Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It's a wrap

With this post, it's time to say good-bye (past time, to some 'admirers') as Parsing The WAC is concluding its run, and there will be no Parsing The MWC. This endeavor has become too time-intensive to continue.

Thank you for your kind notes and critical admonitions, too -- your patronage has always been appreciated.

Parsing The WAC has witnessed many great moments, but the highlight will always be Boise State's 107-102 triple overtime victory over New Mexico State in March 2008 to win the WAC tournament (sorry Aggie fans). Nothing will ever top that game.

The time spent here has been extremely educational as has 'conversing' with many of you. Knowing more about basketball than when Parsing The WAC began is the definition of success.

As for the future, Spartan Roundball and NorCal HS & College Basketball Central will be my focus.

Adios, arrivaderci, au revoir, auf wiedersehen, aloha, shalom, fare thee well.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday: a trio of links

Coach Reggie is back in the college game. Let's get a matchup with New Mexico State scheduled. Hey, Utah State, too.


LA TECH athletics has prepared some individual and collective season numbers for you.


The Associated Press honors Idaho's Kyle Barone as an Honorable Mention

The state of the SJSU basketball program

Below is the currently listed SJSU 2013-14 roster: 

* David Andoh, F, 6-foot-7, 200, sophomore
* D.J. Brown, G, 6-foot-2, 185, junior
* Chris Cunningham, F, 6-foot-9, 240, senior
Louis Garrett, F, 6-foot-6, 215, senior

* Nick Grieves, G, 6-foot-3, 160, junior (walk-on)      
* Stephon Smith, F, 6-foot-8, 260, junior      
* Mike VanKirk, C, 7-foot-1, 240, sophomore
* Jaleel Williams, F, 6-foot-6, 215, junior

The numbers make it appear that up to six scholarships will be available to Coach Dave Wojcik but nothing is official in that category.

Each position is in dire need of a talent upgrade as possibly just one player -- Chris Cunningham -- has the level of ability needed to have the chance of winning that position in a Mountain West Conference matchup and that may not be on a nightly basis.

The backcourt is virtually barren.

A starting center is absent.

Rhetorically, how is SJSU going to win at any of the five positions during a game and thus have a chance to nab a victory?

First let's continue and make some comparisons.


Now, here is former SJSU Coach George Nessman's very first SJSU roster, by position:

* Menelik Barbary, 6-foot-9, 230, junior
* Matt Misko, 6-foot-11, 225, senior

* Demetrius Brown, 6-foot-6, 230, senior   
* Kevin Fleming, 6-foot-6, 215, junior
* Lance Holloway, 6-foot-7, 195, sophomore
* DeVonte Thomas, 6-foot-4, 195, freshman
* Kenny Smith, 6-foot-4, 215, senior
* Jared Cozad, 6-foot-3, 195, junior (walk-on)    
* Alex Elam 6-foot-4, 215, senior
* Nelson Garbutt, 6-foot-2, 175, junior (walk-on)
* Tyree Gardner, 6-foot-0, 175, senior
* Nick Novacevich, 6-foot-5, 195, freshman (walk-on)
* Julian Richardson, 6-foot-1, 160, guard   
* Justonn Smith, 6-foot-2, 189, freshman    
* Carlton Spencer. 6-foot-2, 180, junior

But the above is his full roster at season's beginning, not what he initially inherited. Take away the signees of his initial recruiting season and what he found upon accepting the job in 2005-06 was:

* Menelik Barbary, 6-foot-9, 230, junior
* Matt Misko, 6-foot-11, 225, senior

* Demetrius Brown, 6-foot-6, 230, senior   
* Lance Holloway, 6-foot-7, 195, sophomore
* Kenny Smith, 6-foot-4, 215, senior
* Alex Elam 6-foot-4, 215, senior
* Nelson Garbutt, 6-foot-2, 175, junior (walk-on)
* Tyree Gardner, 6-foot-0, 175, senior
* Julian Richardson, 6-foot-1, 160, junior   

So which group would you want to command as a coach, what Wojcik or Nessman was bequeathed?

Strictly on this basis of talent, Coach Dave Wojcik's inheritance is lesser.

