Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Clarke to the Zags

To the surprise of many, Brandon Clarke has decided on Gonzaga (over Oregon) as his new home.

Going up against West Coast Conference opponents will be an 'easier' task than facing higher-skilled and more athletic Pac-12 players but it's hard to imagine this was any sort of factor. Mark Few is a classy guy, the Zags appear often on national television and rule the conference roost.

Dana Altman is certainly an excellent coach who always gets the most from his teams but the Oregon program -- Altman and certain players --has sullied itself often of late. Again, no idea if this played a role in Clarke's decision. How did Uncle Phil not win this battle?

No assistants retained

None of the existing SJSU assistants are being retained by Coach Prioleau. Ryan Cooper will remain as director of basketball operations.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Clarke down to two

Eli Boettger: "Jon Rothstein has reported that SJSU transfer Brandon Clarke has cut Washington State from his list, now down to Oregon and Gonzaga."

Sandeep Chandock: "Correction: Clarke is visiting Oregon September 2-3 and working on a date to visit Gonzaga. Decision to be made within next week or two."

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Clarke down to three

Brandon Clarke: "Huge thank you to all the schools that have taken the time to recruit me. I have narrowed my 3 final choices to Oregon, WSU, and Gonzaga"

What the heck is Washington State doing in there? Gotta be the Tim Marrion Effect (the former SJSU assistant).

Oregon would allow him to face both Arizona and Arizona State twice a year. Revenge can be sweet, served hot or cold.

Methinks it's going to be Gonzaga.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Notes on Graves & Clarke

Two items:

Freshman Walter (Clovis West High) Graves will be redshirting this season at SJSU.


On Brandon Clarke:

If he is looking to land where he can earn a very prestigious degree, then look for him to travel a bit north.

If it's basketball excellence and being in the running for the national championship as the foremost factors, then he'll choose much further north.

Let's hope he recalls that another serious contender for his services, one also held in national regard, didn't offer him out of high school.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Clarke checking out his options

Verbal Commits: "San Jose State G/F Brandon Clarke (SO) has received permission to contact others schools."

Get out the prayer beads and light as many candles as the fire marshall will allow.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Spartans sign 6-foot-5 Arizona prep guard

Spartan athletics: "Caleb Simmons, a versatile guard from Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, will join the San José State men's basketball team beginning in the 2017-18 season. Head coach Jean Prioleau made the announcement.

"Caleb is a big guard that can play multiple positions," Prioleau said. "He has a great feel for the game and he will add depth at the guard position. I think he is a great addition to the Spartan family."

The Vallejo, Calif., native had 17 double-figure scoring games during senior year and was named an East Valley Tribune honorable mention. He put together nine double-doubles on the way to averaging 12 points and five rebounds per game, and guided the team to the 6A Arizona state semifinals. Desert Vista ended the year ranked No. 8 in the state of Arizona with a record of 19-6 under head coach Gino Crump.

"I can say that Caleb is the hardest working player that I've ever coached," Crump said. "I've known Caleb for many years and he is constantly working on his game. He has always been a good player, but the dedication he has to the game has made him into a great player."

Following graduation Simmons averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists during the 2017 AAU summer circuit with Splash City."

Both Brandon Clarke and Noah Baumann came out of Desert Vista High.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Spartans offer Marcus Hopkins

Team Lillard B-Ball: "2018 - 6'10 F/C Marcus Hopkins picks up an offer from San Jose State."

Hopkins is out of El Cerrito High but recently transferred to Oldsmar Christian in Florida for his senior season. Long and lean, still developing his skill set

Reading about the installation of a new basketball culture

Paul Weir is the new coach at New Mexico, moving over from New Mexico State. Below is an interesting series on what he is doing to install a different culture in Albuquerque, similar to what the brand new and newer D1 college coaches in north California are undertaking.

Part One: "Lobo basketball going all in on ‘Run and Stun’ press"

Part Two: "Body and Mind: Will downward dogs uplift Lobos?"

Part Three: "Advanced analysis: Lobos coach out in front of growing analytics trend"

Part Four: "Lobo outreach: Weir takes on reinvigorating hoops fan base"

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Walter Graves?

Okay, what's the scoop with Walter Graves?

In Coach Prioleau's KNBR interview with Tolbert and Lund, he talked about each player (name-by-name as listed on the official SJSU roster) but skipped over Walter Graves. Was it an oversight? Is Graves not there? Does he need to pass some summer classes first?

Prioleau also mentioned a new name -- not sure how to spell it but it 'sounded like' Ryan Perillo. Googling didn't produce a basketball player by that name.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Maybe I'm being Debbie Downer here. Maybe. To the question of why so negative, it has nothing to do with Coach Prioleau or AD Tuite. It's based on a history of emotional investment getting crapped on again and again.

This is all based on history. Look at the tenures of Bill Berry, Stan Morrison, Phil Johnson, Steve Barnes, George Nessman and, yes, Dave Wojcik plus Randy Hoffman, Chuck Bell, Tom Bowen and Gene Bleymaier. We're talking FOUR DECADES of failure, 40 years. All the well-meant words and catchy slogans were sunk by underfunded programs and crony hires of guys who you wouldn't even want running a prison let alone "leading" young men.

It's based on wising up to the fact that Spartan basketball is "Waiting For Godot" on repeat.

It's based on having earned the right to say enough with the talk -- produce the results.

