Sunday, July 30, 2017

A little background

The search firm handling the SJSU opening is College Sports Associates and headed by Todd Turner. He was the Director of Athletics at University of Washington from 2004-2008.

The connection? Spartan AD Marie Tuite worked with Turner from 2004-2008 although she actually began her tenure at UW back in 1994.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A guard SJSU is monitoring

robert d robinson: "#RecruitRumor Jared Martin @J_mar5 offers f/ Montana State, Cal St Northridge, Loyola Marymount & NAU Interest UCSB, Pepperdine & San Jose St"

UC Santa Barbara has now offered.

He's a 6-foot-5 prep guard out of southern California with a rep as an outstanding shooter.

Coach Tention out recruiting

Coach Rodney Tention was out recruiting at the Double Pumps Hoops Event held in southern California last weekend.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Rick Croy

We remain firmly in the Rodney Tention camp simply based on the concept of fairness. Tention, Mike Lepore and Tyler Ojanen deserve the opportunity to coach the talent they brought into the SJSU men's basketball program.

But just as there is no crying in baseball, some will say fairness has no business in any coaching hire equation regardless of sport. To each his respective own.

However, we have a suggestion if Coach Tention isn't hired as the Spartan head coach by AD Marie Tuite. His name is Rick Croy. It's not publicly known if he has applied but we highly recommend him for the position because he is a demonstrated program AND culture changer. The ultra-successful head coach, currently at Cal Baptist University, has numerous achievements.

His Bay Area bonafides:

* Head Assistant Coach to Randy Bennett at St. Mary's

* B.A. from San Francisco State, three-time all-conference player

* member of 1995 state champions Northgate High (Walnut Creek)

Other bonafides:

* National DII tournament appearances every season at Cal Baptist (four years running), 140-23 overall record

* coached Citrus College to three straight league championship (2008, 2009, 2010) with a 92-9 overall record

* coached Citrus College to state championship 2008 with a 35-1 record

Croy has won everywhere as both a head coach and an assistant. He also has endorsements from a variety of heavy hitters in Nor Cal basketball ranging from Randy Bennett to Frank Allocco to Bob Myers.

Applicable to all coaches at all levels and all other professions too

"Hugh Freeze's fall reminds again we should stop turning football coaches into demigods" -- Dan Wolken

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The troubles

Has a curse been cast upon the San Jose State University men's basketball program? Is an exorcism needed? Sure, we're being facetious but damn, Spartan fans wouldn't be wrong if believing something is seriously awry and has been so for decades.

Leaving behind the hocus-pocus, there are plenty of reasons for this long term failure and that sadly includes a number of SJSU athletic directors hiring friends or former employees as the head coach under the disguise of conducting national job searches. Too often, a deal was already cut yet the assembly of interview panels and the charade of interviews went on so as to give the appearance of thoroughness and fairness. Just as often, but a sometimes separate issue, is the employment of abusers.

Let's rev up the time machine and go back to 1979 when AD Bob Murphy hired Bill Berry away from Michigan State. It doesn't fit the 'friends hiring friends' scenario as there doesn't seem to be any previous 'connections' between the two but Berry's hire deserves detailing because it eventually resulted in the infamous Spartan 10-player revolt. His misconduct -- the repellent mistreatment of the players -- deserves no defense, period. Don't even start. His behavior was unacceptable in any setting let alone a university.

AD Randy Hoffman hired Stan Morrison in 1989 in order to bring some positivity, rather than browbeating and worse, to the program. Morrison wasn't as successful overall as Berry and probably lasted too long but his hire didn't require the employment of an abuser. He was the necessary antidote to the poison and not 'related' to Hoffman.

