Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mount falls in Overtime to Vermont

Vermont outscored the Mount 16-9 in overtime to earn a hard fought victory against the Mountaineers in Burlington 68-61.

Shawn Atupem's tip in with 2.1 seconds left tied the game and forced the extra session. But Vermont scored on the opening possession of the extra session and never trailed. A 6-0 run midway through the extra frame broke it open.

Lamar Trice and Julian Norfleet each had 13 for the Mount while Danny Thompson chipped in nine. Atupem, Raven Barber and David Golladay all had 8 in the defeat.

Vermont moves to 9-3 with the victory. The Mount fell for the sixth straight game and is now 3-11 on the season, but once again showed an ability to play with teams expected to be much better than them.

Jean Cajou did not play in the game after it was announced earlier in the day that he had returned to the squad. Perhaps his season debut will come on Sunday at Virginia Tech.

Evan Fjeld had 20 to lead all scorers for the Catamounts.

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Cajou officially back with the Mount

Mt. St. Mary's announced earlier today that senior guard Jean Cajou has returned to the basketball team. Cajou, the NEC Tournament MVP during his freshman year had missed the first 13 games of this season but may see action when the Mount plays at Vermont later this evening.

Cajou was a collegeinsider.com Defensive All-American last season and needs just 37 points to reach 1000 in his Mount career.

The Mount has lost six straight games and the return of Cajou should help solidify the team as it heads into the conference season. It will be interesting to see how the coaching staff utilizes him in the next few weeks as he works himself back into game shape.

Glad to have you back Jean, you've been missed.

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Nunes on how Syracuse got rolling

2010: How Syracuse Got Its Groove Back - Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Recap from Sippin on Purple

Northwestern 70, Mount Saint Mary's 47 - Sippin' On Purple
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Wrapping up the Northwestern Loss

Northwestern pummeled the Mount 70-47 on Thursday afternoon in Evanston. I did not see any of the game, so my comments may be more generalized and based on stats than normal.


  • I was at a holiday gathering and checked my phone about 3:20 for the score. So much for a Happy Festivus. 20-0 at the point. Not sure it really got any better...although some of the folks I was with joked that it did. Only down 39-16 at the half meant that it was fairly even after the start.
  • But it got to 50-18, which is pretty embarrassing. We can try to drink the Mount Kool-Aid and say that Northwestern is really good. And the fact is they are better than most of the teams the Mount has played thus far (exception being Cincinnati) and better than most they are going to play the rest of the way (exception being Virginia Tech). But this is still a team that is questionable. They have played one tournament caliber team this year and lost. Handily. They will likely be underdogs everytime they go on the road in the Big Ten (except for at Penn State). The will struggle to finish .500 in the Big Ten, and if they make the tournament, it will be because they expanded the field.
  • I kind of thought this was the type of game the Mount might be able to steal or stay close with the Wildcats. The fact that Northwestern had played late on Tuesday night. Were now playing a game looking forward to the Christmas Break. The Mount had flown out Tuesday. Should have been the more mentally prepared team. But it didn't happen.
  • I think this team has lost a lot of confidence in itself over the last few weeks. The losses seem to be taking a lot out of them. Three of the last four efforts have been questionable. But we knew that the schedule was going to get more difficult when we got into December. And it will level out when we get back into the conference season. I hope the losses haven't had too much of an effect.
  • Biggest positive number for me was 8 rebounds from Evan Cleveland. I've harped on the poor rebounding numbers. And even though Northwestern had 11 offensive rebounds, it was only at at 31% clip. The Mount had needed support rebounding from the wing. Really miss Will Holland and Kelly Beidler in that regard. And Cleveland just might be able to give them some of that.
  • Norfleet's 21 on 8-of-12 shooting was also a good thing. The kid can shoot the basketball. Sometimes he has struggled by trying to do too much. Sometimes not all of his shots have been good shots. But if he's making more than he's taking, he's going to be an real asset.
So the Pre Christmas portion of the schedule is over. Nobody expected this to be easy. But I'm not sure that anybody was sure what to expect. Vermont and Virginia Tech await before the conference schedule gets into full gear. I still think this team can be highly competitive in the conference. But they've got to continue to believe in themselves.


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Syracuse recap of Drexel win

syracuse.com : SU-Drexel Recap: The Sunny Side
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holland and Goode both among Week's best in Portugal

Will Holland and Jeremy Goode were both among the top 10 players in Portugal's LPB league for performances over the weekend.

Kyle Austin (Cal-Riverside) won the weekly Eurobasket.com award with a 22 point 10 rebound performance.

Holland scored 25 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in his Portuguese debut as his squad Academica downed previously unbeaten Porto Ferpinta.

Goode scored 23 points, had 5 rebounds and 3 assists which placed him 8th in Eurobasket's rankings. Goode is currently 8th in the league in points and 2nd in steals during his rookie season.

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Kearse has another all-around game

Mychal Kearse continues to perform for Dallas in the UBA. Unfortunately, Dallas continues to lose. This time the Star dropped a 96-90 verdict to the Tennessee D.

Kearse scored 24 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, handed out 5 assists and collected four steals. But it still wasn't enough to help Dallas to its first victory.

Dallas is now 0-4 on the campaign. Kearse is averaging 23.8 points, 8 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 4.5 steals per game. Kearse also played one game with Metro Atlanta in November, he scored 26 points, had 9 assists, 8 rebounds and 5 steals in that 105-90 loss to DFW Warriors.

Antonio Webb (Bethune-Cookman) led Tennessee with 21 points.

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Cajou or Not Cajou?

I think that is the question that most Mountaineer fans are wondering these days as it has sparked some debate here on The FanBlog.


The fact of the matter is, I'm not certain anyone knows for sure. The quotes that Robert Burke made after the game on Monday might lead us to believe that its further away from happening than we thought. I talked with someone after the game Monday - and they had spoken directly with Jean and he assured them he'd be playing again - and seemed excited about it.

I don't know the specifics of what caused Cajou to leave in the first place. I do know that he spent the summer on or around campus and worked out with the team. The decision to leave came just after or right before the start of classes in fall. I was originally told that it wasn't all about basketball.

Since that time there has been a press release from the Mount noting the leave of absence and stating of a hopeful return. At the Blue White scrimmage when Robert Burke introduced the team, he talked about guys who weren't there and he mentioned Jean. Cajou has been spotted at at least 2 of the home games this year. Obviously, the time for a return is upon us.

As I've stated here from the start, my hopes for this are that is resolved in the best way possible for Jean. And I hope that whatever the outcome that he finds peace with his decision and that it all works out well for him. I'm not ready to write the Thanks for the Memories piece on Jean Cajou yet. His career has some unfinished business at the Mount. But if he never wears the white and blue (and gold - who let that happen) again, I'll hope that he finds what he is after.

I don't know if the Cajou situation is directly related to the coaching change. However, there continues to be a feeling around here that if you were Pro-Milan you can't be Pro-Burke. Or if you were anti-Milan you've got to be Pro-Burke. I don't get it. We're all Mount fans. We should unite in that and support Robert Burke - and wish for success for Milan Brown and his staff at Holy Cross. And root for the guys who are playing professionally and support all the players currently in the program. That's what has always been special to me about Mt. St. Mary's and its program. It has always been a close knit organization. Always been an extended family. Always been well supported by the college, the college staff, the students and the community.

Robert Burke and Milan Brown are not the same basketball coach. They are not the same person. But as head coach of Mt. St. Mary's they were/are trying to do the same thing. That is win basketball games and help to shape the futures of young men. They may have different ways to approach that but it doesn't mean that either is right or wrong.

Milan Brown was successful at Mt. St. Mary's. Knowing what I know about him and his staff, they'll be successful at Holy Cross, despite the slow start.

Robert Burke has shown an ability to be competitive with a team that was going to be rebuilding no matter who the coach. I've said before that his first year was a more difficult situation to enter than the one Brown entered. The question of how successful a head coach he will be isn't going to be answered this year.

Whether we liked Coach Brown - and how could you not. He was a good coach and an even better person. Or whether we wanted somebody else hired, when Robert Burke was. If we're Mount fans we need to get behind the people in the program now. We need to continue to support them just as we've supported Coach Brown or Coach Phelan in the past.

The uniforms still say Mt. St. Mary's.

