Friday, December 31, 2010

Utah State wins 80-71

A tug of war? Can that actually be used to describe a basketball game?

We're running with it, plus that point Brockeith Pane with 21 points hurt the Spartans all evening via dribble-drive penetration in a Utah State 80-71 victory.

A strong second half by frontcourter Tai Wesley -- because he wasn't burdened by foul trouble -- also aided the Aggie victory. He finished with 16 points, eight boards and just one second half foul. Tyler Newbold just missed a double-double with 11/9.

An under-the-weather Adrian Oliver totaled 18 points. Justin Graham added 15 and Brylle Kamen 13.

Utah State went up 56-50 with 11:03 left. Then Pooh Williams got called for an elbow, subsequently used a variation of the King's English in conversing with the referee and was slapped with a T. Two Oliver free throws and a Graham bucket brought the difference back to two.

The Aggies eventually stretched the lead to seven -- 61 to 54 -- with 8:45 remaining, then 63-54 until Graham nailed a jumper. Stew Morrill's squad then advanced it to 11. It was cut to nine a couple of times but San Jose State couldn't get closer.

Utah State remained relatively foul free in the second half and forced the Spartans into double figure whistles.

Rebounding was even at the half but the Aggies broke out to earn a 14 carom lead in that category come game's end.

Wil Carter fouled out with 8:20 remaining in the game, limited all night by foul difficulties.

It was a most surreal first half, highlighted by 28 foul calls, 15 on USU. For the Aggies, Wesley (both offensive, one an intentional elbow), Morgan Grim, Matt Formisano and Nate Bendall each were whistled for two fouls, with Brady Jardine totaling three.

Oliver had 10 points after the initial 20 minutes (on just six shots), Brylle Kamen nine and Calvin Douglas seven.

Pane owned the first half with 15 points, five boards and a trio of assists.

Utah State rolled out to a 7-0 lead but SJSU came back to tie it at nine apiece on a pair of Oliver free throws. It went back and forth until the Aggies led 39-38 when the clock expired.

By the way, Wild Bill Sproat was sporting wings tonight.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Spartans @ Utah State Friday, 6 p.m.

Utah State is Utah State, year-in and year-out. Stew Morrill has his system (screen, screen, screen and then screen) until an open shot is accessed or Tai Wesley can muscle inside. Defensively, the Aggies play physical and boast Pooh Williams, the returning WAC Defensive Player of the Year who will probably be the prikmary matchup against Adrian Oliver. It's a style and squad of talents who play to their strengths, understand their individual and team boundaries and minimize weaknesses.

The Aggies, owning 11 straight 23-win plus seasons, are 12-2 overall this go-around, 9-0 in the vaunted Spectrum, where Wild Bill Sproat is enthroned. That's Bill up at the top in a game last season versus Hawaii -- let's see what he drapes over himself versus the Spartans.

Hawaii preceded San Jose State into The Spectrum, falling 74-66. UH lost the rebounding battle 32-13, was doubled up in free throw attempts 15/30 but did shoot 62% against the Aggies. Wesley posted a double-double of 27/13 and will be a very difficult matchup on Friday.

Utah State is allowing but 57.4 points per game, a number primarily due to their style of play but also the quality of opponents faced this season. Minus Hawaii, the last six opponents have totalled 58 or less points come the final buzzer.

The Aggies are shooting 46% so far this season -- down a bit or them -- while allowing opponents to be successful just 38% of the time.

Getting personal, the WAC coaches selected Tai Wesley as the Pre-Season Player of the year , with Tyler Newbold and Pooh Williams as second-teamers -- almost exclusively for their defensive play. Stew Morrill's squad received eight votes as the top team -- New Mexico State received the other. However, the media chose Adrian Oliver as Pre-Season Player of the Year, with Tai Wesley a first-teamer and junior college transfer at the point Brockeith Pane awarded Newcomer of the Year honors.

The USU Starting Five

* Nate Bendall 6-foot-9 -- 5.4 ppg., shooting 52% overall, 4.5 rpg., he's coming off a foot injury and playing about 20 minutes a game

* Tai Wesley 6-foot-7 -- 13.8 ppg., shooting 64% overall, 8.2 rpg., only foul trouble limits his productivity

* Pooh Williams 6-foot-4 -- 9.5 ppg., shooting 40% overall 37% from three, half of his shot attempts have been treys

* Tyler Newbold 6-foot-5 -- shooting 40% overall, 28% from long distance but these are improved numbers from earlier, 40 assists to nine TOs

* Brockeith Pane 6-foot-1 -- 9.7 ppg., shooting 35%, 28% from three, has 27 assists to 30 TOs, 54 free throw attempts is second on the team

Off The Bench

* Brady Jardine -- 8.3 ppg., shooting 56% from the floor, 8.6 rpg. leads the team

* Brian Green 6-foot-1 -- 11.6 ppg., shooting 48% from three-point range, 71 of his 106 shot attempts have been three-pointers

* Morgan Grim 6-foot-8 -- inside muscle, more offensive than defensive rebounds

* James Walker 6-foot-2 -- a freshman learning the ropes, 16 assists to nine TOs. shooting 30%

The Schedule so far

In the games that Utah State has lost, Tai Wesley went 1-6 from the foul line in the 78-72 road loss to BYU plus Nate Bendall didn't play. In the 68-51 loss in D.C. to Georgetown, Wesley fouled out with 10+ minutes remaining and GT led just 33-29 at the half.

11/13/10 vs. Weber State W, 77-65
11/17/10 at BYU L, 78-72
11/20/10 at Southern Utah W, 66-53
11/24/10 vs. Utah W, 79-62
11/27/10 vs. Northeastern W, 56-54
12/01/10 at Denver W, 61-53
12/04/10 at Georgetown L, 68-51
12/07/10 vs. Long Beach State W, 81-53
12/11/10 vs. Cal State Bakersfield W, 77-58
12/18/10 at Utah Valley W, 76-58

World Vision Invitational Tournament, Logan, Utah
12/21/10 vs. Idaho State W, 71-48
12/22/10 vs. Western Michigan W, 78-57
12/23/10 vs. Troy W, 80-39
12/29/10 vs. Hawai'i W 74-66

The Aggie roster (alphabetized, by position)

Antonio Bumpus 6-3/185 Guard JR (redshirting)
Leon Cooper Jr. 6-1/170 Guard FR
E.J. Farris 6-2/185 Guard SO (walk-on)
Brian Green 6-1/200 Guard SR
Preston Medlin 6-4/175 Guard SO
Tyler Newbold 6-5/210 Guard SR
Brockeith Pane 6-1/195 Guard JR
Steve Thornton 6-5 200 Guard Fr (grayshirting)
James Walker 6-2/180 Guard FR

Pooh Williams 6-4/190 Guard/Forward SR

Nate Bendall 6-9/250 Forward SR
Brad Brown 6-6/190 Forward RS FR
Ben Clifford 6-7/220 Forward FR
Matt Formisano 6-8/240 Forward SR (walk-on)
Morgan Grim 6-8/230 Forward RS JR
Brady Jardine 6-7/220 Forward JR
Tai Wesley 6-7/240 Forward SR

Leland Miller 7-1/230 Center SO (walk-on)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spartans fall 75-62

It was yet another grinder as both teams tossed jab after jab but with neither squad able to sustain a pullaway lead until late and that turned out to be Fresno State. The host Bulldogs topped SJSU 75-62.

With the score 61-56, freshman Kevin Olekaibe hit a floater to make it 63-56 in favor of the Dogs.

Then came a Tim Steed dunk.

Keith Shamburger and Jonathan Wills traded nailing one of two free throws and Steed then flushed his second one.

Subsequently a march to the foul line ensued until the buzzer.

Fresno State's Mr. (Greg) Smith didn't go to Washington but rather to the basket for16 points. But it was his late second half steal and later a block with resulting passes to Tim Steed for the aforementioned dunks.

The Spartans couldn't get the needed stops in the last five minutes.

For SJSU, Adrian Oliver led with 15 points (6-19 shooting) as the Bulldogs defended he and Justin Graham extremely well. Shamburger totaled 13 points, Wil Carter 11 and Calvin Douglas 10.

Two important figures: the Bulldogs went 14-29 from the foul line and still won by 13, plus Steve Cleveland's squad won the battle of the boards 52-41.

Noteworthy was the effort of Chris Jones. Players want touches which usually means passes to them. In Jones' case, he gets his hand on more basketballs than Mr. Spalding.

At the half, it was Fresno State ahead 33-29.

At that point, the Bulldogs out-boarded San Jose State 26-18 and the Fresno State color announcer (we couldn't pick up the KSJS broadcast) labeled it the hardest working first half for the Bulldogs this season. Oliver totaled 11 points on 13 shot attempts and generated five assists in the initial 20 minutes with Carter scoring 10 points and grabbing nine boards.

Neither team shot well in the first half -- San Jose State at 36% but with 10 turnovers to 35% for the Bulldogs.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

At Fresno State, Wednesday night, 7 p.m.

Yes, they are departing for the Mountain West Conference plus the Fresno State - San Jose State basketball matchups don't carry the juice of yesteryear but it's still nice to top the Raisin-towners anytime and anywhere. Next up on the schedule is a December 29 evening get-together in the Save Mart Center.

