ACC Afternoon Five: 12.28.11 Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on December 28th, 2011

  1. Washington Post: Alex Len, the 7’1″ Ukranian freshman is set to debut tonight as Maryland takes on Albany. Len was serving an NCAA suspension for violating amateurism policies while playing for a Ukranian club. The addition of Len to the lineup along with the recent re-entry of Pe’Shon Howard into Mark Turgeon’s rotation bodes well for a Maryland team that has under performed in the first season of the post-Gary Williams era.
  2. Richmond Times-Dispatch: After the loss of two players to transfer, Virginia probably felt like it had something to prove against the over-matched Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks. The Cavaliers stomped their opponents as they waltzed to the team’s best start in over a decade. As expected, Paul Jesperson burned his redshirt and made his debut in this game, spelling the starters admirably. The Wahoos look pumped and primed for conference play to begin.
  3. Roanoke Times: The gradually unfolding story of the Virginia Tech placekicker robbing the home of Virginia Tech shooting guard Dorenzo Hudson is getting stranger and stranger. After the kicker and his friends allegedly invaded Hudson’s home, looking for marijuana that Hudson’s roommate had taken, the two roommates later went out to find the three invaders and got into a physical conflict. If this is news to you, you aren’t alone, considering that the Hokies athletics director Jim Weaver stated that he had no knowledge of this second confrontation. He was also quick to shoot down the idea that the basketball team had a “marijuana problem,” an idea that has apparently been floating around since forward Jarrell Eddie was charged with marijuana posession in the spring.
  4. Duke Basketball Report: Barry Jacobs takes some time to look at the free throw dominance of Atlantic Coast Conference teams in the past decade. Very few teams have managed to make more free throws than their opponent attempted, but currently North Carolina, Virginia, Duke, and Maryland all belong to this rare club. Though Jacobs acknowledges that all four are unlikely to maintain this status until the end of the season, teams that have managed free throw dominance over the course of a whole season have been wildly successful in the NCAA Tournament.
  5. ESPN: Robbi Pickerall profiles Denzel Robinson, a member of North Carolina‘s junior varsity team and son of assistant coach Steve Robinson. Since he was twelve, Denzel Robinson has watched his father and Roy Williams coach from the end of the bench, first at Kansas and now at North Carolina. Robinson has had a closer view of the players and coaches than just about anyone, and now, playing his second year of JV basketball, he seems poised to try out for a varsity roster spot next year, potentially earning a spot back on the bench where he sat for so many years.
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ACC Game On: 12.27.11 Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on December 27th, 2011

After a basketball hiatus, the ACC comes roaring back with a full slate of highly competitive games for us to watch! Wait, what’s that? There’s only one game? And it’s not supposed to be that competitive? Well, fine. Basketball is basketball and for Atlantic Coast Conference fans, this is all we have for tonight.

The Only Game

  • Maryland Eastern Shore at Virginia at 7 PM

Virginia remains ranked as they keep taking care of business against lesser opponents. Last week, Mike Scott walked away with the ACC Player of the Week award as he continues his spectacular final campaign with the Cavaliers. While Tony Bennett‘s team is still dealing with the departure of sophomore K.T. Harrell and redshirt freshman James Johnson, the Wahoos easily have the players to handle a Maryland Eastern Shore team that has struggled all season. The Hawks have yet to win a game on the road and struggle to shoot the ball. Against Virginia’s stifling pack-line defense in Charlottesville, Maryland Eastern Shore is going to have a hard time scoring. Expect the Cavaliers to win this game in a romp.

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RTC Conference Primers: # 31 – MEAC

Posted by jstevrtc on October 3rd, 2011

For our complete list of 2011-12 conference primers working backward from #31 to #1, click here.   

