League leading Grindavik downed IR 115-94 in Express League play on Friday. The win keeps Grindavik unbeaten at 5-0 and drops IR to 1-4.
The former Mount star Kelly Beidler had another big night for IR. He recorded his third straight triple double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Beidler entered the game 4th in the Express League in both categories.
Beidler was 8-for-16 from the field and 1-for-2 from the foul line. 11 of his 12 rebounds came at the defensive end. He also picked up 3 assists and 3 steals and blocked a shot.
Ryan Pettinella (Virginia) led Grindavik with 28 points and 8 rebounds while Andre Smith (North Dakota State) had 22 and 11.
Vilhjalmur Steinarsson led IR with 22 points, while Nemanja Sojic chipped in 17.
Going to try to respond some comments in here and throw out a few other things...
So here goes...Harry...I get the feeling that you think I'm anti-Burke. Negative the new staff. Not that way at all. Go back to the very beginning of my speculation on the coaching search. Robert Burke was the first name I mentioned. I was very much in favor of there being a "national search". I don't agree with everything that went on in the process, but I don't really have a problem with the result. However, I do feel that Robert Burke is coming into a much more difficult situation than the one that his predecessor came into. And I think the public perception may not be that. Certainly the team that Milan Brown inherited had a record not near as good as the record of the the team that Robert Burke inherited. But Brown had most of the parts coming back from a team that finished up strongly. Burke has lost the key ingredients to what has been a very successful three years of Mount basketball. Also factor in that Milan Brown was on staff and had "his" recruits coming. Burke, not only wasn't on staff, but the kids that were coming opted to go elsewhere. Ultimately, in the long run if they felt that was best for them, that is what was best for the Mount. So they were left to try to find three scholarship players when the pool was already greatly narrowed. From what I have from those three thus far, under the circumstances, I think they did a great job. My biggest concern is that every team in the NEC other than Mount and Bryant has commitments at this point. Those are just facts. I'd like to be able to report something differently.
Richard....About this Kenny guy? You know about as much as I do, because you were at the scrimmage on Tuesday. As far as I know he is a walk-on. During the practice session, I was fairly impressed and thought he might be able to help and contribute, but I didn't think that carried over to the scrimmage portion. His bio is rather limited - other than to say he was a two-time all conference selection.
Harry...The recruits know how to play the game...and they definitely shoot it better than most of the recruits that Milan Brown brought in. I think that is something we are going to see an emphasis on going forward. I liked what I saw from Castellanos and Norfleet's jumper was what we expected. But they are both freshmen and teams will be able to exploit their inexperience at times this year. But I think we have as good as post players as we've ever had at the Mount and if the guard play can be acceptable, then the posts can give the Mount a chance to win games. I just don't want to expect too much too early from these guys, that wouldn't be fair.
Richard....I saw you up there. Or I was pretty sure that was you. I didn't have the laptop, but I did post a few updates through my phone for those who weren't as fortunate as you and I to be there. You need to take it easy on Tony Little. You thought Castellanos was a little green, I was concerned about some other things. But we'll let the opponents figure it out for themselves.
John....It really is a small world. I have never been to Iceland. But my high school coach once coached the same club team that Beidler is now playing for. So I've heard all about Iceland. We even hosted an Icelandic youth basketball player for part of summer as they came to the US for some camps and a tour. I also met Petr Gudmundson during that time, who was Iceland's best (lone) NBA player. Judging by Kelly's tweets, I think the lack of daylight is starting to get to him a little bit. But it hasn't affected his play as of yet. He keeps putting up huge numbers, which is great to see.
Now onto the other stuff....
18 runs in game one of the World Series. I'm still saying the Giants in seven. So that the World Series score matches the score of the first ever inter-league game 4-3. It was supposed to be a pitchers duel last night. The over/under was 5.5. What did they think it was in Vegas a hockey game?
I've got to say something about my Syracuse Orange. I mean we're not bad anymore. I've been relatively quiet on the subject but Saturday was a real nice win. I'm hoping they repeat it at Cincy this weekend. I know people are sort of expecting that. That is when it gets dangerous. And I get worried.
Notre Dame got manhandled by Navy on Saturday. The Notre Dame folks are always talking about how great their schedule is. Well on three straight weeks in October, they are going to play Western Michigan, Navy and Tulsa. And go 1-2.
