Thursday, September 1, 2011

A redshirt frontcourter at San Jose State

Chris Cunningham has transferred over to San Jose State University from Santa Clara. He's a 6-foot-8 225 pound center-forward originally out of Diamond Ranch High in Diamond Bar, CA (southern CA).

Cunningham signed in November 2008 with Coach Kerry Keating/Santa Clara. He also had an offer from UC Riverside.

As a Bronco in 2009-2010, he played 310 minutes in 30 games, shot 55% from the floor, 53% from the foul line, averaging 2.0 points and 2.2 rebounds a game with 10 shotblocks.

In 2010-2011, he played 189 minutes in 15 games, shot 62% from the floor, 70% from the foul line, averaging 4.4 points and 2.8 rebounds a game with 2 shotblocks.

It appears he departed from the Santa Clara squad some time in January or so but PTW isn't sure if he enrolled at SJSU right away or with this new school year so he may have two or possibly two and a half years of eligibility remaining.

One description of him in high school said this: "skilled big man with a good feel for the game. Nice feet and hands. Not real explosive, but he can score around the basket"

Another offered:  

"January, 2009: After a subpar performance at the Pacific Shores tournament, Cunningham was dominant against 6-8 up-and-coming junior Richard Solomon (Torrance, Calif./ Bishop Montgomery). Although he is a below the rim player, his footwork and savvy are a sight to see. His dexterity and deceptive quickness allows to him to convert over taller players and he uses his thick frame to muscle his way through contact. Overall, Cunningham doesn't have great bounce, but his skill level and fundamentals are high-level."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

AO to Greece

Adrian Oliver is headed to the land of Sparta:
"Signed a contract to play this lockout season in Greece. Thank you all for the good wishes. Leave in about a week so gettin everything..."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oliver Caballero is back playing

Here's a lengthy article on former SJSU center Oliver Caballero returning to the college game at Cal State Monterey Bay.

Justin Graham with a San Fran Pro-Am League dunk

Here's a video of Justin Graham dunking over a couple of guys in a San Francisco Pro-Am League contest.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The re-emergence of Aalim Moor

Check out the video of Aalim Moor working out this summer with Marqus Coleman and Anthony Eggleton!

Aalim Moor III contemplating his future
photo credit: M.E. Lampkin Media Services, LLC

Guards Adrian Oliver and Justin Graham have departed San Jose State University after each was on the court for 35 minutes a game during their respective tenures, Therefore, backcourt playing time is available to be earned by Spartan junior Aalim Moor III.

In that context -- called upon to enter 17 games last season for 61 minutes of playing time, producing 5-10 from the floor and eights assists to a single turnover -- some would have soured on college hoops and folded by now.

Not Moor.

He has chosen to dig deeper.

Leaving nothing to chance, he is demanding more of himself.

This display of perseverance and ultimately self-confidence boils down to a personal re-routing in order to achieve his goals.

One day found him on the beach in Alameda but not necessarily enjoying the sights. It was dragging his trainer Marqus Coleman to and fro on the sand via work-out bands strapped to the body. And did we mention this was during a rain storm with water coursing out of the sky making everything -- the sand, the equipment, the participants -- heavier. The next workout location was all those steep stairs at Lake Merritt. Another time found him whizzing around the Merritt College track as the temperature hovered in the 90s.

These efforts took place week in and week out, with predetermined goals and times to achieve.

Working on basketball skills training followed ninety-minute sessions of either efforts on the beach or at the track. The days were capped with evening weight training sessions.

Here's the actual compilation of numbers for Moor this summer:

* Rope reps - 14,300
* Shots in the gym - 3,492
* Sprinted - 14.5 miles
* Jogged - 9.3 miles
* Lifted hundreds of pounds of weights daily

Upon returning to Spartan workouts this summer, after finishing up the month-long training with Coleman and Anthony Eggleton, Moor just completed a mile run with the top time on the team of 5:56, bettering his previous best of 6:13.

So let's pose some questions:

Q - AO and JG are gone -- your thoughts on what they brought to the court and team and your connection to each?

AM: Leadership above all! They were unequivocally our leaders and I think having to replace that will be a bigger challenge than their production on the court. I look up to both as sort of big brothers and appreciate all the advice they give me...even now.

AO and I have been talking a lot throughout his whole process of NBA workouts. He has really given me great advice and sound pointers on how I should approach going into next year.


Q - Your playing time has been minimal so far yet your demeanor during games is one of bringing positivity (congratulatory words and actions) to your teammates. How have you maintained this attitude?

AM: By trying to understand that even though I'm not on the court, I can still have a real impact on the game by being vocal and sharing my view of what I see going on out there. Also patience is something that has helped me greatly.

Q - You devised a plan for yourself and your game this summer -- tell readers why and what it consists of?

AM: My motivation this summer was to re-capture my confidence and swagger about my game. Considering that I haven't really played as much in the past two years as I did in the previous four, I felt it was important to go back there in my mind, in order to go forward now in real time.

My plan was a very basic two-step approach:

1- Basketball skill work; work on every aspect of my game. And refine and improve on each piece.

2- Strength and Conditioning; "GET IN THE BEST SHAPE HUMANLY POSSIBLE!"

I'm ready!


a moment of relaxation for Moor
photo credit: M.E. Lampkin Media Services, LLC

Q - With your routine, what do you tell yourself in order to keep grinding away when fatigue is yelling at you to stop?

AM: I ask myself, Do you really want this? Are you even really a hooper? I think of everything anyone has said to me or about me that was demeaning and I push through all the pain and get it done. That's my motivation...it drives me!

Q - There is no returning starter at the point for San Jose State University -- who fills the spot?

AM: Who ever wants it. And "I WANT IT!"

Q - Why Marqus Coleman and Anthony Eggleton as your workout trainers? What does each bring?

AM: I've known Marcus for 14 years and I'm 20 now to put it in perspective. He would always tell me he wanted to work with me, so I decided this year was the year and I'm glad I made that move. He has helped me to change my whole mind set and approach to the game and to life.

Coach Ant and I have a long history. He has worked with me before and literally pushed me over the hump to become a D1 athlete. I owe him more than I can count!


Q - Recalling yourself as a freshman at SJSU as compared to the present -- who are you know, what is different for you and why?

AM: I'm a lot more mature! I have responsibilities now that I did not have before. I have an apartment, with bills. I'm beginning my major classes and understand what college is really about. Where as a freshman, I was wide-eyed and a bit wild, just looking to have fun.

Q - Two years into college and working towards a degree in communications, what academic advice can you offer to high school seniors soon to make that transition?

AM: Make sure you have your priorities in order! Parties and all that will always be there. Take care of school first!!

Q - Any idea if you want to down the road go into coaching basketball at some level? Yes or no, can you explain why.

AM: It's possible. I think I have a lot more information to gain, but I would love an opportunity to give back and help younger generations be successful.

Q - Jason Kidd won an NBA championship this season -- can you tell readers about your connections with him?

AM: We both grew up in Oakland. J. Kidd and I went to the same elementary school (St. Paschal Baylon) in Oakland. I think the biggest connection to him that I have is our style of play. I always admired his game. He has always been a pass first point guard, looking to set the table for other guys. He's always been a player I've looked up to and emulated.

Q - You met new Golden State Warrior Coach Mark Jackson years ago at a Double Pump Camp where you were one of the top campers. What was your impression of him and do you recall what he passed on to you?

AM: Mark Jackson was and is a great man and he is a great pickup for the Warriors as a Head Coach. My Dad introduced me to him after a game I was playing. He watched me play and complimented me on my game and told me that "in order to get where I want, hard work isn't enough you have to really believe in yourself and your ability". I never forgot that!

Q - You work in the summers for the Golden State Warriors -- what are your duties and how many years have you been doing this?

AM: I'm a coach at the camps. I help the kids work on the basics of the game and try to pass on what knowledge I have on to them, it's a lot of fun. I've been working the camps for about three years now. I really enjoy working with the Warriors. They are a first class organization and do a lot for our community. I'll keep coming back each year if they'll have me.

Aalim also added this: "Shout out to Kelvin Potts (KP) who I am working out with now for my ball handling and overall PG skills. I've known him all my life and I'm glad to have him as someone I work out with also."



Moor surrounded by Coleman (l) and Eggleton (r)
photo credit: M.E. Lampkin Media Services, LLC

Telegraph Avenue-based Anthony "Ant" Eggleton, of Ant's Mind and Body, is a longtime resident of the East Bay, an Oakland Fremont High graduate and a trainer extraordinaire who does things differently than most folks in his field. It's not that he is looking to be a contrarian at all -- it's because he views training for gain to be a holistic effort, a congruency of mind and body.

Eggleton's plans of action include working on body mechanics to achieve multiple goals and results: greater balance and flexibility, quicker reactions to stimuli, improved strength and lateral movement quickness, plus quicker and more controlled directional changes.

That is the usual.

What's not is this: "We also work to turn on the centers of will," with the intent of leading to higher level performance, greater mental enhancement and quicker physical rejuvenation.

San Jose State Spartan Aalim Moor has long utilized this dual Eggleton approach but his time was limited since beginning college at SJSU.

Not this summer as the two have teamed up once again.

"I've known Aalim since the sixth grade and the work he has put in is paying dividends," Eggleton offered. "His athleticism has improved by leaps and bounds."

As evidence, Moor just completed a mile run with the top time on the team of 5:56, bettering his previous best of 6:13.

As Eggleton put it, look for the same name to be on the roster but it will be a different Moor on the floor this season: "I think fans will be more than pleasantly surprised," no pun intended.

Eggleton continued, "Aalim had a different focus [than before]. He has always been driven but it was a bit more now, going to a different level.

There were other differences, too.

"He has gone from a kid to an impressive young man, evolving emotionally and physically," Eggleton added. "We were able to train more aggressively and physically. His mind and body were really into it."


Moor celebrating beating Coleman on his fifth time up a training hill
photo credit: M.E. Lampkin Media Services, LLC

Marqus Coleman runs the Coleman Elite Boot Camp and worked out Moor this summer. Here's a Q-and-A with Coleman:

Q - Why are you in the profession you have chosen?

MC: I have always had a passion for teaching the game of basketball. I was taught from a young age to play the game the right way and I want to pass that on. I started my first coaching job as a 10th grader in high school and I think my passion grew from that point on.

Q - What is your core training philosophy?

MC: My training philosophy is broken up into four parts:

1. To begin with, my goal is to teach the athlete how to work out. Most athletes work out on their own, but either they don't have a good work ethic, or they don't know how to push their workouts to the next level consistently, each time they step on the floor.

2. My idea is to get the athlete in complete shape, for the duration of their play. In other words, I believe an athlete should be able to stay fresh from start to finish, offense and defense. Being able to compete for that amount of time, without having to clutter your mind with thoughts of fatigue and wanted rest, allows you space to strengthen and master your mental game. Most athletes struggle with this, and can only consistently play their best, 40-60% of the game.

3. Predicated on my Philosophy of: 2-6-2

I believe in teaching basketball skills 2 seconds at a time. Ideally the moves you make on the basketball court only happen in a 2 to 3 second time period. The 6 represents the 6 inches your base or the lower half of your body can be effective in your moves on the floor. If your feet are more than 6 inches from your body you become ineffective as a basketball player, losing your strength and balance. Finally, the the second 2 represents the 2 feet of space created from the first tow points. If you can be successful in making a move in 2 seconds and explosive in 6 inches of space, you can create 2 feet of space, giving you room to pass or score with vision.


4. The final piece to my philosophy consists of three things: I want to emphasize the athletes explosiveness, speed and agility and consistency. If a player can accomplish these three key factors to the game, they can be unstoppable. Confidence will be sparked as well.

Q - If it does, how does your training differ from that of others?

MC: I think I differ from others in my thought about my athletes. I am the trainer, which means I work for the athlete, not the other way around. I structure the training around the athlete and make sure he or she always feels they are better than they were the day before. I would often remind people that as a player its about you, this is your choice to do this and I am not forcing you to do this. However if this is what you want to do then we have to make progress together because I am only as good as you. My training principles are simple, yet the workout is unorthodox. I do the training that everyone talks about doing, but never does. I use the gym to refine skill sets and perfect what the athlete already knows. One major difference is that I always teach in pressure situations, its more realistic and forces the athlete to think.

Q - Are there any client names from the past or present you can share?

MC: I don't believe that the success of the athlete is mine to claim. At the end of the day, the athletes are the ones working, I instruct. Over the years I've worked with many successful athletes primarily in NorCal, but also across the country. To me it does not matter what your name is, I don't affiliate with names. When it's time to work, we work regardless of who you are.

Q - What can you share regarding your experience working as a trainer and basketball skills instructor for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Developmental League?

MC: Working with the Jam has been a great opportunity for me for the last 2 years and anticipation of my 3rd year in a few weeks. Coach [Will] Voight has been a great mentor and professional in allowing me to work with some of the great players trying to get to that next level. The environment is fast paced, you have to be a clear in your teaching and mistakes are not high in the workouts because these guys take the game serious at that level. I must say that I have learned a lot from Coach Voight over these last few years, but most of all he really cares. This is the part of the professional level that you may think doesn't exist but he has taught me patience with players and the importance of treating every opportunity as an interview.

Q - How did working with Aalim come about?

MC: Since he was six years old, Aalim and I have always had a close relationship. I have supported him through his years of growing and always gave my input when I had the chance. I always wanted to train him as he got into his high school years because I felt like he didn't know the potential he really had. He is a guy that would give up his game for others to shine but I felt he needed to be something different this time. He needed something this summer that will force him to face his self and to build his image of self to himself. He called me on the phone and he said, I need a quicker, first step, explosiveness and work on my shot. My response was an immediate yes I can get that done. We decided from day one the work is about him, this process is about him, everyday he wanted to be better than yesterday.

Q - Please describe what it was like working with Aalim?

MC: I greatly enjoy working with athletes who carry enthusiasm the way Aalim does. Aalim is eager and hungry to learn and get better, he is his own biggest critic, and during training tunes in with me. Our workouts were filled with communication and understanding, without the need for words. Aalim is an example of an athlete striving for success and putting in the work to get there.

Q - Can you offer any projections regarding Aalim next year at San Jose State University?

MC: Aalim's impressive work ethic will put him on another level this year, making him a "never before seen Aalim". I believe he will be an impact player and an excellent leader. If Aalim is given an opportunity to start, I believe he will be able to maintain that spot and it will be hard to take it from him.

Monday, May 23, 2011

An Adrian Oliver update

Based on a couple of tweets from AO, he will be visiting with the Washington Wizards and the Detroit Pistons this week.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A walk-on for next season

Aptos High's Nick Grieves (#23 above) has accepted an invitation to walk-on to the Spartan basketball team next season. He's a 6-foot-3 sharpshooter who averaged just under 20 points per game this past season.

Here's an article (scroll down some) that features Grieves (and two other Santa Cruz area basketballers).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

More on former Spartan Marquin Chandler

Came across this link to the site of the agent who represents former San Jose State frontcourter Marquin Chandler. Here is her specific page on Marquin.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Darshawn McClellan may visit SJSU

6-foot-7, 230 pound Darshawn McClellan just earned his B.A. from Vanderbilt but has another season of basketball eligibility remaining. Out of the Fresno area, McClellan is checking out various schools including San Jose State and Fresno State at which to finish his basketball playing.

Go here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

James (Jay) Kinney signs with SJSU


6-foot-1 junior college backcourter James (Jay) Kinney, just finishing up at the College of Eastern Utah, has signed a letter-of-intent with San Jose State.

Here's the link.

Kinney played in 13 games this season (eight starts and at just over 26 minutes a game), averaging 12.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest. He shot 45% overall, 42% on treys. In 130 overall shots, 67 were three-point attempts. He previously played at Ohio University.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A feature on Lavanne Pennington

Head here for a Barstow area newspaper feature on new Spartan signee Lavanne Pennington, a transfer from Barstow Community College.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Texas high schooler signs with SJSU

Thanks to Assistant Coach Talvin Hester and his Lone Star State connections, San Jose State University has added a high school wing out of Texas to its roster.

6-foot-6 Jaleel Williams visited last weekend, with Hester showing him around and quickly made up his mind to become a Spartan.

Here's one note: "Williams' size and defensive capabilities make him an attractive prospect for colleges. Over the summer, he was a reliable standout for the Texas D-1 Ambassadors... and since the summer, he's received interest from San Jose State, Oregon State, Air Force and Loyola University Chicago... Missouri State has offered Williams, who is ranked No. 64 in the state by TexasHoops.com..."

Here's a video on Williams.

From Coach Max Ivany, head of the Texas Ambassadors club basketball organization: "Williams has an extremely long wingspan. He's an athletic wing who has improved his perimeter shot in the past 8 months. He's also a shot blocker on the defensive side of the ball. His length and above the rim play make him a steal. Williams recruiting had picked up significantly in the last couple of weeks where he garnered interest from several schools, including Oregon State who were ready to offer pending a scholarship opening up in the near future...

...I met the entire SJSU staff at last week's Final Four in Houston and they made it clear that they expected him to be a huge part of their plans immediately as a freshman. Jaleel has always made it clear that he wanted to attend a West Coast school and he jumped on this opportunity..."

Friday, April 8, 2011

Adrian Oliver at the Portsmouth Invitational

The only WAC player participating in the Portsmouth Invitational, Adrian Oliver, put up these numbers in his opening game: 21 minutes, 4-7 shooting (0-1 on trey attempts) for eight points, three assists, two steals, one rebound and one block.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lavanne Pennington commits to SJSU

6-foot-4 Lavanne Pennington (written about earlier below this article) has given a verbal to San Jose State. He is a s0phomore currently at Barstow Community College and noted as a long-distance shooter.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A San Jose State basketball recruiting update

Responding to popular request, here's the best we could do regarding San Jose State basketball recruiting. Please remember that recruiting is F-L-U-I-D, meaning it changes daily from one or both sides. What was yesterday, may not be today but could be again tomorrow as commitments emerge and targets change as availability shifts. April 13 is the first day of the new signing period.

Montray Clemons
6-foot-8 200 pounds
Mack Academy, North Carolina

Per Alex Kline/The Recruit Scoop on March 22, SJSU has offered 2011 PF Montray Clemons of Mack Academy (NC) a scholarship.

The 6-foot-8, 200 pound young man is a fifth-year player out of Baltimore, Maryland now at a North Carolina prep school in order to get a passing SAT score. He took the SAT on March 12.

Caught this somewhere on the 'net:

Strengths: He is a run and jump high flyer who plays above the rim. He can step out and shoot the 15' as the trail.

Weaknesses: Although his ball sometimes comes off flat, he has nice form and touch allowing him shoot a fade away or play a face up game. But his game is all power.

Bottom Line: A solid get late as a mid-major big man who will receive high major looks. Montray is hoping to sign a letter of intent in the Spring 2011.

Other offers Clemons has received to date are from Appalachian State and Rice.

He is #24 in this brief You Tube video.

Our Take:
More suitors will arrive if he passes the SAT. Our gut tells us it will be hard to get him to come to the west coast but that isn't based on any specific knowledge.

+++++

Lavanne Pennington
6-foot-4 180 pounds
Barstow Community College -- sophomore
High School: Genesis One Prep/Mendenhall, MS

This season, the native of San Bernardino scored 16.9 points and grabbed 3.1 rebounds a game. He shot 42% overall, 33% on trey attempts and 73% from the foul line while being named to First Team All Foothill Conference.

Pennington moved to Mississippi to finish high school, playing for Coach Audie Norris at Genesis One Christian School. There he put together these numbers: 19.5 points, four rebounds and four assists per game. Here's Norris from a newspaper article on Pennington: "When he's most effective, he's dunking, he's shooting threes falling out of bounds...You really don't want to be on the opposite side of Lavance when he's got the ball and he's effective. He can get you 40 points in a heartbeat and that's not an exaggeration."

and

"Lavance was modest about his life in California...It's a tough life he comes from. Most kids he grew up with don't graduate and don't finish high school...When I first met Lavance, he came in here hard. But he got down here and the kid really understands this is a good life down here. He doesn't have to look over his shoulder and worry about things happening to him."

That caught the attention of Larry Eustachy at Southern Mississippi and Pennington signed a letter-of-intent to attend the school in Hattiesburg.

As a freshman, he sat out the season as a non-qualifier. Then he transferred to Barstow, playing for Coach Reggie Young.

Other colleges interested in Pennington: Hawaii, Mississippi Valley State. But it appears SJSU is his first offer.

Our Take: Word is that he has committed to SJSU and he visited campus last weekend.

+++++

Antonio Biglow
Mt. San Antonio Community College (CA)
6-foot-0 (on a 'long' day) 155 pounds

This season, Biglow averaged 22.4 points and 4.3 assists per game, shooting 45%, 35% and 73% from the floor. He also averaged just under four turnovers a game

From 2008: "Antonio Biglow, a prep school guard from Sound Doctrine (Ga.), was the top player for his team in the heated match-up against the N.Y. Panthers. Bigelow scored 20 points in the defeat and was a constant threat to score at the rim. The prep school guard is worth taking a look at for the mid-major level schools this summer."

December 2010: "Quick point can flat out create drive or pass off the dribble. He averages almost 9 assists an outing and can knock down jumper to keep D honest."

March 17, 2011: "(Walnut, CA) Sophomore Guard, Antonio Biglow (Sylmar H.S.) was named the 2011 Southern California Player of the Year. Earlier he was named SCC North Division Player of the Year for the second consecutive season as well. This season Biglow scored a total of 627 points for the Mounties, averaging 22.39 points per game."

Here's a video link of Biglow the high schooler playing for his club team during spring and summer.

Besides San Jose State, Montana State has also offered. He visited SJSU last weekend.

Our Take: He would be a great get because he can create although he and Keith Shamburger would form a diminutive backcourt. Playing time is available and that's always a major consideration for a junior college transfer.

+++++

James Kinney

College of Eastern Utah (out of Champaign.IL)
6-foot-1 175 pounds
A second team all-league honoree

Kinney's numbers this season: 14 games/8 starts, 12.9 ppg., 45%, 42%, 76% shooting, 5.6 assists, 3.2 rebounds

February 17, 2011: James Kinney of the College of Eastern Utah will miss the remainder of the season after fracturing his mandible jawbone. Kinney, an Ohio University transfer, is known for his ability to score. He averaged nearly 10 points per game as a freshman at Ohio, and was averaging 14 points per game for Eastern Utah despite missing the early part of the season with an injury.

Kinney was averaging 20 points per game in his five previous conference games prior to the injury.

and

James Kinney's next basketball stop will be in high desert country.

The former Centennial High basketball standout recently signed a national letter of intent with the College of Eastern Utah in Price, Utah.

Kinney is transferring to the junior college following a troubled freshman year at Ohio University which ended with his dismissal from the team in mid-February. The 2009 News-Gazette All-Area Player of the Year has three seasons of eligibility remaining, one of which will be used at Eastern Utah...

...Before offering a scholarship, Barton flew to Champaign to meet with Kinney and his parents. He said he came away convinced that the former Charger was sincerely remorseful for actions that led to guilty pleas in two separate court cases and two team suspensions while at Ohio.

Fairleigh Dickinson and Utah Valley State have. Also interested: Portland State, San Jose State

Our Take: There's a lot of talent here but, again, our gut says he lands elsewhere.

+++++

Jeremy Jones
6-2 170 pounds
Seward County Community College (Kansas)

February 14, 2011:
Jeremy Jones of Seward County Community College in Kansas is putting up strong numbers, and now has a host of high-major programs in hot pursuit.

Jones, a 6'2" guard, leads the Jayhawk Conference in scoring with an average of nearly 18 points per game. Jones is also dishing out 4 assists per contest for a Seward team that sports a 22-5 record, and holds down the #13 ranking nationally.

and

Jones, another Chicago product, ran the point this season after spending most of his career at scoring guard. "He played at another junior college last year in Texas, but when we got him, seeing how he was only 6-2 (165 pounds) and wanted to play at a higher level, we forced him to play the point a little," Seward County assistant coach Jay Cyriac said.

Jones averaged a team-high 18.6 points and 4.5 assists (3.2 turnovers) for a team that averaged 85.8 points per game. Six times Seward County topped 100 or more points. He shot 48.9 percent (55.5 inside the arc, 37.2 behind it.) He also got to the foul line 171 times (5.0 attempts per game), making 74.3 percent.

"He's slight of build, but he's really long," Cyriac said. "When he drives the ball, he's kind of wiry, so he usually gets fouled."

Jones is visiting South Florida this week, Kansas State on April 8, Houston on April 16 and ASU on the 29th.

"A lot of kids get caught up in names, but Jeremy is looking for an opportunity to play," Cyriac said.

Connections: Jones knows ASU sophomore forward Kyle Cain from their days growing up in Illinois. Cyriac also has history with Sendek. He used to coach an AAU team in New Jersey that featured Al Harrington, a player Sendek pursued during his North Carolina State days.

Before transferring to Seward County, Jones played at Western Texas College. In high school, he starred at Chicago Simeon, averaging 21 points and four assists.

Our Take: SJSU is trying but Jones has a number of higher level opportunties and he's headed elsewhere

+++++

Daquan Brown
Barstow Community College (out of Brooklyn, played at Laurinberg Institute and also Mt. Zion Christian Academy, both in NC)
6-foot-9 210 pounds
An All Foothill Conference selection this season

His numbers this season: averaged 11.7 points per game while shooting shot 62% and 67%, grabbed 9.6 rebounds and blocked 1.6 shots a contest.

Besides SJSU, Kennesaw State has offered. Other schools also interested: Ohio, Pepperdine. It was also reported recently that Brown will be visiting West Virginia in the near future.

Our Take: It appears some big-time schools are moving in but Brown did visit campus last weekend. He would bring some degree of defensive intimidation to the paint that is currently missing.

+++++

Brady Hurst
College of Eastern Utah (attended high school in Utah)
6-foot-8 220 pounds (6-foot-7 and 195 coming out of high school)

Hurst's number this season: 13.4 points a game on 51% and 67% shooting, 7.1 rebounds ( 84 offensive/111 defensive) plus honorable mention honors in the Scenic West Athletic Conference

He's been offered by SJSU and is from the same community college as James Kinney.

Our Take: Hurst would be another inside player, with more scoring ability than Matt Ballard.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Marquin Chandler playing in Portugal

Former San Jose Stater Marquin Chandler has signed with Benfica, a club in Portugal.

From one note by Luis Filipe Cristovao on March 16:
Sport Lisboa Benfica finally found a substitute to Mike Williams. Its Marquin Chandler (202-F-82, college: San Jose St.), a 28 years old Power Forward, with 2.02m.

Chandler finished college in San Jose St. and made his pro rookie year in Philippines. Despite a try in Belgium and a year in USA, Marquin Chandler stayed almost all his career in Asia, playing in countries like Singapore, Philippines, South Korea and Bahrein, where he spent his last months, in Al Ahli Manama.
Here's a link to his signing.

Friday, March 11, 2011

SJSU falls to Utah State 58-54

It was Utah State and San Jose State University punch-for-punch to borrow a phrase from the the sweet science. One double digit lead was obtained by the Aggies in the second half but then shortly erased. Eventually, all turned on late-in-the-game offensive rebounding by Tai Wesley and such finally put the Aggies over the top against the Spartans 58-54.

Adrian Oliver led the way for SJSU with 16 points (6-19 shooting). Keith Shamburger contributed 11 and Wil Carter finished with 11 rebounds. Brockeith Pane topped Utah State with 16 points and Tai Wesley had 14 plus 12 boards for a double-double. Center Nate Bendall was the best boardman for the Aggies with 12.

Each team finished at 37% shooting and the rebounding ended 36-35 in favor of SJSU. The 10 offensive boards grabbed by the Spartans contributed heavily to second chance scoring.

At the 14:54 mark of the second 20 minutes, Pane, Wesley and Bendall were all saddled with three fouls.

Two Bendall free throws made the lead 44-34 but he subsequently committed his fourth foul and Utah State began mixing in some zone due to the foul trouble.

Later, an Oliver trey cut the margin to 46-40.

Further on, a Calvin Douglas three-pointer followed by a Matt Ballard followup basket made it 50-49.

Pane's fast break layup pushed the lead back to three. Justin Graham then nabbed a pass and went the length of the court for a layin. Pane subsequently scored again to make it 54-51 with 4:14 showing.

After a flurry of possessions back and forth, Wesley grabbed a blocked shot and put it in -- the score 56 to 51 and 2:38 on the clock. Wesley (his fourth)then fouled Ballard on a shot. He missed the first but made the second (56-52). After Tyler Newbold missed a shot, Wesley grabbed the offensive rebound, shot and was fouled. He missed at the charity stripe but USU still led by four.

San Jose State subsequently missed and Bendall rebounded but Pooh Williams also was errant on a shot. Oliver came down the court, made the basket and was fouled, the score, 56-54. He missed with 35.5 seconds to play.

SJSU went to man-to-man defensively and Graham fouled Wesley -- Justin's fifth, with 27 ticks remaining. Wesley missed both attempts but Oliver came down and erred on a trey attempt. Wesley rebounded, was fouled with 3.2 seconds on the clock.

It was another one-and-one situation. He nailed the first, and then the second, clinching the game for Utah State.

At the half, Utah State led 33-29. It was Pane and Wesley with six points apiece and Nate Bendall totaling five rebounds. Both Shamburger and Oliver led SJSU with eight points and Wil Carter grabbed six boards. SJSU zoned for the first 20 minutes.

+++++

With this season-ender, SpartanHoops is moving on to other on-line opportunities and ventures. So who is willing to step in, fill the not-so -sizeable shoes and take over this duty? The compensation is great, the hours are short and you can perform the duties in your PJs -- an unbeatable trifecta.

Wa-Do, Dank je, Grazie, Go raibh maith agat, Tapadh leat, Mahalo.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

SJSU faces Utah State

With all the prejudice that can be mustered, the WAC tourney reward system needs tinkering. The evidence, your honor? Two wins, defeating Hawaii and the Idaho, and the result is facing the conference juggernaut. Huh? Hopefully, a free buffet -- at the very least -- was thrown in to sweeten the deal.

Yes, San Jose State University faces Utah State at 6 p.m. on Friday

It's an overly simplistic presentation but as Tai Wesley goes, so goes the Aggies. In the only non-conference games that Utah State has lost, Tai Wesley went 1-6 from the foul line in the 78-72 road loss to BYU (plus center 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. Within the WAC, Idaho took down USU on February 9 with Wesley totaling 11 points, 10 boards and six turnovers in 29 minutes. But what can't be dismissed is that seniors Brian Green (0-6), Tyler Newbold (2-9) and Pooh Williams (3-10) were muy, muy frio that evening.

Another item to factor into the game equation is the coaches in the league recently selecting Wesley as the WAC Most Valuable Player. Even though the voting is in the past tense, Adrian Oliver will certainly 'advocate' for his case in this matchup. It's not head-to-head per se but team leader versus team linchpin.

Our expectation is that Wesley will get his usual points on Friday but hopefully he'll shoot no better than 50%. Limiting Bendall who is a clever inside scorer (with the major focus on his teammate) and can pop the faceup jumper from the foul line will be a key. That and making sure none of the jumpshooters -- Green (a Second Team All-WACer), Williams and Newbold -- enter into a zone where the ball leaves their respective hands and nestles into the net much more often than not. Besides Wesley, the other primary creator is junior point Brockeith Pane, a First Team All-WAC selection and also an All - Newcomer honoree. Pane is erratic from outside but superb at dribble-drive penetration. It's impossible to keep him out of the key so the mission is to reduce his successful forays.

Williams and Newbold are the top defenders. The latter made the All - Defensive Team and a case could easily be made for Williams' inclusion in that group.

Here are our game reports from the earlier meetings between these two teams:

Utah State wins 80-71

December 31, 2010

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.

and

Spartans fall 84-65

January 27, 2011

Even minus Justin Graham (Achilles strain during warmups) and Brylle Kamen (suspended indefinitely due to conduct detrimental to the team), the fight was present all game. But Utah State was just too much and triumphed 84-65.

The vaunted Utah State inside game surprisingly wasn't much of a factor tonight, especially Nate Bendall who went scoreless. Even Brockeith Pane and his dribble-drive prowess was rarely a factor. But 6-foot-0 (in the eyes of his mother) Brian Green, stocky frame and all, was en fuego and damn near perfect all night.

Early in the second half, Utah State pulled away 41-29 but San Jose State closed it to 41-33 and with 15:41 remaining, it was 45-35.

The Aggies went up 14 at 51-37 on a Green trey with 12:56 on the clock. Then 56-39. With the score 59-42, the Utah State bench had totaled 34 of the team's 58 points.

An Oliver and1 three-point play with 7:33 showing cut the deficit to 11 at 64-53.

At the five minute mark, two Green free throws made it 72-58. It was 76-60 with three minutes remaining and effectively over.

Adrian Oliver paced SJSU with 29 points (10-23 shooting). Keith Shamburger scored 13 and Calvin Douglas added 10.

Green was 5-5 from long distance, sank his initial eight shots and totaled 25 points (a career high). Pooh Williams had 15 and Brockeith Pane 14. Tai Wesley's contribution: nine points and six boards.

At the half, it was 37-27 in favor of the Aggies. It went back and forth with both teams taking leads until a late Aggie spurt boosted the margin to 10.


The USU Starting Five

* Nate Bendall 6-foot-9
-- 6.3 points and 6.1 rebounds a game, shooting 46%

* Tai Wesley 6-foot-7
-- 14.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, 56% shooter

* Pooh Williams 6-foot-4
-- 8.2 points a game

* Tyler Newbold 6-foot-5
-- 8.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, shooting 44% and 40% with 65 of 98 shots being trey attempts

* Brockeith Pane 6-foot-1 --
12.5 points a game, 50% shooter, 13% from long distance, 71 assists-to-46 turnovers

Williams owns a 40-19 and Newbold a 45/16 assist-to-turnover ratio but aren't creators.

Off The Bench

* Brady Jardine
-- the best jumper in the WAC but very limited scoring range, shooting 52%, 6.8 rebounds per game

* Brian Green 6-foot-1
-- 9.9 points a game, shooting 47% and 42%, 66 of 114 shots being three-pointers

* Morgan Grim 6-foot-8
-- inside muscle

* James Walker 6-foot-2/E.J.Farris 6-foot-2
-- Typically one or the other comes in as Pane's backup but both play little

What is fascinating but may or may not be a key to the game is the differences in how Utah State performs in each 20 minutes. The Aggies have scored 547 points while giving up 398 in the first halves of conference games but it's a much closer 576 to 506 in second halves.

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)

Spartans win 74-68

Trios. Triplets. Triads. Triumvirates. Trinities. Such were the passwords of the day for San Jose State as the Spartans were dialed in from long distance all game long. Backed by 28 points apiece from Adrian Oliver and Keith Shamburger (his career high), plus Wil Carter's 11 boards, SJSU downed Idaho 74-68.

13-23 shooting from beyond the stripe paved the way for the Spartan while the Vandals could only manage 7-21 from way outside.

San Jose State University open up a seven-point lead with 10:20 remaining in the game after an Oliver jumper. Wil Carter made it a nine-point margin with a pair of free throws.

UI's Jeff Ledbetter (who scored 21) nailed a three-pointer to cut the difference to six. He followed up with another trey, making it a one possession deficit at 61-58.

Later on, Luiz Toledo scored on an and/1 three-pointer play to put the score at 68-65. After a free throw by center Kyle Barone, Deremy Geiger's spin move layup at the 2:56 mark tied the game at 68.

Ignoring the Biblical commandment, Shamburger then stole a pass and converted it into a layup. He then became a repeat offender of the first half of his previous effort but then a shot was missed.

