Every Monday we bring you the latest Mid-Major Top 25 poll and juicy, hot excerpts from the league office's latest memo. So regular, you could set your calendar by it.
Holy Cross hangs on to the No. 10 spot in this week's Mid-Major Top 25. No other league schools receiving votes.
Meanwhile, here is the latest weekly memo from the league office:
Dec. 3, 2007
Four of the six games involving Patriot League teams were decided by three points or less on Saturday, with the League splitting the nail-biters. Army and Colgate posted tight victories on the road, but the close games did not turn out as well for Holy Cross and Bucknell. In other action, American and Lehigh fell on Saturday. Lafayette and Navy were off for the weekend.
Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 12.3.07
Anaconda Player of the Week
Jarell Brown, Army Sr., G, 6'2, 183, Cleveland, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel
Brown had another huge week to earn his second consecutive Anaconda Player of the Week honor, and fifth in his career. He opened the week by joining the Patriot League's 1,000-point club during a 24-point effort in a 70-64 loss at Hartford. Then, he had a spectacular game at VMI with a career-high 34 points and 10 rebounds for his first-career double-double in a 71-69 victory. Brown shot 11-of-13 from the field and 8-for-9 from three-point range in the game, and made all four foul shots. He averaged 29.0 points and 7.5 rebounds for the week, and connected on 64.5 percent from the field and 60.9 percent from beyond the arc. He accounted for 42.9 percent of Army's offense during the two games, and has now scored at least 20 points in a career-high four straight games. Brown has also made at least five three-pointers in each of the last four games, including a career-high eight twice.
Anaconda Rookie of the Week
Todd O'Brien, Bucknell Fr., C, 6'11, 225, New Holland, Pa./Garden Sport
O'Brien posted an impressive effort with 14 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in Bucknell's 57-54 loss to St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday. He also notched three points, seven rebounds and two blocks in a loss to Marist on Wednesday, and finished the week with 8.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and three blocks per game in the two contests. The effort against St. Francis (Pa.) came in his first-career start. O'Brien has blocked at least two shots in every game so far, and leads the Patriot League with 2.83 blocks per game for the year. The four blocks against St. Francis (Pa.) were a career high. O'Brien earns his first Rookie of the Week honor.
Patriot League Notebook
Down to the Wire
Four of the six games involving Patriot League teams were decided by three points or less on Saturday, with the League splitting the nail-biters. Army and Colgate posted tight victories on the road. The Black Knights knocked off VMI, 71-69, when Grant Carter hit a three-pointer with 1.6 seconds left for the go-ahead score. It was just Carter's second field goal of the season, and gave Army a win in a game it led by 16 points with 13 minutes to play. Colgate scored 50 points in the second half, 18 of them from Kyle Roemer, in a 76-73 win at Cornell. The Raiders trailed by eight points with 9:40 to play, but used a 9-0 run to take the lead at 50-49 with 6:58 left and made 14-of-16 free throws down the stretch. The close games did not turn out as well for Holy Cross and Bucknell. The Crusaders suffered their first loss of the year, 55-53 to Dayton. They held a 40-33 lead with 10:40 left, but Dayton took command with a 15-1 run. Holy Cross closed to within two, but could not get off a shot on the final possession. Bucknell lost a wild game at home to St. Francis (Pa.). The Bison led by nine early in the second half, trailed by 16 with 2:00 to play, and scored 14 points in 53 seconds without allowing Saint Francis to cross halfcourt. John Griffin's shot to tie the game rimmed out in the closing seconds. American and Lehigh also fell on Saturday, while Lafayette and Navy were off for the weekend.
Holy Cross and Lafayette have enjoyed the best starts in the Patriot League, but both will face difficult contests on the road this week. The Crusaders travel to Saint Joseph's on Tuesday, while the Leopards kick off an eight-game road trip that goes all the way to League play with a trip to Rutgers on Wednesday. Every team plays once from Monday-Thursday, with the Leopards playing NJIT at home on Monday in addition to the game at Rutgers. Bucknell, Navy, American and Lehigh all host contests, while Colgate and Army are on the road.
Then, the "REAL" Tough Tests
Holy Cross, Colgate and Bucknell all have an extended break after their upcoming games, as Patriot League schools begin the end of semester exam schedules. The League's instiutional exam dates are: American = Dec. 10-15; Army = Dec. 15-22; Bucknell = Dec. 6-13; Colgate = Dec. 10-14; Holy Cross = Dec. 8-15; Lafayette = Dec. 11-18; Lehigh = Dec. 11-19; Navy = Dec. 7-14;.
