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BobZag
08-30-2007, 02:54 PM
Idaho
How to improve from an overall record of 4-27 and a conference mark of 1-15? Add nine new faces to the roster, including five junior-college transfers and three prep recruits. Darin Nagle returns as a 6-10 senior forward who in just 22 games last season blocked 42 shots while averaging 9.3 points and 5.6 rebounds. ... One of the notable highlights for the Vandals from last season is the fact they managed 19 dunks compared to four the previous year. That's a pretty good sign things could be better. Idaho did, however, set a single-season school record with 225 3-pointers in the 2006-07 season.

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Montana
The league's best player not named Rodney Stuckey over the past few years has been Andrew Strait, now a senior forward who averaged 15 points and 6.4 rebounds last season and has more career points (1,219) than any current Big Sky player. He and junior forward Jordan Hasquet afford second-year coach Wayne Tinkle the league's best frontcourt duo. & Cameron Rundles was Big Sky Freshman of the Year last season. The combo guard averaged 8.3 points and shot 47.4 percent on 3s during league games.

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Portland State
The Vikings are good enough on paper to win a conference title for third-year coach Ken Bone, who returns the league's newcomer of the year in senior guard Dupree Lucas (15.1 ppg with efforts of 32 and 33 points in conference) from a side that fell to eventual league tournament champion Weber State by three points in the semifinals. & Other strong options include 6-11 senior center Scott Morrison (11.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.2 bpg) and senior guard Deonte Huff, who averaged 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds after transferring from junior college.

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Saint Joseph's
While the hawk may never truly die, he did recently hibernate through the postseason for the first time in six years. With a single exception, Saint Joe's offers the same ensemble cast from last year's 18-14 version, and coach Phil Martelli hopes the backcourt comes together in the same way as last year's front line did. Ahmad Nivins, a 6-9 junior, was one of the true breakout stars of the 2006-07 Atlantic 10 season (16.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg). Nivins led a double-figure-scoring, triple-threat front line that was the class of the conference. Last season's four-guard rotation of newbies, now a three-sophomore unit due to a defection, played inconsistently but well enough to provide hope that at least one or two will pan out. But at the very least, former Iowa State sixth man Tasheed Carr should help as an eligible transfer; he's a 6-4 swing with perimeter pop.

spudzag
08-30-2007, 02:57 PM
Had for a Vandal to admit, but the only way for the Vandals is up. Hard to imagine a worse season than last year.

lawzag
08-30-2007, 03:00 PM
As usual BZ good insight.
Hopefully, the Zags won't just try to coast through some of these games though, I think they need to set a definitive tone of who's the boss! early in the season to build some confidence.:)

BobZag
08-30-2007, 04:13 PM
Three years ago we played 3 easy games in K2 to start the year, then got blown-out by Illinois. It was a wake-up call. We returned and beat UW by 12.

A killer instinct would serve this team well, regardless of the foe.

GonzagaGurl08
08-30-2007, 05:05 PM
I remember that well BZ. Good point about the killer instinct.

DavyZag
08-31-2007, 07:56 AM
Just in case people were looking for the originals of the snippets BZ posted, go to ESPN.com and look for the conference previews:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/index (Go the the bottom left of the page and you'll see the most of conference previews.)

Portland State will have a few familiar faces on it... Jeremiah Dominguez and Alex Tiefenthaler from UP transferred there and will be elligible this year.