Monday, August 31, 2015

The MWC additions haven't been an RPI boom

Tyler Bischoff's latest is "MWC Basketball: The Mountain West has an RPI Problem."

Minus Boise State of late, none of the latest additions have panned out as yet.

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:

Friday, August 28, 2015

Another youngster tripping to SJSU

Via Team Superstar"Scheduled for Sept.19 (Sat.) @SJSU, unofficial visit for Jonathan Ned class of 2018 Heritage High School."

The San Jose State University coaching staff is really focused on underclassmen throughout the Bay Area, hoping to coincide landing locals and regionals with a program on the upswing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Nevada involved with some impressive talents

Chris Murray writes about some high level prospects for the future tripping to Nevada. Eric Musselman has definitely elevated the recruiting bar for the Wolf Pack.

Williams Jr. fronting the Spartans

Nate Ford tweeted: "So proud of this young man @glizzy_williams Gary Williams a kid that had a dream and chased it."

Williams Jr. will be the face and leader of San Jose State University hoops this coming season.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Las Vegas, July 26-29, college basketball recruiting

Mark Ziegler takes fans on the journey college coaches endure -- San Diego State in particular here --  from July 26-29 in Las Vegas. It's well-written and delves into so many different recruiting subjects. A very good read.

Good read on USU's offensive change

Tyler Bischoff writes about Utah State switching last season from a two-in/three-out offense to a one-in/four-out offense and why. It's an informative read.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Meet Chris Murray

Chris Murray is the Nevada athletics beat reporter/columnist for the Reno Gazette-Journal and one of the most prolific writers covering college sports today. Those involved in Wolf Pack sports as well as Nevada fans are lucky to have him providing such abundant and in-depth coverage. With Eric Musselman now in charge of the men's basketball program, Murray makes it easy to both follow the fortunes of Nevada hoops as well as who in northern California is receiving interest and offers from the braintrust in Reno.

Q: Why did you enter the journalism field and was your direction always sports-related?

CM: Interesting story. My brother was three years older than me and was a journalism major at the University of Nevada, so when I went to college, I took the same major. Turns out, my brother eventually changed his major to education and is now a third-grade teacher, but I followed through and ended up getting my bachelor's and Master's degrees in journalism from the school. I was a so-so high school athlete (all-state academic baseball player, mostly because of the academic part!) and always wanted to have a sports-oriented career. I picked between a sports writer and an athletic training. I took the writer's path and while the money isn't the same as the medical field, I feel like I haven't worked a day since joining the Reno Gazette-Journal in 2002 as a college intern.

Q: Your output with just the coverage of Nevada athletics is prodigious -- more articles and lines than anyone else I can think of in a similarly-sized city newspaper. I don't really know how you can answer this question but how do you get the amount of work you produce done?

CM: I think it's three-fold: (1) I can write stories pretty quickly. It usually only takes me 20 minutes to write a feature story. I'm not sure why, but stories just fit together in my head when I sit down to write them. (2) I'm always thinking of story ideas. I read a lot of other newspapers (or, more accurately, newspapers' websites) and are thinking of different ways to cover the Wolf Pack. I might write one "traditional" story a day and add three or four alternative stories. (3) You have to put in the work. I cover coaches who work 80-100 hours a week, so me putting in 60 hours a week isn't too bad. I feel like the amount of work I put in is respected by those who I cover, which helps me get more stories as well. My wife and I welcomed a baby boy in September, so I work from home a lot now while watching him (and changing diapers!), but I still try to get three or four stories on our website per day.

Q: In your tenure as Wolf Pack beat reporter, who is the best Nevada player you've covered and why?

CM: I have to go with Colin Kaepernick. He was just a ridiculous athlete to start and then you drop him in the WAC and it was video-game stuff at points. He's probably the most athletic quarterback in the NFL, so imagine him going up against Idaho, New Mexico State and San Jose State. Nevada didn't have a defense until Kaepernick's senior year (when the team went 13-1), so his W-L record might not have been all that impressive over the years, but he's one of the best quarterbacks in college history by the numbers. He was so driven and competitive and worked so hard with natural athleticism that he's a special player that Nevada is unlikely to ever get again. Honorable mentions: Luke Babbitt and Nick Fazekas in basketball.

Q: Who is your top interviewee of all the Wolf Pack players you've talked with and why?

