November 27, 2012

Adding Grand Canyon University: Faces change as WAC tries to fend off a funeral

by Brett Hein (@bhein3)

The Western Athletic Conference is still in trouble. News broke yesterday that the Denver Pioneers will be leaving the WAC for seemingly more stable pastures in the Summit League. Today, it is expected that Grand Canyon University will announce its intention to reclassify its athletics to Division I and join the WAC as Denver's replacement.

Even with such an addition, many questions abound for the WAC and its very unstable future.

November 21, 2012

CSU 60, Denver 53: Rams win in Mile High clash (Audio: Post-game interviews)

by Brett Hein (@bhein3) and Brendan Loy (@MileHighMids)

via Brendan Loy
For the fourth straight season, the Colorado State Rams (3-0) took down the Denver Pioneers (1-3) in a 60-53 win at Magness Arena on Wednesday night. Colton Iverson led the Rams in scoring, tallying 16 points and hauling in 13 rebounds. Dorian Green pitched in 16 points in the win as the two combined to shoot 12-20 from the field.

November 19, 2012

BYU Returns from Barclays Center with 99 Problems

I just...I just don't know about you, man
I like my BYU Cougars men's basketball team like I don't like my coffee: Old, White and Fast. And so it was that my cockles were warmed earlier this month when BYU figuratively opened the door and ran.

The 'door' is, in this circumspect analogy, the great portal of excitement that is the start of the season. The running, of course, is a more literal symbolization of Dave Rose's philosophy of having his players sprint around like their pants are on fire.

BYU was the fifth "quickest" of the 345 teams in the country last season judging solely based on adjusted tempo rank, a measure of the number of possessions a team has per game that is adjusted for opposing teams' pace of play. Two seasons ago it was the 20th fastest. Three seasons ago it was the 14th. So far this season, it's sixth.

This trend suggests a strategy of maximizing the number of possible possessions by playing those possessions quickly, at least in relation to the opponent's pace. It works really well when a team grabs defensive rebounds, forces turnovers and pushes successfully in transition. The first item requires strong post play. The last two items require that a team's offense be centrally and confidently commanded at the point (stick these little thematic morsels in your basketball beard and save them like a snack for further down).

November 12, 2012

The Game You Didn't See was a Lion Whimper

Anthony Ireland is so good that he's allowed
to dribble at head level free of charge
I like the Loyola Marymount University Lions men's basketball team. I root for them routinely. I consider their success the WCC's success, and thereby, as a WCC writer and admitted league homer, my own. I want LMU to do well. Seriously.

To say that they trotted out to Dallas this weekend after throwing up 108 against an NAIA school and looked jittery, out of sync and one dimensional gives me no pleasure at all. It is also a true statement. While the rest of the country was looking the other way on Sunday at the NFL, or at Arizona and Gerogetown's single digit faux-scares against little guys, LMU snuck in an unaired contest against Southern Methodist University. It was probably a good thing for the Lions that nobody was watching.

November 8, 2012

The State of Zag (Part II)

by Will Green (@Zagacious)

We examined the large quantity of personnel shifts in Part 1 of The State of Zag in an attempt to better recognize where this Gonzaga team is coming from. And we're exploring where the team is coming from because you obliging folks are entertaining the premise that by doing so we can learn more about where the team is going. You're so awesome for doing that.

More revealing and explanatory than the personnel Gonzaga turned over from 11-12 to 12-13, however, are the results the team is still marinating in. Let's examine the last three seasons. (Yes, this number of seasons is arbitrary. I couldn't pick just one, because the data size there is super limited. And if I picked two, I mean two's an odd number, people would say, "why did he pick two?" And four? Well, that's just gaudy. We'll look at three seasons, a nice trio, like the Musketeers or the Blind Mice. Or you can change the channel and I won't blame you).

UNLV and Seattle: Exhibition basketball is fun!

by Brett Hein (@bhein3)

Actual college basketball (games that count) gets under way on Friday, Nov. 9, but that doesn't mean the fun hasn't started!

The UNLV Rebels, Mountain West favorite and #18 in the AP Poll, were taken to the brink in an overtime game against the Dixie State Red Storm on Wednesday night. If it's any indication of the kind of season we might enjoy across the country in 2012-13, let's get it started!

November 7, 2012

The State of Zag (Part I)

by Will Green (@Zagacious)

When November rolls around, college basketball fans all sort of filter into the awkward cocktail party of pre-season discussion and reintroduce themselves to each other, and to the team they love. No matter how badly a late game screw up ruined our February, or how extraordinarily happy the glint in Kevin Pangos' eyes on the 33-point night made us feel, the effect of those moments wear off over the prior seven months: Last season was a long time ago, a little voice says. This season is not last season, therefore we shouldn't have to think about last season and only focus on what we aspire to achieve this year.

Sometimes we embrace this "fresh slate" mentality to purposefully suppress painful memories (see: Everything). Sometimes we embrace it because the message-board- and ESPN-has-too-many-hours-to-fill hype machine has ingested us so wholly that we're stuck dog paddling around the intestines of easy hope and we don't want to stop. And sometimes, as is often the case with myself, we embrace it honestly: We simply forget about some of last season's 33 games because our lives are extremely busy or we have short-term amnesia (this is actually a concern of mine) or because we were feeding the family fish when ROOT cut back way too early from a commercial and oh my God how did I miss Rashad Green doing game-winning business.

