Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

WAC Notebook

December 9, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



WAC Notebook

by Phil Dailey

Times are changing

As reported earlier in our Western Athletic Conference preview, this year’s WAC will not look like it has in the past. So far, the top teams from last season find themselves struggling for success. Fresno State (1-3), Tulsa (2-3) and Hawaii (2-2) are all limping in the early weeks of nonconference play. With the top-teams of a year ago all near the bottom of the standings, it’s fairly obvious and surprising to some who’s at the top.

Despite the fact these perennial WAC contenders are not doing so well, it was anticipated – at least to us. However, let’s give some praise to many of the early season over-achievers who are not used to the spotlight. The list has to start with Texas-El Paso (4-1), which is off to its best start in recent memory. Congrats to second-year coach Billy Gillispie and the Miners. Another team searching for a rare winning season is Boise State (4-1). Like Gillispie, second year coach Greg Graham has the Broncos off to a splendid start. If not for a 6-point loss at home last week to Brigham Young (3-1), the Broncos would be undefeated.

The streak is over

Speaking of UTEP, Texas-El Paso finally put an end to its 28-game road losing streak last week in Las Cruces, N.M., with an 83-74 victory of New Mexico State. Give credit to sophomore transfer Jason Williams for his 24 points in the effort.

Now that the Miners have proven they can win on the road, the next test is to see if they can pack the house this week at home, and Coach Gillispie is calling for added support. After beating NMSU at their Pan American Center in front of 11,983 fans, Gillispie would like that type of support at home in the 12,000 seat Don Haskins Center. Despite its 3-0 record at home, UTEP is averaging less than 8,000 fans.

Jermaine Who?

For those fans out there who are unaware of Jermaine Blackburn, you might want to start taking notice. A newcomer to Boise State, Blackburn is definitely not new to the hard wood. A transfer from SW Missouri State-West Plains, Blackburn has taken the WAC by storm. In only four games as a Bronco, the 6-foot-6 junior forward is averaging more than 19 points per game in only 26 minutes. Blackburn’s 19.6 ppg is currently second in the conference.

Blackburn’s new nickname might just be Mr. Consistency after scoring 17 points against Portland, 25 against Utah Valley State, 18 against Eastern Oregon, 20 against BYU and 18 again against in-state rival Idaho.

The good news for Blackburn is that there is no pressure for him to score. This might change in the future, but as of now, he will only play in relief of five returning starters from a year ago.

Bulldogs lose in home tourney

The Fresno State Bulldogs have become accustomed to starting their season off at home in their own tournament. The McCaffrey Classic is supposed to be a warm up to the WAC season for the Bulldogs. In front of 14,420 fans on Saturday night in the new Save Mart Center, Fresno State recoded its first loss in the tournament in eight years.

The last time they lost in the classic was to Princeton way back in Jerry Tarkanian’s first year on campus. A good shooting performance of more than 57 percent proved not enough for the Bulldogs as they fell once again to Princeton (4-1), 72- 67.

“This was embarrassing,” Fresno State point guard Shantay Legans told the Fresno Bee. “We’ve got to take pride and stop someone on defense. Right now, we’re jokes.”

The jury is still out on whether or not the Bulldogs are jokes, but whatever the case, they need to turn the momentum around before they start thinking about defending their crown as WAC Champs.

Tulsa losses more than just a game

After beating cross-town rival Oral Roberts (4-3) last season 90-80, it was clear that Tulsa would once again have a solid season and contend for the WAC Championship. This year’s result was a bit different and could be a good indication of where the Golden Hurricane are headed in the future months.

Leading by a point at halftime, Tulsa failed to come out and put the game away losing to the Golden Eagles by six, 87-81. Despite 26 points from junior forward Jarius Glenn and 23 points from senior guard Jason Parker, the WAC Tournament champs were unable to get the victory.

It may be early in the season, and yeah, the conference schedule is still more than three weeks away, but if Tulsa is losing to teams like Oral Roberts of the Mid-Continent Conference and Georgia State (4-3) of the Atlantic Sun Conference, it might be a long season for head coach John Phillips and the Golden Hurricanes.

     

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


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 – 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.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the NBA Draft, of course, but spend much more time on the happenings at Ohio State and Louisville and the implications starting next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

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.