Former Syracuse forward Preston Shumpert is averaging 11.5 points per contest through the first two rounds of action in the Turkish league for his Galatasaray side. Shumpert is making 57% of his field goal attempts, and 40% from behind the arc as he continues to be a marksmark.
Galatasaray is 1-1 in Turkish play and has also qualified for the Eurocup League. Shumpert's 22-point effort helped them eliminate Spartak Saint Petersburg in the qualifying round.
Taylor Rocheste, from Washington State, leads the Turkish team with 13 points a game.
Jeremy Goode has lost an American teammate in Portugal. Gonzaga's 7-foot 5-inch Will Foster has left the Penafiel team after just two games. Two games in which he did not factor. Seems a bit odd and the hopes of the Goode 5-9 and Foster 7-5 pairing aren't going to materialize.
Eurobasket.com reports that Foster left only a note in his apartment that he was leaving and that he apologized to his team for his behavior. Foster apparently was not adapting very well to the overseas lifestyle.
Goode, the former NEC star, has done very well for the Penafiel at the start of the LPB season. He is averaging 18.5 points 3 assists and 6 steals per game for his team which defeated Illiabum over the weekend.
I just returned home from the Blue White Scrimmage and I've got to say I was encouraged by what I saw. Obviously with all the departures from last year and Jean Cajou out for at least the first semester the outlook hasn't been that rosy. But today was a good day.
As of right now it appears that Josh Castellanos and Julian Norfleet are the starting backcourt and both freshman demonstrated why today. They both knocked down open jumpers and played well throughout. Castellanos seems ahead of Lamar Trice for the starting point guard duties. Trice didn't have a bad day, but Castellanos clearly showed more. I still have some concerns about the backcourt - and I remember the days of starting of two freshmen, I think you have to go back to Landy Thompson and Chris Sumner but I was certainly encouraged.
Castellanos won't win any form awards with his jump shot, but it hit the bottom of the net often enough to satisfy me. And I kinda thought of Castellanos as the type of point guard that the departed Milan Brown would have liked offensively. Someone who runs the show and gets everyone involved and never really tries to do too much. I'll be honest the jump shot surprised me, it was better than advertised.
I knew Norfleet could shoot it and he didn't disappoint me. He made just about everything he looked at early on. He missed a few later but he made a very good first impression. How much more he can do will become the question as to how good a player he becomes at this level, but he can definitely shoot it.
Pierre Brown was absent from the scrimmage part of the evening. Perhaps he had a class, not sure. He was on the floor for some of the practice time before the two 10-minute game action scrimmage sessions. From that I sort of suspect that he is part of the starting unit, but I can't be sure.
The other three starters with the White team were Shawn Atupem, Kristian Krajina and Danny Thompson. I'm expecting that Brown replaces one of them. My sense was that it was Thompson, but Krajina definitely had the better evening of the two.
I said yesterday I wanted to see if Krajina had regained the shooting touch he seemed to lose last year. He knocked down some outside jumpers and that was nice to see. I think that he may be a key for this team this year. I think that they need somebody else who can make an outside shot and he is the most likely candidate for me.
Atupem was very good as well. He scored from several different spots, the high post, the low block, the baseline and he looked good doing it. At times in the NEC last year he was virtually unstoppable without a double team, I didn't see anything to think that has changed a lot this year.
The biggest surprise for me was that Raven Barber didn't seem to be a part of the starting unit. Barber did make some nice plays when he got the ball on the low block and showed his ability to score from there, but there did seem to be a desire to move the post players away from the basket a little bit more and that didn't seem to be something Raven was as comfortable with yet.
Evan Cleveland, the other recruited freshman, didn't make quite the impact. But he does have nice size and he does seem to understand the game of basketball. Transitioning from a post player in high school to a wing at this level could be difficult this quickly. But Cleveland might prove to be the most capable backup for Brown on the wing, particularly defensively.
Again I thought it was a good showing. The Mount has a closed scrimmage with Coppin State over the weekend. I'd like to be a fly on the wall for that one. Coach Burke said he thought it would give his team a sense of where they're at. I think he's probably very accurate on that. I'd like to see so as well.
