Saturday, February 28, 2009

Remember Kyle Wilson?

Remember Kyle Wilson? You have to go back five or so years as a Spartan basketball fan. He was a heralded transfer from Massachusetts but for some reason rarely saw playing time. He's now 24 and you won't believe the turn his life has taken.

Hoops star
finds lady luck online
Kyle Wilson contemplated minimum-wage-plus but opted
for computer poker. It was a lucrative decision
Randy Shore
February 29, 2008

Kyle Wilson's home office is gleaming
and empty aside from a personal computer and three computer monitors lined up
across his desk.

As we chat, he wins a $6,000 poker pot and then glances
over at the far right screen, where he is playing the first few hands of an
online tournament.

Wilson plays poker online about three or four hours a
day, usually on, the site he started out at four years ago.

"I had come home from playing basketball at San Jose State and I was
looking at taking a $10-an-hour job," Kyle recalled. "I was making more than
that playing poker for small stakes online, so I just stuck with it..."
Go here for the remainder.

Another Spartan great has passed

Rod Lee (Class of '55), a long-time Spartan basketball season ticketholder and member of The Rebounders, has died The funeral is Saturday at 2:00pm at the Walnut Creek Methodist Church, 1543 Sunnyvale Avenue, Walnut Creek.

Per 'Rat' of the Ratline SJSU alumni magazine,
"Lee was a longtime supporter of Bill Walsh. Back when Walsh was coaching the semi-pro San Jose Apaches, Lee was touting him for head coach of his alma mater. I first met Lee in the early 1970s when he was running the computer database for AutoWeek magazine from a large room above our offices on Mt. Diablo Boulevard in Lafayette. This air-conditioned room was filled with many large blue Burroughs computers. Later in the 1980s, Rod showed me his new desktop PC and told me that it had more capacity than the room full of Burroughs.

In the early 70's, I flew out of Concord to Reno once in Rod's small single engine plane to press check AutoWeek at their new plant. It was my first flight in a small plane. When we were over Reno's Stead Field, I asked why we weren't decending...Rod replied, "I'm trying to but there is just too much updraft...we'll have to go further east then turn around."

Rod and his wife Lois flew to Laramie in October 1992 to celebrate his 60th birthday and to watch his beloved San Jose State play Wyoming. Ron Turner's 7-4 Spartans defeated the Cowboys 26-24 in the last minute when Joe Nedney set a SJS record by kicking the winning field goal 60 yards!"
We send the Lee family our condolences.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hawaii here on Saturday

Does it mean anything? Will it be a factor? That Hawaii was beat up 82-62 by Utah State on Thursday and is now coming to San Jose? Your guess is as good as ours so you are on your own to extrapolate at will.

But there is something that will and should take precedence before we get into the game preview.

DeVonte Thomas, Tim Pierce and DaShawn Wright complete their senior eligibility Saturday night as far as fans viewing them at Walt McPherson Court. The Rebounders have arranged a get-together to honor the trio and it will begin at 5 p.m. as we previously notified you. So please do be there and at the game. We are not here to argue what is more important -- winning the majority of games or graduating student-athletes (as if that is somehow an either/or proposition) -- but just consider that these three young men will have obtained a college degree from San Jose State and the impact that this will have on their respective lives and communities. This is a tremendous success on any scoreboard and one that we and far too many others overlook.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

From the Hawaii athletics site come the following UH-USU game report:

Men's Basketball Defeated At Utah State, 82-62

HONOLULU – The University of Hawai`i men’s basketball team found the going rough on the road with an 82-62 loss to Utah State Thursday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Rainbow Warriors dropped to 13-14 and 5-9 in the Western Athletic Conference.

With the win Utah State (26-3, 13-1) claimed the WAC regular season title, its first outright championship since joining the league in 2005. The Aggies, shared the title with three other squads last year, also extended their school-record home win streak to 33 games.

UH, meanwhile, slipped below San Jose State and into a tie for seventh place in the WAC standings with Louisiana Tech. The 20-point loss matched the largest margin of defeat for Hawai`i this season. UH fell at Idaho, 67-47, in January.

UH shot 49 percent for the game tied a season high with six three pointers. But the ’Bows could do little to contain the Aggies inside. Utah State out-scored UH and astounding, 54-12, in the paint with most of the damage done by the front court tandem of Gary Wilkinson and Tai Wesley. Wilkinson finished with a game-high 27 points and Wesley with 16 to lead four Aggies in double figures.

Utah State shot 55 percent from the floor and out-rebounded UH, 36-25, including 16-7 on the offensive end. The Aggies racked up 25 assists on 36 field goals.

Hiram Thompson led UH with a career high 16 points and also notched a personal-best seven assists. Bill Amis finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Roderick Flemings added 10.

UH hung tough early, but the Aggies scored 10 unanswered points to stake a double-digit lead. The Aggies eventually took a 13-point lead, 41-28, into the locker room, powered by Wilkinson and Wesley who combined for 22 points.

The Aggies put the game away in the second half with a 17-4 run, capped by a Stevon Williams fast break layup, that extended their lead to 25 points, 62-37, with just under 11 minutes remaining.

Here's our game writeup from San Jose State's January 17 win over UH in Honolulu:
It was a night in which it seemed neither team was going to run away from the other. But San Jose State initiated the first sprint, going on a 16-4 run to jump ahead 53-42 at the 7:58 mark of the second half.

Hawaii regrouped and cut the lead in half but the Spartans stretched the lead to 11 again and led 59-48 with 3:55 remaining.

It was Justin Graham's explosions that led the bursts as the sophomore backcourter penetrated the paint at will. Graham tied the game at 39 with a putback of his own shot and his three subsequent free throws gave San Jose State its first lead.

The largest Spartan lead was 14.

Graham led four Spartans in double figure scoring with 19 points, joined by Tim Pierce's 13, Robert Owens' 13 and Mac Peterson earned his season high point total with 10.

It was also a contest with more San Jose State free throws than Hawaii and more makes at the foul line.

At the half, Hawaii had a four-point lead at 29-25. Owens led SJSU after 20 minutes with 10 points on 4-7 shooting.

Hawaii jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead and it was 14-5 at the 11:45 mark. With 5:57 on the clock, the Rainbow Warriors led 20-14 on 9-18 shooting from the floor. The Spartans were 6-20.

It was 22-19 with 3:26 remaining as Hawaii began having difficulty beating the 35 second clock with shot attempts.

Here are some notes we gathered from the contest:
*** It was a 2-3 SJSU zone defense, less turnovers than Hawaii by six and 20 more Spartan free throws that led to the 73-61 victory.

There was a short period about three quarters of the way through the second half when it appeared Hawaii was mounting a comeback but San Jose State dug in, held fast and then advanced the lead even further.

*** UH put up eight more shots from the floor than San Jose State (50-42) but the Spartans were awarded 20 more free throws (36-16) -- something that must have had Bob Nash wondering about a homecourt advantage. The Rainbow Warriors entered the contest getting around six more foul shots per game this season than opponents.

*** How many games have you witnessed in which a team (Hawaii) had three shot clock violations take place?

*** Justin Graham led the San Jose State scoring with 19 points -- there must be something special for him about facing UH as he scored 29 points against the Rainbow Warriors in the game last season in San Jose -- going 7-9 from the floor and 14-17 at the foul line.

*** Look at the Spartan shooting numbers, an actual winning of the trifecta took place: 47.6% overall, 71.4% on five of seven treys and 77.8% on free throws (28-36).

*** San Jose State also won the turnover battle, earning 13 to Hawaii's 19.

*** Getting Bill Amis into foul trouble was a major factor as he's the most valuable UH big man.

*** Roderick Flemings is the real deal but he was forced to play 39 minutes last night. His three boards were about half his average and he compiled one assist to six turnovers.

Hawaii's WAC play to date
01/03/2009 Boise State L - 58-70
01/05/2009 Louisiana Tech W - 65-64
01/08/2009 @ Idaho L - 47-67
01/10/2009 @ Boise State L - 49-54
1/17/2009 San Jose State L - 61-73
1/22/2009 @ Nevada L - 63-74
1/24/2009 Utah State L - 51-67
1/29/2009 @ Louisiana Tech W - 54-53
1/31/2009 @ New Mexico State L - 72-82
2/5/2009 Fresno State W - 69-43
2/7/2009 Idaho W - 71-49
2/14/2009 Nevada L - 46-47
2/19/2009 @ Fresno State W - 73-69

ESPNU BracketBusters
2/21/2009 UC Irvine L - 70-76
2/26/2009 @ Utah State L - 62-82

Bob Nash's Starting Five
Paul Campbell 6-10 junior 2.9 ppg., 3.2 rpg. -- He's more a shotblocker than offensive force but has erupted every now and then with double figure scoring.

Bill Amis 6-9 junior 9.9 ppg., 6.4 rpg. -- He's a lefty which sometimes causes problems by itself and shows good range as well as craftiness offensively.

Kareem Nitoto 6-2 sophomore -- This guy is a great athlete but sort of as hybrid in that he is not necessarily a traditional point nor a solid shooter. Nobody will outwork him. He will be facing Justin Graham and Adrian Oliver -- former teammates on the Oakland Soldiers club basketball team.

