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Coaches’ Outlooks as 2032-2033 Season Nears:

Ramon Montez, Alcorn State Braves:  As an Independent in my first season with Alcorn State, we were 8-7 against Division I opponents which was good enough to get us promoted to Conference V.  Last year in the Braves first season in Conference V we won 9 and lost 7 in the conference which put us into a 5-way tie for 5th place.  Our season record was 14-14.  So we’re one game over .500 during my first 2 years at Alcorn State.  We’re picked to finish 6th in the conference this season, but I sure would like to finish in the top 4 so we could move up to a new conference.  Our strength is up front while our guards are not that strong this year.  SF Benjamin Delk and PF James Roberts ae the core for out team.  Delk started 95% of our games as a freshman and sophomore and is a solid player.  Roberts hasn’t started any for us but he’s come in off the bench to be very productive offensively so I expect he will be even better as a starter this season.  We’re going with Gabriel Atwood, a freshman, to start at C.  He has looked good in practice.  Guards Kyle Rose and Nick Gervin have been used sparingly in my first 2 years here, so they’re going to experience a lot of pressure this year.  I like SF Tony Fife as our 6th man.  Our pre-conference schedule is touch.  We start by taking on Gonzaga and then have a number of other strong teams to go up against.  But that should prepare us well for conference play.

Terry Morillo, Dixie State Trailblazers:  We improved from 4-11 in my first year here to 7-8 last season.  We need to improve further so we can be promoted from being an Independent to being in a Conference.  We’re very deep at guard positions.  Jerry McCutcheon has been our scoring leader both seasons at SG.  While we have some very solid natural PG’s, I plan to start Joel Knight, who considered himself a SG when he came to Dixie State, but has played mostly at PG the past two season, starting 2/3 of our games there.  We have 3 good size PG’s (6’4” to 6’5”) who will can come off the bench to play either the 1 or 2.  Chad Bain started a few games at SF as a freshman and played well, but then sustained an injury last season so played little.  At PF, Greg Linney has started every game during my 2 years here and is a good scorer and strong rebounder.  There’s competition to start at C.  At this point I against big-time programs: Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), and Arizona State and just 4 of our 15 Division I games so that’s another big negative on our winning enough to get promoted.

Ken Yamoto, Tarleton State Texans:  We’ve had two rough seasons, winning just 5 of our 30 games.  It’s tough building a basketball program in a small town in southwest Utah.  Time to turn things around and surprise people.   We have a better schedule this season with almost as many home games and away games.  PG Mark Jordan is probably our most talented player.  He started all games during his freshman and sophomore seasons the past 2 years.  Senior SG Simon Brown gets his chance to be a starter this year.  Mark Pryor has improved significantly every year.  This season he’ll start at SF.  Brett McCoy started last year at PF, played very well, so will be starting for us again this season.  C Tyson Chambers had a similar season to McCoy last year and will repeat as a starter this season.  We don’t have a lot of depth, so need to stay injury-free.

Mike McMillan, Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks:  I’m really excited about our team making it into Conference V after last season.  We improved from 6-9 the first year I was coaching here to 8-7 last season and hope to see further improvement this season.  Midway through preconference play this year we have 3 straight road games against the likes of Stanford, Iowa State, and Vanderbilt…no bed of roses for us.  The main thing is to get prepared to play well once conference play starts.  Roby Ford is a senior who played very well coming off the bench for me the past two seasons, but will be our starter at C this year and could very well be our team leader.  PF Pete Dennis had a limited role for us the first 2 years I was here, but I think while he likely won’t be a star, should be solid for us in a starting role.  We have 3 good point guards, but it looks to me like David Bradley, who was our starter last season, should prevail against the competition to start at PG.  At SG Chris Seals looks like he’s ready to go from a lightly-used sub to being our starter in his senior season for us.  And at SF we’ll have freshman standout Junior Sarchet starting. So who’s our best player coming off the bench?  I’d say C Mike House who played well for us last season.

Dontell Spencer, Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions:  Our strength this season should be from our big men.  PF Dexter Thorne started for the Golden Lions the first year I was head coach, then played a backup role last seasons but handled that well, and now is ready to move back into the starting lineup.  At C will be Imari McDonald who did a heckuva job for us starting for us last season.  David Brown and Marcus Huld look like they will share starting at SF.  Danny Logie, coming to us this year as a JC transfer where he played SF, will start at SG.  Logie has played extremely well during practice.  At PG, Milton Cox has been our starter the last 2 seasons and played extremely well so will be our court leader again this year.  I would like a deeper bench that we will have, but you gotta do with what you have.  We improved from a 6-10 record the first year I was coaching to 9-7 last year with a berth in the NIT last year.  I’m focused on getting us up into Conference V after this year.  We’re going to have to really play hard since we only have 4 home games while there are 11 away games.

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Season Results—Independent Teams

Two of the Independent Teams have coaches that aren’t part of the Five Musketeers.  Those teams are theAlabama A&M Bulldogs and the Presbyterian Blue Hens.  Alabama A&M won their last 3 games, but finished their Division I schedule with a lackluster 5-10 record.  After winning just 1 of their first 10 games, Presbyterian lost their final 5 games to complete their Division I season with a 6-9 record.

Here’s the records this season for Independent teams with coaches that are part of the Five Musketeers:

Dixie State Trailblazers: 4-11.  The Trailblazers sustained a 7-game losing streak that torpedoed their season.  They then won 2 of their last 3 games, but it was too late to avoid ending with the worst record of all 5 Independent teams.  Coach Terry Morillo said, “Playing 11 of our 15 games on the road was a recipe for disaster.  That ended up saddling us with 9 of our 11 losses.  But even though we only won 4 games, we nearly scored as much as our opponents.” (73.0 ppg for the Trailblazers versus 73.9 ppg for their opponents).  The team’s prestige dropped to 3.  Coach Morillo now possesses a 15-30 (.333) record over the course of his 3-year career.

Senior SG Jerry McCutcheon and junior SF Chad Bain led the team’s scoring in most all their games.  McCutcheon averaged 14.7 ppg and Bain scored 13.1 ppg (he also pulled down 4.4 rpg).  PF Gregg Linney (a senior who averaged 9.3 ppg and 6.5 rpg) and C Vincent O’Bannon (he averaged 9.3 ppg and 5.5 rpg) did well inside for Dixie State.  Junior PG Joel Knight scored 8.1 ppg while dishing out 4.4 apg.  The two primary subs were senior C DeWy Smith (6.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and senior PG Antonio Huss (3.4 ppg and 2.1 apg). 

Tarleton State Texans: 6-9.  The Texans had more wins this past season that they totaled in their first two years.  Coach Ken Yamoto’s coaching record is now 11-34 (.244).  Tarleton State was weak defensively giving up 77. ppg.  “We have a long way to go, but the guys improved a lot this year,” said Coach Yamoto. “Mark Pryor really stepped up to lead the team this year.  He’s a hard worker, going from Harley playing at all as a sophomore, to being our 6th man as a junior, and then leading the team in scoring in most all of our games this season.  I’ll sure hate to lose him, but fortunately Keith Brown looked real strong subbing for Mark.”

SF Mark Pryor averaged 15.3 ppg.  C Tyson Chambers averaged 9.3 ppg and PF  Brent McCoy hit for 9.1 ppg and together they averaged 10.4 rpg.  SG Simon Brown scored 8.2 ppg and had 3.1 apg.  All four of those starters were seniors.  The only starter returning is junior PG Mark Jordan (8.4 ppg and 4.7 apg).  There was a lack of depth inside for the Texans this season, but transfer C Elijah Acorn will become eligible this coming season.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions: 11-8.  By achieving the best record of all 5 Independent teams this year, the Golden Lions will be promoted to Conference V this coming season. 

Arkansas-Pine Bluff was selected as the 6th seed in the South Region of the NIT Tournament.  They played #3 seed Northern Arizona Lumberjacks from Conference R.  The Golden Lions fell behind by as much as 20 points in the first half and trailed at the break 46-29.  But Arkansas-Pine Bluff came out in the 2nd half as a completely different team.  They played lock-down defense and shot the lights out on offense.  They took the lead late in the half and with 2 minutes to go led by 5.  But they had to hang on to eke out a 76-74 upset victory.  PF Dexter Thorne scored 21 and had 7 rebounds.

The win put them into Round 2 against the Bradley Braves from Conference I who had upset Auburn in the first round.  Arkansas-Pine Bluff again fell behind in the first half.  After trailing by 9 they closed behind by 2 at 35-33.  As in their previous game, they slammed the door defensively in the 2nd half, holding the Braves to just 21 points to score a decisive 65-56 win. SG Danny Logie led the scoring with 18 points.

In the Regional final, the Golden Lions took on Conference H’s Drake Bulldogs.  The pattern continued as Drake moved out to a 36-27 halftime lead.  This time the Golden Lions unleashed a potent offense in the 2nd half, scoring 51 points.  They opened a 14 point lead but then had to hold off the Bulldogs in the late going to pull off their 3rd straight upset victory, 78-72.  SG Danny Logie scored 19 to lead their scoring.

