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Tony Graham

Saturday, March 31, 2007

MU football for Sunday April 1/spring practice begins


WEST LONG BRANCH … The wait could be over for Monmouth University quarterback Brett Burke.
The redshirt junior, a Wall High School graduate, heads the list of Monmouth hopefuls to be under center when the Hawks launch their 2007 season 6 p.m. Sept. 1 at the University of Maine.
""You have to wait your turn,'' said Burke, a back up the last two years behind Brick Memorial product Brian Boland who ended a spectacular four year career as Monmouth's all-time leader in numerous categories.
""Coming out this spring nothing is set in stone,'' said Burke Saturday after the Hawks concluded their first of 15 spring practices at cool, windy Kessler Field.
""You've got to come out every day and compete, we're all trying to get better, that's the main goal,'' he said.
Other quarterback candidates include Fordham University transfer Matt Fullam, a junior, sophomore Anew Mandeville (Raritan), redshirt freshman Ryan Folsam, and junior Kyle Brando (Red Bank Catholic).
Burke was usually listed as No. 2 on the team's quarterback depth chart the past two seasons. He is the only one of the candidates to have thrown a collegiate pass completing 14 of 22 passes for 122 yards in mop up roles.
He said he had a good relationship with Boland on and off the field. ""You learned more from him by watching him, he's not really a big talker,'' said Burke. ""He just leads by example. That's what he did and it was great to be able to watch him my first three years, see the way he handles himself and plays the game.''
Burke believes his experience will serve him well. ""I remember my first days - Ryan and some of the younger guys are going through it now - you've got to think about the play and then you screw up a simple throw,'' said Burke. ""Being here a longer time it's good to have a good grasp of the offense and be able to come out and play.''
Returning leading receiver Adam San Miguel said Burke has more arm strength than you'd expect from someone 5-11, 175 pounds. ""When he slings that ball it usually comes out like a million miles an hour, you've really got to be ready for it,'' said San Miguel.
San Miguel said Boland's poise in the pocket reminds him of Boland. ""He's good leader,''said Miguel. ""He keeps his poise about him. I think that's his best asset.''
Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan said Burke, ""is obviously at the front of the (quarterback) group.
""He has the most experience, he has the lead going in,'' said Callahan. ""It'll be interesting to see how it sorts itself out.''
NOTES...Practice resumes 12 p.m. today at Kessler Field. The spring drills will include full scrimmages with officials on Sept. 15 and Sept. 22...Monmouth will have to replace nine starters on a defensive unit that was No. 2 or 3 in total defense in the Northeast Conference over the last three years and No. 1 in scoring defense twice...Monmouth incoming freshmen from Manasquan, center Jim Sullivan and tackle Alex Iachetta, attended the practice along with Sullivan's father, Barry, a Manasquan assistant coach.

More comments that I did not have room for in the story -

More Burke: ""All anyone can ask for is a chance. That's what we're all doing, the five of us (q back candidates). We're out here competing. Whoever starts at quarterback next year is going to do good job I think.''

Burke on San Miguel's return: ""That's definitely a boost for us. Adam had a great year last year. He's working hard and I think he's even going to have better year next year.''

San Miguel on Burke's arm strength: ""Sometimes it catches you off guard, you've got to get your head around.''

San Miguel on breaking passing catching records of yardage and receptions set by Miles Austin: "I want those. The W comes first. Whatever after that is all icing on the cake.''

Callahan in general: "I think we have a lot of good players at all postions and I think threre's going to be a lot of competition. I think we're a very talented team but in terms of experience a very young team.

Callahan on the defense: ""Fron an experience stand point we're very young.''

Callahan on offense "Much more experience with three or four All-Conference players returning and guys who've played a lot of football. There are still some positions we need to replace people.

Callahan: "I'm excited about this spring, I'm excited about this fall being that there could be so many new faces in the lineup.''

Injury updates: from Callahan and or trainer Doug Padron -

PK Fred Weingart (ACL) - expected to resume full kicking this summer

PK: Mike Pizzulli (knee surgery) - should be resume full practice soon.

QB Mandeville (shoulder surgery) - will be doing more and more throwing during spring practice .

WR Steve Downs (ankle sprain): did not practice Saturday.

WR Nick Romeo (stitches in head from accident during basketball intra murals) - should return to practice shortly

Also: Junior Andrew Musick is the only experienced center in camp so red-shirt frosh Shawn Wright..who played a little center and guard last year before being hurt, and guard Bob Skellinger , ""will be doing some snapping (in the spring),'' Callahan said.

My take: with the position being so thin, especially in true centers, Sullivan may have a shot to play as a freshman.

Also: Iachetta told me he would like to red shirt.

And also: Redfshirt frosh John Daniels appears to be the leading candidate at punter. He and Ken Amsel are the only punters in camp I believe.

My take on the QB position:

It's Burke's to lose - No. 2 between Fullam and Folsom.

RBs: Dave Sinisi is No. 1. Ryan Skorupka and Bobby Giles will see action.


Friday, March 30, 2007

This from the MU web site....thought it was interesting..

Also: What do you feel are the main issues/concerns for MU football 2007
as it begins spring practice Saturday morning...??


Boland, Brice, Hill and Castellano work out for professional scouts

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.- Four former members of Monmouth University’s football team worked out in front of scouts from various professional football organizations on Thursday morning at Goodsports USA in Wall, N.J.

MU quarterback Brian Boland (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial), tailback Leonard Brice (Phillipsburg, N.J./Phillipsburg), safety Matt Hill (Hopatcong, N.J./Hopatcong) and linebacker Mike Castellano (Freehold, N.J./Freehold) joined 11 other athletes to work out for members of professional football organizations. The four former Hawks, who completed their last year of eligibility in MU’s 2006 NEC championship season, competed in position drills, ran the 40 yard dash and showcased their skills with a variety of agility drills.

Boland ended his career with a 36-8 record as Monmouth’s signal caller and owns almost every passing record for the Hawks. Brice was part of a potent rushing attack, gathering 493 yards on 118 carries with two touchdowns. Hill and Castellano were mainstays on Monmouth’s defense, which ended 2006 with the best scoring defense in all of the FCS (formerly 1-AA). Hill, who was named to the Sports Network’s Mid-Major All-America Team, led the Hawks in tackles with 85, while his 265 career takedowns ranks fourth all-time at Monmouth. Castellano finished second on the team in tackles with 77 stops, while the three-time All-NEC selection had six tackles for a loss, two sacks and a trio of interceptions. The Freehold, N.J., native finished his career with 218 tackles and seven interceptions.

Two former MU players are currently members of professional football teams, wide receivers Miles Austin (with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys) and Will Holder (with the AFL’s New York Dragons). The quest to defend the NEC Championship begins on Saturday for the Hawks when Spring starts up at Kessler field and is open to the public.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Q Pac hiring U Conn assistant/from NEC web site via Hartford Courant

What makes this most interesting to MU I guess is that Q pac - with its new arena - may be heading for A-10...

UConn associate head coach Tom Moore is set to become the head coach at Quinnipiac, multiple sources indicated Tuesday.

One source said Moore had been offered the job and was "90 percent sure" he would accept it, but also said Moore had not yet accepted the position and was to consult his family Tuesday night.

Moore, 41, who could not be reached, just completed his 13th season on coach Jim Calhoun's staff at UConn. He interviewed for a second time with Quinnipiac on Tuesday.

Moore also has interviewed for St. Bonaventure's head coaching vacancy, and he was contacted by South Florida two weeks ago.

At UConn, Moore is making in the $140,000 to $150,000 range. Quinnipiac, which fired Joe DeSantis after a 14-15 season, is offering about $300,000 a year - great pay for a Northeast Conference coach. It has a new facility near the Hamden campus, the 3,570-seat TD Banknorth Sports Center, which opened in January.

A source said Quinnipiac was pushing for a change of conference, perhaps to the Atlantic 10. The Bobcats were 11-7 in the NEC this season.

Moore was hired at UConn before the 1994-95 season and promoted to associate head coach before the 2005-06 season.

Moore, who aspires to eventually replace Calhoun at UConn, has long thought the Atlantic 10 would be the perfect building block. Moore, married with three daughters, has been a target of schools with head coaching vacancies the past several years, including Hartford after last season.

From me - more on this on the NEC web site..

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

MU 2007 spring football begins Saturday

My thoughts: this promises to be the most interesting spring in years what with an almost entirely new defense to be pieced together and the QB situation where Brett Burke defeinitely appears to be the leader at this stage...

I am interested to see if RB Bobby Giles and WR Brian Callahan..among others, who were prize recruits as freshmen, appear ready now for more significant action...

Also.. PK Fred Weingart's bid to recover from his broken leg, and who will solve the question mark at punter??..etc, etc...

I will be at Saturday's least that's the plan...

This from the MU web site

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.- Monmouth University head football Coach Kevin Callahan released the 2007 Spring Football Schedule...

The Hawks will have their first practice on Saturday, March 31. The Blue & White will have 13 other practices throughout the month leading up to the annual Blue/White Spring Game which will be held on Kessler Field on April 22. The game is scheduled to start at 12 p.m.

“I feel we have had a very productive winter and we are looking forward to getting back out on the field,” said Callahan. “We graduated a lot of starters from the 2006 team and there should be some excellent competition for positions as we head into 2007.

2007 Monmouth Football Spring Schedule

Date Event Location Time

Sat., March 31 Practice Kessler 10 a.m.

Sun., April 1 Practice Kessler 12 p.m.

Tues., April 3 Practice Kessler 7 a.m.

Fri., April 6 Practice Kessler 3:15 p.m.

Sat., April 7 Practice Kessler 8 a.m.

Tues., April 10 Practice Kessler 3:15 p.m.

Wed., April 11 Practice Kessler 3:15 p.m.

Fri., April 13 Practice Kessler 3:15 p.m.

Sat., April 14 Practice Kessler 10 a.m.

Sun., April 15 Practice Kessler 12 p.m.

Tues., April 17 Practice Kessler 3:15 p.m.

Wed., April 18 Practice Kessler 3:15 p.m.

Fri., April 20 Practice Kessler 7 a.m.

Sat., April 21 Practice Kessler 12 p.m.

Sun., April 22 Blue/White Game Kessler 12 p.m.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monmouth hoops - RJ Rutledge to join the Hawks/ few other things

Due to the need to get this in the paper ASAP I didn't get all the info on RJ I would have liked Monday night - will try to get a hold of his coach at some point at Northfield Mount Herman and get some stats..anyone out there in Blogville ever see RJ play????

R. J. Rutledge, a 6-4 wing player for the Northfield Mount Herman Massachusetts Prep School boy's basketball team, has made a verbal commitment to Monmouth University his father, Ron, said Monday night.

According to the lanky shooter teamed with current Northfield player Tyrone Nash at Lawrence-Woodmere Academy on Long Island helping lead it to the Class A State Federation final as a senior.

Rutledge told the web site that attending prep school furthered his development. ""You have to play hard every day, bring it every day,'' he said.

Rutledge made a favorable impression last fall on Steve Keller of the National Recruiting Report based in Neptune.

""He's competed against and with good Division I-type players,'' said Keller. ""And that should give him a jump on coming in and being a factor right away.""

Ron Rutledge played at St. John's and C.W. Post and coached for 20 years at St. John's under Lou Carnesecca, Brian Mahoney, and Fran Frischilla.

He said R.J. had interest from schools in the Atlantic-10, America East, the MAAC, and the Northeast Conference.

A few other items..another recruit, 6-7 JUCO forward Jermaine Smith, originally from Irvington, was on the MU campus on a visit Monday ..

Dejan Delic told me he hopes to play pro basketball in Spain or Russia...

Corey Hallett told me his hoops future is "undecided"

I didn't see Marques but am told he intends to go into law enforcement...

I didn't see John Bunch and have no information on his plans at this time..

Walk-on guard T.J. Tibbs told me he plans to transfer..maybe to a D2 school....I'll be sad to see T.J. leave....really pleasant young man.

On the women's front....Incoming MU recruit..JUCO guard Marbely Montas was named by the The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and Eastman Kodak Company announced to the 2007 Junior College/Community College (JC/CC) Kodak/WBCA All-America Basketball Team. This year’s team marks the 25th year of the JC/CC Kodak/WBCA All-America Basketball Team, which began in 1983. Selection committees in each of the nine WBCA geographical regions select ten of the top women’s basketball players in the nation (at all levels) to be honored.


Marbely Montas
Union County College

Injury front..Brianne Edwards (knee) did not require surgery.

Lakia Barber (ACL) had surgery. Could red shirt next season, but only time will tell..

I will be out for most of Tuesday..hope to get back on line later in the day...

MU baseball news and notes/from the NEC web site

Monmouth (8-7-1, 0-0 NEC)
Monmouth posted a 2-2 record last week with a 9-8 setback to St. Peter’s in its home opener on Thursday, followed by the Hawks taking two-of-three from visiting Vermont over the weekend. The Blue & White swept the Catamounts on Saturday, 3-0 and 7-5, before Vermont came back to take Sunday’s single game, 6-5...Monmouth started three freshmen in the three-game series versus Vermont over the weekend. One of the young hurlers, Ryan Buch (Yardley, PA/Conwell Egan Catholic), moved to 3-0 on the year after tossing six innings of shutout ball in game one on Saturday. He allowed just three hits, while matching a season-high with eight strikeouts...Buch leads all NEC pitchers with a .162 opponents’ batting average, and also ranks second in strikeouts (26 in just 19.1 innings of work) and third in ERA (1.86)...Senior lefthander Matt Marc-Aurele (Wayne, NJ/Wayne Valley) faced one batter and recorded a strikeout on Sunday. It was his first appearance since May 6, 2006, due to an arm injury...Junior first baseman Andy Meyers (Stratford, NH/Sterling) hit .429 for the week, collecting a team-best six hits and five RBI. He also scored four runs and blasted his third homer of the year. In the loss to St. Peter’s, he went 3-4 with a two-run double and a solo homer. He also drove in two runs against Vermont on Sunday...Junior Brad Brach (Freehold, NJ/Freehold Township), who fanned six batters against St. Peter’s, now has 142 career strikeouts, six behind Brian Gismonde (1998-01), who is seventh on the school’s all-time list...Senior outfielder Kyle Messineo (Cedar Grove, NJ/Cedar Grove) is 13-15 in stolen base attempts this season, giving him 42 swipes in his season-plus with the Hawks, which ranks him sixth in Monmouth history. Greg Landis (1998-01) is the all-time leader in stolen bases with 90...Messineo teamed with senior Justin Braun (Stony Brook, NY/St. John the Baptist) to connect on a pair of two-out, three-run homers to help the lead the Hawks its comeback 7-5 win over Vermont in game two on Saturday. The homer was Messineo’s second of the season and career, while Braun connected on his first this year and the seventh of his career...Junior backstop John Dennis (Union, NJ/Union) led the Hawks in hitting last week, going 5-11 (.455) with two RBI and three runs scored...Meyers now has 13 homers and 96 RBI in his Monmouth career...Junior shortstop Kyle Higgins (Green Brook, NJ/Watchung Hills) is second in the league with a .435 average. He paces all NEC players with 17 runs, seven doubles and 42 total bases...Meyers (.393, seventh) and Messineo (.364, eighth) also rank in the conference top-10 in hitting...Freshman righthander Matt Frazier (Whippany, NJ/Whippany Park) is sixth in the league with a 2.95 ERA...Monmouth paces the NEC with a .314 team batting average...The Hawks host Iona on Wednesday, then travel to Liberty for a Saturday doubleheader and single game on Sunday.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The MAAC moves closer to reality

