"Restoring The Glory"

Unversity of Idaho Director of Athletics Rob Spear today issued a call to all Vandal fans to make every effort to attend the final regular season basketball game THIS SATURDAY NIGHT between Idaho (15-14, 8-7 WAC) and Fresno State (12-19, 3-12 WAC). Tipoff will be at 7:09 p.m. as the Vandals put their 10-3 home record and fourth place position in WAC standings on the line against the Bulldogs.

"It is extremely important to have a great crowd, " Spear said this morning. "We're playing for the third seed in the upcoming conference tournament. This is a huge game."

The Vandals beat Louisiana Tech 66-58 here last night to put themselves is a position to finish as high as third place in the Western Athletic Conference standings in Don Verlin's first year as head coach. A win over Fresno Saturday coupled with a BSU loss against Nevada would seed Idaho third in the tournament (which opens with play-in games Tuesday in Reno). A Vandal win and a BSU win would send Idaho to the tournament as the fourth seed. The Vandals will finish no lower than fifth place.

Equally as important as the seeding implications tomorrow night, Vandal Nation will be saying "good bye" to the three seniors on the 2008-09 team. Luis "Chevy" Augusto, Trevor Morris and Terrence Simmons will each be playing his final game in the Cowan Spectrum. The three will be honored in a brief ceremony taking place before the introduction of the starting lineups.

After last night's win, Verlin stressed how hard the team has worked to have a chance to finish in the top half of the WAC standings and how important these last two games are to the resurgent basketball program. "I thought it was as big a win as we've had at home all year," he told the media last night. "Here's what's hard: We're playing for a lot right now. If we can wear our white uniforms at the WAC tournament, that's a big accomplishment for this program. Our guys knew, and we knew, that this was the only way that we could get a three, four or five seed, and we accomplished that tonight. I thought we battled like crazy all night long. It was just a physical, hard-fought game from start to finish, and I was proud of our guys for battling."

The top four seeds will all wear home (generally white) uniforms in their first tournament games. After the quarterfinal round the higher seeded team is designated the home team in each game.

This year's squad is the most successful since the 1998-99 Vandal men finished 16-11 and third in the Big West Conference. In their first three years in the WAC the Vandals finished ninth twice and sixth last year. Those three teams won a total of 7 conference games. Idaho is 8-7 going into the Fresno game and is 10-3 at home.

We'll be there and we hope to see you there too. Encourage your friends to attend...that way we'll all have a chance to say with pride (Vandal pride!) we were there watching and cheering as the 2008-09 Vandals took that first big step towards "Restoring The Glory."


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