So who does Coach Steve Cleveland (yes, it's lame but shouldn't he be leading Cleveland State?) have and how are the Bulldogs doing?

As for the latter, uh, not that well.

Disregarding the game against Vanguard, the Bulldog squad started out 0-4 but has won three of its last four games, albeit the latter against lesser competition than initially faced this season.

6-foot-7 sophomore wing Jerry Brown is redshirting due to injury but junior point Steven Shepp just re-gained his eligibility after missing the first nine games due to academics. He started last season, averaging 5.5 points and 4.6 assists. Against North Dakota State in his first game, Shepp totaled three points, three assists and three rebounds in 15 minutes of action.

The key personnel issue emanating out of Fresno is the subpar numbers being put up by sophomore center Greg Smith. He's been in what seems like a season-long funk -- 9.7 points & 6.0 rebounds a contest when a nightly double-double was the expectation -- and Cleveland recently offered this on his NBA prospect:

"Greg Smith has to play hard all the time -- that's the bottom line...When he plays hard, he'll be a part of this. When he doesn't play hard, someone else is going to play...There are no chosen ones here. Promise you that."

Part of the Smith equation is the inconsistent outside shooting displayed to date by the Bulldog smalls which had led to little room for Smith to maneuver.

In a new category, here's what we see so far:

Highlights: the play of Kevin Olekaibe who was more a shooter/scorer in high school but is playing the point for now -- he's a tremendous athlete who gets up and down the floor quickly

Lowlights: The regression of Greg Smith.

Fresno Season-To-Date

11/12/10 at BYU L, 83-56
11/17/10 vs. Vanguard W, 74-42
11/20/10 at UCSB L, 69-54
11/26/10 vs. Washington State L, 66-55
11/30/10 at Utah L, 76-63
12/04/10 at Colorado State L, 87-74
12/07/10 at San Diego W, 74-70
12/11/10 vs. Pepperdine W, 64-51
12/18/10 vs. North Dakota State W, 82-69
12/21/10 vs. Pacific L, 65-55

The Bulldog Starting Five

* Greg Smith 6-foot-10 sophomore -- 9.7 points, 6 rebounds a game, shooting 58% overall, 48% from the foul line, 17 blocks in 10 games, will the NBA prospect 'show up' or display more disinterest?

* Nedeljko Golubovic 6-foot-8 senior -- he was hurt last season yet continued playing, he's averaging 6.1 points & 5.0 boards a game, shooting just 32% overall, plus a third of his shots have been three-pointers and he is making just 22%

* Garrett Johnson 6-foot-4 sophomore -- 8.1 ppg., 40 of 66 shots have been three-pointers, shooting 41% overall, 35% from long distance

* Tim Steed 6-foot-4 junior -- 8.3 ppg., 4.7 rpg., shooting 45% overall, only nine three-point attempts, an inexplicable 47% at the foul line

* Kevin Olekaibe 6-foot-1 freshman -- 10.3 ppg., 61 of his 109 shots have been threes, shooting 37% overall, 31% from beyond the stripe, leads team with 17 steals and 24 assists

As a team, the Bulldogs are at 41% shooting overall while holding opponents to 43%. From three, it's a meager 27% -- very unlike previous Fresno State squads.

Key Reserves

* Steven Shepp 6-foot-2 junior -- just eligible, he's not a penetrator but passes well on the perimeter

* Tyler Johnson 6-foot-2 freshman -- out of St. Francis in Mountain View

* Bracken Funk 6-foot-8 freshman -- 7.7 points & 4.7 rebounds a game, an LDS mission returnee

* Jonathan Wills 6-foot-6 junior -- a transfer from New Mexico, he's not shooting or passing as well as expected

* Bennie Rhodes 6-foot-6 junior -- a City College of San Francisco walk-on who is more a slasher than shooter

The Fresno State roster (alphabetized, by position)

(Steve Cleveland can't call out the name Johnson during practice since he has three of them)

Garrett Johnson Guard 6-4 195 SO
Justin Johnson Forward 6-6 205 SO
Tyler Johnson Guard 6-2 170 FR
Kevin Olekaibe Guard 6-1 165 FR
Bennie Rhodes Guard 6-6 190 JR
Steven Shepp Guard 6-2 175 JR
Tim Steed Guard 6-4 215 JR
Jonathan Wills Guard 6-6 185 JR

Jerry Brown Forward 6-7 205 SO
Givon Crump Forward 6-7 210 RS SO
Bracken Funk Forward 6-7 240 FR
Nedeljko Golubovic Forward 6-8 240 SR

John Ryan Center 6-10 270 FR
Greg Smith Center 6-10 250 SO

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Photos from the SJSU - Puget Sound game

Alex Baranda of the Examiner has a ton of game photos from the SJSU - Puget Sound game -- go here.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Justin Graham For a PhD Marching and Chowder Society

We haven't checked with him but we're seriously thinking about forming a Justin Graham For a PhD Marching and Chowder Society.

He will have a Master's degree by the end of the school year but maybe, just maybe, he'll consent to obtaining a PhD before finally departing SJSU. And since the NCAA professes to be all about the student-athletes and education, maybe, just maybe, the suits in Indianapolis will grant another year or two of athletic eligibility.

So what are we basing our group on? Try 16.1 points per contest, a 51% shooting average, 58% on three-point attempts, 4.5 rebounds a game, 45 assists and 31 steals -- all in 11 games.

Who's with us?

An ESPN Adrian Oliver feature

ESPN is getting into the AO act...about time.

Adrian Oliver's 42-point Christmas present
Diamond Leung
December, 23, 2010

San Jose State guard Adrian Oliver set school records with 42 points in a game and 30 points in a half, as the Spartans won 95-62 against Puget Sound.

"Told my family I'd score 40-plus for Christmas for them ... so merry Christmas fam," Oliver tweeted...

Go here for the remainder.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Former San Jose State basketballer Jack Avina's wife passes

The author does a tremendous job at telling the story here -- getting at what we call the story behind the story.
‘It’s tough living without her’
Kerry Eggers
The Portland Tribune
Dec 23, 2010

It has been nearly three months now, but he still finds himself sitting in the easy chair in his family room, staring into space.

It is going to be a tough holiday season for Jack Avina.

All of the six children, 13 grandchildren and three great-children will be in Portland to spend Christmas with the patriarch of the family.

But not his beloved Clare.

Clare Avina died on Sept. 21, leaving her husband of 57 years alone for the first time since he was a student at San Jose State.

“I don’t care if I live or die,” Jack Avina says, fighting back tears as he rides the wave of despair and reality. “But I’m going to live.”

Avina, the legendary former University of Portland basketball coach, has always been the baddest hombre around. He has been devastated by the loss of his life partner.

“This is the toughest thing Dad’s been through in his life,” says Joel Avina, the oldest of Jack’s three sons. “You sit him down in front of a picture of my mom … he’s broken.”

At 81, after three hip and shoulder replacement surgeries and a continuing battle with diabetes, the safe bet was that Jack – who coached the Pilots from 1970-87 – would meet his maker before Clare, who was in relatively good health.

“This is not the way we thought it would happen,” Joel Avina says...
Go here for the remainder.

Spartans romp 95-62

It took a while to shout 'timber' but eventually San Jose State did so as the Spartans shellacked Puget Sound 95-62.

Here's the game report and box from SJSU athletics:
Oliver Pours In School Record 42; 95-62 Win Over Puget Sound
Courtesy: San Jose State Athletics

It was a record-setting night for guard Adrian Oliver as San Jose State won its third game in a row defeating Puget Sound, 95-62, in a non-conference men's basketball game.

Oliver, a 6-foot-4 senior, set school records for most points scored in a game with 42 points, most points scored in a half with 30 and most three-point baskets made in a game without a miss as San Jose State (8-3) moved five games above .500 for the first time since the 2001 season.

The nation's sixth leading scorer going into the game was 12-of-15 from the field and 7-of-9 shooting three-pointers. After missing his first 3-point basket try early in the first half, he made seven in a row, his last five to end the first 20 minutes and two at the start of the second half. His three-point production also tied the San Jose State record for most 3-point baskets in a game.

"Tonight, I was playing ball. The shots were falling. I was in rhythm," said Oliver, who played just 25 minutes and notched his 13th game of 30 or points in a San Jose State uniform. "Every spot on the floor was a good spot the way I was feeling it. The guys recognized that and put a little more emphasis on getting me open. I was just connecting on my shots."

"That's the best performance I've ever seen," said Puget Sound's fourth-year coach Justin Lunt.

Oliver outscored Puget Sound (5-5) in the first 20 minutes as San Jose State went into halftime with a 55-29 lead. The Spartans led by as many as 37 points, 84-47, with 6:42 left in the game.

"I was glad to see Adrian do it (set the school record). I think he is capable of some more games like that and I wouldn't be surprised if the record is temporary. It's always nice for a player to set a record and have your team successful on the same night," said San Jose State coach George Nessman about Oliver breaking the old record of 40 points scored by Wally Rank in a 1980 game against Sacramento State. "He took 15 shots for 42 points. That's pretty good production."

Guard Justin Graham scored 19 points and 8 assists and reserve forward Brylle Kamen added 15 points for San Jose State in its highest scoring game of the season.

"Brylle is a hard worker. That phrase gets a little over used, but he just brings it and that really helps us. Brylle makes a difference for us. We've been saying that all along and we're glad to see that play out," added the Spartans' coach about the 6-foot-7 Kamen, who played just his third game of the season since becoming eligible on December 12 and scored in double figures for the first time.

