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Tony Graham

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

RMU-FDU preview/courtesy RMU game notes

Usually we don't do this but (slow week and all) and also the fact this is a game between two teams who we have to think are NEC title contenders..I thought it might make for interesting reading...anyone want to pick a winner here?..

Fairleigh Dickinson (10-10 / 5-4) @ Robert Morris (13-6 / 5-5)
Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 7:00 EST
Charles L. Sewall Center (3,056) - Moon Township, Pa.
Radio: WPIT-AM 73 (Chris Shovlin - play-by-play & Jim Elias - color)
On the internet (live and archived) at:

Top Story - The Robert Morris University men’s basketball team returns home to the Charles L. Sewall Center for a two-game homestand this week, starting Thursday with a 7:00 p.m. Northeast Conference contest against Fairleigh Dickinson. The Colonials are coming off a 76-68 defeat @ Monmouth (1/27/07) in their last contest and currently reside in a tie for sixth place in the league standings with Wagner. RMU will close out its 2006-07 regular season with five of its final eight games at home, where the club has posted a record of 8-1 this season and 19-3 dating back to the start of the 2005-06 campaign. Robert Morris closes out its homestand Saturday, Feb. 3, when it welcomes in-state rival Saint Francis (Pa.) for a 3:30 p.m. tilt that will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh and Fox College Sports (Atlantic).


2006-07 Standings
Through 1/30/07
1. Central Conn. State 9-1 12-10
2. Mount St. Mary’s 7-3 8-13
3. Sacred Heart 6-3 10-10
4. Quinnipiac 6-4 8-11
5. Fairleigh Dickinson 5-4 10-10
6. Robert Morris 5-5 13-6
Wagner 5-5 8-13
8. Monmouth 4-5 9-12
9. Long Island 3-7 7-14
St. Francis (N.Y.) 3-7 5-17
11. Saint Francis (Pa.) 1-10 4-18

Thursday, February 1
Mount St. Mary’s @ Central Conn. State * 7:00 p.m.
Fairleigh Dickinson @ Robert Morris * 7:00 p.m.
Quinnipiac @ St. Francis (N.Y.) * 7:00 p.m.

* NEC game

Quick Stat of the Night - Robert Morris will look to rediscover the defensive intensity the club employed with the dawn of the new year as the club enters its final month of regular-season action Thursday against Fairleigh Dickinson. In a five-game stretch from Dec. 30, 2006, to Jan. 13, 2007, RMU held its opponents to a shooting percentage of just 38.5 percent (100-for-260), posting a 4-1 record over that time frame. However, in the last four contests, a span in which Robert Morris has gone 2-2, opponents have converted 57.1 percent (120-for-210) of its field goals, including a mark of 46.7 percent (35-for-75) from beyond the arc.

Thursday’s Opponent and the All-Time Series - RMU and Fairleigh Dickinson will tipoff for the 56th time Thursday night, with the Knights holding a 29-26 edge in the all-time series. FDU had won four straight over the Colonials in the all-time series until Robert Morris garnered a 70-66 win in the first meeting between the two clubs this season in Hackensack, N.J., Jan. 13, 2007. In that contest senior forward A.J. Jackson’s layup and free throw with 16 seconds to play gave RMU the lead for good, 68-66, while freshman guard Mezie Nwigwe helped seal the win with a steal in the lane with less than four seconds remaining.

RMU vs. Fairleigh Dickinson
Series Record - FDU leads, 29-26
First Meeting - 1/5/80; FDU, 69-63
Last Meeting - 1/13/07; RMU, 70-66
Last RMU Win - 1/13/07; RMU, 70-66
Current Streak - RMU, 1
Schmidt vs. Fairleigh Dickinson - 5-5

Probable Starters (Fairleigh Dickinson @ Robert Morris)

# P Name Pts. Reb. G/GS Hometown Quick Fact
0 F Andre Harris (6-8, 233, Sr.) 18.2 7.6 20/20 Detroit, Mich. Leads Northeast Conference in scoring
1 F Michael Peeples (6-7, 211, Sr.) 11.1 5.5 20/20 Detroit, Mich. Leads club in offensive rebounds with 48
55 F Jordan Ingram (6-7, 210, Sr.) 1.9 4.4 20/20 Philadelphia, Pa. Averaging just 18.3 minutes per contest
15 G Cameron Tyler (6-0, 190, So.) 13.5 3.8 20/20 Jamaica, N.Y. 19 points, 10 assists @ Sacred Heart (1/30/07)
22 G Manny Ubilla (6-2, 185, Jr.) 11.8 4.4 20/9 Freehold, N.J. Shooting 37.4 percent from beyond the arc

ROBERT MORRIS (13-6 / 5-5 NEC)
32 F A.J. Jackson (6-6, 230, Sr.) 16.4 7.6 19/19 Monessen, Pa. Held to just eight points @ Monmouth
4 C Freddie Harris (6-9, 245, Sr.) 4.3 3.0 19/19 Decatur, Ala. Has averaged just 13.0 minutes last three games
21 G Jeremy Chappell (6-3, 200, So.) 13.0 5.3 19/19 Cincinnati, Ohio Shooting 53.8 % from the field last three games
13 G Derek Coleman (5-11, 180, Sr.) 12.3 2.3 19/19 Dorchester, Mass. Leads the NEC in assists (5.42 per game)
42 G Tony Lee (6-0, 205, Jr.) 15.4 6.4 19/19 Boston, Mass. 21 pts, seven rebounds, four assists @ Monmouth

MU hoops: Game plan from MU Mystery Coach

MU Mystery Coach posted this to another topic but it's sooo good - as usual - I am making it a topic in itself so everyone is sure to see it and be able to comment on it -

Just wanted to check in and say how exciting the end of the season should be. I feel Dave has gotten things pretty much figured out now. I think that his rotation of starting: Marques, Deki, Hallett, Whitney and The Jet with Shipman and Bunch playing major minutes off of the bench works well. I originally didn't like Shipman off the bench, as I see Youngblood as a perfect Sparkplug third guard type, with his ability to be a scorer and a creator. However, Dave knows more than me and has blended the pieces nicely. The two "forgotten" players here are Rickie Crews and Alex Nunner. I feel that they will both have major roles next year, and need to contribute when called upon due to foul trouble, ineffectivness, injuries or hopefully blow-outs for the rest of the year. I do not hate giving Rickie a few minutes or throwing Alex in for a chuck or 2, but I think the strong 7 man rotation with defined roles will work nicely down the stretch. There is no reason to rest your frontcourt players as Deki, Marques, Bunch and Hallett are all seniors and only have a handful of games left. Also, the three guards can play major minutes as they all seem to have great stamina out there on the court. I feel the rest of the year they need to ride Dejan Delic as their go-to scorer, and try to establish both Marques and Bunch in the post to open things up for their guards. In fact, here is a to-do list for the players for the rest of this year. We could even call it a "wish list":
1. Deki Delic: Continue to be agressive and playing smart. Be the No. 1 option, continue to show but control your emotion so your teammates can feed off of you and lead this team to victory.
2. Marques Alston: Get back to the aggresive form you had towards the end of last year. You are arguably the best combo Forward in the NEC. When you are guarded by bigger players take them off the dribble and finish strong, or use your patent pump-fake to free your wide-body inside. Also, be a leader for this team and produce victories just like you did last year.
3. John Bunch: It's now or never Big John Stud. Develop some consistency with your effort and decision-making over the home stretch. Be more decisive with the ball and continue to recognize the double-team like you did against RMU. Be strong with the two hand thunder jam when you're inside and get angry every once in awhile, that anger fuels your game to another level as we saw against RMU. Also, continue to be an intimdator inside. You single-handedly changed that game last year against FDU, and we need that X-factor now more than ever big fella!
4. Whitney Coleman: You are a star in the making, you need to realize this because it seems everyone else has! You are no longer a freshman, you are a legit #3 option on this team. You need to take your shots when they are there for you, and also be aggresive with your dribble-driving capabilities. Help this team win the NEC title this year, and become one of the top players in the NEC next year. You have all the talent in the world, you just need to learn to "foce the issue" a bit every once in awhile.
5. Mike Shipman: No matter if you are off the bench or the starting PG, you are this team's PG. You need to continue to bring the energy and toughness and make up for those few games you lost. It seems like you are playing every game like it is your last now, and the fans appreciate that type of effort. Your performance against RMU made me think back to that scrappy MU PG named Tyler Azzerreli. You were taught well, now use that knowledge to run this offense, get people open shots, continue to give the effort/emotion and attack the basket when the opening is there (because we all know you are money at the line).
6. Jhamar Youngblood: Continue to do what you do. You are a luxury for this team. Even though you are now starting I like to think of you as the 3rd guard on this team, and in my opinion you are one of the best if not the best third guard in the league. Continue to score in whatever way you can, because we've seen them all. Continue to bring passion to the floor, because you excited the fans like no other over the last few years has. Work on making the easy pass and making the right decision, especially on the break. While playing the PG role, make sure to continue to establish your teammates on offense and the game will come to you very easily. You are also a star in the making Jhamar!
7. Corey Hallett: Forget that this season has not gone the way you had hoped. You need to continue to play with energy, aggressiveness and defensive intensity. Fire up your teammates and give the maximum effort like always. Take the ball strong to the hole like you did (and a foul) against RMU, and lay off the pull-up 3's. If this season is to be a success from this point forward, we need you to step up like we know you can!
The rest of the team: Support your teammates, and if the opportunity presents itself; get in the game and bust your hump like they do! There is a special opportunity here that can be taken over the next 6 weeks, but it is your decision guys. You need to make the commitment to focus, give your best effort especially on DEFENSE, bring energy and leadership and play Monmouth Basketball. In my opinion; if you do these things we will all be dancing once again in March.

-MU Mystery Coach

Advisory/my schedule

My schedule:

With the absence of MU action the next few days..I well be covering the Stockton game tonight (why? - you said) - because coach Gerry Matthews (local guy, former local coach, etc.) going for career win No. 400 in D3.

Then Thursday will be out much of the day for personal reasons.

However..I will be keeping tabs on the blog and posting your comments when I can , but if there are lulls in posts, at least you know why.

Then's back to "normal" I trust..will be at MU practice.. and then advance story, info, etc. on SFNY rematch...

Interesting men's game Thursday in NEC as FDU (10-10, 5-4) visits RMU (13-6, 5-5)...RMU won the first meeting in Hackensack.

I guess MU wants an RMU win to bunch things together and give MU a shot at prevailing in tie-breakers which it already owns over RMU...any thoughts on this?


Another MU football recruit/from CJ 2 champs Weequahic

From Chris Melvin of

Dominick Brown of State Champs Weequahic (Newark) has recently given MU a verbal - he is a 6-2/255 All Iron Hills Conf and All Essex County DL .....

Melvin's comments - "Dominick Brown is a blend of size and pure athletic ability ... gets in the backfield with aggression. Plays very smart and was one of the leaders on the on the 11-1 Central Jersey Group II Championship team for coach Al-Tarik White (they beat Raritan in the final, 6-0).

