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Colonial Notebook

December 27, 2001 Conference Notes No Comments



Colonial Notebook

Ram Tough – So Far: The Colonial has hosted a few early intra-conference games, and even though we have not reached the thick of conference play, one thing is certainly for sure. Uncertainty.

Yes, as I look into my crystal ball (actually a souvenir snow globe of South of the Border I got when I was ten), I see that the only thing predictable about the Colonial is its unpredictability.

Virginia Commonwealth, a team that had superb potential coming into this season, was supposed to be good, but with its better-than-average schedule, few believed the Rams would be 9-3 going into January. Mack McCarthy’s club has the best overall record in the conference but not the best conference record. That honor, thus far, goes to Drexel, another puzzlement in this wee season.

Feeling Right At Home: Drexel got trounced by Marist and Rider, got clipped by Lafayette and Penn, but showed basketball brilliance against conference foes James Madison and Hofstra. In what was supposed to be a year for Bruiser Flint and the Dragons are getting their collective feet wet in the CAA and so far the conference waters are just fine. If the 4-6 (overall) team from Philly is looking for more comfort in conference play, then they’ll be happy to know that after a 12/29 bout with Niagara, their schedule features nothing but Colonial action till 2/23. Junior Center Robert Battle is leading the league in rebounding with 8.7 a game.

It’s Lonely At The Top: Good news and bad news for James Madison. David Fanning is at the top of the Colonial scoring list with a healthy 21 points per game average. The bad news is, he is the only Duke in the top 25 in conference scoring. (You can’t have everything.) He’s been the leading scorer in each of JMU’s (5-3) eight games and recently scored a season high 25 against winless Morgan State team. The Dukes face Cornell on 12/28 before heading up to Newark to face Delaware on January 3rd.

The Second Coming? Not quite.: Highly touted rookie point guard Woody Souffrant of Hofstra had 10 assists in a December 23rd loss to Drexel. That’s the first time since January of 2000 that a Dutchman player has had 10 or more assists in a single game. Speedy Claxton, now with the Sixers, dished out 12 in a game against Northeastern almost two years ago. Tom Pecora’s 5-5 squad hopes to snap a 3-game losing streak when they challenge Illinois-Chicago in the first round of the USF shootout in Tampa. Hofstra would like to avenge a late November loss to host South Florida in the championship game.

The First One’s The Hardest:
Conference favorite UNC-Wilmington won their first CAA battle of the year, but it wasn’t easy. Huzzahs and kudos should still be doled out, however, as the Seahawks needed only 20 minutes to come out with a 71-67 win against Old Dominion in Norfolk. The Seahawks did much damage from beyond the arc hitting 7-of-15 from 3-point range in the second half. The second half surge was led by Brett Blizzard, who scored 16 of his 21, and Craig Callahan, who netted 15 of 17 points. Though only 5-5, UNCW leads all CAA members with a Sagarin ranking of 73.

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