Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Big 12 mixed on offerings

"The Big 12 expansion beauty pageant is an ugly show for all involved" -- Mike DeCourcey

"Colorado State makes first cut in Big 12 expansion" -- Kelly Lyell

"UNM not among Big 12’s expansion finalists" -- Geoff Grammer

"UNLV lacks one major component to make serious bid for Big 12" -- Ed Graney

Mark Ziegler: "Conference source: SDSU is not on list of finalists for Big 12 expansion. School was told it has many positives but distance was main factor"

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."


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


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


"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 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