"I just spoke to coach White last night about Brown's decision and he backs him %100 percent. There may be another player for the Indians that will walk on to the Hawks teams ... this is a team that had the states Defensive MVP Amara Kamara (LB - headed to Temple) and RB/DB Adonis Thomas (headed to Kansas State) on it's roster.''

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Not a good night for MU hoops recruit Deltufo and his Mendham team

courtsey njcom.highschoolsports

Chatham 56 (15-1-0), Mendham 38 (12-4-0)
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Billy Oliver totaled 16 points, seven rebounds and six blocks when Chatham avenged its only loss and pushed its winning streak to 14 games with a 56-38 victory over Mendham yesterday in Chatham.

Kevin Conroy added 12 points for Chatham, which lost a 53-34 decision at Mendham on Dec. 19. Oliver scored eight of his points when an 18-10 second quarter extended Chatham's advantage to 32-17 at halftime. Conroy stuck two 3-point baskets in the third period as the margin expanded to 48-25. Senior George Twill scored a career-high 22 points for Mendham.

CHATHAM (56): Butler 0-0-0-0, J. Carlton 0-0-0-0, M. Carlton 0-1-0-1, Conroy 3-0-2-12, Cosgrove 1-0-0-2, Gildersleeve 1-3-0-5, Kovonuk 2-0-0-4, McHugh 4-0-0-8, Moran 0-0-0-0, Oliver 5-0-2-16, Polise 0-2-0-2, Sweeney 0-0-0-0, Teschemacher 0-2-0-2, Toolajian 2-0-0-4 Totals: 18-8-4-56
MENDHAM (38): Burstein 0-1-0-1, Berish 0-2-0-2, Deltufo 0-4-0-4, Ciampaglio 0-0-0-0, Cisco 3-1-0-7, Poges 0-2-0-2, Rooney 0-0-0-0, Hanson 0-0-0-0, Tinquist 0-0-0-0, Gomeringer 0-0-0-0, Twill 4-5-3-22 Totals: 7-15-3-38 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter Final
Chatham(15-1) 14 18 16 8 56
Mendham(12-4) 7 10 8 13 38


Tuesday night NEC men's action/stories from sportsline via Assoc. Press

The beginning of the SHU slide????

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) -Michael Peeples' reverse layup with 48 seconds left gave Fairleigh Dickinson the lead for good in a 91-88 win over Sacred Heart on Tuesday.

FDU improved to (10-10 5-4 Northeast Conference) in handing Sacred Heart (10-10, 6-3) its first home loss of the season after five straight wins.

Manny Ubilla had his team-leading 21 points all in the first half for the Knights. Cameron Tyler added 19 and Andre Harris and Peeples finished with 16.

Chauncey Hardy led the Pioneers with 21 points and Joey Henley had 16.

Sacred Heart took an 86-85 lead with 1:06 left when Henley hit one of two free throws, but Peeples' basket followed by Harris' steal and Tyler's layup lifted the Knights to an 89-86 advantage with 32 seconds left.

After two free throws by FDU's Sean Baptiste with 17.3 seconds to go, Sacred Heart's Ryan Litke missed a game-tying 3-pointer with three seconds left.

The Knights led 43-40 at halftime on Ubilla's 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Associated Press News Service

That MU loss to LIU at home looking more damaging each day... as....

NEW YORK (AP) -Matt Vitale scored 19 points to lead five double-figure scorers for Wagner in an 80-77 victory over Long Island University on Tuesday night.

James Ulrich amd Mark Porter each had 14 points for the Seahawks (8-13, 5-5 Northeast Conference), who trailed 33-32 at halftime. Justin Drummond had 11 points, and Jamal Smith added 10.

Donovin McClendon scored 13 points to pace the Blackbirds (7-14, 3-7), who have lost five straight.

McClendon made two free throws to give LIU its final lead, 63-62 at 14:32. Vitale followed with a 3-pointer to put Wagner on top for good at 16:01.

Porter made two from the line to give Wagner its largest advantage, 74-68 with 54 seconds remaining.

LATEST 2006-2007 NEC Men's Basketball Standings
including games played through 1/30/2007

School NEC Pct. Overall Pct Streak Home Away Neutral
1. Central Conn. St. 9-1 .900 12-10 .545 W7 6-4 6-3 0-3
2. Mount St. Mary's 7-3 .700 8-13 .381 W2 6-3 2-10 0-0
3. Sacred Heart 6-3 .667 10-10 .500 L2 5-1 4-8 1-1
4. Quinnipiac 6-4 .600 8-11 .421 L1 5-4 3-7 0-0
5. Fairleigh Dickinson 5-4 .556 10-10 .500 W1 4-4 5-6 1-0
6. Robert Morris 5-5 .500 13-6 .684 L1 8-1 5-5 0-0
Wagner 5-5 .500 8-13 .381 W2 5-5 3-8 0-0
8. Monmouth 4-5 .444 9-12 .429 W2 7-2 1-9 1-1
9. Long Island 3-7 .300 7-14 .333 L5 5-5 2-9 0-0
St. Francis (NY) 3-7 .300 5-17 .227 L1 3-5 2-10 0-2
11. St. Francis (PA) 1-10 .091 4-18 .182 L13 3-8 1-10 0-0


MU football: Manasquan tackle Iachetta to Monmouth

Thanks initially to Chris Melvin of for this---

Tackle ALEX IACHETTA has made a verbal commitment to Monmouth U. according to his mother, Julie, who I spoke with a few minutes ago.
He joins Squan center Jim Sullivan who also verbaled to MU several weeks ago. Both are were First team Asbury Park Press All-Shore selections.

According to his mom, Alex had visited Wagner, and had drawn interest from Albany, New Hampshire, and Marist.

Here is Alex' All-Shore bio from the Press:

Position: Defensive lineman
Highlights: An immovable force from his defensive end position, the 6-foot-4, 255-pounder
finished 2006 with 60 tackles and 6• sacks .‚.‚. Part of a unit that allowed an average of
only 65 rushing yards per game .‚.‚. Recorded 10 tackles and three sacks in a win over
then-unbeaten Rumson-Fair Haven in Week 5

The NCAA spring signing period for high school football players begins next Wedenrsdsay.

The following is from Melvin -

"Alex Iachetta has everything that you need in a defensive-end. He was well coached - has explosive speed for his size, a huge frame, long arms and is as tough of a player as they come. Why didn't more of the TOP D1A programs chase after Iachetta? All I can say is their loss and Monmouth's gain - he is another special talent that the Hawks staff is bringing in. Having Iachetta and Dave Ogden of Wayne Hills on the ends - now that is going to be a scary sight for any opposing offense!''

Also: according to Melvin...Squan's Brad Newman, who had orginally verbaled to Delaware, has changed his mind and opted for Boston College.

Howie's Heroes roll on...Monday night game..from Assoc. Press

My observation - They may lose some games second half..but I don't see anyone strong enough to overtake you?

Central Connecticut 65, Quinnipiac 54

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) -Obie Nwadike scored 19 points and had 16 rebounds to lead Central Connecticut to a 65-54 win over Quinnipiac Monday night.

It was the seventh straight victory for the Blue Devils (12-10, 9-1 Northeast Conference).

DeMario Anderson led Quinnipiac (8-11, 6-4) with 16 points and Victor Akinyanju had 13 rebounds. The loss snapped the Bobcats' six-game win streak.

Tristan Blackwood added 15 points and Javier Mojica 14 points and 12 rebounds for Central, which held Quinnipiac to just 29.4 shooting from the field. Central led 33-20 at the half.

The Bobcats shot just 20 percent in the first half, matching a season-low when they played at Connecticut in the season opener.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2005-2006, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
Final 1 2 T
Central Connecticut State (12-10) « 33 32 65
Quinnipiac (8-11) 20 34 54

Team Conf. W-L Tot. W-L
Central Conn. St. 9-1 12-10
Sacred Heart 6-2 10-9
Mt. St. Marys 7-3 8-14
Quinnipiac 6-4 8-11
Robert Morris 5-5 13-6
Fair. Dickinson 4-4 9-10
Monmouth 4-5 9-12
Wagner 4-5 7-13
Long Island 3-6 7-13
St. Francis (N.Y.) 3-7 5-17
St. Francis (Pa.) 1-10 4-18

Monday, January 29, 2007

MU women hold on at the end/Press story for Tuesday

Folks: feel free to commenton the game here


WEST LONG BRANCH - Monmouth University junior point guard Brianne Edwards earned
plaudits from her coach.

""Nice going 'Breezy' (Edwards' nick name),'' said Monmouth coach Michele Baxter.

In a conclusion that probably shouldn't have been as close as it was, Edwards sank
four free throws in the final 36 seconds Monday night and also saved a possession for
Monmouth (12-8, 5-4) with a jump ball enabling the Hawks to hold off St. Francis, Pa.,
76-71, in a Northeast Conference game at Boylan Gym.

Edwards' delivered after the Red Flash (5-17, 2-9), 0-13 on the road, twice in the
last minute slashed a 13-point Monmouth lead to one, and also turned the ball over with
an opportunity to take the lead.

""I fee like it should have been a little bit more of a blow out but a win is a
win,'' said Edwards who led Monmouth with 15 points, had three assists, a steal, and
blocked a shot.

""Going back to other games, turnovers some times kill us,'' said Edwards. ""It did
come down to the last minute, but at least we made our free throws which brought us the

Monmouth had 17 turnovers Monday but they led to only 11 St. Francis points.

Conversely, Monmouth's press helped force 19 St. Francis turnovers which produced 26

""Our press worked really well tonight which helped us out tremendously,'' said

Baxter said Monmouth's press is modeled after that used by coach Billy Donovan of
the University of Florida men's team which is aimed at trapping opposing guards.

""That's why we didn't get a lot (of turnovers) Saturday vs. Robert Morris, because
they used their post players to bring the ball up,'' said Baxter.

""But this was a team where their big men didn't bring it up the floor so it was
easier for us to trap it.

""And every time they would pass it back we would re-trap again and they would

Baxter lamented Monmouth's free throw shooting which was 22-for-34 Monday, missing
10 in the second half.

""We miss, we give them hope,'' said Baxter. ""But if you make your free throws
you close that door.''

Monmouth began the evening ninth in the 11-team NEC in free throw percentage (.688).

Marisa Jimenez added 14 points and center Jennifer Bender 13 points and eight
rebounds for Monmouth. The 6-1 sophomore snatched five off the offensive glass helping
Monmouth increase its NEC leading rebounding margin of over six per game.

""A win is a win and at least we're staying in the middle of the pack,'' said

Monmouth sits in sixth place, one half game behind Mount St. Mary's and Quinnipiac
who are tied for fourth.

Freshman guard Shawna Scott and senior guard Christie Ayers each scored career
highs for St. Francis with 24 and 19 points respectively.


A cloudy crystal ball

This from the NEC web site. We have touched on this somewhat this year on our blog..but this really spells it out. I can't rememnber a year when the preseason picks were - en masse - so out to lunch (even mine - though that's never surprising!)

The top 3 picks no higher than fifth place....two of the bottom three picks, second and third....yikes! This is why I almost never go to the race track.