In 1998, AD Chuck Bell brought in Phil Johnson and he coached for a season before joining the Bulls in the NBA (Chicago Coach Tim Floyd hired Johnson who later returned to SJSU in 2002). In 2005, the media's discovery of three Johnson DUIs led to his dismissal. Any individual with an illness such as alcoholism deserves a degree of empathy but how Bell simply disregarded Johnson's off-the-court behavior is worthy of shame. Johnson's treatment of the players wasn't Berry-like but still fell far short of acceptable.

After Johnson's 2002 single season stint, Bell turned to Steve Barnes (yet another member of the Tim Floyd/Larry Eustachy coaching 'family' to which Bell seemed beholden) and he lasted three years (1999-2001) before he quit showing up for work. The same (mis)behavior towards players continued on, sort of a trademark of this group of coaches. Barnes moved on to coach for, you guessed it, Larry Eustachy, at Iowa State, Southern Mississippi and presently Colorado State. This behavior while at Iowa State is very troubling.

AD Tom Bowen elected to hire George Nessman, a buddy from their De La Salle High days, and, say what you will about Nessman's overall W-L record during his Spartan tenure, players were treated firmly yet fairly. By the way, Nessman coached DLS basketball back when Bowen was the AD there.

After Nessman, AD Gene Bleymaier hired Dave Wojcik -- the connection being the former was the AD at Boise State while the latter assisted with the basketball program. What is true about Wojcik's departure will finally surface at some point.

Isn't it telling that none of these former SJSU coaches has ever headed a D1 basketball program again?

17 seasons since 1979 have been under the brutal auspices of basketball coaches who should have never be allowed to be in charge of anything or anyone. Yet what price has any AD paid for tolerating such evil? This is remarkably maddening and especially sad. Losing, however frustrating, can be dealt with -- how does one, even as an outsider, process the perversion of abuse perpetrated by someone representing Sparta?

End cronyism as the most compelling factor in a hire.

End the toleration of wrongdoing.

Provide the new coach with the resources fully needed to succeed.

All are way past due.

Let's hope we have the AD that is needed.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A message from Ryan Welage

"My third college season at San Jose State, one that I really look forward to launching, awaits. But first an amazing personal growth and service opportunity presents itself to me and I want to make you especially aware of it. While a basketball-driven life is an important focus in my life, I know I need to add more balance, spiritual foundation and selfless service as I press on. I want to build my faith and bring a great message of hope and healing, grace and truth to the world. That’s why I write to you.

This summer I have a chance to have a terrific summer basketball experience by joining an Athletes in Action (AIA) elite basketball team dedicated to victory beyond competition, not just victory in competition. The plan is to barnstorm the giant, basketball-crazed nation of China, the most elite basketball power in all of Asia. Our team will play a series of exhibition games with the best pro teams there, building relationships with China’s elite athletic influencers as well as engaging thousands of fans and conducting youth basketball clinics. All this is aimed at building spiritual movements through personal conversations, very public games, and strategic community service that blesses, serves and challenges others to quietly, confidently follow Jesus too.

My personal goals for the summer include deepening my personal relationship with God, growing me so that I can better grow my San Jose State team, certainly improving my game, and just loving, serving and moving people towards Him. I want to give my life away for a cause greater than myself. Needless to say, this will require some passionate intentionality.

Our special mission runs from July 28-August 14 and is made possible by the giving of God’s people, folks like you willing to invest in missions like this. Each team member is challenged to secure $4200, everyone’s individual’s portion of the team’s total goal. These funds are due July 27st in order for our team to report to training camp and undertake our mission. I’d love to have you on my support team!

Would you prayerfully consider giving to help meet this need?  Be confident that you will be helping to promote positive spiritual movement and good will throughout East Asia.  And be confident that I will represent my Lord, my country, my family and SJSU very well as I go!

There are two easy giving options:
1. Give electronically (credit card or electronic fund transfer) by going to this site:
2. Write a check (payable to Athletes in Action) and send it to the following address:

Attention: Coach Mo
651 Taylor Drive
Xenia, OH  45385

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

Thanks for considering me for this special mission. I’m truly grateful for any support you can send.