That's who we need to root for.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Welcome to Portugal; Holland Shines in Debut

Will Holland scored 25 points to lead Academica to 76-71 win over previously unbeaten Porto Ferpinta. Holland made 9-of-13 shots from the field in his professional debut in Portugal. He knocked down a pair of three pointers and was 5-of-6 from the foul line. The former Mount wing also had 5 rebounds, 4 steals and an assist in the victory.

Tommie Eddie (Ole Miss) had 19 points and 14 rebounds in the win.

In defeat, Gregory Stempin (Toledo) had 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Carlos Andrade (Queens NC) added 15 points 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

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Drexel tries to end Orange streak

Drexel goes for another Top 25 upset at Syracuse - NCAA - SI.com
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As injury heals Melo gets better

syracuse.com : Fab Melo makes progress, reaches SU career high
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SU gets commitment from Colorado RB

syracuse.com : Trips out West pay off as Colorado running back commits to Syracuse University (video)
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Wrapping up the American Loss

I'm going to say I was encouraged by the Mount's effort and performance last night. For 30 minutes they were the better team - and if it was a fight they may have won on points. Or they have been stopped during that ten minute stretch in the second half, that was woefully bad. Although, woefully bad mainly because of the increased American pressure on the perimeter and the change to use some more athletic guys on the Mount post players. It took the Mount too long to adjust, but once they did they executed down the stretch. The four-point halftime lead went to a 10-point deficit and the ladder wasn't big enough to get them out.

A few observations...

  • The inside game was fantastic in the first half. I think 15 of the first 17 points were in the paint. There was definitely a clear effort to capitalize inside. A great job by the coaching staff and great execution by the players. Not sure the Mount can play any better than it did in the first 20 minutes.
  • There was a definite intensity that I didn't see the last two games (in the parts I saw). Maybe that was being there live. Maybe that was just the way it was. But I liked what I saw.
  • Is that zone the Amoeba? It isn't a 2-3. It is extended but it is a two-man front to it. There are definitely traps in the corners, but not so sure about the wings. It is active and was played aggressively last night.
  • I think that was Lamar Trice's best game. He didn't take too many bad shots, only had one turnover and dished out six shots.
  • The offense is clearly better, and Julian Norfleet is better, when he takes his shots within the flow of the offense. He outside jumper is needed but the freshman needs to learn how it fits into the gameplan - and I think he did a much better job of that last night. 
  • Down 10 in the second half you could almost feel the air going out of the players. And then I saw something very interesting. Josh Castellanos, whether on the floor or the bench really started to lead and pull the group together. He gave them instructions and it was almost like he was saying "we're only down 10 - we can do this"
  • My high school coach used to say, some games you don't lose, you just run out of time. I had that feeling last night, that another 5 minutes and the Mount may have won. I thought Castellanos and the staff did a real good job of refocusing guys when things started to get out of hand.
  • I was surprised to see Evan Cleveland. But I think the staff realizes that the team needs somebody additional on the wing, whether Cajou returns or not, to help with some of the rebounding. Cleveland is athletic enough and his background as an interior player should help him on the glass. He was aggressive offensively and scored a nice bucket early.
  • Cajou was in the house. Saw him with my own eyes after the game. I believe his family was there with him. He also confirmed to a source close to The Fan Blog that he is going to play again. I saw Burke's comments afterwards and not exactly sure how that fits. But if Burke is saying it is stuff Jean needs to take care of, and Jean is saying he is going to play, then I've got to believe that Jean knows the stuff he has to take care of, and is working on accomplishing it and going to play. Again, as always, we hope that it works out best for Jean.
  • Sorry to any of you who may have been following on the Twitter feed. My daughter hijacked my phone and was getting pictures sent to her of her newborn cousin. So I couldn't really object. All of a sudden I had no battery life. 
  • If the Mount is able to play like they did for those 30 minutes last night for a consistent 40 minutes, they'll win more than they lose in the NEC. But it's still a challenge. And unfortunately they haven't shown enough consistency to guarantee that is going to happen. Still they have played well against good teams and some performances continue to be encouraging. But some W's would help as well. And I'm not exactly sure where they are going to come from in the next few holiday weeks.

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Morales CAA rookie of week

Rookie of week honor lands in Wilmington again – UNCW Basketball - Wilmington Star News - Wilmington, NC - Archive
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Carroll County Times story on American game

Men's Basketball: Mount drops fifth straight game
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Mount American Game Thread

Follow me on twitter with thoughts from the game tonight. And then I'll have more here at the conclusion.

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Beidler and IR earn needed win

IR downed Fjolnir 107-99 in the Icelandic Express League over the weekend. Kelly Beidler had 20 points and 6 rebounds, Kristinn Jonasson led the way with 22.

Just to show how impressive Beidler's rookie campaign has been, the performance might have seemed a little bit off. Beidler ended up with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 6 steals and 3 assists and a block on an "off-day?".

Ben Stywall (UNC-Greensboro) had 24 points and 14 rebounds in defeat.

Beidler is now 3rd in the Icelandic League in points, rebounds and blocks, while placing sixth in steals.

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Goode's 23 leads Penafiel

Jeremy Goode scored 23 points as Penafiel won a road game with Barreirense 68-59.

Goode added 5 rebounds and 3 assists and 3 steals to the 9-of-18 shooting performance. With the effort Goode now averages 17.7 points and 3.6 steals per game. That ranks him 8th and second in the LPB.

Jabyron Wilson (Elizabeth City State) led the losers with 19 points and 16 rebounds.

Penafiel moves into a ninth place tie with the win.


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ESPN look at mid majors

College basketball: Mid-major watch - ESPN
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Another down year for Big East

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=5939417&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines
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Boyd back for LIU

LIU player back after year off for heart ailment - WSJ.com
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Wrapping up the Albany Loss

The good news is, I really didn't see much of the game. But that doesn't change the outcome or the result.

For the second straight game, the Mount shot the ball poorly and had trouble scoring points. Not sure if its something that other teams have started to do to take things away or if it's just a slump. Minus Raven Barber's 9-of-10 performance, the rest of the Mounties shot 31 percent on Saturday night. My biggest concern coming into the season was for this team to be able to score and make enough outside shots to open up the post play for the athletic bigs. It is starting to look like that is becoming a real problem.

Quickly moving onto American tonight. It will be interesting to see how the Mount picks itself up. And if Kristian Krajina and Jean Cajou make an appearance. Keep hearing that Krajina is close to returning and Cajou is apparently back with the program - according to Brad over at Mount U.

I think both of those guys bring some things offensively that I think this team is lacking. So that could really add something if they can get both of them back and in form by the conference play window which starts in early January.

American is pretty darn good. Although at 6-4, they have lost four of five. They do own a 13-point win over Albany and a 10-point triumph over St. Francis PA. So you've got to figure they are the favorite.

Unlike past AU teams we've seen at the Mount, this one isn't highly perimeter oriented. 6-9 Vlad Moldoveanu and 6-8 Stephen Lumpkins are their two most important players and the Mount will have to close them down inside.

Tonight is a critical game for me. I need to see some fight and desire out of the Mount. Need to see they still believe in themselves and the coaching staff. In the past when things have gone poorly, they've found a way to pick themselves up. They need to do that again tonight.


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Iona thoughts

Iona Thoughts | CuseOrange.com
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - 1st Round Saturday Early Evening Games

Tulsa at Wisconsin


Phillip Welch's 39 yard field with 30 seconds left bailed out Wisconsin and gave them a 17-16 victory over the Golden Hurricanes. The Badgers led 14-3 at the half courtesy of a pair of touchdown passes from Scott Tolzien. But Tulsa rallied for 13 straight second half points and saw itself within 7:43 of the upset after Kevin Fitzpatrick's 30-yard field goal put them ahead 16-14. John Clay ran for 96 yards for the Badgers.

Central Florida at Nevada


Nevada held on for a 20-18 1st round win when Central Florida's 2-point conversion with 4:05 left was denied. Latavius Murray had bolted 49 yards to give the Knights a chance to tie the score, but Jeff Godrey's pass fell incomplete on the conversion attempt. Colin Kaepernick threw for 157 yards, ran for 61 more and connected with Vai Taua on a touchdown pass. Taua ran the final Wolfpack touchdown in to give them the 20-12 lead.

Temple at Auburn


Temple nearly did the unthinkable. The Owls led 21-0 in the second quarter and 24-10 at halftime, but couldn't hold off an Auburn rally. The Tigers won the game on Wes Byrum's 44-yard field goal as time expired. Michael Dyer fueled the comeback with three long touchdown runs, including a pair in the third quarter. The freshman scored from 45, 58 and 47 yards and finished with 194 yards on 15 carries. Temple's Brandon McManus missed three field goal attempts.

