Sunday, March 28, 2010

Basketball banquet announcement

Here are the specifics for the upcoming San Jose State post-season basketball banquet:

Where: Three Flames Restaurant, 1547 Meridian Avenue, San Jose, 408-269-3133
When: Thursday, April 8, 5:30 no host cocktails, 6:00 dinner
Cost: pay at the door - $20 for Rebounder members, $30 for non-members
Meal sponsorships: let us know when checking in at the door
Menu: steak dinner, let us know if you prefer a vegetarian entree

Please RSVP to so we can determine an official count

Friday, March 26, 2010

More on Illiwa Baldwin

Law enforcement calls it a 'person of interest' so, transferring that parlance to basketball, we'll call Illiwa Baldwin a 'player of interest.'

Baldwin is a 'big' just finishing up at Pratt Community College and receiving interest from a number of schools, including San Jose State, Nevada, St. Mary's and apparently Pacific.

He just received these honors: being named a Jayhawk West All Conference selection as well as an All-Region pick.
" A 6-10 center from Brisbane, Australia, Baldwin was PCC’s leader in several statistical categories.

He averaged a team-high 13.3 points per game and also led the Beavers — and the Jayhawk West — with an average of 10.55 rebounds per game..."
Go here for the remainder.

Here is more on Baldwin from the Pratt athletics site.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Derek Brown earns MVP honors

The Sierra League basketball coaches have named their top players and San Jose State signee Derek Brown was honored with most valuable player honors. Brown is a 6-foot backcourter out of Chino Hills High.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Marquin Chandler update

Yoon Chul
Korea Times

The fifth-ranked Dongbu Promy will meet regular season champion Ulsan Mobis in the second round of the Korean Basketball League (KBL) playoffs after winning at home in Wonju, Sunday.

The Promy swept the best-of-five series, beating the LG Sakers 77-66 in Game 3.
The Sakers came out strong but the Promy tied it at 34 by the half and overwhelmed in the second half, scoring 24 points while allowing only 14.

The Promy's Kim Joo-sung played the entire 40 minutes and racked up 15 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Son Joo-young poured in 13 points including two key 3-pointers in the decisive third quarter.

Two Promy imports ― forward
Marquin Chandler and center Jonathan Jones ― combined for 27 points and four boards.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Mexico State ends the Spartan season 90-69

San Jose State kept it within reach through the first half and beyond but a Troy Gillenwater scoring run advanced the lead to the unrecoverable distance and the game ended with the Aggies on top 90-69.

It was a Gillenwater three-point play followed thereafter by a Gillenwater trey that led a 10-0 run, a streak of points that put New Mexico State ahead 58-44 and the Spartans couldn't close the gap.

Adrian Oliver scored 23 points and set a new SJSU mark for the most free throws attempts in a single season. He finished with 699 points this go-around, three shy of the late Ricky Berry's all-time record.

Justin Graham contributed 14 points, six assists and four rebounds on the night.

Jonathan Gibson led NMSU with 22 points, followed by Jahmar Young with 16. Wendell McKines produced a double-double of 15 points and 14 boards.

For the game, San Jose State shot 43%, going 5-17 from three-point range. The Spartans also went an 'en fuego' 18-21 from the foul line.

New Mexico State shot 55% overall, scoring 51 second half points on 60% shooting. The Aggies grabbed 38 rebounds on the night to 25 for SJSU. Turnovers were just about even at 10 and 11.

The score was 39-31 in favor of the Aggies at the half. The Spartans went ahead 25-23 but an 11-point burst scooted the New Mexico Staters ahead 34-25 with 2:47 remaining in the initial 20 minutes.They never trailed again.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Spartan Daily does San Jose State hoops

The Spartan Daily on SJSU hoops:
SJSU men's basketball: Oliver's accolades, home success, highlight season
Kyle Szymanski
Spartan Daily

It didn't take long for New Mexico State head coach Marvin Menzies to realize something was different about the Event Center when his team first visited SJSU this season.

"I have never heard the Event Center be so loud," Menzies said in a postgame news conference after his team was defeated 93-84 on Jan. 23.

The win over the Aggies capped off arguably one of the most exciting times in the history of SJSU basketball.

