Dec. 10, 2007
At this time last week, Patriot League teams were teetering right around the .500 mark for the season with a 30-29 record in non-League action. But after a 10-3 performance that included winning records on every day but one last week, the Patriot League now has a 40-32 mark for the season.
Patriot League Men's Basketball Release - 12.10.07
Anaconda Player of the Week
John Griffin, Bucknell Sr., G, 6'1, 185, Philadelphia, Pa./Saint Joseph's Prep
Griffin scored a game-high 21 points, including the winning free throws with eight seconds left to play, to lift Bucknell past La Salle, 67-66, on Monday and win Patriot League Anaconda Player of the Week honors. Griffin scored 14 of his points after halftime as Bucknell rallied from a 16-point deficit, and hit a big 3-pointer with 4:04 left that sparked the team's game-ending 12-2 run. In addition to his 21 points, Griffin added three rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots, and he did not commit a turnover in 37 minutes of action. Griffin scored 20 or more points for the third time this season. The Preseason All-League pick leads Bucknell and is ninth in the Patriot League with 13.3 ppg for the season. Griffin earns his first-career Anaconda Player of the Week honor.
Anaconda Rookie of the Week
Andrew Beinert, Holy Cross Fr., G, 6'2, 175, Floral Park, N.Y./Chaminade
Beinert scored 10 points and dished out four assists with three rebounds as Holy Cross won at Saint Joseph's, 71-66. He connected on 3-of-6 shots from the field, including his only three-pointer, and made 3-of-4 foul shots. Beinert set new career marks for points and assists. He earned his first Rookie of the Week nod.
Patriot League Notebook
Strong Showing for the Week
At this time last week, Patriot League teams were teetering right around the .500 mark for the season with a 30-29 record in non-League action. But after a 10-3 performance that included winning records on every day but one last week, the Patriot League now has a 40-32 mark for the season. The League posted a 7-2 record in mid-week games, and American kept it going by rallying for a 52-50 victory over Jacksonville on Friday. Lehigh and Lafayette came through with victories over Harvard and Columbia, respectively, on Saturday to give the Patriot League five consecutive wins against Ivy League opponents and a 6-4 mark against the Ancient Eight this season. Sunday was the only day with a losing mark, as Army narrowly fell to Quinnipaic, 58-54. A pair of victories over Atlantic 10 teams highlighted the action earlier in the week, as Bucknell rallied past La Salle on Monday and Holy Cross posted an impressive win at Saint Joseph's on Tuesday.
Patriot League Teams on Record Pace......
With a .541 winning percentage (40-32), the Patriot League is on pace for it best-ever non-League mark. The top record thus far, and only winning mark, came in a 54-53 effort in the 2000-01 season. Last season was the only other campaign at the .500 mark in non-League action, as the Patriot League's 60 wins were the most in its 17-year history. The 40 non-League wins are already the 11th-highest total in Patriot League history, which is made even more impressive being the first season of an all Division I schedule for the League. Patriot League teams still have 45 games remaining to boost the win total, as well as any postseason competition.
......But There's a Long Road Ahead
While Patriot League teams are on a record-setting pace, there will be plenty of heavy lifting required to maintain the early-season success. Thirty-two of the final 45 non-League games will be played on the road, with trips to top 25 teams Georgetown and Pittsburgh and challenging matchups against the likes of Syracuse, Dayton, Maryland and Wake Forest. Bucknell will play in the Golden Bear Classic at Cal, and travel for its BracketBuster game. Lafayette and American have their entire remaining non-League schedule on the road, while Holy Cross and Colgate play four of their six games away from home. The Patriot League does have an 18-16 record in true road games, and five teams are at or above .500 in those contests.
From the Court to the Books
Seven of the eight Patriot League schools have entered their break in the schedule to focus on final exams. Army is the only team still playing in the early part of the week, as it takes on Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday before its exam schedule begins. Here are the institutional exam dates for all of the Patriot League schools:
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.
Early RPI Returns
The RPI may not mean much at this point of the season, but a few Patriot League teams have to like their standing so far. In Monday's Collegiate Basketball News RPI Report, Holy Cross checks in at No. 40 with its 7-1 overall record. The Crusaders' only loss came against Dayton, which placed No. 8 in the ratings. Colgate's 6-3 start earned it the second position for Patriot League teams, at No. 163 overall. Bucknell also made the top 200 at No. 194. The Patriot League ranks No. 22 among 31 Division I conferences in RPI rating.
