Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chris Oakes to play overseas

Just saw this:

"Chris Oakes will start his career in Serbia. The 22-year-old American center and Radnicki have agreed to a one-year deal, though he will have to pass a ten-day try-out before signing the contract. Oakes arrives to Europe after playing during the last three seasons for the University of San Jose State averaging 10.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game during his senior year."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The first WAC basketball poll is out

Our eyes have been glassing over at any in-the-last-month mention or appearance of the word poll (we tolerate football but loooove basketball -- sorry, that's just how we roll). However, Chris Murray has a column today in the Reno Gazette-Journal, as does Jon Wilner in the Mercury News, about a WAC BASKETBALL POLL plus all-league selections, courtesy of the Sporting News.

Go here for the Chris Murray item and go here for the Jon Wilner one.

The coming WAC hoops season will be far more interesting than football due to the number of teams that have a legitimate chance of winning the tourney.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A little warmup to the coming basketball season

Here's a 3:13 clip on Adrian Oliver.

Here's a 1:39 clip on AO hosted by Vernon Glenn.

a 4:21 clip with Mike Chisholm interviewing AO.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

College athletics are business enterprises

As much as we may not like it or admit it, college football and basketball are now business enterprises/corporations. As fans and in the throes of fan-dom, we don't want to acknowledge such but the truth, as someone said speaking on another subject, is self-evident.

Yes, even though they are affiliated with an entity of higher learning, the heads of collegiate teams keep their jobs by winning, usually many more games than they lose. Doing so brings in television appearances and bowl game invites/Big Dance appearances and positive overall publicity, the trifecta that keeps the financial coffers full.

Achieve this troika and most personal peccadilloes or worse and/or those of the student-athletes are tsked at but generally overlooked. It's basic: win and you are a success in the world regardless of anything else.

The athletic directors -- call them the CEOs -- of these coaches keep their positions by maintaining and/or lengthening the plus side of the balance sheet.

The bigtime boosters (measured in financial contributions, not by mere loyalty) are the shareholders.

We're in the peanut gallery, offering opinions on this or that but having no real influence on personnel policy.

With that hopefully clarified, maybe such will help explain the past/present/future conduct of the various WAC members.

The WAC (nor do other leagues) doesn't function based upon any sort of sacred vows. The 'until death do you part' of certain marriage ceremonies has never and will never seep into any sort of conference bonds.

All is a business operation.

Similarly, corporations have agreements with others until such no longer provide the benefit wanted or desired. If a better (more profitable or beneficial) deal can be made elsewhere, it's value will be measured and an agreement possibly pursued.

That's the nature of the business beast and the very same financial model on which college athletics (football and basketball) function.

Human-like feelings -- empathy, family, loyalty and the sort -- do not apply. All is profit/success driven. The shareholders must be kept happy and satisfied. The product must be sale-able to enough of the masses.

Or heads roll.

Any CEO is 'required' to look further into such if a new proposal/deal provides greater visibility and the possibility of larger income generation. This allows for the possibility of strengthening his or her products.

The same is also true for any athletics director.

In this atmosphere, any given word on any matter is truly only good for the very moment it is issued.

Constant re-evaluation carries the day.

It's hard (and probably unfair) to label any of the individual actors in the current WAC situation as good or bad, heroes or villains. They are simply doing what they are designated and situated to do.

We may want matters to be different, desiring collegiate athletics to be something with a positive purity quotient but that train has left the station -- if it ever was a reality to begin with.

Decision making based upon any sort of common good is incongruent thinking in the corporate world mindset as well as college athletics because neither apparatus is currently designed for such.

He who has the gold, rules and the maximization of profit carries the day.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Aalim Moor on his freshman year at SJSU

Aalim Moor III will soon be entering his second year at San Jose State. SpartanHoops recently caught up with him and posed a few questions on his college experience to date at San Jose State University. He went from four years at St. Mary's High School (Berkeley) into the Washington Square collegiate environment.

This summer, Aalim's been working out with renowned basketball skills trainer Jeremy Russotti, SJSU assistant strength and conditioning coach Ben Cobian (more on this further down) while also working each of the various Spartan men's basketball summer camps, plus all the Golden State Warrior kid camps held throughout the Bay Area.

His vow is to be 'ready' for Spartan basketball 2.0 come the beginning of October's practices.

SH: After completing your freshman year, what do you see as the differences to date in the level of academics between high school and college?

AM: The differences in academics between high school and college is the workload! In high school, teachers seemed to care more (well at St. Marys) while in college it's all on your shoulders as a student. Also, the college structure of classrooms differ. There are no attendance checks in college, so if you don't go to class, the professor, most of the time, will not notice because there can be 70 or 80 students she/he has to worry about.

SH: With no parents asking 'have you done your homework?' plus practices, games and road trips, how did you manage your coursework load?

AM: I think that the management of my workload was the hardest thing to adjust to. I think growing up, we depend on and at times take for granted the importance our parents have on keeping us focused. I learned the hard way the first semester, by having to stay up late at nights and cramming for tests. Having had those experiences, I think now I'll be able to handle the road trips and workload with greater focus.

SH: Since you have completed your first year -- what was your favorite class so far and why?

AM: My favorite class was African American Studies because it taught me about my heritage and where my ancestors came from. Also the professors, Dr. Millner and Dr. Wilson, were very personable and I feel I learned the most from that class.

SH: What will you be majoring in and why did you decide on that?

AM: I'll be majoring in Communication and minoring in Business. I chose this because I feel that will set me up for my life after basketball.

SH: What was it like to enter a new social setting where you were surrounded by other young adults yet you knew next to no one? Are there any initial social activities planned by SJSU in order for new students to meet and get to know some of all these fellow students?

AM: Yes. The first week we moved in there were activities planned every day for a week encouraging us to get to know our school and fellow school mates. It was really fun and I feel like I made a lot of really good friends out of that experience.

SH: If there is such a thing as a typical workout day for you during this summer, can you describe it in detail so that the Rebounders can better understand what you have done to prepare yourself for your sophomore basketball season?

AM: Well for me, a typical work out week goes like this:

Monday: I work with my skills trainer Jeremy Russotti on my overall game -- ball handling, shooting, skill moves and quickness and awareness. Later that day, I go home and run the hill near my house on Golf Links Road and lift free weights I have in my room.

Tuesday: I am in the weight room with Coach Ben Cobian training my body to get stronger and better prepared for the season. Later that day, I go to the YUH and work on the drills I did Monday just to refine my skills.

(to offer some perspective, Aalim travels from Oakland to Santa Rosa to work with Russotti and then to San Jose to work with Cobian, then repeats the cycle)

Wednesday: same as Monday.

Thursday: same as Tuesday.

Friday: same as Monday and Wednesday.

Clearly, he does not subscribe to Robert M. Hutchins' school of thought: "Whenever I feel like exercise, I lie down until the feeling passes."

Many thanks to Aalim for the interview. We have no idea if he was ever a Boy Scout but he's certainly going to be prepared.