Checking in on the… WAC

Posted by nvr1983 on January 29th, 2009

Kevin McCarthy of Parsing the WAC and Sam Wasson of are the RTC correspondents for the WAC.

Last week was a week of opportunities. Some took advantage while others did not. Boise State took their opportunities by the horns as they completed a home sweep to put themselves into third place. New Mexico State on the other hand did not falling twice on the road after having a chance to rise to third in the standings, instead of coming out of the week in fifth place. Idaho had an opportunity at redemption and took advantage by avenging an earlier loss to New Mexico State, a game that head coach Don Verlin felt they should have won. This week is another week of opportunities. Utah State has the opportunity to give themselves a two-game lead on the rest of the league. Idaho has the opportunity to lay claim to being the best team in the state of Idaho and then the opportunity to sweep Nevada for the first time since the 1998-1999 season.

Agree or disagree, here is the official WAC Player of the Week.

Brandon Wiley, Idaho: Wiley, a 6-foot-5 junior transfer from City College of San Francisco, aided the Vandals in a victory over New Mexico State with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks.

Other nominees:
Boise State’s Ike Okoye
Fresno State’s Paul George
Louisiana Tech‘s Magnum Rolle
Utah State’s Gary Wilkinson

Our take: Okay, Brandon Wiley is a ‘glue-guy’ who adds a bit of everything to his team. He is Idaho’s third-leading scorer, shooting just under 60% on the season, and is their leading rebounder. Wiley’s contributions have surpassed the expectations of the Idaho coaching staff.

But in comparison, George scored 16 points, grabbed 5 boards and had 2 blocks in a win over Louisiana Tech and followed that effort with 20 points and 6 assists in a loss to San Jose State.

Wilkinson scored 25 points in an Aggie victory over San Jose State and followed with 15 points in a win in Hawaii.

Okoye had 15 points and 8 rebounds against New Mexico State and then had 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks  against Louisiana Tech.

We love underdogs but place this award in the “hmmmm” category.

Team Capsules
Boise State – The Broncos righted the ship with a hard-fought 87-84 victory over New Mexico State as La’Shard Anderson, Ike Okoye and Kurt Cunningham scored 15 points apiece. The Broncos followed that up with a 58-53 victory over Louisiana Tech. Okoye scored 16 points and his layup with 1:42 remaining in the game gave the Broncos their first lead since the 18:50 mark of the second half.
Next up: A suddenly meaningful rivalry game against Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.

Fresno State – The Bulldogs fell 85-79 to San Jose State as SJSU enjoyed a 41-25 rebounding edge in addition to 25 Spartan free throw attempts compared to 10 for the ‘Dogs. Fresno’s Sylvester Seay managed 17 points and 12 boards in the defeat while Paul George produced 20 points. Fresno State nailed a season-high 12 three-pointers. In a surprisingly lopsided 63-46 victory over Louisiana Tech, George scored 16 and Seay had 15 while and senior guard Dwight O’Neill sat out on a one-game suspension.
Next up: Houston Baptist followed by Utah State, the epitome of the yin-yang in basketball scheduling.

Hawaii – The latest was a 67-51 loss at home to league-leading Utah State. The chances of victory are slim when you get outshot 50% to 29% and out-boarded 38-28. Nevada also took a 74-63 home victory over Hawaii. The first newspaper column appeared in one of the Honolulu dailies about Coach Bob Nash and the ramifications of a contract extension.
Next up: At Louisiana Tech and then on to Las Cruces and New Mexico State

Idaho – The Vandals beat New Mexico State 67-57 in Moscow behind Mac Hopson‘s 23 points. Idaho shot 41% to NMSU’s 38%. Don Verlin’s squad is 7-1 at home on the season, but just 2-9 on the road. In conference play, the Vandals are 2-0 at home and 1-3 on the road, with two big home contests looming.
Next up: Boise State comes for the in-state battle with Nevada arriving after that.

Louisiana Tech – The Bulldogs visited Fresno State and Boise State and came away with losses in both games. Jamel Guyton scored 17 points but none of his teammates were able to chip in to help with scoring against Fresno State. David Jackson was the Bulldogs’ next leading scorer at eight points while Magnum Rolle and Kyle Gibson combined to go 5-20 for just 12 points combined. It was much of the same for the Bulldogs against Boise State as the one man show rotated to Magnum Rolle. Rolle was a perfect 11-for-11 from the field scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as he played all 40 minutes. Unfortunately for Rolle, James Loe was the only other Bulldog in double-digits finishing with 11 points. Guyton and Gibson each scored seven points for the Bulldogs.
Next up: Hosting Hawaii followed by San Jose State.

Nevada – The Wolf Pack took Hawaii at home 74-63, with Brandon Fields and Luke Babbitt each scoring 19 points. Nevada enjoyed a 35-28 rebounding edge and swiped 11 steals in the game.
Next up: At Utah State in what should be a critical battle for first place in the WAC followed by a trip up to Idaho.

New Mexico State – Fortune was not with the Aggies on this road trip as they fell to both Boise State, 87-84 and Idaho, 67-57 in a set of games that had paces at opposite ends of the spectrum. In the game against the Broncos the Aggies threw up 75 shots then against Idaho two nights later the Aggies were only able to get 53 shots. The Aggies are at 3-4 in conference play and have a homestand this week before facing the gauntlet that is the Nevada-Utah State road trip next week.
Next up: Hosting San Jose State in a rematch of their 75-73 meeting three weeks ago and Hawaii, their first meeting of the season.

