Report: WAC invites Utah Valley to join the conference in 2013

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The dominoes of conference realignment were bound to leave a conference on life support if not in a situation even worse than that, and the Western Athletic Conference was said league.

With Idaho considering a move to take its non-football sports to the Big Sky (football would be an independent), the league was looking at the prospect of having just three members in 2014.

New Mexico State, which will also play football as an independent next year, Denver and Seattle were all that was left under that scenario, with the latter two making their debut in the WAC this season (nice welcome to the conference, huh?).

But the WAC isn’t going to go down without at least trying to make things work, as Neil Warner of the Provo Daily Herald reported on Friday that the conference has officially invited Utah Valley Univeersity to join.

According to Warner’s story the conference is expected to issue an invite to Cal State Bakersfield as well, which would bring their number of members up to six next year (thanks to @TheUpset for that fact).

While NCAA rules require a conference to have seven members if it’s to be recognized in basketball, the WAC did receive a two-year waiver in order to reconstitute itself (if that was possible).

While Cal State Bakersfield is currently a Division I independent Utah Valley is a member of the Great West Conference, and Dick Hunsaker’s team is coming off of a 20-win campaign and a regular season conference title.

But the Great West, which has been in existence for just four years, has just five basketball-playing members (the winner does get an auto bid into the CollegeInsider.com tournament) and didn’t look good in regards to earning an auto bid to the NCAA tournament.

Utah Valley’s move, if completed, would drop the Great West to three basketball members (Houston Baptist joins the Southland next year): Chicago State, NJIT and Texas-Pan American.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Report: Four-star center reclassifying to 2015; down to three

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An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.

The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.

But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

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New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.