Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beidler second in weekly Finnish Award

Kelly Beidler's 24 point 8 rebound performance in Karhu's overtime win versus Nilan Bisons earned him second spot in the Eurobasket.com Korisliiga Player of the Week award.

Damon Williams won the weekly award with a 24 point, 7 rebound, 6 assist performance.

Beidler continues to be a key cog in Karhu's performance. The win over Nilan moved them into second place in the league standings. Beidler continues to have an impressive debut season in Finland after playing his rookie season in Iceland. The former Mount forward is among the league leaders in points 19.6 ppg (4th), rebounds 9.4 rpg (3rd), steals 2.4 spg (4th) and blocks 2.1 bpg (2nd).

Meanwhile, Shawn Atupem is having a tremendous rookie season in Ireland. Atupem is averaging 24.6 points per game which is good enough for 2nd in the Irish Super League. The forward also grabs 9.9 rebounds per outing, 7th overall.

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St. Francis PA falls to Niagara » Sports » The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

St. Francis men fall to Niagara » Sports » The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA:

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LIU can't match Iona

Mike Glover, Iona storm past LIU - NYPOST.com:

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Wrapping Up the Navy Loss

Here's what I saw from my seat at Alumni Hall on Sunday Night....

  • A team that was way too tentative offensively to get the job done. The Mount didn't penetrate the Navy defense nearly enough but when it did it was highly effective.
  • Xavier Owens was the first Mountaineer to have real success getting into the lane. His shooting percentage on the evening won't indicate a good night, but when the freshman penetrated he scored.
  • Chad Holley didn't get an opportunity until late in the game. When Josh Castellanos left with four fouls early in the second half, the Mount opted to play Julian Norfleet as the lead guard. It put Norfleet at a spot he isn't overly familiar with and took him out of the offense. Finally, when Holley was given extended playing time near the end of the game, he scored 11 points by getting into the lane drawing fouls, making the free throws and then hitting a crucial three pointer to cut the lead to three.
  • The pressure defense helped get the Mount back into the game on Sunday night. But I feel like in the end it also kept them from winning. Too many easy baskets against the pressure when the Mount was getting stops in a half court set kept Navy in the lead. With that said, the dagger that Jordan Sugars threw from behind the three-point line with the Mount trailing by just three and under 3 to play, had come after the Mount settled into a half court defense.
  • Kelvin Parker continues to impress offensively for the Mount. He is knocking down open jumpers and just has that look of a scorer about him. He also brings a fan club, from nearby York High, great to see. I don't think we've really seen his athleticism yet, but comparisons of Alex Watson are out there. Yes, Alex Watson. Imagine if Al could have shot it this way?
  • Navy went to the zone because the Mount had success inside early. Danny Thompson, who was also plagued with fouls all night, and Raven Barber had early success that forced the defensive switch.
  • I'm pretty well convinced that this community of Mount fans has more confidence in Kristijan Krajina than the big guy has in himself right now. He did some good things, but he is playing way too tentatively to be overly effective. He needs to believe in himself. Its hard, since he hasn't had real minutes in competition since December of 2009. 
  • Defensively they have to get better in a half court set. Thompson was in foul trouble because his teammates were getting beat. That hurts the Mount at both ends. Thompson is clearly the best rebounder, a top defender and has been a key offensive threat.
  • The game was even for all but the one stretch in the first half that saw Navy go from a 14-all tie to the large margin. The Mount cut back into it to make it nine at the intermission but it got to 14 before the Mount started to rally in the second.
  • St. Francis NY is next and its another winnable game. I thought the Mount played its best full 40 minutes on Sunday, but yet it was still a dead stretch that cost them. This team will continue to work on getting better, but 20 turnovers is still way too many.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mount falls at Navy

The Mount cut a 14 point second half deficit to 3 before falling 64-56 at Navy on Sunday night. 
A pair of freshmen Kelvin Parker and Chad Holley led the rally.
Parker finished with 14, Holley with 11. The Mount opens NEC play versus St. Francis on Thursday at the ARCC. More thoughts from me tomorrow.

