Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Conference USA Notebook

December 10, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments



Conference USA Notebook

by Zach Van Hart

Not quite yet for Conference USA

Three Conference USA teams had the chance to knock off a Top 25 team last week. None of the three were able to pull off the upset.

The most far-fetched upset attempt came Tuesday when the Saint Louis Billikens traveled to the southwest and faced the nation’s best, No. 1 Arizona. The Billikens could not muster enough early Christmas magic to shock the Wildcats as they trailed by seventeen at the break, eventually losing 91-58. Saint Louis hung around for much of the first half until the superior athletes of Arizona took control. A 21-6 run during a six-minute stretch turned a four-point Wildcat lead into a nineteen-point advantage with three minutes remaining in the first half. The Billikens never responded and the Wildcats cruised to the win. Saint Louis struggled to sustain an offense, shooting 36 percent from the field. The lone bright spot for SLU came from senior forward Kenny Brown, who tallied his first double-double of the season with ten points and ten boards.

An intra-state and an intra-city match-up marked the other two defeats against ranked teams last week. Saturday, Cincinnati took the court (dedicated Ed Jucker Court, in honor of the late coach, before the game) to face rival no. 16 Xavier. Both teams struggled offensively and the Musketeers escaped with a 50-44 win. The Bearcats could not contain preseason All-American David West, who scored a game-high 23 points. During the week Cincinnati forward Jason Maxiell questioned West’s toughness. The trash talk backfired, as West made big shot after big shot. For the Bearcats, the offensive woes continue, as they still look for an offensive leader to emerge.

South Florida, who has surprisingly recovered from the loss of two premier scoring threats, tasted defeat for the first time this season Sunday when they fell to no. 7 Florida 68-52. The loss dropped the Bulls’ record to 4-1. South Florida fell behind 40-25 at the half, but made one final run at the favored Gators. The Bulls closed to within seven early on in the second half, but Florida retaliated with a 10-4 run, and USF never threatened again. Despite the loss, the Bulls are one of the early surprises in the conference. Leading USF so far is senior point guard Reggie Kohn. Kohn, the conference’s assist leader a year ago, is averaging ten points and nearly seven assists per game.

Huggins is White with enthusiasm

Despite the loss to Xavier Saturday, the weekend was far from a washout for Cincinnati head coach Bob Huggins. Friday the team received word Florida transfer James White will join the Bearcats starting in December 2003.

White left the Gator program during the preseason this year. Touted as one of the top players of the 2001 recruiting class, White struggled last season for Billy Donovan’s Gators. White is an explosive player, known throughout the country for his out-of-the-gym leaping ability. He will fit perfectly into the Bearcats lineup next season, since Cincinnati will lose the services of senior swingman Leonard Stokes.

White plans to enroll in classes for the start of the winter quarter at Cincinnati. The 6-6 forward averaged six points per game as a freshman. He chose the Bearcats over Missouri.

Battle of the brothers

Tuesday’s East Carolina versus Radford game involved more than a contest between two teams. The game also pitted brother against brother. Senior Pirate point guard Travis Holcomb-Faye and freshman point guard Whit Holcomb-Faye faced off, reminiscent of the days they played each other in the backyard. The elder Holcomb-Faye’s team got the better of his younger brother’s team, as ECU whipped up on Radford, winning 89-42. Travis played his usual role of quiet-leader to a ‘T’, scoring eight points and dishing out a game-high seven assists. While Whit topped his older brother in the point’s category, finishing with thirteen, the older brother got the last laugh.

Travis Holcomb-Faye’s play is one of the reasons for their hot start. After a win against Old Dominion Saturday, their record now stands at a perfect 5-0.

Trouble in the bayou

After several seasons in the decline, this year was being touted as the return to glory for the Tulane Green Wave. So far though, it is starting to appear as the same old-story in the land of jazz and Cajun cooking. Picked to finish second in the National Division of the conference, Tulane has struggled out of the gate, owners of a 3-4 record. Last week, the Green Wave lost the battle of the Big Easy, losing to New Orleans 80-67. They followed up Thursday’s defeat with a 20-point loss at the hands of Vanderbilt, 66-46.

Inconsistency, along with their defense, is troubling Tulane during the early going. Pretty soon, the Big Easy will be in reference to the Green Waves’ defense and not just the city in which they play. However, they can make a huge statement this week as they face no. 19 Kentucky Tuesday night.

Player of the week – Erroyl Bing, East Carolina

The junior forward played two exceptional all-around games last week, leading the Pirates to a 5-0 start. Bing averaged eleven points, twelve rebounds and four and a half assists as ECU defeated Radford 89-42 and Old Dominion 75-67.

Games to watch

Kentucky at Tulane, Tuesday at 8 p.m.

The Wildcats are hot after going into the Dean Dome and whipping the Tar Heels 98-81. A win for the Green Wave would jumpstart their season.

Memphis at Missouri, Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

So far Missouri is as good as advertised, starting the season 4-0. Memphis will find out where they really stand after several cream puff games.

Wisconsin at Marquette, Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The battle for the land of cheese features two outstanding teams. How the Badgers can handle Dwayne Wade will be the difference in this one.

     

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the NBA Draft, of course, but spend much more time on the happenings at Ohio State and Louisville and the implications starting next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.