The Semifinals had  Arkansas-Pine Bluff vying with the Nevada Las Vegas Runnin’ Rebels from Conference E while in the other Semifinal game North Carolina A&T against Duke.  In their game against UNLV, Arkansas-Pine Bluff hung with the Runnin’ Rebels in the first half, trailing by a scant 2 points at 44-42.  But UNLV had just too much talent, propelling past the Golden Lions in the 2nd half enroute to a 99-77 crushing.  Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s SG Danny Logie scored 18 in their losing effort.  UNLV went on to beat Duke for the Championship.

Coach Dontell Spencer ecstatically exclaimed, “What a team!  My guys really showed what they’re made of by running off 3 wins in the NIT and getting to the Semifinals!  During pre-conference play we exhibited similar effort, winning 8 games against much higher rated opponents.  But to score 3 comeback wins in the NIT was amazing.  That was great preparation for next season conference play.”

Coach Spencer now possesses a 26-25 (.510) record in his 3 years of college coaching.  SF Marcus Huld tore his Achilles tendon early in the season but should be recovered in time for the upcoming season.  The other 4 starters return next season as well.  SG Danny Logie scored 15.1 ppg, C Imari McDonald averaged 12.1 ppg and 6.1 rpg, PG Milton Cox scored 9.7 ppg plus had 5.5 apg, PF Dexter Thorne averaged 6.7 ppg and 4.4 rpg, and SF Marcus Huld was averaging 7.4 ppg before he was injured.

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Season Results—Conference V: 

Two of the 16 teams in Conference V are coached by Five Musketeers coaches:

Alcorn State finished 8th in the conference with an 8-8 conference record.  The Braves overall record was 14-16.  While it wasn’t a disastrous season, the Braves slipped a little this year even though they outscored their opponents 76.6 to 75.3 ppg.  This was the first time a team coached by Ramon Montez was below .500.  His 3 year record is now 36-37 (.493).  Alcorn State will remain in Conference V but their prestige dropped back down to 3.

Coach Montez said, “I was disappointed that we didn’t do better this year, but I’m very optimistic about how we’ll do next season.”  The Braves were led offensively by their two big men, Virgil Brown who averaged 12.7 ppg and James Roberts who scored 11.0 ppg (and averaged 6.3 rpg).  While Roberts and PG Kyle Rose (7.0 ppg and 4.6 apg) are graduating, 3 starters will return: Brown was a freshman as was SF Will Friel (9.6 ppg and 5.0 rpg) and junior SG Mike Gallagher (9.6 ppg). Additionally, 3 of the team’s top subs will be back: freshman C Gabriel Atwood (7.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg), junior SF Benjamin Delk (4.3 ppg), and sophomore PG Dana Turner (3.5 ppg and 2.7 apg).

Maryland-Eastern Shore had a 7-9 conference record to tie for 9th place in the conference.  The Hawks season record was 12-17.  Coach Mike Mc Millan said, “We had a good start winning 3 of our first 4 games, but then we had 3 straight road games against top-flight teams (Stanford, Iowa State, and Vanderbilt) and lost all 3.  Then early in conference play we lost 6 of 7 games which put us down toward the bottom of the standings.  We gradually improved though and were playing pretty well in the last part of the season.”  17 losses dropped the team’s prestige to 4.  Coach McMillan’s collegiate coaching record is now 26-33 (.441) in his first 3 years.

Four of Hawks’ starters are graduating and only 5 scholarship players will return, so next season could be a challenge to prevent relegation back to Independent status.  Leading the team this year were C Roby Ford (13.0 ppg and 6.2 rpg), SF Junior Sarchet (12.2 ppg and 3.7 rpg), and SG Chris Seals (11.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, and 3.4 apg).  Only Sarchet (who was a freshman this year) returns.

In the Conference V Tournament, Alcorn State and Maryland-Eastern Shore were matched up against each other for the right to play the 1st seed Kennesaw State Owls.

Conference V Tournament:

Alcorn State-85, Maryland-Eastern Shore-72: The game swayed back and forth for the first 5 minutes but then Alcorn State took control and by the end of the first half, the Braves led 43-29.  With the Hawks shooting poorly, the Braves began pulling further away to open a 20-point lead.  Maryland-Eastern Shore cut into the lead a little, but Alcorn State prevailed to move on in the tournament.  The Braves were led by PG Kyle Rose’s 23 points.  Rose hit 5 of 9 three-point shots.  The top scorer for the Hawks was SF Junior Sarchet who pumped in 19 points.

Kennesaw State-79, Alcorn State-78: Even though Kennesaw State led at one point by 11 points and Alcorn State’s biggest lead was 9 points, the game was close most all the way with 20 lead changes and 12 ties.  At the end of the first half Kennesaw State led 34-33.  In the second half Alcorn State scored 34 points to Kennesaw State’s 33 points.  With the game tied at 67-67, the teams went at each other in OT with the Owls clawing out a single point victory over the Braves.  Alcorn State C James Roberts had 14 points and 10 rebounds plus 4 assists, a steal, and 2 blocks.

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Tournament Champions:

CIT: Furman

CBI: Rutgers


NCAA: Nebraska

The Nebraska Cornhuskers have been in Conference E all 3 seasons. So there were 64 teams in more prestigious conferences A-D. They finished in the middle of the conference the first two seasons and lost in the first and second rounds of the NIT in those years.

This season the Cornhuskers finished tied for 3rd place in Conference E with a 10-6 conference record and a 17-10 season record. They were unranked. They got knocked out of the Conference E tournament in the first round. They then had to win a play-in game to get into the Round of 64 for the NCAA Tournament as a 12th seed. The team then went on to roll off 6 straight victories including a 7 point win over #1 ranked, #1 seed Arizona in the semi-finals and they beat #14 ranked Kentucky in a thrilling 71-69 championship game.

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The five coaches had their annual get-together after the season concluded.  But unlike previous years, this time 3 of the coaches held a sort of “Coaches Anonymous” meeting for the other two coaches.  Mike McMillan, Dontell Spencer and Ramon Montez, all of whom now were in Conference V, laid it out plain and simple for Ken Yamoto and Terry Morillo whose teams were still mired in the muck known as being an Independent. 

In summary their remarks were: You can continue to wallow in the bottom five. You may be able to extricate yourselves. But its apparent that recruiting for your two schools is next to impossible.  You both have endured three straight years of butting your heads against a recruiting blank wall.  Both of you are too good of coaches to continue to fight against the odds that are being stacked against you by being saddled with a bunch of untalented walk-ons and few scholarship players.  It’s time for the two of you to come to the realization that you need to make a drastic change.  There are coaching jobs that are available.  Even though your teams’ records aren’t good, you both have 3 years of college coaching experience that will make administrators at some of those colleges interested.  Apply for those jobs and get to a place where you have a chance of realizing success.  Now’s the time to go for it.  You’ve got nothing to lose.

Head Coach Job Changes

Ken Yamoto and Terry Morillo talked together after the “Coaches Anonymous” meeting.  They both were concerned about leaving their present jobs since they hadn’t been successful in developing their programs.  But they generally agreed with their 3 compatriots had said.  To make a long story short…they both decided to see if they could land a job at new schools. There definitely were jobs out there once they began checking into it.  The hiring process wasn’t quick and easy, but both landed new jobs:

Ken Yamoto was hired as the new head coach for the UC-San Diego Tritons.  He was selected for the job over other applicants because of Ken’s high academic standards which fit in well with UC-San Diego’s reputation.  The Tritons have a 34-51 record over the past 3 seasons.

Terry Morillo opted to look for a job at a college with much lower academic standards which would make it possible to go after a wider array of recruits.  He was hired to be the coach for the SIU Edwardsville Cougars.  The SAT minimum for SIU-Edwardsville is 880 as opposed to 980 at UC-San Diego.  The Leathernecks record over the past 3 seasons is 41-45 but the team’s record each of the past two seasons has been below .500.

Both of these colleges are members of Conference V and finished last season in the middle of the conference standings.

[The 4-week break between the previous post and this post wasn't planned. But when I decided that it was time for a coaching job change, I found that the human-controlled coaches in Universe Mode could not get hired. Reported it to Gary and he figured out a fix. I then had to wait for him to complete some other fixes that he incorporated into the Version 9.5 update that was released yesterday.]

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Assistant Coach Hiring:

Alcorn State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and MD-Eastern Shore each hired several new assistant coaches.


Alcorn State, Ramon Montez: Filled all 4 available scholarships…2 PG’s and 2 C’s.

SIU-Edwardsville, Terry Morillo: Filled 3 scholarship openings…PG, SF, and PF.  Was unable to fill 2 other available scholarships.

UC-San Diego, Ken Yamoto: Fill both available scholarships…a SG and a C.