Forward Kaleb Shelton led the Loggers, an NCAA Division III program, with 20 points. Guard Edric Egberaure was Puget Sound's only other double-figure scorer with 17.

San Jose State shot 45.5 percent from the field as a team, outrebounded Puget Sound, 45-31, and had a season-high 23 assists.

"We were able to get into good spots on the floor and make good decisions and good plays," added Justin Graham, whose eight assists were his season-high.

Graham added that the team's defense helped San Jose State overcome a sluggish start that saw the Spartans trail by as many as five points on three occasions in the first six minutes of the game.

"We started to get some stops and started to get some easy fast-break lay-ups. Once you start getting shots to fall, it just keeps going on and on and on," said Graham. San Jose State outscored Puget Sound, 30-4, the final seven minutes of the first half.

The Spartans have a week off before opening Western Athletic Conference play at Fresno State, December 29.

San Jose State (8-3)

Graham 8-11 3-5 19
Carter 1-4 0-0 2
Ballard 0-1 0-0 0
Shamburger 1-9 2-2 4
Oliver 12-15 11-13 42
Moor 1-3 0-2 2
Douglas 2-6 2-3 8
Dick 0-0 0-0 0
Jones 0-3 2-2 2
Kamen 5-11 5-5 15
Henson 0-2 1-2 1
Casey 0-1 0-0 0
Ton 0-0 0-0

Totals 30-66 23-29 95

Halftime score - San Jose State 55, Puget Sound 29
Three-point field goals - San Jose State 12-27 (Shamburger 0-6, Oliver 7-9, Graham 3-5, Douglas 2-5, Jones 0-1, Kamen 0-1)
Rebounds - San Jose State 45 (Ballard, Graham 8)
Assists - San Jose State 23 (Graham 8)
Total fouls - Puget Sound - 27, San Jose State 14
Attendance - 1,377

The Rebounder frosh dinner

Dear SJSU Rebounders and Basketball Fans

Time to once again have the opportunity to meet our freshman and sophomore players at the first of our two players' dinners. The first dinner will be held at the Bold Knight Bistro in the cozy downstairs wine cellar on January 11th with the social hour starting at 6:00 followed by dinner at 7:00.

The dinner, featuring baked garlic breast of chicken with pasta and side salad, is $25.00 inclusive for Rebounders and $30.00 for non-members, payable at the door.

No-host beverages will be offered.

Players and coaches sponsorships are available and ONLY sponsors will receive tickets to the ever popular Rebounders raffle featuring wonderful SJSU prizes. Cost of sponsorships are $25.00 for players and $50.00 for coaches with player's sponsors receiving one ticket and coaches' sponsors receiving three.

Additionally sponsored players will sit at the sponsor's table!

Want to sponsor a player but unable to attend the event? Just contact Gayle Kludt at for details. If you win a prize it with be delivered to you either at the next game or by mail!

So support your Spartans and have fun too but RSVPs to the event are required by January 5th. RSVP to Gayle at the above email or at 408 531-1063 to reserve your spot. Please, no credit cards will be accepted; cash and checks only.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Puget Sound here on Wednesday

It's D-3 Puget Sound coming to town on Wednesday evening, 7 p.m., for a matchup with San Jose State. The Loggers are 2-0 in Northwest Conference play, 5-4 overall.

In 2008-09, Coach Keith Lunt led the Loggers to an overall record of 25-4, including 16-0 in the NWC and Lunt's first conference championship and first NWC Coach of the Year award. The Loggers advanced to the NCAA Division III national tournament Sweet 16 and a final ranking of ninth in the country. Last season was not so successful at (9-16, 5-11).

The Logger Starting Five

* Julian Fernandez, 6-foot-3 -- 8.4 ppg., shooting 31% overall

* Edric Egberuare, 6-foot-2 -- 10.0 ppg., 4.3 rpg , shooting 34% overall -- attended Milpitas High, so expect a sizeable numbers of locals coming out to cheer him on

* Aaron Edwards 6-foot-4 -- 8.0 ppg., 3.4 rpg., shooting 32% overall

* Kaleb Shelton 6-foot-5 -- 15.9 ppg., 8.3 rpg., shooting 38%

* Riggs Yarbro 6-foot-7 -- 6.4 ppg., 3.8 rpg., shooting 47%

Off The Bench, (playing 10 or more minutes a game)

* Gabe Borboa 6-foot-7

* Matt Geverola 5-10

* Ryan Hoff 6-foot-2

* Caleb Gauff 6-foot-4 -- he's a Sacramento native so some family and friends may make it to the game

* Erick Evans 6-foot-3

*** As a team, Puget Sound is shooting a lowly 36% while opposing team to make 49% of shot attempts. But part of the Loggers low percentage is due to 188 three-point attempts (out of 516 overall) being made at a 27% rate of effectiveness.

*** Plus, PG is earning only 9.3 assists per game (that shooting percentage again) versus committing 17.4 turnovers a contest.

The PG schedule so far

12/08/10 Evergreen State 87, Puget Sound 73
12/04/10 Puget Sound 66, Pacific (Ore.) 63
12/03/10 Puget Sound 74, Willamette 66
11/26/10 @ Occidental -- Puget Sound 77, Occidental 75
11/27/10 @ Chapman -- Chapman University 77, Puget Sound 70
11/20/10 St. Thomas 69, Puget Sound 49
11/19/10 Puget Sound 74, UC Santa Cruz 71
11/16/10 @ Northwest University -- Northwest University 110, Puget Sound 58
11/20/10 @ Bethany -- Puget Sound 86, Bethany College 73

From that last game:

Gabe Borboa had a perfect 9-for-9 shooting night to lead the Loggers to an 86-73 victory over Bethany on Monday. Borboa became the fourth Logger to ever have a perfect shooting night with over eight attempts.

"He just couldn't miss," added head coach Justin Lunt. He ran the floor and finished very well around the rim."

The Loggers (5-4) controlled most of the game with a 47-37 halftime lead and shot a season-high 50.9 percent. As a team, the Loggers also shot 43.5 percent from three-point range while holding the Bruins to a 38.3 percent field goal percentage.

Kaleb Shelton led the Loggers with 22 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the year. Borboa's perfect night translated into a 21-point performance as he shot 3-for-3 from the free throw line as well. He also added five rebounds.

"We just did a really good job executing the game plan," said Lunt. I thought we shot well and moved the ball well. The biggest factor tonight was our execution offensively and defensively."

The Puget Sound roster (by position, alphabetized)

Malcolm Colbert G Fr 6-0 180
Edric Egberuare G Jr 6-2 190
Erik Evans G Jr 6-3 185
Julian Fernandez G Jr 6-3 175
Matt Geverola G Jr 5-10 165
Drew Harrison G Fr 6-4 200
Ryan Hoff G Fr 6-2 195
Nate Prohaska G Fr 6-0 165
Ryan Rogers G So 6-1 170
Phillip Thomas G So 6-3 180

Daniel Berendsen F Fr 6-4 180
Gabe Borboa F So 6-7 200
Caleb Gauff F So 6-4 205
Aaron Edwards F Sr 6-4 200
Spenser McDonald F Fr 6-6 180
Kaleb Shelton F Jr 6-5 210
Riggs Yarbro F So 6-7 215

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Spartans win 86-70

So physical at times some thought they had stumbled into a mixed martial arts event plus with more starts and stops than a beater sporting a sand clogged fuel injecter, the matchup between San Jose State and Seattle concluded minus any tap outs but an 86-70 Spartan victory.

It was the fourth road success so far this season for SJSU, now 7-3.

Justin Graham and Keith Shamburger paced the Spartan point production with 24 and 22 points apiece. Adrian Oliver, Wil Carter and Chris Jones added 13, 12 and 12 respectively. Oliver struggled with his shot all evening going 3-13.

Some basketball games are ballet, or at least offer stretches of such -- not this one. Best described as a grinder, still SJSU had this one in the books early on in the second half even though the Redhawks never lowered their intensity.

Frontcourter Alex Jones, battling foul trouble primarily caused by his illegal movement on screens, led Seattle with 21 points. On recollection, none of his fouls were as a result of him defending his matchup.

At the half, it was 45-34 San Jose State, behind 17 points from Graham. The Redhawks hung tough on the scoreboard for a while but San Jose State kept adding to its lead.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A new San Jose site

A new site has recently been set up titled "Best of Blogs San Jose" and a Spartan Hoops article has been selected for featuring on the site. Do check it out.

Just caught this

Saw this on the 'net today about Seattle's previous game and it may play out in San Jose State's favor on Saturday night:

"...They helped make up for the loss of junior guard Cervante Burrell, who was out with a knee injury suffered Saturday against Idaho. His status for Saturday's game against San Jose State is questionable..."

Burrell is the starting point for the Redhawks, averaging 12.6 points per game and leading the team in assists.

A fascinating read into mid-major (or lower) recruiting

It's not necessarily San Jose State or WAC-related but read on if you wish to gain some degree of insight into the college basketball recruiting process for the non-Dukes:
Recruiting an emotional, physical roller coaster for UNCW coaches
Brian Mull
Star News
December 4, 2010

On a steamy morning in mid-July, UNC-Wilmington men's basketball coach Buzz Peterson and his staff met in the office of assistant Jamie Kachmarik.