Telling The Future
With 2006-07 league play at its halfway point, it seems like a good time to examine how NEC teams are faring compared to their predicted finishes in the league’s preseason coaches poll. There are a number of instances of teams chosen to finish near the top of the pack - preseason favorite Monmouth currently sitting in 7th place being the most notable example - currently struggling, while Sacred Heart (chosen ninth, currently in second) and Mount St. Mary’s (picked tenth, sitting in third) have exceeded expectations considerably.

School Predicted Finish Current Place
Monmouth 1st 7th-tie
Robert Morris 2nd 5th
Long Island 3rd 9th
CCSU 4th-tie 1st
Quinnipiac 4th-tie 4th
Wagner 6th 7th-tie
Fairleigh Dickinson 7th 5th-tie
St. Francis (NY) 8th 10th
Sacred Heart 9th 2nd
Mount St. Mary’s 10th 3rd
Saint Francis (PA) 11th 11th

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Who do MU fans love to dislike (hate is a little strong) the most?

I can't take credit for this one...but it was sent in via the blog and really is an excellent early week it is...(it was also posted on the advisory topic where was sent but comment on it here.)..

Anonymous said...
Tony I've got a really interesting idea for a post thread....

How about a post on which NEC team MU fans think is the biggest rivalry, or the team they hate/dislike/love to beat the most? I think this is a great idea, and I will start it up.

For me #1 is...

CCSU- Nothing gets me more excited than watching Howie Dickenman going nuts on the sidelines. He had to be elated to finally beat MU this year after such a long spell. MU has had CCSU's number for a while til this past game. Plus, they always have a great crowd, and many of their fans are simply nuts. DId you see the wackos going by the bench taunting Chris Kenny after the game? Unreal. I hate CCSU passionately.

2. Robert Morris...Schmidt just completely urks me. He whines like a baby for every call and his players overtly hate MU. Sveral players such as Derek Coleman have made sly remarks in Pittsburgh papers about MU. And, their own assistant coach is about the most annoying coach you'll see in Division 1. I was hoping to see MU and RMU get at it a little last night, but cooler heads prevailed. Well for most anyways Chapelle. I bet you enjoyed your trip back to Moon Township, all 8 hours with that L!

3. FDU...enough said. Tom GReen and the Green Machine boo! Good thing Crosariol had the vertical leap of a 250 pound fourth grader on Chris Kenny's game clinching layup last year.

4. Wagner...Ever since Jermaine Hall, oh I disliked him.

What do you think?


I notice occasionally..and this happened today and or last night - with Jason Krayl's comments and a few others - that comments do not always arrive via my e-mail as they are programmed to do, but go into some sort of a blog file that does not always catch my eye right away.

Soooo..if you do not see your comments right away, or did not today until recently, this could be one reason. I did not cut any comments today that I am aware of.

Thanks for your patience.


MU women's game day for Monday vs. SFPA per EO



Monmouth (11-8, 4-4 NEC) vs. St. Francis (Pa.) (5-16, 2-8 NEC)

January 29, 2007

Tip: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Boylan Gym (2,200) West Long Branch, N.J.

Fans can listen to the game on WMCX-88.9 FM around West Long Branch or

The Monmouth University women's basketball team (11-8, 4-4 NEC) takes on their second straight Northeast Conference opponent from Western Pennsylvania when they host St. Francis (Pa.) (5-16, 2-8 NEC) Monday night at Boylan Gym. The Hawks currently sit in sixth place in the NEC after falling to Robert Morris 81-72 on Saturday afternoon.

Jennifer Bender (Staten Island, N.Y./Staten Island Tech) led the Hawks against the Colonials by logging her fourth double-double of the season with a career-high 24 points and tied a career-high with 11 rebounds. Marisa Jimenez (Carteret, N.J./Carteret) added 12 points and Brianne Edwards (Bloomfield, Conn/Suffield) contributed 10 points. Monmouth shot 47.2 % from the floor, but was done in by 25 turnovers with the Colonials converted into 33 points.

The game was closely contested as the lead changed hands seven times, even though the Hawks biggest lead was only two points. The Colonials shot 52.6 % from the field in the game.

The Red Flash have struggled since winning four consecutive Northeast Conference Tournament titles form 2002-2005, and nine out of ten postseason league championships since 1996.

Who wins? Now that we are at the half way point - or there abouts

Who do you think wins the NEC regular season?

I have included below, not only the current standings, but also from the NEC web site, the team offensive and defensive stats, and the inividual scoring and rebounding leaders..

2006-2007 NEC Men's Basketball Standings
including games played through 1/27/2007

School NEC Pct. Overall Pct Streak Home Away Neutral
1. Central Conn. St. 8-1 .889 11-10 .524 W6 6-4 5-3 0-3
2. Sacred Heart 6-2 .750 10-9 .526 L1 5-0 4-8 1-1
3. Mount St. Mary's 7-3 .700 8-13 .381 W2 6-3 2-10 0-0
4. Quinnipiac 6-3 .667 8-10 .444 W6 5-3 3-7 0-0
5. Robert Morris 5-5 .500 13-6 .684 L1 8-1 5-5 0-0
Fairleigh Dickinson 4-4 .500 9-10 .474 L2 4-4 4-6 1-0
7. Monmouth 4-5 .444 9-12 .429 W2 7-2 1-9 1-1
Wagner 4-5 .444 7-13 .350 W1 5-5 2-8 0-0
9. Long Island 3-6 .333 7-13 .350 L4 5-4 2-9 0-0
10. St. Francis (NY) 3-7 .300 5-17 .227 L1 3-5 2-10 0-2
11. St. Francis (PA) 1-10 .091 4-18 .182 L13 3-8 1-10 0-0

## Team G W-L Pts Avg/G
1.Sacred Heart........ 19 10-9 1460 76.8
2.Robert Morris....... 19 13-6 1405 73.9
3.Fairleigh Dickinson. 19 9-10 1364 71.8
4.Quinnipiac.......... 18 8-10 1286 71.4
5.Wagner.............. 20 7-13 1420 71.0
6.Saint Francis (PA).. 22 4-18 1480 67.3
7.Long Island......... 20 7-13 1335 66.8
8.Mount St. Mary's.... 21 8-13 1386 66.0
9.Central Conn. St.... 21 11-10 1354 64.5
10.Monmouth............ 21 9-12 1324 63.0
11.St. Francis (NY).... 22 5-17 1310 59.5

## Team G Pts Avg/G
1.Central Conn. St.... 21 1371 65.3
2.Monmouth............ 21 1390 66.2
3.St. Francis (NY).... 22 1466 66.6
4.Robert Morris....... 19 1296 68.2
5.Mount St. Mary's.... 21 1460 69.5
6.Long Island......... 20 1393 69.7
7.Quinnipiac.......... 18 1288 71.6
8.Wagner.............. 20 1479 73.9
9.Fairleigh Dickinson. 19 1410 74.2
10.Saint Francis (PA).. 22 1641 74.6
11.Sacred Heart........ 19 1477 77.7

## Player-Team Cl G FG 3FG FT Pts Avg/G
1.HARRIS, Andre-FDU........ 19 142 7 57 348 18.3
2.MOJICA, Javier-CCSU...... 21 126 46 51 349 16.6
3.JACKSON, A.J.-RMU........ 19 116 27 52 311 16.4
4.DELIC, Dejan-MU.......... 21 109 61 48 327 15.6
5.LEE, Tony-RMU............ 19 113 14 52 292 15.4
6.WILLIAMS, James-LIU...... 20 92 48 67 299 14.9
7.HINES, Robert-SFNY....... 22 114 17 83 328 14.9
8.BLACKWOOD, Tristan-CCSU.. 21 97 68 45 307 14.6
9.GONZALEZ, Adam-QU........ 17 81 24 58 244 14.4
10.PORTER, Mark-WC.......... 20 89 30 72 280 14.0
11.ANDERSON, DeMario-QU..... 18 100 17 29 246 13.7
12.FRYE, Jarrid-SHU......... 19 103 6 47 259 13.6
13.SWEETNEY, Devin-SFPA..... 22 89 11 103 292 13.3
14.TYLER, Cameron-FDU....... 19 83 11 74 251 13.2
15.CHAPPELL, Jeremy-RMU..... 19 99 26 23 247 13.0
16.NWADIKE, Obie-CCSU....... 18 66 0 100 232 12.9
17.VANN, Chris-MSM.......... 21 96 46 31 269 12.8
18.BERRY, Chris-SFPA........ 22 87 20 80 274 12.5
19.COLEMAN, Derek-RMU....... 19 74 43 42 233 12.3
20.ULRICH, James-WC......... 20 91 4 58 244 12.2
21.MUNDWEILER, Joey-WC...... 20 79 61 20 239 11.9
22.ENRIGHT, J.R.-SFPA....... 20 91 18 38 238 11.9
23.SMITH, Jamal-WC.......... 20 84 9 52 229 11.4
24.HENLEY, Joey-SHU......... 18 74 0 58 206 11.4
25.YOUNGBLOOD, Jhamar-MU.... 21 88 18 44 238 11.3
26.UBILLA, Manny-FDU........ 19 68 35 43 214 11.3
27.GOODE, Jeremy-MSM........ 21 74 24 57 229 10.9
28.PEEPLES, Michael-FDU..... 19 71 17 48 207 10.9
29.GRANATO, Luke-SHU........ 19 65 54 22 206 10.8
30.ALSTON, Marques-MU....... 21 91 12 31 225 10.7

## Player-Team Cl G OFF DEF TOT Avg/G
1.NWADIKE, Obie-CCSU....... 18 75 104 179 9.9
2.HARRIS, Andre-FDU........ 19 39 106 145 7.6
3.JACKSON, A.J.-RMU........ 19 46 98 144 7.6
4.SWEETNEY, Devin-SFPA..... 22 57 109 166 7.5
5.SCOTT, Aubin-LIU......... 20 42 103 145 7.2
6.MOJICA, Javier-CCSU...... 21 38 108 146 7.0
7.AKINYANJU, Victor-QU..... 18 48 71 119 6.6
8.LEE, Tony-RMU............ 19 46 76 122 6.4
9.ULRICH, James-WC......... 20 42 80 122 6.1
10.KOTOROBAI, Eugene-LIU.... 16 21 75 96 6.0
11.SHEPPARD, Allan-SFNY..... 22 51 73 124 5.6
12.PEEPLES, Michael-FDU..... 19 47 59 106 5.6
13.SMITH, Jamal-WC.......... 20 38 73 111 5.6
14.SOBERS, Jemino-CCSU...... 21 47 68 115 5.5
15.WEHYE, Chris-QU.......... 18 39 59 98 5.4
16.KEARSE, Mychal-MSM....... 19 34 68 102 5.4
17.BERRY, Chris-SFPA........ 22 47 70 117 5.3
18.CHAPPELL, Jeremy-RMU..... 19 34 66 100 5.3
FRYE, Jarrid-SHU......... 19 36 64 100 5.3
20.HINES, Robert-SFNY....... 22 47 66 113 5.1

Now what?

To be honest, if Chappell finishes the game am not sure if they win...but..he didn't..and they that's all that matters.