SJSU finished the season with a record of 14-16 and 6-10 in the Western Athletic Conference...
Go here for the remainder.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thursday night in Reno: SJSU versus NMSU

New Mexico State is the opening game opponent for San Jose State in the WAC tournament and it's a frustrated squad. That's because Utah State just spanked them by the score of 81-63. The southern Aggie hides were figuratively chapped and they want a rematch. Here's some snippets from various newspaper game reports:

...[Brady] Jardine and [Jahmar] Young got tangled up in front of the USU bench. Jardine came up with the steal and called timeout. Young had to be restrained and eventually was whistled for a technical - Quayle sank both free throws with 36.7 seconds left in the half. Menzies and Morrill then exchanged words as the crowd roared...

...Tai Wesley, on his way up court, pointed to Wendell McKines and said "You have three points"...

...Troy Gillenwater quite purposely bumped Brian Green when he was at the foul line...

It was physical and verbal but only Utah State backed it up with a solid victory instead of words.

So will New Mexico State be 'looking forward' and thereby possibly overlook any opponents between them and a hopeful rematch with Utah State?

We'll find out late Thursday night, beginning at 8:30 p.m., in Reno.

As for previous SJSU - NMSU meetings this season, there were two:

* January 23: 93-84 San Jose State at Walt McPherson Court

Mac Peterson led the scoring for San Jose State with 25 points on 6-8 three-point shooting, plus seven made free throws. His point total was a career high. Adrian Oliver was close by with 22. Jahmar Young led the southern Aggies with 34 points, also a career high. Jonathan Gibson contributed 19 but it took 20 shots for him to reach that total.

New Mexico State came out warm and evolved into hot as getting good and unattended looks at the basket produced a 41-32 halftime lead. The Aggies led 23-21 with 7:25 remaining and went on 16-point scoring run to widen the gap to 39-21. But the Spartans closed strong to reduce it to nine, with a late Peterson trey and an Oliver and-1 three-point play playing big factors.

As the game tightened in the second 20 minutes and with the Spartans pulling ahead, the Aggies seemingly ran their offensive sets less and less, relying more on individual efforts and quick shots.

Overall, SJSU shot 56.4% from the floor and went 12-20 from long distance. New Mexico State took 16 more shots but made three less and ended up at 39.4% for the game. 38 of the Aggies 71 shot attempts were three-pointers.

San Jose State was credited with 23 assists.

The excellent Spartan shooting, especially in the second half, was the result of very solid spacing and crisp passing in the frontcourt.

NMSU did win the turnover battle, 15 to 6. The Aggies utilized a three-quarter court press for most of the game, gaining some turnovers but the outcome more a whittling away of the time on the Spartan shooting clock.

Remarkably, San Jose State scored 61 second half points (to 43 for New Mexico State), close to doubling its total of the first 20 minutes.

* February 6: 94-82 New Mexico State in Las Cruces

Let's take the OK Corral out of Tombstone and place it in the wild west of Las Cruces. The Earps (host New Mexico State this time) versus the Clanton Gang (San Jose State), lots of firepower on both sides.

When the gun smoke cleared, it was the Aggies winning 94-82.

Robert Owens led the Spartans with a career-high 29 points, shooting 10-15 overall (7-12 on threes). He was 'en fuego' until the last minutes when he missed his final three trey attempts. Adrian Oliver contributed 22 while Chris Oakes earned a double-double of 14 points and 10 boards.

Jahmar Young topped New Mexico State with 25 points and Jonathan Gibson was right behind with 20. In his first game of the season, Troy Gillenwater provided a double-double of 19 points and 11 boards -- all in just 21 minutes of action.

The Aggies led by 12 soon after the second 20 minutes began but a pair of three-pointers by Owens made it 56-52 at the 14:55 mark. A little later on, Owens' trey and foul shot (he was fouled) cut the deficit to three at 61-58.

The pattern was the Aggies extending the lead and San Jose State drawing back close but SJSU could never tie or go ahead.

A Mac Peterson three with 7:55 remaining put the score at 76-71.

With around five minutes left, San Jose State sagged a bit and the Aggies expanded the point differential to 10 at 83-73 before closing out matters.

