Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A not-to-miss Rebounder get-together

Back by popular demand, the "Meet the Players Dinners" are back.

A number of requests have come in asking for the return of the "Meet The Players Dinners" so it is happening once again. Come join the Spartan juniors, seniors and coaches on Tuesday, January 5 at the Bold Knight Bistro.

This will be one of the most fun events that the Rebounders have each year so please do be there. This will be your chance to get to know the basketball student-athletes because you will be sitting at the dinner table alongside Adrian Oliver, Justin Graham, Jerelle Wilson, C.J. Webster, Chris Oakes, Mac Peterson and Robert Owens.

RSVP by January 1, 2010 @ 408-694-7631

Spartan Rebounders
Location: Bold Knight Bistro 840 North First Street (near Hedding)
When: Tuesday, January 5, 6:00PM

Social Hour begins at 6:00 p.m. with dinner following at 7:00 p.m.

The menu for the evening is a tender boneless breast of chicken, marinated with fresh garden herbs, served on a bed of pasta with fresh tomatoes and a touch of white sauce. Served with a tossed House salad with choice of Italian or Continental dressing.

Cost for the event is $20 for current Rebounder Members and $25 for Non-Members.

Again, please RSVP by January 1, 2010. Player sponsorships are always welcome.

We offer a hearty thank-you for your continued support.

Monday, December 28, 2009

San Jose State sweeps UC Irvine 78-68

On December 18, San Jose State took to the court of the Bren Center and won 69-56 over UC Irvine. Tonight, it was a rematch on Walt McPherson Court and the Spartans again came out on top, 78-68, versus the Anteaters.

Adrian Oliver led the way with 29 points. Justin Graham notched eight assists. Chris Oakes returned to action, posting six points and four boards in 19 minutes.

SJSU shot well all night, going 52% overall, 79% from the foul line and 60% from three-point range. In contrast, the Anteaters struggled with 42%, 39% and 28% respectively. That middle figure is not a typo.

UCI got the first possession and what then took place proved to be a telltale sign: the initial Anteater shot was an air ball. Before seven minutes were up, starting center Zack Atkinson incurred two fouls and had to sit. He ended up with one point in 10 minutes of play.

At the half, it was 41-35 in favor of SJSU.

The opening of the second 20 minutes had the Spartans playing strong. Oliver nailed a trey, C.J. Webster completed an old fashioned three-point play and Oliver followed with a dribble-drive lefthanded layup.

Irvine closed the lead to eight a few times but could never get any closer.

Eric Wise led the Anteaters with 31 points and seven boards. Wayne Hunter chipped in with 19, primarily on the basis of 5-12 long distance shooting.

Remarably, UCI scored four more baskets than San Jose State but it took 23 more shot attempts in order to do so. SJSU scored 16 more points at the foul line.

There were multiple factors at play in tonight's victory: often enough great spacing, confident looks, the ability of Oliver and Graham to go left and still score and the confidence that comes with experience.


Mac Peterson and Adrian Oliver broke their consecutive made free throw streaks as the former went 4-5 and the latter 7-8.

Oliver damn near broke the ankles of his defender on one play -- let's just say his opponent was turned around completely on what looked like an outside shot, then morphed into a brief but tricky dribble-drive, followed by a reverse fadeaway jumper that netted three points. It's lucky the defender still had his shoes on after that sequence.

Idaho comes to town on January 4 to open WAC play.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Anteaters here Monday night

We have no evidence to confirm our proclamation but we'll still offer that nobody has ever used "madder than a pack of angry Anteaters" to describe any perturbed group.

So maybe new ground will be broken Monday night when UC Irvine takes to the floor at Walt McPherson Court in a rematch with San Jose State.


Consider this after-the-game comment from Irvine's top talent, Eric Wise: "We gave the game away...just a lack of execution, turnovers and no rebounding. They beat us, but we didn't help ourselves."

On December 18, UCI held a lead for the initial 28 minutes of the game but 12 second half turnovers, 31% team shooting and a 16-4 San Jose State scoring run led to a 69-56 Bren Center loss to the Spartans.

On that night, Adrian Oliver 31 points plus Justin Graham's 16 did the job, along with 50% shooting from the floor as a team. SJSU held the Anteaters to 37% overall shooting for the game.

We won't go so far as to call it a grudge match but, other than an expected big defeat at Texas, the 13-point loss to San Jose State is the worst for Irvine thus far. So there probably is a sticking-in-the-craw feeling motivating the Anteaters.

Yet on the other hand, their typical diet is ants and termites -- not Spartans.

It's the last game before both teams begin their respective conference schedules.

The Irvine Season to Date

11/15/09 at Texas L, 89-42
11/18/09 at Loyola Marymount W, 84-78

O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic
11/23/09 vs. UTSA Richmond, KY L, 66-56
11/24/09 vs. Eastern Kentucky Richmond, KY L, 67-57
11/25/09 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson Richmond, KY W, 75-54

12/02/09 vs. Hawai'i W, 80-70
12/12/09 vs. Vanguard W, 81-73
12/15/09 at Seattle University L, 82-81
12/18/09 vs. San Jose State L, 69-56
12/21/09 vs. Pepperdine W, 74-61

The Anteater Starting Five

6-foot-9 Zach Atkinson - 9.2 ppg. and 4.8 rpg., shooting 58% on the season -- scored 12 points with three blocked shots last time against SJSU, was effective in the first half

6-foot-8 Pavol Lavonsky - 6.9 ppg., and 4.2 rpg.