Like practically every other Division I coach in the country, the four men entrusted with rescuing the Seahawks from CAA oblivion had spent the 10 previous days on the road. They sat on hard bleachers in hot gyms for up to 14 hours a day evaluating high school seniors-to-be playing in games that often deteriorated into rec-center pickup ball, sans skins.

Unlike 95 percent of their peers though, the new UNCW staff had to restock more than half its roster. They entered the July recruiting period with a lone verbal commitment and a half-dozen scholarships to hand out.

The Seahawks' coaches were in need of every essential – skill, speed, guards, big men.

Peterson and assistants Kachmarik and Matt McMahon arrived at UNCW in April from Southern Conference member Appalachian State. However, players of a higher talent level would be required to return the Seahawks to elite status in the CAA. The Southern had an average RPI of 19.6 (out of 31 Division I conferences) over the past five seasons. The CAA had an average RPI of 12.4 in that same period and three member programs won an NCAA tournament game.

The coaches were already evaluating potential Seahawks through a specific lens. They sought fundamentally sound, skilled players possessing a high basketball IQ, 3-point shooters, prospects with wide wingspans and the versatility to play multiple positions. All of these qualities must be inside a coachable package that includes high character and sound academics.

This was non-negotiable...
Go here for the remainder.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

San Jose State - Seattle game preview

It's Seattle up next for the Spartans on Saturday, December 18 at 7 p.m. in the Emerald City. Thinking of the geographical locations, let's also call it at least in some ways the unofficial PC versus Mac matchup.

The Redhawks aren't big and like to run and press. Hey, what else should be expected from a team in a city with expresso machines pulsating on every corner. Jittery is also an apt description for a team that topped Oregon State and Idaho but also lost at home to Cal Poly by 16 and on the road to San Francisco by 21 and UC Davis by 22 points. In that December 11 contest with Idaho, Seattle forced the Vandals into 20 turnovers and also won the battle of the boards 35-27.

Let's see if Seattle is effective or not in producing TOs against SJSU. Their defense is improving in points allowed as the season continues.

Cam Dollar, the ex-UCLA guard and assistant to Lorenzo Romar at UW, is the Redhawk head coach. He has enjoyed success in garnering talent leaving the nearby Husky program (Charles Garcia - who actually never made it to UW - and now Clarence Trent, who is redshirting). Having had a hand in originally recruiting both helped in those moves.

The Redhawk Starting Five

* Cervante Burrell
5-foot-10 -- 12.6 ppg., 39% overall shooting, 0-7 on three-point attempts, 39/45 assist-to-turnover ratio

* Sterling Carter 6-foot-0 -- 12.0 ppg., 41 % overall shooting, 41% on three-point attempts, 73 of his 127 shots have been from long distance, 42 TOs in 12 games

* Garrett Lever 6-foot-0 -- 3.6 ppg., 36% overall shooting, second in rebounding at 6.3, a (team-leading) 29 steals

* Aaron Broussard 6-foot-5 -- (team-leading) 15.1 ppg., (team-leading) 52% overall shooting, (team-leading) 8.4 rpg., second in steals with 20

* Alex Jones 6-foot-8 -- 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game,

Off The Bench

* Gavin Gilmore 6-foot-8

* Brandon Durham 6-foot-7 -- a low post threat currently shooting 62%

* Mark McLaughlin 6-foot-6 -- originally committed to Washington State, then signed with Nevada and finally Baylor before coming home, he's averaging 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds a game with 34% overall shooting and 29% from long distance (he's taken the second most trey attempts on the team)

As A Team

Seattle is shooting 40% on the season while allowing opponents to make 45% of shot attempts, 29% to 345 on threes. The Redhawks are trailing in most stats but the closest is 105 steals to 106 for opposing teams.

Seattle schedule to date

12/11/10 Seattle University 66, University of Idaho 56

12/04/10 @ Weber State 65, Seattle 61

12/01/10 @ Portland State 83, Seattle 76

11/29/10 Seattle University 72, Montana State 70

11/27/10 UC Davis 80, Seattle 58

11-21-10 @ Irvine, CA Seattle University 75, Navy 70

11/20/10 @ Irvine, CA UC Irvine 85, Seattle University 77

11/19/10 @ Irvine, CA Louisiana Tech 85, Seattle University 72

11/17/10 Seattle University 83, Oregon State Univers 80

11/14/10 Cal Poly 76, Seattle University 60

11/12/10 @ San Francisco 97, Seattle 76

11/08/10 @ Maryland 105, Seattle Univ. 76

The Redhawk roster (by position, alphabetized)

Cervante Burrell G 5-10 170 Jr.
Sterling Carter G 6-0 200 Fr.
Jarell Flora G 6-3 180 Fr.
Garrett Lever G 6-0 180 Sr. (the son of former NBA player Fat Lever)
Mark McLaughlin G 6-6 195 Fr.
Fred Wilson G 6-2 197 Fr.

Aaron Broussard F 6-5 205 Jr.
Brandon Durham F 6-7 220 So
Gavin Gilmore F 6-8 220 Jr.
Alex Jones F 6-8 215 Sr.
Chad Rasmussen F 6-7 200 So.
Taylor Stevens F 6-7 230 Jr.
Clarence Trent F 6-6 225 So.

Time for another edition of Let's Make A Case

We noticed that San Jose State's Justin Graham was not listed among the players in contention for the recently announced WAC Player of the Week.

Tai Wesley won that honor and here were the runners-up:

* Boise State senior guard La'Shard Anderson

* Fresno State junior guard/forward Tim Steed

* Hawai'i junior guard Zane Johnson

* Idaho senior guard Shawn Henderson

* Louisiana Tech senior guard DeAndre Brown

* Nevada junior forward Dario Hunt

* New Mexico State freshman guard Christian Kabongo

For the sake of brevity, we offer the following examples/matchups:

Accumulated at home, Graham totaled 16 points, six steals, five assists and three rebounds versus Santa Clara and then hit the game-winning shot with San Jose State down by one against Eastern Washington while scoring 13 points along with two rebounds, two assists and two steals.

La'Shard Anderson, in a loss at UNLV, totaled:18 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. But he committed nine turnovers. On the road against Drake, Anderson put up 15 points, seven assists and three steals. He shot 5-16 overall, 0-5 from three-point range.

Fresno States's Tim Steed enjoyed 12 points and five rebounds in a home win over San Diego plus broke out for 17 points, seven boards, three assists and two steals against visiting Pepperdine.

We're not arguing the fact of Justin not winning the award but missing out for consideration is beyond belief.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spartans win 70-69

In "A League of Their Own" it was Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan who proclaimed there is no crying in baseball. In basketball, there's supposed to be no wetting of one's pants but that just what is happening to opposing players when San Jose State's Justin Graham is handling the ball with 10 or less seconds remaining in a game and the Spartans tied, down by one or even two.

Because just like against Oregon on November 20 when he nailed an and1 three-point play on a last second dribble-drive to beat the Ducks, Graham took it to the Eagles of Eastern Washington and put in the game winner with six seconds remaining to give SJSU a 70-69 win Sunday afternoon. It's becoming apparent he must have something against our supposed fine feathered friends.

Graham finished with 13 points while Adrian Oliver led via a game-high 29.

To their credit, the Eagles shot a remarkable 10-21 from long distance and overall out-boarded the Spartans by a margin of four, 35-31.

The Spartans enjoyed a 37-32 lead after the initial 20 minutes. At that time, Oliver had 14 points, four assists and a pair of steals.

Opening up the second half, Keith Shamburger nailed a deuce and then a trey, giving the SJSU a 42-35 lead.

San Jose State then went up by 10 -- 47-37 -- at the 15:58 mark.

But Eastern Washington kept battling and connected on a bevy of threes.

The game was tied at 57 with 7:12 showing.

A Cliff Dean trey tied it again at 64.

Oliver nailed a pair of free throws to make it 66-64, then EW's Tremayne Johnson made good on one of two foul shots.

At the 1:56 mark, Wil Carter was fouled but was errant on both his attempts.

Dean was then fouled and the sophomore sank both free throws to give Eastern Washington a one point lead at 67-66.

Oliver misfired on a baseline jumper and San Jose Stater Matt Ballard was called for a foul on Dean in the backcourt.

The underclassman was perfect on both his attempts, pushing the Eagle lead to three, 69-66.

With 56 seconds on the clock, Graham was fouled and netted both his foul shots, making it a one point game.

Eagle Coach Kirk Earlywine called time at the 42 second mark, with 22 seconds showing on the shot clock. After inbounding the ball, Eastern Washington quickly committed a turnover on a fumbled pass.

Spartan Coach George Nessman called a 30-second timeout, with 23 seconds remaining.

Then Graham closed it out with his 11-foot jumper and sent the Eagles scurrying for a supply of Depends.

SJSU donned the usual -- before this season -- white jerseys for this game. The gray ones were probably burned late Friday evening but we've been unable to confirm such a report.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It['s Eastern Washington early Sunday afternoon

So the Big Sky Conference member Eagles want a rematch? The Spartans took down Eastern Washington 67-60 on November 12 in Cheney, WA and now face Coach Kirk Earlywine's squad once more Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Walt McPherson Court.

