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Atlantic 10 Notebook

November 26, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Atlantic-10 Conference Notebook

by Jonathan Scherner

St. Joseph’s Belongs

13th-ranked St. Joseph’s and Jameer Nelson started the season off by proving they both belong.

Nelson, a Preseason All American, was just two rebounds away from a triple double, but that didn’t matter as he led the Hawks to the 73-66 upset victory over 12th-ranked Gonzaga in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Over 4,000 St. Joe’s fans bought tickets for the event to watch the teams go at it for the third straight season. Despite Nelson hitting just six of 20 shots from the field the Hawks’ fans chanted “You can’t guard him” to any Gonzaga defender who would listen. Late in the second half, the Bulldogs cut an 11-point deficit to five, but Pat Carroll banked in a three to put the game away.

Nelson had team-highs of 20 points, 10 assists and eight boards, and Delonte West hit four threes to add 16 points in the winning effort. Cory Violette led the Bulldogs with 13 points and 15 boards. Blake Stepp, last season’s West Coast Conference Player of the Year, struggled from the field in going 2-for-12.

Flyers Start Strong

The Dayton Flyers also got off to a strong start as they opened the Brian Gregory era in a commanding fashion on the west coast. The Flyers dominated Pepperdine, 90-77, then won their first game of the Maui Invitational over Central Michigan, 82-63. Gregory’s new fast paced style features guard Ramod Marshall, who had 32 points in the two victories. Interior workhorse Keith Waleskowski carried the Flyers in the Maui victory with 17 points and 13 boards as Dayton pounded Central Michigan 40-25 on the boards.

LaSalle Swept

LaSalle has been unable to live up to expectations early in the season as they got swept in the Paradise Jam Tournament in the Virgin Islands. Losses to Wichita State, Hampton and Appalachian State have many people wondering if the Explorers young talent played above them selves last season. The Explorers may have suffered another blow when last season’s Rookie of the Year Gary Neal bruised his left knee and missed the final game of the tournament. Luckily for head coach Billy Hahn, Neal is not expected to miss much time.

Muskies Coping with Loss

Xavier doesn’t seem to miss David West so far this season as the Musketeers took the championship in the Dell BCA Classic. Guards Romain Sato and Lionel Chalmers led the way for Xavier as they combined for 31 points in their championship game victory over Oakland. Chalmers took home MVP honors after averaging 15 points and four assists a game.

Spiders Advance

The Richmond Spiders advanced to the championship game of the Guardians Classic after victories over Mississippi Valley State, New Hampshire and San Francisco. Mike Skrocki was named the Richmond regional MVP after scoring 18 points in both victories to propel the Spiders to the semifinals. In the semifinals, it was Skrocki who again led the way against San Francisco with a game-high 16 points. Kevin Steenberge added 11 points to help the Spiders advance to the championship game against South Carolina Tuesday night.

Conference Player of the Week:

Jameer Nelson: St. Joseph’s Sr. G

Nelson came up two rebounds shy of a triple double in the Hawks 73-66 victory over 12th ranked Gonzaga. Nelson finished with 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in St. Joe’s first win of the season.

Freshman/Newcomer of the Week:

Rashaun Freeman: Massachusetts So. F

Freeman averaged 14 points and 8.5 rebounds in the Minutemen’s two preseason NIT games. Freeman had 11 points and 14 boards in their 80-58 win over St. Francis (NY.) and then added 17 points in a losing effort at Texas Tech.

Dayton Flyers (2-0)

Dayton went west and took on Pepperdine in Malibu, Ca. Ramod Marshall and Sean Finn led the way for the Flyers with 21 and 19 points, respectively, in the 90-77 victory. Five Flyers hit double figures, including Warren Williams with a career-high 11 points. Monty Scott also scored 11 in his first game at Dayton. The Flyers then traveled to Hawaii to play in the EA Sports Maui Invitational. In the first round Dayton took down Central Michigan 82-63. All five starters hit double figures and the Flyers were led by Keith Waleskowski’s first double-double of the season, as he had game-highs of 17 points and 13 boards. Dayton continues play in the second round against San Diego St. Tuesday night.

Duquesne Dukes (0-0)

The Dukes fell to EA Sports 81-78 in their final exhibition game of the season. Kameron Sufi hit a three at the buzzer to propel EA Sports to the win. Jimmy Tricco led four Dukes in double figures with 19 points. Bryant McAllister added 17 and Elijah Palmer had 13 points and a team-high eight boards. The Dukes open their season Tuesday night when they take on Prairie View A&M at the Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh. Siena comes to town four days later to wrap up the Dukes’ Thanksgiving schedule.

Fordham Rams (0-1)

The Rams got off to a rough start as they lost 94-64 at Memphis in new head coach Derek Whittenberg’s first game. The Rams hit 10 three-pointers in the losing effort and were led by Mark Jarrell-Wright’s 19 points and Michael Haynes added 17. The Rams will try to rebound when they travel to Siena Tuesday night.

