Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Touring the Northeast

January 27, 2003 Columns No Comments


Touring Around New England

by Phil Kasiecki

Slow Starts Leave Eagles on Edge – Season’s Edge, That Is

The problems Boston College has are numerous this season: no proven shooter besides Troy Bell, a lack of depth and especially with Uka Agbai out for the season, and perhaps most notably, they have played poorly at home and have had to play catch-up in many games. It’s all starting to catch up to Al Skinner’s club now.

After two straight wins that might have brought them back to life, the Eagles dropped two this past week, a 94-83 decision at Villanova and a 101-96 overtime to decision to Notre Dame. The Irish won both games in their tour of New England this week, as they similarly thwarted an upset bid in Providence on Tuesday night behind a solid game from sophomore point guard Chris Thomas.

The Eagles fell behind early at Villanova on Wednesday night en route to losing to a Wildcat team that quietly was 5-0 in Big East play before losing at Connecticut on Saturday. The Eagles had won six straight games against Villanova, their longest streak in a series once dominated by the Wildcats. Villanova started off with a 22-6 run before the Eagles started to come back, but they did not have the energy to finish the comeback. On Saturday, they fell behind 15-4 early, and trailed for most of the first half before an 18-3 run to start the second half gave them the lead.

The Eagles also continue to struggle at Conte Forum, as they have the worst home record in the Big East at 5-4 and struggled at home much of last season as well. The Eagles are now in trouble for the NCAA Tournament, as they would need a miraculous run for the remainder of conference play to even be in a position to reach the NCAA Tournament without winning the Big East Tournament.

Huskies Rally To Hand Terriers First America East Loss

Boston University and Northeastern were going in opposite directions in America East play when they met at Case Gym on Saturday. The Terriers entered as the only undefeated team in conference play, while the young Huskies picked up their first conference win last Saturday against New Hampshire. But typical of rivalry games such as this one, the records get thrown out, and perhaps more so because Northeastern has looked all season like the type of upstart that just might pull off an upset or two with its ability to get out and run and score plenty of points.

Like Boston College, the Huskies have been known to fall behind early, which they did in their loss at Stony Brook on Wednesday and again on Saturday. The Terriers led by as many as 12 in the first half and by 16 a few minutes into the second half. But they came right back by scoring seven straight points in just over two minutes, then turned it up at the defensive end and had a run of 14 unanswered points later. The final minutes had back and forth play, but Jose Juan Barea (18 points) hit a three-pointer with 35 seconds left that gave the Huskies the lead for good as they took home a 72-69 victory.

Sylbrin Robinson continues his solid play up front for the Huskies, as he had another double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Huskies will need him and others in the frontcourt to show up this week, as they host Binghamton and Hartford this week.

For the Terriers, the sophomore slump of Chaz Carr continues. He missed all four of his field goal attempts and fouled out in just 18 minutes, a far cry from the success he had against the Huskies last year that included a career-high 35 points in an overtime win at Northeastern. He leads the team in assists and steals, but is shooting under 33% from the field. On the bright side, the Huskies had no answer for Rashad Bell, who has had a solid month of January. Bell had 24 points on 9-12 shooting and hauled down 7 rebounds. For the month of January, he is averaging 14.7 points per game and earned America East Player of the Week honors earlier in the month.

Minutemen Are On The Board

On Saturday, the only two Atlantic Ten teams without a conference win matched up in the nation’s capital, and Massachusetts came away with a 75-70 victory for its first conference win. The signs are bright for the future as well, as freshmen Mike Lasme (career-high 24 points) and Jeff Viggiano (13 points) and sophomore Gabe Lee (15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks) led the way. The Minutemen shot over 49% from the field, including over 35% on three-pointers.

They allowed Chris Monroe to score 28 points, but they kept him off the glass as he had just 2 rebounds before fouling out.

Not only did the two teams enter Saturday’s contest winless in conference play, but also as teams with young players that point to a bright future. George Washington has three good freshmen of their own in forwards Mike Hall, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Omar Williams. Hall looks to be the best of them, as he leads the team in rebounding and is third in scoring, and will only get better as he gets stronger. Mensah-Bonsu has been an efficient scorer and rebounder, while Williams is an older freshman and really needs to get stronger, but has shown plenty of promise.