As a team, San Jose State shot 43% overall, 11-23 on trey attempts and 9-14 from the foul line. The Aggies were sharper though with 52% overall shooting, 10-21 from long distance and 18-24 at the charity stripe. The 21 three-point shots were a far cry from the 38 New Mexico State attempted in the earlier game between these two teams in San Jose.

The Aggie Starting Quintet

6-foot-11 Hamidu Rahman

* he's getting better with each season, adding a mix of inside scoring, rebounding and shotblocking
* shot 42% at the foul line in WAC play so don't give up anything easy -- put him on the charity stripe
* his rebounding totals are split at 59 offensive/72 defensive so blocking him out is critical
* making him shoot off balance attempts inside is the key to him missing more than he makes

6-foot-6 Wendell McKines

* the top boardman on the team
* he'll pop one or two attempts a game from outside but, like Rahman, don't hesitate to put him on the line if he has a chip shot (49%)
* the Aggies roll when he is creating openings and then kicking the ball out to an open teammate

6-foot-5 Jahmar Young

* he possesses a shooting range best described as long, longer and longest and he can create shoot over most defenders
* around one third of his shots are three-pointers -- just don't give him long, open looks

6-foot-1 Jonathan Gibson

* 60% of his shot attempts are treys but he's streaky and not as consistent as Young
* it's a pick your poison approach but let Gibson -- rather than Young -- beat you

6-foot-1 Hernst LaRoche

* he is among the best in the WAC at delivering the ball to teammates with the fewest blips
* not necessarily a creator
* LaRoche shoots the same from the floor as he does from long distance, 40%

The Cavalry

6-foot-8 Troy Gillenwater

* his late-season eligibility created a stir but he added 13.5 ppg. to the offensive arsenal
* let him shoot from long distance (4-17) but don't allow him good position in the paint

6-foot-5 Gordo Castillo

* he is a three-point marksman, period (50 of his 60 shots attempts were treys) -- best in the role of catch-and-shoot

6-foot-5 Tyrone Watson

* a walk-on, Watson brings energy, hustle and muscle to the floor

What To Expect

* Which Aggie team shows up? The focused one that plays like it for most if not all of the 40 minutes or the bunch of individuals going one-on-one, casting up too many trey attempts and lacking defensive intensity?

* To a major degree, it will be a battle of the threes as both teams utilize long distance shooting as a major part of their respective offensive arsenals

* The Aggies can be taken advantage of on the boards but does that then dictate the lineup playing the most minutes for SJSU?

* The Spartans are shooting 73% at the foul line to 63% for New Mexico State

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Boise State in a rout 85-56

The game started close -- 9 to 8 in favor of the Broncos at the 15:14 mark -- but then Boise State crept into a substantial lead. It became a 10-point deficit for San Jose State, then 13, 14 and more until the initial 20 minutes concluded with BSU leading 43-26.

The Broncos came out aggressive, especially on the defensive end and a number of steals early on led to dunks and layups which fueled and fed momentum and confidence to Greg Graham's squad.

Those factors carried over into the second half and host Boise State finished it's senior game with an 85-56 victory.

After the first half, the numbers for the Broncos were illuminating: 13 assists, six steals, 10 fastbreak points, 18-30 overall shooting (5-11 on treys) while SJSU could manage just 10-30 shooting numbers.

Ultimately, it didn't get a whole lot better later on for the Spartans as BSU shot 53% for the game (8-20 on three-point attempts), grabbed 36 rebounds, passed for 24 assists, nabbed 10 steals, blocked six shots and committed seven turnovers.

San Jose State managed 39% overall shooting (5-19 on three-pointers), 30 boards, 10 assists, 16 turnovers and a pair of steals.

On the night, Graham's contingent ended up taking 10 more field goal attempts but made 13 more shots.

Although neither shot well, Adrian Oliver led the Spartans with 12 points and Robert Owens contributed 10. Chris Oakes scored nine while grabbing 15 rebounds.