1. Where do you all think they end in the regular season standings. Second? Third? Fifth? Lower? Where?

2. Is a winning season again realistic? (must go 7-2 second half, or 6-3 and win two in the NECs).

3. Do you like the week off? Or would you rather they be playing again, say Monday vs. SFNY instead of Saturday?

My post game comments/ post game quotes/etc.

Had to be thrilling for MU fans to see Delic produce the way he did...and for a second game in a row actually. MU needs a senior or its seniors to step up and have a big second half of the season.

Bunch appeared very enegertic and determined. Why is it every time he touches the ball people scream, "Shoot," like when he's 10-or-more feet from the hoop. What are they thinking?

I heard he told someone before the game, "If I can't make a shot I have to rebound to help the team." He made a few shots..grabbed eight boards..blocked six shots..he's such a key to how they'll do....

I couldn't figureout why - early in the game - Alston roared down the lane, had a clear path to a dunk, and then dished to Coleman in the left corner who missed the open 3.

Coleman (ave. 15.5 ppg. in the last two home games, 15 last night and sparked MU's first half rally) began the game averaging 12.6 ppg. in home games and 6.6 per game on the road.."Jet," - 13 points last night, has hit double figures in the last six games..

Delic and Calloway on the game's playoff atmosphere..

""I've never played playoff games this early in the season ince I've been at Monmouth,'' Delic said.

""It seemed like a playoff atmosphere out there,'' said Calloway. ""Packed house, the crowd got into it, it as fun.''

""I couldn't sleep before the game really well,'' said Delic. ""It was a playoff game, that's what it was.''

Calloway on having a week off before next Saturday night's game with SFNY, ""I'm glad from the stand point of - I want to see now - I think we can build on this and have a great week of practice, and get better.

""We beat, I think by far, one of the top three talented teams in the league. So now we know we can beat (good) teams, but this was at home.

""So now we've got to have a great week of practice and get better, like we were playing tonight but also back when we played Lehigh and Loyola Marymount. We had a lot of practices to get ready for that, too. (I assume there he meant good practices.''

I asked Calloway about Jeremy Chappell's fouling out with 15:43 left on the "T."

" I was more excited we got four foul shots (two by Delic on the T, and two by Hallett hit in the act of shooting. Each split their attempts). Deki promised me he was going to make two.""

""That hurts them,'' said Calloway of Chappell's disqualification. ''Their first five is as talented as anybody. He was their leading scorer (16 points) at the time, and he was still their second leading scorer.''

He was replaced by 6-4 freshman Mezie Nwige who notched five for six from the line in 21 minutes.

That situation reminded me of the '95 NEC playoff game with FDU when Jack Gordon got a T and fouled out with about 4-5 minutes left, and FDU won on a tip in at the buzzer by Rahson Turner.

That was a bad play by Chappell and I would say the same if it was an MU player. A player in that situation can't be taking a chance like that and it may have cost the team the game.

Other quick hits: MU has now won two straight when yielding more than 30 points in the first half and also won when yielding more than 60 points..rarities for the Hawks, but holding RMU to 68 is almost like like holding anyone else to 58...If you didn't hear, S Heart had a 19-point lead at CCSU when the Devils came back and won in OT...MU has to go 7-2 second half of the season to clinch that winning season which is back within range again...

Women's observation...teriffic game by Bender (24 points, 11 boards, six off the offensive glass) and was sporting an ice pack on her forehead much of the evening after being knocked to the floor in the second half ...

Hawks need to learn how to slow it down and take better care of the ball...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Latest NEC standings/ men/women

2006-2007 NEC Men's Basketball Standings
including games played through 1/27/2007

School NEC Pct. Overall Pct Streak Home Away Neutral
1. Central Conn. St. 8-1 .889 11-10 .524 W6 6-4 5-3 0-3
2. Sacred Heart 6-2 .750 10-9 .526 L1 5-0 4-8 1-1
3. Mount St. Mary's 7-3 .700 8-13 .381 W2 6-3 2-10 0-0
4. Quinnipiac 6-3 .667 8-10 .444 W6 5-3 3-7 0-0
5. Robert Morris 5-5 .500 13-6 .684 L1 8-1 5-5 0-0
Fairleigh Dickinson 4-4 .500 9-10 .474 L2 4-4 4-6 1-0
7. Monmouth 4-5 .444 9-12 .429 W2 7-2 1-9 1-1
Wagner 4-5 .444 7-13 .350 W1 5-5 2-8 0-0
9. Long Island 3-6 .333 7-13 .350 L4 5-4 2-9 0-0
10. St. Francis (NY) 3-7 .300 5-17 .227 L1 3-5 2-10 0-2
11. St. Francis (PA) 1-10 .091 4-18 .182 L13 3-8 1-10 0-0

2006-2007 NEC Women's Basketball Standings
including games played through 1/27/2007

School NEC Pct. Overall Pct Streak Home Away Neutral
1. Long Island 9-1 .900 16-5 .762 W9 9-3 7-2 0-0
2. Sacred Heart 8-1 .889 13-7 .650 W2 6-1 7-6 0-0
3. Robert Morris 7-2 .778 13-6 .684 W2 6-2 6-4 1-0
4. Quinnipiac 5-4 .556 11-7 .611 L1 7-2 3-5 1-0
Mount St. Mary's 5-4 .556 7-12 .368 W2 5-5 2-7 0-0
6. Monmouth 4-4 .500 11-8 .579 L1 7-3 3-4 1-1
7. Fairleigh Dickinson 4-5 .444 7-12 .368 L1 4-3 3-8 0-1
8. St. Francis (NY) 3-6 .333 8-12 .400 W3 4-6 4-5 0-1
9. Central Conn. St. 2-7 .222 4-16 .200 L6 3-6 1-8 0-2
10. St. Francis (PA) 2-8 .200 5-16 .238 L3 5-4 0-12 0-0
11. Wagner 1-8 .111 3-17 .150 L2 2-9 1-8 0-0

a big MU win/story for Sunday Press


WEST LONG BRANCH - As the final Robert Morris shot of the evening fell off the rim
Saturday it was only fitting it fell into the hands of senior Dejan Delic of the Monmouth Univesity men's basketball team.
It was Delic who took the game in his hands in the stretch sinking four

huge 3's in the last five minutes spurring the Hawks to a 76-68

Northeast Conference
victory over the Colonials at Boylan Gym.

""Of course I wanted the ball, said the 6-6 Delic, who ended with 25

points on seven-for-10 from downtown and is 12-for-15 from 3 over the last two games.
His seven treys

tied his single game total, second all time to his coach Dave

Calloway who had nine at Pepperdine in the early 90's.

With 1,056 career points Delic surpassed Jason Krayl for 13th place on

Monmouth's Division I career scoring charts.

""I had a couple of drives (to the basket) in the first few minutes,'' said Delic. ""The first one I made and

that kind of opened up the 3 for me. They started respecting my drives, too.

""Then I caught fire and I kept shooting.''

Delic's final trey, which soared home from the right wing with 1:08

showing, gave Monmouth (9-12, 4-5) its largest lead of the night , 72-64, and set off a frenzied

roar from the season's largest crowd of 2,227.

Delic delivered from downtown with 5:21 showing for a 61-59 Monmouth

lead as the teams traded long balls.
Colson Senat of Robert Morris (13-6, 5-5) made an

NBA 3 from the right wing with

3:53 left to put the Colonials ahead, 62-61, but Delic was still warming up.

He answered from deep to make it 64-62 and swished another for a 69-64

advantage with 1:53 showing.

"'The thing was too, it was within the framework (of the offense),''

''This is two games in a row he's stepped up and made big shots,'' said

Calloway referring to Thursday night's victory over St. Francis, Pa. ""That's

what seniors do.''

""It's just amazing,'' said sophomore Whitney Coleman who added 15 points,

five assists, two steals, and grabbed six rebounds.

""When the shot clock is going down you just look for him,''said Coleman.

" "He's just

spotting up and burying them.

""Four (3s) in the last five minutes, that's unreal, I'm speechless.''

"'You're making me blush,'' laughed Delic.

Though Monmouth was outrebounded 38-25 it got the best game in

almost a

month from 7-2 senior John Bunch (eight points, eight rebounds, six blocks).

It also turned 20 RMU turnovers into 35 points.

RMU played the final 15:43 with out sophomore guard and 14.1 ppg.


Jemrey Chappell.

The sophomore, who led RMU at the time with 16 points,

was disqualified after picking up his fifth personal on

a technical foul.

Chappell was banished after he slammed the Boylan Gym wall with his fist

seconds after he was charged with his fourth personal after he thought he

had blocked a shot by Corey Hallett.

Monmouth was outplayed much of the first half Saturday night before Coleman

ignited a 13-0 burst enabling it to capture a 36-34 lead and head to the locker room tied at


RMU took a 34-23 lead after after Derek Colman made two technical

foul shots assessed to Calloway who was arguing an out of bounds call.

""I think the best play of the game was his (Calloway's) technical foul,

seriously,'' said Delic.""It changed the game a lot.

""We really weren't getting any calls early in the game and we were down,

kind of pouting a little bit,'' said Delic. ""After the technical it really

raised our energy level.''

Coleman drained a 3, dunked in

transition for a

conventional 3-point

play, and sank a 10-footer before Delic drained a left wing trey to lift

Monmouth ahead for the first time since the opening minutes, 36-34.

There were five lead changes in the second half with neither team leading

by more than four points until Delic took over.

NOTES..By taking the court Marques Alston tied Dwayne Byfield for fourth place

with his 117th Division I game. Blake Hamilton is next with 119. Alston should pass assistant coach Chris Kenny (124) for No. 1 all-time.

Including Saturday night Monmouth has the most wins, 84,

in the NEC over the last

seven years....Central Connecticut closed the margin to 80 with its eighth of the season Saturday.


MU women are over tuned


WEST LONG BRANCH - The Monmouth University women's basketball team buckled

Saturday under Robert Morris' pressing defense, eventually going to its


"It (the defeat) was because of turnovers,'' said Monmouth center Jennifer


Truer words were never spoken.
The Hawks succumbed to 25 turnovers leading to 33

Robert Morris

points helping the Colonials make off with an 81-72 Northeast Conference

victory at Boylan Gymnasium.

Monmouth (11-8, 4-4), which began the day having posted NEC wins over

teams with a

combined league record off9-24 (37 percent), had fallen to teams with a

combined NEC mark of 20-5 (80 percent).

But its hopes of finding its way into the upper

NEC's upper echelon at the expense of the third place Colonials (13-6, 7-2),

were scuttled early.

Five turnovers, mostly under its own basket, led to 10 relatively easy

RMU points in the first 4:15 quickly dropping Monmouth into a double digit hole.

""It's (turnovers) just miscommunication, or rushing, not taking the

(necessary) time,''said Bender.

The 6-1 sophomore from Staten Island registered her fourth career double double with

24 points and 11 rebounds (six offensive) in 24 minutes off the bench.
""I just had to box out, I know they can all jump,'' said Bender.

Marisa Jiminez had 12 points and Brianne Edwards 10 for Monmouth which

battled back.

It gained two brief one-point leads early in the second half but then faded


Monmouth coach Michele Baxter said the game plan was to move the ball,

spread the floor, and work the clock.