CM: Actually, I just did a story on Wolf Pack running back Don Jackson and he was great to talk with. I'll put him at No. 1. He grew up in South Sacramento. Most of his family had been arrested at some point. His brother is in jail for vehicular manslaughter and attempted escape from prison. His mom graduated from high school at age 40, but his brother, two sisters and dad never graduated high school. Don was on a bad path, too, with gangs and drugs and guns and fighting and ditching class all dragging him down. When he was in ninth grade, Don's teacher told the class he'd be dead or in jail by 17. Obviously he was wrong as Jackson is now a college graduate working on a Master's after turning his life around in the 11th grade. Jackson is very talkative and very open. He had a great story and wanted to share it to help others. He's a nominee for the Wuerffel Trophy, given to the top college football player based on play, academics and community service. Since he was so open with his past, I'll go with him.

Q: Nevada enjoyed the greatest success when a couple of homegrown high school talents -- Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson -- decided to stay and play in Reno. It was a harmonic convergence of sorts because the Reno area doesn't annually produce that level of talent. This usual dearth makes successful Wolf Pack recruitment in southern California, Sacramento and the Bay Area all the more critical. Eric Musselman has solid connections in each of these areas as well as throughout the country. How did Nevada get him to come aboard?

CM: He wanted to run his own program and Nevada was the first to give him that opportunity. It helped that he spent a year in Reno coaching the D-League Bighorns, which made him familiar with the area. His family is in San Diego and Danville, Calif., both close to Reno. It was a great opportunity for both sides. Musselman gets to run his own team and potentially move up if he succeeds and Nevada gets an NBA-level head coach who is getting paid among the lowest coaches in the Mountain West. Musselman isn't too concerned with money right now. It's more about opportunity. Good timing for Nevada. 

Q: In the Murray crystal ball you have on your desk at work, which men's basketball team shows up as winning the MWC in 2015-16?

CM: San Diego State. It's always smart to bet on Steve Fisher. UNLV has the most talent, but that usually doesn’t translate. Boise State loses MW player of the year, Derrick Marks, but is still strong. Those are my three favorites. SDSU will likely have scoring issues again, but I'll go with the Aztecs.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Two prospects hitting SJSU soon

Team Superstar tweeted: "San Jose St. has Derrick Langford (@5Dlang) unofficial visit this Saturday & Darrin Person Jr (@UserDpj32) Aug. 29th."

Langford (Salesian High) is a 5-foot-11 guard in the 2018 class while the 6-foot-6 Person is a 2017-er out of Fresno.

The former received this writeup after a May 2015 showcase: "Langford showed us why he was ranked the #1 player for the day. Langford has speed, agility, and is very shifty. He plays tenacious defense and is a great team player.  A leader in the making on the floor, he exemplified his skills and knack for scoring. Plays with great composure and maturity, an old school flavor with a new school touch. Derrick Langford is an elite prospect."

The latter was named the Fresno Bee Co-Player of the Year in April. He's carries a rep as a tough, physical type.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What can Brown do for SJSU?

After the mid-July Nor Cal Summer Tipoff at City College of San Francisco, Brandon Tatera of California Preps wrote:

"Terrell Brown, 2016, Golden State Arsenal

This 6'2 guard excelled off the ball in a scoring type roll. He is an electric prospect that excels in transition. He has blow by ability and can finish at the rim or with the jumper. San Jose State was on hand to watch him and he wore Spartan gear in warmups."

He averaged 12.4 points per game last season on a loaded Moreau Catholic High  (Hayward) team that featured a Cal commit, a Fresno State commit and an underclassmen with Pac-12 offers. Brown needs to add greater wight and strength.

He visited Washington Square back on May 26 -- not sure if this was an unofficial or an official.

Moreau finished 23-7 last season and will be just as tough in 2014-15.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Moses Omolade story

Doing this from memory so that's a high-wire act. At the Inside The Spartans basketball message board, there a short string about Moses Omolade and his inability to get on the floor for SJSU.

Apparently, he enrolled in a junior college in New York after high school but something came up and he never attended. But he didn't drop the classes so his athletic eligibility time clock began ticking.

Some time later, he came to California and enrolled at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. He was there for three years, including a redshirt one and earned his degree.

When he signed with SJSU, the NCAA sidelined him because a student-athlete has five years of eligibility from the time he enters college. "A student-athlete shall complete his or her seasons of participation within five calendar years from the beginning of the semester or quarter in which the student-athlete first registered for a minimum full-time program of studies in a collegiate institution..."

At least one appeal was made but turned down.