Robert Morris falla

Mount at Navy - What to Expect?

Ok, I'm going to admit the headline to this article isn't fair. I really have no idea what to expect from the Mount when the travel to Alumni Gym on the campus of The United States Naval Academy tonight.

The Mount has been shorthanded all season. Playing with just six scholarship players for most of the early parts of the season but Kristijan Krajina did return at Minnesota. I keep hearing that Jacolby Wells shouldn't be out much longer. Maybe he returns tonight. Almost certain that Lamar Trice will still be serving his suspension tonight.

Still the Mount has played some very good halves this season, including one in each of the last three games. The strong first half was good enough to win at Hartford, but strong second halves couldn't undo the deficits that had been accumulated at Minnesota and versus Siena.

Still I'm going to head to Annapolis and fully expect the Mount to win. My basis for this is that most of the Mount difficulties from what I've seen have either been from pressure defense (which I think Navy will attempt) and from bigger and stronger players. Yet I think the Mount may have an advantage here.

So if the Mount continues to get better guard play from Josh Castellanos, Kelvin Parker and Julian Norfleet, I think the duo of Raven Barber and Danny Thompson can control the inside.

I expect it to be a relatively low scoring game that should go down to the end. But ultimately, and hey I'm a fan, I think the Mount can pull this one out on the road, 57-55.

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Could Robert Morris be ready to upset Pitt?

Robert Morris basketball feeling confident despite mark vs. Pitt:

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from the FanBlog

I'm extremely thankful that I've got this team to root for and the great folks who make up our community at TheMountFanBlog

Go Mount!

Happy Thanksgiving all!

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

quinnipiac basketball: rebounding has come to define quinnipiac basketball - Courant.com

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Thoughts from last night

In case you missed it, and consider yourself one of the lucky few, the Mount fell in Minnesota last night 85-56.

I guess the loss was to be expected it was just the performance, particularly the first half one that left me so disappointed. The Mount trailed 51-18 at intermission, but true to its character it didn't quit, they played hard and won the second half 38-34. Still, I'd like to see that second half first.

  • I know the Mount is severely shorthanded right now. Last night did bring the return of Kristijan Krajina from his three game suspension. Lamar Trice will be back shortly, but don't expect to see him Annapolis.
  • The problems in the first half were two fold. First off the Mount had problems against the Minnesota pressure. And secondly when the Mount did get a stop defensively they failed to rebound. And the possession doesn't end until the ball is rebounded.
  • After rebounding well in the first two games, especially in the win at Hartford, that has been a real problem the last two games.
  • Freshman Kelvin Parker continues to impress. The non-scholarship player made his first start last night and tallied 13 points to go along with two rebounds, an assist and a block. Parker made 3-of-5 three-pointers and has shown an ability to knock down the open jumper. I knew Parker was extremely athletic and by all accounts a scorer. But I have been surprised by his long range scoring ability.
  • Danny Thompson continued to impress early this season. He scored 14 points, including the first ten for the Mount.
I still believe this team will get better as the season wears on, and better days are clearly ahead for the Mount and its basketball team. And do I give the players credit for playing hard and fighting through a lot of what has hindered things in the early going. 

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chatting with the Enemy - Minnesota Edition

I exchanged emails with Steve From The Barn - and we each answered each others questions about tomorrow night's game. You can read my answers on their site here

1. The Gophers have played three fairly solid mid-majors to start the season. What have they learned about themselves in those games?

Minnesota has come out excruciatingly slow in each of the three games they've played so far this season. If they've learned anything it would be that they can still rely on their defense to get through slow stretches on offense. It is also apparent that they don't have a go-to shooter they can rely on to hit a clutch jump shot. Their frontcourt is overpowering but teams so far have not respected their outside game and tend to double down on the post players rather than defend the three. I can't say I blame them. It's not fancy, exciting basketball, but so far the job is getting done.