Former Syracuse frontline player Terrence Roberts is averaging 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds for Ferro-ZNTU of the Ukranian League. Roberts has scored in double figures in 3 of the the seven games, but has seen his playing time decrease as the season has worn on. Roberts does lead the team with 1.5 blocks per game, which places him third in the league.
Ferro-ZNTU has qualified for the EUROChallenge League, so the 3-4 start in the Ukranian League maybe somewhat of a disappointment. Ferro has dropped three of its last four games.
Christian Burns (Philadephia University) leads Ferro with 21.7 and 9.8 rebounds per games.
Kelly Beidler continued his strong play in the Icelandic League notching a double double in IR's 97-73 win over Tindastoll. Beidler came through with 21 points and 11 rebounds to help his team to its first win of the season against three defeats. The double double was the second straight for the Icelandic rookie out of Mt. St. Mary's. The loss leaves Tindastoll still winless at 0-4.
Nemanja Sovic led IR with 28. Josh Rivers (Western Illinois) and Dragoljub Kitanovic each had 17 in defeat.
Beidler has scored 21 in three of his four outings this season and entered the game third in the Express League in scoring and 5th in rebounding.
*UPDATED* - The Boxscore wasn't in when I first posted this. But now that it is, I think it shows what a great game Beidler had. He was 6-of-9 from the floor and 9-of-12 from the line. He dished out 4 assists, picked up 3 steals and blocked 4 shots. He was clearly too much for Tindastoll to handle.
You may recall he wore #4 (among other things #3 for awhile, and #51 in that NCAA tournament win over Coppin State) while at the Mount. Well 4 is becoming his number in Iceland too. After four games of action in the Express League he is 4th in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. Incidentally, he wears #15 for IR.
Tomorrow Night at this time I'll be at the Blue White Scrimmage getting my first look at this 2010-11 Mt. St. Mary's team and my first look at the change that new coach Robert Burke has brought. Here are somethings that I'll be watching for....
1) Trying to get an idea of the philosophy of game that the Mount is going to play. I get the sense that it is going to focus on shooting the basketball and be somewhat up tempo. But maybe I'm reading into some things a little bit too much. Perhaps tomorrow won't show us everything, but it should give us some sense.
2) Who is going to be the point guard? My guess is that Lamar Trice and Javier Castellanos are locked into a duel in the preseason to win the job. And my guess is that the new coaching staff would like to see Castellanos win the job. Trice hasn't been overly impressive in two years as Jeremy Goode's backup. He hasn't had a lot of opportunity either. But he has shown flashes of brilliance and he was spectacular in this game a year ago. That performance alone gives me some hope that he can handle the job, but we'll wait and see what develops.
3) Has Kristian Krajina regained his shooting touch? During preseason workouts last year, I thought the big Croatian had the best touch on the team, but as the speed of the game picked up and the season wore on we never really saw it. Now a full year off of recovery from the knee surgery has his touch returned and can he be a player who extends the defense for the Mount?
4) The Blue Ribbon Preview on ESPN (for Insiders only - and its not worth the subscription price for this article alone) doesn't have many useful nuggets. But it does say that the Mount plans to play Evan Cleveland away from the basket after he was a post player in high school. I'm interested to see if he can handle that immediately or if he is a possible redshirt candidate?
5) With all the inexperience in the backcourt and most of the returning experience coming in the frontcourt, I'll be intently watching to see how the offense tries to establish guys like Shawn Atupem, Raven Barber and Danny Thompson inside. To me Atupem and Barber are the most polished returning offensive players, but there has to be a way to get them the ball.
6) The one knock on Shawn Atupem is that he isn't the best of rebounders. The departure of Kelly Beidler who was a huge force, particularly on the defensive glass will be a huge loss. I'll be looking for somebody to replace him on the glass.
7) Pierre Brown boasts the best returning three-point percentage. Will they find ways to get him shots in the flow of the offense. And will he be able to get shots coming off screens and make those jumpers?
8) How will Dave Golladay fit in? The little bit I saw from Golladay last year I thought he did a little bit of everything. But I wasn't quite sure how well he shot the ball. Now with a new staff and maybe a new focus on shooting the ball, how will he fit in.
