Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Conference USA Notebook

December 1, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Conference USA Notebook

by Zach Van Hart

Take that, national champs

Syracuse is the defending national champs. They went 17-0 at the Carrier Dome last year. They were ranked No. 6 in the preseason Top 25 poll. And Charlotte promptly marched in and knocked off the Orangeman Wednesday night, 96-92.

The win was a coming-out party for junior guard Brendan Plavich. The transfer from Vanderbilt scored 31 points for the Niners, hitting 10 three-pointers. He also had company, as Eddie Basden and Curtis Withers each scored sixteen points.

The 49ers shocked Syracuse by getting out to a huge first half lead, going into the locker room ahead 50-29. Plavich did the majority of his damage early, scoring 22 points during the first half.

The Orangeman made a furious comeback throughout the second half, getting the lead down to 93-90 when Gerry McNamara hit a three-pointer with 17.8 seconds left. Basden nailed two free throws to push the lead to five and seal the upset.

After losing its first game to George Washington at home, the win at Syracuse was part of a 3-0 week for Charlotte. The Niners had two easier contests, beating North Carolina A&T 102-39 on Monday and NC Asheville 92-65 on Sunday.

Cards go down; former coach whips up on old conference

No. 20 Louisville finally started its season Saturday on national TV. The rust is still not off, as the Cardinals lost in overtime to Iowa, 70-69. Luke Whitehead led the Cards, scoring eighteen and grabbing fourteen rebounds. Francisco Garcia finished with seventeen and Taquan Dean had fifteen, but it wasn’t enough.

Pierre Pierce hit one-of-two free throws with 9.2 seconds remaining in overtime to win it for the Hawkeyes. Tied at 63 after regulation, Iowa scored the first six points of overtime before Larry O’Bannon hit two three-pointers to tie it. After an Iowa miss and a Louisville turnover, Pierce’s free throw put the finishing touches on the win.

While Rich Pitino fell to 15-3 in season-opening games, his former assistant Mick Cronin paid a visit to a former opponent and wiped the floor with them, as Murray State smashed Southern Miss Saturday 94-54. The Racers shot 62 percent from the field and were never challenged.

Charles Gaines led the Eagles with eighteen points and eleven rebounds. Dante Stiggers and Jason Forte struggled in the backcourt, combining for six points on three-of-fourteen shooting, along with five turnovers to go with seven assists.

Memphis gets payback

Last year, Austin Peay walked out of the Pyramid with an 81-80 overtime win. Memphis was not going to let the Governors do it to them twice, as the Tigers turned a 32-all game at halftime into a 74-60 win Saturday.

After the Govs made a 19-3 to get the game tied at the half, Memphis came roaring back to take control, as the lead never got below double digits during the last ten minutes of the game. The Tigers once again used a balanced attack to take care of an opponent, as four players scored in double digits.

The difference proved to be at the free throw line, as the Tigers shot 20-of-29 from the stripe while Austin Peay only went six-of-eleven. It appears Memphis made fourteen more free throws and won by, yep, fourteen.

Stepping up early on

A couple of seniors have stepped up their play so far this season, those players being DePaul’s Delonte Holland and Cincinnati’s Tony Bobbitt. Both had big games over the weekend and have been steady during the first couple of weeks.

Holland has been down right explosive, averaging 21.3 points during his first four games, more than double what he averaged a year ago. Holland has been steady from the field every game, shooting right at or above 50 percent. He is also averaging just under eight boards per game and has more assists than turnovers.

Bobbitt scored 21 points against Coppin State Saturday, the second time in three games he has gone for 21. He also recorded a school-record eight steals against the Eagles, four of which lead to uncontested dunks.

Big win for Bulls, McCullum

Yes it is still very early, but USF’s 64-62 win at Valparaiso Tuesday evening was a big win for both the team and new head coach Robert McCullum. Coupled with the Bulls’ 74-59 win against Wright State Saturday and they are sitting at 3-0 to start the season.

Valpo is no slouch, as it showed taking No. 24 Marquette to the wire two weeks ago in Milwaukee before losing 75-69. At home, it appeared the Crusaders had the upper hand but USF made the big plays down the stretch.

Bradley Mosley led the Bulls with sixteen and scored the game-winner, a lay-up with a little more than a minute remaining. From there on USF simply held on, and when Valpo’s Ali Berdiel missed a shot at the buzzer it had the win.

Player of the week

Brendan Plavich, Charlotte – The Vanderbilt transfer announced his name to nation against No. 6 Syracuse, scoring 31 points on 10-of-17 shooting from downtown as the Niners won 96-92. In three games, Plavich averaged 21 points per game and went 20-of-35 from beyond the three-point line. Out of Plavich’s 49 attempts from the field through four games, 47 have been three’s.

Games to watch

Notre Dame at Marquette, Monday at 9 p.m.

Travis Diener and Chris Thomas are two of the best point guards in the nation and will be a great showdown. This will be the Golden Eagles’ first test of the year.

Louisville vs. Western Kentucky at Nashville, Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

The Cards continue to play on neutral courts. The Hilltoppers are always tough and Louisville will have to play better than it did against Iowa to win its first of the season.

Arizona at Saint Louis, Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Billikens will be looking for some redemption after getting blown out by the Wildcats last year, 91-58. SLU always plays good teams tough at home.


Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


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.