This Week in WAC Men's Basketball - Dec. 4
LOUISIANA TECH’S APPLEBY NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Louisiana Tech’s Raheem Appleby has been named the Western Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 26-Dec. 2.
Appleby, a sophomore guard from Jacksonville, Ark. (Jacksonville HS), led the Bulldogs to a 2-0 record last week. The Bulldogs defeated Southeastern Louisiana 99-62 and Georgia State 86-68. In the win over Southeastern Louisiana, Appleby scored a game-high 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including a 2-for-2 mark from beyond the arc. He also recorded three rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win. At Georgia State, Appleby poured in a career-high 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting and a 3-of-5 clip from long range. He also pulled down seven rebounds and tallied two assists and a steal.
On the week, Appleby averaged 28.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He shot 69.7 percent (23-of-33) from the field, 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from three-point range, and 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from the free throw line.
Other nominees included: Denver sophomore forward Royce O’Neale averaged 19.5 points over two games … Idaho junior guard/forward Stephen Madison scored 21 points in a win over UC Davis … New Mexico State sophomore guard Daniel Mullings recorded his first double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Southern Miss … San Jose State senior guard James Kinney scored 30 points at 10th-ranked Kansas and then added 23 points in a win over Montana State … Seattle U freshman forward Deshaun Sunderhaus recorded his first career double-double at Stanford with 12 points and 11 rebounds … Texas State junior forward Joel Wright recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds against Utah … Utah State junior guard Preston Medlin scored 11 points and hit a couple of big shots in an overtime win at Santa Clara.
WAC TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO LAS VEGAS
The 2013 WAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament will be held March 12-16 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas and will include all ten WAC teams. Ticket information and tournament format are available at www.wacbasketball.com
WEEK FOUR RECAP
Louisiana Tech went a perfect 2-0 last week to up its league-best non-conference record to 7-1. The Bulldogs defeated Southeastern Louisiana 99-62 and Geogia State 86-68. Raheem Appleby led the Bulldogs in both games, scoring 22 points against SE Louisiana and a career-high 34 at Geogia State. Utah State went 1-0 last week, defeating Santa Clara 80-78 in overtime on the road. Jarred Shaw led the Aggies with 15 points and eight rebounds in the win. Idaho, New Mexico State, San Jose State and UT Arlington each split a pair of games last week. Idaho fell to Washington State before downing UC Davis 73-66. NM State dropped a heart-breaking 55-54 decision at UTEP before defeating Southern Miss 68-60. San Jose State dropped a 70-57 decision at 10th-ranked Kansas before downing Montana State 82-74 on the road. UT Arlington defeated North Texas on the road, 72-59, before falling 70-54 at Texas. Denver, Seattle U and UTSA each went 0-2 on the week, while Texas State went 0-1. LA Tech’s Raheem Appleby led the league in scoring last week, averaging 28.0 points per game, while UT Arlington’s Jordan Reves led the WAC in rebounding, pulling down 11.5 boards per game.
WAC TEAMS/PLAYERS AMONG NATIONAL STATISTICAL LEADERS
As of Dec. 2, teams from the WAC rank in the top-10 in three team statistical categories and five individual categories. UT Arlington holds the highest team mark as it ranks third nationally in field goal percentage defense, holding teams to a 34.0 percentage. Utah State ranks fourth in the nation in rebound margin at 13.6, while New Mexico State ranks 10th in rebound margin at 10.9. Seattle U ranks 10th nationally in steals per game at 11.0. Individually, UT Arlington’s Jordan Reves holds the highest mark as he ranks fifth in rebounds per game at 11.8. San Jose State’s James Kinney ranks sixth in scoring at 22.8 points per game. SJSU’s D.J. Brown rankes eighth nationally at the free throw line, connecting on 95.2 percent of his shots. UTSA’s Michael Hale III ranks ninth nationally with a 53.6 clip from long range, while Louisiana Tecyh’s Michale Kyser ranks ninth in blocks per game at 3.13.
WAC TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES
Denver Pioneers (1-5, 0-0 WAC)
The Pioneers return home to host Mercer at Magness Arena on Wednesday, marking the first time the teams have faced each other ... the Bears are coming off a 61-56 upset at Florida State on Sunday ... Denver’s last four opponents have a combined record of 24-4 ... with an average of only 0.85 years of experience per player, Denver has the eighth youngest team in the nation ... junior forward Chris Udofia blocked two shots against Stanford on Sunday, which moved him into sole possession of fourth on DU’s all-time career blocks list with 125 ... Udofia, who is third in the WAC with 2.3 blocks per game, is just three blocked shots shy of Ira Harge for third and five away from Dwayne Russell for second place in team lore ... on his 19th birthday on Sunday, freshman Jalen Love hit double digits in the scoring column for the first time in his young career, recording 10 points against Stanford.
Idaho Vandals (2-4, 0-0 WAC)
Idaho fell at Washington State on Wednesday in the 268th playing of the Battle of the Palouse – the oldest active NCAA basketball rivalry outside the Ivy League and the sixth-oldest overall in the nation … Idaho bounced back on Saturday with a 73-66 victory over UC Davis in which the Vandals forced season highs of 17 turnovers and nine steals … the Vandal men also scored a season-best 17 points in transition in the game … with a put-back layup in the final minute of the first half, senior center Kyle Barone scored his 1,001st career point and became the 13th member of Idaho’s 1,000-Point Club ... he’s just the third low-post player in school history to achieve the feat and the first since 1994 ... this week, Idaho travels to play Eastern Washington on Thursday before traveling to UTEP for a Saturday matchup.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (7-1, 0-0 WAC)
Raheem Appleby anchored a defense that forced 24 turnovers against Southeastern Louisiana in a 99-62 win ... Appleby had a game-high 22 points in the win over Southeastern Louisiana in just 27 minutes of action ... Appleby had a career-high 34 points in an 86-68 road win over Georgia State, going 14-of-19 from the floor ... his 14 made field goals was also a career-high ... the Bulldogs ave now won seven straight games to start the season 7-1 ... it is only the second time in the last 20 years that LA Tech has started the season 7-1 ... 91 of the 99 points scored against Southeastern Louisiana came in the last 26:22 of the game ... 99 points was the most scored in regulation by a Bulldog team since 2001 ... this week, Louisiana Tech travels to play Northwestern State on Tuesday before returning home for a Saturday matchup with Southern Miss.
New Mexico State Aggies (4-4, 0-0 WAC)
NM State handed Southern Mississippi its first loss of the season with a 68-60 decision, Dec. 1 in Las Cruces ... the Aggies stayed perfect inside the Pan American Center with its fourth win of the year ... sophomore guard Daniel Mullings recorded his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds ... it was Mullings’ third 20-point game of the season ... freshman center Sim Bhullar contributed a career-high 17 points and seven rebounds ... NM State suffered a tough one-point loss, 55-54, at I-10 rival UTEP, Nov. 28 in El Paso, Texas ... senior forward Tyrone Watson led the Aggies with 13 points ... junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe and sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller both added nine points each ... this week, NM State travels to play South Alabama on Tuesday.
San Jose State Spartans (3-3, 0-0 WAC)
James Kinney led the Spartans in scoring in both games this week as the WAC’s leading scorer put in 30 points at #10 Kansas including 19 points in the second half to help San Jose State cut a Kansas lead from 24 pts to 7 points ... he added five steals, seven rebounds and two assists ... Kinney then put in 23 points in a win at Montana State including 15 points in the first half ... Kinney is one of 13 Spartans to score 30 points in a game in school history and the second time he has scored 30 points in his Spartan career ... Chris Cunningham recorded his second double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds in a win at Montana State ... Cunningham has led the team in rebounding the past three games and has collected 10 or more rebounds in each of those three games ... SJSU travels to play UC Davis on Wednesday before returning home to face Sacramento State Saturday.
