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Tony Graham

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

MU baseball story for Thursday Press/baseball and other sport capsules


The firm of Brach and Brach hopes to lend a firm hand to the 2007 pitching rotation of the Monmouth University baseball team.

It opens its 2007 season 6:30 p.m. Friday at the University of Central Florida.

""We've been on the same team together but not like this, it's pretty cool to have your younger brother with you at a Division I program,'' said Monmouth junior Brad Brach who will be joined this spring by freshman brother Brett. The right-handers are former aces at Freehold Township High School.

""It's good for our parents too,'' said Brad. ""Easier for them.'' The older Brach is already a career 12 game winner for Monmouth. He was named 2006 New Jersey Pitcher of the year by the NJCBA (New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association) after going 6-4 with a Northeast Conference best 2.44 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 84.2 innings.

. ""This is really awesome,'' said Brett who, like Brad, pitched the Patriots deep into state tournaments.

""Coming here to have a veteran on your team like your older brother, you can ask him anything,'' said Brett. ""He's just made the adjustment so much better for me. He makes me better.''

With the graduation of the middle of the 2006 batting order, the Monmouth staff, always formidable, may be asked to play an even more prominent role. And with the demise of baseball at St. Francis, N.Y., the NEC has gone to a four-game weekend series format as opposed to three making quality starting pitcher essential.

""Brad arguably is one of the better pitchers around,'' said Dean Ehehalt, entering his 14th-year as Monmouth coach. ""So of course he's our number one. ""Brett is a kid who is a guy who is going to be right in the mix for somebody who's going to pitch our conference games. So we quite conceivably could be throwing two Brachs in conference games.''

Brad Brach said he's ready to accept the responsibility of leading the staff. He is eight career victories shy of Monmouth all-time winner Mike Benfield who won 20 from 1998-2001.

""I've been here now for two years, I pretty much have gotten experience against every (NEC) team we'll face,' Brach said. ""It's a lot of hard work but I think I'll be able to do what we need us to do.''

Brett said the opportunity to impact the rotation immediately is one reason he chose to attend Monmouth, along with Brad's presence. ""As a freshman you don't get to start everywhere,'' he said. ""But here I'm going to get a good shot at making it into the starting rotation. ""So I'll just work as hard as I can hoping I can pitch well and stay there all season.''

Ehehalt is hoping Matt Coulson, a senior graduate of Freehold High School and Brookdale Community College, maintains last season's effectiveness. Monmouth is also banking on a successful return from off season shoulder surgery by senior left-hander that Matt Marc-Aurele.

"And then it's a matter of how quickly the young arms come a long,'' said Ehehalt. Junior right-hander Justin Esposito, a graduate of Red Bank Regional High School and Brookdale, is penciled into the closing role after serving as a set up man last season. Esposito saved 13 games for the Jersey Blues in 2005. ""He's got a real, good breaking ball and we're looking for big things from him,'' Ehehalt said.

As a team Monmouth will try to rebound from last season's late crash dive. It lost 10 of its last 11 games including its last seven and failed to qualify for the NEC Tournament after a league record eight-year run.

"We have to use it as a learning experience, to not rest on our laurels,''said Brad. ""Last year early we blew out a bunch of teams. Then it came to the end of the season when the games got tougher it was harder for us to pull out those type games.""

""I couldn't believe it,'' said Brett who said he attended the first game of the losing streak and the season finale, an extra-inning loss at Wagner that sealed Monmouth's fate. ""Every time my Dad game me updates on all the games it was like, "Oh, my gosh, you've got to be kidding me.'

' "Baseball is very humbling game,'' said Ehehalt whose 2006 Hawks won 10 games in a row, lost one, and then reeled off another 12 consecutive victories before the startling slump.

""Last year, since I've been at Monmouth, it was one of the greatest rides we've had as far as doing everything right for almost a five week period,'' he said.

""Then we were disappointed at the end when we couldn't win the games we needed to win.'' Ehehalt said Monmouth begins the season in a positive frame of mind. ""The kids don't think they can lose,'' he said.

2007 Monmouth University Baseball
Coach: Dean Ehehalt (16th season, 14th at Monmouth 344-360-1)
Last year: 27-22 (14-9/t4th NEC)
Key returnees: Brad Brach (RHP, Jr., 6-4, 2.44 ERA); Matt Marc-Aurele (LHP, Sr., 4-2, 2.91 ERA); Matt Coulson (LHP, Sr., 5-4, 4.21 ERA); Justin Esposito (RHP, Jr., 1-2, 1.37 ERA, 24 Ks, 26.1 IP); Andy Meyers (1B, Jr., .280, 40 RBI); Kyle Higgins (SS, Jr., .287); Kyle Messineo (RF, Sr., .295, 32 SB); Mike Casale (IF, So., .291); Rick Niederhaus (DH, So., .383, 54 H, 28 RBI, 4 HR).

Key newcomers; Shawn Teters (CF, Jr., transfer from Arkansas-Fort Smith College); Brett Brach (RHP, Fr.); Andy McDonnell (IF, Fr.); Nick Vallilllo (LHP, Fr.); Matt Frazier (RHP, Fr.).
Outlook:The strength of this season's baseball squad will be on the mound, as Monmouth welcomes back Brach and Marc-Aurele, both all-conference performers. Monmouth's offense will rest with 2006 NEC Rookie of the Year, Rick Niederhaus, and returning juniors Meyers and Higgins. Messineo will team with Teters as table-setters for the offense.

2007 Monmouth Softball
Coach: Carol Sullivan (103-108, sixth year).Last year 20-25 (8-10, T/6th place Northeast Conference).Key Returners – Heather Gordon (Sr., OF/P, .326, 10 HR, 36 RBI), Dawn Gilchrist (Sr., SS, .319, 19 RBI, 11 SB), Angela Rand (Sr., P, 5-9, 3.24 ERA), Danielle Ellement (Sr., P, 6-4, 2.53 ERA), Nicole Alvarez (So., CF, .374,17 SB); Lee Simonetti (So., INF., .288); Kristine Sawlsville (So., P, 6-8, 3.56 ERA, 109 K’s in 108.0 innings).

Outlook: Monmouth returns its entire roster from a season ago minus two seniors lost to graduation. Offensively the Hawks return 87% of their home runs and runs batted in from a year ago and all four pitching arms. Alvarez (Brick) and Simonetti were first team NEC selections. If pitching can match the firepower Monmouth could go a long way. .

2007 Monmouth Women's Lacrosse
Coach: Kelly McCardell (2nd year, 13-7, 8-0 1st NEC)

Key Returners: Katie Degen (Sr., MF, 33 g, 21 a); Monica Johnson (So., GK. 10.30 gaa, .535 save %); Erin Marley (So., D); Megan Nutter (Jr., MF, 32 g, 6 a); Jess Picciuto (Jr., D); Carolyn Raviea (Sr., A, 48 g, 2 a); Kaitlyn Robinson (Sr., D, 14 g, 4 a); Ashley Waldman (Jr., MF, 13 g, 3 a).

Key Newcomers: Megan Brennan (Fr., A); Ali Pollock (Fr. MF); Kelly Bosco (Fr, D).

Outlook: The 2006 NEC champs are already 2-0 in 2007. With the loss of five starters from last year’s team, including the NEC Player of the Year Jeanette Stott, McCardell will look to Raveia to jump start a young attacking unit. However, with six returning midfielders/defenders including senior midfielder Kaitlyn Robinson, and 2006 standout freshman goalie Monica Johnson, the Hawks appear poised for another run at an NEC championship.

Georgian Court University Softball

Coach: Jeff Franquet (1st year) Last year: 29-17 (16-7, CACC) Key returners: Sam Sasko (So., P, 15-9, 1.61 ERA); Mallory Kirchner (So., IF, 15 RBI); Heather Walker (Jr., IF, 12 HR, 39 RBI); Anna Leighty (Sr., OF, 12 2B, 27 RBI); Vanessa Piepszak (So., OF, 27 RS, 13 RBI).

Key newcomers: Amanda LaFrance (Fr., P); Chelsea Long (Fr. P). Outlook: Franquet, former head coach at Jacksonville University, will look to Sasko, a potent lineup, and 17 letter winners to lead the Lions' bid for an NCAA Division II Tournamenth berth. GCU was
picked third in the Central Atlantic College Conference preseason coaches poll. .

- Tony Graham

e-mail Read his blog at

""Jet" soars to NEC Rookie award

for those who have been worried..he said he's not leaving MU....


A despondent Jhamar Youngblood got some good news Wednesday.

Depressed that his Monmouth University men's basketball team failed to qualify for the 2007 Northeast Conference Tournament, the NEC announced Wednesday the freshman was selected 2006-2007 Rookie of the Year in a vote conducted by the league's head coaches.

Since Monmouth turned Division I in 1984 Youngblood becomes only the third Hawk so honored, joining Alpha Bangura (1998-99) and Alex Blackwell (1989-90).

""The past few days have been frustrating knowing we didn't make the NECTournament,'' said Youngblood, a graduate of 2006 NJSIAA Tournament of Champions winner St. Patrick's of Elizabeth.

""Even though I am upset about that I feel this is a shining moment in my life that will cheer me up a little bit,''said Youngblood.

""It's great for him,'' said Monmouth coach Dave Calloway. ""He told me that while it's nice, he'd still much rather win.
""I liked that attitude. Hopefully, from his stand point, he'll continue to work hard and eventually became an All-League player.''

The 6-1, 190 pound Youngblood, blessed with a lightning-quick first step and explosive leaping ability, was a three-time NEC Rookie of the Week award winner. He leads all NEC freshman in field goal percentage (.525; sixth overall) and ranks second in steals (1.7 spg; fifth overall) and scoring (12.3 ppg).

Youngblood also went 17-for-33 (.515) from beyond the arc in league play.

Friday vs. Sacred Heart the rookie scored 31 points and grabbed eight rebounds, believed to be the most points by a first year Monmouth player since Rahsaan Johnson poured in 40 in a 2000 NEC Tournament game.

Youngblood said he plans to play this summer in the Jersey Shore Basketball league and is looking ahead to Monmouth's 2007-2008 season.

""I can't be satisfied now,'' he said. ""For next year I want to help us get to the NEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament also.'' Youngblood scored in double-figures in 20 games and registered his first career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds in a Feb. 8 win at Wagner.


below from the NEC web site (no other MU player was honored) Howie D. was Coach of the Year. For all the post-season awards please go to the NEC web site

In a year that featured a host of impressive rookie performers throughout the conference, Youngblood established himself as one of the NEC’s future stars. Stepping into a lead role in Monmouth’s backcourt with the graduation of four-year stalwarts Tyler Azzarelli and Chris Kenny, Youngblood earned a starting spot by late December and finished the season as a three-time Choice Hotels/NEC Rookie of the Week award winner.

