Idaho Vandals preview
This evening, in the final game of the round-robin Basketball Travelers Invitational, EMU will face the University of Idaho Vandals. Since, once again, the Eagles are facing an opponent they’ve never played before, we start with the basic know-your-foe information about the Vandals.
First, you can check out the University of Idaho athletics website here.
|Conference||Western Athletic Conference (WAC)|
|Coach||Don Verlin (since 2008)|
|Arena (Capacity)||Cowan Spectrum (7,000)|
|NCAA Record||1-4 (.200)|
|Most Recent NCAA Appearance||1990|
|Most Recent NCAA Win||1982|
|Selectivity (US News)||Selective|
|Students (2009)||8,010 (4,367 M, 3,643 F)|
The University of Idaho is the state of Idaho’s flagship and oldest public university, located in the rural city of Moscow in Latah County in the northern portion of the state. UI is the state’s land-grant and primary research university. The University of Idaho (officially abbreviated UI, but commonly referred to as the U of I) was the state’s sole university for 71 years, until 1963, and hosts the state’s only law school, established in 1909 and accredited by the ABA in 1925.
The university was formed by the territorial legislature of Idaho on January 30, 1889, and opened its doors on October 3, 1892 with an initial class of 40 students. The first graduating class in 1896 contained two men and two women. The university presently has an enrollment exceeding 11,000. The university offers 142 degree programs, from accountancy to wildlife resources, including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and specialists’ degrees. Certificates of completion are offered in 30 areas of study.
As a rural land-grant university, UI has the largest campus in the state, located in the rolling hills of the Palouse region at an elevation of 2600 feet (792 m) above sea level. The land-grant institution for the state of Washington, WSU, is located eight miles (13 km) west in Pullman.
The nickname “Vandals” was earned nearly a century ago by a basketball team coached by Hec Edmundson, whose teams played defense with such intensity and ferocity that sports writers said they “vandalized” their opponents. The mark made by that 1917 team went far deeper than wins and losses on the court. In 1917, Harry Lloyd “Jazz” McCarty – a writer for the student newspaper, the Argonaut – tagged the team with a new nickname in a pregame write-up: “The opening game with Whitman will mark a new epoch in Idaho basketball history, for the present gang of ‘Vandals’ have the best material that has ever carried the ‘I’ into action.” McCarty’s indirect suggestion stuck. By 1921, McCarty and Edward Maslin Hulme, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts, succeeded in their push to have Vandals officially adopted as the nickname for Idaho teams.
|Head Coach Don Verlin|
|Overall: 1 team, 3 seasons, 36-34 (51.4%)|
Idaho head coach Don Verlin is in his third season. Prior to taking over in Moscow, Verlin was the assistant coach at Colorado State University, Utah State University, and California State University-Bakersfield. He also has a twin brother, Ron, who is an assistant basketball coach at the University of the Pacific.
Since it’s still very early in this basketball season, let’s next take a look at how the Vandals did in 2009-10.
|University of Idaho 2009-2010 record:|
The Vandals returned only 26.5 percent of their scoring and 36.1 percent of their rebounding from last season. The university has this to say:
Idaho’s four graduated starters accounted for 44.2 points and 17.2 rebounds per game in 2009-10. The Vandals will have to replace the No. 2 assist man in school history (Mac Hopson), the No. 3 shot blocker at Idaho (Marvin Jefferson) and two strong wing players (Steffan Johnson, Kashif Watson).