Jeremy Goode's 21 point 9 steal performance was recognized as the fourth best performance of the week by Eurobasket.com in the LPB. The performance helped Goode's Penafiel team upset Illiabum 75-63 to even its mark at 1-1.
With the steal performance Goode now leads the LPB in steals through two rounds with 6 per contest. He is also averaging 18.5 points per outing.
Richard Oruche, the Nigerian-American from Illinois-Springfield, was named the top player with 24 points 8 rebounds and 3 assists. His team Ginasio moved into first place with an 81-80 win over Academica.
Former Syracuse center Elvir Ovcina is averaging 10 points a game with LTi Giessen 46ers of the German Bundesliga. LTi is 4-1 in its first five games and sits in a three-way tie for second position in the league standings.
Ovcina scored a season-high 16 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in a 64-58 win over EnBW L'burg. In addition to the ten points, the big center is averaging nearly 7 rebounds a game (6.8), 3 assists, and 1.2 blocks and 1.4 steals per outing while playing 31 minutes per outing.
He has made 43% of his 2-point attempts and is 2-for-9 from behind the line.
Been awhile since I did a view from my couch, but Curtis Granderson was just so safe that I had to say something. And remember I'm the Yankee hater. Watching both Game six of the ALCS and the Big East Friday Night Game of the Week on ESPN2. It's that inept USF offense at defending champ Cincinnati. I'll keep you posted with thoughts as the night wears on.
Who scores more tonight the Yankees and Rangers or USF? Would you take just one of the Yankees or Rangers over the Bulls? I think you need them both. But the USF defense is not bad. And they just stopped UC after a 1st and Goal situation and forced a field goal. So a little bit more than midway through the first, the Bearcats lead 3-0.
Is that pitch tracker thing from TBS ever right? Or are the Umps just that bad? I think its the TBS technology. It never really even seems all that close. Ron Washington draws first blood by putting Josh Hamilton in motion. It kept them out of the double play. Anybody got any of those old Donruss cards of Ron Washington? The guy looks so much the same, doesn't he?
South Florida has looked a little bit different on this drive. They've let BJ Daniels do what he is good at and that is give him options with the football and run a little bit. Plus when they were faced with third and one, Skip went to father Lou's playbook and went to the full house backfield. Even without Jerome Bettis in the backfield, the Bulls got the first down. After one though its still 3-0.
Daniels ends up scoring on a QB Draw. So USF leads 7-3 and my guess is you're going to need both baseball teams to outscore them. Colby Lewis has shutout the Yanks through 2 but it hasn't been as easy as it looks. We'll see how it goes from here. And by the way, Ron Washington hit .261 in 1586 at-bats over 10 major league seasons.
Love the Wild Pitch on the Intentional Pass to Hamilton. Almost like a balk on the catcher. Well not a balk on the catcher, but a balk on the pitcher for throwing when the catcher isn't in the catching box. The wild pitch probably didn't matter, but it did make the crowd a bit more loud.
Type this into the address field on your web browser.... www.themountfanblog.com - Go ahead. It's going to bring you right back here. As of this post we now officially have use of the web address www.themountfanblog.com. That doesn't mean that thefanblog.blogspot.com won't still bring you hear. But it does mean that the official web address is www.themountfanblog.com
It also doesn't mean that we've gone exclusive on the Mount. We'll still cover Syracuse, the Orioles, college football and all the other college sports that we love. But its no doubt that the focus of the blog has been and probably will be more and more about the Mount, so we incorporated that into the name.
Truth is, we're probably a little bit more excited about this than you are, and ultimately it probably doesn't mean a lot to you, but you can adjust your bookmarks and hopefully in the long run it will help bring more readers here which will give Richard a few more folks to banter with.
We're looking forward to an exciting year of college basketball, much of it at the Mount, and we though this was the right time to make this change.
Former Syracuse player Kristof Ongenaet has surfaced in the Italian League playing with Sutor Montegranaro. The Belgian was scoreless in four minutes of action in Sutor's opening round win over Dinamo Ford Sassari.
Dejan Ivanov led Sutor Montegranaro to that win with 24 points. KO did pick up one rebound in his limited action.
