Saturday, September 26, 2009

Top juniors

Top flight juniors
Jahmar Young, New Mexico State guard — The leading scorer in the WAC a year ago has gotten stronger in the offseason. IF redshirt Troy Gillenwater has a solid sophomore year and senior guard Jonathan Gibson plays well, Young could improve on his 17.9 ppg from a year ago. He was a first-team selection after shooting 42 percent on 3s last year. Young picked up his play when it mattered most, scoring 18.9 in WAC games.
Adrian Oliver, San Jose State guard — Eligibility and injuries limited the Washington transfer to 18 games last year. Once he got on the court, he dropped 27, 31 and 22 in his first three games. He also had games of 29, 28 (a loss at NMSU) and 37. It's strange that he only shot 26 percent from long range because he was a 43 percent shooter from the floor, but he did only shoot 65 from downtown. If you look at the WAC leaders, he doesn't show up on the list until you look at WAC games only, where he was second behind Young with 17.6 per game.
Armon Johnson, Nevada guard — About the only thing that Johnson didn't do well last year was shoot the ball. Very strong and athletic point guard with size, he still shot 28 percent from long range. He was still a first-team selection last year, scoring 15 per game and dishing out 4.3 assists per game.
Wendell McKines, New Mexico State forward — I'm not sold that Big Wen will see the court in the second semester after missing the first due to academics (Personally I feel like the Aggies would be better served redshirting him this season so he can work on his academics and come back even better next year) but he's too talented to leave off my list of top players. McKines was a snub for postseason awards last year after averaging 12.1 ppg and 10 rpg after posting 16 double-doubles last year.If he develops a jumper and some handle, watch out.
Tai Wesley, Utah State forward — Wesley had to take a back seat to Gary Wilkinson the last two years, but he is probably the most underrated power forward in the league, scoring 12 and 6 last year.

Second tier
Tyler Newbold, Utah State forward — Newbold is a classic USU player who does everything well. He can also play a little He was seventh last year with 1.71 3s a game.
Gordo Castillo, New Mexico State guard — Las Cruces High product led the WAC in 3-point percentage (45) as a sophomore.
C.J. Webster, San Jose State forward — Second on the Spartans in scoring (12) and first in rebounding (6.5), was eighth in the league in rebounds.
Justin Graham, San Jose State guard — Second in the WAC with 4.73 assists per game.
Paul Noonan, Boise State guard — Noonan is a streaky shooter who was kind of thrown into the fire last year out of necessity. He was third in scoring for the Broncos with 10 per game and he shot 34 percent on triples.

Honorable mention
Nedeljko Golubovic — A 6-foot-8 player who would rather shoot the 3. Golubovic was 34 percent on 3s on 112 attempts last year.
Boise State landed a trio of junior college guys in Robert Arnold, Daequon Montral and Westly Perryman. The 6-6 Arnold from Antelope Valley C.C. could be the best of them.
Hawaii added a seven-footer in Brazilian junior college project Douglas Kurtz
Idaho added Shawn Henderson, a guard from North Idaho College who shot 40 percent from long range.
Pooh Williams — Utah State's best perimeter defender. Utah State also added 6-9 forward Nate Bendall from NJCAA national champ Salt Lake CC.


Anonymous said...

J.Y. is the best player in the WAC. If he can keep his head on strait and stay on the court, he'll have another excellent year. I think Tai Wesley is the most underated player for sure. He's tough down low and very consistent. Pooh Williams and Newbold scare me too. Even though Wilkenson is gone, Utah St. will still be tough to be. That will never change as long as Stew is there.

Jess said...

Stew is another Don Haskins. He will be there till he retires and dies. They will end up renaming their basketball arena after him or name the floor after him.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:39 is right. He's an unbelievably great coach and he's passed up great jobs at bigger schools to stay at Utah St. The only thing I have a problem with is his scheduling. Every year they play a bunch of home games against low major schools. That gets on my nerves. Get out and play some good schools on the road Stew. You have great teams that can compete with major schools.

Go Aggies! (southern Ags)

Anonymous said...

Right. Go play games, like our NMSU Aggies are doing??? We have the softest schedule around. We should join the SWAC. Doesn't that get on your nerves? It should.

Anonymous said...

Pray tell, why should it get on our nerves? It's not the strongest schedule, but it's similar to the schedules we've been playing the past 5 years. You must not pay attention because when it comes to weak, Utah St. takes the cake, no matter how you cut it.

Anonymous said...

Paul Noonan's like what Roman Martinez is to the Lobos - - a productive role player. Neither one of these guys can step up to leadership roles as upperclassmen although any coach would love to have them on their team. Now that the Broncs and LowBlows have graduated their leaders it's time for more payback on Boise for two years ago and NMSU is overdue to sweep the in-state rival following the last-minute football win! Booo-eeyaah !!