Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Nevada 80, SJSU 55

Nevada owned an 11-point halftime lead and advanced it further with additional cold-shooting by San Jose State University in grabbing an 80-55 home victory over the Spartans on Wednesday.

The Washington Square crew shot 19-65 overall and a worse 2-21 from beyond the arc.

Brandon Clarke finished with 18 points plus nine boards and Gary Williams Jr. totaled 14 points. No other player was a positive factor.

Chris Murray game reports.

Jalen James was ejected via two technicals and Brandon Clarke was also whistled for one as the teams were apparently heavily yapping at one another. Note to SJSU: do not initiate or respond to silly talk when behind in the score, especially badly behind.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Rashad Muhammad's plans

"Miami transfer Rashad Muhammad will finish school at Coral Gables" -- Jon Rothstein

From this article: "...Muhammad sat out the 2015-16 season after transferring following two seasons at San Jose State. He will be eligible to play immediately for a new school in 2017-18 as a graduate transfer..."

Not to pile on but who will punch the ticket after Muhammad was let go from two basketball programs and will not have played competitive basketball for two years? 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

SJSU 92, SUU 82

San Jose State University grabbed a 10 point halftime lead and ultimately maintained it at the end in winning 92-82 over visiting Southern Utah University 92-82 on Wednesday. SUU got within two points late but then fell back.

Guard Jalen James went for a career-high 23 points (6-10, 3-4, 8-10 overall shooting) and also provided four assists plus three rebounds. Ryan Welage contributed 22 points (5-6 accuracy from long distance) and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds and Gary Williams Jr. shot 9-10 at the foul line to finsh 17 points. He also supplied five boards and three assists. Isaiah Nichols' six assists was tops on the team.

As a team the Spartans shot 28-60, 10-20 and an astounding 26-37 overall. 20 assists were achieved on 28 baskets.

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A feature on SJSU recruit Austin Galuppo

"Cal Poly basketball recruit shines at Mission Prep Christmas Classic" -- Travis Gibson

Sunday, December 18, 2016

SJSU tops Bowling Green

On Sunday, San Jose State University topped Bowling Green by one, 77-76, with sophomore forward Brandon Clarke proving himself unstoppable, including an last second score off a missed shot. He tallied 24 points (9-12 overall shooting) plus 12 boards. Frontcourt teammate Ryan Welage totaled 14 points aided by 4-7 shooting from beyond the arc.

Guard Isaac Thornton scored 10 points alongside six assists and four steals while Gary Williams Jr. totaled 10 points plus five rebounds. Plus, Brandon Mitchell posted an eight point (4-6 shooting), eight rebound line alongside a pair of blocked shots.

The Spartans were out in front 44-29 after 20 minutes and committed but 10 turnovers overall.

Bowling Green has yet to nab a road victory this season.

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Mike Wang update )he's playing in Vegas this weekend)

Mike Wang 6’9” 2018   Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
Skilled “stretch 4” with very nice range and accuracy on his 3-point shot.  Wang has also improved his rebounding and defense since last summer.

His offensive game has some similiarity to Ryan Welage but both guys need to demonstrate a back-to-the-basket component to their repertoire.


Add one to the SJSU recruiting list

Not sure why Verbal Commits doesn't have San Jose State University hot after Elijah Hardy of Bishop O'Dowd. The Spartans offered in mid-July.

"ELIJAH HARDY SHOWS IMMENSE PLAYMAKING ABILITIES"

Excerpt: "...Now the face up of the strong and successful Bishop 0’Dowd program, the 6-foot-1 lead guard has seen his recruitment pick up a little as three schools have begun to make their mark with him. “I have been speaking probably the most with California, Santa Clara, and San Jose State,” Hardy said, a junior that hold seven scholarship offers to date.

Having visited San Jose State earlier in the fall, Hardy has been no stranger to the nearby Pac 12 program. “I go up to Cal pretty much every week,” the playmaking guard noted. “It is a great school with academics first. It really is a good family up there. Ivan (Rabb), of course, went up there so it just makes Cal that much better...”

In the current jostling, if Cal wants Hardy, they will get Hardy ... unless a national power jumps into the equation.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Jake Wojcik pledges to Sinna

Bellarmine College Prep junior guard Jake Wojcik has committed to Siena of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).

"Siena basketball gets commitment from California guard"

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Future Spartans

The Verbal Commits site has the following prospects in the San Jose State University recruitment pipeline. But do keep in mind that names of suitors are not removed there until an actual signing happens even though the wooing between a school and a prospect may have actually ended months ago:

PG
James Akinjo 2018 Link

SG
Naseem Gaskin 2018 Link
Austin Galuppo 2018 Link
Jamario Bibb 2018 Link
Ryan Langborg 2019 Link

SF
Andre Kelly 2018 Link
Deon Stroud 2019 Link

PF
Kenneth 'Kenny' Wooten, Jr. 2017 Link
Michael Wang 2018 Link
Mason Forbes 2018 Link

It's interesting that each is a California resident. The need to search elsewhere has diminished as has the budget to sign out-of-state prospects.

At the point James Akinjo would be a solid get even though he measure 5-foot-10. His competitiveness and will to better his game stand out.

Each of the shooting guard prospects is interesting because none have yet to exhibit the ability to take over games. Ryan Langbord, who has a brother playing at Pt. Loma Nazarene in San Diego, is currently the best shooter with Austin Galuppo right up there too. Naseem Gaskin is being monitored for greater consistency while Jamario Bibb remains more slasher than outside shooter.

Andre Kelly should officially be shifted to power forward as his bulk relates to that position and it looks like he is continuing to inch upward.

Kenny Wooten Jr. isn't coming to SJSU so take him off the list. Kansas seems to be his frontrunner right now.

Michael Wang's offensive game is intriguing but there are questions about his athleticism. Is he a faceup four?

Mason Forbes has the best hair of anyone in high school ball (hit that link above), a great motor and the ability to pick new elements up quickly.

There are certainly other talents being watched and we'll try to cover those as additional names come to light.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Graham returns to Ripon

Former San Jose State University player Justin Graham has returned to his alma mater as the Associate Head Coach at Ripon High. He owns a B.A. in Communications and an M.A. in Kinesiology from SJSU.

He provided a lot of great memories for Spartan fans and his unselfish play was a living definition of being a team player.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A blip in the schedule

Yes, the Spartans won this afternoon but we're not detailing any of the news because a game against a team such as Life Pacific at this point in the season isn't worth reporting. On to facing Bowling Green on the afternoon of December 18. The Falcons are currently 4-6 overall, 0-4 on the road.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A bit more on Noah Baumann

From Gregg Rosenberg/Arizona Varsity in an 85-56 Desert Vista victory on Tuesday when Baumann played very little due to the score:

"6-foot-5 SG 2017 Noah Baumann (Desert Vista)

14 points (4-6) with two 3pt shots made and 2 assists.

Baumann committed to San Jose State before the HS season started and you can see why. He has deep shooting range with an ultra quick release. He plays the game with a high IQ and is a sneaky good passer. He is not normally known as the top defender, but got the nod to defend Tevian Jones and did a serviceable job on him in the 1st half. His feel for the game is high and he will shoot it well and make his teammates better." 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Montana 81, SJSU 62

On Wednesday in Missoula, Montana took down San Jose State 81-62. The Spartans came in with a three-game win streak. The Griz shot 52% overall and went 20-23 from the foul line to 9-20 from the Washington Square crew. The hosts owned a 46-30 halftime lead.

SJSU received nine points and six rebounds from Gary (Castlemont High/Indian Hill College) Williams Jr. plus 11 points and five boards from Brandon Clarke.

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Baumann continues to perform

Richard Obert: "Noah Baumann took just five shots and had 14 points for Desert Vista in 85-56 thumping of Chandler. He did not play in 2nd half"

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Noah Baumann's first game

In the first game of the season for SJSU signee Noah Baumann, he posted a line of 28 points, seven rebounds and three assists for his Desert Vista High team.

Seeking a recount

Chris Murray's weekly MWC team rankings:

"11. SAN JOSE STATE

Last week: 11
Record: 4-3
Comment: San Jose State moved over the .500 mark with wins over Idaho and Santa Clara - it didn't get to compete in the MW-MVC Challenge - and ranks fifth in the MW in RPI, although it is last in the Sagarin Ratings and Ken Pomeroy ratings, so some advanced sites are still dubious. On the plus side, SJSU is coming off back-to-back strong defensive efforts and is forcing a MW-best 15.4 turnovers per game."

Jeez, what's a team got to do?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Taking a look at SJSU -- a collection of thoughts

What a wild ride it has been so far this season -- winnable home games that were losses versus Portland and Denver, an uptick versus St. Mary's, followed by road victories versus Washington State (what a stinker of a team the Cougars are this season, having just been routed at home 70-54 by New Orleans) and then Idaho, and then finally taking down Santa Clara.

Upcoming Montana, Bowling Green and Southern Utah matchups are all winnable contests so it's looking positive. Which is critical because but this season will positively/negatively effect the talented Bay Area and northern California recruits being so heavily pursued in the next two classes. A positive non-conference record will bring momentum entering Mountain West Conference play and the Spartans need a .500 record there.

Still, we're calling this a bridge season because the team is not "there" yet, being too young, too inexperienced and thus inconsistent.

There remains a need for a breakout player who can always be counted on for a certain number of points or points plus rebounds each game. Maybe that is Ryan Welage. But who will it be in the backcourt?

The improvement in defensive effort and outcome is most heartening. It must be team wide due to some physical deficiencies and that it has been.

Player notes

All this is happening without a significant contribution from Ryan Singer (which blows up my pre-season prediction).

Maybe Jaycee Hillsman simply has range to 15 or so feet and isn't a three-point shooter considering his numbers both last season and thus far: 17-31, 1-7, 29-32

A redshirt class of Nai Carlisle and Keith Fisher III combined with incoming Noah Baumann looks really solid for next season. A 6-foot-10 serviceable center (one good at a couple of tasks -- rebounding and defensive presence, please) would still really help. The key for the success of any mid-major program is grabbing guys who are more than single talent prospects.

Gotta love the steadiness of Isaac Thornton. Yes, there certainly are holes in his game but play to his strengths, steer away from his weaknesses and that's good enough.

Not sure what is up with Cody Schwartz but playing time next season (yes, it's still far off) is looking very minimal considering the returnees and newcomers.

Again looking far ahead: will Brandon Mitchell be in a situation at the end of the academic year of graduating and transferring elsewhere for his final year of athletic eligibility? A lower level would bring much more court time.

Jalen James sports 18/6 assist-to-turnover numbers -- keep it coming. Like Mitchell, James is another candidate for graduate transfer status but he just may want to be part of what should be the best Spartan squad during his tenure.

Not sure how much Brandon Clarke has improved his shot -- he started out better but his free throw percentage is 57%.

Isaiah Nichols has displayed the typical ups-and-downs of most freshman campaigns thus far but his future is definitely a bright one.

Love the IQ and hustle of E.J. Boyce but not yet seeing him as a steady contributor at the Mountain Wes Conference level.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday: SJSU 55, SC 40 -- make it three in a row

In a rivalry matchup with a final score that lends more to mid-way through the second half of a game, San Jose State University handled Santa Clara 55-49 on Saturday. The Broncos were held to a meager 28% shooting, managing just 14 points in the second half.

Sophomore forward Ryan Welage led the way with an efficient 12 points and the same for freshman guard Isaiah Nichols who shot 5-8 overall. But it was Isaac Thornton with the best variety of production via six points, four assists, three rebounds and a trio of steals.

Bronco forward Nate Kratch, who clobbered SJSU last season with 29 points plus 12 boards, went for five points and one rebound in 20 minutes.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

A C.J. Webster update

Former Spartan big C.J. Webster is now a head coach in the Women’s’ Minor League Basketball Association (WLMBA), a seven team league with a number of the clubs based in Texas. It looks like it's a hoops startup.

After SJSU, Webster played in Australia, Kosovo and Venezuela before returning to the U.S. to suit up for the Albany Blazers and the Cleveland Havoc.

He is working for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Wish it had all turned out differently back then but conflicting personalities prevented that from happening.

An Elijah Hardy update

He's still far off in the reruiting universe but a recent article on 2018 Bishop O'Dowd point guard Elijah Hardy has him saying those after him the most (presumably making the most consistent contact) are California, Santa Clara and San Jose State University. If landed, he would be the best recruit in decades, if not ever, for the Spartans but Cal will be very hard to beat.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

We'll gladly take it

Geoff Grammer: "Mountain West hoops true road game records: 

• San Jose State: 2-1
• Rest of league: 3-8

Looks like Spartans are carrying the league."

Yes, last night was ugly but basketball ain't a beauty contest.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Make it two in a row ... on the road

After taking down Washington State in Pullman, San Jose State University continued its road trek to across the border and downed Idaho on Tuesday 58-49. The Spartans won both 20-minute sessions 30-26 and 28-23.

Sophomore frontliner Ryan Welage didn't shoot well -- 1-10 from beyond the arc -- but he led with 15 points and his seven boards matched the total of Brandon Clarke. Jaycee Hillsman enjoyed a perfect shooting night at 3-3 from the floor and 5-5 at the foul line.

Call it a night of inelegant accuracy as Idaho shot 33% overall to San Jose's 31%.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

SJSU wins 88-76 over Washington State

The Spartans won 88-76, on the road and against a Pac-12 team -- quite the trifecta. Ryan Welage led with 20 points as well as 11 boards, Brandon Clarke posted his own double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds and Gary Williams Jr. enjoyed 12 points and seven boards. Powered by 8-8 shooting at the foul line, Jaycee Hillsman tallied 14 points.

The Washington Square guys shot 46% overall to WSU's 37%, earned 31 free throw attempts and out-rebounded The Palouse crew 50-39.

What a unique numerical scoring situation: 44 points apiece for the Spartans to 38 each half for the Cougars. The largest SJSU lead was 16 points.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

'We' is bigger than 'me'

"Rashad Muhammad kicked off UM basketball team"

Rashad Muhammad has now totally screwed himself (sorry for the graphic image those words present). He gets to a rising program, one expected to do very well this season and could not handle that opportunity for team and individual success. He will now probably have to head to DII in order to restore his remaining eligibility which may just be what he needs as a wakeup call.

The Miami roster has quite capable wings and guards, including some freshman so Muhammad's absence will not be noted on the court.

The moderator of the CanesInSight hoops MB wrote: "This had nothing to do with on the court."

If memory serves me well (and it doesn't always), his earlier recruitment came down to SJSU and Utah State. That was telling right then and there but we were giddily blinded.

May he get his life together and succeed off the court first. Basketball isn't so important right now.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

St. Mary's 81, SJSU 64

In Moraga on Tuesday, St. Mary's handled San Jose State University 81-64 after leading by just three at halftime. It was mostly a frontcourt night for the Spartans as sophomore Ryan Welage totaled 17 points and six boards while fellow soph Brandon Clarke finished with 14. Yet another second-year player, wing Jaycee Hillsman, contributed 16 points and also six rebounds. SJSU shot 43.6% as a team.

Jock Landale continued his torrid shooting for the Gaels, going 9-10 overall on his way to 24 points. As a team, St. Mary's was accurate on 55.6% of its shooting attempts.

Jeff Faraudo game reports.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

A Frank Rogers update

John Devine: "Rogers debuts in D-League >> Former Salinas High standout Frank Rogers made his Developmental League debut for the Greensboro Swarm, hitting his first two field goal attempts as a professional basketball player, finishing with six points in eight minutes of play.

The 6-foot-9 Rogers, a former Player of the Year at Salinas High, spent his final collegiate season at San Jose State last year, leading the team in scoring and finishing among the leaders in rebounds.

Greensboro is affiliated with the Charlotte Hornets."

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Denver 74, SJSU 69

In a mix of conflicting statistics, Denver edged San Jose State University 74-69 in the ultimate category. Brandon Clarke was big again with 13 points and 10 rebounds, Jalen James also scored 13 and Ryan Welage tallied 11 (3-5 from long distance). The Washington Square crew had a chance at the end but repeated turnovers negated the opportunity.

About the numbers: The visitors shot a blazing 56% to 40.3 for the Spartans. But the Pioneers also committed 21 turnovers versus 13 and won the boards battle 36-26, that figure aided by SJSU's poor shooting.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What did work would be a much shorter list

From a long time fan dripping after last night's Portland game:

"The debut of the 2016/17 Spartans was, in a word, horrible. The team underperformed in all aspects of team basketball, it was a group of guys all standing back and watching the “Brandon Clarke show”.  In addition to a pathetic athletic performance on the floor, the Event Center arena proved even worse. The building was hot with fans all improvising with methods of wiping the sweat off their brows, the shot clocks intermittently did not work, and those in attendance were treated to horrible music drummed into their heads at decibels fit for a concert. This athletic administration again proved that their planning and management of simple game-day details are beyond their capabilities. The entire evening was truly an embarrassment in all respects!"

Beyond the awful physical experience, this makes it sound like Thursday's matchup with Denver, as silly as it sounds so early this season, is a must win in order to not lose even some of the mainstay fans. The Pioneers fell at home 92-84 to Jacksonville on Saturday as the Dolphins went to the foul line 41 times and grabbed 11 steals in the game. For MWC comparison's sake, Jacksonville fell on Monday to Air Force 86-68.

Portland 79, SJSU 66

A 47-31 second half provided Portland the victory against San Jose State University on Tuesday night. Sophomore Brandon Clarke exploded for 28 points but required an inefficient 26 shots to reach that amount. He added 10 rebounds for a double-double and also rejected five Pilot shot attempts. The other statistical highlight was freshman Isaiah Nichols compiling 10 assists versus just a pair of turnovers.

The Spartans shot 36.2%, 37.5% and 58.3% respectively, earning just 12 free throw attempts. Portland shot 50%, 38.9% and 92.3% -- the latter on 13 shots from the foul line.

Jaycee Hillsman went scoreless in 20 minutes and SJSU received no plus statistical efforts from the bench as Terrell Brown was below his previous contributions.

The Pilot game report.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Spartans annoint WCB 109-70

San Jose State University hosted West Coast Baptist College on Saturday afternoon and led 61-35 after 20 minutes before finishing out with a 109-70 triumph.

Seven Spartans scored in double figures: E.J. Boyce led with 20 points, Terrell Brown enjoyed 14, Jalen James 13, 12 apiece from Jaycee Hillsman and Ryan Welage as well as 10 from both Brandon Clarke and Isaiah Nichols.

The Eagles, or at least some of them, didn't get the message that Boyce is foremost an outside threat as he shot 6-12 from beyond the arc. Brown shot 4-8 overall plus 5-6 at the foul line. Hillsman carried over his sharp shooting with 4-7 from the floor as well as 4-4 from the charity stripe.

Not being factors were Ryan Singer and Cody Schwartz. The former shot 1-5 with three turnovers while the latter went 0-5 with a trio of miscues in 13 and 11 minutes respectively.

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Monday, November 7, 2016

The D1 prospect who almost wasn't

From Gregg Rosenberg/Arizona Varsity on Spartan commit Noah Baumann out of Desert Vista High in Phoenix who will be signing this week:

"Noah is a hair under 6-foot-5 and around 200 pounds, he grew from around 6-foot-2 and a half to near 6-foot-5 in the last year or so. He is one of the top stand still shooters on the West Coast and also has a point guard background and plays club ball on and off the ball. Noah can create off the dribble but he'll most likely be a catch and shoot or 1-2 dribble pull-up type of college player. He has good length and court vision and he can find open teammates plus use his length well in the passing lanes for defense.

The crazy thing is he has never started a game on varsity yet! Honestly just bad luck. When he finally was going to get his chance (last year)--he got injured. He played a little at the end of the year but was slowly getting back and wasn't truly a factor.

When April rolled around in the Live Period--he came out firing! He hit 15 3's in one weekend and all of a sudden was the talk of the town. Noah continued on that tear of shooting in high school June ball and the July live periods.

He has the luxury of playing off of point guard stand out Saben Lee--a Vandy commit. Lee gave him the open looks he needed and he cashed it in with some monster games vs higher tier talent."

What's fascinating is that Baumann had an incredible game against Jake Wojcik's AAU team down in an April tournament in Anaheim, even with Lee injured and not playing. That was the moment the Spartans as well as a number of other teams 'discovered' him.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

SJSU 96, Cal State East Bay 80

Host San Jose State University and Cal State East Bay paired off on Sunday wth the Spartans emerging a 16-point victor. Sophomore forward Ryan Welage led with 22 points buttressed by shooting 4-8 from long distance, Sophomore guard Jaycee Hillman used his 9-9 accuracy at the foul line to finish with 16 points and Isaac Thornton tallied 15.

Three Pioneers scored 20 points apiece: guards Drew Bender and Duce (Tracy High) Asah as well as forward Micah Dunhour.

A 51-31 first half put the game away for the Spartans who went a doubly amazing 36-40 from the foul line. But 21 turnovers, almost all associated with the SJSU backcourt, prevented the game from having a larger point differential.

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Following up on Rashad Muhammad

We actually wish Rashad Muhammad well despite his departure from San Jose State University. In coming across a recent Miami game (a 73-62 exhibition win over Barry--no, the Hurricane did not play against a team President Obama rounded up), Muhammad played seven minutes and grabbed a defensive board. No shot attempts.

He will have one more year of eligibility after this one.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

SJSU 101, Pacific Union 64

Host San Jose State University expanded a 41-27 halftime lead to an eventual 101-64 victory over Pacific Union last night. Freshman Terrell (Moreau Catholic High) Brown went for 13 points in his initial college action for the Spartans and teammates Jaycee Hillsman and Brandon Clarke also totaled 13. Isaiah Nichols was the top producer with 12 points, six boards and five assists. He buried both of his three-point attempts.

LeRoy (Lassen College) Anderson paced Pacific Union with both 17 points plus nine boards while teammate Rae (Napa Valley College) Hubbard provided 13 points.

game report and box

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Making a comparison

In this preview of #19 Miami, former Spartan Rashad Muhammad is projected to help but not start for the Hurricanes. That's another thing to keep in mind as he would be the leading scorer for SJSU while playing 30 minutes a game. A gap between the wanna-bes and the already-theres remains although it's hopefully diminishing for the Washington Square roundballers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Two minutes with Coach Wojcik on the new players

A Spartan preview from the Las Vegas beat reporter

"San Jose State out to beat last-place prediction" -- Mark Anderson

It concludes: "San Jose State committed to bolstering the backcourt in recruiting, with four of its five new players being guards.

“That’s going to help us, no doubt, because I think our strength is going to be our threes, fours and fives,” Wojcik said, referring to the frontcourt. “How quickly (the guards) grow is going to be a big factor, but from right now in the first two weeks of practice, I’m liking what I’m seeing.”

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A pretty sparse and unhelpful analysis

"2016-17 Preseason Power Rankings: The Mountain West" -- Chris Schutte

This article is of the 'Mountain West Conference for Beginners' type. One won't learn a lot but it does offer names and elements to further explore.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Mountain West Conference media poll

Geoff Grammer:

MWC preseason media poll (1st place votes in parenthesis):
SDSU (23) 293 points
Nevada 253
New Mexico (3) 249
Fresno State (1) 200
Boise State 164
Utah State 153
Colorado State 146
UNLV 120
Air Force 90
Wyoming 73
San Jose State 41

Plus:

MWC Preseason Player of the Year
G Elijah Brown, jr., New Mexico

MWC Preseason Newcomer of the Year
G Montague Gill-Caeser, so., San Diego State (Missouri)

MWC Preseason co-Freshmen of the Year
F Jalen McDaniels, San Diego State
G Koby McEwen, Utah State

Preseason All-Mountain West
G Elijah Brown, jr., New Mexico
G Trey Kell, jr., San Diego State
F Cameron Oliver, so., Nevada
F Tim Williams, sr., New Mexico
F Jalen Moore, jr., Utah State

Thursday, October 6, 2016

SJSU staying on Stroud

Jerina"San Jose St. at San Joaquin Memorial today for 2019 G/Wing 6'5 Deon Stroud. Deon projected to have big high school season."

Stroud has difference-making athleticism but needs to better his ball skills:

From a recent event: "Dion Stroud, a bouncy 6-foot-5 sophomore wing, had some of the most impressive finishes at the event so far. Stroud has grown physically since we’ve last seen him and is ironing out the kinks in his jump shot. His handle is not quite as tight, nor his first step quite on the level of Green’s, but he’s one heck of a long-term prospect in his own right."

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A beat reporter offers his take on this season's MWC

Geoff Grammer takes a pre-season look at the Mountain West Conference offering his predicted team finish, all-MWC players and more.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

More random thoughts and questions

Here's a followup piece to this earlier article.

* Who is going to be the guy who takes (and hopefully makes) the last minute shot in a tied game or one in which the Spartans are down by one or two points? It helps if that individual is one who can generate space with his dribble so as to get a decent or good look. It also has to be a player who can make his free throws which is problematic if Brandon Clarke is designated due to his 56% accuracy at the foul line. Also, Clarke is now listed as a forward.

* What's interesting is the starting lineup as well as significant playing time still looks to be very fluid, probably based on who is contributing that night.

* The thought here remains that Ryan Singer must be a rebounding and defensive factor in order for the team to be successful. Whether he can score inside remains to be seen.

* Ryan Welage is not a really center but can he defend the more athletic and mobile power forwards he'll be facing?

* Will Cody Schwartz step up and display a multi-faceted offensive repertoire in his second season? If positioned at the three, can he defend there?

* Every player here has significant room for significant improvement in certain aspects of their respective games. Right now, there's not really a 'complete player' who will necessarily be a plus on both sides of the ball.

* Another major concern is who can be together out on the court without creating glaring holes? If Clarke is at the three, it's likely that both guards will need to be shooters. But it's desireable to have him defending the four, even at 210 pounds, because that will keep him around the basket defensively and on the boards. Can a frontcourt threesome of Singer, Welage and Clarke work? Or Singer, Clarke and Schwartz?

* Keith Fisher is a likely redshirt due to his recovery time.

* It looks like it will be a fascinating backcourt scenario with each talent appearing on the court in interesting combinations. E.J. Boyce will be there for outside-shooting needs with Terrell Brown in when dribble-driving and athleticism will be effective against the defense. Gary Williams Jr. possesses the most complete game offensive and finding him for open looks should be job one for his teammates whether he ia at the two or the three. A now leaner Jaycee Hillsman can also play the two and three but needs to demonstrate he can consistently produce. Isaac Thornton will don the 'what needs fixing?' uniform as long as that doesn't require shooting.

* Still not seeing Jalen James as a 25-30 minute a night guy at the point in the Mountain West but would love being proved wrong. Otherwise, it's freshmen Nai Carlisle and Isaiah Nichols. Both appear to have bodies ready for college and Nichols was impressive recently. Get the kids in there and accept the errors and miscues.

* Who, if anyone, will be the first to step up and out as the star of the team? Many would nominate Clarke but that's a premature assessment until he can make defenders play him honestly when he faces up

SJSU offers 2019 shooting guard

Gamepoint Basketball: "2019 G Ryan Langborg (La Jolla Country Day) has received an offer from San Jose State University."

He possesses a high IQ and is an excellent shooter who is developing more to his game.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2016-17 MWC forecast from the magazines

Geoff Grammer:

"Avg.  MWC picks of the 3 magazines in pic (Athlon's, Sporting News, Lindy's):
1.0 SDSU
2.3 Nev
3.0 UNM
4.3 FS
5.0 UtSt
6.0 CSU
7.0 BoiSt
t9.0 AFA
t9.0 Wyo
9.3 UNLV
10.0 SJSU"

That's a big drop for Boise -- UNLV won't be so low for long -- not arguing against the SJSU positioning but so little is known about the team's returnees and newcomers, even by the writers of each MWC preview. It's really important that a beat reporter for a MWC team do the prognostications because that person has at least seen last year's squad, and that isn't the case here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Wooten a free agent

Josh Gershon"2017 Las Vegas Trinity center Kenny Wooten receives release from LOI to #Nevada. Offers coming in quickly"

Locally, San Jose State University among them. He signed with Nevada last season but the assistant coach who handled his recruitment moved on so Wooten decided to re-open his recruitment.

Out of Manteca High, the 6-foot-8 Wooten has NBA elite athleticism but needs major work on ball skills and footwork.

Monday, September 26, 2016

SJSU offers a So Cal frontcourter

Dinos Trigonis: "San Jose State latest school to offer Belmont Shore 6-8 PF Mike Wang (Mater Dei/Santa Ana CA)"

Wang is a 6-foot-8, 2020 prospect. Besides SJSU, American, Campbell and Texas A&M have offered, per Verbal Commits. The Spartans were in the Southland to see him on September 22.

He looks very comfortable shooting from distance and possesses a quick release.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Lepore checking in on two prospects in the Southland

Gamepoint Basketball: "San Jose State Asst. Mike Lepore was at La Jolla Country Day last night to see 2019s Ryan Langborg & Max Guinn."


(Ryan Langborg on a June unofficial at SJSU)

Langborg is a 6-foot-3 sophomore with excellent range. "Ryan Langborg has an unmatched skillset on the floor with the ability to score in every way possible from the perimeter and interior."

"Can really stroke the jump shot and his ball skills and savvy are quite good."


Guinn is a 6-foot-4 sophomore. "Max Guinn brings versatility with great length at the guard position and has the ability to drive and finish at the rim and knock down the perimeter shot."

Another Guinn article: link

Spartans offer a 2020 prospect

Verbal Commits: "San Jose State and St. John's offered 2020 Moreau Catholic (CA) G Kyree Walker."

Walker is already 6-foot-5/6-foot-6 and will be a recruit on the level of Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina and the like.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

San Jose to Richmond becoming a familiar route

Salesian High in Richmond is loaded with down-the-line prospects (see here) and SJSU was back again this week:

Josh Calbert: "Thanks to coach @CoachLepore for being the first coach at our open gym on Friday & also for coming Monday"

Saturday, September 10, 2016

An afternoon and evening of Spartan Basketball - Sunday September 18


This is open to both returning Spartan fans as well as new ones.

Performing due diligence

Josh Calbert: "Thanks to San Jose State UC Davis & Santa Clara for coming out to our open gym tonight at Salesian."

Calbert is a Salesian High (Richmond) assistant coach and the team is loaded with prospects: 5-foot-10 James Akinjo (2018), 6-foot-4 Jamario Bibb (2018), 6-foot-1 Derrick Langford (2018), 5-foot-9 Jaden McClanahan (2019), 5-foot-9 Jovon McClanahan (2019) and 6-foot-8 Manny Adeoye (2019)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The 2016-17 SJSU Spartans

Talk about flying blind. Regardless, here goes with an attempt to provide some cogent thoughts on the current Washington Square roster as the 2016-17 season approaches. However, in reality there are so many questions that can only be answered by what will be taking place out on the court.

First off, let's hope in one case that the weight a certain player is a typo. It's important to see Brandon Clarke at 6-foot-8 and a much beefier 210 and the scale for Ryan Singer now registering at 235 but just 205 for Ryan Welage remains on the need-much-more side. Granted, it's an increase of 15 pounds but the hope was for more for the sophomore. Maybe this is simply a lack of patience combined with unrealistic hope so be satisfied with the freshman 15 he gained.

Anyway, here's the names (alphabetical), numbers and more as officially posted:

* EJ Boyce G 6-2 170 SO Boise, ID (College of Southern Idaho)
* Terrell Brown G 6-2 160 FR Hayward, CA (Moreau Catholic HS)
* Nai Carlisle G 6-2 200 FR West Lafayette, IN (West Lafayette HS)
* Brandon Clarke G 6-8 210 SO Phoenix, AZ (Desert Vista HS)
* Jaycee Hillsman G 6-6 225 SO Champaign, IL (Simeon HS)
* Jalen James G 6-4 175 JR Chicago, IL (La Lumiere School)
* Isaiah Nichols G 6-5 180 FR Oxnard, CA (Santa Clara HS)
* Isaac Thornton G 6-2 185 SR San Antonio, TX (Sam Houston HS)
Gary Williams, Jr. G  6-5 215 SR Oakland, CA (Indian Hills JC)

Ashtin Chastain C 6-11 245 RS FR Norco, CCA (Norco HS)
* Keith Fisher III F 6-8 215 FR Los Angeles, CA (Westchester HS)
* Brandon Mitchell F 6-6 210 JR Memphis, TN (Ridgeway HS)
* Cody Schwartz F 6-8 210 SO West De Pere, WI (West De Pere HS)
* Ryan Singer F 6-10 235 SO Littleton, CO (Massanutten Military Academy)
* Ryan Welage F 6-9 205 SO Greensburg, IN (Greensburg HS)

The Backcourt

Not to ignore the overall potential of Isaiah Nichols but the determination here is that freshman Nai Carlisle needs to be the stater at the point for the Spartans this season. At 6-foot-1, 200, he's smart and strong and the potential of having a four-year starter at the point could turn into an off-the-charts plus for the Spartan program.

Nichols also possesses a power guard frame at 6-foot-5 but at 180 odds are he will need time for adjusting to the step-up to the speed, pace and physicality of college hoops.

The ouija board sees Gary Williams Jr. starting at the three but he would also be a nice entry into the game when scoring is intermittent or absent and a boost is needed. Set him up as catch-and-shoot guy on the perimeter, ask him to dribble-drive to the hoop more utilizing his solid frame and good things will happen.

Brandon Clarke is now listed as a guard so let's see if that is smoke or because he can now faceup and nail the 17-footer with consistency. Having Clarke away from the basket offensively will limit one of his strongest assets -- working the offensive boards. Him at the four would be intriguing but the reality is he's registering 210 pounds on the scale so putting him there can't be a full-time endeavor if facing beefy power forwards. Also, he's probably better as an off-the-ball shotblocker than on his own opponent and that needs to be taken into account when positioning him.

Freshman Terrell Brown is the quickest Spartan and the duty of the coaching staff is to employ that asset offensively and defensively. There's a rawness still there but alongside oh so much potential.

EJ Boyce will be a designated long distance shooter. Of his 174 shot attempts at College of Southern Idaho last season, just nine were taken in front of the arc. He won't be a creator on offense but he did post a very solid 33/13 assist-to-turnover ratio in 2015-16 indicating the headiness that generally comes from having a father as a basketball coach.

Not sure what to expect from Jalen James as injuries have certainly slowed his career. Leadership will be needed with such a youthful team and James, in his fourth year at SJSU, can certainly be an asset in that aspect.

Isaac Thornton is a nice fill-in guy bringing a few points and rebounds but primarily adding assists, steals and surprisingly blocked shots. Do note that he is an economics major. Kudos to him.

With 6-foot-5 shooter Noah Baumann coming in next season, Jaycee Hillsman must up his shooting accuracy as a sophomore. In 2015-16, he actually started 21 games right out of the chute but some of his inclusions in the opening game quintet may have been due to necessity.

How many of these backcourters can become plus players, that is consistently out-performing their individual matchups this season? That's difficult to forecast for multiple reasons, including the different positioning as well as the amount of newcomers. Carlisle can be in time but hopefully Williams Jr. and Clarke can do so consistently this season. Brown and Boyce will display flashes of brilliance.

The Frontcourt

As posted earlier on this site, a major key to a successful (winning) season is the production of Ryan Singer. Around 10 points per game from him would be solid but he needs to be grabbing close to double figures in rebounds with some degree of a shot-altering presence in the middle. He's healthy with what appears to be a solid frame so now is his time. Singer is a business finance major who should be good with numbers, so...

Adam Chastain will be Singer's backup. He won't be bringing points but can he have an effect on the boards and defensively in say eight minutes each game?