The Phillies are facing elimination tonight. The Yankees are facing elimination tomorrow night. If, and I guess it's still a big if, but if the Giants face the Rangers in the World Series its a big rematch. A big rematch of what you might ask? A big rematch of the first interleague game in Major League history. Some of us knew that off the top of our head. Ironically enough the Giants won the game 4-3 way back on June 12th 1997. Ok I had to look some of that up.
The Mount website now lists road games with Penn State and Northwestern available on The Big Ten Network. There is nothing listed on mattsarzsports.com which has been my authority for finding out television broadcasts in the past. You may recall when the Mount played at Penn State two seasons ago, the game was available online through the Big Ten Network. Matt Sarz does have a game Northern Iowa at Iowa listed as Big Ten Network programming the night of the Mount Penn State game.
Congrats to former Mount assistant, current Holy Cross assistant and friend of the FanBlog, Kevin Robinson and his wife Trish are the parents of newborn Katherine Nicole (Nikki) Robinson. Holy Cross head coach Milan Brown tweeted that Trish was in labor yesterday and that Kevin's life was about to change for the better. No doubt about it. All reports are that Mom, Dad and the newborn are doing well and getting ready for the start of the Crusader season. We wish them all the best.
18 days until the start of the season officially begins on ESPNU. 7pm from the Petersen Events Center with Pitt facing Rhode Island. Could be a pretty decent opener. Navy plays at Texas that night as well, and Maryland hosts Seattle that evening. The three hosts as well as Illinois are all part of the Coaches Vs Cancer Classic which takes place at Madison Square Garden the following week. Syracuse won the event last year.
It was a surprise to me that Kris Joseph wasn't a part of the First-Team All Big East Presason team. But it really doesn't matter. I expect Joseph to have a sensational season and I expect Syracuse to be nearly as good as it was a year ago. The Orange has gotten to the point where they are reloading and not rebuilding. And even though they lost a lot from last year's team they seem to have folks capable of stepping in. It isn't quite what it was like a year ago in that regard, but the parts are definitely there to replace what has departed. Should be another fun season on the Hill.
Expect a better performance from the SU football team on Saturday versus West Virginia. The Orange might have gotten a little bit ahead of itself versus Pitt over the weekend, but it still is a work in process. Still I think the effort will return this week in a little bit more grounded form and even though I don't expect a win, I think many will be surprised when the final numbers are tallied.
Kelly Beidler scored 32 points and grabbed 17 rebounds but his IR team fell to 0-3 in the Icelandic Express League with a 107-97 overtime loss to crosstown KFI. Craig Schoen, who played a year at Lipscomb before transferring to Georgetown KY, matched Beidler's 32 and his 3-pointer sent the game to overtime, where KFI outscored IR 15-5.
Beidler was 10-for-17 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from behind the arc, and made 8 of 11 free throws to total the 32. 13 of his 17 rebounds came on the defensive end, and he also handed out 4 assists and had 2 blocks.
After three rounds of play in the Icelandic League, Beidler's 24.7 point per game average is good for a tie for second in the league scoring table. Andre Dabney leads the league with a 26.3 average. Beidler is also fifth in rebounding at 10.7 per contest. Through 3 games, he is shooting 48% from the floor, including 44% from behind the arc - and is making 78% of his free throws.
Former Syracuse star Eric Devendorf began his season with 10 points for the Melbourne Tigers in a 68-64 loss to the Sydney Kings last week.
Devendorf struggled mightily from the field knocking down just 4-of-18 shots. He was 2-for-5 from behind the three-point arc, but made just 2-of-13 inside. He also had four rebounds and one assist in the defeat.
We'll continue to track Devendorf and other Syracuse players overseas as the season continues.
Jeremy Goode scored 16 points in his Portugeese League debut but his squad Penafiel fell 81-68 to Academica in the opening round of league play.
Goode's 16 points was matched by Rui Mota for team high. The former Mount point guard also had 5 assists and 3 steals in his debut. Goode struggled a bit from the floor shooting just 6-of-16, and was only 4-of-8 from the charity stripe.
Tommie Eddie, who played his college ball at Mississippi, led Academica with 26 points.
Penafiel returns to action next Saturday versus Illiabum.