Class of 2012
Bucknell, Holy Cross, Lehigh and American have put out releases for next year's incoming freshman recruits. For the Bison, forward Enoch Andoh (San Jose, Calif.), guard Bryan Cohen (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.) and forward Probese Leo (Houston, Texas) will join the fold. Holy Cross has guards R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) and Devin Brown (Randallstown, Md.) set to join the program. At Lehigh, Head Coach Brett Reed's first-ever recruiting class consists of forward John Adams (San Jose, Calif.), wing Jordan Hamilton (Seattle, Wash.) and center/forward Justin Maneri (Saddle Brook, N.J.). Forwards Stephen Lumpkins (San Mateo, Calif.) and Mike Technow (Boca Raton, Fla.) are both set to join American.
Patriot League in the NCAA Statistics
If the NCAA statistics are any indicator, Patriot League teams have excelled at playing defense and shooting from three-point range this season. Army's Jarell Brown is still the most visible Patriot League player in the individual statistics. The League's leading scorer ranks 19th in the country with 21.6 ppg, and is fourth with 4.4 three-pointers per game and 11th with a 52.6 three-point field goal percentage. He has company on the three-point lists, with Lafayette's Andrew Brown and American's Garrison Carr in the top 30 nationally with 3.4 makes per game and Andrew Brown ranking 36th with a 47.0 percentage from three-point land. Lafayette is fourth in the country with 10.7 three-pointers per game, and Colgate is fourth with a 45.8 three-point percentage. Lafayette and Lehigh are in the top 25 in three-point percentage. Holy Cross, American and Bucknell fare well in defensive statistics. The Crusaders are eighth in scoring defense at 55.3 ppg, while American and Bucknell are in the top 50. Both Holy Cross and Bucknell are in the top 50 in field goal percentage defense. Holy Cross is 23rd in rebounding margin. The Crusaders and Eagles are also in the top 30 in free throw percentage.
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. Three 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 completed a 2-0 week with a come-from-behind, 52-50, win over Jacksonville on Friday...They were down by seven points with 3:41 to play, but came back to tie the score with 1:33 left...Brian Gilmore hit the game-winning free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining...Gilmore had a career-high 13 points, while Derrick Mercer led the Eagles with 17...American also had a 66-54 home victory over Howard on Tuesday...It was the 1,000th win in the 82-year history of the program...The Eagles now have a 1,001-947 (.514) record in the program's history... American trailed by 11 points in the first half, but rallied to take a 34-30 lead at halftime...They pulled away with a 10-0 run to start the second half, and led comfortably the rest of the way...Four Eagles were in double figures, led by Garrison Carr with 17...American is now 4-0 this season when four or more players score in double-digits...American completed its three-game homestand with a 2-1 record...The Eagles are off for their exam period from Dec. 10-15, and do not return until a Dec. 19 trip to Dayton which kicks off a seven-game road swing.
Army saw its two-game winning streak come to an end with a 58-54 loss to Quinnipiac on Sunday...Quinnipiac scored the final eight points of the game, with game-winning points on free throws with 10 seconds to play...Jarell Brown was the only Army player in double figures, with 22 points...15 of Brown's points came in the second half...Brown has scored at least 20 points in six consecutive games, and leads the Patriot League with 21.6 ppg...He is the only Black Knight to score in double figures in the last three games...Brown was 5-of-8 from three-point range, and has made at least five three-pointers in five of the last six games...The Black Knights also posted a 54-44 triumph at NJIT on Thursday...Brown led the team with 23 points and also notched six rebounds...Josh Miller had nine points, a career-high eight rebounds and six assists...Army opened the game with a 14-0 run and would lead by at least nine points throughout the contest...Army forced 23 NJIT turnovers, including 16 in the first half...Army's wins over VMI and NJIT were its first back-to-back victories since January of 2007...The Black Knights finished a three-game road trip with a 2-1 mark...Army is in action Thursday against Florida Gulf Coast in the second of a five-game homestand.
The Bison snapped a four-game losing streak in dramatic fashion, rallying for a 67-66 win over La Salle on Monday...The Bison finished the game on a 12-2 run, culminating with John Griffin's two game-winning free throws with eight seconds left...Bucknell trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half, and by nine with five minutes to play before the final run....Griffin led the way with 21 points, while Justin Castleberry and Patrick Behan both set career highs with 18...Griffin had 14 points in the second half, and did not commit a turnover in 37 minutes of action...He scored 20 or more points for the third time this season...The trio accounted for 57 of Bucknell's 67 points and 21 of 26 field goals...Freshman Todd O'Brien had six rebounds and three blocks to go with four points...He has multiple blocked shots in every game this season, and at least six rebounds in the past four contests...It was the first meeting against La Salle since 1982-83, and first Bison victory since 1979-80, which was Head Coach Pat Flannery's senior year...Bucknell's exam period runs from Dec. 6-13, and the Bison are back in action on Sunday at Wake Forest.
