Thursday, December 18, 2008

San Jose State v. Northern Colorado Saturday afternoon

San Jose State hosts Northern Colorado (NC) Saturday afternoon at the Civic Auditorium. The game time is 3 p.m.

A new-ish member of the Big Sky Conference, NC currently sports a 3-5 overall record, owning victories over Denver, Texas State and most recently Portland.

Here's a snippet on that game:

GREELEY, Colo. -- Northern Colorado's men's basketball team is about to embark on a six-day trip to California and Nevada -- much warmer locales than northern Colorado these days. But on Tuesday night inside cozy Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion, sophomore Neal Kingman provided all the heat the Bears would need to get a 76-73 victory against Portland. Kingman, a Greeley West product, hit a career-high five three-pointers on six attempts and six of nine shots from the field to pace Northern Colorado...As a team, Northern Colorado hit an even 50 percent from the field in this one and about 63 percent (62.5) from three-point land...

It's generally not indicative of much to play 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' with win and losses throughout the basketball season but Portland does own a win at home against Nevada -- 63-61 -- on November 29.

Also, Northern Colorado plays at Fresno State tonight so we'll have a report from that game to you tomorrow.


Here's some pertinent information on Tad Boyle, courtesy of the NC athletics:

Tad Boyle was hired on April 25, 2006. A Greeley native, Boyle spent the six seasons prior to his arrival at Northern Colorado at Wichita State University, helping turn the Shockers into arguably the nation's best mid-major program, alongside head coach Mark Turgeon, a longtime friend and now head coach at Texas A&M...

...In his first year as Bears coach, Boyle was charged with turning around a program that had had minimal success for much of the past decade as it was reclassifying to the Division I level and was just beginning its first season as a member of the Big Sky Conference.

Northern Colorado finished just 4-24 but the Bears almost took down Big 12-team Colorado (they lost 88-86) in early December and then almost shocked Mountain West-team and instate rival Colorado State (they lost 75-66) the very next game.

In year two, it was a whole new ballgame.

Northern Colorado finished that year 13-16 -- its most wins since claiming 14 victories during the 2001-02 season -- and collected victories against Colorado State (72-59) and top 50-RPI team San Diego State (72-59).

It's all resulted in quite a buzz around Boyle's Northern Colorado program, in general, and the 2008-09 team, specifically.

"I really like where the program is headed," Boyle says. "We've made some definite strides in the past few years in the areas of recruiting, player development and facilities improvement, and that's only going to continue. It's a great time to be a Bear."


Nov. 14 at Oregon L, 66-64

Nov. 18 at Colorado St. L, 85-74

Nov. 26 at Denver W, 71-66

Nov. 29 Texas St. W, 105-93

Dec. 3 San Diego St. L, 73-62

Dec. 6 Air Force L, 71-62

Dec. 13 at Creighton L, 85-66

Dec. 16 Portland W, 76-73


Jabril Banks
6-7 SR 13.9 ppg., 5.4 rpg.
Taylor Montgomery 6-7 SO 2.4 ppg., 2.1 rpg.
Will Figures 5-9 JR 11.1 ppg., 2.4 rpg., 2.7
John Pena 5-10 JR 10.1 ppg., 1.9 apg.
Devon Beitzel 6-0 SO 9.7 ppg., 2.0 rpg.


Will Figures G Junior 5-9 150
Lee Hall G Freshman 5-9 175
Matt Dunsmoor G/F Senior 6-4 190
Chris Kaba F RS Sophomore 6-7 195
Elliott Lloyd G Freshman 6-1 175
Robert Palacios G Senior 6-1 190
Yahosh Bonner G Junior 6-0 210
Justin Wesolowski F RS Freshman 6-7 190
Jabril Banks F Senior 6-7 230
John Pena G Junior 5-10 160
Devon Beitzel G RS Sophomore 6-0 170
Neal Kingman F RS Sophomore 6-6 210
Mike Proctor F Freshman 6-8 200
Taylor Montgomery F Sophomore 6-7 230


Inside player Jabril Banks is the Bear go-to offensive player. He has started every game this season, plays 30 minutes a night and is shooting 60% from the floor. He's also at .765% on free throws so setting him up at foul line will presumably hurt.

The other expect starter in the paint, Taylor Montgomery, has been in the opening lineup in four of the eight games for the Bears but is averaging just a notch above 15 minutes of playing time per contest. His current numbers are below that of last year but he also has range on his shot, having nailed three of the four treys he has attempted. So he'll need watching if he ventures away from the basket.

Will Figures is the second leading scorer for the Bears despite being the smallest player on the squad. Curiously, he is shooting .39% overall but 44% from three-point range. He has attempted 38 free throws in eight games, making him the NC backcourt leader for foul shots attempted. His 21 assists are tops on the team.

John Pena plays 29 minutes a game as a full-time starter and is averaging 9.1 ppg. while shooting 45%. He's at 32% on 18 three-point shots.

Devon Beitzel has made three starts in eight games while on court for 18 minutes a night. He'll need shadowing as he is hitting 55% of his shots overall and almost 52% on threes. Pinpointing his shot selection, 31 of his 49 shots on the season have been from three-point range

Figures (5-9), Pena (5-10) and Beitzel (6-0) are the ringleaders of a small NC backcourt. Their quickness will be a chore to defend against but their height will also provide opportunities to overpower them when they are trying to prevent SJSU from scoring.

6-1 backcourter Robert Palacios leads the team in rebounding at 6.8 a contest and is also touted as a premiere defender.

6-6 frontcourter Neal Kingman has confounding shooting numbers. He's at 47% from the floor, an amazing 59% from long distance yet is shooting 55% from the foul line. Half of his 34 shots have been from three-point distance.


*** Northern Colorado is shooting a sound 45% from the floor but is allowing opponents to make almost every other shot (49%).

*** The Bears score 72.8 ppg. but are giving up 76.5.

*** The team is out-boarding opponents 34.5 a contest to 29.9.

*** NC has nabbed 42 steals but opponents have almost doubled that with 73.

*** The Bears have 142 turnovers to 101 for opposing teams.


Some guy named Adrian Oliver will be making his Spartan debut. No, there is no truth to the rumor that he will be playing with a cape that contains a big 'S' on it.

No comments: