Monday, January 31, 2011

Let's not be Vandel-ized Thursday night

Idaho is current sagging with a three-game losing streak, this after earlier winning five consecutive WAC games. So as Willy Shakes might have put it had he been a WAC hoops fan: to Vandal-ize or not to Vandal-ize, that is the question. Of course, SJSU faces the same query, to Spartan-ize or not to Spartan-ize.

Vandal Coach Don Verlin is a Stew Morrill protégé, coming over from USU after 15 years in March 2008 and he utilizes the same flip card system offensively that Utah State employs.

So which and what is Idaho this season? Indications are it's a team still feeling its way and developing an identity -- one that must play together as a team in order to perform well as none of Verlin's players will be earning all-WAC post-season honors.

This is not a team that has players who can create for themselves -- Deremy Geiger can to a degree but most of the outside talent needs screens in order to get clean looks.

In matchups with teams that San Jose State has also played, the Vandals beat host Eastern Washington 70-60, lost to host Seattle 66-56, won at Oregon 69-65 and also beat host Cal State Bakersfield 78-77.

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

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

These are overall, not WAC, statistics.

* Deremy Geiger 5-11 (on a long day) -- 10.0 ppg., 112 of his 175 shots have been three-pointers, is shooting 34% overall, 35% on treys, has a 52/39 A-to-TO ratio

* Jeff Ledbetter 6-2 -- 11.0 ppg., shooting 47% overall, 46% from long distance, 125 of his 160 shots have been three-pointers, typically needs screens to shoot

* Shawn Henderson 6-3 -- 8.9 ppg., shooting 41% overall, 27% on treys, a very solid 5.1 rpg., 60 assists to 47 turnovers

* Luiz Toledo 6-8 -- 9.6 ppg., shooting 53%, 4.8 rpg., the one big body upfront who plays major minutes

* Kyle Barone 6-10 -- 11.1 ppg., 5.8 rpg., shooting 62% from the floor -- 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 -- 7.0 ppg., shooting 50%, 5.3 rpg., team-leading 24blocked shots

* Landon Tatum 5-11 -- 5.2 ppg., shooting 44%, hasn't attempted a three-pointer, his 66-30 assist to turnover numbers is best on the team

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

6-8 junior college transfer Djim Bandoumel, who was the most athletic frontcourter on the squad, was declared academically ineligible a while back. Plus, two players have departed since the beginning of the school year -- forward Renado Parker and guard Gary Winston both departed for Portland State. -- leaving the Vandals a bit shorthanded, especially upfront.

* As a team, the Vandals are shooting 46% to 41% for opposing teams, 37% to 32% from long distance but with 97 less attempts. The rebounding differential is 34-32 per game in favor of Idaho. Verlin's team has 60 more turnovers than opponents and 38 less steals.

The Idaho WAC schedule to date

Dec 29 New Mexico State 69 - 74 (L)

Dec 31 Louisiana Tech 77 - 47 (W)

Jan 6 @ Hawaii 59-44 (W)

Jan 08 @ San Jose State 75 - 67 (W)

Jan 12 Nevada 72 - 67 (W)

Jan 17 @ Fresno State 67 - 57 (W)

Jan 22 Boise State 67 - 70 (L)

Defense was Idaho's calling card during its six-game winning streak, but on Saturday, the Vandal men's basketball team couldn't make the plays it needed to late and fell by a 70-67 score to Boise State at the Cowan Spectrum. Idaho slipped into a second-place tie with the Broncos after the loss, and saw their program-best, five-game WAC winning streak come to an end in front of a crowd of 5,017 - the third-largest in Cowan Spectrum history. "Those are tough ones to swallow, no matter who you play, Idaho head coach Don Verlin said. "You lose to your in-state rival at home, it hurts." The Vandals raced out to a 12-point first-half lead and held the Broncos to just 30 percent shooting overall and 15.4 percent from 3-point range, but Idaho couldn't make the same stops in the second period, where BSU hit 51.7 percent of its attempts and 44.4 percent of its 3-pointers. "We didn't lose this game offensively," Verlin said. "You look at the stat sheet and we shot 51 percent - we had 18 assists, 13 turnovers. We didn't get our job done defensively, and that's what we've been hanging our hat on."

Jan 27 @ Louisiana Tech 56 - 71 (L)

In its previous five-game road win streak, the Idaho men's basketball team made the hustle plays, rebounded well and played efficient offensively - but that wasn't the case on Thursday at Louisiana Tech. Idaho lost its second in a row after giving up 16 second-chance points and sending Louisiana Tech to the free throw line 24 times in a 71-56 loss at Thomas Assembly Center. "For whatever reason, we weren't mentally on our game like we should have been," Idaho head coach Don Verlin said after the game. "I thought we got completely dominated in the post, and when you do that, you're going to lose by 15 on the road, and that's what happened to tonight." The Vandals shot just 38.2 percent for the game, turned the ball over 15 times and shot a season-low 46.2 percent from the free-throw line. Senior guard Jeff Ledbetter went for a career-high-tying 20 points, mostly from a 6-of-10 effort from 3-point range, but no other Idaho player cracked double digits. Aside from Ledbetter's 7-of-12 shooting performance, Idaho went just 14-of-43 (.326) from the floor. The Vandals also tied a season low with just six made free throws on 13 attempts.

Jan 29 @ New Mexico State 65 - 73 (L)

The energy and intensity was there, but the University of Idaho men's basketball team couldn't protect the ball in a 73-65 loss at New Mexico State on Saturday at the Pan American Center. Idaho lost its third in a row and slipped to 12-9 overall and 5-4 in the Western Athletic Conference after turning the ball over a season-high 24 times, which led to 25 points for New Mexico State. "Tonight, we were ready to go, and we played extremely hard," Idaho head coach Don Verlin said. "We did a lot of really, really good things, we just didn't play smart. We got a little sloppy with the ball a few times and had a few defensive lapses." Both teams shot 49 percent from the field and both made six 3-pointers, but the real advantage came at the free throw line, where the Aggies went 19-of-27, while Idaho was just 9-of-11. Rebounds were also identical at 29 each. NMSU turned the ball over 19 times, but Idaho turned those opportunities into just 13 points. "Basically, they win this game at the free throw line, scoring 10 more points than us and that's the difference in the game," Verlin said.

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)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The upcoming Rebounder seniors/juniors dinner

Dear Rebounders,

It's time for the second of our annual meet-the-team dinners with the juniors and seniors showing up this time on February 7th at the Bold Knight Bistro at 840 North First Street at 6:00 p.m.

Please note that this is a change from the previously scheduled date.

We'll meet upstairs for refreshments then adjourn to the cozy wine cellar when the student/athletes arrive.

The meal is $25.00 inclusive, which means including tax and tip, for Rebounders and $35.00 for non-members.

As always, we are asking for player sponsors. Players will be seated with their sponsors and sponsors will also receive a ticket for our ever popular raffle.

Be advised, credit cards will not be accepted and that cash is preferred.

This will be our last chance to see seniors Adrian Oliver and Justin Graham during the season.

Please RSVP to me at either 408 531-1063 or by February 3rd. We look forward to seeing you there.

Gayle Kludt

Saturday, January 29, 2011

San Jose State neuters the Dogs 78-66

In reference to the 78-66 San Jose State University victory over Fresno State tonight, it's not quite but let's still call it AO versus KO for literary purposes

That's Adrian Oliver versus Kevin Olekaibe.

AO put together a line of 25 points (five of seven on treys), 10 boards and eight assists. KO, just a freshman, netted 29 markers.

But Oliver had much more help tonight than Olekaibe. Example: nobody other than the latter was able to nail a trey for the Bulldogs. 6-foot-10 Greg Smith was negated in the paint for the most part (just 10 points) and wing Tim Steed just couldn't get started.

Will Carter came back from a disappearance against Utah State with a strong double-double consisting of 11 points and 12 boards. Calvin Douglas was dialed in, sinking 4-6 three-point attempts.(6-10 overall) and finishing with 18 points. Justin Graham added 16 points and seven assists.

SJSU jumped out to an early lead. It was 31-16 at the 7:07 mark. At that point, the Spartans were shooting 60%, 5-6 on trey attempts. In contrast, Fresno State was 1-8 from long distance.

In the second half, an Oliver trey made it 53-34 with 17:45 showing.

But a Tyler Johnson dribble-drive basket made it 59-49 with 13:20 on the clock.

However, a Graham three from the left side upped it to 68-54 and the Spartans maintained enough of a margin to keep matters comfortable.

On the night, SJSU shot 46%, going 10-18 on three-pointers. The Bulldogs tallied a 35% shooting number overall, a paltry 6-28 from long distance.

It was 46-32 at the half. Oliver had 18 points after the initial 20 minutes, with Graham contributing eight.

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's Fresno State here on Saturday night

Fresno State comes to town Saturday evening to battle San Jose State University. Steve Cleveland's squad is coming off a close 79-76 loss in Reno to Nevada and now burdened by a conference game losing streak numbering five.

Here is our game report from the December 29 matchup between Fresno and San Jose:

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

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

Then came a Tim Steed dunk.

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

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

Fresno State's Mr. (Greg) Smith didn't go to Washington but rather to the basket for 16 points. But it was his late second half steal and later a block with resulting passes to Tim Steed for the aforementioned dunks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tyler Smith, who may or may not play due to a concussion, is out of St. Francis High in Mountain View. Jerry Brown, who might accompany the team even though redshirting, played high school ball in San Francisco and his family resides in the East Bay. So both players should have family and friends in the stands on Saturday.

Fresno WAC Season-To-Date

12/29/10 vs San Jose State W, 75-62
01/03/11 vs Nevada W, 80-74
01/06/11 at Louisiana Tech W, 63-56
01/08/11 at New Mexico State L, 80-68
01/15/11 vs Utah State L, 52-39
01/17/11 vs Idaho L, 67-57
01/20/11 at Hawai'i L, 62-52
01/24/11 vs Seattle University W, 86-56
01/27/11 at Nevada L, 79-76

The Bulldog Starting Five (stats are for conference play)

* Greg Smith 6-foot-10 sophomore -- 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, shooting 60%, his maneuverability still hampered by inconsistent team outside-shooting (coming off 18 points and 12 boards versus Nevada)

* Nedeljko Golubovic 6-foot-8 senior -- 6.4 ppg. and 4.1 rpg. while shooting 31% and 19% respectively, is tops in steals with 14

* Tim Steed 6-foot-4 junior -- 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, shooting 53% overall and 69% from long distance, a real sparkplug of late (26 points and nine rebounds versus Nevada, 5-6 on three pointers)

* Kevin Olekaibe 6-foot-1 freshman -- 11.3 ppg., shooting 37% overall, 33% from long distance (shot 6-11 versus Nevada so we have him moving into the starting lineup)

* Steven Shepp 6-foot-2 junior -- he is only shooting 29% overall yet 42% on threes, averaging 3.5 ppg. but his assist-to-turnover ratio is 30/10 and he is easily the best ballhandler on the team, especially on any sort of break opportunity (six assists against one turnover at Nevada)

Key Reserves

* Garrett Johnson 6-foot-4 sophomore -- shooting 35% and 33% respectively and 9 ppg. (he started up in Nevada, shot poorly but has the size and strength to better take on Justin Graham or Adrian Oliver)

* Tyler Johnson 6-foot-2 freshman -- suffered a concussion last game so he may be out

* Bracken Funk 6-foot-8 freshman -- not shooting well but is averaging 3.4 rebounds a contest and provides a physical presence inside

* Jonathan Wills 6-foot-6 junior -- is shooting poorly, playing 10 minutes a game

* Bennie Rhodes 6-foot-6 junior -- we're unsure if he is still on the roster

As a team, the Bulldogs are at 39% shooting overall and 29% from three-point range while allowing 46% and 36% to opponents. Something to also keep in mind: Cleveland's squad has attempted 70 more treys than opposing teams. Fresno State was out-rebounded 38-25 in Reno.

