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Friday, September 28, 2007

MU men's/women's hoops update

Got over to Boylan Gym Thursday..idea being to watch the men and women's team in pick up games...women did not play. Watched the men for about an hour..

This was actually my third trip over since early Sept. ...first two observations were not as long as I would have preferred and wanted to see as much as possible before writing a review..



We'll skip over "The Jet" and Whitney. They look fine.

James Hett - freshman PG. Going to be a very nice player, pure point guard. If players are open he'll find them. Seems sure-handed with the ball. Drives well to the hoop. I'm NOT saying he's John Giraldo, Tylers Azzarelli, etc.. Not fair to say that.

But I see the similarities with Tyler. However, with so few veteran players around will be asked to contrebute even more than TA did as a freshman.

George Barbour, R.J. Rutledge.
Barbour (foot problems) did not play yesterday. Just saw a glimpse of him on one of my other trips..not enough to evaluate. Little glimpse I got he did not make a major impression one way or the other.

RJ - turned an ankle early yesterday, didn't play much. Again, just saw a glimpse of him on my other trips. Slender kid, definitely a shooter. Should eventually prosper from Hett and the MU offrense.

Nick DelTufo...saw a little more of him. One afternoon looked very good. Other times has had some trouble finishing....I think he'll be OK to good as he progresses throughout his career. Remember - we're talking freshmen here, and so much of this is projection

Others: Adam Dobriansky, Dutch Gaitely, Shawn Barlow. Adam - foot problems, played just a little yesterday. Earlier pick up game I saw was promising. Skilled player..we'll see. Dutch - seems to be the biggest, broadest of the MU big men. Might be the best rebounder. Still plenty of work to do on offense. Shawn - has his moments, good and not so hot. Working hard on his post up game. Who the heck knows?

Phantom sighting at last.

Rickie Crews is alive and well as we speak. I think he and Jhamar are getting close so that's a good thing. As we saw last year, lots of raw talent, I would rather see him take the ball to the basket than shoot from outside. Has ability for sure. What that translates into? Again..we'll have to see.

Yaniv Simpson. The good news. He's healthy, hasn't tripped on the Boylan Gym floor. But he hasn't been shooting as well as I - personally - would hope.

Alex Nunner - shot the lights out yesterday. Was on fire. Then one other trip over, was less than on fire. He'll have his chance. He's a third year player..maybe he can become more consistent this year....But I've learned not to bank on what I see or don't see in pick up games and even practice... I view it ..""Hett and the Jet"" and Whitney probably start in a small lineup. Any and all other positions and rotations are up for grabs...At this stage - I give an edge to Crews and Nunner - (Alex off the bench) to see significant time...Hey, that could change

I think especially the big man rotation will be a revolving door all year unless one or two players begin to separate themselves...

Summation - Now - again - haven't seen all the players near as much as I would like especially the newcomers. we speak - I have no reason to change my 10th place pick in the NEC....though one would hope MU should at least be able to challenge for an NEC Tournamen t berth...


Brianne Edwards (knee) won't be ready for start of practice but could be close to "100 percent" by Christmas per coach Baxter.

Other injuries - Marisa Jimenez (shoulder), Lakia Barber (ACL) will start practice on a limited basis and progress from there - all this from Michele.

I think senior center Lindsey Zegowitz maybe ready for a break out year along with sophomore Brooke McElroy...

New JUCO point guard - Marbely Montas - very quick, gets to the hoop and dishes. Slight of build though and probably not a great outside shooter ( in my opinion) - but a very good point guard and - I envision - will have a good assist to turnover ratio ...Anyone who follows this team knows turnovers have been a BIG problem for MU over the years...

Jen Bender - still a rebounding machine, especially on the offensive glass. MU needs a more consistent year from her.

The two new big girls, 6-3's Samantha Schanuel and Elizabeth Kurdika have a definite upside, appear physcially y strong...need polish - but they're freshmen. They could be very good down the road. Not sure how much - if at all - they'll contribute this year, but I think one or both may at some point.

News item - first two rounds of the women's NEC Tournment will be held at LIU, the final at the highest remaining seed. I don't like it. That was the vote of the women coaches including Michele. Men remain at home courts throughout

Summation - I haven't mentioned everyone, but I think this team, with almost all seniors and juniors and everyone back but one reserve from last year's 18-13 team (10-8, NEC) should make its most serious run for the NEC championship since it got to the NEC final in 2004.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

tony on the womens side, thats an awfully hard hit to take on the injurys, those r 3 of their best players. Your pg,your shooting guard,and power foward will leave them very thin in man power n options. I do not see anyone of them being ready early and they will be dealing with those injuries all year.

