RTC Conference Primers: #28 – Patriot League

Posted by Brian Goodman on October 7th, 2010

Kevin Doyle is the RTC correspondent for The Patriot League.

Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Bucknell (10-4)
  2. Lafayette (9-5)
  3. Holy Cross (8-6)
  4. American (8-6)
  5. Lehigh (8-6)
  6. Colgate (5-9)
  7. Navy (5-9)
  8. Army (3-11)

All-Conference Team (key stats from last season in parentheses)

  • CJ McCollum (G) – Lehigh (18.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.3 apg)
  • Jordan Sugars (G) –  Navy (15.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg)
  • Jared Mintz (F) – Lafayette (14.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg)
  • Andrew Keister (F) – Holy Cross (10.4 ppg, 9.4 rpg)
  • Vlad Moldoveanu (C) – American (19.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.1 apg)

Sixth Man

  • Devin Brown (G) – Holy Cross (13.2 ppg, 45.4 3pt%)

Impact Newcomer

  • Troy Brewer (G) – American (transferred from Georgia)

Navy's Jordan Sugars is ready for another big season in the fiercely competitive Patriot League.

What You Need to Know

  • Gone are the days where Bucknell and Holy Cross had supremacy against the six other members of the Patriot League. In three years ranging from the 2004-05 season to the 2006-07 season, the Bison and Crusaders compiled a gaudy 74-10 record in Patriot League action. In this span, Bucknell garnered two NCAA Tournament wins (Kansas and Arkansas), while Holy Cross had an NIT victory (Notre Dame). Times have changed, however, as storied coaches Pat Flannery (Bucknell) and Ralph Willard (Holy Cross) have moved on to other endeavors. Since then, the Patriot League has become one of the most competitive leagues in the country in terms of balance within the conference. Jeff Jones at American hit the lottery with a dominant backcourt in Garrison Carr and Derrick Mercer, who nearly pulled off a dramatic upset of Villanova two years ago, and Lehigh saw freshman sensation CJ McCollum carry them all the way to a Patriot League title just a year ago. In the 2010-11 campaign, however, it is anyone’s guess as to whom will be standing atop the pedestal come year’s end. Lafayette and Bucknell have the most talent coming back, American has Player of the Year candidate Vlad Moldoveanu playing for the entire season (he missed the fall semester last year), Lehigh has McCollum back after his rookie season that saw him dominate Patriot League competition by averaging 23 points per contest, and Holy Cross returns a boatload of talent, but will be playing under their third coach in three years.

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NCAA Preview: American Eagles

Posted by nvr1983 on March 17th, 2009

American University (#14, East, Philadelphia pod)
vs Villanova (#3)
Thur, 3/19 at 7:20 PM
Vegas Line:  +16.5

General Profile
Location: Washington, DC
Conference: Patriot League, automatic bid
Coach: Jeff Jones, 149-120
08-09 Record: 24-7, 13-1
Last 12 Games: 12-0; 13-game winning streak
Best Win: Manhattan (60-48 on 12/29 on the road)
Worst Loss: George Washington (63-50 on 12/17 on the road)
Off. Efficiency Rating: 104.3, 118th nationally
Def. Efficiency Rating: 98.6, 124th nationally

Nuts ‘n Bolts
Star Player(s): Garrison Carr (17.8 PPG) & Derrick Mercer (11.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 4.4 APG)
Unsung Hero: Brian Gilmore (12.4 PPG and 5.4 RPG)
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): N/A
Key Injuries: N/A
Depth: 21.4% (328th nationally); the bench accounts for 21.4% of the team’s total minutes
Achilles Heel: Free throw shooting (64.8% as a team)
Will Make a Deep Run if…: Dante Cunningham and Scottie Reynolds get in foul trouble. Realistically they might have had a chance if the NCAA hadn’t given their opponent a home game. They would have a better shot being a #15 seed playing a #2.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: Villanova doesn’t get lost on the way to the arena in its hometown.

NCAA History
Last Year Invited: 2008; Lost to Tennessee in the 1st round
Streak: 1 year
Best NCAA Finish: 2008; 1st round
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): -0.04; on average, they win 0.04 less games than expected based on their seeding each year they make the NCAA tournament

Distance to First Round Site: 137 miles
School’s Claim to Fame: According to The Princeton Review, they are the most politically active campus in the nation (not surprising because of their location). According to PETA, they are also the most vegan-friendly campus. They have dry dorms.
School Wishes It Could Forget: Outside of its choice of name (now known for being those cheap stores in the mall with everything 70% off all the time)?  See the last two sentences (above). Any time PETA likes you, it’s not something to be proud of.
Prediction: American is a fine team but they’ve drawn a buzz saw — Villanova basically at home.  Obviously an upset of major proportions if AU could pull it off…but I wouldn’t count on it.
Major RTC stories: Patriot League Wrapup & Tourney Preview

Preview written by Rush the Court.

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