Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hometowners: College Hoops Happenings Back East

After spending over a week back in our home state of New Jersey, we thought it'd be important to highlight some of the surprises, both good and bad, for the area college teams in the NJ/Philadelphia area.

Temple over Duke: Storm Worthy (pic:
Temple: If Temple would have lost to Duke last night, would we be writing this post? Probably not, but whatever it takes to spark an idea. The Owls took down third-ranked Duke last night 78-73 at the CoreStates Center First Union Center Wachovia Center Wells Fargo Center in Philly. Temple has a knack for knocking off Top 10 teams, as they took down tenth-ranked Georgetown last year and third-ranked Villanova two years ago. Temple should challenge Xavier for the top spot in the A-10, behind the leadership of PG Pepe Sanchez Juan Fernandez, who averages 12 ppg and 4 assists (have we overdone the strikethrough text yet?).

Villanova: Not going to lie, as a 'Cuse alum, love seeing the Wildcats struggle. It's been a rough go round for Nova thus far. Cats have already dropped games to St. Louis, Santa Clara, Missouri, Temple, St. Joe's, West Virginia and Marquette. Not saying that any of these games are AWFUL losses, but you are used to seeing Jay Wright's squad win these games. Gone are the two Coreys (Stokes and Fisher, not Feldman and Haim), and bottom line the Cats lack talent. A few years ago, Villanova lost their best recruiter in Fred Hill, who went on to be the head guy at Rutgers but only lasted a few disappointing seasons. Maybe Hill was the guy that was getting the players, maybe Jay Wright is spending too much time on his wardrobe, maybe the Cats will be looking at the NIT this year.

Rutgers: Every time we talk about Rutgers, we'll start with this. Mike Rice needs to chill out a little bit on the sideline. In order to be the savior of RU Hoops, we need to make sure Rice doesn't have a heart attack thanks to his over the top sideline antics. Rice has a VERY young team this season, with 3 of his top 4 scorers being freshmen (the other one is a sophomore). They've gotten a huge boost from freshman Eli Carter (Eli - sounds like a good name for a big time player), who is averaging 23 points in their last 3 games, 10 above his season average. The Scarlet Knights started the season with loses against Illinois State and Princeton at home, but pulled off a huge upset last week defeating Top 10 team Florida. How did Rutgers follow-up the big upset? Two point loss at USF and got blown out at home last night to West Virginia. Growing pains for a young team to say the least. It will take time, but Rice could have Rutgers relevant in the next few years.
Jordan Theodore's 19 pts helped upset UConn (NY Post)

Seton Hall: Not too far from Rutgers sits Seton Hall. The Pirates got absolutely smoked last week by top ranked Syracuse by 26 points. We watched pretty much that entire game, and Seton Hall just looked like a really bad basketball team. Well, they aren't. Talk about bouncing back. Three days after getting trounced by the Orange, the Hall put one on West Virginia, beating the Mountaineers by 19. The Pirates proved that win wasn't a fluke by going out in their next game and beating the defending National Champs, UConn by 12. If you are a 'Cuse fan, have to be happy you got them out of the way early.

Monmouth: Huh? How did The Mouth make it in here? Well with one of our loyal readers being a Monmouth man, we figured we'd give the Hawks some love - something they need at this point. The Mouth is bringing new meaning to "Down With the King", as new head coach King Rice is just 2-12 in his first season. Of their 14 games, Monmouth has lost seven of them by at least 20 points. Only two games have been within a ten point spread. I guess its no big deal we won't be catching Monmouth live, like we did last year

No comments:

Post a Comment