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Northern Colorado Bears 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Conference Notes

Northern Colorado Bears (21-11, 13-3)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Elliot Lloyd
Jr. G Aaron Hawk-Harris
So. G Paul Garnica
So. F/C Emmanuel Addo
Sr. F/C Mike Proctor

Important departures:

Devon Beitzel: 21.5 ppg, 1.4 steals per game, 87 3-pointers made per game
Neal Kingman: 10.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Chris Kaba: 9.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Taylor Montgomery: 5.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg

Top returnees:

Lloyd: 7.5 ppg, 3.3 apg
Proctor: 5.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg
Garnica: 4.2 ppg, 1.1 steals per game

Additions:

Hawk-Harris: transfer from College of Eastern Utah (6.5 ppg, 2.2 apg, 2.9 rpg)
Fr. Bryce Douvier: 20.5 ppg, 14.6 rpg, 4.1 blocks per game, 2.2 apg

Schedule highlights:

Toughest nonconference match up: at Marquette.

Hardest conference stretch: final two weekends of January, at Montana, at Montana State and at Idaho State, at Northern Arizona.

Outlook:

The media and coaches polls have Northern Colorado in the top four, but the Bears lost four starters, including all-everything swingman Beitzel. Lloyd is a very capable point guard, and Proctor went for 8.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in the Big Sky Tournament, but the roster is very young and inexperienced.

Head coach B.J. Hill struck gold moving into the top spot when Tad Boyle went to Colorado, and he’s a very good coach who has mentored under Boyle for a long time. However, Proctor is the only senior, Lloyd and Hawk-Harris are the only juniors, and the rest of the team is redshirts (sophomores and freshmen) and true underclassmen. It’s not that there’s no talent, but Hill will have to do an exceptional coaching job to get this team back to the Big Sky title game. Like the other Northern, the Bears will win a few here and there because the league is so top-heavy.

Prediction: Seventh, 6-10 Big Sky record

Next: Portland State Vikings

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Portland State Vikings 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Conference Notes

Portland State (14-16, 5-11)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Charles Odum
Jr. G Michael Harthun
Jr. G Lateef McMullan
Sr. F Chehales Tapscott
Sr. C Nathan Lozeau

Important departures:

Chris Harriel: 12.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Melvin Jones: 11.5 ppg, 2.4 apg, 72 3-pointers made per game
Phillip Thomas: 9.7 ppg

Top returnees:

Odum: 14 ppg, 2.8 apg
Tapscott: 11.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg
Dane Johnson: 2.8 apg

Additions:

Harthun: transfer from Washington State who redshirted in 2010-11
Renado Parker: transfer from North Idaho Junior College (14.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.1 steals per game)
McMullan: transfer from Citrus Junior College (16.3 ppg, 4.2 apg)

Schedule highlights:

Toughest nonconference match up: at Oregon or Oregon State.

Hardest conference stretch: 12-day span at end of January/beginning of February, at Eastern Washington, vs. Montana State, vs. Montana, at Weber State.

Outlook:

The Vikings started 6-2 in the early part of 2010-11 and were 9-5 in nonconference games. Then injuries started piling up, and PSU – which was already in its final year of probation from postseason play – went 5-11 in the Big Sky. The Vikings had just nine players available in 13 of 30 games and lost 33 player games to injury overall. With an off-season of recovery, one of the more experienced teams in the conference will rely on its continual upswing under head coach Tyler Geving (13-19 in 1st year, 14-16 last year) and the experience of Odum, Tapscott, et al., to get back into the NCAA Tournament.

Prediction: Third, 10-6 Big Sky record

Next: Sacramento State Hornets

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Sacramento State Hornets 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Conference Notes

Sacramento State Hornets (7-21, 4-12)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G/F Walter Jackson
So. G Jackson Carbajal
Jr. F Anthony Cosentino
Jr. F John Dickson
Sr. C Josh McCarver

Important departures:

Sultan Toles-Bey: 12.2 ppg, 4.8 apg, 1.5 steals per game, 58 3-pointers per game
Duro Bejegovic: 9.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 38 3-pointers per game
Alpha N’Diaye: 6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1 block per game

Top returnees:

Dickson: 10.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Carbajal: 6.5 ppg, 29 3-pointers per game
Jackson: 6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.8 blocks per game

Additions:

Cosentino: transfer from Southwestern College (18.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.7 steals per game, 1.4 blocks per game)
Jordan Estrada: transfer from Diablo Valley College (13.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.6 steals per game)

Schedule highlights:

Toughest nonconference match up: at Washington State.