6-foot-5 Eric Wise - leads the team in rebounding at 5.5 rpg., is second in scoring at 13.0, his 37 assists leads the team, was a pre-season All Big West selection -- scored 15 points, grabbed six rebounds and passed for four assists earlier against SJSU

6-foot-3 Darren Moore - 9.3 ppg., 3.2 rpg., his 37 free throw attempts are second on the team, has a team-leading 18 steals, shooting 43% from long range

5-10 Michael Hunter - the leading scorer at 14.6 ppg. and second in assists with 30, tops in three-point attempts with 74, Hunter led the squad in steals last season but is second so far in 2009-2010 -- scored 13 points against SJSU earlier, with three treys

The Calvary

6-foot-9 Peter Simek (has grabbed seven boards in each of the last two games, including the previous UCI-SJSU contest)

6-foot-0 Patrick Rembert

6-foot-2 Mike Wilder

6-foot-4 Emil Kim

6-foot-8 Adam Folker

6-foot-2 Derrick Strings

The Irvine Roster (by position)

Zack Atkinson 6-9 220 Center SR
Peter Simek 6-9 245 Center JR (Bratislava, Slovakia)

Adam Folker 6-8 220 Forward SO (Markham, Ontario)
Pavol Losonsky 6-8 235 Forward JR (Pezinok, Slovakia)
Rashaad Ubah 6-6 210 Forward SO
Eric Wise 6-5 235 Forward SO (his father Francois, is a former Long Beach Stater who is the 49ers' career leader in rebounds)
Derick Flowers 6-0 175 Guard FR
Michael Hunter 5-10 160 Guard SR
Emil Kim 6-4 200 Guard JR
Jonas Lalehzadeh 6-5 203 Guard
Darren Moore 6-3 185 Guard JR
Patrick Rembert 6-0 185 Guard JR
Brandon Scott 6-2 180 Guard FR (Archbishop Mitty HS)
Derrick Strings 6-2 180 Guard SO
Mike Wilder 6-2 205 Guard FR

What to Expect

* Besides 37% overall shooting in the loss to SJSU, Irvine shot but eight free throws and went 5-25 from long distance for the game

* Expect Coach Pat Douglass to hedge his perimeter defenders inside, daring SJSU -- other than Adrian Oliver -- to shoot from the perimeter -- Pac Peterson and Robert Owens will need to demonstrate their longrange shooting prowess

* Adrian Oliver is coming off a double-double of 23/12 against Santa Clara, 26 versus Northern Colorado, the aforementioned 31 earlier against UC Irvine and 30 matching up with Cal State Bakersfield, so he's back in form.

If the internet radio gods and goddesses permit and the planets are in alignment, KSJS (90.5 FM, San Jose) will originate the San Jose State University basketball broadcast, with Mike Chisholm calling the play-by-play. Air time is 6:30 p.m. for the UC Irvine game. As a backup, try kuci.org

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Spartans win 74-68

Two miles or so separate San Jose State and Santa Clara University but the sports history between the basketball teams seems a distant memory as the Spartans now see Western Athletic Conference opponents as their primary rivals and the Broncos feel the same about West Coast Conference foes. Neither games at Walt McPherson Court nor at the Leavey Center between the schools pack in fans to the rafters.

But it's always fun to claim a win and establish so-called local annual superiority and San Jose State did just that Wednesday evening. Wearing their road blue uniforms, they left the Broncos blue by a score of 74-68.

At the half, Santa Clara led 30-25.

The Broncos then opened the difference to ten, 39-29, on a Ray Cowels trey, followed by a steal leading to a Niyi Harrison dunk.

Santa Clara enjoyed a 44-39 lead at the 11:23 mark but Mac Petersen apparently took insult of the situation. He hit four free throws and a layup, sandwiched in and around a Justin Graham layup, two foul shots by Adrian Oliver and a Robert Owens trey to boost San Jose State to a 54-47 lead.

Santa Clara battled back but three-pointers by Owens and then Peterson kept the Spartans ahead.

Back-to-back Bronco steals and points soon closed the gap to two -- 66-64, before Oliver hit a jumper with 40 seconds remaining.

Michael Santos of Santa Clara was fouled but hit just one of two foul shots and Oliver subsequently nailed both his free throws to make the score 70-65. Robert Smith made a layup for the Broncos but Oliver threaded another pair at the foul line, followed by a second twosome making it 74-68.

Oliver finished with a double-double of 24 points and 12 boards, Peterson concluded with 17 and Owens added 12.


Chris Oakes again wasn't available so Kyle Thomas started in his place and Peterson also was sent out as a member of the SJSU quintet for the initial jump ball. Oakes is sitting while a paperwork snafu is being appealed to the NCAA, an organization which makes molasses seems Usain Bolt-like and it being holiday time isn't making the situation any more expedient.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa Clara. Leavey Center. 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

Yes, the late Jack Webb wrote our subject line. But we will take over from here.

Crosstown rivalries are always cool because the fans of both the teams we are referring to interact and intersect throughout Silicon Valley on a daily basis. Bragging rights at the water cooler or the latte maker are up for grab tomorrow night.

The Broncos are currently 6-5, coming off a 54-53 homecourt victory over Pacific:

"Bronco sophomore Marc Trasolini nailed two free throws with 12 ticks left and the Santa Clara defense stopped a last-second attempt to capture victory over Pacific at the Leavey Center. The Broncos avenged their 84-57 loss from Nov. 22 in Stockton.

"I am really proud of our effort tonight. We worked hard not to turn the ball over and did a better job of handling it. It's great to have the team out of school and rested. The guys are coaching themselves out on the floor right now. It's great to see them continue to grow," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "I would like to see Marc Trasolini shoot 10 three pointers a night. He is that good of a shooter. He just needs to work on his confidence and continue to shoot."

SCU shot 38.6 percent, including 40 percent beyond the arc. SCU had 30 rebounds, three blocks and four steals with 12 turnovers. Pacific shot 44.9 percent, including 30 percent beyond the arc. Pacific had 31 rebounds, four blocks and seven steals with 14 turnovers.

