June 2010 Archives
The Mountain West Conference had three women's basketball institutions recognized for top 2009-10 recruiting classes according to ESPN.com's HoopGurlz. San Diego State has the league's highest ranking at No. 31, while TCU was ranked 51st and BYU was listed as "On the cusp". The HoopGurlz national recruiting class rankings are based solely on high school prospect signings.
San Diego State finished its 2009-10 campaign with a 23-11 record, winning the program's first MWC Tournament championship and advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Aztecs also earned a No. 20 ranking in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches top-25 poll.
TCU brought home its first regular-season title as a member of the Mountain West Conference last season, while advancing to its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in 10 years. The Horned Frogs finished with a 22-9 overall record during the 2009-10 season.
BYU finished 2009-10 with a 23-10 record, marking its fourth 20-plus win season under head coach Jeff Judkins. The Cougars also had their best postseason showing in program history in 2009-10, advancing to the quarterfinals of the WNIT.
Below is a list of the 2009-10 recruiting classes for BYU, San Diego State and TCU:
|SAN DIEGO STATE
||Hometown (Previous School)
||San Antonio, Texas (Wagner HS/South Plains College)
||Layton, Utah (Layton Christian Academy HS)
||Bakersfield, Calif. (Stockdale HS)
||Long Beach, Calif. (Millikan HS/Arizona)
||Hayward, Calif. (Moreau Catholic HS/Arizona)
||Hometown (Previous School)
||Cleburne, Texas (Cleburne HS)
||Yukon, Okla. (Heritage Christian Academy)
||Fort Worth, Texas (Paschal HS)
||Fort Worth, Texas (North Crowley HS)
||Houston, Texas (Clear Lake HS)
||Fort Worth, Texas (Iowa State)*
|*Will sit out 2010-11 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
||Hometown (Previous School)
||Orem, Utah (Timpanogos HS)
||Pleasant Grove, Utah (Pleasant Grove HS)
||Reno, Nev. (Reno HS)
New Mexico's Darington Hobson became the second Mountain West player to join the Milwaukee Bucks when the organization selected him as the 37th overall pick in the second round of Thursday's NBA Draft. Hobson joins former Utah standout Andrew Bogut, who was the No. 1 selection by Milwaukee in the 2005 draft. Overall, Hobson is the 11th men's basketball player in the 11-year history of the MWC to be taken in the NBA Draft, and first since 2008, when New Mexico's J.R. Giddens and BYU's Trent Plaisted were chosen 30th and 46th overall, respectively, by the Boston Celtics and Seattle Supersonics.
Both Bogut and Hobson received Mountain West Player of the Year accolades after leading their respective teams to Conference regular-season titles. Bogut guided the Utes to a 29-6 record and Sweet Sixteen appearance in the 2005 NCAA Tournament, while Hobson helped the Lobos to a school-record 30 wins and a trip to the NCAA second round in 2010.
The sixth-ranked TCU Horned Frogs embark on their first trip
to what many consider the mecca of collegiate baseball, the NCAA Men's College World Series
, in Omaha, Neb. Historic Rosenblatt Stadium
will host the double-elimination event for one final time, with play scheduled to get underway on Saturday, June 19. Rosenblatt Stadium has served as the host site for the CWS since 1950, a span of 61 years.
TCU and Florida State will square off against each other in the first game of the 2010 tournament, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. CT on Saturday. The contest will air live on ESPN HD. The Horned Frogs are the first team in the 11-year history of the Mountain West Conference to advance to the Men's College World Series. Joining TCU and Florida State in their half of the bracket are UCLA and Florida. The Bruins are the tournament's sixth national seed, while the Gators are the tournament's third national seed. They will play game two on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT.
A potential match-up with Florida would pit TCU against the only other institution in the nation to play in a BCS football game, reach the Men's College World Series and win a national championship in another sport during the 2009-10 academic year. The Horned Frogs captured the NCAA title in the coed sport of rifle, becoming the first all-female squad to accomplish the feat, while the Gators are the national champs in women's swimming and diving. Last year, TCU, Florida and Texas were the only three institutions to finish in the top 10 in football and reach the super regionals in baseball.
The second bracket of the eight-team field will begin play on Sunday, June 20. That side of the bracket includes No. 1 national seed Arizona State, Oklahoma, Clemson and South Carolina. The entire Men's College World Series will be televised live in high definition on the ESPN family of networks.
The next phase of TCU's bid for a trip to Omaha begins on Friday when the Horned Frogs visit Austin to take on No. 2 national seed Texas in a best-of-three series. The winner will receive one of eight coveted spots in the 64th Annual College World Series, which will be played at Rosenblatt Stadium for the final time, beginning on Saturday, June 19.
Two of the nation's top pitching staffs will be going head-to-head when the Frogs and Longhorns take the field. TCU's starting rotation of Matt Purke, Kyle Winkler and Steven Maxwell is a combined 35-2 this season and leads a staff that ranks seventh nationally with a 3.48 ERA. Texas hurlers have compiled an NCAA-leading 2.44 ERA in 2010, led by starters Taylor Jungmann, Cole Green and Brandon Workman, who are a combined 30-5.
A few other notables regarding the TCU-Texas series:
- This weekend's series features a re-match of the 2009 Austin Super Regional, where TCU forced a third game with eventual College World Series runner-up Texas.
- The Horned Frogs and Longhorns each went 3-0 in their respective regionals last week. TCU outscored its three opponents (Lamar, Arizona, Baylor) by a composite 36-8 margin, while Texas was a combined 19-3 against Rider, Louisiana-Lafayette and Rice.
- TCU and Texas are two of three teams nationally (Florida) to have a football team finish in the top 10 and a baseball team reach the Super Regionals for two consecutive years.
- Both teams enter Friday's action with Top-25 rankings (Texas - No. 3; TCU - No. 6) and identical 49-11 records.
- TCU is riding a 10-game win streak entering the weekend, and ranks among the Top-20 nationally in nine offensive categories: doubles (170/4th); doubles per game (2.83/4th), slugging percentage (.566/6th), hits (750/9th), batting average (.345/10th), scoring (8.9/13th), runs (535/14th), home runs 990/14th) and home runs per game (1.5/18th).
- The two programs have met 276 times on the diamond with Texas leading the series 218-56-2.
Action gets underway at 2 p.m. CT Friday at Texas' Disch-Falk Field, with ESPN2 broadcasting the game. First pitch for Saturday's contest is scheduled for Noon CT and will air on ESPN. If necessary, a third game will be played on Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m. CT, and will also be televised on ESPN.
The baseball world is all abuzz about former San Diego State and Mountain West Conference standout Stephen Strasburg, who struck out a club-record 14 batters and walked none in his major league debut Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Strasburg, the No. 1 pick by the Washington Nationals in 2009, came away with the 5-2 victory after working seven innings under a pitch-count restriction.
Buster Olney breaks down Strasburg's numbers on Tuesday, while Adam Kilgore reveals the 21-year-old's choice of intro music. Jaysen Stark dubbed Strasburg's debut as historic, while Gene Collier called it a masterpiece and Wayne Coffey believes it more than exceeded expectations. Columnist Thomas Boswell enjoyed the party, as did thousands of Nationals fans, according to Dave Sheinin. Nothing will ever be the same, writes Tyler Kepner.
The final 2010 Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings were released on Monday, and the Mountain West Conference had a strong presence in both the men's and women's polls, respectively.
For the first time in league history, a record six MWC women's tennis programs finished among the nation's top 75 teams. UNLV (22-5), which set a program record for highest winning percentage during the regular season (.869), finished 30th overall, followed by Conference regular-season champion Utah (17-8) at No. 40. MWC tournament champion TCU (10-17) finished at No. 50, while tournament runner-up San Diego State (15-11) was close behind at No. 57. No. 70 BYU (9-13) and 73rd-ranked Wyoming (14-8) rounded out the women's rankings for the MWC.
On the men's side, four Conference teams concluded the 2010 campaign within the rankings. MWC regular-season champion BYU (21-7) finished the season ranked 36th in the nation, while the Aztecs (13-13) closed the year at No. 50. The league tournament champion Horned Frogs (12-13) and Rebels (13-12) finished 52nd and 64th, respectively.
