LORDY, THAT’S A MIGHTY ROUGH AND TOUGH NON CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Seven, eight years and this is the non conference home schedule for SJS?

Fri, Nov 09 & Tues Jan 08 New Orleans

New Orleans went 17-15 last season including signature wins versus Champion Baptist (twice), Southern New Orleans (twice, Florida Baptist, St. Leo, Johnson & Wales, Tennessee Temple and Selma University.

But also a pair of losses to always powerful Christian Brothers, a 78-47 loss to North Texas and a 92-34 to Colorado

Tue, Nov 13 Houston The Event Center

Houston finished 15-15

Thu, Nov 15 Weber State The Event Center

Weber State 25-7 but now minus Damian Lillard, an early pick in the NBA draft

Tue, Nov 20 UC Santa Cruz The Event Center

Sweet Jesus, UC Santa Cruz doesn’t even give out scholarships

Mon, Nov 26 Kansas at Lawrence, Kan.

Props for scheduling the Jayhawks but it really is a money bodybag game

Sat, Dec 01 Montana State at Bozeman, Mont.

Montana State went 12-16

Wed, Dec 05 UC Davis at Davis, Calif.

UC Davis had quite the record last year, 5-26

Sat, Dec 08 Sacramento State The Event Center

Mighty Sacramento State finished at 10-18

Tue, Dec 11 Santa Clara The Event Center

Santa Clara finished 8-22

Sat, Dec 22 James Madison at Las Vegas, Nev.

James Madison finished at 12-20

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BLESS THE SIMPKINS

Bless Phyllis Simpkins and her husband Alan for all they contributed to SJS throughout their lives.

Talk about generous givers.

They were class personified.

Keeping it short, the litany of SJS ADs never came close to matching what the Simpkins did for SJS.

May GB honor the Simpkins by simply bringing in the best possible coaches.

No more clan hires over allegiance to the Simpkins and others like them.

Allegiance to SJS first like the Simpkins.

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JUST THE BEGINNING

The push of Sam Piraro out of the door obviously has GB’s fingerprints all over it.

Mediocrity or worse will not be tolerated during the GB tenure unlike a certain predecessor.

SP served SJS very well.

Authentic thankx is deserved for his long service and well wishes in his retirement are rightly deserved.

But it was past time to make a change.

Can GB really change the SJS athletics culture? Should we be hopeful?

How many times have we been so hopeful in the past only to be let down.

Maybe this time time it sticks.

Please.

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THIS SOUNDS PROMISING

“That’s why SJSU worked hard to gain the Mountain West invitation. Qayoumi says the idea was already on the radar when he was named president last year. Over the past several months, he’s spent one-on-one phone time lobbying the presidents of all the current Mountain West schools to gain their backing and convince them SJS is serious about upgrading facilities, fundraising and improving its basketball programs.”

“We’ve got to deliver on the entire package,” Qayoumi said. “If any part of your body hurts, you’re sick.”

Absolutely.

Now get started.

And don’t forget the latter.

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AD GB: ARE YOU UP TO THE TASK?

Maybe I’m blinded or just scarred from so many years of the acceptance of failure but I just can’t see SJSU doing it despite San Diego State pulling it off. Comparing San Diego with Silicon Valley might be apples and oranges but

My entire take on the new AD is going to be based on if he reaches out to the serious $$$ few people of Spartan basketball within the next few months. If yes, it would go a long way towards convincing me that there is finally an effort in place from the top of Spartan athletics. If not, then it’s the same old, same old ride football as far as possible and damn all the other sports to futility

Aztecs face four distinct disadvantages
Mark Zeigler
Union-Tribune Sports
January, 22, 2011

Being 20-0 and ranked No. 6 nationally is impressive for a school that, other than six winless trips to the NCAA Tournament, has negligible tradition in men’s basketball. But what has confounded basketball insiders is that the Aztecs have done it without many of the resources that everyone else enjoys in the Top 25.

The four areas where SDSU operates at a distinct disadvantage from the big boys:

Practice facility

TCU’s Ed and Rae Schollmaier Basketball Complex, as nice as it is, actually ranks at the bottom end of the practice facility building boom. It is 22,000 square feet, opened in 2004 and cost $5 million.

Connecticut’s board of trustees recently approved $3 million toward a new practice facility for the Huskies men’s and women’s teams. That’s just to design it.

LSU’s practice facility cost $14 million. West Virginia’s cost $19 million. Michigan’s cost $23.2 million. Kentucky’s Joe Craft Center cost $30 million. Iowa State even got one, coach Greg McDermott said, because “every team in the Big 12 has a new practice facility or is building one.”

Or here’s how Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg explained it to The Wall Street Journal after opening the Hokies’ $21 million facility: “We don’t have the history and tradition of the North Carolinas and Dukes, so we had to have a building with a ‘wow’ factor … It’s a building to acquire players.”

They are more than just a gaudy recruiting enticement. They allow more convenient practice schedules, promote team camaraderie with a players-only lounge, and house coaches’ offices. They also allow players to work on their game at any time of the day or night — they just use their swipe card to get in.