What Coach Nessman found -- a pair of serviceable centers, an inconsistent forward (Brown) but one who could win his position on a given night and a solid, if unspectacular backcourter (Elam) -- could be considered an initial 'get-by' talent pool.

Wojcik is facing the construction of a foundation.

The game is down, or is it?

Here's a lengthy post titled "NCAA Quality And Talent Are Down... Right?" that explores various memes such as scoring and shooting percentages are dropping in college hoops, alongside fan interest. It's a fascinating and well-researched read.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday: a few links and items

A Ron Agostini tweet: "In my next life, I want to be Florida Gulf Coast's Andy Enfield. Reminds me of a Dos Equis commercial" 

Damn you Andy Enfield! You make my life look so barren.


Loved this Nicolas Lewis article and you will to.


So who will the next Texas State coach inherit:

* Dante Bachus  Jr. F 6-7 230   
* Basil Brown II  Jr. F 6-5 195   
* Wesley Davis Jr. G 6-3 185   
* Ray Dorsey So. G  6-3 170
* Phil Hawkins Sr. G 6-0 195  
* Nick Hinton Jr. F 6-9 225   
* Deonte' Jones Sr. G 6-2 180    
* Reid Koenen Sr. F 6-7 200
* Jeffrey Nwankwo Jr. F 6-6 225  
* Darius Richardson Jr. G 6-4 205
* Corey Stern Sr. F 6-7 220   
* Joel Wright Sr. F 6-7 225   

Thankfully, Wright returns but 6-foot-10 Matt Staff, the second leading scorer and rebounder, will be sorely missed.

By the way, when will the new coach appear? This is a team in desperate need of a talent infusion and any chance of rescuing the recruiting season is slipping away.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday: links and more

Here's your chance to vote for Wendell McKines as Player-of-the-Month. C'mon, make it two-in-a-row.


Teddy Feinberg looks at other conference possibilities for New Mexico State's non-football sports. The WCC is never going to happen so save your candles and prayer beads on that one.


A Westwind (AZ) Prep tweet: "PITT, Western Illinois and Utah State attends WPA workouts this week" 

Don't know if USU is looking for this year or next.


A Marc J. Spears tweet: "Hope Dave Wojcik good choice for . Passed on Eric Musselman,Travis Decuire, Rick Croy, Jean Prioleau, Jim Cleamons, Steve Barnes"

Barnes, currently the Director of Player Personnel at Colorado State, coached the Spartans from 1999-2002.


Below is the official SJSU 2013-14 roster: 

* David Andoh, F, 6-foot-7, 200, sophomore

* D.J. Brown, G, 6-foot-2, 185, junior

* Chris Cunningham, F, 6-foot-9, 240, senior

Louis Garrett, F, 6-foot-6, 215, senior

* Nick Grieves, G, 6-foot-3, 160, junior (walk-on)      

* Stephon Smith, F, 6-foot-8, 260, junior       

* Mike VanKirk, C, 7-foot-1, 240, sophomore

* Jaleel Williams, F, 6-foot-6, 215, junior

This makes it appear that up to six scholarships will be available to Coach Dave Wojcik and the guard spots are bare but for Brown. Center Alex Brown and guard Xavier Jones had another season of eligibility remaining but are no longer listed.


They play rough in LA -- the opening line to Bill Plaschke's column on Steve Alford's hiring at UCLA: "He has a rock-star image with an opening-act resume."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Dave Wojcik hire

Hey, everyone's guessing how new Spartan coach Dave Wojcik will work out, including AD Gene Blaymaier, because nobody really knows -- the future simply cannot be foretold. New hires are like marriages as, even with the best of intentions, it's all still a roll of the dice. But Wojcik brings energy and the SJSU program is desperately in need of that element.

FWIW, here's what PTW wants to see and quickly:

* a dinner honoring the team members and especially the graduating seniors

* a welcome home extended hand to former Spartan basketball players

* an uptempo display of ferocity as soon as workouts can take place

* spring and summer 'recommendations' issued for player body and skill improvement

Saturday: it's link-eroo time

Jason Groves dives into the 'Coach Marvin Menzies did-he-or-didn't-he-interview for the Texas Tech opening?' pondering pool.