The Spartans did right and stuck by Omolade and he earned a B.A. in African American Studies.

Please chime in if anyone has further information or any corrections.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

SJSU getting cozy with HS shooting guard

Ballers Bridge tweeted: "2016 sharpshooter, @kev_skinny says San Jose State, Regis (Denver) and Cal State East Bay have been in close contact."

That's 6-foot-3 Kevin Warren of St. Mary's High in Albany. His Twitter handle is derived from his weight which is 160.

Here's a feature from July.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Canty collecting offers

Jerina tweeted: "NorCal 6'8 F JalenCanty@CottonCanty23 offers: Colorado St, Tulsa, RI, Portland St, USF, CSUF, Miami, Ohio, Ball St, SJSU, Montana."

Canty is at City College of San Francisco this year and was at Casper College in Wyoming last season where he averaged 10.5 points and 6.1 boards. He prepped at St. Patrick St. Vincent High in Vallejo. Canty recently participated in one of the Jerry Mullen's events for JUCO prospects and the feedback was he played well.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Bringing Muhammad to Miami

Rashad Muhammad has selected Miami as his new home.

Possible reasons for the choice:

* Canes Coach Jim LarraƱaga is a well-respected and seasoned veteran and the team is coming off a 25-13 record. The 2013 season was highlighted by inclusion in the Big Dance.

* Miami is a member of the prestigious Atlantic Coast Conference.

* Coral Gables is right on the beach. Did we mention Coral Gables includes sand and sea?

* He should be surrounded by much better talent than he experienced at SJSU which will relieve him of being the primary focus of defensive efforts by opponents. Conversely, he isn't going to have the free shooting rein he enjoyed as a Spartan and will need to demonstrate his effectiveness playing within a structured offensive system. A year off as a transfer redshirt should help facilitate this.

That was quick

Per Richard Obert, Arizona prep big man Klay Stall has committed to Utah State.

Stall's other two trips

Was half right. Besides Utah State, Klay Stall will also be visiting Eastern Washington and Fresno State.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Stall tripping to Utah State

Richard Obert tweeted: "Basha 6-10 senior basketball player Klay Stall will take recruiting trip to Utah State in September, one of three colleges he will visit."

SJSU has also offered as has Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Portland State and North Dakota. Stall unofficially visited Washington Square in October 2014.

Here's a June 2015 article on Stall who is coming back from injury.

Haven't yet located the two other schools receiving visits. Would guess Fresno State and SJSU.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The latest on Rashad Muhammad

Evan Daniels tweeted: "San Jose State transfer Rashad Muhammad, bro of Shabazz, is currently on a visit to Miami, source says. Down to DePaul, Miami & San Fran."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

SJSU offers 2018 East Bay prospect

Team Superstar tweeted: "Jamario Bibb c/o 2018 6'3" Team Superstar/Salesian HS just received an offer from San Jose St from Head Coach Wojcik (Phil 4:13)"

He's a 6-foot-4 sophomore-to-be.

From the 2015 Nor Cal Showcase"Very athletic wing who had an impressive performance. Finishes very effectively-both in transition and half court, need some work on his perimeter shot, capable ball handler."

Spartan offer a SoCal four

Fairfax Basketball offered on August 3: "Congrats to Babacar Thiombane... he gets.another scholarship offer from San Jose State!"

Jack Pollon tweeted  on July 11: "fairfax's bubba thoimbane (6-foot-8) showing improved footwork, runs the floor well, being more active, drawing more interest now."

On the same day, PoP typed: "2016 6'7 Babacar Thiombane; FairFax HS. Long running athletic prospect. Loves to finish way above rim. Very intriguing"

Eric Sondheimer on July 15: "6-7 Babacar Thiombane of Fairfax has picked up his first offer from Army."

After a May 30 tournament at City College of San Francisco, Gerry Freitas wrote this:

"6’7” PF Babacar Thiombane of Fairfax HS 2018 (LA Pump N Run)
Athletic four man who impacts the game at both ends. Can rebound and block shots, understands how to play, has good footwork on the block offensively. Interesting prospect who has some upside."

ESPN lists him at 180 pounds. His parents are from Senegal but he was born here. Thiombane earned Second Team All-Western League honors for his play this past season.

He plays for Harvey Kitani, a high school coaching legend in southern California. Fairfax High won the L.A. City championship last season and Kitani owns 700+ wins during his tenure.

here's Thiombane blocking a shot