So does the current team look promising? Yes. However, personnel holes and questions remain. Most importantly, will Coach Prioleau have a Mountain West Conference appropriate recruiting budget at his disposal? Will there be few, if any, geographical recruiting restrictions? Will the handcuffs be removed and disposed of?

It's now or never.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Can SJSU basketball ever succeed?

How should success be defined for SJSU basketball?

Spartan men's basketball is a mired-in-mediocrity, long-suffering program despite a couple of unlikely Big Dances appearances 1980 onward although it has been a frustrating nothingburger since the 1996 season.

So let's consider this question: is it time to end the program if new leader Jean Prioleau cannot get SJSU hoops achieving success?

Whether being a member of the Big West Conference, the Western Athletic Conference or the current Mountain West Conference, the roundball Spartans have struggled. Make that failed.

Success is being competitive and winning the conference every six or seven years. No 5-26 seasons. Not even a 10-19 record. 13-15 is acceptable once. Success is constancy and stability, blotting out the searing memories of being the laughingstock of the league. It's giving fans a reason to leave their homes in winter to come to Walt McPherson Court. It's forcing the Mercury News to again have a beat reporter covering SJSU games.

So why the history of failure?
  • Gobsmackingly stupid coaching hires
  • ADs with greater allegiance to their buddies than to the school
  • Limited budgets for coaching hires
  • Ridiculously miniscule recruiting budgets
  • Basketball as an afterthought in the shadow of football
But wait, there's more.

SJSU hoops is a Big West Conference program disguised as an under-funded MWC member.

Either back it financially so that the coaches finally have a chance for success or shutter it. It's been a waste of time, money and effort to date.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Coach Prioleau's vision

"San Jose State’s new basketball coach says he has a plan" -- Martin Gallegos

SJSU basketball thoughts and musings

So we have a new men's basketball coach and now only time will tell us what we have.

Jean Prioleau is someone who is smart, likely the only D1 coach with a degree in physics.

He appears verbal and engaging, a rarely seen combination exhibited by SJSU hoops coaches.

Prioleau is entering into a good situation. Unlike the majority of new hires, the roster he is inheriting isn't depleted (that sound you just heard are fingers being crossed).

Can he get this group to perform effectively as a team on defense? There isn't anyone who is currently a plus man-to-man defender although Brandon Clarke and Oumar Barry can help in erasing mistakes. The team's record doesn't get better if the defensive outcome remains the same.

This is critical considering SJSU's struggle to score points and shoot efficiently. So conversely, who is ready and capable of stepping forward and being the creator when the offense doesn't create a good look? Which players can be counted on to consistently score inside, be effective mid-range and from long distance?

Will a plus point guard emerge? If it isn't Nai Carlisle then major trouble looms ahead. Lights some candles for his emergence. Target a point as one member of this coming season's recruiting class. It's unlikely St. Francis guard Logan Johnson is coming to Washington Square so how about Jamal Hartwell out of Fairfax High in Los Angeles?

The do-or-die element, as it is for all coaches, is can Prioleau recruit? That is, bring in a higher potential level of prospect than SJSU has previously signed? Because, without that element, all other positives will be for naught.

It's impossible to determine Prioleau's involvement in the recruitment of the higher level prospects who were lured out of southern California to Boulder. We're not talking blue-chippers or five star talents but still those with pro potential. Hopefully, he was a major factor. Can Prioleau mine southern California effectively as well as increase the Spartan presence in northern California. If so, success on the hardcourt may finally be realized. If not...

So will the recruiting budget be increased? Can the number of out-of-state scholarships be increased? The athletic administration and the school president must add to the amount here. Now is not the time for the status quo.

Put this to rest

Whether or not you agree with the decision by the higher-ups at SJSU, it's important to set the record straight: Rodney Tention did receive a full-fledged, in-person interview for the Spartan head coach position.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A few Jean Prioleau tidbits

As with most professional hires across the spectrum, we'll never know why Jean Prioleau (Zhaun Pre-low) was selected over his competitors for the SJSU opening.

But here's what is verifiable:

* Priolieu was among the five candidates interviewed when Dave Wojcik was hired in 2013.

* From a May 1, 2017 article:

"The search for a new men's basketball coach at the University of Northern Colorado is rapidly moving forward.

On Thursday, two candidates were interviewed in Denver by UNC athletic director Darren Dunn, associate athletic director/senior woman administrator Sarah Adams and possibly others involved in the search.

The job opened up a week ago when then-head coach B.J. Hill was fired for alleged NCAA violations involving his program.

The first two to interview for the job are University of Colorado associate head coach Jean Prioleau and Boise State University associate head coach Jeff Linder..."

Linder was hired.

* Prioleau is a member of the Division I Men's Basketball Ethics Coalition.

* He signed a five-year contract.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Jean Prioleau new Spartan head coach

The new head coach at San Jose State University is Jean Prioleau, the associate head coach at Colorado.

His official bio.

A Prioleau article from 2013.

The candidates

Hoop Dirt:

Scott Burrell – Head Coach Southern Connecticut State
Scott Garson – Head Coach College of Idaho
David Patrick – Assistant Head Coach TCU
Rodney Tention – Interim Head Coach San Jose State

Still think one interviewee is missing but could be wrong.

Consider Burrell a vanity interviewee. He makes no sense.

Garson has UCLA, Utah and Pepperdine connections.

Patrick has the valued St. Mary's imprimatur and sure has a lot of new South Bay social media connections...

Interesting, two are with non-D1 programs.

Three of these four are black.

Why not announce today and introduce on Monday?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017