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Towson Tigers 2015-16 Preview

by - Published November 15, 2015 in Conference Notes

Towson Tigers (12-20 overall, 5-13 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Byron Hawkins
So. G Mike Morsell
Jr. F John Davis
Sr. F Timajh Parker-Rivera
Jr. F-C Walter Foster

Important departures:

G Four McGlynn (transferred to Rhode Island) is the only starter who is gone from last season.

Returning:

71 percent of scoring and 82.9 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Jr. F Arnaud William Adala Moto (transfer from Wake Forest)
Fr. F Alex Thomas
Fr. F Dennis Tunstall

Schedule Highlights:

The Tigers have six home games in a non-conference slate that is quite manageable, including a visit from former conference foe George Mason. They play three games in the Charleston Classic, starting with Oklahoma State. CAA play features a stretch a few weeks in where they play four of five on the road, followed by four of five at home. The latter will be a brutal stretch: Northeastern and William & Mary at home, at Hofstra, then Elon and James Madison at home.

Projected finish and outlook:

If there’s a potential sleeper in the conference, it’s Pat Skerry’s team. Towson has some talent, especially among its young perimeter players, but is a tough team to figure. They could just as easily make a big leap as they could finish right where they did last year with a lot of this cast back. Morsell came on late last year and could be primed for a breakout season alongside Hawkins, who showed steady progress. Davis could continue to come off the bench if he doesn’t improve defensively, but either way he should produce as he led the CAA with 12 double-doubles last season. Parker-Rivera and Foster are steady contributors up front, and they’ll get good help from the newcomers. Don’t be surprised if Adala Moto grabs a lot of minutes early, while Thomas will have to wait his turn but has the potential to be a nice player down the road. The Tigers were a solid defensive team last season, something that doesn’t always happen for such a young team. If they can replicate that, the offense should only get better, and the Tigers could make a jump well into the first division.

Next: UNCW Seahawks

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UNCW Seahawks 2015-16 Preview

by - Published November 15, 2015 in Conference Notes

UNCW Seahawks (18-14 overall, 12-6 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Craig Ponder
So. G Jordon Talley
Jr. G Denzel Ingram
So. F Marcus Bryan
Sr. F Dylan Sherwood

Important departures:

Three starters are gone from last season’s team: G Freddie Jackson, F Addison Spruill and F Cedrick Williams.

Returning:

47 percent of scoring and 46.8 percent of rebounding

Additions:

So. F Marcus Bryan (transfer from Charlotte)
Fr. G C.J. Bryce
Fr. F Devontae Cacok
Jr. G Chris Flemmings (junior college transfer)
Fr. G Trey Grundy
Jr. G Denzel Ingram (transfer from Charlotte)
Fr. G Mark Matthews

Schedule Highlights:

The Seahawks have five home games in non-conference play, highlighted by visits from defending Ohio Valley champ Eastern Kentucky and Western Michigan. They open with three straight at home. They go on the road to play at Georgetown and East Carolina, and will play two games in the Billy Minardi Classic in Louisville. After opening CAA play with two straight on the road, they play the next three at home. They start February with a key weekend at home, welcoming Hofstra and then Northeastern.

Projected finish and outlook:

Keatts did a terrific job turning around the mindset of the program in his first year. Year two is always a challenge, and this one will be a little different. The Seahawks will have more talent, but less experience, and the three starters they lose all meant a great deal to the team. They also dismissed Jarvis Haywood in October, and he figured to be an impact transfer, although he had been suspended for the first semester. But there’s still plenty of talent, and this team could certainly finish higher than they’ve been picked just like last year. Ponder, who Keatts coached at Hargrave Military Academy, had a nice season last year, while Talley made a big impact as a freshman and could make the leap to be an all-conference player this year. Transfers Ingram, Bryan and Flemmings should all help right away. There is more proven depth on the perimeter than up front, and in college basketball that is always a plus. With Keatts getting his program in place and the team adopting the attitude he wanted, the culture has changed and the Seahawks are once again a dangerous team with a homecourt that is tough for visiting teams.

Next: William & Mary Tribe

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William & Mary Tribe 2015-16 Preview

by - Published November 15, 2015 in Conference Notes

William & Mary Tribe (20-13 overall, 12-6 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Omar Prewitt
Jr. G Daniel Dixon
So. G Greg Malinowski
Sr. F Terry Tarpey
Sr. F Sean Sheldon

Important departures:

G Marcus Thornton graduated and was drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft.