Trasolini led the Broncos with 17 points and five rebounds. Ben Dowdell finished with 12 points and five rebounds. Niyi Harrison also added seven points for the Broncos."

An important note: The most talented Bronco, 6-foot-2 guard Kevin Foster, fractured the fifth metatarsal of his left foot on December 19 and required surgery. He is probably out for the season but time will tell about that.

Bronco Schedule To Date

11/13/09 at Cal State Bakersfield W, 84-81
11/19/09 at San Diego State L, 86-53
11/22/09 at Pacific L, 84-57
11/25/09 vs. Northern Arizona L, 88-72
11/28/09 vs. Fresno State W, 74-67
12/01/09 at UC Santa Barbara W, 79-68
12/05/09 vs. UNLV L, 66-63
12/14/09 at Houston Baptist W, 68-65
12/16/09 at Rice L, 70-57
12/21/09 vs. Pacific W, 54-53

The Starting Quintet

6-foot-9 sophomore Marc Trasolini - 14.7 ppg., 6.7 rpg.

* 6-foot-7 freshman Niyi Harrison 7.6 ppg., 4.9 rpg. or 6-foot-8 freshman Chris Cunningham (both in-the-paint players)

* 6-foot-6 junior Troy Payne - 7 rebounds a game, 30 assists, 21 steals (all team-leading numbers), a JC transfer

* 6-foot-4 freshman Ray Cowls - 6.4 ppg., has taken the second most three-pointers on the team, shooting 27% on his treys

* 6-foot freshman Robert Smith - 10.8 ppg., 3.2 rpg., shooting 33% overall from the floor

The Calvary

6-foot-5 junior Michael Santos - more of a distance shooter than anything else

* 6-foot-7 junior Ben Dowdell - an all-around frontcourter, will get you some points and rebounds

* 6-foot-1 Troy Alexander - his numbers are down this season but he averaged 15 ppg. last year, starting seven games

The Bronco Roster by position

Troy Alexander Guard SO 6-1/180
Phillip Bach Guard SO 6-4/195
Kevin Foster Guard SO 6-2/220
Nate Mensah Guard JR 6-3/195
Kyle Perricone Guard FR 6-3/195
Michael Santos Guard JR 6-5/205
Robert Smith Guard FR 6-0/185

Ray Cowels Forward FR 6-4/205
Chris Cunningham Forward FR 6-8/230
Ben Dowdell Forward JR 6-7/225 (Australian Institute of Sport) there's that AIS again - St. Mary's has 3-4 players from there
Niyi Harrison Forward FR 6-7/220 (Bellarmine College Prep)
Troy Payne Forward JR 6-6/220
Marc Trasolini Forward SO 6-9/235

What To Expect

As a team, Santa Clara is shooting 40% to 44% for opponents

* On treys, the Broncos are at 30% to 38% for opposing teams

* But Kerry Keating's squad has shot 61 more free throws on the season, committing 47 less fouls

* From the Santa Clara athletics site: "The Broncos have been a tale of two teams this year. In the six wins, the Broncos averaged 15.8 turnovers per game, but in the five losses they are averaging 20.0 turnovers per game. In addition, the Broncos averaged 75.8 points per game in the six wins with the opponents scoring just 66.8. In the five losses Santa Clara averaged 60.4 ppg and the opponents have averaged 78.8 ppg"

Radio Coverage: KSJS (90.5 FM, San Jose) originates San Jose State University basketball broadcasts. Mike Chisholm calls the play-by-play. Air time is 6:30 p.m. (PST) for the Santa Clara contest. But if you cannot access the Spartan 'net broadcast, try KDOW (www.1220kdow.com) for a live netstreaming of the game

Monday, December 21, 2009

Northern Colorado proves too much

It's rare but sometimes the opening play in a game is a telltale sign. Host Northern Colorado began the match against San Jose State with a quick trey and such was a omen of things to come.

The contest remained close through the half but then the Bears exploded in the second half, finishing with a 93-69 victory

At the half, it was 38-33 in favor of Northern Colorado. C.J. Webster has 11 points and Adrian Oliver 10 after the first 20 minutes. Both teams shot 44% but the Bears shot 7-19 from three-point range.

UNC did jump out to that very early 3-0 lead but the Spartans then went on a 9-0 run. Northern Colorado went on an 8-0 run of its own to take back the lead at 17-15. SJSU tied it at 24 but the Bears grabbed the lead back and held on to it through the first half.

Things fell apart in the second half.

Northern Colorado jumped ahead 48-37 at the 15:48 mark. A Webster basket made it 55-45 and Oliver reduced the deficit to eight at 55-47 but the Bears went 7-9 on the second half shots, 3-4 on treys and it was 61-47 at the 11:30 mark. The Spartan deficit went to 20 with 5:40 remaining.

UNC went 18-37 on three-point shots for the night, making more baskets from long distance than they did inside the line (15). Backcourters Will Figures and Devon Beitzel each scored 24, going 6-11 and 6-8 respectively from long distance.

San Jose State shot 43% overall, 23-25 at the foul line and 4-10 on treys. Northern Colorado shot 53% overall, 9-12 from the charity stripe and the aforementioned 18-37 from long range.

AO is the WAC POW

Per the announcement by Jason Erickson, the WAC Director of Media Relations, SJSU's Adrian Oliver is the WAC Player of the Week:

San Jose State's Adrian Oliver has been named the Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 14-20. The honor marks the first career WAC Player of the Week award for Oliver.

Oliver, a junior guard from Modesto, CA helped the Spartans to a 69-58 win at UC Irvine. Oliver became just the second player in SJSU history to score 30 or more points in back-to-back games as he scored 31 points in the win at UC Irvine.

Oliver had one of his best shooting nights of the season, making 10-of-19 shots from the field, including a season-high 3-of-6 from beyond the arc as SJSU became the first team this season to beat the Anteaters at home. Oliver also connected on 8-of-10 attempts at the free throw line. He tallied eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block in the win.