A lightning quick combo guard, Youngblood leads all NEC freshman in field goal percentage (.525; sixth overall) and ranks second in steals (1.7 spg; fifth overall) and scoring (12.3 ppg). The Newark, NJ native is not only difficult to contain off the dribble and leading the break, but has also showed range on his shot, hitting 17-33 (.515) from beyond the arc in league play.

Youngblood capped his season with a 31-point, eight rebound performance against Sacred Heart on February 23.

The 31 points were the most scored by an NEC freshman since St. Francis (NY)’s John Quintana hit for 31 on February 22, 2003.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dave Calloway end of season/look ahead interview

Spoke to Dave for about 20 minutes today for a season wrap up....basically it's for a column I am writing for Friday ....However not all of it will make the Press as there was much to I go through the highlights now I will publish many of the quotes here as I am listening to the tape:

Dave on his responsibility for what happened this year: "A lot of it, of course. You get a lot of credit when you win, you've also got to take responsibility when you lose.

""We were good enough to win this year, good enough to win it all? I don't know, but we were definitely good enough to be better than we were. Therefore I did not do my job this year, there's a lot of factors in that.

""This was a learning experience for me, too. I'm still fairly young, I'm only 38. While we've had more success here than non success we did not have the success I would have liked this year or felt we should have had. So there's some learning process for me here on some adjustments and things that I'll do.''

""You set the tone for the season when the last season ends. So basically we're setting the tone for next year already. Next year has already started in my mind.''

Calloway said in recent years the upperclassmen have shown the younger players the ropes. ""I probably did not realize at the time having the gap of no juniors (this season) was maybe too big of a gap. I probably should have been more hands on in the off season than I was."" Will he be more hands on now? "Oh, yes,'' he said referring in particular to off season conditioning and work outs.. Calloway said in the fall he tends to recruit a lot but this fall hopes to strike more of a balance
between recruiting and being around the team.

On scholarships for next year? MU has two open and already has signed high school players PG James Hett from Staten Island and 6-7 Nick DelTufo from Mendham. ""We are anticipating guys coming in for official visits prior to the final four,'' said Calloway.

On the incoming players Calloway said, "Nick DelTufo is very skilled, reminds me a lot of Russ Anderson. And Hett, as we said, has reminded us a lot of Tyler (Azzarelli).

""We're looking to try to get someone who can replace Marques (Alston) whether he's six-eight or someone like Marques who is under sized who can do some damage inside, at least one more athletic front court type player, at least one more.''

On MU's defensive woes this season "It's all man-to-man principles on defense. You're not guarding the same guy, you have to be ready, rotate, switch, make your adjustments, what we call "bump" and when one guy makes a bump the next guy has got to be ready to rotate. And we were very bad at this this year.

""Part of it this year was youth, Jhamar struggled with it at times, but even Whitney struggled with it, even last night (vs. SFPA). And he's a sophomore that has played a ton of minutes.

""Another thing we were very, very poor at was containing dribble penetration. Part of that was people don't realize how good Tyler (Azzarelli) was at that. We lost Tyler and that was major drop off. But still other guys should have been better at that. I think part of that is getting a little bit older and tougher and getting more physical with it which Tyler was.''

On being an underdog in the NEC next season. ""That might be fun,'' said Calloway who noted pre-season NEC predictions are usually off base.
""I'm more concerned right now with making sure these guys under stand this season and our performance was UNACCEPTABLE. We're working on that right now, and setting the tone next season this spring.''

Callloway on his concern with the front court next year and on who will play in the pivot next season - ""It's definitely a major, major concern - ""Will Adam (Dobriansky), will Rickie (Crews) will DelTufo, Dutch (Gaitley) will anybody else we bring in, be able to give us some sort of inside threat?.'

On next year's starters - "I would right now have to honestly say I don't know who'se going to start at any particular spot . While I would think there's two guys who started this year ( my guess would be Jhamar and Coleman) who have a very good chance at starting next year, it doesn't mean they're going to start at the same position (as this year).

" Maybe we could start three guards and slide Jhamar over to the 3 (small forward) , we could play four guards. Who knows? We'll play the best team that can help us win.''

Calloway said - while Youngblood has the ability to get to the basket - he'd like to see him also involve his teamates more.
""Does Whitney Coleman average 10-12 next year and Jhamar average 16-18, or does Jhamar average 10-12 and Whitney average 16-18, and we're more efficient?'' Calloway said.

Monday, February 26, 2007

More MU vs. SFPA post game/season ending comments

Please make them here..the let's listen/watch together blog is over flowing...

NEC Men..who wins?

2007 NEC Men’s Basketball Tournament(all games played at home of higher seed)Quarterfinals

Thursday, March 1
#8 St. Francis (NY) at #1 CCSU, 7:00 pm. my pick - CCSU
7 Wagner at #2 Sacred Heart, 7:00 pm. .my pick Wagner..just a hunch
#6 Fairleigh Dickinson at #3 Quinnipiac, 7:00 pm my pick - FDU
#5 Mount St. Mary's at #4 Robert Morris, 7:00 pick..hmmm..RMU

Semifinals^Sunday, March 4
Wagner at CCSU

ChampionshipWednesday, March 7 7:00 pm on ESPN2

RMU at CCSU..winner is....CCSU in a close game..

Hawks season ends with barely a whimper/Press story for Tuesday


It's over.

The most disappointing Monmouth University men's basketball season since the losing years of the late 1990's ground to a halt Monday night when the Hawks fell to Northeast Conference tail ender St. Francis, Pa., 73-62, in Loretto, Pa.

The defeat, coupled with a 72-69 victory by St. Francis, New York over Fairleigh Dickinson allowed the Terriers to snag the eighth and final playoff berth for the 2007 Northeast Conference Tournament which begins Thursday. Monmouth (7-11, 12-18) and St. Francis, N.Y. (9-21, 7-11) finished tied for eighth place but St. Francis gained the playoffs via a tie breaker.

The Hawks needed both St. Francis and Long Island U. to lose Monday night to back into the eighth seed. LIU lost to Robert Morris.

"Obviously this team didn't deserve to be in the playoffs,'' said Monmouth coach Dave Calloway following Monday's defeat. Monmouth became the first team in league history that was eligible for the post season to fail to qualify for the NEC event after winning the NEC Tournament the year before.

""Down the stretch we lose three straight and in the second halves we gave up 44 points to LIU, 54 to Sacred Heart, and 46 in this game,'' said Calloway.

""We've always won with defense, especially this time of year. This team was not committed to defense, they were not committed to each other. Therefore it was not a team.''

With the game tied at the half, 27-27, St. Francis (8-21, 5-13) opened the second half with a 15-6 run taking a 42-33 lead. Monmouth got within 51-47 on a Corey Halett free throw but no closer.

Its season all but officially ended when Marquis Ford hit a 3 to give the Red Flash a 67-55 lead with two minutes showing.

Monmouth was picked first in the Preseason NEC Coaches Poll, which has a long history of being incorrect. ""That's why they play the games,'' said Calloway.

In their final games for Monmouth three seniors were high scorers. MarquesAlston had 15 points, John Bunch 14, and Dejan Delic 10.

Monmouth tumbled out of the playoffs by losing five of its last six games. But it's fatal nose dive could be traced to Feb. 5 when it blew an 18-point lead at Fairligh Dickinson and lost at the buzzer on a jump shot by Manny Ubilla.

It went on to lose six of its final eight games.


Let's listen (watch?) together

Make comments here...I can't find the link to the video either at the moment....


About 430-5pm..should be heading home from phila. it's about an hour and a half I should make it for tip off..if not....I'll catch up on the action.

I will sign back on when I get tuned in...(hope the video works!)


2007 MU football schedule

The full story is on the MU website...they got future NEC member Duquesne to come here for the finale..which - I guess - means MU travels to RMU and Duq in 2008 ...

2007 Monmouth Hawks Football Schedule
09/01 at Maine 6 p.m.
09/15 at St. Peter’s 7 p.m.
09/22 at Stony Brook 1 p.m.
09/29 at Delaware TBA
10/6 * at Sacred Heart 1 p.m.
10/13 * WAGNER 1 p.m.
10/20 * ROBERT MORRIS 1 p.m.
10/27 * at CCSU 1 p.m.
11/3 * at St. Francis (PA) 1 p.m.
11/10 * ALBANY 1 p.m.
11/17 DUQUESNE 12 p.m.
* Denotes NEC contest
CAPS indicates a home game

MU possible future PG James Hett gets 23, team wins in OT

Info and notes from the Staten Island Advance..for full story
go to ....

(I was told Hett was at the MU game Friday night sitting with Tyler Azzarelli)

Read story about Unexpected Hero under high school sports topic

Sunday Monsignor Farrell of Staten Island posted a 66-64 CHSAA AA Intersectional outbracket win over Archbishop Molloy at Holy Cross in Queens.

(and I thought NJSIAA was a long abbreviation...gosh!)

The Lions advance to the quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons, and will play Brooklyn-Queens champion Holy Cross Friday night at Christ the King at 8 p.m.

NOTES: Hett reached the 1,000-point milestone with a layup just before halftime. The senior guard entered the game eight points shy and now has 1,015 career points.
"I wanted to get it over early," said Hett. "I'm happy it happened and I want to thank my coaches and teammates for putting me in that position."

MU vs. SFPA video hoops

Received this from the SFPA SID on how to access their live video of the game -

The link is not up yet. We had some technical difficulties on Saturday night. But we should be okay for today.

Go to our athletics website, and you will see a "schedule & results" section. Scroll down to tonight's game, and there will be a link to "listen here" and a link to "listen & watch" here.

Listen here is audio only. Listen & watch here is audio and video.

From me - if it doesn't work don't complain to me!!!. Hopefully it will....

Re: MU spring sports/others

Women's Lax 2-0 and the defending NEC champs are off and rolling.

I will place blog headers topics like this throughout the spring for folks to comment on any MU (or other local school) spring least that's my plan.

We will run an MU baseball preview this week..Thursday or the Press focusing on the Freehold Township Connection -pitchers Brad and Brett Brach.

This will be a place to also comment on off season hoops - (do I detect some personal NEC Tournament pessimism on my part?) and for football, soccer, etc. news and developments.

We do not normally staff MU spring sports - (I usually cover high school baseball) certainly not to the extent of MU hoops and football - as the Press opts to run - in part - the stories that MU produces...all results are usually available in a timely fashion at the MU web site.

Hopefully MU can get GAMETRACKER up and running for baseball and softball and maybe lax home games. Not sure though if that's going to happen.

However..I am trying to work something out with the MU SIDS to talk with coaches
and players after various games and post their quotes on the blog..we'll see how that goes...

If you have any further suggestions, comments, please feel free to make them. Also, my e-mail is

Sunday, February 25, 2007

MU vs. SFPA post game comments

Please initially make them here.

Monday advisory

Will be on and off line Monday....but hope to be on full time by game time. Will not be at the game but we can all listen (and maybe watch if the SFPA video works).

After the game I will (I hope) be talking to Dave win or lose to write a story for Tuesday which will of course be posted on the blog.

