Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Big East Split Inevitable

Kevin McNamara: In college sports, basketball-football split inevitable | Projo College Sports | projo.com | The Providence Journal |
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Beidler leads IR to nice win

Kelly Beidler scored 24 points and grabbed 17 rebounds as IR defeated Hamar 89-84 in the Icelandic Express League on Monday.

IR built a four-point halftime lead and extended that to 15 before Hamar rallied.

IR is now 2-7 in league play and Hamar falls to 5-4.

Beidler also blocked three shots in the victory continuing his fine start to his rookie campaign. Entering the game he was fourth in scoring and third in rebounding and blocked shots in the league. His averages will improve in all categories after this performance.

Send an email to thefanblog@gmail.com

More Boeheim on TCU

Syracuse's Jim Boeheim: 'It really doesn't matter if (TCU is) strong or not' | College Sports Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Trap game for UMASS

MassLive : UMass basketball team hopes to avoid getting trapped at Quinnipiac
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Wrapping up the Navy loss

Last night was a real disappointment for me. I really thought the Mount would beat Navy. But it was a very frustrating evening. Listened to the Navy postgame on the ride home and their announcers and the assistant they interviewed felt that was the best they've played all year. Particularly the first half. Having not seen all their games, I'll have to go with what they said.

  • I think the game was lost in the final minutes of the first half. Navy made 8 threes during the first half - 8 of 16 shooting, and was like 1 of 11 in the second half. So I don't know if their shooting was a product of them, a product of poor defense, or just one of those nights. But the game was lost when Navy pulled away late in the first half.
  • The Mount doesn't have enough horses to rally from a double digit deficit. Especially on a night when Julian Norfleet isn't shooting the basketball very well, and last night was one of those nights.
  • The post play continues to be strong. The Mount outrebounded Navy by a strong margin and Raven Barber and Shawn Atupem scored their points inside. The success of the Mount's season is going to be whether or not they have enough on the perimeter to be able to get the ball inside.
  • The coaching staff felt the frustration as well last night. I saw Coach Burke punch the scorer's table once and hold up about six inches from slamming it a second time. Either the first one hurt too much or he realized that wasn't the best way to handle things. 
  • 20 turnovers is way too many to have and win a basketball game. If that number isn't greatly decreased the Mount will struggle to get to double digit wins. 
  • The defense was extremely disappointing last night. This was the first game where the Mount couldn't find a way to really stop the opposition for an extended period of time. And there were some really bad situations. On one fast break, the Navy dribbler went through 4 Mountaineers right down the middle of the lane. Somebody has to stop the ball. And the help defense was particularly weak at some points. It kind of caught me off guard last night, because although the defense has been different than what we've seen in the past, it hasn't been bad. Last night was not a good effort. Navy scored 1.17 points per possession. You can't give up that many and win.
  • Still offensively I like the things that the Mount is trying to do. They do seem to be doing a better job of creating open looks then they have in the past and you can see the offense growing. Making all of those open looks becomes the issue...and not giving away 20 offensive chances with turnovers is the other fix. But all in all, the offense wasn't the problem last night. 68 points was enough to win this game, but not if you're not going to defend at the other end.
  • The schedule is about to get a lot tougher. We'll have to see how they respond with two road games against NEC competition this weekend. 
  • 2-4 at this point in the season isn't all that unlikely. It would be nice to be 3-3 but I wouldn't have expected too much more. The Dayton and Cincy games were always expected to be losses. And they played well in those games and had a chance in the road game at Niagara. But they need to keep pressing forward, believing in the new staff and what they are doing, and believing in themselves. The next home game isn't until December 20th. The time between now and then may define what this team ends up being.

Send an email to thefanblog@gmail.com

SU Cornell preview

Cornell-Syracuse Preview - Nov. 29, 2010 - NCAA Division I Mens Basketball - CBSSports.com
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Monday, November 29, 2010

QU downs Maine

| Quinnipiac men hold off Maine
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

At the half

Navy leads 45-32. Middies made 8 3's. Don't think they'll shoot as well the second half and it could get interesting.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

A Rob Burke timeout

Settled things down. MOUNT back within 3
Too many missed foul shots though.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Navy on a 14-3 run

Leads 19-11
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Goode leads Penafiel with 17 - not enough against league leaders

Send an email to thefanblog@gmail.com

Former Mt. St. Mary's point guard Jeremy Goode in his first season overseas scored 17 points in his Portuguese team Penafiel 77-55 loss to league leading Porto Ferpinta.

Goode was 6-for-11 from the field and 4-of-6 from the line, knocking down his only three-point attempt. He also grabbed four rebounds, had two steals and dished out three assists. He leads the LPB with 3.8 steals per contest.

Porto Ferpinta moved to 6-0 with the win, while Penafiel fell to 2-4.

American Greg Stempin (Toledo) led the victors with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Trip Around NEC

A Trip Around the Northeast Conference | Pressbox
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Boeheim reacts to TCU

syracuse.com : Syracuse's Jim Boeheim reacts to Big East's addition of TCU
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

The Mount vs Navy - What to expect

Mt. St. Mary's hosts Navy tonight at the ARCC. The Mount looks to build on an 11-game home winning streak. Navy enters the game at 2-6, having dropped an overtime game to Maryland Eastern Shore over the weekend. The Mount is 2-3 and comes in off a win over Florida A&M.

The Mount made a change to its starting lineup during the win over the Rattlers and started three freshman guards in the backcourt. Josh Castellanos replaced Lamar Trice at the point guard slot on Saturday, but Trice responded with a 14 point 6 assist in 33 minutes off the bench. The six assists makes Trice the team leader in that category as he passed Castellanos with that effort.

The Mountaineers have become balanced offensively. Three Mounties average in double figures with senior Shawn Atupem leading the way. Atupem averages 13.4 points per game. Freshman Julian Norfleet (11.8) and Trice (11.0) also are in double figures. Sophomore forward Raven Barber has been in double figures the last two games and averages 9.6 per contest. His play recently has been a major positive.

The Mount did establish the inside game against the Rattlers and I would expect to see more of the same tonight. The Mount shot 15-of-25 in the second half, and 15-of-22 from inside the arc during that half. However, Navy center Mark Veazey may provide some stability defensively for the Midshipmen with his height inside.

Early in the season Navy struggled offensively but has scored 80+ points each of the last two games. But the Mount defense which has been solid all year should have enough to contain Navy.

The Mount has won two of the last three with the Midshipmen, but Navy did win during its last trip to Emmitsburg.

The students are back on campus, I would expect a decent crowd against a solid name opponent on a Monday night. The Mount has to be a clear favorite in this one and ultimately I like the Mounties to pull out the win 71-62.

Feast Week Observations

O'Neil's Feast Week observations - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Welcome Horned Frogs


AOL Fanhouse is reporting that the TCU to the Big East is a done deal in 2012. We are on the record saying we support the move. So obviously we like it now that it is somewhat confirmed. Not a real big shock, the Big East was being aggressive and wanted football respectablility. The Horned Frogs give them that. Sounds like it will be 9 for football and 17 for basketball. At least for now.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

QPAC hosts Maine

| UMaine men’s basketball capsule
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Morning Cup - 11/28

Just finished up watching the Las Vegas Invitational Final game this morning. I watched the first half last night and the remainder this morning. Kansas looked dominant early on, but a lot of credit has to go to Arizona for remaining composed and playing its way through some rough things early. The Cats made a game of it before Kansas pulled away late. Particularly impressive was the play of Derrick Williams who scored 27 before fouling out.

I may try to find my way to Bethlehem this evening and see Bryant play at Lehigh. But I'm thinking that probably isn't going to happen. Too much going on today to make it all work out.

Navy lost again yesterday. This time to lowly UMES in overtime. The Midshipmen had seemingly been having trouble with the offense but that may have come to life a little bit over the last two games. The Mount has to be a solid favorite when the two meet at the ARCC tomorrow night.

Anybody else shocked by the Dayton Cincinnati score? The Bearcats doubled up the Flyers 68-34. Not a surprise that the Big East school won the game. But the margin of victory and dominance in doing so, was certainly a surprise to me. So I guess that makes the Bearcats the champs of the Global Sports Main Event. Another championship for the Big East in an MTE. No official numbers but I think the Big East has been the most impressive conference during these events.

The conference won two other championships yesterday. Syracuse in AC with the Legends. St John's in Alaska over Arizona State with the Great Alaska Shootout. So I think that is 6 total MTE championships for the conference with Notre Dame playing Wisconsin in Orlando today with a chance to make it 7. That is some pretty good depth.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Breaking Down the Legends Classic Win

Syracuse is the 2010 Legends Classic Champion. A victory in Saturday night's final over Georgia Tech earns the Orange its third straight MTE Championship. The Orange won the Coaches vs Cancer last year and the CBE Classic two years ago. The win was the Orange's 13th straight victory in an MTE event.

There were a lot more positives in Saturday night's 80-76 win over Tech than there were on Friday. Kris Joseph once again excelled offensively. Despite spending nearly half the game on the bench in foul trouble, Joseph led the Orange with 19 points. And when he is making open jump shots it really makes the offense that much better. He seems to be adjusting to his role a bit more now, and fitting in as the offensive leader of the team. It was a good tournament weekend for him.

