After six losses in their last seven games — four of them to conference opponents — the Idaho Vandals find themselves in last place in the WAC heading into tonight's tilt with Cal State Bakersfield (7 p.m., Cowan Spectrum). Idaho is 7-12 and 1-4 in the WAC, a half-game worse than Seattle and Texas-Pan American after dropping to 0-5 in the Spectrum on Thursday night with a 71-66 loss to Utah Valley.
We've got an update on the suddenly injury-plagued Vandals below, and where things have gone wrong during this extended slide.
What's ailing the Vandals? Many things. At full strength, they haven't gotten enough production from their interior players, and the two strengths that coach Don Verlin thought his team would possess — stingy defense and expert shooting — have disappeared at critical moments or been altogether absent.
And now Idaho is dealing with a rash of injuries: Starting point guard Glen Dean (ankle) and guard/wing Sekou Wiggs (knee) missed Thursday's game, while leading scorer Stephen Madison is questionable for tonight's game after taking a shot to the ribs. The Vandals are further shorthanded with freshman post Ty Egbert serving a two-game suspension after his second flagrant 2 foul last week.
Add all this up, and only seven players saw action against Utah Valley on Thursday — and big man Joe Kammerer, who fouled out, logged only 12 minutes. That left just Paulin Mpawe as the Vandals' only post, and five other guys to pick up the slack.
The Vandals have lost all five of its games at Cowan Spectrum by an average of three points. Tonight they face Bakersfield, which is 8-9 and 1-2 in WAC play.