MU vs. SFPA predictions

1. Do the Hawks win and automatically get in?
2. Do the Hawks lose and get in? ( Robert Morris beats LIU and FDU beats St. Francis (NY): MU #8
3. Do the Hawks fail to qualify?

Here yu are...

MU men's story for Monday Press (the last preview?)

for 0226

The Monmouth University men's basketball team may have more lives than a
Apparently bordering on elimination from the 2007 Northeast Conference
Tournament after Friday's defeat by Sacred Heart, other NEC weekend results
translated in Monmouth's favor.
So Monday for the third time in a week Monmouth (12-17, 7-10) is looking
at a win and in situation if it claims a victory at last place St. Francis, Pa. (7-21, 4-
It would also qualify if it loses and if Long Island falls
to Robert Morris and
St. Francis, New York is defeated by Fairleigh Dickinson.
If Monmouth makes it, the Hawks will land anywhere from the eighth and
last qualifying position to sixth
Monmouth would open the NEC Tournament Thursday at either regular season
champion Central Connecticut State, Sacred Heart, or Quinnipiac.
The Hawks are 0-5 this season vs. those teams but would happily take their
Monmouth coach Dave Calloway has labeled all of its games since last week as playoff
""I guess we lost a playoff game Friday,'' he said. ""It must be double
Calloway hopes Monmouth is able to make the most of yet another and final
opportunity to lock up a post season berth.
""We haven't taken advantage of any opportunities we've had,'' he said.
""You've got to take this as a playoff game. And if we're going to keep
winning we're going to be on the road.""
Monmouth is 3-11 on the road this season, 2-6 in the NEC.
""This is a road playoff game and that's how you've got to approach it,''
Calloway said.
It would behoove the Hawks to approach defending the 3-point shot better
than they have much of the season.
Sacred Heart lit up Monmouth with an 11-for-20 showing from deep Friday
night after LIU went 11-for-28 last week.
For the season Monmouth is next to last in the NEC in 3-point defense
(.389). Ironically only the Red Flash (.402) is worse.
Offensively the Hawks are fourth in 3-point percentage (.369)
and St. Francis is
fifth (.364).
So are any Monmouth defensive adjustments in the wind? ""Yeh, guard the
guy with the ball,'' said Calloway, repeating his often used refrain this
" "We work on it every day,'' he said. ""It's just a matter of committing to it and
grasping it.
""I don't know if we've done either, if we're committed to it the way we
need to be, and we're definitely not grasping it.''
Saturday Saint Francis shot
65.0 percent in the first half to earn a home court 72-56 win over Long
Senior Jelani Lawrence and redshirt freshman
Devin Sweetney (13 points, 11 rebounds), who appears to be rivaling Monmouth's Jhamar Youngblood for
NEC Rookie of the Year honors, both had double-doubles
in the second straight victory for the Red Flash.
Sophomore Cale Nelson
led Saint Francis with 19 points and 7 assists.
""It sounds like they're playing well,'' said Calloway. ""They want to go
out with a win and build for next year.
""We want to move on.''
Monmouth downed St. Francis Jan. 25 in Boylan Gym, 71-66.

All tiebreaker scenarios now on NEC website!!!

From Northeast Conference Associate Commissioner Ron Ratner (no doubt aided by Bob-Tiebreaker Curran)...

1. MU wins it's in.
2. Could end as high as sixth - and will play in Conn. CCSU, SHU, or QU.
3.If MU loses it gets in: if Robert Morris beats LIU and FDU beats St. Francis (NY): MU #8.

This game with Pa. is on live video on the SFPA web site Monday night (and on MCX of course).

MU WOMEN - can finish anywhere from fourth to sixth. Could get a home game!!!

I personally want to thank Ron Ratner for spending part of his Sunday responding to my men's tie-breaker naggings....and to Bob for working on this material (because he likes to!) for many hours this weekend..and for being the first person on the planet to inform us that MU is in if it wins!!

(I think ESPN broke in with that bulletin but am not certain).

Latest from Tie-breaker Bob on MU wins and is in

Tony,After a 2nd look,SFNY is out of the playoffs.So,a MU win or an LIU loss and we are in. Thats it, plain and simple.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dave's strategy

Also talked to Dave about the time out situation Saturday night. He felt MU was having no trouble breaking the press (accurate) and that the TOs (Shipman) and (Coleman ) were unforced (accurate) after the press was broken. He also noted MU got the ball into Marques twice (two misses) and Deki missed a layup.

He said it has always been his strategy over the years to let the situations play out if the team is not turning the ball over vs. pressure.

He did call a time out after Litke's 3 made it 69-65..then another media time out followed 30 seconds later...Marques then hit two foul shots but Delic missed the open 3...

Again.. I personally would have preferred a time out ..maybe to bolster the D vs. the 3...
but if MU cashes in on just maybe one or two of those offensive possessions it may be a moot point...

As for Bunch..he admits keeping Bunch out of the games in favor of a defensive team that can can allegedly better guard the 3 has not worked .(again, it makes sense, just hasn't worked!) ....but also noted MU was getting the ball inside to Marques and Deki (when MU wasn't t turning it over) ..also he (Dave) is concerned that when Bunch is in there he is also turnover prone and has had trouble at the foul line (he has been better lately).....

I guess we'll see if there are any adjustments Monday night....It's amazing they still have a chance...three strikes and they maybe out and maybe not!.

They had a chance vs. LIU to lock it up and last night..I believe had they won coupled with RMU's defeat today they'd be in...and now Monday night....

He said it appears MU could finish anywhere from 8th to possibly....sixth.

Anyone for four strikes?

It's official - MU is in if it wins!

Just got off the phone with Calloway and Ron Ratner of the NEC. They confirm Bob Curran' s break down.

Also...if MU loses..according to Calloway..MU could get in if SFNY loses once and either Wagner or LIU loses twice...

Re: high school hoops/here is the Press game story

Since I am covering the Shore Confefrence hoops final tonight between CBA and FTwp...I would be interested in hearing any comments on the game. You may do that here.

Sherlon is Christie is our boys high school hoops writer and is doing a great job. I am NOT trying to steal from his blog..... Soooo..anything you send here.....please also send to his blog as I know he e would like to hear from you as well.



TOMS RIVER - It was the old sixth-grade drive way play.

It was the one where little brother Kevin Fischer, now a junior guard forFreehold Township High School, said he'd hit the big shot after older brother Eddie, a senior, drove and dished.

""I always made it, I'm more of the shooter, he's more of the dribbler, the ball handler,'' said Kevin. Saturday night in the biggest game of their lives on a significantly larger stage, the duo did it again.

Eddie, flashed into the lane and passed to Kevin who nailed a 3 from the left corner. Kevin's only basket of the game with 1:15 remaining snapped a tie and sent the Patriots to a 54-49 victory over CBA and their first boy's Shore Conference Tournament championship. The frenzied, sell-out crowd of 3,089 at the Ritacco Center saw Freehold Township (23-1) accomplish a rare feat, defeating the Colts (19-7) three times in the same season.

Neptune last pulled it off in 2001-2002 on its way to the finals of the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions. ""That's something I'm going to tell my grand kids and their grand kids,'' said Township
senior forward T.J. LaFalce. ""I
ll never forget this moment in my life, it's the greatest thing that's happened to me so far.'' CBA was bidding for its 15th SCT title in its 20th attempt.

""It's a great moment that me and my brother will cherish our whole lives,'' said Kevin who said center Marcus Roberson picked off his defender leaving him open.

Fischer had several clean looks earlier in the game but had been unable to connect until his swish broke a 43-43 deadlock. "'I wasn't in a groove at all,'' said Kevin. ""Luckily coming down the stretch I hit a big shot.''

""Little Fischer stepped up big,'' said LaFalce who scored 15 points. Eddie Fischer led the Patriots with 22.

""Eddie had trust in his little brother and he hit the biggest shot I've ever seen,'' said LaFalce.

""That was a big play, wasn't it?'' said Ed Wicelinski, CBA coach. ""He had missed a whole bunch of others. We wanted to make sure LaFalce didn't get the ball inside.''

An Eddie Fischer driving layup made it 48-44 with 49.6 seconds showing. Then with CBA down by three points with 20 seconds left, his interceptionof a pass into the lane cemented the outcome.

Wicelinski said Kevin Fischer's 3 marked "the tale of the game. ""We had a nunber of threes that were wide open,'' he said.""We just couldn't make them. ""When they got that great opportunity they buried it and that was the difference in the game.''

Sophomore Brian Neller led CBA with 17 points, 11 in the second half when CBA rallied from an eight-point deficit. His fourth three of the game with 2:13 left evened the score, 43-43.

""They (CBA) showed no quit,'' said LaFalce. "'They're a very good team. "'You've got to give them all the credit. ""The better team won it. We're the champs.''

""What can you do?,'' said Wicelinski. ""For how poorly we shot the ball today to have that close a game with that good a team, that means it was a hell of an effort.''

Derek Becker had 12 points for CBA and Mike Kuhn added 11.

After Freehold Township gained an early lead Neller got CBA back in the game with back-to-back 3's, the second from deep in the left corner, trimming a seven-point deficit to 14-13 with 4:32 left in the half.

The Colts pulled even on a Neller free throw with 2:05 left before Roberson sank two foul shots to give the Patriots an 18-16 edge at the half. Two foul shots by Rodger Wilmot extended Township's advantage to 35-27 late in the third quarter.

SFPA men's hoops live on video on line at the school athletic web site

It will be under the schedule/results tab before tonight's game begins per the SFPA SID....

From me: I can't vouch for the quality ..etc....but it's worth a look see I guess. I probably won't be able to watch tonight but anyone who does is invited to offer us a review...

Tie-breaker Bob's playoff update/BULLETIN/advisory

From MU and NEC hoops guru Bob Curran who apparently knows of what he speaks. I thought I would post this as a separate topic.

Also: for Monday, the NEC (Assoc. Commissioner Ron Ratner) will run all the official what if scenarios prior to the games....

This just in from Tie-breaker Bob ----

If we win against PA we are in.With RMU losing we control our own destiny.I defy you to prove me wrong!PRINT IT.

(Ok..I did).

From TBB - Here is the latest tie-break for humans:If we win,we are in.To get a 6 seed we need PA to beat LIU,then have LIU beat RMU,and WAG can't win more than one of its next two.If we lose this needs to happen to get in:WAG must lose its last two and LIU must win its last two.

Advisory from me: I have just left a cf message with Ron Ratner of the NEC asking him to pullleese advise me if what Bob says is true. I am sure it is - but -in the Press- I don't know if we can quote Bob!!!

Also.... I will be covering the CBA-FTWP Shore Conference final tonight for the Press. ...

I mention this because I will have deadline issues around 10-pm...but will hope to post Tie-breaker Bob's latest soon as possible....

For all those moaning about Dave....wonder how the Mark Schmidt fan club is doing? They have won how many titles lately??