Baylor at Miami


A healthy Jacory Harris threw for 285 yards and two scores as Miami breezed past Baylor 26-14. The Canes fell behind 7-0 but scored the next 26 points to secure advancement. Damien Berry ran for 117 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Jay Finley had 138 yards for the Bears.

Tennessee at Virginia Tech


The Hokies defense bent but wouldn't let Tennessee in the end zone in advancing with a 17-15 win. Daniel Lincoln made five field goals for the Volunteers but missed from 55 yards out with 1:06 left to keep Tech in contention to fill its empty trophy case. Tyrod Taylor threw for two touchdowns, while rushing for 55 yards.

Penn State at South Carolina


Stephen Garcia was an efficient 16-of-20 for 236 yards and two scores as South Carolina dumped Penn State 35-17. The Gamecocks will face Virginia Tech in St. Petersburg next weekend. Marcus Lattimore scored twice, once on a pass from Garcia to open the scoring and on a 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Evan Royster led the Nittany Lion offense with 117 yards on the ground.


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FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - 1st Round Saturday Early Afternoon Gamesrly Games

Kansas State at West Virginia

Noel Devine ran for 115 yards and three scores as the Mountaineers moved onto the second round with a 40-17. The game was tied 17-all at the half, but WVU took control on two Geno Smith touchdown passes in the third quarter. Smith finished the game 18-of-24 for 208 yards. Daniel Thomas ran for 145 yards in the loss.

Connecticut at Nebraska


The Big East Champions were no match for Nebraska as the Cornhuskers rolled to a 40-3 win. Taylor Martinez threw for 225 yards and two scores and rand for 70 more to help Nebraska to the rout. Roy Helu also scored twice and amassed 126 yards. The Nebraska defense kept Jordan Todman under control, holding him to 108 yards on 23 carries.

Michigan at Florida State


The Seminoles were never really challenged by Big Ten counterpart Michigan advancing to the second round with a 24-7 win. Jermaine Thomas ran for a score and caught another as the Seminoles led 21-0 before Michigan got on the board. Denard Robinson was contained by the Seminole defense as he ran 33 times for 97 yards.

Boston College at Ohio State

The Buckeyes rallied from a halftime deficit with 17 straight points to defeat Boston College 24-13 at the Horseshoe. Terrelle Pryor connected with Brandon Saine on the first second half touchdown to give the Bucks a lead they would never relinquish. Daniel Herron scored twice in the win. Montel Harris ran for 128 yards on 24 carries for the Eagles.

Maryland at Iowa

Adam Robinson's 13 yard touchdown run with 16 seconds left gave the Hawkeyes a hard fought 29-25 win over the Terps in Iowa City. The touchdown was Robinson's second of the game and capped a 98 yard performance. Maryland had taken its first lead of the game on Matt Furstenburg's 2-yard touchdown catch with 1:51 left to lead 25-22. But Iowa calmly marched the field and earned advancement.

Louisville at Oklahoma

Landry Jones threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns and DeMarco Murray ran for 135 yards as the Sooners dumped Louisville  40-24. The Cardinals hung around for much of the game, courtesy of the running of Bilal Powell. He ran for 162 yards and his 65-yard score in the third quarter pulled the Cards within 31-21. But Jimmy Stevens would add three field goals after that, four on the day as the Sooners won.


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FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - 1st Round Saturday Late Afternoon Games

Miami OH at Stanford


Stepford Taylor ran for three touchdowns and Oliver Luck threw for three more as Stanford downed the Redhawks 51-3. The Cardinal will take on West Virginia in the next round. Taylor finished with 166 yards rushing while Luck threw for 288 yards as Stanford rolled up 518 yards. Zac Dysert threw for 216 yards for Miami but was intercepted once and sacked three times.

San Diego State at USC


For the second straight year the Trojans were bounced in the first round of the tournament falling 22-21 in dramatic fashion to the Aztecs. Demarco Sampson caught a 26 yard touchdown pass on the final play of the game from Ryan Lindley as SDSU pulled out the upset. The Trojans had taken a 21-16 lead in the heavy rains of Los Angeles when Marc Tyler scored from 7 yards out with 2:35 left. But San Diego State converted on two fourth downs, including the final play to notch the win.

Kentucky at Arkansas


The Razorbacks jumped to an early 20-0 lead and cruised to a 33-20 win over SEC conference mate Kentucky. Knile Davis ran for 99 yards and two scores and Ryan Mallet threw for 236 yards. UK's Randall Cobb had a great game offensively. He ran for 50 yards and caught 7 passes for 98 yards and two scores.

Pittsburgh at Florida


Pitt let leads of 13-3 and 20-13 slip away in the fourth quarter as Florida rallied for a 23-20 double overtime win. Caleb Sturgis' 38-yard field goal won the game in the second overtime. Pitt failed on both of its overtime possessions. Tino Sunseri was intercepted in the first OT, and Dan Hutchins 36-yard attempt sailed wide right in the second giving Florida the win. Florida tied the game the first time at 13-all with 3:19 left on Jeffery Demps 17-yard run. But Pitt scored on a Sunseri to Mike Cruz pass with 58 ticks left to apparently secure the upset. But four plays later John Brantley hit Carl Moore from 29 yards out to knot things up and force overtime. Sturgis missed a field goal in the first OT session, but became the hero with his 38-yarder in the second.

Fresno State at LSU


Pat Hill's Bulldogs pulled the shocker of the tournament thus far, holding LSU without a touchdown in a 22-8 surprise. The Tigers were held to 12 first downs and turned the ball over 3 times. Fresno State led 9-8 entering the fourth quarter but Robbie Rouse's 5 yard TD run, the only touchdown of the game extended the lead. Kevin Goessling booted five field goals in the win.

Illinois at Arizona


Nick Foles threw for 3 scores and the Dessert Swarm defense held Illinois without a touchdown as the Wildcats advanced with 30-12 win. Nic Grigsby ran for 118 yards in the win, while Foles threw for 240. Derek Dimke kicked a perfect four field goals for the Illini, whose offense racked up 335 yards but couldn't convert in the Red Zone.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - 1st Round Friday Night Late Games

BYU @ Texas A&M

Jerrod Johnson threw for 285 yards and three scores as Texas A&M easily advanced with a 34-0 whitewashing of BYU. The Aggies will face Michigan State in next week's second round. BYU could never get the offense going as the Aggie defense held the Cougars to 11 yards rushing and sacked the Cougars quarterbacks 4 times. Cyrus Gray had 128 yards rushing for the Aggies, while Ryan Swope had 107 yards receiving.

Syracuse @ TCU


Ed Wesley's 2-yard touchdown run with 2:15 remaining finished off a thrilling 21-20 come from behind victory for the Horned Frogs. TCU trailed 20-6 after a Ryan Nassib to Marcus Sales touchdown pass with 4:49 left in the third quarter. But the Frogs scored the next 15 points to rally. Ross Evans 25-yard field goal drew the Frogs to within 20-9 after the third quarter, and a Jimmy Young 9-yard reception from Andy Dalton made it 20-15 midway through the fourth quarter. Needing a touchdown to avoid elimination, the Frogs got their third interception of a Ryan Nassib pass with 5:14 left and set them up in Orange territory at the 31. The pick was Tejay Johnson's second of the day. Eight plays later Wesley completed the comeback. But not before TCU converted a key fourth down and three to set up the touchdown run. The Horned Frogs face Air Force in Dallas next weekend.



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FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - 1st Round Friday Night Early Games

Navy @ Michigan State

The 20th seeded Spartans rallied from a 24-10 hole and knocked off Navy 29-24 Friday Night. Kirk Cousins 9-yard scoring pass to Larry Caper with 38 seconds left avoided the upset. Cousins threw for 330 yards on the night but was hampered by three picks. Navy ran the ball for 346 yards and used a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter to break a 10-all tie. Gee Gee Greene led the attack with 159 yards. Michigan State's Edwin Baker scored three touchdowns in a 95-yard rushing effort.

