Friday, January 30, 2009

David West

Congrats are in order for David West. He was announced to his second straight all star game for the NBA. I will admit I am not a huge fan of the NBA but I like to see our former players do well obviously. So again congrats Mr. West on being one of the twenty four best players in the NBA up to this point in the season.

Perusing the NBA all star roster a couple of other things jumped out at me. First the A10 has just as many all stars (West, Jameer Nelson from St. Joes) as the Big East. Allen Iverson was at Georgetown and Dwyane Wade was at Marquette. However I am not sure the Golden Eagles were even in the Big East when the Heat guard played there. Point? If you can play you can play, it doesn't matter what conference you are in.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Game Recap: Charlotte

X prevailed over the 49ers Wednesday night at the Cintas Center by a final of 69-47. The Muskies held Charlotte to just 13 first half points on 17% shooting. Kudos to the Charlotte administration for even getting their guys to the game. Charlotte is decimated by injuries (three of their top 7 were out for this one) so this was an expected result.

BJ Raymond had a double double with 23 and 10. Ken Frease had his second solid game in a row and finished with 17 points. He is beginning to become a difference maker off the bench. CJ Anderson was solid again with 10 points and five boards. Derrick Brown didn't score much but he set a tone with 11 rebounds of his own. For the second game in a row Brad Redford was held scoreless and he went 0-3 downtown.

Next up for Xavier is the Dr. Jekyl - Mr. Hyde team of UMASS. The Minutemen and Musketeers are due for a noon tip this Saturday. Ricky Harris is a great perimeter player. Tony Gaffney is among the nation's leaders in blocked shots and can swing a game with his defense. IF their point guard Chris Lowe has a solid game it could be a tough afternoon for X.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Top 10

X climbed back in the top 10 in both polls today. How in the hell Notre Dame stays in the top 25 is beyond me. But anyway X is listed at #10 in both polls. With a three game home stretch coming up Xavier is setting themselves up nicely for postseason play.

Also Kenny Frease was named A10 Rookie of the Week. Coach Miller proposed on his radio show Monday night that Kenny 'is no longer a freshman' and he hopes to see consistent strong performances from the young man.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Things Noticed

- Nancy Z. moving on? Say it ain't so!

- Charlie Coles is now the all time winningest coach in Miami history with 217 wins. Congrats to him. I put him right up there with Skip amongst my all time faves as head coaches go.

- is an awesome site if you are an A10 fan. Believe it or not there are a few out there.

- UD -v- Bona today, something has to give. The Flyers have been struggling (but winning) against lower level A10 teams (Fordham, GW) and the Bonnies are 7-0 on the road.

- My buddy Dave is back posting. I always enjoy his insights. I can appreciate his loyalty too.

- I believe Marcus Thornton is the best player X has played against this season.

- Duke dismantled Maryland 85-44 last night. Coach K is on a roll.

- The Enquirer's surveys on 'State of Local Sports' produced some interesting results published in their Sunday edition. X basketball received the third highest amount of pollsters (1,011) behind the Bengals and Reds of course. We were followed in terms of surveyors by Kentucky Speedway, UC Football, and UC basketball (754). Point? I hope local talk radio and news rooms paid attention.

- Resume watch: X now has wins over 9 top 100 RPI teams. The best currently is Memphis who rate #11 in the RPI. The Musketeers are currently #4 in the RPI and a combined 6-1 against teams from the top six conferences. I predict we will reach #11 in one of the two national polls this week, possibly higher as two top 12 teams square off today.

-BlackburnBlog dedicated to all things UD is an intersting site to say the least. Gregory to Georgia next season? I am not sure that is going to happen. BG is close to doing big things in Flyer Land and that would be step down.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Game Recap: LSU

Toughness. The Musketeers have it and it was on display in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Saturday night. In front of 13,000 LSU Tiger faithful Xavier smirched the Tigers home record for the first time this season. Coming into the game they were 14-0 at Pete Maravich's place.

