WAC TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES
The win over Louisiana Tech pushed Boise State to 5-2 in WAC play and is now 4-0 in conference play when at home ... the last time the Broncos opened a season with a 4-0 conference record at home was during the 1997-98 season when Boise State went undefeated at home in Big West play ... Junior Ike Okoye moved his way into the Boise State record books as he tallied three blocks against the Bulldogs, pushing his season block total to 40 ... he currently sits in seventh, but is just one shy of sixth, which is held by Tanoka Beard with 41 during the 1991-92 season ... with 11 regular season games left, Okoye could break the school record, which is currently held by John Coker with 77 blocks during the 1993-94 season ... Junior Anthony Thomas recorded his first career double-double as he tallied 12 points and dished out 10 assists ...
Four Bulldogs reached double digits in both games last week ... on Thursday night, the Fresno State bonded for a strong team effort as Fresno State downed Louisiana Tech, 63-46, for the Bulldogs first WAC victory of the season ... freshman guard Paul George recorded a team-high 16 points while junior forward Sylvester Seay added 15 points and seven rebounds as the defense held Louisiana Tech to 31.6 percent shooting and forced 17 turnovers ... Fresno State then hit the road for a trip to San Jose, where Seay recorded his second career double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds ... the Saturday night contest included a Bulldog second half surge that erased a 14-point halftime deficit before Fresno State dropped the conference game, 85-79 ... senior guard Dwight O’Neil netted 21 points and dished out four assists ... freshman guard Paul George tallied 20 points and a career-high six assists.
Hawai‘i Rainbow Warriors (9-10, 1-6 WAC)
Hawai‘i went 0-2 last week, dropping a 74-63 decision at Nevada before falling 67-51 at home to Utah State ... Kareem Nitotor led the Rainbow Warriors with a team-high 14 points at Nevada ... Nitoto also dished out five assists in the effort ... Roderick Flemings helped with 12 points, while Petras Balocka added 10 ... against Utah State, Bill Amis led the Hawai‘i effort with 17 points ... Flemings had 11 points against the Aggies and Lasha Parghalava had 10 ... on the week, Flemings led the Rainbow Warriors, averaging 11.5 points per game ... Amis also averaged double digits at 10.5 points a contest while shooting an impressive 52.9 percent from the field ... Nitoto was the other UH player to averaged double figures at 10.0 points per game ... this week, Hawai‘i travels to play Louisiana Tech on Thursday before heading to New Mexico State on Saturday.
Brandon Wiley led Idaho to a win over New Mexico State last week ... Wiley scored 16 points in win ... he led the Vandals with seven rebounds and a season-high four blocks ... shot 7-of-10 from the floor and added two steals ... helped seal the victory with a jumper with 47 seconds remaining to put Idaho up four, then came away with a steal and breakaway dunk to put the Vandals up eight with 16 seconds remaining ... helped Idaho break a 10-game losing streak to the Aggies and earn its first win over New Mexico State since joining the WAC ... Wiley was named WAC Player of the Week for his efforts against the Aggies ... Mac Hopson scored a game-high 23 points and dished out four assists against the Aggies ... this week, Idaho hosts in-state rival Boise State on Thursday ... the Vandals then welcome Nevada to Moscow on Saturday.
Louisiana Tech went 0-2 last week, dropping a 63-46 decision at Fresno State before taking a close 58-53 loss at Boise State ... against Fresno State, Jamel Guyton led the Bulldogs with a team-high 17 points ... Guyton was the only Bulldog in double figures ... at Boise State, junior Magnum Rolle shot a perfect 11-of-11 for a season-high 23-point, 10-rebound performance ... Rolle scored Tech’s first 10 points of the night in the first six minutes of play ... Rolle is averaging 11.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game this year ... on the week, Rolle averaged 114.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game ... he also shot 66.7 percent on the week ... Guyton also averaged double digits at 12.0 points per game over the two contests ... this week, Louisiana Tech hosts Hawai‘i on Thursday and San Jose State on Saturday.
Coming off a 74-63 win over Hawai’i last Thursday, the Nevada Wolf Pack heads out on the road this week, traveling to Logan, Utah, on Thursday night to take on the Utah State Aggies ... Thursday’s game will tip off at 7:05 p.m. Mountain Time (6:05 p.m. Pacific Time) at Utah State’s Dee Glen Smith Spectrum ... the Wolf Pack brings a season-long five-game winning streak into Thursday’s game, all in conference play ... Nevada ranks second in theWAC standings with a 5-1 record, while Utah State is leading the WAC at 7-0 ... following Thursday’s game with the Aggies, Nevada travels to Moscow, Idaho, to take on theVandals on Saturday, Jan. 31 ... last week, junior Brandon Fields and freshman Luke Babbitt each scored 19 points as Nevada turned back Hawai’i 74-63 Thursday, Jan. 22 at Lawlor Events Center ... Nevada also got 12 points, 10 rebounds and four steals from Malik Cooke.