On the plus side, Fresno State has a WAC play 64-36 edge in steals

The Fresno State roster (alphabetized, by position)

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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spartans fall 84-65

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.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Utah State comes to town Thursday night

What's new with 18-2/7-0 Utah State besides 13 consecutive wins? Try an entrance into the latest ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches poll at #25.

The Aggies are headed to San Jose for a Thursday night matchup with the Spartans.

Regarding significant numbers, Stew Morrill's team currently leads the WAC with a +11.4 scoring margin and are shooting 49% in conference play while holding collective opponents to 40%. Utah State also is tops in rebounding differential at +11.1. If it is any consolation, USU is last in the conference at 4.3 steals a game and just plus -1.71 in turnover margin.

SJSU and Utah State met December 31 in Logan -- it was 80-71 Aggies -- here's our game report from back then:

"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 (as he has done to each WAC opponent) all evening via dribble-drive penetration in a Utah State 80-71 victory.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As began our December 31 game preview, Utah State is Utah State, year-in and year-out -- Stew Morrill has his offensive system (screen, screen, screen and then screen) until an open shot is accessed or Tai Wesley can muscle inside. It's almost as if who issues the most bruises, wins. Defenders, wishing to escape another collision, start taking shortcuts but the Aggies pick up on this and take advantage when such an opportunity presents.

Defensively, the Aggies play just as physical and boast Pooh Williams, the returning WAC Defensive Player of the Year and Tyler Newbold who is another persistent defender.

It's a squad of talents who play to their strengths, understand their individual and team boundaries and minimize weaknesses.

The closest games this season have taken place when USU doesn't shoot well from outside. Lert's see what happens Thursday.

The WAC coaches selected Tai Wesley as the Pre-Season Player of the year, with Tyler Newbold and Pooh Williams as second-teamers -- almost exclusively for their defensive play. Stew Morrill's squad received eight votes as the top team -- New Mexico State received the other.

In their last game, situated in Logan, Utah State downed New Mexico State. From USU athletics:

A 17-0 first-half run propelled Utah State to a 59-49 win over New Mexico State in a battle of the Aggies Saturday night...

...Senior forward Tai Wesley was the lone USU player in double-digits with 18 points....

...All nine USU players got in the scoring column, as senior guards Brian Green and Pooh Williams tallied nine and eight points, respectively. Senior forward Nate Bendall pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds while junior forward Brady Jardine snared 10, guiding the home Aggies to a 45-30 rebounding advantage, including 15 on the offensive glass which led to a 16-6 second-chance points edge.

NMSU was led by Troy Gillenwater's game-best 20 points while Hernst Laroche added 11 points...

The USU Starting Five

* Nate Bendall 6-foot-9 -- 6.7 ppg., shooting 47% overall, 6.9 rpg., he's coming off a foot injury and now playing about 30 minutes a game

* Tai Wesley 6-foot-7 -- 16.3 ppg., shooting 60% overall, 7.1 rpg., only foul trouble limits his productivity

* Pooh Williams 6-foot-4 -- 7.8 ppg., shooting 40% overall and 40% from three, half of his shot attempts have been treys

* Tyler Newbold 6-foot-5 -- 6.7 ppg., 6.7 rpg., shooting 45% overall, 42% from long distance and these are improved numbers from an earlier,slump

* Brockeith Pane 6-foot-1 & 195-- 12.7 ppg., shooting 54%, 23% from three, is best at driving and penetrating and very hard to stop due to his strength

Off The Bench

* Brady Jardine -- 7.0 ppg., shooting 59% from the floor (and in the paint), 7.1 rpg. leads the team

* Brian Green 6-foot-1 -- 8.7 ppg., shooting 43% overall, 40% on treys, 33 of his 53 shooting attempts have been treys

* Morgan Grim 6-foot-8 -- more inside muscle with limited athletic prowess

* E.J. Farris 6-foot-2 -- He is a walk-on as the backup point and the son of former Spartan Ward Farris, he from back in the Bill Berry-era teams

WAC Schedule to date

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

12/29/10 vs. Hawai'i W 74-66
12/31/10 vs. San Jose State W, 80-71
01/08/11 at Nevada W, 81-67
01/13/11 at Boise State W, 68-59
01/15/11 at Fresno State W, 52-39
01/20/11 vs. Louisiana Tech W, 74-57
01/22/11 vs. New Mexico State W, 59-49

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

Saturday, 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.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

C.J. Webster to Australia

Just saw this:
Pioneers signing bigger than Texas
The Border Watch
January 19, 2011

The Mount Gambier Pioneers are taking a punt on American import “CJ” Webster for the 2011 South East Australian Basketball League season.

Webster is somewhat of a man mountain, standing 206cm (6’9”) and weighing 115kg, but will arrive at the Pioneers with strong credentials.

Born in Houston, Texas, the 24-year-old Webster has enjoyed basketball experience with Thurgood Marshall High in Missouri City, a brief stint at Arkansas Fort Smith, then with Texas State (San Marcos) in the National College of America Association and from 2007-10 with San Jose State in the NCAA...
Go here for the remainder.

* Mount Gambier is located in south Australia.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's Hawaii in Honolulu on Saturday

So who or what is Hawaii basketball this season?

Is it the squad 9-3 in non-conference contests (albeit with but two road games) or the team currently 1-5 in the WAC? (albeit with but two home games).

The answer depends on your perspective, your bias, whatever you wish to label it.

Coming over from an assistant coach spot at USC, Gib Arnold has taken over the reigns and quickly undertook a dramatic roster makeover -- by necessity. Greater talent was needed and there were quite the number of openings to fill. But two newcomers, freshman guard Jordan Coleman and junior college transfer backcourter Anthony Salters, have since departed, leaving the Rainbow Warrior guard depth quite lean. This is also a young and relatively inexperienced Hawaii squad.

Arnold hired one assistant with strong ties to Brazilian basketball so it will be interesting to watch if that connection pays off. He also hired a former D-1 head coach from the Chicago area to beef up the UH recruiting reach in the Midwest.


A key stat

Do keep in mind that in the last four WAC games, UH is shooting very poorly from three-point range:

* 29% against Nevada
* 17% in the Boise State matchup
* 20% versus New Mexico State
*21% in the Louisiana Tech contest

Will the trend continue, or not?

Plus, in conference play, the Rainbow Warriors are shooting 41% while allowing 43% overall to opponents, 25% to 36% from long range.

Another key numbers ratio in WAC action to date: Arnold's team is scoring 59 points a game but giving up 71.

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

* 6-foot-10 Vander Joaquim -- progressing as the season goes on, he is scoring and rebounding more at 7.6 points and 7.8 rebounds a game, he is shooting 50% and has six blocked shots in the same number of games

* 6-foot-9 Bill Amis -- he missed a long stretch of games with a broken foot, came back rusty but put up a 22/12 double-double last game versus Louisiana Tech, averaging 11.8 points and 6.0 rebounds a game, can face the hoop and play with his back to it

* 6-foot-6 Zane Johnson -- primarily a long-distance shooter, his 15.2 ppg. is tops on the team, shooting 44% and 35% respectively, 40 of his 65 shooting attempts have been three-pointers

* 6-foot-3 Hiram Thompson -- he began the season performing spectacularly but a back injury and major minutes on the court have lessened his numbers, scoring 8.3 ppg., shooting 39% and 29% respectively, he scored10.9 ppg., shooting 45% and 33% respectively in non-conference play, has 16 assists and 16 turnovers in WAC action

* 6-foot-1 Bobby Miles -- The freshman Miles wasn't expected to be playing all that much, let alone be in a starting role, scoring 2.3 ppg., on 43% shooting, with 6 assists to 11 turnovers, posted a 45 assists to 41 turnovers ration in non-conference action

Off The Bench

* 6-foot-7 Joston Thomas -- he has been a starter most of the season and may start on Saturday depending on how Arnold wants to play it, he's strong, physical and athletic plus he loves to attempt dunks, averaging 7.5 ppg. versus 10.7 ppg. in non-league games, shooting 38%, grabbing 5.2 rebounds a WAC contest

* 6-foot-7 Trevor Wiseman -- the freshman very athletic, an energy-type guy whose numbers have reduced of late

* 7-foot-0 Doug Kurtz -- the back-up in the middle, he can score inside, shooting 42% in WAC play versus 55% in non-league action

* 6-foot-4 Bo Barnes -- Another freshman who was banging in treys in the early going but his proficiency has really slowed, shooting 4-21 overall in WAC minutes with 19 of those attempts coming from long distance

Hawaii's bench has not been all that helpful since WAC games began -- is this a trend or an anomaly?

Hawaii's WAC schedule to date

12/29/2010 @ Utah State L 66-74

12/31/2010 @ Nevada L 69-86

1/6/2011 Idaho L 44-59

1/8/2011 Boise State L 55-79

1/13/2011 @ New Mexico State L 64-82

1/15/2011 @ Louisiana Tech W 56-48

1/20/2011 Fresno State

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, January 15, 2011

Spartans fall 78-53

It's a super secret program, appropriate for a state featuring Los Alamos and The Manhattan Project.

Regardless, SpartanHoops has stealthingly uncovered the fact that New Mexico State University engineers have developed an invisible lid for placement on the basketball hoop. The evidence? San Jose State went 0-12 from beyond the arc, shooting 23% in the first half against the Aggies tonight. Furthermore, witnesses have told us that a male in his forties, wearing sunglasses, Crocs, a fedora and a leather overcoat was seen furiously working what looked like a blackberry device whenever the Spartans attempted a shot. We are told a YouTube video will soon be available.

Strictly on the court, the final score was 78-53.

It was this kind of night: Aggie freshman backcourter Christian Kabongo, entering the game shooting 6-42 on treys overall, 1-7 in WAC play, made all three of his long distance attempts.

But SJSU did fight back, closing the margin to 12 midway through the second 20 minutes but a trio of Aggie treys boosted the lead back to 18 and that was that.

Leading 35-18 at the half, it was a case of New Mexico State unable to miss, San Jose State unable to make early on and the Aggies cantered to an early 20-point lead. But it was gradual elongation -- NMSU led 8-6 at the 15:58 mark, 17-9 with 13:33 showing but boosted it to 27-11 and then 33-13.

On the game, San Jose State shot 33% to 48% for New Mexico State. The Aggies went 11-27 on three-pointers to just 2-17 for the Spartans. In rebounding, NMSU won by 11, 42-31.

Troy Gillenwater led the Aggies with 18 points, plus six boards. Backcourter Gordo Castillo totaled 17 and Kabongo 13.

Wil Carter's 14 points and seven rebounds topped the Spartans. Justin Graham added 11.

Spartan leading scorer Adrian Oliver again missed the game with concussion-like symptoms. Coach George Nessman started Brylle Kamen, Carter, Calvin Douglas, Keith Shamburger and Graham.

Friday, January 14, 2011

At New Mexico State on Saturday night

Coach Marvin Menzies is operating a mini-United Nations down in Las Cruces what with players from Canada (3), Senegal (2), South Africa (1) and France (1). Recruiting to Las Cruces is never an easy task so his reaching out to foreign players makes great sense.

The Aggies lost backcourter Jahmar Young a year early and Jonathan Gibson graduated so the focus this season is on the frontcourt -- but Menzies' bigs have endured a slew of injuries.

Normal starters 6-foot-11 Hamidu Rahman (calf injury) and 6-foot-8 Troy Gillenwater both played but came off the bench in the latest Aggie game against Hawaii. Gillenwater supposedly re-injured his ankle but to what degree is unknown.