MD-Eastern Shore, Mike McMillan: Filled 4 scholarship openings…a PG, SF, PF and C, but failed to fill 4 more available scholarships.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Dontell Spencer: Filled 3 scholarships…a SG and 2 C’s…3 more scholarships were not filled.

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The NCAA has found that Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s school administration was delinquent in their record-keeping for the basketball team. The penalty for this infraction that was levied by the NCAA was to rescind the promotion of the team to Conference V. The team will thus remain as an Independent in the coming season.

“This is a travesty!” exclaimed Coach Dontell Spencer. “Our guys played their hearts out and had a great season and then showed how much determination they had by getting to the semi-finals of the NIT Tournament as well. It’s a real disappointment to everyone associated with the team that such drastic action was taken for mothing more than clerical errors. I'm incensed!”

Coach Ken Yamoto: “All of us 4 other coaches have been in touch with Dontell. He said his team was crushed by the news. We’re all astonished by the severity of the penalty. We’d all looked forward to competing head-to-head amongst all 5 coaches in Conference V this season.”

Edited by PointGuard

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Uprising and Reinstatement

All hell broke out after the NCAA penalized Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

First the university immediately appealed the action to the NCAA. Next a class action suit was threatened to be filed by a large group of fans of the Golden Lions who alleged the NCAA’s precipitous and disproportionate action had degraded the value of their season tickets. Then the entire congressional contingent from Arkansas (along with other members of congress who had been upset by how the NCAA had mishandled the scandal from a few years ago that had eventually led to the conference reorganization) said they intended to conduct hearings to consider action about might be taken about the status of the NCAA.

But most significantly, a very well-to-do citizen of the state of Arkansas hired private investigators who began combing through records related to Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The detailed investigation revealed that there was a well-hidden record of reports submitted by Arkansas-Pine Bluff and that some of those reports were now missing from the NCAA’s files. It also found that one of the key NCAA staff members handling those records was an alumni of Presbyterian University, which was the school that got promoted in place of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

As pressure mounted on the NCAA, they reversed their action and again promoted the Golden Lions into Conference V. The NCAA staffer who was a Presbyterian alum was also fired.

[Note of Explanation: Here’s what really happened. After beginning the 2033-34 season and completing the transfer season, I looked more closely at Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s dashboard screen and to my surprise noticed that they were still listed as an “Independent” rather than being in “Conference V” as they should have been since they had the best record of the 5 Independent teams last season. NJIT which had the worst record in Conference V had properly been relegated, but Presbyterian which had the 2nd best record amongst the Independents had been promoted rather than the Golden Lions which not only had the best record but had also gone to the semi-finals in the NIT tournament. But…my game was past May 1 (at which point I could have within the Commissioner page manually adjusted this error). So after a number of choice expletives (since I had really wanted to have all 5 coaches competing in Conference V this season), I created the NCAA’s penalty action report and posted it here a few days ago.

But a day after posting that, I recalled that I had a separate save of the game from just before the end of the 2032-2033 season. I decided to run that save, make the manual correction for promotion of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on the May 1st date within the game and then run through the transfer season again. That necessitated this “Uprising and Reinstatement” post. A definite pain in the butt, but the planets were realigned in my Universe Association.

So…now back to our regularly scheduled posting.]

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2033-2034 Season

It’s May, 2033 and time for the next season to begin. One of the first steps for our coaches was to take take a look at their rosters to see if they would be pursuing transfer players and look ahead to steps they will be taking related to going after high school and JC recruits in the coming season.

Roster and Recruiting Planning:

Ramon Montez @ Alcorn State: Our roster is full so we’ll be inactive during the transfer period. But with 4 of our players being seniors and graduating following the completion of this season, we’ll actively recruit. We’re going to purchase the basic Southeast regional report and attend the Memphis Hoop Summit camp.

Terry Morillo @ Western Illinois: I’m satisfied by the recruiting budget here. We have one vacant scholarship that we’ll try to fill by signing a transfer player. During the upcoming year, we have 3 scholarships to fill due to graduations. To aid in this we’ll purchase the basic Midwest scouting report and attend the Chicago Prep Revue camp.

Ken Yamoto @ UC-San Diego Tritons: We have a full roster so won’t be going after any transfer players. And we only have one senior who will graduating at the end of this season. So since the recruiting budget here is much higher than at Tarleton State, we will buy the Premium (Gold) edition of the West Scouting Report and attend the Las Vegas Revue and the Georgia Superstar national camps.

Mike McMillan @ MD-Eastern Shore: Two of the players on this year’s squad are seniors. Since we didn’t fill all our scholarships last year, we’ll be a player in the transfer season. We can sign up to 4 transfer players. Whatever we do less than that will just add to the number of recruits we will be going after this season. I’d like to buy the regional scouting report and attend the Big Apple camp, but we’ll save our limited budget to go all out in the transfer season and to maximize our recruiting activities.

Dontell Spencer @ Arkansas-Pine Bluff: We have 4 scholarships that are unfilled so will see if we can land any transfer players. On top of that we have 5 seniors on the team who will be graduating. Landing 5 recruits this coming season will be tough. Making matters worse is that our budget is rather limited when we have so many scholarships to fill so we can’t afford to buy any scouting reports or attend any camps. It would be great if there is a bumper crop of in-state recruits this year. We will need to strictly control our expenditures and be very focused in our recruiting efforts…and lucky as well.

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3 of the 5 coaches have unfilled scholarships and went after transfer players to attempt to fill those vacancies on their rosters and reduce the number of recruits they will have to pursue this coming season.

Terry Morillo @ Western Illinois: We landed 6’7” C Jamar Curtis who started every game for Kent State the two years he was there.  Last season he scored 13.7 ppg and pulled down 6.2 rpg.  We’re very pleased, expecting him to come up big for us after he sits out this season.

Mike McMillan @ MD-Eastern Shore: We signed 4 transfer players: (a) PG Ewald Leitenberger is a 6’2” sophomore PG from Germany who transferred from Lehigh where he played little as a freshman but has a very good work ethic so will benefit from the year he has to sit out but can practice with our team; (b) 6’4” sophomore SG Edouard Gaultier who is from France and transferred from Mississippi Valley where he played little as a freshman.  He likes to put up shots and also is a very strong defender; (c) 6’8” PF Dwayne Bullitt who as a freshman last season started every game for Belmont and averaged 7.1 ppg and 5.2 rpg; and (d) C Romolo Pantini who is a 6’8” center from Italy and who started every game the two years he was at Tennessee Tech.  Last season he averaged 13.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg.  These four players will give our program a big boost a year from now.

Dontell Spencer @ Arkansas-Pine Bluff: We picked up 4 transfer players: (a) 6’0” sophomore PG Antony Gunn who was a starter his entire freshman season at NJIT where he averaged 13.1 ppg; (b) SG Kwame Mickens is a 6’0” junior who transferred from North Florida where he started all games both seasons, averaged 17.9 ppg as a freshman and 21.2 ppg as a sophomore, was the Conference S freshman of the year and 2nd Team All-Conference in his first year and 1st Team All-Conference last season, and has strong skills across the board; (c) SF Henry White, a 6’5” sophomore who came off the bench as a freshman at Southern Illinois, scoring 6.9 ppg while playing 13.3 mpg; and (d) PF Antonio Gailey, a 6’7” center who transferred from William & Mary where he started every game as a freshman and averaged 8.8 ppg and 5.8 rpg.  The transfer activity cost us more than we would have liked and left our budget for recruiting even smaller.

Ramon Montez, Alcorn State: I was very interested to see how the transfer season would go for Dontell, Mike, and Terry.  I must say that I think all 3 of them did a great job.  They each picked up players who will step in and give them a nice boost when they become eligible a year from now.  I must say, I’m envious.  And they all filled holes in their roster that will develop following this season.  While it means that their teams will be more challenging opponents for us, I was happy that each of my friends was so successful.

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Recruiting Goals:

Ramon Montez, Alcorn State: If possible I want to sign 2 SF’s and a SG.  We would then have one more scholarship to fill and it can be the best available, SG, SF or big man.

Terry Morillo, Western Illinois: 3 scholarships available…prefer to get a PG, a SG, and an interior player.

Ken Yamoto, UC-San Diego Tritons: Just one scholarship this year to fill.  Want to go after a very strong recruit, preferably a PG or a SG who can also play PG.  For the first time in my collegiate coaching career, I have the budget to do decent recruiting.

Mike McMillan, MD-Eastern Shore: We have just 2 scholarships available.  We need a good interior player and then either a SF or the best available recruit we can land.

Dontell Spencer, Arkansas-Pine Bluff: We have 5 scholarships to fill and would like to land 3 big men, a PG and a SF.  Our biggest impediment is that our budget is much too limited when we have so many recruits to land.  We just have to do everything we can to limit our expenditures and identify some likely candidates as quickly as we can and really concentrate on them.  In-state recruits definitely have to be in the picture for us this year.