Living up to Their Billing
Preseason All-League status might not mean anything, but the five selections to the Patriot League preseason team are showing why they are so highly regarded. Army guard Jarell Brown leads the Patriot League with 21.3 ppg for the season, and posted a huge effort with 34 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's win over VMI. Brown entered the Patriot League's 1,000-point club, and has 1,048 for his career. Navy's Greg Sprink was already a 1,000-point man, and has kept it up by placing third in the League with 17.4 ppg for the year. Preseason Player of the Year Tim Clifford has four 20-point efforts for Holy Cross after a slow start, and is seventh in the League with 15.4 ppg. Clifford also leads the League by hitting 60.8 percent from the field. Lehigh's Marquis Hall is eighth in scoring (14.5 ppg), tied for second in assists (4.5) and tied for first in assist/turnover ratio at 1.89. Bucknell's John Griffin completes the group by ranking 10th in the League with 12.0 ppg.
Still the Only One
When Lehigh won at St. Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 17, the Patriot League became the first of 31 Division I conferences to have all of its teams record at least one road victory this season. Two weeks later, the Patriot League is still the only one to accomplish the feat. Lehigh's home win over St. Peter's on Nov. 14 made the League the second conference to have every team record at least one win over a Division I opponent. The SEC beat the Patriot League to the mark by day.
The Eagles saw their two-game winning streak come to an end with an 83-68 loss to UMBC on Saturday...On Monday, they completed a 2-1 road stretch with a 66-45 victory at Mount St. Mary's on Monday...Derrick Mercer had a strong week, doing a bit of everything with eight points, six rebounds and seven assists against Mount St. Mary's and then posting a career-high 28 points in the loss to UMBC...He shot 10-of-12 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range in the contest, and is shooting 54.8 percent overall and 55.6 percent on three-pointers for the year...Mercer leads the Eagles with 16.2 ppg and 4.5 assists per game for the year...He is second in the Patriot League in assists, and tied for first with a 1.89 assist/turnover ratio...The win over Mount St. Mary's was the first time all season that someone other than Mercer or Garrison Carr led the team in scoring, as Travis Lay notched 17 points...American hosts Howard on Tuesday and Jacksonville on Friday to complete a three-game homestand.
The Black Knights won a thriller, 71-69, at VMI on Saturday after falling to Hartford, 70-64, on Wednesday...Grant Carter hit a three-pointer with 1.6 seconds left to give the Black Knights the win at VMI after squandering a 16-point lead...It was Carter's second basket of the season, and first since hitting a three in the season opener at Minnesota...Jarell Brown had a career-high 34 points and 10 rebounds for Army's first double-double of the season....Brown has scored at least 20 points in a career-high four straight games, and leads the Patriot League with 21.3 ppg for the year...Brown now has 1,048 career points, good for 24th on Army's all-time list and up to 48th in Patriot League annals...The Black Knights shot a season-high 58.7 percent in the game, and held VMI to 35 points below its 103.7 average coming into the game...The Keydets had scored 156 points in their game against Columbia Union prior to the Army matchup...Doug Williams made his season debut at VMI, and notched seven points and eight rebounds while also assisting on Carter's game-winner...Army had its lowest (20) and highest (44) scoring half of the season in the loss to Hartford...The Black Knights conclude their three-game road trip Thursday at NJIT, and return home to face Quinnipiac on Sunday.
The Bison have lost four games in a row after a 2-0 start, falling to St. Francis (Pa.), 57-54, on Saturday and Marist, 55-40, on Wednesday at home last week....Bucknell had a nine-point lead early in the second half against St. Francis, trailed by 16 with 2:00 to play, then scored 14 points in 53 seconds without allowing Saint Francis to cross halfcourt...John Griffin had a potential tying jumper rim out in the closing seconds, however...Freshmen Todd O'Brien and Darryl Shazier made their first career starts in the Saint Francis game, making six different Bison who have started for the first time this season...The loss to Marist broke a 10-game home winning streak that dated back to the beginning of Patriot League play last season...The 40-point total was the team's lowest in a game since 1998, and lowest total at home since losing, 25-15, to Penn State in 1951...The Bison wrap up a three-game homestand on Monday against La Salle, then are off until Dec. 16 at Wake Forest as the Bucknell final exam period runs from Dec. 6-13.