I was told today by MU Associate AD Jeff Stapleton that the WLB Zoning Board "memorialized" the MAAC at a meeting Thursday night - translation - made it official.

Now there is a 45-day period, probably beginning at some point next week, when a person or persons can appeal this decision - translation - take the matter to court.

After the 45 days, MU is free to begin construction but cannot do so until the 45 days have elapsed.

MU is hoping for groundbreaking in July. Under this timetable and without any setbacks the MAAC maybe could be ready for action perhaps as early as midway though the 2008-2009 basketball season, but certainly beginning with the 2009-2010 season.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Latest on DelTufo/MU hoops/ and NCAA men's and women's hoops

MU recruit, 6-7 Nick DelTufo of Mendham, scored five points and grabbed eight "and possibly a few more" rebounds for the North in Saturday's high school senior all-star game at the Ritacco Center, according to our Press reporter at the game, Matt Manley. ""He's a big, 6-7, a wide frame, he had trouble finishing around the basket,'' said Manley. ""It wasn't his kind of game. ''

Has anyone watched Alisa Kresge and the Marist women their last two games over Ohio State and Middle Tennessee?

Now THAT'S how you play point guard. You don't have to score a ton of points or be a flashy athlete at the position. You run your team and play with intelligence and also work like heck on defense. And, of course, the whole team has to be on the same page. And a few good players and a balanced offense help, too.!

Kudos to Brian Giorgis, the Marist coach. One of the most outstanding jobs I have ever seen.

But now theyve got to play Tenn....uh oh!

Westrol/ 32-0 Bentley face stiffest test

This has nothing to do with MU, but there has been some Bentley chatter on here mainly due to the presence of freshman starting guard, Manasquan High School grad Jason Westrol...this story will appear in either the Tuesday or Wednesday Press...


Former Manasquan High School standout Jason Westrol
will have some home town backing, and his Bentley College
basketball team will have what amounts to a home court advantage in the NCAA
Division II Elite Eight.
This will be the scene Wednesday when the Falcons (32-0), ranked No. 2
nationally in Division II, take on No. 1 and defending champion Winona State, Minn. (33-0 ) in a
first round matchup in the event, equivalent to the Final
Four in Division I.
The 8:30 p.m. game is scheduled for the MassMutual Center in Springfield,
Mass., about a 60-90 minute drive across the state from Bentley's Waltham campus.
Wednesday's game will be carried on CSTV and webstreamed at
""My parents always come up to the games and a couple of my friends may be
coming up from home,'' said Westrol, a starting freshman guard.
Bentley will send a caravan of buses to the game Westrol said. ""They're
bringing I think 20 fan buses over to root us on,'' said Westrol
Averaging 7.9 ppg., Westrol and sophomore Lew Finnegan each scored 13
points last week when Bentley captured its first Division II Northeast
Regional championship with a 63-54 win over Bryant University, Smithfield,
Westrol, who has started the last 28 games for Bentley, is also contributing
3.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists.
Winona's Warriors, led by 6-9 junior center John Smith, the North Central
Region Player of the Year, extended their Division II
winning streak to 54 games with an 89-76 victory over Minnesota State-Mankato
in the region final.
""We've just to be smart om him (Smith), play disciplined basketball, limit our
fouls, try tp stop them as much as possible,'' said Westrol.
While the game with Winona may seem like it should be the national final, Westrol
said the brackets were worked out before the season.
""It was pre-determined in th beginning of the year the Northeast Region
would match up with the North Central,'' said Westrol. ""So they didn't know
then they'd be No. 1 and we'd be No. 2.''
No matter what happens Wednesday, Westrol realizes he's already been part of
something unique in athletics.
""It's obviously a once in a lifetime thing for us,'' he said. ""You always
dream of something like this.''
If Bentley advances it will play in a semifinal game 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
The final is 1 p.m.
Saturday and will be televised on CBS.

MU baseball off to best start since'92, Higgens is POW, 35Oth for Dean

This and other MU baseball news from the NEC web site...

Monmouth (6-5-1, 0-0 NEC)
Monmouth inched above .500 for the season after taking two-of-three at Wofford over the weekend. The Hawks blasted the Terriers - who are off to a 17-6 start - in the opener of a twinbill on Saturday, 19-3, but dropped the nightcap, 10-3. Monmouth took Sunday’s rubber game, 11-8...

This is the fastest Monmouth has reached six wins to open a season since 1992, when the Hawks went 7-5 en-route to a 24-14 mark under coach Walter Woods..

.The win on Sunday was the 350th career victory for head coach Dean Ehehalt, now in his 14th year at Monmouth and 16th as a head coach..

.Junior shortstop Kyle Higgins (Green Brook, NJ/Watchung Hills), who was tabbed Akadema/NEC Player of the Week for the second time this season, led the Hawks with a .667 average, going 8-12 with three doubles, a homer, five runs and seven RBI. He went a perfect 5-5, including a home run and a double, with five RBI and four runs scored in the Hawks’ win on Saturday. Higgins also went 3-4 with two doubles and a pair of RBI on Sunday. His slugging percentage for the series was an astounding 1.167...Higgins ranks first on the club this season with a .491 average, .679 slugging percentage, five doubles and 14 runs.

..Freshman Ryan Buch (Yardley, PA/Conwell Egan Catholic) moved to 2-0 on the season, scattering four hits, while allowing three runs and fanning six in 6.0 innings in the 19-3 victory. He has struck out a team-high 18 in 13.1 innings of work on the year as opposing batters are hitting just .170 against the righthander...

Freshman Matt Frazier (Whippany, NJ/Whippany Park) earned his first career win by tossing 5.1 innings of relief in Sunday’s 11-8 triumph. He permitted two runs on four hits.. Note - Frazier is a cousin of the Toms River South Fraziers.

Junior Brad Brach (Freehold, NJ/Freehold Township) now has 136 career strikeouts, 12 behind Brian Gismonde (1998-01), who is seventh on the school’s all-time list..

.Sophomore infielder Mike Casale (Toms River, NJ/Toms River North) connected on his first collegiate home run on Sunday, going back-to-back with junior first baseman Andy Meyers (Stratford, NH/Sterling), who hit his second of the year and 12th of his career...Meyers now has 91 RBI for the Blue & White.