Against Fresno State it was 6-foot-10 Tshilidzi Nephawe, Troy Gillenwater, 6-foot-5 Tyrone Watson, 6-foot-8 Bandja Sy and H6-foot-1 ernst Laroche as the starters. Against Boise State, Troy Gillenwater was still out injured and 6-foot-4 Christian Kabongo started in his place.

The Aggies are 9-9 overall, this season 3-1 in conference action and 7-3 at home.

Oakland native and former Richmond High star Wendell McKines won't play as he is officially redshirting this season.

What may or may not be a key stat: the Aggies are currently 6-0 when they hold opponents to 70 points or less.

As for a critical number, New Mexico State is currently shooting 51% in league play, holding opponents to 44%.

NMSU's Starting Five (stats are in league play)

One of the two bigs will start at center and if Watson starts in place of Gillenwater look for Christian Kabongo to start in the backcourt opposite Laroche.

* 6-11 Hamidu Rahman -- has missed some games with a calf injury -- should be available but for probably less than 20 minutes


* 6-10 Tshilidzi Nephawe -- 9.2 points and 4.3 rebounds a game, shooting 63%, is 14-16 at the foul line, has been starting in place of Rahman

* 6-8 Troy Gillenwater -- 21.7 points, 8.0 rebounds a game, shooting 55% overall, 36% from three, missed some games with an ankle injury


* 6-5 Tyrone Watson -- 7.9 points, 5.0 rebounds a game, shooting 58% overall

* * 6-8 Bandja Sy -- 9.0 points per game, shooting 60% overall, 71% on threes, has been playing much better of late and starting

* 6-1 Hernst Laroche -- 11.0 points per game, shooting 48% overall, 37% from three, 18/6 assist-to-turnover ratio

Off The Bench

* 6-4 Christian Kabongo -- he's not shooting or scoring well but leads the team in steals and like an up-and-down game

* 6-5 Gordo Castillo -- the best catch-and-shoot distance marksman on the team

The Aggie schedule so far

Nov 12 @ Louisiana Lafayette 92 - 76 (W)
Nov 15 Western New Mexico 95 - 62 (W)
Nov 18 @ Arizona 57 - 83 (L)
Nov 20 @ UMass 57 - 71 (L)
Nov 21 Southern California at Springfield, MA 61 - 80 (L)
Nov 23 @ UTEP 56 - 73 (L)
Nov 30 UTEP 72 - 74 (L)
Dec 04 New Mexico 78 - 84 (L)
Dec 11 @ New Mexico 62 - 78 (L)
Dec 13 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 83 - 49 (W)
Dec 16 Oklahoma Panhandle State 78 - 46 (W)
Dec 18 Pacific 69 - 64 (W)
Dec 21 Louisiana Lafayette 82 - 76 (W)
Dec 23 Saint Mary's 53 - 73 (L)

Dec 29 @ Idaho 74 - 69 (W)

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team opened 2010-11 WAC play with a 74-69 win at Idaho. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater led the Aggies with 22 points after missing the last five games due to an injury. NM State improves to 6-0 in WAC openers. Sophomore forward Tyrone Watson and junior guard Hernst Laroche added 12 points while freshman center Tshilidzi Nephawe scored 10.

Dec 31 @ Boise State 78 - 81 (L)

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team said goodbye to 2010 with its second WAC game of the season at Boise State, but the Aggies fell to the Broncos, 81-78, in the New Year’s Eve game. The Aggies moved to 7-9 and 1-1 in the WAC while Boise State is 9-5 and 2-0. NM State had four players in double-figures with junior forward Troy Gillenwater scoring a game-high 24 points. Senior guard Gordo Castillo had 14 points, while sophomore forward Bandja Sy and junior guard Hernst Laroche supplied 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Jan 08 Fresno State 80 - 68 (W)

Troy Gillenwater scored 19 points to go with 10 rebounds to lead New Mexico State to an 80-68 victory over Fresno State on Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M. The Aggies (8-9, 2-1 Western Athletic) outscored Fresno State 43-37 in the second half and shot 58 percent for the game. Hernst Laroche and Hamidu Rahman each scored 11 points and Tshilidzi Nephawe added 10.

Jan 13 Hawai'i 82-64 (W)

Troy Gillenwater scored 13 points in 18 minutes to help New Mexico State to an 82-64 victory over Hawaii on Thursday at the Pan American Center.

Junior point guard Hernst Laroche added 14 points and five assists, Christian Kabongo scored 12 and Gordo Castillo scored 10 for the Aggies, (9-9, 3-1 Western Athletic) who won their second straight game and the seventh in the last nine. The Aggies finished 49 percent from the floor and scored 20 points off 20 Hawaii turnovers. The Rainbow Warriors finished 38.1 percent from the floor and were 4-of-19 from the 3-point line.

The New Mexico State roster (by position, alphabetized)

Gordo Castillo G 6-5 190 Sr.
Makhtar Diop G 6-6 195 Jr.
Drew Herig 6-0 183 Fr.
Christian Kabongo G 6-4 199 Fr.
Hernst Laroche G 6-1 170 Jr.

Renaldo Dixon F 6-10 210 Fr.
Troy Gillenwater F 6-8 238 Jr.
Wendell McKines F 6-6 230 Sr. (redshirting)
Bandja Sy F 6-8 214 So.
Tyrone Watson F 6-5 225 So.
B.J. West F 6-11 240 So.

Abdoulaye N'doye C 7-0 215 So.
Tshilidzi Nephawe C 6-10 268 Fr.
Hamidu Rahman C 6-11 245 Jr.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

San Jose State tops LT 79-74

Minus Adrian Oliver, out with concussion-like symptoms suffered in practice during the week, it was 'a babe shall lead them' situation

Freshman Keith Shamburger's streak of nine straight points --a pair of free throws, a dribble-drive basket, a top of the key trey and two more from the foul line -- brought San Jose State University from behind in the second half and it was close until the wire before the Spartans prevailed over Louisiana Tech 79-74. He finished with 21 points.

