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Weber State's Joel Bolomboy (AP Photo)

2014-2015 Season Preview: Weber State won’t lack for challengers in Big Sky

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Weber State’s Joel Bolomboy (AP Photo)

Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package.

MORE: 2014-2015 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule

The favorite to win the Big Sky 2014-2015 won’t come as a surprise, despite the fact that the program in question lost four seniors from last season’s NCAA tournament team. Randy Rahe’s Weber State Wildcats enter the season looking to make consecutive NCAA tournament appearances for the first time since their run of three straight from 1978-80. Gone are Big Sky Player of the Year Davion Berry, key contributors Kyle Tresnak and Jordan Richardson, and Royce Williams (transfer) and Byron Fulton. However even with those losses the Wildcats return some talented pieces, led by junior forward Joel Bolomboy and sophomore guard Jeremy Senglin. Bolomboy was an honorable mention All-Big Sky selection last season, but he’s poised to make a sizeable jump after leading the conference in rebounding (11.2 rpg).

As for Senglin, the Big Sky Freshman of the Year (10.9 ppg) will slide over into the role of primary ball-handler with Berry having moved on. Weber State will be more balanced this season when it comes to scoring, as they lose a player in Berry who factored into more than 30 percent of their possessions in 2013-14. Adjustments will need to be made, with Richaud Gittens (6.9 ppg) and Kyndahl Hill (4.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg) among the returnees who will need to step forward. But even with that being the case, Weber State is more than capable of winning the Big Sky again.

As for the competition, this will be a balanced race once again. Last year seven teams won between ten and 12 conference games (the Big Sky has a 20-game schedule), with the two teams that finished 10-10 (Eastern Washington and Sacramento State) failing to qualify for the postseason tournament. Both the Eagles and Hornets should qualify without much trouble this season, with Jim Hayford welcoming back four starters led by guards Drew Brandon and Tyler Harvey (21.8 ppg) and forward Venky Jois. In total EWU returns its top five scorers from 2013-14, which will make the Eagles a formidable group from an offensive standpoint. If they can get a little better defensively, Eastern Washington will be a contender.

As for Sacramento State, their experienced guard tandem of Dylan Garrity (13.2 ppg, 3.6 apg) and Mikh McKinney (16.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg) will be asked to lead the way. McKinney was a first team All-Big Sky selection in 2013-14 with Garrity receiving honorable mention status, and with guard Cody Demps and forward Zach Mills also returning the Hornets welcome back their top four scorers from a season ago. Two other players to watch for the Hornets: senior forward Alex Tiffin and sophomore center Eric Stuteville. Sacramento State broke even on the boards last season thanks to a group effort (seven players averaged between 3.1 and 4.2 rpg), and if Stuteville (5.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and Tiffin (4.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg) can step forward the Hornets will be better for it.

Northern Arizona is another team to consider, with head coach Jack Murphy doing a good job of rebuilding the program. Senior guard Quinton Upshur (15.3 ppg), who was the conference’s best newcomer last season, and fellow guards Aaseem Dixon and Kris Yanku will lead the way offensively with Yanku manning the point. Add in leading rebounder Gaellan Bewernick (5.9 rpg), and the Lumberjacks have the pieces needed to contend. Montana, even with the loss of do-it-all guard/forward Kareem Jamar, will be formidable and the same can be said for Northern Colorado, Portland State and Idaho as well.

The top eight teams qualify for the conference tournament, with the regular season champion playing the role of host. And just like last season, the race for those spots won’t lack for suspense this winter.


In: Idaho
Out: None

PRESEASON BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tyler Harvey, Eastern Washington

Harvey averaged 21.8 points per game overall last season, and he was even better in conference games (23.8 ppg) of the Eagles. And in addition to being one of the best scorers in the country as a sophomore Harvey was also one of its best shooters, shooting 44.3% from the field, 43.3% from three and 89.7% from the charity stripe.


  • Mikh McKinney, Sacramento State: In addition to the 16.6 points per game, McKinney was also third in the Big Sky in offensive rating amongst players who factored into at least 24 percent of their team’s possessions in 2013-14.
  • Quinton Upshur, Northern Arizona: Upshur was the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year, averaging 15.3 points per game.
  • Joel Bolomboy, Weber State: Bolomboy’s already a high-level rebounder, and he made strides in expanding his offensive skill set this summer.
  • Jeremy Senglin, Weber State: Sacramento State’s Dylan Garrity was another option, but the pick is Senglin due to his solid freshman year and what he can do in moving to a primary ball-handler role as a sophomore.



1. Weber State
2. Northern Arizona
3. Sacramento State
4. Eastern Washington
5. Montana
6. Northern Colorado
7. Portland State
8. Idaho
9. North Dakota
10. Idaho State
11. Montana State
12 Southern Utah

Six teams from 2014 NCAA Tournament highlight a busy August of exhibition hoops in the Bahamas

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The Bahamas is a wonderful vacation destination, but this August, it also becomes a hotbed of college basketball exhibition action.

According to an article from The Bahamas Weekly the Bahamas Basketball Federation is touting this as the “Summer of Thunder” as the island makes an aggressive effort to bring Division I basketball programs there in order to attract fans for tourism purposes while featuring high-level basketball for local coaches and players.

From August 2nd through the 25th, exhibition games and practices involving 13 different Division I teams will be going on nearly every day. The NCAA allows college basketball programs to take an international exhibition tour once every four years for some extra games and 10 days of additional practice time as well as an educational experience traveling abroad for the student-athletes.

The group of teams heading to the Bahamas is headlined by six teams from the 2014 NCAA Tournament including Cincinnati, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State, Pitt and Stanford.

Other programs making the trip in August include Alabama State, Chattanooga, Louisiana Tech, Morehead State, Northern Arizona, Ole Miss, Portland State and Division III Whitman College.

All games will take place at the Sir Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium in the capital of Nassau.

If you happen to be in the Bahamas for vacation this summer — and really need a college hoops fix and don’t feel like spending time on the beach — there’s plenty of action to check out.

You can view the full day-to-day schedule in the Bahamas here.

Portland State’s Aaron Moore no longer with the team

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Anyone that read ‘Play Their Hearts Out’, George Dohrmann’s terrific look into the world of big-time AAU basketball, was rooting for Portland State’s Aaron Moore.

The senior forward had been through a lot during his young life, and it looked like he had bullied his way through it all. In his second season with the Vikings, he was averaging 11.8 points and 5.8 boards, which was actually down from the 13.2 points and 7.1 boards he averaged as a freshman.

But it has all reportedly come to an end.

Moore didn’t play in a loss to Weber State on Saturday, and according to PSU’s head coach Tyler Geving, it’s because Moore is no longer a member of the basketball program.

“You’ve got to just, at some point, draw your foot in the sand,” Geving told the Portland Tribune. “We’re going to move forward, and I still believe we’re going to be better for it, because Saturday night we played hard.”

“If you knew his background and what he’s about and what he’s gone through and where he is right now, boy, he’s made tremendous strides.” Geving added. “Unfortunately, he hasn’t made enough strides in certain areas, and that’s what’s been holding him back and that’s why I made the decision I decided to make. Because it’s going to be best for our team. And, at the end of the day, really, I think it’s what’s going to be best for our team. And really, it’s going to be what’s best for him.”

Moore has not been dismissed from school and Geving told the paper he will try to help Moore earn his degree.