Now, it's on to the Western Athletic Conference tournament.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Saturday afternoon in Boise

The Boise State Broncos, if not hot, are leaning towards warm. Consider their latest series of WAC matchups:

A January 23 10-point victory at rival Idaho. Trippin' to Fresno resulted in a 16-point triumph. Then the 'old' Broncos reappeared and lost by 24 at home to Idaho. Utah State came to Boise and pulled out a five-point win. In Reno, the Broncos lost by a bucket. While in Ruston, Greg Graham's bunch took down Louisiana Tech by 13. Last Saturday, BSU fell by three to New Mexico State in Las Cruces. On Thursday, it was a 19-point victory over visiting Hawaii.

Yes, Graham doesn't have his best team ever in 2009-2010 but it's one that has grown and certainly become much more competitive over the latter half of the WAC itinerary.

It's also the one San Jose State will face at approximately 3:15 Pacific time Saturday at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise.

Boise State and SJSU met on January 14 and here's our game report:

Spartans win 76-74

One concern emanating out of Boise State this week was a so-called lack of a go-to guy at the end of games. Fittingly, that meme reared its head tonight, both positively and negatively for the Broncos in a 76-74 loss.

With 2:43 remaining, Adrian Oliver made a pair of free throws (note a theme beginning here) to make it 71-66 in San Jose State's favor.

At the 2:10 mark, BSU's La'Shard Anderson buried a trey. After an exchange of possessions, Daequon Montreal scored on a putback to tie the game.

AO was fouled again and repeated his earlier success, making both free throws to push the Spartans back up 73-71.

Anderson came down and buried another trey to put the Broncos ahead 74-73 with 59 second left.

At the 34 second mark, Oliver was fouled yet again and duplicated his previous attempts, burying both free throws to nudge San Jose State back up 75-74.

After a BSU timeout, Anderson missed a three-point attempt and Mac Peterson was fouled after gathering in the rebound.

Peterson missed his initial free throw and made the second, leaving the score 76-74.

Boise State came down, missed on a shot and then a rebound putback but Anthony Thomas boarded and scored down low. However, he released his shot after the clock ran out.

SJSU's Oliver scored 37 in the last matchup with Boise State -- tonight he poured in 33.

The Spartans shot 48% as a team to BSU's 40%. SJSU went 17-21 at the foul line and this is where Coach Greg Graham's team stumbled, going 7-16. Boise State did enjoy a 49-29 rebounding advantage, with 26 offensive boards.

At the half it was even at 40 apiece. Oliver had 19 at that point and Justin Graham 11. The latter scored four baskets early on with dribble-drives to the hoop. After 20 minutes, there were already 13 ties and 11 lead changes between the teams.

We loved this initial half quote, coming from the Boise State announcers: "nobody is stopping anybody tonight."

It was soon followed with "who puts up two defensive stops and comes down and scores, wins it."

But that changed -- to a degree -- when the teams returned to the court.

San Jose State's C.J. Webster missed the game after being poked in the eye against Fresno State in the previous contest.

BSU's WAC Schedule

Jan 02 @ Fresno State 68 - 71 (L)
Jan 04 @ Hawai'i 68 - 76 (L)
Jan 09 New Mexico State 85 - 88 (L)
Jan 11 @ Louisiana Tech 64 - 79 (L)
Jan 14 @ San Jose State 74 - 76 (L)
Jan 16 @ Utah State 59 - 81 (L)
Jan 20 Nevada 82 - 88 (L)
Jan 25 @ Idaho 77 - 67 (W) OT
Jan 30 Fresno State 65 - 49 (W)
Feb 06 Idaho 55 - 79 (L)
Feb 11 Utah State 67 - 72 (L)
Feb 13 @ Nevada 80 - 82 (L) OT
Feb 25 @ Louisiana Tech 72 - 59 (W)
Feb 27 @ New Mexico State 92 - 95 (L)
Mar 04 Hawai'i 82-63 (W)

The Bronco Starting Five

6-foot-9 Ike Okoye: 12.5 points and 7.8 rebounds a game -- solid but generally not explosive as a points producer

6-foot-7 Daequon Montreal: Look for him to be a 'monster' next season as he had added 4 points per game to his scoring average and gone from 48% shooting to 55% during WAC play -- he's also the best athlete on the team