I also liked the play of Dion Waiters. We said this morning that somebody had to step up off the bench and contribute offensively. Waiters made his first four shots and finished with 13 points. C.J. Fair continues to do the right things off the bench and I think he will fill a necessary role all season.

Scoop Jardine had 15 points and 8 assists in the Orange's most efficient offensive effort of the year, but Jardine still made some silly offensive decisions. Yet he seems to guard with the ball in his hands the most. Sophomore Brandon Triche doesn't seem overly comfortable without the main point guard role. Triche is still very capable but he doesn't seem to be really factoring in.

The most consistent performer all season has been Rick Jackson. He was again this weekend. He continues to get his points and rebound well. He's averaging a double double thus far and is one of the area's the Orange knows what it is going to get from.

I wrote a little this morning about the Orange needing an identity. SI's Seth Davis, who worked the tournament for HDNet, talked a little bit about it tonight. He thought the Orange actually began to establish an identity this weekend. I'm not totally convinced of that, but I do believe that one part of what he was saying was accurate. His belief is that the Orange's identity is going to be a blue collar workmanlike team. That it isn't going to come as easy as it did last year - and that it is going to take some time. I can agree with all of that, but I need to see more of the same to believe that all of that is going to happen consistently.

Neither Georgia Tech or Michigan is a great team. And actually they both are probably NIT teams at best. Yet the Orange couldn't put either away this weekend. Both games went down to the wire, although tonight's never needed to get close again and wasn't in doubt in the final minute.

Cornell will provide a chance for the team to grow and the matchup with NC State (who I think will be a tournament team) comes next weekend. So we'll see how this all shakes out.

The parts for this team to be good are there. Just as of right now they haven't figured out which piece is which. Or at least they haven't figured which parts fit together best. But that is what everything before March is supposed to be about.

LIU Beaten

The dream of an unbeaten season is over.

LIU Men’s Basketball Falls Short at Saint Peter’s, 65-62 :: SportsPageMagazine.com
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Observations from win over Florida A&M

I saw the first 18 minutes or so of the game, I liked what I saw, and I told my father before I left that if the Mount kept A&M off the offensive glass it would turn into a double digit win. Somebody tell me that is what happened. The Rattlers had 16 offensive rebounds for the game, I don't see a second half number, but it seemed like all of those happened early.

  • Jacolby Wells really seemed to provide life and energy on the glass in the brief moments I saw him. But he seemed like the guy that was needed for the job.
  • Very impressed with Danny Thompson and how he seemed to inject some life and leadership when things weren't going as well as needed in the first half. I've always liked what I've seen from Thompson, even though we haven't seen a lot, but he showed me something new today. It was a good sign.
  • The coaching staff continues to put the players in a situation to win ball games. Kudos to them. They are doing a lot of different things offensively, even saw a set or two of the old Phelan Flex in there, and they must have adjusted to go inside late. Raven Barber and Shawn Atupem are going to be spots where the Mount is better than most of its opposition.
  • Julian Norfleet seemed to have his best game (or at least half) that I've seen. He was much more under control than what I've seen in the opening moments of the season, and his shots seemed to come out of the flow of the offense.
  • Lamar Trice did a nice job off the bench. He has that Philadelphia desire to always get to the basket, but he did a better job staying within himself today. He also continues to show a jump shot that we weren't always sure would develop.

Central Atop NEC

Overtime win for Devils over Monmouth.

Central Ekes Out Win Over Lowly Monmouth - CTnow
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Florida A&M visits the ARCC

I'm looking forward to my first live look at the Mount this season. Albeit a shortened look as I'll have to leave well before the game is over, perhaps before halftime.

This is certainly a game that the Mount can win, and when the schedule makers put this one on the calendar one that you would expect they would win. However, as we've learned ever so cruelly at times, we don't always get what we expect.

The Rattlers enter with a 2-3 record and an identical 1-2 record against the rest of this tournament field. A better win than the Mount posted against Savannah State, but a pair of 20 point losses to the two Ohio outfits.

The Mount continues to be somewhat undermanned. Injuries have cut into the plan. Yet the first year coaching staff continues to find ways to utilize the parts it has inherited.

I'm looking for a big game from Shawn Atupem and for the Mount to somehow grind one out in the end. Let's go with 59-55.

Cuse and Tech for Legends Title

Georgia Tech Basketball Schedule: Vs. No. 10 Syracuse, Legends Classic Championship Game - SB Nation Atlanta
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Observations from the Legends Classic

Enjoyed my trip to Atlantic City yesterday. The basketball wasn't quite the best, but it was a good doubleheader and its always nice to see the alma mater.

Some thoughts....

  • Boardwalk Hall made me think of HersheyPark Arena. It had that old feeling - although much wider walkways in the concourse areas - with that arched roof. Of course Boardwalk Hall was a little bigger on the stage side, and it had the stage. Kind of a weird feeling to sit there and think all of those Miss America's that were crowned there.
  • The crowd was clearly pro Orange. Although Michigan did have a good following. Somebody last year said that Syracuse is becoming Duke. Not sure that the Orange has such a national following, but the Alums have done a very nice of following the team when they come to their area.
  • To follow up on that, I was on my way home on the PA Turnpike clipping right along. Someone moving a bit faster pulled up along side of me, and it reaction to my "GO CUSE" license plate, put their window down and started screaming, hanging out the window, Cuse hat in hand. Was one of those feel good alumni moments.
  • Extremely ironic situation where Glen Rice Jr and Tim Hardaway Jr played for two teams in the doubleheader. Their fathers alma maters each played in the doubleheader as well. But neither of the sons played for their fathers team. Rice Jr was the leading scorer for Georgia Tech, while Hardaway laced it up for Rice Sr's former school Michigan. You'll recall that Hardaway Sr did his undergraduate work at UTEP.
  • The Northeast Conference was the host of the tournament. There were NEC logos on the floor. There were some NEC commercials during stoppages of play. But as far as I could tell, I was the only guy representing the NEC. The group behind me, which seemed to have a fairly high basketball IQ, couldn't ID one team in the NEC, eventually they settled that the NEC must be the home of George Mason and the like. I like the fact that the NEC has an alliance with a tournament of this magnitude. But as far as I'm concerned it has to have a visual impact as well. Now I understand that these tourneys are about selling tickets in neutral locations and the NEC isn't going to help that, but my suggestion would be that the NEC host one of the other pods in this event. This year the University of Detroit and William and Mary are hosting. But put that at the Mount, or Monmouth, or Quinnipiac and let the conference get some additional exposure from the event.
  • John Beilein continues to be one of my favorite coaches. He mixes things up defensively and he gets players in the right spot offensively and gets the most out of his team.
  • Fellow Syracuse fans, I'm not sure what to make of this team. It is highly talented. But it is not a good team right now. Not even close. The guard play is pretty suspect right now, and offensively they aren't getting anything inside from anyone other than Rick Jackson. 
  • The Orange needs some sort of identity. The Unfinished Business from last year is fine. But the problem is they are playing like it. Playing like they are still last year's team. But this is a different group and the much ballyhooed freshman class hasn't really become a part of it. And if they don't they aren't going to succeed. Somebody needs to step up and provide the efficiency that Scoop and Kris Joseph brought off the bench.
  • The main bright spot that I saw was Joseph's play. I thought he played fairly well and knocked down open jumpers when he had them. He needs to be the star for this team.

Abraham faces Drunk Driving Charges

It will be very interesting to see how Robert Morris handles this

Abraham apparently crashed his Lexus after the Colonials win last Saturday over Duquesne. He faces a variety of charges and did not play in Robert Morris' loss to Pitt on Tuesday.

Friday, November 26, 2010

At the Legends Classic

In my seat for the opener. UTEP and Georgia Tech
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Lots of Hoops to Watch

Philly.com : A cornucopia of local college basketball
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Morning Cup 11/26

Murray State got the big name win they needed last night. The Racers who were originally slated to play in the MTE with the Mount and Cincy and Dayton opted out when they got an invitation to the 76 Classic for this very reason. And they didn't disappoint. They controlled the game the whole way with Stanford and they are into the Semifinals against UNLV. It's the second year in a row that the PAC 10 representative has lost in the opening round at Anaheim. That might be bad news for Washington State which participates in next year's event.

It seemed like nobody wanted to win that double overtime game in Orlando. Both Notre Dame and Georgia could have won the game in regulation if they had made free throws. But the epidemic of poor foul shooting continues. The Bulldogs let a double digit halftime lead get away by shooting 2-of-12 from the charity stripe in the second half. The Irish had plenty of chances to secure the victory in regulation but couldn't do it as they missed free opportunities. As it turns out Notre Dame won the game in the second overtime. They will now face California today.

The Golden Bears defeated #20 Temple as the Owls went cold down the stretch. You've got to give credit Mike Montgomery a lot of credit. Certainly the whole NBA thing didn't work out. But as far as being a good college coach, I think you'd be hard pressed to find one better than he is. Coming back on short rest might play to the Bears favor today against that experienced Irish bunch.

I'm really itching to go see some live basketball today. And there are plenty of options out there. I might just end up packing it up and going to Atlantic City to see the Orange take on Michigan. I think the opener there could be a good game as well. Might actually be one of the better matchups of the day with UTEP facing Georgia Tech. Other options include going to MSG to watch the NIT doubleheader or heading to the Palestra to see those games there. Not sure the matchups in Philly are as strong, but it's a little shorter and has the history of the Palestra.