November 6, 2012

What I'm excited for in the Big Sky

by Brett Hein (@bhein3)

It's hard to believe, but basketball is here again. As with most of the country, the Big Sky Conference gets under way with official (non-exhibition) games this Friday, Nov. 9., and every team will have played once by the end of Sunday, Nov. 11.

Despite the absence of the conference's biggest names (Damian Lillard is already lighting it up in the NBA, and Will Cherry is out for non-conference play), there is a lot I'm looking forward to in the Big Sky this year.


Defending champion Montana has lost starters Art Steward, the every-team-needs-one glue guy, and Derek Selvig, fairly-versatile seven-foot center, to graduation. In addition, all-conference point guard and leading scorer Will Cherry has a broken foot which has him sidelined for 8-12 weeks.

September 6, 2012

Texas State makes a bid for my heart, while Idaho is slip-sliding away

I have personally made no secret online that I have a place in my heart for Texas-San Antonio football, better known as UTSA. The Roadrunners averaged over 30,000 fans last year as an FCS independent in the first year of the football program. I was impressed by the web presence of @CokerChronicles, @RowdyReport, and @UTSAinsiders. UTSA was a program with great energy around it.

It made me happy, then, that the Runners won their first FBS game against fellow newcomer South Alabama 33-31. But what happened in Houston last week courtesy of another Texas upstart was even more awesome, from a pure sport-loving standpoint. The picture above encapsulates much of that awesomeness.

July 23, 2012

Penn State and the Mob that Cries for Blood

by @KilroyFSU

I am compelled to write this post to address some of the overwrought and ill-thought out bluster that has been said and written since the Jerry Sandusky situation broke. Specifically, my concern is with the NCAA taking action and the people who applaud the NCAA’s overreach.

Let me begin by establishing that I have no interest in or connection to the Pennsylvania State University, other than being a fan of college football. I have attended two games at Beaver Stadium, both against the University of Akron, once in 1999 and once in the mid-2000s. I attended as a student and later as an alumnus of Penn State’s opponent. I was a Florida State Seminole as an undergrad until I transferred to Akron during my sophomore year. I am not a fan or alumnus of Penn State and I am not motivated by the fact that the university involved was Penn State. I would feel the same if the school had been Louisiana-Lafayette, Utah, or Florida. The issue is not the school involved but the legal and moral impetus behind the punishment.

I should also dispatch with the unfortunately necessary caveats regarding Jerry Sandusky and the administration of Penn State. The underlying acts were absolutely evil and the administrators that covered for Sandusky and allowed the continuing abuse should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Any disapproval with the NCAA and its response should not be taken as being soft on sexual abusers and those that enable them. Obviously.

July 3, 2012

Remember the WAC's unintentional eulogy?

It's back! After posting then removing the video months ago, the WAC's unintentional self-eulogy is back -- but with one notable change: it no longer touts the logos of Denver, Seattle, UT-A, UTSA, and Texas State as new additions ... just throws their logos in with the rest at the beginning. RIP, WAC.

July 2, 2012

The Upset Show: Episode 3

This week on The Upset Show, we discuss:
  • Boise State MWC/Big East drama --What is next for the Broncos for non-football sports?
  • NBA Draft: How Damian Lillard, Orlando Johnson, and Rob Sacre fit on their respective teams, and who in the West will we be seeing get drafted in 2013.
  • Zach's brush with John L Smith
Remember to subscribe on iTunes!

June 19, 2012

Big Sky commissioner speaks on Idaho, realignment, new TV deal

Big Sky commissioner Doug Fullerton joined 630 AM in Boise on Tuesday afternoon, and answered a lot of questions about the conference's plans for expansion, Idaho specifically, NMSU, Boise State, and other ideas. Here is a recap of what he said:

June 6, 2012

The Upset Show: Episode 2

Zach and Brett are back again to discuss their thoughts on the problems currently involved in college football playoff negotiations; what of their favorite smaller football programs might be left in the cold when the realignment dust settles; how rich boosters can even be a problem at schools like Idaho State; and how the Big Sky's new basketball schedule might affect the conference's profile.

You can subscribe on iTunes or to the RSS Feed or listen to the player below the jump. Thanks for listening!

June 4, 2012

Idaho State's outgoing interim coach sparks NCAA investigation

An NCAA investigation taking place in the beacon of purity that is Pocatello, Idaho was sparked by a letter written by Deane Martin, former interim coach of the Idaho State basketball team. Not you too, Idaho State!

May 28, 2012

The Upset Show: Episode 1

Zach and Brett jump into the podcast waters with Episode 1 of The Upset Show. On today's podcast, we:

- Memorialize The Mtn as it goes off the air.
- Discuss the history, ramifications, and future of affected schools in conference realignment, and discuss the actions those conferences and schools should take.
- Analyze past mid-major basketball players taken in the first round of the NBA draft and compare how Weber State's Damian Lillard stacks up.

Podcast player is below the jump. Thanks for tuning in!

May 25, 2012

Weber State Signs 3 JC Transfers

Weber State announced the signing of three junior-college transfers as the Wildcats prepare to start life without Damian Lillard:

Abdulsamad Zaid | G 6'2"
Barstow CC
Wayne Bradford | G 6'3"
Sheridan College
Royce Williams | F 6'5"
New Mexico Military Inst