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MEAC Notebook

December 5, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



MidEastern Athletic Conference Notebook

by Joaquin Mesa

This conference has seen better days. The only win worth noting was a first game victory by Hampton over La Salle, but then Hampton lost five straight. There is one team that is five hundred and a few that have won a game. Let’s just get right to it then won’t we…

Howard Bison (2-2)

71-51 L at North Carolina State
79-72 W St. Francis (PA)

The only team to have at least a .500 record did so with big wins over a couple of pushovers in St. Francis (PA) and Florida International. James Wilkinson had a career high against St. Francis (PA) with 28 points, 17 in the second half to help the team come back from being down by 7 at the half. Daryl Hudson is the freshman that has played his way into the starting line-up, not to mention getting the bulk of minutes early in the season. He is averaging 24 minutes a game and is the team’s fourth leading scorer. It’s always nice to see a young player doing this early in his career, but what is most amazing is that he is shooting a team leading 61% from the field. Go freshman, go freshman, it’s your birthday, we going to party like it’s your birthday! No Bacardi though. Big games against Georgetown and West Virginia in a couple of weeks will help prepare the Bison to challenge early within the conference.

Coppin State Eagles (2-5)

76-56 L at Cincinnati
70-61 L at Missouri

The poor Coppin State Eagles have played the toughest schedule in the conference, and their record shows it. The one thing that settles their mind is that they are tied for the most out-of-conference wins in the conference. How does something like that happen when they play the likes of Xavier, Cincinnati and Missouri so early in the season? Well, it has to be because they have played seven games already. In 16 minutes per game, Henry Colter is averaging 1.6 blocks a game. This freshman is being worked slowly into the offense, despite starting 6 games. Look for him to be more of a factor come conference play.

Jimmy Boykins is playing a good amount of center, but at 6-7 he might be a better fit at power forward. However, you can never tell in these smaller conferences. I know I would feel more comfortable with a seven footer in there, but who am I? Boykins is carrying the team so far, but he isn’t rebounding, something that a center MUST do. The biggest problem with this team so far has been turning the ball over, but who can blame them when they are playing the schedule that they are. Even the San Diego team that they beat was quality, so I’d officially like to give props to this team for battling so hard. They played a tremendous game against Missouri, having the lead most of the game before Missouri finally woke up and took over in the end.

“I did watch the Oakland game and I understand what they had to do,” Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell said. “We tried to put pressure in the front and in the passing lanes and I think my kids did a pretty good job especially in the first half.”

It’s always nice to have a coach who knows what he is doing.

Delaware State Hornets (1-2)

63-54 L at Georgetown
59-48 W at Wagner

What did I tell you…Fairfax High to the rescue. Jahsha Bluntt shot 3 of 7 from the arc in their win over Wagner on his way to 11 points. He is their second leading scorer behind Carlos Hawkins. He is second on the team in minutes behind their senior point guard Miles Davis, all 5 foot 5 inches of him. The Hornets victory, though not pretty, was hard earned. After playing UNLV and Georgetown to relatively close games, both under ten point margins of victory, Delaware was happy to get a non-major conference foe. They will have some tough games against Michigan and Nebraska coming up, not to mention Charlotte, which beat up on Syracuse.

Morgan State Bears (1-2)

76-75 W Fairleigh Dickinson
76-66 L at Virginia Tech

The conference battle between the Northeast conference and the MEAC conference heated up with the Bears victory over Fairleigh Dickinson, picked to finish last in the Northeast Conference by Hoopville staff writer Keith Burdette. What a battle this was, a one point thriller in the end. True, it was two free-throws that did it, but none the less a thriller. Center Aaron Andrews leads the team in points and rebounds, but neither are impressive stats. However, he is doing this while playing only 26 minutes a game, which is very impressive. Also, special thanks to the Morgan State fans that tormented our Senior Writer Phil Kasiecki into getting the right Morgan State website link over to the right. It’s been fixed.

