Posts Tagged ‘NCAA’

NCAA: Is Temple for Real?

October 7th, 2015 by Robert Waterman | Comments Off on NCAA: Is Temple for Real? | Filed in Basketball, College Sports, General, Sports

temple

So who had the Temple Owls going 4-0 to start the season? Certainly not this reporter, but that is exactly what they have done. After s shocking win against Penn State in the opener, Temple has gone on to defeat Cincinnati, Umass and UNC Charlotte to get to where they are today.  And what’s more impressive is that the latter 3 wins were all on the road.  Now before anybody starts proclaiming Temple can win 10 games this year, lets remember that they are just now getting to the best and potatoes of their schedule.  Granted they are good right now, but I think we need to hold judgement until after a Halloween match-up with Notre Dame (currently number 15 in the polls) before we make any kind of assumptions about this team.

Now I am not saying that it can’t be done, however, they will need to rely on their offense which temple2currently ranks 99th in the nation in passing yards averaging only 189 yards per game. And the running game is only slightly better with the Owls averaging 159.2 yards per game, good for 88th in the country through 4 games.  The saving grace for Temple has been their stout defense which has allowed 15.5 points per game which is 16th in the nation. But they cannot continuously rely on their defense to win games. It will have to start with the offense and QB P.J Walker who has only thrown for 731 yards and 5 touchdowns through the first 4 games and has a QBR rating of 47.3 according to ESPN, which is not good for any Quarterback but especially not so for Walker who needs to start impressing people over the next few weeks.

Now getting back to the schedule, I see games upcoming against Tulane and Central Florida in the next 2 weeks, both of which are at home but both could be lose-able games.  And then they go on the road for a Thursday Night Clash against East Carolina on October 22 before coming home to face Notre Dame on Halloween in what could potentially be the game of the year for the Owls. Could they be 8-0 by that point? Not in my honest opinion.  Could they be 4-4 or somewhere in between? Very possible if not likely. And November could prove to be just as though with road games against SMU and South Florida to begin the month before ending the season with 2 home games against Memphis and Connecticut. Somehow I can very easily see an 8-4 record for this team which is more than good enough for a bowl game but as far as taking the next step is concerned, Im going to say Stay Tuned.

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History Made at Villanova

September 25th, 2015 by Joe Buscemi | Comments Off on History Made at Villanova | Filed in College Sports, Football, General, TalkSportsPhilly
Nova Penn 2015 (1)

History Made!

The annual Schuylkill rivalry between the Villanova Wildcats and Penn Quakers was one for the ages, as Penn knocked off Villanova 24-13 under the lights at Villanova Stadium. The game start was pushed back from Saturday night to Thursday due to the arrival of Pope Francis. It was the first time since 2005 that Villanova played a Thursday night home game. A lot of history was made as Penn defeated Nova for the first time since 1911, to put that in perspective Franklin Field, home of the Quakers, was only in its sixteenth year of existence. This win was quite memorable for head coach Ray Priore, not only was it his first victory with the Quakers, but his first against Nova and a ranked team. Talk about a first impression.

There was very little for Villanova to celebrate as the team looked flat throughout the entire game. After coming off a big win versus Delaware last week, where red shirt freshmen quarterback Zach Bednarczyk led the team to victory (after taking over for the injured starting QB John Robertson who went down with a PCL injury), the team could simply not put anything together. After the first half the Wildcats went three and out three times and coughed up the football, which eventually led to a Penn touch down. The Wildcats only owned possession of the ball for a little over twenty minutes, whereas Penn owned possession for just under forty.