Anatomy of a collapse

During 19-2 SHU run..MU 0-for-4 from the floor, 0-2 from Marques in close, misses by Delic and Youngblood, and 3 TOs (Delic, Shipman, Coleman). Down 63-50 SHU hit six 3's in a row..the last five after it was 65-53....

Big play (s) that started the rally....pushing foul on Youngblood on layup by Litke away from the play. SHU retains possession and hits a 3 for a five-point play and it's 63-58. The "Jet" had a great game, a fabulous game really, but foul there was not necessary.

Some other my opinion Dave could have called a time out somewhere in there. I know they had Bunch out of the lineup for a while because he can't get out to defend the three. But the MU guards and the lineup on the floor can't defend the 3 either. It's really the right move but, as in the LIU game, it didn't work.

Maybe if you keep Bunch in at least you slow the game down a little.....and he scores inside, and you take your chances with the long ball in favor of scoring....Defending the 3 has been a problem all year that's gotten worse instead of better.

In 3 defense in NEC games, MU is ninth (.389). By the way Pa. is last (.412).

In other words..they're damned if they do..and damned if they don't.

MU was fifth in 3 defense in NEC .last year..but when MU won the NEC in 2003-2004 MU was......last!!!..and when it won in was eighth...(so it has never been outstanding, those years anyway) in that dept..but has been much better in overall defense...especially scoring defense..not the case lately..

At the same time, Alston had two very makeable shots to help halt the SHU rally, and he missed them both...and Deki missing that open 3...

This team - for the most part - came up small all year in big situations.....after the Rider game.... could be all over now...can MU even beat Pa? and will it matter? and do you really want to see this team in the NECs?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Defenseless..Hawks sent reeling towards playoff elimination


WEST LONG BRANCH - It happened in the blink of an eye.
Specifically it was dead-eye, three-point shooting in the last 6:30
by Sacred Heart University that stunned Monmouth Friday night, 82-75, before
2,110 disappoinated Senior Night fans at Boylan Gym.
""In a playoff (type) game we gave up 54 points in the second half,
that's what happened,'' said Dave Calloway, Monmouth coach.
As Monmouth (12-17, 7-10) lost control of a game it seemed to have in hand,
it also surrendered control of its own playoff destiny in
its bid to qualify for the 2007 Northeast Conference Tournament.
It will fail to make the eight-team field if it ends in a tie
with Long Island U. (10-17, 6-10) and is also passed by Wagner
(10-17, 7-9) each
of which have two NEC games remaining.
Monmouth could also miss out in the event of three-way tie with LIU and Wagner
depending on other tie-breakers.
The regular season ends Monday with Monmouth visiting St. Francis, Pa.
Wasted in a defeat that for most of Friday night seemed unlikely was career
high 31 points by rookie Jhamar Youngblood who also had
eight rebounds, and three steals.
""This was the story or our entire season,'' said Monmouth
senior Dejan Delic. ""We
played well for the most part and then we stopped playing defense.''
Coupled with Tuesday's 82-78 defeat at LIU, Monmouth has yielded more than 80
points in consecutive games for the first time since 1997-98.
It ended the regular season losing three games in a row at home for the first
time since 1998-99.

It all seemed impossible Friday as Monmouth,
in front by as many as 13 points with 8:10 left, was
still ahead
65-53 with 7:24 showing after two free throws by Corey Hallett.
Then the 3-point roof caved in.
Sacred Heart hit five consecutive 3's and Monmouth went without a field
goal in a 19-2 explosion that carried Sacred Heart to a 72-67 lea
d with 2:26 showing when Luke Granato
hit from deep.
Monmouth had a chance to draw even with 1:19 left but Delic (10
points), failed on a left corner 3.
""I had an open shot to tie the game, didn't make it,'' said Delic.
But by then the Monmouth defense was merely a rumor. Sacred Heart shot
8-for-12 from long range in the second half when freshman Chauncey Hardy
scored all of his 17 points including going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
""We stopped talking (on defense), guys were going behind our back in the zone,''
said Delic. ""They get open shots because you don't get chance to react
because by the time you turn around the guy is open.
"If you communicate you get a chance to see him before he gets an open shot.
They got open shots, made them, got confident.''
"It was (Sacred Heart) guys that can't put the ball on the
floor (who made 3's),'' said
"'You've got to guard the ball, what do you want me to tell you? The guy is a 3-point shooter, you've got to get up and guard.
""And then they made their shots when they needed to down the stretch. And
we were still in the game and we didn't make shot.
"'We get the ball inside, we miss. We get the chance to tie it with a 3, we
The eight-team NEC Tournament begins Thursday at
the four home courts of the highest seeds.
Over a week ago Delic guaranteed Monmouth would be playing.
"If I don't think
(Monmouth will qualify) we shouldn't go to Pennsylvania,'' Delic said

Friday Monmouth led at the half, 39-28, behind 14 mainly transition points y
Delic chipped in with eight points and Marques Alston seven as
Monmouth shot 55 percent (15-for-
27) from the floor while SHU made 41 percent (11-for-27).
Monmouth took a 24-14 lead on a left wing 3 by Delic with 11:17 left.
It stretched the advantage to double figures when it knocked the ball away
from the Pioneers with five seconds showing.
Youngblood rocketed the length
of the floor, his layup rolled in at the buzzer, and Whitney Coleman shook his fists
with excitement.
But, when it all ended, the excitement belonged to Sacred Heart and
Monmouth's season was tetering on the brink.

High school career of MU bound point guard James Hett nearing end

from Staten Island Advance

Farrell defense nearly cooks powerful Rice
1-3-1 setup works for three quarters before Raiders start connecting

Friday, February 23, 2007


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Monsignor Farrell's 1-3-1 defense contained nationally ranked Rice for the better part of three quarters before the Raiders started connecting on their outside shots en route to beating the Lions 56-41 in a CHSAA Archdiocesan semifinal game Tuesday.
The Lions had 6-foot-8 Ryan Rossiter blockading the paint and guard James Hett up top. They were pinning their hopes on a poor shooting night from long range, and it worked until early in the fourth quarter.

"They have more weapons, are more athletic, and we have to play close to perfection to beat them," said Farrell coach Bob Besignano. "We couldn't let them inside and had to make sure they beat us on the perimeter."
With the exception of a short stretch in the second quarter, when Kemba Walker bulled his way through for a couple of layups, Rice settled for the long-range bombs that were usually off the mark.
It wasn't until Jeff Harris hit form the top of the key to tie the game at 37 that Rice got untracked from the outside.
"We wanted to make them shoot the ball and we were able to do that," said Hett. "They were confused on offense. Most opponents probably play man against them, and they don't see the 1-3-1. Maybe that will change. It's a disappointment to lose to them, because I go into every game expecting to win."
"We don't see a lot of the 1-3-1 acknowledged Rice coach Maurice Hicks. "They did a good job at it, and we didn't make shots we normally make. If you don't shoot well against it, you'll have problems, and Rossiter will grab the rebounds."

Hett needs eight points for 1,000 and will try to get it Sunday in a CHSAA Class AA Intersectional game against Archbishop Molloy at Holy Cross in Queens. A Farrell loss would mean the end of Hett's high school career.
"If I get it, I get it," said Hett after the Rice loss. "Hopefully, I'll get it out of the way early. Either way, I want to remember my last game (whenever it comes)."

DelTufo hits 1,000 (as noted by blogger)..courtesy

Mendham 63 (18-7-0), Hanover Park 42 (10-14-0)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Nick DelTufo, a 6-7 senior who'll play next year at Monmouth, scored 21 points and went past the 1,000-point mark for his career in lifting Mendham in East Hanover. George Twill was high man for Mendham with 27 points. Justin Nagy scored 13 for Hanover Park.

MENDHAM (63): Deltufo 8-2-1-21, Twill 7-1-4-27, Hanson 1-0-1-5, Poges 3-0-0-6, Gomeringer 1-0-0-2, Campisi 1-0-0-2 Totals: 21-3-6-63
HANOVER PARK (42): Shellenhamer 3-2-1-11, J. Nagy 5-0-1-13, Pristell 1-0-0-2, Dirocco 1-3-0-5, Frankoski 1-0-0-2, Baruka 2-1-0-5, Gatti 2-0-0-4 Totals: 15-6-2-42

Thursday, February 22, 2007

MU vs. SHU post game comments (men and women)

MU vs. SHU men (and women) predictions

Please post them here...

Mine: Men: I just have a hunch, MU 68-65.

Women - SHU, 70-60.

advisory update Friday morning

Friday I have to be in Philly during the day..then zip back to MU for the doubleheader...I'll be on line when I can..but probably not extensively til later Friday night..

Going off line now - 945 am Friday..until later today at some point...

Here they are!!!

The American Idols of recent MU blogger screen names -

Honorable mention - Sir Brickalot, Jhamar JetBlue Youngblood, Officer Alston

High honorable mention: Hit a free throw & Holy Hallett

and the winner is, after much deliberation:

drum roll please:

"The Little Voice in Barlow's Head"

Sorry they all couldn't be mentioned.....It was a very challenging field!

I'm sure we can do it all over again soon!!!

"" The Little Voice in Barlow's head."!!!

Thursday NEC men's results: standings

Thursday night results: SFPA shocks Q pack, 73-72, MSM downs Wagner 82-77; CCSU holds off RMU, 88-86

1. Central Conn. St.*
2. Sacred Heart*


4. Fairleigh Dickinson*

.5. Mount St. Mary's*

6. Robert Morris

7. Monmouth


9. Long Island

10. St. Francis (NY)

11. St. Francis (PA)

MU baseball

I plucked this from the NEC release..for the full release please go to the NEC web site

Perennial contender Monmouth University was picked fourth in the 2007 Northeast Conference preseason coaches poll. Monmouth
(27-22, 14-9 NEC, last season ), looks to rebound
failing to qualify for NEC Tournament play last season following a record eight-year run. Now in his 14th year at Monmouth, head coach Dean Ehehalt must replace 2006 NEC Player of the Year Nick Massari, as well as three other all-league performers. One player for Ehehalt to build around is saff ace Brad Brach. The Freehold Township High School graduate, a junior nright-hander, dominated league hitters last season, finishing 6-4 with an NEC-low 2.44 earned run average. Picked first was defending champion Central Connecticut State (33-18, 16-7 NEC), which claimed its third NEC regular season crown in the last four years in 2006.

Press story for Friday on MU men vs. Sacred Heart


You could call them Marques Moments.

Those would be Boylan Gym highlights over the last four years by Monmouth University senior forward Marques Alston.

And it would not be overtstating the situation to say that in Friday's Senior Night Northeast Conference game when Monmouth (12-16, 7-9) hosts Sacred Heart (14-13, 10-6), the Hawks could probably use another one.

While senior nights are usually celebratory occasions, for Monmouth this appears more like one of desperation.

""I never thought we'd be in the position we are right now,'' said Alston, a former Neptune High School standout.

