Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Big Sky Notebook

March 5, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Big Sky Notebook

by Nicholas Lozito

Lambeth leads Hornets to tourney

The fans were going nuts. Head coach Jerome Jenkins was crying. And a hero was made.

This was the scene after Sacramento State knocked of Montana State, 72-52, in a battle for the No. 6-and-final seed into the Big Sky Tournament.

Jenkins, in his this third year as head coach, looked as if three tons of weight had been lifted off his shoulders after the win. He embraced his wife and two kids, let out a few tears during a radio interview, and headed to the locker room.

After the game, Jenkins had nothing but praise for his senior forward Derek Lambeth, who, in his last game at Hornet Gym, scored 25 points – 23 in the second half. Lambeth single-handedly clawed the Hornets back from a five-point halftime deficit. He left the court to a standing ovation from the Hornet crowd with seventeen seconds remaining.

Following Lambeth’s exit, Jenkins put the ball in senior forward Leo Cravey’s hands for the last shot. After coming out of Sierra Community College, Cravey showed promise throughout his junior season. But his struggles in the classroom forced him to sit out the first half of the season, and when he came back his playing time was eaten up by junior Emir Medunjanin.

But for one possession, Cravey was given his chance to shine. He took the ball at the top of the circle, and his four teammates cleared out the lane. It was one-on-one – just like every kids dreams.

The senior dribbled the ball to his left hand, faked back to the right and took off. His drive to the basket was cut off at the free-throw line, where he planted, jumped and released. The shot sailed wide, but a foul was called, sending Cravey to the charity stripe. The senior was 0-for-2 from the line so far in the game. His first shot bounced off the rim. The crowd let out a sigh. Second free throw…


Cravey exits the game. Final line: Four minutes, zero rebounds, zero assists and one point.

Tournament breakdown

The seeds:

1. Weber State (24-5, 14-0)
2. Eastern Washington (17-9, 9-5)
3. Montana (13-16, 7-7)
4. Idaho State (14-13, 7-7)
5. Northern Arizona (15-12, 6-8)
6. Sacramento State (11-16, 5-9)
Montana State (11-16, 5-9)
Portland State (5-22, 3-11)

First Round match-ups:

Montana vs. Sacramento State

Sacramento State will take on Montana on Saturday at 6:35 p.m Pacific Standard Time in Missoula, Mont. The game will be won on the perimeter. Sacramento State will have to shoot the lights out, relying heavily on 3-point specialist Brandon Guyton, in order to beat Montana’s zone defense. The Hornets will also need another gutsy performance out of their four seniors – Lambeth, Cravey, Raashad Hooks and Jimmy White – who combined for 49 points against Montana State on Saturday.

Montana relies on the shooting of their two guards, David Bell and Kevin Criswell. The two scored 47 points against the Hornets last Thursday, when Montana defeated the Hornets, 77-71, in Hornet Gym. Kriswell lit up the Hornets for 19 first-half points, while Bell provided the final push. Montana beat the Hornets 66-59 when the two teams met in Missoula.

Prediction: Sac State 76, Montana 74 (Can’t beat a team three times. Besides, I can’t go against my own school in the playoffs.)

Idaho State vs. Northern Arizona

Northern Arizona will travel to Pocatello, Idaho to face Idaho State on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. PST. The Lumberjacks favor the half-court game, where they either throw it down to their dominant big man, Ryan McDade, or let their wing players heave up threes. The Lumberjacks’ key to success is McDade, who scored 31 in NAU’s win over Idaho State, but only fourteen in their loss.

Idaho State relies on an offensive attack which thrives when their athletic players run the floor. Point guard Marquis Poole in the team’s glue, as his penetration produces open looks for 3-point specialist David Schroyer.

Prediction: Idaho State 74, Northern Arizona 69

Tournament notes

Weber State and Eastern Washington both get byes into the semi-final round. Weber will host the semi-final and final rounds of the tournament, making them the obvious favorites. Weber will also host the lowest remaining seed in the semi-final round…

The Wildcats are only the second team in Big Sky history to go undefeated in conference play, with a 14-0 record…

Sacramento State is playing in their first-ever Big Sky Tourney since joining the conference in 1996-97…

Eastern Washington has lost in the Big Sky Championship Game the last two seasons. This year’s championship game will be televised on ESPN2…

The media picked Montana State to finish third in their preseason polls. Those idiots . . .

Nick’s Picks

At the beginning of the season, I gave my picks for how the conference would shape up. Let’s see how I did.

My Picks: (actual finish in parentheses)
1. Montana (3)
2. Eastern Washington (2)
3. Weber State (1)
4. Montana State (7)
5. Sac State (6)
6. Portland State (8)
7. Northern Arizona (5)
8. Idaho State (4)

Well, I am ashamed.

Player of the Week

Montana senior shooting guard David Bell averaged 25.5 points as the Grizzlies went 1-1 this weekend.


Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 9, 2017

November 10, 2017 by

The season is almost here, and we take a look at some of what to expect this coming season. We have preseason polls, conference changes, a look at some conferences and some matchups to start the season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.