Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Mountain West Notebook

January 27, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

Mountain West Notebook

by Bob Thurman

No Harm, No Foul

During his tenure at Utah, Rick Majerus has always been close to his players, even after they have left Salt Lake. However, recently some rumors and allegations have put a minor stain on the Ute basketball program. The latest involved former Ute, and current Weber State Wildcat, Lance Allred. Allred complained that Majerus used foul and offensive language when criticizing him during the 2001-2002 season. He also claimed discrimination due to his partial hearing loss.

This past Thursday, Utah athletic director Chris Hill cleared Rick Majerus in an internal investigation into the complaint. Hill found no evidence of discrimination on Majerus’ part, but couldn’t elaborate any further. Majerus has always refuted Allred’s claims and was backed up by two of his assistant coaches.

This seems that it may be a situation where Allred couldn’t perform under the pressure of big time college hoops, and possibly claimed victim status for his failings. Majerus has turned out a number of outstanding big men from his program, so Allred should have worked with his coach instead shouting “abuse.” Maybe, due to his poor hearing, he was incapable of that, or simply misunderstood the instructions from his coach. Regardless, it was perhaps another example of some overly-sensitive soul who didn’t hold up to his end of the bargain.

Monday’s Results

Only two games were on tap this past Monday. First, BYU hosted Wyoming in a battle of two of the bigger teams in the conference. The Cowboys kept the game close in the first half, thanks to their stellar backcourt of Jay Straight and David Adams. Early in the second half, BYU freshman forward Garner Meads scored 6 straight points to give the Cougars a comfortable lead they would never relinquish. BYU ended up winning 78-64, as they stayed undefeated at home this season. Meads, along with center Rafael Araujo, combined for 37 points and 19 rebounds, as they clearly won the frontcourt battle this evening. Luiz Lemes had one of his better offensive showings, pumping in 17 points to compliment the bug guys down low.

In the late match-up, Colorado State traveled to Salt Lake City to battle the Utes in a game they needed to win. The Rams were boosted by the return of center Matt Nelson, who had been nursing a knee injury the past week. Nelson made an immediate impact by hitting a number of shots and leading CSU to an early lead. Utah fought back to cut the lead to a single point, 28-27 at the break. In the second half, the Rams lost their shooting touch while the Utes scorched the nets by hitting two of every three shots as they pulled away for a 67-49 victory. Rick Majerus’ club remained undefeated in league play, while CSU lost their fourth in a row.

Saturday’s Results

The most exciting game of the day was in Fort Collins, where Colorado State hosted San Diego State. The Rams were finally back at full strength, as point guard Michael Morris joined center Matt Nelson on the court for the first time in four games. CSU started off slowly, trailing by nine points in the first four minutes of the game. However, the Aztecs cooled off dramatically, shooting only 22% in the first half, as they relinquished the lead before halftime. The second half was a tight affair, with SDSU having a chance to win it at the end of regulation. However, Chris Walton missed his second free throw to keep the game deadlocked at 62 apiece.

In overtime, the Rams held a three point lead late, but the Aztecs’ Brandon Heath buried a three pointer with 6 seconds remaining to force another overtime. However, Heath’s heroics were for not, as Colorado State dominated the second overtime, winning handling 92-82. The trio of Michael Morris, Matt Nelson and Matt Williams combined for 66 points and 30 rebounds to give the Rams their first conference win. Brandon Heath scored 26 points, while Aerick Sanders had 15 points and 16 rebounds in SDSU’s tough loss.

UNLV was back on the road this week, as they visited Wyoming in one of the most hostile arenas in the conference. With two conference losses already, the Rebels needed a win and they came through in a major way, winning decisively 76-62. UNLV never trailed in this game, as their quickness and hustle were too much for the Cowboys, who lost center Mory Correa with a sprained ankle in the first half. The Rebels took advantage of this, out-rebounding the bigger Pokes 42-33. Four UNLV players scored in double figures, with workhorse Odartey Blankson leading the way with 15 points, along with 11 rebounds.

After a bad home loss to Air Force a week ago, New Mexico was hoping for better play against league leading Utah. Coach Ritchie McKay decided to shake things up by playing star power forward Danny Granger at point guard. The move flustered the Utes’ defensively, as the Lobos shot 54% in the first half, including 7 three pointers. Meanwhile, Utah struggled offensively against the athletic Lobos, as they ended the first half down 20 points, 38-18. In the second half, the lead never got closer than 12 points, as New Mexico cruised to a 70-54 win. Granger led the way with 26 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, in a display that should have left NBA scouts drooling.

After whipping non-conference foe Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 61-37 on Wednesday night, Air Force was ready to face preseason favorite BYU in the week’s most intriguing match-up. Joe Scott’s squad came out of the locker room on fire, hitting its first 6 shots while forcing 5 turnovers to take a quick 14-4 lead. The Falcons never let up, as they made the Cougars look like they were standing still on defense with numerous drives and backdoors for easy baskets, on their way to a 42-19 halftime lead. Against the nation’s top defense, BYU never had a shot to get back in this game and lost badly, 74-52. Air Force shot an amazing 72% for the game, including 56% from three point land to take sole possession of first place in the Mountain West.

Besides teaching the Falcons about fundamentals, discipline and teamwork, Joe Scott has instilled in his players one of basketball’s most overlooked techniques: the art of flopping at the first sign of contact. With a huge frontcourt advantage, BYU should have been able to pound the ball inside against the weaker Falcons. Yet whenever Rafael Araujo or Garner Meads tried to post up, a quick flop would lead to a whistle and the ball heading the other way. The Mountain West officials, who are some of the best in the country, fell for this scheme and literally took the Cougars out of their offensive game plan. Though it may not have mattered in the final outcome, the game would have been much closer if the refs would have called the game much more evenly. Look for Rick Majerus, whose Utes come to town on Monday, to make some adjustments after watching the film of this game. It should be interesting to see if they can stop the high-flying Falcons.

This Week’s MWC Heat-Miser Award

Michael Morris, Colorado State

24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists versus San Diego State

The stability he brought to the point was the key reason why the Rams were able to break their four game skid against a talented Aztec squad. Coming off a serious injury makes this performance even more impressive.

This Week’s MWC Snow-Miser Award

Mike Hall, BYU

2 points, 0-3 shooting, 2 rebounds versus Air Force

Besides his inept offensive performance, the Cougars’ most athletic player and top defender looked lost against the active Falcons.


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 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.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about several big pieces of news away from game play, one of which puts a lot in perspective. We also talk about the lack of dominant teams and how this has shown up in the results, especially this past weekend.

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.