With under a minute to go, a Ledbetter shot attempt was blocked and gathered in by -- who else? -- Shamburger. After a pass, Oliver was fouled but one not putting him at the foul line.

Fittingly, Shamburger was then fouled and went to the line with 31 seconds remaining. He made the first and then the second, putting SJSU up 72-68.

Justin Graham then stole yet another pass and Idaho was hosed.

After the initial 20 minutes of play, it was 36-34 in favor of Idaho, with Oliver taking an early trip to trey-mania-land by burying four first half three-pointers. Shamburger added 11 for the Spartans. Ledbetter totaled eight points but Barone -- the second-leading scorer for the Vandals -- not appearing among the leaders in the points or rebound numbers -- he was credited with just two points. SJSU shot 39% overall but a remarkable 8-14 from long distance.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Spartans versus the Spuds

It's SJSU going up against Idaho tomorrow at noon. It's a Vandal team that went 9-7 in conference play, (tied for third place) 18-12 overall.

Coach Don Verlin's team is not an overpowering squad, more appropriately described as the epitome of the whole being better than the sum of the parts. That formula bodes well when all the elements are working together smoothly, such as the February 9 64-56 home win against Utah State. But then there was the November 22 75-33 road loss to Montana when all was off-kilter. The January 22 71-56 loss to Louisiana Tech probably falls somewhere in-between -- some parts in synch with others haywire.

Which group of Vandals will be on display Thursday is anyone's guess.

Plus, will Idaho be rested or stale? Again, who knows?

The two players who usually do the most damage are:

Guard Jeff Ledbetter, a second team All-WAC honoree is the team barometer. He buried 55 treys in WAC action, totaled 15.1 points per game, was tops in free throw percentage at 87% and third in steals. He's not necessarily a creator, benefiting more from coming off screens for open looks, a la what Utah State (Verlin's previous address) utilizes. Ledbetter needs to be on for the Vandals to succeed.

Center Kyle Barone averaged 13.2 points and six rebounds per game in WAC play, shooting an amazing 61% from the floor. He also possesses excellent hands so Idaho rarely commits turnovers on entry passes to him. He does need added weight and strength though.

Verlin's guys are obviously handling a number of on-court matters efficiently. They are shooting 47% overall (tops in the WAC) versus SJSU's 40%, 39% to 36% in treys.

The comparative filed goal percentage defense numbers are 41% for the Vandals to the Spartans' 45%. In defending the three-pointer, Idaho is holding opponents to 30% to SJSU's 35%.

San Jose State leads 37 to 32 in rebounding numbers.

+++++

Can anything be gleaned from the previous two meetings between these teams?

SJSU wins in double overtime 92-89
February 3, 2011

What quickly became apparent is that neither team was going to run away from the other -- the Idaho and San Jose State squads were very evenly matched on the 30 degree night in Moscow. That was outside, thankfully not inside the Cowan Spectrum, for the literal-minded.

At the half, the score was 29-28. Adrian Oliver led SJSU with 12 points (5-9 shooting) and Justin Graham contributed nine.

At the 15:53 mark of the second 20 minutes, it was the Spartans ahead 33-32. SJSU upped the margin to two, 42-40, with 12:59 showing.

San Jose State was down by four at the 7:45 mark but an Oliver and1 three-point play cut it to one.

Eventually, a Jeff Ledbetter trey upped the Vandal margin to six, 55-49. Brandon Wiley put back in an offensive rebound to make it eight.

With 3:55 on the clock, Graham followed with his own and1 three-point effort to reduce the deficit to five.

Kyle Barone scored inside, was fouled and nailed the free throw, boosting the point differential back to eight.

Oliver then tickled the twine with a hook shot.

With 2:31 showing, Shawn Henderson sank two free throws to make it 62-54.

Barone's jumphook in the paint made it 10.

Graham followed with a jumper from the foul line.

After a steal by Wil Carter, Keith Shamburger was fouled in the act of shooting. He sank both, making it 64-58 at the 1:58 mark.

Wiley was fouled in the lane with 1:16 showing and made both -- score 66-58.

Carter grabbed a loose ball and scored with 58 seconds left.

Shamburger tipped the ball away from his opponent, Graham got it and hit Shamburger with a pass. The freshman backcourter scored, was fouled by Wiley and made the free throw. making it 66-63 at the 45 second mark.

Carter was then elbowed by Wiley who was called for an intentional foul. Carter was awarded a pair of free throws -- he missed the first and then the second. SJSU then was awarded possession with 23 seconds left.

Graham quickly nailed a top of the key trey with 18 second showing.

Idaho got the last shot attempt but it wasn't close, creating an overtime period.

Oliver was fouled and missed both free throws. Carter rebounded the second miss and scored on the putback.

Barone was fouled by Matt Ballard and made both.

Oliver entered the lane with the ball, lifted and scored. He also was fouled and he notched a three-point play. SJSU led 71-68.

But Jeff Ledbetter came down and sank his own trey attempt,. making it 71 all.

London Tatum was fouled on a driving layup attempt, sending him to the foul line. He missed the first but made the second.

Oliver put in a leftside trey but Matt Ballard was called for an intentional foul, sending Barone to the charity stripe. He made both and Idaho also retained possession of the ball.

Luiz Toledo buried a jumper to put Idaho ahead 76-74.

Henderson then buried a leftside three-pointer after stealing a pass.

Graham was fouled on a dribble-drive, sank both and cut the margin to 79-76.

1:40 shone on the clock.

Idaho missed a shot and Oliver rebounded.

With 37 seconds remaining, Carter put back a miss by Shamburger.

The Vandals led by one.

Tatum, a 61% free throw shooter, was fouled with 27 second sleft.

He made the first, then the second and Idaho was up three.

At the eight second mark, Keith Shamburger scored on a three-pointer, evening up the game.

Idaho called timeout with six seconds.

But Kyle Barone missed a turnaround jumper, sending the game into a second overtime.

Carter won the tip, Shamburger missed but Carter rebounded. Another trey attempt by Shamburger was good.

Ledbetter missed his own trey attempt but Idaho rebounded. Shamburger was called for a reach in foul on Luiz Toledo. The latter sank the first but missed the second.

Graham hit Shamburger with a pass and the frosh nailed another trey, making it 87-82.

Idaho missed a three-pointer but SJSU committed a turnover. It was 87-84 after Toledo hit another jumper.

A couple of missed shots later, Idaho got the ball. Ledbetter rebounded a miss and was fouled. He made both -- the score 87-86 with 1:42 showing.

Graham scored on a jumper, boosting the lead back to three.

But Ledbetter scored on a leftside trey, evening up the game.

Shamburger was fouled with 23 seconds left. He missed the first and sank the second.

SJSU led by one, 90-89.

Ledbetter then missed on a drive, Ballard rebounded and Carter scored on a dunk to finally close out the marathon.

Justin Graham paced the Spartans with 28 points. Adrian Oliver contributed 25, Keith Shamburger 20 and Wil Carter 17.

and

Here's our game report Walt McPherson Court from January 8, 2011:

Spartans fall to Idaho 75-67

It was 'Famous Potatoes' times two this week for San Jose State but neither game left a pleasant aftertaste as Idaho also topped the Spartans tonight 75-67.

SJSU led 35-27 after the initial 20 minutes, looking in a degree of command if not control, but the Vandals lived up to their forebearers namesake in the second half with a 48-32 rampage.

The last eight minutes of the matchup was an Idaho scoring blitz. Adrian Oliver led with 25 points. Justin Graham passed for nine assists while Brylle Kamen topped the Spartans in rebounding with 11, his second straight double figures outing. He played 29 minutes, making his first appearance as a starter. Calvin Douglas contributed 12 on 5-7 shooting from the floor, 2-4 on trey attempts.

Deremy Geiger led Don Verlin's squad with 17 points but four other Vandals finished in double figures: Luiz Toledo and Jeff Ledbetter with 13 apiece and Shawn Herson and Kyle Barone each totaling 11. Toledo led the board effort with nine rebounds. Idaho shot 50% for the game to SJSU's 37%. Each of the other statistical categories were either a wash or close to it.

+++++

The Vandal Starting Five

* Deremy Geiger 5-11 (on a 'long' day) -- 51/25 assist to turnover ratio, 3.2 assists-per-game, the most creative of the Vandals but is usually very on or off.

* Jeff Ledbetter 6-2 -- 15.1 ppg., 46% on three-pointers (55-119), 87% on free throws (42-48)

* Shawn Henderson 6-3 -- 43% (19-44) on treys

* Luiz Toledo 6-8 -- 10.0 ppg., shooting 58% (52-90), he's a banger inside

* Kyle Barone 6-10 -- -- 13.2 ppg., 64% shooting overall (69-107), 78% (47-60) free throws, six boards a contest, he's slim but long and needs to be kept out of any sort of shooting rhythm in the paint

Barone and Toledo may start upfront or Verlin may go with one or the other plus Brandon Wiley -- all dependent on his desire for certain matchups

Off The Bench

* Brandon Wiley 6-5 -- a glue guy, he isn't outstanding in any one thing but rebounds, blocks shots and scores inside on putbacks and the like

* Landon Tatum 5-11 -- top assist-to-turnover ratio in the WAC 56-21, 3.5 assists a game

* Stephen Madison 6-5 -- a burly freshman reserve, not shooting particularly well

+++++

The Vandal roster (alphabetized, by position)

Matt Borton G 6-5 180 Fr
Deremy Geiger G 5-11 170 Jr.
Shawn Henderson G 6-3 178 Sr.
Jeff Ledbetter G 6-2 195 Sr.
Shayne Sheridan G 6-0 170 Jr. (walk-on)
Landon Tatum G 5-11 196 Jr.