""We were up by one point and all of a sudden we deviate from what

we're going to do,'' Baxter said. ""It like snowballs,'' she said. ''I hope

it's because we're young (Monmouth has just one senior). We have to become

more disciplined. We have to stick with the game plan.''

Sal Buscaglia, RMU coach, said the Colonials only began pressing in recent


""We've been trying to make it a more up tempo game and it's a strategy we've

been using lately,'' he said. ""I think it did affect them.''

Chanita Nesbit, a 6-2 Robert Morris junior scored 21 points, had seven

rebounds, and made four steals.


Champion, a 6-0 senior, came off the bench to add 20 points shooting 7-for-8 from

the floor.


MU men and or women/RMU post game comments here

This is the place. Game stories will also follow.

Friday, January 26, 2007

MU women's game day/courtesy EO from MU


Monmouth (11-7, 4-3 NEC) vs. Robert Morris (12-6, 6-2 NEC)

January 27, 2007

Tip: 3:00 p.m.

Location: Boylan Gym (2,200) West Long Branch, N.J.

The Monmouth University women's basketball team (11-7, 4-3 NEC) resumes their Northeast Conference ledger when they host Robert Morris (12-6, 6-2 NEC) on Saturday, January 27 at 3 p.m.

The Hawks defeated NJIT 58-54 their last time out in Newark. MU was led by Lindsey Zegowitz (Damascus, Md./Damascus) who scored 11 points. Veronica Randolph (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) and Brooke McElroy (Chestefield, Va./Thomas Dale) each pulled down a career-high in rebounds with 12 and 10 respectively against the Highlanders.

The Colonials come into the game as the third-place team in the conference, while the Hawks are fifth. RMU leads the league in scoring, averaging 73.4 points per game, while MU is third, scoring 65.7 points per contest. Monmouth holds the all-time series lead 28-14, but Robert Morris has won the last three meetings, including their last game at Boylan Gym 64-60 on January 9, 2006.

Monmouth is led by Jennifer Bender's 10.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, while four Robert Morris players score in double figures per game, led by Chinata Nesbit’s 16.7 ppg.

My pick: MU has depth but may lack enough fire power, RMU 69-65.

MU vs. RMU Press men's hoops story for Saturday


WEST LONG BRANCH - Make no mistake about it.
If the Monmouth University men's basketball team (8-12, 3-5)
is serious about climbing
back into the mix for an upper rung Northeast Conference Tournament berth, than
Saturday's game with high-scoring, potent rebounding Robert Morris (13-5, 5-4) should probably have "must win" written on its blackboards, embedded in its psyche, and etched in stone.
""First of all, we're at home,'' said Dave Calloway, Monmouth
way things are going right now (Monmouth is 1-9 on the road)
we have to win our home games.''
The game marks Monmouth's only regular season meeting with Robert
Morris which also underlines its significance.
""When we've always finished in the top (of the NEC) we've won
these games where we
play a team once,'' said Calloway.
""We already lost to one team we play once, Quinnipiac, so this is one
got to get, especially, because it's at home.''
""The way it's going right now Robert Morris has one less loss than us in the
league so we'll be fighting with them for positioning as well. It's an
important game.''
A. J. Jackson, a 6-6 senior (16.6 ppg,), leads RMU's No. 2 NEC offense which
is looking to score more than 80 points in a fourth game in row for the
first time since since the early 90's.
""Their first five is probably as talented as anybody in the league,'' said
Despite the win Thursday over St. Francis, Pa. Monmouth was embarrassed on the
boards, 27-13, with Red Flash rookie Devin Sweetney's 13 rebounds equaling the
entire Monmouth team.
Corey Hallett pulled down Monmouth's lone rebound off the offensive glass
which Hallett turned
into a successful hook shot.
Monmouth is last in the NEC in total rebounds (504), over 100 less than
Robert Morris (611) which has played two less games.
"W've got to box out more, more so than just watching when the shot
goes up,'' said senior forward Marques Alston who had two rebounds vs. St.
""All the players have to box out, not just the big
men, the guards have to box out,'' he said.
""It's (rebounding) has always been a problem historically (for)
Monmouth),'' said Calloway. "" But
rebounding is about wanting the ball.
""We're a little unique in the way we play (in the match up zone) so you
don't have a particular man you have to box out when you're guarding him, but
you have to find a man when the shot goes up.
"And then we've got to get offensive rebounds, too. There's no excuse for
having just one offensive rebound (Hallet's) - granted it was a big one.''
Alston generated some critical offense Thursday early in the
second half when he went to work down low to help lift Monmouth on top for
"Since making my transition over to playing mostly center my job is to try
to work, get rebounds, get in the post, and score,'' said Alston.
""Guys are looking for me to score and I've been working hard trying to
get position.''
""A lot of times our offense is what the defensive gives, us,'' said
Calloway. ""A lot of times we've been getting Marques the ball and teams are
doubling him which, to be honest, is what I would do.
""He's been kicking it out and we've got to make shots. (Thursdsy night)
early in the first half we made some shots (5-for-8 from downtown)
which helped.''
Calloway did not play struggling senior center John Bunch in the
second half
""I just went with the group that at that point in time I thought would
help us win, the way the game was going,'' said Calloway. ""He's going to need
to play well (vs. RMU) if we're going to have a chance.''
Sophomore point guard Mike Shipman said defense will
determine the outcome.
""If we continue to play the way we
played (Thursday night) with some more
effort on defense and some more alertness on defense we should be all
right,'' he said.

Other stuff not in the story......

I was unable to attend practice today due to personal obligations - but did talk with Dave a little while ago..quotes are a mix of from tonight and also from after last night's game.

Deki (elbow)..ok..practiced I figured.. was just benched second half Thursday as Dave said above....wasn't injured. No lineup changes and Bunch still very much in the rotation.

Do you think starting back court should remain "Jet" and Whitney and bring Shipman off the bench? or another combination? Something of a moot point, though,
since I figure on increasing three guard looks for longer stretches, though depending on match ups.

At one point in the first half last night they had on the floor two frosh - Jhamar and Rickie, two sophs - Whitney, and Shipman, and one senior - Delic.


RMU game notes highlights/my thoughts/predictions

from: Jim Duzyk (RMU) Game #19 Game Notes

Robert Morris (13-5 / 5-4) @ Monmouth (8-12 / 3-5)
Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 7:00 EST
Boylan Gymnasium (2,500) - West Long Branch, N.J.
Radio: WPIT-AM 73 (Chris Shovlin - play-by-play & Jim Elias - color)
On the internet (live and archived) at:

Top Story - The Robert Morris University men’s basketball team opens the second half of its 2006-07 Northeast Conference schedule Saturday night when it travels to West Long Branch, N.J., for a 7:00 p.m. tilt at preseason favorite Monmouth. The Colonials, winners of two straight and three of their last four, own a league record of 5-4, good enough for sixth place in the conference standings. RMU is coming off a 94-75 win @ in-state rival Saint Francis (Pa.) in which the club shot a season-high 61.4 percent (35-for-57) from the field.

Note this MU fans: After its tussle with the Hawks Saturday, Robert Morris closes out the regular season with five of its final eight games at the Charles L. Sewall Center in the month of February, starting with a 7:00 p.m. tilt against Fairleigh Dickinson Thursday, Feb. 1. MU has four home, five away after EMU game.

Quick Stat of the Night - The Colonials seem to have hit their stride offensively entering Saturday’s game against Monmouth, as RMU has averaged 85.7 points per game in its last three games thanks to 82 points against Sacred Heart (1/18/07) and 81 against Mount St. Mary’s (1/20/07) at home and 94 points @ Saint Francis (Pa.) (1/23/07).

My comment - MU has gotta slow this pace down dramatically to have a chance.

Note this : In six seasons under head coach Mark Schmidt, the Colonials have never eclipsed the 80-point plateau in four straight games.In fact, the last time Robert Morris had a streak of at least four games scoring 80 or more points came from Jan. 12 to Jan. 26, 1991, when RMU averaged 92 points in five straight contests, posting a 4-1 record in that stretch.

A little history - Robert Morris swept both games in 2005-06, garnering an 87-75 win @ Boylan Gymnasium (1/5/06) before a 73-65 victory @ the Charles L. Sewall Center (1/26/06). In the win in West Long Branch, N.J., last season, junior guard Tony Lee scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, hitting on six of his 10 shots from the floor and 12 of 14 from the free-throw line.

RMU vs. Monmouth
Series Record - Monmouth leads, 29-14
First Meeting - 1/23/86; Monmouth, 71-60
Last Meeting - 1/26/06; RMU, 73-65
Last RMU Win - 1/26/06; RMU, 73-65
Current Streak - RMU, 2

Probable Starters (Robert Morris @ Monmouth)

ROBERT MORRIS (13-5 / 5-4 NEC)
# P Name Pts. Reb. G/GS Hometown Quick Fact
32 F A.J. Jackson (6-6, 230, Sr.) 16.8 7.4 18/18 Monessen, Pa. Has scored 20+ points in each of last four games
4 C Freddie Harris (6-9, 245, Sr.) 4.5 3.0 18/18 Decatur, Ala. Shooting 52.5 percent from the field
21 G Jeremy Chappell (6-3, 200, So.) 12.8 5.3 18/18 Cincinnati, Ohio Career high seven assists @ Saint Francis (Pa.)
13 G Derek Coleman (5-11, 180, Sr.) 12.2 2.3 18/18 Dorchester, Mass. Shooting 87 percent from the free-throw line
42 G Tony Lee (6-0, 205, Jr.) 15.1 6.4 18/18 Boston, Mass. Leads NEC in FG pct. (61.6) and steals (3.00 spg)

MONMOUTH (8-12 / 3-5 NEC)
1 F Dejan Delic (6-6, 215, Sr.) 15.1 3.3 20/20 Belgrade, Serbia Perfect 5-for-5 in three-pointers vs. SFPA
23 F Marques Alston (6-4, 230, Sr.) 10.9 3.6 20/20 Neptune, N.J. Owns 1,012 career points at Monmouth
12 C Corey Hallett (6-10, 230, Sr.) 2.8 3.4 20/20 Shelburne, Nova Scotia Shooting just 36.8 percent from the field
3 G Jhamar Youngblood (6-1, 190, Fr.) 11.3 2.8 20/10 Newark, N.J. Averaging 13.2 points in last five games
5 G Whitney Coleman (6-3, 190, So.) 9.0 3.2 20/20 Salem, Conn. Second on the club with 28 three-pointers

Action Jackson - No player in any sport is immune to slumps, and the same holds true for Robert Morris. After averaging just 8.5 points in a four-game span from Dec. 16, 2006, to Jan. 4, 2007, senior forward A.J. Jackson has gotten his groove back in the scoring department. Jackson enters Saturday’s game having scored in double figures in six straight games, averaging 19.0 points per game over that span. In his last four games, however, Jackson has been even better, eclipsing the 20-point plateau each time in averaging 22.5 points while shooting 54.5 percent (36-for-66) from the field.

RMU is strong where MU has holes, 3-point shooting and rebounding.