It's Late Saturday Afternoon and I'm watching Game Two of the ALCS and some college football. Yanks are down 5-0 and I think are about to go down 2-0 in the series, when TBS flashes Yankees lead series 1-0 on the scoreboard. At first I think it must be a mistake. Then I remember I did goto sleep a little early last night, and check to see that New York did score five in the eighth to win 6-5.
Looking forward to Lincecum-Halladay tonight. I think the Giants win the series. Maybe it's just a hunch. But I think they somehow outpitch Philadelphia. Although my Philly sources are telling me that Matt Cain is never very good against Philadelphia, if that is the case I might be wrong in making that pick.
The loss in the Dome was disturbing today. Not the fact that it was a loss, but the fact that is was as one-sided as it was. Pitt scored on its first offensive play and it was never really a game. Still this team has made huge strides and Doug Marrone clearly has the Orange pointed in the right direction. However, what the fanbase has to realize is that the damage that Daryl Gross did to the football program was so severe that it isn't going to be fixed over night. Still the right attitude is now in place and the right decisions are being made. Let's keep the faith and continue to build this thing. Remember Rome wasn't built in a day. Expect a better all-around performance next week at West Virginia.
To answer the readers and commenters questions, I was not at practice so I have no information. I do think we all may be reading too much into the three players that the new coaching staff brought in over the summer. The pool of available players is so much smaller after the early signing period, let alone after the second signing period that its unfair to draw conclusions based on that. However, based on that and the look of the recruits that have been identified by this staff thus far, I think it might be safe to assume that there is going to be a change in the focus. I think the players seem to be bigger players across the board, bigger guards, bigger post players. And they seem to be guys who like to shoot the basketball, which probably means we'll see more of a focus on offense. There also seems to be a desire to recruit kids who are being looked at by bigger schools and also to potentially utilize the academic advantage of the University in comparison to other schools in the conference. Burke has been recruiting this type of athlete at Princeton, Georgetown and American and it would not surprise me if he tries to make it a priority at Mt. St. Mary's.
Nebraska is in a heap of trouble at home against Texas. But I would be surprised if they didn't make it a game before all is said and done in Lincoln. We'll keep our eye on that. And of course there is a dandy going on in the SEC. Isn't there always? But not sure how much Arkansas will be able to do in the second half without Ryan Mallett who left with an injury.
Former Syracuse marksman Preston Shumpert led his new Turkish side Galatasaray into the Eurocup regular season by averaging 16 points in the qualifying tie with Spartak SP pushing his team to advancement.
The Turkish team won the opener in Turkey by 69-58 before holding on in Saint Petersburg for a three-point aggregate win. Shumpert did most of his damage on Russian soil knocking down 4-of-5 three pointers and finished with 22 points in the victory. His two free throws late also helped to seal advancement.
Galatasaray opens play in the Turkish Basketball League Saturday versus Erdemir.
Shumpert is joined on the Galatasaray side by fellow Americans Josh Shipp (UCLA) and Taylor Rochestie (Washington State).
21 is becoming the magic number for Kelly Beidler in Iceland. The former Mount standout scored 21 for the second straight Express League game, but he and his Express League teammates fell 79-76 to Njardvik.
Beidler was a hot 7-for-11 from the field including a 2-for-2 from behind the three-point line. He made five-of-eight foul shots to complete his scoring. He also added seven rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals to complete his line.
Nemanja Sovic led IR with 23.
Antonio Houston a 6-4 guard from Catawba led Njardvik with 23.
Did Daryl Gross really make the right decision this time? Or did everybody else simply say no because of the sad state Gross had put the football program in? Either way Marrone is the right guy for the job... and Syracuse is starting to reap the rewards.
Mt. St. Mary's announced today that Jean Cajou has withdrawn from school and taken a leave of absence from school and will not participate with the basketball team during the fall semester. With Cajou's departure, the Mount will be without four of its five starters from last year's team when it opens the season next month in Ohio versus Dayton under first year head coach Robert Burke.
Robert Burke said in a statement released on Mountathletics.com that, "As Jean's coaches, teammates and friends we miss him very much. We are extremely hopeful he will return to school and the court for the second semester."
Sources told the FanBlog in early September that Cajou had left the Emmitsburg campus, but it was uncertain until the announcement today what Cajou's status for the season would be.