Brandon Wiley F 6-5 218 Sr.
Paul Jorg F 6-8 200 Fr. (walk-on)
Stephen Madison F 6-5 215 Fr.
Luiz Toledo F 6-8 225 Jr.

Kyle Barone C 6-10 220 So.
Joe Kammerer C 6-9 241 Fr. (redshirted last year)

San Jose State beats Hawaii 75-74

Everybody likes something free. Can we all agree on that? Well, all those connected with Hawaii basketball would beg to differ. The Rainbow Warriors put on a pitiful display with its free throw attempts -- 18 for 30 for the game -- and it resulted in paying the price of losing a tourney game.

Hawaii led 59-54 with 9:40 remaining. But at 7:57, it was just 61-60. UH was maintaining a small lead but unable to pull away while the Spartans came close but couldn't tie.

Then SJSU did, followed by a pair of Keith Shamburger free throws putting SJSU up by two. Adrian Oliver followed with his own duet of foul shots.

Bill Amis countered with a solo free throw, making it 69-66, followed by a Vander Joaquim jump hook.

On a pass from Adrian Oliver, Wil Carter banked in a reverse layup to boost the point differential back to three.

Justin Graham then nailed a jumper but subsequently committed his fifth foul. Amis put down a free throw and another, making it 73-70.

An Ostroswki steal resulted in Zane Johnson scoring on a layup, cutting the Spartan lead to one with 1:04 showing.

Keith Shamburger missed on a jumper and a long rebound had Johnson fouling Calvin Douglas. CD missed and Hawaii came down with Bill Amis being fouled and 21 second remaining.

He made the first, followed by the second and Hawaii led by one 74-73.

Oliver scored on a jumper with seven seconds left. SJSU led 75-74.

Ostroowski missed on a jumper and Amis tipped it back in but an the eventual ruling by the referees waved it off, resulting in the San Jose State victory.

Oliver totaled 29 points (plus seven boards), Carter 15 and Shamburger 12. Amis concluded with 23 points plus six boards. Joston Thomas had 16 and Zane Johnson 14. The 5-foot-9 Ostrowski paced the Rainbow Warriors with eight assists and eight rebounds.

Throughout all this, Matt Ballard picked up his fourth with 16:58 showing. Joe Henson got his fourth at 14:09 and then fouled out at the 11:52 mark. UH had an enormous advantage in the paint but simply couldn't succeed enough at the foul line.

At the half, it was 42-37 in favor of Hawaii. The Spartans started out en fuego and enjoyed a 6-0 lead, holding the advantage until the Rainbow Warriors tied it at 20. UH took its first lead 23-22 with 7:05 remaining.

The numbers after the initial 20 minutes:

* Amis 14 points, Thomas 11 points and five boards, Ostrowski five assists, 61% from the floor, 6-14 at the foul line, 13 assists. three fouls for both Johnson and Trevor Wiseman

* Oliver 16 points, Graham seven points, four rebounds, three assists, 37% shooting, 11 second chance points off five offensive rebounds, three fouls for both Ballard and Henson.

*** A note to Commissioner Benson: please reverse the setup and have the men play the night games and the women the day games. The background noise was akin to a pickup game in our backyard.

A 'hometown' feature on Justin and Adrian

Shooting Stars: Oliver, Graham aim to net WAC title for SJ State
Ron Agostini
Modesto Bee
March 9, 2011

Guess the odds of two basketball players raised a few minutes apart in the Central Valley manning the same backcourt of an NCAA Division I program.

A billion-to-1? Trillion-to-1? More like pick-any-number-to-1.

Adrian Oliver and Justin Graham, the twin longshots at San Jose State, can't believe it themselves. Somehow and someway, the basketball universe funneled them onto the same campus close to home, and it worked...
Go here for the remainder.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A treat from Darren Coelho

Darren Coelho has gone into the proverbial phone booth and returned as Wendell Berry in his annual ode to Spartan basketball and the WAC tournament:

THIS WAC-KY TIME OF YEAR


So the Tournament is here
This WAC-ky time of year
When our hoop teams meet
For a March Roundball treat

We’re here in Vegas
No one had to beg us
Hoops is the game
Tippin’ it for fame

No win and we’re out
We won’t leave any doubt
Survive and advance
& We’re in the Big Dance

Play our best now
It doesn’t matter how
Zone or Man-to-Man
Just do all that we can

Sammy is here with cheer
& our great fans are near
We’re all going to pray
To play another day

Against Ags or Dogs
Assist men or hogs
Or the other Dogs and Ags
Showing Tight-D and sags

The Spartans are here
It’s OUR time of year
Blue and Gold in their seat
Over hardwood 94 feet

It’s now a whole new season
To keep playing is the reason
Use the square if we dare
Just board it if not there

Will it be Broncos or Pack?
With their full-court attack
How about Warriors or Vandals?
Minus bad call scandals

It comes down to this
Shots to swish and to kiss
Lay-ups, dunks, or threes
Just one more game please!

Let’s Go Gold and Blue!
It’s now up to You
We’re all here to cheer
This WAC-ky time of year.

Darren Coelho
Assistant Athletic Director, Ticket Operations
San Jose State University
Adapted February 28, 2011, from Original Version March 9, 2009

Mark Emmons with a feature on Justin Graham

The Mercury News' Mark Emmons has a lengthy feature up today on Justin Graham -- head here.

It's SJSU Wednesday at noon versus Hawaii


So did anyone expect host Fresno State to bop Hawaii 85-70 since UH was riding a five game winning streak and the Bulldogs had lost four consecutive conference contests? Can we get a show of hands? Yes, it's been that kind of season. We loved the opening line from Daniel Lyght's game report that night: "Fresno State's men's basketball players took the floor with a blaze under their butts Saturday night."

It was the second game for Hawaii since leaving the islands and they will not return home until their involvement in the WAC tourney concludes. Maybe some fatigue plus continual unfamiliar surroundings evolving into distraction will set in.

Now it's San Jose State matching (Wednesday, noon, Las Vegas) up with Hawaii for the third time this season opening up the WAC post-season action. Here are our game reports from the earlier contests between these two teams:

March 3, 2011

Spartans fall 77-71

Back and forth. Forth and back. The SJSU - Hawaii matchup was a veritable teeter-totter as neither team could sink the dagger and pull away from the other. One would go up followed by the other regaining ground and taking the lead. Eventually, a critical call took place, changing ball possession and offering UH a pair of free throws and that ultimately determined the outcome.

The final 77-71. Adrian Oliver led the way for San Jose State with 18 points. Justin Graham scored 15 and Keith Shamburger 14. At the forefront of the Hawaii offensive attack was Zane Johnson with 26 points and Bill Amis contributed 18.

Here's how it played out:

A Johnson trey cut the San Jose State lead to one.

Following that, Shamburger missed on a pair of free throws with 2:37 remaining.

Then at the shot clock buzzer, Amis caught net with a 17-foot fadeaway.

At the 1:46 mark and Hawaii ahead by one, UH freshman backcourter Bobby Miles was struck by an elbow went down. The referees checked the video to determine the consequences, if any. It was judged an intentional foul based on the rules established prior to this season.

In a no-brainer, Coach Gib Arnold inserted Bo Barnes for Miles. The sharpshooting frosh sank both free throws, putting the Rainbow Warriors up by three. UH also retained possession. The scoreboard: 71-68

Amis then fouled Wil Carter who sank the first but missed the second, with just over a minute left.

Johnson subsequently buried a long trey to make it 74-69 with 35 ticks showing on the clock.

Oliver was fouled and was good on both his attempts at the line. The scoreboard: 74-71

Amis proved to be a thorn again with a layup that put the Rainbow Warriors up by five.

Subsequently, Shamburger missed a trey attempt which Oliver rebounded but he missed the followup. Barnes rebounded and was fouled.

He was good on the first but erred on the second. Hawaii led by six and the remaining seconds didn't matter.

At the half, it was San Jose State with a one point lead at 37-36. Graham had 12 points and Amis 11 at that point.


and

January 22, 2011

Spartans fall to Hawaii 67-61

The Spartans wore blue and felt that way after giving Hawaii a run on the road before falling 67-61. Elvis was obviously not in the building. Otherwise, it would have been blue Hawaii.

With 11:25 remaining, the score was 47-42, with SJSU down by five.

Later, Justin Graham's jumper at the 6:33 mark cut the deficit to 53-52.

But UH then went on a mini-run, boosting the margin to 61-54 with 4:50 showing.