That position is one in which Monmouth's defending NEC Tournament champions are clinging to the eighth and final NEC Tournament playoff berth with one more regular season game remaining Monday night at St. Francis, Pa. (5-21, 2-13).

Alston's home floor moments to remember have included his sophomore year heroics when his rebound basket at the buzzer defeated St. Peter's and his driving layup in the final seconds lifted Monmouth to an NEC Tournament playoff victory over Central Connecticut State.

He is one of four seniors along with Dejan Delic, John Bunch, and Corey Hallett whose careers are bordering on the brink of premature conclusions.
Alston and Delic are 1,000 career point scorers and Alston Friday will add two entries to Monmouth's record books. He will supplant assistant coach Chris Kenny for most games played for Monmouth (125) and will tie the legendary Alex Blackwell for 13th place for most starts with his 84th.

While Friday's outcome won't guarantee Monmouth post season qualification or elimination, a defeat would mean it would lose control of its destiny in a three-way battle for the last spot with Wagner and Long Island U.

""We are in this situation and we can't sit back and sulk about it,'' said Alston. ""We don't have any time. We've got to do whatever we've got to do to prepare to win that (Friday) game, then go out and win at Sr. Francis to try and get at least this last playoff spot.''

Delic, who last Friday guaranteed Monmouth will play in the NEC Tournament, was not backing down Thursday. ""If I don't have confidence I shouldn't be playing basketball,'' he said. "I'm confident, I always was. So I'm still sticking to my guarantee.

""The Lord works in mysterious ways,'' he said.

Delic said it still hasn't hit him that this appears to be his final game in Boylan Gym. Even if Monmouth makes the NECs it is not likely to host a game.
""It's going to hit me after the game'' he said. ""Hopefully after a good win. I feel we had a great practice today.''

Three of the seniors have been part of teams that have won or shared two NEC regular season championships and gone to two NCAA Tounaments with Bunch joining the fray for last year's NCAA run.

""We've had six straight winning seasons prior to this season and these seniors were part of half of that,'' said Dave Calloway, Monmouth coach. ""Unfortunately it hasn't happened this year. Maybe the saving grace will be to at least get a victory on Senior Night.''

""Four years went by too fast,'' said Alston. "Now it's hard to believe Friday could be my last game in this gym.''

The Pioneers, in their eighth NEC season, have never ended higher than last year's seventh place finish. Their 74-57 victory over the Hawks Jan. 11 in Fairfield, Conn. triggered a four-game losing streak that began Monmouth's plummet in the standings.


Does MU make the NEC Tournament??????

And how do they do it? or don't?

MU women full game story vs. FDU - Hawks played well in this one..showdown Friday with def. champ Sacred Heart


WEST LONG BRANCH - If the Monmouth University women's basketball team is to make
a serious post season splash it may need a heretofore unheralded performer to
make a few waves.
Sophomore Lakia Barber threw her hat in the pool Wednesday night with her
third double figure game in a row and first career double double as the Hawks
routed Fairleigh Dickinson, 73-47, in a Northeast Conference game
at Boylan Gym.
""It's getting near the end of the season,,'' said Barber, a lanky 5-11 sophomore from
Clinton, Md.
""We're hoping for a run in the (NEC) Tournament and I'm just trying to
bring what I can bring,'' she said.
Wednesday night she brought athleticism and energy notching 12 points and 10
rebounds in 21 minutes
Barber is averaging 13.6 points and 7.3 rebounds over the
last three games, well above her season numbers of 7.3 points and 4.3
The outcome enabled Monmouth (17-10, 10-6) to pull even with Quinnipiac
(16-7, 10-6) in the battle for a fourth place finish and a first round NEC
Tournament home game.
However, the Bobcats hold the tie-breaker over Monmouth which hosts
defending champion Sacred Heart (18-9, 13-3) and reigning NEC Player of the
Year Amanda Pape its next to last regular
season game 5 p.m. Friday.
Monmouth sophomore guard Marisa Jimenez, who struggled Monday night wearing a\
face guard for the first time to protect a fractured nose, saw clearly enough Wednesday to lead
Monmouth with 19 points, hitting 3 of 4 from downtown.
""I had to adjust my vision (Monday) and get used to something being on
my face the whole game,'' she said.
Unlike Monday night when Monmouth never had the lead in a defeat by
Central Connecticut State, it never trailed FDU (9-17, 6-10) Wednesday leading by as many as 28
points in the second half.
""This time I was used to having it on my face,'' Jimenez said. ""I was seeing
what passes I could throw and what I could do in practice.
""And I did a little extra shooting with it and everything worked out for
The unpredictable Hawks bore no resemeblence to Monday night's group
which, in turn, had little similarity to the Monmouth team which won at
Mount St. Mary's Saturday.
""I like this team better (than Monday's),'' said Monmouth coach Michele
Baxter. ""I put a lot of emphasis on defense. Defense and running the
In its first meeting with Sacred Heart this season Jan. 13 in Fairfield,
Conn., Monmouth overcame a 15-0 deficit and took a second half lead before faltering.
""We've got to keep the intensity we had for this game and bring it to
Friday,'' Jimenez said.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Advisory update - I'm on line. This thing works!!!/standings/schedules

Am on line from Phila. . I plan to attend MU men's practice later Thursday at least that's the pl;an for the moment if I can get back in time ....either way will have story for Friday Press....

A couple of things...Whitney Coleman told me Wednesday night has has some tendinitis in both knees..also Deki hurt his hand in practice at some point Wednesday and did not practice there after....Corey Hallett (nose injury) was wearing the Marisa Jimenez Memorial face mask... don't think any of these injuries are serious but will be checking today...

Did any of the Calloway critics read Gaffney's comments? Calloway on Bunch? Reactions?
I think MU would like Mount to beat Wagner tonight..

Central Conn. St.*
Sacred Heart*
Fairleigh Dickinson*
Robert Morris
Mount St. Mary's
Long Island
St. Francis (NY)
St. Francis (PA)


Central Conn. St.
Robert Morris
New Britain, CT
7:00 pm
St. Francis (PA)
Hamden, CT
7:00 pm
Mount St. Mary's
Staten Island, NY

7:00 pm
Sacred Heart
West Long Branch, NJ


7:30 pm
Robert Morris
Hamden, CT
12:00 pm
St. Francis (NY)
Mount St. Mary's
Brooklyn, NY
4:00 pm
St. Francis (PA)
Long Island
Loretto, PA
7:00 pm
Fairleigh Dickinson
Staten Island, NY
7:00 pm

Robert Morris
Long Island
Moon Township, PA
7:00 pm
Sacred Heart
Fairfield, CT
7:00 pm
St. Francis (PA)
Loretto, PA
7:00 pm
St. Francis (NY)
Fairleigh Dickinson
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 pm
Central Conn. St.
New Britain, CT
7:00 pm


Dave on why he did not play John Bunch in the second half Tuesday night at LIU

Dave - "I stayed with him the whole first half basically because he was our whole offense, he was keeping us in the game.

""They were bascially spreading it with five guys on the perimeter. At that point in the time in the first half I figured 'Lets just keep going inside.'' If we're getting an automatic two (from Bunch), hopefully we'll continue to guard the 3 better and take our chances. We got back in the game.

""At the start of the second half we were scoring (without Bunch). So I felt, if I was going to put John in it would have been for offense.

""The fact we were having no problem scoring - I felt we needed to get stops and he would not have been effective on the defensive end because they would have five guys on the perimeter.

""We extended out and were able to guard them more. Maybe our guards who were supposed to be guarding guys who couldn't shoot, thought John was going to be back there to block, I don't know (Calloway being sarcastic there).

"Defense is guarding the man with the ball and rebounding. We didn't guard the man with the ball. The number one thing in defense.''

MU Pres. Gaffney on Dave

With all the heat being heaped on Dave on this blog I asked MU president Paul Gaffney II tonight about Dave' status in reponse to criticism of the MU head coach....

""Look at his record and the athletes he graduates, that's what I would say,'' said Gaffney.

From me - ""Is Dave in any danger?"

"Not from me,'' said Gaffney. ""There's no team that's a standout in this conference (this year). On any given night any team can win. It's a tough year (for Monmouth). But these things happen. ''

Calloway is in his first year of a four-year contract extension

MU men's hoops non-conference schedule for 2007-2008

Re: schedule for 2007-2008 - Talked to Dave year's home schedule.. Penn, Princeton, Tex & M CC, Rider. Road games - Paradise Jam - field of MU, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Baylor, Charlotte, Winthrop, Wichita State, Ill. Chicago.
Road games -at Seton Hall, St. Peter's, Hartford, and two more road games, could be Lehigh, and one other.

For 2009-2010 (planned first full year of the MAC)...""We'll have five (non-conference) home games, and an outside chance of six,'' Dave said.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Press story on LIU game for Wednesday



NEW YORK - Dejan Delic may have finished with a game-high 27 points, but all Monmouth coach Dave Calloway could think about was him missing the front end of a one-and-one situation with 35 seconds remaining.

Marques Alston was a workhorse in the paint, scoring 18 points. But Calloway was left with a vision Alston failing to get out on Long Island University guard James Williams as he connected on a crucial three-pointer with 1:55 left.

In fact, Calloway probably never even looked at the final numbers before walking out of the Athletic Center. Stats are for losers, and that's what his team was last night, falling 82-78 in a key Northeast Conference matchup.

Despite coming back from a 13-point deficit in the first half, the Hawks once again faltered in critical situations, particularly on defense, as the Blackbirds hit 11 three-pointers to go with numerous layups and easy shots inside.

Calloway went so far as to bench center John Bunch in the second half, after he scored 11 first-half points, feeling he couldn't help them at the other end of the court.

"Their players who couldn't shoot, we couldn't get in front of them. And their players who could shoot, we never got out on them," lamented Calloway.

"When we win games like this late in the season, it's with defense, and we gave up 82 points."

The Hawks (12-16, 7-9) had some breathing room in the race for the eighth and final spot in the NEC Tournament with their one-point win at Mount St. Mary's over the weekend, coupled with LIU's loss to Quinnipiac. But now they're just a game ahead of the Blackbirds with two regular season games remaining, with LIU holding the tie-breaker thanks to a sweep of the season series.

The loss all but ends the Hawks streak of six straight winning seasons. They'd have to win their last two games, sweep three games in the conference tournament and win an NCAA Tournament game, likely a play-in game for the second straight season, to keep it alive.

A 3-pointer by Delic with 10:39 to play gave Monmouth their first lead since early in the first half at 59-57. Delic again connected from beyond the arc to give the Hawks their final lead at 69-66 with 4:40 remaining. A three-point play by Jaytorna Wisseh, however, evened matters just 20 seconds later, before a layup by Tyrone Mattison put the Blackbirds on top for good with 3:20 left.

The Blackbirds extended to a 76-71 lead on Williams' 3-pointer, but Delic scored on a layup with 1:11 to play to cut it to three points. Delic was then fouled trying to grab a rebound at the other end, but with a chance to cut the lead to one he missed the front-end of the one-and-one.