Hunt and Brown Passed Exams And Are Turning It Around

When Brown started the season 1-7, it looked like a disappointing season was ahead in Providence. Senior Earl Hunt, a two-time first team All-Ivy League selection and now the all-time leading scorer at Brown, was struggling with an injury suffered in the team’s second game of the season and eventually sat two games. At the time, he was averaging under 12 points per game, well below his career average of 18.8 per game entering the season.

Then final exams came. The Bears had a nine-day break, and it was just what the doctor ordered. Hunt got healthy, and so did the Bears.

Hunt matched his career high with 39 points in their next game at Central Connecticut, a 75-67 win. Since that time, the Bears have gone 6-2, including winning their first two Ivy League games, and Hunt has been the catalyst. He is averaging over 25 points per contest and shooting over 44% from behind the three-point line since then, and the Bears can win games with others leading the way.

Friday night, they hosted Yale, less than one week after a big 78-66 win in New Haven. At first, it looked like the road team might have the edge in this season’s series, as the Bulldogs jumped out to an early 9-2 lead and led head coach Glen Miller to call a 30-second timeout. Whatever Miller said during the timeout worked, as the Bears ran off 16 unanswered points, then ran off another 11 shortly thereafter in a 27-4 run that gave them the lead for good. The Bears shot over 64% from the field in the first half.

The Bears got a huge lift from the bench, especially in the first half when all but 2 of their bench points came. Last Saturday against Yale, their bench produced just 7 points, but in the first half alone, they got 25 points on 11-11 shooting. Junior forward Jamie Kilburn was the primary contributor, as he had 14 of his 16 points in the first half and made it look easy. Harold Bailey, who was 3-12 on three-pointers entering the game, hit all three of his attempts in the first half en route to 11 points. The Bears also went 33-35 from the foul line, including 24-26 in the second half when they went ice cold from the field.

Other Notes From Around the Nation

John Chaney’s time may be coming. Chaney sat for most of Temple’s recent game at Rhode Island, with assistant Nate Blackwell being up off the bench and directing the team most of the game. Blackwell is considered by many to be on the fast track to ascending to a head coaching position before long, and there is word from another close to the school that this might be it for the Hall of Fame coach.

The focus on Saturday night’s game in Berkeley between California and UCLA was undoubtedly on the continuing struggles of the Bruins, but that shouldn’t be the case. The Golden Bears are one of the better surprises of the season after key personnel losses from last season were then accompanied by the late transfer of last season’s starting point guard, Shantay Legans. The Golden Bears have emerged as Arizona’s top contender in the Pac Ten as they are 7-0 in conference play and 14-2 overall. Senior Joe Shipp is having an All-America-caliber season, while Amit Tamir has anchored the post nicely and the support has been well-balanced. They are the top three-point shooting team in the conference, and only Arizona State turns the ball over less among Pac Ten teams.

Oklahoma State has the nation’s longest winning streak at 14 games, and Louisville and Michigan are nipping at its heels with 13-game winning streaks of their own, but another right behind both is Stephen F. Austin, which is quietly 9-0 in the Southland Conference and has won 12 straight games.

     

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

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

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2018

February 22, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with floor issues in the Big East and an important NCAA ruling that was upheld. Then we go on to the Big 12, where Wednesday night had a new twist, as well as the ACC and how it shapes up along with no team going undefeated in conference play this year.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 7, 2018

February 7, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a big sweep in the SEC, look back on the wild Saturday, then talk about a Big Ten showdown and some undefeated teams in conference play.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 31, 2018

January 31, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a lot of what has happened in the ACC and SEC, including the Big 12/SEC Challenge, whether or not Kentucky is turning a corner, as well as the story at Michigan State.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 26, 2018

January 26, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a wild night in the Big Ten, adversity and a quiet leader in the ACC, what to make of Kentucky and look ahead to the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

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.