At that point, Adrian Oliver made one of two free throws but UH's Joston Thomas countered with a pair at the foul line. Hiram Thompson connected on 1 of 2 at the charity line to make it 64-55. An Oliver runner cut the lead to seven.

Bill "Famous" Amis then got free for a dunk and the contest was over minus additional trips to the foul line.

It was inconsistent free-throw shooting hindered SJSU.

Amis totaled 20 points and nine boards. Fellow frontcourter Joston Thomas put up a 14/14 double-double.

Justin Graham led the Spartans with 20 points. He also notched six rebounds and four assists with nary a turnover. Keith Shamburger totaled 12 points with Oliver and Wil Carter contributing 10 apiece. Matt Ballard led in rebounding, corralling 10 boards. SJSU shot 31% overall.

At the half, it was 31-24.

Adrian Oliver returned to the starting lineup tonight. He picked up a pair of somewhat early fouls, thereby missing some of his usual playing time early on. Rebounding totals were fairly even, it seemed like UH big Vander Joaquim was having a block-athon.and the teams went back and forth. Late in the initial 20 minutes, a 9-0 run pushed Hawaii to a 10-point lead until Graham's trey cut it to seven.


The Rainbow Warrior Starting Five (numbers are for WAC games)

* 6-foot-10 sophomore Vander Joaquim
-- 11.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest, 28 blocked shots, his numbers are improving as the season progresses

* 6-foot-9 senior Bill Amis
-- averaging 14.5 points and 7.9 rebounds a game with 31 shotblocks in 14 games

* 6-foot-7 freshman Trevor Wiseman
-- label him the Energizer Bunny as he averages just 3.3 points and 3.5 rebounds a game but brings a franticness to the court

* 6-foot-6 junior Zane Johnson
-- 15.9 ppg., THE long distance marksman on the team, shooting 41% on trey attempts, 120 of his 182 shots have been three-pointers

* 5-foot-9 junior Jeremiah Ostrowski
-- 51/27 assist-to-turnover ratio, can pop from three but is more of a dribble-driver penetrator, had 10 assists with zero turnovers the last time these two teams met

***
Again, 6-foot-3 senior Hiram Thompson, the normal starter at the point, is sidelined with an arm injury

Off The Bench

* 6-foot-7 sophomore Joston Thomas
-- 7.7 ppg and 5.3 rpg., is very athletic and best inside but sometimes tries to do too much and goes outside his skills zone

6-foot-1 freshman Bobby Miles
-- he's now the backup at the point despite his freshman status

* 7-foot-0 senior Doug Kurtz
-- the back-up in the middle, he can score inside

* 6-foot-4 freshman Bo Barnes
-- 5.6 ppg., 66 of his 77 shots have been from long distance

Forward Bill Amis was named a member of the All-WAC second team with wing/guard Zane Johnson landing on the Honorable Mention list.

In the most recent game (and loss) to Fresno State, the Bulldogs out-boarded UH 43-30. Will that play out again? SJSU out-rebou7nded UH 38-33 on March 3 but it was 38 apiece on January 22.

As a team, the Rainbow Warriors are shooting 44% in WAC play to 41% for opposing teams.

If Zane Johnson doesn't shoot well from outside, then UH suffers because his teammates, Bo Barnes excepted, don't possess that kind of range.

The UH Roster

Bo Barnes G 6-4 190 Fr.
Bobby Miles G 6-1 190 Fr.
Zane Johnson G 6-6 210 Jr.
Bobby MIles, G, 6-1 190 Fr.
Pi`i Minns G 6-4 180 So. (walk-on)
Jeremiah Ostrowski G 5-9 175 Jr. (walk-on)
Hiram Thompson G 6-3 175 Sr.

Bill Amis F 6-9 235 Sr.
Dominick Brumfield F 6-8 215 So.
Joston Thomas F 6-7 235 So.
Trevor Wiseman F 6-7 210 Fr.

Vander Joaquim C 6-10 245 So. (Angola)
Douglas Kurtz C 7-0 265 Sr. (Brazil)
Davis Rozitis C 7-0 230 So. (Latvia) (redshirting)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

San Jose State falls 66-51

It was 44 degrees at game time in Boise, with showers prevailing.The temperature obviously was much more comfortable inside Taco Bell Arena, at least for BSU. But it was also raining inside, with Bronco shot attempts and makes, and Coach Leon Rice's team was comfortable with that 'precipitation' from the get-go and prevailed 66-51.

For the game Boise State shot 46% (11 treys) to 29% for SJSU.

Adrian Oliver led the Spartans with 30 points.

Worth noting even if it a case of coincidentalism: BSU is 8-0 this season in games when senior forward Paul Noonan makes three 3-point shots. Now it's 9-zip as Noonan reached his trey trifecta, plus one.

At the half, it was 32-26 in favor of the Broncos. Oliver had 15 at that point, becoming one with the foul line throughout the initial 20 minutes. For the evening, he went 12-14.

*** Also worthy of mention due to the remarkable point differential is that Utah State defeated host Louisiana Tech tonight 72-30. Wow.

Friday, March 4, 2011

San Jose State at Boise State on Saturday night

SJSU is in Boise on Saturday evening for the final game of the regular season for both teams. Will it be another endurance contest like the last get-together? Four overtimes. 102-101. Remember that? The orange basketball and friends rim and backboard were thisclose to demanding extra pay while the players were beyond huffing and puffing and probably into moaning and groaning (at least the next morning). Justin Graham, who rumor has it as replacing Robert Downey Jr. in the next edition of "Iron Man III," played all 60 minutes.

It's worth noting that the 18-11, 9-6 Broncos are on a four-game conference win streak, six straight counting non-league contests.

Boise State enjoyed its Senior Night earlier this week in a game against Cal State Bakersfield. The reason? Coach Leon Rice recalled that, while being an assistant at Gonzaga, center Ronny Turiaf went scoreless after the pre-game senior-honoring ceremony. Apparently, superstition is going to rule the day, make that the night. But look for something to take place anyway since the Broncos have seven seniors and, more than likely, all the parents could not make it for the earlier, during the week, event.

Here's our game report from the January 6 matchup of these two squads:


Spartans fall 102-101 in four overtime


Based on Robert Arnold's first half offensive output (14 points) and a very solid entire game by point La'Shard Anderson, it looked like Boise State had put the game away. But that was before a streak of poor foul line shooting by the Broncos and a 22-7 Spartan scoring run pushed the matchup into overtime. Then, the game remained tied, forcing a second OT. A last-second San Jose State trey produced a third overtime. Then, a too late BSU shot went in but was disqualified, creating a fourth extra period.

In that fourth five minutes, Boise missed its first shot attempt and SJSU rebounded but also misfired. BSU again was inaccurate but the Spartans committed a turnover. Fatigue was beyond setting in. Finally, La'Shard Anderson scored on a step back jumper. Calvin Douglas countered with an and/1 three-point play, edging the Spartan ahead by one.

Justin Graham missed on a trey attempt but Robert Arnold did likewise. SJSU missed next and Anderson was subsequently fouled. He went to the foul line with his team behind by two, 101-100. Anderson sank the first to tie the game and nailed the second to put the Broncos up by one. The Spartans played to win it with the last possession but BSU nabbed a steal and ran out the clock, winning 102-101.

Anderson scored first in overtime #3, making it 92-90. San Jose State then missed but so did the Broncos. Douglas was fouled and tied up the score. Subsequently, Tre Nichols was fouled on a shot and hit one of two free throws.

Graham was fouled and put in both free throws

Anderson then sank a three-pointer.

Graham drew another foul, hit the first but missed the second -- the score 96-95.

Paul Noonan hit a runner, pushing Boise up by three but Douglas countered with a trey to tie the game.

Anderson then nailed a three-pointer right around the buzzer but did it count? Meaning, was it attempted before the shot clock expired? There was a .9 differential between the shot and game clock.

No.

Come the second five minutes, SJSU missed a shot after winning the jump and Boise then did the same.

Aalim Moor nailed a 10-foot jumper (he didn't play until the second overtime) and Anderson followed with a basket, making it 82 apiece. BSU got a steal and Anderson was fouled on a dribble-drive shot. He was good on both, pushing the Broncos up by two at the 2:19 mark.

Douglas then drained a trey, pushing the Spartans back ahead, 85-84.

On the clock was 1:44.

Nichols hit a 10-foot baseline jumper to make it 86-85 Broncos.

After a missed shot by Anderson, he got his own rebound and then was fouled with 28 seconds remaining. He was good on the first and the second, putting the Broncos up by three.

Graham then blew by everyone and scored on a layup with 21 seconds remaining, making it 88-87.

Noonan was fouled with 12 seconds left.

The senior drained the first and then the second. BSU led by three, 90-87.

With just a second remaining, Douglas fired up a trey out of the corner and it found net, tieing the game.

In the first overtime, Brylle Kamen scored inside to give SJSU a long-sought, hard fought lead. Wil Carter then made one of two free throws.

Nichols countered with a trey to tie.