The Raiders won their second game in a row with a 73-55 victory at Binghamton on Wednesday...They improved to 2-1 on their season-long six-game road trip, and 4-1 on the road for the season...Colgate wins its sixth game of the season on Dec. 5th, after taking until Jan. 6 to win their sixth game last year ...Colgate had a two-point lead at halftime before taking control in the second half....Kyle Roemer had 21 points to lead four Raiders in double figures...He was Colgate's leading scorer for the ninth straight game...Kendall Chones had 15 points and eight boards, while Tim Pounds had 14 and Daniel Waddy finished with 10...Alex Woodhouse blocked a career-high five shots and notched eight rebounds...Colgate shot 52 percent from the field, while holding Binghamton to 33 percent shooting...Colgate is off until Dec. 18 at Syracuse because of final exams from Dec. 10-14...The road swing wraps up at Penn State on Dec. 23 and at New Hampshire on Dec. 30.
The Crusaders rebounded from their first loss of the season with an impressive 71-66 victory at Saint Joseph's on Tuesday...The Crusaders opened the game with a 12-0 run, and took an 18-2 lead...The lead grew as large as 18 points (27-9)...They held the Hawks without a field goal for the first 15 minutes of the game, and without a two-point field goal for the entire first half...Saint Joseph's closed to within five points with two minutes left, but Holy Cross made 5-of-7 seven free throws down the stretch to seal the win....Tim Clifford and Alex Vander Baan each had 16 points and seven rebounds...Vander Baan hit 4-of-4 free throws in the final minute...Kyle Cruze had 13 points and six assists, while freshman Andrew Beinert had a career-high 10 points and four assists...The Crusaders had 22 assists on 25 made field goals, and shot 50 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from three-point range...Holy Cross has its exams period from Dec. 8-15 and does not play again until Dec. 22 at Siena.
Lafayette rebounded from a loss at Rutgers with a 78-64 triumph at Columbia...Andrew Brown scored a season-high 22 points in the win, connecting on 8-of-14 shots and 6-of-10 from three-point range...He hit six three-pointers for the first time this season....Lafayette shot a season-high 57.4 percent from the floor at Columbia, topping their previous best mark against Penn (52.6) on Nov. 28...Lafayette doled out a season-best 22 assists at Columbia, equaling the team's mark vs. FDU (11/16)...Paul Cummins matched his season high with 12 points, while Ted Detmer had a season-high 11...Earlier in the week, Lafayette beat NJIT, 81-56, and lost at Rutgers, 90-79...Five Lafayette players scored in double figures in the loss to Rutgers, led by Brown with 17...Lafayette led by as many as 35 points against NJIT...Every player who was dressed hit at least one field goal in the game...Lafayette won four straight games for the first time since notching seven in a row in the 2003-04 season...The Leopards started 5-2 for the first time since 1999-00...The Leopards are 1-1 on the first two games of an eight-game road swing...They will not play this week while taking final exams but return to action on Dec. 19 at Towson.
The Mountain Hawks won a pair of home games last week, with a 70-61 win over Harvard on Saturday...Lehigh trailed 33-22 at halftime before rallying for the win with a 48-28 second-half advantage....Lehigh used an 11-0 run to take a 54-49 lead with 6:23 to play...Marquis Hall led the way with 17 points, while Zahir Carrington had 14...The Mountain Hawks connected on 22-of-24 foul shots...With the win Lehigh pulled even at .500 for the first time after ten games since the 2003-04 season...The Mountain Hawks snapped a two-game losing streak with a 76-61 win against Stony Brook on Wednesday in the first of a three-game homestand...Dave Buchberger scored a career-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting in his first-ever start...Hall had a career-high 10 assists without any turnovers...Bryan White had 10 rebounds in each contest, and averaged 11 points and 10 rebounds in the two games...White is 13 rebounds shy of 500 for his career...Lehigh breaks for exams from Dec. 11-19, and does not return to complete its three-game home stretch until Dec. 28 against Monmouth...Lehigh's 20-day layoff for finals and the holidays is its longest since the inception of Patriot League play in 1990.
The Mids dropped a home contest to Mount St. Mary's, 62-58, on Monday...Navy held Mount St. Mary's to 27.9 percent shooting from the field, but shot only 32.7 percent itself, with a 4-of-22 effort from three-point range...It was the lowest shooting percentage for a Navy opponent since Feb. 28, 2004 (Army)...Navy fell behind 13-0 in the contest...The Mids held Mount St. Mary's to 4-of-26 shooting in the second half, and without a field goal for the final 7:19...Kaleo Kina and Greg Sprink each had 16 points, while Chris Harris scored 15...No other player had more than four points...Sprink had nine rebounds, while Kina had seven and Adam Teague notched eight...Kina played 27 minutes without a turnover, the first time since Jan. 22, 2006 that he did not commit a turnover...Sprink scored in double figures for the 66th time in his career...Navy breaks for its exam period that spans from December 7-14, and returns to the court when it travels to San Diego State on Dec. 17.