Welage is a big hope offensively but he'll need to display more moxie and effectiveness in mixing it up inside with opponents. His long-distance shooting prowess is a plus at his height but he has to be getting to the foul line seven or eight times a game rather than the two he averaged as a freshman. He also is a non-factor on defense and must rectify that to at least an average status.

Cody Schwartz seems to be more of a three (than a three/four) but must add a dribble-drive component to his offensive repertoire. As SJSU adds more shooters in the backcourt and the three spot, Schwartz needs to show more than catch-and-shoot talent from beyond the arc or his playing time may get limited.

Freshman Keith Fisher will likely earn immediate playing time due to his willingness to play tough and physical. He likely won't score a lot but this is a team in need to defensive factors and that's Fisher's ticket to early court appearances.

Not sure what contribution to expect of Brandon Mitchell. His rebounding appears to be his best asset. Love that he is a civil engineering major.

How many of these frontcourters can become plus players, that is consistently out-perform his opponent(s) this season? Singer has to in order for the Spartans to have a successful season. Welage still has work to do to get there and Fisher, although not the tallest as a frontcourter, has that potential.

++++++++

This is still a team requiring synchronicity in order to be successful. There will be heavy loads on multiple players. Carlisle can run an offense if Singer is a factor in the middle and Williams Jr. a double threat offensively. Each will facilitate the game of the other. Absent one and the offense will be too defensible.

Then there's Clarke, who will be in the running for All-Mountain West Conference honors if he has added a faceup jumper to his repertoire.

Faith in the program, whether deserved all these many years, remains. Hope is visible, what with this current roster. Now it's time to achieve and finally reward.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Nevada lands a good one for the 2017-18 season

"Pack lands major commitment from PF Shawntrez Davis" -- Chris Murray

Josh Parrott"4⭐'17 @PalmBeachMBB PF Shawntrez Davis commits to Nevada. 11.4 ppg/6.3 rpg as 6-9 FR. Ex-Texas Tech pledge. Long, active finisher/rebounder."

Gaskin hits SJSU

Naseem Gaskin"Had a great unofficial visit today at San Jose st"

Gaskin is a 6-foot-4 2018 guard out of Bishop O'Dowd who now sports 10 offers. He's grown three inches in the past year and possesses superb athleticism.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Going down, down, down with the flames getting higher

In an article on the UNLV athletics budget, these numbers appeared:

"Meanwhile, men’s basketball ticket sales have fallen at about the same rate as the team’s overall victories. UNLV currently has sold 5,198 season-ticket packages, down from 6,058 sold at this time last year.

But the bigger trend is even more concerning, as the final tallies have steadily fallen:

2012-13: 9,411

2013-14: 8,344

2014-15: 7,120

2015-16: 6,561"

6,561 is enviable from an SJSU point of view but not sustainable when it's hoops that needs to carry the UNLV budget.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

An Evening of Spartan Basketball

Anyone can attend -- it's open to everyone, new fans as well as returning ones.

Monday, August 22, 2016

?????

Jon Rothstein: "Miami's Rashad Muhammad is now up to 180 pounds, Jim Larranaga told @CBSSports. Arrived on campus at 157 when he transferred."

As a Spartan sophomore, his official weight was 170. Hard to believe he arrived in the 155 range and gained but a couple of pounds in two seasons. That's on him.

Muhammad earned 112 shots at the foul line at a freshman, 98 as a sophomore in a schedule that featured four less games. That's pretty damn good for a guy weighing what he did.

Jon Rothstein with a load of MWC predictions, plus one other MWC feature

Jon Rothstein:

"MWC Power Rankings: SDSU, Nevada, New Mexico, Fresno State, Utah State, Colorado State, Boise State, Air Force, UNLV, SJS, Wyoming."

and

"MWC Preseason First-Team: J. Hemsley (SDSU), E. Brown (New Mexico), M. Marshall (Nevada), C. Oliver (Nevada), T. Williams (New Mexico)."

and

"MWC Preseason Player of the Year: Elijah Brown, New Mexico."

and

"Offseason storylines: Mountain West looks to regain multi-bid league status"

+++++++

"Mountain West Summer Reset: Will San Diego State ever find offense?"

The author is incorrect here -- Kenny Wooten is not at Nevada.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Interesting move

Jon Rothstein: "Utah's Larry Krystkowiak has hired Chris Jones as Director of Basketball Operations, per release. Jones was on staff at Utah State."

To provide some context, here's Kyle Goon:

"Utah men’s basketball is bringing back another former Ute to serve as its director of basketball operations.

The Tribune has learned that Chris Jones will be formally announced as a hire no later than Friday and possibly as soon as Thursday evening. Cache Valley Daily reported earlier in the week that Jones was expected to take a job with the Utes after spending the last eight years at Utah State.

Jones played for the Utes for two seasons (1993-94) under Rick Majerus. He previously served the director of ops and an assistant with the Utes for a stint between 2005 and 2008, and was also a video coordinator between 1995-97.

He has strong ties to Utes assistant Tommy Connor, playing under him and serving on staff with him at Utah and later at Westminster.

Jones served under USU coaches Stew Morrill and Tim Duryea in Logan. While a director of operations role limits on-road recruiting, Jones handled much of the Aggies’ in-state recruiting during his tenure.

It may be important to note that the Utes are recruiting Jones’ son. A guard in the 2019 class, Rylan Jones was recently ranked a top 150 prospect in his age group by 24/7 Sports. The Utes offered him in 2014 when he was entering the eighth grade, and Tribune colleague Trevor Phibbs recently reported that Jones was joining Olympus.

The Utes generated some controversy last season by taking in Utah State transfer David Collette, who will become eligible to play after the fall semester..."

USU Coach Tim Duryea accused Utah of collusion in landing Collette who left the team team two days prior to the opening game. Collette had to pay his own way at Utah.

It seems odd to leave an assistant position for a director of operations spot but the pay may be similar considering the status difference between the Pac 12 and the Mountain West. Jones certainly has ties to both programs, that cannot be disputed, but he wasn't selected as Stew Morrill's replacement at US and that had to sting. Rylan Jones is a very strong-to-Utah prospect come that time so maybe his father wanted to both coach him and see him play in college.

About three weeks ago, Jones was named the Utah State recruiting coordinator and another assistant, Tarvish Felton, was bumped up to associate head coach. Make of that what you will.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Butler Way

"Top six very, very good things about the Butler Way"  -- Kent Sterling

These are wonderful elements, traits any Spartan fan would gladly welcome to SJSU basketball as a given. The kids and staff do already work hard but getting that 'enforcement' from the players and not imposed by the staff remains key.

A James Kinney update

Thanks to Tommy Luu, the James Lick High Girls' Varsity Basketball Coach, for discovering this: "former SJSU player, James Kinney, has signed with a Hungarian team. I believe it’s his 3rd season in that league." LINK

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The SJSU non-conference schedule is out

Fives of the games are against teams with new coaches -- Portland, Denver, Santa Clara, Bowling Green and Southern Utah.


"The San José State men's basketball team will play seven of its 11 non-conference games inside The Event Center during the 2016-17 season. The nonconference portion of the schedule makes it 16 home contests for the Spartans, the most in over two decades.

"It's exciting and I'm really looking forward to this schedule," said Spartans' head coach Dave Wojcik. "I think it's a great year for fans to buy season tickets to see us play. It's the most home games we've had in decades, we have good competition and we're going to be good this year."

SJSU begins the regular season with three straight on Walt McPherson Court: West Coast Baptist (Nov. 12), Portland (Nov. 15) and Denver (Nov. 17).

San José State and Saint Mary's will square off for the first time since 2009 when the Spartans visit McKeon Pavilion on Nov. 22. The contest against the Gaels begins a three-game road trip where the Spartans also visit Washington State (Nov. 27) and Idaho (Nov. 29).

"We're getting better, and it's time for us to start playing teams like Saint Mary's," Wojcik said. "They're going to be top-25. We'll play them at their place this year and see them at The Event Center next year."

The Spartans welcome in Santa Clara on Dec. 3, before a trip to the University of Montana on Dec. 7.

Life Pacific College (Dec. 10), Bowling Green (Dec. 18) and Southern Utah (Dec. 21) will give San José State three in a row at home leading into Mountain West play.

"We have a great group of guys with Brandon Clarke leading the way," Wojcik said. "We're excited, and people are excited about us. So I really hope people will come out and support our players this season."

The Spartans will play a pair of exhibition games at home against Pacific Union College (Nov. 1) and Cal State East Bay (Nov. 6) before regular season action begins..."

Saturday, August 13, 2016

This season is uber-critical

So why such a dramatic headline? Because San Jose State University needs at least 15 wins (actually a few more are needed) in 2016-17 to facilitate getting into the good graces of higher level recruits, especially a number of local and regional prospects.

Look at who has visited and/or been offered:

6-foot-1 2020 guard Robby Beasley of Dublin High

6-foot-5 2019 wing Deon Stroud of San Joaquin Memorial

6-foot-7 2018 forward Mason Forbes of Folsom High

6-foot-2 2018 guard Elijah Hardy of Bishop O'Dowd

6-foot-7 2018 Andre Kelly of Lincoln High (Stockton)

5-foot-10 2018 guard James Akinjo of Salesian High

Then there is 6-foot-2 2018 guard Jake Wojcik of Bellarmine

As well as 6-foot-2 2018 guard Logan Johnson of St. Francis

Some of these young men will get too big and become national recruits but others here will remain sign-able. However, that will take a winning program, one not just on the rise. 17 or 18 wins followed by 20 the following season will be a must.

Spartan recruiting has shifted from just a couple of years ago. Now, it's California-centric, especially so in northern California. Scholarship cost is now a consideration. Plus, the signing of Keith Fisher out of Los Angeles has hopefully opened some doors back up that were previously nailed shut.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Three MWC schools making pitches to the Big 12

"...Among the 17 schools that will make their presentations to the Big 12 are Cincinnati, Houston, BYU, South Florida, UCF, UConn, Memphis, Colorado State, Boise State, Tulane, Temple, East Carolina, SMU, New Mexico, Northern Illinois, San Diego State and Arkansas State, sources said."

All life is fluid. Can't blame 'em.

The top MWC incoming frosh

"Which Mountain West Freshmen Could Be Set For Breakout Campaigns?" -- Chris Schutte

Let's start a write-in campaign for Nai Carlisle.

Robbie Skinner update

"Skinner earns Athlete of the Year honors" -- Emanuel Lee

"...Skinner will not attempt to play basketball at San Jose State..."

He is the son of former Spartan basketball great Johnnie Skinner.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Spartan meet and greet with 2020 guard (this one will be a very hard get)

RC Beasley: "Robby had a great tour and visit with the San Jose Spartans. First class program and coaching staff!"

Robby Beasley is a 2020 guard prospect.

From May 2016:

Robby Beasley (2020/6’1’’/160/G) - Fantastic all-around skill set. Great motor, plays the game with pace while giving excellent effort defensively. Strikes a nice balance on the offensive end, gets his teammates open looks, and possesses a solid perimeter jumper. Not flashy, but extremely productive.

From May 2016:

Robby Beasley (6-0/Dublin Fallon Middle School):

He’s been a standout at multiple “middle school” camps that I’ve watched over the past couple of years. Skilled as both a playmaker and scorer. His father said he will attend Dublin High.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Never knew this

Was looking at an article about Fred Snowden's college coaching career (he was hired at Arizona in 1972 and quickly became successful until flaming out about eight years later). Of course, the facilities were changing much for the better in Tucson and surely there was a difference in salaries.

"...Most new coaches are quick to speak about “changing the culture” at their new school; Snowden changed the identity of Arizona basketball. He said he declined a chance to be San Jose State’s head coach a year earlier, saying he preferred to wait for a better opportunity..."

Between 1971 and 1972 was the transition from Danny Glines to Ivan Guevara and head coach. Not sure who was the AD.

At some point in Guevara's tenure, SJSU played home games at Independence High.

Evan Battey, a Spartan target



He's a below-the-rim center with a nice touch from 15 feet. His inside game is reminiscent of former SJSU big C.J. Webster. Many others have offered.

A June 2016 feature.

He can't play this coming season because he has used up his eight semesters of eligibility.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Cooper added to SJSU staff



"The San José State men’s basketball program and head coach Dave Wojcik are excited to announce the addition of Ryan Cooper as the new director of basketball operations beginning with the 2016-17 season.

“After observing him coach locally at the high school level, Ryan is someone I’ve come to have great respect for,” Wojcik said. “It has always been very apparent to me that Ryan is a tireless worker who is extremely passionate about developing young men. He will relate very well to our players and we’re all looking forward to the energy and enthusiasm he will bring to our program.”

Cooper joins the Spartans after spending the previous two years as the varsity head boys basketball coach at San Jose’s Valley Christian High School. As the youngest coach in the West Catholic Athletic League, Cooper led the Warriors to success in 2015-16, including a Central Coast Section playoff win.

Prior to coaching at Valley Christian High, Cooper was the varsity head coach at Oak Grove High School (2013-14) and Del Mar High School (2008-12).

Alongside coaching, Cooper has done extensive work as a para educator at the high school level.

Last year, Cooper worked as a site supervisor for Autism Living Leisure & Education Inc. Among many duties, he primarily administered programs and services for emotionally and behaviorally disturbed students to improve function and provide an effective educational environment.

Cooper is a 2008 graduate of Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont, Calif., with a bachelor’s degree in communications. The point guard finished his playing career fourth on NDNU’s career scoring list and second in career assists. He was an All-Pacific West Conference choice in three out of four seasons.

Cooper went on to earn a Master’s in education in 2015 from National University in San Diego Calif.in San Diego, Calif.

Ryan is a proud native of San Jose, Calif."
(from Cooper's ND de Namur playing days)
Josh Gershon: "2019 Team Arsenal wing Deon Stroud was offered by San Jose State." photo

Obviously a recruit who won't be available until way down the road, Stroud stands 6-foot-4 and plays high school ball at San Joaquin Memorial in Fresno. Very athletic and with a 6-foot-10 wing span.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Forbes with SJSU offer

Josh Gershon"2018 Oakland Soldiers forward Mason Forbes was offered by San Jose State."

Forbes stands 6-foot-7 and 200 with a 4.0 grade point average at Folsom High. Cal Poly, Fullerton, Tulane and UC Davis have also offered.

Here's a January 2016 feature on Forbes and his sister.

