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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

MU hoops..Press story on CCSU game for Thursday


WEST LONG BRANCH - The Five Iron Men visit the Monmouth University men's basketball team Thursday.
That would be Central Connecticut State which is trampling the theory you can't run the same five players onto the court for virtually entire games by running away with the 2006-2007 Northeast Conference race.

CCSU (16-11, 13-1) can clinch the regular season championship and the top seed in the 2007 NEC Tournament with a Thursday victory over schizophrenic Monmouth (11-14, 6-7).

Overall, due to injuries and defections, CCSU has suited up just eight players for the bulk of the NEC season.
But fatigue appears to be no factor for CCSU which rides an 11 game winning streak into Boylan Gym.

""They seem to be getting stronger, winning games even easier now,'' said Dave Calloway, Monmouth coach. "And they're scoring a lot of points, too.''

CCSU has averaged over 87 points in its last three wins over LIU, Quinnipiac , and Sacred Heart.
When Calloway suited up for Monmouth (1987-91) the Hawks often used just five or six players for the most part.
""Theres a million ways to skin a cat, different styles win championships,'' said Calloway. ""It's not how many guys you play that's all that much of a factor. ""It's basically who'se doing it and how well they're doing it whether it's five guys, six guys, or eight or nine, or 10 guys.
""It's how well they're doing it as a group together and right now they've got five guys that are doing it pretty well.''

CCSU No.2 scorer Tristan Blackwood (15.9 ppg.), a junior guard, plays a team high 36.2 minutes of every 40-minute contest and No. 2 scorer Javier Mojica (17.0 ppg.), a senior guard, averages 36 minutes.

Senior forward Obie Nwadike's 13.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game (94 offensive rebound) are even more remarkable when you consider he's on the floor for 33.8 minutes per night.

Senior forward Jemino Sobers (8.8 ppg., 5.2 rpg.) is a well rested individual compared to the other three, playing a mere 30.4 minutes per game.

Fifth starter Joe Seymore, a freshman guad (7.8 ppg., 51 3s), must feel like he's on vacation playing 27.6 minutes per contest.
Monmouth, meanwhile rotates seven players with only Whitney Coleman (33.6 minutes and Dejan Delic (32.2 minutes) playing more than 30 minutes per game.

Three others, Marques Alston (29.2 minutes), Mike Shipman (28.9 minutes), and Jhamar Youngblood (28.6 minutes) also see extensive action.

A win Thursday would probably be extra special for CCSU beyond a title celebration. It would complete the Blue Devils' first regular season sweep since 2001-2002 of Monmouth, the team that ended their season the last three years, and has defeated them six games in a row in West Long Branch.

Those numbers hardly matter to Monmouth which, after losing Monday to Fairleigh Dickinson, is again flirting with failing to qualify for the eight-team NEC Tournament more so than gaining a high playoff seed.

Monmouth is two games in front of ninth place LIU (4-9 NEC) which holds the tie-breaker. ""I talked to the team about that, that we're not going to be talking about standings,'' said Calloway.

""We're going to be talking about just getting better. This time of year we're supposed to be better and we're still too inconsistent.''



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