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Who’s UP, Who’s DOWN?

As the result of last season’s results here’s which teams were promoted and relegated:

Promoted from Conf B to Conf A:  West Virginia, Arkansas, Seton Hall, Clemson

Relegated from Conf A to Conf B: North Carolina, Duke, Gonzaga, Texas

Promoted from Conf C to Conf B: Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Kansas State, Michigan

Relegated from Conf B to Conf C : Connecticut, Kansas, North Carolina State, Florida State

Promoted from Conf D to Conf C : Temple, Iowa State, Utah, Georgetown

Relegated from Conf C to Conf D : Oregon, Louisiana State, Iowa, Virginia Commonwealth

Promoted from Conf E to Conf D  St. Bonaventure, Boise State, Missouri, Nebraska

Relegated from Conf D to Conf E: Southern Methodist, Indiana, Belmont, Houston

Promoted from Conf F to Conf E: Auburn, Vermont, Dayton, Colorado State

Relegated from Conf E to Conf F: Stanford, Colorado, Saint Louis, Mississippi

Promoted from Conf G to Conf F: Rutgers, George Mason, Northwestern, Yale

Relegated from Conf F to Conf G: Southern California, South Carolina, DePaul, St. Johns

Promoted from Conf H to Conf G: Illinois State, Wright State, Western Kentucky, Toledo

Relegated from Conf G to Conf H: Akron, Fresno State, Nevada, East Tennessee State

Promoted from Conf I to Conf H: Wyoming, Harvard, LaSalle, Western Michigan

Relegated from Conf H to Conf I: Saint Josephs, Duquesne, George Washington, Northern Iowa

Promoted from Conf J to Conf I: Milwaukee, Green Bay, Hofstra, Bowling Green

Relegated from Conf I to Conf J: San Francisco, Miami (OH), Santa Clara, Texas Christian

Promoted from Conf K to Conf J: Marshall, Pennsylvania, Loyola Marymount, Furman

Relegated from Conf J to Conf K: Charlotte, Valparaiso, Northeastern, Montana

Promoted from Conf L to Conf K: Detroit Mercy, Lehigh, Wofford, Rider

Relegated from Conf K to Conf L: Bucknell, Southern Illinois, Cleveland, Iona

Promoted from Conf M to Conf L: Chattanooga, Portland State, Stony  Brook, Long Beach State

Relegated from Conf L to Conf M: Fairfield, Mercer, Oakland, Rice

Promoted from Conf N to Conf M: Towson, Morehead State, MD-Baltimore County, Colgate

Relegated from Conf M to Conf N: Austin Peay, Georgia Southern, East Carolina, Siena

Promoted from Conf O to Conf N: Florida Gulf Coast, Albany, Southern Utah, Cal State Fullerton

Relegated from Conf N to Conf O: San Diego, NC-Wilmington, Cal State Bakersfield, Manhattan

Promoted from Conf P to Conf O: Marist, Niagara, Florida International, Portland

Relegated from Conf O to Conf P: Brown, Delaware, Lipscomb, Eastern Kentucky

Promoted from Conf Q to Conf P: Jacksonville State, Cornell, Cal Poly, Idaho

Relegated from Conf P to Conf Q: Northern Kentucky, Fordham, Texas State, Monmouth

Promoted from Conf R to Conf Q: SE Louisiana, Long Island, Norfolk State, Mount Saint Marys

Relegated from Conf Q to Conf R: New Orleans, Quinnipiac, Western Carolina, Purdue Fort Wayne

Promoted from Conf S to Conf R: Kansas City, Stetson, Sacramento State, Navy

Relegated from Conf R to Conf S: Cal St. Northridge, Lafayette, Montana State, Texas-Rio Grande

Promoted from Conf T to Conf S: North Carolina A&T, Grambling, South Carolina Upstate, Campbell

Relegated from Conf S to Conf T: Charleston Southern, UC Davis, North Florida, Southern

Promoted from Conf U to Conf T: Massachusetts-Lowell, South Carolina State, Bethune Cookman, Incarnate Word

Relegated from Conf T to Conf U: Central Connecticut, Dartmouth, Omaha, Eastern Illinois

Promoted from Conf V to Conf U: Kennesaw State, Chicago State, Houston Baptist, Harvard

Relegated from Conf U to Conf V: Seattle, Maine, Coppin State, NC-Central

Promoted from Independent to Conf V: Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Relegated from Conf V to Independent: NJIT

Edited by PointGuard

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Phone conversation between Terry Morillo and Mike McMillan:

Mike: How’s things going with your new job?

Terry:  I like it here at Western Illinois.  Even though it’s not a basketball powerhouse, it really feels like a step up from Dixie State. 

Mike:  I’m glad to hear that.  I felt like Dixie State was sort of a dead end street for you.  for Western Illinois should give you a lot more opportunity.

Terry:  Well, at least there’s a little more money for recruiting.

Mike: Hey, don’t talk to me about a lack of a decent recruiting budget.  The administration at Maryland-Eastern Shore seems to feel that all it takes is a few phone calls to get any recruit.  I’m having to limit almost all my efforts to in-state to keep my costs down.

Terry:  Yeah, recruiting is a huge investment in both money and time.  I’d really like to be doing more coaching and less recruiting.  When we were coaching high school ball, the guys just automatically came to us from the junior high schools and it was just

Mike: I agree that it’s laborious.  I thought I’d be better at it than I have been.  I’m hoping that the more bumps and bruises we get from it the better we will eventually get at doing it.  I’m tired of getting so many “no’s”. 

Terry: I hear ya, man.  Even with more money to spend, I’ve not been doing well so far this summer.  Maybe some of these guys we’ve been trying to entice will eventually just have pity on me and decide to become Leathernecks.

Mike:  If some of the guys you’re going after decide that they want to come further east, let me know and I’ll go after them.  I need all the help I can get. 

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NOTE from PointGuard:

I have to admit to my biggest DDSCB screw up (there have been many, but this has been my dumbest, I think):

I started this association with the intent to SIM all the recruiting.  So the AI would do all the recruiting for all 5 coaches' programs.  When after the first 3 seasons I was upset that the AI had not been filling all the available scholarships for some of my 5 coaches' programs, I made a fateful decision to DO THE RECRUITING FOR ALL FIVE PROGRAMS MYSELF.  Bad freakin' decision!  While it's certainly possible to do this, it is horribly time consuming to go in every week, check to see what the focus was for each program and then do all the recruiting actions for FIVE teams.

So I got to August 7th and my frustration peaked.   To switch back to letting the AI recruit at this point in the recruiting season would mess up the recruiting for these teams even more than what had happened the previous 3 seasons.  So I took the easy way out, punted, and shelved this association for the past 7 months.

Today I decided that I needed to man up and muscle my way through doing the recruiting for the 5 teams through each week in August, September and October.  Plod, plod, plod.  Then after the primary recruiting period is over, I will shift the recruiting for the rest of this season and any forthcoming seasons to the AI and let it sim merrily along....and let the recruiting chips fall where they may (even if I don't like them). 

To be honest, at this point (Aug 7 in my association) I'm not impressed by my personal success thus far in getting recruits interested in these 5 low prestige colleges, so I probably should have just left things as they initially were with the AI handling all the recruiting, but let’s see how it pans out.


Edited by PointGuard

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 PointGuard NOTE: 

OK, I burned the way, way, way-past-midnight oil to get beyond my self-created SNAFU and completed the summer/autumn recruiting.  I’m going to break up the results into 3 separate posts, one post would just be too long and more than anyone really wants to go through.

Warning on the side of the DDSCB2021 Box: Doing the recruiting on your own for a whole bunch of teams in a Universe Mode association is NOT for the faint of heart.  If you have a family and/or a job and/or a life, it’s ill-advised.

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Dipak Suresh (part 1 of 3)

I'm kind of a basketball junkie.  I played high school basketball...well I played, but not exactly played well.  I was on the Freshman team, then the JV team and finally made the varsity team as a bench warmer mostly.  But my love for the game remains.

I went to graduate school with Ramon Montez and Mike McMillan and the three of us were (and still are) very good friends.  Lots of good times together.  When the two of them became head coaches of Division I teams I was ecstatic.  I later learned that they forged a little “new coaches club” together with Ken Yamoto, Dontell Spencer and Terry Morillo.  The more I found out about that from Ramon and Mike, the more interested I became in keeping track of the five with the aim of eventually writing a best-selling book that will chronicle their development and coaching careers.  I finally was able to contact all five to let them know what I wanted to do.  It took a while to gain all their trust, but now I’m able to talk with each of them and they’ve been very open with what they’re doing and experiencing.

This past summer I’ve touched base with each of the five coaches to find out about their recruiting efforts.  A common concern of all of them at one point or another was that even though some recruits were showing initial interest, they were having an extremely tough time building the level of interest to the point where the coaches thought they had a chance to get any of the recruits they were pursuing to commit to their schools.

