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Sunday, January 21, 2007

MU story for Monday/Blue Rickie/make SFNY predictions

By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER

WEST LONG BRANCH - If you were looking for a long-faced,
Monmouth University men's
basketball team, worn down by three consecutive defeats,
you wouldn't have found it Sunday at Boylan Gymnasium
""We've got a huge game Monday,'' said senior center Corey Hallett of
Monmouth (7-11, 2-4) after an upbeat practice as he looked ahead to the
Northeast Conference game with
St. Francis, N.Y (4-16, 2-6).
The Hawks will be hoping Monday
to snap their losing streak that has dropped the defending NEC
Tournament champions into a tie
with Wagner for the eighth and final league playoff berth.
""No matter what happened Saturday (the 49-46 defeat at Central
Connecticut) we've got to win Monday, there's no ifs, ands, buts, anything,''
Hallett said.
""This is a must win, it's a championship game for us.,'' said Hallett. ""We've
got to get that win on the road, come home, and see what happens.''
Hallett said watching the last 10 minutes of the CCSU game on film, when
Monmouth was outscored 13-1, made his stomach churn.
""(On) the defensive end we were great (during the game),'' he said. ""
You hold a team to 49 points
you should win the game.
""But to know that we only scored one point in the last 10 and a half
minutes makes me sick.''
Though Monmouth has had its share of defensive problems this season its
offense has let it down big time lately.
Including Saturday the Hawks have been averaging 52.3 ppg. during their
three game slide.
During the skid Monmouth centers John Bunch and Hallett have
combined to average 4.6 points and 6.0 rebounds.
Monmouth coach Dave Calloway said Bunch (1.3 ppg., 2.0 rpg. during the
losing streak) needs to be more decisive.
""More of a meaness to want
the ball, demand the ball, and make plays,'' said Calloway who said the
problem has not been soley Bunch's fault.
""I talked to the team about that today,''said the coach. ""We're not
getting him the ball in the right situation and making good passes to him.
We're putting him in tough spots as well.''
Hallett has averaged 3.3 ppg. and 4.0 rpg. during the three games though
he appeared more active and energetic Saturday.
""I thought he played very well,'' said Calloway.
Hallett said he and Bunch are well aware their offense has not been up to par.
""We know that more than anybody,''said Hallett. ""We don't need to
hear anyone tell us. We know we've got to produce more for us to win.
""We look at ourselves in the mirror every night, me and Bunch both. So
hopefully we can turn it around tomorrow (Monday) and go from there.
""That's what on our mind right now.''
Robert Hines, a 6-5 junior college transfer, averages 14.9 ppg. for St.
Francis which defeated Wagner Saturday, 66-51.
""It's a big game, it's going to be a tough one,'' said Calloway. ""And
it's on the road.''
Monmouth is 1-8 on opponents' courts this season.


-------------30-----------------30-----------------30-------------------

More from me. As stated a while ago, during practice Rickie Crews wore blue (First Team) for a good portion of the time.


I asked Dave about it after practice..here's how it went

Me - "Rickie wearing blue means?"
Dave - "He got to practice with the first group today, that's all that means.''
Me - "Will he perhaps see action any time soon?"
Dave - ""Opportunities when they come, if you take advantage of them, we'll see."
Me - "Could he play Monday night?"
Dave - "If the opportunity presents itself and he takes advantage of it we'll see.''

I think I will nickname Dave - "Andy Reid Jr."


Rickie had not worn "Blue" since late November when he soon after became "The Phantom."

I believe we may see a "Phantom" appearance at some point Monday..and then he'll progress (MU fans can only hope) from there.

Don't expect miracles. You can expect a live, talented, energetic, exciting player, who will take some bad shots and make some bad plays along the way.

But he also may make some jaw-dropping plays eventually and will add much-needed athletic depth.



I felt bad vibes about MU's chances going into the CCSU game. I have better vibes on the eve of this one.

My prediction: Monmouth, 65-60.


e-mail tonygsports@aol.com

9 Comments:

Blogger Tony Graham said...

Bazaz for 3!

At the beginning of the CCSU game an MU player sank a 3 point basket. The PA announcer intoned, "That was a three-point basket by Steve Bazaz."

The basket had been made by Marques Alston. But I can under stand the confusion. After all, they look so much alike.

Added Bazaz at practice Sunday, "We're cousins."

1:02 AM, January 22, 2007  
Blogger bob curran said...

This is a tough game to predict.SFNY is playing better after an 0-12 start.MU-58 SF-54/

9:57 AM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Rickie cant make class or a bus on time, how can MU depend on this kid to keep his cool and play composed in a 60-59 game down the stretch? Unrealistic expectations.

2:11 PM, January 22, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

While your pessimism has basis in fact...let's give the kid a break.

But if he's in the game and it's 60-59 in the waning seconds.. it means he's playing and playing well and deserves to be there.

But first, let's just get him in a game (s) and see how he does.

2:19 PM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not necessarily right? Corey has been in the end of a few games and for what reason? Oh right, he averages 2 points and 2 rebounds. Stellar!

2:29 PM, January 22, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Corey is usually in for defense at the end when they need to press, have a quicker team on the floor, to make use of his wing span, and or launch a 3.

Let's give Rickie a chance on and off the floor ...at least that's my stance.


I feel bad for Corey. He's a great kid who is trying like hell. It's just not happening for him this season.

2:39 PM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous mu student said...

You can tell how desperate Dave is for warm bodies if Rickie Crews is still a possibility. I think that MU is well prepared and hungry for blood on this dismal monday...I say MU wins 87-69.

2:44 PM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like that last comment, we need to go in to these next few games down the stretch with a killer mentality to get the confidence back. We not only need to beat teams we need to destroy them. We need to get the fear back, teams feared coming to Boylan Gym and feared the Hawks. Now they just out right don't respect us at all. We need a bit of killer instinct and someone on the squad has to be the catalyst.

4:02 PM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I SAY YOU ARE ALL WRONG. WE LOST! AGAIN!!!!!

9:15 PM, January 22, 2007  

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