Monday, September 4, 2017

That's all folks

It's over. Not to be melodramatic but my heart can no longer take having an emotional investment in SJSU basketball. Approaching 40 years of nothingness is enough -- the frustration is far too palpable.

Fear not as my absence will in no way effect the financial bottom line of Spartan hoops. Coverage of, yes, dollars and cents, no, but even then it's not like a gaping media hole will emerge with the shuttering of this site.

Get ready for another dive to the bottom, followed by a Sisyphus-like climb upward. But just as respectability is in sight, another disintegration will blow up matters once again. There will be one. There always is.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong.

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.