Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mount moves to within game of first place

Mt. St. Mary's won for the third straight time and moved to within a game of first place Long Island with a 72-63 win over preseason favorite Quinnipiac at the Knott Arena on Saturday night.

A good all-around effort from the Mount that saw Shawn Atupem once again lead the offense with 17 points. But it was a balanced effort that saw five Mounties score more than 8 points. Freshman Josh Castellanos continued to shoot the ball well knocking down a couple of threes including a dagger in the second half and finished with 12. Raven Barber had 9, while Lamar Trice and Julian Norfleet chipped in with 8.

The Mount now shares second place with four conference teams all a game behind Long Island which was hammered 87-71 at St. Francis PA. Central Connecticut, Robert Morris, Wagner and the Mount all have identical 5-3 conference marks.

The Mount travels to CCSU and Bryant next weekend.

The Mount seized control of the game midway through the first half with a mix of inside and outside play. But QU as it had in the first meeting between the two schools was able to rally. However, this time the Mount had the answer, fending off several QPAC surges. Everytime the Bobcats would close the lead down the Mount would respond. Castellanos' three from the left hand wing finally gave the Mount the breathing room it needed to secure the victory.

A fine effort by the Mount and probably the best win in the Robert Burke era. 5 of the next 8 are at home and this team is starting to do some really good things and believe in itself.

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Message Board

I started a new message board where you can post your thoughts and opinions about the Mount, the NEC or anything else you want to say.

As our little online community continues to grow, I figured this was the next logical step. (And I figured I'd make Richard happy)

But anyways, head over to and post away.

And don't forget to check in here at The Mount Fan Blog.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Wrapping up the St. Francis NY win

A real nice win for the Mount on Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn. St. Francis was coming off a win against Wagner and it was much needed. I didn't see the game, so my comments are limited to what I've read and to my beliefs going forward.
  • Lamar Trice once again led the attack with 22 points. The junior guard still had six turnovers. But he continues to be the leading scorer and I guess it is time to give him a little bit of a break on the turnovers. I always thought that the leash around his predecessor Jeremy Goode was too tight and that he always had in best games in free-flowing games. Unfortunately, turnovers would spike in those types of games. But so would his level of play. Maybe Trice is the same type of player - and if he is going to give us the good, we've got to accept the bad to some extent. Still, I'd like to see the six be more like a three or a four.
  • The Mount got 35 more points from the inside trio of Danny Thompson (16), Raven Barber (11) and Shawn Atupem (8). The three combined to shoot 14-of-17 from the floor. 
  • Also equally important was the fact that the Mount allowed only 7 offensive rebounds on 39 missed shots from St. Francis. The 18% rate is well below the season level.
  • The Mount never trailed in the game and built a lead as large as 16 in the first half and 17 in the second.
  • This week's Thursday night contest with Sacred Heart will be incredibly important. The Mount is among four NEC teams tied at 3-3 in fifth place, for the final playoff spots. The Pioneers are also in that group.
  • I've always felt like their is a conspiracy in the NEC and that the Mount's schedule is always tougher. For example, they haven't played those two December games at home since the leagues started scheduling it that way in 2009.
  • Also factor in that the four teams the Mount plays once in NEC competition this year are a combined 23-45 thus far this season (.338) and 9-15 in the league. The teams the Mount plays twice are a combined 60-58 (.508) and 24-18 in the league. I don't know exactly what it means. I've called Oliver Stone. But it is interesting.
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Monmouth 8 to face Robert Morris

MU mens hoops facing former CBA player as young RMU coach takes the reins | The Hawks Nest
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Wrapping up the Long Island Loss

Tough to really get a lot out of last night's loss. The Blackbirds of LIU downed the Mount 91-69 in NEC play.

The Mount shot very poorly in the first half while turning the ball over 13 times.

A couple of positives, I'll take from it.

  • Shawn Atupem had 16 points and had 15 offensive chances. He was 8-of-10 from the foul line and 4-of-10 from the floor. But I still think he has to be the offensive lift for this team down the stretch.
  • Obviously the staff is bringing Jean Cajou back slowly. But he was able to get in the game play 11 minutes and score 5 points. It's just good to see that for Cajou. And ultimately if Jean is able to get back to the playing level we've come to expect in the past it will help down the stretch.
  • Jacolby Wells had 7 points in 12 minutes of play. The sophomore continues to show that at times he can utilize his athleticism to his benefit.

Saturday's game is at St. Francis. The Terriers handled league leading Wagner with relative ease. We'll see how these two performances carry over. I expect a good hard fought game down to the wire on Saturday.

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Central Surges Past Sacred Heart In 2nd Half

Central Surges Past Sacred Heart In 2nd Half -

For my money, I'd say Central plays LIU in the conference championship game. But I guess we're a long ways from there. And I'm sure some folks at Robert Morris or Quinnipiac might not agree.

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Big East Football Friday mailbag via ESPN

Friday Big East mailbag - Big East Blog - ESPN

Guess they are not real happy about the Coach P hiring in Storrs.

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MCW hands Dematha first loss

Weekend rewind: Boys' basketball

Syracuse recruit scores 6 points in final 30 seconds to help drop unbeaten Stags.