4:05 PM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I think....Marbely fills in nicely for Brianne..I look for McElroy to become a significant force..and don't forget Veronica Randolph...

My possible starting lineup minus the three we mentioned..

PG - Montas, SG Randolph, C - Zeg, F - Rachel, F - Jen..

Off the bench - Brooke at F, Ware at G, Brooke can also play guard.

My guess is Barber, and especially Jimenez, will be back sooner than later....not as sure about Brianne..

At this point I then see Liz or Sam getting some time at the post....

I think you're right in that they need one of the three women currently on the to shelf to get back for this team to make a big run..

4:22 PM, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tony,thats a pretty weak ball handleling 5. thats where they miss bre,acl the kid can run but jumping will be a problem for a long time .getting jimenez back early will be key because she can play 3 different positions but with this being her 2nd surgury on her shoulder i do not think they will rush her

11:10 AM, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I find it intersting that the only two comments here - so far - have been on women's basketball...


Bri assist to turnover- 86-67, very good.

MU has to hope Marbely is of that caliber..Jimenez assist to TOs 67-108 (she gets a little out of control at times), McElroy 29-36 (not bad), Randolph 82-78 (good enough).

So if Marbely comes through...Hawks will be stable at the point. Now if Bri plays, at times they can shuffle her over to 2G
and ball handling will perhaps be that much better.

11:29 AM, September 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats bc the people writing are girls on the team. no one else cares!

1:08 PM, September 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who do you think will have a better season the men's or women's team

3:23 PM, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Women's team - no question. I will put a numerical figure on both after I see each practice for a bit.....of course...don't take it to the bank!!

I thought MU men were a 20-win lock last season..

10:45 PM, September 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You know as well as anyone -- the women could go near undefeated and the men could be 5-20 and the attendance would remain the same for both.
Talk as much as you want about it, but the women's program is a great way for them to get free rides thru college (and god bless them for it) and nothing more -- NO ONE CARES about their games except their families!

6:25 PM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: women's hoops. I think if the MU women jump out early as 1 or 2 in the NEC with a good overall record as well, we would see a rise in attendance - to men's levels? Hardly. But to maybe 500-600 per game? Maybe? More? Don't know.

Maybe MU could promote them better, too. But we've been down that road..

7:22 PM, September 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In regards to attendance of the women's games, I would expect to be a larger student section as a new student program called "Shadow Nation" will be promoting student support for all athletic programs, providing points and membership levels based on participation. Students attending games will receive wristbands that will mark off appearances (1 for men's, 2 for women's), and as they complete that level, they move up a rank and work towards filling out that band. I believe it's 10 points to complete a level, and there are 4 levels.

1:15 PM, October 01, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: Shadow Nation. Good job by MU for coming up with this. My question is : what are the rewards for reaching various levels??

1:30 PM, October 01, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Also - is it in effect currently for fall sports??

1:31 PM, October 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tony a lot of last years womens game were pretty exciting.The games went down to the wire,they been probally one of the best groups in a while

3:29 PM, October 01, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: last year women's games. Yes, many were close.

My personal favorite was the Lehigh game when MU (Edwards and Charisse Johnson) connected for 3's in the final six seconds to win by one...and MU didn't even have a play drawn up for the winning basket!!!

3:34 PM, October 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tony the two best that stand out in my mind were the 2ot against mount n i think it was st peters maybe thats the one your talking about with the buzzer beater

6:28 PM, October 01, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: St. Peter's game. Yes, it was St. Peter's at the buzzer.!..They beat Lehigh in OT and the Mount in double OT...Oh well, I had the 3's right..I think..

6:49 PM, October 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


There is a link for students to sign up for Shadow Nation on the main athletics page for MU. The following is the link to the actual brochure that details the levels and rewards.

9:07 AM, October 02, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: Shadow Nation: Since it may be difficult to access off this blog (and people like me are lazy and may not look for it at the MU web site) - Why don't you give a little summary of what it is and the rewards, etc?? excellent idea whoever dreamed it up.

By the way..Shadow is a ??? Yes, I know he's (she?) the mascot, but what is he (she?)???

11:35 AM, October 02, 2007  
Anonymous Hit a Free Throw said...

Here is an article from ESPN talking about the 3 "metro" teams, Rutgers, Seton hall and St. Johns. Its a fairly long article but tries to sum up why their programs are hurting over the past several seasons.

2:16 PM, October 04, 2007  

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