With the Hawks forced to foul, Wisseh put the game away by sinking six straight free throws in the final 30 seconds.

Trailing by as many as 13 on several occasions in the first half, and it could have been a lot more had it not been for Bunch, who had 10 points in the opening 15 minutes. The Hawks finally put together a 12-3 run late in the half to trim the deficit to 35-32 on Jhamar Youngblood's short jumper with 2:01 left, before going into halftime down 38-33.

Let's listen together

Ok, here's the plan.

Since I was unable to make it to LIU tonight (Steve Edelson is there for the Press and we will run his game story on the blog later) everyone is invited to make comments here as the game progresses.

As usual - announcer and or player bashing just for the sake of same will not be permitted..... Now I just hope I can pick up the game on my PC...

The game is on Sportsjuice which I find is often easier to pick up than off the X web site..

Tonight's and Thursday schedule/standings

Fairleigh Dickinson
Sacred Heart
Hackensack, NJ

7:00 pm
Long Island
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 pm


Central Conn. St.
Robert Morris
New Britain, CT
7:00 pm

St. Francis (PA)
Hamden, CT
7:00 pm

Mount St. Mary's
Staten Island, NY
7:00 pm

x- 1. Central Conn. State 14-2
2. Quinnipiac 9-5
3. FDU 9-6
Sacred Heart 9-6
5. Robert Morris 8-7
6. Mount St. Mary's 8-8
7. Monmouth 7-8
Wagner 7-8
9. LIU 5-10
10. St. Francis, NY 5-11
11. St. Francis, Pa. 2-13

Monday, February 19, 2007

MU vs. LIU post game comments

Please make them here....I also hope to post Steve Edelson's story from LIU on the blog later Tuesday..

MU vs. LIU predictions

Here's mine.....LIU, 70-64. Hawks failed to convince me they have turned a corner. They can if they win this one, though.

Dave on Tyson/Bunch had the block at MSM/"Jet" soars to another ROW Award

Advisory...I will try and be on line as much as possible but again, please bear with me if there are gaps...(also I lost my mouse on my PC, the cat must have eaten it!)

I asked Dave today about Tyson in this manner - ""Is there any chance Tyson Johnson could be wearing a Monmouth uniform next season?"

Dave's answer - ""I've been in this business long enough to never say never."


On the Bunch block Saturday - I stand corrected (How rare is that? - not very).

Dave and Whitney Coleman told me today Bunch got back to block Goode's last second shot Saturday night. Darned if me or any other reporter saw it.

Whitney - who was on the floor - said Bunch ran by him and Goode was getting by him (Coleman) when Goode plowed into Marques for what Whitney thought should have been called a charge.

Then he said , at the same time, Bunch blocked the shot.

So there you are....

If you didn't know...Jhamar "The Jet" Youngblood received his third NEC Rookie of the Week Award..that ties him for the most in the NEC this season...

He practiced Monday Dave told me. Bunch was held out as a protective measure (his knees).

MU women - A Devil of a time to play badly


WEST LONG BRANCH - Monmouth University sophomore guard Marisa Jimenez wore a face mask over her injured nose Monday night. But it was the Hawks who generally showed up in disguise.
Bearing no resemblance to the team that gutted out a hard fought win Saturday at Mount St. Mary's, Monmouth was buried by struggling Central Connecticut State, 64-48, incurring a serious blow to its hopes of hosting a first round Northeast Conference Tournament game.
""We just started off slow, they got off to a pretty big lead,'' said Brianne Edwards, Monmouth junior point guard. ""We tried to play catch up. This late in the season you can't do that.''
While Monmouth (16-10, 9-6) also failed to resemble the team that Jan. 20 won handily at CCSU, the Blue Devils (6-21, 4-12), hardly appeared to be a program in danger of failing to qualify for the post season.
They limped into Boylan Gym on a five-game losing streak and in the midst of a 1-11 free fall.
""We did beat them at their place,'' said Edwards. ""They're in a stretch where they need these wins to clinch a spot in the NEC Tournament. I feel like we relaxed and took them for granted.''
CSU senior center Gabriella, the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Division I school history, punished the Hawks inside with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
But whereas CCSU turned the ball over 30 times in its first meeting with Monmouth, Monday night CCSU turned 23 Monmouth turnovers into 26 points.
""We weren't ready to start the game,'' said Michele Baxter, Monmouth coach. ""I don't know how else to put it.''
Before Monmouth could blink it was down 8-0 and then 27-7 only 13 minutes into the contest.
""We needed the game,'' said Guegbelet. ""We executed more and we played good defense tonight. And we played together.
""Our coaches tell us every day, "Every game you play you never quit." "
Monmouth didn't quit either. Sophomore Lakia Barber tried to ignite a rally and led the Hawks with 17 points, but Monmouth never seriously threatened.
Jimenez, who scored a career high 23 points Saturday, appeared to be affected by the face gear she received shortly before tip-off and scored five points. She had taken an accidental elbow to the nose late in Sunday's practice.
""She shot around with it (the mask) some in the warmups,'' said Baxter. ""But it's not the same (as in a game).''
Baxter was not sure whether Jimenez will be required to wear it again 7 p.m. Wednesday when Monmouth hosts Fairleigh Dickinson (9-16, 6-9).


My wife has some medical issues that will require me to take her to Phila. at various times during the day over the next three if my blog entries are a little spotty, this is why.

Currently I am on a "borrowed " computer in Philly...hope they don't chase me...also going to look into getting one of those satellite cards...does anyone have them??? they work???

Streve Edelson is going to cover the game at LIU Tuesday like many of you..I will be at home listening on least that's the way it appears right now.....

I should be able to make the women's games this week at Boylan and the DH Friday (I hope)...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

WFAN snubs Monmouth/until I called/and other thoughts

At 1120 pm..I was driving north on Maryland Route 15 last night when I caught the FAN 20-20 update. They mentioned every ""local" college hoop result from Wagner to Marist Monmouth score.l Again at 11:40, same deal.

So I called. I had lots of time. It's a lonnnnnnnng ride. It's a good thing. I called and called..busy, busy, busy..then it rang..and no one picked up. And I called some more.

Finally at 1230AM ...ring, ring, ring - "The FAN' a guy (producer) I imagine answered. I explained
to him who I was (he did not appear impressed - he did ask how Tyson Johnson was doing though - KIDDING!) .....anyway I asked him if they would put on the MU score.

Sure 1240 pm..."Monmouth beat Mt. St. Mary's by a point" (they often do not give the full score of NEC games)..then at 1AM .."and Monmouth beat St. Mary's by a point" - he forget the Mount part, but why quibble? - and then they had it on again at 120AM..after that I listened to WIP the rest of the way home.....

Nice win by the MU women. MU is far from the only school that doesn't draw well for NEC women's action. The "crowd" at the game Saturday afternoon ....a whopping 198. No wonder I got such a good parking space!

Talked a little with MSM men's coach Milan Brown after the game. Visiting CCSU
is what concerns him. Doesn't fear playing at SHU or Quinnpiac if it comes to that. MSM beat FDU this season. MU did not come up in conversation as it does not appear - right now - they'll the first round.

My sleeper pick to win the NECS - FDU.

On the way there - Penn State U - Wisc men's hoops must have been on about four radio stations....also found the Millerville-East Stroudsburg Pa. hoops... then there was the Daytona 300-500-800 - whatever. What can be more exciting than NASCAR on radio???

And then picked up a Loyola, Md. - Notre Dame indoor lacrosse match. Honest.

Back to hoops: Remember - the NECs are re-seeded after the first round with the lowest seeds always visiting the highest.

John Bunch - 14 boards was a career high. Last six games JB averaging 11.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 5.6 blocks.


OK..let's talk playoffs! Does MU make it? Where does it finish? This includes Sunday night's Wag-RMU game

Top eight teams qualify.

Sunday night result - RMU defeated Wagner, 71-63.

It appears to me now MU has a shot at fourth place (Sacred Heart).

It has tie-breakers with MSM, RMU, and Wagner. Loses tie-breakers to LIU, and Q pac. Overall this is shaping up as a tie-breakers nightmare

x- 1. Central Conn. State 14-2

2. Quinnipiac 9-5

3. FDU 9-6
Sacred Heart 9-6

5. Robert Morris 8-7

6. Mount St. Mary's 8-8

7. Monmouth 7-8

Wagner 7-8

9. LIU 5-10

10. St. Francis, NY 5-11

11. St. Francis, Pa. 2-13

x - clinched regular season title

Games remaining of teams involving Monmouth's playoff bid:

MONMOUTH - Tuesday at LIU, Friday vs. Sacred Heart, Monday at SFPA

Quinnipiac - Thursday vs. SFPA, Saturday vs. RMU, Monday at Sacred Heart.FDU - Tuesday vs. Sacred Heart, Feb. 24 at Wagner, Feb 26 at St. Francis, N.Y.

Sacred Heart - Tuesday at FDU, Friday at Monmouth, Feb. 26 vs. Quinnipiac

Robert Morris - Thursday at CCSU, Feb. 24 at Quinnipiac, Feb. 26 vs.LIU.

Mount St. Mary's - Thursday at Wagner, Feb. 24 at St. Francis, N.Y.

LIU - Tuesday vs. Monmouth, Feb. 24 at St. Francis, Pa., Feb. 26 at Robert Morris

Wagner - Thursday vs. MSM, Saturday vs. FDU, Monday at CCSU


Full MU women's story of MSM game

box score


MONMOUTH (16-9, 9-5) 60: Ferdinand 1-2 0-0 2, Zegowitz 1-3 0-0 2, Randolph 2-3 1-1 7, Edwards 2-6 2-3 7, Jimenez 7-10 7-9 23, Ware 1-4 0-0 2, McElroy 0-1 0-0 0, Bender 3-6 0-1 6, Barber 4-10 4-4 12. Totals: 21-45 13-17 60.

MOUNT ST. MARY'S (11-14, 9-6): Krumberger 6-11 12-16 25, Franklin 1-5 4-4 6, Green 4-13 1-1 9, Gauthier 0-2 0-0 0, Liller 2-10 0-0 5, Oliver 0-0 0-0 0, Mazzuchi 1-6 0-0 3, Butler 4-6 1-2 9. Totals: 18-53 18-23 57.

Halftime: Monmouth 24-20. 3-point goals: Monmouth 5-9 (Randolph 2, Jimenez 2, Edwards. Mount St. Mary's 3-10 (Mazzuchi, Liller, Krumberger). Asssists: Monmouth 12 (Edwards 5). Mount St. Mary's 7 (Gauthier 3). Rebounds: Monmouth 35 (Randolph 9). Moungt St. Mary's 28 (Krumberger, Butler 7).


EMMITSBURG, Md. - Marisa Jimenez never hestitated. Fresh off a late-game time out, the sophomore guard took a pass from junior Brianne Edwards and drained a 3 that sent the Monmouth University women's basketball team ahead for good in Saturday's 60-57 Northeast Conference victory over Mount St. Mary's.

