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UNC Wilmington Seahawks 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 9, 2011 in Conference Notes

UNC Wilmington Seahawks (13-18, 7-11)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Tanner Milson
Sr. G Trevor Deloach
So. F Donte Morales
Jr. F Keith Rendelman
Jr. C Matt Wilson

Important departures:

G Chad Tomko (17.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 4.3 apg), G Ahmad Grant (7.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and G Darryl Felder (2.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg) graduated.

Returning:

55.5 percent of scoring and 70 percent of rebounding

Additions:

The Seahawks have eight freshmen, all of whom should get opportunities to play right away.

Fr. F Nate Anderson
Fr. F Dylan Sherwood
Fr. F Cedric Williams
Fr. F Luke Hager
Fr. G Freddie Jackson
Fr. G Craig Ponder
Fr. G K.K. Simmons
Fr. G Adam Smith.

Schedule highlights:

The Seahawks will spend a lot of time away from home in nonconference play, with trips to Maryland and Dayton highlighting the road slate. One home game is a very good one, as Conference USA sleeper Marshall comes to town in November. In CAA play, they play three of four on the road in the annual stretch with four games between Saturday and the following Saturday. After that, however, they play three of four at home.

Projected finish and outlook:

Seahawk fans will need to get a program with eight freshmen on the roster this season. There’s some talent, but the lack of experience and the usual inconsistency of freshmen means there will be more ups and downs than usual. Fortunately, they went overseas in the summer, which allowed the staff to get an early look at the freshmen.

The holdovers are not to be forgotten, starting with Rendleman, who has been very business-like and gives them an active forward who competes at both ends. Trevor Deloach and Tanner Milson have talent in the backcourt, and Donte Morales, who has been more vocal this year, looks poised to make a jump up front alongside Rendleman. Matt Wilson had his moments last year and will get opportunities as well, so there are some existing pieces to help the freshmen along.

A nice addition for this team will be size, as three of the newcomers are 6’9″ or 6’10″, and that will help Rendleman be even more effective. Peterson has preached patience from the outset, and that will be necessary this year. But with the pleasant surprise of last season’s performance and a reasonably good group of holdovers, this team might be a little better than some might expect.

Next: VCU Rams

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VCU Rams 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 9, 2011 in Conference Notes

VCU Rams (28-12,12-6)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Darius Theus
So. G Rob Brandenburg
Sr. G-F Bradford Burgess
So. F Juvonte Reddic
So. C D.J. Haley

Important departures:

Four starters that keyed last season’s epic Final Four run have departed: G Joey Rodriguez (10.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg), G Brandon Rozzell (11.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg), G Ed Nixon (7.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg), F Jamie Skeen (15.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg)

Returning:

39.1 percent of scoring and 49.1 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Treveon Graham
Fr. F Jarred Guest
Fr. F Heath Houston
Fr. G-F Reco McCarter
Fr. G Teddy Okereafor
Fr. G Briante Weber

Schedule highlights:

The nonconference slate is a little like the one the Rams had last year: good, but not full of opportunities for wins that will make the NCAA Tournament selection committee take notice. They play in the Charleston Classic, opening with Seton Hall and then facing either Georgia Tech or Saint Joseph’s. They later head to Alabama, play George Washington at the Verizon Center in the BB&T Classic, and host Richmond and UAB. In CAA play, they have a stretch of three straight at home followed by three straight on the road, and play their two games against George Mason within the final two weeks of the regular season.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Rams still have plenty of talent, but this team lost a lot of experience and, more importantly, intangible value with their departed players. That means Burgess has to be the leader he’s capable of being, as the only senior, and many other players have to adapt to new roles. Brandenburg, Reddic and Haley all showed potential last year in more limited roles, and now they’ll have to show that they can do the same thing with more minutes and bigger roles. It would also help if Theus can settle the point guard spot, although it wouldn’t be a surprise if Okereafor (a late signee who was originally in the high school class of 2012) eventually starts there, and Weber figures to get a lot of minutes as well.