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Jackson's Dedication Paying Off

Watertown Daily Times | Orange's Jackson dedicated athlete
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

RMU looks to get rolling at home

Colonials defeated FDU on Thursday at Sewell Center.

Beaver County Times: Colonials hope home is where wins are
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Mount Long Island Game Thread

If the Mount is going to get a split in its annual trip to Brooklyn it looks like it is going to have to come Saturday against St Francis. The Mount trails 45-25 at the half against the Blackbirds of Long Island in an NEC contest.

Shawn Atupem leads the team with 12 points at halftime. Lamar Trice has 9 and Tayvon Jackson 4. Those are the only three Mountaineers to score. The Mount shot 5-of-20 from the field in the first half and got 14 of its points from the foul line.

For the second straight game the Mount committed 13 first half turnovers. This time the opposition took full advantage. LIU shot 26 first half foul shots. 26. One more time 26. That is a lot. The Blackbirds made only 15 otherwise this would be bordering on woodshed type beating.

Be interesting to see if the Mount can get some others involved in the second half - and try to creep back into this. But on the road against the team I now consider as the favorite, I just don't see it happening.

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Jan 13th Hoops Roundup

College Basketball Daily for January 13, 2011 From The Sports Mac | Bleacher Report
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Murray Player of week, Rivers Top Newcomer in NEC

After Wagner College basketball squad's amazing week, 2 collect Northeast Conference honors |

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Young St. Patrick Talent Drawing Coaches |

Young St. Patrick Talent Drawing Coaches |

Freshman Dakari Johnson already drawing big interest, including that of Syracuse.

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Wrapping Up the Robert Morris Loss

Another game where the Mount just wasn't good enough. The whole close but no cigar scenario. Although one thing we can be certain about with Mike Rice and Milan Brown gone, the rivalry between the two lives on.

The Mount lost 51-48 for those of you who haven't read a recap. And it was another one of those ugly defensive battles these two teams. I did not think either team played very well. In fact, I kept looking up at the scoreboard thinking the Mount should be down more than they were. The Mount was playing catch up the whole way and just didn't have enough to get over the hump as Karon Abraham made four free throws in the final minute to preserve the three-point win.

During the first half the Mount turned the ball over 13 times and 22 for the game. The Mount shot 33 percent while Robert Morris was held to 34%.

I hate losing to the Colonials - and I'll be honest there wasn't a lot positive about the loss. Lamar Trice scored 19, but its hard to say he really played well in the win.

I did like the fact that Shawn Atupem scored in double figures and got ten shots away plus had five free throws. I still think he needs to get 15-18 offensive opportunities a game. But he's been almost non-existent lately partly because of his foul trouble and partly because he isn't rebounding well enough to stay off the bench.

Danny Thompson had 11 rebounds but hurt the team at the offensive end at times. Thompson continues to get minutes and continues to deserve them, but yesterday was a day where he just didn't provide a lot offensively. Although I am starting to think that shortening up the bench and letting Thompson, Atupem and Barber share all of those minutes is the way to go down the stretch.

Josh Castellanos again made two three-pointers. Seeing the freshman knock down some open jumpers lately has been encouraging, but he still needs to make better decisions when on the move, and develop a pull up jump shot instead of the floater he relies upon that is routinely unsuccessful.

Long Island and St. Francis NY are on the road this week. I'm starting to think the Blackbirds maybe the best team in the NEC. Wagner of course improved to 4-0 in the conference yesterday. Earning a split on the road would be a big boost for this team. But winning on the road is difficult and this won't be an easy trip for the Mounties.

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Friday, January 07, 2011

Wrapping up the St. Francis PA win

Nice to get back in the win column. I thought really fine performances from Josh Castellanos and Danny Thompson down the stretch made the difference. Both ended up in double figures.

I think Thompson is more of the type of post player that Robert Burke will want to employ. Somebody who can do things away from the basket but also be a presence in the lane. And his 12 rebounds were a huge key. The Mount allowed only 7 offensive rebounds. (18% of missed shots) and that was crucial.

I think the Mount surprised the Flash a bit offensively at the beginning of the game. Certainly St Francis didn't have anyone who could stay between Lamar Trice and the basket. At least not at the beginning. That allowed the Mount to open up a big lead and they'd need just about all of it. Trice finished with 18. But the fact that ball was in the hands of Norfleet and Trice operated on the wing seemed to really be a spark.

Norfleet played 35 minutes only took 2 shots, but helped his team considerably and I would say was a key factor in the win. Hopefully, he can continue to take good shots and see that total increase and become more of an offensive factor.

The offense really struggled from about the 5-minute mark of the first half through the end. But Castellanos and Thompson made some big buckets down the stretch. Castellanos' three really seemed to be a momentum changer. He was 2-for-2 from long range after really struggling with his shot in the early season. Hopefully, this is the sign of more to come.

The Mount shot only six threes, made four of them. I like to see that.

There was a lot more intensity and motivation than we've seen lately. I think the coaching staff also did a nice job of managing the team frustration level and trying to keep them focused on the task at hand.

I think this team is still trying to establish an identity. And I hope they gained some confidence and can continue to let that carry on into the league play. I think they can be a middle of the pack - NEC team and maybe surprise some folks if they keep getting better offensively and do a better job rebounding defensively. But it's not going to be easy.

Everybody is chasing Wagner. The Seahawks beat Bobby Mo in overtime and are 3-0 in the league. Robert Morris makes its annual visit to the Mount on Saturday at 1, in what should be an exciting contest.

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Where do we go from....


Well I guess there is only one way to go. Because it can't possibly get worse. But that is what I thought when I turned it off down 26-8 having seen enough. But somehow by halftime is was 48-11. The whole display at Blacksburg was a disgrace and one that has been building.


Straight back to the gym I hope. I will never forget the night my brother lost a high school championship game. (Ok it was a screwy 2nd half championship) and they were the first half champions, so they got to play again the same team again the next night. But the part I will never forget is my father berating my brother for losing the game and then going out afterwards instead of coming home to get to bed since they had a game a game the next day. And it was true, he didn't come home until about 2 hours after the bus should have arrived back at the high school. But his coach, my coach, was so livid with the performance that he got them off the bus and ran them through an hour and a half practice right there and then in the gym. They won the next night.

3-12 before the conference home opener?

Don't laugh but we could wake up tomorrow and the Mount could be in first place. They play St. Francis PA tonight, and I think the Mount is the favorite. Not saying much for Don Friday's bunch to be the underdog to a team coming off a 65-point shellacking. But the Flash is 2-11 and hasn't won since November. The Mount did win in December - although it feels like it was December 2001. And if three other teams cooperate - and I'd only call one of those an upset Sacred Heart over Fairleigh Dickinson and there could be a lot of 2-1 teams tomorrow.

4-40 from the field other than Lamar Trice's 5-13 three-point effort?

I guess that means we go to Trice and a lot more. But actually I hope not. I hope the Mount gets some buckets off some cuts to the baskets. And I hope it re-establishes Shawn Atupem, Raven Barber and Danny Thompson down low. For me those three guys are the key to the conference season. But the offense has appeared stagnant of late, even the near win in Burlington was called sloppy by the Vermont p-b-p-ers, so we'll have to wait and see. Truthfully, I had nightmares that the offense might just be this bad, but the way it started seemed so promising. Somebody needs to play with some confidence and bring that promise back.

3 wins and 4 losses?

Remember when the Mount record was that close to .500. All that and a late lead at Quinnipiac. But it has certainly soured since then. And even the return of Jean Cajou and the potential return of Kristian Krajina don't have me thinking this team can win more than 10 games. A bid in the NEC tournament would be taken right now.

Lot B?

Find your seat at the ARCC tonight, I'm sure there will be plenty available. If you can't make it I'll try to twitter throughout. But that doesn't always work out so well. Sit back and try to enjoy the game. Forget about the negatives that have affected this team the last month and a half.

The FanBlog?

Just remember as somebody coldly scoffed to me yesterday, "we're better than Holy Cross". That we are. Or at least the records say we are. The Crusaders are 1-13 following the overtime defeat to Yale last evening. And the natives at are starting to get a bit restless. Throwing out Milan's record in close games (less than 3 points) at 3-17 over the past four seasons. Ahh, misery loves company, doesn't it?

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Faith in the Mount

DCI College Basketball
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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Mount at Virginia Tech Game Blog

Video Should be available here

The Mount is back in action at ACC school Virginia Tech to start the 2011 portion of its schedule. The Mount has lost seven in a row and is coming off an overtime loss to Vermont.

The Hokies are 8-4 with four straight wins. Tech beat South Carolina Upstate 64-53 in its last outing.

The Mount has played well against better competition this year, seemingly raising its level to the level being played but it is a large underdog here. The Mount lost 62-57 in its last trip to Blacksburg back in 2009, in a game it led most of the way.

2:03PM - The Mount going to start three forwards today. Atupem, Thompson, Barber, and then Golladay and Trice on the perimeter. I expect that means we'll see a lot of zone. But we'll wait and see. Hope that helps on the glass, as the Mount has been victimized by offensive rebounding all year.

2:12 PM - 7-3 Virginia Tech early on. The Mount hasn't gotten a lot offensively and has missed the shots they have taken/forced. Even the three from Trice that amounts for the Mount's only points wasn't the best decision. The Mount has looked to get the ball to Barber in the post and that could be a positive, but thus far has not been able to convert from there. Tech has four or five turnovers to aid the Mount cause.

2:14PM - Jean Cajou has entered the lineup. Good to see the senior back on the floor.

2:19PM - 13-4 Tech and not a lot good going for the Mount. Tech just got a second chance bucket to extend the lead. The Hokies don't exactly look sharp but they hold a nine-point advantage.

2:24PM - Shawn Atupem scored on a rebound bucket for the Mount, but Tech is doing a good job of keeping the Mount away from the basket. It's a 17-6 Hokie lead, thanks to a 9-0 run.

2:31PM - Down 24-6 the Mount has called timeout. There isn't a lot to analyze at this point. The Mount is either missing shots or turning the ball over. It has been far from encouraging.

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