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Eastern Washington Eagles 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Conference Notes

Eastern Washington Eagles (10-20, 7-9)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Cliff Colimon
Jr. G Kevin Winford
Jr. G Jeffery Forbes
Sr. F Tremayne Johnson
Sr. F Cliff Ederaine

Important departures:

Jr. G Glen Dean (transfer, 13.3 ppg, 47 3-pointers made per game, 4.2 apg)
Head coach Kirk Earlywine

Top returnees:

Colimon: 10.4 ppg, 48 3-pointers made per game, 24 steals per game
Ederaine: 8.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.1 blocks per game
Forbes: 9.8 ppg, 2.0 apg, 55 3-pointers, 0.9 steals per game

Additions:

Jr. F Colin Chiverton, transfer from City College of San Francisco (19 ppg, five rpg and 2.5 apg)
Jr. F Jordan Hickert, transfer from Neosho County Junior College (9.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 56 3-pointers made per game)

Schedule highlights:

Toughest nonconference match up: at Gonzaga, at Oregon or at UCLA.
Hardest conference stretch: first three games, at Montana State, at Montana and home against Weber State.

Outlook:

The Eagles are retooling slightly after losing sparkplug point guard Dean, who transferred to Utah. It’s an experienced roster, with four starters back, but none of them has ever been “the man” in Cheney. They’ll either keep the balanced scoring going or Colimon or Ederaine will have to take over. Hayford is hoping to find a way to improve the team’s shooting percentage, which was at 40.8 percent overall and 36.9 percent from 3-point range in the 2010-11 season. Eastern Washington hasn’t shot more than 41.6 percent from the field since the 2006-07. Depth and experience are being counted on to Hayford’s transition from Division III to low-major Division I.

Prediction: Fourth, 9-7 Big Sky record

Next: Idaho State Bengals

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Idaho State Bengals 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Conference Notes

Idaho State Bengals (9-20, 3-13)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Chase Grabau
Sr. G Kenny McGowan
Jr. G Melvin Morgan
Sr. F Abner Moreira
Jr. C Jakub Kusmieruk

Important departures:

Broderick Gilchrest (15.0 ppg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 steals per game, 52 3-pointers made per game)
Deividas Busma (11.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.9 blocks per game)

Top returnees:

McGowan: 9.3 ppg, 0.9 steals per game, 34 3-pointers made per game
Grabau: 6.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.4 steals per game
Moreira: 5.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg

Additions:

Jr. C Jakub Kusmieruk, transfer from Central Florida
Jr. G Melvin Morgan, transfer from Itawamba Community College (15.9 points. 3.4 assists per game)

Schedule highlights:

Toughest nonconference match up: at Oklahoma, at New Mexico or at Utah.

Hardest conference stretch: First four games at Weber State, at Northern Colorado, home against Montana State, home against Montana.

Outlook:

Head coach Joe O’Brien said transfer Morgan “gives us our best true point guard we’ve recruited since we’ve been here.” That’s both good and bad: O’Brien’s ISU record is 54-97, 33-47 in the Big Sky, but the past two years are the first in his tenure that the team hasn’t played at least .500 ball. The Bengals also welcome 7’4’’ 285-pound Kusmieruk, who left sunny Orlando after two seasons to move to snowy Pocatello, the biggest man in the conference. He’ll be challenged by Montana’s Derek Selvig (7-foot, 220 pounds) and maybe just a handful of others in the post, which should help continual growth and development. The Bengals’ growth hinges on the production of Morgan, Kusmieruk and a so-so four-man senior class.

Prediction: Eighth, 3-13 Big Sky record

Next: Montana Grizzlies

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Montana Grizzlies 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Conference Notes

Montana Grizzlies (21-11, 12-4)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Will Cherry
Sr. G Jordan Wood
So. G/F Kareem Jamar
Sr. F Art Steward
Sr. F/C Derek Selvig

Important departures:

Brian Qvale: 14.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 3.0 blocks per game

Top returnees:

Cherry: 14.1 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.7 steals per game
Selvig: 10.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 39 3-pointers made per game
Steward: 8.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg

Additions:

Fr. G/F Kevin Henderson (22.5 ppg, nine rpg, 2.4 steals per game, ranks top three in school history in points, rebounds, steals, field goals and 3-pointers)
Fr. G Jordan Gregory (27 ppg, 5 apg, 4.5 steals per game)

Schedule highlights:

Toughest nonconference match up: Long Beach State.

Hardest conference stretch: home against Northern Arizona, Montana State and Weber State in six-day span to end regular season.