Hardest conference stretch: 10-day stretch at Montana State, at Montana, home to Weber State, home to Northern Colorado.

Outlook:

Brian Katz’s team went 3-9 in games that were decided by six points or less or that went into overtime. Making things even more grueling is the Hornets had late leads in five of those nine losses. The team’s four overtime losses were a single-season program record. In his three years, they’ve increased the conference win total from one to three to four. The Hornets also have four transfers and two redshirts within the program ready to come play this season and some size with three centers 6’8’’ or taller. Dickson, an all-conference honorable mention, will shoulder the scoring load and get help from a plethora of teammates, but the team will be fortunate to equal or surpass last year’s four-win total in conference play.

Prediction: Ninth, 2-14 Big Sky record

Next: Weber State Wildcats

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Weber State Wildcats 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Conference Notes

Weber State Wildcats (18-14, 11-5)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Damian Lillard
Jr. G/F Scott Bamforth
Sr. F Kyle Bullinger
Sr. F Darin Mahoney
So. C Kyle Tresnak

Important departures:

Lindsey Hughey: 12.4 ppg, 2.5 apg, 5.2 rpg, 1.4 steals per game, 50 3-pointers made per game
Trevor Morris: 9.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1 block per game

Top returnees:

Bullinger: 11.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 54 3-pointers per game
Bamforth: 12.4 ppg, 2.8 apg, 78 3-pointers per game
Mahoney: 5.2 rpg, 1.1 blocks per game, 1.1 steals per game

Additions:

Lillard: Medical redshirt (19.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg)
Frank Otis: transfer from Southern Methodist

Schedule highlights:

Toughest nonconference match up: at Utah State or at California.

Hardest conference stretch: at Northern Colorado and at Montana to end regular season.

Outlook:

Here’s how Weber State didn’t win its third consecutive Big Sky regular-season conference title: Damian Lillard got injured nine games into the season.

Yes, Northern Colorado went on a tear, and Montana played exceptional, but 2010-11 produced Randy Rahe’s second-worst record during his coaching career. Lillard scored nearly 20 points a game in nine straight, and the production, while very good, dropped off when he was out injured. It helped that the scoring was spread among a quartet of players – between 315 and 398 points scored for Morris, Bullinger, Bamforth and Hughey – which will make the team that much stronger this year. But Lillard, the Big Sky MVP in 2009-10 and a two-time first-team all-conference member, is the straw that stirs the drink, the key to the ignition…you get the point. Bamforth and Bullinger are great second and third options, especially when someone drives and kicks it to them beyond the arc — they posted a combined 128 3-pointers last season — and Bullinger and Mahoney provide most of the glasswork.

Prediction: First, 14-2 Big Sky record

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East Carolina Pirates 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

East Carolina Pirates (18-15, 8-8)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G Paris Roberts-Campbell
Jr. G Corvonn Gaines
Jr. G Erin Straughn
So. F Robert Sampson
Sr. F Darius Morrow

Important departures:

Jontae Sherrod: 15.6 ppg 3.6 rpg

Additions:

Two-star SG Paris Roberts-Campbell

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 39.6 percent
Rebounding: 55 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: vs. UMass Dec. 6
Key conference stretch: at Marshall Feb. 11, at UCF Feb. 18, at Memphis Feb. 22, vs. UAB Feb. 25

Outlook:

East Carolina finished 8-8 in C-USA last season, and much of the Pirates’ talent has left. It’s hard to picture them doing much better than 11th place this season.

Prediction: 11th

Next: Houston Cougars

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Houston Cougars 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Houston Cougars (12-18, 4-12)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Darian Thibodeaux
So. F Alandais Harris
Jr. F Kirk Van Slyke
So. G Donald Brooks
So. F Rakim Stevenson

Important departures:

Maurice McNeil: 13.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg
Adam Brown: 12.6 ppg, 3 apg, 42.3 percent from 3-point range

Additions:

Four-star PF TaShawn Thomas
Three-star SG Jherrod Stiggers

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 36.3 percent
Rebounding: 44.9 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: at Arkansas Nov. 18
Key conference stretch: vs. Tulsa Jan. 4, at UTEP Jan. 7, at UCF Jan. 11, vs. Memphis Jan. 14

Outlook:

Houston finished a measly 4-12 in C-USA last season. Add to that the facts that they lose several key players and that their star recruits haven’t qualified, and you have the recipe for a last place C-USA team.

