Catching up on the Shockers after vacation

My attempt to sum up the past two weeks:

  • Eric Hamilton will attend Sunrise Christian and WSU is at the NCAA limit of 13 scholarships. Everybody wins here. Hamilton gets another year to develop and is trading his first season (with limited playing time) for a fifth season. WSU continues to find imaginative ways to build its roster and strengthens its ties with a high-level prep school in Wichita.
  • The Diamond Head Classic matches WSU with Loyola Marymount to open. Nebraska or Hawaii is next. It speaks to how poorly DePaul played in two previous tournament meetings that WSU preferred ANYBODY¬†else in the first round, even considering DePaul’s Big East membership. DePaul¬†and Loyola Marymount ranked similarly in the RPI the past five seasons. Getting to Nebraska (five starters back from an NCAA at-large team) is the prize. Hawaii returns two starters and adds a transfer from Missouri. Colorado and former WSU assistant Tad Boyle loom on the other side of the bracket. I wouldn’t discount George Washington, which returns four players who started 14 or more games from an NCAA at-large team.
  • WSU senior Darius Carter is on an Athletes in Action trip to Estonia and Latvia. His team, coached by former WSU assistant Mike Rohn, will play six games between Friday and Wednesday. Kansas State’s Justin Edwards and Kansas forward Landen Lucas are also on the roster.
  • WSU’s women’s basketball team released its non-conference schedule and it appears strong. Creighton, Tennessee, Kansas State, Ohio State and Clemson are the highlights. This appears to be a schedule that can support an NCAA at-large bid, should it be needed. It is good to see Creighton on the schedule. Those two schools will benefit in many sports from continuing to play. The men’s basketball programs should join that trend.
  • Tickets to WSU’s game against Memphis in Sioux Falls, S.D. went on sale Friday. My question – wouldn’t these programs accomplish more with a home-and-home series?
  • Former Shocker Ramon Clemente averaged 8.0 points and 4.3 rebounds for Puerto Rico in the Centrobasket Championship in Mexico that ended Thursday. Clemente has a chance to play for Puerto Rico in the upcoming FIBA World Cup. You can see his dunk here.