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?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Best write up I've seen from an opposing team all year. Great research. You even got the mascot history right.