6-foot-6 Robert Arnold: can score a lot or a little and recently went for 35 against New Mexico State, resulting in him being named the WAC Player of the Week

6-foot-1 La'Shard Anderson: the best point on the team this season, he can get hot but hasn't shot that well overall all year

6-foot-2 Anthony Thomas: it has not been the senior season he or anyone else expected as his shooting and ballhandling has suffered statistically but consider that Saturday will be his final home game

The Cavalry

6-foot-9 Kurt Cunningham: his playing time and output have lessened in WAC competition but he has the bulk to score inside if allowed to obtain position

6-foot-10 Zack Moritz: - he is another of the Beef Brothers and his game is similar to Cunningham's

6-foot-6 Paul Noonan: his shooting percentage and scoring are also down in league action but he'll pour in the points if given good catch-and-shoot looks

The Boise State roster, by position

G.A. Hill G 5-8 140 Fr.
Justin Salzwedel G 6-2 184 Jr.
Anthony Thomas G 6-0 211 Sr.
Nate Larsen G 6-2 188 Sr.
La'Shard Anderson G 6-1 170 Jr.

Daequon Montreal F 6-7 229 Jr.
Ike Okoye F 6-9 235 Sr.
Robert Arnold F 6-6 170 Jr.
Paul Noonan F 6-7 214 Jr.
Tyler Young F 6-8 219 Fr.

Zack Moritz C 6-11 245 Jr.
Kurt Cunningham C 6-9 265 Sr.

What To Expect

- A season-ending injury to junior backcourter Westley Perryman has severely curailed Graham's options in the backcourt, thus making it imperative that his available guards perform efficiently and remain out of foul trouble

- Look for Daequon Montreal to be the team leader next season as he is already edging into that role now

- Expect anywhere between for 20-30 three-point shots to be hoisted by the Broncos, more towards the former if they are scoring inside, heading to the latter if play in the paint isn't productive

- BSU has scored, 80, 81, 74, 72, 92 and 82 points in the last six games -- an average of 80 points, with a full WAC schedule average of 72.7 -- so the BSU offensive play is definitely curving upwards

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Idaho wins 86-76

Maybe it was a pre-game overindulgence of those famous potatoes. It definitely was a big dose of Vandal senior-itis -- the positive ailment -- as Mac Hopson and Kashif Watson both scored 17 points, Marvin Jefferson 15 and Steffan Johnson 10 respectively. The four upperclassmen paved the way for Coach Don Verlin in an 86-76 Idaho victory over San Jose State in Moscow tonight.

Idaho started quickly, leading 6-0 very early, 17-10 at the 10:29 mark and 31-18 with 3:53 remaining.

At the half, it was 45-27 in favor of the Vandals, the scoring capped by Watson's three-quarter court bank shot just before the buzzer. Granted, 99.9% of such shots never go in but none of the five Spartans on the floor were even paying attention to who had the ball, let alone what he was doing with it.

SJSU crept closer in the second 20 minutes. It was 52-38 after an Adrian Oliver three-pointer but a four-point play (a trey plus a free throw) by Johnson made it 60-38. It was 64-51 after a Justin Graham jumper when UI countered to extend the margin to 69-51.

For the game, Oliver paved SJSU with 24 points. C.J. Webster added 17, along with nine boards and Graham totaled 12 points.

All told, the Vandals shot 56% (6-11 on treys) with 34 rebounds. The Spartans finished at 50% (9-22 on three-pointers) and 27 boards.

Numbers for the first 20 minutes: Idaho 56% shooting to San Jose State's 32%, 24 Vandal points in the paint to eight for SJSU and 21 UI rebounds (nine offensive) to 11 for the Spartans.

That sure looked like a moment of jubilation for Vandal frontcourter Jessica Graham when her brother made a pair of free throws in the first half -- dual loyalty is a tough one.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A feature on Chris Oakes

The Spartan Daily offers an in-depth look at Chris Oakes:
Oakes uses blocks to build home in paint
Center excels through tragedy to find success
Daniel Herberholz
Spartan Daily

Chris Oakes grabs the rebound and tries to put it back. From below the basket, he watches it roll in and out and then off the rim, as a Fresno State Bulldog pushes play the other way. You can see it in the grimace on his face that he wanted that one, as he lets out a roar and sprints back on defense.