It’s now early September.  The “contact” period of recruiting is just around the corner…four weeks when the coaches can do home visits to recruits.  This is the time when the coaches can talk face-to-face with key recruits and their parents with the goal of “making the sale” on themselves, their basketball programs, and their universities.  The coaches can they extend scholarship offers to those recruits they want and feel they have a chance of getting verbal commitments from.

Here’s the “inside info” that I’ve gathered from the coaches on the types of recruits they are zeroing in on…they wouldn’t divulge names of the recruits, just some generalities on who they will be visiting the first week:

Coach Ramon Montez, Alcorn State: With 4 scholarships to offer, his primary focus is upon SF’s and SG’s.  The first week he’s visiting 4 recruits, the first 3 are from MS and the 4th is from FL…the first is a SF who was in the top 25 at the Memphis Hoop Summit but whose work ethic is a little suspect; the second is a SF who is not highly rated but is a hard worker and really likes Alcorn St.; the third is another SF who is a good shooter and passer but whose interest level in Alcorn St. hasn’t been particularly strong since he wasn’t impressed with the school’s facilities, so he’s a long-shot; the fourth is a SG who also is probably a long-shot but is a great outside shooter and very good passer and ball handler.

Coach Terry Morillo, Western Illinois: Has 3 scholarships and would like to fill them with a PG, SG and a big man.  The four he’s visiting are: a C from Illinois who is great defensively and a good inside scorer but wants good facilities which Western Illinois doesn’t have; a SG from Illinois who’s a great outside shooter and a pretty good defender but who wants good facilities and discipline which aren’t strengths for Terry but he’ll focus on location; an athletic PG from Indiana who is a strong passer and ball handler with a good outside shot; a C from Illinois who is a good defender and scorer.

Coach Ken Yamoto, UC-San Diego: Has just one scholarship to offer and wants a PG.  He’s visiting: a SG from Alaska with good passing and ball handling skills who’s scores well from outside and is a strong rebounder; a PG from CA who’s a good scorer, defender, and rebounder and is a hard worker; another PG from CA who is an exceptionally hard worker with a nice outside shot and good passing and ball handling skills; a PG from AZ who is an excellent passer, good ball handler, very good defender, and is a good scorer from outside.

Coach Mike McMillan, MD-Eastern Shore: 2 scholarships and prefers to get a SF and a big man.  He will be visiting: a C from Maryland who is a good rebounder and shot blocker with good inside shooting skills; a SF from Maryland who shoots well from outside and is a good rebounder and passer with a great work ethic; a JC C from Virginia who’s a hard worker and good scorer from inside and strong defensively; a JC C from Pennsylvania with good shooting skills from both inside and outside who is a strong rebounder and shot blocker.

Coach Dontell Spencer, Arkansas-Pine Bluff: Has 5 scholarships to fill and wants 3 big men, a SF and a PG.  He’s visiting 4 recruits from Arkansas: an athletic PG with good passing and ball handling skills who is also a good outside scorer; a SF who is a great leader and is a good scorer with an outstanding outside shot and has strong defensive skills; a C who’s a very good inside scorer but also can hit from outside; a C with excellent defensive skills and strong inside scoring abilities.

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Dipak Suresh (part 2 of 3)

2nd Week:

Alcorn State: Got verbal from 6’8” SF Garrick Grace and has another SF who seems close.  Returning to visit one of the SF and the SG plus visiting two different SF’s.

Western Illinois: Got verbal from 6’8” C Craig Grant and returning to the other 2 C’s previously visited.  Also visiting another SG and PG.

UC-San Diego: Decided to drop the SG who was visited the first week due to concerns about his grades and potential for meeting the school’s high SAT standards.  Revisting a PG plus visiting 3 different PG’s.

MD-Eastern Shore: Revisited the same four recruits.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff: Got verbals from 6’4” SF Dan Jefferson and 6’1” JC PG Darrin Randolph. Revisiting a C visited last week plus a new SF, C, and PF.

3rd Week:

Alcorn State: Got verbals from 6’2” SG Craig Brown and 6’8” SF Harold Hein.  Revisited a SF and visited 2 new SF’s and a SG.

Western Illinois: Revisted PG and SG plus a new PF and C.

UC-San Diego: Received Verbal from 6’5” PG Kevin White.  No other scholarships to offer.

MD-Eastern Shore: Revisited PF and C plus new PF and SF.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff: Revisited 2 C’s and a new SF.

4th Week:

Alcorn State: Revisited 2 SF’s and SG plus a new C.

Western Illinois: Revisited the same 4.

UC-San Diego: No more scholarships to offer.

MD-Eastern Shore: Revisted 2 SF’s and C plus a new SF.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff: Got verbals from 6’7” C Travis Vines and 6’9” C Chris Betts.  Revisited SF.]

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Dipak Suresh (part 3 of 3)

October 16th:

Each of the five coaches have filled all their scholarships and have completed recruiting unless any of the recruits have SAT scores that do not meet their school’s minimum.  They all seem to be relative satisfied with the recruits who have committed and feel that these recruits will fill upcoming needs for their teams.

Alcorn State:  All 4 scholarships filled.

*SG Craig Brown, JC Soph from Pensacola, FL.  Rated #873. Strengths: Outside shooting, Passing, Ball handling.

*SF Harold Hein, HS Sr from Collinsville, MS. Rated #371.  Strengths: Inside shooting, Stealing, Passing, Athleticism. Top 25 at Memphis Hoops Summit.

*SF David Pryce, HS Sr from Shannon, MS. Rated #471. Strengths: Defense, Scoring, Outside and Inside Shooting, Athleticism.

*SF Darrick Grace, HS Sr from Bruce, MS.  Rated #1338.  Strengths: Outside and inside shooting, Ball handling, Hard worker.

Western Illinois: All 3 available scholarships filled. 

*C Craig Grant, HS Sr from Concord, IL. Rated #695. Strengths: Inside shooting, Defense, Scoring.

*SG Mike Noyola, HS Sr from Glen Ellyn, IL. Rated #562. Strengths: Outside shooting, Scoring, Defense.

*C William Byams, HS Sr from Chicago, IL. Rated #387. Strengths: Inside shooting, Rebounding, Passing, Scoring.

UC-San Diego: Filled the single available scholarship. 

*PG Kevin White, HS Sr from Scottsdale, AZ. Rated #446.  Strengths: Outside shooting, Passing, Defense, Ball handling.

MD-Eastern Shore: Filled all 2 scholarships

*SF Jair Jupiter, HS Sr from Washington, MD. Rated # 470.  Strengths: Outside Shooting, Passing, Rebounding, Stealing. Tremendous work ethic.

*SF Frank Reed, JC Soph from Naples, ME. Rated #611.  Strengths: Outside shooting, Passing, Rebounding.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff: All 5 scholarships filled.

*PG Darrin Randolph, JC Soph from Lake Village, AR. Rated #1482.  Strengths: Athleticism, Outside shooting, Passing, Ball Handing. Tremendous work ethic.

*SF Dan Jefferson, HS Sr from Mansfield, AR. Rated #370. Strengths: Outside and inside shooting, Scoring, Defense, Athleticism.  Great leader.

*C Travis Vines, HS Sr from Greenbrier, AR. Rated #1752. Strengths: Inside and outside shooting, Defense, Scoring.

*C Chris Betts, HS Sr from Mountain Pine, AR. Rated #945. Strengths: Inside and outside shooting, Scoring, Defense.

*SF Jamar Brown, JC Soph from West Palm Beach, FL. Rated #632. Strengths: Outside shooting, Passing, Rebounding, Athleticism.


PointGuard NOTE: 

Hah!  No extra walk-ons for the 5 coaches this time!  All scholarships have been filled.

But now the association has been returned to the AI to sim for remainder of this association and the future.

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Dipak Suresh

The 2033-2034 season is about to begin.  Here’s my notes based upon my review of the rosters of the 5 teams and my phone conversations with each coach about their team for this season:

Alcorn State Braves, Conf V, Coach Ramon Montez

Previous season records of the coach: 8-7 (Independent, 1st-tie); 14-14 (Conf V, 5th-tie); 14-16 (Conf V, 8th)

My good friend and head coach Ramon Montez hopes to improve on his past two 14-win seasons.  The Braves look pretty solid at the 3, 4 and 5 positions with talented players and great depth at those positions. But the team is weak at the guard positions, with the possible exception freshman Todd Young at PG.  Ramon said he’s been pleasantly surprised by how Young has performed during the autumn practice period, particularly because he was only ranked #1735 as a recruit.

Anticipated starters: PG Todd Young(6-0, Fr), SG Mike Gallagher(6-0, Sr), SF Virgil Brown(6-6, So), PF Will Friel (6-6, So), C Gabriel Wood (6-8, So)

Western Illinois Leathernecks, Conf V, Coach Terry Morillo

Previous season records of the coach: 4-11, Dixie St. (Independent, 4th); 7-8, Dixie St. (Independent, 2nd);  4-11, Dixie St. (Independent, 5th).

