Checking in on the… WAC

Posted by nvr1983 on March 5th, 2009

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

Current Standings
1. Utah State (13-2, 26-4)
2. Nevada (9-5, 17-11)
3. Boise State (8-6, 18-10)
4. New Mexico State (8-7, 15-14)
5. Idaho (7-7, 14-14)
6. San Jose State (6-8, 13-14)
7. Louisiana Tech (6-9, 14-16)
8. Hawaii (5-10, 13-15)
9. Fresno State (3-11, 12-18)

With the WAC tournament looming next week, the only two seeds that have been determined are the 1-seed and the 9-seed. Everything in between is a mess thanks in large part to a Thursday night ambush by the league’s bottom half. Ninth place Fresno State took down second place Nevada 66-64, eighth place Louisiana Tech took down third place New Mexico State 80-71 and seventh place San Jose State took down fifth place Idaho. Only Utah State managed to maintain order with their 20 point victory over Hawai’i. Fourth place Boise State did not play but added to the carnage two nights later when they fell to Louisiana Tech by 14.

Everything will be decided on Thursday and Saturday as the teams wrap up the regular season.Our choice for next week’s player of the week:
We (heart) James Loe. In the Louisiana Tech 76-62 win over Boise State, Loe went ‘en fuego’ on the Broncos totaling 23 points in 27 minutes. It was easily his career high and took place on senior night. Tech closes out the season at Boise State and here’s hoping the 5-11 — which is probably stretching it — senior has another big game and nabs WAC Player of the Week honors.

Here are our picks for the All-WAC team:

First Team
Gary Wilkinson (Utah State), Sr.
Jahmar Young (New Mexico State), So.
Mac Hopson (Idaho), Jr.
Sylvester Seay (Fresno State), Jr.
Luke Babbitt (Nevada), Fr.

Second Team
Roderick Flemings (Hawai’i), Jr.
Magnum Rolle (Louisiana Tech), Jr.
Wendell McKines (New Mexico State), So.
Armon Johnson (Nevada), So.
Paul George (Fresno State), Fr.

These four players are pressing for inclusion:
Adrian Oliver (San Jose State), Jr.
Jared Quayle (Utah State), Jr.
Kyle Gibson (Louisiana Tech), Jr.
Jamel Guyton (Louisiana Tech), Jr.

Boise State
The Broncos experienced the lows and highs of travel in the WAC this past weekend. The Broncos traveled to Ruston to face Louisiana Tech and led early by eight points, however, they would go on to lose by 14 points. The Broncos then made the journey back westward to face New Mexico State, who like Boise State, had just lost to Louisiana Tech. The game was expected to be a track meet and it was. The Broncos led by three at the break then broke the game open to lead by as many as 18 before finally winning by 12. The game featured eight ties and 10 lead changes and they all occurred in the first half.
What’s up next? Hosting Fresno State Thursday night, then hosting Nevada on Saturday.

Fresno State
What a fine line — or in these cases a play or possibly two — there is between winning and losing. The Bulldogs reigned in the Wolf Pack 68-66 behind Sylvester Seay‘s double-double consisting of 28 points and 11 boards. Seay then went for 23 versus the Vandals but Idaho still left the San Joaquin Valley with a 71-68 win. Seay’s outbursts earned him WAC Player of the Week honors. Credit for knocking off Nevada was due to many factors but 60% Bulldog shooting in the second half along with seven treys in the second 20 minutes pushed Steve Cleveland’s team over the top.
The game against Nevada featured a five-point play — that’s no typo. Soph frontcourter Nedeljko Golubovic hit a trey while Sylvester Seay was being fouled away from the ball and Seay then went to the foul line and hit two free throws. That sequence turned a one-point deficit into a four-point lead with 1:01 left in the contest.
What’s up next? Road games against Boise State and then Idaho (again), two teams looking to land the best seeding for the upcoming tournament. The Bulldogs beat BSU 88-82 on February 9 at home.

Hawaii
The Rainbow Warriors not unexpectedly fell by 20 — 82 to 62 — in Logan against the Aggies but then suffered a real heartwrencher with a 61-59 loss to San Jose State. In the former, UH shot 49% for the game but being on the wrong end of a 54-12 points-in-the-paint differential proved impossible to make it close. Bill Amis then almost tallied a double-double in the latter with 10 points and nine boards (plus five shotblocks) but he missed a pair of free throws with nine seconds left and the Spartans then made the winning two points from the foul line with the clock showing 3.8. Rainbow Warrior Hiram Thompson scored 16 and 14 points respectively this past week, evidence that his hamstring pulls are healing.
What’s up next? A Saturday match-up with New Mexico State in Honolulu.