LT endured a veritable offensive no-show by star Olu Ashaolu who managed just four points on 2-4 shooting. He did grab 11 boards however. DeAndre Brown and Tevin Hall, with 17 points apiece, led the Bulldogs, who collectively made just 4-11 from the foul line, content with firing away from long distance (12-27).

SJSU was paced by Shamburger'spoint total and also Justin Graham's 21 points. Wil Carter contributed 14 and Calvin Douglas 13 (6-8 shooting). The team shot 57% on the evening.

The score was 38-37 in favor of the Bulldogs at the half, an ever-evolving 20 minutes of play. SJSU took a 12 point lead at one point but an LT 17-4 run, powered by seven treys, closed out the play and put Coach Kerry Rupp's team ahead. Carter had 12 points at the half aided by a trio of dunks, Graham 11 and Douglas 10.

We don't know the actual attendance but let's say the crowd was sparse and quiet.

Justin Graham: marathon man

Ripon High product is Spartans' marathon man
Jason Anderson
Stockton Record
January 13, 2011

San Jose State senior Justin Graham certainly can't complain about playing time.

The 6-foot-4 point guard from Ripon High tied a school record when he played all 60 minutes in a 102-101 quadruple-overtime loss to Boise State on Jan. 6, and he'll have another rare statistical feat within reach tonight when the Spartans visit Louisiana Tech.

San Jose State coach George Nessman made 45 substitutions against Boise State but never replaced Graham, who was twice named to The Record's All-Area Team...
Go here for the remainder.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Frosh-Soph Dinner Recap

Frosh-Soph Dinner Recap

A very enthusiastic Rebounders group greeted our seven frosh-soph players and three coaches at Wednesday's players' dinner held at San Jose's Bold Knight Bistro. After meeting for adult beverages by the newly installed fireplace in the upstairs lounge, the group adjourned to the cozy downstairs wine cellar for dinner and the program.

After a delicious dinner of salad, pasta and garlic chicken, the players were subjected to a interview form detailing their name, position, number, home town and college major. Additional questions focused on what is the most difficult away venue, what is a typical SJSU day for them, and what is their favorite thing about SJSU. The "bonus" question asked each player the name of their roommate and to share a funny story about them. Both Joe Henson and redshirt freshman DJ Brown were mentioned as having the most interesting sleeping habits; Joe for his ability to snore so loudly as to be heard through solid walls, and BJ for his sudden zombie-like awakenings in which he bolts straight upward from a seemingly dead slumber! Aalim Moor definitely was the team comic, detailing Joe Henson's ability to wake not only the dead but his SJSU teammates as well!

Many thanks to our generous sponsors including:

* Anne and John Hopkirk
* Jerry Hukee
* Rich Hemmerling and Marj Mancuso
* Don Funk
* Gayle Kludt
* Donna and Gordon Rooney
* Audrey Unruh
* Dave and Cherie Donahue
* Tony Robinson
* James LeCompte

Of course generosity has its rewards and so the following Rebounders won our sponsors' raffle:

* Don Funk won the SJSU Ping sweatshirt,
* Tony Robinson won the autographed SJSU tee,
* Rich Hemmerling won the SJSU carry-on and,
* Marj Mancuso won the team autographed ball.

We hope you all can join us February 8th as we all welcome our juniors and seniors to our next players' dinner, same time, same venue. We will have the chance to express our appreciation for seniors Justin Graham and Adrian Oliver and offer our best wishes to our current juniors and soon to be upcoming seniors for 2012!

A reminder, we are still looking for TV sponsors as SJSU basketball needs a new flat screen to help with recruiting and team preparation. This has been identified as the number one need by the basketball staff. If you can help, please contact Gayle Kludt at 408 531-1063 or

So mark those calendars and save the date, February 8th, to join us for the next players' dinner; meeting these fine young men will not only make you happy to be a Spartan but even happier to know them.

Please come!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spartan hoops on the road Thursday at Louisiana Tech

It's a showdown in Ruston, Louisiana (sort of like the one in that area involving authorities and Bonnie and Clyde that resulted in the demise of B and C back in 1934). But this one involves San Jose State University and host Louisiana Tech, with both teams needing to get off the schneid in WAC play.

The game will begin at 5 p.m. Pacific time.

Kerry Rupp heads the Bulldog program, one minus graduated stars Magnum Rolle and Kyle Gibson from last season. Olu Ashaolu, the WAC leader in rebounding, remains a bulwark upfront and it's DeAndre Brown leading the backcourt but it primarily newcomers trying to coalesce.

As for personnel, here's Ethan Conley of The News Star in a recent article:

"An inexperienced Louisiana Tech men's basketball team is suddenly looking even younger.

Sophomore swingman Brandon Gibson, one of just four Bulldogs who entered the season with any previous experience in Division 1 basketball, will miss the remainder of the team's 2010-11 campaign after undergoing surgery on Thursday to repair a torn left ACL...

...Gibson had started 12 games for the Bulldogs (9-8 overall, 0-3 WAC) and was one of their most productive players. He was third on the team in scoring (9.2 points per game), second in rebounding (5.1 per game) and first in blocks (14 on the season)...

...Darius Redding was one of Tech's four returnees at the start of the season. In early December, Tech announced that Redding, a sophomore forward, had been ruled academically ineligible for the winter quarter, and he will not be eligible to return until the team visits San Jose State on Feb. 26...

...Tech averages 68.3 points per game this season but just 54.3 points in its three games against Western Athletic Conference competition, and Brown and Ashaolu have scored 60 percent of the team's points in those games."

LT managed an 8-5 non-conference record but it's been tough going comes WAC play -- losing by 11 at Boise, by 30 at Idaho and seven after hosting Fresno State.

But at home, the Bulldogs do own a 5-1 record.

