Tip-off for the 2022-23 season is right around the corner. Courtesy Western Athletic Conference.

New WAC Hoops Mailbag with Tip-Off One Week Away

It is another Sunday afternoon, which means another WAC Hoops Mailbag. In fact, this is the second to last Sunday before tip-off of the 2022-23 season. That is good news. 8 days until tip-off to be exact.

I will be in Logan, Utah on Nov. 7 for tip-off between Utah Valley and Utah State.

Yes, call me biased. Perhaps call me a homer. I don’t care. Utah Valley travels North to take on in-state foe Utah State. Yes, the same Aggies that have beat the Wolverines 13 straight times. So, should be a very energetic environment in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

With that being said, let’s get to the questions that have been submitted for the mailbag.

Who I Think Wins and What the Score Will Be?

Abilene Christian, 75-60, over Jackson State.
California Baptist,  67-61, over Long Beach State.
Grand Canyon, 71-65, over Montana State.
New Mexico State blowout over non-DI opponent.
Stephen F, Austin blowout win over non-DI opponent.
Seattle U, 69-62, over UC San Diego.

I have a few others that I believe will/could win when the 2022-23 season openers tip-off. But those will come in my bold predictions for the season openers.

Why Do Coaches or Support Staff Leak Information About Secret Scrimmages?

Good question. I can’t answer that because I am not a coach or a member of the support staff. Thing is, someone who shares that information, may be doing it under the guise that it won’t be shared with social media. Obviously, with some media members, we see that is not the case. I will admit I have had people around the WAC tell me how their secret scrimmages went.

But, I know and they have asked, that the information not be shared. And instead of doing something for clicks, I respect their wishes and the understanding these are ‘secret’ and not open to the public. Like I said, I can’t answer why someone shares that information. That is their choice.

But the bigger question that may have to be posed to a head coach is what happens when that information is leaked? How is that dealt with? May have to check with some coaches to see with regard to those instances.

Do We Think UTRGV Adding Football Will Help Enhance Their Basketball Product, Community Support?

Yes, yes we do. Texas is a football state. No denying that. And in a valley with a lot of Texas Longhorn alums and donors, adding football is a no-brainer for UTRGV. By adding football, creating more opportunities for donors, it will improve all aspects of the athletic department. This includes a basketball program that, prior to Lew Hill’s passing, was on an upward trend. In fact, every year under Hill, the UTRGV men’s basketball program increased its win total by five. And in 2020-21, UTRGV was at the top of the WAC before Lew Hill’s passing. Matt Figger will get the ship on the right path. Chasse Conque continues to do amazing things at UTRGV.

And other sports have received a lot of attention recently. The Texas baseball team actually played in The Valley last season and it was a rocking atmosphere. The Longhorns go down to Bert Ogden Arena in November as part of an MTE. So, there is a lot happening in Edinburg and football will only help enhance that.

Where Does Chicago State Go Now? Out of the WAC Officially, What’s Next for Them?

Good question. Right now, independence is where they are at. And I am not sure there are a ton of options to join a conference right now. Men’s and women’s tennis are both members of Horizon League. And men’s soccer is a member of the MAC.

Basketball-wise? Well, that may be a different bucket to fill. A lot of it has to do with the fact that the Cougars don’t make a conference better. Unfortunately, that isn’t bound to change anytime soon. There is a new athletic director on the South Side. The women’s basketball team has a new head coach. Gerald Gillion has a lot of turnover from the 2021-22 season on the men’s team. I wish I had more answers to this and I am sure the Chicago State administration is looking at all options. But, they are slim pickings right now.

Who Will Be the WAC’s Leading Scorer Opening Night?

We will take out the tip-off games against non-DI opponents to answer this question. But I will give you three names.

Tevian Jones, Southern Utah.
Trey Woodbury, Utah Valley.
Cam Tyson, Seattle U.

Jones and the T-Birds go to The Pit in Albuquerque to take on New Mexico. But, Tevian Jones is dynamic. Can knock down shots from the perimeter, finishes high above the rim, and possesses athleticism that many guards don’t possess.

Woodbury is fully healthy and rearing to go after missing nearly the entire 2021-22 season. And watch out. The 6-4 guard out of Las Vegas is big, strong, and will have the ball in his hands ALOT. Woodbury can finish at the rim, hit the pull-up jumper in traffic and knock down the 3 with a quick trigger. Major chip on his shoulder heading into 2022-23.

Tyson is a bona fide threat any time he touches the ball. Head coach Chris Victor has given Tyson the green light from anywhere on the floor. Tyson led the WAC in made 3-pointers last season and that most likely won’t change in 2022-23. And playing against a less-than-average UC San Diego squad, Tyson should put on a show.

Could This Be the Door Several Non-FB WAC Schools Need?

Possibly, but doubtful. If this is the case, GCU might be the only choice. I know, I know. Seattle U fans will disagree. But, as long as Gonzaga is in the WCC, Seattle U will be on the outside looking in. As far as other schools like Utah Valley or California Baptist, maybe but not likely. At least not at the current time. But, then again, never say never as we have seen the conference landscape change year after year.

From everything that I’ve been told, these non-football schools are pretty happy where they are at right now. And they believe in the leadership in the WAC and what they are trying to build.

Which Team Forces the Most Turnovers?

Easy – Abilene Christian. I mean, the Wildcats forced 20-plus turnovers per game in 2021-22. And that won’t change in 2022-23. And when the Wildcats tip-off the 2022-23 season at home against Jackson State, I don’t expect anything different.





About the author

Kyle McDonald

Love everything about WAC Hoops so decided I wanted to write more about it and cover this amazing conference that just keeps getting better. Follow us on Twitter @wachoopsdigest for information, game analysis and much more.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to WAC Hoops Digest

Enter your email address to subscribe to WAC Hoops Digest so you never miss a beat.

Click Here to Get Your NBA Gear

Enjoy Las Vegas

Buy and Sell Your Tickets with StubHub

Get Your MLB Gear at the MLB Shop

Book with Expedia.com

Book a Stay with Hotels.com