Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Utah Valley State Profile

October 30, 2003 Columns No Comments

Welcome to the Club

by Brian Hassler

If building a team and schedule from scratch wasn’t hard enough for UVSC men’s basketball coach before the beginning of the 2002-03 season, it hasn’t been any easier since Hunsaker has had to repeat that task again in preparation for the 2003-04 season.

Granted, Hunsaker had the reassurance that his team already had guaranteed games due to its membership in the Scenic Western Athletic Conference, but the 2003-04 season brings with it the challenge of being a first year Division I team without a conference and with only three returning starters.

Since leaving the University of Utah to be UVSC’s first Division I coach, Hunsaker has led UVSC to a 26-7 record, including a 12-0 mark at home, but being a non-counter in an RPI driven college basketball world has made scheduling and recruiting a challenge for the second year coach.

“It was a real challenge to find the games, to get the schedule completed,” Hunsaker said. “Secondly was putting a team together. We hoped to be competitive. As we made the transition from a junior college we had some of our players that thought they were way better than a junior college level and didn’t want to be on the ground floor of a four-year program.”

“And then we had, frankly, the rest of the team not being Division I caliber players. They weren’t good enough to be, if you’re going to step up and play in D-I, there’s a big difference in junior college and Division I.”

But unlike Hunsaker’s first year at the helm, the coming season will showcase the play of returning starters Jon Bell, Pierre Thomas, and Ronnie Price. Bell’s play at center improved throughout his first season at UVSC and was nearly enough to push UVSC into the NJCAA tournament. Price and Thomas will give UVSC a solid one-two scoring punch, and should provide the leadership needed with the eight new members of UVSC’s first Division I squad.

Despite being RPI-less, Hunsaker was still able to schedule games against Kennesaw State, Boise State, Cleveland State, and Brigham Young University. While most of the focus is on UVSC’s game against BYU, a game that could be the beginning of a beautiful rivalry, a November 21 game against Kennesaw State will feature a similar challenge.

Kennesaw State is lead by a familiar face, former BYU coach Tony Ingle, and lost to a Middle Tennessee State team that came within a game of the 2003 NCAA tournament.

“Kennesaw State will probably be the most talented non-Division I school we play all year,” Hunsaker said. “He’s (Ingle) got a potential top 25-team, Tony Ingle’s done a terrific job of assembling wonderful personnel and they’re well coached. That’s going to be a great challenge for us, as we embark in our first step as a four-year school in four-year competition. They were one of the top two or three teams in an extremely talented Division II conference in Georgia.”

So here we are.

Once again Hunsaker will bring a team to the court that is low on experience, once again Hunsaker had to create a full schedule under poor circumstances, and once again all eyes will be on Hunsaker’s squad as it takes its first steps into Division I play.

Even more eyes could follow that step if the proposed television deal for the November 29 BYU/UVSC game goes through, but either way the excitement is there.

“We’re all excited, everyone has a great anticipation for the upcoming year, and again, playing as a Division I institution, four-year basketball,” Hunsaker said. “There’s so much newness about everything for everyone. I know there’s that feeling, and again anticipation amongst the team and coaches, and hopefully our student body has enthusiasm to the transition.”


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

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

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2018

February 22, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with floor issues in the Big East and an important NCAA ruling that was upheld. Then we go on to the Big 12, where Wednesday night had a new twist, as well as the ACC and how it shapes up along with no team going undefeated in conference play this year.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 7, 2018

February 7, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a big sweep in the SEC, look back on the wild Saturday, then talk about a Big Ten showdown and some undefeated teams in conference play.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 31, 2018

January 31, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a lot of what has happened in the ACC and SEC, including the Big 12/SEC Challenge, whether or not Kentucky is turning a corner, as well as the story at Michigan State.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 26, 2018

January 26, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a wild night in the Big Ten, adversity and a quiet leader in the ACC, what to make of Kentucky and look ahead to the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

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.