Air Force @ NC State

Air Force forced three Wolfpack turnovers and had a pair of 100-yard rushers as it easily upset NC State 28-3 on a chilly night in Raleigh. Jared Tew led the attack with 117 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while Asher Clark had 104 yards. The Falcons outrushed NC State 257 to 96.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - 1st Round Thursday Night Latey Games

Northern Illinois @ Oklahoma State

Kendall Hunter ran for 182 yards as 12th seeded Oklahoma State breezed to a 1st Round 37-14 win over Northern Illinois. Hunter ran for a touchdown and also caught one from Brandon Weedon. Weedon ended up with 355 yards passing and three scores. Northern Illinois trailed 17-0 cut it to 17-7 at the half and had some hope. But Oklahoma State got a pair of third quarter TD passes from Weedon to Justin Horton and one of Dan Bailey's three field goals to leave little doubt.

Clemson @ Utah

Utah's Joe Phillips kicked three second half field goals and the Utes held off two Clemson rallies to advance with a 30-28 win. Utah led 21-0 after one quarter only to see the Tigers tie it at the intermission. The Utes then got three Phillips field goals in succession to take the nine point lead. Clemson cut it to 30-28 on the second of Andre Ellington's touchdown runs with 4:53 left. The Utah offense chewed up most of the clock with three first downs, but Clemson did get the ball back with a chance to win the game with 1:23 left. However, the Ute defense stopped them on downs at the 43 to preserve the win.

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FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - 1st Round Thursday Night Early Games

Georgia Tech at Alabama 

The Defending National Champion advanced to the second round with its seventh consecutive playoff win knocking off Georgia Tech 42-21. Despite allowing 380 yards of rushing offense the Tide was able to control the game with its balanced offensive attack. Mark Ingram ran for 101 yards and three scores for 'Bama which led 28-7 at the half. The Yellow Jackets missed three field goals which helped keep the margin wide. Anthony Allen led all rushers with 144 yards in defeat.

Texas Tech at Notre Dame

Taylor Potts threw for 281 yards and three scores as the Red Raiders won in the cold of South Bend 31-25. The Irish took a 17-14 lead with just under six minutes to play in the third quarter on an 11 yard touchdown pass from Dayne Crist to Mike Ragone. But Tech scored the next two touchdowns, scoring strikes from Potts to Alexander Torres, and held on for the win. The Red Raiders will face Alabama in Mobile next week.

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Terriers have won 5 straight

Brooklyn Eagle, Bay Ridge Eagle Brooklyn, NY :: daily paper in Brooklyn
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LIU gets guard

Brooklyn Eagle, Bay Ridge Eagle Brooklyn, NY :: daily paper in Brooklyn
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Scouting the Great Danes

Exchanged emails this week with the fine folks at Purple and Gold Nation this week about the upcoming game with Albany this weekend. They were kind enough to answer some questions about the Great Danes for me and I did the same over at their website.

Here are the questions I posed for them. You can read my answers to their query here



  1. It seems like Albany has started the season in a positive manner. What is the feeling around the program?

Tenative, but good. The squad is spectacular at letting teams stick around then hanging on for dear life. Slowly building a winning tradition, but our sophomore guards look, our young backcourt has been steady, if unspectacular, Will Brown's seat has bought himself time from the fan base, etc.

  1. Give us a feel for SEFCU Arena? What does SEFCU stand for anyhow?

SEFCU on December 18th is going to feel quite spacious. The student turnout will be low and hopefully the weather holds off so we can muster a decent crowd. I couldn't find SEFCU's expanded acronym in two google clicks, so I gave up, but it's a federal credit union that has bought the privilege to rename the building once known at the RACC. It's a safe bet to say the last three letters in SEFCU stand for federal credit union. South East?

  1. Albany sort of took the place of Siena on our schedule this year. We see you beat the Saints. I guess that is a pretty big rivalry?

Thanks for reminding us, no really, though. For the first time in 6 years it's a game that we can talk about with pride. It was a sweet, sweet feeling and far and away the signature win of our season. The arena in downtown Albany is packed every year for the game and this year's did not disappoint.

  1. From the stats...it looks like Albany is a pretty guard oriented team - as least offensively. Is that fair to say?

Incredibly so, there is not much offensive to be found outside the big 3: Black, Ambrose and Aronhalt. Freshman forward Luke Devlin has shown some range, but he's really only got hot once this year and Blake Metcalf is a by the book garbage man who has had a few nice games, but there is no one inside to lose sleep over.


  1. The Mount has had problems surrendering offensive rebounds this year. Who do they need to keep off the glass?

Music to my ears. That's been one of our strengths this year as Devlin, Metcalf as well as a few of the guards done well on the offensive glass. Our inside guys are not particularly athletic, so if you can establish position, it's certainly possible to negate their effect.

  1. After starting the season with 5 losses in 6 games, you've won 3 of 4. What has changed?

Mike Black's ankle. 10 or so minutes in with a ten point lead at Cornell, he went down with a badly sprained ankle and everything hit the fan until he came back (except when FDU graciously allowed Logan Aronhalt to launch an aerial assault over its zone). He's our best ball handler, a good defender and shooter and the players behind him cannot hold their own on a D1 level. Having three offensive threats and another player who could push the tempo makes a world of difference.


  1. After winning just 7 times a year ago, you've almost gotten to that number before the new year. Is this a team that was expected to be this much better this quickly?

One of Will Brown's more apt lines about this team is that it would get beaten by last year's team in a pick-up game, but would win a real game. This team plays harder, works harder, and so far, wins more. Logan Aronhalt's finally healthy and we found out the coaches weren't lying to use when they said he could really shoot the ball. We were bracing for the worst and we witnessed a few hideous games with Black injured, so every win feels huge right now. But this team still has a lot to prove, UA has had fast starts over the last couple years- this team must win games in conference before we can assess how much “better” they are.

  1. Your personal thoughts and a prediction on Saturday's game?

Gotta go for the win. Everybody's bogged down with finals, so it'll be nice to be playing at the home crowd. Tim Ambrose is playing the best ball of his career and singe-handedly rescued this team from a demoralizing loss last week. Mike Black was really frustrated last game by some stellar CCSU defense, so I'm curious how he'll bounce back. I think we're going to see Logan Aronhalt return to form with a big scoring night at he leads the Great Danes to a 68-60 victory..


We thank them for their time and wish Albany much success with the basketball season. Starting of course on Sunday.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holland signs in Portugal

Another former Mt. St. Mary's player has landed overseas. Will Holland has signed on with Academica of the LPB. Jeremy Goode, another former Mountaineer, plays for Penafiel in the LPB.

Holland averaged nearly 9 points a game last year for the Mount and 5 rebounds when he shot over 44% from three-point territory as a guard forward after returning from an injury that forced him to miss several games. He was eighth all-time in Mount three-point shooting history.

Acamemica and Penafiel meet on January 22, 2011.

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Another all-around performance for Kearse

Mychal Kearse, who played his college hoops with Mt. St. Mary's, had another fine performance in the UBA for his Dallas Star team. However, Dallas fell to 0-3 with a 112-106 loss to DFW Warriors.

Kearse scored 25 points, had 8 rebounds and handed out 5 assists. He is now averaging 23.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7 assists in three games.

Tedric Hill led DFW with 24 points.

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Goode among top choices in Player of Week

Jeremy Goode, the former Mount point guard, finished 8th in Eurobasket.com's player of the week standings for his performance in Round 8 of the Portuguese season. Goode scored 20 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and had 2 assists in Penafiel's 83-76 loss to Sampaense.

Almaad Jackson of Sampaense won the award with a 20 point, 7 rebound, 4 assist effort. Jackson played his college ball at Alcorn State.

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Beidler an Icelandic All-Star

Former Mt. St. Mary's star Kelly Beidler was selected as an all-star in the Icelandic League over the weekend. Beidler was one of seven selections chosen to the Capital Region team after not earning a nod through an internet vote.

Beidler has been enjoying a tremendous rookie season for IR. The 6-5 forward is 2nd in the league in scoring and rebounding and fourth in blocks. He averages 23.9 points and 12.8 rebounds per game.

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Seth Davis on the unbeatens

Assessing remaining unbeatens, Gonzaga's struggles and more mail - Seth Davis - SI.com
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Orange a one seed...yikes

Big East Bracketology: Syracuse Snags No. 1 Seed In Early-Season Predictions - SB Nation New York
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Some Monmouth notes

MU mens hoops Youngblood explains Rider departure | The Hawks Nest
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All American Classic offers quality

NewsOK
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Wrapping up the Loyola Loss

I don't have very much to say about the game. Because in reality from a Mount standpoint there isn't much to say. And I'm still following that old adage "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it."