George Washington Colonials (1-0)

The Colonials upset future Atlantic 10 member Charlotte in a 80-76 victory at Charlotte. J.R. Pinnock scored with 31 seconds left and Carl Elliot made a couple of crucial steals to seal the victory for the Colonials. T.J. Thompson led the way with 19 points and Pops Mensah-Bonsu added 14. George Washington will try to keep their good play going when they take on Florida International Tuesday night in their home opener.

LaSalle Explorers (0-3)

The Explorers are not living up to preseason expectations as they dropped their first three games of the season in the Paradise Jam Tournament. Despite 22 points from Gary Neal, last season’s A-10 Rookie of the Year, LaSalle was upset at Wichita State 74-71. Things didn’t get much better at Hampton as the Explorers went down 68-64. Steven Smith led the way with 17 points and David Bell added 11 in the losing effort. The ugly tournament play continued when the Explorers lost the fifth place game, 59-48 to Appalachian State The Mountaineers used a 17-4 run to start the second half to grab the momentum and take control. Jermaine Thomas led LaSalle with 15 points. Neal did not play in the game because of a bruised left knee, but he is expected to be back for the Explorers next game at Lafayette Saturday afternoon.

Massachusetts Minutemen (1-2)

After taking down St. Francis, NY in the first round of the Preseason NIT, the Minutemen lost at Texas Tech in the quarterfinals. Anthony Anderson scored a game high 21 points in the 80-58 victory over St. Francis (NY) and Rashaun Freeman had a double-double in his first college game with 11 points and 14 boards. Things took a turn for the worst in the quarterfinals as UMass fell 90-50 to Texas Tech. Freeman had 17 points and Stephan Lasme had a game-high 13 rebounds. After wrapping up play in the Preseason NIT, the Minutemen went down 72-66 to Hartford as the Hawks led the entire game. Gabe Lee led UMass with 16 points. The Minutemen host Vermont before traveling to Boston College on Dec. 6.

Rhode Island Rams (1-1)

The Rams used 20 points from Dustin Hellenga to drop Northeastern 89-77 at home in the first round of the Las Vegas Invitational. Five players scored in double figures for the Rams as they dominated throughout. It didn’t go as well against Lubbock Christian, who knocked off the Rams, 74-68. Dawan Robinson scored 26 points for the Rams, but it wasn’t enough to over come Jared Fears’ 24 points and eight assists. The Rams will next head west to Las Vegas to take on Miami, Fla. before heading to New York to take on reigning national champion Syracuse.

Richmond Spiders (3-0)

Mike Skrocki and the Spiders are on a roll in the Guardians Classic, reaching the finals with a win over San Francisco. Richmond used 16 points from Skrocki and 11 from Kevin Steenberge to pull out the 66-59 victory. Skrocki led the way in the first round victory over Mississippi Valley St., 62-46, and Eric Zwayer added 10 points and nine boards. The Spiders’ four seniors combined four 45 of the team’s 63 points in their 63-49 win over New Hampshire. Skrocki led the way once more with 18 points. The Spiders will take on South Carolina in the championship game Tuesday night.

St. Joseph’s Hawks (1-0)

Jameer Nelson is leading the way for the Hawks as expected, as he led St. Joe’s over 12th ranked Gonzaga. Nelson had 20 points, 10 assists and eight boards in a performance that earned him A-10 Player of the Week honors for the sixth time in his career. Delonte West added 16 points and hit four three-pointers to help Nelson. The Hawks hit the road to take on Boston University and Old Dominion over the next week.

St. Bonaventure Bonnies (1-0)

The Bonnies got off to a good start in their effort to put last season’s disaster behind them with a 78-76 victory over Robert Morris. Marques Green played all 40 minutes and had five assists to go along with his game-high 28 points. Patrick Lottin added 14 points in the win. St. Bonaventure will try to keep the good play going when they host Arkansas-Little Rock Tuesday night.

Temple Owls (0-1)

The Owls didn’t put up much of a fight against cross-town rival Villanova in their 73-48 loss. In a game that started just after midnight, four of Nova’s seven active players scored in double figures and the Owls were never able to climb into the game. David Hawkins had 16 points to lead Temple. The Owls were playing without starting center Keith Butler, who sprained his ankle in their last exhibition game and is questionable for Temple’s next game at 13th ranked Illinois.

Xavier Musketeers (3-0)

Lionel Chalmers propelled the Musketeers to the championship at the Dell BCA Classic. Chalmers was named MVP after scoring 20 points in Xavier’s 76-66 victory over Oakland in the championship. In their first round victory over Coppin State, Romain Sato hit five three pointers to set the school’s career three-point record and lead the Musketeers to a 62-37 victory. Anthony Myles carried Xavier in their second round match up with Mercer, exploding for 14 of his team high 15 points in the second half to lead the Musketeers to a 72-58 victory. Xavier hits the road for a four game road trip that includes Ball State Tuesday night and Indiana Saturday.

     

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