Ok, I’ll take the blame: I was responsible for ranking the men’s Atlantic 10 basketball field in our Basketball Preview way back when in November. With the A-10 Tournament looming, what better time than the present to simultaneously pat myself on the back while kicking myself over the path taken by my prognostications? All comments, insults, and compliments (especially compliments) are welcomed.
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Our prediction: 1
Final place: 7
It’s hard to figure where Dayton’s season went awry. They started out 13-3—with a win over a ranked Georgia Tech and two narrow losses at other ranked opponents in New Mexico and Villanova. But the Flyers stumbled down the stretch, going 6-8 in their final 14 games, including losses in five of their last seven outings. Defense’s penchant for keying in on Chris Wright successfully has limited his ability to take over games. He hasn’t been the superstar he’s needed to be, and the supporting cast has been unspectacular.
Our prediction: 2
Final place: 2
Bull’s-eye! I’ll take any victory I can get. It didn’t look that way early on, with the Musketeers stumbling out of an extraordinarily tough nonconference slate with an 8-5 record. But this young squad, led by A-10 scoring champ Jordan Crawford and the rapid maturation of Jason Love into a premier big man, has meshed down the stretch. They’ve crept into the Top 25 thanks to a seven-game win streak, and could end up with a high seed in the Big Dance if they can buck their trend of poor showings in the A-10 Tourney in recent history. Continue reading
St. Joe’s guard Garrett Williamson was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Defensive team today, the only Hawk to garner any postseason recognition.
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Richmond’s Kevin Anderson was named Player of the Year, while Fordham’s Chris Gaston was honored as the Rookie of the Year. Damian Saunders earned recognition as the Defensive Player of the Year, and Temple’s Ramone Moore was named the Sixth Man of the Year.
Temple’s Fran Dunphy took home Coach of the Year honors, while Dayton’s Chris Johnson earned the Chris Daniels Most Improved Player award. Yves Mekongo of La Salle was named the Student-Athlete of the Year.
Anderson leads a first team comprised of all underclassmen, including A-10 co-scoring champ Jordan Crawford. Ricky Harris of UMass, who finished tied with Crawford at 19.7 points per game, landed on the third team.
Williamson struggled early on, but has turned in some tremendous performances down the stretch, solidifying his reputation as one of the best on-ball defenders in the conference. The season highlight for him and the Hawks was his emphatic block in the waning seconds against Dayton to seal the upset over the Flyers. Continue reading
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. They don’t mention what happens on instance number seven.
That’s the position many St. Joe’s fans are in now (thought the estimate of seven is very low) after falling into the oh-so-familiar trap of buying into the heightened expectations that a handful of consecutive wins creates.
The loss to UMass was especially tough to swallow, as will be most from here on out, because the win over Dayton gave everyone a tantalizing view of what the Hawks are capable of. Yes, last night’s effort was tempered by the fatigue of three games in five days, something largely out of the team’s control. But the loss still stings, and you can’t help but think that if the circumstances were different, the result might have been as well.
After the Penn game, I went though a checklist of things that needed to happen for the St. Joe’s streak to continue. Here’s the report card from UMass: Continue reading
Who ever came up with the idiom “once bitten, twice shy” was never a St. Joe’s basketball fan. Keep that in mind as I jump in my inner tube and float out into the shark tank that is optimism about this program.
Last night’s win over Penn puts the Hawks at 8-11 with 11 games to play. And a crazy little thought popped into my head on the walk from the Palestra to 30th Street Station: what does this team have to do to salvage a .500 season?
The obvious answer, which hit me not unlike a splash of water from the 42 bus heading up Walnut Street, is to go 7-4. But is that something that this team, who looked dead in the water and could have folded after losing eight of nine and were on their way to another loss at halftime at the hands of Fordham at home, is capable of?
Here’s what’s left for the Hawks: Continue reading
10:00- I’ll leave you with this final, parting thought: there is now way I would take credit for calling this victory, as my earlier score prediction testifies. But I did say this in my blog on the Towson game Monday night:
No one expected this team to beat URI at the Ryan Center, but none of the other games are out of the realm of possibility. A win over Dayton would take a gargantuan effort, but the team that played against Villanova could get it done.
This team put forth one hell of an effort tonight, and they won because they wanted it more. They won a lot of hustle plays that won’t show up in the box score, and used that desire to overcome a team that was clearly superior in terms of skill and athleticism. For all the other things this mediocre team has done wrong this season, they deserve all the credit in the world for tonight’s effort.
That’s all for this evening, one that will go down in the St. Joe’s history books. Goodnight everybody!!
For full game story, click here…