Seattle U Hoops looks at the success of Florida Gulf Coast and its applicability to Redhawk basketball.


Terrance Payne writes about San Jose State University's hire of Boise State Associate Head Coach Dave Wojcik.


Maine backcourter Justin Edwards is transferring, desiring a larger playing stage and New Mexico State fans are getting excited because he's Canadian (the Assistant Coach Paul Weir connections). However, is the WAC enough of a limelight? Fresno (Mountain West Conference) State offered Edwards out of high school.

Friday, March 29, 2013

It Wojcik time in San Jose

San Jose State University has hired Dave Wojcik as its next head basketball coach. He is currently the Associate Head Coach at Boise State. Here is his bio from the BSU site.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Matt Brown writes about the reality of headhunting, whether it be the corporate world or college basketball. A jump-out-at-you quote:

"...But a lot of the time, fans tend to have an overly optimistic view of their own situation, and what their program has to offer..."

The so-called latest in the WAC coaching searches

Can't find anything in print on the latest in the Texas State coaching search.


As for San Jose State University, the following posts are collected from the Inside Sparta Basketball MB:

Mark Purdy - San Jose Mercury News:

Latest name I'm hearing connected to San Jose State hoops coaching search: Colorado assistant Jean Prioleau



Posted: Today 12:37 AM


Talked to Eric today and he indicated he has not been contacted for the SJSU job.....cross his name off.



Posted: Yesterday 3:04 PM

Who is your guess who will be our new mens BB coach
I am guessing the new basketball coach will be Dave Wojcik, now assistant head coach at BSU.



Posted: Yesterday 5:38 PM

Re: Who is your guess who will be our new mens BB coach

Rick Croy from St. Mary's.......

Friday: a handful of more links

Kyle Goon reports on Utah State's goals to get stronger and better in preparation for Mountain West Conference play.


The Rusty Maverick reviews the season for Texas Arlington hoops.


Ryan Teeples writes about Nike and Utah State, or actually branding and college athletics, in a very informative article.


In the Las Cruces Bulletin, NMSU broadcaster Jack Nixon makes his picks for Aggie basketball awards.


Crimson Illustrated is having doubts: "MBB: Tubby Smith is rumored to be the frontrunner for the Texas Tech job. And they need coach Menzies advice for that hire? Not buying it"

Another CI tweet.

Who knows, who will ever know?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday: a bunch o' links

Mel Grussing reports that Coach Don Verlin is coming out to southern California to check out an Antelope Valley College backcourter.


Timothy R. Olsen has Coach Stew Morrill looking at the 2012-13 Aggie season plus offering some medical updates.

Ditto for Kyle Goon and Shawn Harrison.  


A tweet from Vandal Nation: "Good news rolling in - Men's basketball received a commitment from 6-3 Seattle, Wash. SG Sekou Wiggs. Currently at prep school in Georgia"


Seattle U Hoops has tweeted: "Sounds like the have a commitment from another JuCo player"

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday: a few items for you

Should have held off and posted the Wendell McKines feature today, because it's...


Jason Groves reports that Coach Marvin Menzies said he isn't Lubbock bound.

A tweet from Crimson Illustrated: "MBB: What I got out of the Boston interview is if Menzies has another successful season and gets offered "big bucks", he's done at NMSU"

He and 99.999% of coaches -- can't blame them. Anytime a bigger wallet and more resources to work with are siren songing, anyone in any profession would have a difficult time saying no.


Matt Vines looks back at Louisiana Tech's bountiful season.


The name offerings on the message boards for the San Jose State coaching position is an eye-opener. Hire so-and-so is posted and, more often than not, it's followed by a takedown of that individual, followed by a defense. In that vein, let's have some fun:


Hey, gotta go with JC out of Nazareth U -- he's the one, no other like him, he'll take you where no one else can. He has the capabilities of turning swill into the finest bouquet with a finish that lasts forever and, if you ask really nice, he'll make and bring team benches along with him.


