In a game that can be seen on ESPN2 at 11 am EST, Siena will visit Marist in hopes of winning a share of the MAAC regular season title. A Siena win today would also give surprising Niagara a shot at the title, so long as the Purple Eagles, winners of their last seven, take care of Rider on Sunday. Siena's Kenny Hasbrouck and Marist's Jared Jordan make up one of the better guard matchups in a game this season, but whichever team can get something from their bench today will win this one. Of the two teams, Marist (12-0 when their bench outscores the opponent's reserves) gets a little more on the average from their reserves, such as Wilfred "Spongy" Benjamin and Shae McNamara. Foul trouble, especially to the big men on both teams, could force both coaches to go past their comfort levels when it comes to how to use their bench. Due to the home court advantage, I like the Red Foxes to claim their first outright MAAC title ever. And if you're a Red Fox fan going to the game, be sure to wear white.
I begin this blog with a quote from my last post:
"Although you normally want to wait until a team plays more than two games to state that they are the clear favorite to win their conference, can anybody truly challenge Penn at the top of the Ivy League? Preseason prognosticators tabbed Princeton to finish second, but they're sitting in last place right now. Maybe Cornell or Yale? Who knows, but I'll take the Quakers over the field." (January 29th)
Whoops. After this weekend's games (a sweep of Princeton and Penn), James Jones' Yale Bulldogs are atop the Ivy League with a 5-1 conference record. Yale is led by the tandem of guard Eric Flato and guard/forward Casey Hughes. This is an experienced ballclub that should hang around for the duration of the season and challenge for the league's automatic bid. They've played two more games than Penn, which explains the two-game lead in the win column (they're tied in the loss category), and they've got the Columbia/Cornell road swing this coming weekend. If they can get through that with at least a split, if not a sweep, the Bulldogs have their next four games at home. The season ends with games at Penn and Princeton, and those games could indeed decide who represents the Ivy in the NCAA Tournament.
I took a slow Thursday of college hoops to watch some NBA Basketball on TNT. Adam Morrison and the Charlotte Bobcats faced JJ Redick and the Orlando Magic in the battle of the new white hopes (at least until Chase Budinger comes along). Morrison came through with 22 points off the bench to help lead Charlotte to a rare win. Morrison is coming off one of the worst shooting slumps of not just his young NBA career.. but of his life.. anybody's life for that matter. From December 3 to December 10, Morrison put up some the worst numbers I've seen in NBA history. December 3: 1-5 shooting, 2 points, 19 minutes. December 6: 1-10 shooting, 4 points, 35 minutes. December 8: 1-11 shooting, 2 points, 30 minutes. December 10: 1-8 shooting, 3 points, 26 minutes. Add it up.. 4 for 34 shooting (12%), 11 points, 110 minutes.. Awful. At least Morrison has shown flashes and is averaging 13 per game.