2. Williams Arena always seems to be one of the toughest places to play and the Gophers haven't messed around against the mid-majors in recent seasons. What will the atmosphere be like?

"The Barn" is roundly considered to be one of the tougher places to play in the Big Ten. The crowd is very close to the court and the raised floor can often throw visiting teams off, especially during their first visit. That said, the first three games haven't been well attended and the fanbase usually doesn't get fully engaged until conference games start. The Mount has the opportunity to deaden an already lackluster audience if they can get off to a quick start and capitalize.

3. Trevor Mbakwe is the only Gopher averaging in double figures this season. Is this what would have been expected at the start of the season? Is this a good or a bad thing thus far?

Minnesota has several newcomers this season and is still looking for that natural scorer who can carry the offense when necessary. Unfortunately, the first three games haven't unveiled a distinct offensive threat outside of Mbakwe. We know full well that the offense will revolve around getting Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson the ball down low, so having Mbakwe in double figures isn't surprising. However, the fact that he has basically been the only consistent offensive weapon so far this year is slightly concerning and the absence of output from the backcourt will need to change as the season progresses.

4. Since Tubby Smith arrived the Gophers have been one of the better defensive teams in the country. No exception early on this year allowing less than 57 per game and about .91 per possession. Both impressive numbers. What type of defense will we see?

The Gophers make no bones about making their opponents beat them with the long ball. In fact, it's such an all-or-nothing mentality that I'm surprised it doesn't backfire more often. Minnesota locks down the interior with Mbakwe and Sampson and makes sure as few points as possible are scored in the paint. Of course, this focus leaves the perimeter basically unguarded, giving teams ample open opportunities from behind the arc. If the opponent is hitting from long range then Gophers are pretty much out of luck, but they gamble (often correctly) that the deep ball won't fall. Fairfield, for instance, was only 2-16 from deep, and couldn't say "no" to the open looks, even though nothing was falling.

5. If the Mount somehow pulls off the upset, will the Minnesota faithful immediately be calling for Tubby's job?

I don't think it would be that dire. The loss would certainly hurt, but it would probably be chalked up to a mental lapse by the team rather than coaching incompetence. Tubby's job is pretty safe and he's had several successful seasons in the face of some rotten luck in terms of personnel.  For instance, one of his top in-state recruits, Royce White, was caught robbing a Macy's and subsequently left the team two years ago.  That said, another finish like last year could start the "who's next?" discussion.

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All About Evan Hymes :: The Mid-Majority

All About Evan Hymes :: The Mid-Majority:

Here's my contribution to the Mid-majority on last night's game at Knott Arena

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The Home Opener - What Happened - Siena wins in ARCC

The Mount lost its home opener 65-53 to Siena on Saturday night at Knott Arena before a crowd that yearned to have a lot more to cheer for.

The bottomline was the loss came down to the fact that the Mount couldn't stop three guys for Siena. Freshman Evan Hymes dropped 30 points on the Mount, including matching the Mount's first half output of 16. Meanwhile, OD Anosike and Brandon Walters combined for 26 rebounds as the Saints held a 47-34 advantage on the boards. In addition, the pair were a big factor inside defending against the Mount's Danny Thompson and Raven Barber. Barber finished with 10 points, but the pair combined to shoot 7-of-18 from the field.

The Mount led 6-0 early on a pair of threes from Julian Norfleet. The sophomore guard would knock down 5 trifectas on the night and finish with 16 points, but he was 5-of-14 from behind the arc. However, after grabbing the early lead, the Mount went so very cold from the floor. That allowed Siena to absolutely seize control of the game no matter how much it looked like the didn't want to.

Despite scoring only three points over the next eight minutes, the Mount still trailed only 12-9 and it appeared if the open shots that weren't falling started to drop the period of ineptitude wouldn't have cost the Mount. But it got worse from there.

The Mount went nearly seven minutes without scoring and by the time Josh Castellanos rained in a three from the corner (15 points) the game was all but decided as Siena led 25-12.

