In this week’s news conference, Idaho women’s basketball coach Jon Newlee talks about the team’s eight game losing streak, the success of Alyssa Charlston, and the talented youth core of his team.
With two weeks to go before college football kicks off, the sudden disintegration of the Western Athletic Conference has woken up sportswriters and bloggers from their fall camp reverie. We’ve got a compilation of the best (and bizarrest) writing on the WACsplosion.
- The latest-breaking development? Utah State confirms it, too, was approached by the MWC and offered membership — before either Fresno State or Nevada. But with honor and commitment, the Aggies refused to betray the WAC. Everyone left in the conference should consider USU their heroes. They rejected self-interested sabotage, and I hope they, and we, come out ahead for it.
- Sam Wasson’s BleedCrimson.net has a great rundown of this morning’s press conference with Karl Benson.
- SWX has a story on Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear’s press conference this afternoon. In short, Idaho is “committed” to staying with the WAC, come hell and high water. KXLY’s Ben Kaplan provides his take, too.
- ESPN’s Pat Forde examines the brutal history of the MWC and WAC’s “conference cannibalism.” Ray Ratto has similar thoughts at CBSSports.com.
- San Jose State is left in limbo, Jon Wilner writes in the Mercury News. Join the club, says Louisiana Tech — most damningly, the Bulldogs’ AD all but invites his program to be poached by another conference, preferably C-USA. Stephen Tsai of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser says Hawaii should quit the WAC and go independent.
- Whither BYU? Good question, as Cougar AD Tom Holmoe provides only cryptic answers to the Deseret News. “Things are playing out” indeed.
- Could Sacramento State and UC Davis save the WAC? That’s what the Sacramento Bee’s John Schumacher is wondering. The more Aggies the merrier, I suppose.
- Nevada got an offer it couldn’t refuse, or so says Scott Sonner. Yet Utah State did refuse it. Hmm.
- Silver and Blue Sports has a report on Nevada’s move up to the MWC. The Reno Gazette-Journal’s Chris Murray examines how the move might affect Wolf Pack programs.
- The Fresno Bee’s Dan Lyght and Bryant-Jon Anteola have a whole slew of stories on the Bulldogs’ jump to the MWC.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Tonight, Idaho visits the Silicon Valley to take on the Spartans of San Jose State, as the Vandals look to open their conference season with back-to-back road victories.
After getting a crucial road win at Hawaii on Saturday night, Don Verlin’s Vandals have a chance to head back home on a three-game winning streak — and with the WAC conference race looking tight as can be, every road win is precious.
Time constraints kept us from doing a full game preview, but the excellent Spartan Hoops has a game breakdown from the SJSU perspective.
We’ll have all the action for you from courtside in the Event Center. Pregame starts at 6:30 p.m., tipoff at 7.
As the semester winds down and academics heat up, we’re hitting the evening before we have a chance to get these posts up. Our apologies, but we do want to graduate eventually!
Last night featured a pair of disappointments for Idaho hoops — the men fell on the road to Cal State-Northridge, while the women lost at home against Wyoming. Both games saw the Vandals lead in the second half, but in neither case were they able to hang on for the win.
Today’s a day off for all the WAC men’s teams — for the first day in awhile, there’s nothing on the hardwood.
Sunday, of course, will be an Idaho basketball doubleheader in Memorial Gym. The women tip off against Saint Mary’s at noon, while the men face #25 Portland at 5 p.m. We’ll have Vandal Nation Live courtside coverage for both games. Look for our game preview tomorrow, along with a Vandal Spotlight on Jeff Ledbetter.
- The Vandal men built a 14-point lead in the second half against Cal State-Northridge, but blew it all down the stretch and fell, 95-93. We’ve got a game wrap and Don Verlin isn’t pleased. Gilberto Manzano of the Northridge Daily Sundial has a story from the Matador perspective.
- Idaho’s women dropped another one at home, once again squandering a lead against Wyoming to lose, 61-55. Ilya Pinchuk’s got the story for us, including a video interview with Jon Newlee. Gaylen Wood has the story for GoVandals.net, too.
- Storming the Floor has a great look at West Coast hoops in pictures.
- With a matchup preview of the Wolf Pack’s battle against Pacific, it’s the prolific Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal.
- Tomorrow’s rivalry battle between New Mexico State and New Mexico is a must-win if the Aggies want to salvage their non-conference season, says the Las Cruces Sun-News’ Jason Groves.
- Previewing tomorrow’s WAC battle between Boise State and New Mexico State, Sam Wasson of BleedCrimson.net has a Know The Foe with OBNUG.
- Ferd Lewis of the Honolulu Advertiser says Hawaii is expecting 40,000 fans in the stands for the Warriors’ pivotal game against Wisconsin. Hawaii must win to secure a bowl berth.
- In the day’s third WAC game, Louisiana Tech plays host to San Jose State, and as the Spartan Daily’s Ryan Buchan reports, the Spartans will be looking to send retiring coach Dick Tomey out with a victory.
- ESPN’s Graham Watson has a few things to watch for this weekend, particularly the street fight for the WAC’s bowl bids.
As the morning dawns and students flock back to campus, we’re down in the home stretch of the semester. It was an up and down weekend for Idaho sports, but this week promises to hold great opportunities on the hardwood.
On Saturday, Idaho ended its home football season with an disappointing loss to Utah State, after defensive breakdowns once again put the Vandals in a hole they couldn’t dig out of. But Don Verlin’s hoopsters provided a boost that night with a decisive home win over Eastern Washington to go to 4-1, their best start in decades.
Then, Sunday brought the first victory for Idaho’s women, who struggled early on with shooting woes and the loss of team leader Derisa Taleni. Offense was not a problem, as the Vandals whipped up on Louisiana-Lafayette, 90-66.
This weekend promises to be a historic one for Idaho sports, as #25 Portland comes calling in Moscow Sunday. The Pilots, who have beaten Oregon, UCLA and #22 Minnesota, may be the first nationally-ranked non-conference team to ever take on the Vandals at home. That game will tip off at 5 p.m. and is scheduled for the Cowan Spectrum.
Now for the links:
- The AP Poll is out, and after upsetting #22 Minnesota, UCLA and Oregon, the Portland Pilots are ranked #25 in the nation.
- Idaho’s women got their first win Sunday, and did it with an offensive explosion. Here’s the official writeup.
- With a 6-for-7 performance from beyond the arc, Steffan Johnson led Idaho to victory over Eastern Washington, and Marvin Jefferson provided an exclamation point jam. Here’s a photo gallery and writeup from GoVandals.net, too. We’ll have photos of our own up this afternoon.
- Last night, Nevada made a strong showing in the defending national champions’ house, taking North Carolina down to the wire despite their lack of depth. Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal has the story from Chapel Hill, N.C. (props to the RGJ for sending him on the road) and observes that the Wolf Pack can claim a moral victory.
- Chris Murray also has his weekly WAC Power Rankings, and the Vandals are atop the leaderboard.
- Spartan Hoops previews tonight’s huge home game for the Spartans — they take on Saint Mary’s.
- Daniel Lyght of the Fresno Bee reports from the Bulldogs’ loss to Santa Clara, and Fresno State coach Steve Cleveland isn’t happy. (h/t to Parsing the WAC)
- Hawaii is headed out on its only road trip of the non-conference season, and the Honolulu Advertiser’s Dayton Morinaga says it could be the tonic the slumping Rainbow Warriors need.
- ESPN.com is projecting, bizarrely, an Idaho/Northern Illinois rematch for the Humanitarian Bowl. Is there anyone who really wants to see that?
- CBS Sports, more interestingly, predicts an Idaho/Bowling Green battle in Boise.
- The Logan Herald-Journal’s Wade Denniston says the Aggies were hoping to give the Vandals a shootout — and did.
- The Denver Post’s John Henderson looks at the WAC’s singular mission: Get Boise State into the BCS.
- What was seemingly impossible last month is oh so tantalizingly close for the Hawaii Warriors — after three wins in a row, they can secure a berth in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl if they can take down Wisconsin this weekend, the Honolulu Advertiser’s Stephen Tsai reports.
After a chilly, foggy Friday, the weather gods have smiled on Moscow today — it’s a beautiful day for college football and basketball! The Vandals will take on Utah State at 2 p.m. in the Kibbie Dome and Eastern Washington at 7 p.m. in Mem Gym.
For the 7-4 Vandals, they’ll be looking for a Senior Day to remember as Idaho closes out its best regular season in a decade and looks ahead to its first bowl since 1998. After two ugly losses, QB Nathan Enderle should be back in action and ready to lead the Vandals to a momentum-building victory over the 3-8 Aggies.
We’ll bring you all the action from the Dome with play-by-play commentary, analysis and chat at Vandal Nation Live, starting at 1:30 p.m. with our pregame show. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. We’ll have scoring updates on the Vandal Nation Twitter as well.
At 6:30 p.m., or immediately following football, we’ll have Vandal Nation Live coverage of Idaho hoops, as the men look for their best Division I start since the 1982-83 season. Tip-off against the Eagles is scheduled for 7 p.m. Our game preview is here.
This Weekend in the WAC
New Mexico State takes on San Jose State at 5 p.m. in Dick Tomey’s best remaining chance at getting a WAC win before retirement. Navy visits Hawaii in a game the Warriors must win to keep their slim bowl hopes alive. We’ve got the lowdown on all three of today’s WAC contests here.
Yesterday, Boise State beat Nevada, 44-33, to clinch at least a share of the WAC championship. Louisiana Tech and Fresno State are idle.
- We’ve got our Better Know a Foe preview of the Aggies, thanks to Wade Denniston of the Logan Herald-Journal.
- The Lewiston Tribune’s Jesse Baumgartner says that with Enderle back, the Vandals should pull out an eighth win.
- Chiming in with his preview, the Spokesman-Review’s Josh Wright figures this game to be key in Idaho’s bowl dreams.
- Wade Denniston previews the game for the Logan Herald-Journal, noting the Aggies aren’t taking the Vandals lightly.
- Nick Jezierny of the Idaho Statesman has a great feature on “Diesel” DeMaundray Woolridge’s final home game.