Derrick Brown led the scoring with 22 points on 7-11 from the field. BJ Raymond second that with 21 including very solid free throw shooting down the stretch. The Muskies were 20-24 overall from the line which is a HUGE reason they won this ball game. Jason Love supported the victory with 10 points and 8 rebounds in twenty four minutes. Kenny Frease had a great game from the field (6-8) to finish with 12. He played with confidence in the post. It should be noted that Fran Fraschilla speculated on air that Ken has an NBA future. Before you toss that assertion aside remember Fran covers Europe for ESPN during NBA draft season.

Marcus Thornton is also a solid bona fide NBA draft prospect. He killed us with 30 points. They did a decent job holding Tasmin Mitchell to 5-17. The crowd was really into it and that team has a solid future with Trent Johnson as coach. Of course now I am a LSU basketball fan the rest of the season and I hope they win their division in the SEC.

Up next for X is Charlotte at home. This begins a three game home stretch in conference play. The 49ers are banged up and not as deep as usual. This will be our first of two games against them this season.

Perspective is a funny thing

Anybody notice that the Bearcats have matched last season's win total for the entire season? Apparently doing so this early means nothing and Mick should lose his job. If you read the paper, listen to local sports talk or even just the talk at my office. 

Don't get me wrong I am not happy with two losses to the Friars but did any of you expect them to beat the top teams in the Big East this season? That's who they are losing games to. Providence by the way has won 5 conference games. That's as good as the best teams in the league and puts them in sixth place. 

As much as we'd like to think we shouldn't be losing to Providence or be in close games with St. Johns this is exactly where UC was picked to be by every analyst in the country. The New York Papers were writing how St. Johns should not be losing to UC and that such a loss could derail the whole season. 

St. Johns thinks they are too good to lose to UC. Perspective. 

As a UC fan I wish things were different. I wish Mick would stop saying "we're young". I wish Deonta Vaughn didn't have to play 36 minutes with the other teams defense set up to stop him. I wish Biggie wasn't a flop. I wish a lot of things but mostly I wish the team played hard every game from start to finish. If that was the case at least one of the Providence games would be a win. 

I'm not writing this to say I'm happy with this seasons results. I'm not. I have been a big time Cronin guy from the beginning but I am getting tired of his postgame explanations that, while matter of fact, are NOT refreshing to hear. I am starting to question whether or not he is a good enough motivator and on court coach. I am starting to question his recruiting a bit. I'm not jumping ship but my patience is waning. Six more wins gives UC a winning season for the first time in Micks tenure. Out of 11 remaining games that is not impossible. Improbable maybe but not impossible. Get those six wins Mr. Cronin and I will follow you into next season with much confidence.

For now I will continue to back Coach Cronin but Persective is a funny thing. Todays hero can become tomorrow's villian in... well... 11 games.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Game Recap: Bona

Quality game by CJ Anderson. Fifteen points, 6 boards, and four assists. Most notably 5-6 from the foul line. Redford hit his first three treys. He finished 4-9 overall and tallied 14 points. The offense opens up when he is on the floor. Solid three point shooting in the first half (7-9) gave the Muskies the distance they needed headed to halftime 41-22. Jason Love continues to be solid and it should not be underestimated how much he brings to the team. Kenny Frease was 4-6 from the floor but still cannot get his rhythm from the free throw line. I wasn't a big fan of Jamel's 'pose' on his dunk but he played much better overall tonight than in some time. The final was 84-64 and there was quality minutes played by Andy Taylor. He 'flashed' a little bit with drawing a charge and was 2/2 from the field. Good to see him getting some time with the regular guys around the 6 minute mark.

Bona bigman Andrew Nicholson was the only highlight for the home folks at the Reilly Center tonight. He most likely will be my pick for A10 ROY. Coach Schmidt can build around him. There are some other pieces there as well but overall not much depth for the Bonnies right now.

Next up is LSU who has absolutely slaughtered Ole Miss and Mississippi State in their last two games. Mitchell and Thornton are the real deal. It is Trent Johnson's first season coming over from Stanford. They are 15-3 but their SOS before the Miss. State game tonight was 252. SO the Tigers will be looking for that signature OOC win. I hope X can keep the turnovers to a minimum and keep up the solid defensive play.

I would also like to point out that our SOS and RPI has not fallen that much since conference play has started as some had predicted. Sure taking some 'L's' in the A10 to a team not named Dayton could smart some. Before tonight we were at #4 in the RPI according to Curious how much we fall after tonight, VA Tech's win over Wake tonight couldn't hurt us. Point being I think the LSU game was scheduled with the thought the A10 could be down some and scoring a non conference win on an SEC school's floor is an accomplishment.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Back With a Vengeance

Ok not really a vengeance. More like back with a sleepless zombie like energy level. The last few weeks have been crazy.

For those that don't know my wife had a baby and I have been at home for the last several weeks taking care of business.

In those two weeks I think I watched a grand total of 10 minutes of sports. It was just luck that I didn't get to watch the Bearcat's looking awful to start Big East Play. Deck of course wants you to think I was hiding BECAUSE of it. I will hopefully be able to catch the Providence rematch tonight and throw something up for your reading pleasure. I wont be posting any recaps or reports of the games that took place in my absence since I didn't get to see any of them but I will say this. The Cats are far from done in the Big East and are separated from the top half of the conference by just a few games. Lets go Cats!

Game Recap: LaSalle

I expected more of a challenge from LaSalle. On paper they looked to be a much improved team. Xavier did a great job of setting the defensive tone early. 'Big Lovely' Jason Love gets my game ball for 10 pts, 9 rebs, and three blocks. Derrick would have been a candidate but four turnovers took away a little bit from his great day (7-10) from the field. BJ Raymond was solid again and everybody seems to be embracing their roles well. Free throw shooting and turnovers still a concern. With 15 against a pressure type team would have been decent but LaSalle played halfcourt zone most of the game. Many of them were results of travel calls or bad passes on our behalf. Certainly the overall length of the Explorers played a hand but still not much improvement. With the win and Duquesne loss X moved into first place in the A10 with a 4-0 record thus far. CBS Sports RPI ranking as of this morning is holding at #5 with a SOS of seven.

Up next for X is a road trip to St. Bonaventure. I am actually glad to be playing this particular Bonas team on the road as they are 7-0 themselves on the road this season. Overall they are 12-6, 2-2 in the A10. Old friend Mark Schmidt seems to be righting the ship in year two of his tenure there. He has picked up the most likely ROY in the A10 in Andrew Nicholson. Great shotblocker this frosh is. He was lightly recruited out of Canada but has blossomed in his first year in Olean. They just suffered a blow in the backcourt with the loss of Ray Blackburn to a meniscus injury during practice. Their first game without him this past Saturday they beat Richmond on the road. They also have local player Micheal Davenport out of Moeller who sees regular time on the floor for the Bonnies.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What The ?!?

I just read where Andy Kennedy's wife is now suing the infamous cab driver. And the best part is she is claiming sexual dysfunction from the old AK? Give it a break Andy. Let it go. You are seeing this circus getting bigger and bigger. Now the cabbie is countersuing you claiming the only reason you sued was for malicious intent. Your reputation is going down the toilet fast AK. The suit filed by your wife is a joke and quite laughable. Try Viagra Mrs Kennedy. AK can afford it. This stuff wouldn't be as funny if it was made up. Settle with the cabbie, apologize, and move on.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Game Recap: Rhode Island

Xavier was fortunate to win this one 67-65. The amount of turnovers (22) and overall field goal percentage is why I choose the word 'fortunate'. I personally feel this was one of the more poorly played games by X this season. What we did do was rebound and play defense. Rhody averaged in the eighties coming into this game and even with all the turnovers we had they didn't produce enough on the offensive end to win.