The Mount played hard the entire second half and certainly never quit. The offense which shot 22% in the first half was a little better making 36% of its shots in the second half. But the closest the Mount could ever get was nine.

I can't fault the effort of the Mount, they played hard and with intensity. They did fix some of the turnover problem, although Siena sat in an effective zone most of the first half. Unfortunately it was just one of those nights where shots weren't falling. I've talked about the need for this team to have a true second option beyond Norfleet from the outside. Castellanos has taken on some of that. But his shots (1-of-4) weren't falling in the first half. He scored 11 in the second half.

And the Siena zone really seemed to baffle the Mount inside. Of course if some of the open jump shots would have fallen that zone might have softened up a bit.

It was hard to be encouraged by what you witnessed at the game on Saturday night. Yet it was difficult to really find fault with the Mount. For the most part it came down to the fact that they couldn't score in the first half, and most of that was missed open shots.

They played hard and hopefully that effort brings better results in future games.

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Highlights and reaction from from Siena game courtesy Times Union

Highlights and reaction from Siena’s win - College Sports - Siena and University at Albany college basketball coverage - timesunion.com - Albany NY:

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Game Story from Albany Times Union

Saints get win on the road - College Sports - Siena and University at Albany college basketball coverage - timesunion.com - Albany NY:

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Frederick Post story on Siena game

Men's Basketball: Mount St. Mary's men unimpressive in home-opening loss to Siena - The Frederick News-Post Online:

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Carroll County Times Recap of Siena game

Men's College Basketball: Mount drops home opener - Carroll County Times: Mount Saint Mary's:

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Hymes scores 30 to lead Siena past Mount St. Mary’s - College Sports - Siena and University at Albany college basketball coverage - timesunion.com - Albany NY

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Siena’s Hymes starts smart - College Sports - Siena and University at Albany college basketball coverage - timesunion.com - Albany NY

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The Home Opener - What to Expect

Mount fans and others of course, first off don't expect to see Lamar Trice or Kristijan Krajina at Knott Arena tonight. I think we're getting close with Krajina but I don't expect to see Trice for a few more weeks.

I'm excited to finally see some college basketball live and in-person. If you're not going to be at the game you can follow my insight through the twitter feed  .

The Mount enters off a road win against Hartford, an impressive performance that saw them lead by as many as 29 in the second half. Siena comes in with a 1-0 record after defeating Navy midweek in Albany.

The biggest thing the Mount needs to prove to me tonight is that they can do a better job of protecting the basketball. Even in the win on Wednesday, the Mount turned the ball over 22 times.

Josh Castellanos had career highs in both points and assists in the wins over the Hawks - but must continue to limit his turnovers. Danny Thompson might be poised for a big senior season. The big guy is finally healthy and getting a chance to shine. He leads the team with 11.5 points and rebounds per game. Up front his inside partner Raven Barber who is the favorite of criticism from the commenters from TheMountFanBlog, is second on the team with 10.5 points per game which shows that the Mount wants and will go inside to get its point.

Tonight is going to be a big test for those inside players because Siena brings 6-8 forward OD Anosike with them to Knott Arena. Anosike is a third-team preseason All-MAAC selection. He averaged nearly 9 points and 7 rebounds a game. His rebounding could be a problem tonight for the Mount. He grabbed 10 rebounds in the win over Navy. But Anosike scored just one point in the opener.

The points for the Saints came from Kyle Downey. The 6-2 senior guard scored 19 in that opener. Downey isn't a typical guard in today's game. He doesn't get his points from behind the arc. He made just one three in the opener and has a career high of 3 in a game.

Brandon Walters, a 6-8 transfer from Seton Hall, also was in double figures in the opener with 12. Evan Hymes scored 10 points in his collegiate debut.

Siena also has a short bench. Only 8 players played in the win versus Navy and two of those suffered injuries. Owen Wignot played just six minutes after starting and is probable for Saturday night. Marcus Hopper played seven minutes off the bench and is questionable.