SJSU Mephistopheles

No, no, no. I heard he's a cheater and cusses up a storm when he bangs a finger with his hammer. He is not who he seems.



Definitely not -- he's bad with money guys, treats 'em with no respect. Not my choice.



Why not? If he can get our guys to aim better and return from injury quicker.


King Spartan

I find in him no fault at all.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The many sides of Wendell McKines

We don't even want a finder's fee -- just having it happen would be enough. 'It' being former New Mexico State star Wendell McKines, once his playing days are over, taking over the chair of Charles Barkley (he has to retire some time, right?) in performing NBA and college basketball television analysis. Talk about a merger of opportunity and talent.

That's something suggested to McKines during a recent interview with him. Let's just say he was amenable to such a step.

Currently playing for the SPO Rouen Basket, members of the Ligue National de Basketball in France, McKines is represented by the Bay Area-based Pensack Sports Management Group.

He was named the Player of the Month for February and McKines is performing quite well in March too so a second award could be in the offing.

What confounds some, especially those in and around Logan, Utah, is he and former Utah Stater Tai Wesley have paired up in Rouen as teammates. This, after mixed martial arts battles during their respective days in the Western Athletic Conference.

As McKines described his collegiate mano-a-mano minuets with Wesley: "I hated him and he hated me but we always respected each other's playing."

Plus, both had an inkling once it became known that the enemies would be pairing up -- "We knew we would play well together."

That they have.

In McKines' league, the top eight teams make the playoffs and SPO Rouen Basket is currently sixth in those rankings.

What has helped in his transition overseas is his wife and child are with him.

"They came over a couple of weeks after I got here," McKines explained. His team has supplied them with a car and a two bedroom apartment. SPO Rouen Basket also has a translator for basketball games and practices but some things are universal.

As McKines said, "you pick up key words as time goes on."

Asked about his toughest individual college opponents, he named Tai Wesley and former Nevada star Luke Babbitt.

With the former, "anytime a shot went up he faced guarded me and boxed me out." It was as if Wesley had but one task in their matchups and that was use a laser-like focus to stop McKines.

 It was different with Babbit.

"He's a legitimate 6-foot-9, lefthanded and he got quicker off the floor and added ruggedness his sophomore year," McKines recalled.

Regarding his time in Las Cruces, which included Big Dancin' in 2010 against Michigan State in a No. 12-seed/No. 5 seed pairing that involved a controversial late call which led to a Spartan 70-67 victory, he has a soft spot in his heart for Coach Marvin Menzies.

"He's my guy," McKines said. "Going into Las Cruces, I was fresh out of Richmond and raw. He let me learn from my mistakes and let me become a man. He helped me a lot as a person." 

McKines' game has also continued to develop. 

"I'm more balanced, with more finesse and I'm a lot more fluid with my shot. I can make more moves on the court."

But off the court, there's a side of McKines that shouldn't but would probably take some by surprise.

To a query about his child playing basketball, he responded, "I didn't have a choice. If up to me, I'm pushing becoming a doctor, a teacher or an entrepreneur."

He is also reflective and philosophical, someone who has witnessed a lot despite his youth and given a great deal of thought to his experiences.

"I take life really seriously. Every breath every day is a blessing. I really focus on being positive because a lot of kids in my community grow up not really cherishing life."

McKines continued with his counsel: "It's not all about fun. Do the hard things so that your life can be easier in the long run. Listen to people who care about you -- listen, listen, listen. You don't know everything as a teenager."

Asked what he would offer as recruiting advice to up-and-coming athletes, he said, "School should be your #1 priority. Take care of your responsibilities and listen to the people who have your best interests in mind."

He remains in contact with fellow Bay Area basketball stars. Among them are Tim Pierce, Drew Gordon, Diamon Simpson, Justin Graham, Frank Otis, Adrian Oliver, Quentin Thomas -- "I have a nice network of friends."

Posed with the question of how his friends would describe him, he tendered this label defying treasure: "it depends on the day. One day, I'm Wendell, the next day it's Wens-day. I don't want to be figured out."

McKines is bound for big things post-basketball. He is a man of many facets who to this day is inexplicably under-the-radar to many, but not for long.