San Jose State – The Spartans took an 85-79 win over Fresno State paced by Adrian Oliver‘s 29 points. A 41-25 rebounding differential plus 25 Spartan free throw attempts to 10 for the ‘Dogs aided the victory. Earlier, SJSU fell at home to Utah State 62-58, missing a jumper with nine seconds left that would have tied the game. Although they lost, the Spartans outshot the Aggies 51.6% to 37.9% and had a 36-28 rebounding advantage. However, USU committed just four turnovers. San Jose State is 1-3 at home and 2-1 on the road in WAC action.
Next up: Imitating Willie Nelson on the road at New Mexico State and then at Louisiana Tech

Utah State – The march continues for the Aggies as they held on for a victory at San Jose State 62-58 and then trounced Hawaii on the islands 67-51. Gary Wilkinson snapped out of his mini-funk by going 10-for-19 from the field for 25 points in the Aggies’ victory over the Spartans. Wilkinson finished with 15 points and five rebounds against Hawaii and Tai Wesley finished with a double-double (15 points and 10 rebounds). The Aggies are 19-1 overall but more importantly 7-0 in league play with Nevada coming to the Dee Glen Spectrum on Thursday, January 29. A victory by the Aggies would put them firmly in the driver’s seat in the WAC with a two-game lead over both Nevada and Boise State and early tiebreakers over both.
Next up: Hosting Nevada in the showdown of the conference season thus far, then a road trip to Fresno State.

Here’s the top 15 scorers in the WAC in league play:

## Player-Team Cl G FG 3FG FT Pts Avg/G
1. Jahmar Young-NMSU……. SO 7 42 15 23 122 17.4
2. Mac Hopson-UI……….. JR 6 34 12 24 104 17.3
3. Gary Wilkinson-USU…… SR 7 42 1 33 118 16.9
4. Luke Babbitt-NEV…….. FR 6 32 7 30 101 16.8
5. Sylvester Seay-FS……. JR 6 34 7 24 99 16.5
6. Paul George-FS………. FR 6 35 11 12 93 15.5
7. Roderick Flemings-UH…. JR 7 38 9 23 108 15.4
8. C.J. Webster-SJSU.…… JR 7 39 0 19 97 13.9
Troy Gillenwater-NMSU… FR 7 35 3 24 97 13.9
10. Jared Quayle-USU…….. JR 7 31 13 21 96 13.7
11. Armon Johnson-NEV……. SO 6 27 1 21 76 12.7
12. Dwight O’Neill-FS.……. SR 5 22 9 10 63 12.6
13. Wendell McKines-NMSU…. SO 7 34 4 16 88 12.6
14. Kashif Watson-UI…….. JR 6 23 1 26 73 12.2
15. Magnum Rolle-LTU…….. JR 7 36 0 13 85 12.1

Here’s the top rebounders:

## Player-Team Cl G OFF DEF TOT Avg/G
1. Wendell McKines-NMSU…. SO 7 26 50 76 10.9
2. Luke Babbitt-NEV…….. FR 6 14 39 53 8.8
3. Sylvester Seay-FS……. JR 6 11 40 51 8.5
4. Chris Oakes-SJSU…….. JR 7 17 39 56 8.0
Malik Cooke-NEV……… SO 6 22 26 48 8.0
6. C.J. Webster-SJSU……. JR 7 17 37 54 7.7
7. Magnum Rolle-LTU…….. JR 7 19 33 52 7.4
8. Jared Quayle-USU…….. JR 7 9 36 45 6.4
9. Paul George-FS………. FR 6 16 22 38 6.3
10. Gary Wilkinson-USU…… SR 7 14 28 42 6.0
Brandon Wiley-UI…….. JR 6 12 24 36 6.0
Tim Pierce-SJSU……… SR 6 9 27 36 6.0

Upcoming Games

  • Thu., Jan. 29 – Boise State at Idaho – 7:00 p.m. PT (Mini-Game of the Week)
  • Thu., Jan. 29 – Hawaii at Louisiana Tech – 7:00 p.m. CT
  • Thu., Jan. 29 – San Jose State at New Mexico State – 7:00 p.m. MT
  • Thu., Jan. 29 – Nevada at Utah State – 7:00 p.m. MT (GAME OF THE WEEK)
  • Sat., Jan. 31 – San Jose State at Louisiana Tech – 2:00 p.m. CT
  • Sat., Jan. 31 – Utah State at Fresno State – 7:00 p.m. PT
  • Sat., Jan. 31 – Hawaii at New Mexico State – 7:00 p.m. MT
  • Sat., Jan. 31 – Nevada at Idaho – 7:00 p.m. PT (Revenge Game of the Week)

Current Standings
1. Utah State (7-0, 19-1)
2. Nevada (5-1, 12-7)
3. Boise State (5-2, 14-5)
4. Idaho (3-3, 9-10)
5. San Jose State (3-4, 9-9)
New Mexico State (3-4, 9-11)
7. Louisiana Tech (2-5, 8-12)
8. Fresno State (1-5, 8-12)
9. Hawaii (1-6, 9-10)

nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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