"I'm always anticipating if it is just coming off (the rim)," said the starting center for the SJSU men's basketball team. "If I'm going up, or if somebody misses a shot and I'm going to go rebound it on the offensive or defensive end, I'm always looking to get a rhythm."

Oakes, a senior African-American studies major, used this rhythmic approach to become a mainstay in the paint for the Spartans the past few years. The 6-foot-9-inch man has averaged 9.7 rebounds and 7.9 points in 80 games as of Saturday's contest against Fresno State...
Go here for the remainder.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The SJSU - Idaho 'we couldn't wait' game preview

It's tough to finish regular season play on the road but everything evens out in the end as San Jose State challenges Idaho in Moscow on Thursday and Boise State in the capital come Saturday.

Call Idaho the enigma team of the Western Athletic Conference in 2009-2010. The Vandals finished a surprising 17-16 last season and reached post-season play against Drake and Pacific in the College Insider tournament. Experience was gained and then greater talent was added via recruiting and a prized transfer. This season was supposed to be a breakout one but Coach Don Verlin's squad is currently 13-15 overall and 4-10 in WAC play.

Effecting the quality of play is the injury absence of frontcourter Brandon Wiley, a solid rebounder and inside scorer, and the graduation of point Terrence Simmons. Wiley is a plays-within-himself/does-the-dirtywork type while the latter wasn't a big scorer (although he shot well when left alone) but owned a solid and dependable 58/32 assist-to-turnover ratio.

The addition of Pacific transfer Steffan Johnson was supposed to broaden the firepower in the Vandal 2009-2010 backcourt. But the senior is averaging just below 10 points per game and, while okay with his 90/48 assist/turnover ratio, he hasn't shot all that well or consistently at 39% nor proved a creator for others.

Also consider Vandal star backcouter Mac Hopson and his comparative numbers: he finished last year at 194/96 in assists-to-turnovers but currently is at 134/92.

The team as a whole is in the minus with turnovers at 409/366

Dovetailing into that deficit is the Vandal program currently underwater in steals at 168/214. Last season, Idaho owned the advantage at 213/182.

Our take: chemistry matters, as defined by the acceptance of roles and proving to be complementary-type players. Idaho had it last season, much less so in 2009-2010.

These two teams met on January 4th and here's our game report:

It was a battle of middleweights, quite the appropriate Whelliston-ian reference for two mid-majority schools. One would throw a punch, so to speak, followed with a rejoinder by the other. But neither could achieve a knockout so it was a match to be decided on points (pun intended).

San Jose State eventually triumphed over visiting Idaho 78-75.

C.J. Watson re-introduced himself to the WAC, Idaho specifically, with a 21/11 double-double. Adrian Oliver topped San Jose with 22 points. Chris Oakes contributed 18.

Midway through the second half, a five point run brought SJSU to within one at 56-55.

San Jose State then pulled ahead by seven and it was 71-65 in favor of the Spartans with 3:41 remaining. Kashif Watson scored for the Vandals sandwiched around a SJSU travel and a turnover on a steal.

Mac Peterson, off all night with his shooting, then nailed a trey to make the score 74-67. It was his sole make of the evening.

But Idaho wasn't done just yet.

Mac Hopson put in a deuce to bring the margin back to five, 74 to 69, at the 1:08 mark.

Adrian Oliver followed with a matching fallaway jumper.

Luiz Toledo was fouled and made one of two free throw attempts, making it 76-70.

Oliver misfired with a one-and-one at the foul line and Luciano de Souza calmly came down and buried a three-pointer, making it a one possession game at 76-73.

Robert Owens was fouled on the following possession and cooly knocked down both shots.

But amazingly, Watson then was fouled attempting a three-pointer. He made the front and back end shots, missing the middle attempt and that's how the contest ended.

The Vandals led 38-37 at the half. Webster topped SJSU with 13 points on 6-7 shooting. Chris Oakes missed some time as a precaution due to a pair of fouls. Idaho had just four free throw attempts after the first 20 minutes, making all. The biggest Idaho lead was three -- it was four for the Spartans. Luciano de Souza shot a sizzling 5-8.