Hiram Thompson 6-2 sophomore -- He had the best game of any Rainbow Warrior against Utah State but is still hampered by a balky hamstring. Thompson is more of a point thah any other player on the UH roster.

Roderick Flemings 6-7 junior 17.6 ppg., 5.8 rpg. -- The best player on the team, he is the one true creator and the best athlete for Hawaii. His most remarkable stat is that his rebounding totals are next to even. Shutting him down is next to impossible but the key is not letting him parade to the foul line.

Off The Bench
Adhar Mayen 6-8 junior -- He's another fine athlete, long and lanky, with some scoring ability.

Brandon Adams 6-7 junior -- He's limited offensively but a hard worker and another good runner/jumper. Adams has been starting off-and-on of late.

The Rainbow Warrior Roster (by position, alphabetically)
Kareem Nitoto G 6-2 185 sophomore
Hiram Thompson G 6-2 175 sophomore
Gary Satterwhite Jr. G 6-3 175 freshman
Lasha Parghalava G 6-2 195 junior
Conrad Fitzgerald G 6-5 210 freshman
Beau Albrechtson G 6-4 205 freshman
Leroy Lutu G 6-3 200 freshman
Roderick Flemings G 6-7 210 junior

Ji Xiang F 6-10 240 freshman
Adhar Mayen F 6-8 195 junior
Brandon Adams F 6-7 220 junior
Adam Jespersen F 6-7 210 freshman
Bill Amis F 6-9 220 junior

Petras Balocka C 6-8 250 Junior (injured)
Paul Campbell C 6-10 215 junior

The UH roster certainly has an international and Bay Area flavor. Petras Balocka hails from Lithuania, Paul Campbell and Adam Jespersen are Canadian, Lasha Parghalava comes from the Republic of Georgia and Ji Xiang is Chinese.(China). Plus, Adhar Mayen is out of Texas but was born in The Sudan. Kareem Nitito graduated from San Leandro High and Brandon Adams is a transfer from Diablo Valley College in Contra Costa County. The nitot family will definitely be out in full force.

What Else

From today's Honolulu Star Bulletin:

"...For the Aggies, senior forward Gary Wilkinson paced the home team with 27 points in just 27 minutes, while sophomore forward Tai Wesley added 16 points and eight rebounds. Hawaii big man Petras Balocka didn't make the road trip due to a groin injury, and Utah State took advantage, outscoring the 'Bows 54-12 in the paint..."

"...Hawaii (5-9, 13-14) shot a solid 48.9 percent from the field for the game and knocked down six of 10 3-point attempts, but the 'Bows committed 16 turnovers, surrendered 16 offensive rebounds and took 18 fewer shots than the Aggies..."

Can C.J. Webster as well as the Spartan offensive rebounding add to the Rainbow Warriors inside woes?

Bob Nash's team has enjoyed some sharpshooting games of late after really struggling early in the season and in the beginning stages of conference play. Keeping UH at 42% or below would really aid the Spartan cause.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

San Jose State handles Idaho 72-64

It was redemption time for the Spartans Thursday night as they beat Idaho 72-64 at Walt McPherson Court, thereby splitting the season series with the Vandals

San Jose State maintained a four-point lead from at least the eight minute mark of the second half, actually widening it with three minutes remaining.

With 3:29 showing, Idaho's Mac Hopson missed on a one-and-one at the foul line and DeVonte Thomas followed that a 14-foot jumper from the right side to make the score 62-56 in SJSU's favor.

Vandal Brandon Wiley also misfired on the front end of a one-and-one but then so did Thomas at the Spartan end.

With clock down to 2:25, Hopson was fouled again but was errant on both his double bonus free throws.

C.J. Webster was fouled and the Spartan center nailed both his attempts at the foul line, extending the San Jose State lead to 64-56.

Idaho managed a three-pointer, plus three free throws when Luciano de Souza was fouled attempting a three-pointer but could never pare the lead as they were forced to foul and gave up made free throws.

Five Spartans scored in double figures with Justin Graham leading the way with 17 points (plus six assists). Adrian Oliver contributed 14, Webster 12, Robert Owens 11 and Thomas 10 (plus a team-leading 10 rebounds). San Jose State had just 10 turnovers.

In 39 minutes, Hopson scored 20 points for Idaho and passed for eight assists. He shot 7-12 from the floor and 6-12 at the foul line.

It was a flatout mismatch on the boards this time as SJSU outrebounded the visitors by 25 -- 43 to 18. The 16 offensive rebounds for San Jose produced 14 second-chance points. The Vandals did shoot 48% for the game but the rebounding disparity was too much to overcome. Boardplay was much closer in the earlier game -- 35 to 28 in favor of San Jose State.

The Spartan ability to get Idaho starting center Marvin Jefferson into foul trouble -- five whistles in 21 minutes -- impaired the Vandal defense and boardplay.

At the half, Idaho led 33-32.

The Vandals won the match 74-66 back on February 14, which curiously was also an eight point difference.

NOTES -- Tim Pierce sat out the game due to academic reasons ... Vandal forward Luciano de Souza -- or his hair at least -- reminded us of the early days of former Spartan Wally Rank for you fans who go way, way back ... This was a game where many of the players grew up playing with and against each other as Oliver and Graham for San Jose and Vandal Marvin Jefferson are all from the Modesto area while Idaho's Brandon Wiley is out of Pinole and certainly played with and against a number of San Jose Staters as a prep and in the summer during the club team season.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Idaho here Thursday night

The Vandals are coming! No, this isn't that nasty East Germanic tribe that sacked Rome in the 5th century but thankfully (we think) the Don Verlin-led basketball team out of Moscow. However, this bunch did beat San Jose State 74-66 on February 14 up in Idaho. Here's our abbreviated game report from then:

...At the 14:10 mark of the second half, it was a three point difference with Idaho ahead 41-38. But then a mix of Mac Hopson scoring, combined with hot rest-of-the-Vandals shooting and blended with San Jose State turnovers, enabled UI to stretch the lead and SJSU couldn't answer.

Hopson finished with 21 points after posting three in the initial half.

With 9:30 remaining, Idaho led by nine and it advanced further until the Spartans closed at the end.

It was 33-30 at the half in favor of the Vandals. San Jose State shot 12-26 and 3-11 on treys in the first 20 minutes. Idaho went 13-30 and 3-9. The Spartans had a seven point lead at one point.

Tim Pierce led SJSU with 14 points. Robert Owens had 13 as did C.J. Webster. Webster shot 6-7 from the floor, grabbed nine boards and blocked four shots.

For the game, the Spartans shot 47% (24-51) and 6-20 from three-point distance. Idaho was also at 47% (27-57) but went 8-19 from long range. SJSU out-rebounded the Vandals 35-28. San Jose State committed 17 turnovers to nine for UI.

Idaho's WAC Schedule To Date
Jan 03 at Nevada 78 - 73 (W)
Jan 05 at Utah State 61 - 70 (L)
Jan 08 Hawai`i 67 - 47 (W)
Jan 15 at New Mexico State 71 - 74 (L)
Jan 17 at Louisiana Tech 63 - 74 (L)
Jan 24 New Mexico State 67 - 57 (W)
Jan 29 Boise State 63 - 59 (W)
Jan 31 Nevada 65 - 69 (L)
Feb 07 at Hawai`i 49 - 71 (L)
Feb 12 Utah State 63-72 (L)
Feb 18 @ Boise State 56-54 (W)

ESPNU BracketBusters Tournament
Feb 21 Cal State Northridge 78-75 (W)

The Idaho Starting Five
Mac Hopson 6-2, 195 junior -- Hopson is a strong candidate for WAC Player of the Year honors based upon his scoring, shooting passing and rebounding. If the Vandals can close strongly, Hopson may very well leapfrog over Utah State's Gary Wilkinson and beat out New Mexico State's Jahmar Young.

Terrance Simmons 6-3, 170 senior -- He's not a big shooter or scorer but an efficient ballhandler and valuable defender -- one of the few holdovers from last season.

Kashif Watson 6-4, 190 junior -- He's a human pogo stick who is getting back to driving into the paint for his shots -- the area where he is most effective. He shot 6-9 against SJSU in the previous game.

Brandon Wiley 6-6, 225 junior -- Need a rebound? How about a shotblock? Even a key basket every now and then? Wiley is your guy -- call him Mr. Glue because he'll put up solid numbers generally across the board.

Marvin Jefferson 6-10, 235 junior -- He's really the lone paint player Idaho has on its roster and getting him into foul trouble would go a long way toawrds helping San Jose State to a victory. Jefferson averages just 21 minutes a game because he tops the Vandals in the number of personal fouls committed. Against Cal State Northride, Jefferson played 31 minutes and was whistled for just one foul. He earned two fouls in 28 minutes last time against the Spartans.

Off The Bench
Luciano de Souza 6-7, 205 junior -- Call him Mr. Three-Pointer as over two thirds of his shots have been from three-point range. He's nailing 38% of those trey attempts.

Trevor Morris 6-4, 182 senior -- Another long range bomber as again, two thirds of his shot attempts this season are from long distance.