Another interesting game to watch today is how Penn State fares at Mississippi. Ole Miss has played some good non-conference games here at the start of the season. The Rebels defeated Murray State, but lost to Dayton in overtime. Penn State was supposed to be part of the 76 Classic field but backed out and made way for the Racers. The Lions are one of those teams that always seems to be on the bubble but doesn't get the committee's respect come tournament time. Winning a game like this could help to change that perception.

There is also a pretty good double header at South Padre Island. St. Mary's takes on Texas Tech in one game, while South Florida plays BYU in the other. A good group of teams that I would think you'd expect to be on the bubble come March. So these games take on a lot of importance, even though its just the day after Thanksgiving. Losses here set a precedence for how the team will be perceived all season.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

All time Syracuse lineup

syracuse.com : The fans' all-time Syracuse Orange basketball starting lineup features Carmelo Anthony, Dave Bing
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Morning Cup - 11/25

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! So much to be thankful for. Doesn't take a holiday to realize it but worth spending the day reflecting on how fortunate we all are.

So the Big East is down? That was the general thought before the start of the season. Well as far as these preseason exempt tournaments go, it doesn't really look like it. UCONN won the Maui Invitational last night. The Huskies really came out of nowhere to do it. UCONN wasn't ranked entering the tournament but they topped a field that had 3 Top 15 teams. And they beat #2 Michigan State and #9 Kentucky along the way. The other win came against Wichita State, which won the loser's bracket and finished 2-1 in Maui.

Couple that with Pitt's win in the Coaches vs Cancer event, Georgetown's in Charleston and the fact that several other Big East schools are still alive for preseason tournament championships it is hard to think that maybe the Big East isn't once again the best conference around.

It will be interesting to see where the Huskies end up in the polls next week. It wouldn't be unreasonable to see them in the Top 10, but we'll have to wait and see.

Navy got a nice win on the road on Wednesday night. The Midshipmen finally found some offense in a road win at Towson. Navy starting to get on a roll before visiting the Knott Arena on Monday night. The Midshipmen have a very winnable game on Saturday with UMES, so they could enter with some confidence.

A winless night for the NEC last night. Three losses for the conference. Bryant fell to Harvard, St. Francis NY also lost to an Ivy League school - on the road at Brown and St. Francis PA lost 60-55 to Hartford. No NEC team plays on this Thanksgiving Day.

Cleveland State picked up its sixth win of the season last night. Not sure there is anybody in the country with that many. The Vikings won on the road by 13 at Akron. Could make for an interesting year in the Horizon. Butler will have challenges from Cleveland State and Loyola Chicago and maybe Wright State, Valparaiso and Detroit can make some noise.

Two future Mount opponents met in Burlington Vermont last night. Loyola took on Vermont and the Catamounts were able to hold on for a victory. Vermont improved to 3-1 with the 51-48 win. Loyola fell to 2-2.

Oregon State got a much needed win last night. Actually a win over a team many might have thought they'd struggle with. But Charlotte has been equally as bad. The Beavers now 2-2 after the 83-70 win, Charlotte falls to 2-4 and could be faced with a long year in the A-10.

Definitely think the marquee game of the game is the Noon Start in Orlando with Boston College and Texas A&M. But a couple other games to watch closely, particularly the Notre Dame-Georgia clash. Both of those teams have large upsides and advancing to the second round here could give them some confidence. The Temple/Cal winner awaits there.

And I know its football, but was Gordon Gee so wrong in what he said about TCU and Boise State. No one has argued that those teams aren't very good. But the question certainly becomes how would they fare if they played week in an week out in the major conferences. Talk to any football coach and they will consistently tell you how getting their teams up for games week in and week out is a huge obstacle. So it makes sense that if TCU has a bad day against San Diego State they still win. But if Ohio State has a bad day against Wisconsin or Iowa or Illinois or Penn State they get a loss. And that is why the field sort of levels. Everyone knows the BCS conferences have a more difficult path to the BCS championship, so they don't always have to be perfect. But the other schools have to be perfect so it sort of evens the playing field, since they will be ignored if they are anything but.

I know you want a playoff. We all do. But it isn't going to happen, so just forget about it.

Jackson one to watch in Legends

Press of Atlantic City Mobile Edition
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Martin apologizes

In response to the comments made by Kansas State head coach Frank Martin about Mt. St. Mary's, The FanBlog contacted the Kansas State athletic department with three questions regarding the situation.

Martin originally said, "It's not like we're Mt. St. Mary's. We've played these types of games before."

The FanBlog asked the following three questions....

1) Coach, as a fan of Mt. St. Mary's, I was somewhat pleased that you gave the program and school some recognition, but also disappointed that it was in such a negative light? Your reasoning behind calling out any other Division I school when dealing with your preparations for Duke?

2) Was there any special reason for using Mt. St. Mary's when you could have used one of the other 200+ small to mid major schools? In other words do you have some sort of connection to the school? A relationship with Coach Burke, or one of the previous coaches Milan Brown or Jim Phelan?

3) Since you have inferred that Mt. St. Mary's is not on your level, I'm sure you wouldn't shy away from a visit. Would you be open to playing a game at Knott Arena next fall or in the future? 

Martin did not directly respond to the questions that we posed....but Martin did issue the following statement....
“On Monday night, I made a regrettable comment in answering media questions regarding our upcoming game against Duke.  I unfortunately referred to the Mount St. Mary’s basketball program in a light that could be perceived negatively.  Though my comments were not intended to be discourteous, I apologize to the university, head coach Robert Burke, his team and fans of Mount St. Mary’s for my error in judgment.  As someone who received their college coaching start at similar institution (Northeastern), I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the players and coaches at Mount St. Mary’s.  I know that they have a remarkable history in the college game, led by the accomplishments of legendary coach Jim Phelan, who won over 800 games during his distinguished tenure.”
Fair enough, Coach Martin. We'll call the case closed, until we meet in the Big Dance or you take me up on that offer to visit Knott Arena next year during the non-conference part of the schedule.

Mount Fans make voices heard

Even our very own Richard gets a mention .... there couldn't be 2 Richards could there?

But some good stuff nonetheless. Not sure about the curse of MSM or if it was the curse of THEFANBLOG.

Kansas State falls to Duke ... was it the curse of Mount St. Mary's? - The Pitch News - Plog
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Midday Brunch 11/24

The great thing about preseason tournaments is that teams emerge. It's a shame that one of them this year is UCONN. But it's happening. Chances were pretty good going into the Maui that the Huskies would leave the island with either a loss to Wichita State or two losses. Now they've played their way into the final.

Speaking of  losses, either Michigan State or Washington will leave Oahu with a pair. That third place game might just be the game of the evening. It wasn't at all surprising to me that Washington couldn't follow up its whitewashing of Virginia against Kentucky last night. Just didn't seem like the right circumstances for those Huskies. A bounce game was in the works and they needed better than than against the 'Cats.

Another pretty solid night for the NEC. Much to the delight of Richard, Karon Abraham was suspended for Robert Morris' battle at Pittsburgh. That left the Colonials without much firepower and they fell to the #5 Panthers 74-53.

But the other three NEC teams in action notched victories. Preseason favorite Quinnipiac drilled Dartmouth 69-52 on the road, unbeaten Long Island remained that way with an impressive 82-70 win at Fordham, and Sacred Heart surprised New Hampshire despite scoring only 14 points in the second half. The Pioneers downed the Wildcats 50-42.

You may recall that New Hampshire downed Holy Cross over the weekend. The loss was the first for New Hampshire and the first win for the Pioneers. Go figure. But a good win for the NEC over one of the better America East teams.

Trying to decide whether I want to take the Fan Blog on the road tonight. Might head down to the Towson Center to see the Tigers take on Navy. The Tigers would be a double digit favorite against the 1-5 Navy team. Have to see how the rest of the day shakes out.

Michigan headed to Boardwalk

Michigan Basketball heads to the Boardwalk | isportsweb
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Hardaway Jr Now playing for Michigan

Press of Atlantic City Mobile Edition
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Edwards visits Orange

syracuse.com : Marrone's former boss with Jets visits with Syracuse University football team on eve of game
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Cassullo off of Marrone's staff

Doug Marrone, assistant coach part ways - Big East Blog - ESPN
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Road Trip to Atlantic City

Press of Atlantic City Mobile Edition
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Ashcroft leads Albright in scoring

Former Mt. St. Mary's walk-on Matt Ashcroft is leading Division III Albright in scoring through 2 games this season.

The senior from Reading is averaging 24 points per game. He knocked in 30 in Saturday's win over Penn State-Abington.

Albright, which made the NCAA Division III tournament a year ago, is picked to defend its Commonwealth Conference crown this year.

Ashcroft is also averaging 2.5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals per contest.

Albright faces Kings College in Wilkes-Barre this evening.

Beidler keeps getting bigger and better; IR keeps losing

Just when you thought Kelly Beidler had topped out in the Icelandic Express League he goes and posts an even more impressive performance.

Beidler scored 30 and hauled in 21 rebounds but IR fell to Stjarnan 89-76 on Sunday. The loss drops IR to 1-7 on the season.

Beidler also blocked 7 shots had 5 steals and 3 assists in the defeat. He was 11-for-22 from the field and 7-of-10 from the foul line.

Marvin Valdimarsson had 30 points and 10 rebounds for the victors.

After 8 rounds of action in the Express League, Beidler is now 4th in scoring (23.9), 3rd in rebounds (12.3) and blocks (2.0) and 10th in steals (2.3). Not bad for the rookie.

He is making 58% of his 2 point attempts and 29% from the international 3-point line. He is just a tick below 70% from the charity stripe.

Penafiel gets win

Former Mt. St. Mary's guard Jeremy Goode scored 13 points as Penafiel won a low-scoring 52-50 win over Lusitania in a Portuguese professional basketball game over the weekend.

Rui Mota led the victors with 15 points.

Goode also contributed 3 steals and 3 assists for 2-3 Penafiel.

Mohammed Comara led Lusitania, which also advanced to Portugal's top division this season, with 16 points.

Goode continues to lead the LPB with 4.2 steals per game and is tenth in scoring (tops on Penafiel) with 17.4 per outing.

Midday Brunch 11/23

Even before Kansas State beat Gonzaga last night and Frank Martin uttered the words, "It's not like we're Mount Saint Mary's, we've played these types of games before." I was going to say Martin and his Wildcats are the most overrated team in the country. Now I'm hoping that Duke proves me right tonight. 

And I'm also hoping that Martin mans up and comes to Emmitsburg to play the Mounties. I mean if that's how he feels about the Mount, I'm sure a road trip to the Knott Arena would do nothing but add a W to the Wildcats slate.

Hard to be too upset with the Mount's loss at Niagara last night. There were certainly some things that need to be corrected. But there was also some growth in everything that is going on. Very nice to see that even though Atupem and Trice missed the bulk of the second half, the Mount didn't fold. 

The Mount is 1-3 but has a good chance in the next three games to get above .500. They've shown that they are going to give everyone a battle and home games with Florida A&M and Navy before an NEC opener at Sacred Heart provide reason to believe that this team could earn some wins.

Two big surprises for the Mount this season. Shawn Atupem's free throw shooting and Dave Golladay's play. Atupem was a horrendous foul shooter in his first three years at the Mount. Now he's just about automatic. Not sure where the credit should be heeded, but good work by Shawn. As far as Golladay goes, I think he was sort of the guy that nobody thought would benefit from the coaching change. His style of play seemed to fit Milan Brown's style much more than what we expected Rob Burke's to be. Now the redshirt freshman is starting and contributing as an undersized wing. Credit to him for shaking off the rust of the redshirt year and to the coaching staff for finding a way to utilize his skills. 

Old Dominion won the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Island last night. Might go a long way to making the CAA a two-bid league this year. The fact they did it against another quality mid-major in Xavier probably helps as well. That and the fact that VCU is playing in the semis of the NIT tomorrow. ODU has won four straight since that opening night loss to Georgetown. They play another important bubble game next week when Richmond visits.

Earlier this season we asked about Fran McCaffery and Iowa...and whether or not he might be having second thoughts. The Hawkeyes appear headed to a rough rough season after dropping two of three in the Virgin Islands including yesterday's 78-72 loss to Long Beach State. McCaffery might have learned something from Dan Monson in that one. You'll recall that Monson left Gonzaga for the bigger program at Minnesota, didn't have success and is not rebuilding the 49ers. Long Beach should end up being a factor in the Big West, but plays a tough stretch of games between now and Christmas that will make wins tough to come by. Road tests at North Carolina, Washington, Arizona State and Utah State along with games with St. Mary's and Loyola Marymount could leave Long Beach reeling.

Kemba Walker's performance yesterday was fascinating. Truly remarkable. And a tough loss for Wichita State. The Shockers don't have a lot of opportunities for a marquee win and yesterday saw one get away. They need to take care of Chaminade today and then get a win over Oklahoma or Virginia or their hopes of an at-large bid maybe over before they start.

Central Connecticut State dropped its first game of the season last night. The Blue Devils downed 77-61 at Penn State. Central plays the first NEC game of the season on Saturday against Monmouth. NEC teams are now a combined 18-21 thus far. Long Island is still unbeaten at 3-0, while Sacred Heart and FDU haven't won a game yet.

I hate to do it...but I'm rooting for Duke

No. 1 Duke Blue Devils Vs. No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats: CBE Classic Dream Finale On Tuesday - SB Nation Kansas City
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Niagara recap

Niagara Men’s Hoops Gets First Win : Buffalo Sports Daily
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mount vs Niagara Game Thread

7:12 - A good start for the Mount. They lead 12-5 early in upstate NY. Julian Norfleet has 5 early, 4 for Golladay and a triple from Lamar Trice have accounted for the Mount scoring. I'm encouraged by what I'm seeing. Not sure this is quite the same Niagara team we saw in Emmitsburg last week. This is a game where you could steal a win on the road. The Mount is 5-of-8 from the floor.

7:19 - 11:49 to play first half. The Mount has a double digit 19-9 lead. Two dunks inside for Raven Barber. One off of penetration and a dish from Josh Castellanos. I think the other came courtesy of Trice. Lamar has knocked down two three-pointers and he has six. Danny Thompson has provided some good interior defense and there seems to be a balance inside and out for the Mount. Have to like what we've seen in the first 8+ minutes.

7:27 - The Mount still leads by 7. Lamar Trice - under control - and playing well leads the Mounties with 10 points. It is 25-18 after the Mount just used its 30 second timeout. The Mount has shot well early, but they are getting good shots through the flow of the offense.

7:29 - 25-20 now with less than 7 left in the first half. Niagara finding success putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket. A couple turnovers by the Mount has hurt the offense a little bit and Niagara scored four on a recent trip down the floor after a bucket, foul, missed free throw and offensive rebound bucket. Important segment for the Mount.

7:39 - 33-25 in favor of the Mount. Good segment there. The lead had actually gotten to double figures before Niagara scored on the last trip. Raven Barber has four dunks inside. The last one off a great feed from Lamar Trice. Shawn Atupem has 2 points for the Mount and they lead by 8. Niagara seems to be doing a lot with the dribble drive and then trying to rebound any misses hard.

7:50 - Best half of the year for the Mount? They lead Niagara 39-29 at the break. Fouls becoming an issue. Atupem and Trice have 3 each. But a superb first half shooting the basketball. Trouble has been the turnover bug...Mount had eight at last check. Many say the mid-range jumper is a dying breed in basketball. But Dave Golladay has one, and he's utilized it to get 8 first half points. Will be interesting to see the adjustments made at halftime, but things are fairly comfortable for the Mount at this point.

8:08 - Quick start to the second half for Niagara. They've buried two threes around a Barber baseline jumper to slice the lead back to six.

8:12 - A 10-2 run for Niagara to start the second half. Some turnovers and a zone defense look from the Purple Eagles have made a difference. That and a hot start from the floor for Niagara.

8:15 - 15:38 left and the Mount leads by four. Lamar Trice, who didn't start the second half, has restored order a little bit with a baseline drive for two. Still the Mount seems a bit flustered on the road having given away most of the halftime bulge. They have to settle down and defend and work and create good shots on the offensive end. There were a few shots that appeared rushed during that segment.

8:25 - Under 12 timeout and the Mount has built the lead back up a little bit. I believe it is 8 right now after a David Golladay three. He is playing with a lot of confidence. The Mount had some trouble with the Niagara zone and getting doubled in the corner. But they've adjusted there and not gone to the corner without reversing the ball first and that seems to have taken away some of the pressure. Raven Barber has 13 for the Mount.

8:36 - 7:57 to play and the Mount is up 53-50. Niagara cut it to one at one point but hasn't led since they were ahead 3-2. But they do have a lot of momentum. Shawn Atupem and Lamar Trice have both missed much of the half with 4 fouls. Dave Golladay and Barber lead the Mount with 13 - which also just a key bucket from freshman Julian Norfleet. Let's see how this plays out.

8:49 - 3:52 left and the Purple Eagles have taken a 61-60 lead. Atupem and Trice have both returned after the foul issues. But the Mount is still having some problems offensively and Niagara has made them pay at the other end. The Mount made a lot of jumpers early but hasn't been succesful lately. I think they've got to look to Atupem inside. Niagara is likely to double team and the Mount needs to work its way out of it and find the open shooter. The Purple Eagles have shot 24 free throws the Mount nine.

8:54 - 2:29 left and Niagara just got a big offensive rebound bucket to lead by four. A loose ball inside led to a shot and a miss that was rebounded and the Eagles now have their largest lead of the night. The Mount needs a bucket at the other end.

8:58 - Niagara has the ball with a two-point lead and about 60 seconds left. Short shot clock - 6 left and the Mount needs a stop. Shawn Atupem missed a jumper that could have tied it on the previous trip.

9:00 - Mount ball down two with about 12 seconds left and they've called timeout. Chance to tie or win on the road.

9:02 - The Mount went for the win on the road. Couldn't really get a good look. Julian Norfleet's three at the buzzer was no good. Niagara wins 65-63. The Purple Eagles first win of the season, the Mount falls to 1-3 and will host Florida A&M on Saturday at the ARCC.

NCAAB - Game #24 - Connecticut vs Wichita State - Maui Invitational

If Wichita State is left on the bubble on Selection Sunday - it might very well look back on this early morning Maui game as a reason why.

The Shockers let a nine-point second half lead slip away as the Huskies rallied to advance to the semifinals.