Readers’ Take I

Top Storylines

  • Turmoil at Bethune-Cookman.  Bethune-Cookman is the defending regular season champion, but can they concentrate on basketball? Since least season, the school has fired Clifford Reed, its head coach for the previous nine years, because of “insubordination and failure to cooperate” during an investigation of the basketball program. His son, C. J., was last year’s conference Player of the Year and the league’s top scorer, but was named (not charged) in a now-closed sexual assault case and has left the college. The elder Reed is suing the school for wrongful termination. Forget that the Wildcats will be under new leadership and have to place replace C.J.’s scoring; will they be able to concentrate on hoops with this stuff hanging over the program all year?
  • NCCU Wild Card.  We ask the above poll question about North Carolina Central because even though they’ve been readmitted to the MEAC, the Eagles welcome three transfers from Power Six conferences (on whom more in a bit). In the few pre-season writeups we’ve seen so far, NCCU has been predicted anywhere from first to 12th. They’re by far the biggest wild card in this conference this season.
  • MEAC Parity.  From 2000 to 2009, the MEAC post-season tournament saw only two schools claim more than one title (Hampton and South Carolina State). Hampton took the conference tournament crown last year and won the honor of a 16-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Morgan State took the two before that, and Coppin State won in 2008. Those three schools have separated themselves in recent years as the top programs in this league. Which one will rise up this year, or can another squad challenge that trio?

Predicted Order of Finish

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O26 Primers: Atlantic 10, MAC and MEAC Tourneys

Posted by KDoyle on March 8th, 2011

RTC’s Kevin Doyle, author of the weekly column, The Other 26, and the Patriot League Correspondent, will be providing conference tournament previews for all non-BCS conferences.

With the completion of several conference tournaments over the weekend, the field of 68 is slowly beginning to take shape, but there is still much to be determined. The kicking off of the Atlantic 10, MAC and MEAC conference tournaments later today will weed out even more teams as we approach Selection Sunday. The Atlantic 10 is definitely a multi-bid league—it is just a matter if two or three teams make the field—while the other two conferences will only have one representative in this Tournament.

Atlantic 10

The Favorite: There was little doubt heading into the season that Xavier would be a formidable team in the Atlantic 10 and one that could do some damage throughout the season. They advanced to the Sweet 16 last year and returned do-it-all player in Tu Holloway, but after a rollercoaster non-conference performance that saw the Musketeers go 8-5 questions were raised. All these questions were answered and more as they went 15-1 in the A10. Although Temple and Richmond are right on their heels, Xavier is the team to beat heading into the tournament.

Dark Horse: Richmond concluded their season with four straight wins—all coming by double digits—and Chris Mooney has the Spiders playing some great ball. The dynamic and versatile Justin Harper is capable of taking over a game, and Kevin Anderson is a steady point guard that has the scoring ability of a shooting guard. Currently, Richmond is on the outside looking in of the NCAA Tournament and a strong run in the A10 tournament will be needed to earn an invitation to the Dance.

Who’s Hot: Aside from a fluke four point loss to Charlotte in the middle of their A10 slate, Xavier went perfect in the conference and has only two losses in 2011.

Player to Watch: If there was a player in the A10 capable of putting a team on his back and carrying them to a few wins in the tournament, it is St. Bonaventure’s Andrew Nicholson. The senior from Ontario has scored more than 30 points on four occasions this year and hit buzzer beaters in consecutive games against Buffalo and St. John’s. Nicholson is a scorer and is clutch: watch out for him.

First-Round UpsetSt. Joseph’s over George Washington. It took a while for one of the youngest teams in the nation to become acclimated to the college game, but St. Joseph’s youngsters are starting to come around. The Hawks began their A10 schedule with an 0-8 record, but went 4-4 the rest of the way.

How’d They Fare? The Atlantic 10 had a very successful regular season as they placed three teams in the Tournament, but two of them struggled and were unable to get out of the first round. Temple, the highest seed of the three at #5, lost to Cornell in the first round. #7 Richmond struggled to keep up with Omar Samhan and St. Mary’s losing 80-71. The saving grace was #6 Xavier who defeated Minnesota and then upset Pittsburgh in the second round. The Musketeers were very close to defeating Kansas State and advancing to the Elite Eight, but fell 101-96 in double overtime.

Interesting Fact: The A10 has been a multi-bid conference ever since 2005, and that looks to continue this year with Xavier and Temple being safe bets to earn a bid to the Tournament regardless of what happens in the conference tournament.