Luis Agosto
6-8, 245 senior -- He's a backup.

The Vandal Roster (by position and alphabetical)
Brandon Brown G 6-1 205 senior
Drew Eisinger G 6-3 165 sophomore
Mac Hopson G 6-2 195 junior
Trevor Morris G 6-4 182 senior
Terrance Simmons G 6-3 170 senior
Ryan Votaw G 6-1 190 sophomore
Kashif Watson G 6-4 190 junior

Travis Blackstock F 6-5 junior
Brandon Wiley F 6-6 225 junior
Mark Mahaffy F 6-6 189 sophomore
Luciano de Souza F 6-7 205 junior

Luis Agosto C 6-8 245 senior
Marvin Jefferson C 6-10 235 junior

Sitting out this season
Kyle Barone C 6-10 215 freshman
Steffan Johnson G 6-1 172 senior (Pacific transfer)
Marcus Lawrence G 5-10 180 junior (UNLV transfer)
Luiz Toledo F 6-7 220 sophomore

What Else
  • It is in many ways the Mac Hopson Show in Moscow this season because as he goes, so goes Idaho.
  • Idaho has 171 steals on the season to 130 for its collective opponents so do look for the Vandals to try some pressure defenses Saturday night. UI also has 50 less turnovers than opposing teams.
  • Don Verlin's team lack size but is successful this season when playing proficiently -- shooting a good percentage and limiting turnovers.
  • Idaho looks to have fifth place sewn up in the conference so does that accomplishment (or possibly higher) and two wins over in-state rival Boise make Don Verlin the WAC Coach of the Year?

A great feature by Chris Murray

Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal checks in with a not-to-be-missed feature:
The top five players in the WAC by class
Chris Murray
Reno Gazette-Journal

In today's newspaper, we wrote about the WAC's bright future. There are only a handful of impact seniors in the WAC this season (Gary Wilkinson, Mark Sanchez, Tim Pierce and Dwight O'Neil are the only seniors who average more than six points per game). That means a lot of young talent is getting experience this season, which should bode well for the future. Below are the top five players in the WAC (by class).


1. Luke Babbitt, Nevada: Babbitt might not only be the best freshman in the conference. He might be the best player in the conference. The Galena High grad is averaging 16.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season and has become more and more efficient as the season's progressed. He is shooting 46.2 percent from the field, 45.2 percent from three and 82.1 percent from the line. While you would think opposing coaches might want Babbitt to turn pro ASAP, Hawaii coach Bob Nash said that by Babbitt staying, the entire profile of the conference could be lifted.

2. Paul George, Fresno State: If Babbitt is 1, then George is 1A. The rail-thin wing might be hitting a touch of a slump recently, but he is still averaging 15.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He can also knock down the three (45.8 percent) and has proven to be an efficient scorer. Once he adds some more muscle, watch up. But George isn't alone in Fresno, as the team has a quartet of talented freshman playing this season (one of whom is a little lower on this list).

3. Troy Gillenwater, NMSU: Gillenwater ran into some disciplinary issues a couple of weeks ago, but is back on the court and producing. Like Fresno State, the Aggies are a young team and Gillenwater is the prized freshman. He is averaging 12 points per game in 23.5 minutes, but must improve his rebounding (4.1 per contest). When was the last time the WAC had three impact freshmen like Babbitt, George and Gillenwater?

4. Hamidu Rahman, NMSU: Rahman might be overshadowed by Gillenwater, but he is plenty good himself. The New Jersey native is a legit 7-footer in a league that doesn't have too many of those. He's also well-built at 240 pounds and has put up seven points and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting better than 50 percent from the field.

5. Mychal Ladd, Fresno State: With the suspension of O'Neil, Ladd has gotten the chance to start and is doing his best to keep that job. He is averaging 14 points and six rebounds per game in the last eight contests and 10 and four overall this year. The 6-5 wing from Seattle can be a plus-rebounder for his size, but like most freshman, needs to tighten his defense.

Three honorable mentions: Dario Hunt, Nevada; Bryce Cartwright, Fresno State; Olu Ashaolu, La. Tech...
Go here for the remainder.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another look at the numbers

As San Jose State swings back into WAC play this week -- 2 home games followed by two road games and then the league tourney in Reno -- let's re-visit some more of those lies, damn lies and statistics whether it be Benjamin Disraeli, Mark Twain or whoever actually coined the phrase.

We cannot recall a time when the Spartans were ever positioned #2 in team scoring in the WAC but keep in mind that last season's final average was just two points less a game -- 67.6 -- and tied for seventh place with Idaho. So team scoring is obviously down this season.

# Team G W-L Pts Avg/G

1.New Mexico State.... 13 8-5 943 72.5
2.San Jose State...... 12 4-8 836 69.7
3.Boise State......... 12 7-5 831 69.2
4.Nevada.............. 12 8-4 827 68.9
5.Utah State.......... 13 12-1 881 67.8
6.Fresno State........ 12 2-10 787 65.6
7.Idaho............... 12 6-6 767 63.9
8.Hawaii.............. 13 5-8 779 59.9
9.Louisiana Tech...... 13 4-9 756 58.2


It's a bit of a conundrum in that SJSU was in fifth place last season in scoring defense at 74.6 points a game. In this go-around, the points per game given up has actually dropped but San Jose State is caboosing it.

# Team G Pts Avg/G

1.Utah State.......... 13 768 59.1
2.Louisiana Tech...... 13 776 59.7
3.Hawaii.............. 13 812 62.5
4.Idaho............... 12 776 64.7
5.Nevada.............. 12 790 65.8
6.Boise State......... 12 810 67.5
7.Fresno State........ 12 852 71.0
8.New Mexico State.... 13 945 72.7
9.San Jose State...... 12 878 73.2


In what is accepted as the most important defensive category -- field goal percentage defense -- the Spartans are again bringing up the rear in 2008-2009. Last season, SJSU finished sixth at .466%

# Team G FG FGA Pct

1.Utah State.......... 13 274 672 .408
2.Nevada.............. 12 274 661 .415
3.Hawaii.............. 13 272 631 .431
4.Boise State......... 12 290 672 .432
5.New Mexico State.... 13 339 782 .434
6.Louisiana Tech...... 13 282 646 .437
7.Idaho............... 12 268 609 .440
8.Fresno State........ 12 318 694 .458
9.San Jose State...... 12 324 677 .479

The contending team that has made the most improvement in this category is Utah State, going from .442% last season to .408% now. Hawaii and Idaho have also improved dramatically as has Louisiana Tech but none are in the race for the league title.



# Team G FG FGA Pct

1.New Mexico State.... 13 81 266 .305
2.Boise State......... 12 53 171 .310
3.Fresno State........ 12 57 182 .313
4.Utah State.......... 13 66 203 .325
5.Louisiana Tech...... 13 75 221 .339
6.Idaho............... 12 72 210 .343
7.Hawaii.............. 13 61 163 .374
8.Nevada.............. 12 60 157 .382
9.San Jose State...... 12 90 224 .402

SJSU is also giving up too high a percentage in three-pointers. Quirkily, New Mexico State has allowed just nine less three-pointers but leads the conference in percentage defense because WAC opponents for some reason have taken the most three-pointers of all against the Aggies.


San Jose State remains a solid king of the hill in two rebounding categories:

# Team G TEAM Avg OPP Avg Margin

1.San Jose State...... 12 431 35.9 359 29.9 +6.0
2.Utah State.......... 13 432 33.2 369 28.4 +4.8
3.Nevada.............. 12 455 37.9 407 33.9 +4.0
4.Hawaii.............. 13 428 32.9 400 30.8 +2.2
5.Louisiana Tech...... 13 419 32.2 406 31.2 +1.0
6.Boise State......... 12 399 33.2 426 35.5 -2.2
7.New Mexico State.... 13 460 35.4 490 37.7 -2.3
8.Fresno State........ 12 382 31.8 465 38.8 -6.9
9.Idaho............... 12 340 28.3 424 35.3 -7.0

# Team G No. Avg/G

1.San Jose State...... 12 166 13.83

2.Nevada.............. 12 159 13.25
3.Hawaii.............. 13 170 13.08
4.Louisiana Tech...... 13 148 11.38
5.New Mexico State.... 13 142 10.92
6.Utah State.......... 13 140 10.77
7.Fresno State........ 12 123 10.25
8.Boise State......... 12 110 9.17
9.Idaho............... 12 106 8.83


Turnover margin has been a bugaboo and its pairing with defending a double whammy.

# Team G TEAM Avg OPP Avg Margin

1.Idaho............... 12 127 10.6 173 14.4 +3.83
2.New Mexico State.... 13 173 13.3 185 14.2 +0.92
3.Fresno State........ 12 172 14.3 178 14.8 +0.50
4.Boise State......... 12 154 12.8 157 13.1 +0.25
5.Hawaii.............. 13 192 14.8 187 14.4 -0.38
6.Utah State.......... 13 162 12.5 154 11.8 -0.62
7.Nevada.............. 12 159 13.3 149 12.4 -0.83
8.Louisiana Tech...... 13 180 13.8 163 12.5 -1.31
9.San Jose State...... 12 169 14.1 142 11.8 -2.25

Monday, February 23, 2009

Part 1: members of the San Jose State 1969 team that beat Santa Clara

The first two photos are Head Coach Danny Glines and Assistant Coach Stan Morrison.

Part 2: members of the San Jose State 1969 team that beat Santa Clara

Joseph Henson (Pasadena) & Anthony Dixon (Hyde Park) updates

Spartan signee 6-9 Joseph Henson and Pasadena High fell to Long Beach Poly 51-43 in the playoffs and their season is now over. The second and third photos are of Henson, courtesy of the PSN. The top photo is of Anthony Dixon.


6-4 Anthony Dixon (10 points and 12 rebounds) and Hyde Park (Chicago) lost in overtime 54-51 and finished second in the Chicago City League championship game. Hyde Park now moves on to the state tournament. What's interesting is the following report contains some quotes which makes it sound like Lawndale pounded Hyde Park all over the court yet the reality is that HP led 45-39 at the end of three quarters.

North Lawndale wins 1st city title
Bob Sakamoto
Chicago Tribune
February 23, 2009

Jonathan Mills came sprinting down the court Sunday, went airborne and smashed Jerome Moore's apparent breakaway layup into the eighth row of the UIC Pavilion seats.

That game-changing moment along with his 13 points and 23 rebounds led No. 4 North Lawndale to a scintillating 54-51 overtime victory against No. 5 Hyde Park and its first Public League championship...
Go here for the remainder.

Here is another snippet on Hyde Park:

Who would have thought?
Joe Henricksen
Sun Times
February 18, 2009

If you would have told a high school basketball fan four or five years ago the Chicago Public League Championship game in 2009 would include North Lawndale and Hyde Park you would have received a few, "Say what?" But that's the matchup this Sunday at UIC after Hyde Park dismantled Foreman and North Lawndale got its revenge and knocked off Whitney Young in Wednesday night's semifinals.

Who would have thought? After all, Hyde Park will be making its first city title game appearance in more than a half century, while North Lawndale will be playing for its first-ever city title. This is another example of how the Public League is a little different than it once was, when city powerhouses Simeon, King, Marshall and Westinghouse dominated the better part of two-plus decades of Public League playoff basketball.

Hyde Park will now get its chance at some payback. Coach Donnie Kirksey's team, which continues to impress, fell to North Lawndale 70-57 back in early January. North Lawndale's Terry Johnson was the catalyst in that first matchup, scoring a game-high 21 points. No matter how high you are on Hyde Park or how skeptical you might be, everyone should learn a lot about this team and how far it has come after its Sunday showdown against North Lawndale...

Here are a few thoughts following the city semifinal games Wednesday evening.

• Despite the impressive record and all the success Hyde Park has enjoyed this season, no one seems to include the Thunderbirds in state title conversations. Is it time to? Malcolm Griffin and Anthony Dixon typically get a lot of the headlines for Hyde Park, but big man Jerome Moore has been particularly big in the second half of the season and throughout the city playoffs. Hyde Park is the No. 1 seed in the Class 4A Hinsdale Central Sectional, where they will be trying to hold off the likes of Vocational, Simeon, Mt. Carmel, Curie and Downers Grove South. Then it would get a shot at the Morton Sectional winner in the Chicago State Supersectional. Hyde Park, which has beaten Seton Academy and Marshall this season, is oozing with confidence right now and playing together...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hyde Park playing for Chicago city championship today

Here's a preview on the Chicago city championship game taking place today. Hyde Park (with San Jose State signee Anthony Dixon) is facing North Lawndale.

Public League boys basketball final preview
Bob Sakamoto
Chicago Tribune
February 22, 2009

The 32-team bracket of the Public League tournament is down to one game. And by 6 p.m. Sunday, either No. 5 North Lawndale or No. 7 Hyde Park will be added to a long list of city champions. The Phoenix (23-5) makes its first title-game appearance. The Thunderbirds (23-3) make their first since 1956.

Forward (probable starters)

Jon Mills, North Lawndale vs. Jerome Moore, Hyde Park: Mills averages 14 points and 16 rebounds and is considered the state's premier rebounder. Moore averages 14 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and can be an intimidator inside.

EDGE: North Lawndale


Jermaine Winfield, North Lawndale vs. Malcolm Griffin, Hyde Park: Playing with a bullet in his leg after a shooting last month, Winfield averages 12 points and seven rebounds. Griffin, among the state's fastest-rising unsigned recruits, is averaging 18 points and six rebounds.

: Hyde Park


John Taylor, North Lawndale vs. Martel Jackson, Hyde Park: The explosive Taylor averages 15 points and is the one Phoenix player who can take over a game. Jackson is a steady role player averaging eight points, five assists and five steals.

: North Lawndale


Donte Dangerfield, North Lawndale vs. Fabyon Harris, Hyde Park: Dangerfield is a defensive specialist averaging four points, four steals and three assists. Harris is an all-around threat averaging nine points, five assists and five steals.

: Hyde Park


Terry Johnson, North Lawndale vs. Anthony Dixon, Hyde Park: Johnson is his team's most consistent scorer, averaging 16 points and four rebounds. Dixon can be up and down; he's averaging 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

EDGE: North Lawndale

Go here for the remainder.

Narcissism defined

You have to love this at the WAC Message Board:

SJSU Hoops under achieves this season...

* Anthony

Posted: Today 8:54 AM
SJSU Hoops under achieves this season...

Feel free to pile on the comments (we deserve it)...
Is this the nadir one will go crawling for message board hits? Probably not, as we picture someone digging with shovels in both hands.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Spartans fall to Riverside 53-52

It was another contest where each change of possession in the last five minutes was crucial and the Highlanders proved to be one point better Saturday night and nabbed a 53-52 victory. UC Riverside tallied nary a point in those last 300 seconds but still triumphed.

At the 5:05 mark, Riverside's Kyle Austin scored on a soft jumphook in the lane, advancing his team to a 53-46 lead and the points total the Highlanders would have for the game.

With 2:28 remaining, Justin Graham rebounded a Robert Owens miss and scored on a layup from the right side to make it a three-point deficit, 53-50.

UCR's Jesse LoBue was then called for an offensive foul and the ball went to San Jose State. C.J. Webster missed on a jumphook in the paint and Riverside rebounded.

Owens fouled Larry Cunningham but the Highlander backcourter misfired on the front end of a one-and-one and SJSU rebounded with 1:29 showing.

Tim Pierce subsequently missed on a trey attempt from on top but then made a steal and the Spartans retained possession. However, San Jose State committed a turnover when Graham and Pierce miscommunicated on a pass and the ball sailed out of bounds.

But SJSU wasn't done yet.

Riverside was unable to inbound the ball within five seconds and turned the ball over.

Pierce missed again with a jumper but Webster rebounded and was fouled on his put back. He made both his free throws with 16.2 seconds left to bring the teams to the eventual final score.

Kyle Austin was fouled by the Spartans and he went to the foul line but also missed his one-and-one. 14.8 seconds was the time on the clock.

San Jose State brought the ball down and Adrian Oliver attempted a turnaround 18-footer that was off the mark, the horn sounded and Riverside came away happy.

At the half, it was 31-26 in favor of the Highlanders.

SJSU had 13 turnovers to 15 for UCR but Riverside scored 17 points off those miscues to nine points for the Spartans off Highlander errors. Rebounding was equal at 30 apiece. UCR scored 18 points in the paint to 16 for SJSU.

San Jose State

Pierce 1-6 0-0 3
Webster 6-10 3-5 15
Oliver 2-10 0-0 5
Graham 4-7 0-0 8
Owens 3-9 2-2 11
Wright 0-1 0-0 0
Thomas 3-4 0-0 6
Oakes 0-2 4-4 4
Williams 0-2 0-0 0
Peterson 0-0 0-0 0

Totals 19-51 9-11 52

UC Riverside

Austin 5-11 5-6 15
Dowdy 0-3 0-0 0
Soto 2-3 0-0 4
Borum 6-12 1-1 15
Cunningham 1-2 2-3 4
Diggs 1-5 0-0 3
LoBue 3-7 1-2 10
Chavarria 0-0 0-0 0
Meo 0-0 0-0 0
Veteto 1-2 0-0 2

Totals 19-45 9-12 53

Three-point field goals – UC Riverside 6-15 (Austin 0-1, Dowdy 0-2, Borum 2-3, Cunningham 0-1, Diggs 1-3, LoBue 3-5), San Jose State 5-19 (Pierce 1-5, Oliver 1-4, Owens 3-9, Williams 0-1)

Rebounds – UC Riverside 30 (Soto 8), San Jose State 30 (Graham 7)

Assists – UC Riverside 9 (Cunningham 4), San Jose State 13 (Graham 7)

Total fouls – UC Riverside 16, San Jose State 13

Attendance – 2,089

Friday, February 20, 2009

Update on St. Mary's High (Aalim Moor)

St. Mary's High (Berkeley) has a grudge match game next against Salesian High (Richmond) after taking apart Kennedy High last night. San Jose State signee 6-4 Aalim Moor racked up a line of 15 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and a pair of dunks.

St. Mary's speeds to win
Pete Elman
Oakland Tribune Correspondent

You can't coach speed, and you certainly can't beat it, especially when it's in the quick hands and athletic feet of the St. Mary's High boys basketball team.

That speed helped the Panthers defeat visiting Kennedy 71-47 in a Bay Shore Athletic League semifinal on Thursday night.

With the win, No. 2 St. Mary's (24-3) will play No. 1 Salesian for the BSAL title on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Albany High.

St. Mary's took a 35-20 halftime lead and stretched it to a 59-31 margin with a track-meet like third period. Leading the way were Dominique Lee, who finished with 13 points, eight blocks, and six rebounds and senior captain Chris Brew, who added 17 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Brew, who will join his older brother Will next season at UC Santa Barbara, made several spectacular plays in the first half, and Lee made his presence known in the paint with resounding stuffs and breakneck drives to the bucket.

Fourth-seeded Kennedy (16-12) could not get untracked offensively as St. Mary's smothered it with its trademark defense, causing turnovers which resulted in easy baskets, often dunks by Lee and Aalim Moor. Moor finished with 15 points.

"We worked hard on our half-court defense this week," St. Mary's coach Manny Nodar said. "Our goal is to cut off the court and suffocate the opponent's offense."

Kennedy was led by Adonis Leacock's 11 points. Mariano Skinner also added seven points and five rebounds in the loss.

Spartans face the Highlanders on Saturday

Call the BracketBuster game against UC Riverside a 'homecoming' one because that description is going to apply to a number of the people appearing Saturday night.

Riverside's Athletic Director is Stan Morrison who, of course, coached at San Jose State from 1989 to 1998. Morrison was also an assistant on the 1968-1969 San Jose State squad that will be feted prior to the game.

Dennis Cutts, now an assistant coach at UCR, was an assistant coach at San Jose State from 2002 -2005.

Plus, there are a number of 'local' Highlander players

*** Jessie LoBue played prep basketball over the hill at Santa Cruz High and then attended Gavilan in Gilroy.

*** Prince Ray Pope (no, we didn't make that up) is out of both Oakland and Monterey.

*** Larry Gurganious (who actually is redshirting this season) is out of Oakland.

Konner Veteto played his high school ball up in Auburn.

This means there should be a decent contingent of Riverside fans at Walt McPherson Court on Saturday.

Season To Date

Nov 15, 2008 @ New Mexico State 52-79 (Loss)
Nov 18, 2008 Sacramento State 61-49 (Win)
Nov 22, 2008 Northern Arizona 59-52 (Win)
Nov 25, 2008 Occidental 62-34 (Win)
Nov 29, 2008 @ Colgate 54-44 (Win)
Dec 01, 2008 @ Northwestern 43-59 (Loss)
Dec 06, 2008 Southern Utah 67-63 (Win)
Dec 15, 2008 @ Loyola Marymount 59-52 (Win)
Dec 18, 2008 Montana 58-53 (Win)
Dec 23, 2008 @ Hawaii 46-56 (Loss)
Dec 28, 2008 @ Denver 46-52 (Loss)
Jan 02, 2009 Cal Poly 91-57 (Win)
Jan 04, 2009 UC Santa Barbara 71-69 (Win)
Jan 08, 2009 @ UC Davis 58-65 (Loss)
Jan 10, 2009 @ Pacific 53-76 (Loss)
Jan 14, 2009 Cal State Northridge 56-64 (Loss)
Jan 17, 2009 @ CSU Bakersfield 64-63 (Win)
Jan 24, 2009 @ Long Beach State 64-55 (Win)
Jan 29, 2009 UC Irvine 66-71 (Loss)
Jan 31, 2009 @ Cal State Fullerton 52-58 (Loss)

The Starting Five (stats are from league play)

6-7 200 Kyle Austin 17.0 ppg., 6.6 rpg., 43% shooting, 31% from 3

6-8 220 Christian Soto 2.3 ppg., 5.3 rpg. .38% shooting overall

6-3 190 Sean Cunningham 5.6 ppg., 3.1 apg., 33% shooting from the floor

6-0 195 Javon Borum 11.3 ppg., 43% shooting overall, 49% from 3, 43 of his 70 shots have been three-point attempts, 19 steals leads the team

6-4 200 Aaron Scott 7.8 ppg., 6.1 rpg., 42% shooting from the floor, zero three-point attempts

Off The Bench

6-4 200 Brandon Dowdy -- 5.0 ppg., 33% shooting overall, 43% from 3

6-4 200 Rudy Meo -- 3.6 ppg.

6-7 205 Jessie LoBue -- 6.5 ppg., 53% shooting from the floor, 62% from 3

6-9 250 Konner Veteto -- 4.9 ppg., 62% shooting, 4.7 rpg.

6-8 215 Bryson Hampton -- appears to be injured, hasn't played any conference games

As A Team

*** UC Riverside is shooting 42% from the floor in league play and 43% from three-point range, the latter a remarkable number and 70 percentage points better than the Highlanders did in earlier non-conference play.

*** The Highlanders are a -32 in free throw attempts in conference action.

*** UCR is a +26 in rebounding totals primarily due to strong offensive rebounding.

The Highlander Roster
(alphabetical, by position)

Cleavon Barlow G 6-2 215 junior
Javon Borum G 6-0 195 junior
Sean Cunningham G 6-3 190 junior
Jalonni Diggs G 6-1 180 sophomore
Brandon Dowdy G 6-4 200 junior
Larry Gurganious G 6-5 200 junior
Rudy Meo G 6-4 200 junior
Prince Ray Pope G 6-4 200 sophomore
Aaron Scott G 6-4 200 senior

Kyle Austin F 6-7 200 sophomore
David Chavarria F 6-7 210 freshman
Kyle Clark F 6-11 220 freshman
Bryson Hampton F 6-8 215 junior
Jesse LoBue F 6-7 205 junior
Christian Soto F 6-8 220 senior
Konner Veteto F 6-9 250 freshman

What Else

*** The recent win over Cal State Fullerton can be attributed to holding Fullerton backcourter Josh Akognon -- a possible NBA draftee -- to 5-21 overall shooting, including 3-15 from long range.

*** The Riverside starting lineup seems to change depending upon the size and strong points of the foes so Coach Wooldridge will adjust accordingly on Saturday.

Inquiring minds want to know

Actually, inquiring minds or rather those that are still functional already know that Truth10, CruzanKid (isn't it time for 'him' to make a re-appearance?), Gregg, Sierra Spartan, et al (forgive me for the ones I've left out) are the work of one person. Gosh, when will BCDaddy be resurrected for old times sake? C'mon, go ahead and dust that one off. This transparent situation is reminiscent of that long ago commercial in which the guy said, "you can call me Ray, you can call me Jay..." but in this case it's 'you can call me Truth10, you can call me CruzanKid, you can call me Gregg, you can call me Sierra Spartan, you can call me BC Daddy or...

That is why none could ever make a public appearance as none can today.

The one person who cries out for attention, who has lost everyone's trust (as if it was ever had), who has done the me-me-me-me-me routine for so many years now, will never understand that supporting SJSU athletics is not about him.

On a separate note (it's not worthy enough to make a separate post), whatever happened to that so-called agreement and alliance between the athletics department of the school we so proudly love and support and some sorry site? You know, the announcement that was so anxiously announced.

Oh, right.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pasadena (Joseph Henson) opens playoffs

6-9 Joseph Henson is another San Jose State signee -- the game preview (now outdated) below provides a little background on him. Pasadena beat Vista Murrieta 72-63 last night and now takes on Long Beach Poly (22-6) in Long Beach. Poly is ranked 13th in the state by Maxpreps. Joseph Henson photo courtesy of Larry Goren and many thanks to Miguel Melendez for his Pasadena High coverage.

Bulldogs hope for new heights
Taller the better for Pasadena
Miguel A. Melendez
Pasadena Star News

It's time to play with the big boys.

No, really.

For most, if not all, the Pacific League season, the Pasadena High School boys basketball team had trouble against smaller lineups.

The Bulldogs (21-5) will open the Division I-AA playoffs against Vista Murrieta (17-11), a Broncos team that boasts a tall front court. That will be a foreign but pleasant sight when Pasadena takes the court Wednesday night.

Vista Murrieta is led by 6-foot-7 senior senior Josh Barrett and 6-foot-5 senior James Bergen. The Broncos post an intimidating presence inside with the addition of Adrian Goodson. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior averages seven points per game.

It appeared as if Pasadena struggled against the likes of Muir and Burbank in the first half of the season, but much of it had to do with making adjustments against smaller lineups.

"Little guys are hard to block out," said Bulldogs coach Tim Tucker, whose team is riding on a 16-game winning streak. "Half the time you just don't know where they're coming from."

The Broncos do boast a tall front court, but the Bulldogs also will be tested when Nick Ross, a 6-foot-2 senior, is handling the ball.

He averages almost 18 points.

Still, not having to worry so much about smaller guys couldn't have come at a better time.

"We're better when we see a much (taller) team," Tucker said. "When we faced the Pacific League most of the guys are so small we don't really get to work on the stuff we need to for the playoffs because of the size difference."

Joe Henson, the Bulldogs' 6-foot-9 senior center, will not have to worry about smaller guys flopping on defense, either.

"Joe complains all the time he can't see or feel the littler guys," Tucker said. "When he does make a strong move (Henson) usually gets the offensive fouls. He takes it easy against the little guys because he doesn't want to get the offensive fouls."

Hyde Park (Anthony Dixon) to play for Chicago city championship

Hyde Park just took down another opponent (Foreman) and will now play Sunday for the Chicago city championship against North Lawndale. 6-4 San Jose State signee Anthony Dixon is a member of the Hyde Park squad and we have three photos of him (courtesy of the Sun-Times) from the Foreman game. Also, many thanks to Clyde Travis for his game writeup.

Hyde Park storms into city title game
Clyde Travis
Chicago Sun-Times
February 18, 2009

It’s been over 50 years since Hyde Park has played for the Public League championship but that drought is over as it routed Foreman 64-44 in a semifinal Wednesday at DePaul.

Foreman (19-6) came into the game with a trio of highly touted guards -- Lavonte Dority, Mike McCall, and Tommy Woolridge -- who have reeked havoc on opposing guards all season long.

But they met their match in the Thunderbirds' Martell Jackson, Fabyon Harris, and Malcolm Griffin, who held them in check defensively and took it to them offensively.

Harris scored eight points of a 10-2 run that gave Hyde Park a 28-16 lead with 5:05 remaining in the second quarter. A three-point shot from the top of the key by Griffin pushed the lead to 48-25 with 3:25 left in the third.

Jackson led a well-balanced scoring attack with 15 points. Griffin and Harris each scored 13.

“I’ll take my three guards against any guard in this city," Hyde Park coach Donnie Kirksey said. "Griffin showed the leader that he is. We call Jackson the 'Glove' because of the way he will lock you down on defense, and Harris is relentless.”

But the X-factor, Kirksey said, was the inside play of 6-5 forward Jerome Moore and Anthony Dixon. Moore narrowly missed a triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and nine blocks. Dixon finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four blocks for Hyde Park (23-3).

“Coach told us we had to board like crazy and go after every shot," Moore said.

“That was the best team we faced all year," Foreman coach Terry Head said. “They are really good and well coached. They execute. They are aggressive, and they play with a chip on their shoulder.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

San Jose State wins 52-47

A prior obligation kept us from attending the game so here's the game lead from the AP. It is worth noting that in 29 minutes, SJSU limited Ryan Toolson to 4-14 overall shooting, including 0-6 on three-point attempts and that Justin Graham played ironman, being on the court for 39 minutes.

(AP) - Tim Pierce had 14 points and Justin Graham scored four points in the final 1:33 to help San Jose State beat Utah Valley State 52-47 in a non-conference game on Tuesday night.

Graham finished with 13 points, six assists and six rebounds for the Spartans (11-13), who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Ryan Toolson scored 12 points to lead Utah Valley State...

San Jose State played without leading scorer Adrian Oliver for the third straight game...

Without Oliver, the Spartans struggled to score consistently and couldn't put the Wolverines away until Graham sank a pair of free throws with 1:33 remaining and added a short lean-in shot a minute later.

Toolson missed all of Utah Valley State's final three shots, including two 3-point tries. The Wolverines lost for the first time in four games.

Pierce scored eight of his points in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the second half to help San Jose State build a 36-27 lead....

Sort of Marquin Chandler update

There is a team in the Philippines still waiting for Marquin Chandler to finish up his season and join them for the playoffs. The article below says that Marquin is in Japan but we think he is still playing in Korea.

Two clubs chase imports as 'Fiesta' nears
Nelson Beltran
Philippine Star
February 18, 2009

MANILA, Philippines - Reggie Larry and Charles Clark III came to town early but there’s still no assurance they would be able to play in the Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference opening Feb. 28 in Dumaguete.

The two are still being evaluated by prospective takers whose original choices are still tied up in another league...

...Purefoods and Rain or Shine are in search of a sub import who will play for the team until their original choices finish their current engagements.

The Giants and the Elasto Painters are after Marquin Chandler and Jai Lewis, who curiously are both playing in Japan together with Coca-Cola prospect James Penny.

Chandler, a former San Jose State Spartan, has had two previous tours of duty with Purefoods, with the first one in 2006 when he beat out Penny for the Best Import award...
Go here for the remainder.

Anthony Dixon and Hyde Park update


Anthony Dixon (#25 in the white uniform, #35 in the dark one) is a 6-4 senior at Hyde Park in Chicago and signed a letter-of-intent with San Jose back in November. Here's the latest -- although it actually covers more of what his team is up to:

#9 Hyde Park 63, No. 6 Marshall 60
Bob Sakamoto
Chicago Tribune
February 11, 2009

Moments after Darius Smith's potential game-tying three-pointer bounced off the rim Wednesday, Hyde Park's home court was swarmed by jubilant fans.

Given the crowd-control problems in the Public League of late, security officials were a bit apprehensive about such a scene. No need to worry this time, as Hyde Park and its supporters celebrated a 63-60 victory over No. 6 Marshall in the second round of the Public League playoffs.

No. 9 Hyde Park (21-3) will face Von Steuben (14-9) in Sunday's quarterfinals at Illinois-Chicago.

"This means so much to beat Marshall because they were born to win,'' said Hyde Park guard Fabyon Harris. "They've won so many championships...'' Harris and Malcolm Griffin each scored 14 points and Anthony Dixon added six points and 10 rebounds for Hyde Park.

Then Hyde Park took the measure of Von Steuben: Hyde Park 62, Von Steuben 48 and one poll now has Hyde Park ranked fourth in the Chicago area:

4. Hyde Park 22-3

Here is Joe Henricksen who writes about prep sports for the Chicaho Tribune:

There will be no Simeon. There will be no Marshall. There will be no Farragut or Crane, city powers that have garnered most of the attention in recent years. Instead, it will be Hyde Park and Foreman, with one picking up a big win and advancing to the city championship this Sunday. The urgency sides with Hyde Park, which features a trio of seniors -- Malcolm Griffin, Jerome Moore and Anthony Dixon -- that have elevated the Hyde Park program. Foreman, meanwhile, despite a little youth on its side, needs to seize the opportunity. Whether it's the emerging South Side or North Side power, only one will be able to take advantage of it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Utah Valley here Tuesday night

The most important thing you need to know is that Utah Valley's Ryan Toolson scored 63 points against Chicago State on January 29 in a 123-121 four overtime victory. The 6-4 Toolson had 42 points in regulation and played all 60 minutes of the game. He shot 18-31 overall, 7-11 on his three-point attempts and 20-21 at the foul line. By the way, his uncle is Danny Ainge so shooting and scoring runs in the family.

Speaking of relatives, UVU backcourter Jordan Swarbrick is the son of Steve Swarbrick, a former Spartan basketballer.

To provide an example of a mutual team both San Jose State and Utah Valley have played: UVU took on Utah State at home on December 13 and lost 69-50 but Toolson scored 25 points despite being double-teamed often.

Season To Date For UVU

11/14/08 Northern Arizona University W, 68-62
11/18/08 University of Montana-Western W, 90-80
11/22/08 University of Louisiana-Lafayette W, 71-41
11/25/08 University of Montana W, 82-75
11/29/08 @ Binghamton University L, 73-66
12/04/08 University of California Santa Barbara L, 62-57
12/06/08 @ Northern Arizona University L, 63-64
12/09/08 @ Sacramento State University W, 64-40
12/13/08 Utah State University L, 69-50
12/20/08 Southern Utah University W, 78-72

6th Man Club Tournament
12/28/08 Norfolk State Bozeman, Montana W, 75-68
12/29/08 @ Montana State Bozeman, Montana L, 67-70 (OT)

01/03/09 University of Texas at Arlington L, 75-64
01/10/09 Binghamton University W, 80-70
01/13/09 @ Houston Baptist University L, 71-64
01/20/09 @ North Dakota State University L, 98-71
01/24/09 Savannah State University W, 55-39
01/29/09 @ Chicago State University W, 123-121
01/31/09 @ California State University-Bakersfield L, 60-69
02/05/09 Academy of Art University W, 81-43
02/09/09 Lamar University W, 71-55
02/12/09 @ NJIT W, 61-40

The UVU Starting Five

Brett Ravenberg 6-8 center -- he's not much of an offensive threat -- 3.8 ppg. -- and somewhat undersized for playing in the paint.

Jourdan Scourbes 6-7 forward -- the anomaly with Scourbes is that he is shooting better from long distance (.393%) than he is overall (.392%). He has attempted but 10 free throws all year so he'll definitely be positioned away from the basket despite his height.

Tyray Petty 6-1 guard -- a decent shooter who will take the three when presented with the opportunity, Petty is also second on the UVS squad in rebounding with 4.3 boards a contest.

