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Atlantic 10 Notebook

December 11, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Atlantic-10 Conference Notebook

by Jonathan Scherner

Flyers crack top 25

The Dayton Flyers have broken into the Hoopville Top 25 after a week where they continued their winning streak. Dayton remained perfect in the Brian Gregory Era with home victories over Miami (OH), Wagner, and Louisiana-Lafayette. Senior forward Keith Waleskowski averaged 16 points and nine boards during the home stand. None of the victories were by more than seven points, but the Flyers got clutch threes from Ramod Marshall in all three games to pull out the victories.

Things get better for Flyers

The Flyers got even more good news when it was announced that Nick Stafford had signed with the team and will be eligible to practice with the team Dec. 18. Stafford graduated from Worchester Academy in May but was initially declared academically ineligible by the NCAA. After winning his appeal to the NCAA, Stafford signed with the Flyers. While at Worchester, Stafford averaged 10 points and six boards while playing under current Dayton assistant Mo Cassara.

GW on a roll

George Washington continued its strong play in the BB&T Classic. After a tough loss to Appalachian St., the Colonials held on against West Virginia and almost upset No. 16 Gonzaga in the finals. Junior guard TJ Thompson hit seven threes and had a career-high 28 points in the losing effort.

LaSalle breaks through

After an unexpected 0-4 start, LaSalle finally got a win over James Madison. The Explorers came up just short in trying to start a winning streak as sophomore guard Gary Neal’s 32 points were not enough in their loss at Villanova.

Conference Player of the Week

Anthony Anderson: Massachusetts senior guard

Anderson averaged 24.5 points and six boards in the Minutemen’s two games last week. He scored a career-high 29 points, including seven threes, in a victory over Vermont. Anderson followed that up with a 20 point, eight rebound performance in an overtime loss to Boston College.

Newcomer/Freshman of the Week

Daon Merritt: Richmond guard

Merritt broke Rashaun Freeman’s streak in this category as Merritt averaged 12 points and four assists a game in the Spider’s games last week. He scored a career 14 in a victory over Virginia Commonwealth and followed that up with 10 points in a loss to No. 15 Wake Forest.

Dayton Flyers (7-0)

The Flyers remained perfect on the season with three victories at home over Miami (OH), Wagner and Louisiana-Lafayette. On the season senior guard Ramod Marshall is leading the Flyers with 16 points and five assists a game. Senior forward Keith Waleskowski is just short of averaging a double-double as he averages 15 points a game and 9.7 boards. The Flyers stay at home for games with IUPUI and Prairie View before their big showdown at No. 21 Cincinnati.

Duquesne Dukes (2-2)

The Dukes won their only game last week against Loyala, Md. 70-61. Jimmy Tricco hit a three from the corner to help Duquesne hold on for the victory. Tricco had a team-high 16 on the game. The Dukes hit the road against West Virginia Wednesday night.

Fordham Rams (2-3)

After starting the season with three straight losses, the Rams have responded with a two-game winning streak. Their most recent victory came at home against Northeastern, 80-59. Michael Haynes’ 25 points and nine boards helped Fordham overpower the Huskies. The Rams will look to keep their winning ways going when they roll into Holy Cross Wednesday night.

George Washington Colonials (5-2)

The Colonials have continued to use their balanced attack as they came up just short in taking the BB&T Classic over the weekend. Pops Mensah-Bonsu exploded for 23 points and 11 boards in the win over West Virginia. It was the TJ Thompson show in the championship as he hit seven threes and scored 28 points in their 96-91 loss to No. 16 Gonzaga.

LaSalle Explorers (1-5)

After one of the more disappointing starts in the country, LaSalle seems to be finding a rhythm as they used a victory over James Madison to give them confidence against cross-town rival. The Explorers came up short, but sophomore sensation Gary Neal has found his shot as he poured 32 points on 10-of-18 shooting. LaSalle looks continue their road back at Florida International on Saturday.

Massachusetts Minutemen (2-4)

After a promising start, the Minutemen have fallen apart with losses to Boston College and Central Connecticut. While both games were one-point losses, UMass seems to be relying too much on senior Anthony Anderson and freshman Rashaun Freeman. No other player is averaging more than nine points a game. UMass looks to get back on track against Marshall in a week.

Rhode Island Rams (5-2)

In their last five games, the Rams are 4-1 with their lone loss coming in a thriller at No. 19 Syracuse. They are getting balanced scoring as Dawan Robinson, Dustin Hellenga and last year’s team MVP Brian Woodward are all averaging over 13 points a game. The Rams will next travel to Kent St. before returning home for a four-game home stand.

Richmond Spiders (4-3)

As has been the case all season, senior Mike Skrocki is continuing to lead the Spiders to some success. Skrocki had a team-high 16 points in a 70-52 win over Virginia Commonwealth and followed that up with a 21-point performance in a loss at No. 15 Wake Forest. Richmond continues their three game road trip when they travel to South Florida before taking on a very dangerous Manhattan team.

St. Joseph’s Hawks (6-0)

The Hawks continue to look unbeatable. Preseason All-American Jameer Nelson led St. Joe’s to a pair of wins over Pennsylvania and Boston College. Nelson and Delonte West combine to average 38 points a game. The only bad news for the Hawks is they found out that forward Dave Mallon will miss at least 3-6 more weeks after breaking his foot in practice in early January.

St. Bonaventure Bonnies (2-3)

After giving No. 19 Syracuse a scare last week, the Bonnies suffered an ugly loss to Canisius for their third straight loss. Marques Green led St. Bonaventure with 21 points, but needed 20 shots to get there. The Bonnies look to bounce back when they stay at home to take on Iona, one of the top teams in the MAAC.

Temple Owls (1-4)

After recording their first victory of the season over Drexel, Temple lost on the road to Arizona St. 70-66. All-American candidate Ike Diogu dominated the Owls on the inside as he scored 23 points. Dustin Salisbery had a double-double in the losing effort. Temple will continue their brutal schedule as they take on Penn St. and South Carolina.

Xavier Musketeers (4-2)

After a ten-day layoff, the Musketeers weren’t rusty as they dominated in-state rival Miami (OH) 55-36 in Oxford. All-American candidate Romain Sato had a team-high 14 points in the victory as Xavier snapped a two game losing streak. The Musketeers will next travel to Mississippi St. on Saturday.

     

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