CJ Anderson played very strong in the first four minutes of the second half but only played seventeen for the night. He was plagued by foul trouble. Derrick was solid as usual. Tutu had a very nice stat line but the two missed free throws at the end could have been costly. 'Could of' being the key phrase. Brad Redford was a very pedestrian 2-7 tonight but is showing the ability to get 'his' in the flow of the game. Jamel McLean didn't have one of his better outings this evening and received very few minutes. I remain pleased with how Jason Love has developed. That base line drive was very nice in the first half. And how about Dante'? Thirty minutes off the bench and delivers a huge shot from deep. It was the only one he hit all night but #25 seems clutch when you need it. I thought the technical when X was trailing 56-55 by Jimmy Baron Sr. was a key moment in the game. We buried four free throws at that juncture to retake the lead. Another key moment was when Rhody had retaken the lead at 61-60 and their big guy Will Martell clanked two freebies.

Next up for the Muskies is the LaSalle Explorers. They are coming off a five point win at Charlotte on Wednesday night. The Explorers play without a true point guard most of the time and therefore very much like us are suspectible to getting pressed. They have good overall length and I think they are close to being consistently good in the conference. Hopefully by Sunday we can do a better job protecting the 'rock'.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Calling Chicken Little

Hey Dave! Where have you been? Paternity leave is over. You need to find five minutes and link something, tell us how great Brian Kelly and the football program is, or how Mick is JUST now starting to rebuild the 'Cats. Give us something brother. The game tonight is very 'winnable' and is needed by the Bearcats to restore some confidence. You know this is all in good fun but the board has had too much of an X tilt to it lately.

Speaking of which I haven't seen any comments lately from 'Cats fans telling me how inherently better the UC program is over X. I miss the back and forth a little bit. My honest (no hate) perspective of the UC situation is this: without a solid answer at point guard any team would struggle. And for a team trying to compete in the uber tough Big East it is especially brutal.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rankings Update 1/12

We moved up one spot in the AP poll to 15th and jumped two spots in the ESPN/USA Today poll. As reported earlier our RPI and SOS are headed south now that we are in conference play. If we can manage 12 wins in conference I think we will be 'AT LARGE' come mid March.

Some other notes and tidbits around the XU program:

- Brian Walsh is most likely headed for a redshirt season. Getting him an extra year would be great after playing spottingly in 8 games this season. His hand should be fine by season's end but why waste a complete year for a minute or two a game?

- Also Miller has alluded to X signing a big man in the spring. Most feel it will be Kyryl Natyazhko the 6-11 big man at IMG Academy in Florida. I have also seen DaShonte Riley, 6-10 post from Detroit Country Day, being mentioned as a possible. Prepstars rates them #58 and #53 respectively so I think we would be in good company either way.

- Speaking of big men the 6-9 Adreian Payne (class of 2010) was on the floor for last week's game against SLU. Most feel he is a strong UD lean. Interesting kid and prospect. Thad has been after him for awhile too.

- Also it is good to see Brad Redford starting to increase his minutes. As his minutes have climbed so has his confidence. He has now hit 19-37 from 3 point land (51%) but still needs several more shots to be counted in with the league leaders. IF he continues to deliver 8-12 points a game off the bench in A10 play he will deserve some consideration for All Newcomer team for the league.

Game Recap: Fordham

Xavier won expectantly 86-60. Fordham used an 18-4 run to start the second half to draw within one (49-48) before the X men slammed the door. Six players ended up in double figures led by BJ Raymond's 18. 'Tutu' Holloway scored 11 in what was a homecoming game for him. Redford chipped in 11, Love 13, Brown 14, and Anderson added 10 to complete the balanced scoring. Dante' Jackson had a solid overall game with 4 points, 4 boards, and six assists. Frease struggled this game and was given reduced minutes (10) overall. 0-4 from the free throw line and too many turnovers this game for Ken but you know he will continue to work hard. I think this year will be reserved for 'flashes' from him and X fans should not expect consistency from him until next season. I still remain excited about his potential.

