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Big East Notebook

March 3, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Big East Notebook

by Kevin Reilly

… And Down the Stretch They Come

We have finally reached the last week of the regular season and still many issues
remain unsettled. There is congestion at both the top and bottom of the standings
of each division. Who will get the top seed? Who will be shut out of the tournament?
The sixteen game schedule has clearly reinforced the word “parity.”

Too Hot To Handle

Boston College and Seton Hall were the two hot teams in February. After mediocre starts, these two schools certainly picked the right time to step it up. The Hall was
7-0 for the month beating Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Villanova along the way.
Boston College has taken eight of their last nine and finally measured up to some of their pre-season expectations.

They have been led by the backcourt exploits of two of the leagues outstanding performers. The Pirates’ Andre Barrett has registered double figures in points in 33 straight ballgames and shot three-pointers at a 50.8% clip. The Eagle’s Troy Bell
is now the Big East’s fifth all-time leading scorer and should pass Kerry Kittles in his his next outing.

Two big men have aided the cause for these ballclubs as well. Andre Sweet, the Duke transfer, has come up big as of late. Coincidentally, Sweet and Barrett were high school teammates. Craig Smith from Boston College has been in the shadow
of fellow frosh Carmelo Anthony but is putting up big numbers as his 20.6ppg
scoring average and league leading 59.7% shooting marks attest to.

The Hall takes on Pittsburgh Wednesday night at Pitt. Now, that’s a big ball game.
Who would have ever thought Louie Orr would be coaching in a big game come March. This guy has definitely silenced his critics.

Orange You Playing Some Good Ball?

The Syracuse Orangemen have quietly emerged as perhaps the Big East’s most feared team. Sure there’s been hype about Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, UConn and others but Jim Boeheim’s squad has the best record in league play at 11-3 (actually tied with Pitt) and an overall record of 21-4. They are undefeated in 15 Carrier Dome
contests.

Carmelo Anthony is most likely the league’s best player. His running mate, fellow
firths year player, Gerry McNamara just had a 41 consecutive free throw mark snapped. This teams has a lot of other weapons as well in Duany, Edelin, Warwick Forth, and McNeil.

A Silver Lining in the Scarlet Clouds

Just when you thought it was time to collect the balls down in Piscataway, Rutgers
jumps up and bites Notre Dame. The dormant Knights upended the # 9 Irish this past Saturday. This team has enjoyed a superior home court record but this year has struggled. Despite an off year they have now managed home upsets of Syracuse and Notre Dame. Jerome Coleman scored 27 in this one and now has 950 points in only two seasons.

Hall of Fame Material

On the women’s side, UCONN’s Lady Huskies continue to roll. Recently they won their 64th straight contest and Coach Geno Auriemma presented a ball to the president of the Hall of fame. They are 25-o this year after running the table last season to the tune of 39 victories for the season resulting in their third national championship. Next up is UCLA’s streak of 88 straight back in 1971-74. This bunch just reloads each year with high caliber players like Sales, Shea, Bird, and Taurasi.

This Just In

St.John’s has upset No. 6 Duke at the Madison Square Garden. This deems well
for the conference. The Johnnies have had an up and down campaign as their 13-12
record depicts quite well. Coach Mike Jarvis’ contingent tallied the last 12 points in this one and bigtime guard Marcus Hatten won the game in the waning moments with a steal and subsequent free throw with no time left on the clock. The win snapped Duke’s 26 game non-conference winning streak over three seasons.

     

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