Outlook:

Wayne Tinkle’s team rode Anthony Johnson’s shooting to a Big Sky championship and NCAA berth two years ago and reached the title game again with a balanced frontcourt-loaded attack in 2011. Gone is the key cog in that attack – Brian Qvale – but Derek Selvig, a 7-foot, 230-pound center who led the team in 3-pointers (39) returns. You read that right: a 7-footer that can shoot the three. Sophomore Will Cherry took over the point guard role and played masterfully, finishing with nearly a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio (128 assists, 68 turnovers). Four different guards started between 15 and 18 games alongside Cherry in a two-guard, one-wing, two-post rotation, so if Tinkle decides to put out a traditional 1-2-2 lineup, there are plenty of capable takers at shooting guard. Selvig’s penchant for the 3 (39 percent of total shots were from beyond the arc) will also work wonders, especially in drawing out bigger defenders.

Prediction: Second, 13-3 Big Sky record

Next: Montana State Bobcats

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Montana State Bobcats 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Conference Notes

Montana State Bobcats (13-18, 7-9)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Rod Singleton
Jr. G avier Johnson-Blount
Jr. G Jamie Stewart
Sr. F Jordain Allou
Jr. C Mohammed Fall

Important departures:

Erik Rush: 15.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.4 steals per game, 38 3-pointers made per game
Bobby Howard: 14.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.9 steals per game, 47 3-pointers made per game
Danny Piepoli: 7.5 ppg, 45 3-pointers made per game
Cody Anderson: 4.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg

Top returnees:

Singleton: 7.9 ppg, 3.5 apg, 1.1 steals per game

Additions:

Johnson-Blount: transfer from Cochise College (21.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.4 steals per game)
Fall: transfer from Cloud County Community College (55 percent field goal percentage, 73 percent free throw percentage, 8.9 rpg, 2.5 blocks per game)
Christian Moon: transfer from Henry Ford Community College (13.9 ppg, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 apg, 1.8 steals per game)
Stewart: transfer from Henry Ford Community College (15.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.9 steals per game)

Schedule highlights:

Toughest nonconference match up: at Utah or at New Mexico.

Hardest conference stretch: at Weber State and at Northern Arizona or a road contest at Montana then home against Northern Arizona to end the regular season.

Outlook:

The Bobcats, on paper, have a lot of retooling to do after losing four starters — three to graduation, one to retirement — especially since the starters accounted for 63 percent of their points, 50 percent of the rebounds, 55 percent of 3-pointers made and 61 percent of the field goals made.

Montana State also will miss its top offseason signing, Juco transfer Antonio Biglow (Mount San Antonio College) for the first semester as his transfer was hung up by paperwork or academics. Four other Juco transfers are coming in, with at least two or three poised to start, which is Huse’s biggest advantage and the slight advantage over Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado.

Prediction: Fifth, 8-8 Big Sky record

Next: Northern Arizona Lumberjacks

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Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Conference Notes

Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (19-13, 9-7)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Gabe Rogers
Jr. G Stallon Saldivar
Sr. G Durell Norman
Jr. F Austin Smith
So. F Ryan Schaefer

Important departures:

Cameron Jones: 20 ppg, 3.2 apg, 4.6 rpg
Shane Johannsen: 9.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.3 blocks per game
Eric Platt: 10.1 ppg, 69 3-pointers made per game

Top returnees:

Rogers: 13 ppg, 81 3-pointers made per game
Saldivar: 5.4 apg, 3.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Norman: 3.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg

Additions:

Fr. Danny Cheek: 15.3 ppg, ranked No. 18 recruit in California and No. 52 shooting guard overall in the nation in ESPN Recruiting Rankings
Ephraim Ekanem: transfer from Irvine Valley College (8.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg)
Jywrell Wilson: transfer from Cuyamaca College (18.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 4.5 apg)

Schedule highlights:

Toughest nonconference match up: vs. Brigham Young in Prescott, Ariz. or at Arizona.

Hardest conference stretch: first weekend of January at Portland State and Eastern Washington or last weekend of February at Montana and Montana State

Outlook:

The Lumberjacks will miss Rogers for the first two months of the season with a torn labrum, but it shouldn’t have a major impact on their conference play – unless he’s out for longer. Then it could be a longer year for Mike Adras, the Big Sky’s longest tenured coach (13 years, 99-83 BSC record). But when Rogers comes back, it could be a boon. Saldivar is as pure a point guard as one might find, and his leadership at the position will help make everyone better as the team gets used to playing without Rogers and finds out who will step up in the wake of Jones and Johannsen leaving. The team might be the smallest in the Big Sky – rivaling only Montana State in shortness – and has an overabundance of guards on the roster. With only one senior and no experience in the frontcourt, Northern Arizona will contend because of Adras’ coaching, potential and major player losses to every team in the conference.

Prediction: Sixth, 7-9 Big Sky record

Next: Northern Colorado Bears

Back to Big Sky preview

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

Back to Big Sky preview

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

Back to Conference USA preview

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