A full slate in the MAAC on tap tonight, with a showdown for first place being the marquee event. A week after Fairfield went to Albany and failed to take down the defending chanmps, 3-0 Rider gets their shot at the Times Union Center in a rematch of last year's MAAC Tournament final. Of course two of the main characters in that chapter are gone (Rider's Jason Thompson and Siena's Tay Fisher) but both teams stand to be a factor in the title chase until the end of the regular season.
America East: Despite their loss at Binghamton on Monday night it was a good week for Stony Brook, who won games at Air Force and defending America East champ UMBC. Junior Muhammad El-Amin shared the conference Player of the Week award with New Hampshire's Alvin Abreu, and freshman Bryan Dougher was named America East Rookie of the Week. While El-Amin accounted for 19.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in the two wins, Dougher averaged 20.5 points per game.
Rob Carpentier's "Seven Day Stretch" is a whirlwind tour around every corner of college basketball nation:
Kevin McNeill's weekly 5 Things column breaks down what's important in the world of college basketball.
This week, we learned that...
1) Butler is not exactly rebuilding
The final days of 2008, for most of the teams in the area (save the Ivies and NJIT), mean a transition into full-time conference play. Some schools still have a game or two outside of conference play later in the season, but for the most part it's all about focusing on the direct way of getting to the NCAA Tournament. Big East play begins early this week, and despite a big win over FDU Seton Hall fans have to wonder what the opener at Syracuse will bring for a team that lacks bodies inside. St.
Not a good sight in some of the metropolitan area training rooms right now. As was noted on this site yesterday, St. John's has lost Justin Burrell for the near future due to a collision with teammate Sean Evans in practice, resulting in three broken bones in his face. He's at least out for the Aeropostale Holiday Festival this weekend, but the Red Storm were able to take care of an equally shorthanded Marist team with relative ease.
Before getting into the team and player of the week honors in the metropolitan area, it's time to acknowledge area players who picked up some praise in their respective leagues.
Atlantic 10: Fordham freshman guard Jio Fontan was named Rookie of the Week after two exemplary games for the Rams. Fontan averaged 17.5 points and 5.5 assists in the two games, which included a career-high twenty-two in a 69-66 loss to Fairfield.
Editor's Early Preview (12/15):
Siena was supposed to be one of this season's darling mid-majors, but a disastrous showing in Orlando ruined any Top 25 chances. Now, barring a miracle, they'll just be another easy win for a Pitt team that rarely is challenged at home.
Full preview from the GameNight staff coming soon!