Kemba Walker was clearly the difference. He was hampered by foul trouble, but he put up one of those performances that the natives will remember for a long time. He finished with 31 points, 29 after the intermission and the Shockers simply didn't have an answer for him in the 83-79 UCONN win.

I can't recall an individual performance that was quite as dominating as Walker's was. He simply carried the Huskies to the semifinal.

For the Shockers, they'll get the loser of Kentucky and Oklahoma tomorrow in Maui and must again try to impress the selection committee.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mount Savannah State Game Blog

I'm on the road with my soccer team so I'm watching the stream courtesy of Mountathletics.com.

I'll post my thoughts as the night wears on....

But first somebody tell Stofberg that Savannah State is an independent and not in the MEAC.

7:08 - A good start for the Mount, they lead 10-4 at the first MTO. Some balanced scoring, Atupem and Barber have gotten inside, and Castellanos just scored off the bench. Savannah State is not very good but the Mount is taking it to them right now.

7:14 - Raven Barber having some success inside. He had a dunk and a three-point play offensively and a big block at the defensive end. The Mount leads it 16-8.

Mount Savannah State Live Video courtesy Mountathletics.com

FDU to face Albany

Another Black out for UAlbany as Danes take on Fairleigh Dickinson - troyrecord.com
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Friday, November 19, 2010

NCAAB - Game #23 - Georgetown vs Wofford - Charleston Classic

ESPN GameSite

Georgetown looks to move to the championship of the Charleston Classic. The Hoyas have been led by Big East Preseason Player of the Year Austin Freeman in its first three games. The senior guard is averaging 20 points per contest.

Wofford lost to Minnesota and Clemson out of the gates this year, before righting itself with a win over South Carolina Upstate yesterday.

The Hoyas are the marquee name in this event and look to advance to the final with a win. They are the clear cut favorite here and I think they end up getting it done by double figures.

3:19PM - Georgetown has a 13-point lead at the break, 37-24. Started the game with an 8-0 run and they've controlled things from there. The Hoya defense has been tough, Wofford a paltry 6-of-26 from the field. More offensive balance from the Hoyas then we've seen in the early parts of the season, but Freeman still leads with seven.

4:21PM - Wofford made a run at Georgetown with some hot shooting to start the second half, but it looks like the Hoyas are going to hold on. Brad Loesing knocked down some threes at the start of the half as Wofford drew within six at one point. But the Hoyas have extended it back out to 15 with under 2 minutes to play. It has been the backcourt play from the Hoyas....Chris Wright with 18 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds...that has once again been the difference.

Kearse scores 20 in UBA game

Former Mt. St. Mary's forward Mychal Kearse, a veteran of overseas play, scored 28 points for the Dallas Star of the Universal Basketball Association, in a game against Central Texas last month.

Kearse also grabbed 8 rebounds and handed out 7 assists in the game. He was 8 of 17 from the field and made all three of his free throw attempts.

I'm not sure I fully understand the concept of the UBA, because it looks like Dallas doesn't have another scheduled game until December 31. Most of the league's action occurs after that date. However there are several games between now and then.

Either way we'll try to keep an eye on Kearse and all former Mountaineers as they make their way through the professional ranks.

NCAAB - Game #22 - Vanderbilt vs West Virginia - Puerto Rico Tipoff

ESPN GameSite

You've got to love the fact that there is basketball on at the lunch hour. Good stuff.

Looks like Jon Sciambi hasn't missed too many lunch lines.

Vanderbilt started this game well with a traditional three-point play. An emphatic three-point play off a big dunk inside. And then the second time down the floor John Jenkins buried a three. Much quicker start for the Commodores than we saw against Nebraska yesterday.

If memory serves me correctly regarding this tournament, the upsets usually come in the second round. Today. That would mean maybe we can expect Vanderbilt to do well here.

Breaking News - Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl suspended eight games by SEC. First 8 conference games.

West Virginia is really getting on the offensive glass early - keeping alive a couple of possessions to score points. And with some early foul trouble inside for the Commodores that could be something to keep an eye on.

1stMTO - 10-8 in favor of West Virginia.

2:42pm - Casey Mitchell and John Jenkins are having a shootout. The Commodores have rallied consistently all afternoon and Mitchell's three-pointer with 1:50 left tied the score. Mitchell leads the 'Eers with 28, while Jenkins has 27 for Vandy.

2:52pm - Mitchell who has had a career day with 31 points, just buried a three-pointer with :04 left to give WVU a 74-71 lead. Mitchell averaged 3.7 points a game last year for WVU.

2:55pm - No more heroics for the Commodores. It's a final and West Virginia wins on Mitchell's three and his big day. The Mountaineers are onto Sunday's final and will face the Carolina/Minnesota winner. A second final for the Big East in these exempt tournaments.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NCAAB - Game #21 - Illinois vs Texas - 2K Sports Classic

ESPN GameSite

Illinois and Texas battle to face Pittsburgh in the finals.

The game is off to a quick start and Jordan Hamilton has started very quickly for the Longhorns. He has 13 points in the game's first ten minutes. Texas leads by 4. If you're not watching yet, you should tune in.

End to end action right now, certainly been one of if not the best games I've seen this year. It's good stuff.

Fittingly they are tied at 45 as they goto the half. Hamilton has 15 to lead all scorers, but a real good half for Tristan Thompson from the Horns as well. He has 12 points, 5 rebounds and a pair of assists, steals and blocks. Pretty effective.

Demetri McCamey leads the Illini with 12 points and 4 assists at the half.

I watched most of the second half this morning after DVR'ing the second half. But I didn't set the extension long enough to capture the end. Sort of bummed by that. But it was a very good game. It seemed like both teams adjusted a little bit defensively and took away options from the opposition down the stretch. And all of a sudden it became more of a streak oriented game. But still entertaining.

One question maybe somebody can answer? Was Jordan Hamilton on the bench at the end of the game for Texas? And if so Why?

Ultimately a good win for the 'Horns and be interesting to see how they come back on short rest against a solid Pitt team tonight. Also don't be surprised if Maryland upsets Illinois. Of course the Terps have got to make some foul shots.

NCAAB - Game #20 - Maryland vs Pittsburgh - 2K Sports Classic

ESPN GameSite

Panthers advance to the championship game. Might have been a little bit closer than I would have suspected or at least a little closer for a little longer, but it's a good win for the Panthers. The Big East moves into its first final of one of the Exempt Tournaments.

NCAAB - Game#19 - Hofstra vs North Carolina - Puerto Rico Tipoff Classic

ESPN GameSite

North Carolina looks like the North Carolina that we all grew up with. And not the North Carolina of last year. They are moving the ball well, running the secondary break and creating plenty of offensive chances. As a result they are shooting a high percentage, and lead a good yet outclassed Hofstra team 45-28 with just over 5 minutes left in the first half.

NCAAB - Game #18 - Vanderbilt vs Nebraska - Puerto Rico Tip Off

ESPN Game Site

The winner plays West Virginia is a Puerto Rico semifinal on Friday. The loser will play Davidson in the consolation bracket.

Nebraska enters at 2-0 while Vanderbilt is 1-0. The Commodores are the clear favorite, but I'd expect a pretty good game in this one.

The pace of the game seemed to slow considerably near the end of the first half. The Cornhuskers own a 28-26 lead behind a balanced scoring attack. Vanderbilt did close the margin considerably in the latter stages of the first half, and maybe the Commodores are ready to seek control. But they'll have to shoot better than 38% in the second half if they want to do that.

Vanderbilt pulled away late from a Nebraska team that couldn't make any field goals in the second half. The Huskers made just six second half field goals and the SEC entrant moved on to face West Virginia in the semifinal with a ten-point win.

NCAAB - Game #17 - Davidson vs West Virginia - Puerto Rico Tip Off Classic

ESPN Game Site

Saw a little bit of this game over lunch. West Virginia had a big lead early and was never really threatened. The Mountaineer defense was pretty solid in defending on the perimeter. Davidson has a streak of a lot of games that they've made a three-pointer (I want to say like 507- but that seems way too high) but anyhow they missed their first 17 or more today before finishing with two. I don't think this is a great Davidson team...but its a good win for West Virginia. They will play Vanderbilt or Nebraska tomorrow, and will likely have to get a bit better each day if they are going to win in Puerto Rico, but they certainly have a chance.

Offense frustrating Boeheim

Jim Boeheim Comes Orange Clean - Searching for Billy Edelin
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Morning Cup 11/18

I really expected Murray State to give Ole Miss more of a game last night. The fact that Ole Miss won by 16 makes me a bit surprised. I'm not sure if it means we need to give the Rebels more credit. Or take some of the credit away from the Racers. Be anxious to see how each responds. Ole Miss plays Dayton on Saturday. Murray State gets its next major test in the Anaheim Classic next weekend, where it plays Stanford in the opening round.

Tough night for the NEC as it went 0-2 in a pair of road games. St. Francis PA dropped a 72-68 game at Lafayette, while Sacred Heart lost by 8 at UMASS. The Red Flash is 1-2, the Pioneers 0-3.

The final four is set for the Preseason NIT. So next week's action at the World's Most famous Arena is set. Tennessee held off Missouri State and will face Virginia Commonwealth in one semifinal. Wouldn't be a real shock to see the Rams win. UCLA and Villanova play in the second matchup.

