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.


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.


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"


"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.