Louisiana Tech Starting Five

* 6-7 junior Olu Ashaolu -- 15.3 ppg., shooting 55% overall, 112 foul shots in 17 games, 9.2 rpg., very good offensive rebounder

* 6-1 freshman Kenyon McNeaill -- 6.9 ppg., shooting 35% overall, 33% from three, 44/44 assist-to-turnover ratio

* 5-11 senior DeAndre Brown --16.4 ppg., shooting 41% overall, 39% on threes, 47/59 assist-to-turnover ratio, a team-leading 21 steals

after this trio, it's anyone's guess who will start

Off The Bench

* 6-10 junior Romario Souza -- shooting 53% but prefers facing the basket and not necessarily playing in the paint

* 6-7 freshman James Johnson -- also shooting 53% and an inside-the-paint player

* 6-5 freshman Lonnie Smith -- 6.3 ppg., shooting 38% overall, 39% from three and 49 of his 80 shot attempts have been treys

* 6-9 junior Antwond Roshell -- has played little but has size and bulk, shooting 56%

The Bulldogs are -32 in steals on the season and -52 in turnovers.

LT's schedule to date

11/10/10 at Texas L, 89-58

11/17/10 vs. Houston W, 60-54

11/19/10 vs. Seattle University (Irvine, CA) W, 85-72
11/20/10 vs. Navy (Irvine, CA) W, 80-65
11/21/10 at UC Irvine W, 76-72

11/26/10 at UALR L, 74-65

12/01/10 vs. SMU W, 69-64

12/04/10 vs. Louisiana-Monroe W, 67-58

12/07/10 at Northwestern State L, 85-78

12/11/10 at McNeese State L, 80-70

12/14/10 at Houston Baptist W, 80-57

12/18/10 vs. UT Arlington W, 62-61

12/21/10 at Iowa L, 77-58

12/29/10 at Boise State L, 71-60
12/31/10 at Idaho L, 77-47
01/06/11 vs. Fresno State L, 63-56

The Louisiana Tech Roster (alphabetized, by position)

DeAndre Brown 5-11/160 G SR
Brandon Gibson 6-5/225 G SO (injured)
Tevin Hall 5-10/155 PG SO
Cordarius Johnson 6-5/215 G FR
Kenyon McNeaill 6-1/185 G FR
C.J. Scott 6-1/225 G JR
Lonnie Smith 6-5/185 G FR

Olu Ashaolu 6-7/220 G/F JR

Stojan Gjuroski 6-7/195 FR HS (redshirting)
James Johnson 6-7/250 F/C FR
J.L. Lewis 6-8/240 F/C SO
Darius Redding 6-4/205 F SO (ineligible)

Romario Souza 6-10/245 F/C JR

Antwond Roshell 6-9/250 C JR

Saturday, 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.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Idaho -- Saturday 7:30 p.m. -- Walt McPherson Court

Idaho Coach Don Verlin is a Stew Morrill protégé, coming over from USU after 15 years in March 2008 and he utilizes the same flip card system offensively that Utah State employs. By the way, Verlin has a brother Ron who is a longtime assistant at Pacific.

The nadir of the Vandal season to date was a inexplicable 75-33 lost at Montana on November 22. But that was followed with four straight wins plus a return game at home against Montana was much closer, a 64-63 loss.

In matchups with teams that San Jose State has also played, the Vandals beat host Eastern Washington 70-60, lost to host Seattle 66-56 but then won at Oregon 69-65.

Idaho has also shut two WAC opponents down offensively, holding LA TECH to 47 points and Hawaii to 44.

The Vandal Starting Five

There is only one double-digit scorer at this point on the squad.

* Deremy Geiger 5-11 (if stretched out on the rack) -- 10.5 ppg., 71 of his 107 shots have been three-pointers, shooting 35% overall, 40% on treys

* Jeff Ledbetter 6-2 -- 8.8 ppg., shooting 45% overall, 44% from long distance, 68 of his 84 shots have been three-pointers

* Shawn Henderson 6-3 -- 9.2 ppg., shooting 41%, only 8-30 from three-point range, a team-leading 5.8 rpg., 41 assists to 30 turnovers

* Brandon Wiley 6-5 -- 8.1 ppg., shooting 59%, 5.5 rpg., team-leading 19 blocked shots

* Luiz Toledo 6-8 -- 9.9 ppg., shooting 48%, 5.3 rpg.

Off The Bench

* Kyle Barone 6-10 -- 9.3 ppg., 5.4 rpg., shooting 59% from the floor, 12 shotblocks in 13 games

* Landon Tatum 5-11 -- 5.1 ppg., shooting 37% with no three-point attempts, 38-17 assist to turnover numbers which is best on the team

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

6-8 junior college transfer Djim Bandoumel, who was the most athletic frontcourter on the squad, was declared academically ineligible about a week ago.

* As a team, the Vandals are shooting 45% to 41% for opposing teams, 39% to 33% from long distance but with 77 less attempts. The rebounding differential is 35-31 per game in favor of Idaho. Verlin's team has 34 more turnovers than opponents and 25 less steals.

The Idaho schedule to date

Nov 13 Eastern Oregon 86 - 74 (W)

Nov 16 @ Washington State 71 - 88 (L)

Nov 20 Portland 53 - 66 (L)

Nov 22 @ Montana 33 - 75 (L)

Nov 27 @ Eastern Washington 70 - 60 (W)

Dec 03 North Dakota 63 - 42 (W)

Dec 04 Monmouth 69 - 66 (W)

Dec 05 Eastern Michigan 75 - 60 (W)

Dec 11 @ Seattle University 56 - 66 (L)

Dec 18 Montana 63 - 64 (L)

Dec 21 @ Oregon 69 - 65 (W)

Dec 29 New Mexico State 69 - 74 (L)

It was another tightly-contested game for the University of Idaho men's basketball team on Wednesday, but miscues by the Vandals gave New Mexico State a 74-69 victory in both teams' Western Athletic Conference opener. Idaho (6-6, 0-1 WAC) committed 11 first-half turnovers and saw the Aggies (7-8, 1-0 WAC) turn 16 offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points in the loss. After playing solid first-half defense, the Vandals allowed NMSU to shoot 63 percent from the field in the second.