The numbers certainly do not lie as Penn took advantage of just about every one of their drives. The Quakers converted multiple third downs and were assisted by the multiple penalties taken by Villanova on a couple of fourth downs. Penn’s wide receiver Justin Watson had quite the night as he recorded five receptions for 87 yards including two touchdowns. Quakers quarterback Alek Torgersen wound up completing 14 of 22 passes for 171 yards, including the two touchdown passes to Watson. That would be just about all the offense Penn would need. With just under six minutes to go in the game, the Wildcats found themselves close to narrowing Penn’s 17-7 margin as they drove all the way to Penn’s fifteen yard line. However as luck would have it, Villanova’s running back Javon White would cough up the football at Penn’s ten yard line, and linebacker Donald Panciello would return it for a ninety-three yard touchdown. That was the longest recorded fumble return against Villanova. As mentioned earlier, tons of history was made during this game and it will be one spoken about for many years to come.


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The Big 5, Two Weeks in

December 1st, 2014 by AmyMac | Comments Off on The Big 5, Two Weeks in | Filed in Basketball, College Sports, Sports
The NCAA basketball season is fully underway.

The NCAA basketball season is fully underway.

Here’s a look at what’s been going on with the basketball teams from Temple, LaSalle, Saint Joe’s, Penn, and Villanova.

1. Villanova’s Dylan Ennis and JayVaughn Pinkston have already led the 12th-ranked Wildcats to six wins. On Sunday, they breezed past Delaware in a 78-47 win (five Wildcats – Kris Jenkins, Darrun Hilliard, Daniel Ochefu, Dylan Ennis, and Phil Booth – recorded double figures). Not all of Nova’s games have been so simple, though; it took a late comeback last Tuesday to edge past Michigan, 60-55. Coach Jay Wright, who is understandably very happy with his team’s start this season, says, “We have a lot of work to do offensively, and we can do that.” With a tougher schedule approaching, Wright knows that his squad can’t rely on its outstanding defense alone – they’ve allowed an average 56.3 points per game. Luckily, he has a solid frontcourt that will only get better with practice. Villanova leads the Big East with a 6-0 record, and their next game is on Wednesday at 8:30 at LaSalle.

2. LaSalle will go into Wednesday’s game against Villanova with a 4-2 record. Not even Jarrell Wright’s 19 points could move the Explorers past Vanderbilt on Saturday, as LaSalle lost 68-55. While 4-2 is a decent start, coach John Giannini has some issues on his hands. His team is missing easy scoring opportunities by committing turnovers and missing free throws; forget about 3-pointers. Giannini is apparently channeling Andy Reid, and says, “We need to get better.”
To be fair, LaSalle’s other loss this season is to reigning ACC champs and 9th-ranked Virginia. Luckily, the rest of the A-10 conference is off to a similar start this season.

3. Temple’s Mark Williams led the Owls to a 76-67 victory over Penn last Tuesday night. Three others (Will Cummings, Quentin DeCosey, and Josh Brown) also had double-digit games. Granted, Penn is a terrible team; however, Temple succeeded in shaking off their losses to Duke and UNLV. The Owls entered Sunday’s game against LIU Brooklyn with a win against Penn under their belt, and thanks in large part to Quentin DeCosey’s three 3-pointers, the Owls took the game 70-56 in overtime. Starters Josh Brown and Will Cummings, along with DeCosey, have been putting up consistent numbers so far this season. Cummings, a senior, and DeCosey, a junior, are showing the leadership that coach Fran Dunphy needs. Temple absolutely has the ability to hold its own in the American conference this season, and hopefully surpass last year’s 9-22 record. The Owls play at Saint Joe’s on Wednesday at 6:30 pm.

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Saint Joe’s Hawks Begin Season 0-1

November 17th, 2014 by AmyMac | Comments Off on Saint Joe’s Hawks Begin Season 0-1 | Filed in Basketball, College Sports, General
Saint Joe's takes on Drexel tonight at 7:00 pm.

Saint Joe’s takes on Drexel tonight at 7:00 pm.

The Saint Joseph’s Hawks’ basketball team lost all three of their All-A-10 players from last season, leaving head coach Phil Martelli with an inexperienced group of guys and roster spots to fill.  Langston Galloway, Ronald Roberts, Jr., and Halil Kanacevic all logged a lot of minutes on the court, which played a role in earning an NCAA tournament bid last March.  It didn’t, however, allow some of the younger players to gain experience.

Returning for the Hawks this season is Deandre Bembrey, last season’s co-Rookie of the Year in the A-10 as a freshman.  He’s suddenly a leader of this Saint Joe’s team this season, but don’t expect the sophomore to crack under the pressure – he was good for 4 assists and 8 points Friday night against Fairleigh Dickinson.  Senior Chris Wilson, who averaged 9.1 points and 2.8 assists per game last season, also performed well Friday night, going 5/13 from the field. Isaiah Miles, a junior this year at SJU, is off to a great start – in Friday night’s game, Miles scored 12 of the Hawks’ 57 points and was good for 14 rebounds and 3 assists.  Joining Bembrey, Miles, and Wilson as returning players are 6’8” Javon Baumann, 6’3” Evan Maschmeyer, and 6’6” Brendan Casper for the Hawks’ bench.  Notably missing from the court is senior forward Papa Ndao, who is out for the season for an undisclosed medical reason. Martelli fully expects Ndao to be a presence at practice and at games, providing leadership where he can.

New to the Saint Joe’s roster are freshmen Shavar Newkirk, a 6’0” point guard from the Bronx, and 6’6” forward James Demery from North Carolina. Obi Romeo (6’10”) and Markell Lodge (6’7”) are also new forwards that add some options for the Hawks’ frontcourt.

Saint Joe’s had a successful season in 2013-2014, but this year could be a bumpy road for the Hawks.  While Martelli has a good deal of talent in front of him, it’s a lot of new talent – these newcomers will really need to step it up and follow the example of the few poised veterans on the team.  Unfortunately, in Friday night’s 58-57 game, Fairleigh Dickinson slipped past Saint Joe’s in the end. The Hawks play the Drexel Dragons tonight at 7:00 pm. You can purchase tickets at drexeltickets.universitytickets.com.

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Penn Basketball Preview

November 14th, 2014 by AmyMac | Comments Off on Penn Basketball Preview | Filed in Basketball, College Sports

penn

 

Even after dismal 2012 and 2013 seasons, the University of Pennsylvania basketball team will miss the likes of Fran Dougherty, Miles Jackson-Cartwright, Henry Brooks and Steve Rennard. The bright side is that this past offseason was an opportunity for head coach Jerome Allen to rebuild his Quakers team. (Additionally, at least Tony Bagtas is gone; you may remember that he was dismissed from Penn for having committed more than a dozen robberies.) Allen, one of Penn’s all-time greats, has been given the chance to begin his sixth coaching season with a very new team.

Darnell Foreman and Antonio Woods, both 6’1” freshman, will likely compete for a starting point guard position. Allen typically allows players time to prove themselves, and this should be a great motivational challenge for both to play their best. Foreman is local talent, and played for Pitman High School in New Jersey. Matt Howard, a 6’4” sophomore point guard, will also likely see some playing time. Tony Hicks, a 6’2” junior, will start as shooting guard, but he’ll need to get his turnovers in check.

The Quakers’ frontcourt doesn’t appear to be any more solid – yet – than the backcourt does. At center is Darien Nelson-Henry; you can’t miss the 6’11”, 265 pound junior. His play throughout freshman and sophomore years was consistent, and he averages 8.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Hopefully, his offseason hip surgery leaves him strong and healthy for the season. Likely to start as forward is Greg Louis, a 6’7” senior, whose adept rebounding and 3-pointer skills rely heavily on whether or not he can stay healthy. New to Penn’s team this season are three freshman forwards: Mike Auger (6’7”), Dan Dwyer (6’8”), and Sam Jones (6’7”). Especially with Auger’s rebounding and Jones’s ability to sink 3 pointers, we’ll see these rookie players log minutes throughout the season.