Prediction: 12th

Next: Marshall Thundering Herd

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Marshall Thundering Herd 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Marshall Thundering Herd (22-11, 9-7)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G DeAndre Kane
Sr. G Damier Pitts
Sr. G Shaquille Johnson
Sr. F Dago Pena
Jr. C Nigel Spikes

Important departures:

Tirrell Baines: 12.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Johnny Thomas: 9.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg

Additions:

Two-star PF Jamir Hanner
Two-star SG Devince Boykins
Two-star SG Chris Martin

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 63.9 percent
Rebounding: 57.2 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: at Syracuse Dec. 6
Key conference stretch: vs. UAB Jan. 25, at Memphis Jan. 28

Outlook:

Marshall didn’t have the best finish in C-USA last season. The Thundering Herd tied for sixth in conference play. Don’t let that fool you into writing them off this year. Marshall proved to be a difficult opponent for its conference rivals, and, thanks to a trio of talented guards, led by DeAndre Kane, Marshall should easily be the No. 2 team in C-USA.

Prediction: Second

Next: Memphis Tigers

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Memphis Tigers 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Memphis Tigers (25-9, 10-6)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Joe Jackson
So. G Will Barton
Fr. F Adonis Thomas
Sr. F Wesley Witherspoon
So. F Tarik Black

Important departures:

Will Coleman: 7 ppg, 4.5 rpg

Additions:

Top 10-ranked SF Adonis Thomas
Juco C Stan Simpson

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 88.3 percent
Rebounding: 85.5 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: Michigan, Nov. 21
Key conference stretch: at Marshall Feb. 25, vs. UCF Feb. 28 and at Tulsa March 3

Outlook:

Memphis didn’t quite live up to the hype last season. Early on, the team played disjointed, as should be expected from a freshmen-laden team. During conference play, Memphis proved that it could beat the best teams in C-USA. Unfortunately, they also proved that they could lose to the worst teams in C-USA.

Once the C-USA tournament rolled around, Memphis finally seemed to click. It’s no coincidence that the team looked much better once Joe Jackson started playing under control. Jackson ended up earning the tournament MVP award, and Memphis won the tournament, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They lost their NCAA tournament game by one point to an Arizona team that made the Elite Eight. Expect Memphis to dominate C-USA this season and put together a deeper run in the Big Dance.

Prediction: First

Next: Rice Owls

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Rice Owls 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Rice Owls (14-18, 5-11)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G Dylan Ennis
Jr. G Tamir Jackson
Sr. G Connor Frizzelle
Jr. F Arsalan Kazemi
Sr. F Lucas Kuipers

Important departures:

Cory Pflieger: 4.3ppg, 1.4 apg
Julian Debose: 5.6 ppg, 4 rpg

Additions:

Three-star PG Dylan Ennis
Three-star SG Julian DeBose

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 74.8 percent
Rebounding: 71.1 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: at Texas A&M Dec. 22
Key conference stretch: vs. UAB Jan. 18, vs. Tulsa Jan. 21, at Memphis Jan. 25

Outlook:

Rice returns its most valuable players, including pro-prospect Arsalan Kazemi. This should allow them to finish better than 10th in C-USA, as the Owls did last season, but it’s not enough to get them into the top half.

Prediction: Seventh

Next: Southern Methodist Mustangs

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Southern Methodist Mustangs 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Conference Notes

Southern Methodist Mustangs (17-14, 8-8)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Jeremiah Samarippas
Sr. G Rodney Clinkscales
Fr. G Jalen Jones
Sr. F Robert Nyakundi
Fr. C Cannen Cunningham

Important departures:

Papa Dia: 18.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg
Mike Walker: 6.9 ppg

Additions:

Three-star C Cannen Cunningham
Two-star SF Jalen Jones

% returning scoring and rebounding:

Scoring: 41.9 percent
Rebounding: 39.4 percent

Schedule highlights

Key nonconference game: at Ole Miss Jan. 3
Key conference stretch: vs. UAB Feb. 15, vs. Marshall Feb. 18

Outlook:

SMU finished last season 8-8 in conference play. The loss of Papa Dia will make improving on those results next to impossible. To have a successful season, SMU needs big production from its freshmen.

Prediction: Eighth

Next: Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Back to Conference USA preview

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