...Senior outfielder Kyle Messineo (Cedar Grove, NJ/Cedar Grove) is 11-12 in stolen base attempts this season, giving him 40 swipes in his season-plus with the Hawks, which ranks him seventh in Monmouth history. Greg Landis (1998-01) is the all-time leader in stolen bases with 90..

Messineo went 5-9 with a 1.111 slugging percentage last week. He is second on the Hawks with a .429 average on the year.

..Monmouth hit .366 in the three games and is batting .314 this season...The Hawks open their home slate with five games this week, hosting Iona on Wednesday, St. Peter’s on Thursday and Vermont for three over the weekend.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Former MU men's hoops manager dies

Rodney Herbert passed away last week. The funeral will be Monday in Morristown. He was very close with this year's senior group, among others, and especially John Bunch and Marques Alston. I know it was a great thrill for him to be part of last year's NCAA team. My condolences to his family and friends.

Impressive road trip for MU baseball

This I re-wrote from the Wofford web site..go there at the moment - for the story and box score, until MU puts it up...

Kyle Messineo accounted for five runs, scoring three and driving in two, to lead the Monmouth University baseball team (6-5-1) to an 11-8 win over Wofford (16-6) in the finale of a three-game series Sunday in Spartanburg, S.C. Messineo went 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and two stolen bases as Monmouth won the rubber game of the three game series. Eight home runs were hit in Sunday’s game, including two by Monmouth off the bats of Mike Casale (Toms River North) and Andy Meyers. Freshman Matt Frazier worked the last 5.1 innings in relief of Brett Brach (Freehold Township) to gain the victory.

So MU takes two of three from this team and two of three from Central Fla. which just took two of three from RU...nice trip!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Can Monmouth men's hoops ever be Winthrop - someday?

Here is some info on Winthrop's facility...the school does not have football.

Winthrop’s basketball teams play in
the beautiful and modern 6,100-seat
Winthrop Coliseum, the headquarters
for the athletic department and located
on Eden Terrace about one mile from
the main campus.

Note from me its history in this building going back to 1982 Winthrop has never had a sell out. Top crowd was 5,200 last year (all this info from its web site). It has had 20 crowds of over 3,000.

Winthrop is located in Rock Hill, S.C., about 30 minutes south of Charlotte.

The coliseum was
the home of the Carolina Panthers of
the National Football League for two
years. The facility was completed in
October, 1982, at a cost of $10.7
million, and underwent a exterior and
interior refurbishing in 2003-04. The
coliseum is a multi-purpose facility and
is used year-around for athletic events,
concerts, conventions, receptions,
conferences, and various entertainment

In addition to the main playing
arena, the coliseum contains a modern
athletic training room, weight room,
laundry room, eight dressing rooms
for athletes and visiting entertainers, a
booster club meeting room, equipment
room, media room, two classrooms,
30 offices, three conference rooms, a
film review room, and areas for indoor
baseball and softball practice. An
Academic Services area which
includes a computer lab and study hall
is also located in the building.

Monday, March 12, 2007

In memoriam - Bob Balut

I took this from the NEC web site and am just running part of it including the donations request at the bottom. Bob was 32..and a former SID at Wagner. Well liked and respected. Ridiculous he should pass away so young.

Bob Balut, the Northeast Conference Assistant Director of Communications, passed away at his home on Tuesday, March 6th after a long battle with colon cancer.

Born in Edison, NJ, the 32-year old, known for his energy and passion for his work, began his tenure with the NEC in November, 2003. He was the league's media contact for football, women's basketball and softball, organized numerous championships and played a key role in the relaunch of the conference website.

Bob's long history with the NEC included a six-year stint at Wagner College, including four as the school's Sports Information Director from 1999-03.

Bob graduated from South Carolina, where he holds a bachelor of science degree in Sport Administration, in 1997.

One of Bob's greatest passions was rooting for Rutgers football. A diehard fan since childhood, he basked in the glow of the team's success this past season. He was also a huge fan of the New York Mets and New York Giants ( I liked him in spite of this).

Bob is survived by his wife, Erica and their son, Aidan Robert, who will turn two years old on March 27th.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Bob's honor to:

Aidan Robert Balut Scholarship Fund:
c/o PNC Bank,
Church and Greentree Road,
Marlton, N.J. 08053

NCAA or NIT chatter men and women

Does CCSU have a chance stay within 25-30 points?

Should Drexel have gotten in?

Anyone (besides me) following this D 2 Bentley team (31-0, because it has the local player Jason Westrol from Squan)?

Will MU women be dancing next year?

By the way, that Texas CC men's team visits Boylan Gym next year.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

MU football info

Spring practice begins on Sat. March 31st. GThere will be 15 practices, ending with a spring game on Sunday April 22nd at 12:00 PM

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Final stats on MU forward/center recruit Nick DelTufo

Stats from Mendham coach Jim Baglin: scored ""around 15 ppg." Other stats... averaged eight rebounds, two blocked shots, and four assists.

Saturday at the high school games in Toms River, I spoke with Jay Gomes of who said he saw DelTufo play early this season for Mendham High School.

Here are Jay's comments: "He's a high post center who fits in with what Monmouth likes to do. He's a good passer, he's got a good, strong frame, he can score a little bit down there in the low post.

"" He's going to be good get for them. He's got to get a touch more athletic but he fits what they need. He's a tough kid, he's going to rebound for them. He's going to pass the ball around and he can hit the 15-foot jump.

""Big kids are hard to find and he's one of the better big kids in the state this year. He's 6-8, 225. They need help inside. They've got kids graduating, he's going to help them out.''

Friday, March 09, 2007

James Hett update

Got these stats today from the coach..couldn't get a hold of MU recruit Nick DelTufo's coach today...

MU recruit James Hett 6-1, 175 PG

18 ppg., 6 apg...

His team, Msgr. Farrell (Staten Island) went 19-8...

Local recruiting guru Steve Keller saw Hett play this season. His report on Hett - ""A skilled point guard who knows how to play and run a team. He's got to improve his end-to-end quickness a little, get a little more physical, and be able to knock down jumpers when they need it so that he has to be defended and he can keep people honest.''

Keller did not see DelTufo play high school ball this year..I will try and find
someone of Keller's ilk next week who saw DelTufo in action this season.