The Raiders snapped a three-game losing streak with a 76-73 victory at Cornell on Monday...The Big Red had already knocked off Lehigh and Army at home this season, and had a 4-0 home record entering the game...Kyle Roemer scored a game-high 18 points, all in the second half, as Colgate rallied from a halftime deficit...Roemer averaged 15.5 ppg and 4.5 apg for the week, and has led Colgate in scoring in all eight games this season....He is second in the Patriot League with 19.0 ppg...Willie Morse notched 11 first-half points in the game as Roemer was out with foul trouble...Daniel Waddy hit 9-of-10 foul shots in the closing minutes against Cornell...The Raiders also lost to Notre Dame, 94-63, on Monday...Waddy is the only other Raider in double figures for the year, averaging an even 10.0 ppg...Colgate leads the Patriot League in field goal percentage (47.1) and three-point percentage (45.0)...It plays the third game of a six-game road trip on Wednesday at Binghamton, then is off until Dec. 18 at Syracuse because of final exams from Dec. 10-14.
The Crusaders knocked off Ohio, 62-60, on Monday and beat Yale, 60-39, on Wednesday to improve to 6-0 for the first time since 1988-89, but fell to Dayton, 55-53, on Saturday at the DCU Center in Worcester...Kyle Cruze hit the game-winning shot with two seconds remaining in the win over Ohio, while Tim Clifford dominated with 23 points, eight rebounds and six blocks against Yale...They held Yale to 17 first-half points and just 26.7 percent shooting from the field for the game...Clifford led the way with 20 points against Dayton, but a 15-1 Dayton run in the second half turned a seven-point Holy Cross lead into a seven-point deficit...Clifford hit two three-pointers in the final seconds to keep the game within reach...He averaged 18.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 2.7 bpg for the week, while shooting 64.7 percent from the field...He broke the school record for blocked shots, and now has 155 blocks for his career...The record had been held by Nate Lufkin (153 blocks, 2001-05)...Holy Cross plays at Saint Joseph's on Tuesday, then has its exams period from Dec. 8-15 and does not play again until Dec. 22 at Siena.
Lafayette won its third consecutive game with an 81-69 triumph over Penn on Wednesday...The Leopards broke an eight-game losing skid against the Quakers, and snapped the Patriot League's 23-game streak against Penn...Both dated back to a Lafayette win in 1997...Six players, including all five starters, scored in double figures in the game...It marked the first time since Dec. 13, 2004 that six players scored in double figures, and first time since 2002 that all five starters did it...The Leopards have won three straight for the first time since beating St. Peter's, Lycoming and NJIT in non-League play a year ago...Head Coach Fran O'Hanlon evened his career record at 175-175 in his 350th game...The Leopards are now 3-0 in televised games, and are the only Patriot League team to win a televised game this season...The Leopards will try to win their fourth consecutive game when they conclude a five-game homestand on Monday against NJIT....They hit the road to Rutgers on Wednesday and Columbia on Saturday to open up an eight-game road swing.
The Mountain Hawks posted a 1-2 record during the week, knocking off NJIT, 67-58, on Monday, falling to Quinnipiac, 92-88, in double overtime on Wednesday and losing at Central Connecticut State, 65-55, on Saturday...Six players scored seven points or more against NJIT, led by Marquis Hall with 12....Hall also totaled a game-high eight assists...Lehigh forced 19 turnovers, while committing only nine of its own....Against Quinnipiac, Hall had a game-high 27 points and notched seven assists, while Zahir Carrington recorded a career-high 23 on 11-of-14 shooting...The 11 field goals tied the most for a Patriot League player this season...Carrington is shooting over 70 percent in his last five games, and averaging 11.3 points in 19 minutes per game for the year...Bryan White had 14 points and eight rebounds, and hit the first three-pointer of his career to send the game to double overtime...Frehsman Rob Keefer averaged 9.3 points and 4.0 rebounds for the week, and tied his career-high and with 12 points against CCSU...Lehigh enters a three-game homestand with games against Stony Brook on Wednesday and Harvard on Saturday.
The Midshipmen came back from a 75-65 loss at Howard on Tuesday with an impressive 73-59 triumph at home against Towson on Thursday...Navy shot a season-high 50.9 percent from the field against Towson, and posted their best field goal percentage defense by holding the Tigers to 34.5 percent...Kaleo Kina and Adam Teague combined for 29 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists in the contest...The Mids used a 16-4 second-half run to take a 16-point lead and pull away for the win...They tallied 22 assists, a high mark under Head Coach Billy Lange...Eleven players scored against Towson, with seven players netting at least five points...Leading scorer Greg Sprink was held to four points, dropping his season average to 17.4....Navy won for the first time since 2005-06 when Sprink was held in single digits...Navy's bench has outscored the Navy starting five each of the last two games, averaging 40.0 ppg to the starters' 29.0 ppg...Navy plays at home against Mount St. Mary's on Monday, then breaks for its exam period that spans from December 7-14...The Midshipmen return when they travel to San Diego State on Dec. 17.