The Aztecs?

They practice at Viejas Arena when there isn’t a concert or other event there. Then they’re shipped off to Peterson Gym or, as a last resort, the student rec center with its short courts and din from adjacent pickup games.

Peterson Gym turns 50 next year and is so cold in winter months that players wear long sleeves and running tights. It’s an echo chamber, so much that it’s difficult to clearly hear a coach talking more than a few feet away. The floor is sometimes too slippery to safely use.

A new basketball practice facility has been broached under various athletic department administrations but was bumped down the list of priorities as the state budget crisis worsened. There are no active plans to build one.

Meanwhile, MWC rival UNLV is preparing to open the 38,000 square foot, $12 million Mendenhall Center later this year.

Salaries

Imagine for a moment if SDSU didn’t have Steve Fisher and his staff and wanted to hire something comparable, with the same kind of success, experience and recruiting pull. What would it cost?

You’d start at $1.5 million. That’s the 2009 average for men’s basketball staff salaries among schools that also have Division I football teams, according to an NCAA report — $911,000 for a head coach, $435,000 for three assistants, $165,000 for administrative staff.

Fisher makes about $550,000. In 2009 his three assistants received $126,000, $95,000 and $81,000, putting the total staff budget under $1 million.

The other nine head coaches currently in the Top 10 make, on average, an estimated $1.8 million per year. Their staffs are handsomely compensated as well, with the lead assistants regularly making $250,000 and having a multiyear contract.

That’s what New Mexico assistant Craig Neal reportedly gets, or double that of SDSU assistant head coach Brian Dutcher. According to state employee salary databases, none of UCLA’s assistant coaches received less than $144,000 in 2009. The lowest paid UNLV assistant made $114,000. Cal assistant Gregg Gottlieb, who left SDSU’s staff in 2007, made $163,757.

Longtime SDSU assistant Justin Hutson, considered a rising star in the business, turned down six-figure offers from Oregon and Saint Mary’s over the summer out of loyalty to Fisher and the rest of the staff. But with the team’s increased national exposure, more and bigger offers figure to come.

“There’s no coincidence that the last five years have been probably the finest five years in the history of the program,” Fisher says, “and it’s in no small part because of No. 1, the players, and No. 1A, the consistency and continuity of being able to maintain a high, high level staff. That’s significant.”

Guarantees

Here’s how it works for the haves of college basketball: You get teams to play on your home floor during the nonconference season so you can build confidence and build a résumé for the NCAA Tournament selection committee while not risking a devastating slew of early losses.

You get them to do that by paying them. The going rate is $70,000 or $80,000 per game, sometimes more.

SDSU’s budget for “buy” games this season: $140,000. That got them two Division I foes, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

UNLV had a budget of $200,000 this season. Schools from the power conferences routinely will spend $500,000-plus, which explains why Syracuse didn’t leave New York or New Jersey until January, or why Duke played only one true road game before the conference season, or why Kansas played its second road game Jan. 9.

Without the ability to pay guarantees, you are forced to either go on the road for a similar payout or enter into home-and-home arrangements. Either way, the result is a healthy dose of road games early in the season that can ruin your chances at an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.

SDSU knows. It has never received an NCAA at-large berth, and in several years one or two more wins — or one less early-season road loss — might have made the difference. This season, the Aztecs played four nonconference road games and four more on neutral courts.

Even SDSU Athletic Director Jim Sterk admits: “If you don’t have a veteran team like we have this year, our schedule would have been brutal. Without the maturity of our team, we might not have been able to overcome that.”

Chartering

It’s happened. Brian Carlwell, all 6-11 and 300 pounds of him, has sat in a middle seat on a commercial flight on an SDSU basketball trip.

“It’s not fun,” Carlwell says, “not fun at all. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone … Sometimes you’ll get lucky and one of the coaches has an aisle seat and trades with you.”

Just the other day, Wyoming coach Heath Schroyer was talking about how the Cowboys’ vaunted home-court advantage is not what it once was because “teams charter into Laramie now” instead of flying into Denver, about 150 miles south, and bussing over the hairy mountain pass.

Except for the Aztecs. No team in Mountain West Conference history has chartered less. The only time they did was a midweek game at Wyoming, which they won. They’ve flown commercial to Denver and bussed the last two years – and lost both times.

Doing like Big 10 schools and getting charters — which cost $25,000 and up per trip — for the entire season is a tough sell at a state school in a major budget crisis, but selective trips might help get the one or two wins that put you into the NCAA Tournament some years. They also help reduce missed classes, since you leave immediately after midweek games instead of staying overnight and flying the next morning on a commercial carrier.

Another issue: Other schools can use it as a recruiting tool against you.

TCU generally charters midweek conference games. It says so, right there in the media guide next to interior and exterior photos of the charter jet.

“I think it depends on the type of player it is,” Carlwell says. “There are some players who come from nothing and you can glam them with some stuff. But if you have someone who is just interested in looking for a caliber of program that can compete for championships, they’ll overlook those things.

“Me, I’m all about rings.”