MU women's hoop wrap up - look ahead for Saturday Press

To employ a baseball analogy, you'd have to say all the Monmouth University
women's basketball team lacked this season was a closer.
A few times when Monmouth had teams on the ropes it struggled or
failed to put them away.
Those few times proved to a few too many including Tuesday night's
Northeast Conference Tournament semifinal collapse at Sacred Heart.
And it also coughed up a game or two it should have won anyway.
All that said its sophomore-junior laden team still went
18-13 (10-8 Northeast Conference). It tied the 2002-2003 Hawks for the most
wins since those Monmouth 20-win juggernauts of the 1980's.
So just think what it could have done with a closer.
Saturday Monmouth will be watching
Sacred Heart and Robert Morris play in the 2007 Northeast Conference Tournament
championship game on national television ruing what might have been.
""It's frustrating,'' said Monmouth coach Michele Baxter. ""I felt we
should have been there.''
Monmouth certainly could have been there after rallying from a 15-point
half-time deficit Tuesday to storm to a nine-point over the defending NEC
Tournament champions with five minutes
But those nagging, late-game errors, a missed free throw here, a turnover there,
a flubbed shot attempt, haunted the
Hawks again in the 50-
46 setback.
Not including last weekend's NEC Tournament upset of fourth
-seeded Quinnipiac, which played
without injured leading scorer Erin Kerner, fifth-seeded Monmouth couldn't
get it done against the NEC's top rung teams.
It went 0-6 during the regular season
against NEC tri-champions Robert Morris (0-1), Long Island U. (0-2),
Sacred Heart (0-2), and also Quinnipiac (0-1).
But if experience is a teacher Monmouth hopes it has learned from its
duress well enough to next season challenge for its first NEC
Tournament championship since 1986-87.
While Robert Morris loses four of its five starters
that will play Saturday and Sacred Heart three seniors including two-time
NEC Player the Year Amanda Pape, the 2007-2008 Hawks bring back everyone
but seldom used senior Charisse Johnson.
Only Quinnipiac, which also returns its entire starting five and most of
its roster, will match Monmouth's returning experience from among this year's
top six in the NEC standings.
Injuries could be an issue for Monmouth.
Point guard Brianne Edwards, who played
well and courageously during the NECs with a meniscus tear, will have
surgery but is expected to be ready for her senior year.
More of a question mark is athletic forward Lakia Barber. Her sophomore
year ended in practice Monday with an ACL injury and her future status
is more uncertain.
Still, led by Edwards, the bulk of the Monmouth team that takes the court
next fall will be senior-junior dominated for the first time in several
Baxter said she feels the added year will prove
""We've had only one senior in the last two years and that was Niamh
(Dwyer, last year),''said Baxter referring to the former 1,200 point performer.
""It's definitely been a growing process,'' Baxter said.
There are several leading nominees to grow into a "closer's'' role - that player
or players who will produce
the timely late-game basket, clutch free throw, or the key rebound.
The group would
appear to at least include
Edwards, rising senior Veronica Randolph, rising juniors Jennifer Bender and Marisa Jimenez, or perhaps someone not yet on
the roster.
That could be incoming junior college transfer Marbely Montas, a 5-8
drive-and-dish point guard who led Union County College to a 29-5 record and the
2007 National Junior College Division II Region 19 title.
A graduate of Elizabeth High, school Montas averaged 16.7 points, 7.3
rebounds, 6.6 assists, and three steals this season for Union.
""She was the MVP of the Region, she's going to be an impact player,'' said
Baxter. ""She's a guard who'se a little bit more like a Niamh, a go to and
play-with-emotion type player.
""I think we've missed a little bit of that this year. And I believe it's
because we were young.''
Also arriving in Seprember will be two freshmen post players 6-2 Liz Kuderka and 6-4
Kuderka averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds for 10-8 Plainview-
N.Y. High
Schanuel tallied 12.5 points and 11.6 rebounds for Walkersville, Maryland
which took a 25-0 record into a Friday state semifinal game.
But overall, with a few exceptions, Monmouth won't be young any more the next time it suits up.
And there appears to be no one in the NEC with pedigree of those dominant St. Francis,
Pa. teams of the 1990's blocking its path.
The Hawks would seem to have the
talent, depth, and experience to make a serious 2008 NEC title run.
As long as they find a closer.



Thursday, March 08, 2007

Latest MU women's hoops recruit update/includes last game for Schanuel

I will try and run down the final stats on men's recruits Hett and DelTufo on Friday...

MU women's recruits

Marbely Montas
5-8 point guard for Division II Union County College
Averaged 16.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.6 assists as she led 29-5 Union to the Region 19 championship..A drive and dish player..Scored 961 points in two JUCO seasons...played at Elzabeth High School. Considered the key recruit for next year. Will be a junior at MU.

Liz Kuderka
6-2 post player averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds for 10-8 Plainview OldBethPage, N.Y. High School, Nassau County, L.I. - possibly may help as a freshman.

Smantha Schanuel
6-4 post player Walkerville, Md. High School..averaged 12.5 points, 11.6 rebounds and blocked 29 shots for 25-1 Lady Lions who fell in 2A state (mid sized school) semifinal Friday...probably not as "ready" as Kuderka. Schanuel had 14 points and 12 boards Friday in a 68-56 loss that ended her team's season. W' ville had 31 turnovers against a pressing defense

Recruit to possibly visit MU men next week

Have learned R.J. Rutledge may make an unofficial visit..below is from

By Mike Sullivan and Brian Towey

Senior Reporters

Posted Dec 28, 2006
A look at the individual game of New Yorker R.J. Rutledge, who is considered a fine shooting guard ...
PROFILE: R.J. Rutledge
FORMER HIGH SCHOOL: Lawrence-Woodmere Academy (Long Island)
CURRENT PREP SCHOOL: Northfield-Mount Hermon, Massachusetts

HEIGHT: 6-foot-4
POSITION: Shooting Guard
BRIAN TOWEY'S VIEW: The lanky shooter had teamed with current Northfield mate Tyrone Nash at Lawrence-Woodmere Academy on Long Island during high school, helping lead LWA to the Class A State Federation final as a senior. Rutledge is long and rangy, and he is never afraid to tee it up from deep.

MIKE SULLIVAN'S VIEW: Rutledge has tremendous range on his jumpshot. As he learns to create his shot with his dribble, R.J. will become a more consistent scorer. Like most high school or prep basketball players, Rutledge will need to add strength for the next level. It's likely that R.J. has a good college career since his strength is his shooting.

SCHOOLS INTERESTED IN RUTLEDGE: Manhattan, Howard, Long Island University, Binghamton, and Monmouth.
*Rutledge previously told reporter Brian Towey that Long Island University has offered a scholarship.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Newest men's hoops as of 0307

Last men's topic hit the 40 comment mark..

So let's start a new one....I didn't get much reaction to these comments below..(just the GREAT DAVE DEBATE) and what coaches are being fired from here to the Rockies.......

...1. Next year's opening day lineup ? - you may add - new recruit if you think it'll be someone not on current roster.Mine' - G "Jet, Whitney, Shipman, F - Crews, C - Dobriansky... Key reserves: Hett, DelTufo, New recruit. Anyone for a back court of "Hett and the Jet?"

2. How many wins in NEC (not overall record...based on 18 NEC games).
For now am going to go 8-10...hey, that's one more than this year!! Based on -

a) MU will rely more on guards and in particular Youngblood
b) adopt consistent style - whatever that will be
c) forecasting front line will at least be adequate. If it's not well....eight games will be a reach for sure.

MU women vs. Sacred Heart - post game comments

Please make them here

Monday, March 05, 2007

MU women at SHU/Press story for Tuesday



7 p.m.

88.9 FM

NOTE THIS: -----The game is available on live streaming video on the Internet for a fee at the Sacred Heart athletic web site -

It's safe to assume there wasn't a sizable population which gave the Monmouth University women's basketball team much of a chance in last Saturday's Northeast Conference Tournament game at Quinnipiac.

""Everyone thought we were going to lose,'' said sophomore Jennifer Bender whose fifth-seeded Hawks (18-12) pulled off the quarterfinal round upset.

The victory set the stage for Tuesday's semifinal game at defending champion and No. 3 seed Sacred Heart (20-9).