I haven't done real well lately in picking these MU games. Hawk fans will hope I'm wrong this time, too: RMU, 73-68.

Quick Facts

MU won for the first time this year (1-10) when allowing 30 or more first half points

MU is 7-4 when scoring 60 or more points, 4-1 in the NEC.

MU had four players in double figures for the first time in six games

MU had 17 assists and 11 turnovers, scored 25 points off 19 SFPA TOs.

MU was out scored in second chance points, 12-2.

MU shot 62 percent (13-for-21) in the second half and 60 percent (26-for-43) for the game.

SFPA shot 4-for-10 from 3 in each half.

Question on Saturday's MU-RMU double dip, women at 3 p.m. and men at 7 p.m.

Anyone plan to attend both games? Which one? If games were at 5 and 7 pm would you be more inclined to attend both?

Just wondering....

My comments on SFPA game/nothing to get really excited about

Well..yes..MU won..but I wouldn't take a dash to the airline counter making any NCAA arrangements thinking this team's problems have been solved. SFPA (RPI 327 of 336) wasn't exactly Gonzaga.

The good things:

Certainly the return of Ship was a big time plus in this game...all the guards played well ( 10 assists, 4 TOs - all by Whitney - but he made up for that with 16 points) and they all played under control ....ran the offense..didn't force too much. Deki was white hot. Seemed to injure his elbow there, but came back and hit another 3.

Good to see Marques get some key touches and some big hoops inside that turned the game around. He's got to keep doing that

Ok the bad: MU got killed on the glass..27-13 is embarrasing. Sweetney had as many rebounds as the entire MU team.'s plain ridiculous, embarrasing. I never remember any stats like that.

RMU didn't even play Thursday and still has 100 more rebounds than MU.. RMU overall is No. seven or 8 in the NEC in total rebounds but MU is No. 11 and last in total rebounds. RMU is no. 2 in rebound margin, and MU is No. 10.

RMU is No. 2 in offense and MU is also No. 10 there. ..MU is No 2 in defense but RMU is No. 4.

Anyway...both teams have many of the same guys back from last year when RMU swept MU.

In my opinion it's rather disappointing to see Bunch relegated to non-factor. Not that he's playing great, and they are quicker with him watching.

But he remains a potential difference maker and it's not happening. In short, I don't know how far they can go without him making a significant contribution unless Marques really takes more major strides from here on out.
Well, we may see.

As I thought, Rickie is getting some first half run. Late January has become late November-early December for him as far as game experience.

Anyway this (Robert Morris Saturday) is a HUGE game in the world of MU hoops. Win and the Hawks can seriously begin to consider a top four NEC playoff berth.

Lose and MU will have dropped its only regular season games to Q pac and RMU, critical in tie breakers, and probably will mean MU is doomed to fighting for an 8-7-6, maybe five spot.

This (RMU game) is also the MU halfway point in the NEC schedule, after which MU will only have four home (including Monday vs SFNY) and five games away.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Latest on the MAC, full Press story for Friday


WEST LONG BRANCH — The Zoning Board of Adjustment will hold a special meeting Feb. 8 to
consider the scaled down plan for a Multi-Activity Center at Monmouth University.
The board Thursday night agreed unanimously to let the university reopen its application.
However, it voted 6-1 to limit the scope of the reconsideration to traffic, parking and
conditions placed on the operations of the proposed center, such as number of "capacity"
events scheduled there.
In deciding to consider the modified plan for the center, or MAC, the board said it
determined a mistake was made during its deliberations on the previous application when a
board member said he talked to the police chief about that lack of traffic plan for the center
when an informal plan exists.
The school made the request to the board nearly six weeks after an earlier proposal failed
to generate the necessary five affirmative votes needed for approval.
Monmouth University President Paul G. Gaffney II commented that "reasonable people can
come to reasonable accommodations" when he said earlier this month he would ask the board to
consider the revised plan.
The scaled-down Multi-Activity Center would have 720 fewer seats — down to 4,122 — and
would host 12 "capacity'' events a year instead of the 25 originally planned. Capacity events
are expected to attract 4,000 or more. The $34-million-arena would host basketball games and
feature an indoor track, the university bookstore, athletic department offices, the Varsity
Club, classrooms and a fitness center.
Under the previous design, the center would have had 4,842 seats, a reduction from the
6,000 initially envisioned in a plan that was not financially feasible, Gaffney has said.
After nearly a year of hearings, the zoning board Dec. 14 voted 4-3 to approve the plan.
But because the application sought a use variance, it required five affirmative votes for
approval so the application failed.
The board members who opposed the application — Ellen Anfuso, Douglas Bostwick and John M.
Aria — are all relatively recent appointments to the board.
They did not offer specific reasons for their votes, while board secretary Irven Miller and
board Chairman Rocco W. Christopher listed reasons the plan should be approved.
During hearings for the arena, which would be built on two temporary parking lots
northeast of Boylan gym, neighbors complained of noise, parking and traffic concerns.


MU hoops Press story for Friday


WEST LONG BRANCH - For the Monmouth University men's basketball team Thursday night's
Northeast Conference game vs. St. Francis, Pa. was akin to pulling teeth.

""Every game is huge now, being in the hole we're in,'' said Mike Shipman after the
Hawks were able to extract a 71-66 Northeast Conference victory that ended their
four-game losing streak.

The win was coach Dave Calloway's 100th in the NEC as he became the seventh coach in
league history to reach the plateau.

The triumph, before 1,250 at Boylan Gym, enabled Monmouth (8-12, 3-5) to climb into a
three-way tie for seventh place with Wagner and Long Island U. The top eight teams
qualify for the NEC Tournament.

""We need every win,'' said Shipman. ""We need to approach that in practice, off the
court, in our rooms. It just has to be in our minds every single day.''

Thursday night hardly came easy against a Red Flash team (4-17, 1-9) with young but
error prone (11 assists, 19 turnovers) talent.

St. Francis tied a school record with a 12th consecutive defeat after beginning the
night with a rating of 327 of 336 Division I teams.

In his second game back after missing seven for academic reasons, Shipman finished
with nine points, led Monmouth's anemic rebounding total of 13 with four, and dished off
five assists with no turnovers.

The sophomore also hit the biggest basket of the game as his left corner 3 with 43
seconds left provided Monmouth a 65-58 lead.

It came after Calloway called his second offensive time out of the final two minutes
with St. Francis, led by rookie Devin Sweetney (22 points, 11 rebounds), whittling away
at a nine-point deficit.

""The play was just to get some penetration, trying to get Deki (Delic) on an
isolation on the left wing, and Jhamar (Youngblood) coming off the pick and roll with
Marques (Alston),'' said Shipman.

""He's (Youngblood) really good at creating some offense for himself and his
teammates which he did. He drove and I spotted up in the corner and he found me.''

The left-hander watched as the shot swirled around the rim for what seemed an eternity
before falling in. "A quick prayer (was answered),'' said Shipman.

Trailing 35-34 at the half Monmouth shoveled the ball inside to Alston (10 points,
two rebounds) to begin the second half and the 6-3 senior hit a short jump shot and a
layup .

Whitney Coleman (16 points) and Youngblood (11 points) sank layups as Monmouth used
an 8-2 spurt to gain the lead for good.

""It was nice to win,''said Calloway, appearing a whole lot more relieved than

""Offensively it was nice to get out of it (a scoring slump),'' said Calloway.
""Maybe being at home helped.''

After averaging just over 53 points per game in its skid Monmouth placed four
players in double figures Thursday.

Calloway did not like the numbers, however, that showed the Red Flash shooting 55.6
percent from the floor while outrebounding Monmouth, 27-13. The Hawks snagged just one
offensive rebound (Corey Hallett).

""We're going to lose most of the time (with statistics like that),''said Calloway.

Monmouth hosts Robert Morris (13-5, 5-4) Saturday.

Contact Tony Graham at e-mail

MAC update

Decision postponed until a special meeting next month to reconsider the vote (and look at MU's concessions).

More coming.

MU baseball

Since someone on the blog asked the other day -

I just talked with coach Ehehalt. Roster is not yet on the MU web site but I guess should be soon.

Basically this appears to be a young team with some good freshman arms but not many position players back. While Brad Brach returns to probably anchor the staff, another potential ace, Matt Marc-Aurele, who missed some critical late 2006 season starts, is coming off surgery and IF/P Brett Connor (arm woes) also apparently not ready yet. Catcher John Dennis may get a shot to pitch.

With the demise of SFNY baseball, MU will play each NEC opponent in four game series instead of three, with NEC games mainly Fridays, DHs Saturdays, and Sundays.

MU baseball players/ fans/ etc. feel free to offer your thoughts on the upcoming season and or players.

Softball/Lax, any other spring sports comments are welcome of course, too.

From all the (lack of) comments so far..I guess no one is in spring mode quote yet!

MU vs. Red Flash post game comments

Here is the place. Please adhere to the rules. Thank you.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

SFPA preview/your predictions

Well, they had no game notes on their web is their roster..SFPA (4-16, 1-8 NEC) 1-8 on the road..overall has lost 11 in a row. Sweetney is a very good freshman ..Enright is a Nebraska tranfer

No. Name (Ht., Wt., Yr.) Pos. PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
1 Devin Sweetney (6-6, 180, Fr.) G 13.7 7.2 1.9 1.1 .428 .189 .843
5 Chris Berry (6-4, 190, So.) G/F 11.3 5.7 1.7 1.0 .418 .333 .711
11 Marquis Ford (5-10, 175, So.) G 9.4 3.0 4.2 0.9 .400 .481 .593
15 Cale Nelson (5-10, 180, So.) G 8.3 1.8 3.8 0.6 .325 .321 .857
20 Chris McFarland (6-0, 180, Fr.) G 0.7 0.3 0.5 0.3 .333 .000 .600
21 J.R. Enright (6-10, 250, Sr.) F/C 13.1 5.5 0.4 0.5 .494 .600 .810
23 Bassirou Dieng (6-9, 215, So.) F 5.7 3.6 0.3 0.3 .461 .615 .610
30 Grant Surprenant (6-5, 180, So.) G 1.8 0.6 0.0 0.2 .346 .400 .600
33 Kyle Jackson (6-3, 175, So.) G 0.3 0.6 0.3 0.2 .000 .000 .750
34 Jelani Lawrence (6-6-225, Sr.) F 3.6 2.7 0.6 0.4 .500 .000 .724
35 Mislav Jukic (6-7, 220, Fr.) F 3.1 0.9 0.2 0.2 .625 .400 .529
40 Randy Spaid (6-8, 200, Fr.) F/C 1.1 0.1 0.1 0.3 .500 .500 .500
43 Steve Profeta (6-5, 180, So.) G 0.9 0.7 0.3 0.2 .154 .105 .500
45 Kurt Hoffman (6-5, 205, Fr.) F 0.9 1.3 0.2 0.2 .375 .667 .500

This from NEC web site..does not include Tuesday loss to RMU

Last Week: Mount St. Mary’s 67, Saint Francis (PA) 63; Sacred Heart 72, Saint Francis (PA) 64
This Week: vs. Robert Morris (Tuesday on FSN-Pittsburgh, FCS-Pacific, it lost); at Monmouth (Thursday); at Wagner (Saturday)