This was to be Cajou's fifth season on campus after graduating from Paul XI. After sitting out his freshman year on campus, he was the NEC Tournament MVP during the Mount's run to the NCAA tournament during his freshman season on the court. The NCAA generally has a five years to play four which would likely keep Cajou from redshirting this season even though he was not part of the Mount program during his first year on campus.
Either way, he was expected to play a huge role on this year's team. He was the team's best defender and with the departure of point guard Jeremy Goode, it was expected that his ballhandling duties were to be increased. He was also a captain as a junior and certainly thought of as a leader of this group.
Kelly Beidler scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds but it wasn't enough as Keflavik defeated IR 88-77 in the opening night of action in the Icelandic Express League.
Keflavik led by three at halftime and steadily built the lead in the second half. Gunnar Einarsson led the victors with 24 points. Beidler's 21 led his team, while William Steiner chipped in with 19 and Nemanja Sovic had 17 and 9 rebounds.
Former Syracuse frontline player Terrence Roberts has moved from the Orient to the Ukraine this year and is playing with Ferro-ZNTU in the Ukranian SuperLeague. Ferro was part of the EuroChallenge Qualifier but was bounced in a home and home tie with Benfica (Portugal).
Ferro has started the season 1-1 in SuperLeague playing coming up with an 87-79 win over Kryvbasbasket in their latest league contest. Roberts scored 10 points and had 4 rebounds in that win. In a season opening loss to BC Donetsk he scored 6 points and had 5 rebounds and recorded a block.
Including the Eurochallenge games, Roberts is averaging 9 points per game and 4.5 rebounds, while playing about 17 minutes a night on a team that includes four other Americans.
We'll continue to keep you posted on Roberts and other former Syracuse players overseas throughout the year.
Portugal's Benfica took the second qualifying leg of the EuroChallenge with Ukranian side Ferro-ZNTU 77-72 in the Ukraine to advance into the EuroChallenge regular season. After tying the first leg at Benfica the final leg was a winner take all event. The loss eliminates Ferro-ZNTU and former Syracuse player Terrence Roberts from the competition.
Roberts scored 5 points and had 4 rebounds in 16 minutes of action.
Greg Jenkins who played his college ball at Iona led the Portugeese champions with 20 points. Sergio Ramos and Ben Reed (Western Michigan) each had 15 points in the win. Meanwhile, Kentucky's Heshimu Evans tallied 12 and pulled down 7 caroms.
Keddric Mays 15 points and Christian Burns 13 led the Ukranian side.
Former Syracuse center Elvir Ovcina scored five points and grabbed eight rebounds as LTi downed Telekom B 75-70 in the opening round of the German Bundesliga over the weekend. Ovcina went 1-for-8 from the floor making a three-point attempt. Ovcina led his team with five assists and three blocked shots. US Imports Zachery Peacock and Anthony Smith led the 46ers with 21 points each.
Ovcina last played with Polzela in the Slovenian league.
LTi returns to action on Friday and plays again on Sunday this weekend.
Matt Bracken of the sun has a pretty good look at Aja's recruitment.
They seem to like him a lot in New Jersey at the Robinson School.
UPDATED: This report talks about a partial qualifier. I did some research. A partial qualifier is not eligible to play during their first year on campus, but is eligible for a scholarship and to practice with the team. Sounds like there is no way that that Aja would ever be anything more than a partial qualifier because of his reclassification, so the earliest he would be eligible to play would be November 2012. But it sounds like he has talent abounds.
Kelly Beidler's pro career in the Icelandic Express League will begin tomorrow when his IR squad takes on Keflavik as Round one gets under way in the top Division of Icelandic play.
Beidler scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds when his team was bounced from the Lengjan Cup 79-76 to Fjolnar in the first round of that tournament. Teammate Nemanja Sovic, of Serbia, had 22 in that loss.
Keflavik lost in the Lengjan Cup semis, defeating Hamar in the semis but falling to KR in the semis.
It was reported yesterday that John Carroll's Malcolm McMillan picked Central Connecticut State to continue his basketball career turning down a Mt. St. Mary's scholarship offer. If you trust Recruit Recon (and I think they are one of the best regional recruiting sites) that is the ninth player who has spurned a Mount scholarship offer to go elsewhere. That certainly is a disturbing trend.