The winner will advance to play in Saturday's 3 p.m. championship game vs. the winner of Tuesday's other semifinal between No. 2 Robert Morris (22-7) and No. 8 St. Francis, N.Y. (12-18) at the home floor of the highest remaining seed.

At stake is the conference's automatic bid to the NCAAs.

"I told our kids, "People don't expect us to be here, we don't have a lot of respect,'' said Michele Baxter, Monmouth coach. ""Even though we have 18 wins now I still don't think we do (have respect).""

She knows skeptics will point out the Bobcats were without their leading scorer, sophomore point guard Erin Kerner who suffered a season-ending knee injury last month.

However, even without Kerner, Quinnpiac went on to post regular season wins over No. 1 seed Long Island U. and Robert Morris.

""People are playing on the fact that, "Well, you beat Quinnipiac but they didn;t have Kerner,' '' said Baxter. ""But that's part of the game and they had quality wins without her. And it'll be the same thing going into Sacred Heart.

""Everyone is going to sort of think Quinnipiac was a fluke.''

No one will be thinking that if Monmouth wins this time vs. the senior-laden Pioneers led by reigning NEC Player of the Year and current scoring leader Amanda Pape (19.0 ppg.).

The 5-8 guard , one of three senior starters, scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds and 6-1 senior JasmineWalker 18 points and 14 rebounds in a Feb. 24 win at Monmouth, 59-54.

In that game Sacred Heart rallied from a 16-point second half deficit to win its fourth game in row from Monmouth dating back to the 2004-2005 season.

Monmouth, which outrebounded Quinnpiac, 42-28, will have to reestablish itself on the glass vs. Sacrerd Heart.

In the Feb. 24 game the Pioneers outrebounded Monmouth, 39-35, grabbing 19 off the offensive glass with Walker taking down nine and Pape six.

"'We're definitely going to have to control the boards,'' said Baxter. ""That's the thing we really knew we had to do against Quinnpiac and I really feel we have to do against Sacred Heart.''

""They're a solid team and they play very well at home (10-3),'' said Baxter. ""They're a physical team, and they have a lot of seniors.''

Monmouth is mainly comprised of sophomores and juniors. ""When you have seniors like that and they come to play they're a very hard team to beat,'' Baxter said.""But if we control the boards and take care of the ball I think we have a great shot at winning.''

Monmouth injured point guard Brianne Edwards expects to play Tuesday after a 32-minute stint vs. Quinnipiac. Baxter said Edwards suffered a torn meniscus in her left kee in the Feb. 24 game, a problem that will require surgery after the season.


More NEC games/football/hoops/other sports coming to TV

This from the NEC web site today

March 5, 2007

Northeast Conference and America Channel Enter Into Sports Broadcast and Content Cooperation AgreementAgreement Includes Extensive Coverage From All Major Sports

The America Channel and the Northeast Conference announced today that they have entered into a comprehensive video sports broadcast and content cooperation agreement.

The new partnership includes extensive television coverage of NEC men's and women's basketball, and football.

The partnership also includes broadcasts of conference championships in men's and women's soccer, volleyball, field hockey, men's and women's tennis, lacrosse, baseball and softball.All NEC member institutions will be represented in The America Channel's broadcasts.

I just to talked to NEC Assoc Commissioner Ron Ratner about this: The Am. Channel will debut this summer. It will initially be available in NJ on Verizon Cable....and the NEC is hoping Cablevision and others eventually pick it up.

Exactly what games, etc., not yet set as this is just taking off. Also, plans are to streamline some events carried by Am. Channel via the NEC web site...

There are really no more specifics at this time..but Am. Channel has hooked up similar deals with the Ivy League, CAA, Sun Belt and overall some 14 NCAA conferences...

Here is more from the Am. Channel web site...

The America Channel announced today that it has entered into
multi-year, comprehensive video broadcast agreements with a number of distinguished NCAA Division I
conferences including Big South Conference, Southern Conference, Big West Conference, Colonial
Athletic Association, Big Sky Conference, America East Conference, Patriot League, and Atlantic Sun

Under these agreements, The America Channel has secured video broadcast rights to more than 200
games and matches per year, including basketball, football, and Conference championships of men’s and
women’s soccer, volleyball, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, track and field, lacrosse, field hockey
and other sports. The agreements include games involving over 80 Universities in about 50 markets,
including most of the top 20 television markets.

The NEC was added today....

From me: This should go some towards helping the NEC visibility and recruiting wise ...

New - Details on MU baseball blasting St. Bonaventure, 15-7 to go 3-1/spring sports

Please make comments here.....

From MU web site -

BOCA RATON, FLA. - The Monmouth University baseball team posted a 15-7 win over St. Bonaventure at FAU Field in Boca Raton, on Monday afternoon.

The Hawks, now 3-1 on the season, scored in double-digits for a third straight game. Monmouth, which scored four runs in the first inning, held an 11-2 lead in the fifth after posting five runs in the fifth frame.

Freshman Ryan Buch (Yardley, Pa./Conwell Egan) earned his first collegiate victory in the win, while senior Mike Reagle (Magnolia, N.J./Sterling) picked up his first career save.

Junior Shawn Teters (Springdale, Ark./Springdale) collected three hits for the Hawks, and drove in two runs, while sophomore Mike Casale (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) and Kyle Higgins (Green Brook, N.J./Watchung Hills) had two hits as well.

Monmouth returns to action on Wednesday, March 7, when the Hawks face Boston College at 2:30 in Boca Raton, and Maine at 7:00 p.m.

Baseball (3-1) is off to best start since going 3-0 in 1994 per Chris Tobin (MU SID head honcho).

Over first three games

HIGGINS, Kyle.... .625
CASALE, Mike..... .462
MEYERS, Andy..... .429

COULSON, Matt.... 0.00 0-0
BRACH, Brad...... 0.00 0-0
BRACH, Brett..... 1.50 1-0
MEYERS, Nick..... 3.00 1-0
ESPOSITO, Justin. 3.38 0-1
VALLILLO, Nick... 4.50 0-0 1

Sunday, March 04, 2007

New HOOPS posts!!!/More men's hoops/2007-2008 predictions


First, thank you all for non-stop participation...

But ....I am honestly losing track of what posts were sent to what topic re: men's hoops.....I think we all here.. So to simplify let's just make them here for a while!...

Please check out Hit a Free throw's comment..which I have copied and moved here from a prior topic...

Thanks ....

Also....let's look ahead a bit...

1. Next year's opening day lineup ? - you may add - new recruit if you think it'll be someone not on current roster.

Mine' - G "Jet, Whitney, Shipman, F - Crews, C - Dobriansky... Key reserves: Hett, DelTufo, New recruit. Anyone for a back court of "Hett and the Jet?"

2. How many wins in NEC (not overall record...based on 18 NEC games).

For now am going to go 8-10...hey, that's one more than this year!!

Based on - a) MU will rely more on guards and in particular Youngblood b) adopt consistent style - whatever that will be c) forecasting front line will at least be adequate. If it's not well....eight games will be a reach for sure.

Now I know many of you skeptics will be critical of this outlook, so go right ahead. But this is the NEC ....!!!

MU women vs. Sacred Heart Tuesday/predictions?

MU (18-12) fell twice to the defending champs (20-9) during the regular season 60-51 in Farfield, Conn., and at home, 59-54.