Last Season Western Illinois had a 17-13 record and was tied for 4th in Conf V.

Coach Morillo has said he’s extremely happy to have been hired as the new coach for the Leathernecks. His recruiting success this year is in stark contrast to the difficulties he encountered while coaching at Dixie State.  SF Roy Hampton is expected to carry the team this season.  But the Leathernecks have two good C’s as well. The other three positions appear to be rather average, although Morillo says he won’t be surprised if any of the three starters at those positions is surprisingly better than expected.

Anticipated starters: PG Earl Cue (6-0, Sr), SG Duany Vaughn (6-2, Jr), SF Roy Hampton (6-3, Jr), PF Guillermo Cabrera (6-11, Jr), C Jamaal Adams (6-10, Jr)

UC-San Diego Tritons, Conf V, Coach Ken Yamoto

Previous season records of the coach: 3-12, Tarleton St. (Independent, 5th); 2-13, Tarleton St. (Independent, 5th); 6-9 Tarleton St. (Independent, 2nd-tie). 

Last Season UC-San Diego had a 14-14 record and was tied for 4th in Conf V.

The Tritons have only one true PG on their roster and he’s not ready to be a starter.  Brian Thomas came to the Tritons as a SF and subbed at the “3” last season, so there’s a lot of uncertainty as to how well he will handle the Point this season.  Donte Madison needs to shoot better than he has the past 2 years…if not it may be wise for Coach Yamoto to try him at PG and move Thomas to SG.  “I was really pleased to recruit Kevin White and look forward to his joining the team next season since I believe he will solve our PG deficiency,” said Yamoto.  Although Shannon Van Hook was the team’s top scorer last year, Dave Rush wasn’t far behind him and is expected to be the go-to guy this season.  Rebounding may well be a deficit that UC-San Diego has a tough time overcoming this year.

Anticipated starters: PG Brian Thomas (6-6 So), SG Donte Madison (6-2 Jr), SF Dave Rush (6-3, Jr), PF Byron Kelley (6-7 Jr), C Shannon Van Hook (6-10 So). 

MD-Eastern Shore Hawks, Conf V, Coach Mike McMillan

Previous season records of the coach: 8-7 (Independent, 1st-tie); 6-9 (Independent, 3rd); 12-17 (Conf V, 9th-tie)

Only Junior Sarchet was a starter for the Hawks last season.  But he scored well and Coach Mike McMillan is hoping JC transfer Kent Evans will dominate inside.  Since both starting guards are very inexperienced, unless they step p and play well, it could be long season for McMilla’s troops.  “We’re really short on bodies with 4 transfer players who are ineligible to play this season and you take away the 2 walk-ons, that just leaves us with 9 scholarship players who can play so depth is going to be a real problem for us,” said McMillan.  This may just be a building year for the Hawks who look to be much strong next season.

Anticipated starters: PG Omar Briggs (6-2, Sr); SG Tyron Adras (6-4, Sr); SF Junior Sarchet (6-8 So); PF Tony Rueter (6-6 Fr); C Kent Evans (6-9 Jr)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions, Conf V, Coach Dontell Spencer

Previous season records of the coach: 6-10 (Independent, 3rd); 9-7 (independent, 1st, NIT 1st Rnd); 11-8 (Independent, 1st, NIT Semifinals)

All 5 starters are not only talented, but experienced.  The Golden Lions look to be the cream of the crop when comparing these 5 teams.  While the others will be trying to avoid being relegated, Arkansas-Pine Bluff has set their sites on being promoted at the end of this season for the 2nd straight year.  “We have 4 transfers players who can’t play for us this season while sitting out their year of ineligibility.  So we’ve got a short bench meaning I’ll rely heavily on my starters,” said Coach Spencer.  If the Golden Lions can avoid serious injuries, it should be a good season for Arkansas-Pine Bluff and maybe even a better one next year when the transfer players are able to contribute and if the 5 recruits landed this year produce as freshmen.

Anticipated starters:  PG Milton Cox (6-0 Sr); SG Dwayne Robinson (6-0 So); SF Dexter Thorne (6-7 Sr); PF Marcus Huld (6-6 Sr); C Imari McDonald (6-10 Sr)

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November Game Results:

Western Illinois Leathernecks coached by Terry Morillo

Manhattan-74, Western Illinois (0-1)-60 (Earl Cue-16 pts/6 reb in 17 min)

Western Illinois (1-1)-78, UC-Riverside-70 (Roy Hampton-20 pts/10 reb; Duany Vaughn-17 pts/10 ast)

Western Illinois (2-1)-70, Rice-63 (Roy Hampton-20 pts/6 reb/2 ast/4 stl)

Western Illinois (3-1)-70, Radford-69 (Roy Hampton-25 pts/4 reb/4 ast/1 stl)

Western Illinois (4-1)-78, Indiana St.-76 (Roy Hampton-13 pts/10 reb/4 ast/1 stl)

Major INJURY: Western Illinois’ SG Duany Vaughn tore his Achilles tendon and will be out the rest of his senior year.

AWARDS: Roy Hampton-Conf V Player of the Week (11/26/2033)

Comment: 4 game win streak, scoring either 70 or 78 points in each of those games. Hampton hot.  Loss of Vaughn creates shallow bench for guards.

MD-Eastern Shore Hawks coached by Mike McMillan

Wright St. 66, MD-Eastern Shore (0-1)-47 (Kent Evans-9 pts/7 reb)

James Madison-84, MD-Eastern Shore (0-2)-72 (Kent Evans-11 pts/6 reb)

MD-Eastern Shore (1-2)-91, Campbell-69 (Junior Sarchet-18 pts)

Incarnate Word-91, MD-Eastern Shore (1-3)-84 (Frank Davis-28 pts)

McNeese St-73, MD-Eastern Shore (1-4)-46 (Frank Davis-15 pts)

Comment: Ouch! Tough start to their season.

Alcorn State Braves coached by Ramon Montez

South Carolina Upstate-71, Alcorn State (0-1)-69 (Gabriel Atwood-22 pts/6 reb)

Wagner-86, Alcorn State (0-2)-71 (Virgil Brown-16 pts)

Alabama A&M-87, Alcorn State (0-3)-78 (Virgil Brown-14 pts/5 reb/2 ast/3 stl)

New Orleans-78, Alcorn State (0-4)-67 (Gabriel Atwood-13 pts/4 reb)

Alcorn St. (1-4)-71, Oregon St.-66 (Will Friel-18 pts/4 reb)

Comment: Nice win over Oregon State.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions coached by Dontell Spencer

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-0)-86, Mississippi Valley-78 (Imari McDonald-18 pts/6 reb/6 ast/2 stl/3 blk)

Sam Houston St-80, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-1)-59 (Marcus Huld-12 pts/4 reb)

Chattanooga-86, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-2)-74 (Marcus Huld-16 pts/9 reb)

Youngstown St.-79, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-3)-71 (Dwayne Robinson-23 pts/4 ast)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-3)-94, Fresno State-77 (Marcus Huld-17 pts/9 reb)                                                                                                                        

Comment: Rough start for the Golden Lions.  Weak defense thus far.

UC-San Diego Tritons coached by Ken Yamoto

Army-85, UC-San Diego-67 (0-1) (Dave Rush-14 pts)

UC-San Diego (1-1)-72, American-49 (Shannon Van Hook-11 pts/13 reb)

Loyola (MD)-80, UC-San Diego (1-2)-72 (Donte Madison-21 pts/6 reb/4 ast/1 stl)

UC-San Diego (2-2)-86, Norfolk St-73 (Brian Thomas-14 pts/4 ast in 12 min of play)

UC-San Diego (3-2)-73, Marist-69 (Dave Rush-21 pts/6 reb/3 Rast/3 stl/1 blk)

Comment: Good start but not the toughest competition.

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December Game Results:

Western Illinois Leathernecks coached by Terry Morillo

Colgate-89, Western Illinois (4-2)-71 (Guillermo Cabrera-23 pts)

Western Illinois (5-2)-88, So. Carolina Upstate-77 (Roy Hampton-26 pts/8 reb/3 ast/4 stl; Guillermo Cabrera-18 pts/12 reb/3ast)

Grand Canyon-78, Western Illinois (5-3)-64 (Roy Hampton-16 pts/7 reb/3 ast/1 stl)

Vermont-78, Western Illinois (5-4)-53 (Guillermo Cabrera-16 pts/2 reb/3 ast)

Western Illinois (6-4)-75, Drake-55 (Roy Hampton-22 pts/7 reb/2 ast/2 stl)

Western Illinois (7-4)-84, Presbyterian-74 (Nate Roland-17 pts/6 reb/1 stl/2 blk)

AWARDS: Roy Hampton-Conf V Player of the Week (12/10/2033)

Comment: Offense sputtered at times.

