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.


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."


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


"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"


"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?


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:


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.


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:

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.


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.


Sunday, December 6, 2015


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


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:

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.