MU came from 15-0 down in the first game to take the lead by six before losing. In the rematch at Boylan Gym, MU had a 16-point lead in the second half before wilting late.

MU lost in the prior year's lone meeting at home, 64-63. Overall MU has dropped four in a row to Amanda Pape and Co. but the games are usually close.

SHU had a tough fight with the Mount Saturday, winning 70-67. MU beat the Mount twice this year , once in double OT and the second was another down to the wire affair.

MU has a shot in this one but, I believe, falls short to the senior-laden and battle tested Pioneers, 66-62.

Of course, I also picked Quinnipiac..

Saturday, March 03, 2007

MU women upset Quinnipiac/advance to NEC semifinals/story for Sunday



Monmouth (18-12): Ferdinand 5-7 2-2 12, Zegowitz 0-4 0-0 0, Edwards 1-5 0-0 3, Ware 0-2 1-2 1, Jimenez 5-8, 3-4 15, Randolph 7-13 2-2 18, McElroy 0-1 0-0, Bender 4-9 6-7 14, Barber 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 22-51 13-17 63.

Quinnipiac (16-12): Lee 7-17 1-2 15, Lazos 0-2 0-0 0, Kaminski 3-11 0-0 7, Rooney 4-10 4-4 14, Pennewell 6-14 2-2 15, Duperron 0-0 0-0 0, Barnum 0-0 0-0 0, McFowan 2-4 2-2 7, Steele 0-1 0-1 0, Pervan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-60 9-11 58.

Halftime: Monmouth, 30-29. 3-point goals: Monmouth 6-16 (Edwards 1-3, Ware 0-1, Jimenez 3-4), Randolph 2-7). Quinnipiac 5-12 (Lazos 0-1, Kaminsky 1-1, Rooney 2-5, Pennewell 1-3, McFowan 1-2). Rebounds: Monmouth 42 (Bender 10). Quinnipiac 28 (Lee 7). Assists: Monmouth 12 (Edwards 4). Quinnipiac 7 (Rooney 5).


The Monmouth University women's basketball team Saturday celebrated its first victory in a Northeast Conference Tournament game in three years.

""This group of kids, they needed that first (NEC Tournament)) win,'' said Michele Baxter, Monmouth coach, after the No. 5 seeded Hawks upset No. 4 Quinnipiac, 63-58, in a quarterfinal round game in Hamden, Conn.

""We said we've got to get the monkey off our backs and we did,'' said Baxter who gained her first NEC Tournament win.

Monmouth had not won in the event since reaching the 2004 championship game when the Hawks were coached by Jackie DeVane.

""Also, for our own confidence, we needed to beat a quality team on the road,'' Baxter said. ""We didn't get it done during the regular season.''

Behind a four-player double figure attack which included some late clutch shooting from Jennifer Bender and Rachel Ferdinand the Hawks (18-12) advanced to a 7 p.m. Tuesday semifinal at defending champion and No. 3 Sacred Heart (20-9). The Pioneers defeated Mount St. Mary's Saturday, 70-67.

Sacred Heart swept two games from Monmouth during the regular season but the Hawks had also fallen Jan. 15 at Quinnipiac (16-12) in the only game between the teams this season.

"'This was very exciting, we wanted this game so bad, it did a lot for our program,'' said Bender who scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. ""Everyone thought we were going to lose,'' she said.

The 6-1 sophomore, shooting only 63 percent from the foul line during the season, sank the front end of a one-and-one to widen a 60-58 Monmouth lead with 9.6 seconds left.

She missed her second attempt but snared the rebound and then hit two more from the line to put the game away. """I wanted every rebound,'' said Bender

""A big story line in the game, second shots,'' said Tricia Fabbri, Quinnpiac coach. ""We said that's what it was going to come down to, playing tougher than them off the boards.''

Monmouth outrebounded Quinnipiac, 42-28. "
"They're so aggressive and really got after it,'' Fabbri said.

""That was the edge they needed to beat us today.''

Ferdinand, a sophomore forward who scored a career high tying 12 points, nailed a running shot in the lane with 1:56 remaining.

The basket provided Monmouth a 60-56 lead. after Quinnipiac had mounted a rally from a seven-point deficit.
""A huge shot,'' said Baxter.

A three by sophomore Marisa Jimenez (15 points) sent Monmouth ahead for good, 53-51 with 5:34 left, and a three-point play by Bender made it 58-51 with 3:19 showing.

Vernoica Randolph paced the Hawks with 18 points and seven rebounds. The junior made two 3-point baskets as she scored Monmouth's first 10 points of the second half.

Junior point guard Brianne Edwards, who battled though a knee injury to play 32 minutes, hit a 3-point basket, had four assists, and one steal.

Quinnipiac played without its leading scorer, sophomore point guard Erin Kerner (17 ppg.), who suffered a season ending knee injury last month.

Also Saturday St. Francis, N.Y. became the first No. 8 seed in the history of the NEC Tournament to upset the No. 1 seed when the Terriers (12-18) registered a 61-51 victory over Long Island U. (22-8). St. Francis will play at No. 2 Robert Morris (22-7) in the other semifinal Tuesday.

Robert Morris eliminated No. 7 Fairleigh Dickinson Saturday, 69-55.


MU recruits update..high school careers end for MU recruits Hett, DelTufo

courtesy njcom.sports

Union Hill 61 (21-5-0), Mendham 59 (19-8-0) ..

ustin Sanchez hit back-to-back 3-pointers with under four minutes left in the fourth quarter to give Union Hill a five-point lead in the semifinal round of North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 in Union City. Mendham, which got 18 points from Nick DelTufo and 15 points from George Twill, narrowed its deficit to 60-59 with 15 seconds to go before Andrew Cabrera hit one of two free throws. Mendham then turned the ball over before it could manage a final shot. DelTufo scored nine of his points in the final quarter for Mendham. Cabrera finished with 19 points and Sanchez 17 for Union Hill.

Friday game (courtesy Staten Island Advance)

Monsignor Farrell (19-8) was blitzed 86-53. MU recruit PG James Hett had 11 points in his career finale.

Monsignor Farrell got a first-hand look at Holy Cross junior guard Sylven Landesberg, and like most of the Knights' opponents this season, the Lions could do little to slow the CHSAA AA player of the year.

Landesberg led the Knights with 25 points and 11 rebounds as Holy Cross eliminated Monsignor Farrell from the CHSAA Class AA Intersectionals, 86-53, at Christ the King HS in Queens.

Thursday game (courtesy

Mendham 42 (19-7-0), West Side 39 (17-11-0) Andrew Burstein hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to break a 39-39 tie for Mendham in the quarterfinal round of North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 in Mendham. (MU recruit) Nick DelTufo had 15 points and nine rebounds for Mendham. Kamonie Lytle scored 17 for West Side.

Friday, March 02, 2007

MU women's preview for Saturday Press/predictions?

My prediction...Q pac, 65-59

Note to all:....

The game will be video-streamed live. You may access it at the Q Pac web site or through a link at the MU web site.!!!


Opportunity would appear to be knocking Saturday for the Monmouth University women's basketball team. When the fifth-seeded Hawks (17-12, 10-8) visit No. 4 Quinnipiac (16-11, 10-8) 1 p.m (88.9 FM) in the quarterfinal round of the Northeast Conference Tournament leading scorer Erin Kerner (17.7 ppg., 3.5 apg.) of the Bobcats (16-11, 10-8) will miss her eighth game in a row with a season-ending knee injury.