The Red Flash dropped a pair of tightly contested home games last week to Mount St. Mary’s (67-63) and Sacred Heart (72-64). Saint Francis has now lost ten straight games, including seven NEC games in a row...Six of the ten losses have been by ten or fewer points, and one came on a three-pointer at the buzzer...The streak is two shy of the school record of 12 straight losses set last year...Sophomore guard Marquis Ford (St. Petersburg, FL/St. Petersburg) led the Red Flash with 15.0 ppg last week and hit 7-12 (.583) from three-point range. He tied a career-high with three steals against Sacred Heart...Saint Francis attempted a season-high 29 three-point shots in the loss to Sacred Heart, hitting nine...Freshman guard Devin Sweetney (Washington, D.C./Riverdale Baptist) averaged 10.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 3.0 apg on the week. He sank 11-13 from the line and now ranks fourth in the NEC with an 84.3 percent success rate from the stripe. He also tops all NEC freshman with 13.3 ppg (10th in NEC) and 7.3 rpg (fifth in NEC)...Senior center J.R. Enright (Burke, NE/Burke) returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing two games tending to personal issues and contributed 14 points and six boards...Sophomore swingman Chris Berry (Seagoville, TX/Seagoville (Lon Morris CC)) paced the Red Flash with 18 points and pulled down seven boards against Sacred Heart. He was 4-6 from downtown...Senior forward Jelani Lawrence (Richmond, VA/Blue Ridge School (South Plains CC)) gave Saint Francis a big lift off the bench versus the Pioneers with nine points, ten boards and a pair of steals in 26 minutes of play...Enright is 15-29 (.517) from three-point land this season...Sophomore guard Cale Nelson (Newville, PA/Big Springs) is third in the conference in free throw percentage (.846) and eighth in assists (3.6 apg)...The Red Flash pace the conference and ranked 17th nationally in the latest NCAA report at 74.3 percent from the line...Ford has hit 55.6 percent of his three-point attempts (.556) in league play to rank second in the NEC

Well..if MU doesn't win this one, it is SOS time.

MU, 67-57...I think.

Mike Shipman interview

For those who may not know..soph Mike Shipman, the team's only true PG, was suspended for seven games for academic reasons. Desopite his absence he continues to lead the Hawks in assists.

I met with Mike after practice today and personally want to thank him for taking the time to talk about his situation, and making his feelings known to the public.

MU won its first four games without him, all at home, then dropped three in a row on the road, and the last game of the four game road trip Monday at SFNY when he returned for a 17-minute stint off the bench and fouled out.

At least for Thursday night coach Dave Calloway said Shipman, who had been a starter, will again come off the bench.

Now the interview - -

First he said how glad how he was to be playing again: - ""It's just a blessing to be
back and go back to doing what I love doing, and having my family have a chance to come
and see me play again.

""Just being on the court with the guys, trying to get back to where this program's
standards (have been) for many years.''

On frustrations of not being able to play: - ""Everybody wants to play in a game.
Unfortunately it was my time to sit, God told me to sit there and watch. I've learned
from my mistake, hopefully I won't have to relive that scenario.

""My family told me not to really give into what other people think about you and
what they have to say.

""Regardless of what people said, Mike Shipman knew what was really going on and what he had to do to get back on the court.

""I had an extension on a paper and my professor allowed me to have an extension,
and I had to get the paper in. It took a little process getting the grade changed. So
the grade got changed and my GPA jumped up to where I became academically eligible.''

So what did Shipman learn from this? - "The one thing I really learned was not taking
anything for granted. I had to experience sitting out those (eight) games (for violation
of team rules) last year and having to relive the situation again, sitting out some more

""My time here is almost done, I'm almost halfway through my four year career here.
Just me growing up and being a man, I'll be 20 years old in July. I'm just really
starting to grow up and see what it takes to be a man and take care of responsibilities
and being on your own and having to man up to those situations.''

Can this Monmouth team make the NEC Tournament - "Yes, we believe we will. My Dad told
me last night, the game is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. If your mind can
believe it your body can believe it.

""So we have to believe in ourselves and believe we're going to get back into the
gist of things, and get some winning streaks and get back into the NEC Tournament
first. And hopefully we'll take it one game at a time, get to the championship game, and
see what happens from there.

""Every single last person on this team....nobody doubts whether we have a chance to
make it or if we're going to make it (the NEC Tournament I assume he is referring to).

""Whoever comes in here or whoever we go or we play, we know if we play to our
maximum effort and if we play smart our chances are high.''

End of interview

As for basketball I especially liked that last remark about playing smart..that's what they have to do.

MU men's hoops: Wednesday practice

Got there towards the end. Watched a lineup of Shipman and Jhamar at guards with
Deki, Marques and Bunch up front.

I, personally, like this lineup with Ship back at PG allowing Jhamar room to roam as
the shooting guard. Later they went to the three guards which I think you will see more
of depending on the opposition and which we were seeing before Shipman went on academic
suspension. Dave said, however, he does not plan on any starting lineup changes Thursday
night. ""Right now I'm going to stay the way I'm going,'' Calloway said.

But - and this is just my personal feeling - you may see Ship wiggle back in as the
starting PG with Whitney off the bench. I do not see this as any possible "demotion" for
Coleman, if it happens at all. It just makes sense to me. You have a true point guard on
the floor with your best scoring guard - and that would be the "Jet." And then later
you go with three guards or a three-guard rotation anyway.

I asked Dave, "Can this team make the NEC Tournament?"

Calloway - "Sure, this team can win tomorrow. It can do alot of good things, we've
proven that already but we've also proven we can lose to anybody.""
Calloway repeated his remarks from the other night, saying right now he's mainly
concerned with getting better as a team, not about the standings.

""We've gone in the wrong direction, just two weeks ago we were pretty good, '' he
said. ""So we've got to get it back.''

Bunch did a better job of getting rid of the ball in quick fashion..hitting a cutting
Coleman for a layup, and then dishing back out to Whitney for a three.

I think, my opinion only, you'll see Rickie Crews at least in parts of first
halves of games for a while. Second halves..depends on any number of factors.

6-10 RS freshman Adam Dobriansky strained his left knee, according to Calloway.
Dobriansky ended the day on crutches. ""The way he went down it was scary,'' said
Calloway. No firm word was forthcoming on a return to practice. Trainer Adam Smith had
left so I will catch up with him Thursday for an update.

Also talked to SFPA coach Bobby Jones whose team was arriving in Boylan Gym for
practice as I was leaving. He said he thinks Sacred Heart is the best team in the
league. He has played everyone but MU and Wagner. The youthful Red Flash have lost 11 in a row, all
three on their last home stand to the Mount, SHU, and RMU.

They're lone NEC win was at SFNY..go figure.


MU Track news - Hawks get key transfer from Penn State

We are an equal sport opportunity blog:

MU track boss Joe Compagni reports spinter deluxe Paul Fay (Central Regional High School) transferred in this semester after a semester at Penn State. ""He will start practice with us right away but he will not be eligible to compete for Monmouth until next January. He is a local guy who was one of the top sprinters in the state last year,'' Compagni said.

Compagni also said, "Paul joins a Monmouth University men’s track team that has won the last 2 NEC Indoor Track & Field Championships, and the last 3 straight NEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. One of his training partners at Monmouth will be Chris Vuono from Wall, NJ (CBA).
""Chris is a junior at Monmouth who was one of the top sprinters in the area in high school, and he has developed into an All-East sprinter at Monmouth who is among the best in the NEC in the 400 and 500.''

Here are Fay's high school stats from last year –

2006 Indooor Track

3rd at NJ Meet of Champions in the 400 meter dash

2006 Outdoor Track

Ocean County Champion in the 200 meter dash

Ocean County Runner-up in the 400 meter dash

Shore Conference Champion in the 100

Shore Conference Runner-Up in the 200 and 400

South Jersey Group 3 Sectional Champion in the 200 and 400

2nd in Group 3 State Meet 200

3rd in Group 3 State Meet 400

4th at the NJ Meet of Champions in the 200

8th at the NJ Meet of Champions in the 400

Personal Bests of 10.95 in the 100, 21.95 in the 200 and 47.65 in the 400.

MU football: from the Duquesne perspective - their joining the NEC/from Pittsburgh Tribune-Review/couretesy NEC web site

Duquesne makes move to NEC official

By Dave Mackall
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Duquesne's announcement Monday that it will become an associate member of the Northeast Conference for football spells the end of the program's non-scholarship days in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
The move, which becomes effective in 2008, will afford Duquesne the opportunity to award a limited number of athletic scholarships.

Duquesne coach Jerry Schmitt lauded the school's decision to move to the NEC, saying it would help elevate the school's recruiting efforts.

"It gives us the opportunity to speak to players we may not have been able to speak to in the past," Schmitt said.

The Dukes have compiled a record of 11-6 against current members of the NEC, including a 9-4 mark against Robert Morris (4-4) and St. Francis (Pa.) (5-0), two district teams.

"This is a big move for Duquesne, a tremendous move," said former Dukes quarterback Tony Zimmerman, a Penn-Trafford High School product and former Pitt transfer who helped lead the Dukes to national prominence at the NCAA Division I-AA level when it broke into The Sports Network Division I-AA poll for the first time in 2000. "Things have really changed since I was here. This is a big step for this program."

The Dukes, who will compete in the MAAC in football next season for the final time, have won or shared eight consecutive titles in the league, which has dwindled to five teams after reaching a league-high membership of nine. The number will be reduced even further after next season with the loss of Duquesne.

With the move to the NEC, Duquesne will grant 18 scholarships in 2008, Duquesne athletic director Greg Amodio said, adding that the number will increase by two for the following three years, and that the school also plans to add eight scholarships combined for women's sports.

"We intend on moving forward in athletics," Amodio said. "We just didn't get into this to get into the Northeast Conference. We did it to win championships, just as we did in the MAAC."

NEC football members are permitted to award a maximum of 30 athletic scholarships, but even so, NEC teams lost in three games against Duquesne last season.

"Football is an integral sport in the NEC, and the addition of Duquesne will strengthen our reputation as an emerging (Football Championship Subdivision) league," NEC commissioner Brenda Weare said.

Much in the same way improvements are being made at Palumbo Center, Duquesne's indoor arena, Amodio said there are plans to renovate Rooney Field, which is home to the football team.

"We're going to do what is necessary to improve both facilities and send a message that we're serious about athletics," Amodio said.

Duquesne, which is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference in 18 of its other 19 sports -- it competes in the Eastern Wrestling League -- has won 11 MAAC championships in 13 years as an associate member.

"It's exciting," Duquesne quarterback Scott Knapp said of the move. "Hopefully, we can improve the level of competition here. We've played those guys in the past, but knowing that they've gotten the scholarships and seeing how much they've improved in just one year, it's an exciting time."

