WSU roundup: Wildcats draw UT Arlington

Jan 30 2012 - 10:57pm


OGDEN -- The Wildcats and UT-Arlington Mavericks, a pair of teams ranked among the season's top mid-major basketball teams, will battle Feb. 18 at the Dee Events Center in the Sears Bracketbusters game.

The game will tip off at 6 p.m. and be broadcast on ESPN3.

Texas-Arlington is 15-5 on the season, having won 11 in a row. With a 7-0 mark in the Southland Conference, Scott Cross's Mavericks are ranked No. 19 in the Mid-Major Poll, two spots behind Randy Rahe's Wildcats.

The Wildcats sit at 16-4 overall, 8-1 in Big Sky play following a tough Saturday night loss at Idaho State.

The one-point defeat ended the 'Cats' 10-game winning streak.

Junior Damian Lillard leads the nation in scoring at 24.4 points per game. Senior LaMarcus Reed leads UT-Arlington and is fourth in the conference in scoring at 16.1 points per contest.

The Mavericks' last loss came on Dec. 20 when they lost 73-69 at Utah State. UT-Arlington will join the Western Athletic Conference this summer.

As part of the Bracketbusters format, Weber State will play at UT Arlington in next two seasons.

Utah State will host UC-Santa Barbara State in its bracketbusters game, while Southern Utah will play at UC Riverside.

The Sears Bracketbusters is in its 10th season and includes 142 schools from across the country, including all nine Big Sky Conference schools. WSU's game is one of 13 that will be televised nationally.

* AGGIES DRAW GAUCHOS: Utah State men's basketball will once again face a familiar foe during Bracketbusters weekend, as it will host former Big West Conference rival UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. It will be the second time in the last four years that USU and UCSB have played one another during this event.

"As hard as it is for us to get home-and-home series, Bracketbusterd has provided us with a home-and-home situation," said USU coach Stew Morrill. "We've been a little spoiled, quite honestly, having the marquee games and televised games over the years, and we get to see how the other side lives now by just playing a normal game that isn't part of the televised package."

Utah State is 5-1 all-time in Bracketbusters.

UC Santa Barbara is 11-7 on the season and in second-place in the Big West with a 6-2 mark.

Meanwhile, Southern Utah drew UC Riverside in its Bracketbusters. Game time is 8 p.m. in UCR's Student RecCenter.


* MANNING ADDED TO WSU SOCCER COACHING STAFF: Weber State University women's soccer coach Tim Crompton announced Monday that Mike Manning has joined the Wildcats' staff as an assistant coach.

Manning, who served as the teams volunteer assistant coach in 2011, replaces longtime Wildcats coach Tom VudhiVadhana, who retired last month.

"I'd really like to thank coach Crompton for giving me this opportunity," Manning said. "It has been a lifelong goal of mine to be able to coach at the highest collegiate level."

Manning is well known in the Utah and regional coaching circles, having coached in the Utah Olympic Development Program since 2006. He enters his seventh season with the ODP in 2012.

He also helped found the Junior Wildcats, a grassroots level youth recreation soccer program based in Ogden.

A native of Santa Monica, Calif., Manning also spent four years working with U.S. Soccer in an administrative and support role, travelling both domestically and internationally.

Manning's older brother, Rich, is currently the head coach at the University of Utah.

"I look forward to a healthy and competitive in-state rivalry with him," said Mike.


* WILDCATS ADD ERLING TO OVERSEE WSU MEN'S GOLF: Weber State University director of golf Jeff Smith recently announced the hiring of Scott Erling as an assistant coach for the Wildcat golf programs.

Erling, whose primary responsibility will be coaching the men's golf team, replaces Dave Kearl, who retired this past fall after heading up the men's program at Weber State for the past 11 years.

"I'm really excited to be here," said Erling. "To get to be a part of Weber State, and to get to work with the kids is a dream come true for me. I can't wait for things to get started. I think we've got some really good kids, and we've got some really good things coming up for the future, so with (Jeff Smith's) guidance, I think things will be really good for the program."

Erling has been a well known member of the local golf community for many years. He was the head golf pro at the Ogden Golf and Country Club from 1998 to 2007, and has since remained as a teaching professional at the club.

In 2007, he left his position as the head pro at OGCC to become the Intermountain region sales representative for Mizuno USA and other brands.

A native of southern Idaho, Erling was a three-time Gem State Conference player of the year. He then played collegiate golf with Utah State, where he was a four-year letterwinner with the Aggies.

Following his career with the Aggies, Erling turned pro, and played on the Candadian Tour in 2003 and 2004.

"Scott brings a lot of experience to our program," said Smith. "He's on the cutting edge of teaching. He's a very good player, and the kids are going to benefit a great deal from that ability and the years and years of playing and teaching that he has experienced. He also brings a lot of connections to our program. He is very well connected in the golf business world, with many golf courses in the state, and with many PGA professionals."

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