Idaho
The Vandals came close to a road sweep but ended up falling to San Jose State 72-64 before topping Fresno State 71-68. Mac Hopson scored 20 and recorded eight assists against the Spartans but both made and missed six free throws. Hopson had 13 points and 10 assists versus Fresno. Winning seven games to date in the WAC is a remarkable achievement for Idaho — easily the best aboutface of any team. Senior Trevor Morris achieved a nice rarity: hitting double figures in both games, with 13 and 14 points respectively.
Is this a trend? Don Verlin‘s squad missed six consecutive free throws from the 5:06 mark to 1:39 remaining versus SJSU and then went 3-6 from the foul line in the last 90 seconds against Fresno State.
What’s up next? A tough Louisiana Tech team followed by closing out the season hosting Fresno State.

Louisiana Tech
The Bulldogs pulled off an impressive weekend sweep defeating third place New Mexico State 80-71 and fourth place Boise State 76-62 in consecutive games. The Bulldogs avenged earlier losses to both teams in which they had a chance to win in the final two minutes of both games. The Bulldogs have now won three games in a row, all three impressive victories. Against New Mexico State, Magnum Rolle, Jamel Guyton, and Kyle Gibson each scored over 15 points for the Bulldogs as Gibson scored 17, Guyton 18 and Rolle leading the way with 25.
What’s up next? The Bulldogs finish on the road at Idaho.

Nevada
Things are copacetic for Nevada because of the order of the games played. A 68-66 road loss to Fresno State had many upset but all became a veritable love-fest when the Pack took down Utah State 84-71. Armon Johnson‘s 28 points (what slump?) and Luke Babbitt‘s 21 sealed the deal versus the Aggies. Nevada actually held a 23-point lead in the first half.
What’s up next? San Jose State comes to Reno and then the Wolf Pack head to Boise.

New Mexico State
The Aggies went into the weekend’s games with an 8-5 conference record and their sights set on the 2-seed and came out of the weekend’s games with an 8-7 record after recording losses at Louisiana Tech, 80-71 and then at home against Boise State, 104-92. Jahmar Young scored 22 and 24 points respectively in the losses but porous defense in both games cost the Aggies as Louisiana Tech finished the game shooting 52% from the floor while Boise State finished shooting 50% from the floor.
What’s up next? The long road trip to Hawai’i to finish the regular season.

San Jose State
Ignoring a losing record at home in conference play, the Spartans took down Idaho and the Hawaii 72-64 and 61-59 respectively. In the former, 17 points, six assists and nary a turnover by Justin Graham paced San Jose State to the victory. Mac Hopson‘s missed free throws late in the game also aided the cause. Adrian Oliver‘s 20 points led the way in the latter, another win abetted by missed free throws as Bill Amis misfired twice with nine seconds left.
What’s up next? A visit to Nevada followed by a trip to Death Valley, aka Logan, Utah.

Utah State
The Aggies sealed up the outright regular season title and the number one seed in the conference tournament with a convincing 82-62 victory over Hawai’i. It was the Aggies’ second consecutive regular season title after the four-way tie last season. The Aggies followed their resounding victory with an as nearly resounding defeat the hands of Nevada in Reno. The Aggies had little to play for except to try to convince the NCAA selection committee that they were worthy of an at-large bid. The Wolf Pack jumped out to a 47-32 halftime lead and cruised to an 84-71 victory.
What’s up next? Hosting San Jose State on Saturday

Upcoming Games

  • Thu., Mar. 5 – Louisiana Tech at Idaho – 7:00 p.m. PT
  • Thu., Mar. 5 – Fresno State at Boise State – 7:00 p.m. MT
  • Thu., Mar. 5 – San Jose State at Nevada – 7:00 p.m. PT
  • Sat., Mar. 7 – Fresno State at Idaho – 7:00 p.m. PT
  • Sat., Mar. 7 – Nevada at Boise State – 7:00 p.m. MT
  • Sat., Mar. 7 – San Jose State at Utah State – 7:00 p.m. MT
  • Sat., Mar. 7 – New Mexico State at Hawai’i – 7:00 p.m. HT
nvr1983 (1304 Posts)


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One Response to “Checking in on the… WAC”

  1. Travis says:

    Whoops.

    The Vandals held Loe scoreless on 0-3 shooting in 28 minutes on the floor.

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