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RTC Conference Primers: #30 – MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on October 5th, 2010

RTC is still seeking a MEAC correspondent.  If you are interested in covering this league, email us for further information at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Morgan State (13-3)
  2. South Carolina State (12-4)
  3. Norfolk State (10-6)
  4. Delaware State (9-7)
  5. Bethune-Cookman (9-7)
  6. Maryland-Eastern Shore (8-8)
  7. Hampton (8-8)
  8. Howard (7-9)
  9. North Carolina A&T (6-10)
  10. Coppin State (4-12)
  11. Florida A&M (2-14)
  12. Savannah State (*provisional member — ineligible for postseason and league awards)
  13. North Carolina Central (*provisional member – ineligible for postseason and league awards)

All-Conference Team

  • CJ Reed (G) — Bethune-Cookman
  • Hillary Haley (G) – Maryland-Eastern Shore
  • DeWayne Jackson (F) — Morgan State
  • Kyle O’Quinn (F) – Norfolk State
  • Kevin Thompson (F) — Morgan State

6th Man

  • Darnell Porter (G) — South Carolina State

Impact Newcomer

  • Dominique Sutton (F) — North Carolina Central.  NCCU isn’t yet playing a complete MEAC schedule nor is it eligible for postseason play this year, but the Eagle program is already making noise on the recruiting trail with the announcement of high-major transfer Sutton returning to Durham to suit up for his hometown team.  As of this writing, the 6’5 junior forward who averaged 7.2 PPG and 5.8 RPG as a full-time starter last season for Kansas State was practicing with the team and awaiting an NCAA decision on whether he can play this season.  He moved back east to be closer to his girlfriend and two daughters in Durham, and the wing player who terrorizes the glass on the offensive end (especially given his size) will automatically become one of the best players in the MEAC as soon as he is eligible.

Bozeman is Building Quite the Program in Baltimore

What You Need To Know

  • All Morgan, All the Time. Todd Bozeman has built a powerhouse in Baltimore to the tune of three straight regular season titles, two straight NCAA bids, and a 46-6 record against MEAC teams the last three seasons.  But like all consistently great programs, Morgan doesn’t re-build anymore as much as re-load.  From Jamar Smith to Marquis Kately to Reggie Holmes to the next generation (Thompson and Jackson), Bozeman continually has high-mid major talent playing for him.  The Bears’ strategy is clear — play a tough non-conference schedule to build up their RPI (beating DePaul, Maryland and Arkansas in recent years), dominate the MEAC, and get back to the NCAA Tournament.  Morgan State earned #15 seeds the last two seasons, but they haven’t yet been matched up against the right team in order to pull off the upset — #2 seeds Oklahoma (2009) and West Virginia (2010) were simply too powerful inside for them to handle.  Could it come this season?

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Checking in on the… MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on February 6th, 2009

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the SWAC and MEAC Conferences.

The big news in college sports this week was national signing day for high school football players. But basketball is king in the MEAC, so we look back on the obvious, the shocking and the downright ugly in this week’s wrap-up.

THIS WEEK – And here come the Coppin State Eagles. Again. Last year’s team ripped off eight of their last nine regular season contests heading in to the MEAC tournament, and you know the rest. They’ve won four in a row and five of their last seven after a murderous 2-13 start. Maybe there is something to taking so many out-of-conference beatings.

While the Eagles are rising, the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats are falling. The Wildcats were tops in the conference at the outset of conference play, but have lost their last three games at home, the last two to conference bottom feeders Delaware State and the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.

Here’s what’s in between.

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An Evening at NJIT…

Posted by rtmsf on February 4th, 2009

Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the MAAC and NEC Conferences.  When he’s not officiating, he’s canvassing the northeastern basketball circuit for good games and stories. 

NEWARK, NJ – The evening actually began in Jersey City. The other part of my basketball life as an official saw a JV Girls assignment at Lincoln High School. Pictured is the  pre-game captains meeting which is great because the kids on that level soak in your every word. For the record Saint Dominic Academy edged Lincoln in a close one.

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Off to the Prudential Center, a quick nine mile journey for Maryland Eastern Shore vs. NJIT. The Highlanders dropped a 4 point decision at UMES in early December so hopes were high for a second win in two weeks.  It was not to be on this night. UMES took a few eight point leads but NJIT would battle back. The Highlanders even took the lead with eleven minutes to go but UMES answered with a three point field goal followed by a conventional three point play to regain an edge not to be lost. NJIT battled gamely and had it to a two possession contest before UMES hit four free throws the final 30 seconds for the 73-67 win.

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