Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Musings - Hofstra, Old School CAA Reunion and Rider's on the Storm

I was at the Meadowlands on Sunday to watch the Texans-Jets game.  My friends and I decided to stay in our seats after the Jets blew a 23-7 late game lead and watch the final 43 seconds of an apparent Texans 27-23 win.   You can click here to watch the ending to see what I saw live.  But since this is a college basketball blog, you'll have to settle on this site for Paul McCartney with "Jet".

Some other teams didn't have such a happy ending on Sunday.  Hofstra finished its long weekend in Puerto Rico with an 0-3 record after losing to Nebraska 62-47 in the seventh place game.   Charles Jenkins led the Pride with 15 points on 5 of 10 shooting, which for him is not many field goal attempts.  The Cornhuskers shot 54 percent from the field and outrebounded the Pride 31-22.  Jorge Brian Diaz led the Huskers with 11 points as ten Nebraska players each played over eleven minutes.

The Pride have two glaring statistics standing them in the face.   One has to do with ball possession.    In three games against three Division I opponents, Hofstra has only  29 assists and 47 turnovers.  The other is Jenkins' supporting cast.   Jenkins had a great tournament, in which he averaged 22 points per game while shooting over 60 percent from the field (26 of 43) in the three games.  The problem is the rest of the Pride shot  28 percent from the field (64 of 170) in the three games.  Jenkins needs a lot more help if Hofstra has any plans of contending in the CAA.

Part of me wishes that I was at the Paradise Jam yesterday for the CAA Reunion matchup between Old Dominion and Clemson.  It was former UNCW and current Tigers' coach Brad Brownell's first game as Clemson coach vs. a CAA opponent, which just happened to Blaine Taylor's Monarchs.    Two of my favorite coaches playing a little Colonal old school basketball.   And fans in the Virgin Islands were treated to a CAA style defensive slugfest as ODU held off Clemson 61-60.

Frank Hassell and Ben Finney each had 13 points to the lead the way for the Monarchs.  Demontez Stitt led the Tigers and all scorers with 24 points.  As usual, ODU outrebounded its opponent 36-27.  Old Dominion will take on Xavier in the Paradise Jam Championship.  The Musketeers outlasted Seton Hall 57-52 as Tu Holloway scored a career high 31 points for Xavier.  The winner of this game will have a huge feather in its cap as far as a resume for an at large berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the first two weeks of the college basketball season is the Rider Broncs.   The Broncs are currently 15th in the nation in FG percentage at 52.2 per game.  A lot of that is due the trio of Justin Robinson (19 points per game, 55.6 percent from the field), Novar Gadson (12.5 points per game, 50 percent from the field) and Mike Ringgold (11.8 points per game 54 percent from the field).  The trio lead the Broncs to a 75 points per game average.

After blowing a 24 point halftime lead in losing to UMass on their home court, the Broncs have stormed back with four straight victories, including convincing wins over USC, TCU and Loyola Marymount.   The Broncs next game happens to be a home conference clash on Friday with three time defending champion Siena, which is incredibly odd having a conference game in November.  But it should be a very good game and may be an early season indicator of a new sheriff in MAAC town.

A lot of good games on tap tonight including an Elias Harris-less Gonzaga team facing Kansas State in one half of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Classic in KC,  the aforementioned mid-major battle between Old Dominion and Xavier in the Paradise Jam Classic,  Wichita State vs. UConn in the Maui Invitational and some team with the mascot of a Blue Devil taking on Marquette in the other half of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Classic in Kansas City.

Enjoy your Monday.

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