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Scanning the Nation January 24, 2017: On Wake Forest, Tulsa, Bucknell and more

by - Published January 24, 2017 in Columns

Notes from around college basketball as we are in the late stages of January and endless bubble talk is just around the corner:

A reminder that a basketball season is a journey and doesn’t always follow a linear path annually comes right around this time of year, when conference races have started to take form. Non-conference records are often a good indicator of which teams will be finishing where in their leagues, but not always. There is always a handful of teams that-for any number of reasons-plays much better in conference than it did out of its league.
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 19, 2017

by - Published January 19, 2017 in The Morning Dish

Well, now we know what’s behind one of the real mysteries of this college basketball season: the absence of Arizona guard Allonzo Trier. It’s entirely possible that we won’t see him at all this season.

On a busy night of games, this story takes the lead. It brings in a lot of different subjects.

Trier, who just turned 21 on Tuesday, figured to be a Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate, as well as an All-America candidate after he came on strong the latter part of last season. Dillon Brooks might have been the favorite for that, but Trier was there in most projections. But he was pulled out of Media Day, and while not playing, he still sat on the bench during games, which does not always happen when a player is suspended or ineligible. As time went on and the Wildcats didn’t have him, you wondered if they were going to level off just as you thought about how good they could be with him, considering they have been winning without him.

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Box score Breakdown: St. Bonaventure 73, Fordham 53

by - Published January 16, 2017 in Columns

On paper this looked like a good chance for the Bonnies to secure a home win. We emphasize “on paper.”

First, it was not a true home game as the site was Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena. A few hours from the Bona campus and attended by a faithful traveling party, it still was not the friendly confines of the Reilly Center. Next, Jaylen Adams, the prolific Bonnie guard, was still out of the lineup with an ankle injury. Finally, Fordham was coming off a nice road win at Davidson.

St. Bonaventure was able to secure a 73-53 victory by virtue of a strong second half and a sound defensive effort. The numbers of note:

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2015-16 Atlantic 10 Post-Mortem

by - Published June 21, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Atlantic 10 celebrated 40 years in 2015-16, and it has seen a little bit of everything in the last year. In all, though, the conference looks to be in a very good place when it comes to the hardwood.

For starters, we saw Dayton and VCU remain among the conference’s elite. They were part of a three-way tie for the regular season title and were the top two seeds in the conference tournament. VCU had some growing pains in Will Wade’s first season at the helm, but they grew into a solid team that won an NCAA Tournament game.

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Richmond 70, Fordham 55: Box score breakdown

by - Published March 10, 2016 in Columns

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The thinking was given their defensive stance and how they finished up the season on a strong note, Fordham might surprise and hang around a bit. Instead, Richmond, which struggled to defeat the Rams earlier at Rose Hill, took care of business in resounding fashion.

The 70-55 victory in the Atlantic 10 second round action at Barclays Center highlighted some of the season-long traits of Chris Mooney’s club. The offensive efficiency was a stellar 113. The Spiders shot a 52 percent eFG percentage, including .579 from two point range. Care for the ball was exhibited with a 15 percent TO rate. The difference was defense. Fordham’s was not up to par, Richmond was well above average in limiting the Rams to an 87 offensive efficiency.

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Fordham’s impressive start is drawing attention

by - Published December 9, 2015 in Columns

BRONX, N.Y. – Fordham’s 86-54 defeat of Central Connecticut on Saturday raised the Rams’ record to 6-1. Observers are starting to take notice. Let’s say Fordham gained a fair amount of attention just three days earlier. A thorough dismantling of St. John’s will do that.

The Red Storm were defeated handily, 73-57 before a packed house at the historic Rose Hill Gym. It was the type of game Fordham faithful will save their ticket stubs from, in loving memory.

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New season, new challenge for Fordham’s Jeff Neubauer

by - Published November 12, 2015 in Columns

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Media day seems far removed. The season is upon us, with the opening tip reduced to hours as opposed to weeks or days. There is a significant task ahead in this new season. Jeff Neubauer knows this and accepts the challenge. The new Fordham coach realizes the road ahead and admits, among all that is facing him and the staff, job one for his team is defense. The Rams were subpar on offense last season posting a 96 offensive efficiency in Atlantic 10 play. On defense, the efficiency was 103, a figure over the norm of acceptability to moving up in this competitive conference.

“We are challenge our team to take it up and become an Atlantic 10-level defensive team,” Neubauer said back at the conference media day. “We want our defense to be a man to man and become a aggressive in half court.”

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2014-15 Atlantic 10 Post-Mortem

by - Published July 17, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Atlantic 10 was bound to have a hard time duplicating the success of the 2013-14 season, and that is exactly what happened. That reality is much less an indictment of the conference in 2014-15 than it is a reminder of how historically good the preceding season was. In the end, the results show a mixed bag of promise and concern for the conference heading into next season.

Davidson joined the conference and showed they have much more going for them than being the school that produced NBA MVP Stephen Curry. The Wildcats came seemingly out of nowhere to win the regular season title outright. Besides the fact that they were coming from the Southern Conference, they played a very soft non-conference schedule, so they weren’t exactly projected to make a grand entrance into the conference. But they kept on winning, having gained confidence with their non-conference wins. They were one of three teams to reach the NCAA Tournament, but the conference’s streak of seven straight years with at least one team in the Sweet 16 was snapped.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 31, 2015

by - Published March 31, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The thinking seems to be that the main motivation for St. John’s to be ready to hire Chris Mullin is that the school wants to follow the Fred Hoiberg Model of hiring an alumnus who was a former NBA front office before making a splash as a college coach.

That may be true for St. John’s, but it also oversimplifies all of what the school will get when it hires Mullin, an announcement that is expected to happen Wednesday.

In hiring Mullin, St. John’s will be bringing back one of its greatest players, a three-time All-American and, perhaps even more impressive, three-time Big East Player of the Year, in an era when guys such as Patrick Ewing and Pearl Washington were in the league. It also will be bringing in a local product in New York City, which even in what is considered a state of decline is still a fertile recruiting area.
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, March 19, 2015

by - Published March 19, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Calm in the face of daunting situations. Both Robert Morris and Dayton had it Wednesday night, and as a result, both are moving on in the NCAA Tournament.

Meanwhile, Boise State was unable to come up with another spirited road win. One more gutsy road win than the Broncos ever should’ve had to earn.

Much like Hampton and Mississippi on the first day of the NCAA Tournament, the two teams advancing from Wednesday night’s First Four games did not panic in tough spots. Both Robert Morris and Dayton rallied from deficits late, with the Colonials getting by North Florida 81-77 and the Flyers nipping Boise State 56-55.
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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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