The Aggies return to
San Jose State split a pair of games last week ... the team dropped a 62-58 decision to WAC leader Utah State at home ... SJSU then defeated in-state rival Fresno State 85-79 on Saturday ... three players reached double figure scoring in the loss to Utah State ... Chris Oakes led the team with 13 points, while Justin Graham and C.J. Webster had 11 and 10 points, respectively ... in the win over Fresno State, Adrian Oliver led the team in scoring with 29 points ... Robert Owens had 17 points in the win ... Oakes helped with 11 points, while Tim Pierce added 10 ... on the week, Adrian Oliver led the Spartans over the two games, averaging 18.5 points a contest ... Oliver shot 48.3 percent from the floor and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe ... this week, San Jose State travels to play New Mexico State on Thursday before heading to play Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
Utah State continued its road win streak this season, going 2-0 last week on the road ... the Aggies defeated San Jose State 62-58 before taking down Hawai‘i 67-51 ... at San Jose State, Gary Wilkinson led all scorers with 25 points ... Tyler Newbold and Jared Quayle eached helped with 13 points in the win ... at Hawai‘i, four players reached double figure scoring ... Wilkinson and Tai Wesley each had 15 points, while Newbold added 13 and Quayle helped with 12 ... the two road wins help improve Utah State’s record away from home to 11-0, the top road mark in the nation ... Utah State moved into the 27th spot in the USA Today/Coaches Poll ... on Thursday, Utah State hosts Nevada, where the Aggies have won 28 straight games ... Utah State then travels to pay Fresno State on Saturday ...
Wiley, a junior from Pinole,
Wiley helped seal the victory against NMSU, connecting on a jumper with 47 seconds remaining to give
GAINING MOMENTUM IN TOP-25 AND RPI RANKINGS
As a conference, the WAC continues to climb the RPI rankings, coming in at 13 according to both CollegeRPI.com and RealTimeRPI.com. The WAC ranks a spot ahead of the Colonial and two spots ahead of the West Coast Conference (WCC). Utah State is now receiving votes in both top-25 polls and is currently ranked 27th in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll with 56 votes and holds the 35th spot in the AP poll with 23 votes.
YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
Of the 124 players on rosters in the WAC, 75 (60.5 percent) are made up of juniors and sophomores. There are currently just 20 seniors in the league, eight of which are current starters. There are nearly just as many freshman starters (6) in the league as there are senior starters (8). Juniors and sophomores make up 60.5 percent of the starting lineups on the WAC.
TURNING IT AROUND
After winning eight games last season,
Forward Tim Pierce became the new
WAC TEAMS RANK TOP-10 NATIONALLY IN FOUR TEAM STATISTICAL CATEGORIES
As of Jan. 26, WAC teams rank in the top-10 in four team categories.
The only freshman in WAC history to earn back-to-back WAC Player of the Week honors, Luke Babbitt has opened his first season with
USU POSTS SECOND-BEST DEFENSIVE EFFORT IN NCAA HISTORY
TOP WAC TEAMS OVER LAST FIVE YEARS
Over the last five seasons dating back to 2003-04, Utah State has turned in a 138-45 record, the best record of any WAC team during that time (.754 winning percentage). In conference games,
Overall Record (Pct.)
WAC Record (Pct.)
Paul George highlighted Fresno State’s game at Saint Mary’s (11/17) with a memorable dunk that landed as the No. 1 play on Sportscenter’s Top 10 “Plays of the Day” for Nov. 18, 2008 and opened the preview highlights for the broadcast. The dunk, where the freshman slashed straight to the basket and delivered an emphatic one-handed slam on two Gael defenders, beat a pair of Lebron James’ and other professional highlights for the top spot.
WAC TEAMS GO PERFECT IN EXHIBITION PLAY
WAC teams went a perfect 14-0 in exhibition play this season. Boise State, Fresno State, Hawai‘i, New Mexico State, and Utah State each went 2-0, while Idaho, San Jose State, Nevada, and Louisiana Tech each went 1-0.
WAC TOURNAMENT TO RETURN TO
The WAC Board of Directors awarded the 2009 and 2010 WAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments to the
For the seventh year in a row, the WAC has partnered with ESPN and several other top college basketball conferences for ESPNU BracketBusters, a weekend men’s basketball event matching potential NCAA tournament hopefuls against each other. All nine WAC teams will be a part of this year’s pool of teams. The event will be held February 20-21. The match-ups for Bracket Buster Saturday will be determined by ESPN in conjunction with the conferences about three weeks before the event.
TOP PLAYERS RETURNING
The WAC returns one player from last year’s all-WAC second team,
WAC teams could face at least 16 non-conference opponents that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament, including three teams in last years’ Final Four (Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA).
2007-08 NATIONAL POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT TEAMS ON WAC SCHEDULE
This season, three of the nine WAC teams return at least three starters: Louisiana Tech,