I think this is one that comes right down to the wire. Ultimately I hope the Maniacs and the rest of the Mount crowd are enough to help push this group over the top. I see the Mount winning 61-58.

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Preview: Siena at Mt. Saint Mary’s

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Burke with big ties to Siena

Mount St. Mary’s Burke was a Siena finalist – twice - College Sports - Siena and University at Albany college basketball coverage - timesunion.com - Albany NY:

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Brooklyn Eagle, Bay Ridge Eagle Brooklyn, NY :: daily paper in Brooklyn

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Wagner basketball notebook: Murray keeps cool when action heats up | SILive.com

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RMU flying

A November to remember for RMU hoops - Timesonline.com: Local Sports:

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Anosike quiet on opening night for Saints

Siena wins on a quiet night for Anosike - College Sports - Siena and University at Albany college basketball coverage - timesunion.com - Albany NY:

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Atupem drawing rave reviews in Ireland

Shawn Atupem (Ucc demons) - Other Sports, Sport - Independent.ie:

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chatting with the Enemy - Answering some of our Siena questions

If you are looking for a real good Siena Saints blog head on over to 4GuysinBlazers for some great stuff on the Saints. We're fortunate that Bill, one of the four guys, reached out to us for our thoughts on the Siena game from a Mount perspective. At the same time, we asked a few questions of him, so that we could get a sense of the game from Siena's view. We hope you enjoy.

1. Siena and the Mount have followed similar patterns the last few years, albeit Siena had more success during the up years, but what do the Saints have to do to turn this around this year?

The easy answer is get healthy, but unfortunately no one has any control over that. Siena presently is playing with only 8 scholarship athletes, 4 of whom are freshmen. Going into Saturday's matchup that number might be down to 7. Senior Captain Owen Wignot hit the floor hard while being fouled on a layup attempt 6 minutes into the first half vs Navy and did not return to the game. His status is in question as he was experiencing wooziness following the injury and was being monitored for a concussion.
Aside from injuries and simply developing their young roster, the Saints will stand to gain from a return to a more up-tempo style of play. Last year's squad got bogged down in an offense that centered around dumping the ball inside to MAAC Player of the Year Ryan Rossiter. This was in part because Siena's perimeter shooting was poor and Rossiter was their biggest offensive threat. This year's team features a much more dynamic perimeter game and a great deal more speed. Things looked up in this area during the Navy game.

2. The two teams played quite a game two years in Albany, what do you expect from the game this year?

I certainly hope to not find the Saints trying to scratch back from a 14 pt deficit this time around, and OT with our short bench would not be an ideal situation. I do expect this game to be close. Looking over the rosters i feel the teams are fairly evenly matched. Both teams are playing with shortened benches. Controlling the ball will be the key to this game. The Saints were able to do this vs Navy while St Mary's has had opportunities in this area, time will tell which if any trend continues.

3. What areas does Siena need to improve on from its opener against Navy to have success on Saturday and during the season?

Staying out of foul trouble would be a great place to start. Kyle Downey played the final 10 minutes of Wednesday's game with 4 fouls and OD Anosike sat out most of the first half after picking up 2 quick fouls. With the limited nature of the bench, the team can ill afford to lose anyone because of fouls.
In terms of actual game play the Saints big men need to improve on their free throw shooting, poor might be an understatement in this area.
The Saints also need to work on their rotation when in zone defense. They were beaten in the middle several times in the Navy game.

4. With non-conference games like Georgia Tech, St Bonaventure, Vermont, Fordham and UMASS is there a fear that a trip to Emmitsburg might mean that Siena may not be as focused as necessary?

I don't get the sense from around the program or from fans that there is any fear this trip is a distraction from upcoming opponents. I honestly don't believe the Saints are looking more than one game ahead on the schedule at this point given their roster situation. Each game is being taken as a learning opportunity for the freshmen on the squad, with an expectation to continually improve as the season wears on. Having a road game against an evenly matched opponent provides an opportunity to build confidence before the Saints get into the Georgia Techs and Princetons on the schedule.