MD-Eastern Shore Hawks coached by Mike McMillan

MD-Eastern Shore (2-4)-71, Robert Morris-68 (Frank Davis-16 pts/7 reb/4 ast/1 stl)

MD-Eastern Shore (3-4)-65, Oral Roberts-56 (Frank Davis-12 pts/3 reb/2 ast/2 stl)

Mississippi Valley-78, MD-Eastern Shore (3-5)-70 (Landon Newby-19 pts/3 ast)

Furman-93, MD-Eastern Shore (3-6)-77 (Mike Rolle-25 pts/9 reb/1 ast/3 stl)

MD-Eastern Shore (4-6)-75, Tartleton St.-58 (Darius Rychart-14 pts)

Comment: They won when they got their defense together.

Alcorn State Braves coached by Ramon Montez

Alcorn State (2-4)-93, Brown-87 (Gabriel Atwood-21 pts/2 reb/2 ast/4 stl/1 blk)

Coastal Carolina-72, Alcorn State (2-5)-61 (Gabriel Atwood-19 pts/7 reb)

NC-Wilmington-61, Alcorn State (2-6)-47 (Mike Gallagher-12 pts)

Alcorn State (3-6)-72, Columbia-68 (Virgil Brown-25 pts/1 reb/3 ast/4 stl/1 blk)

Alcorn State (4-6)-93, NC-Asheville-75 (Virgil Brown-22 pts/5 reb/2 ast/4 stl)

Comment: Atwood and Brown are becoming a dynamic duo.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions coached by Dontell Spencer

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (3-3)-105, Georgia St-99 [OT] (Dwayne Robinson-32 pts/8 reb)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (4-3)-93, Dartmouth-76 (Danny Logie-21 pts/4 reb)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (5-3)-73, San Francisco-59 (Danny Logie-21 pts/4 reb/2 stl/1 blk)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (6-3)-75, Cornell-69 (Milton Cox-14 pts/2 reb/3 ast/1 blk)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (7-3)-78, Florida Gulf Coast-72 (Milton Cox-18 pts/10 ast; Dwayne Robinson-22 pts)

AWARDS: Dwayne Robinson, Conf V Player of the Week (12/3/2033)

Comment: Now have a 6-game win streak.

UC-San Diego Tritons coached by Ken Yamoto

Richmond-83, UC-San Diego (3-3)-68  (Devon Jackson-20 pts)

Idaho-92, UC-San Diego (3-4)-88 [OT] (Donte Madison-28 pts/6 reb/2 ast/2 stl/1 blk)

Princeton-83, UC-San Diego (3-5)-76 (Chris Ratcllff-21 pts/4 ast/2 stl)

Nicholls St.-78, UC-San Diego(3-6)-68 (Joe Houston-11 pts/10 reb/4 ast/1 stl/2 blk)

UC-San Diego (4-6)-89, Lehigh-84 [OT] (Donte Madison-20 pts/4 ast)

Comment: Defense fell apart.

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January Game Results:

Western Illinois Leathernecks coached by Terry Morillo

Central Arkansas-93, Western Illinois (7-5)-67 (Nate Roland-12 pts/7 reb/2 blk)

Western Illinois (8-5, 1-0)-79, Maine-74 [OT] (Roy Hampton-28 pts/14 reb/2 ast/1 stl)

Western Illinois (9-5, 2-0)-82, Binghamton-50 (Daniel Bair-17 pts/1 reb/5 ast/1 blk)

Seattle-63, Western Illinois (9-6, 2-1)-54 (Roy Hampton-17 pts/5 reb/4 ast/1 stl)

Western Illinois (10-6, 3-1)-74, Coppin St-69 (Gabriel Cabrera-17 pts/5 reb/2 blk)

Western Illinois (11-6, 4-1)-69, MD-Eastern Shore-66 (Nate Roland-16 pts/3 reb/1 ast/2 blk)

Western Illinois (12-6, 5-1)-81, NC Central-77 (Guillermo Cabrera-25 pts/6 reb/2 stl/1 blk)

Western Illinois (13-6, 6-1)-69, UC-San Diego-57 (Nate Roland-16 pts/4 reb/1 ast/3 stl/1 blk)

Comment: 6 wins in 7 last games including 4-game win streak. Tied for 1st place in Conference V.

MD-Eastern Shore Hawks coached by Mike McMillan

Lehigh-72, MD-Eastern Shore (4-7)-67 (Frank Davis-22 pts)

MD-Eastern Shore (5-7, 1-0)-73, Coppin St.-61 (Omar Briggs-18 pts/5 reb/3 ast; Kent Evans-11 pts/12 reb)

MD-Eastern Shore (6-7, 2-0)-83, UC-San Diego-71 (Darius Richart-19 pts/3 reb/2 ast/1 blk; Frank Davis-19 pts/2 reb/3 ast/1 stl)

MD-Eastern Shore (7-7, 3-0)-101, NC Central-79 (Frank Davis-21 pts/3 reb/3 ast/1 stl)

MD-Eastern Shore (8-7, 4-0)-80, Seattle-62 (Frank Davis-18 pts/2 reb/3 ast/1 stl)

Western Illinois-69, MD-Eastern Shore (8-8, 4-1)-66 (Tony Rueter-19 pts/4 reb/1 stl/2 blk)

MD-Eastern Shore (9-8, 5-1)-68, Binghamton-64 (Landon Newby-12 pts/1 reb/3 ast/3 stl/1 blk)

MD-Eastern Shore (10-8, 6-1)-84, Maine-71 (Landon Newby-26 pts/1 reb/2 ast/1 stl/1 blk)

Comments: The Hawks caught fire and now are tied for 1st place in Conference V.

Alcorn State Braves coached by Ramon Montez

Alcorn State (5-6)-85, Middle Tennessee-81 (Virgil Brown-19 pts/4 reb/5 ast/2 stl/1 blk)

Alabama St-79, Alcorn State (5-7, 0-1)-69 (Will Friel-17 pts/3 reb)

Alcorn State (6-7, 1-1)-72, North Alabama-58 (Gabriel Atwood-25 pts/8 reb/2 ast

Alcorn State (7-7, 2-1)-69, SIU Edwardsville-60 (Will Friel-16 pts/9 reb/1 ast/1 blk)

Alcorn State (8-7, 3-1)-86, North Dakota-59 (Jeff Samuel-17 pts/11 reb/2 ast/1 stl/4 blk; Virgil Brown-20 pts/4 reb)

Longwood-63, Alcorn State (8-8, 3-2)-55 (Virgil Brown-17 pts/4 reb/2 ast/2 stl/3 blk)                                                                 

Arkansas-Pine Bluff-68, Alcorn State (8-9, 3-3)-56 (Virgil Brown-15 pts/3 reb/1 ast/1 blk)

Florida A&M-85, Alcorn State (8-10, 3-4)-71 (Gabriel Atwood-19 pts/8 reb/2 ast/1 stl)

Major INJURY: Alcorn State’s C Bernie Graham-broken hand.

Comment: Beginning to appear to be just a middle of the pack team.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions coached by Dontell Spencer

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (8-3)-71, Portland State-62 (Imari McDonald-12 pts/5 reb/4 ast/1 blk)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (9-3, 1-0)-101, Longwood-84 (Imari McDonald-21 pts/5 reb/2 ast/2 stl)

North Dakota-67, Arkansas-Pin-e Bluff (9-4, 1-1)-50 (Dwayne Robinson-10 pts/2 reb/2 ast/1 stl)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (10-4, 2-1)-88, Florida A&M-68 (Imari McDonald-19 pts/6 reb/1 ast/4 stl)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (11-4, 3-1)-80, SIU Edwardsville-75 (Imari McDonald-13 pts/5 reb/2 ast/1 stl/2 blk)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (12-4, 4-1)-74, Alabama St-69 (Milton Cox-16 pts/4 reb/8 ast/1 stl); Imari McDonald-13 pts/10 reb/1 stl/2 blk)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (13-4, 5-1)-68, Alcorn State-56 (Imari McDonald-13 pts/11 reb/1 ast/2 blk)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (14-4, 6-1)-83, North Alabama-62 (Marcus Huld-17 pts/12 reb/1 ast/1 stl)

Comment: An 8-game win streak followed by the present 4-game win streak.  Tied for 1st place in Conference V.

