If you are a longtime reader of Hoop Time, you might have noticed the absence of any mentions this season of the old Hoop Time-Basketball U challenge. After having to e-mail the it to our buddy Jake
three seasons in a row, the Ivies have retired the mythical traveling trophy and, frankly, given the lack of matchups between the top teams in the two leagues, we have lost interest.
For those who still care, the Ivies lead the series 4-1 this season, and will look to pad that advantage in two meetings tonight. If the Patriot League is going to make a move, this would be a good time to do it. The league's top team thus far, Holy Cross, is at home against Yale and Lafayette hosts a young Penn team that thus far has been a shadow of Quakers past.
Elsewhere, Marist visits Bucknell in the most interesting non Ivy-Patriot game of the evening. Army travels to Hartford and Quinnipiac is at Lehigh.
SCOUTING PENN: The Quakers come in 2-4 after winning two of their last three, including Saturday over Navy. From a Penn perspective, a game with another Patriot League team -- especially Lafayette -- is just what they need to get back on track. Penn has won its last 28 in a row against Patriot teams, including eight straight against Lafayette. All time the Quakers lead the series with the Leopards 37-3.
A caveat: all three Lafayette wins have come in Easton. This is just the second game outside its cozy Palestra for a young Penn team that is still searching for an identity. Glenn Miller has used 10 different players in his starting lineup so far; nne guys -- including four freshmen -- have scored in double figures at least once.
Senior Brian Grandieri is the only Quaker to start all six games. Grandieri leads Penn in scoring, averaging 15.2 ppg. Freshman Tyler Bernardini has reached double figures the last three games and is averaging 10.2 ppg
Penn stats (pdf)
Penn game notes
Penn radio broadcast
SCOUTING YALE: Throw out that 1-3 record. You can't judge the Bulldogs by that cover. The trhee losses, all on the road, came against UMass, Stanford and UCLA.
This will be a good test for the Crusaders. Yale is an experienced side that starts four seniors and a junior. They have an inside presence in 6-11, 240-pound Matt Kyle (13.5 ppg) that should be a challenge for Tim Clifford and good size elsewhere. Senior Caleb Holmes (12.3 ppg) is a 6-6 swingman who is shooting 57.1 percent from the field and even better -- 64.3 percent -- from the arc. Nick Holmes, another 6-6 senior, is also a threat to step outside for a three.
And then there is Eric Plato, a first team All-ivy pick last season who was CollegeInsider.com's Ivy MVP as a junior. Plato's numbers -- 34.7 percent from the field, 34.5 from three-point range -- likely reflect those big conference opponents concentrating on keeping him in check. Despite that attention, he is still averaging 12.8 ppg.
Perhaps the biggest weakness the Bulldogs have is depth. The rotation goes nine deep, but the lions share of the minutes are spread among seven guys.
Yale game notes
SCOUTING MARIST: The Red Foxes appear to be getting things together since opening the season 1-3. Marist has won its last two, following last week's win over Colgate by coming from 17 down to knock off Richmond.
Syracuse transfer Louie McCroskey, a 6-5 senior, is averaging 11.3 ppg since returning from a three-game suspension at the start of the season. Sharing the scoring lead is 6-1 freshman Jay Gavin. Spongy Benjamin, a 6-7 senior, is an inside weapon, averaging 10.3 ppg and a team-high 7.8 rebounds.
The Red Foxes are shooting 43.8 percent from the field while allowing opponents to connect at a 44.4 percent rate. Marist and its foes are both shooting 40.4 percent from the arc.
Marist should be used to close games. Its last four have been decided by a combined 13 points, including an overtime loss to Temple.
Marist game notes
SCOUTING HARTFORD: The Hawks are 3-4 after winning their last two at the Las Vegas Invitational. Losses include games at Louisville and Brigham Young.
Defense is the key for Dan Leibowitz's team. In his second season as head coach, the former John Chaney assistant has Hartford holding opponents to 42.4 percent shooting from the field while forcing over 20 turnovers per game.
Hartford's weaknesses? They don't shoot too well themselves (42.8 percent from the field) and a smallish roster with just one guy taller than 6-7 has been outrebounded by an average of 11.5 per game.
Sophomore Joe Zeglinski (6-0) leads Hartford with 13.5 ppg. Also in double figures are 6-6 junior Warren McLendon (12.3 ppg) and 6-2 junior Jaret Von Rosenberg (10.6 ppg).
Hartford coach Dan Leibowitz's blog
SCOUTING QUINNIPIAC: The 1-3 Bobcats score 72 points per game. But they don't do a very good job at the other end, allowing foes to score 77 per contest.
The offense has pretty much been a one-man show. Central Connecticut transfer Demario Anderson leads the Northeast Conference with his 21.5 ppg average. Anderson comes in off a big week where he scored 25 in a loss to New Hampshire and 29 in a loss to Maine. Anderson also grabbed 10 rebounds against the Black Bears.
Freshman Evann Baker had a breakout game in the loss to New Hampshire, going 9 for 9 from the field en route to a 25 points performance,
Quinnipiac game notes
Labels: Army, Bucknell, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, previews
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