball and follow the pass right into a ball screen. Webb is an explosive athlete who plays with a high motor and is capable of making spot up threes, but his thin body, struggles as a ball handler and age (turns 22 in August) limit his intrigue and upside a bit, although that shouldn't prevent him from being discussed as a draft prospect."

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tention with a son at Paly

Devin Ugland tweeted: "2017 Palo Alto (CA) guard Miles Tention is intriguing. True PG who can really pass the rock. Smart w the dribble, has a good floater."

He measures 6-feet and, yes, is the son of Rodney Tention.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Carlisle re-commits

Nai Carlisle committed in mid-July of last year, de-committed in late March and now he's back on board.

Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop broke the news.

Here's a June 9 article on Carlisle.

Here's a recent analysis by his Indiana Elite coaches.

The latest, such as it is, on Rashad Muhammad

Via PoP: "Rashad Muhammad @ShawtySm00ve1 6'6 SG sharpshooter transfer from San Jose St. "Recruitment is still wide open"

Louisville, Miami, South Florida, Creighton, Wake Forest and Minnesota were originally noted as new destination possibilities. Louisville is out per some correspondence received this week and I haven't picked up any buzz elsewhere. South Florida recently brought aboard a 6-foot-3 transfer from Penn State and Creighton has no scholarships available. Minnesota just hosted a center who is transferring from St. John's.

Reading the proverbial tea leaves (so take this for what it's worth), the lack of 'news' by now is surprising in a negative direction.

It's finally official

San Jose State University officially announces the signing of Rodney Tention as an assistant coach.