Other nominees:

* Boise State junior forward Daequon Montreal
* Fresno State sophomore guard Mike Ladd
* Louisiana Tech senior forward/center Magnum Rolle
* Nevada sophomore forward Luke Babbitt
* New Mexico State junior guard Jahmar Young
* Utah State junior forward Tai Wesley

Sunday, December 20, 2009

SJSU on the road Monday

Luckily, the road doesn't go on forever (sorry Robert Earl Keen) but it does continue in the near term for San Jose State basketball. On Monday, the Spartans face Big Sky Conference member Northern Colorado -- make that the 9-3 Bears.

Based 49 miles north-northeast of Denver, the University of Northern Colorado squad has a built-in advantage simply by being 4,600 feet above sea level. No, oxygen is not supplied to opponents at the benches a la the type of misters used by football teams on steamy days.

SJSU won the game between these two teams last season, 89-78. Adrian Oliver played in his first game for the Spartans in the contest played at the Civic Auditorium. San Jose State shot 67% to Northern Colorado's 55%. Backcourter Devon Beitzel bedeviled SJSU for 27 points on 12-14 shooting.

UNC is primarily a guard-oriented team, offering a lot of middle and long-distance shooting.

For what it's worth, both the Big Sky coaches and media placed the Bears sixth in pre-season polling.

NC Schedule To Date

Nov. 13 vs. McNeese St. @ Honolulu, Hawaii/Rainbow Classic W, 101-73
Nov. 15 vs. Southern Utah @ Honolulu, Hawaii/Rainbow Classic W, 73-51
Nov. 16 at Hawaii/Rainbow Classic W, 81-75
Nov. 20 vs. Texas Southern @ Air Force Academy, Colo. W, 66-62
Nov. 21 at Air Force W, 70-46
Nov. 27 at North Dakota W, 70-63
Dec. 1 Colorado State W, 70-63
Dec. 4 at Montana State L, 87-63
Dec. 5 at Montana W, 59-48
Dec. 12 vs. Wyoming @ Casper, Wyoming L, 76-70
Dec. 16 La.-Monroe W, 95-84
Dec. 19 at Oklahoma L, 80-79

The Bear Starting Five

6-foot-7 Taylor Montgomery - 8.8 and 4.3 points and rebounds a game respectively

6-foot-8 Mike Proctor - 8.2 points and a team-leading 6.2 rebounds while shooting 59% on the season

6-foot-1 Devon Beitzel - the second leading points producer at 13.7 a contest, 2.3 assists each time out, tops with 28 steals

5-foot-9 Will Figures - the leading scorer at 15.3 points per game, he's a scorer more than a shooter but is hitting 20-50 from long distance, 2.8 assists a contest is tied for team lead

6-foot-1 Yahosh Bonner - shooting 45% on his treys(13-29) but just 41% overall, very good defender, tied for lead in assists, he also sings the National Anthem at times before home games, Bonner was named the MVP in the Rainbow Classic

The Primary UNC Reserves

6-foot-8 Chris Kaba

6-foot-7 Neal Kingman

6-foot-1 Elliott Lloyd - 12-26 on his three-point attempts

The UNC Roster by position

Kevin Hanes C Freshman 6-10 200 (betcha he looks good in shorts)
Connor Osborne C Freshman 6-9 250

Emmanuel Addo F/C Freshman 6-8 215
Hauns Brereton F Freshman 6-6 205
Ben Jenkins F/C Senior 6-9 240 (Golden, CO - we best not leave a comment here)
Chris Kaba F Junior 6-8 185
Neal Kingman F Junior 6-7 220
Taylor Montgomery F/C Junior 6-7 235
Mike Proctor F/C Sophomore 6-8 225

Travess Armenta G Junior 6-0 190
Dave Arnold G Freshman 6-1 200
Mike Bedford G/F Freshman 6-4 175
Devon Beitzel G Junior 6-1 180
Yahosh Bonner G Senior 6-1 215
Will Figures G Senior 5-9 155
Lee Hall G Sophomore 5-8 155
Elliott Lloyd G Freshman 6-1 165
Tate Unruh G Freshman 6-2 155 (Branson, MO - meaning he can probably sing a bit, too)

What To Expect

* Northern Colorado is averaging 75 points per game so look for scoring in this contest-- the Bears are also out-shooting opponents from the floor and the foul line

* Bear fans stormed the court when UNC topped rival Colorado State on December 1 so they take their hoops serious in Greeley

* Northern Colorado won the Rainbow Classic earlier this year on the road when Hawaii fell to the Bears

* UNC is coming off an 80-79 road loss to Oklahoma where the Bears out-boarded the Sooners 40-31, shot 47% for the game and 41% from three-point range

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Due to technical difficulties

Well, we couldn't connect to the game last night as KSJS was having some technical difficulties -- we're hoping it wasn't on our end, so this is the best we could do for a media game report:
UC Irvines fades in the second half
Kenny Connolly
Orange County Register

IRVINE -- As the second half of UC Irvine's game against San Jose State progressed Friday, the frustration of Anteaters coach Pat Douglass became more and more evident.

The 12 second-half turnovers and 31-percent shooting were not the cause of Douglass' anger, though. Instead, it was a lack of effort he said he failed to see from his team.

UCI, which led for the first 28 minutes, saw a 10-point first half lead turn into a 69-56 loss at Bren Center.

"We started out good, but the last five or six minutes of the first half we lost all emotion, interest and focus in what we were doing," Douglass said. "We have played with effort most of the year, but why this happened, I don't have an answer for that."

The Anteaters (5-5) led for all but one possession of the first half, forcing the Spartans into eight turnovers and converting those mistakes into four easy baskets.