Tonight's big games are also at the Garden. I think Pitt's trio of guards will be way too much for Maryland, and I expect the Panthers to win going away. Texas and Illinois should be the best game of the night. For me, Illinois has been the biggest surprise this early in the season and has played like a Top 10 team. Let's see if that holds true this evening.

UAB picked up a nice win, winning at Middle Tennessee State. Those are the types of games that teams don't get any credit for winning but a black mark against for losing. Although we must admit we're not quite sure how good either team is.

Another loss for Milan Brown and company at Holy Cross. Could be a tough season, especially at the start for the Crusaders. Harvard pounded HC 72-49 last night, after Holy Cross only scored 14 points in the first half. They play at New Hampshire over the weekend, but other than that one, its hard to see a win coming (and no guaranteeing the UNH victory) before early December. That was the only loss for the Patriot League last night as the conference went 3-0.

Ball State tuned up for its meeting with Butler this weekend by downing Indiana State 75-60 with a big second half. Don't be surprised if the Cardinals give the Bulldogs fits this weekend.

Orange continues Identity Search

Orange still searching for identity heading into matchup with William & Mary - The Daily Orange - Sports
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Big East indecisive at the start

Big East Basketball: Syracuse, Rutgers, St. John's and Conference Off To Indecisive Start - SB Nation New York
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

NCAAB - Game#16 - Utah State at BYU

ESPN game site

NCAAB - Game#15 - Missouri State at Tennessee - Preseason NIT

ESPN Recap

Ok so I've missed a few games in here. But I'm going to post the ESPN recap for every game that I list as a game to see. And then I'll post some of my thoughts here if I have any on that particular game.

Here's what I saw in the first half.

  • I was pretty impressed with Tennessee early. Especially defensively. They played hard and were forcing some Missouri State turnovers and the Bears weren't getting many good looks. As a result, the Vols opened up a double digit first half lead.
  • Missouri State used a 2-3 zone later in the first half to cut an 11-point lead to the 3 at one point. UT goes into the locker room with a 31-27 advantage.
  • Tobias Harris is pretty darned good. I liked what I saw from the Volunteer freshman. He's big and he can put the ball on the floor. But you'd think they'd get more out of him then they got in the first half. 5 points, 3 rebounds isn't all that much.
  • The second half and the game will be won by Tennessee if they find a way to force the tempo. The Volunteers did much better when the tempo was turned up then when Missouri State controlled it with the zone and better offense in the second part of the first half.
  • Two things changed for the Bears that got them back into the game offensively. They stopped turning the ball over. And they got to the offensive glass, recording 10 first half rebounds.
  • Kyle Weems can do a little bit of everything for the Bears and leads them with 12 points. But the play of Jermaine Mallett was equally important. Mallett grabbed 7 first half rebounds including 4 on the offensive glass and had 9 points.
Thoughts from the second half

  • Tobias Harris is definitely a talent, but when UT did try to get him more involved he turned the ball over several times. He needs some growth at this level.
  • Missouri State was resilient and would never go away. They did take a lead early in the second half and had their chances down the stretch. They will do well in the MVC.
  • Tennessee could have panicked when they got behind. Instead they turned to the press which turned the tempo back up. And it rejuvenated the Volunteers.
  • I do think there are some definite deficiencies with the Volunteers and they may really struggle in the SEC this year. And those troubles may become apparent when the Volunteers face VCU in Madison Square Garden next week.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quinnipiac early thoughts

Written for your enjoyment by: Ray Curren

Quinnipiac held off Hartford 66-64 at the TD Bank North Center Tuesday night, and the preseason NEC favorites showed it at times, as they led pretty much start to finish, but had to withstand a late rally that saw the Hawks have a chance to steal the game at the buzzer. Some early-season thoughts:

* Justin Rutty is a beast inside and can rebound with anyone in the country, but he's not going to create his own offense inside.

* James Johnson (23 pts) can shoot and will score, but is not going to get to the rim in the half-court offense. Still, he looks like the team leader and went 38 minutes.

* Jamee Jackson might be the force inside to go with Rutty that Tom Moore is looking for, but (in addition to a hideous haircut), he was 0-for-4 from the free throw line with none of them hitting the rim. That's impressive.

* Point guard Deontay Twyman doesn't look like a natural for that spot and struggled (5 turnovers), especially when Hartford changed defenses (the 1-3-1 gave them fits and got Hartford back in the game).

* Local product Dominique Langston got 26 minutes and I think will be in the starting lineup before too long. He hit a huge 3 down the stretch after looking nervous for a lot of the evening, and should give the Bobcats a wing threat that can attack the rim as well.

* QU went exclusively man-to-man and never pressed, Moore likes to do his thing, I guess.

* Crowd (1,895) was good, especially for November. They did raise a regular season champion banner from last season, which even I'll admit, was pretty lame (official term).

* QU, which has a ton of home games this season (including UMass and Rhode Island somehow), hosts Vermont on Saturday. The Mount comes to Hamden on Dec. 4

* Hartford will probably struggle in America East, but their first-year coach John Gallagher is a nut. He got a technical early in the second half, and nearly got tossed a couple of times.

UC blogger unimpressed in opener

Not a very impressive opener | UC Athletics Blog
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5


syracuse.com : Rick Jackson expands his repertoire as Syracuse University basketball's senior leader
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Central drills Army

Horton scores career high 34
The Republic - Columbus, Indiana
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kent and Robert Morris in 8am Contest

cleveland : Kent State men's basketball hosts Robert Morris at 8:00 Tuesday morning during ESPN marathon
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Monmouth Stony Brook Preview

College Basketball Preview: Stony Brook at Monmouth | The Statesman
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Mount UC Game Blog

I'm in the ER so no thoughts from me on tonight's game. Post your thoughts in the comments.

Go Mount
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Keita a pleasant surprise

syracuse.com : Freshman center Baye Moussa Keita continues to be a pleasant surprise
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

3 Big East teams in Top 10

NCAA Basketball Rankings: Three Big East Teams In Top 10 - SB Nation New York
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Beidler's Big Night not Enough

Former Mt. St. Mary's forward Kelly Beidler scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds but his IR Reykavik squad fell to league leading Snaefell 107-94 in the Icelandic Express League on Sunday.

Beidler was 12-of-21 from the floor and 6-for-11 from the line. He also recorded 2 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot. Beidler entered the game fifth in the league in scoring, 3rd in rebounding and 5th in blocked shots as he continues to excel in his first season overseas.

Sean Burton (Ithaca) led Snaefell with 26 points.

Nemanja Sovic added 18 for IR which fell to 1-6 at the bottom of the Express League table with the loss.

Morning Cup 11/15

Ok - So we're one week into the 18 week season that is college basketball. And really it wasn't a big week. Just a fairly big weekend. So teams have played as many as three games, Pitt and Illinois are both 3-0, some haven't played any. The Mount opens the season for Cincinnati tonight - and Missouri doesn't play until Thursday.

Another 3-0 team is Cleveland State. The Vikings rallied for a win yesterday over Kent to stay perfect. They play Urbana tonight. So they should goto 4-0.

Bryant also won in Cleveland yesterday. A come-from-behind 74-72 win over Iona. The Gaels let two leads slip away late in Cleveland...and are likely to be 0-4 after Thursday's encounter with Richmond.

Fran McCaffery may wish he was still at Siena. Iowa lost 79-69 to South Dakota State on Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Many expect South Dakota to be improved this year. But this was unexpected.

Maybe Dana Altman is happy no one else could be lured to Oregon. The Ducks got through the weekend 3-0 with an overtime win over North Dakota State (all hail the Dakotas), a solid win over Denver and a comeback to beat a solid Cal-Santa Barbara team. Those aren't wins over powerhouses, but not sure the Ducks could have won those three games a year ago.

I'm almost starting to like Indiana. That is how much I respect Tom Crean. I think he's going to make them a Big 10 power again and I think he might be closer than many realize. The Hoosiers dismantled a solid Wright State team at Alumni Hall last night. After winning just ten times a year ago, the schedule has been toned down a bit, and the Hoosiers may have 10 wins by Christmas. Certainly a program headed in the right direction for a good coach.

I keep hearing a lot of folks mentioning Loyola Marymount as a possible challenger to Gonzaga in the WAC. Could be? But I'm interested to see how Portland (3-0) fares against Kentucky this week - and how St. Mary's does with St. John's in the middle of the night tonight.

Speaking of which. If your wife has been irking you lately, tonight might be the best night to pick that fight. You accomplish whatever needs to be accomplished and if not the worst thing is your stuck on the couch for the night - with hoops on all night long.

Been meeting to drop Donte Morales opening night line in here and haven't done it yet. Morales scored two points and grabbed three rebounds in UNC-Wilmington's opening season loss at Florida.

Best team in the country with a loss? I'll go with Seton Hall. The Pirates lost at Temple Friday Night, but blew out Cornell. Gonna be a tough time for Bill Courtney up at Cornell to get things going again.

The Orange: Second half surge

Syracuse 86 - Canisius 67: Second-Half Warriors - Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Sunday, November 14, 2010

UC welcomes the Mount in its opener

Opening tip: Cincinnati welcomes Mount St. Mary’s - The News Record - Sports
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Syracuse wins again

No. 10 Syracuse beats Canisius 86-67 - WSJ.com
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Syracuse Canisius preview

Canisius-Syracuse: Tale of the Tape « Pickin' Splinters
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Injuries hindered Mount

I'm assuming from this ... that it is an injury to Jacolby

Dayton Daily News : Injury-plagued isitors flustered Flyers into some ‘ill-timed’ shots
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Morning Cup 11/14

The major colleges still put football to the forefront on Saturdays in November. The good news is that means better Fridays and Sundays in the college basketball world, and it also means the mid-majors get the center stage on Saturday. There were several good matchups yesterday.

