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Colonial Notebook

January 21, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Colonial Notebook

by Adam Shandler

The Return of Rick

They put the ”hemp” in Hempstead. Before the season, senior two-guard Rick Apodaca and Sophomore forward Wendell Gibson got caught with their hands in the dime bag and were sentenced by Hofstra University to sit out the first 14 games of the year. Both players returned to the floor on Saturday to help the Pride defeat conference foe Old Dominion, 69-65. Apodaca made up for the lost time, shooting 10-of-17 from the floor for 34 points, 22 in the second stanza. Gibson also made his presence felt with 2 points, 6 boards and 3 blocks. Apodaca moved into 16th place on HU’s all-time scoring list, but fans will always think what might’ve been if he stayed off the wacky tabacky.

With Apodaca and Gibson back in the lineup, and with Kenny Adeleke a powerful rebounding force upfront, the 2-4 (CAA) Pride could make some noise in the season’s second half.

Who Can Catch The Seahawks?

UNC-Wilmington is red hot. The 4-1 Seahawks have won 8 of their last 9, including five straight on the road and own sole possession of first place in the conference. Coach Brad Brownell’s squad is coming off a statement week with a punishing win over James Madison (73-59) and a victory over foremost contender Delaware (68-62). Center Craig Callahan has been a machine. Against JMU, he had 34 points and 11 rebounds and poured in 13 points and had 8 rebounds against the Blue Hens.

As of this writing, the Seahawks lead the CAA in five statistical categories, including shooting percentage, at 45.9%, and 3-point field goal percentage, 36.7%.

Tigers Grab First CAA Win Of The Season

The Towson Tigers got into the conference win column this past Wednesday to snap a 7-game losing streak. The win came at the expense of Hofstra, 61-54. Defense won this one, as Towson held the Pride to just 32.1% shooting for the game and denied HU a FG for the last 4:46.

Towson went back to their losing ways against a hot-handed Drexel club on Saturday. Falling to the Dragons, 85-56 in Philly, Drexel shot an astounding 56.7% from the field and a stunning 69.2% from 3-point range. The Dragons were the first CAA team this season to shoot over 50% from beyond the arc.

The Tigers are in the midst of a three-game road mission that doesn’t get any easier. Next up: UNC-Wilmington and second-place Delaware.

Capel Watch

So how’s former Dookie Jeff Capel doing in his first year of head coaching? Not bad at all. The Virginia Commonwealth Rams are 8-6 overall and 3-3 in the conference. However, this club is suffering from a case of inconsistency. (It’s going around.) After a key CAA win over George Mason, 68-56 last week, the Rams coughed one up in double overtime to William and Mary, 88-83. The latter was a shame, considering VCU had 25 offensive rebounds as a team.

Coach Capel is getting good production out of guard Domonic Jones, who last week had 14 points and a season-high tying 6 assists against GMU. Freshman Nick George is a gem for this team, as he posted his fifth double-double of the season against W%#37;#38;M (12 and 12).

If they can get on and stay on the winning track, VCU may be a burr in the heels of UNCW and Delaware come conference tourney time…and they may compete for market share with A-10 upstart Richmond. The Rams face the Seahawks this week, as well as James Madison, at home.

The Tops

According to Colonial Athletic Association, the conference is well-represented in several national individual stat categories. In the top 10 are:

Mike Ames, Delaware, 2nd in free throw percentage, 94.9%
Robert Battle, Drexel, 4th in blocks, 3.5 bpg
Kenny Adeleke, Hofstra, 5th in rebounding, 11.5 rpg

The Perfect Storm

UNCW’s Brett Blizzard may not be in the top 10 in any national stat category, but he is 11th in the nation in 3-pointers made per game (3.7) and 12th in 3-point field goal percentage (48.9%). In addition, the senior guard and 2001-02 conference player of the year is now third-best all-time on the conference 3-pointers-made chart (308) and needs only 21 to break the CAA record. The NCAA Senior CLASS award finalist also leads the conference in steals per game (2.2) and is fifth on the conference list for career steals (211).


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