The season's first Hoop Time Notebook takes a look at the opening weekend that was.
SIZE MATTERS: In the first half of American's win at Saint Francis, 5-11 (on his tiptoes) Garrison Carr was en fuego, going 5 for 7 from the arc and scoring 17 points. In the second, Carr was 0 for 3 from 3-point range, scoring just 4 points. The difference? Saint Francis coach Bobby Jones subbed for the 5-10 guy guarding Carr (Marquis Ford), putting 6-foot-3 junior Kyle Jackson on Carr.
“(Jackson) is athletic and big enough physically and he was able to pose some problems for Carr,” said Jones.
Patriot League coaches already know the kid is a stone-cold sniper when he gets an open look. But with Carr playing limited minutes the last two seasons, that might not have shown up in the Red Flash scouting report. Expect Carr to see a lot of that sort of treatment once film of his first half show in Loretto gets around.
LINEUP SURPRISES: Phil Anderson was a starter most of last season for Lehigh, filling in at center for Jason mgebroff after Mgebroff went down with stress fractures in his leg. But it was sophomore Zahir Carrington who got the starting nod at center against Cornell. Anderson, who averaged almost 19 minutes per game last season, played just 10 against the Big Red. That's less than half the time immoblie 7-footer John Gourlay got off the Lehigh bench.
Other Lehigh rotation notes -- freshman Rob Keefer started on one wing for the Mountain Hawks, finishing with 6 points on 3 for 8 shooting in 25 minutes of action. Freshman Prentice Small also saw 25 minutes of action, scoring 13 points before fouling out.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: Even by Holy Cross' high defensive standards, what the Crusaders did against Hofstra's offense was mighty impressive. The Crusaders held the Pride to a 13 of 49 (26.5 percent) night from the field. Even more impressive: take away Hofstra star Antoine Agudio's 28 points and the rest of the Pride lineup was 4 for 26 (15.4 percent. During one stretch the Crusaders held Hofstra without a field goal for over 18 minutes.
WELL SAID: From Cormac Gordon's Staten Island Advance story on Friday night's Wagner-Lafayette game: . . . just in case you had forgotten what level of collegiate sports we're talking about here, the game was pushed from a 7 p.m. start to an 8:30 start to make room at Kirby for a women's volleyball game. Think that happens in the ACC?
BIG NUMBER GUYS: Top performances on the season's opening weekend:
Scoring: Greg Sprink, Navy, 28 vs. Longwood; Derrick Mercer, American, 22 and garrison Carr, American, 21 both vs. St. Francis (Pa.)
Rebounds: Alex Vander Baan, HC, 15 vs. Hofstra; Stephen Tyree, BU, 13 vs. Albany; Bryan White, Lehigh, 12 vs. Cornell
Assists: Andrew Brown, Lafayette, 7 vs. Wagner
Double-Doubles: Vander Baan (10 points, 15 reb.); White (16 points, 12 reb.)
REMATCH: The Bucknell-Albany game was the last in a two-year contract between the two schools, which have a combined four NCAA Tournament appearances in the last three seasons. Bucknell's win avenged an opening night loss at Albany last season and gave the Bison a 4-2 series lead all-time against the Danes.
"I don't know if we will start a new (series). That is up to (Bucknell coach) Pat (Flannery). I'd like to continue it," said Albany coach Will Brown after the game.
Flannery sounded amenable to that suggestion. "I don't know why not. Albany is not too bad of a trip," he said.
The Bison mentor did suggest a few changes, though, most notably the idea that the next contract start with a game in Sojka Pavilion. Flannery might also prefer the game to be a week or two later in the season.
"If these two teams are going to be as good as they have been, it's a tough opener," Flannery said.
POINT OF VIEW::
“In the first half, we did not have the defensive focus that we should have.”
St. Francis coach Bobby Jones, after his team fell behind 27-7 at the start of its home loss to American
““In the first half, we were like we were in a boxing match, and we stunned them.””
AU coach Jeff Jones, same game
CONFERENCE VS. CONFERENCE
Patriot League teams went 5-3 against non-conference foes over the weekend. Here are the results vs. other conferences played, with the Patriot's 2006-07 record against that conference.
America East: 1-0 (3-3)
Independents: 1-0 (5-1)
Ivy League: 0-1 (8-11)
Big Ten" 0-1 (0-3)
CAA: 1-0 (5-2)
Northeast Conference: 2-1 (8-2)
TOGETHER AGAIN: Keith Simmons and Torey Thomas, stars of last season's Holy Cross league championship team, are sticking together as they begin their professional careers overseas. The two are teammates on Turkish first division club Kepez Bld. Thomas joined his old running mate in Turkey after starting his pro career with Kormand, a Hungarian club. Kepez is 2-4 overall, 1-1 since Thomas joined the roster. Simmons is the team's second-leading scorer, averaging 16 ppg. You can follow the club in English here.
GETTING HIS KICKS: Lafayette recruit Ryan Willen of Missouri's Cape Girardeau Notre Dame has a state championship on his resume . . . in soccer. Willen, a 6-8 frontcourt type who helped Notre Dame to a second place finish in the state basketball playoffs last season, scored two goals and assisted on another to lead ND to a 4-1 win over Smithville in Saturday's Class II state championship game in St. Louis.
Labels: American, Bucknell, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Navy, notebook, recruiting
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