5. Mt. St. Mary's head coach Robert Burke was an assistant at Siena under Paul Hewitt? Any real good memories of his time there that we should know about?

Unfortunately I did not live in the Capital District during the Paul Hewitt era, originally a Jersey boy, so i don't have any personal memories of this time in Siena history.

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Siena wins opener _

Wagner moves to 2-1

Mount wins in Hartford

Great bounce back win for the Mount.

A dominating performance on the glass...and some hot shooting early.

Danny Thompson and Josh Castellanos led the Mounties with career nights.  Thompson had 17 points and 12 rebounds.  Castellanos 16 points and a bucketful of assists (8?).

The Mount got the job done inside as Thompson and Raven Barber combined for 30 points.

Still have to find a way to protect the basketball better. They should expect to see pressure until they prove they can beat it.

Siena is going to be better. As a result, the Mount will have to improve.

But let's enjoy this for a day or two.

Game story from Hartford Courant

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mount leads Hartford at Halftime

Well if that isn't a turn of fortune, I don't know what is. After scoring just 37 points for the whole game on Friday night, the Mount tallied 40 in the first half at Hartford on Wednesday and leads the Hawks 40-18 at halftime.

Danny Thompson leads the Mount with 14 at halftime while Josh Castellanos has chipped in with 11. Thompson has 7 rebounds, while Castellanos has three assists.

The Mount made 6-of-7 three pointers including 3-of-3 shooting from Castellanos.  Chad Holley, Kelvin Parker and Julian Norfleet also made trifectas.

The Mount still struggled with 12 first half turnovers, but the hot shooting has more than made up thus far.

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Tom Moore preaches optimistism, patience | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

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Marquette Recap/Hartford Preview

I wanted to write this immediately following the Marquette debacle, but then I wanted to wait a day get some sleep and let a few things settle. Kept waiting for the opportunity to find something good about what happened.

Well after days of reflection, the only good I can find is that it's over and that Marquette will be (barring an NEC tournament win) the best team the Mount faces this year.

As far as excuses go, we can make a lot, but the fact remains that the Mount faced Marquette with six scholarship players + Kelvin Parker who is a recruited walkon. 3 of those 7 were playing in their first ever college basketball game.

Some things we learned.... Taylor Danaher is going to redshirt. If that wasn't obvious on Friday night nothing was. I liked what I like from him in the Blue White as far as long term development goes and I think this is a good decision.

It must mean that Jacolby Wells' injury isn't that serious. Otherwise how deep into the season can the Mount go with two interior players. Or maybe it's an indication that Kristian Krajina is going to play soon.

Speaking of the two suspended. We'd been hearing rumblings that both Krajina and Lamar Trice were in some sort of trouble that stemmed from an incident involving Pierre Brown, who left school for personal reasons. I've been told a lot of different things regarding suspension time periods. Some from a long time to others that it would be a one-game suspension. We'll see.

That means we don't know if Trice and Krajina will be in Hartford tonight. My guess. No. But it's strictly a guess at this point.

So the Mount must find a way to handle the basketball better than it did against Marquette. No doubt some of the 29 turnovers were related to Marquette, but others not so much. And I think this is going to be a recurring theme until the Mount proves it can protect the basketball. Trice was a turnover machine last year, so not sure how much that helps or not. But he has stated that he has worked hard on it and his quickness on the floor would definitely give them an option to avoid some of the pressure.

Hartford is 0-2 and much like Marquette was the best team on the schedule, I think the Hawks might be the worst. The Mount must capitalize on that on the road.

In order to do that, they will need to get Raven Barber and Danny Thompson involved inside and open up some of the perimeter play. Hartford has struggled mightily offensively and was beaten by Sacred Heart in its opener by 20.

