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Atlantic-10 Notebook

December 20, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments



Atlantic-10 Notebook

by Adam Shandler

Hawks Undefeated

But does anyone know that? Yes, the St. Joseph’s Hawks having been flying under the radar with their 6-0 record. They haven’t beaten anyone in the Top 25 but did waste up-and-comer Boston College in the beginning of the season, 85-58. A New Year’s Eve contest against Gonzaga might give them more street cred, but until then, Paul Martelli’s club is one of those Rodney Dangerfields of the college game.

More St. Joe’s News

The Hawks’ Jameer Nelson, a six-foot, Junior point guard, was named A-10 player of the week. In St. Joe’s 77-59 trouncing of Delaware, Nelson recorded 24 points, including 9-of-17 shooting — 3-of-6 from behind the arc. The Delaware win marks his 4th game scoring 20 points or more this season. Nelson ranks third in the league in scoring (18.8 ppg) and fourth in assists (5.0 apg).

Newbie of the Week

LaSalle has had some heartbreaks this year, including tough, close losses to Villanova (74-71) and Cincinnati (65-62), but the 3-3 Explorers can take solace in one thing: the extraordinary play of Freshman guard Jermaine Thomas. Thomas is this week’s A-10 Rookie of the Week. The 6-2 Frederick, Maryland native posted a 25-point night against the Bearcats. No rookie jitters that night, as Thomas hit 12-of-13 from the line. Look for Thomas to be an integral part of LaSalle’s charge toward the A-10 title fray in late February, early March.

The Explorers next face Southern Cal on December 21, and don’t begin conference play until January 8 when they head out to Dayton.

Richmond Rocks Stanford

The Richmond Spiders are one of those teams you just can’t seem to figure out. They lose to Hampton by one, beat Conference USA’s Charlotte and UAB, then fall to a Virginia Commonwealth squad still trying to get its sea legs. And after suffering an 83-77 defeat at the hands of a tough Pepperdine club in the first round of the Stanford Invitational, the Spiders go out and finish off the carcass that Montana killed the previous night. Yes, Richmond beat the 20th ranked Cardinal, 83-69 in the consolation bracket. Just hammered ’em. Mike Skrocki scored 27 points to lead all scorers in a game where Richmond used an 11-4 second-half run to make this thing true.

And just when you thought Richmond might be for real, that “other” Spider team shows up. They lose to Providence 84-55 on December 19. The Spiders will have a nine-day layoff to lick their wounds, then they have to look sharp against Harvard in their own Richmond Tournament.

A-10 Test of the Week

The 5-2 Rhode Island Rams are a much-improved ballclub, but haven’t really been thrown to the wolves. (Or the Panthers. Yet.) Early wins over Southern Cal and Providence are nice, but we really need to see what this team is made of. Well, Rhody gets its chance to play giant-killer on December 21 as it faces Pittsburgh (Number 5 in the Hoopville Top 25 poll). Howard Smith is a great defensive point guard, but how will he match up against the fearsome Brandin Knight?

Expectations may not be high for this one, but expect an all-out effort from the Rams.

     

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