  • This was the first real clunker of the season. The Navy game might have been...but it certainly wasn't to this level. 
  • So as fans we can go with the belief that Saturday was an enigma and I'll base my expectations of what is to come on the season as a whole to this point. Or we say Saturday was the sign of more to come. I'm going with the former, because the latter isn't very appealing.
  • Loyola is not very good. But in reality may have been the best team the Mount played other than the money games so far this year. I wouldn't expect the Greyhounds to do to much better than .500 in the MAAC, (they are already 0-2) but I'd make them the favorite about just every other Mount opponent thus far. 
  • Albany is a team more on the Mount's playing level. The Great Danes have been better than I expected thus far, and got a one-point win over NEC mate Central Connecticut over the weekend.
  • Bright spots in the loss. Hard to come by. But I do continue to like the play of Danny Thompson. 8 points 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. But it's scary when 4-of-9 is the best shooting performance on the team. 
  • Always thought Shane Walker was pretty good and that Loyola never really got enough out of him. But 22 points and 10 rebounds will be tough to forget.
  • Not sure if my disgust for the effort was embellished by the fact that it was Loyola. I just always see that as the one game you can't lose. The Mount has been playing (and beating for the most part) Loyola since I started going to games when I was a kid. It's the only team that the rivalry has extended the whole time. And it was a major disappointment to lose on Saturday.


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Syracuse shooting reminds some of Duke

Basketball Prospectus | Unfiltered
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - Opening Round Temple vs Toledo

Temple vs Toledo - @ San Diego CA - site of the Poinsettia Bowl

Temple used a pair of 100 yard-rushers to advance to face Auburn in the second round of the tournament knocking off fellow MAC mate Toledo 38-28. Matt Brown went for 130 yards and Bernard Pierce finished with 125 and a score in the win. The Owls averaged better than 6 yards per carry for the game and also threw for 248 yards on a 539-yard offensive outburst.

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Mount vs Loyola Game Thread

4:14 - Very concerned about the Mount's ability to block out and rebound today. Loyola does very well getting to the glass. And if there offense is going to be the efficient like it has been early, it could be a long day in Baltimore. The Hounds lead 9-4 have made 4-of-5 and rebounded the one missed shot.

4:20 - Robert Burke has called a timeout with the Mount trailing 14-4. Not much going well for the Mount, missing shots and not defending well. Not a good combination. Got to get back into it immediately.

4:23 - 11:48 now to play in the first half and its 18-6 Loyola. The Greyhounds had scored 13 straight before Lamar Trice hit a jumper to end the Mount drought. Raven Barber has returned for the Mount. After missing the last two games with the flu it's good to see him in there. But the Mount is giving too many easy baskets and not making open ones at the other end.

4:33 - 20-10 Loyola at the U8 MTO. Mount is 3-for-19 from the floor. Starting to press a little offensively and force shots that don't have much of a chance. Only down 10, they have to get back into running their stuff and letting the offensive flow create points. Loyola is not a good offensive team and has cooled off. The Mount can cut into the lead and be in the game at halftime.

4:42 - Getting tough to watch. It's 30-16 Greyhounds. Mount getting beat for open jump shots, lobs for dunks and just not into it on the defensive end. And that effort might be better than what we've seen from the offense which has been pretty poor to this point. Need to finish the half strong and give yourself some momentum headed to the locker room.

4:47 - Mount down 11 needs a stop and a bucket to cut it to less than double figures at halftime.

4:50 - Mount got the stop but not the bucket. Trails 34-23 at the half. Feels like a lot more than that, and maybe that is why I think the Mounties still have a second half chance. But they've got to be a lot better. Got to close off the interior offense that has gone well for Loyola in the first half. And then they've got to be patient and run their stuff offensively and get some points out of that. There is no 12-point shot, so they've got to cut into the lead in pieces.



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FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - Opening Round Northwestern vs Miami (Oh) vs Army

Northwestern vs Miami (Oh) at Boise ID - site of the Humanitarian Bowl


The Redhawks pulled the first upset of the 2010-11 tournament knocking off the Big Ten's Northwestern 24-8 on the blue turf in Boise. Played in an afternoon rain and temperatures in the low 40's, Miami made the most of its offensive chances. With a sputtering running attack, Zac Dysert completed 28-of-41 passes for 327 yards to lead the upset. Northwestern was held to 288 yards but foiled by 3 turnovers. Stanford will host Miami (Oh) next weekend.

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FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - Opening Round Louisville vs Western Michigan

Western Michigan vs Louisville at New Orleans - Site of the New Orleans Bowl


Louisville won a classic NCAA play-in game advancing to the first round with a 34-33 win over Western Michigan. The Cardinals will face Oklahoma next weekend. Bilal Powell ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with just over three minutes left. Trailing 33-28, the Cardinals marched 76 yards to take the lead and then was able to hold off the WMU final scoring attempt. Alex Carder scorched the Cardinals secondary for 407 yards and three scores in defeat.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - Opening Round Syracuse vs Ohio

Syracuse vs Ohio in Albuquerque - home of the New Mexico Bowl

Delone Carter rushed for 84 yards as the Syracuse Orange continued their football revitalization sneaking by Ohio 19-16 and into the first round of the tournament. The Orange will face TCU in an all-Big East matchup next weekend. Ohio, which had advanced out of the play-in round a year ago, couldn't accomplish the feat two years in a row. Boo Jackson threw for 179 yards in defeat. Chandler Jones led the Orange defense with 11 tackles and a sack.

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Kearse scores 26 in UBA loss

Former Mount St. Mary's star Mychal Kearse just missed on a triple-double as his UBA squad the Dallas Star lost to the DFW Warriors 98-97. Dallas is now 0-2 on the season.

Kearse scored 26 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and handed out 9 assists in the defeat. He shot 11-of-20 from the floor including a three-pointer and made 3-of-4 free throws.

Tedric Hill (Gulf Coast Community College) led the Warriors with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Brian Mason (South Carolina State) had 22 points.

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Poor shooting could become issue for Orange

Cuse's poor shooting could become issue - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
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Huge comeback for Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart pulls off this season's most unlikely comeback - The Dagger - NCAAB - Yahoo! Sports

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FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - Official Pairings

First Round Matchups

1 Oregon vs winner of 64 SMU vs 65 East Carolina
32 Miami vs 33 Baylor
16 Virginia Tech vs 49 Tennessee
17 South Carolina vs 48 Penn State
9 Missouri vs 56 South Florida
24 Arizona State vs 41 North Carolina
25 Mississippi State vs 40 Washington
8 Boise State vs 57 Southern Mississippi

5 Alabama vs 60 Georgia Tech def 69 Army
28 Notre Dame vs 37 Texas Tech
12 Oklahoma State vs 53 Northern Illinois
21 Utah vs 44 Clemson
13 Texas A&M vs 52 BYU
20 Michigan State vs 45 Navy
29 NC State vs 36 Air Force
4 TCU vs winner of 61 Syracuse vs 68 Ohio

3 Stanford vs winner of 62 Northwestern vs 67 Miami (Oh)
30 West Virginia vs 35 Kansas State
14 Nebraska vs 51 Connecticut
19 Florida State vs 46 Michigan
11 Ohio State vs 54 Boston College
22 USC vs 43 San Diego State
27 Iowa vs 38 Maryland
6 Oklahoma vs winner of 59 Louisville vs 70 Western Michigan

7 Arkansas vs 58 Kentucky
26 Florida vs 39 Pittsburgh
10 LSU vs 55 Fresno State
23 Arizona vs 42 Illinois
15 Wisconsin vs 50 Tulsa
18 Nevada vs 47 Central Florida
31 Hawaii vs 34 Georgia
2 Auburn vs winner of 63 Temple vs 66 Toledo

All games simulated at either
www.nationalsportsrankings.com
or
www.whatifsports.com

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Now is not time for Orange to get cocky

Syracuse Basketball: Great Kids, Don't Get Cocky - Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician
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Thursday, December 09, 2010

FanBlog's 2nd Annual If We had a College Football Playoff Playoff - Opening Round Georgia Tech vs Army

We don't believe the argument that you can't have a college football playoff. Don't believe you can't incorporate the bowl system. Don't believe that teams would have to be ignored. So we present you with the 70-team 7-week tournament. Opening round games, to get into the field of 64 are played at various bowl sites this weekend. Than First Round games will be played at the home stadium of the higher seed. Sagarin Computer ratings used to determine all. Games will be played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (and Sundays of the holiday weekends) over the next seven weeks, with the Championship game on Saturday January 22nd at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington (host of the Super Bowl). We also gave a game to the home of the defending Super Bowl Champ since we needed one more site. All results are courtesy of simulations at either nationalsportsrankings.com or whatifsports.com

Anyhow here is the result from the quality 60-69 game between Georgia Tech and Army. The winner faces the defending champ Alabama in Tuscaloosa next week. This game was played in Houston to represent the Texas Bowl.