""It's a spread for Bri (Edwards),'' said Jimenez of the basket with two minutes showing that gave Monmouth (16-9, 9-5) a 57-55 lead and a season series sweep of the Mount (11-14, 9-6).

""And when Bri drove to the left my girl (defender) collapsed to the ball side and that's when she gave it to me,'' said Jimenez.

The victory enabled Monmouth, which has clinched a berth in the NEC Tournament, to keep alive its hopes for a first round home game.

As the ball swished through the net Jimenez, who scored a career high 23 points, flicked her wrist in a semi salute and grinned. ""It looked good, it felt good,'' said Jimenez.

The basket also wiped out a comeback by the Mount that had seen it erase a 14-point Monmouth lead. Senior Ditka Krumberger scored 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Mount in the type of game Monmouth may well have lost last season.

"We've got a year under our belt, we're a little bit more mature,'' said Jimenez. ""All of us were talking to each other, getting ourselves back up, the confidence was rising, and that's how it worked out.''

Jimenez basket also brought a roar from many in the small crowd at the Knott Arena who came to root on the Hawks.

In particular they were cheering for sophomore Lakia Barber and juniors Lindsey Zegowitz, and Nyaimah Ware, and freshman Brooke McElroy who hail from the Maryland-Virginia area.

""I thought they were louder than the Mount fans,'' said Jimenez. ""I thought we were at home.''

The Monmouth supporters included Barber's uncle Fred McCoy, who she said formerly played at Kansas State. ""He's like my coach,'' said Barber who had 12 points and six rebounds.

Her layup off a feed from Edwards (five assists, two turnovers) with 1:17 left gave Monmouth a 59-55 lead. ""It's good having him (McCoy) yelling and screaming, "Play hard, play aggressive, ' '' said Barber.

""It was exciting having my family at the game. I had a smile on my face the whole time.''

Monmouth coach Michele Baxter said she was especially pleased about her sophomores, Barber, Jimenez, Jennifer Bender, and Rachel Ferdinand, all of whom contributed Saturday.

""They're not really playing like sophomores,'' Baxter said. ""They're persevering.'' The Mount had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds. A 3-point try by Dominique Mazzuchi (a 41-percent shooter from deep) hit the front rim and Jimenez grabbed the rebound as the buzzer sounded.

Full updated and edited MU story on MSM game

Notes from me - Youngblood (knee) hobbling after the game. Says he's OK.

Bunch, last two missed foul shots aside, was the difference.

Outcome certainly could have gone either way.

MU tried to hand it back after rallying to go in front, but to their credit hung in there. Two big FTs by Delic into the teeth of the MSM fans under the basket, and then Youngbolod (on the bench much of the second half as he had not been plying well) comes into the game and - BANG!

As far as s I know Bunch did not block the last shot ( he was still up the floor after shooting the FTS).

Good job by MU getting back though and Alston stood in there to take the charge.

After the missed shot by Goode, it was rebounded in..but clearly after the buzzer.

Overlooked fact - a nice job by Alex Nunner in the first half (eight minutes, one 3, no turnovers).


EMMITSBURG, Md. - The Monmouth University men's basketball team has spent most of its Division I years losing hard-to-swallow games at Mount St. Mary's. But Saturday night Monmouth staged a pair of second half rallies and tasted triumph.

It took the lead on a 3 by freshman Jhamar Youngblood with 18 seconds showing and survived a game-ending layup attempt by Mount freshman point guard Jeremy Goode to hold on for a tense 61-60 Northeast Conference victory that enhanced the Hawks bid to qualify for the NEC Tournament.

With the outcome Monmouth (12-15, 7-8) placed itself in position to clinch an NEC Tournament berth with a win Tuesday at LIU. It also drew closer to the Mount (9-18, 8-8) and a possible fifth (or even fourth) place finish. The top eight teams qualify for the NEC post season.

""I remember so many games we lost here at the end,'' said Dave Calloway, Monmouth coach. Monmouth had lost 13 of its prior 16 visits to the Knott Arena. ""Crazy games,'' said Calloway.

None more so than Saturday night but with a different outcome.

With 4.7 seconds left and Monmouth in front by the final score senior John Bunch (11 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks) missed two free throw attempts and Goode sped down the floor. As he approached the basket the entire Monmouth team appeared to converge on him as the shot went up and missed.

Monmouth's Marques Alston, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, reeled backwards. Bodies sprawled on the floor. Whistles remained silent while the Knott Arena crowd of 1,213 screamed in anguish and Mount coach Milan Brown briefly ran onto the floor to protest.

""It was so congested I didn't see (what happened),'' said Monmouth senior Dejan Delic who scored all nine of his points in the second half. ""I don't know if he (Goode) got fouled while he was driving. At the end Marques took a good charge, too. It always comes down to no calls. The refs don't want to call that in the last second.''

""I got pushed first,'' said Goode. ""Then when he pushed me that's when I shot the ball. Somebody just like came across me. It was either a charge (on Goode) or a flagrant foul I would think.''

But it was Youngblood's right corner trey that ultimately rescued Monmouth. Youngblood (nine points), who sat out most of the second half, got loose in the right corner and let it fly after receiving a pass from Whitney Coleman (six points, five assists).

" I knew I had to shoot it, that I couldn't go to the hole,'' said Youngblood. ""Most of the time when I know I'm going to shoot it goes in, like when you prepare you know,'' he said. ""That was one of the times.''

The Hawks, down 10 points in the first half, used a 16-5 run to take a 52-46 lead with 4:31 showing.

But then turnovers by Delic and Alston helped fuel a rally that gave Mount a 60-56 advantage with 50 seconds left.

Delic made two from the line 10 seconds later and Mychal Kearse of the Mount dribbled the ball off his foot with 35 seconds remaining returning possession to Monmouth.

" We're still not in it (the NEC Tournament),'' said Delic who Friday guaranteed Monmouth would qualify. ""It was a tough win, this is my first time to win in this place,'' he said. ""It's probably my favorite place to win in the conference because of the atmosphere.''

Monmouth trailed 30-26 after a first half when the deficit could have been much worse were it not for nine points, five rebounds, and two blocks by Bunch.

Some 12 minutes into the half Bunch had gone 3-for-4 from the floor while the remainder of the team languished at 1-for-9. Errors included Delic bobbling away a cross court pass from Alston and Alston fumbling a Mike Shipman pass under the basket.

Monmouth fell behind 28-18 with 3:14 left after two free throws by Sam Atupem. But Coleman, with the crowd screaming "air ball" after he hoisted one early in the game, hit from deep and Alex Nunner came off the bench to add another helping Monmouth close the half on a 8-2 run.

NOTES...Wagner plays a snowed out game Sunday night at Robert Morris.


Message from Tyson

(For those of you who don't want to hear about him any more - then don't read it. I feel there is still much interest around MU on how he is doing, now and in the future.)

Tyson sent me this -

"What a forum Tony G.

I see I'm stirring up a lot of talk.

First off.. for whoever said that to be a wish list of schools, you can add Texas A&M and Michigan St. to that list..

Secondly my first semester GPA was a 3.2..

Ok. I made mistakes at Monmouth. It happens, can't change it now right??

Only can improve. So for the people that have love for me I appreciate it and for you that don't I can care less.. I know I'm going to go to a school and be a big time player.

Can't believe someone said LIU.. HAHA.

Ok buddy. People like you just make me push even harder.

I came into Monmouth, not in the right frame of mind.

Anyway I wish Monmouth the best of luck this year still have a lot of friends there, hope they make the playoffs."

Sunday advisory

Didn't arrive home til 3 am just signing on the blog now (11:40 a.m.) . Will publish all the comments asap ..thank you for waiting......

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Internet access from MSM very limited sooo I won't be able to moderate comments or file the men's story on here until very, very late tonight or early AM. Thanks for your patience.

Friday, February 16, 2007

MU vs. MSM post game comments

Here you go.

FYI....I will be on the road a good deal Saturday..driving down to the Mount for the women's and men's games and then back home late Saturday (early Sunday). Sooooo.....not sure when I will be able to moderate comments but I will eventually get to them.

Also, hopefully, I will post the game stories from the Knott Arena. Not sure of the internet set up at MSM.

MU vs, MSM predictions

Can the Hawks gain a vital road win?

MSM notes/from MSM web site/It's Senior Night

MOUNT ST. MARY’S (9-17, 8-7 NEC)
vs. MONMOUTH (11-15, 6-8 NEC)
Saturday, Feb. 17, 7:00 p.m. Knott Arena

LEADING OFF...Mount St. Mary’s lost at Sacred Heart, 79-51, on Thursday
night in Fairfi eld, Conn. Gus Durr scored 13 points to pace the Mount.
Jeremy Goode hit a three-pointer on the Mount’s fi rst possession, but
Sacred Heart responded with a 13-2 run and never trailed again in the
game. The Mount shot just 30.8 percent from the fi eld and committed 22
turnovers in the contest. Goode fi nished with 11 points, seven rebounds
and four steals in the game.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES...The Mount has won 13 of the past 16 meetings
against Monmouth at Knott Arena. Overall, the Mount owns a 24-20 lead
in the all-time series, including an 18-15 mark in NEC regular season matchups.
More series information inside.
• Tonight marks the fi nal regular season home game for seniors
Mychal Kearse, Gus Durr, Kirk Bunn, Nick Whitney, Gavin Coco and Guyvans
• The Mount has struggled to score this month as the team is averaging
58.6 points while shooting 39.5 percent from the fi eld and 26.2
percent from three-point range in fi ve February games.
• Senior Mychal Kearse is closing in on 1,000 career points. The
6-4 guard now has 986 points at the Mount and needs just 14 to become
the 38th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
• The Mount is 6-2 at home against Northeast Conference opponents
and is 12-5 over its past 17 NEC home games. The Mount is 7-4
overall this season at Knott Arena.
• Freshman point guard Jeremy Goode had four steals on Thursday
to give him 49 for the season. The 49 steals are the fourth-best single-
season mark by a Mount freshman in school history.
• The Mount is 7-1 this season when scoring 70 or more points
and just 2-16 when failing to reach the 70-point mark.
• Up next, Mount St. Mary’s heads back on the road to play Wagner
(Feb. 22) and St. Francis (N.Y.) (Feb. 24) to close out the regular season.