Fordham has some nice young backcourt pieces (Fontan and Estwick) from St. Anthony's in Jersey to build around. On second take maybe the FU administration should hire St. Anthony's coach legend Bob Hurley to right the ship once and for all. It seems they are in 'rebuilding' mode every three years. They suck. Just by playing them our RPI dropped to 7 and our SOS fell to 11. Please fix Commissioner McGlade.

Overall the Muskies will need a better effort to win on the road this coming Thursday night. Rhode Island opened A10 play this week with a three OT loss to St. Joseph's. They have a nice inside outside combo in Kaheim Seawright and Jimmy Baron Jr.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Game Recap: St. Louis

It was the Derrick Brown show tonight at Cintas Center. Perfect from the field (6-6) and the foul line (5-5) to finish with 20 points in 19 minutes. In front of NBA scouts from teams like Indiana, Milwaukee, Detroit, Clippers, Dallas, Miami, Charlotte, and Golden State as reported by Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer. You picked a good night to shine Derrick and that highlight 'D-Bag' on 6-11 Brett Thompson from SLU is certainly SportsCenter top 10 material.

The best stat of the night is the 15 assists against 8 turnovers. Also Dante' Jackson coming off the bench to register 6 assists and the hustle play of the year was icing on the cake. Coach said that dive is the kind of play you show kids years from now on what hustle is all about.

Defense was solid and held SLU to one three pointer. The aforementioned scouts were also on hand to see Tommie Liddell and the Muskies did a good job limiting him.

I also think it is about time I check in with my favorite Dayton fan Jim 'Swampy' Meadows and compare Brad Redford and Paul Williams up to this point in their careers. I think the people who voted for Mr Basketball in Michigan last year called it right swamp. He is becoming a point producing spark off the bench. 2-3 from deep and a nice little back door layup for 8 points in 15 minutes. Good D from 'Reds' as well I thought. Also CJ was a very efficient 6-8 for 13 points and Big Lovely came through with 11 points and 7 rebounds. He picked up Kenny who couldn't hit the broadside of a barn and seemed off his game all night. Going 2-9 from the field when your 7-0 is not ideal. But he continued to hustle and made an impact on the defensive end.

Next up is Fordham and I think Byron Larkin summed it up best on his post game radio show "that place is a terrible gym and they are a terrible team". That was his response to Joe Sunderman's assertion that Rose Hill in the Bronx was an interesting place to play. They are flat out bad this year with a 2-11 record.

(Also my buddy Dave asked that I let everybody know he is not going to return to posting until Mick Cronin is replaced. Sorry bad joke. Expectedly he has been busy with his newborn son and taking care of his two year old as well. He shall return in the very near future.)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Rankings Update 1/5

X is at #18 in this weeks ESPN/USA Today poll and lands at #16 in the AP. Currently we are at #4 in the RPI with a SOS of 2. Our SOS will fall as we enter conference play which is another reason why it was so important to play the nonconference schedule we had this season. Hopefully we can win all conference games at home and go .500 on the road. We shall see, there is always a stinker or two come conference time.

Also I wanted to say 'congrats' to my man Dave and his family on their latest addition which arrived healthy this weekend. Of course that is one more Bearcat fan in the world but Uncle Deck is going to do everything he can to persuade the little guy to come over to the 'blue' side.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Game Recap: Virginia

X used a dominating run early to put this game out of reach. Inconsistent free throw shooting helped UVA trim it to fourteen for the final of 84-70. Sylven Landesberg was as good as advertised with 25 points for the Cavs. X did not turn it over as much as they have previously which is an encouraging sign heading into conference play but the free throw shooting as mentioned above could be better.

