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February Quick Hitters

February 2, 2008 Columns No Comments

First Weekend in February Beckons

by Phil Kasiecki

Some quick hitters as we approach the weekend:

  • Defense is sure to be a big theme in Rhode Island’s preparation for Dayton on Saturday. When the teams met last month in Dayton, the Rams weren’t happy with their defensive effort as the Flyers shot 62 percent from the floor en route to knocking off the Rams.
    “The main thing we didn’t do is get stops,” said Rhode Island forward Kaheim Seawright, who had 16 points and nine rebounds against Richmond on Wednesday night. “That’s what we want to do differently, get more stops.”
    The Rams have won three in a row and have a chance to establish even more momentum with the Flyers coming to Kingston. The Flyers are also short-handed due to injury, adding to the opportunity the Rams have.
  • Meanwhile, don’t sleep on Richmond. The Spiders are young (just three upperclassmen), but they’re better than advertised as they’re athletic, active and move the ball very well. They do need to cut down on turnovers, but they also force a lot of turnovers as well. Dan Geriot, David Gonzalvez and Ryan Butler lead a promising group of sophomores, while freshman Kevin Anderson should run the show for the next three years as well as this one.
  • Is there a preseason top 10 team that’s fallen off the radar more than Michigan State? The Spartans aren’t being discussed much, but they have quietly run out to a 19-2 record, the best 21-game start in school history. The loss at Iowa wasn’t a good one, but lots of teams have worse losses than that.
  • Just another night in the Pac-10: Three of the four road teams won in Pac-10 games on Thursday night, with UCLA being the only team to win at home. Six teams are separated by two games in the standings in the nation’s best conference from top to bottom.
  • Herb Pope’s eligibility at New Mexico State might have made them look like favorites on paper, but let’s remember something as the Aggies are now 5-3 in the WAC: he only practiced for a limited amount of time before playing. A newcomer at midseason is very hard to integrate into a team even when he’s practiced all season long, let alone for a few days before playing. Add in the discipline problems the Aggies have had, and it’s not a surprise that Pope’s addition hasn’t vaulted them right to the top almost magically.


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