In the earlier game, an Adrian Oliver torrid stretch proved the difference. From our game report:: "He [AO] made one of two free throws, then a deuce from the corner. Another AO corner shot -- a trey -- made it 58- 50. Eastern Washington managed a tip-in but Oliver put in two more at the charity stripe followed by a top of the key two. He closed the barrage out with a bank shot and the Eagles were plucked."

Oliver finished with 34 points.

Here's Coach Earlywine on the previous game:

"I thought there two things that decided that game, we played the game without Cliff or Glen, and we had 12 turnovers in the second half -- that was huge. And we fouled too much and put them on the line 37 times. That was a little bit of a problem for us early in the year, but not fouling has been a big point of emphasis in practice and we're doing better with that as of late. We are keeping our hands off people and learning how not to get tangled up with players. Oliver is fifth-year senior, so he is pretty crafty. He knows how to get himself to the free throw line and we have to do a better job of keeping him from getting there."

The absent points, Glen Dean and Cliff Colimon, will both be playing. to some degree, on Sunday.

Here's the lead on the EW athletics SJSU game preview:

"Returning starting point guard Glen Dean, out for two months with a stress fracture in his foot, has finally been cleared to practice with the Eastern Washington University men's basketball team. That, plus the return of a pair of players recently out with injuries, gives the Eagles some needed momentum heading into a Sunday (Dec. 12) rematch with San Jose State..."

...Dean was the Freshman of the Year in the Big Sky Conference last season when he averaged 12.2 points and 4.4 assists per game. Because he's missed two months already, Earlywine says his return will be slow and gradual...

"The bone is his foot has healed sufficiently to resume practicing on kind of a limited basis," he explained. "So it's going to be a gradual process of working him back into full-speed practices and then the games...

...Plus, Eastern will welcome back this week point guard Cliff Colimon, who has missed the past two games and four total games with a sprained ankle. Plus, forward Rashano McRae has missed the last three games and valuable practice time with a concussion.

"While he's not completely 100 percent, his ankle is significantly better after holding him out for two weeks," said Earlywine of Colimon, who is averaging 12.0 points and 2.3 assists per game in the three games he's played..."

EW's starting five -- a pickem among three frontcourters and three guards

* Cliff Edaraine 6-7 9.3 ppg., 8.1 rpg., shooting 53% overall

* Laron Griffin 6-8 7.3 ppg., 7.1 rpg.

* Tremayne Johnson 6-7 12.4 ppg., 6.6 rpg. (he'll be the best athlete on the floor)

* Cliff Coliman 6-0 12.0 ppg. , 41% on three-point shots

* Jeffrey Forbes 5-10 13.7 ppg. , 42% on three-point shots

* Kevin Winford 5-11 15.3 ppg., 44% on three-point shots (he hit eight treys in a loss to Idaho)

One difference worth noting is Sunday marks the eligibility of Brylle Kamen for San Jose State. Our exposure to the 6-foot-7, 230 frontcourter in the pre-season scrimmage indicated a real aggressiveness with the ball and that will be most welcomed. We also want to be seeing some in-the-paint scoring prowess, rebounding and defensive effectiveness -- a lot to ask of one player but needed attributes.

Plus, will the Spartans come out angry about the late loss to Santa Clara? And, if so, can they maintain it for 40 minutes?

Here's the EWU roster (by position and alphabetized)

* Glen Dean G 5-10 170 So.
* Cliff Colimon G 6-0 170 Jr.
* Sean Fischer G 6-0 170 Fr.
* Willie Hankins G 6-3 190 Fr.
* Jeffrey Forbes G 5-10 170 So.
* Kevin Winford G 5-11 170 So.

*Geoffrey Allen G/F 6-5 170 Fr.

* Rocky Brown F 6-6 200 Fr.
* Cliff Ederaine F 6-7 205 Jr.
* Laron Griffin F 6-8 220 Jr.
* Jaylen Henry F 6-7 230 Fr.
* Morgan Hyslop F 6-7 200 Jr.
* Tremayne Johnson F 6-7 200 Jr.
* Rashano McRae F 6-7 230 Jr.
* Carter Warnock F 6-9 220 Fr.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Clara pulls it out 67-63

Santa Clara Coach Kerry Keating inserted different players into his usual starting lineup and the move initially worked. But San Jose State took back the lead, courtesy in part to Bronco ballhandling generosity. It eventually became a battle back and forth until Keating's squad hit late shots and nabbed a 67-63 win at Walt McPherson Court.

Adrian Oliver led all with 26 points but didn't shoot well. Kevin Foster led the Broncos with 25 points, after scoring six in the first half. Justin Graham totaled 16 points and nabbed six steals.

SJSU shot 33% overall on the game, 2-12 from three-point range. SC shot 39%, 7-18 on treys.

A Keith Shamburger deuce put San Jose up 33-26 early in the second half but Santa Clara kept at it. The Spartans were strong early in half two but the momentum stalled and the Broncos, to their credit, took advantage.

It was 51-50 with SJSU leading when a Matt Ballard and1 three-point play boosted the margin to 54-50. Later, a Graham steal and feed to Shamburger led to a layup and a 58-55 Spartan margin.

But with 1:44 on the clock, Foster hit a driving layup to put his team ahead 59-58.

Oliver then missed a tough jumper but SC's Evan Roquemore came down and he also misfired.

Oliver was subsequently fouled, missed the first but made the second to tie the game at 59.


Coming off two screens, Foster nailed a trey with 26.1 seconds showing.


Oliver attempted a shot which was blocked by Roquemore, who recovered the ball and was fouled. Did a foul occur on the attempt? Not according to those who count, the referees.

Roquemore was then fouled, nailed a pair of free throws to put Santa Clara ahead by five and decide the outcome.

Graham was fouled, missed his first free throw (back rim), intentionally missed the second and Wil Carter grabbed the rebound but was errant with his shot attempt.

After 20 minutes, San Jose State led 27-26. Oliver had 16, Graham 10 and Ballard his free throw to achieve the total.

With 11:47 remaining, the Broncos were ahead 12-8. The Spartans were successful of just four of 15 shots at that point.

It was 22-21 in Santa Clara's favor when Ballard hit a free throw to tie the game. Oliver's jumper gave the Spartans a 24-22 lead. Broncos turnovers, forced and unforced, led to the first half lead loss.

SF Chronicle features AO

Adrian Oliver thinks, therefore he scores
Steve Kroner, Chronicle Staff Writer
December 10, 2010

Meet Adrian Oliver, the thinking man's scorer.

The San Jose State guard is averaging 24.9 points per game this season. He has 12 career games of at least 30 points.

Oliver comes from a basketball family; he has two cousins who played college basketball, and his uncle, Allen Oliver, coached him at Modesto Christian High.

Given that background, it's easy to understand how well Adrian Oliver understands the game.

"People would say I have a high basketball IQ," Oliver said, "and I ... just tried to further nurture that by looking up to players like Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan - not because they're gifted with the game physically, but the way they go about watching film, the minor details.

"I'm big on attention to detail..."
Go here for the remainder.

The latest AOL

A.O.L. - Home Again & A Call To Action
Spartan Athletics

Spartans, it's time.

The school that is less than twenty minutes away from us is making the short drive over to play in our house, Friday night (December 10) at 7:00 p.m. You should absolutely positively know that I am talking about Santa Clara.

We all know what playing Santa Clara means to our school, and, more importantly, to our alumni. I expect to see and feel each and every one of you there ready to engage in the battle with us.

We are off to a good start and have to continue flourishing in this early season. Your participation from the stands is vital for our success being that we finally get to play at home for these next two games (Santa Clara and Eastern Washington on December 12).

It all starts on Friday. I want this game to be a momentous occasion with crowd energy. I promise you that we will give back the same effort that you all put in for us. This season has the potential to be one of the most special seasons in San Jose State basketball history and I sense that a lot of people around the city of San Jose can sense that.

Instead of running away from that thought, I want to embrace it with open arms and take the challenge personally and deliver. This is what I tell my teammates - have high expectations rather than have none at all.

The time is now Spartans! And, the special thing about it is we all can experience it together!

Get your pre-game workout, or your pre-game meal, whatever it may be and meet us at The Event Center rocking your blue & gold with your vocal chords fresh and ready to yell. Let's get to it Spartans!

You already know, AOL signing out...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mark Emmons on Adrian Oliver

San Jose State basketball: Adrian Oliver can deliver stats, but can he produce wins?
Mark Emmons
Mercury News

There has never been a doubt about his scoring ability, his penchant for taking over games or his will to have the ball in hand as the clock winds down.

But when Adrian Oliver returned to San Jose State for his senior season, he knew there was a lingering question on the minds of NBA scouts:

Can he win?
Go here for the remainder.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

SC 7 p.m. Friday night at Walt McPherson Court

Usually it takes a U in front of SC to bring out the fire and passion -- for and against -- of fan-dom but a simple SC will work for Spartan devotees on Friday evening. That's when the Broncos -- those %&$@# El Camino-ites -- travel cross the valley to hopefully play a sacrificial lamb role.

Furthering our animal theme, we don't usually support the roundup of wild horses but we'll definitely be joining such a cause a couple of nights hence and are desirous of utilizing the term 'corralled' in the post-game headline.