It was nice to see BJ Raymond pour in 24. When he is good the team is good. Kenny Frease posted career highs of 13 and 8 and used foul trouble on behalf of Jason Love to get more minutes in this game. He scored 11 in the first half off of 5 buckets. Redford had some early offense for us when we were struggling the first four minutes of game time. Anderson's box score won't look that sexy but he certainly shared the ball much more this game and was solid overall. Dante' came off the bench again and contributed 13 points as well. This game featured the best ball movement on offense in my opinion that we have had all season, hope that continues as we move forward. Nice to earn a road win over an ACC team. Thursday night we tip conference play off against St. Louis at 8 PM.

Heading Into Conference Play

I wanted to take a quick look at how the other teams in the A10 are doing as most teams finish up non conference play today.

*Please note the RPI numbers are from Friday 1/2 and come from RealtimeRPI.

Charlotte: 5-6, #196 The 49ers started season in a hole at 1-6. They play at Maryland Saturday and still have non conference games against Tulsa and Winthrop later. Their best win to date has been at Southern Illinois. They are lead by Lamont Mack scoring wise at 12 a game.

Dayton: 13-1, #27 The Flyers have been on a roll. Their only loss has been at Creighton which is a very difficult place to win. They should have a spot in the top 25 heading into A10 contests. Their best win was a neutral floor whipping of Marquette. Gregory is using up to 12 guys on a regular basis. 'Flight' Wright leads the pack at 12.5 PPG and 7.0 RPG before their game Friday against Toledo.

Duquesne: 9-4, #142 The Dukes did better than I suspected in the non conference portion of their schedule. The remainder of their games will be in conference. Their best win was against Bowling Green and they took 'L's' against Duke, Pitt, West Virginia, and Old Dominion. They shoot the 3 ball very well as a team. Senior Aaron Jackson leads the team in scoring at 17.0 per game.

Fordham: 2-9, #331 The Rams finish non conference play at Bowling Green today. The A10's resident RPI killers have beaten New Hampshire and Lafayette (both at home). Obviously this young team is struggling. Frosh phenom Jio Fontan leads the team in scoring at 12.8 PPG despite a woeful three point shooting percentage of 21%.

George Washington: 6-5, #141 The Colonials wrap up their non conference schedule today at Longwood. Their best win thus far has been at Boston University. They went out to a tournament in Hawaii just recently and died. Coach Hobbs' team took three losses in a row on the island (Vermont, Hawaii by 26!, and Coppin State!) that could take them some time to recover from. Rob Diggs and Damian Hollis both average around 11.5 scoring wise. Frosh Tony Taylor has started every game at point guard thus far.

LaSalle: 7-5, #122 The Explorers still have Howard to play and a Big 5 tussle against Penn before their nonconference slate is complete. They are coming off their best win which was a waxing of Manhattan. They did suffer a stinker loss on the road at Cornell which killed their RPI. Rodney Green leads the team with 14.9 PPG and has dished out 45 assists.

Massachusetts: 4-7, #158 The Minutemen finish with Vanderbilt at home today in the NC. They got pounded on the road against Houston 54-80 last time out. Their best win to date has been beating Kansas on a 'neutral' floor in Kansas City. Ricky Harris is tearing it up at 19.8 PPG and shooting the trey at a 42% clip on 95 attempts. This is another good long range shooting team. They have been inconsistent and Derek Kellogg is still finding his way as a first year coach. The talent on this team is better than their record.

Rhode Island: 9-4, #44 The Rams play Akron at home today and then go on the road to Toledo later this week before heading into A10 play. Their best win to date has either been Penn State or Virginia Commonwealth. Jimmy Baron is averaging 17.5 PPG to lead team and is shooting a sterling 45% from deep. He is one of the best distance shooters in college basketball this season. Kaheim Seawright is a very solid interior player.