I'm intrigued by San Diego State. I really am. I didn't realize they play Gonzaga this early in the year. But that might really be a game worth staying up for on Tuesday night. It's like mile marker 25 on the marathon day of hoops. But really other than Florida Ohio State is there anything better than that matchup?

Again another fairly decent day for the NEC. Winning three games in six tries. Central Connecticut beat Hartford 64-62 in one of the closer matchups. That was part of that Connecticut Basketball tripleheader at the Mohegan Sun. No mention of Ken Horton in the wrap up....it was Victor Rosario who led them with 17. Quinnipiac also won at the Sun 84-75 over Yale, Preseason NEC player of the Year Justin Rutty with 19 & 10. Robert Morris also got a win in scintillating Robert Morris defensive fashion 55-30 over St. Peter's. Sacred Heart fell 62-45 to a good Fairfield team and Bryant was beaten badly by Kent 90-49.

Cleveland State is one of the few teams to move to 2-0 and they did with an impressive 78-68 win over Iona. Cleveland State and Kent both 2-0 play in Cleveland today.

Not the debut Milan Brown was hoping for at Holy Cross. A 93-84 defeat at the hands of a good Charleston team. Charleston has a busy week ahead as they play Coastal Carolina before playing three times in Toledo next weekend. The marquee matchup there is with Rhode Island in a quality matchup of mid-majors. You have to figure Brown had a tough time stomaching giving up 93 points, especially the 52 in the first half in his first game at the Hart Center. Holy Cross travels to Harvard, which dropped its opener at George Mason, on Wednesday. The Patriot League by the way was 0-3 yesterday.

The Ramblers of Loyola Chicago are also off to a 2-0 start. Loyola dumped an Indiana State team, which is expected to do well in the MVC, 86-74.

I didn't make the trip to the Philadelphia to see Penn. But it looks like Jerome Allen in his first official game as Quaker coach has the team headed back in the right direction. It might be back to Penn and Princeton in the Ivy. Penn downed Davidson 69-64.

Penafiel drops close one; Goode goes for 19

The tough start in the top division continued for Penafiel on Saturday night as VSC Guimar downed Penafiel 64-63 dropping the promotees to 1-3 in the league.

Mt. St. Mary's graduate Jeremy Goode had another fine performance in defeat. Goode tallied 19 points and 3 assists. He also added to his league leading tally with 5 assists. Goode was 6-of-13 from the field and 6-of-11 from the line in the defeat. New teammate Robert Lewis, from St. Francis NY, had 21 in his season debut.

Kevin Martin (Florida Gulf Coast) had a huge night for Guimar. He led the victors with a matching pair of 19 points and rebounds. Brandon Brown (Cal State - Bernandino) had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Goode's perfomance now sees him ranked ninth in the league in scoring and in the lead in steals.

Wrapping up the Dayton Loss

I wrote in the preview that I wasn't sure what to expect. I picked the Flyers to win by 19, they won 67-52 so that was a bit better than I expected. And the truth be told, I figured it could have been a lot worse. But I also held out some hope that the Mount could really surprise this Dayton team.

The Positives

The Mount valued possession of the basketball. I was afraid this could turn into a layup fest for the Flyers courtesy of some turnovers and such. That never happened and you've got to give the inexperienced Mount guards plenty of credit for that. On the afternoon the Mount only turned the ball over nine times. So a good effort by Lamar Trice and Josh Castellanos in that area.

Shawn Atupem. The senior center had a fine game against a solid Dayton frontcourt. He had 14 points and 9 rebounds. The Flyers big men will be better than most he faces this year. He looks ready to have a huge senior year. And I think this coaching staff is working on finding spots that can utilize all his talents.

The Attitude. I'm going to include some of the Alums in this as well. Because it is hard to judge a team attitude via a computer screen many miles away. But from my vantage point it looked like the team played hard - opening to end - and didn't get flustered when things didn't go their way early. Credit to them and the staff for that. Also, it was nice to see the wide range of tweets from past teammates including Jeremy Goode, Markus Mitchell and Jason Epps - as well as from Brad Gerick over at Mount U about playing for the Mount and wishing the team Good Luck this weekend. Good stuff

Easy baskets or at least easy opportunities coming through the flow of the offense. Teams put such a premium of defense these days and there are so many athletes out there that it was really encouraging to see some easy chances for the Mount come from the offensive flow and not from an individual effort from a player. Cuts to the baskets that guys were wide open on. Good stuff again.

The Neutrals

The Mount has to find a way to get the ball to its post players on the blocks in post up situations. Raven Barber especially. But I still contend that the strength of this team is going to be the interior play. But I don't remember too many times where the posts caught the ball in the low post and made a move with it. One such occasion occurred and Raven Barber made a great move and was rewarded with two foul shots. You gotta make em big fella.

The defense. This the one I was sort of perplexed by. One of the commenters said the zone was pretty iffy and I'd agree with that but we didn't see enough to really know for sure. The man-to-man was generally pretty good, although I thought there were serious problems with help defense in some situations, and the rebounding particularly in the first half was atrocious. Some of that as I said in the game blog may have been attributed to fact that the Mount was for all intents and purposes playing with three guards.

Julian Norfleet. A solid debut for the freshman from the Tidewater area. He led the Mount with 15. But he did that on 16 shots. He at times looked to being shooting a little quickly. Didn't seem to have his body fully behind him. So a decent debut for the freshman but imagine what it could have been had he shot the way we know he is capable of. The one real good thing was after he missed a few early, he didn't get down, he kept shooting. That impressed me.

The Negatives

The injuries that kept Kristijan Krajina and Pierre Brown out of action. (Mountathletics.com says they are out indefinitely) Also, Jacolby Wells didn't see any playing time. Not sure what the situation is there.

It has become obvious that Robert Burke and Milan Brown's offensive strategies are not nearly the same. I think Mount fans who haven't seen the new action will think it looks more like a Jim Phelan coached offense than a Milan Brown one. Phelan always wanted the player who could make the 18-foot jumper. I think that is going to become important in this gameplan again. Right now the Mount needs somebody to step up and be the other shooter. Not only was Julian Norfleet the only guy to make and three pointers, he took 13 of the 19 the Mount attempted. So they've got to find someone to balance things out. I think that Brown and Krajina both could help in that capacity...and Castellanos and Trice can still be threats when open outside.

The rebounding as I said has to be better. The word was it was pretty good in the preseason. Even in the Coppin State loss, the Mount had a huge advantage on the boards, so maybe it was just one of those things yesterday. But it was an area that concerned me coming in and certainly didn't do anything to make me feel any better about it yesterday.

An off day today and then to the Shoemaker Center to play Cincinnati tomorrow night.

Qpac wins opener

Despite late scare, men’s basketball wins season opener | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Recap from UD loss

Springfield News-Sun : UD shuts down Mount St. Mary’s in opener
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Saturday, November 13, 2010

NCAAB - Game#14 - Weber State @ Utah State

The Aggies overcame a 7-point halftime deficit and rolled to a season opening 77-65 win over Weber State.

USU was led by Brockeith Pane with 23 points, while Tai Wesley chipped in 19 points and 9 rebounds.

Damian Lillard gave the Bobcats an 8-point advantage with 16:01 to play with a 3-pointer to put Weber State up 45-37.  Utah State scored the next 15 points before Lillard scored again, but by then Utah State had seized control. From there they extended the lead and took care of business for the WAC favorite.

Weber State is the favorite of the Big Sky Conference and was led by Lillard's 28 points.

NCAAB - Game#13 - San Diego State at Long Beach State

Finally a game with some offensive pace to it.

San Diego State has slowly been building itself into a Top 25 team under Steve Fisher. And they started the season with a very solid road win at Long Beach State wearing down The Beach late for an 81-65 win in the Kenpom.com game of the Day.

The game featured several lead changes in the first half and ended up tied at the intermission. But the Aztecs simply had too many weapons and drew away late to secure the opening season win.

SDSU continues its road trip against the all-time mid major Gonzaga on Tuesday night in Spokane. That should give the Aztecs another chance to prove that they are for real.

Offense a bit off in Flyers win

Dayton Daily News : Wright plays defense, but offense a bit off
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

NCAAB - Game#12 - St. Peter's at Robert Morris

I've watched some bad offensive performances already this week. But there may not be one worse than what St. Peter's is doing at Robert Morris.

Seriously that may have set basketball back a few years. (or a few hundred). Credit some of it to Robert Morris and their defensive intensity. That didn't leave when Mike Rice left town (he lost his debut at Rutgers last night by the way). But some of it was just plain bad on the part of the Peacocks.

St. Peter's trails 23-13 at the break and made just three first half field goals. 3-of-17. But the real bad part is they got to the foul line 16 times. Trouble was they could only make six attempts. Maybe that has something to do with only having 13 points.

Most if not all of the Robert Morris offense has come from Karon Abraham or Yann Charles. Abraham last year's NEC rookie of the year has 12 points and Charles is showing he'll be a contender for that honor this year with 8 in his debut.