Georgia Tech used a bevy of running backs to roll up 274 yards of rushing yards and take care of Army in the opener 26-16. The Yellow Jackets ran the football on 60 of their 70 offensive plays. Quarterback Josh Nesbitt led the attack with 78 yards rushing, while Roddy Jones found the end zone twice. Jared Hassin had 57 yards for the Black Knights.

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Midday Brunch 12/9

Twice in as many weeks Missouri has provided us with a mid-week game of the night overtime thriller. This time the Tigers were able to get the better of Vanderbilt in a very fun to game to watch. The Commodores missed a good look three-pointer at the end of regulation and had the ball with no shot clock and a tie score in overtime. But the thing they are probably kicking themselves the most about this morning is the fact that they uncharacteristically missed a ton of foul shots that probably swayed the outcome.

See what I told you about Gonzaga. They are not that good. And they are just about at the point where they have to win the West Coast Conference to get into the Big Dance. And that might not be that easy. The Cougars are now 6-1 and have to be considered as one of the favorites in the PAC 10.

And to pat my back again, I told you that San Diego State was for real. The Aztecs won by 20 at Cal last night. At 9-0 now, the Aztecs really don't have much of a test until UNLV comes to town in mid-January. How do you think the selection committee would handle a 27-4 SDSU team with wins over Cal, Gonzaga, St. Mary's and Wichita State? I'm thinking they are looking at wearing the white jerseys the first weekend.

Kentucky wore down Notre Dame and there is one less undefeated team out there. But Notre Dame has been a surprise and played with the 'Cats for a half. But Kentucky allowed only 18 points after the break and that was ultimately the difference. Notre Dame plays Gonzaga Saturday, but could easily enter the Big East part of its schedule at 11-1 if it gets a win there.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

NEC Update

NEC Update: Opening Week Yields Surprises | College Basketball by Collegehoops.net
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Wrapping up the Penn State loss

Another disappointment for the Mounties, to be so close on the road and come away with nothing. Moral victories are nice but they don't count in the win column.


  • Let's be honest, if this team hasn't exceeded your expectations to this point you had too high of expectations. By my count, the team has lost 23 games to injury this year to guy's on the roster. When you factor in Cajou is not currently on the roster, it's 32. Couple that with the fact that the team was going to be inexperienced to begin with and anything resembling respectability would have been best case scenario at this point.
  • But this team continues to break our hearts. Not for lack of effort or preparation. But simply because teams continue to make plays at the end and beat them.
  • A lot of credit goes to the players for clawing back from an early second half double digit deficit last night. Playing a money game on the road is difficult enough, but when you have to do it from behind it becomes even more tough.
  • For much of the game no Mount player was in double digits...as they got balanced scoring once again. Lamar Trice ended up as the leading scorer and he now leads the team with 13.1 per contest. But the team has six guys that average 5.8 or better a game - and have now had 5 different players lead them in scoring in a game.
  • Danny Thompson continues to play well. He and Tayvon Jackson each had seven rebounds last night. Thompson had eight in the previous game and is now averaging better than 4 a game in just over 21 minutes of play.
  • Through nine games, opponents have scored 17 points more than the Mount. That equates to 1.9 less per game. Numbers like that usually equate to a closer to .500 record.
  • Kenpom.com has the Mount ranked 300th in the country in luck. Glad I'm not a fan of the teams ranked below them.
  • The schedule remains difficult in the upcoming weeks. But somewhere all of this good play will be rewarded. The Holy War is next up on Saturday - and it would be the perfect place to break out of this losing funk and get a few bounces to go our way.
  • Did I mention I despise Jimmy Patsos?



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Boeheim's fight against cancer is real

MLive.com : Cancer survivor Jim Boeheim holds soft spot for Jimmy V Classic and its fight against disease
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Another Hall for Phelan

Phelan part of inaugural NEC Hall class - Gettysburgtimes.com: College
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Sunday, December 05, 2010

FDU downs Central

FDU Men’s Basketball Rallies in Second Half, Defeats CCSU, 48-46 - The Jerzey Sports Report
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IR out of Powerade Cup

Kelly Beidler's IR squad was eliminated from the Powerade Cup in Iceland over the weekend. IR fell to Fjolnir 112-90.

However, Beidler continued to have success. He posted 32 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals in the defeat. Just when you begin to think that Beidler's performances can't get any better he comes up with something like this.

Ben Stywall (UNC-Greensboro) led the victors with 24.

IR returns to Express League action versus KR on Thursday.



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Wrapping Up the Quinnipiac Loss

As I've stated here earlier, I did not see the whole game. I saw from about the midway point first half until about 13 or 14 minutes were left. But here are some of my observations on the whole of the game.

  • Remember, I was the guy who stated after the Navy loss that a split in Connecticut would be acceptable. That was accomplished with the win on Thursday night. And still I wake up on Sunday morning thinking that more should have been accomplished. When I quit watching the Mount maintained a nine-point lead...and when I got back in contact with the game they were up 4 with less than two minutes to play. Now it sounds like QU really made some plays down the stretch and maybe it was just one of those games that you aren't going to win, but up 4 with less than 2 you should win your fair share. And I guess the major disappointment was the turnover that led to the winning basket. When my daughter told me QU had tied it with 28 ticks left, I told her the worst case scenario was the game goes to overtime. Somehow, worst case became best case, and QU won at the buzzer.
  • The evaporation of the second half lead still feels too much like the Niagara game. However, I think you have to be excited by the offensive execution down the stretch. Six straight points to retake the lead and then a clutch bucket from Atupem to increase the lead to three. At Niagara the offense really sputtered down the stretch and left the door open. That didn't happen here. QU made a lot of plays and they won the game. 
  • Still I think what we found out this weekend is that this team is going to compete with everyone in the NEC. To be honest, I wasn't sure that was possible before this weekend. And that isn't to knock the new coaching staff or the players, it was just with the inexperience and everything that has gone wrong (injuries included) that it was still a question mark.
  • This team has played hard from the opening minutes of the opener at Dayton to this game. I never questioned that and they definitely have some players who are adjusting to the college game and are going to get better as the season wears on.
  • I really liked the balance of everything I saw yesterday. Not only was their balance on the scoresheet, but there was balance on how the points were coming. Post ups, on the break, jumpers out of the flow, easy buckets out of sets, it was just a very good balance.
  • Sometimes you just like the look of a player. I've always felt that way with Danny Thompson. And the guy has really been hindered by injuries but he's never stopped working hard even when others have passed him on the depth chart. If you recall he was part of the same recruiting class as Shawn Atupem and I think he was the more highly recruited player. It was nice to see him contribute yesterday. The Mount has a lot of depth at those forward slots and a lot of quality.
  • I like the switching defenses. I'm a Syracuse grad so I don't mind the 2-3 zone. As long as the zone isn't a YMCA zone it can be effective. I like the activity of the defense when they play it. They rebound better out of it, maybe because they play three forwards. And it can be effective. I think it will get better the more they play it. Coupled with the fact that the players still play good man-to-man defense can make it more effective.
  • The staff has done a great job of putting people in positions where they can succeed. A lot of questions since Robert Burke was hired were about what type of system he was going to run. After eight games its hard to say that they are a system type of team. Instead, I think he has built the game plans around what this group can accomplish. He has certainly put them in a position to succeed. The easy buckets that the team is getting out of the offense have been refreshing.
  • The schedule is about to get difficult. I don't see a game in the next seven (8 if you include yesterday) where the Mount will be favored. That doesn't mean there aren't winnable games. In fact after yesterday, I'm not sure that you can put any in that category. The fact remains that there are 3 money games in there, plus three road games, and a home game with the Patriot League favorite. 
  • Hopefully, we continue to see growth from the team. I think I've seen it every game. We definitely saw it this week in the jump from the Navy loss to the Sacred Heart win, and then the improvement even from that until yesterday. We need to see it during this stretch.
  • Glad to read that Raven Barber missed the game because of the flu. Ok let me rephrase. Not glad he missed the game. Glad that it wasn't anything more serious. The team has already been hit with enough injuries and I was fearful that Barber might miss something more than just Saturday's game. Hopefully, the big fella returns strongly and didn't pass that sickness around the team.