Irvine center Zack Atkinson scored 10 points and blocked three shots in the first half, giving UCI a 32-27 halftime lead.

But UCI was unable to keep that trend going into the second half.

"Defense is intensity, and the emotional involvement just wasn't there," Douglass said.

San Jose State (5-4) made two easy baskets in the opening minute of the second half to cut the deficit to one point. Anteaters guard Michael Hunter responded, draining two consecutive 3-pointers, extending the lead to 40-33 with just over 16 minutes left.

Over the next seven minutes, the Spartans went on a 16-4 run, grabbing a 49-44 advantage, their first lead since the opening minutes. San Jose guard Adrian Oliver spearheaded to comeback and added to the Spartans' lead, scoring 13 points over the final 13 minutes.

Over that span, San Jose scored points on 15 of their final 18 possessions, while UCI was limited to seven field goals down the stretch.

Adrian finished with a game-high 31 points and became the first Spartans player since 2005 to record consecutive 30 points games.

"We gave the game away," Wise said. "Just a lack of execution, turnovers and no rebounding. They beat us, but we didn't help ourselves."

The loss overshadowed a career night for Hunter. With his layup in the third minute, Hunter eclipsed the 1,000-point total over his time at Irvine, making him the 19th UCI player to reach the mark. Hunter finished with 13 points.

"He (Hunter) has been playing awfully well lately," Douglass said. "But when you have a performance like this, it's really hard to send praise onto anybody."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

San Jose State travels to Irvine Friday night

When we hear the name UC Irvine, we still think of Coach Bill Mulligan and the late Kevin Magee. Mulligan led the Anteater program from 1980 to 1991 and the 6-foot-8 Magee was his most prominent player. Both used to torment our Spartans at the Civic Auditorium.

But now UC Irvine is headed by Pat Douglass and San State ventures to Orange County Friday night to meet the Big Westers.

In one of those strange coincidences, Douglass led Cal State Bakersfield -- San Jose State's last opponent -- to three Division II national titles back in the 90s. Another obscure fact: Douglass was a backcourt teammate of current Pacific coach Bob Thomason when both played for the Tigers way back when.

More current, Donald Bren is the chairman and sole shareholder of the Irvine Company, which donated the land where the college is located. Hey, if you think Anteaters is peculiar, it could have been the Brens.

In showing the appropriate respect for all the financial donations, UC Irvine does play basketball in the on-campus Bren Events Center.

We totally digress for a moment but, for your next trivia game, the Irvine Company is the model for The O.C.'s "The Newport Group," and also inspiration for the Bluth Company on the late and much lamented television series "Arrested Development."

The Irvine Season to Date

11/15/09 at Texas L, 89-42
11/18/09 at Loyola Marymount W, 84-78

O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic
11/23/09 vs. UTSA Richmond, KY. L, 66-56
11/24/09 vs. Eastern Kentucky Richmond, KY. L, 67-57
11/25/09 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson Richmond, KY. W, 75-54

12/02/09 vs. Hawai'i W, 80-70
12/12/09 vs. Vanguard W, 81-73
12/15/09 at Seattle University L, 82-81

The Anteater Starting Five

6-foot-9 Zach Atkinson - 9.0 ppg. and 4.6 rpg.

6-foot-8 Pavol Lavonsky - 7.4 ppg., and 4.4 rpg.

6-foot-5 Eric Wise - leads the team in rebounding at 5.4 rpg., is second in scoring at 12.9, his 39 assists leads the team, was a pre-season All Big West selection

6-foot-3 Darren Moore - 9.0 ppg. plus 33 free throw attempts (second on the team), a team-leading 16 steals

5-10 Michael Hunter - second leading scorer at 14.7 ppg. and tops in assists with 24, also tops in three-point attempts with 40, Hunter led the squad in steals last season but is second so far this season

The Calvary

6-foot-0 Patrick Rembert

6-foot-2 Mike Wilder

6-foot-4 Emil Kim

6-foot-8 Adam Folker

6-foot-2 Derrick Strings

The Irvine Roster (by position)

Zack Atkinson 6-9 220 Center SR
Peter Simek 6-9 245 Center JR (Bratislava, Slovakia)

Adam Folker 6-8 220 Forward SO (Markham, Ontario)
Pavol Losonsky 6-8 235 Forward JR (Pezinok, Slovakia)
Rashaad Ubah 6-6 210 Forward SO
Eric Wise 6-5 235 Forward SO (his father Francois, is a former Long Beach Stater who is the 49ers' career leader in rebounds)
Derick Flowers 6-0 175 Guard FR
Michael Hunter 5-10 160 Guard SR
Emil Kim 6-4 200 Guard JR
Jonas Lalehzadeh 6-5 203 Guard
Darren Moore 6-3 185 Guard JR
Patrick Rembert 6-0 185 Guard JR
Brandon Scott 6-2 180 Guard FR (Archbishop Mitty HS)
Derrick Strings 6-2 180 Guard SO
Mike Wilder 6-2 205 Guard FR

What to Expect

Even if SJSU doesn't get 'em in the O. C., Irvine will return the favor and be at Walt McPherson Court on December 28 for a 7 p.m. rematch.

* Irvine is a very good free throw shooting team at .768% and even the bigs are proficient at the foul line so limited fouling will be necessary for the Spartans to be victorious

* Against Hawaii, the Anteaters frontcourt shot 12-22 with Atkinson and Losonsky combining for 25 points as Irvine as a team shot 23-39. The Rainbow Warriors put up 19 more shots but made just one more basket

* Expect Douglass to hedge his perimeter defenders inside, daring SJSU -- other than Adrian Oliver -- to shoot from the perimeter.

KSJS (90.5 FM, San Jose) originates San Jose State University basketball broadcasts. Mike Chisholm calls the play-by-play. Air time is 6:30 p.m. for the UC Irvine game.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Spartans win 84-80 in overtime

Hey, it was good. San Jose State didn't burst out to a large halftime lead -- not succumbing to that temptation.

It did take an overtime period to defeat Cal State Bakersfield 84-80 but the Spartans owned that -- make that Adrian Oliver took possession. In the extra period, he totaled four points to provide a quick 76-72 cushion. Cal State Bakersfield hit one of two free throws and Oliver followed with a 17-footer and eventually a 10-foot deuce. That proved too much for the Roadrunners.

Oliver finished with 30 points (plus 11 boards) while Chris Oakes double-dipped on 18 in both points and rebounds. Mac Peterson contributed 14.

In regulation play at the 7:36 mark of the second half, the score was 56 apiece.

San Jose State then built a 69-60 lead.

Bakersfield followed with a 10-0 run to take a one point lead at 70-69.

With 54 seconds remaining, Oliver nailed a three-pointer to make it 72-70 Spartans.

6-foot-8 pogo stick Donald Johnson then grabbed an offensive rebound and put it in to tie the score with 33 seconds remaining.

It was 72 apiece at the buzzer.

At the half, it was 35-31 in favor of the Spartans. The Roadrunners came out in a zone defensively and used aggressive offensive boardplay to jump out to a 6-0 lead.

It isn't true but it would be easy to believe that the Bakersfield offense is designed to get the ball up on the backboard and go for a close-in shot after grabbing the offensive rebound. With just 4:02 gone off the clock, the RRs had collected eight offensive boards.

Then it became the Chris Oakes Special. His rebounding, scoring and shotblocking propelled the Spartans to the lead which they maintained until 20 minutes of play had concluded.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Cal State Bakersfield on Wednesday

So it's the Field of Bakers coming to town Wednesday night, specifically Walt McPherson Court, 7 p.m. The Roadrunners are struggling but is a team with a mix of talent and potential. As expected, Coach Keith Brown has encountered difficulty bringing in 'bigs' but he certainly has some players who can do damage.

Such as, from the 'We've Been Saving This For Quite A While' and 'The For What It's Worth' Departments comes this pre-season item from Rivals:

Rivals Independent Teams Preseason Picks
First team

F Trent Blakley, 6-4, Sr., CS Bakersfield
F Tyler Cain, 6-8, Sr., South Dakota
F Cecil Gresham, 6-5, Sr., Bryant
G Travis Bledsoe, 5-11, Sr., North Dakota
G/F Dana Smith, 6-5, Sr., Longwood

Rivals Independent Teams Preseason Picks
Second team

F Santwon Latunde, 6-6, Sr., CS Bakersfield
F Carl Montgomery, 6-7, Jr., Chicago State
F Mark Yelovich, 6-5, Soph., SIU Edwardsville
G Brian Fisher, 6-2, Sr., Winston-Salem State
G Nick Weiermiller, 6-1, Jr., UT Pan American

On January 12 of this year, Cal State Bakersfield won 61-55. The RR's grabbed 40 boards, including 19 offensively, to SJSU's 33. Forward Santwon Latunde led the way with 12 points (6-11 shooting) and nabbed nine rebounds.

Currently, CSUB is 1-5:

Nov 13 Santa Clara University 81 - 84 (L)

Nov 17 Utah Valley University 58 - 51 (W)

Nov 20 UCLA at Westwood, CA 64 - 75 (L)

Nov 30 Cal State Northridge at Northridge, CA 74 - 81 (L)

Dec 02 UC Riverside at Riverside, CA 47 - 87 (L)

Dec 06 Oregon State at Corvallis, OR 39 - 74 (L)

The Roadrunner Starting Five

Santwon Latunde
F 9.2 ppg. 8.8 rpg. (39 free throws attempts in six games)

Trent Blakley F 16.3 ppg. 5.0 rpg. (52 three-point attempts, hitting 30%, just one assist in six games)

Stephon Carter G 10.3 ppg. 4.5 rpg. (leads the team with 17 assists, best freshman recruit so far for Coach Keith Brown)

Donovan Bragg G 10.2 ppg. 3.2 rpg. (the best passer on the squad)

Bryan Emmanuel G (the best backcourt defender, started every game last season as a freshman)

Off The Bench

Donald Johnson

Jose Lara C

Cory Brown C - has been ill, unsure if he will be available

The Bakersfield Roster (by position)

Donovan Bragg G 6-3 196 Jr
Stephon Carter G 6-3 180 Fr
Bryan Emanuel G 6-2 200 So
Marcus Hall G 6-3 185 Fr
Robert Hayes G 5-10 186 Jr
Alex Johnson G 5-10 170 Jr
Jeff Osborne G 5-10 163 So
Chris Smith G 6-1 175 Jr (a bigtime junior college scorer, redshirted last season, has yet to play this season)

James Albright F 6-6 212 Fr (Fremont High, Oakland)
Trent Blakley F 6-4 220 Sr
George DeLeon F 6-4 200 Jr
Donald Johnson 6-8 215 So
Santwon Latunde F 6-6 262 Sr

Jose Lara C 6-8 280 Sr
Cory Brown C 6-10 223 Jr

What To Expect

* Bakersfield isn't shooting well as a team, just 34% overall and 29% on threes, scoring 61 ppg and allowing 75. Does San Jose State play man or zone or a mixture?

* The Spartans will look to pound it inside both for scoring purposes and to get the Roadrunner 'bigs' in foul trouble.

* Can Adrian Oliver and Justin Graham get their outside shooting going in this contest?

Coverage: KSJS (90.5 FM, San Jose) originates San Jose State University basketball broadcasts. Mike Chisholm will call the play-by-play and air time is 6:30 p.m.

USF wins 76-71

USF is the second oldest institution for higher learning in California. San José State University, of course, is California’s oldest institution of public higher learning. So the pecking order indicates rank goes to SJSU. Unfortunately, the score between the mens basketball teams on Tuesday night didn't indicate this as the Dons, based on a strong second half, won 76-71.

It was a definitive tale of two halves -- the best of times initially but the worst of times in the second one for Sparta.

At the end of the first 20 minutes, San Jose State led 34-23. Adrian Oliver started cold and then picked it up to finish with nine points. Robert Owens contributed eight at the half.

At the 11:47 mark, the Spartans led by one at 9-8. Soon it became 18-8. Later, a Justin Graham trey put San Jose State up by 13.

But the second half proved disconcerting for San Jose State. It was a combination of key turnovers translating into USF layups and dunks plus a definite lack of stops defensively by the Spartans.

USF edged closer as the second half opened and a 15-3 run put the Dons ahead.

The last few minutes had the Dons protecting a varying 6-9 point lead. Mac Peterson got a pair of treys to bring SJSU close -- the Spartans got to within four -- but USF made enough free throws to keep the lead comfortable.

Oliver led on the night with 17 points, Graham tallied 16. Dior Lowhorn led USF with 26 points. San Jose State shot 38.5% for the game to 48% for USF. The Dons were an en fuego 67% in the second half.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tripping to Foggyville Tuesday night

The atmosphere surrounded USF hoops is much more settled now with the naming of Rex Walters as head coach prior to last season. Such was a necessity as a credible coach and coaching situation needed implementation on the Hilltop so as to not eliminate the lifeblood of college athletics -- recruiting.

Yes, this 7 p.m. road game Tuesday night against the Dons is another matchup against a private school, a la Pacific and St. Mary's, one that has no restrictions on the number of out-of-state or foreign recruits. Coach Walters currently has two citizens of France and one from the Czech republic on his roster.

How has USF done to date? It is a young-ish roster -- 10 underclassmen -- also filled with newcomers and the overall record indicates such.

Schedule To Date

Cal Poly 73-62 W (Dior Lowhorn 22 points, Perris Blackwell/Kwame Vaugh 7 rebounds)

11-20-09 at Arizona State 65-104 L (Kwame Vaughn 17 points, Dior Lowhorn 4 rebounds)

11-23-09 UC Santa Barbara 65-76 L Dior Lowhorn 26 points, Dontae Bryant 7 rebounds)

11/25/09 Montana State 66-70 L (Dior Lowhorn 19 points , Dior Lowhorn 9 rebounds)

11/29/09 at Colorado State 75-91 L (Rashad Green 21, Dior Lowhorn 21 points/Rashad Green 7 rebounds)

12/01/09 at Colorado 54-78 L (Michael Williams 12 rebounds, Parris Blackwell 9 rebounds)

12/05/09 at BYU 43 - 69 L ( Moustapha Diarra 13 points, Perris Blackwell 8 rebounds)

The Don Starting Five

6-foot-7 senior Dior Lowhorn 18.3 ppg. 5.0 rpg. (the best player on the Dons, he has been out with the flu so he may or may not be available)

6-foot-7 freshman Perris Blackwell 8.1 ppg. 4.9 rpg. (a long, rangy freshman)

6-foot-7 sophomore Angelo Caloairo 7.5 ppg. (very solid fundamentally, 12-22 on his trey attempts, 18-9 assist to turnover ratio)

6-foot-3 sophomore Kwame Vaughn 13.3 ppg. (the most creative Don, he can beat opponents off the dribble)

6-foot-2 sophomore Dontae Bryant (not necessarily a creator-type, 22-20 assist to turnover ratio)

Top Reserves

6-foot-4 sophomore Rashad Green

6-foot-0 freshman Michael Williams

5-foot-11 sophomore Peter Smith

6-foot-10 junior Moustapha Diarra

7-foot-0 freshman Tomas Bruha

The USF Roster by position

Kwame Vaughn 6-3/195 G SO (out of Oakland)
Dominique O'Connor 5-10/165 G FR
Michael Williams 6-0/170 G FR
Chioke Walker 6-2/175 G SO (out of Oakland)
Dontae Bryant 6-2/175 G SR
Rashad Green 6-4/195 G SO
Peter Smith 5-11/155 G SO

Blake Wallace 6-6/220 F SR
Perris Blackwell 6-8/240 F FR
Nikola Stojiljkovic 6-8/210 F FR(France)
Angelo Caloiaro 6-7/225 F SO (Archbishop Mitty)
Dior Lowhorn 6-7/230 F SR (out of Berkeley)

Tomas Bruha 7-0/225 C FR(Czech Republic)
Moustapha Diarra 6-10/235 C JR (France)

What To Expect

* Look for San Jose State to try and pound it inside, even more so if Lawhorn is out or plays minimal minutes

* USF is shooting .424% overall on the season while allowing .483% to opponents, also more turnovers and less steals

* Coach Walters' squad is at just 30% from long distance

* But the Dons are out-rebounding opposing teams, 34-31

Coverage: KSJS (90.5 FM) originates San Jose State University basketball broadcasts. Mike Chisholm calls the play-by-play and air time is 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

San Jose State wins 82-74

The thermometer outside registered 30 degrees. The wind was blowing in from the northwest at 15 miles per hour. The sky a dismal gray overcast. Yep, San Jose State men's basketball was in Orem, Utah on the lookout for Wolverines. Check that, make it successful Wolverine hunting.

The Spartans took the measure of Utah Valley State 82-74 Saturday afternoon.

(to the right is Kyle Thomas in his high school incarnation)

A 14-point SJSU halftime lead was expanded to 19 as the second half wore on but the Wolverines cut the lead to 12 -- 67 to 55 -- with six minutes remaining. Sean Deadwiler added a pair of free throws to cut the Spartan lead to 10. Adrian Oliver lifted it back to 12 points with an 18-footer. UVS scored again but Oliver matched it... and then did it again as his fadeaway jumper was working.