After being out-boarded in the first half, San Jose State rebounded (again pun intended) to win that battle 29-24.

Idaho was led by Mac Hopson with 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Steffan Johnson helped out with 15 points -- on five three-pointers.

Also, most recently, the Vandals lost to a Kyle Gibson-less but home-advantaged Louisiana Tech 60-49.

Idaho and the WAC

Jan 02 @ Hawai`i 59 - 52 (W)
Jan 04 @ San Jose State 75 - 78 (L)
Jan 09 Louisiana Tech 71 - 77 (L)
Jan 11 New Mexico State 72 - 75 (L)
Jan 16 @ Nevada 68 - 76 (L)
Jan 23 Utah State 60 - 48 (L)
Jan 25 Boise State 67 - 77 (L) OT
Jan 28 Fresno State 74 - 59 (W)
Feb 03 Utah State 62 - 80 (L)
Feb 06 @Boise State 79 - 55 (W)
Feb 10 Nevada 66 - 67 (L)
Feb 13 @Fresno State 68 - 59 (W)
Feb 24 @ New Mexico State 57 - 74 (L)
Feb 27 @ Louisiana Tech 49 - 60 (L)

Idaho's Starting Quintet

Marvin Jefferson
6-foot-9: a scorer more on putbacks and dunk opportunities and a decent shotblocker who sometimes gets mired in foul trouble

Luiz Toledo 6-foot-7: he is shooting 65% on the season but rarely attempts a shot more than 5-6 feet from the basket, tends to need to be set up for a scoring opportunity

Kashif Watson 6-foot-4: he is a slicer and dicer who gets opponents out of position, resulting in whistles -- making him shoot from a decent distance harms his firepower

Steffan Johnson 6-foot-1: has the potential to nail threes in a bunch if given the opportunity as two thirds of his shots are from that range and he is shooting better on his treys (39%) than overall (38%)

Mac Hopson 6-foot-2: he is the engineer of the offense but sometimes penetrates too deeply to make a play and is showing a somewhat awkward shooting motion on his three-pointers -- went 2-9 with four turnovers against LA TECH

The Cavalry

Luciano de Souza
6-foot-7: his great Afro was braided last time we looked, he is a long distance, catch-and-shoot scorer almost exclusively

Jeff Ledbetter 6-foot-3: he's the stand-in, or at least his hair is for Justin Graham circa 2008-2009 -- another three-point specialist

Kyle Barone 6-10: he receives superlatives for his potential, at least offensively (59% shooting) but needs to muster better defensive play and rebounding which may arrive once he adds bulk and strength

Shawn Henderson 6-3: he's an 'opportunistic' scorer and an 'energy guy' off the bench

Marcus Lawrence 5-11: almost two thirds of the shot attempts have been treys so play him accordingly

The Vandal Roster by position

Mac Hopson G 6-2 185 Sr.
Jeff Ledbetter G 6-3 195 Jr.
Shawn Henderson G 6-3 178 Jr.
Steffan Johnson G 6-1 180 Sr.
Marcus Lawrence G 5-11 Jr.
Landon Tatum G 5-11 196 Jr. (redshirting)
Justin Stewart G 6-1 185 Fr.
Kashif Watson G 6-4 186 Sr.

Brandon Wiley F 6-6 218 Sr. (redshirting)
Luciano de Souza F 6-7 210 Sr.
Luiz Toledo F 6-8 225 So.
Travis Blackstock F 6-5 206 Sr.

Kyle Barone C 6-10 220 Fr.
Joe Kammerer C 6-9 241 Fr. (redshirting)
Marvin Jefferson C 6-9 250 Sr.

What to Look For

- Idaho tends to go as Mac Hopson goes as he and Kashif Watson are the primary dribble-drive penetrators/creators

- Coach Verlin has faced difficulty finding consistent production from just about everyone this season. Does this continue, or not?

- The WAC coaches collectively prognosticated a fourth place finish for the Vandals in 2009-2010, plus a first team slection for Mac Hopson. The media did likewise, in addition to naming Steffan Johnson pre-season Newcomer of the Year. At this point, none seem likely to happen.