Checking in on the… Patriot League

Posted by rtmsf on February 6th, 2009

Marty Leon is the RTC correspondent for the Patriot League.

Leon’s Leads - Tom Brennan to Georgia !!!  The Current ESPN Hoop analyst and Georgia Alum could bring his Vermont Magic to Athens.

Rush the Courts Ten Reasons Why Tom Brennan Could Coach Georgia !!

  1. Graduate and former player.
  2. Great Recruiter.
  3. Will demand academic performance of players.
  4. Players coach.
  5. Turned losing Vermont team into nationally respected program.
  6. Terrific at promoting University.
  7. Never takes himself to seriously.
  8. People of Georgia would love him.
  9. Beat Syracuse.
  10. Would be a great addition to homecoming festivities.

Holy Cross Getting It Done

At 6-1 in the league, Holy Cross has  proven they are for real and the top contender to take the title away from American. Freshmen R.J Evans has been awesome, averaging 13 ppg and second in the league in steals. The guard from Norwich Free Academy in Connecticut has been rookie of the week SEVEN times!!  Andrew Keister has helped carry the load, leading the Patriot in field goal percentage and seventh in rebounding. Ralph Willard has done a great job regrouping his team after a rocky injury plagued start to the season.

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Checking in on the… Patriot League

Posted by rtmsf on January 10th, 2009

Marty Leon is the RTC correspondent for the Patriot League.

American and Lehigh Collide in Conference Opener

The tension starts right away in the Patriot League on Saturday as defending champion and pre season favorite American University, host 10-4 Lehigh, in a battle of two of the leagues best.  American has momentum, riding a three game winning streak, all games in which they dominated their opponents, and won by double digit margins. Garrison Carr has led the way for Jeff Jones’ five averaging 18.4 ppg.,second best in the conference, while Brian Gilmore covers the board getting over 6 a game. American is playing like the team we thought they would be after a slow start. This does not bode well for the rest of the conference.

Lehigh just saw a five game winning streak end with a loss to an improving Princeton team.The Mountain Hawks are off to a tremendous start at 10-4 ,a school record for non league wins. Marquis Hall and Zahir Carrington are both top ten in the Patriot in scoring and rebounding.  This game will be a classic,and a sure showcase of the rest of the season as to how low scoring close games are the Patriot way.

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Checking in on the… Patriot League

Posted by rtmsf on December 13th, 2008

Marty Leon is the RTC correspondent for the Patriot League.

Patriot League Struggles Out Of Conference

Navy Sole Survivor of Titanic Two Weeks. The past two weeks have been brutal on the majority of teams in the Patriot League. Army had an unthinkable loss to Presbyterian. Holy Cross lost to midwest power(?) Loyola of Chicago. Lafayette went down to Fordham, Central Connecticut and Hartford, while a young Colgate team struggling to score, lost at home to Kennesaw State. Bucknell took it on the chin against Wagner. had a twenty point loss to Stonybrook, and preseason conference  favorite American bowed to Mount St. Mary’s.

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2008-09 Season Primers: #23 – Patriot

Posted by rtmsf on October 19th, 2008

Marty Leon is the RTC correspondent for the Patriot League.

Predicted Order of Finish:

  1. American  (24-5,  14-0)
  2. Navy  (19-10, 8-6)
  3. Lehigh  (18-11, 7-7)
  4. Colgate  (17-11, 7-7)
  5. Holy Cross  (16-14, 7-7)
  6. Lafayette  (13-15, 7-7)
  7. Army  (13-15, 6-8)
  8. Bucknell  (5-23, 0-14)

What You Need to Know (WYN2K).  The Patriot League is the second cousin of the Ivy, with academic standards for student-athletes tougher than 90% of the rest of the country.  Bucknell and Holy Cross have been the historical kings of this league until American emerged last year.  With four starters returning led by Garrison Carr, they are a lock to win the league again.  Navy’s Kaleo Kina and Lafayette’s Andrew Brown are two of the league’s best returnees.  Here’s a clip from American’s clincher last year versus Colgate (love the RTC footage). 

 

Predicted Champion.  American (#14 NCAA) should repeat as champions.  Colgate, a conference tourney finalist last year, was set to challenge until 1,000 point scorer Kyle Roemer went down for the year with an ACL tear.  The experience of American and the program’s momentum after last years great season will lead them to Selection Sunday again.  A possible #14 seed, Jeff Jones’ squad gave Tennessee all they could handle for 35 minutes in last year’s first round of the NCAA Tourney. 

Others Considered.  Navy, Lehigh, and Colgate shore up the middle of the pack.  The Midshipmen return nine of their top ten scorers.  Marquis Hall and Zahir Carrington of Lehigh are both potential all league performers and they could be a sleeper.  Emmit Davis’ Colgate five were primed for a title run until Roemer went down, but still will be a tough out.  Holy Cross is striving to return to its glory days under Ralph Willard.  Jim Crews’ Army team had a nice year in 07-08 and will compete.  Bucknell, with new mentor Dave Paulsen, has been crushed by preseason injuries and only has ten healthy bodies at this time. 

Key Games & RPI Boosters. 

  • American @ Oklahoma  (11/14/08)
  • American @ Georgetown  (12/6/08)
  • American @ Maryland  (12/22/08)
  • Colgate @ American  (2/14/09)

Neat-O Stat.  Patriot League coaches have sigificant experience at multiple levels of college basketball.  American’s Jeff Jones has been head coach at Virginia, Holy Cross’ Ralph Willard has been head coach at Pitt, and Army’s Jim Crews has been head coach at Evansville.  On the flip side, Bucknell’s Dave Paulsen has been head coach of D3 Williams and St. Lawrence, and Emmit Davis of Colgate and a member of his staff played at St. Lawrence.

65 Team Era.  The Patriot League didn’t come into existence until the 1991-92 season, but despite its pedstrian record (2-15, .118), in its short time it’s managed to make some NCAA Tournament noise over the years.  Everyone of course remembers the Bucknell upsets of 2005 (Kansas) and 2006 (Arkansas), as the Bisons made it to the second round in consecutive years.  But from 2001-03, Ralph Willard’s Holy Cross team seemed to live on throwing major scares into top-tier seeds, losing by only four to #2 Kentucky (2001), eleven to #1 Kansas (2002), and four to #3 Marquette (2003). 

Final Thoughts.  When evaluating this league, the word that comes to mind is parity.  These teams are all evenly matched so rarely do you get a blowout in any conference games.  This is a great coach’s league.   Winning at home is crucial to having a successful season.   Anyone but American emerging this season would be a huge surprise, and AmU has a chance to break through the first round and make some noise in the NCAA tournament.

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