At the 3:47 mark, the Wolverines had a chance to cut the deficit to nine but missed a free throw. Oliver broke his jumper string with a driving layup -- making it four baskets in a row for him. Jordan Swarbrick, a thorn in the thorn to the Spartans from the opening tip, then nailed a three-pointer. Yet another Swarbrick basket cut the Spartan lead to seven, 75-68.

UVS regained possession. 1:25 remained. Justin Baker was fouled with a 1:15 left, made his first free throw and also nailed the second. The Spartans led by just five. Robert Owens was fouled, went to the line for a one-and-one. He made the first and the second. Owens returned to the charity stripe, made the first but missed the second. After a Utah Valley State miss, Owens was fouled yet again. He put down both to give SJSU an 80-70 lead with 35 seconds remaining and the contest was over.

Swarbrick finished the game with 30 points. Chris Oakes earned a double-double for SJSU as five Spartans accomplished double-figure scoring led by Adrian Oliver's 17. Kyle Thomas added 15, Robert Owens 14, Chris Oakes 12 (plus 14 rebounds) and Mac Peterson contributed 10.

San Jose shot 30-50 on the game, including 6-8 from three-point range. UVS went 26-62 overall.

The team traded baskets early on in the game. SJSU was down 23-19 but then went on a tear. Kyle Thomas hit back-to-back baskets, Robert Owens nailed a pair of treys, and the point production was off and running. The Spartans out-scored the Wolverines 23-5 until the buzzer sounded after 20 minutes.

At that half, it was 42-28 San Jose State. Thomas had a season high 13 points -- this after the first 20 minutes. The Spartans shot 60% and out-rebounded UVS 23-12, with Chris Oakes nabbing 10.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

On The Road Again...

Besides being home to Utah Valley State, Orem, Utah is adjacent to Provo and about 45 miles south of Salt Lake City. Marie Osmond lives there so it's a high probability a Nutrisystem franchise is close by that the San Jose State players can pick up meals at after they battle the Wolverines of UVS on Saturday afternoon, December 5.

Hey, if it comes recommended by Dan Marino...

Anyway, UVS is 3-3 so far this season. Here the Wolverines schedule:

11/13/09 North Dakota State W 80-72 (Jordan Swarbrick 20 points, nine rebounds)

11/17/09 at CSU Bakersfield L 51-58 (Justin Baker 10 points, Tyray Petty 11 boards)

11/19/09 at Minnesota Golden Gophers L 51-76 (Jordan Swarbrick 11 points, Tyray Petty nine rebounds)

11/25/09 vs Georgia State L 52-59 (South Alabama tourney) (Corey Claitt 13 points, Tyray Petty seven boards)

11/26/09 vs Alcorn State W 68-53 (South Alabama tourney) (Jordan Swarbrick 20 points, Jordain Scoubes 15 rebounds)

11/28/09 Northern New Mexico W 78-55 (Corey Claitt 15 points, Jourdain Scoubes 10 boards)

Let's Do It Again

On February 17 of last year, these two team met with San Jose State winning at home 52-47. Justin Graham put together an all-around game of 13 points, six assists and four steals. Adrian Oliver was injured and out for the game.

The focus of Graham's defensive attention that night, Andy Toolson, is gone. He was a prolific scorer, totaling 63 points in one game last year -- Graham held him to 14 points.

Coach Dick Hunsaker is in his seventh year in Orem, owning a 122-60 record. Coincidentally, he has a basketball playing son -- Holton Hunsaker -- who is finishing his LDS mission this year and should be on the court and playing for Louisiana Tech come the 2010-2011 season.

The Wolverine Starting Five

A number of players have earned starts so this is our best prediction:

6-foot-7 Joudain Scoubes - 7.7 ppg., 7.3 rpg., not an accurate shooter

6-foot-7 Justin Baker 12.3 ppg., 5.0 rpg.

6-foot-6 Jordan Swarbrick 13.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg., also tops in assists with 15 and has taken the most three-point attempts, 30

6-foot-5 Aaron England 8.7 ppg. .487% shooting overall, 9-19 from long distance

6-foot-1 Kevin Woods

Others receiving substantial playing time:

6-foot-3 Tyray Petty 7.0 ppg., 7.3 rpg.

6-foot-1 Corey Clait 12.3 ppg., 5.0 rpg.

6-foot-3 Sean Deadwiler 11 ppg.

6-foot-2 Eric Dearden

The USU Roster by position

Corey Claitt 6-1 G JR
Shawn Deadwiler 6-3 G JR (Loyola Marymount transfer)
Eric Dearden 6-2 G JR (a defensive stopper)
Aaron England 6-5 G JR (redshirted a year at Utah State before going the junior college route)
Tyray Petty 6-3 G SR (played high school ball in Alaska)
Jordan Swarbrick 6-6 G SR (his father Steve and his mother both played basketball at San Jose State)
Kevin Woods II 6-1 G SO

Justin Baker 6-7 F JR
Nick Jenson 6-5 F FR
Jourdain Scoubes 6-7 F SR
Lafayette Yarbray 6-7 F JR

Rory Fannon 6-9 C SO (out of New Zealand)
Jason Holm 6-7 C SO (a walk-on)

What To Expect

San Jose State will want to pound it inside and pound it inside and pound it inside...for both points and in gaining fouls. Will the Wolverines pack it into the paint and dare the Spartans to score from outside?

* UVS is shooting 43% as a team and holding opponents to 38% as well as out-boarding teams 38-32 a game. But Coach Hunsaker's squad has totaled 102 turnovers to 61 forced as well as pilfering but 27 steals to 61 for opponents. There's some hay to be made here.

*** Swarbrick is the Wolverine leading scorer but Aaron England is the most accurate shooter, checking in at 49% overall and 47% from long range.