WWW.kenpom.com has the Mount as a five-point favorite, with a final of 62-57. That score still haunts me. So I'm going with 67-61 Mount. Look for Josh Castellanos to step up and take control of the offense a bit tonight and get guys where they need to be and protect the basketball a bit more.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

College basketball: Wagner College preview -- Seahawks find some depth | SILive.com

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Game One: Mt. St. Mary's @ Marquette

I wish I had a better feel for this opener. For this Mount team. In so many ways I'm excited about the future that this program has. I think that from what I've seen from the incoming freshman (although limited views at this point) they can all contribute in the future, I'm very excited by the prospect of the two transfers Rashad Whack and Sam Prescott, and the two signees this week are guys I think can contribute and be factors in this league. So I'm probably the might excited I've been about the long-term future since the first time I saw Jeremy Goode, Kelly Beidler and Will Holland play.

But I'll be honest, I'm worried about this year. To me Pierre Brown was going to be a big factor for this team. Last year's team played without a lot of size on the perimeter and the wings. Brown was going to help that. Now they are back into a situation much like last season on the outside unless someone like Xavier Owens steps up immediately.

Throw into the mix that you've got the toughest opponent the Mount is going to face all season on the floor tonight in the form of Marquette and it could be a rough way to start.

So I'll be watching for a few things tonight....

1) What is the starting lineup? It was tough to determine at the Blue White and I have a feeling there might be some surprises in there.

2) Do any of the freshman step up immediately? With that said will Taylor Danaher play or will he remain a redshirt possibility?

3) Can Jacolby Wells and Raven Barber continue to show the signs of improvement that we saw in the Blue White?

4) How does the backcourt do against pressure?

5) Is there going to be anyone other than Julian Norfleet who is a threat from the outside? Will the sophomore be a more consistent threat?

6) What is the offense going to look like? Are we going to see the same type of sets we saw last year - or will there be more modifications?

Let me know what questions you have going into the season.

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Connecticut 6 Classic Primer

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Final 4 VCU first up for Red Flash

Red Flash men start new season tonight on road » Sports » The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA:

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Coach Bike sticks with his philosophy: Stay honest - Connecticut Post

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Rice ready to go; But will need time

Column by Stephen Edelson: Time will tell if Rice's methods work | Asbury Park Press:

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New year for QPAC

MEN'S BASKETBALL: It's a new year for Quinnipiac, with 11 new faces (video) - Sports - Post-Chronicle:

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Wagner opens at Princeton

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Henderson returns to Princeton looking to lead it to another Ivy title - trentonian.com:

The Fan Blog plans on making an appearance at this game

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Bryant looks to take care of depleted San Diego State

SDSU could have 7 for basketball opener | SignOnSanDiego.com:

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Connecticut 6 includes 3 NEC teams

Connecticut 6 Classic: The Connecticut 6 Classic at Mohegan Sun on Friday features six mid-major men's basketball teams in the state. - Courant.com:

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Still working on getting better

Men's College Basketball: Mount aims to be better - Carroll County Times: Mount Saint Mary's:

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Trice accepting the Challenger per Frederick News

Accepting the challenge - The Frederick News-Post Online:

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Official release from the Mount on the two signings that became official

Mount Basketball Signs Two for 2012-13 Season - Mount St. Mary's:
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Not sure what this means about Christian Crockett out of Fort Bend, Texas who had verballed last month. Perhaps his NLI hasn't arrived yet or perhaps he is pursuing other options as Jalen Washington did last year after verballing early.

Schools are not allowed to comment on players or potential recruits until the NLI is in hand.

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Here's the important statistical breakdown on tomorrow night

Marquette vs. Mount St. Mary's (MD): The Four Factors (And More) In Graphic Form - Anonymous Eagle:

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Marquette - Mount St. Mary's preview from Milwaukee Examiner

Marquette - Mount St. Mary's preview - Milwaukee Marquette Golden Eagles | Examiner.com:

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Mount baseball gets letter of intent from Jordan Lawson

Cumberlink.com: Cedar Cliff, Red Land athletes sign letters of intent:

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Impressions from the Blue White Scrimmage

The big wow of the evening went to Sam Prescott. The transfer from Marist is a real scorer and he showed an ability defensively as well. Unfortunately, he has to sit out due to NCAA transfer rules but he'll make an impact as soon as he appears next year. He shoots with range, can get to the tin and has a nice ability to shoot off the dribble. I thought he was the best player on the floor tonight.