The UCLA touch that Coach Kerry Keating was supposed to import to Santa Clara basketball is still in transit. The former UCLA assistant coach is coming off an 11-21 season -- his best talent Kevin Foster was injured -- and currently stands 4-4 after most recently falling to visiting UC Santa Barbara.

As for team stats, the Broncos are shooting 45% overall while allowing opponents to go 47%. Keating's squad checks in at 36% from long range to 43% for opposing teams (that's a significant differential). Santa Clara is averaging 72.9 points a night while allowing 76.6.

Santa Clara starting five

Robert Smith
(6-0, 185)

the nominal point, he averaging 2.6 assists a contest, 6.3 points a game and ranks third on the team in rebounding at 3.8 each time out

Kevin Foster (6-2, 219)

out last season due to injury, the husky backcourter is averaging a team-leading 17.8 ppg., shooting 39% overall, 40% from three and 70 of his 110 shot attempts have been from long distance -- he's the creator on offense as he is also averaging 3.7 assists a contest but also committing 3.6 turnovers each time out

Troy Payne (6-6, 210)

primarily a defender, he offers very limited shooting range and is just 7-17 at the foul line -- let's see if Keating matches him with Adrian Oliver

Ben Dowdell (6-7, 225)

he's shooting 53% for the season (with no trey attempts) yet just 60% at the foul line -- his primary numbers: 7.3 points and 4.1 rebounds a contest

Kevin Trasolini (6-9, 235)

seemingly a bruiser inside, he's the Bronco second-leading scorer and boarder at 12.3 ppg. and 6.3 respectively -- the conundrum is he has just 23 free throw attempts on the season and is shooting just 54% on his free throws yet he inexplicably has attempted 22 treys with a 36% make rate

Off the Bench

Raymond Cowels III
(6-4, 205)

he, third in the lineage, is quite appropriately the best three-point shooter on the squad at 43%

Freshman Evan Roquemore ((6-3, 165) is at 9.9 ppg in 23 minutes of play per contest but remarkably has earned a tops-on-the-team 44 free throw opportunities in spite his height, weight and half of his shots from the floor coming beyond the three-point line

The Broncos definitely have some players necessary to seesimply to determine how they doing what they are.

Games to date

11/12 CSU Bakersfield W, 82-77

11/15 @ USC L, 86-73

11/18 Rice W, 66-65

11/21 Bethune-Cookman W, 75-61

11/23 Northern Colorado W, 87-84

11/26 in Las Vegas vs. Arizona L, 82-59

11/27 in Las Vegas vs. Ohio L, 78-72

12/04 UC Santa Barbara L, 80-69

The Bronco roster (by position and alphabetized)

* Yannick Atanga Forward 6-8 210 Freshman
* Raymond Cowels III Forward 6-4 205 Sophomore
* Chris Cunningham Forward 6-8 230 Sophomore
* Ben Dowdell Forward 6-7 225 Senior
* Niyi Harrison Forward 6-7 220 Sophomore
* John McArthur Forward 6-9 225 Freshman
* Troy Payne Forward 6-6 210 Senior
* Marc Trasolini Forward 6-9 235 Junior

* Phillip Bach Guard 6-4 195 Junior
* Julian Clarke Guard 6-3 192 Freshman
* Kevin Foster Guard 6-2 219 Sophomore
* Beau Gamble Guard 6-0 185 Freshman
* Nate Mensah Guard 6-3 195 Senior
* Kyle Perricone Guard 6-3 195 Sophomore
* Evan Roquemore Guard 6-3 165 Freshman
* Michael Santos Guard 6-5 205 Senior
* Robert Smith Guard 6-0 185 Sophomore

Monday, December 6, 2010

Justin Graham WAC POY

San Jose State’s Justin Graham has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 29-Dec. 5. The honor marks the first career WAC Player of the Week award for Graham.

Graham, a senior guard from Ripon, Calif. (Ripon HS), led San Jose State with a pair of back-to-back 20-plus point performances for the first time in his career as the Spartans split a pair of road games last week. Graham posted 20 points with a career-high 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 72-63 loss at UTSA. He extended his streak of made three-point baskets to six with a 2-for-2 performance in the game. Graham led the Spartans with 21 points, a team-high five assists and four steals, plus six rebounds in 37 minutes of play in an 85-70 road win at UC Irvine.

On the week, Graham averaged a team-high 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.5 steals per game. He shot 50 percent (14-of-28) from the field and 60 percent (3-of-5) from three-point range.

Other nominees:

* Boise State senior guard La'Shard Anderson

* Fresno State freshman guard Kevin Olekaibe

* Idaho junior guard Deremy Geiger

* Louisiana Tech sophomore guard Brandon Gibson

* Nevada freshman guard Denote Burton
* New Mexico State junior forward Troy Gillenwater

* Utah State senior guard Pooh Williams

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another writeup on last night's game

Enjoyed the opening to this game report on last night's matchup:
San Jose State handles UC Irvine
Anteaters lose early lead and Coach Turner loses his cool, earning a late ejection in setback.
Barry Faulkner
Los Angeles Times
December 4, 2010

IRVINE — Their edge was the first to go. Next, went the lead. Finally, it was first-year coach Russell Turner's temper that made the final departure in the UC Irvine Anteaters' 85-70 nonconference men's basketball loss to San Jose State on Saturday at the Bren Events Center.

The Spartans (5-2) used an overwhelming backcourt to overcome an 11-2 deficit, eventually taking control toward the end of a first half in which the Anteaters led for the first 13:28.

But when senior guard Justin Graham converted a three-point play that put the visitors up, 18-17, the Spartans never trailed again...
Go here for the remainder.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Spartans win 85-70

Host UC Irvine started the game like 'this is our crib' or however it would be stated in Orange County but then San Jose State eliminated the turnovers and gained greater shooting accuracy. That made the Anteaters a 2010 taxidermy trophy tonight by the score of 85-70. Putting a 1-11 shooting start and a bevy of early turnovers in the rear view mirror -- fortified the Spartan win.

Justin Graham led the scoring with 21 and Adrian Oliver added 18. Chris Jones totaled a season and career high 15 points, scoring in many a manner from different spots on the floor. Wil Carter put together a double-double of 12 points and the same in rebounds.

The Spartans owned the boards 43-27 and went 26-32 at the foul line but were out-shot on the game 41% to 49%.

A blazing 51-point second half did the job for SJSU. At the 11:56 mark, San Jose State led 50-39. Irvine found itself down by 15 with 10 minutes showing.

At the half, it was 34-27 in favor of the Spartans and Oliver totaled but four points at that time -- on a layup plus a pair of free throws. But it was a tale of disparate puzzle pieces with Irvine breaking out to 5-0 and 13-4 leads and then the Anteater shots began connecting far more often with iron and glass than twine while the opposite was in effect for SJSU.

A Graham and1 three-point play put San Jose State ahead 18-17 and a Spartan 18-4 run concluded with a 22-17 lead at the 5:26 mark. A Chris Jones trey made it a 21-4 run before the Anteaters finally countered.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Matt Ballard returns home twice

Most fans do not remember that current Spartan big Matt Ballard played as a UC Irvine Anteater in the 2007-2008 season. He's also from Orange County so it's a two-fer for Matt although UCI has a different coach now and, to the best of our knowledge, none of current Anteaters were members of the team when Ballard played there.

Another Khufu Najee signing article

Here's a letter-of-intent signing article from the Diablo Valley College student newspaper on newest Spartan Khufu Najee:
Najee gets full ride to SJSU
First-year guard signs letter of intent to play at San Jose
Gerardo Recinos
December 1, 2010

Basketball players are athletes with speed and strength, and Khufu Najee possesses both.

Najee, a 6 foot-3 inch tall guard, now playing for the Vikings, was this season's first DVC basketball player to sign his letter of intent to play college ball at San Jose State University next year on a full-ride athletic scholarship.

Najee, 18, a freshman, played only a handful of games at DVC before signing his letter.

As a star basketball player at Berkeley High School, Najee managed to keep a 3.45 cumulative GPA when he graduated, as well as being a first team all-league selection...
Go here for the remainder.

An Antonio Lawrence mention

Remember Antonio Lawrence from his one year at San Jose State? His name just popped up here:
Pro-Basketball in Jacksonville a ‘Giant’ Challenge
Darcy G. Richardson
The Jacksonville Observer

December 2, 2010

Ron Sholes hopes to succeed where others have failed when the Jacksonville Giants, the ABA’s newest and most promising franchise, take to the floor against the visiting San Francisco Rumble at 8 p.m. on Dec. 4.

Sholes, a local attorney and owner of City Hall Pub, a restaurant and bar located next to Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena where the Giants will play their fifteen home games and a possible playoff game later this year, is confident that his basketball franchise will be different than those in the past.

...[The Giants] signed Antonio Lawrence, a 6-foot-5 small forward who played at San Jose State...

Somehow we missed this AO feature

This escaped our attention earlier -- so to make amends:
SJSU’s Adrian Oliver looks to a bright 2011 basketball season while staying focused on family
Joseph Akeley
Spartan Daily
November 16, 2010

When Adrian Oliver was told in 2007 that his grandparents were ill, he knew he had to transfer from the University of Washington to a Bay Area school to support them.

“Up in Seattle, I was like ‘I don’t care about basketball anymore. I just want to be with my family. That’s the only thing that matters,’” the SJSU basketball star said.

Oliver said his grandparents were instrumental in raising him after his father left the family when he was 7 years old.