Probable Starters Ht./Wt. Cl. Hometown Pts. Rebs. FG% Quick Notes
G 1 Jeremy Goode 5-9/170 Fr. Charlotte, N.C. 10.4 3.4 38.6 had 11 points and seven rebs. on Thursday
G 2 Chris Vann 6-0/195 Jr. Woodbridge, Va. 12.7 2.9 39.7 has four 20+ scoring games this season
G 3 Mychal Kearse 6-4/205 Sr. Charlotte, N.C. 10.8 5.5 38.8 needs 14 points to reach 1,000 for his career
F 4 Gus Durr 6-6/220 Sr. Pasadena, Md. 8.3 3.7 51.0 scored 13 points in loss to Sacred Heart
F 45 Markus Mitchell 6-7/245 So. Virginia Beach, Va. 5.1 3.3 56.7 leads team in fi eld goal percentage

Off the Bench Ht./Wt. Cl. Hometown Pts. Rebs. FG% Quick Notes
F 5 Kelly Beidler 6-5/205 Fr. Virginia Beach, Va. 6.3 3.5 43.7 second on team with 17 blocks
F 10 Nick Whitney 6-4/190 Sr. Hillsboro, N.H. 0.1 0.0 0.0 scored fi rst point of season vs. FDU
G 11 Will Holland 6-4/215 Fr. Houston, Tex. 5.7 2.2 35.3 scored career high 13 pts. twice this season
G 12 Gavin Coco 6-1/190 Sr. Lewes, Del. 0.1 0.3 0.0 scored fi rst collegiate point vs. Sacred Heart
G 20 Guyvans Richard 6-0/180 Sr. Boynton Beach, Fla. 1.5 0.7 45.5 senior walk-on has appeared in 13 games
F 31 Kirk Bunn 6-6/225 Sr. Brooklyn, N.Y. 1.3 1.1 45.0 played in 14 games on the year
F/C 34 Tayvon Jackson 6-8/205 Fr. Indian Head, Md. --- --- --- plans to redshirt in 2006-07
C 40 Sam Atupem 6-7/240 So. Newport News, Va. 6.2 3.8 55.4 had four pts. in 10 mins. vs. Sacred Heart
C 50 Jason Loughry 7-0/245 Jr. Odenton, Md. 1.4 1.7 50.0 appeared in 20 games on the year

Delic "guarantees" Hawks will make NEC Tournament - MU story for Saturday Press

WEST LONG BRANCH - The Monmouth University men's basketball team may be on the skids, but it will not slide out of the Northeast Conference Tournament.
At least that's what senior forward Dejan Delic of Monmouth (11-15, 6-8) said Friday before the Hawks embarked for Saturday's critical NEC game at Mount St. Mary's (9-17, 8-7).
""Yes, we're making the NEC Tournament, no doubt about it,'' said Delic. ""I guarantee we're going to make the NEC Tournament.
"" If we don't make the NEC Tournament that will be an absolute embarrassment for our program, especially where we've been (two NCAAs) in my (prior) three years here''
Sitting in the eighth and final NEC playoff slot the Hawks Saturday will play at the Knott Arena in Emmitsburg, Md. where Monmouth is 3-13 over its last 16 games.
After that it's on to LIU Tuesday to face a ninth-place Blackbirds team that currently owns a tiebreaker over over the Hawks by virtue of their Dec. 7 victory in West Long Branch.
Aside from when Robert Morris (1991) and Marist (1988) were banned from the NCAAs for rules violations, no defending NEC Tournament champion has failed to qualify for the following post-season playoffs.
Monmouth Friday lugged a 2-10 road record overall (1-5 in the NEC) onto its bus for the Maryland trip.
""We've got to start playing defense,'' said Delic. ""Our defense the last two games has been pathetic, unacceptable.''
In the games, home court losses to Fairleigh Dickinson and Central Connecticut State, Monmouth has yielded a whopping 77 points per game and a 50 percent field goal percentage (51-for-102).
""If we step up and play defense we can win on the road,'' Delic said.
Monmouth defeated the Mountaineers 62-56 on January 6 as part of a four-game home win streak but it's road woes have led to its playoff crisis.
The Hawks won their last road outing Feb. 8 at Wagner.
""Nobody believed last year in the playoffs we could win it on the road but we did it,'' Delic said. """"I think we're going to get it done and we can make that run again.''
Mount freshman point guard Jeremy Goode is in the NEC Rookie of the Year mix along with Monmouth's Jhamar Youngblood.
Goode, a three-time Rookie of the Week, is averaging 10.4 points and 4.8 assists per game.
Junior guard Chris Vann (12.7 ppg.) tops the Mount scoring list, and 6-4 senior Mychal Kearse averages 10.8 points and a team high 5.5 rebounds.
The Mount has dropped four of its last five games including a 79-51 defeat Thursday at Sacred Heart. That followed a stretch of five wins in seven games.
""Outside of Central (Connecticut) nobody has had any consistency,'' said Delic. ""The league is just crazy.''

Tyson Johnson update

Tyson e-mailed me to let me - and everyone who has speculated about him - know how he is doing. He is playing for Blinn Junior College (13-10 as of Feb. 10) in Texas and is the No. 2 scorer in Region 14 averaging 19.9 points and shooting 44 percent from 3 (This is per Region 14 web site).

Said he had a 32 -point, 15 rebound game yesterday not reflected in the Region numbers yet.

He said he is being recruited by:

Oklahoma st.
South florida
Indiana St

He has told me and others he enjoyed being at MU and generally blames himself for his problems last year.

Will MU men make the NEC Tournament/thoughts?

Who would have ever dreamed it would come to this?
Re: another post game comment on how MU was picked to finish in first place. Well, I picked them - second, and Robert Morris first.

As I have often said..don't bet the ranch, car, or your gold fish on my selections.

But - when you looked at it..MU had a seasoned front line returning including John Bunch and potential POY candidate in Marques Alston, and the young guards had showed considerable promise last year. And no one knew how good the "Jet" was going to be.

And RMU had its entire starting five back from a very dangerous team a year ago.

CCSU had good players back but didn't appear to have the size (they still don't) or enough weapons (they do!) to make a serious run at the top.

But everything has jelled for them, Monmouth can't get its act together, and - for the most part - has been unable to make the "winning plays" which is what I my translation of what Dave refers to as "" mental toughness" - when needed. And RMU? I really can't figure them out.

Anywhere, here is a look at the stretch run. Top eight teams qualify for the NECs.

NO defending NEC Tournament champion, going back to 1982-83 when the league began as the ECAC Metro Conference, has failed to qualify for the post season the following year. Exceptions were Marist (1987-88) and Robert Morris (90-91) when each team was banned from the NCAA Tournament for various misdeeds.

There have been some years the NEC allowed every team to qualify.

x- 1. Central Conn. State 14-1
2. Quinnipiac 9-5
3. Sacred Heart 8--5
4. FDU 8-6
5. Robert Morris 7-6
6. Mount St. Mary's 8-7
7. Wagner 6-7
8. Monmouth 6-8
9. LIU 5-9
10. St. Francis, NY 4-11
11. St. Francis, Pa. 2-12

x - clinched regular season title

Games remaining of teams involving Monmouth's playoff bid:

FDU (4) - Saturday vs. CCSU, Tuesday vs. Sacred Heart, Feb. 24 at Wagner, Feb 26 at St. Francis, N.Y.

Robert Morris (4) - Saturday vs. St. Francis, N.Y., Sunday vs. Wagner, Thursday at CCSU, Feb. 24 at Quinnipiac, Feb. 26 vs. LIU;

Mount St. Mary's (3) - Saturday vs. Monmouth, Thursday at Wagner, Feb. 24 at St. Francis, N.Y.

Wagner (5) - Saturday at St. Francis, Pa., Sunday at Robert Morris, Thursday vs. Mount St. Mary's, Saturday vs. FDU, Monday at CCSU

Monmouth (4) - Saturday at Mount St. Mary's, Tuesday at LIU, Friday vs. Sacred Heart, Feb. 26 at St. Francis, Pa.

LIU (4) - Saturday vs. Quinnipiac, Tuesday vs. Monmouth, Feb. 24 at St. Francis, Pa., Feb. 26 at Robert Morris .

Friday Steve Edelson column


WEST LONG BRANCH — When Central Connecticut State won their Northeast Conference opener against St. Francis (N.Y.) way back on Dec. 7, coach Howie Dickenman was downright giddy. In his mind, that win was likely to help them in a tie-breaker for the eighth and final spot in the conference tournament.
Ten weeks later, it's Monmouth University's postseason dreams that are on life support following g Thursday night's 70-65 loss, with the preseason favorites falling to eighth in the standings as the Blue Devils wrapped up the regular season title at their expense. How could things have gone so horribly wrong at Boylan Gymnasium for a team expected to make it back-to-back trips to March Madness?

Coach Dave Calloway has a pretty good idea what the answer is, and spent halftime chiding his players about it before they returned to the court with just 90 seconds to spare."I questioned what we had a problem with for a long time ... mental toughness," he said. "I questioned it really, really hard at halftime."

On this particular evening, the absence of arguably the most important ingredient manifested itself in many ways.

The Hawks were simply unable to produce a run when they needed one early in the second half, and still trailing by nine even though the visitors managed just one basket in the opening 11:24.

Later, it was Javier Mojica, the Blue Devils' senior walk-on guard, nailing a running jump-hook with just under a minute and the shot clock running down to play to stymie a furious rally.

Mental toughness.

The Hawks hit just 4 of 13 free throws in the first half, falling behind by 14 points. They missed 11 for the game to six for the Blue Devils, and lost by five.

Mental toughness.

They came out and Dejan Delic connected on a 3-pointer nine seconds into the game, but they gave up an easy 3-point shot at the other end on the next trip downcourt.

Mental toughness.

The question is whether this group is capable of suddenly gaining that psychological edge that players in this program possessed during their run of six straight winning seasons, a streak that is now in serious jeopardy.

This week alone the Hawks lost a pair of crucial home games. Three of their final four games are on the road, where they're just 2-10 this season.

Mental toughness.

"(Central Connecticut) has got some good players, but are they that much more talented than FDU or Robert Morris or Quinnipiac or Monmouth?" Calloway wondered. "No, but they're mentally tougher and have more guys who are."That's the difference. That team is 14-1 because they're mentally tough. You have to be very, very mentally tough to be 14-1 in any league."

After going to the NCAA tournament last year, seniors like Marques Alston could possibly be playing their final home game Feb. 23, which was unthinkable three months ago for a team that appeared poised for a special season.

The Hawks made a nice run in the final five minutes to put a scare into the Blue Devils, but they fell behind early in the first half and never made an effective run when the game was hanging in the balance.

Freshman Jhamar Youngblood scored all 15 of his points in the final 5:34.

"We should have come out with a sense of urgency," said Alston, who finished with 11 points.

For his part, Calloway's doing what he can to push the right buttons. In addition to his chidings at the intermission, he yanked Youngblood just 75 seconds into the game after the youngster had a defensive lapse.

"At the end of the game, I told them I was proud of them that they didn't quit, but we still didn't show mental toughness," Calloway added.

The Hawks didn't have to play a great game to win this one. But they had to exhibit a little moxie.

Maybe it's the young backcourt, one season after Calloway had a pair of seniors running the show. Who knows.

It's really up to the players now. At this point they clearly don't have the mental edge to win games like this, and finding it in the next few days seems as unlikely as their current predicament.

Stephen Edelson is an Asbury Park Press staff writer