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Nittany Lions survive Duquesne

Duquesne Vs. Penn State: Nittany Lions Survive Dukes' Three Barrage, 77-73 - SB Nation Pittsburgh
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Saturday, December 04, 2010

From the QU perspective

Johnson beats buzzer for men’s basketball | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
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LIU Rebounds with win

LIU Powers Past Saint Francis (Pa.), 81-67 :: SportsPageMagazine.com
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Heartbreak in Connecticut

James Johnson scored the last eight points for Quinnipiac including a layup at the buzzer as the Bobcats rallied to beat the Mount 77-75.

The Mount held as big as a ten-point lead in the second half, but saw that dwindle away. The Bobcats led 69-67 before the Mount scored six straight to forge ahead 73-69 with just under 2 minutes to play.

Johnson then buried a three as the shot clock expired to cut the lead to one, before Shawn Atupem restored the lead to three at the other end with a strong drive. However, Johnson's three tied it with 27 seconds left.

Johnson made a steal with about 5 seconds left drove the length of the floor and scored with .5 seconds to allow the preseason NEC favorites to win their opener. The Mount falls to 1-1 with the disappointing loss.

Lamar Trice led a balanced Mount attack with 17, Julian Norfleet added 16,  Atupem had 15 and Danny Thompson had career highs of 12 points and 9 rebounds.

Starting forward Raven Barber missed the game with the flu.
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Mount Quinnipiac Game Blog

I missed the start of the game and probably won't be able to see the end. But from what I've seen its been pretty even.

2:57 - The Mount trails by 1 31-30. In the portion I've seen they've done a nice job getting the ball to Atupem inside. He seems very controlled and relaxed, and away from the basket QU has opted not to double. If he continues to score, I would expect them to goto that. Have to finish the half strong.

3:05 - The Mount takes a 5 point lead to the half. The Mount offense is creating plenty of chances for themselves. Danny Thompson just had a great stretch knocking down three straight jumpers. Lamar Trice led the scoring in the first half with 15. The Mount has played a lot of zone late in the half and gone with the three forward alignment. They seem to rebound fairly well out of that. But did give up two offensive rebounds on missed foul shots. Definitely an encouraging 20 minutes of play, have to see how it goes in the second half.

3:28 - This is going to be my final update, you'll have to take it from here on your own. The Mount has built on the lead and is up 51-44. They had a 10 point advantage at the largest. They are executing the offense from within the flow of it and getting jumpers to go down. It's a good combination. Sorry I can't stick around. Love to hear these QU announcers whine for the rest of the game. The Mount shot one free throw the first half, quit whining about the officiating.

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Midday Brunch 12/4

My eyes firmly on the Mount's visit to Quinnipiac today. A chance for the young Mountaineers to guage themselves against the league's best. Video should be available here for the 2 o'clock tip. Looks like it is going to cost you $9.99 if you want to watch the game.

The Mount has to find a way to keep the Bobcats off the offensive glass. That won't be an easy task. And one that the Mounties have struggled with this year. I'm also concerned with what type of defensive pressure QU may bring. The Mount's young and inexperienced backcourt has gotten better as the season has worn on, but it is still a major concern.

Shawn Atupem has to stay out of foul trouble. Quinnipiac has a great interior game led by Justin Rutty and the Mount must be at its best upfront. That means they need Atupem on the floor.

QU has been pointing to winning the NEC since they lost in the Championship game to Robert Morris last season, so you would expect them to be up for their opener. The Mount enters off a 14-point win over Sacred Heart and stands 1-0 in the league.

Marist beat Niagara fairly handily last night as league play has begun in the MAAC as well. The other MAAC game played last night was Iona's nine-point win over Canisius.

The only NEC team in action last night was Monmouth. The Hawks got a nice win in Idaho over Eastern Michigan from the MAC conference. EMU is still winless against Division 1 opponents but anytime an NEC school beats a MAC school it has to be considered a good win. Monmouth which is now 2-3 will play Idaho today and North Dakota tomorrow before returning to the East Coast. The Hawks lost the NEC opener to Central Connecticut last week.

Some interesting games on hand today. I'm very interested to see how Penn State does against Duquesne tonight. The Dukes have a solid team and have only lost twice, to Robert Morris and Pitt. Penn State had the horrendous shooting effort against Maryland the other night, and faces the Mount on Tuesday.

Cal and Iowa State play in the Pac-10 Big 12 Series. Not really all that interested in that game to be honest, but I wanted to mention that the Pac-10 is 0-5 in those games.

Tommy Amaker returns to Michigan with his Harvard squad. The Crimson enter with a 5-game winning streak and won't be an easy matchup for the young Wolverines.

Milan Brown is looking for his first win at Holy Cross and the Crusaders are on the road at Wake Forest today. The Demon Deacons have not been very good but got a solid win over another struggling BCS member Iowa the other night.

Gonzaga plays Illinois today. I've been really impressed with the Illini and I would expect them to win today. The Zags are starting to get into a precarious position. With two losses already, and some tough games upcoming (Washington State, Notre Dame and Baylor) you've got to wonder if they might be strictly looking at a berth in the NCAA only if they win the improved West Coast Conference tournament. Something to keep an eye on. But they'll need to win some of these games if they have to ask for an at-large bid.

Utah State also has an at-large bid in mind with today's game at Georgetown. But I'm not sure it really makes any difference. The Aggies schedule is still going to be questioned. The only other top 100 game was the loss to BYU - and possibly conference games with Boise State. But if they lose both of the top 100 games - how do they make the argument that they belong? This seems to be a game that does a lot more for the Hoyas than it does for Utah State. Unless the Aggies win. And unless they catch Georgetown on a high after the overtime win against Missouri, I just don't see that happening.

Also we might get an idea of whether or not West Virginia is a contender or pretender today. The Mountaineers have been somewhat ignored after going to the Final Four last year - and play a good team would win - at Miami today. It's one of those early season games that helps to answer some questions we have about West Virginia.

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Wagner ready for NEC start

SILive.com : Wagner embraces Northeast Conference basketball chase
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Friday, December 03, 2010

Beidler runner up for Player of the Week

Kelly Beidler's 24-point 17-rebound performance was good, but not quite good enough to earn Eurobasket's Iceland Player of the Week award. Instead Beidler finished in second. Hayward Fain (St. Augustine's) won the award for a 25 point, 15 rebound effort for his Tindastoll team's defeat to Fjolnir.

Beidler continues to have an impressive debut season in Iceland. His 23.9 points per outing is tops for his IR outfit, and third in the Express League. Beidler is also second in rebounds 12.8 per night, and 2.1 blocks ranks him third.

Beidler finished his Mount career last season as a 1,000 point scorer, who routinely stuffed the stat sheet with rebounds, blocks, steals and assists. It's nice to see him performing so well.

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TCU shakes basketball foundation

TCU’s Move Reverberates in Basketball | The Hoya
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Burke's post game comments

Coach's thoughts on the win at Sacred Heart

YouTube
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Wrapping up the Sacred Heart win

The Mount starts its NEC campaign with a win for the first time in recent memory. A good solid 66-52 win on the road against conference competition. Some thoughts I've had between the end of the game last night and this morning.

  • The shooting display from Lamar Trice was key. I've said since the start of this season that somebody has to step up and be the second long-range shooting option. The two most likely candidates are on the bench with injuries. The fact that Trice, who I would never have described as a shooter, has become a real option only is going to help the Mount offensively.
  • But even more than that was the 0 in the stats column for Trice. The guard played the game without a turnover. He also picked up two steals and two assists.
  • I was really disappointed after the Navy loss. Wasn't sure what to expect last night. But this team responded, even after getting behind early, and came through with a solid effort. That was very encouraging.
  • Sacred Heart is a pretty bad offensive team. And they've never been known for their offense. They are going to struggle all year long. Minus Shane Gibson (21 pts) and Jerrell Thompson (14 pts) there isn't much there offensively.
  • One negative for the Mount was they continue to give up offensive rebounds. Sacred Heart had 18, the Mount had 20 defensive rebounds. You do the math, the Mount got 52% of the defensive rebound chances. Sacred Heart has not been a good rebounding team and they still got all over the glass.
  • The Mount experimented with a 3 forward lineup each of the last two games. I like that idea, it definitely hurts them on the perimeter but the fact that they are getting beat so bad on the offensive glass means they have to find something to fix it.
  • Shawn Atupem scored 10 points in 14 minutes, further making me believe that he will dominate play in the NEC.
  • The Mount started the game a frustrating 1-of-5 from the foul line but finished 20 of 22. That is good shooting. Even the total of 21 of 27. (78%) is solid enough.
  • Josh Castellanos continues to grow as a college player. He got to the basket a few times last night, now he has to finish, but he ran the offense well. Surprised to see he didn't have an assist, but he finished with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.
  • When the Mount started to convert Sacred Heart turnovers into points they got seperation. That and the fact that they held the Pioneers to 33% shooting - with a better defensive effort than we saw against Navy, were ultimately the difference in the game.
  • Raven Barber was 3-for-3 from the field and 0-for-2 from the line. I continue to think that he can be a force inside. But the Mount has to give him more opportunities than 4 a game.
  • The announced crowd was 454 - and the Sacred Heart announcers called it "not a bad crowd for a Thursday night". Just another reason why the Northeast Conference will always be a low tier conference. It's going to get progressively harder for Heart, with the commitment that Quinnipiac has made and the fact that Central is always going to be solid and PC, BC and UCONN are always going to get the best players in New England, its going to be a tough road for the Pioneers.


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NY wins battle of St. Francis

Red Flash Drop Northeast Conference Opener - WeAreCentralPA.com
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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Robert Morris wins at LIU

LIU Rally Falls Short to Robert Morris in Men’s Basketball, 70-69 :: SportsPageMagazine.com
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Central ready to win now

The New Britain Herald : New Britain, Conn., and surrounding areas (newbritainherald.com)
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Monmouth heads to Idaho Classic

Monmouth heads to Idaho classic | APP.com | Asbury Park Press
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Mount Sacred Heart Game Blog

Video is available and it seems to be free. Maybe they will send me a bill. 8-6 Sacred Heart early.

7:15 - 12 -9 Sacred Heart at the second MTO. Seems like the Pioneers maybe playing a bit of a matchup zone. Whatever it is, it is giving the Mount fits. Not much going well offensively for the Mount. Sloppy early and shots not falling. Sacred Heart has only been slightly better. But the Pioneers have gotten some good shots.

7:24 - Points tough to come by. SHU leads the Mount 16-15 at the U8 timeout. Lamar Trice has given the Mount a lift off the bench with 7 points. But he still needs to make better decisions. Highlight of the first half provided by Raven Barber who slammed home a missed jumper. Shawn Atupem spending lots of time on the bench with 2 fouls.

7:26 - The Mount has a lead. A three-pointer from Julian Norfleet makes it 18-16 and draws a timeout from Dave Bike.

7:32 - It's now 23-20 in favor of the Mount as they've taken advantage of some of the deficiencies of the Pioneers on offense. Lamar Trice has 11 for the Mount, but he's 2-for-6 from outside the arc. That number matches the Mount shooting from the foul line as a team. Not sharp but in the lead.

7:41 - We're at the half and the Mount leads 28-25. Lamar Trice has 14 of those 28. Sacred Heart shot 34 percent in the first half. So a decent defensive effort once again from the Mount. They are in the lead, but they've got a lot of work to do to get out of there with a win.

The Mount is going to need to do a better job on the glass and get production inside. Atupem and Barber scored just six points in the first half. They are going to need production in the second half to get the W.

8:03 - The Mount has kept the lead and built on it to take a 34-30 lead. They are playing with 2 guards and 3 forwards a lineup they looked at the other night. It gives them a much different look. But they are having trouble penetrating the SHU defense.

8:08 - The Mount has gained some separation by forcing turnovers and getting some fast break points and the continued hot shooting of Lamar Trice. The junior has 19. The Mount still having some trouble rebounding, but when they aren't allowing SHU to shoot, they are creating opportunities. 12:09 remaining and its 44-38 as some three-point shooting from the Pioneers have kept them in it as the pace of the game has improved dramatically in the second half.

8:15 - Raven Barber just scored inside to extend the lead to 8. Looks like the Mount has the momentum in this one, but they'll have to close it out. Learning how to do that on the road takes some time. Let's see how this plays out.

8:32 - The Mount has a seven-point lead as the game enters it final moments. The Mount guards have been making their free throws. Both Barber and Atupem have four fouls. But its the Mount's game to lose at this point.

8:35 - Still an eight point lead, but the Mount has looked very shaky against pressure. That could be costly down the stretch.

8:36 - 3:59 to play the Mount leads 59-51 and has Danny Thompson at the free throw line. Needs to be solid with the basketball, smart defensively and make its foul shots and it will move to 1-0 in the NEC. But hardly a guarantee at this point.

8:47 - It's over in Fairfield. The Mount has its first NEC win under Rob Burke. Any win on the road in the conference is a good win. So we'll take this 66-52 win over Sacred Heart. Not sure how many the Pioneers are going to win. They've always been an offense first type team. And they certainly lack offensive firepower. But a good job by the Mount to take control of things in the second half. Lamar Trice led the victors with 21, Josh Castellanos added a career high 11 and Shawn Atupem was also in double digits with 10. Quinnipiac, the preseason favorite, is up next on Saturday. It will take a better effort, but let's enjoy tonight and worry about that tomorrow.

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Tids and Bits

I'm very interested to see how the Mount handles two conference games this weekend. On the road and a game involving the preseason favorite, I'd probably be happy with a split.

Video for tonight's game should be available via the Sacred Heart website. Subscription fees may apply.

The easier of the two games comes tonight against Sacred Heart. The Pioneers enter the game at 1-4. More than a week layoff since they earned their first victory of the season over New Hampshire. Surprisingly, Sacred Heart has struggled on the offensive end of the court. That is not the normal situation for a Dave Bike coached team. Turnovers have been a real problem for SHU as they have turned it over on better than 1/4 of their possessions. The Mount, which hasn't done a very good job forcing turnovers must look to exploit that.

One other area to watch. The Mount has certainly surrendered too many offensive rebounds. But the Pioneers haven't done much on the offensive glass. So if they all of a sudden start creating second chances, it could be a long night for the Mounties.

The Mount is looking to bounce back after Monday's loss to Navy. I would expect the Mount to have a big advantage inside with the play of Shawn Atupem and Raven Barber. They must have big nights if the Mount is going to win on the road. And the Mount must get better guard play, 20 turnovers as they had against Navy can't happen.

I watched a good bit of the San Diego State/St Mary's game last night. SDSU is good. They will do very well in the Mountain West this year and could be a problem in the NCAA tournament for many teams. They've got good balance and a few guys who can really play. They've got a tough game with Wichita State upcoming and a road trip at Cal next week but they could remain unbeaten for quite some time.

Also, watching Purdue last night makes you realize just how tough the Boilers are. They aren't real spectacular. But they are tough and that will carry them a long way. Makes you want to root for them as well.

Richard thinks Louisville is quietly playing some of the best basketball. We'll agree. At least partly. Quietly is accurate. The Cardinals haven't played anyone - sans their opener with Butler (who isn't the same Butler), so we really don't know what the Cards have. Next Saturday's game with UNLV might give us an idea, but we're taking a wait and see approach.

Quinnipiac almost rallied to beat UMASS last night. Would have liked to see that happen. Now with the loss, you'd expect that they will refocus before their conference opener with the Mount on Saturday.

Is Oregon State the worst BCS conference basketball program? The Beavers have losses to Seattle, Texas Southern and now last night Utah Valley. Some pretty suspect losses. Hard to see them faring too well in the PAC 10, but hey it is the Pac 10. Of course some folks at Penn State might think its the Nittany Lions after that painful loss, 62-39 to Maryland last night.

Speaking of which - all the games that have our attention tonight - minus the Mount of course - are from the Pac-10/Big 12 Hardwood Series. Kansas gets another chance to show it is the best team in the country (sorry Dukies) and we'd like to get another look at Missouri late against Oregon. Something about that one smells upset though.

Another big win for the Monarchs of Old Dominion. Knocking off Richmond who was fresh off the win over Purdue. Watch them closely in the CAA this year.

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Mount women's recruit scores 1000th

Severn girls' early surge too much for St. Mary's • High School Sports (www.HometownAnnapolis.com - The Capital)
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