Full Court Press: Inside College Basketball’s First Week
The college basketball season is well underway and the first week has provided a number of interesting storylines to highlight.
I had my first look at Boston College’s point guard and Paterson, NJ native Eli Carter against Central Connecticut State.
Carter, who is one of many graduate transfer’s making an immediate impact with their new teams (ditto Sterling Gibbs at UCONN), led the Eagles to an 82-57 win over the Blue Devils with 20 points.
This follows up Carter’s 23 point debut in the Eagles 75-49 drubbing of St. Francis (Brooklyn).
Many local sports fans will remember that Carter played two seasons at Rutgers before transferring to Florida as a result of the Mike Rice debacle.
Carter is a career 1,000 point scorer between his time at Rutgers and Florida.
Carter is blessed with great athleticism and is explosive in the open court.
Mark December 9 on your calendar for the annual BC v PC holy war – that’s when Carter and Providence College’s POY candidate, Kris Dunn, go toe-to-toe at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence.
If you can’t be there, catch it on Fox Sports 1 with the Mayor, Bill Raftery, on the call at courtside.
Congratulations to Coach King Rice and the Monmouth Hawks for opening in style with an impressive, 84 -81, road win over Steve Alford’s UCLA Bruins.
Junior guard Collin Stewart came off the bench and gave Monmouth a huge boost by scoring 19 points.
Justin Robinson added 16 points while Micah Seaborn made his Hawk debut a memorable one with 14 points.
No question Rice has the Hawks on the upswing and poised to give Iona a run for the money in the MAAC.
With a good year Rice could be one of those coaches considered on the rise and highly-sought as the coaching carousel revolves come March.
Kentucky was impressive in their win over Duke, but George Washington shredded Virginia’s vaunted Pack Line defense and held on for a 73-68 mild upset.
The Cavaliers Malcolm Brogdon has had an impressive start and looks like one of many that will be in the conversation for POY.
How ‘bout those Johnnies!
Coach Chris Mullin has the Red Storm off and running with a surprising 3-0 start. The Red Storm overcame a 16 point second half deficit to defeat Rutgers 61-59 in front of a boisterous crowd at Carnesseca Arena.
Ron Mvouika (Paris, France) led the way with 12 points as the Johnnies held Rutgers scoreless in the final two minutes to seal the win.
The road will get a bit harder for Mullin and the Red Storm as they head to the Maui Classic (Hawaii) for three days, beginning with Vanderbilt on, Monday, November 23.
At first blush, there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable change in play with the new 30-second shot clock.
Hopefully, the powers to be will make it universal and change the clock to 24 seconds where it should be!
However, the new freedom of movement emphasis, along with the increased arc in the paint, appear have allowed players more freedom to get to the rack.
However, in many games there have been way too many whistles by the stripe shirts.
But like every year that will change come conference time!
Fun in the sun
Coach Joe Mihalich’s Hofstra Pride (2-0) take on the high-scoring Florida State Seminoles this afternoon in the first round of the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
The Pride is led by MAAC POY candidate Juan’ya Green and board banger Rokas Gustys.
Florida State, under Coach Leonard Hamilton, is loaded with talent and could be a surprise contender in the ACC and a national darkhorse.
Both teams love to get up and down the court in a hurry!
Congratulations to Central Connecticut State Coach Howie Dickenman, in his 20th year at the Blue Devils helm, who recently recorded his 275th career win. Dickenman trails the legendary Bill Detrick who won 468 games over 29 seasons at CCSU.
Interesting, between the two of them they have coached at CCSU for half a century!
Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic
One of the hidden early gems of local college basketball season is the annual Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic held November 21 and 22 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT.
The field includes; Purdue, Old Dominion, Florida, St. Joseph’s, Vermont, Niagara, Buffalo and North Carolina A&t will compete on Saturday (11/21) with consolation and championship games played on Sunday (11/22).
The Mohegan Sun Arena offers a great venue with not a bad seat in the house and parking as free.
Have a great Thanksgiving…. keep shooting….
Follow Bob on Twitter for all the latest in college hoop happenings, game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob