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WAC Hoops Digest

WAC Hoops Digest

By Kyle McDonald
All about WAC Hoops with analysis, conference updates, and power rankings.
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WAC Wednesday - Expansion and Power Rankings

WAC Hoops Digest

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UVU WBB Head Coach Dan Nielson Joins the Podcast
The Utah Valley women's basketball team was a preseason favorite to win the WAC regular season crown. But, a slow start added with COVID issues has kind of made the Wolverines a bit of an afterthought. UVU is 6-3 overall and 4-2 in WAC play. The two losses were at the hands of undefeated California Baptist in the first conference series of the 2020-21 season. Dan Nielson explains how his team has dealt with the adversity of this pandemic season. In fact, he uses the fact that UVU has taken a back seat to GCU and CBU as motivation to get his team ready to play. The Wolverines are coming off a sweep of Chicago State last weekend where UVU didn't play particularly well. Nielson attributes some of that to being on pause for nearly two weeks.  The second-year coach is excited to have a few more practices under their belt before UVU hosts GCU on Friday and Saturday. The series was set for the last regular season weekend but both teams put it in motion to play a bit earlier after both had open weekends.  Josie Williams and Maria Carvalho are big pieces Nielson relies on. And Carvalho has to be her All-WAC self this weekend against GCU's pressure.  Both games are set to tip at 2 p.m. MT on the WAC Digital Network. You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest. Image courtesy UVU Athletics. 
18:11
February 11, 2021
GCU WBB Head Coach Molly Miller Joins the Podcast
Grand Canyon women's basketball head coach Molly Miller is a winner. Plain and simple. At Division II Drury, Miller was 67-1 over her final two seasons and led the Panthers to a perfect 32-0 season in 2019-20. And all she has done at GCU is bring that winning mentality to the desert. The Lopes are 13-3 overall and 5-1 in WAC play, sitting in second place behind undefeated California Baptist. Miller attributes her success to her players buying in to the culture. That culture consists of being in shape, putting forth effort night in and night out and focusing on controlling what the Lopes can control. GCU features a full-court press and runs very few offensive sets. Miller wants her team to outplay, out-hustle and simply outwork their opponents.  The crazy part about all of this is the Lopes have just one senior on the roster. The fact that the youth on GCU's roster have bought into Miller and her staff so quickly is impressive. And doing it all amidst a pandemic where practices are limited, workouts are limited and interactions are limited makes it even more impressive for Miller and her staff.  GCU faces a difficult two weeks. The Lopes go on the road for the first time in nearly a month. GCU travels to Orem to take on Utah Valley in a series that was moved up nearly three weeks. The Lopes then travel to Riverside the following week to take on undefeated CBU.  You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest. Image courtesy GCU Athletics. 
28:54
February 10, 2021
CBU WBB Head Coach Jarrod Olson Talks About the Lancers Success
Jarrod Olson joined the podcast on Tuesday afternoon. The California Baptist women's basketball head coach is coming off a series sweep over New Mexico State in which Olson picked up his 200th win as the Lancers' head coach. However, at the time, Olson didn't even know it would be his 200th win. He is more focused on his Lancers and continuing to focus on the goal of winning the WAC regular season championship. CBU is well on its way to doing that. The Lancers are 16-0 overall and 8-0 in WAC play. CBU has four players averaging in double figures but on any given night, could have one of perhaps nine players have a big night. Leadership, experience, and an understanding of the culture are what is leading to the success of the 2020-21 season.  Olson also discusses the Lancers' trip to Edinburg. The CBU women have never won at UTRGV and with travel issues and so forth, Olson knows its not going to be an easy task. Add in the fact that CBU hosts second-place Grand Canyon next weekend, and there is concern of a letdown.  Olson also discusses the mindset behind adding 10th-ranked Oregon to the schedule late in the season.  You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest. Image courtesy CBU Athletics. 
19:18
February 10, 2021
WAC Hoops Week-In-Review with Inland Sports Sr. Writer Derryl Trujillo
Another week of WAC Hoops has come and gone. With it, some bad news came as well. UTRGV head coach Lew Hill passed away in his sleep on Sunday morning. Hill was 55 at the time of his death and it has created a shockwave around the coaching circles. There is also speculation that the Vaqueros will shut down the season after the loss of their beloved coach.  It's tough to really put together an episode after talking about this heartbreaking news. But, life sometimes has to go one. Kyle and Derryl talk about the weekend that was. The CBU women continue to dominate and are 18-0 overall and moving up the collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 rankings. GCU continues to keep pace in the women's race for the regular season crown. Molly Miller is a winner and has the Lopes right in the mix after a sweep of UTRGV. Utah Valley continues to stay in the mix and host the Lopes this upcoming weekend in a big series for both teams. On the men's side, New Mexico State got in the win column after a dominating performance Saturday night against California Baptist. Jabari Rice had a season-high 20 points to lead the Aggies who scored 97 points in the win. Seattle earned a split of the weekend at Dixie State. Redhawks guard Darrion Trammell was the WAC Player of the Week after posting 30 points in back-to-back games this weekend.  You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest. Image courtesy NMSU Athletics. 
28:43
February 8, 2021
Fans at Games, GCU Reaction, Short Preview of Both Weekend Series in WAC Hoops
It is Friday afternoon and I should have been in Edinburg, Texas by now. At the very least, checked into my hotel in McAllen. Disappointing times this COVID-19 has caused a lot of people. For what it is worth, two Dixie State series have been cancelled when I have requested credentials. The second game of the UVU-Seattle series was cancelled. That was frustrating because Tyler and I were in Seattle to cover that series. And now another series gets cancelled due to COVID-10. Perhaps I am just a bad luck charm or something. Anyway, I discuss the issue at hand about fans at games, the comment from Jamie Boggs to the Las Cruces Sun News and more in this episode of the podcast. I am all for having fans at games as long as protocols are being followed. Is there a correlation between 900 fans at the GCU basketball games this past weekend and the postponements for this weekend? Probably not. The fans aren't even close to the floor. And Boggs even stated the same thing in her comment to the LCSN.  There are people on both sides of this. The Twitter banter has been quite interesting. People have their positions and aren't really wanting to budge either way. For what it is worth, organizations and institutions have a lot more data to process in regard to these decisions than people on Twitter will ever see.  Anyway, after that rant, I discuss the games this weekend. New Mexico State hosts California Baptist at Eastwood High in El Paso. Dixie State hosts Seattle who hasn't played in three weeks. It should be another fun weekend of WAC Hoops.  You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest.
14:46
February 5, 2021
CBU PxP Broadcaster Braiden Bell Talks CBU Offense, EA Sports and Food
The California Baptist Lancers are riding high. CBU is one of the best offensive teams in the nation. And CBU play-by-play broadcaster Braiden Bell joins the podcast to talk about this Lancer offense. The Lancers rank in the top-25 nationally in a variety of offensive categories including points per game, 3-point field goal percentage and rebounds. CBU is tops in the WAC in 3-point field goal percentage, free throw percentage and points per game. It is quite unique considering that the Lancers lost the majority of their offense from 2019-20.  However, Ty Rowell, Reed Nottage, Tre Armstrong and Gorjok Gak have stepped up. And Mark Carbone and Elijah Thomas also provide an offensive spark at times. It has led to mixed results, however. CBU is 8-5 overall and 3-3 in WAC play. The Lancers lost on Saturday night at the CBU Events Center to Dixie State.  Bell also talks about how excited he is to call this week's CBU game at New Mexico State. The game is being played at Eastwood High School in El Paso. Just listen to Bell describe his thoughts when he first saw pictures of the 'arena'.  Along with this, Bell also describes his feelings toward the EA Sports announcement on Tuesday. It might surprise you. And last but not least, the CBU play-by-play broadcaster has a request for New Mexico State fans. And it is important so help him out Aggie fans.  You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest. Image courtesy CBU Athletics. 
21:37
February 3, 2021
GCU Lopes Insider Paul Coro Talks Success, Preview NMSU Series
GCU is off to a 10-3 start under first-year head coach Bryce Drew. The Lopes are also 4-0 in WAC play after sweeping weekend series at Tarleton State and at Dixie State. Currently, GCU is on a 6-game winning streak. Wichita State transfer Asbjørn Midtgaard has been a huge part of that success.  Coro delves into what the big man's game and his skill set. Perhaps the Wichita State faithful are watching Midtgaard and wondering why he never got a shot with the Shockers. Coro believes that Midtgaard is the difference-maker on the interior that the Lopes haven't had. It gives Alessandro Lever a chance to be more of a stretch-4 and also gives the Lopes a rim protector. According to Coro, Gabe McGlothan is the energizer bunny off the bench. McGlothan is physical and attacks the boards. In fact, it was offensive rebounding in the first game against Dixie State that really made the difference in the Lopes' win. McGlothan, Sean Miller-Moore, and Even Chance McMillian are keys to the Lopes depth under Bryce Drew. But, all roads lead through New Mexico State. According to Coro, the Lopes aren't taking the Aggies lightly despite all the challenges the Aggies have had to face this season. Keep an eye on the guard play between Evan Gilyard and Jovan Blacksher Jr. Coro believes Aggie fans will be justified in saying this series didn't matter because the Aggies weren't at full strength. If GCU were in the same position, Coro would believes GCU fans would say the same thing.  You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest.
21:08
January 28, 2021
New Mexico State PxP Broadcaster Adam Young Discusses Aggie Basketball
New Mexico State has finally taken the floor once again. And with it comes perhaps what some considered the biggest series of the season this weekend. The Aggies travel back to Phoenix to take on Grand Canyon in their first WAC series of the season. The Aggies came off pause last week and played their first game since Dec. 28 on Monday at the Haskins Center in El Paso. And no, it wasn't against rival UTEP. The Aggies beat up on Division III opponent Western New Mexico.  However, the Aggies weren't at full strength on Monday. Jabari Rice and Clayton Henry were still in boots. Donnie Tillman wasn't available. Rashaun Agee, Marcus Watson and Mayan Kiir were all out, as well. Add in that Johnny McCants and Evan Gilyard didn't play significant minutes.  But the Aggies played a game and that was all that mattered. Now, the question is, how will the Aggies fare in their first WAC series? Like Adam Young says, if anyone can pull some magic out of a hat, it would be NMSU head coach Chris Jans.  You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest. Image courtesy NMSU Athletics. 
23:42
January 28, 2021
WAC Roundtable - Talking WAC Expansion and WAC Hoops
It is the first-ever WAC Roundtable. Monitor News writer Andrew McCulloch and Inland Sports Senior Writer Derryl Trujillo join Kyle and Tyler to talk about WAC expansion as well as WAC hoops.  The WAC added Sam Houston State, Abilene Christian, Stephen F. Austin, Lamar and Southern Utah on Thursday morning. All four Texas schools will join the WAC in July, 2021 while SUU will join in July, 2022.  With the new additions, the conference is set to sponsor football once again. And the new additions give the basketball side of things a little more exposure. Stephen F. Austin and Abilene Christian have been to the NCAA Tournament in recent years and SUU is off to a solid start in this COVID-crazy 2020-21 season. In fact, the T-birds have wins over future WAC opponents Dixie State and Utah Valley this season.  Along with this news of WAC expansion, some basketball games are going to be played this weekend, too.  Tarleton State heads to Riverside to take on California Baptist. Both teams are vying for their first conference win after getting swept in their conference-opening weekend one week ago. Dixie State is heading to Edinburg to take on UTRGV in the conference openers for both teams. And Utah Valley heads to the Pacific Northwest to take on Seattle. The Wolverines are 2-0 after sweeping California Baptist while Seattle will be playing its first conference games. And according to tweets, all three series are set to go. 
47:05
January 15, 2021
WAC Wednesday - Expansion and Power Rankings
In this episode of the WAC Hoops Digest podcast, expansion is the big topic. Also on the agenda is the weekly power rankings and breaking down why I have the rankings the way I do. I also tried a new video episode that is on our YouTube page so check that out. I would love to hear any feedback from fans on what I can do better or what they would like to see. Expansion is happening in the WAC. On Thursday in Houston, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Lamar and Abilene Christian will be announcing their intention to join the WAC beginning in the 2021-22 year. Southern Utah is expected to join the WAC as well but not until 2022-23.  Football is back in the WAC and basketball is just going to get better.  GCU sits atop the power rankings this week after going 2-0 at Tarleton State to open WAC play. Utah Valley comes in at two as they are also 2-0 after sweeping California Baptist.  All other WAC teams were either idle, on pause or played non-DI opponents. Watch out for UTRGV and Seattle in these power rankings. UTRGV got big man Jeff Otchere back from injury and Javon Levi is expected to take the floor this weekend for the first time in nearly a month.  You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest.
20:06
January 13, 2021
WAC Play Begins - California Baptist at Utah Valley Preview
Conference play is upon us. Friday night four WAC teams are in action...against other WAC teams. Yep. Totally stoked. And on this episode of the podcast, California Baptist head coach Rick Croy and Utah Valley head coach Mark Madsen share some thoughts on this weekend. The Lancers and the Wolverines have played just one game since Dec. 12. Technically, Utah Valley has played one game while California Baptist has been on pause due to COVID issues. But, both squads are excited to get back on the floor and relieved that the games are actually going to get played.  You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest. Image courtesy of UVU Athletics. 
17:01
January 7, 2021
Monday Madness Thoughts - Chicago State, New Mexico State & WAC Players of the Week
Monday Madness Thoughts. Sounds reasonable now that we are a little over a week away from conference play beginning. The madness technically began last week with the Chicago State news.  Add in the madness New Mexico State has gone through just to get another game scheduled. And the madness that is choosing the WAC Player of the Week and you can see why the name of the episode.  On this episode of the podcast, I talk about the selections for Player of the Week honors. GCU swept the award with Asbjørn Midtgaard winning on the men's side and Katie Scott winning on the women's side. Both had solid performances in their respective games this week. Unfortunately, there wasn't much depth in terms of games played so it is to be expected. Midtgaard and Scott are both well-deserving. Hopefully more games are played this week prior to conference play starting next week so we get a look at other players throughout the WAC. Adding to the madness is Chicago State. Chicago State suspended its men's basketball season last week. And there has been a lot of speculation going on about the decision. Athletic director Elliott Charles said it was due to the safety of the student-athletes. And it very well might have been. The amount of speculation going on via Twitter and social media is kind of crazy. Are there financial issues within the Chicago State athletic department? Absolutely. With the lack of success, should the Cougars move down to Division II? Perhaps. Again, all speculation at this point.  The one fact is that the men's basketball team has been hindered a great deal by injuries. Andrew Lewis, Isaiah Lewis, Lou Demuth, Jordan Polynice, and Solomon Hunt all among players who have missed a good deal of time. Chicago State has had to play with 6-8 players over the last three contests and four players are averaging nearly 30 minutes per game. That's not healthy and can create long-term issues. We don't know what the discussion was behind closed doors. And remember, we were all critical of Chicago State making the decision not to travel to Seattle or Utah Valley last March. Look what came of that.  Let's put it this way: it wouldn't be Monday Madness if we didn't talk about New Mexico State.  And finally, New Mexico State takes the floor once again. Aggies have been off for 26 days and just recently came off quarantine last week. Now, New Mexico State faces its first Division I opponent of the season in CSU Northridge. The Matadors haven't played a game since Dec. 19. Mayan Kiir gets his first minutes in an Aggie uniform. Perhaps there will be rust but New Mexico State should be able to use its athleticism and strength to make it 22 wins in a row.  You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest. Image courtesy New Mexico State Athletics. 
10:36
December 28, 2020
WAC Wednesday Rant - CHEER for WAC Schools in Non-Conference Play
Some days, it is hard to promote WAC Hoops. It is almost like common sense goes out the window for the fans. Cheering for WAC schools to fail in non-conference games is mind-boggling. Do fans not realize that the better teams play in non-conference games, the better off the conference will be as a whole? Twitter came to life yesterday in response to a tweet put out on the WAC Hoops Digest account. And it followed through to Wednesday morning where the debate has been going on about whether or not a certain team is good.  So, this podcast episode is a little rant about supporting ALL WAC schools in their non-conference games. Hate them when your team plays them in conference play. That is fine and understandable. But, what doesn't make sense is cheering against schools in your conference against schools from another conference. Everyone talks about the WAC being mediocre and needing teams to step up. Yet, when teams do step up, even if it's in a close loss, it's almost not good enough. Can you imagine being a double-digit underdog, hanging with one of the better teams in the country, and getting bashed because you didn't win the game?  There have been seven games against Pac-12 schools in 2020-21. In five of the seven, WAC schools led late but couldn't finish. In the other two, Seattle just played really bad. Here are the KenPom rankings of the seven Pac-12 schools. UCLA at 29. Arizona State at 55. Utah at 63. Colorado at 24, USC at 35, Washington at 116, and California at 133.  And yet, outside of two of those contests, WAC schools either led or were within a point with five minutes to play.  Cheer for your conference opponents in non-conference games. Give credit where credit is due. Common sense.  You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest.
20:22
December 23, 2020
New Followers, WAC Expansion and Cancellations Suck
It has been a really good Thursday. WAC Hoops Digest has had an influx of new followers. More WAC expansion talk has come out. And well, as of right now, two WAC teams will be in action on Thursday night. Just want to say thank you to all our followers that promoted our account today on Twitter. We have had gained over 40 new followers in just a few hours. The WAC expansion may have a little bit to do with it. We have seen a lot of Stephen F. Austin fans as well as some Sam Houston State fans. Hopefully as more of this expansion talk irons itself out, more followers will come. Either way, we really appreciate it and look forward to the interactions and providing more content. According to a report on Thursday, Stephen F. Austin Board of Regents voted to recommend making the jump to the WAC. HUGE news. It sets in motion all the reports of SFA, Sam Houston State, Lamar and Abilene Christian leaving for the WAC made my Extra Points publisher Matt Brown a few months ago. Quality basketball teams and potentially football coming back to the WAC is awesome.  And for the record, cancellations suck. There have been a great deal of games cancelled this week alone. Tarleton was supposed to play at No. 2 Baylor. Dixie State was supposed to play at Utah State. California Baptist was supposed to play at Arizona. And the list can go on and on. They suck. But we should be grateful that games actually get to be played. We have seen heartbreakers but also quality wins. The best part is that these student-athletes get rewarded for all the sacrifices they have made over the past year. Let's be grateful for that. Two WAC teams are in action tonight. Dixie State travels 50 miles north to take on Southern Utah in what might become a really good rivalry. Seattle hosts College of Idaho tonight in a game that the Redhawks should gain some confidence as the non-conference slate winds down. You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out of Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest.
15:21
December 17, 2020
WAC Wednesday Thoughts: Utah Valley, Chicago State and a Sportscenter Top-10
It is another WAC Wednesday and in this episode of the WAC Hoops Digest podcast, I put together some thoughts on Utah Valley and Chicago State. I also talk about a Sportscenter Top-10 moment from Tuesday on the women's side of things. Both Chicago State and Utah Valley lost on Tuesday night. Chicago State played with six players in a 29-point loss at Illinois State. Interim head coach Rodell Davis has a difficult job right now of keeping this team together. The Cougars fought well in the first half, trailing by just six at the break. But Illinois State hit 10 3-pointers in the second half to pull away. Andrew Lewis, Isaiah Lewis, Solomon Hunt, Lou Demuth, and Jordan Polynice all missed Tuesday's game. It will be interesting to see what Chicago State is like when they are fully healthy. Utah Valley had another shot to beat Utah at the Huntsman Center but failed to execute in the final 3:21. In fact, Utah Valley went scoreless over that stretch and the Utes pulled away for the 75-67 win. On its final five possessions, Utah Valley had two missed shots and three turnovers. Not a good combination when you are trying to pull off a major upset. Evan Cole had a career-high 31 points and 10 rebounds but turnovers were the difference on Tuesday night.  You can find the WAC Hoops Digest podcast the Anchor app and on all your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and check out our Facebook page under WAC Hoops Digest.
16:51
December 16, 2020
Andrew McCulloch, UTRGV Beat Writer for Monitor News, Joins the Podcast
Award-winning journalist Andrew McCulloch covers all things UTRGV for the Monitor News. McCulloch also covers high school sports and has had a whirlwind past few weeks. Covering the high school playoffs was a memorable event. McCulloch has been on Good Morning America and featured on other media outlets for reporting on an incident where a player basically attacked an official. Crazy story. UTRGV is 3-2 on the season with losses at Texas and at Texas A&M. The Vaqueros are deeper in 2020-21 and its showing. Sean Rhea has continued his growth as has Quinton Johnson II. Javon Levi continues to be the floor leader but with the depth the Vaqueros have, there is less pressure on the senior guard.Western Kentucky transfer Marek Nelson is making his mark at UTRGV. Nelson had to sit out the 2019-20 season due to transfer rules but has hit the ground running.The missing piece to a possible WAC title run is big man Jeff Otchere. The former America East Defensive Player of the Year has yet to play a minute for UTRGV. But, once Otchere takes the floor, watch out for the Vaqueros. Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content all throughout the 2020-21 season. Thanks for listening everyone and have a great day.Image courtesy UTRGV Athletics
21:11
December 10, 2020
Derryl Trujillo, Inland Sports Show Senior Writer Talks CBU Men's and Women's Hoops
It is another WAC Wednesday and another episode of the WAC Hoops Digest podcast. On this episode, Inland Sports Show Senior Writer Derryl Trujillo discusses the culture and success that both the California Baptist men and women are experiencing.Rick Croy won his 300th game on Friday Dec. 4 against SE Louisiana. Croy is only 43 years old so it makes reaching this feat all the more impressive. It's about finding the right players and players that buy into the culture of hard work and competitiveness in order to have success at CBU. Jarod Olsen has had great success as the women's head coach. In seven-plus seasons, Olsen has won 174 games and currently has CBU at 5-0 to start the 2020-21 season. The Lady Lancers entered the Collegeinsider.com mid-major Top-25 polls this week. It's all about culture, according to Trujillo. Both coaches find and develop players that fit their program rather than simply going out and signing the best players. Both coaches want the best players but if they won't be a good fit, then they probably won't end up in Riverside at California Baptist. Development is another characteristic of both teams. This is a little more apparent on the women's side. Trujillo discusses this and talks about players that have been in the program all four years. Ty Rowell and Tre Armstrong are among these players on the men's team. And preseason WAC Player of the Year Ane Olaeta is among these players on the women's side.It's all about culture for the California Baptist basketball teams. Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content all throughout the 2020-21 season. Thanks for listening everyone and have a great day.
30:22
December 9, 2020
WAC Hoops Mailbag - Expansion, Non-Conference Games, Dixie State
It's a Tuesday edition of the WAC Hoops Mailbag. Although that isn't how it's referenced in the episode, fans' questions about WAC hoops are answered as best they can be. WAC expansion which has blown up over the past 24 hours is featured. Sources are saying that Southern Utah, Sam Houston State, Lamar, Abilene Christian and Stephen F. Austin are joining the WAC. This would mean that college football is returning to the Western Athletic Conference. Problem is the WAC would have to bring on another school to make it an 8-team football conference in order to keep the automatic bid to the FCS playoffs. Tarleton State and Dixie State are not eligible for the playoffs for another three years. So, there is still a huge issue related to conference expansion. However, adding those five schools would strengthen WAC Hoops immensely. There are some really good non-conference games against non-P5 schools. Games against Southern Utah, Wyoming, Utah State, San Francisco, Nevada, Sam Houston State and so forth are all good matchups for WAC schools. The WAC needs to win games against teams with similar statures in order to increase the conference ranking. Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content all throughout the 2020-21 season. Thanks for listening everyone and have a great day.
21:43
December 8, 2020
Grand Canyon Lopes Insider Paul Coro Joins the Podcast
GCU insider Paul Coro joins the podcast on Monday afternoon. The Lopes have a new head coach, new system and a new opportunity to do big things.Former Vanderbilt star Bryce Drew is at the helm in Phoenix. Drew is most remembered for hitting a buzzer-beater shot to send his Alma Mater Valparaiso into round two of the NCAA Tournament. You'll have to check it out on YouTube. Drew takes over for Dan Majerle and actually has a pretty full cupboard to work with. Alessandro Lever and Jovan Blacksher Jr. return. Mikey Dixon is back. Gabe McGlothan is healthy. And Oscar Frayer returns after sitting out the 2019-20 season due to academic issues. Drew brought in a pair of freshman as well as some Division I transfers. Perhaps the biggest name Drew brought in (no pun intended) is 7-footer Asbjørn Midtgaard from Wichita State. Coro says that Midtgaard gives the Lopes rim protection, which GCU hasn't seen in some time. Add in guard Sean Miller-Moore from Oregon State and freshman Liam Lloyd and Jayden Stone and Drew has a pretty solid roster.GCU also released its non-conference schedule on Monday. The Lopes host Grambling State to open the season and also host crosstown foe Arizona State in the first-ever meeting between the schools. GCU travels to Las Vegas in December to take on San Francisco and Colorado. Coro believes it is a challenging schedule and that there are some really sneaky games in there like the season opener and the final non-conference game in February against CSU Northridge. Coro also talks about what to expect offensively from the Lopes under Drew. With a big man inside, Coro believes that Alessandro Lever can expand his game even more and show that he is a true stretch-4 man. Paul Coro is the insider for a reason and gives some great information in this episode of the WAC Hoops Digest podcast.Remember to download the Podbean app and follow the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast so you don’t miss an episode. We are also on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content as we lead up to November 25 and all throughout the 2020-21 season. Thanks for listening everyone and have a great day.
21:52
November 17, 2020
New Mexico State Beat Writer Justin Martinez Joins the Podcast
New Mexico State beat writer Justin Martinez joins the podcast in an episode that examines the Aggies. Martinez is in his second year covering the Aggies after a stint in North Dakota after graduating from Texas in 2018. If you don't follow him on Twitter, go follow @JTheSportsDude for all your Aggie news as well as WAC coverage. Martinez has been on top of the COVID-19 restrictions the Aggies are dealing with in 2020. In fact, Martinez has done a great job detailing how social distancing is impacting practices, scheduling games and if the Aggies are even going to play in their home state during the 2020-21 season.Along with his writing, Martinez has been active on social media. Martinez would live stream NBA 2K20 games on Twitch with his created New Mexico State team. Analysis and interaction were key during these live streams. Martinez also is active on the Stray Shooter where he interviews on a more personal level New Mexico State players. It is good information and gives fans a chance to see who they are rooting for.If you are a New Mexico State fan, follow Justin Martinez as he has the Aggies covered. Remember to download the Podbean app and follow the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast so you don’t miss an episode. We are also on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content as we lead up to November 25 and all throughout the 2020-21 season. Thanks for listening everyone and have a great day.
17:22
November 13, 2020
Voice of the Lancers, Braiden Bell Joins the Podcast
California Baptist play-by-play announcer Braiden Bell joins the WAC Hoops Digest podcast on Thursday. Bell talks about the Lancers and what makes CBU so tough despite being new to the Division I level. CBU head coach Rick Croy has built a culture based on competition. In fact, Bell talks about how Croy might be the most competitive person he has ever been around. Bell also talks about how COVID-19 has had a positive impact on the Lancers. This is essential considering CBU has a grip of new players on its roster. The players spend more time together off the floor and it has created a bond that will lead to success. Bell also discusses what led to becoming a broadcaster. Vin Scully who Bell referred to as a poet is one of the reasons he became a broadcaster. The CBU play-by-play announcer is a big Los Angeles Dodgers fan so you can imagine his excitement when the Dodgers won the 2020 World Series. Other parts of the interview include talking about emotions calling a game, and how excited Bell and the Lancers are for the season-opener at USC on Nov. 25. Remember to download the Podbean app and follow the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast so you don’t miss an episode. We are also on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content as we lead up to November 25 and all throughout the 2020-21 season. Thanks for listening everyone and have a great day.
31:13
November 13, 2020
Voice of the Wolverines, Brandon Crow Joins the Podcast
Utah Valley play by play announcer Brandon Crow joined the WAC Hoops Digest podcast on Monday night. Crow has been the Voice of the Wolverines over the past four years. In this episode, Crow talks about his love for the Los Angeles Dodgers and how he felt when his team won the 2020 World Series. It was all part of the 2020 script with the Lakers winning the NBA title after Kobe Bryant passed away in early 2020. Crow also discusses what to expect in year two under Mark Madsen. The Wolverines have 16 new players and they are all Madsen recruits. So, while some don't have high expectations, Crow says people will be surprised at the success.Utah Valley released its full schedule on Monday. The schedule features three non-conference road games, two of which are against Pac-12 schools. Utah Valley will play five home games that include Wyoming and Southern Utah. Depth is key for Utah Valley especially with Covid-19 issues. And Crow believes the Wolverine roster is built to last. Remember to download the Podbean app and follow the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast so you don’t miss an episode. We are also on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content as we lead up to November 25 and all throughout the 2020-21 season. Thanks for listening everyone and have a great day.
23:15
November 10, 2020
Seattle U Head Coach Jim Hayford Previews 2020-21 Season
Seattle U head coach Jim Hayford came on the WAC Hoops Digest podcast to talk about the 2020-21 season. The Redhawks feature nine new players including JUCO All-American Angelo Stuart.Also in the mix are a trio of players from City College of San Francisco. Nate Robinson, Emeka Udenyi and Darrion Trammel led the Rams to a perfect 30-0 mark in 2019-20 on a team that averaged over 100 points per game. Hayford also adds graduate transfers Daron Henson and Jared Pearre to the roster. One of these newcomers are going to have to step into some big shoes. 1,000-point scorers Terrell Brown and Morgan Means are both gone. Brown is finishing his college career at Arizona and Means graduated to finish his eligibility. Hayford is in his fourth season at Seattle where he is 52-44 overall. For his career, Hayford passed the 400-win mark in November and holds a 412-219 record in 20-plus years of coaching. Despite having to cancel a trip to the Hawaiian Islands over Christmas, Hayford is excited about the non-conference slate. Seattle has games at UCLA and in-state foe Washington among others. Remember to download the Podbean app and follow the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast so you don't miss an episode. We are also on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content as we lead up to November 25 and all throughout the 2020-21 season. Thanks for listening everyone and have a great day.
20:53
October 21, 2020
Dixie State Head Coach Jon Judkins Previews 2020-21 Season
The Dixie State Trailblazers are the newest members of the Western Athletic Conference. Head coach Jon Judkins joined the podcast to talk about his 2020-21 squad.The Trailblazers have seven new players highlighted by big man Mikey Frazier and true freshman Andre Mulibea. Frazier is 6'11, 250 pounds who averaged 14.2 points and 5.3 rebounds at Garden City Community College in 2019-20. Mulibea was a Utah class 5-A first team selection and region MVP at East High School in Salt Lake City. Mulibea averaged 24.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game for the Leopards and Judkins is really high on him. Facilities, preparation, fan excitement and more are reasons why Dixie State is ready to compete at the highest level. The Burns Arena might be one of the best in the WAC. And, with the excitement surrounding the jump to Division I, Judkins expects it to be filled on a nightly basis.This is especially true when the renewal of the I-15 rivalry with Utah Valley tips off in conference play. Both schools competed in the same conference at the JUCO level and have played a few exhibition games over the years. Judkins is also excited that the other Division I schools in the state of Utah want to play the Trailblazers. Dixie State has Weber State, Utah State and Southern Utah all on the schedule for 2020-21. Dason Youngblood is the floor leader by example, according to Judkins. Youngblood averaged 10.1 points and 4.1 rebounds in 2019-20. But, according to an article on the Dixie State Athletics website, Youngblood is a team leader in an untraditional way. And along with teammate Hunter Schofield, will bring some great experience and leadership to the Trailblazers as they open up the Division I era. Last but not least, Jon Judkins does not have an ongoing battle with older brother Jeff as to who wins more games in their coaching careers. Jeff Judkins is the women's basketball coach at BYU. Both brothers support each other and try to keep the basketball conversations away from family gatherings. Remember to download the Podbean app and follow the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast so you don't miss an episode. We are also on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content as we lead up to November 25 and all throughout the 2020-21 season. Thanks for listening everyone and have a great day.
