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Final Arch Madness Notes: Washpun adds to UNI tradition of big shots

by - Published March 9, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes
ArchMadness_withStateFarm

Maurice Newby. Ben Jacobson (the player, not the coach). Ali Farokhmanesh. Wes Washpun.

A growing history of memorable buzzer-beating shots is building at Northern Iowa. Not coincidentally, so is a record of postseason success.

Washpun’s stepback 17-footer hit the back of the rim, went straight up and rattled in to give the Panthers a 56-54 win over Evansville in the 40th annual Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and the 26th edition of the event as Arch Madness. Northern Iowa won its second consecutive MVC tourney title, its fourth in the last eight years and its fifth overall, once again establishing the purple and gold as the team to beat when this conference gathers at the end of the season in St. Louis. … Continue Reading

Despite Arch Madness loss, Southern Illinois “is back” behind always-entertaining Hinson

by - Published March 8, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes
southernillinois

At a time when any coach could’ve been excused for being disappointed, quiet and short with words, Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson was as true to himself as ever. He was indeed disappointed, and his voice softened to a near-whisper at times, but he was hardly reserved.

Fifth-seeded SIU had just lost a hard-fought 66-60 decision to No. 4 seed Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament quarterfinals, a game even closer than the final score. The game was tied with less than a minute left before UNI’s Wes Washpun-as he would so often in this tournament-delivered in the clutch, driving hard for the go-ahead basket with 47 seconds left, and the Panthers finished it off by making 6 of 6 free throws in the final 28 seconds.
… Continue Reading

Seedings reflect balance in field for ACC Tournament

by - Published March 7, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes
acc

The Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament begins on Tuesday afternoon with a pair of games featuring the conference’s bottom four teams and will crown its 2016 champion late Saturday night.

Who will that winner be?

We’ll get into that in a moment, but first here’s the schedule for the games at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. (With Louisville’s self-imposed postseason ban, 14 teams will take part. All games will be telecast on ESPN, ESPN2, or ACC Network stations.):

… Continue Reading

Evansville continues almost-silent consistency in Arch Madness win over Missouri State

by - Published March 5, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes
evansville

Seventh-seeded Missouri State had No. 2 seed Evansville right where it wanted in the teams’ Missouri Valley Conference Tournament quarterfinal Thursday night-tie game, 15 minutes to play, pressure squarely on the higher seed.

Then, with quiet efficiency on its next three possessions against the Bears’ matchup zone defense, the Purple Aces scored six straight points-layup, layup, two free throws. Evansville would not trail again.

The aura of the game suggested all was still within the balance yet with less than eight minutes left when the Bears’ Dequon Miller scored on a drive to reduce the Aces’ lead to 48-45. D.J. Balentine-the leading active scorer in the country-followed with two three-pointers. Boom.
… Continue Reading

Arch Madness-tested Northern Iowa cool, collected in holding off Salukis

by - Published March 5, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes
northerniowa

Wichita State has earned much of the recognition in the Missouri Valley Conference this year, and deservedly so, but let it not be forgotten that Northern Iowa is the defending champion of Arch Madness. And there are plenty of veterans still around from that team who know how to get the job done again.

The fourth-seeded Panthers issued a reminder on Friday in St. Louis of just how dangerous they are. Not in blowout fashion, mind you-there has been no such thing the first two days of Arch Madness this year-but with a composed, confident effort in a 66-60 win over Southern Illinois in the quarterfinals Friday. … Continue Reading

Wichita State latest top seed to sidestep danger in MVC quarters

by - Published March 5, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes
wichitastate

At the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, it’s the tradition unlike any other: the winner of the first round game between the eighth and ninth seeds annually goes on to be a real pest to top seeds in the quarterfinals.

Arch Madness is not designed with teams seeded eighth or ninth in mind. Every year, the winner of the tourney’s first game at 6 p.m. Central time on a Thursday gets a miniscule amount of time to recover, playing at noon the next day, and against the event’s top seed.
… Continue Reading

How the conferences shape up as 2016 approaches

by - Published December 29, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
author_kasiecki

Not only are we in the midst of the holidays, but conference play beckons if it hasn’t already started. Non-conference play is almost complete, and teams form impressions during this time of how they will be in conference play. Even so, as is always the case this is imperfect. Conference play is a different animal, as teams are more familiar with each other from having played each other every year. That’s why we see some teams even in mid-majors get nice wins in non-conference play, but then lose games in conference play that strike the untrained eye as head-scratchers.

It is with that in mind that we take a look at how all 31 conferences shape up based on non-conference play thus far.

… Continue Reading

2015-16 CAA Preview

by - Published November 15, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
colonial

In a conference that has seen lots of changes recently, the CAA got news of one more big one this past off-season. Tom Yeager, the only commissioner the conference has known, will retire at the end of the academic year. There is a time and place for reflection on what he has built, along with his place as a well-respected influencer in college basketball, and that will come. A more pressing question is: what kind of conference will he leave behind?

An unfortunate part of his legacy will be that the CAA was hit hard by conference realignment more than once, and that can’t be pinned on him. The first time, just after the new century, put the conference in danger, but it survived and subsequently thrived after adding strong members from another conference. More recently, however, the conference was among the hardest hit, watching signature programs George Mason, Old Dominion and VCU leave along with Georgia State, who had just turned a corner after an otherwise uninspiring tenure in the conference. Two of those four left to play Division I-A football.

… Continue Reading

College of Charleston Cougars 2015-16 Preview

by - Published November 15, 2015 in Conference Notes
charleston

College of Charleston Cougars (9-24 overall, 3-15 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Canyon Barry
So. G Cameron Johnson
Jr. G Payton Hulsey
So. F Donovan Gilmore
Sr. F James Bourne

Important departures:

G Anthony Stitt and F Adjehi Baru are starters who are gone from last season’s team. They will also be without G Joe Chealey, who will redshirt due to a leg injury sustained in practice.

Returning:

52 percent of scoring and 47.7 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Jarrell Brantley
Sr. F James Bourne (transfer from Winthrop)
Jr. G Payton Hulsey (junior college transfer)
Fr. G Marquise Pointer
Fr. G Grant Riller

Schedule Highlights:

The non-conference schedule is a little more manageable than in past seasons, but still has some challenges. Six homes games are included, with Big South defending champion Coastal Carolina, LSU and East Carolina being the most noteworthy opponents. They go on the road to play Davidson and Miami. CAA play has a tough start with three of the first four games on the road, though they later have a stretch with five of six at home.

Projected finish and outlook:

Last year was a tough transition year as Earl Grant took over in September. They won a game in the CAA Tournament, so they finished well. Now, they have a group with new players all over the floor, and Grant has indicated there will be plenty of competition for minutes and roles. That should only intensify with Chealey lost for the season due to injury, which likely means either Hulsey or Pointer gets the nod; don’t be surprised if it’s Pointer as he can play and was well-tested in high school. Gilmore showed some promise last season, while O’Donhue had 14 rebounds in their CAA Tournament win and Bourne should boost them right away as their most experienced player up front. Brantley should get every opportunity to play as well. Barry is the one guy this team can definitely hang their hat on, and Johnson should start alongside him again. The Cougars were one of the best defensive teams in the conference last season, and they’ll need to repeat that this season since they lost three of their top four scorers from last season if you include Chealey. They should be competitive, but are probably a year away from contending, especially since Chealey’s absence will mean younger players get more of an opportunity to grow now than they would have otherwise.

Next: Delaware Blue Hens

Back to CAA Preview

Delaware Blue Hens 2015-16 Preview

by - Published November 15, 2015 in Conference Notes
delaware

Delaware Blue Hens (10-20 overall, 9-9 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Kory Holden
Jr. G Cazmon Hayes
So. G-F Chivarsky Corbett
Jr. F Maurice Jeffers
Sr. F Marvin King-Davis

Important departures:

G Kyle Anderson, the team’s leading scorer, is the only key departure from last season’s team.

Returning:

83.2 percent of scoring and 91.2 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Curtis Lochner

Schedule Highlights:

The Blue Hens will be on the road a lot, as just three home games are on their non-conference slate. Two of them should be good challenges, as Bradley and South Florida come to Newark, with Fairleigh Dickinson being the other. The road portion features Iona, Temple, Ivy League contender Columbia, Boston College, Villanova and defending MAC champion Buffalo. Conference play begins with an early indication of just how good this team can be, although it features four of five at home right after they open at Hofstra. James Madison comes to town, then they go to Northeastern, who they host only nine days after playing in Boston in bit of a scheduling oddity. They also have a three-game road stretch matched by a three-game homestand later on.

Projected finish and outlook:

Delaware will be one of the more interesting teams to watch this season. They return almost everyone, though the one starter who is gone was their leading scorer last season. However, it’s almost the same team otherwise, including almost nothing in the way of additions due to Monte Ross’ contract situation last year. Now that Ross is back on campus, though, the Blue Hens can try to pick up where they left off last season, growing up during CAA play after a rough start. Holden needs to take the next step now, as he was right there in a tight Rookie of the Year race, while Hayes and Corbett will flank him. Hayes made a nice improvement last season, while Corbett was quietly one of the CAA’s best freshmen. Jeffers showed the potential to be a double-double guy at times last season, especially at the end as he finished strong. King-Davis will never make a highlight reel but is a solid presence alongside him. Devonne Pinkard and Barnett Harris, the latter of whom is the ultimate energy guy, give them some depth up front. But that’s also the concern for this team overall, although their practices will be plenty competitive as they have two transfers sitting out this season. The Blue Hens will likely go as far as their starting perimeter players can take them. It’s still a relatively young team, and feels like one that may be a year away from contending for the top spot.

Next: Drexel Dragons

Back to CAA Preview

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