Qunnipiac has gone 4-3 since the sophomore point guared went down, losing its last three in a row though two were to defending champion Sacred Heart.

However, Monmouth junior point guard and top scorer Brianne Edwards (10.1 ppg., 3.0 apg.)is less than 100 percent after hurting her knee two games ago vs. Sacred Heart. She did not play in Tuesday's defeat at Fairleigh Dickinson.

Team spokesman Eddie Occhipinti said Edwards practiced Friday and will probably play but may not start.

Monmouth is looking for its first NEC Tournament win since 2002-2003. It has not won the event since 1986-87.

Michele Baxter, Monmouth coach, said her team, which utilizes a pressing defense, will ""pressure the ball a lot"" Saturday in Kerner's absence.

""We'll do some full court man to man or full court press,'' said Baxter. ""Just to try to get them slowed down in transition. They're a team that scores a lot of points in quick shots out of their transition.''

In the Jan. 15 only meeting between Monmouth and Quinnipiac year when both point guards were healthy ,the Bobcats prevailed 69-57 providing them the seeding tie-breaker.

Baxter said Edwards, Monmouth's leading scorer, has been playing well. ""She's the one that controls our offense, and is a very good defender,'' Baxter said. ""She's usually the one guarding the ball handler and applying pressure that way.''

Baxter said if Edwards can't start or play Nyaimah Ware will start at the point with freshman Brooke McElroy filling in.

Quinnipiac coach Tricia Fabbri said several players have "'stepped up'' in Kerner's absence. Monique Lee, a 6-1 junior, leads the Bobcats in scoring (14.7 ppg.) and rebounding (7.8 rpg.). Lee had 15 points and 25 rebounds as a freshman March 3, 2005 when Quinnpiac ousted the Hawks in an NEC quarterfinal at Boylan Gym, 75-68.

""We faced a real brutal stretch in February,''said Fabbri. ""But I'm real proud of them securing that fourth seed and just getting ready for a great battle against Monmouth.''

Baxter said Monmouth would have preferred to play at home. ""But we can't worry about that,'' she said. ""A lot of time in tournaments you're on the road anyway and we've been a good team on the road this year (6-6).

also.. I will not be at the game as the Press does not usually staff most MU women
's road games (except DHs with the men).... even in the NECs....but I will be following it via the net...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

MU off season football news, comments

Please post them here

MU baseball blasts UCF 13-4 takes series, 2-1 (details at MU web site) - this and any spring sports

Please post them here...

MU hoops (men and women)

Please post them here ..........

2007 NEC Men's Tournament

As it rolls along make comments here....

The season that wasn't

My column for tomorrow on what happened this on the blog it is much longer than the one which will appear in the Friday Press..more quotes including many from the prior Calloway interview - new ones from Jhamar, and more info...

Here you go....

The fall from grace for the Monmouth University men's basketball team was as swift as it was unexpected.

At this time last year the Hawks were reveling in three consecutive national television post-season appearances, the last being their noble showing vs. Villanova in the NCAAs.

In their upbeat locker room at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, which included a returning senior front court and promising freshman guards , it was impossible to foresee the debacle that would transpire a year later.

While championship seasons are never etched in stone, the fact that Monmouth wouldn't even qualify for the 2007 NEC Tournament was never a consideration.

So what happened? And what happens next?

The always popular "blame the coach'' game has been played all week by some frustrated Monmouth fans (you bloggers know who yoiu are!) and Monmouth coach Dave Calloway has not shied away from accepting responsibility.

""You get a lot of credit when you win, you've also got to take responsibility when you lose,'' said Calloway whose six-year run of winning seasons which included three NCAA trips came to an anticlimactic halt.

""We were good enough to win this year,'' he said. ""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 he's only 38. So there's some learning process for me here on some adjustments and things that I'll do.''

Calloway said he's already planning for next season. At the same timehe said he's ""more concerned right now with making sure these (returning) guys under stand this season and our performance was unacceptable,'' he said.

This year's performance had more false starts than a jittery Giants' offensive lineman. Whenever you thought Monmouth was finally was getting itself in gear it blew a gasket.

Aside from NEC Rookie of the Year Jhamar Youngblood, who at times was thrust into a point guard position in which he had zero experience, and to some degree John Bunch, I couldn't find one player who in my opinion consistently - that's the key word - performed to or above expectations.

Bunch had his struggles, too, but at least over the last nine games averaged 11.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and six blocks per game. Frankly, you couldn't have asked for more down the stretch.

On a team with four seniors who went to the 2006 NCAA Tournament, that intangible called leadership somehow was missing. Or if it was there, never translated into action.

Before one comes down to hard on the seniors it's only fair to remember Marques Alston and Dejan Delic were part of teams that went to two NCAAs and also won an NEC regular season championship.

Corey Hallett pitched in last year when - in my opinion - they don't go to the NCAAs without Bunch.

But while Monmouth plummeted down the stretch this year it was Youngblood with 13 points and 12 rebounds who helped steer it past Wagner, and whose cold-blooded three from the right corner saved it from blowing a game at Mount St. Mary's.

Those were the only games Monmouth won in its last eight.

""This year we lacked a little bit of leadership from everybody, from every single person on the team, not just our seniors,'' said Youngblood.

Intangibles, aside, it was the demise of its defense and its wretched foul shooting which destroyed Monmouth's season.

As Monmouth dropped its final three games to Long Island, Sacred Heart, and St. Francis, Pa. it allowed those teams to shoot a lusty 45 percent from downtown and was torched for an average of 48 points in just the second halves of those games.

This after allowing just over 53 points a game for the final five of 2005-2006 including the Villanova game.

""Part of it this year was youth,'' said Calloway. ""Jhamar struggled with it at times, but even Whitney (Coleman) struggled with it, even Monday night night (vs. St. Francis, Pa.)

""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.""

Then there was free throw shooting. Monmouth's 65 percent from the line was ninth worst in the 11-team league. NEC regular season champion Central Connecticut State shot 74 percent, and that was only third best to Robert Morris which hit 77 percent.

In looking ahead Monmouth has signed two high school players, point guard James Hett from Staten Island and 6-7 Nick DelTufo from Mendham. ""We are anticipating (other) guys coming in for official visits prior to the Final Four,'' said Calloway who said Monmouth is hoping to land at least one athletic forward type.

Calloway described the front court situation as"definitely a major, major concern.'' In house at the moment for Monmouth are red-shirts Adam Dobriansky and Dutch Gaitley, red-shirt freshman Shawn Barlow, and enigmatic freshman forward Rickie Crews.
""Will Adam will Rickie, will DelTufo, Dutch, will anybody else we bring in, be able to give us some sort of inside threat?''Calloway wondered.

On next year's starters? "While I would think there's two guys who started this year who have a very good chance at starting next year (my guess would be Youngblood and Coleman) , it doesn't mean they're going to start at the same position (as this year),'' said Calloway.

" 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.''

""There was a lot of little missing pieces to the puzzle on this year's team,''said Youngblood. ""Next year I'm going to try my best to fill in those pieces.''

For 2007-2008 Calloway has one very important piece in place in Youngblood and, in my eyes, another key one in Coleman, and will hope for a steadier Shipman.

Finding other pieces that fit will determine whether Calloway can put the puzzle back together.