“My mom would have to work nights, and I would have to go to my grandparents house and they would take care of me at night,” he said. “My grandma is like my second mom, and my grandfather is my father. I don’t call him grandpa, I call him Dad. They mean everything to me...”
Go here for the remainder.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's at UC Irvine Saturday night

(here's Darren -- Spiderman -- Moore, UCI guard who gained some fame this week across the 'net for his tattoos)

Having a lack of success with successive Roadrunner road opponents, San Jose State faces a different member of the animal kingdom -- the anteater.

Of course, this can only mean UC Irvine in Orange County, the opponent Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the Bren Center.

Our best research indicates the diet of the four mammal species of the suborder Vermilingua is ants (duh) and termites, with no mention of a taste for Spartans. We'll take that as a plus.

A new UCI mentor has taken over -- Russell Turner -- who previously coached for the Golden State Warriors , plus Stanford and Wake Forest prior to that. He has yet to enjoy a full recruiting season but he and his staff initially reached out to the Bay Area as well as France in stocking the current roster.

UCI Record To Date

11/08/10 @ Illinois L, 79-65
11/13/10 @ USC L, 62-49

2K Sports Classic Coaches vs. Cancer
11/19/10 vs. Navy W, 75-60
11/20/ vs. Seattle University W, 85-77
11/21/10 vs. Louisiana Tech L, 76-72

11/27/10 @ Marist W, 77-56
12/01/10 @ San Diego W, 90-82

In that last game, two Irvine players performed very well on the road:

"Senior guard Darren Moore scored a career-high 30 points to lead UC Irvine over San Diego, 90-82, at Jenny Craig Pavilion Wednesday night. Moore added 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season along with four assists and four steals. He was 9 of 9 from the field, including 3 of 3 from three-point range, and 9 of 12 from the free-throw line. Senior guard Patrick Rembert scored 18 points and added three steals as UCI (4-3) won for the fourth time in the last five games."

The Anteater Starting Five

* Patrick Rembert
6-foot-0 (13 ppg, shooting 38%, 17/16 assist-to-turnover ratio)

* Daman Starring 6-foot-3 4.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg)

* Darren (Spiderman) Moore 6-foot-3 (team-leading 17 ppg, shooting 50% overall, 45 free throw attempts already, team-leading rebounder at 6.7 a game, plus 15 steals)

* Eric Wise 6-foot-6 (9.7 ppg, shooting 46%, 6.3 rpg)

* Paval Losonsky 6-foot-9 (8.3 ppg., 5-11 on three-point attempts, 4.2 rpg)

Plus, backcourter Derrick Strings is a three-point shooter off the bench as two thirds of his shots have comes from distance.

Freshman Chris McNealy (son of the former Spartan) played 22 minutes against the Toreros and scored nine points. Let's see how much he is on the court versus SJSU.

Wise has been injured (hip flexor strain) but is now back. He'll be a load upfront and quite a difficult matchup for SJSU's frontcourt

So it's Darren Moore and Wise who will play the primary roles. Expect Calvin Douglas to be matched up often against Moore but it's anyone's guess as to who will receive the responsibility for dealing with Wise.

San Jose State beat Irvine twice last season -- 69-56 in Orange County and 78-68 at Walt McPherson Court. Wise scored a team-leading 15 points in the former and followed that with 31 against the Spartans on the road. Adrian Oliver totaled 31 and 29 points respectively in the two games.

The official UC Irvine roster (by position and alphabetical)

Derick Flowers 6-0 170 Guard SO
Emil Kim 6-5 205 Guard SR
Jonas Lalehzadeh 6-5 205 Guard JR
Darren Moore 6-3 190 Guard SR
Chris McNealy 6-3 170 Guard FR (San Ramon Valley HS)
Patrick Rembert 6-0 188 Guard SR
Brandon Scott 6-2 190 Guard SO (Archbishop Mitty HS) redshirting
Daman Starring 6-3 190 Guard SO
Derrick Strings 6-2 180 Guard JR
Mike Wilder 6-2 210 Guard SO

Adam Folker 6-9 225 Forward JR
Pavol Losonsky 6-9 235 Forward SR (Slovakia)
Kevin Mulloy 6-6 205 Forward FR
Eric Wise 6-6 240 Forward JR

Maxime Chupin 6-9 220 Center FR (France) (awaiting eligibility determination)
Peter Simek 6-9 240 Center SR (Slovakia)

Former SJSU coach Janice Richard dies

Louisiana College women's basketball coach Janice Joseph-Richard dies
Randy Benson
The Town Talk
December 1, 2010

Janice Joseph-Richard, an All-American at Louisiana College who returned the women’s basketball program at the Pineville school to national prominence as a coach, has died.

Richard, 46, died Wednesday, Dec. 1, at Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria after five-year battle with breast cancer.

“The basketball world lost a great coach and a great person,” said Frank Schneider, who coached Richard for three years at LC and later started her coaching career by hiring her as an assistant at Southeastern Louisiana.

“Janice Joseph-Richard was one of the classiest individuals to ever walk the Louisiana College campus,” LC President Joe Aguillard said. “When you were with her, you felt you were in the presence of a special person. I think she was anointed...”

Go here for the remainder.

Here's another report.

A game report and a photo slideshow

Here's a report from the San Antonio newspaper on the Spartan loss to UTSA.

Also, here is a slideshow of photos from the game.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spartans fall to UT San Antonio

There was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. Tonight was Spartan Tuesday but host Texas San Antonio discounted nothing and took it to San Jose State 72-63.

Facing a Roadrunner team with a 17-game home court non-conference winning streak, SJSU's basketballers fought back after 13 first half turnovers left them with a deficit, went ahead 34-32 but ultimately fell short.

Justin Graham led across the stat sheet with 20 points, 11 rebounds plus five assists and three steals. Adrian Oliver had 17 points and freshman Keith Shamburger contributed 14. Will Carter grabbed nine boards but went scoreless in 24 minutes as did Joe Henson in 12 minutes of action.

SJSU shot 38% overall and 57% at the foul line but out-boarded San Antonio 46-38.

It was a contest loaded with a cake, pie and doughnut diet in the initial 20 minutes as the teams combined for 23 first half turnovers -- 13 attached to the Spartans -- who couldn't establish any rhythm or continuity.

Opening the second half, a Shamburger trey and a pair of Oliver deuces brought the Spartans close. Matt Ballard tied it 32-all and Shamburger's two-pointer gave San Jose State a 34-32 lead.

It was tied again at 45.

But then Santa Antonio edged ahead and the Spartans never could catch up.

The score was 30-21 in favor of the Roadrunners at the half. Opening the game, SJSU fell behind 7-0 before Adrian Oliver scored on a jumper.

A Shamburger trey made it 21-15 at the 7:33 mark but the Spartans were down by 12, 27-15, with 4 minutes remaining. An Oliver deuce and a Justin Graham steal resulting in a layup cut the difference to 27-19.

*** It wasn't a good night on the road for Nevada either as the Wolf Pack fell 82-63 to South Dakota State.

Plus, Fresno State is trailing host Utah 42-24 with 13 minutes remaining in the second half.

In Las Cruces, New Mexico State is behind UTEP 49-40 with 14:33 remaining.

Save the dates -- Rebounder/SJSU player dinners

Hey, save these dates:

It's January 11th and February 8th at 6:00 p.m. for our annual Rebounders - SJSU player dinners. As like last year, we will have one dinner for the frosh-sophs and the second for the junior-seniors.

Dinners will be at the Bold Knight on First Street in the wine cellar downstairs, and like last year, we will ask members to sponsor a player or coach for these events. Only sponsors will be able to win the great raffle prizes we will be offering. If you are interested in being a sponsor, please contact Gayle Kludt at to do so. Even if you are unable to attend, you can still be a sponsor and if you win a prize, we will deliver it to you either at the next game or by mail.

So mark those calendars and save those dates because the dinners will be here quicker than you think!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's San Antone Tuesday night

Getting a preview of things to come, San Jose State is off to San Antonio for a Tuesday night contest with future WAC member, the UT San Antonio Roadrunners. Yes, this will be the second 'Beep Beep' team the Spartans will encounter this season (the other being Cal State Bakersfield).

Brooks Thompson is the UTSA head coach and he possesses an intriguing background. Thompson played as a backcourter at Texas A&M and then Oklahoma State before becoming a first-round selection of the Orlando Magic in 1994. He was also a member of the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks. Later on, he turned to college coaching and assisted at Arizona State.

In his four years in the Alamo City, the Roadrunners have exhibited a remarkable turnaround, including back-to-back 19-win campaigns in 2008-10 years that marked the program’s best two-year span since 1990-92.

This season, the RRers own victories over Cameron and Troy (which sounds like a skating duo but are actually two separate colleges) and a road loss at Evansville.

6-foot-8 freshman Jeromie Hill, at 17 ppg and 65% shooting, leads the SA offense. He is also tops in rebounding at 7.3 a contest. Hill is a frontcourter who could do some major damage against the Spartans as he is shooting 65% from the floor, 66% on nine three-point attempts (4-5 in the match up with Evansville) but just 55% on his free throws. Figure that one out.