Graham nailed an in-the-paint jumper to make the lead two. After a steal, Kamen went to the foul line with 56 seconds remaining. He missed the first but made the second to make it 80-77.

Boise's Anderson was then fouled with 36 seconds left. He nailed both to cut the Spartan lead to one.

26.9 seconds remained.

But Westly Perryman stole an inbounds pass and was fouled on a drive to the basket. He put in the first, missed the second and the game was tied.

Kamen missed down low, leaving the score 80-80. and another five minutes

It was 45-39 at the 15:44 mark but the Broncos stretched it to 50-39 with 14 minutes remaining.

Then Boise State went up 55-40 on an 18-8 after halftime Bronco run based on 7-14 shooting -- while the Spartans went 3-14.

Graham's pair of free throws cut the deficit to 59-51 but BSU countered with two from the charity stripe. Carter then nailed two from the foul line but the Broncos Nichols countered with a driving layup. Carter returned to the charity stripe, missed the first and made the second to cut the lead to nine. Noonan's set of free throws pushed it back to 11 with six minutes remaining.

A short Anderson jumper made the lead 13 but Douglas countered with a trey to reduce it to 10 at 67-57.

Nichols hit a second driving jumper making the lead 12.

With 3:59 showing, Daequon Montreal settled in for two free throws. He missed the first and nailed the second, making it 70-57.

Adrian Oliver scored on a layup but was called for an offensive foul -- his fifth -- putting him out of the game. Carter promptly scored on a rebound putback, was fouled, and put in the free throw, making the point difference just eight.

3:59 showed on the clock.

Boise's Noonan missed a jumper and Graham was fouled. He made the first, missed the second and the deficit was seven.

Anderson made a nifty dribble-drive but charged on the play, negating the basket.

Keith Shamburger missed on a long jumper as did Nichols. Then Graham misfired from three-point range.

Anderson was fouled and made one of two from the charity stripe, making it 71-63.

Graham missed on a drive but tipped in his own shot.

Montreal was fouled with 1:05 remaining, missed his first attempt but made the second.

Trailing 72-65 and 0:58 on the clock, Calvin Douglas barely missed his shot attempt but was fouled. He was accurate on both putting the Spartans down by just five, 72-67.

Ryan Watkins then missed both his free throws and Graham nailed a driving layup, making it 72-69.

Anderson was fouled, missed his initial attempt but nailed the second.

With 29 seconds left, Carter nailed a three out of the corner. The score: 73-72

Noonan was fouled, he missed badly on his first but nailed the second, making it 74-72..

27 seconds remained.

On a clearout, Graham nailed an 18-footer to tie the game with 2.9 seconds showing.

It was 37-31 in Boise's favor at the half -- the Broncos shot 54% to 39% for SJSU. Adrian Oliver missed time in the initial 20 minutes after picking up his second foul with 15:54 remaining. The Spartans jumped out to a 6-0 lead on three-pointers by Oliver and Graham but Leon Rice's squad then scored nine straight points. It was 23 all but then BSU began edging ahead.


Leon Rice's Starting Five

Count on Anderson, Arnold and Montreal as sure-fire starters against the Spartans. The other two spots will depend on what the BSU coaching staff deems the best matchups.

* La'Shard Anderson 6-1 170 senior -- he's gaining some recognition for MVP status and was just named the WAC Player of the Week, he is next to impossible to stop on the dribble drive, is scoring 16.7 points while passing for 4.5 assists a game, he must play well for the Broncos to win and he certainly has been doing so

* Jeff Eliorraga 6-2 180 freshman -- he started the last five games despite his frosh and walk-on status, Rice like his steadiness and hustle

* Robert Arnold 6-6 176 senior -- has the ability to go en fuego but is shooting just 37% and 30% respectively in WAC action, averaging 10.7 points and 4.1 rebounds a game, is very athletic, will he be the matchup for AO?

* Darquon Montreal 6-8 230 senior -- very athletic, he's averaging 11.5 points and a team-leading 4.9 rebounds a contest, an inside the paint player

* Ryan Watkins 6-8 247 freshman -- he doesn't play that many minutes but has 5.4 points and 4.0 rebounds a game averages, is an inside scorer

Off The Bench

* Paul Noonan 6-7 210 senior -- the best catch-and-shoot distance shooter on the team, 77 of 111 shot attempts have been treys, averaging 10.2 ppg.

* Westly Perryman 6-1 180 junior -- he's not shooting all that well this season

* Zack Moritz 6-10 239 senior -- shooting 50%, more than half his rebounds have been offensive

* Sean Imadiyi 6-7 215 senior -- athletic but with limited skills and shooting range

* Thomas Bropleh 6-5 203 freshman -- not a big minutes guy but he has been earning more and more PT, shooting 45% overall and 43% from long distance

* Tre Nichols 5-11, 168 junior -- a backup at the point,

The BSU WAC schedule

Dec 29 Louisiana Tech 71 - 60 (W)
Dec 31 New Mexico State 81 - 78 (W)
Jan 06 @ San Jose State 102 - 101 (W) 4OT
Jan 08 @ Hawai'i 79 - 55 (W)
Jan 13 Utah State 59 - 68 (L)
Jan 15 Nevada 67 - 69 (L)
Jan 22 @ Idaho 70 - 67 (W)
Jan 27 @ New Mexico State 87 - 96 (L)
Jan 29 @ Louisiana Tech 60 - 70 (L)
Feb 03 Hawai'i 66 - 73 (L)
Feb 05 @ Utah State 49 - 77 (L)
Feb 10 Fresno State 75 - 61 (W)
Feb 12 Idaho 69 - 63 (W)
Feb 19 @ UC Santa Barbara 78 - 76 (W) OT
Feb 24 @ Fresno State 70 - 56 (W)
Feb 26 @ Nevada 72 - 66 (W)
Mar 02 Cal State Bakersfield (W) 95-59

The Bronco roster (alphabetized & by position)

La'Shard Anderson G 6-1 170 Sr.
Jeff Elorriaga G 6-2 180 Fr. (walk-on)
G.A. Hill G 5-9 150 Fr. (walk-on)
Tre Nichols G 5-11 168 Jr.
Westly Perryman G 6-1 180 Jr.
Justin Salzwedel G 6-2 182 Sr. (walk-on)
Drew Wiley G 6-7 215 Jr. (is redshirting)

Robert Arnold F 6-6 176 Sr.
Thomas Bropleh F 6-5 203 Fr.
Sam Hicks F 6-9 248 Fr.
Sean Imadiyi F 6-7 215 Sr.
Daequon Montreal F 6-8 230 Sr.
Paul Noonan F 6-7 210 Sr.
Isaac Oeltjen F 7-0 224 Fr. (walk-on)
Ryan Watkins F 6-8 247 Fr.

Zach Moritz C 6-10 239 Sr.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spartans fall 77-71

Back and forth. Forth and back. The SJSU - Hawaii matchup was a veritable teeter-totter as neither team could sink the dagger and pull away from the other. One would go up followed by the other regaining ground and taking the lead. Eventually, a critical call took place, changing ball possession and offering UH a pair of free throws and that ultimately determined the outcome.

The final 77-71. Adrian Oliver led the way for San Jose State with 18 points. Justin Graham scored15 and Kieth Shamburger 14. At the forefront of the Hawaii offensive attack was Zane Johnson with 26 points and Bill Amis contributed 18.

Here's how it played out:

A Johnson trey cut the San Jose State lead to one.

Following that, Shamburger missed on a pair of free throws with 2:37 remaining.

Then at the shot clock buzzer, Amis caught net with a 17-foot fadeaway.

At the 1:46 mark and Hawaii ahead by one, UH freshman backcourter Bobby Miles was struck by an elbow went down. The referees checked the video to determine the consequences, if any. It was judged an intentional foul based on the rules established prior to this season.

In a no-brainer, Coach Gib Arnold inserted Bo Barnes for Miles. The sharpshooting frosh sank both free throws, putting the Rainbow Warriors up by three. UH also retained possession. The scoreboard: 71-68

Amis then fouled Wil Carter who sank the first but missed the second, with just over a minute left.

Johnson subsequently buried a long trey to make it 74-69 with 35 ticks showing on the clock.

Oliver was fouled and was good on both his attempts at the line. The scoreboard: 74-71

Amis proved to be a thorn again with a layup that put the Rainbow Warriors up by five.

Subsequently, Shamburger missed a trey attempt which Oliver rebounded but he missed the followup. Barnes rebounded and was fouled.

He was good on the first but erred on the second. Hawaii led by six and the remaining seconds didn't matter.

At the half, it was San Jose State with a one point lead at 37-36. Graham had 12 points and Amis 11 at that point.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Aalim Moor and Wil Carter taking it to the moon

Aalim Moor and Wil Carter appear more than a little fired up here while Sammy Spartan looks like he's witnessing a Cape Canaveral takeoff. The pre-game introduction athleticism on display puts Buzz "to infinity ... and beyond!) Lightyear to shame while this evident fiery spirit is just what is needed to get the team ready and focused.

Okay, it's Hawaii on Thursday and then a road game Saturday up in Boise.

Guys, keep bringing this passion and intensity.