Seattle U Redhawks (2-3, 0-0 WAC)
Seattle University fell to 2-3 after losses to Stanford (68-57) and Boise State (87-64) over the past week ... against Stanford, the Redhawks held the lead from the 14:12 mark of the first half (layup by Prince Obasi) until the 6:35 mark of the second half (free throws by Stanford’s Rosco Allen), a span of 27 minutes, 37 seconds ... Prince Obasi scored a career-high 18 points in the game, while Deshaun Sunderhaus earned his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Sunday, Boise State hit 15 three-pointers and committed only 10 turnovers, while Seattle U turned the ball over 21 times and shot 40 percent from the field ... the Redhawks did win the rebounding battle, 44-27, including 18 offensive rebounds ... D’Vonne Pickett Jr. came off the bench and produced 11 points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes of action ... SU does not play at all during the next seven days as the players take fall quarter finals.
UT Arlington Mavericks (4-2, 0-0 WAC)
UT Arlington went 1-1 on the road last week ... the team defeated North Texas 72-59 before falling 70-54 to Texas ... in the win at North Texas, senior forward Karol Gruszecki scored a career-high 17 points ... Gruszecki bested his previous best of 15 points set Nov. 16 against Oklahoma by knocking down 6 of 10 shots, with 3 of 5 connecting from downtown ... junior forward Greg Gainey scored 11 in 16 minutes off the bench ... senior center Jordan Reves, the country’s fourth-leading rebounder, pulled down 13 boards and blocked two shots ... Reves led UT Arlington with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the loss at Texas ... Junior forward Brandon Edwards pulled down 13 rebounds ... UT Arlington also defeated Texas-Pan American on Monday night 60-51 on the road ... next up for the Mavs is a Dec. 13 matchup with Houston Baptist at home.
UTSA Roadrunners (3-4, 0-0 WAC)
UTSA fell to 3-4 after a pair of road losses at Oregon and CSU Bakersfield last week … the Roadrunners have played six of their first seven games away from home and will eventually face 10 of their first 11 opponents on the road … UTSA will play games in 12 different states this season, including seven during the first nine contests … the Roadrunners are 3-0 when holding foes to under 40-percent shooting and 0-4 when opponents shoot 40 percent or better … senior guard Kannon Burrage ranks third in the WAC in scoring (17.9 ppg), while fellow senior backcourt mate Michael Hale III stands fourth (16.5 ppg) … junior forward Jeromie Hill, a preseason second-team All-WAC selection, ranks eighth in school history with 477 career rebounds and 17th with 940 career points … head coach Brooks Thompson needs one win to reach 100 for his UTSA career.
Texas State Bobcats (3-4, 0-0 WAC)
Texas State went 0-1 last week with a 74-69 setback at home to Utah ... Joel Wright scored 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Bobcats couldn’t pull off the victory ... senior Matt Staff also recorded a double-double as he finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds ... senior guard Vonn Jones chipped in 16 points ... Wright leads Texas State with an average of 22.0 ppg, while Staff is second on the team with 16.3 ppg ... the Bobcats are outscoring their opponents by an average of 9.0 points per game ... Texas State has scored a minimum 75 points in its first-three games, and is averaging 82.3 points per game ... this week, Texas State hosts Oral Roberts on Wednesday before welcoming Texas-Pan American on Saturday.
Utah State Aggies (4-1, 0-0 WAC)
Utah State defeated Santa Clara 80-78 in overtime last week ... Utah State is 4-1 to start a season for the second time in the last three years ... the Aggies have now won 22 of their last 35 road games (.629) and Wednesday was USU’s 100th road with under head coach Stew Morrill, now 100-81 (.552) ... Wednesday was USU’s first OT game of the season and first extra session game since Nov. 22, 2011 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and the 58-55 loss there snapped the Aggies’ five-game OT win streak dating back to the 2006 season and USU has now won six of its last seven extra session games ... USU now leads SCU, 5-3, all-time winning the last two and three of the last four meetings ... seven of the eight meetings have been decided by nine points or less including the last three being decided by six points or less ... this week, the Aggies travel to play BYU on Wednesday before hosting Western Oregon Saturday.