SpartaRick offered this in reply

When president Steve Weber of SDSU “bit the bullet” and hired Steve Fisher it turned the entire Aztec athletics program around. SDSU could not “afford” Fisher’s salary but they did it anyway and it is paying HUGE dividends! Viejas Arena (cap. 12,500) is filled for every game and there is competition for tickets. Fisher’s salary is more than covered.

That success prompted Weber to hire Brady Hoke for football (another big salary guy) and, in two years, he was copying Fisher’s success on the gridiron. Now SDSU has the highest football attendance in the MWC (mo’ money, mo’ money). SDSU football had been awful for way too many years before that. Unfortunately, for the Aztecs, Hoke got hired away to Michigan and their football might have trouble maintaining its momentum.

SJSU might want to mimic what Weber did.

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THE TRUTH HURTS

Ah the TB legacy, well below average and routinely among the worst

 

Why does the Mountain West want San Jose State?
Chris Murray

The Mountain West Conference wraps up its meeting in Phoenix today, and it seems like a matter of time before San Jose State and Utah State officially become members of the league.

The Salt Lake Tribune has reported Utah State joining the MWC is a done deal. Today, Raj Mathai, a television anchor in the Bay Area, tweeted that San Jose State has signed paperwork to join the MWC and will hold a press conference Friday.

The Utah State move makes sense. Aggie basketball is one of the best mid-major programs in the nation and football coach Gary Andersen has Utah State football headed in the right direction. The team reached a bowl game last season for the first time since 1997.

On the other hand, SJSU offers the conference very little.

Yes, it sits in a large television market, but SJSU ranks well behind Cal and Stanford in the Bay Area market. SJSU drew an average of 1,655 fans per home basketball game and 18,214 fans per home football game. And both numbers are tickets sold and not actual attendance, which is way below those listed numbers.

SJSU basketball has been well below average for years and there were discussions to drop the football program just two years ago. SJSU football is routinely among the worst FBS teams in the nation.

From a facility standpoint, SJSU is also well behind everybody else in the Mountain West. San Jose Mercury reporter Jon Wilner wrote that SJSU likely needed to prove to the MWC that it will update its facilities as part of acceptance into the league.

Adding a 10th football team makes sense. But as Jeremy Mauss of MWCconnection.com writes, why didn’t the MWC go after Texas-San Antonio or Texas State instead?

Texas-San Antonio was the most intriguing target. The team started a football program last season, will be in the WAC in 2012 and then move to Conference USA in 2013. It drew 56,743 fans for its football opener last season and is in a huge television market. It is a potential sleeping giant, whereas you know what you’re getting with SJSU, and it’s not good.

Meanwhile, the WAC also officially lost Texas State today. That leaves three football schools in the WAC, including Idaho, New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech, which is likely off to Conference USA.

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THE MENTALLY DERANGED OF SPARTANIA

Rodney Terry was recognized as one of the nation’s top recruiters while an assistant at Texas, so it’s no surprise he’s doing the same as head coach at Fresno State. Next year the Bulldogs add highly touted post players Robert Upshaw and Braeden Anderson and now more help is on the way. Alex Davis , a premier big man in the junior college ranks, committed to Fresno State earlier this week. The 2013, 6-foot-9 forward from Hutchinson Community College (Kan.) averaged 10.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game as a freshman. He also shot 54.7 percent from the field last season and had a team-leading 61 blocks and 67 offensive rebounds. Davis’ commitment is a important get for the Bulldogs, as it solidifies post presence for the near future. According to the Fresno Bee , he’s also versatile enough to shift to a small forward role. Davis should be a contributor early in his college career for the up-and-coming program. – Greg Rosenstein espn

Meanwhile, the mentally deranged of Spartania spout this -

I am willing to give Nessman my support and encouragement for this season since he has shown this new found recruiting ability. We all should. Let’s give him a good chance with his new ‘stars.’ We will see.

 

Yep, that’s right, we’ll get ‘em in 2005, oh make that 2006, what was I talking about it’s 2007, let me have a redo – 2008 is the season, really I meant 2009, I feel it in my bones that we’ll surprise the WAC in 2010, it’s gonna be 2011, 2012′s our year yesiree

Coming off a 1-13 WAC season in a weak year and landing players nobody else wanted to sign equals newfound recruiting ability. That strictly liquid diet of Kool Aid is causing major impairment. There are reasons why these guys have landed at SJS, not naming names but one went to four different high schools and let’s leave it at that

Fortunately, this also appeared from someone else -

I’m fine with hiring a young assistant who is hungry. Somebody who is a recruiter from a major conference.

There are folks who think magic makes recruiting. Truth is Basketball is a word of mouth reputation game. You need a coach with cred among the elite players to recruit. Otherwise you get “projects” and “better than a walk-on” types trying augment transfers.

 

But SJS doesn’t even need elite because that will never happen. Going sub elite is fine such as Upshaw and Anderson

But when the mention of SJS brings smirks and looks of are you crazy to any local kid worth signing then you have an insurmountable problem

The mens basketball legacy of benign neglect and DLS allegiance courtesy of Tom Bowen lives on

For one more year

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