Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

WAC Notebook

January 23, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments



WAC Notebook

by Phil Dailey

The Western Athletic Conference season is well under way with many surprises. The biggest shock of this young conference season would have to be in El Paso. Currently the UTEP (12-3, 3-2) hoops squad is 10-1 at home and turning heads in the WAC as well as around the country. Some of the respect being tossed the Miners’ way should be directed at guard/forward Omar Thomas who was named the WAC player of the week for his efforts last week against Nevada (9-6, 3-3) and Fresno State (9-6, 5-1).

The junior from Philadelphia averaged 21.5 points and 6.0 rebounds as UTEP swept its two games against the Wolf Pack and the Bulldogs. Last Thursday, Thomas scored 28 points and added seven boards in a 79-76 win at the Don Haskins Center against Nevada. Saturday Thomas followed up with 15 points in a 72-58 win over Fresno State, giving the Bulldogs their first loss in conference play. For the week, he was 15-of-24 from the field (.625) and 13-of-16 from the free throw line (.812).

“He’s just on a hot streak, he’s playing very well,” UTEP head coach Billy Gillispie said.

As for such a great start by the Miners, Gillispie is proud of his team and the community of El Paso for the huge turnaround.

“I think we have improved quite a bit,” Gillispie said. “We have pretty good crowds and people support us.”

Maybe they can win on the road

We all know what’s been going on down in Hawaii over the past few years. A conference championship and two NCAA tournament appearances in the past three years has solidified the Warriors (12-3, 4-1) as one of the top-notch teams in the WAC. However, the lone drawback to most Hawaii basketball squads has been the inability to win on the road. So far this season the Warriors are 2-1 on the road in WAC play with their lone loss coming to first-place Fresno State. Yeah, that’s a good start and head coach Riley Wallace knows it.

Last Saturday the Warriors took down a feisty San Jose State (5-10, 0-5) in San Jose, Calif., 83-76.

“It was our best start there in a couple years,” Wallace said. “All of our guys were hitting their shots.”

Speaking of hitting shots, 6-foot-5 Michael Kuebler continues to lead the WAC in scoring with 19.8 points per game.

Wallace says he’s been compared to former Hawaii standouts such as Carl English and Predrag Savovic

“He’s a better player than English and Savovic, he’s got a 4.0 and they only had 3.8’s.” Wallace said “He’s more complete than the other two.”

The Warriors welcome UTEP and Boise State (10-5, 2-3) to the Big Island this week before making the long journey to Houston to play Rice (11-4, 3-1) and to Tulsa to take on the Golden Hurricane (6-8, 2-3).

Filling big shoes

Tulsa may not be playing as well as they are used to, but after losing as much talent as they did last spring, they are doing just fine. One reason they have lost (only) eight games and not more is due in large part to the recent play of Anthony Price. The Woodlands, Texas product has been stepping it up for head coach John Phillips and the rest of the Golden Hurricane hoops team the last few games.

“The last two or three ball games he’s really carried the load for us,” Phillip said. “He’s really playing well on both ends of the floor and we’re doing a better job of getting him the basketball in scoring situations.”

Price scored 32 points, grabbed 20 boards, blocked four shots and had six steals in two Golden Hurricane wins last week against Boise State and Rice.

Let’s not forget who the real leader of this year’s Tulsa team is, as Jason Parker continues to impress, averaging more than 17 ppg. Don’t count out Tulsa just yet, as they have made the NCAA tourney four of the past six seasons and they might start to have the balance to get them back.

Quick hits around the WAC

• Louisiana Tech (8-8, 2-4) sports the nations top rebounder in Paul Millsap who averages 12.5 per game.

• Boise State, which had won just 13 games total last year, has already notched ten victories this season.

• Southern Methodist (8-7, 2-3) beat Top 25 ranked Purdue last month and has since gone 3-4.

• Senior transfer from Cal, Shantay Legans leads the WAC in assist with 5.8 a game.

• Preseason conference favorite Nevada (9-6, 3-3) has dropped its last three road games.

• Rice forward Michael Harris is second in the WAC in scoring at 18.6 per game.

• San Jose State owns the WAC’s longest current losing streak at eight — the last time they won was Dec. 20 (at Baylor).

     

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

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.