Both Raven Barber and Jacolby Wells played well. Danny Thompson also did the things that we've come to expect from Thompson. Even with the departure of Shawn Atupem, I think those three have nailed down most of the time inside - although Kristian Krajina may get some minutes in the post. I liked what I saw of the freshman Taylor Danaher - although his best days are clearly in front of him and he seems a likely redshirt candidate.

Rashad Whack is also going to be a factor for this team when he becomes eligible next year. I don't think he's as explosive offensively as Prescott but he'll be a player in this league.

I still think that this year's team will need to find a consistent second shooter behind Julian Norfleet. Freshman Kelvin Parker, who should see minutes, could become that. Obviously, Lamar Trice has the ability to knock down the open jump shot as well, and Josh Castellanos made his only three he attempted.

Still it is going to be a very small team on the floor if Coach Robert Burke has to play with three guards on the floor. The only real option on the wing - with true wing size is Xavier Owens the freshman from Florida. I thought he showed flashes during this scrimmage - however asking him to contribute this early will be a big task.

Guard play should be the strength of this team, but there is certainly still work to be done. Freshman point guard Chad Holley will likely move into the mix quickly and can be someone who can run the offense.

The Mount will scrimmage Youngstown State in a closed door event on Saturday before opening the season next Friday at Marquette.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mount picked Sixth in Preseason Poll

Northeast Conference - Banking On The Blackbirds: NEC Coaches Pick Long Island To Defend Men's Basketball Championship:

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Blue White Scrimmage Tomorrow

The Annual Blue White Scrimmage - an intrasquad scrimmage - between the Mount men's basketball team will be held tomorrow at Knott Arena at 5pm.

Not only is this your only chance to see the Mount before the season starts next Friday at Marquette, but it is probably the only chance to see Rashad Whack and Sam Prescott all season - as the two must sit out due to NCAA transfer rules.

The FanBlog is trying to clear its schedule to attend tomorrow's open scrimmage. If that is the case we will post our impressions sometime tomorrow night.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Graves latest to commit to Mount

Gregory Graves became the third verbal commitment for Mt. St. Mary's pledging to sign with the Mountaineers  last weekend. The early signing period for National Letters of Intent begins November 9

Graves, a 6-7 center for Potomac Falls, averaged 15.6 points per game and 9.5 rebounds for the two-time defending state champion last season. He chose the Mount over offers from Longwood and Manhattan.

But he was continuing to get recruited by bigger schools but some may have shied away because of his size. However, Graves showed during the AAU circuit this summer that he can play on the perimeter and it is expected that he will play at either the 3 or 4 for the Mount. And if his game doesn't develop as quickly to the outside he can always go back underneath and survive quite well at 6-foot 7-inches in the Northeast Conference.

Chaz Patterson and Christian Crockett have also verbally committed to Robert Burke and the Mountaineers. Unless something would happen between now and next spring it appears the Mount has completed its recruiting for the 2012 season before the 2011-12 one has officially kicked off.

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Mid-Major Top 25

Collegeinsider.com's first Mid Major Top 25 is out for the season. There are no NEC teams among the group. However, you will find Long Island right there outside the bubble at 27.

Siena the home opener for the Mount also received 3 votes.

You'll also find our old friend Milan Brown and his Holy Cross crew getting votes this year. They received four. The Crusaders fared well in the Patriot League towards the end of last season and could be a team to watch up north this year.

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Look what popped up in the SI vault

When Melvin Whitaker slashed a fellow student's face after - 02.22.99 - SI Vault:

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Too bad this story didn't have a real happy ending.

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Kearse keeps rolling

Mychal Kearse scores 22, plucks 8 rebounds, picks up 6 steals in Transylvania Halloween 132-72 massacre. 

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