- Five teams represented the MWC in the 2010 NCAA Men's and Women's Tennis Championships. The men's teams from BYU and TCU and the women's teams from TCU, UNLV and Utah all earned tournament bids.
- This marks the ninth straight year, and 10th overall, the Conference has sent multiple women's teams to the NCAA tournament.
- It is the second time in the 11-year history of the league that multiple men's team has advanced to the postseason (2009 and 2010, respectively).
- The UNLV women's tennis team recorded its first NCAA tournament victory since 1998, defeating Virginia Commonwealth, 4-3.
- Three MWC individuals and two MWC doubles teams participated in the 2010 NCAA Singles and Doubles Tennis Championships.
- After finishing with a 20-10 overall record, TCU's doubles team of Kayla Duncan and Katariina Tuohimaa concluded the season as the 27th-ranked doubles tandem in the country. Duncan and Tuohimaa, who reached the Round of 16 at the NCAA Doubles Championships, gave TCU at least one doubles team to be included among the ITA's final top-31 squads for the seventh straight season.
The first pitch of the 2010 NCAA Baseball Championship will be thrown today, and fans can watch the entire Fullerton and Fort Worth Regionals to root for New Mexico and sixth-ranked TCU!
New Mexico, who earned a No. 3 seed, takes the field first today at 4 p.m. PT with its Fullerton Regional opener vs. No. 2 seed Stanford. In Game 2, No. 1 seed Cal State Fullerton will host No. 4 seed Minnesota at 8 p.m. PT. ESPNU will air the entire Fullerton Regional live.
TCU, who is hosting its second straight NCAA Regional, will take on No. 4 seed Lamar tonight at 7 p.m. CT, following the first game of the Fort Worth Regional between No. 2 seed Baylor and No. 3 seed Arizona at 2 p.m. CT. The entire tournament will be streamed live by www.GoFrogs.com, TCU's official athletics Web site.
Mountain West Conference women's basketball finished the 2009-10 season ranked sixth nationally in home attendance, according to figures released by the NCAA on May 27. The MWC welcomed an average of 2,258 fans to its home venues in 142 total games on the season. The No. 6 ranking marks the 11th consecutive year the league has finished among the top-six nationally in attendance.
In addition, the Conference had two institutions in the top-30 for average home attendance. New Mexico ranked ninth nationally with a league-best average of 7,090 fans in 18 home contests at The Pit in 2009-10. The Lobos have finished in the top-10 all 11 years as members of the Mountain West. Wyoming brought in an average of 3,596 fans in 16 games at the Arena-Auditorium, to rank 30th in the nation. Overall, the Mountain West is one of six conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC) with at least two teams ranked in the top-30.
||No. of Teams
Mick McGrane has covered the Mountain West since the league's inception in 1999. He spent 12 years at the San Diego Union-Tribune, where he served as the beat writer for San Diego State football and men's basketball. He currently represents the MW as a member of the Football Writers Association of America All-America Committee and is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. McGrane serves as senior writer to the Mountain West, providing readers with exclusive, in-depth information about the Conference by highlighting its 10 member institutions and contributing feature stories on student-athletes that participate in the league's 18 sponsored sports.
Have a question for Mick? E-mail him at mick@TheMWC.com or check him out on Twitter @MWCMick.
Mark Knudson is a Colorado State journalism school graduate and a 12-year veteran of professional baseball. During his playing career, Mark pitched for three major league teams, including the Colorado Rockies, where he was the first Colorado native to play for the hometown team. He recorded wins over three of the four legendary pitchers who make up the 4,000 strikeout club: Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens. His win over Ryan came for the Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Day in 1991.
Since his retirement, Mark has been a feature writer and columnist for Mile High Sports, a radio talk show host and TV analyst for numerous sports media outlets. For the past six years, he was a columnist and baseball analyst for The Mtn., along with being one of Colorado's six Heisman Trophy voters.
Have a question for Mark? Visit him at ElevationSportsNetwork.com or check him out on Twitter @MarkKnudson41.