The Rams should be able to make up for the production they lost, but the real question is if they can reach the same place as far as intangibles are concerned. If that happens, the Rams should at least wait until Saturday of the conference tournament before playing their first game and another postseason trip should be in the offing. Shaka Smart is 10-1 as a head coach in postseason play in his young career.

Next: William & Mary Tribe

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William & Mary Tribe 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 9, 2011 in Conference Notes

William & Mary Tribe (10-22, 4-14)

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Brandon Britt
So. G Julian Boatner
Sr. G Kendrix Brown
Sr. F Quinn McDowell
So. F-C Tim Rusthoven

Important departures:

F Marcus Kitts (9.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) is the only starter gone from last season’s team.

Returning:

85.6 percent of scoring and 83.6 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Tom Schalk
Fr. G Marcus Thornton

Schedule highlights:

The nonconference slate isn’t loaded with landmines by a long shot, although they open at rebuilding St. John’s and later host Richmond and travel to Missouri. They will play Liberty both at home and in Lynchburg, with the latter being the last of three games there as part of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. In CAA play, they will close out January with a brutal stretch of five games in ten days: at VCU, UNC Wilmington, Drexel, at James Madison and at Old Dominion.

Projected finish and outlook:

Last season, the Tribe was not far away from being a significantly better team in wins and losses after losing a number of close games. Now the young guards have had a chance to grow up, and the team seemed to go as they went once the calendar turned to 2011. The Tribe will need them, especially early as injuries have ravaged the frontcourt in the preseason. McDowell, Rusthoven and Kyle Gaillard all missed significant preseason practice time, and the frontcourt was where the questions would be on a fully healthy team aside from McDowell, one of the top players in the conference.

This means the Tribe will need senior JohnMark Ludwick and sophomore Fred Heldring to make big leaps, and likely means they will play smaller for a while as well. Head coach Tony Shaver said this team is likely to go with a true three-guard lineup more often this season, especially since Thornton will be too good to limit his minutes, Brown has gamely battled injuries to be a valuable player and Matt Rum has good experience but can shoot better than he did last season. If the Tribe can get healthy and stay that way, they could be a sleeper team; but injuries have a way of derailing seasons for even the best teams, and the Tribe don’t enter this season with a great deal of room for error in the first place.

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Providence Has New Coach But Same Old Players

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – As Providence College enters the 2011-12 season, there’s a tale of the new and the old. The new is reason for optimism, the old is reason for patience if you’re a Friar fan, and there was a little more of the old on Saturday as the Friars narrowly escaped their second exhibition game with a 76-75 win over a UMass-Lowell team that projects to be one of the best in Division II.

 

Last season was a forgettable one in Friartown, at least once Big East play began. The Friars looked improved in non-conference play, especially defensively, but they did that against a weak schedule. That became apparent once they started losing games in Big East play en route to a 4-14 mark, which led to the end of the Keno Davis era and the hiring of Providence native Ed Cooley to take his place. Cooley’s hire brings excitement because of his track record and being a hometown hero, but the story doesn’t end there.

 

… Continue Reading

New-Look Eagles Have a Long Way to Grow

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Get a program, Eagle fans. You’re going to need it. While you’re at it, you might also want to get some patience, if that’s possible.

 

The most salient thing about this year’s Boston College team is what’s new about it. 11 players are new, including seven scholarship freshmen on what might be the youngest college basketball team in some time. Among the holdovers, only three have even appreciable experience playing games in the program (senior John Cahill and sophomores Gabe Moton and Danny Rubin), and only one other has significant Division I experience (junior Matt Humphrey, a transfer from Oregon). Also noteworthy is that there is no one who played during the Al Skinner era save for senior walk-on Peter Rehnquist.

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Reaching the Postseason Again Will be a Tall Order for URI

by - Published November 5, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island has been a consistent postseason team in recent years and a fairly solid upper-half team in the Atlantic 10 during that stretch. If they are to continue that this season, a lot of unknowns need to become known, and in a positive manner.