6-foot senior Devin Gibson is next at 15.3 on 54% overall shooting. He also is second in rebounding at 5.3 a game and tops on the team in assists. Gibson has gone to the foul line 26 times, the most of any Roadrunner, indicating he is a dribble-drive penetrator. He also has pilfered 12 steals in four game so the Spartan backcourters will need to be careful offensively and defensively.

Next in scoring is by 6-foot-5 sophomore Melvin Johnson at 13.3. 27 of his 44 shots this season have been from long distance and he also is averaging just 1.8 boards a game -- no offensive rebounds -- telling us he resides away from the basket offensively. Johnson, who comes off the bench, was named the freshman of the year in the Southland Conference last season.

6-foot-6 Stephen Franklin checks in at 7.0/5.3 points/rebounds a contest. Center Alex Vouyoukas in't s putting up much in the way of scoring or rebounding to date.

Here is a statistical comparison of the two squads:

76.8 Scoring 74.6
.452 Field Goal Pct. .401
.318 3-Pt Field Goal Pct. .356
.708 Free Throw Pct. .805
40.0 Rebounds 37.8
12.3 Assists 11.4
18.0 Turnovers 11.2
9.0 Steals 4.8

The starters for Thompson are:

* Devin Gibson 6-foot-0

* Sei Paye 6-foot-3

* Stephen Franklin 6-foot-6

* Jeromie Hill 6-foot-8 230

* Alex Vouyoukas 6-foot-8 235

The Roadrunner roster (by position, alphabetized)

This team is a veritable United Nations with players from Australia, Greece and Serbia.

* Kalif Bakare G 5-11 190 So.
* Devin Gibson G 6-0 190 Sr.
* Melvin Johnson G 6-5 165 So.
* Djuro Majstorovic G 6-4 205 Fr.
* Sei Paye G 6-3 170 Jr.
* Ryan Whitehead G 6-0 190 Fr.

* Jordan Sims G/F 6-4 185 Fr.

* Stephen Franklin F 6-6 205 Jr.
* Jeromie Hill F 6-8 230 Fr.
* Igor Nujic F 6-8 215 Fr.
* Mike White F 6-8 220 Jr.
* Larry Wilkins F 6-4 250 Jr
* Tyler Wood F 6-6 230 Fr.

* Alex Vouyoukas F/C 6-9 235 Jr.
* T.J. Williams F/C 6-7 250 Fr.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

San Jose State wins 80-77

Riverside's Phil Martin never knew he had a twin, fraternal or otherwise. That is until this afternoon. Martin's 27 points against San Jose State close to doubled his points per game average of this season but he reached that total with about 10 minutes to play. Spartan wing Calvin Douglas then attached himself to Martin's hip and the remainder of SJSU's 80-77 victory over the Highlanders was Martin-uneventful, the way Coach George Nessman wished.

Adrian Oliver totaled 35 points for San Jose State (11-20 shooting, 11-11 from the foul line). He enjoyed an early on love fest with the twine, burying six shots in a row en route to 21 first half points. Justin Graham added 16, highlighted by going three for three from three, plus seven assists. The Spartans were a scintillating 22-24 at the charity stripe.

It was SJSU holding a 72-71 lead with 3:41 showing and a Graham top-of-the-key trey made it 75-71. Oliver then added a pair of free throws to up the margin to six with1:31 displayed on the clock.

UCR's Kevin Bradford scored a basket and was fouled but missed the free throw and, back down the court, Spartan big Matt Ballard buried two at the charity stripe to boost the lead back to six.

A Kareem Nitoto layup followed by a timeout had Riverside down by four. Subsequently, Nitoto stole the ball from Oliver and notched another layup to bring the Highlanders within two.

Graham was then fouled with 9.7 second showing. He missed the first free throw but buried the second, giving the Spartans a three-point margin.

A last-second long-distance attempt by UCR was off and SJSU had the win.

Riverside led one, at 44-43, around the 16-minute mark but a Joe Henson and1 trio of points pushed San Jose State back into the lead. The teams were tied at 46 and also at 53 apiece.

SJSU led 36-32 after the initial 20 minutes, ramping up a 19-7 early margin on an Oliver and1 three-point play and owned a 24-15 lead at the 8:29 mark.

Oakland native Kareem Nitoto totaled 13 points and also passed for eight assists for UCR.

San Jose State shot 44% for the game while Riverside finished at 47%.

Just asking: wouldn't it be a blast from the past if Highlander Coach Jim Woodridge landed a player with the surname Rowan? Having a Rowan and also Martin could lead to a number of laughers for the Highlanders.

Friday, November 26, 2010

UC Riverside here - Sunday - 2 p.m.

The great Scottish poet Robbie Burns' heart was always in the Highlands although we're quite sure it wasn't Riverside, CA that he had in mind. Said city was named for a spot on the Santa Ana River and does have an elevation of 860 feet but, yes, there are some surrounding mountains.

Nevertheless, it is the Highlanders from southern California coming to Walt McPherson Court on Sunday for a 2 p.m. game. There was some confusion about start times but it is 2 p.m.

Jim Wooldridge is the UCR head coach. He possesses some NBA flavor, having assisted with the Chicago Bulls (along with former Spartan coach Phil Johnson) when Tim Floyd was there and is most likely recognized as the former top guy at Kansas State. Former Spartan assistant coach Dennis Cutts is at Riverside aiding Wooldridge.

The Highlanders own a 1-3 overall record, nabbing a win against host Southern Methodist in Dallas while losing 90-75 to Lamar and 69-58 to Portland State as part of a tournament at SMU and falling to UNLV in Vegas 85-41.

Shooting guard Phil Martin is the sole player in double figure scoring at 13.4 ppg. He's a 6-foot-4 junior who is shooting 58% overall but just 29% on his three-point attempts. Martin is also third on the team in rebounding at 4.6 boards a contest.

6-foot-7 forward BJ Shearry is adding 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds a game.

6-foot-7 Tyquan Brown leads the Highlanders on the boards with 7.4 caroms a contest.

The starters for Riverside:

* Javon Borum 5-foot-11 (he possesses good quickness and strength but is shooting 26%, 20% on threes)

* Phil Martin 6-foot-4 200

* Kareem Nitoto 6-foot-1 185 (he's a native of Oakland, a transfer from Hawaii) and probably the best backcourt defender -- look for friends and family to be in attendance)

* Tyquan Brown 6-foot-7 215 or Elliott Berry 6-foot-7 210 or BJ Shearry 6-foot-7 220 upfront

The Highlanders are shooting just 41% from the floor but only allowing opponents to make 43% of their attempts. Plus, UCR own a +5 rebounding edge at 39-34 and has nabbed 24 more offensive boards than its collective opponents.

As for scoring, Riverside is at 66 ppg while giving up 72. Remarkably, Woodridge's squad has attempted only 55 three-point shots to date to 123 for opposing teams -- a remarkable differential.

The UC Riverside broadcast starts at 1:30 p.m. (PST) and will be available on KSJS and KLIV (1590 AM, San Jose).

The Highlander roster (by position, alphabetized)

Javon Borum G 5-11 190 Sr.
Daymond Cowlah G 6-0 180 Fr.
Harrison Gaines G 6-0 170 Jr.
Phil Martin G 6-4 200 Jr.
Kareem Nitoto G 6-1 185 Jr.
Andy Saharan G 6-5 180 So.
Delonte Taylor G 6-5 205 Jr.

Elliott Berry F 6-7 210 Jr.
Kevin Bradshaw F 6-8 225 Jr.
Tyquan Brown F 6-7 215 Jr.
BJ Shearry F 6-7 220 Jr.
David Chavarria F 6-7 220 Jr.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bakersfield tops the Spartans 82-77

a pre-game view of CSUB's campus arena

Some games, it's just seems impossible individually and/or collectively to establish a rhythm or continuity. That's when a grinding-it-out slog mentality becomes a necessity. Tonight, Cal State Bakersfield performed better at it and came away with an 82-77 win.

Adrian Oliver led the way for San Jose with 26 points and Justin Graham contributed 16. Sophomore Stephon Carter paced the hosts with a personal best 32 points. Donavan Bragg added 20.

With 2:45 remaining, it was 69 all. Adrian Oliver put in a shot down low with two minutes showing to make it 71-69.

On a late foul call after Calvin Douglas knocked the ball away, Bakersfield's Stephon Carter made a pair of free throws to tie up the game.

After Oliver missed a trey attempt, Keith Shamburger nagged the carom. Oliver subsequently was fouled and he made 1-2 at the foul line putting SJSU up by one.

Roadrunner guard Alex Johnson then nailed a trey at the 1:04 mark, elevating Bakersfield to a 74-72 margin, a lead they never relinquished.

Next time down, Oliver missed off the front rim and it became a free throw line march after that until the horn sounded giving Bakersfield the 82-77 victory.

BK came in shooting 41% and averaging 70 points a game. The Roadrunners shot 47% on the night to San Jose State's 51%.

At the half, it was 44-39 in favor of the hosts, the same point differential as at the end. San Jose State shot 52% but the Roadrunners were just behind at 50%. Eight Spartan turnovers and seven BK offensive rebounds provided Bakersfield greater offensive opportunities.

At that point, Stephon Carter was the gigantic man on the Roadrunner campus with a remarkable 19 points and seven rebounds.

Remember the 1971 crime film "Get Carter," starring Michael Caine? SJSU should have watched it on the way down to Bakersfield because the sophomore was mucho en fuego in the initial 20 minutes.