20:44
October 15, 2020
WAC Hoops News and Other Bullets w/ Kyle and Tyler
It is random but something we will do on a weekly basis. Kyle and Tyler talk about news around WAC Hoops and other things seen on social media.Tuesday was picture day for Utah Valley and the Wolverines looked ready for the 2020-21 season. Mark Madsen has 15 new players and only one returner from his first season in Orem. And with his recruits on campus now, it is easy to see why this team might surprise a lot of people. Depth, size, quickness and shooters are all part of the 2020-21 roster. And the Wolverines haven't had to deal with too many workout stoppages so they are a bit ahead of other teams in the WAC.Kyle talks about his podcast episode with California Baptist head coach Rick Croy. The Lancers will have five new starters in 2020-21 as they lost their top six scorers from a 21-win season in 2019-20. Tyler throws out some names to keep in mind when the season tips off on Nov. 25. Some big news out of Edinburg, Texas tonight as UTRGV has paused men's basketball and volleyball activities due to positive Covid tests. A statement from the UTRGV Athletic Department says that they are following the correct protocols and ensuring the safety of the student-athletes, coaches and staff. With Covid-19 wreaking havoc, schedules have had to change. And now, conference have to make a decision on how to handle conference games while reducing the risk of spread as much as possible. Kyle and Tyler talk about the benefit of having home-and-home games but also talk about the benefit of playing two games in one location. It is something to keep your eyes on as we get to a point where decisions have to be made. And lastly, there is a lot of depth in the paint in WAC Hoops this season. Grand Canyon, New Mexico State, Utah Valley, and California Baptist are all two-deep in the paint and as we break down other schools in the WAC, that same trend will continue. It will be fun to watch the battles in the post this season. Image courtesy UVU Men's Basketball TwitterRemember to download the Podbean app and follow the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast so you don't miss an episode. We are also on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content as we lead up to November 25 as well as all kinds of content during the 2020-21 season. Thanks for listening everyone and have a great day.
25:15
October 14, 2020
California Baptist Head Coach Rick Croy Previews 2020-21 Season
In two years at the NCAA Division I level, the California Baptist men's basketball team has made a name for itself. The Lancers are the only WAC team to beat New Mexico State in that time. CBU has won 37 games, most for a new Division I school in that timeframe. And has had a WAC Player of the Year in guard Milan Acquaah. Now, after losing his top six players from a season ago, head coach Rick Croy has somewhat of an uphill battle. However, with the additions of graduate transfers and a few freshmen, the Lancers might make more noise than people think in 2020-21. Add in that guard Ty Rowell is healthy after tearing his ACL in December, and the Lancers could very easily win 20-plus games for the second straight season. Russell Barlow (TCU), Gorjok Gak (Florida) and Elijah Thomas (Saint Mary's) will all play key roles for CBU. Barlow and Gak give the Lancers depth in the paint. And Thomas just adds to the depth at the guard positions for Croy and his staff. But, Rowell is expected to be the floor leader. The redshirt junior from Langley, BC, Canada was playing some of his best basketball until he got hurt against crosstown rival UC Riverside on Dec. 4. Croy says that Rowell has worked hard and put in the time and will be a key figure at the point guard position. The Lancers will play the majority, if not all, of their non-conference games in the state of California. And Croy is in favor of keeping the home-and-home schedule when conference play begins. Practicing outside or at the beach has its benefits and Croy discusses how the circumstances have brought his team closer together. Also, CBU is eligible for the WAC Tournament after a vote by the WAC Council earlier in the summer. And Croy is excited his team gets to compete for a championship. Image courtesy of CBU Athletics. Remember to download the Podbean app and follow the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast so you don't miss an episode. We are also on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content as we lead up to November 25 as well as all kinds of content during the 2020-21 season. Thanks for listening everyone and have a great day.
22:47
October 13, 2020
UTRGV 2020-21 Preview with Head Coach Lew Hill
Lew Hill joins the WAC Hoops Digest podcast to talk about his 2020-212 Vaqueros. UTRGV struggled through a 14-16 season in 2019-20. It is the first time under Hill that UTRGV hasn't seen an increase in wins. Some of that was due to injuries, especially to All-WAC point guard Javon Levi. However, eight players who saw double digit minutes in 2019-20 return, led by Levi. Add in Division I transfers Marek Nelson, Ricky "Doc" Nelson, and 2018-29 America East Defensive Player of the Year Jeff Otchere and UTRGV will make noise in the WAC. There is something unique about the UTRGV roster. The Vaqueros might be the only team in America that has two different conference Defensive Players of the Year with Jeff Otchere (America East) and Javon Levi (WAC).Levi is coming off a season in which he was second in the NCAA in assists per game at 7.96. The senior from Killeen, TX also averaged 2.4 steals per game. Levi was ranked in the top-15 in the NCAA in assists per game, steals per game, assist-to-turnover ratio, and total assists. Hill has to replace Lesley Varner II and highlight-reel Jordan Jackson. But, according to Hill, Marek Nelson should fill in just fine. Plus, Quinton Johnson II will get more looks as will Sean Rhea who Hill is very high on coming into 2020-21. Rhea took for the floor for UTRGV on Dec. 12, 2019 at Creighton. Rhea's stats don't jump out at you but it's the physicality that Hill is looking forward to the most. UTRGV will play its entire non-conference schedule in the state of Texas. It is about safety and reducing the amount of travel early in the season. Hill has also been a vocal leader in terms of injustice, letting go of hate, and changing laws. He gives a breakdown of where he stands and what he hopes to see. Subscribe to the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast so you don't miss an episode. Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content as we lead up to November 25 as well as all kinds of content during the 2020-21 season. Image courtesy UTRGV Men's Basketball Twitter.