Richmond: 6-6, #155 The Spiders host Rice today and finish their NC schedule at Virginia Tech later this month. Their best win has been on the road at UNC-Wilmington. Kevin Anderson (17.0 PPG, 36.1 MPG) and David Gonzalvez (16.5 PPG, 34.3 MPG) rarely leave the floor for Coach Chris Mooney. This team will be a tough out in conference play.

St. Joseph's: 5-7, #119 The Hawks play today at Ball State and have a Big 5 matchup against Penn later this month. Their best win was a 19 point road contest at Towson. They have been average and disappointing to this point in the season. They have a very thin bench and Martelli barely plays 8. Ahmad Nivins has been a beast for the team however at 18.8 PPG, 10.4 RPG, and 38.1 MPG. Coach Phil always has his team playing well by conference season and I think this team will be no exception.

Saint Louis: 8-5, #165 The Billikens are finished with non conference play heading into their A10 opener at X on Thursday night. They enjoyed a nice win over Boston College in their new arena earlier this season. Kevin Lisch and Tommie Liddell both average around 14 PPG.

St. Bonaventure: 8-4, #218 The Bonnies are in Conway, AR today to finish up their non conference schedule against Central Arkansas. Their best win has been at Rutgers. JUCO Jonathan Hall leads the team in scoring at 14.1 PPG. Freshman big man Andrew Nicholson has been outstanding also with 13.0 PPG and 43 blocked shots. This team could suprise some people in the league.

Temple: 5-6, #25 The Owls have the nations number one strength of schedule as of Friday 1/2. They have a signature win over a very good Tennessee team. They close non conference play this week against Kent State and at Eastern Michigan. Dionte Christmas is at 20.1 PPG currently and hitting the three ball at 40%. Big man Sergio Olmos has developed from being a 'project' to average 11.4 PPG.

Xavier: 10-2, #5 The Musketeers had the number 2 strength of schedule as of Friday 1/2 afternoon. They have NC tilts left at Virginia today and at LSU later this month. Both present tough challenges and X would do well to split those two. The best win to date has been beating Memphis on a neutral floor to win the tourney in Puerto Rico earlier this season. The teams we must face twice in the A10 season include Dayton, Fordham, and Charlotte. Derrick Brown is leading the team in scoring at 14.2 PPG and is has hit 17-36 (47%) from three land heading into today's game.

I love the intensity conference play brings. Familiarity between teams and players produce fantastic games at times.

Overall I think the two teams with the best chance for an at large bid in the NCAA tournament come March are Xavier and UD. Temple and Rhode Island have at large possibilities but they both have work to do in my opinion. Also it would not suprise me if a team such as LaSalle, St. Joe's, or Richmond won the A10 tournament. In the end I do not see the A10 garnering any more than three bids but there is still much to be determined over the next few months.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Game Recap: Robert Morris

A 21 point win over Bobby Mo was a good way to start a New Year's eve evening. Jason Love had the best performance for the Muskies with a career high 15 points. He also had six boards and three blocks to go along with his scoring output. Brad Redford shot the ball more times than he has all season and it resulted in 5-8 from three land. Two that he missed were right on line and one was long. I remain excited about his potential and it is nice to see him drop multiple long range bombs in a game. Also after two losses Sean juggled the lineup and put in Terrell Holloway over Dante' Jackson. My hope is that pays dividends come conference play. Finally BJ Raymond came back to life a little bit with a thirteen point performance.

X remains in the top 10 of the RPI with a SOS of 2. We have a nice road test Saturday afternoon at Virginia (6-4, 1-0 ACC). They are coming off a conference opening overtime win at Georgia Tech. Their best player is a freshman named Sylvan Landesberg who is averaging 19 points per game. He was a McDonald's AA last season and obviously has produced at the next level thus far. Also they have a redshirt freshman named Sammy Zeglinski who is an absolute dead eye shooter.

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope '09 brings prosperity to all.