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.

1 comment:

Travis Mason-Bushman said...

I'll be liveblogging this game from courtside for Vandal Nation, and Spartan fans are welcome to join us.