18:58
October 9, 2020
GCU Head Coach Bryce Drew Previews 2020-21 Season
New Grand Canyon men's basketball coach Bryce Drew is a Cubs fan. That means he is an instant favorite of the WAC Hoops Digest podcast. Okay, we try not to play favorites here. Nonetheless, Drew came on the podcast on Thursday to talk about taking the job in Phoenix, his current roster, a big waiver approval and the craziness of putting a new schedule together.Drew is fresh off of a year as a college basketball analyst at ESPN. Prior to that, Drew had stops at his Alma Mater Valparaiso and then Vanderbilt prior to taking the job at ESPN. Drew took both the Crusaders and Commodores to the NCAA Tournament and is hoping for some magic at GCU. A bit thing Drew has going for him in his first season at GCU is quality experience returning. All-WAC selection Alessandro Lever stayed in Phoenix. Add in WAC Freshman of the Year Jovan Blacksher and the athletic Oscar Frayer and Drew has one of the more experienced teams in the WAC. Mikey Dixon and Bryce Okpoh also return as does Gabe McGlothan that sat out the 2019-20 season due to transfer rules. Waivers can have a huge impact on a program. It certainly has for GCU. 7-foot center Asbjørn Midtgaard is eligible immediately after transferring from Wichita State. This gives added depth in the post for the Lopes, which hasn't been seen in recent years. Drew explains how it benefits both Lever and Midtgaard in this episode.Scheduling is a chaotic mess at the current time. GCU had games against San Diego State, San Diego, Santa Clara, Nevada, San Francisco and Arizona State prior to Covid-19 issues. And Drew talks about the issues facing the Lopes in putting together a schedule at the current time, which is similar to other coaches in the conference. Great facilities, plenty of resources, and an opportunity for firsts await Bryce Drew in his first season at GCU.
19:52
October 8, 2020
Utah Valley 2020-21 Short Preview with Head Coach Mark Madsen
In his second year at Utah Valley, head coach Mark Madsen has a lot of new faces. 15 of them to be exact. Trey Woodbury and JJ Overton are the two Wolverines that return from the 2019-20 squad. It was a busy offseason for Madsen and his staff. And the work put in on the recruiting trail paid off. Georgia Tech grad transfer Evan Cole is perhaps the biggest name on the list. But, Division I recruits Tim Fuller, Jordan Brinson and Colby Leifson are all in the mix to have an immediate impact in Orem. Junior college transfers Asa McCord, Trey Farrer, Le'Tre Darthard and Jaden McClanahan all add depth that the Wolverines didn't have in 2019-20. Blaze Nield, a lightning quick guard who transferred from BYU, is also expected to play a big role for the Wolverines. Perhaps the name people should get to know is Fardaws Aimaq. The redshirt junior who transferred to Utah Valley from Mercer prior to the 2019-20 season has a great work ethic that Madsen says is going to pay off when play begins in November. Daws, as he is known by his teammates, is a 6'11, 245-pound center from Vancouver. Scheduling continues to be a huge hurdle right now. Madsen would love to have a bubble-type of tournament with all the Utah schools. However, Madsen said that he and his staff are on the phones constantly trying to get things put together. Two of the biggest games on the schedule, at BYU and at Utah are still being talked about. For now, Madsen is confident where his team is at and excited for what 2020-21 will bring. Subscribe to the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast so you don't miss an episode. Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content as we lead up to November 25 as well as all kinds of content during the 2020-21 season. Image credit: Wade Event Photography
19:44
October 1, 2020
New Mexico State Head Coach Chris Jans Gives Small Preview of 2020-21 Aggies
Chris Jans joins the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast to talk about his 2020-21 Aggies. New Mexico State returns All-WAC honoree Jabari Rice as well as big man Johnny McCants. The Aggies also got a gift when Clayton Henry received a medical waiver and got a fifth year of eligibility. UNLV transfer Donnie Tillman is also eligible immediately after receiving an NCAA waiver and should make a huge impact in Las Cruces. Jans also discusses what makes Evan Gilyard so special. The UTEP transfer became eligible in December, 2019 and led the Aggies to 19 straight wins. Perhaps the most difficult task at hand for Jans is the schedule. The NCAA Division I Council set November 25 as the date basketball games can begin. This sets back all kinds of schedules a bit and now teams are scrambling. Jans and his staff are trying to figure out buy games, MTE tournaments and so forth. And with the entire country scrambling for games, he believes some teams might not fill out a full schedule until November. New Mexico State is loaded once again. The culture in Las Cruces is one of winning. The Aggies have won three straight WAC regular season titles and two WAC tournament titles under Jans. It most likely would have been three WAC tournament titles but the 2020 WAC tournament was cancelled due to Covid-19. Subscribe to the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast so you don't miss an episode. Follow us on Twitter at @wachoopsdigest and go to our Facebook page and give it a like. We will be bringing you all kinds of content as we lead up to November 25 as well as all kinds of content during the 2020-21 season. Image credit: NM State Athletics
25:18
September 29, 2020
Seattle U Head Coach Jim Hayford Previews Second Half of WAC Play
Seattle U head coach Jim Hayford sat down with Kyle prior to the UVU game to talk about the second half and what he expects of his Redhawks. Seattle is 4-4 in WAC play and three of the four losses have been one-possession games with about two minutes to go. The Redhawks lost in triple overtime at Kansas City to open WAC play. And against Grand Canyon and New Mexico State, the Redhawks had chances to pick up wins.With experience on his side, Hayford will lean on WAC Player of the Year candidate Terrell Brown to put the Redhawks over the top and separate themselves from the cluster in the middle of the WAC. Brown is a triple-double waiting to happen night in and night out. Now, if Morgan Means, Myles Carter, Delante Jones and others can be consistent from the field, watch out.The Redhawks beat Utah Valley by 33 back on Feb. 8 so Hayford expects the Wolverines to play much better in the first game of the second half of WAC play for both teams.
06:46
February 8, 2020
Utah Valley Head Coach Mark Madsen - Second Half Preview
For first-year head coach Mark Madsen, there has been quite a learning curve. Utah Valley has struggled to start games fast, execute at a high level on the offensive end and finish games late. It's led to a 9-14 record overall and 3-5 record in WAC play. The Wolverines were mere minutes away from being 5-3 or possibly 6-2 in WAC play. An overtime loss at CSU Bakersfield. A loss at Kansas City when the Wolverines led 63-61 with a minute to play. A loss at home to California Baptist despite a 15-0 run to start the second half. According to Madsen, the ways Utah Valley is losing games are fixable and that is what the Wolverines spent the off-week working on.Madsen also talks up his big man, Emmanuel Olojapoke, who WAC Hoops Digest has as its mid-season Defensive Player of the Year. Olojapoke leads the WAC in blocks with 65. The next closest is California Baptist's Zach Pirog who has 34 blocks. The Wolverines host Seattle on Saturday afternoon at the UCCU Center in a must-win situation for both programs. Seattle dominated Utah Valley at the Redhawk Center on Jan. 11 to the tune of 83-50. So, Utah Valley has a little redemption on its mind for Saturday.
08:50
February 6, 2020
Thoughts on Midway Point of WAC Hoops
In this episode of the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast, Kyle and Tyler Creer talk about Tyler's article related to the mid-season grades. The two discuss some surprises as well as the disappointments. It is also mentioned who might earn that 2-seed at WAC Vegas in March. Both Kyle and Tyler will be in Las Vegas in March so you should come say hello if you see them. Keep an eye on Seattle who has perhaps the most experience out of any WAC team. And it will be interesting to see who else might come out of the log jam in the middle of the WAC. Four teams are sitting at 4-4 and two others at 3-5. It should be fun as the second half of WAC play tips off on Thursday night.
12:07
February 6, 2020
WAC Hoops Digest Podcast - Chris Jans, New Mexico State
In this episode of The WAC Hoops Digest Podcast, Kyle talks with New Mexico State head coach Chris Jans. The Aggies are 12-6 overall and 3-0 in WAC play. In fact, the Aggies are the last remaining undefeated team in the WAC. Currently, New Mexico State has won six straight including wins at Mississippi State and at California Baptist. The win at CBU avenged the only conference loss the Aggies have had in nearly two years. Pretty crazy to think about. Perhaps the bad news for the Aggies is that guards A.J. Harris and Clayton Henry have been ruled out for the season. Harris suffered a foot injury against California Baptist. Henry's season was cut short due to a wrist injury. However, UTEP transfer Evan Gilyard has been eligible for about a month now and been a huge spark for the Aggies. Add in the fact that Trevelin Queen is playing like a WAC Player of the Year and this team is looking like the everyone expected in the preseason. Jans also breaks down staying focused and not getting complacent with the winning. On Thursday night, in the WAC Spotlight Game, the Aggies take on Utah Valley in Orem. And Jans shares his thoughts on the matchup and first-year head coach Mark Madsen. All in all this is a good interview with the Aggies head coach. New Mexico State is on track to win its third straight WAC regular season championship under Jans. And, if all plays out the way the Aggies hope, a third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament where the Aggies are looking to get to the second day.
14:55
January 16, 2020
WAC Hoops Digest Podcast - Rick Croy, California Baptist
In this episode of The WAC Hoops Digest Podcast, Kyle talks with California Baptist head coach Rick Croy. The Lancers are on a seven-game winning streak and face perhaps their toughest opponent of the season on Saturday. New Mexico State comes to town for a showdown which the Lancers won a season ago.But, CBU has more depth and with Zach Pirog in the middle, a little bit more size than they did a season ago. However, New Mexico State is finally healthy and has its full roster intact. Plus, New Mexico State hasn't played in a week so they have had more time to prepare.Croy and CBU will look to star point guard Milan Acquaah to be the floor leader and make plays to help the Lancers pull off another big win. Chris Jans will counter with A.J. Harris and Evan Gilyard to make sure the Aggies get off on the right foot.
17:32
January 4, 2020
WAC Hoops Digest Podcast - Mark Madsen, Utah Valley
In this episode of the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast, Kyle sits down with Utah Valley's first-year head coach Mark Madsen at the NUVI Basketball Center. The two discuss what it's been like for the new head coach of the Wolverines. The struggles of late as Utah Valley is on a 4-game losing streak are mentioned. Madsen also talks about what he has learned over the first 11 games of his collegiate head coaching career. Injuries have been an issue. A short bench has been an issue. But Madsen has taken it all in stride and believes it will make his team better in the end. Getting some consistent play in the final four games of the non-conference slate are what matter most to Madsen. The Wolverines open WAC play at Chicago State on Jan. 2.
16:18
December 13, 2019
WAC Hoops Digest Podcast - Jim Hayford, Seattle U
In this episode of the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast, Kyle talks with Seattle U head coach Jim Hayford. The two discuss the non-conference slate the Redhawks have faced, what it is teaching Hayford about his team and the growth that is happening. Hayford talks about Riley Grigsby returning to the lineup as well as Terrell Brown who could have a triple-double every night out and might just do that when Seattle shoots it well. Seattle has two big games left in its non-conference slate against Washington and Saint Mary's and with the WAC not having a highlight-type win, Seattle has a chance to make it happen.
17:40
December 12, 2019
WAC Hoops Digest Podcast - Early Season Struggles
On this episode of The WAC Hoops Digest Podcast, the early season struggles for the conference are discussed. From losing winnable games to struggling against Division I opponents. The injury bug has hit some teams really hard, most notably New Mexico State. Seattle, Utah Valley, Grand Canyon have all struggled early on as has the rest of the conference. Chicago State has as many wins in 2019-20 as it did all of 2018-19. However, the Cougars have lost by an average margin of 40 points against Division I opponents. Some players have had a really good start to the season. Grand Canyon's Jovan Blacksher Jr., New Mexico State's Trevelin Queen and Seattle's Terrell Brown all doing big things on a consistent basis. There is still a lot of basketball to be played and the WAC will improve. It has just been a major struggle early on in 2019-20.
14:23
November 22, 2019
WAC Hoops Digest - Tip-Off Tuesday
It is the first episode of the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast as it is Tip-Off Tuesday. The Road to #WACVegas starts tonight as all nine WAC Hoops teams tip off the season. Eight of the nine teams are at home to start the season while UTRGV goes on the road to take on South Dakota State. There are a lot of storylines in the WAC in 2019-20 from New Mexico State expected to dominate to Chicago State winning more games than in 2018-19. New coaches Mark Madsen and Billy Donlon look to get off on the right foot. California Baptist is looking to keep improving in its second season at the Division I level. Seattle is hoping to avoid the injury bug again in what could be a big season in the Pacific Northwest. UTRGV boasts one of the best players in the WAC in Javon Levi. Kansas City and CSU Bakersfield looking to go out with a bang in their final years in the WAC. So many storylines and we are going to have them for you at WAC Hoops Digest and on the WAC Hoops Digest Podcast.
15:54
November 5, 2019