Dec 31 Louisiana Tech 77 - 47 (W)

The University of Idaho men's basketball team put an exclamation point on the year 2010 with its biggest conference win in 12 years in a 77-47 victory over Louisiana Tech on Friday at the Cowan Spectrum. Idaho (7-6, 1-1 Western Athletic Conference) started the game on a 9-0 run and never looked back in holding Louisiana Tech (9-7, 0-2 WAC) to just 28.8 percent shooting and converting 13 Bulldog turnovers into 20 points.

Jan 6 @ Hawaii 59-44 (W)

Leading by five at halftime, the University of Idaho men's basketball team put on the clamps and held Hawai'i to just 15 second-half points in a 59-44 win at the Stan Sheriff Center Thursday night. Idaho (8-6, 2-1 Western Athletic Conference) shot 43.8 percent from the field and held the WAC's top 3-point shooting team to just 13.6 percent from beyond the arc. Hawai'i (9-6, 0-3 WAC) was 8-1 at their home arena going into the game. Two of Idaho head coach Don Verlin's main keys to victory on Thursday were to limit the potent Warrior 3-point attack and to be strong on the boards. Done and done. UH entered the game making a WAC-high 7.29 3-pointers on a conference-best .397 clip from beyond the arc, but they went just 3-of-22 (.136) on Thursday. Idaho also out-rebounded the Warriors 40-28 overall and 21-11 in the second half.

The Vandal roster (alphabetized, by position)

Two players have departed since the beginning of the school year -- forward Renado Parker and guard Gary Winston both departed for Portland State.

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. (out of Pinole, so some of his fans will be at the game)
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)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Spartans fall 102-101 in four overtimes

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.


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.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Boise State - Thursday 7:30 - Walt McPherson Court

The Broncos currently sport a 2-0 mark with wins at home against Louisiana Tech and then New Mexico State. BSU is 9-5 overall, 3-4 on the road (victories against San Diego, Davis and Northern Illinois). It's no longer Greg Graham in charge but former Gonzaga assistant Leon Rice as Boise is making the move to the Mountain West Conference and Rice's task is to get the Bronco hoops program at least in the same universe if not necessarily the same zip code -- as the BSU football squad.

It's an experienced squad, generally starting four seniors with at least two more coming off the bench for solid minutes.

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 -- 13.6 points & 3.4 rebounds per game, team-leading 71 assists, team-leading 32 st5eals

* Westly Perryman 6-1 180 -- 7.4 points & 3 rebounds per game, second on team in steals with 30, shooting 42% and 29%

* Robert Arnold 6-6 176 -- 15.6 points & 5.1 rebounds per game, shooting 41% and 33%, leads team in blocked shots with 13, 17/32 assist-to-turnover ratio, most free throw attempts with 82

* Paul Noonan 6-7 210 -- the best catch-and-shoot distance shooter on the team, 10.4 ppg., 52% and 45% shooting, half his attempts have been threes

* Darquon Montreal 6-8 230 -- 9.5 points & 6.1 rebounds a game, shooting 45%,

Off The Bench

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

* Sean Imadiyi 6-7 215 -- shooting 54% but inside the paint

* Ryan Watkins 6-8 247 -- 5.8 points & 3.2 rebounds per game, shooting 55%

The Broncos are shooting 45% to 39% for SJSU while conversely the Spartans are holding opponents to 42% shooting with BSU at 45%.

The Broncos have earned 58 more free throw attempts than opponents, are out-rebounding foes by six a game despite not being big, plus have pilfered 63 more steals.

Boise State schedule to date

Nov 13 Western State, Taco Bell Arena 78 - 52 (W)

Nov 19 San Diego, at San Diego 65 - 60 (W)

Nov 21 UC Davis at Davis 67 - 47 (W)

Nov 24 Eastern Washington Taco Bell Arena 83 - 54 (W)

Nov 27 Denver Taco Bell Arena 65 - 52 (W)

Nov 29 Northern Illinois at DeKalb, IL 80 - 51 (W)

Dec 05 Long Beach State Taco Bell Arena 66 - 69 (L)

Dec 08 UNLV at Las Vegas 72 - 75 (L)

Dec 12 Drake at Des Moines, Iowa 69 - 72 (L)

Dec 17 Utah at Salt Lake City 84 - 86 (L)

Dec 19 Texas-Pan American Taco Bell Arena 91 - 62 (W)

Dec 22 Portland at Portland 79 - 88 (L)

Dec 29 Louisiana Tech Taco Bell Arena 71 - 60 (W)

Paul Noonan scored a season-high 23 points to lead Boise State to a 71-60 victory over Louisiana Tech.

The Broncos opened the game with a 20-2 run and maintained control the rest of the way.

Boise State went into intermission up 36-14, holding Louisiana Tech to its lowest point total in a half this season. The 22-point halftime lead was also the Broncos' largest margin in a WAC game since Jan. 24, 2008, when the Broncos led Hawai'i by 25 (47-22).

In the second half, Louisiana Tech shot 55.6 percent but didn't get closer than 14 until less than three minutes remained.

Noonan tied his career high with six 3-pointers en route to his second 20-point game of the season.

La'Shard Anderson had 11 points and eight assists for Boise State, and tied his career high with seven rebounds.

Dec 31 New Mexico State Taco Bell Arena 81 - 78 (W)

Daequon Montreal had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead Boise State to a 81-78 comeback victory over New Mexico State

Boise State trailed the entire game until Robert Arnold's 3-pointer gave them a 68-67 lead with 4:09 remaining.

La'Shard Anderson scored 17 points for the Broncos while Arnold and Paul Noonan added 13 apiece.

New Mexico State shot 69.6 percent from the field in the first half en route to a 45-39 halftime lead, but Boise State held the Aggies to just 37.5 percent shooting in the second period, outscoring the visitors 42-33 in the stanza.

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.