Friday, September 30, 2016

Checking out the competition: Nevada

Chris Murray takes a lengthy look at the Nevada roster, projected starters and backups plus expectation in the 2016-17 season.

Some nice change coming Pacific's way

"University of the Pacific basketball fan leaves $2.6 million for scholarships"  

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.