Ryan Welage"

Monday, July 10, 2017

Coach Wojcik is gone

"Men's Basketball Head Coach Dave Wojcik Resigns" -- SJSU athletics.

This isn't passing the smell test but until more is known...

Now it's time to go with Rodney Tention as the head coach on a three-year contract. He, Mike Lepore and Tyler Ojanen brought the current roster together and deserve the opportunity to coach these players now that the corner is seemingly being turned.

A national recruiting search seems exciting because it's full of the dreamy unknown -- like a Christmas present under the tree -- but Tention, Lepore and Ojanen have worked for and deserve the opportunity.

Do it now and restore focus on getting the players and program better. Tention played at USF and has coached at Skyline College, Notre Dame de Namur and Stanford so he has knowledge and relationships throughout the area.

Tention's coaching bio:
  • 1988–1989 Skyline CC assistant
  • 1989–1991 South Florida assistant
  • 1991–1994 College of Notre Dame assistant
  • 1994–1997 College of Notre Dame
  • 1997–2005 Arizona assistant
  • 2005–2008 Loyola Marymount
  • 2008–2011 Stanford assistant
  • 2011–2015 San Diego assistant
  • 2015–present San Jose State assistant
Jon Wilner on Tention's hire at Stanford: "...He played for USF and coached at the College of Notre Dame. He knows the Bay Area, he’s a good recruiter, and he knows many former Stanford players/staffers, so he might have a clue about how the school works. (The ex-Cardinal players/staffers speak well of him, by the way.)"

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hartwell earns top ranking

Jamal Hartwell, recently offered by San Jose State University, was rated the top prospect at this event.

Good question

Kevin Sweeney: "San Jose State is a very interesting team. Pretty much everything back, including POY candidate Brandon Clarke. Can they find consistency?"

How soon can a MWC-level backcourt be on display for the Spartans?

The silence is getting stranger and stranger

The delay in either announcing a contract extension for Coach Dave Wojcik or his dismissal is mystifying.

New AD Marie Tuite was hired in mid-May. She certainly is familiar with San Jose State University men's basketball since her tenure with Spartan athletics began in 2010.

If she wishes to make a coaching change, then do it. If an extension for Wojcik is in order, issue it.

Generally, a coach is let go soon after the season ends but having the top position in SJSU athletics unfilled until May prevented that sort of timeline. But we're nearing two months into Tuite's heading of Spartan athletics and it's past time for a move to be made.

Now maybe, just maybe, Tuite has extended an extension offer to Wojcik and he has turned it down due to some of the terms. That scenario/stalemate would leave Wojcik in the final year/season of his contract.

How that would effect recruiting is, well, complicated. November 2017 is the next signing period and an extension, if it is coming and acceptable to Wojcik, is not likely to occur by that time. The odds are next to none of a coach in the final year of his contract signing a new recruit in November.

But will Sienna commit Jake (Bellarmine College Prep) Wojcik ink his letter-of-intent then or wait until the second signing period in April 2018? What about his buddy Logan (St. Francis) Johnson -- in which time frame will he make his choice official? Neither of these guys are four or five star talents but they play very well together, making the other more effective. Wojcik is the shooter and Johnson the dribble drive guy. Yes, SJSU has offers out to other prospects but these two reside at the very top of the Spartan board when sign-ability is taken into account.

 As to what factors involving an extension might be of concern to Tuite, try the Jordan Baker/Frank Rogers, etc. suspension-then-dismissal scenario back in 2015. We have a good idea as to why those suspensions took place but not actual evidence so we won't speculate.

Much more recently, Terrell Brown's recent dismissal doesn't help the case for Wojcik.

A number of transfers have also taken place: Rashad Muhammad, Darryl Gaynor Jr., Cody Schwartz, Leon Bahner, Matt Pollard and these may also be a negative factor.