The Quakers’ bench will also include sophomore forward Dylan Jones, shooting guards Patrick Lucas-Perry, and point guards Camryn Crocker and Jamal Lewis. (You won’t confuse Jamal Lewis with forward Greg Louis, as Louis is 7” taller and 55 pounds heavier.) Crocker and Lucas-Perry, though veteran players, have a difficult time staying healthy. We should expect Coach Allen to utilize his younger players rather than have these two play a lot of minutes.

Jerome Allen could have a long season ahead of him, but one thing is for sure: he needs to find a point guard and establish a consistent starting squad. The Quakers won’t compete against an Ivy League school until they travel to Princeton in January, but their first game is this Saturday at 4:30 pm. Pennsylvania will host Delaware State at the Palestra; you can purchase tickets at pennathletics.com.

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LaSalle Basketball Preview

November 12th, 2014 by AmyMac | Comments Off on LaSalle Basketball Preview | Filed in Basketball, College Sports, General
The Explorers begin their 2014-2015 season this weekend.

The Explorers begin their 2014-2015 season this weekend.

 

LaSalle Explorers lost just four players to graduation from the 2013-2014 season, but head coach John Giannini’s team will surely look a lot different this year.  Losing guards Tyreek Duran, Sam Mills, Tyrone Garland and Taylor Dunn will not likely bring an end to LaSalle’s guard-dominant play, however.  Jordan Price and Cleon Roberts, both 6’5” redshirt sophomores, are ready to contribute to backcourt production.

Joining Price and Roberts as guard is 6’2” redshirt freshman Amar Stukes, who averaged nearly 20 points per game as a high school senior.  D.J. Peterson, a 6’6” senior, and Khalid Lewis, a 6’3” redshirt junior, are both in great positions to contribute to Giannini’s team with leadership.  Redshirt junior Rohan Brown, sophomore Hank Davis, and junior O.J. Lewis will likely not see much playing time, but having these three guards on the bench could very well prove to be beneficial this season.  Freshman Johnnie Shuler, at 5’11”, rounds out LaSalle’s guard roster this year.  Needless to say, filling the shoes of Duran, Mills, and Garland will be no easy task.

Senior forwards Jerrell Wright (6’8”) and Steve Zack (6’11”) are projected to be Giannini’s starters this season.  Freshman Yevgen Sakhniuk from Ukraine appears to be the only non-starting forward who hasn’t already redshirted a year – 6’10” Tony Washington, 6’9” Jermaine Davis, and 6’6” Rohan Brown have all taken sabbatical seasons.  They are now playing as a freshman, a sophomore, and a junior, respectively.

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Villanova Basketball Preview

November 11th, 2014 by AmyMac | Comments Off on Villanova Basketball Preview | Filed in Basketball, College Sports, General

Villanova's season begins this weekend.

Villanova’s season begins this weekend.

 

Jay Wright’s veteran Wildcats squad, heavily favored to win the Big East this season, returns to the court this Friday.  Villanova hasn’t won back-to-back conference titles since 1982 and 1983, but with four returning starters, anything less than a title would be a huge disappointment.

James Bell, last season’s top scorer as a senior, will certainly be missed this year. Josh Hart, a 6’5” sophomore, will likely be his replacement as a starting guard. Expect to see fellow guard Darrun Hilliard, a 6’6” senior, to lead this 2014 team; as one of the country’s best, he averaged 17.3 points per game last March. There’s no reason Hilliard shouldn’t win Big East Player of the Year this season. Junior guard Ryan Arcidiacono (you’ll remember that he had a breakout freshman year in 2012) didn’t bank as many points last season, but his shooting efficiency continues to improve.  Hopefully, we’ll still see his aggressiveness on the court.

Sophomore forwards Kris Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds, 6’6” and 6’8”, respectively, will add depth to Wright’s team, but 6’7” redshirt senior JayVaughn Pinkston will be the one to watch.  At 260 pounds, he’s hard to miss.  If Pinkston uses his dominant size to consistently impact games, he will undoubtedly be one of the best players in the Big East.  Center Daniel Ochefu, a 6’11” junior, will add his passing, blocking, and rebounding skills to the mix.

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