Just some quick notes and ramblings on Spartan Basketball:
On the current state of the team:
As fans, we have to start showing up at the Rec Center. Come on, folks, we can do better than a mere grand a game. If not, maybe we should just return to the old convention center. And, once you do get inside the building, you have to start making some noise, people. You'all are just sitting there with your arms folded.
Get up off your seats and yell! It's cathartic and it's good for the team!
Tough losses recently, but the team has not given up. The problem with having a soft preseason schedule is that when you do get challenged, you start to grip the ball a little tighter and really press too hard. Force the issue. But, they should be able to survive. They have seen the best the WAC has to offer, so they at least know now what to expect.
Remember: Every WAC team gets into the WAC tourney this year, with the exception of the host (sorry, Fresno). And, there really is no dominate team. There are some really good teams, but not one team is ranked nationally.
The Spartans have time to find themselves, go on a role, and start to challenge and compete. They just need that one player to step up and be the "Man." One player who "wants" to take the shot. The shot clock starts to wind down and they are still passing the ball. They really have to find their one true "go to" guy.
That is really the only thing that the team is missing.
Rice: Peaking. If they finish strong in the WAC, they might get consideration for the NCAA tourney "without" winning the WAC tournament. Quality schedule will look favorably to the selection committee. Probably will need 20 wins to Dance.
Nevada: More up than down. Should be the WAC team in the Dance. Great win at home against Kansas. However, needs to start to flex their muscle in the WAC. A loss at Hawaii was no good. But they put themselves in good graces with the selection committee with a quality schedule and win. Humboldt State? Must have been an illusion.
SMU: Steady: Nevada's win over Kansas was impressive, but the Ponies win over Miami (Ohio) and Purdue on the road on consecutive nights was even more impressive. Needs to finish near the top of the WAC with at least 18 wins "and" be in the WAC tourney championship game. Still, a real schizophrenic team. They have the horses to play with anyone in the nation, but seem to always shot themselves in the foot.
UTEP: Steady. Will have to win the WAC tourney to Dance. No quality wins that would turn the selection committee's head. Even if they win 20, they may not get a bid if they get knocked out early of the WAC tourney.
Hawaii : Steady: Nice win over Nevada, but outside of that, nothing to make the selection committee to really take notice. Will have to win on the road and finish at the top of the WAC to get consideration for the Dance. This team seems to be destined for the NIT. Not bad for a team that lost a lot of talent.
Boise St : Steady: Great win against Oregon St., but true colors came out on the road against Rice (20 point loss). First two home WAC games are against Fresno and Nevada. They need to win both. Also a prime candidate for the NIT.
LA Tech : Down. Showing their age. They beat Montevallo (?) by three points just before the WAC opener and then had a nice win at home against Tulsa. But it's been down hill ever since. However, if they figure out how to play, they could be right back in the thick of things. The young talent is pretty scary.
Tulsa : Down: Has too much talent to be where they are. Win one game, and then lose the next three. Great schedule, but won't get any consideration without more consistency. Needs to win the WAC tourney... Period.
Fresno St : Not complete: Playing spoiler this year. Has the talent to play with any team in the country. They are not the team to play if you need a win. Playing very angry right now.
Possible recruits: I have no idea where these guys are going or if there is any interest in them, but I got a chance to watch them and thought they would make nice additions to next year's team.
Marcus Morgan: 6-5 guard. Leigh (San Jose). A Michael McFadden clone. Does it all. Coach had him run the point, even though he was one of the tallest players on the floor. Is not fancy and in the game that I saw, he did not score (or even tried to score) too many points. But he is obviously a player that can play at the next level. One of the few true D1 candidates in the south bay. Might go to a JC first, but I think he would be a nice player to get in and grow into our program. We don't get too many freshmen who play all four years. We should invest in a few every year.
Josh Reisman: 6-1 point guard: San Jose City. Yes, another point guard. San Jose City actually has a couple of nice players over 6-7 in John Moore and Jamal Harris. More small forwards than the "muscle" the team lacks, but solid players who could play at the next level. But Reisman is a real talent. The transfer from Gonzaga is getting a lot of looks from top D1 teams, including UConn. Note: The Jaguars did have a true 7-footer on their team at the beginning of the season. But was dismissed for disciplinary reasons.
Jason Walberg: 6-3 off guard. Fresno City College. FSU coach Ray Lopes has probably already asked this kid to walk-on the Bulldogs next season. But this coach's son can flat-out shoot the ball. Could be the best 3-point shooter coming out of the JC ranks next year.
I saw this kid light-up the Jaguars for 48 points. And SJCC had him blanketed all game long, with coach Carr yelling at his team to get a hand in this kid's face. But Walberg kept finding a little daylight and kept knocking down shots. Walberg looks like a whippet.
And questions on whether or not he is strong enough to play will keep him from getting a scholarship at one of the "big-time" schools. But he is a big time player, who works hard and has a great attitude. He would be a nice replacement to Brett Lilly when he graduates.
We ought to sneak under coach Lopes and offer this kid a ride.
Spartan Sighting: Former muscle and true good guy Roy Hammonds is running the show as president of the Las Vegas Ramblers. This is the ABA team coached by Kobe's dad and has Master P on their roster. Also playing for the Ramblers is former Spartan good guy Brandon Hawkins.
I saw Hawkins play in the LA summer league and thought he really played well. I think he has a chance to get a cup of coffee in the NBA. Never the less: If you are going to be in Sin city, might want to catch a game.
Cost less than a show and keeps you from spending too much money on the slots.