Josh Olsen 6-1 guard -- he's the second double-figures scorer on the team at 10.8 points a contest and another sharpshooter with 46% accuracy from the floor, 44% on his trey attempts and 85% from the foul line. Olsen is tops in assists for UVU with 69

Ryan Toolson
6-4 guard -- he averages 37.6 minutes a game so making him work defensively should at least theoretically take some energy and focus away from his offensive play. Toolson is shooting 47% from the floor, 41% on his three pointers (162 of them) and 93% from the foul line while averaging 24.8 points per game. His 177 free throw attempts are an astounding number -- indicating he doesn't simply reside far away from the basket. He also has 68 assists (second on the team) and is tops in steals with 25.

Off The Bench

Jordan Swarbrick 6-6 guard -- he's a decent shooter but mostly in front of the three-point line, a good passer (60 assists) and the top rebounder at 4.7 a game.

Justin Baker 6-7 forward -- Baker is shooting 65% on 85 attempts -- almost exclusively in the paint

Solomon Jensen 6-8 forward -- he's a 15-minute-a-night reserve with no standout statistics.

Taylor Brown 6-5 forward -- like Scourbes, he is the UVU condundrum #2 as 41 of his 47 shots this season have been from three-point range yet he is only a 55% shooter from the foul line.

The Utah Valley Roster (alphabetical, by position)

Dick Hunsaker, head coach

Josh Olsen 6-1 G SR
Tyray Petty 6-3 G JR
Jordan Swarbrick 6-6 G
Ryan Toolson 6-4 G SR
Kevin Woods II 6-1 G FR

Justin Baker 6-7 F SO
Taylor Brown 6-5 F FR
Solomon Jensen 6-8 F FR
Jourdain Scoubes 6-7 F

Rory Fannon 6-9 C
Brett Ravenberg 6-8 C SR

What Else

Here's some trivia: Coach Hunsaker's son, Holton, graduated from high school last year and signed with Coach Kerry Rupp and Louisiana Tech. But the 6-0 point guard is completing his two-year LDS mission first.

*** As a team, UVU shoots 40% from three-point range so look for one of San Jose State's smaller starting lineups to be in place.

*** Despite a diminutive team size, Utah Valley is out-rebounding opponents on the season by three a game.

*** UVU has 80 more assists on the season than its collective opponents but also about 50 more turnovers. Opponents have also nabbed about 50 more steals.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

San Jose falls to Idaho 74-66

Kurt Weill joined forces with Bertolt Brecht back in 1928 to create the memorable song "Mack the Knife." Mac (the) Hopson, Idaho best player and one who primarily did San Jose State in during the second half, is a product of former Idaho great Phil Hopson and wife Lauren Hopson but debuted much, much later -- to SJSU's chagrin Saturday night as the Spartans fell 74-66.

At the 14:10 mark of the second half, it was a three point difference with Idaho ahead 41-38. But then a mix of Hopson scoring, combined with hot rest-of-the-Vandals shooting and blended with San Jose State turnovers, enabled UI to stretch the lead and SJSU couldn't answer.

Hopson finished with 21 points after posting three in the initial half.

With 9:30 remaining, Idaho led by nine and it advanced further until the Spartans closed at the end.

It was 33-30 at the half in favor of the Vandals. San Jose State shot 12-26 and 3-11 on treys in the first 20 minutes. Idaho went 13-30 and 3-9. The Spartans had a seven point lead at one point.

Tim Pierce led SJSU with 14 points. Robert Owens had 13 as did C.J. Webster. Webster shot 6-7 from the floor, grabbed nine boards and blocked four shots.

For the game, the Spartans shot 47% (24-51) and 6-20 from three-point distance. Idaho was also at 47% (27-57) but went 8-19 from long range. SJSU out-rebounded the Vandals 35-28. San Jose State committed 17 turnovers to nine for UI.

Friday, February 13, 2009

San Jose State plays at Idaho Saturday night

Forget that one song title by Dinah Washington because it should be "What A Difference A Year Makes" -- at least if we are talking about Idaho men's basketball. Formerly a longtime assistant coach at Utah State, Don Verlin came in, cleaned house and has made Idaho whole again, if undermanned. But the latter hasn't stopped the Vandals from being successful this season -- much more often than the past -- and a squad to be feared even by Utah State. Idaho just fell at home to Utah State but it was close -- in fact, Verlin's squad was down just 52-49 with 3:27 remaining in Thursday's loss.

WAC Schedule To Date

Jan 03 at Nevada 78 - 73 (W)
Jan 05 at Utah State 61 - 70 (L)
Jan 08 Hawai`i 67 - 47 (W)
Jan 15 at New Mexico State 71 - 74 (L
Jan 17 at Louisiana Tech 63 - 74 (L)
Jan 24 New Mexico State 67 - 57 (W)
Jan 29 Boise State 63 - 59 (W)
Jan 31 Nevada 65 - 69 (L)
Feb 07 at Hawai`i 49 - 71 (L)
Feb 12 Utah State 63-72 (L)

The Idaho Starting Five

Mac Hopson 6-2, 195 junior -- Hopson is a candidate for WAC Player of the Year based on 16.4 ppg., 5.1 rpg., 129 assists and 38 steals. He is shooting 47% overall and an astounding 48% from three-point range.

Terrance Simmons 6-3, 170 senior -- He's not a big shooter or scorer -- 4.9 ppg. -- but is capable of putting down the open shot. Simmons provides quality ballhandling with few errors, owning a 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. He won't create many opportunities but he takes what is available -- six free throws attempts in .526 minutes of action.

Kashif Watson
6-4, 190 junior -- He avaerages 10.9 ppg. and 3.8 rpg. but is more of 12-15 foot shooter -- at just 26% from long range.

Brandon Wiley 6-6, 225 junior -- He doesn't excel in anything but his numbers are solid -- 9.3 ppg., 6.0 rpg. -- and he's a glue guy upfront, grabbing a rebound here and making a shotblock there.

Marvin Jefferson
6-10, 235 junior -- At 8.7 ppg., 3.8 rpg., he doesn't look like he's providing much but he's really the lone paint player Idaho has on its roster. He averages just 21 minutes a game because he tops the Vandals in the number of personal fouls committed. Getting him to the bench would aid SJSU's cause immensely.

Off The Bench

Luciano de Souza 6-7, 205 junior -- Call him Mr. Three-Pointer as 107 of his total of 144 shot attempts have been from three-point range. He's nailing 38% of his trey attempts.

Trevor Morris 6-4, 182 senior -- 89 of his 123 shot attempts season are from long distance

Brandon Brown 6-1, 205 senior -- He's another player who can shoot but from inside the three-point line. He's been injured a lot but has yet to attempt a three-pointer.

Luis Agosto 6-8, 245 senior -- He's a backup.

The Vandal Roster (by position and alphabetical)

Brandon Brown G 6-1 205 senior
Drew Eisinger G 6-3 165 sophomore
Mac Hopson G 6-2 195 junior
Trevor Morris G 6-4 182 senior
Terrance Simmons G 6-3 170 senior
Ryan Votaw G 6-1 190 sophomore
Kashif Watson G 6-4 190 junior

Travis Blackstock F 6-5 junior
Brandon Wiley F 6-6 225 junior
Mark Mahaffy F 6-6 189 sophomore
Luciano de Souza F 6-7 205 junior

Luis Agosto C 6-8 245 senior
Marvin Jefferson C 6-10 235 junior

Sitting out this season

Kyle Barone C 6-10 215 freshman
Steffan Johnson G 6-1 172 senior (Pacific transfer)
Marcus Lawrence G 5-10 180 junior (UNLV transfer)
Luiz Toledo F 6-7 220 sophomore

What Else

*** It is in many ways the Mac Hopson Show in Moscow this season because as he goes, so goes Idaho.

*** Idaho has 153 steals on the season to 113 for its collective opponents. Look for the Vandals to try some pressure defenses Saturday night.

*** Don Verlin's team lack size but is successful this season when playing proficiently -- shooting a good percentage and limiting turnovers.

How's our prediction coming along?

Earlier, we wrote that the teams that defend the best will be at the top of the WAC this season and the best defensive squad will win it. Whether it be for better or for worse, all predictions should be re-visited so as to judge their merits. Here's the field goal percentage defense numbers to date in WAC play:

# Team G FG FGA Pct
1.Utah State.......... 11 235 573 .410
2.Nevada.............. 10 235 557 .422
3.Hawaii.............. 11 236 541 .436
4.Boise State......... 10 250 569 .439
5.Idaho............... 9 204 462 .442
6.New Mexico State.... 11 292 658 .444
7.Louisiana Tech...... 11 250 559 .447
8.Fresno State........ 9 243 536 .453
9.San Jose State...... 10 264 567 .466

Well, USU is running away as the top team in the conference so it shouldn't come as any surprise that the Aggies are also the best defensive squad. What's interesting is that Utah State was at .442% last season -- fifth in the league.

What is surprising is Nevada's lack of consistency considering the stellar defensive number the Wolf Pack is showing (.422%) but having a bunch of newcomers and players performing in new roles needs to be factored into such an equation. Mark Fox's team led the WAC in field goal percentage defense last season at .430%.

We're a little surprised that Hawaii is way up there at .436% after last season's .482%. The athleticism of the Rainbow Warriors has improved so maybe that is leading the betterment.

Idaho has made a 4% improvement: .442% now to last season's .482%. Louisiana Tech has made similar strides with a now .447% from a .529% of a year ago.

New Mexico State was at .442% in 2007-2008 and is at .444% now.

San Jose State's .466% -- last place -- is a primary reason for the team's inability to put together any sort of winning streak. But what's interesting is that the Spartans were sixth in the league last season with the same .466%.

Another Joseph Henson update

Pasadena High and 6-8 Spartan signee Joseph Henson won another game last night and the team now heads into the playoffs next week.

Pasadena avoids Muir's upset bid
Miguel A. Melendez
Pasadena Star News

PASADENA - It didn't matter that the Muir High School boys basketball team wasn't in contention for a CIF-Southern Section playoff berth or that Pasadena had already clinched its fifth straight Pacific League title.

When the `Dogs were in the gym, the battle was on.

For at least one half, the Mustangs hung in there and gave it a good fight.

(Joseph Henson photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

But almost as if on cue, the Bulldogs snapped back into rhythm to start the second half en route to a 63-51 victory in front of capacity crowd Wednesday night at Muir High in the Pacific League finale...

...Pasadena led by as many as 19 points. They were led by Joseph Henson (18 points), George Toyama (17) and Travis Flye (14).

The Bulldogs will know their opponent Sunday when the CIF-Southern Section releases the playoff pairings...
Go here for the full article.

San Jose State falls 80-68 to Nevada

It was a-l-m-o-s-t a tale of two halves but Dickens would have haltingly penned it something like this if he was covering the contest: "It was the worst of times, it was sort of the best of moments..." as Nevada had it's way the initial 20 minutes and actually put the game away then owning a 42-23 halftime lead.

At the 11:57 mark, Nevada led 23-10. With 7:35 on the clock, San Jose State cut the deficit to 10 at 30-20. But with 3:20 remaining, it was back to 17 at 38-21.

In that opening period, the Wolf Pack's Joey Shaw -- entering the game 4-24 from three-point range in league play -- enjoyed a Shaw-shooting-redemption by nailing 4-5 from long distance. He had 16 points at the half and finished the game with 23 -- a career high. Nevada made two thirds of its shot attempts in the first 20 minutes.

A pair of treys from Robert Owens cut the deficit to 11 -- 46-35 -- at the 17 minute mark but Nevada refused to budge any further.

The Spartans weren't necessarily missing the huge offensive role Adrian Oliver usually plays -- he sat out the game with an ankle injury -- however it certainly was a factor. But it was more the defense again that did SJSU in the most as the Wolf Pack shot 33-53 -- 63% -- as a team.

For the game, Owens led the Spartans with 17 points, buoyed by 5-9 three-point shooting. C.J. Webster added 15 points.

Nevada managed a startling nine blocked shots and rebounding turned out to be about even -- 30 for the Pack and 28 for the Spartans, including 16 offensive boards.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An Anthony Dixon update

As a reminder, San Jose State signed high school recruits 6-8 Joseph Henson, 6-4 Anthony Dixon and 6-4 Aalim Moor in early November. Henson, Dixon and Moor -- doesn't that sound like a law firm?

In Anthony Dixon's most recent game, Hyde Park (HP) traveled to Harlan High and won 82-71. HP now has an eight-game winning streak.

Here's a brief game report: "The No. 8 Thunderbirds had a balanced attack as five players contributed at least 11 points. Hyde Park was led by Fabyon Harris, who had 19 points. San Jose State recruit Anthony Dixon had 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Montell Jackson added 14 points and five steals."

Nevada comes to town Thursday night

Who can forget this from the game last season?

Just who and what is Nevada this season? Well according to some, the Pack is an underperforming group of players who have been sabotaged this season by Coach Mark Fox because, of course, he has some evil master plan.

Now back to reality: it's apparent there are those whose living experience is too barren and whose emotional state soars to the heights and sinks to the depths based solely upon Nevada's winning and losing respectively. This group also suffers from short-term memory loss, stuck in what-have-you-done-for-me-lately self-imposed quagmire minus any acknowledgment of the success Nevada has enjoyed this past decade. They recently went ballistic over this Fox quote in the Reno Gazette-Journal game report last Sunday, inundating the newspaper with negative comments:

After the game, Fox said it was part of the growth process for a team that has been starting two freshmen, two sophomores and a senior. "We just have a very young team and this is part of the process that they have to go through," Fox said. "They can't be rushed. We can't stick steroids and stuff it in our team and make it bigger, faster, stronger, older. That just doesn't happen."

We would love to be able to do this: survey these naysayers in order to determine who has actually contributed financially or in any other genuine manner to the Nevada basketball program. We think there is a correlation between the most outlandish critics and their lack of giving of anything. This despite an apparent devotion to Wolf Pack hoops.

But others -- actually the vast majority -- have been eminently reasonable, comprehending the reality of the situation this season in Reno and relishing the tremendous success the Wolf Pack has enjoyed and will again have soon in the future.

Nevada's WAC Schedule This Season

notice the closeness of just about every game

Jan 03 Idaho 73 - 78 (L)
Jan 08 @ New Mexico State 79 - 71 (W) OT
Jan 10 @ Louisiana Tech 67 - 64 (W)
Jan 15 Boise State 77 - 63 (W)
Jan 17 Fresno State 65 - 60 (W)
Jan 22 Hawai'i 74 - 63 (W)
Jan 29 @ Utah State 61 - 72 (L)
Jan 31 @ Idaho 69 - 65 (W)
Feb 05 Louisiana Tech 75 - 78 (L)
Feb 07 New Mexico State 60 - 62 (L)

The Nevada Starting Five

Dario Hunt 6-8, 230 freshman -- He's the team leader in shotblocks with 52 but is more an in-the-paint power forward than a true center and not much of an option offensively at this point.

Luke Babbitt 6-9, 225 freshman -- The heralded freshman leads the team in scoring (15.6 ppg) and rebounding (7.6) and is shooting 46% from the floor plus 43% on his three-point attempts. He also is tops in three-pointers made on the team with 25. He will pose a problem ibecause he must be guarded when he is stationed in three-point territory as well as when he is in the paint. Open looks for him usually results in points on the scoreboard. Opposing teams need to make him work defensively.

Malik Cooke 6-6, 200 sophomore -- Call him a 'glue guy' with such a description being a salute. Cooke is second on the team in rebounding but first in offensive boards. In fact, his numbers in that category are almost identical -- 68 offensive boards, 78 defensive rebounds so blocking him out will be critical. He is best on the squad with 42 steals. His shooting is progressing but he's still more of a 'garbage guy' in putting points on the board.

Armon Johnson 6-3, 195 sophomore -- Selected by the conference coaches as the expected WAC Player of the Year, Johnson has endured an up-and-down season, possibly due to the adjustment of moving from more of a complementary role to being the #1 option on offense. Teams needed to focus on Marcelus Kemp last season as well as JaVale McGee, who had to be accounted for around the hoop. Johnson is scoring 14.9 ppg. this season but shooting 42% from the floor and 21% on trey attempts. Of late, he has been scoring better.

Lyndale Burleson 6-3, 190 senior -- His primary asset is as a defender -- an All WAC Defensive team member last season -- but his assist-to-turnover ratio is also a very solid 42-19 this go-around. But he's not a creator, more of a getting the ball to the right guy at the right place at the right time. He's shooting 31% from the floor and 27% fron long distance. What's startling though is his actually leading Nevada in three-pointers attempted with 69. That is way too many.

Off The Bench

Brandon Fields 6-4, 185, junior -- Currently at 36% from the floor and 18% from three-point range on the season, he is at 34% and 25% respectively in WAC play. His play has been a major disappointment.

Joey Shaw 6-6, 205, junior -- He transferred in from the junior college ranks after also spending a freshman season at Indiana and carried the rep of being a shooter/scorer. Shaw has enjoyed some good games but hasn't had the impact on the season as a whole that was expected. He is shooting 17% on his trey attempts in league action.

Everyone else on the roster is playing seven minutes a game or less.

As A Team

Nevada's team numbers look fairly solid. There are 30+ more steals and shotblocks than opponents and 30 less turnovers on the year. Within the WAC, most of the numbers tighten. Nevada is out-boarding conference foes by five a game but still dragging in shooting at 42% from the floor and 31% from long distance.

The Wolf Pack roster (alphabetical and by position)

Lyndale Burleson G 6-3 190 senior
Brandon Fields G 6-4 185 junior
London Giles G 6-3 180 freshman
Armon Johnson G 6-3 195 sophomore
Ray Kraemer G 6-4 200 junior

Luke Babbitt F 6-9 225 freshman
Adam Carp F 6-7 200 sophomore
Malik Cooke F 6-6 200 sophomore
Dario Hunt F 6-8 230 freshman
Ahyaro Phillips F 6-8 210 freshman
Richie Phillips F 6-7 220 junior
Joey Shaw F 6-6 205 junior

What Else

One big key is which Wolf Pack team will show up tonight? Will it be the Armon Johnson who shoots and scores well? Will Brandon Fields positively impact the game's outcome? Will Luke Babbitt go off?