Thought I read somewhere that the 'fro is no more.

Remember Shawn McCullough? 1977-99 at SJSU playing for Stan Morrison and then Phil Johnson

"McCullough new Thurgood boys hoop coach"

Shawn McCullough doesn’t mind thanking his lucky stars in landing the boys high school basketball head coaching position at Thurgood Marshall.

“I never dreamed this,” said McCullough following an announcement by new Dayton Public Schools athletic director Mark Baker on Monday that McCullough would succeed Darnell Hoskins. “The stars will align for you at some point.”

It’s a return to the City League for McCullough, who previously was an assistant for Hoskins at Thurgood from 2010-13. McCullough also was the boys coach at Stivers from 2013-15. Last season he teamed with Baker as an assistant at Middletown.

The Thurgood position opened when Hoskins resigned following last season to succeed Baker as Middletown’s boys varsity basketball coach. Baker was named to replace Jonas Smith as the DPS athletic director in June. Smith resigned to become the AD of the Bowling Green City School District.

McCullough, 40, is a pharmaceutical sales rep. He and twin brother Andy McCullough were standout athletes in football and basketball at Meadowdale, graduating in 1994.

“He has very strong local and community ties,” Baker said. “The big thing for us is he’s a good for kids. We wanted someone who not only is good at winning games, but also just as good at winning kids. It’s a great fit.”

Thurgood and Dunbar have consistently been the City League’s top boys hoop programs the last 15 years. Thurgood most recently advanced to the Division II state final four in 2014 and also was the D-II state runner-up in 2011 under Hoskins. Thurgood had another D-II state runner-up team with John Ralph as head coach and won a D-II state title in 1990 as Colonel White.

McCullough played basketball for one season at Ohio State University then transferred and played the remainder of his collegiate career at San Jose State. He began his basketball coaching career as an assistant for Jeff Price at Sinclair Community College from 2004-08.

“I always say (Hoskins) conned me into it,” McCullough said. “He called me and said I need you to be an assistant coach and I didn’t even think about it. He’s always been a big brother and means the world to me.”

McCullough parlayed that into the head position at Stivers in succeeding Carlos Roberts. His first season with the Tigers — 2013-14 — was notable because Stivers (16-10) advanced to a (D-III) regional for the first time since the 1975 Frankie Sanders-led squad stormed to the Class AA state runner-up.

Just as noteworthy was McCullough’s non-renewal as Stivers’ coach following the next season. He was succeeded at Stivers in 2015 by Felix Turner, previously Meadowdale’s coach.

“It was a no-brainer,” McCullough said. “Thurgood’s a state power and Darnell made it even better. My goal is to up the standard even more.”

More on baseball commit Ruben Ibarra

"St. Francis' Ruben Ibarra gives verbal commitment to SJSU baseball" -- Tony Nunez

"St. Francis slugger Ruben Ibarra commits to San Jose State for baseball" -- Jim Seimas

Sunday, July 31, 2016

A baseball commit

Switching sports momentarily ...

St. Francis High (Watsonville) first baseman Ruben Ibarra has committed to SJSU. He's 6-foot-4 and 250. Here's a link to his baseball stats. He also plays basketball and football and done some pitching in baseball too.

Jim Selmas: "St. Francis High's Ruben Ibarra (@Salty_rube) gives verbal comittment to play for @SJSUBaseball beginning in 2017-18 season"

Saturday, July 30, 2016

MWC football training tables

From: "As Fresno State revamps training table, Mountain West offers other samples" -- Robert Kuwada

Ron Caragher, San Jose State – “In fall camp, I think everyone is standard on that. We give them three meals a day because there’s not much going on there on campus. Once school starts, we will give them one training table a day and then the off-campus guys with their scholarship checks, they’re on their own, really, for the other two meals. Then the guys living on campus, they’re mostly younger guys, they eat in the dormitory, in the cafeteria there.

“But at least I feel that peace of mind our players I know are getting one solid meal. You hope that they’re making good meals when they’re living at home and you hope that the guys living in the dorms are eating responsibly, though dorm food everywhere, right, can get tiring. But as far as our training table, we use the university itself. The university will come down and we have a kitchen attached to our offices and they’ll make the training table for our guys. It’s more tailored to the guys and the big reason for that is I want them to eat after practice. It just works out good to do that.”

The thoroughness is amiss here as are some critical players

"Why each Mountain West hoops team can win the conference in ‘16-17" -- Eli Boettger

Friday, July 29, 2016

It's that time already, part two

Joel Welser @ College Sports Madness has Fresno State as #119 in the country and #5 in the Mountain West Conference.

It's that time already, part one

Joel Welser @ College Sports Madness has Boise State as the the 118th ranked team in the country as well as #6 in the Mountain West Conference. Do take a look.

Williams Jr. leads Bay Pride to another win

Last Thursday, Bay Pride took apart the Oakland Believers 121-91 in a San Francisco Pro-Am matchup with Gary Williams Jr. totaling 26 points plus eight boards in 18 minutes of court time. He scored eight 8 points in a minute at the end of the third quarter and, at one point, buried 16 straight points. He did a crossover that made a player fall, shot a three-pointer, turned his back and walked down the court before the ball went in and the crowd went crazy.

What's the financial benefit, if any, is THE question

"To expand or not to expand for MW" -- Chris Murray

Interesting rankings

Jeff Goodman offers the opponent difficulty-to-play-in element for each Mountain West Conference team venue, with rankings.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Spartans offer a 2018 East Bay guard

Elijah Hardy: "I am proud to say I have received an offer from San Jose state...Thanks to everyone who is with me and thanks be to God! Go Spartans!"

He's a 6-foot-1 guard out of Bishop O'Dowd who averaged 12.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game as a sophomore.

California, Montana and Nevada have also offered. Hard to see him not going to Berkeley.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A blast from the past

Were you at the game in 2008 when Nevada's JaVale McGee did his impression of a punter at Walt McPherson Court?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Nai Carlisle featured

In a Lafayette Courier & Journal article on the best multi-sport athletes in 2015-16:

"Nai Carlisle, West Lafayette

In recent years, Carlisle has been ineligible for this list because he was solely a basketball player.

Man, if this kid would have played four years of football in high school, he might have smashed all kinds of records.

As it was, the San Jose State basketball recruit played just one season of high school football and was given a little bit more responsibility each game. Carlisle’s impact helped the Red Devils reach the Class 3A state championship game and I am pretty sure his 13.6 yards per carry may stand the test of time (He only had 17 carries).

On the basketball court, Carlisle was the veteran on a young team. He averaged 18.7 points, 5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals and graduated as West Lafayette’s career scoring leader.

Switching sports for a moment

"Hawkins realizes Division I coaching dream"

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Sienna from the Empire State reaches out

Top Flight Elite AAU"Congrats to Jake Wojcik for being offered by Siena!"

Wojcik is a 6-foot-3 2018 guard at Bellarmine College Prep with excellent shooting form and range. He was a First Team All West Catholic Athletic League honoree for his play this season.

Here's a 2016 feature.

SoCal guard with Spartan interest

Grady Dodson"2018 Scooter Smith of @SplashCity_UAA has gained high interest from UOP San Jose St Montana"

Smith is a 6-foot-3 guard out of Gahr High in Cerrittos who averaged 12.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists as a sophomore.