 

You could tell listening to head coach Jim Baron that this team enters the season a little different from the last few. Whereas each of those teams had some significant contributors returning, and thus had some known quantities, this one really lacks that. Gradually, this team has lost some very good players little by little, and it’s debatable whether they’ve replaced them with comparable combinations of talent and experience. That leaves him with his current team, which he described after their first exhibition game on Friday night.

 

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Lots of Learning Ahead in the CAA

by - Published October 24, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

We’re going to learn a lot about the Colonial Athletic Association this season. That might seem obvious considering many will be interested to see how the teams in the conference respond after the great success of last season, but there’s a different angle in mind with that: it’s a conference in some transition from a personnel standpoint. It’s not exactly the “get a program” type of transition, but suffice it to say that as we enter the season, a lot of teams have more questions than answers in that area.

 

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CAA Hopes Postseason Success Helps Continue Its Rise

by - Published October 23, 2011 in Columns

The postseason success of last season for Colonial Athletic Association schools is both fresh in our minds and a distant memory at the same time. George Mason won a game in the NCAA Tournament, Old Dominion nearly knocked off national runner-up Butler in the first round, and no one will forget VCU’s magical run to the Final Four. Getting three teams in the NCAA Tournament made it a historical year for the conference; having the added postseason success, especially with a second team making it to the Final Four in six years, was more than just the icing on the proverbial cake.

 

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Wilbraham & Monson Tries to Contend With a Plethora of Guards

by - Published October 13, 2011 in Columns

WILBRAHAM, Mass. – Back in July, Wilbraham & Monson Academy looked like its quick rise since Chris Sparks took over the program was poised to reach a high point. Two big-time prospects, both good friends and travel teammates, had committed to come to the school. In the end, one went back to the public school he attended his first three years and the other opted to go to college instead of a post-graduate year. While the projections for this team won’t be the same as they were in July, the Titans will still put a good team on the floor, albeit one with a little less size.

 

Leading the way will be three main point guards, starting with Jaylen Brantley (5’9″ Jr. PG, Springfield (MA)), who returns for his second season at the school. A consistently good point guard for the BABC program the last couple of years, he’s always calm and can just as easily burn a defense with several three-pointers as he can by finding teammates. On Sunday, his mid-range game was on display.

 

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2011 Season of Beantown Slam League is Underway

by - Published October 11, 2011 in Columns

DORCHESTER, Mass. – The 2011 Beantown Slam Basketball League is in full swing, and as has always been the case the action is competitive. The renovated Dorchester House is still home to all the action, with many games having a packed house for an audience.

 

While the league once again boasts most of the schools from the Boston City League, there is good company for them from outside the city. Plenty of good schools from outside the city like Boston College High School, Catholic Memorial, Lynn English and Newton North are competing and at least giving the city schools all they can handle. A couple of them came up just short on Saturday in mid-afternoon games, and with that, we take a look at some notes from the league up to this point.

 

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College Basketball Tonight

COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, who will be joined by former Manhattan and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show will air on AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on every Sunday from Selection Sunday to the Final Four. You can listen to the show here.

Your Phil of Hoops

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Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

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Cornell’s future can only be better

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Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

2013 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: St. Andrew's
Sept 10: Tilton
Sept. 11: South Kent School and Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 12: Putnam Science Academy
Sept. 16: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 17: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 23: New Hampton School
Sept. 24: Brimmer and May
Sept. 25: Proctor Academy
Sept. 26: Notre Dame Prep and Cushing Academy
Sept. 29: Worcester Academy and Vermont Academy
Oct. 6: Charlestown High School and Milton Academy
Oct. 13: Tabor Academy
Oct. 15: Brooks School

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Cesar Fulcar commits to Wentworth

The senior guard led Watertown to the state semifinal this past season

Travel team profile: Bay State Magic

Bay State Magic doesn’t have much size on their junior team this season, so they’ll have to win with execution and intangibles

Travel team profile: Mass Elite

Mass Elite is one of the largest travel teams in the state despite being relatively new

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is already moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter