Wednesday NYC Preview: Pirates & Red Storm Face Off

February 17th, 2010
Weekly Honors (announced on Monday)

America East: Stony Brook senior Muhammad El-Amin was named Player of the Week thanks to averages of 27.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in two wins for the Seawolves.

Big East: It was a good week for area schools in the Big East with one weekly honor and three honorable mention selections. Rutgers forward Dane Miller was named Rookie of the Week due to averages of 11.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in a 2-0 week. Teammate Jonathan Mitchell was an Honorable Mention selection, as were St. John's swingman D.J. Kennedy and Seton Hall guard Jeremy Hazell.

CAA: A pair of Hofstra players were honored as Charles Jenkins shared Player of the Week honors with Old Dominion's Gerald Lee and freshman guard Chaz Williams was named Rookie of the Week. In two wins for Hofstra Jenkins averaged 27.0 ppg while Williams posted averages of 13.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game.

Ivy: Each of the three area teams had players named to the league's Honor Roll. Columbia's Niko Scott, Princeton's Douglas Davis and Yale's Michael Sands received the honor this week.

MAAC: A pair of area players were honored by the MAAC with Rider's Ryan Thompson winning his second Player of the Week award while Fairfield's Derek Needman once again won Rookie of the Week. In two games Thompson averaged 24.5 points and 5.5 rebounds while Needham averaged 23.0 points.

Wednesday's Games

7PM Fordham at Richmond
A good day for the Fordham program as the school's Board of Trustees approved increased funding for the program. Traditionally among the lower third of the Atlantic 10 in funding Fordham should now sit in the top third of the conference, which should be a boost for either current interim head coach Jared Grasso or whoever the school hires in the spring if he isn't retained. But that bit of good news won't deliver Chris Gaston and company their first conference win of the season, especially on the road against one of the A-10's hottest teams. David Gonzalvez was outstanding in a pair of wins for the Spiders last week and point guard Kevin Anderson is among the best players in the conference. Fordham's got to play disciplined on both ends of the floor against Chris Mooney's squad if they're to remain within striking distance.

7:30PM Seton Hall at St. John's (MSG+)
This has turned into quite the series in recent years, with the comments of SHU head coach Bobby Gonzalez in regards to playing at Carnesecca Arena before each of the prior two meetings in Queens and Red Storm fans haven't forgotten it. The Pirates will also go into the game shorthanded with Eugene Harvey out with a bone bruise in his wrist (per the Star-Ledger's Brendan Prunty). Add to this the turf toe that's been ailing Jordan Theodore and all of a sudden Keon Lawrence will have to contribute more at that position. Do the injuries mean that Jamel Jackson receives a few more minutes? By no means is he a point guard but to simply give a rest to one of those two adding him to the rotation that also includes Jeremy Hazell for a few minutes wouldn't hurt much.

The Red Storm have a clear edge in regards to depth and that would have been the case with Harvey able to go. But they need Malik Boothe to continue his solid play in recent games. It's no surprise that as their starting point guard has done a better job of taking care of the basketball that the Johnnies have won games over Louisville and Notre Dame. With Dwight Hardy, Paris Horne and D.J. Kennedy scoring on the perimeter the job of Boothe (and Malik Stith) is simply to take care of the ball and play solid defense. Turnovers will be key against the Seton Hall pressure, and the frontcourt will need to keep Herb Pope and Jeff Robinson off the boards. Look for this to be an entertaining contest that goes down to the wire; neither looks to be that superior to expect a blowout.