Given their wins over Louisville and Pittsburgh over the last week, it would have been easy to fall into the trap of thinking that Seton Hall would have a relatively easy time in Tampa last night. But in a game that may have led some Bulls fans to use the word "karma", USF won consecutive conference games for the first time as a Big East member by knocking off the Pirates 76-74 in overtime. The scoring duel between Jeremy Hazell and Dominique Jones did not disappoint but the difference was one-time SHU recruit Jarrid Famous, who finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Player of the Week: F Alex Franklin (Siena)
The senior forward led the Saints to two wins last week with averages of 24.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
Rookie of the Week: G Rashard McGill (Iona)
Yet another young Gael stepped up for head coach Kevin Willard last week, with McGill averaging 9.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in wins over Manhattan and Fairfield. In the win over rival Manhattan, McGill led the way with 13 points (career-high) and seven rebounds.
Choice Hotels Player of the Week: F Corey Hassan (Sacred Heart)
Hassan won his third Player of the Week award this season, averaging 21.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in the Pioneers' 2-0 week.
Choice Hotels Rookie of the Week: F Russell Johnson (Robert Morris)
In the Colonials' 2-0 week on the road, Johnson averaged 11.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game. Johnson leads all conference freshmen in rebounding with an average of 5.8 boards per game.
Four games are on the schedule today in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, with Fairfield's trip to Iona (3:30 PM) being the game of the day. The Stags have won eleven of the last fifteen in the series but the last eight games are even at four wins apiece. Both teams have been playing solid basketball of late and while it may be a stretch to expect the winner of today's game to catch frontrunning Siena, the winner takes a step towards that two-seed with eight games left in the conference season.
It's a full weekend for the Northeast Conference with five games today and one matinee Sunday. And in that matinee Quinnipiac, winners of six straight, can take a significant step in the growth of their program with a win over Central Connecticut State (Noon Sunday, NESN). Talking with head coach Tom Moore yesterday, he made the point that there would be no complacency on the part of his team despite beating the Blue Devils by 31 (76-45) last week due to the respect they have for head coach Howie Dickenman and his program.