South Carolina State Bulldogs (1-2)

71-51 W at Eastern Washington
81-46 L at Florida State

It’s either blow out or get blown out with the Bulldogs. In the Florida State loss, Thurmann Zimmerman, whom I projected to be the team leader and the only person in the conference able to rebound, scored 25 points. The rest of the team scored 21 on 3-36 shooting (8.8 percent). Thurmann is leading the team with 20 points per game as well as grabbing 2 steals per game. This guy is looking to be dominant, let’s just give him a few bad teams to run up his stats on…please.

Hampton Pirates (1-5)

96-82 L Akron

83-70 L at Davidson

When Atlantic 10’s La Salle swaggered onto the court and promptly got handed their first loss by Hampton in the Paradise Jam Tournament, things were looking up for a Hampton team that is extremely young. Well, the next five games they showed their age, losing five straight to non-major conference teams. What happened? It could be that the bulk of the shots are coming from two guards, and that will never make the frontcourt happy, or persuade them to get rebounds, which is a problem outside Devin Green, one of the guards taking all the shots. I mean, look at Jarret Jack of Georgia Tech, who scores 14 a game while only shooting 8.7 shots a game. Now, look at Jeff Granger, who scores 14 a game while taking 13.3 shots a game. This isn’t good. One team is a contender that has taken out two ranked teams, the other is Hampton.

MD Eastern Shore (0-1)

85-61 L at Auburn

Tee Trotter impressed in the opening loss to Auburn, but little else went right. Trotter, a twenty points a game guy from last year, scored 21 and had 5 threes on 6 attempts. He also had 4 steals. This team plays Illinois on Dec.11, and it’s the one game I’m looking forward to watching out of this conferences schedule. Don’t miss it!

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (0-2)

68-63 L Maine
69-49 L at Creighton

Nobody on this team is averaging double figures in points or rebounds. In fact, nobody is averaging over 5.5 rebounds a game. The one bright spot is Dajuan Clayton hasn’t missed a three point attempt yet this year, but they play Nebraska and Kansas State soon, so that might change. It most likely will, but good luck Dajuan while the streak survives.

North Carolina A&T Aggies (0-2)

86-59 L Radford
75-42 L at Saint Louis

After a 63 point loss to Charlotte, the team infamous for beating Syracuse, the Aggies couldn’t fall any lower. But, then they lost by 27 to Radford and by 33 to Saint Louis. Thus, they have lost by an average of 39 points. This is impressive considering…oh wait, no it isn’t. It’s sad, and predictable for the team that was picked last by yours truly in the conference. No one on the team even averages double digits in any category – the closest is senior forward Chris Ferguson, who is averaging 9.7 points along with 8.7 rebounds. He’s going to need some help with upcoming games against Miami and Wake Forest.

Florida A&M Rattlers (0-4)

92-62 L at North Carolina State
102-78 L at Florida

It has been a tough schedule to date for the Rattlers. It can only get better, oh wait, Georgia and Marquette are still on the schedule. Wow. I guess that this team will be extremely prepared for the conference schedule, and they did put up 78 against Florida, whish isn’t bad. Their problem doesn’t seem to be scoring, with Terrance Woods throwing up threes left and right. Their problem seems to be defense, with their center Michael Harper averaging only .5 blocks a game. When you are a small team, you better hit more shots then the other team, and the Rattlers haven’t done it yet.

Norfolk State Spartans (0-4)

80-56 L at UMKC
76-53 L at Georgetown

The Georgetown loss, though a 23 point blowout, was a step in the right direction. In the Spartans earlier 84-42 loss to Wyoming of the Mountain West Conference, they were out-rebounded 40-23 and only shot 2-19 from the arc and 16-62 from the field. Against Georgetown they started to find a bit of consistency, being out-rebounded by only 6, and shooting 7-17 from the arc and 19-48 from the field. Their problem in their recent games wasn’t any of these stats but rather their turnovers. Against UMKC they turned the ball over 32 times. Against Georgetown they turned the ball over 26 times. This won’t get it done, but the coach can only teach one thing at a time. Keep moving in the right direction team.

     

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