However, let's make the case for offering Coach Wojcik a two-year extension on top of this coming season. It's less than some have suggested because fielding a winning program hasn't been achieved, at least as yet.

But credit Wojcik and his staff for the bringing in of Walter Graves III, Noah Baumann and Keith Fisher III who are all set to make their debut in the 2017-18 season. The potential of all three is so much higher than anyone from the earlier classes of signees, save for Brandon Clarke (and even he wasn't all that heralded at the time of his signing). So recruiting has picked up which was a necessity and remains so.

Three years (or less), provides ample time for putting in place a winning program. If the Spartans are a winner this coming season or even the next then the odds are better for Tuite and Wojcik to have a meeting of the minds. We say the sooner the better for long-suffering Spartan fans.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Spartans offer a 2019 So Cal two guard

SJSU has offer 6-foot-3 2019 two guard Joseph Octave who has taken an unofficial visit to Washington Square.

Joseph Octave: "All Glory to God! Blessed to have received an offer from San Jose State"

Keeping it in the family, part one

Verbal Commits: "2019 La Lumiere (IN) G Paxson Wojcik has received an offer from San Jose State."

The 6-foot-5 wing also has an offer from DePaul. He taken quite the number of unofficial visits (Loyola, Belmont, Sienna, Holy Cross) with Santa Clara coming up and he is also participating in the Stanford team camp.

Wojcik is also a very serious student having earned Scholar Athlete honors at La Lumiere.

"At a time in a teen’s life when all that matters is how to milk the most out of a day of video games with his buddies, sophomore Paxson Wojcik was thinking out of the box.

Way out of the box.

A left-handed guard whose father, Doug Wojcik, played at Navy before college coaching stops at Notre Dame, North Carolina and Michigan State as an assistant, and Tulsa and College of Charleston as a head coach, the younger Wojcik first started thinking about attending prep school in eighth grade.

“I’ve always talked with my parents about sacrifice, and it was a sacrifice to come here,” the 6-4 Wojcik said. “But the year that I’ve been here has been great. It’s been awesome.”

Wojcik landed at LaLumiere, in part because his father coached Heirman at Tulsa. LaLumiere felt like home, but he missed home back in South Carolina. Missed his parents. Missed his younger brother, Denham, who played this past season on the varsity of his high school team as a 14-year-old and helped win a state championship.

“It’s hard,” said Wojcik, who averaged 3.6 points and shot 46.5 percent from 3 this season.

As can be the academics. On days they didn’t play, the Lakers had mandatory two-hour study halls every night. Days before scheduled road trips, Wojcik and his teammates made sure to message or meet with their teachers to stay up-to-date on their assignments.

“There’s a bunch of other places where academics might be a second priority,” Wojcik said. “Here, school comes first and the community comes second and then basketball."

Keeping it in the family, part two

Denham Wojcik: "Grateful to receive my first offer from San Jose State University! Go Spartans!"

He's out of Charleston, South Carolina where his father Dave last coached in college.

Jamie Shaw: "Love how 5'10 '21 Denham Wojcik of @tmpbasketball 16s plays. Playing up 2 ages has complete control of game. Very heady"

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Spartans offer a 2018 So Cal prep point

Dinos Trigonis: "San Jose State has offered 2018 PG Jamal Hartwell (Fairfax/Los Angeles). Will attend Pangos Premier 80 Showcase July 12 @ Westminster HS/CA"

Hartwell was named the co-MVP of his league and his father is an assistant coach at Fairfax High.

The MWC: looking back and ahead

"Mountain West 2016-17 Post-Mortem"

Can/will SJSU surprise? Nobody is even mentioning the Spartans.

Mike Lepore's single basket

"The Shot of a Lifetime" -- Mike Crossman

SJSU Assistant Coach Mike Lepore made just one basket in his playing career at Wake Forest. This story doesn't get written if he had tallied 10, 20 or 30 baskets.