Recruit Recon has one more player holding a Mount scholarship offer, Elijah Bonsignore, while TheFanBlog has learned of three more scholarship offers over the last several days including those extended to Kanu Ajah, Luke Mergerson, and Chad Frazier.
But there is no doubt that with the new coaching staff on hand the fact that there have been no commitments leads to more uncertainty. And it seems that the only thing certain about the Mount program right now is uncertainty.
At least there are a lot of questions.
What type of offense will the team run? Will it be the methodical, high post backdoor, Princeton style stuff that Robert Burke was associated with at Princeton and then Georgetown? Or the wideopen offensive attack that he may have learned in his one year on the west coach with Loyola Marymount and subsequent years at Siena? Or some hybrid in between?
Will the defensive intensity remain? If not, will there be some other defensive formations, or we will strictly see man-to-man?
What type of substitutions patterns will emerge? Will we be able to chart them before the game? Or will the hot hand stay in the game?
Who will handle the ball? Four year starting point guard Jeremy Goode is gone. Lamar Trice would seem to have the first look, but freshman Josh Castellanos may challenge. Or is there another option?
I could go on.
You see there are a lot of unanswered questions on the court and if you're a fan - you can't help but be somewhat anxious about some of them. And when news comes of players picking other schools you can't help but get a little concerned. Some of that concern has been calmed in the last several days by the positive note of the fact that there are some potential bright spots on the horizon.
You'd like to be able to trust the staff - and to some extent I do - but without a track record that is difficult. So all you can do is sit back and wait. And hope that all is going to work out well. But that first commitment would make me sleep a little bit easier.
Jeremy Goode led his Penafiel (Portugal) team with 21 points in the quarterfinals of the Antonio Pratas Trophy tournament but it was not enough as Porto won the Group North game 74-59 to advance to the semifinals. Julian Terrell (Vanderbilt) led the Dragons with 14 points and 9 rebounds, while Nuno Marcal chipped in with 13.
Penafiel begins the regular season on October 16 versus Academica.
6-4 Shooting Guard Chad Frazier out of Metrolina Christian Academy in Concord North Carolina apparently visited the Mount on the last weekend in September and has an offer to join the Mounties next fall. Frazier averaged 22 points per game last season and scored as many inside as he did outside.
The weekend before the Mount visit Frazier was apparently at Gardner-Webb, but it is uncertain whether or not the guard holds an offer from Gardner-Webb. Reportedly Frazier will visit NEC foe Wagner, who he reportedly has an offer from as well. The only other offer that Frazier has in hand is supposedly from The Citadel. Frazier has garnered a lot of regional interest from the likes of the College of Charleston, Elon, High Point, Richmond, UNC-Greensboro, Winthrop and Wofford. However, Frazier apparently would like to travel away from the area to play collegiate basketball which could make the Mount a viable option.
He teamed with Caleb Bacon to form one of the better backcourts in North Carolina last year. He seems to be more of a scorer than a shooter and exactly how that would fit in remains to be seen as the evolution of the offense under Robert Burke is still to be learned. Still, he's a good sized player who might be able to get away as a small forward in the NEC if his long-range jumper never fully develops.
We'll keep you posted on anything we know about Frazier or any other Mount recruits as the recruiting season continues to heat up.
6-9 big man out of Baltimore's Cardinal Gibbons has added an offer from the Mount in recent weeks according to Alex Kline at the Recruit Scoop. At 6-9, 265 Ajah plays for the Baltimore Elite AAU team and has offers from the following: St. Peter's, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Morehead State, Quinnipiac, Hofstra, Morgan State, and Charleston Southern. Edit : Ajah will attend the Robinson School in New Jersey this year. Cardinal Gibbons closed after the 2009-10 school year. Ajah attended Towson Catholic in 2008-09, but moved onto Gibbons after TC closed after 08-09. Crazy Stuff.
Not a lot of information out there about Ajah but we'll keep our ears open - and let you know any developments as they pertain to the Mount. We do find it interesting that the two prospects we've heard about in the last few days are both post players.
Added :Ajah has apparently also garnered interest from Western Kentucky, Seton Hall, Virginia Commonwealth, Providence and Fairleigh Dickinson. He has yet to take any official visits and does not have any scheduled at the present time.