For most of the time since Duquesne University joined the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in 1994, it has been the dominant program. The Dukes have won or shared 10 of 13 titles, including the past eight. A look at the league champions with conference record:
2006: Duquesne, 3-1
2005: Duquesne, 4-0
2004: Duquesne, 4-0
2003: Duquesne, 5-0
2002: Duquesne, 8-0
2001: Duquesne, 6-0
2000: Duquesne, 7-0
1999: Duquesne, 6-1
1998: Fairfield, 6-1
1997: Georgetown, 7-0
1996: Duquesne, 8-0
1995: Duquesne, 7-0
1994: Marist, 6-1
1993: Iona, 5-0

Hawks season at SOS stage/ my column for Thursday Press

Note to blog readers: I'll have more on today's practice and an interview with Mike Shipman coming up on the blog later this eveneing

So here's the Press column:

It has come to this.

I was asked Wednesday in reference to the skidding Monmouth University men's basketball
team, "Is Monmouth going to make the NEC (Northeast Conference) Tournament?"
It's startling, even unbelievable to see Monmouth (7-12, 2-5), the standard bearer for
NEC success, slumped in 10th place in the 11-team league, two slots out of the last post
season playoff berth.

How did this three-game home stand, which begins tonight vs. an even more reeling
St. Francis, Pa. (4-16, 1-8) team, turn into an SOS - Save Our Season - weekend?

It was generally assumed that, despite the graduation of four-year back court bell
weathers Chris Kenny and Tyler Azzarelli, Monmouth would make up for the lack of
experience with the superior athletic ability of sophomores Mike Shipman and Whitney
Coleman who had shown much promise as freshmen.

And now you throw in exciting freshman Jhamar Youngblood and you're all set. Right?

Not exactly. With some exceptions Shipman and Coleman, though valuable reserves last
season, weren't really depended on to make crucial plays. And Youngblood was in high

Now throw all three into the fire, eliminate Shipman for seven games this season
with academic problems and ask Youngblood, talented as he is, to play a position - point
guard - where he's never played in his life.

Now ask them all, including last year's seldom used Alex Nunner, to perform like
veterans on a four-game road trip.

Well, you saw what happened. Four straight NEC defeats, the team's longest league
nose dive since that infamous 0-19 start in 1998-99.

But the seeds for the the four game debacle were hardly planted in just one area, it
was a team effort.

The Monmouth club that played with efficiency during its four-game winning streak at
home prior to the trip was maddeningly erratic at both ends of the floor.

It suffered critically-timed turnovers and hurried shots that, in particular,
wrecked it at Central Connecticut and St. Francis, N.Y.

No one, not one player, and this is a team with four seniors in the front court, was
able to step into the breach to settle things down.

And another factor has reared a troubling head. The Hawks, at least lately, can't

They averaged just over 53 points per game on the road trip, in part because somehow
7-2 senior John Bunch disappeared, and 6-10 senior Corey Hallett has just never clicked
on offense.

After Bunch's success last season teams are now swarming him as soon as he touches
the ball. "We wanted to smother him,'' said CCSU coach Howie Dickenman.

It appears Bunch needs to make quicker decisions to shoot or pass, because when he
he brings the ball down or dribbles, it's stolen.

And finally, senior Marques Alston, more than he has this season, needs to demand
the ball in crucial situations.

So, can the season be saved and to what extent?.

Shipman has returned after his academic hiatus and enigmatic but talented freshman
forward/center Rickie Crews is available.

Certainly an NEC Tournament berth is still within reach, and finishing in the top
four, to earn at least one playoff home game, is not out of the question.

But Monmouth needs to turn things around now. Time is beginning to run out.


MAC/back ground story

For back ground and for those that may have missed this story which ran in the Press and on the blog last week..I am re-running it just for informational purposes for all -


WEST LONG BRANCH - Monmouth University President Paul G. Gaffney II, noting ""reasonable
people can come to reasonable accommodations,'' will ask the borough's zoning Board of
Adjustment to reconsider the school's plan for a new activities and athletic center.

During a press conference Friday on campus, Gaffney unveiled plans for a scaled-down multi
purpose activities center, one that has 720 fewer seats, down to 4,122, and one in which there
would be only 12 ""capacity'' events there a year, down from the original 25.

Capacity events are those in which 4,000 or more people are expected to attend in the arena
which would house basketball games, an indoor running track, the university bookstore,
athletic department offices, Varsity Club, classrooms and a fitness center. (The fitness
center would be available to the public on a membership basis.)

Under the old design, the center had 4,842 seats, which is down from the 6,000 initially
envisioned, a plan that was not financially doable, Gaffney explained.

After nearly a year of hearings, the zoning board Dec. 14 voted 4 to 3 to approve the plan.
Because the application involved a use variance and required five affirmative votes for
approval, it failed. The board members who opposed the application - Ellen Anfuso, Douglas
Bostwick and John M. Aria - are all relatively recent appointments to the board.

They did not offer specific reasoning for their votes which left the college without a firm
idea of what sort of revision would please the zoners. While Gaffney said he would never
criticize the board members who as volunteer public servants are doing ""God's work,'' he said
""we got sort of a feeling smaller would be better.''

They chose the number because they need a place where the entire undergraduate study body
could gather for convocations and meetings, and there are approximately 4,000 undergraduate
students at Monmouth.

The school will ask the board at its Jan. 25 meeting to reconsider its vote. The meeting
begins at 7:30 p.m. in Borough Hall, 965 Broadway, and Gaffney said the motion for
reconsideration, which is available for review in the borough clerk's office, is being made
now before the board memorializes, or formalizes, its Dec. 14 action.

Other proposed changes to the operation of the three-story, 65-foot tall building include a
stipulation that the school will not use the MAC and the Boylan gym at the same time for
events attended by the general public although the small Boylan gym could conduct, say a small
gathering such as a yoga class while events were going on next door at the MAC.

""We wouldn't have a rock concert in Boylan gym at the same time we were playing Seton
Hall'' in basketball, Gaffney said.

The school also agrees that the MAC would be available for use by organized borough citizen
groups as requested by the Borough Council; that the university police department and the
borough police will file with the Borough Council an annual report on traffic and parking
issues and that in every situation when the university anticipates or sells at least 3,000
tickets for a MAC event, it will notify borough police in advance and follow parking and
traffic controls established by the department.

Such protocols include posting ""no parking'' signs on certain streets, to minimize
inconveniences to neighbors, and paying for additional police or security for traffic control.

Such changes will make for a better MAC, said Gaffney.

""It is going to be a first-rate venue and a place of destination for our existing
population,'' Gaffney said of the 152,400-square-foot facility, to be built with a combination
of public and private funds. In the president's view, the MAC also could help attract
potential students, enhancing the school's reputation as well as the community's.

""When you have a great university, everybody benefits from that,'' he said.

The MAC's site - in the heart of the campus - was chosen specifically for that reason, he
said. For that reason, it can not be located off-site, he explained.

Further, to relocate the MAC to a non-university location would mean the school would not
only have to pay for construction but also for land acquisition.

The center is needed for the school to remain competitive, particularly in the National
Collegiate Athletic Association Division I athletic program, officials said. There are 19
Division 1 teams at Monmouth.

He called the school's existing facilities ""near the bottom of the barrel'' and said many
high schools have better to offer their athletes.

""The point I'm making is we're not being extravagant, we're just trying to be competitive
with everybody else,'' Gaffney said. The locker rooms, for example, are ""in really bad shape.
They're subterranean. You worry about health down there.''

During hearings for the arena, which would be built on two temporary parking lots in the
center of campus northeast of Boylan Gymnasium, neighbors complained of noise, parking and
traffic concerns.

Gaffney said the school already has demonstrated it can deal with such issues without
taxing the nearby neighborhoods. (The MAC is to be located 647 feet from the nearest homes.)

At the Dec. 2 Gridiron Classic, 5,000 people attended, without incident, he said.

""We worked with West Long Branch police and there was no problem,'' Gaffney said. ""As far
as I know, there were no complaints.''

Gaffney said he is very hopeful this proposal will find common ground.

""The idea is we're all neighbors,'' he said.

MAC / Thursday night

That's when the WLB Zoning board either makes its vote against the MAC official, changes its mind, delays its action, etc.

Anyone going? What do you think will happen?

A Press reporter - Carol Gorga Williams will be there.

She will update the Press web site with any developments and I hope to have something on the blog as soon as I am able Thursday night (in between covering the game with SFPA).

My schedule for Wednesday/plus recap of SFPA game Tuesday via SFPA e-mail

I plan to head over to MU men's practice 3 p.m. Wednesday.. then writing and publishing story on the blog for Thursday Press.

Looking ahead, APP columnist Steve Edleson will join me for the RMU men's game Saturday sooooooo..double coverage of that game in Sunday's Press. I'll ask Steve to e-mail me a copy of his column so we can get that on the blog along with my game story Saturday night...

Now...Tuesday SFPA lost its 11th in a row, though it gave RMU a battle..this is the team MU beat last year at home on Mike Shipman's half court heave at the buzzer.
My thoughts are MU doesn't dare take anyone for granted these days...

Now, the Tuesday story -

Led by sophomore Chris Berry (Seagoville, Texas / Seagoville) with a career high 25 points, the Saint Francis men’s basketball team shot a season-best 56.0 percent from the field, but Robert Morris drained 13 three-pointers to defeat the Red Flash 94-75 before a rowdy 2,014 fans on Tuesday night at DeGol Arena.

Saint Francis dropped its 11th consecutive game to fall to 4-16 on the year, and 1-8 in the Northeast Conference. The Red Flash will begin a tough four-game road swing with a 7 p.m. tip on Thursday night at Monmouth.

The Colonials, who came into the game shooting 32.9 percent from outside the arc, shot 61.4 percent from the field and made 13-of-22 three-point attempts (59.1 percent) to improve to 13-5 overall and 5-4 in the NEC.

“Our freshmen and sophomores need to become sophomores and juniors in a hurry,” said Saint Francis head coach Bobby Jones. “Derek Coleman is the best guard in this league. Robert Morris came into the game shooting 32 percent on three-pointers. They took my game plan away from me. I had planned on playing a lot of zone defense.”

The Red Flash trailed by as many as nine points in the first half, and Robert Morris led 51-43 with 16:35 remaining in the game when SFU made a charge to get back in it. Berry started, and finished, a 7-0 run with a pair of jumpers to make it 51-50 with 15:09 left.

But Coleman hit a huge 3-pointer to give the Colonials a four-point edge on their way to a 10-0 run that would make it 61-50 with 13:32 left. Jeremy Chappell had two steals and Tony Lee had one steal that led to six fast-break points on the run for Robert Morris.

“We are so young and inexperienced, and we haven’t found a way to fight back from all of this adversity,” Jones added. “The teams at the top have good juniors and seniors. We are talented, but we are young. We need to continue to fight and play hard. The maturity will come.”

Berry broke his previous career high of 23 points with a 10-of-13 night from the field. The 10 field goals are also a career high, and he made 4-of-5 from the charity stripe. Senior center J.R. Enright (Omaha, Neb. / Burke) had 10 points, 2 rebounds and 1 block, and redshirt freshman Devin Sweetney (Washington, D.C. / Riverdale Baptist) also had 10 points to go with 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal.

Robert Morris’ A.J. Jackson led all scorers with 28 points, while Lee had 20, and Coleman and Chappell had 20 and 18, respectively.