Returning:

68.4 percent of scoring and 85.4 percent of rebounding

Additions:

So. G David Cohn (transfer from Colorado State)
Fr. F Hunter Seacat

Schedule Highlights:

The Tribe has a challenging non-conference schedule that features six home games, including three straight to close it out. Included are visits from former CAA foe Old Dominion, Big South contender High Point and MAC contender Central Michigan. They also travel to NC State in the season opener, then Dayton and Virginia. CAA play begins with three of four at home, followed by four of five on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

Tony Shaver continues to produce contending teams, and while the Tribe lose their all-time leading scorer in Thornton, they return a core that has been to two straight CAA championship games. That experience should certainly count for something from an intangibles standpoint, and they should be formidable. Tarpey is a tough do-everything player who led the conference in rebounding and steals and was a close second in blocked shots, while Prewitt didn’t have a sophomore slump after winning the league’s Rookie of the Year and Dixon is their best defender and a capable offensive player who could break out. Sheldon is steady inside, along with some reserves, while Malinowski seems the most likely holdover to snag the last starting guard spot unless Cohn grabs it. Oliver Tot is an intriguing prospect on the perimeter who now has a year of college under his belt, and classmate Connor Burchfield will be in the mix on the perimeter as well. William & Mary ran a great offense last season, and even without Thornton they should still be pretty good at that end since they all know how to play. They will be more balanced and should still get good shots, which they should make a good percentage of the time.

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2014-15 OVC Post-Mortem

by - Published August 24, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Undeniably, the story of the Ohio Valley Conference in 2014-15 and for much of the past 30 years starts with the Murray State Racers. The story of OVC basketball at the moment, though, currently features equal parts of the Racers and the Belmont Bruins.

Murray State was one of the most-discussed teams in the country by the end of this season after a blazing run through the regular season. The Racers shook off a shaky start to win 25 straight games, gained a spot in the national rankings and were a hot topic for their at-large candidacy for the NCAA Tournament.

… Continue Reading

2014-15 SWAC Post-Mortem

by - Published August 21, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Southwestern Athletic Conference has for some time been devoid of a signature basketball program. It now may have one. Or two.

Last year we documented the SWAC’s search for a true heavyweight program, a team to beat every season. We presented Southern, after the Jaguars had won a conference tourney championship and a regular season title in the previous two years.

We could just as easily now tout Texas Southern to take the Jaguars’ place. The Tigers have now won two straight SWAC tournament titles to make two straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. TSU also won the regular season championship this year to sweep both titles and lay its claim as the league’s top program. And the Tigers also have a regular season title from 2012-13, giving them two regular season and two tourney championships in the last three years.

… Continue Reading

2014-15 Atlantic Sun Post-Mortem

by - Published July 31, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Don’t be misled by the final regular season standings-the Atlantic Sun was a three-team race last year. And a really good one at that.

The final tally will forever show that North Florida edged out Florida Gulf Coast for the title in a terrific race that went down to the final days of the regular season. UNF stung FGCU on the road in the teams’ second-to-last game to clinch a season sweep of the Eagles and no worse than a share of the title. The Ospreys then went on to sweep through the A-Sun tournament for the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament bid.

… Continue Reading

2014-15 Horizon League Post-Mortem

by - Published July 31, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Given his status as an all-time NCAA Tournament hero at Valparaiso, one would think Bryce Drew could not do much of anything quietly at his alma mater.

So cozy are the surroundings at a small school like Valpo, though, that a former NBA first round draft pick who hit one of the great shots in NCAA history and followed his father as the program’s head coach can build a formidable program and few would know about it.

Almost silently, Valparaiso had a terrific 2014-15 season, posting a 28-6 record and winning the Horizon League regular season and tournament championships. The Crusaders also just missed posting a huge upset in the NCAAs, losing to Maryland by three points.

… Continue Reading

2014-15 Southern Conference Post-Mortem

by - Published July 31, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Tiny Wofford College was one of the hidden gems of the 2014-15 college basketball season. Just as significantly, the Terriers were exactly what the doctor ordered for the venerable Southern Conference.

Stuck firmly in the middle of the pecking order among NCAA Division I conferences, the SoCon has been hit hard by conference realignment over the past couple years. Known more for its Division I-AA (or FCS) football, the league lost Appalachian State, Elon and Georgia Southern, but the biggest blow by far for basketball was the loss of a non-football member when signature hoops program Davidson jumped ship to the Atlantic 10.

… Continue Reading

2014-15 Conference USA Post-Mortem

by - Published July 24, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

UAB coach Jerod Haase didn’t receive votes for any national coach of the year awards this year. He should have.

In fact, Haase wasn’t even named the coach of the year in Conference USA-that honor went to Louisiana Tech’s Michael White after leading his team to a second straight league title. It is hard to find a team in the country that improved more from the start of the season to the end, though, than UAB did. Given that plus the chaotic circumstances swirling around his school, there was not a coach in the country who did a better job than Haase did in making the Blazers one of the terrific (if unsung) stories of the season.

… Continue Reading

2014-15 Patriot League Post-Mortem

by - Published July 24, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Patriot League lived up to its billing as one of the most competitive conferences in the country this season. That was expected given that many teams returned a lot from last season. It was also a deep league, evidenced by the numbers and the eye test, all a sign that the league is in a good place right now.

For a lot of the season, the league race saw the ten teams separated by about three or four games. The seven games separating first from tenth at the end of the season is a bit deceiving. As the season went on, you got the feeling that Bucknell was separating themselves a bit from the rest of the pack, although Colgate took them down to the wire for the top spot. The rest of the league was up for grabs all over.

… Continue Reading

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College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

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