In addition to four (or possibly five) graduating scholarship seniors, the Vandals lost Corey Stern. Touted as the best freshman recruit to pick Idaho in many years, the talented forward transfered to Howard Junior College in Texas. Plus, they lost senior walk-on Travis Blackstock, and junior walk-on Marcus Lawrence. Lawrence, who transferred from UNLV to Idaho, averaged nearly 10 minutes per game for the Vandals last year, but had a history of legal problems. Altogether, that’s a lot to try to replace!
|Mac Hopson||6-2||185||G||Sr.||#2 all-time Idaho assists, #1 scorer and #2 rebounder last year|
|Marvin Jefferson||6-9||250||C||Sr.||#3 all-time Idaho shots blocked, #2 scorer and #1 rebounder last year|
|Steffan Johnson||6-1||180||G||Sr.||#3 scorer last year|
|Marcus Lawrence||5-11||174||G||Jr.||UNLV transfer averaged 10 minutes per game last year|
|Corey Stern||6-6||200||F||Fr.||3-star recruit, transferred to Howard JC (TX).|
|Luciano de Souza||6-7||210||F||Sr.||#6 scorer last year|
|Kashif Watson||6-4||186||G||Sr.||#4 scorer last year|
The Idaho website lists 13 players on the Vandals’ roster, but as far as I can tell, only 10 have actually seen playing time through their first seven games, so we’re going with 10. Here’s the Official Eagle Totem Idaho Vandals 2010-11 roster with notes:
|Idaho Vandals roster|
|Djim Bandoumel||22||F||215||6-8||Jr.||Bench contributor|
|Kyle Barone||33||C||220||6-10||So.||1.29 blocks per game|
|Deremy Geiger||25||G||170||5-11||Jr.||#1 scorer|
|Shawn Henderson||3||G||178||6-3||Sr.||#1 rebounder, #4 scorer|
|Jeff Ledbetter||2||G||195||6-3||Sr.||#3 scorer, best long-range shooter|
|Landon Tatum||10||G||196||5-11||Jr.||Bench contributor|
|Luiz Toledo||21||F||225||6-8||Jr.||#2 scorer, #2 (t) rebounder|
|Brandon Wiley||11||F||218||6-6||Sr.||#2 (t) rebounder, 1.43 blocks per game|
Interestingly, according to the University of Idaho, no one on the Vandals’ roster has more than a single season of on-court playing experience at the D-I level, and altogether (including the three who haven’t seen the court this year), they have a total of six seasons of experience among them, making them the fourth-least experienced team this year (ahead of Eastern Washington, Sacramento State, and UT-Arlington).
|Pos||65.0||73.3||EMU plays faster|
|TS%||51.8||51.1||0.7||44.7||52.2||-7.5||Significant advantage Idaho|
|FTR||39.5||22.1||17.4||27.4||51.1||-23.7||Significant advantage Idaho|
|OR%||38.8||31.7||7.1||28.7||27.3||1.4||Significant advantage Idaho|
The Vandals have significant advantages in shooting percentage, free throws, and offensive rebounding. EMU has smaller advantages in steals, blocked shots, and assists per turnover.
Next we compare the schedules so far this season (rankings from Ken Pomeroy).
|Sat Nov 13||NR||Eastern Oregon||W, 86-74||70||Home||1-0|
|Tue Nov 16||45||Washington St.||L, 88-71||73||Away||1-1|
|Sat Nov 20||94||Portland||L, 66-53||69||Home||1-2|
|Mon Nov 22||131||Montana||L, 75-33||62||Away||1-3|
|Sat Nov 27||304||Eastern Washington||W, 70-60||64||Away||2-3|
|Fri Dec 3||335||North Dakota||W, 63-42||62||Home||3-3|
|Sat Dec 4||297||Monmouth||W, 69-66||60||Home||4-3|
|Fri Nov 12||6||Michigan St.||L, 96-66||88||Away||0-1|
|Wed Nov 17||NR||Madonna||W, 79-70||75||Home||1-1|
|Sat Nov 20||178||Canisius||L, 71-51||73||Away||1-2|
|Sat Nov 27||154||James Madison||L, 74-68||75||Away||1-3|
|Fri Dec 3||297||Monmouth||L, 64-63||66||Neutral||1-4|
|Sat Dec 4||335||North Dakota||L, 54-49||64||Home||1-5|
Of course, there’s one very simple comparison to look at. Since this is the final game of a four-team round-robin tournament, the Vandals and Eagles have two common opponents; Idaho defeated both North Dakota and Monmouth, while EMU lost to each.