Again there is a feed here if you are interested in the second half.

Robert Morris never let St. Peter's back into it in the second half and the defensive dominance continued. The Colonials won the game 55-30 and off and running as they try to return to the NCAA tournament for the third straight season.

NCAAB - Game#11 - Delaware at Ohio

I wasn't really paying attention to this one. The Mount had my attention. But it seemed like everytime I checked the score it was Delaware in the lead or fairly close and then all of a sudden it was all Bobcats.

A lot of folks are expecting a lot from the Bobcats this year after they went through the MAC Tournament and bounced Georgetown in the NCAA first round last year. They opened with a convincing 88-69 win by piling on 53 points in the 2nd half.

OU shot 57% after the break and was led by the solid all-around performance of DJ Cooper. The 5-11 sophomore guard followed up his MAC freshman of the year campaign with a 25 point, 7 rebound, 5 assist, 3 steal effort in the opener.  That's a good week for some kids.

Let's keep our eyes on this Bobcat team, they've got three games with traditionally strong mid-majors all at home in the next several weeks which should give us a further indication if they are going to continue to move forward. They play Oakland, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi and Valparaiso all tough but winnable games. They've captured our attention for now.

NCAAB - Game#10 - Navy @ Buffalo

It might be a long year in Annapolis.

Buffalo, which isn't expected to win 10 games, absolutely throttled the Midshipmen on Saturday afternoon in Buffalo in the season opener for the Bulls. The final ended up 88-46.

Navy, playing for the second time, was blown away early. Buffalo led 11-2 early and 37-12 later in the first half. The halftime score was 42-16 and Navy got no closer than 23 in the second half.

You might be able to question the travel schedule for the Midshipmen. They played a late game in Texas on Monday night, but that must have only been part of it. Greg Brown scored 11 points in just 12 minutes of play.

There was no video feed that I could find so I tried to follow along with Buffalo's live stats feature. But it got boring pretty quickly. Navy had 25 turnovers and was 4-for-21 from behind the arc. The offense looked bad against Texas earlier in the week but that was against Texas - a top notch premier defensive team. But this was Buffalo that ranked 232rd in the nation in defensive efficiency last season.

Navy visits the Knott Arena on Monday November 29th.

Mount at Dayton Game Blog

It's ugly offensively from both sides.

The only thing worse is these Dayton announcers.

Dayton leads 24-17 with just over three to play in the first half, having scored 8 in a row.

Neither team has shot the ball very well. The Mount made just one of their first 15. Then it got a little bit better.

Dayton has 11 offensive rebounds, consequently 10 more shots. The difference in the game right now - as both teams have shot poorly. 28-19 Dayton right now. And we'll goto halftime with that score.

Dayton has been too much on the boards for the Mount. 31-14 advantage is ridiculous. The Mount is without both Kristian Krajina and Pierre Brown so there is no height on the wing. Essentially they are playing with three guards and the Flyers are absolutely killing them.

That and the fact that the Mount has shot 22.2% from the field. After making just one of their first 15, it did get a bit better the rest of the half making 5-of-12, but there were some open shots that need to be knocked down.

The Mount only turned the ball over three times. That is a real positive. I was deathly afraid that turnovers could make things very ugly in this game. That hasn't been the cause. Lamar Trice had 5 assists - considering the Mount had six baskets - that is a pretty good number. He didn't shoot well and he made some questionable shooting decisions but a pretty good half nonetheless from him.

Shawn Atupem and Julian Norfleet lead the Mount with 6 points each.

The Mount led 17-16 before Dayton closed the half on a 13-2 run.

More of the same to start the second half. Although there was a nice little move from Shawn Atupem in there somewhere....and the Flyers are starting to get their offense rolling. It's 36-23 Under 15 to go with Castellanos headed to the foul line.

The Mount cut it to 9 twice in a row, first on a three-pointer from Norfleet and then on a nice backdoor cut and an easy bucket from Norfleet. He has 13 now to lead the Mount. But as soon as the Mount starts getting going offensively they seem to relax at the defensive end. Happened a bit in the first half as well. The lead is back to 44-30 with just over 12 to play.

Joseph adjusts to new role

Led the Orange with 14 in opener

Kris Joseph adjusts to new role in Syracuse's offense - NCAA Basketball - Sporting News
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Another view of today's best games

College Basketball Viewer's Guide For November 13 - Blogging the Bracket
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

McTavish, Grandson of Mount great Sullivan, signs with Presbyterian

Recruiting Report: Local hoops notebook: South Carroll guard goes DI - Terps, basketball, football and college recruiting news in the Baltimore area from Matt Bracken - baltimoresun.com
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

The Mount and Dayton: What to Expect?

It's been a long time since I've gone into a Mount basketball game without a true feeling of what to expect. I mean I've been wrong plenty of times, but at least I had an idea. I really am unsure today of what we might see.

The new coaching staff is in place and things seem to be moving along. The players seem to be enjoying some new roles. But not only is the coaching staff gone. Four of the top six players from last year will not be in action as well. And one of the returning players with starting experience, Kristian Krajina, is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.

The reviews from the preseason were mixed. The Mount played two preseason scrimmages. They lost to Coppin State and beat Towson (if you trust my sources). Both of those teams probably did better than we would have expected in their openers last night. Towson lost by three at Miami Ohio and Coppin hung around with Oklahoma for awhile before falling by 20.

Even the starting lineup is uncertain. Although my guess would be it will be senior Shawn Atupem, Raven Barber, Pierre Brown, freshman Julian Norfleet and Lamar Trice. But one or two changes in there wouldn't shock me. I do expect that Coach Burke will use most of his bench and that freshman Josh Castellanos may be summoned early if the backcourt needs some extra ballhandling.

That's the thing, this Dayton team isn't an easy opener by any stretch. The Flyers are the defending NIT champs. And they want to improve on that this year. They've nearly sold out the Dayton Arena for this one, the locals are excited.

The Mount has a good history there. They beat Coppin State in the NCAA Tournament just three years ago. But most of those guys are gone. It's the start of a new era for Mt. St. Mary's basketball. It begins today. I'm excited.

I'm taking a wait and see attitude about predictions for this year's team. I think they have a chance to matchup with just about anyone in the NEC upfront. If the young guards mature and they find some outside shooting, they could find themselves in the thick of things at the end of the season. But there also are a lot of unanswered questions that could swing the pendulum in the other direction. Some of those questions will begin to be answered today.

My pick: Dayton 77. Mt. St. Mary's 59

Morning Cup

Remember the murmurs about Jeff Bzedlik being hired at Wake Forest after he was under scrutiny at Colorado. Well the murmurs got a bit louder last night. The Deacs lost the home opener to Stetson 89-79. Ouch. And to make matters worse the Buffaloes are sort of the hip pick in the Big 12 to surprise this season. Plus with them moving to the Pac-10 you have to wonder if Bzedlik made the right move. Funny how perspective changes in 7 months time.

I think about what you'd expect from the NEC last night. Maybe a little better than it could have been. Dan Hurley won his debut at Wagner as the Seahawks held off Lafayette after having a 14-point halftime lead. Congrats to Coach Hurley and his staff, that is going to make the league a better, but also more difficult, place to play. Meanwhile, LIU blew out Norfolk State at home. No surprise in the win, but when NEC teams win by 23, it has to be considered a good win. St. Francis PA had a chance to steal a road win at Patriot Favorite American, but the Eagles rallied for a go-away win in the second half. Glenn Braica's debut at St. Francis NY was a loss (as expected) at Boston College and Bryant lost by 14 on the road to a good Cleveland State team.

The most impressive win of the evening might have come from Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers dominated a decent St. Joes team and won 98-70 in Philadephia. The Hilltoppers are looking to build on last year's 21-win performance. They could be a real factor in San Juan next weekend when they open with Minnesota in a quality field.

Portland State got a nice win in the closing moments over Pepperdine. There is some video floating around somewhere.

Georgetown was the only team in the Top 25 really challenged. The Hoyas are going to have to find some offense outside of their backcourt. 8 points from folks not named Wright, Clark or Freeman isn't going to cut it. But it was a good road win in a tough environment.

Seton Hall sort of made it a bit uncomfortable on Temple late in Philadelphia. But the Owls won 62-56 for the opening win.

Fan Blog lookalike Larry Eustachy continues to do nice things at Southern Miss. A nice road win at USF to open the season. The guy is a good coach. Let's hope he got off of Tampa with the team.

Another guy who can coach is Tubby Smith. Remember when Wofford nearly bounced Wisconsin from the NCAA tournament last year? Well they played in Minnesota last night and it had a potential for disaster for Tubby and his Gophers. But Minnesota was never really threatened and won 69-55 at home.

Pacific got a nice road win at UTEP turning an 11-point halftime deficit into a 6-point road win. The Tigers may be the top challenge to Utah State in the Big West this season.

Northeastern held on for a two-point over cross-town Boston University of the America East. The AE was 1-3 on opening night. Maine was the only victor from the conference downing Utah Valley 71-66 in overtime.

It must have been an entertaining game in Tulsa where Appalachian State downed Tulsa 89-86. Could be a pretty interesting race in the Southern Conference this year. Although App State is clearly the class of the North Division and got started with a good win.

And for those of you who were worried about Tennessee. Well they answered the bell Friday. An easy win over Chattanooga 82-62. Freshman Tobias Harris with 18 in his debut.