UC-San Diego Tritons coached by Ken Yamoto

Fairleigh Dickinson-81, UC-San Diego (4-7)-52 (Chris Ratliff-18 pts)

UC-San Diego (5-7, 1-0)-97, NC Central-74 (Joe Houston-24 pts/5 reb/3 ast/1 stl/1 stl)

MD-Eastern Shore-83, UC-San Diego-71 (5-8, 1-1) (Shannon Van Hook-10 pts/8 reb/4 ast/1 blk)

Coppin St-92, UC-San Diego (5-9, 1-2) (Dave Rush-13 pts/6 reb/3 ast/3 stl/1 blk)

Binghamton-96, UC-San Diego (5-10, 1-3)-92 (Donte Madison-18 pts/3 reb/3 ast/1 stl)

Maine-87, UC-San Diego (5-11, 1-4)-60 (Chris Ratliff-11 pts/1 reb/3 ast/2 stl)

Seattle-59, UC-San Diego (5-12, 1-5)-50 (Christ Ratliff-17 pts/1 reb/3 ast/5 stl)

Western Illinois-69, UC-San Diego (5-13, 1-6)-57 (Joe Roland-16 pts/3 reb)

Comment: Defense continues to be weak and when defense shows up, their offense doesn’t.  Now in last place in Conference V.  Need to start winning to avoid being relegated to the Independents.  Coppin State is presently tied for last and that team got relegated from U to V last season.

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February Game Results:

Western Illinois Leathernecks coached by Terry Morillo

North Dakota-86, Western Illinois (6-2)-76 (Roy Hampton-20 pts/9 reb/3 ast/2 stl)

Longwood-82, Western Illinois (6-3)-64 (Roy Hampton-15 pts/4 reb)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff-89, Western Illinois (6-4)-84 (Roy Hampton-16 pts/8 reb/5 ast/3 stl)

Top Scorers (ppg) thus far for Western Illinois: Roy Hampton 14.8, Guillermo Cabrera-12.4, Duany Vaughn-11.8, Nate Roland-9.9, Earl Cue-8.8

Florida A&M-90, Western Illinois (6-5)-75 (Guillermo Cabrera-21 pts)

Alcorn State-81, Western Illinois (6-6)-79 (Roy Hampton-32 pts/8 reb/2 ast/1 stl)

North Alabama-108, Western Illinois (6-7)-101 [2 OT’s] (Nate Roland-17 pts/7 reb/4 ast/4 stl)

Maine-73, Western Illinois (6-8)-69 (Roy Hampton-19 pts/8 reb/1 stl)

Binghamton-77, Western Illinois (6-9)-69 (Guillermo Cabrera-18 pts/3 reb/3 ast/2 stl/1 blk)

Comment: After winning 6 of their first 7 conference games, the Leathernecks tanked in February, losing all 8 games.  That sank Western Illinois from a tie for 1st to the lower half of the conference standings.  Their collapse appears to be due to a series of injuries combined by a season-long serious weakness at SG.

MD-Eastern Shore Hawks coached by Mike McMillan

SIU Edwardsville-79, MD-Eastern Shore (6-2)-67 (Landon Newby-19 pts/2 reb/3 ast/1 stl/1 blk)

North Alabama-90, MD-Eastern Shore (6-3)-74 (Darius Rychart-17 pts)

MD-Eastern Shore (7-3)-81, Alcorn State-68 (Frank Davis-21 pts/5 reb)

Top Scorers (ppg) thus far for MD-Eastern Shore: Frank Davis-15.1, Darius Rychart-10.7, Landon Newby-10.0, Tony Rueter-9.0, Omar Briggs-6.8

Alabama St.-72, MD-Eastern Shore (7-4)-62 (Omar Briggs-14 pts/5 reb/3 ast/3 blk)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff-102, MD-Eastern Shore (7-5)-70 (Darius Rychard-18 pts/3 reb)

Florida A&M-83, MD-Eastern Shore (7-6)-81 (Joe Carson-19 pts/6 reb/3 ast/1 stl/1 blk)

Coppin St.-80, MD-Eastern Shore (7-7)-70 (Joe Carson-14 pts/4 reb/1 ast/2 stl/2 blk)

UC-San Diego-80, MD-Eastern Shore-67 (7-8) (Tony Rueter-17 pts/11 reb/2 ast/3 blk)

Major INJURY: MD-Eastern Shore’s Kent Evans broke his ankle.

Comments: Another team with a horrible February, losing 7 of games.  After being ties for 1st, the Hawks have slipped to the lower half of the conference standings.  MD-Eastern Shore also were bit by the injury bug.  But one wonders if more minutes had been given to freshman SG Landon Newby (9.6 ppg while playing just 13.0 mpg), would the Hawks have pulled off a few more victories.

Alcorn State Braves coached by Ramon Montez

UC-San Diego-79, Alcorn State (3-5)-77 (Mike Gallagher-18 pts)

Alcorn State (4-5)-84, Coppin State-60 (Will Friel-18 pts/4 reb/1 stl/3 blk)

MD-Eastern Shore-81, Alcorn State (4-6)-68 (Gabriel Atwood-19 pts/9 reb/3 ast/1 blk)

Top Scorers (ppg) thus far for Alcorn State: Gabriel Atwood-12.6, Mike Gallagher-11.1, Virgil Brown-10.5, Will Friel-10.2, Bernie Graham-7.5

Alcorn State (5-6)-72, NC-Central-68 (Gabriel Atwood-19 pts/7 reb/4 ast)

Alcorn State (6-6)-81, Western Illinois-79 (Will Friel-19 pts/7 reb/2 ast/1 stl/1blk)

Alcorn State (7-6)-83, Binghamton-64 (Mike Gallagher-22 pts/1 reb/2 ast/1 stl/2 blk)

Alcorn State (8-6)-80, Alabama St.-58 (Virgil Brown-21 pts/3 reb/1 stl)

Alcorn State (9-6)-88, North Alabama-85 (Gabriel, Atwood-21 pts/5 reb/2 ast/3 stl/1 blk)

Comment: After a lackluster beginning in conference play, the Braves have caught fire, winning 6 of their last 7 games and now have a 5-game win streak.  Different starters step to the fore each game to carry the team.  Coach Montez has really stimulated the Brave’s offense which averaged about 79 ppg during this month and having scored 80+ points in their final 4 games this month.  With the team tied with 4 other teams for 2nd place, the Braves need to win their final conference game (or win the conference tournament) to give them a chance to be promoted.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions coached by Dontell Spencer

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (7-1)-88, Maine-62 (Imari McDonald-17 pts/9 reb/2 ast/5 stl/1 b

Binghamton-84, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (7-2)-80 (Marcus Huld-18 pts/8 reb/1 ast)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (8-2)-89, Western Illinois-84 (Imari McDonald-14 pts/9 reb/2 ast/3 stl/3 blk)

Top Scorers (ppg) thus far for Arkansas-Pine Bluff: Imari McDonald-12.9, Marcus Huld-11.7, Dwayne Robinson-11.1, Dexter Thorne-10.4, Danny Logie-10.2

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (9-2)-76, Seattle-67 (Dexter Thorne-17 pts/4 reb/1 ast/1 stl)                                                                                                       

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (10-2)-101, MD-Eastern Shore-70 (Imari McDonald-19 pts/9 reb/2 ast/1 stl/2 blk; Dwayne Robinson-20 pts/5 reb/3 ast/1 stl)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (11-2)-77, NC-Central-69 (Imari McDonald-18 pts/7 reb)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (12-2)-88, Longwood-61 (Danny Logie-25 pts/2 reb/2 ast)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (13-2)-76, North Dakota-46 (Imari McDonald-13 pts/12 reb/1 ast/2 stl/3 blk)

Comment:  Another exceptionally strong month for the Golden Lions, ending the month with a 6-game win streak.  Great offense and strong defense all month.  Four starters and a sub are averaging in double figures with their fifth starter knocking on the double-figures door.  Arkansas-Pine Bluff is now 4 games ahead of the 5 teams (which includes Alcorn State) that are tied for 2nd place.  Imari Mc Donald had a very strong month, regularly leading the team to victory.  The Golden Lions have assured themselves of being promoted next season.

UC-San Diego Tritons coached by Ken Yamoto

UC-San Diego (2-6)-79, Alcorn State-77 (Donte Madison-17 pts/5 reb/4 ast/4 stl/1 blk)

UC-San Diego (3-6)-96, Alabama State-73 (Joe Houston-21 pts/4 reb/1 ast/1 stl/1 blk; Chris Ratliff-19 pts/7 reb/8 ast/1 stl)

UC-San Diego (4-6)-85, SIU Edwardsville-79 (Dave Rush-14 pts/3 reb/1 ast/3 stl/1 blk)

Top Scorers (ppg) thus far for UC-San Diego: Donte Madison-12.0, Dave Rush-10.5, Joe Houston-10.2, Chris Ratliff-8.8, Shannon Van Hook-8.4

North Alabama-85, UC-San Diego (4-7)-74 (Joe Houston-14 pts/4 reb/2 ast/3 stl)

UC-San Diego (5-7)-78, Longwood-53 (Joe Houston-15 pts/7 reb/4 ast/2 stl)

North Dakota-102, UC-San Diego (5-8)-76 (Donte Madison-19 pts/5 reb/1 ast/1 blk)

NC-Central-94, UC-San Diego (5-9)-83 (Dave Rush-26 pts/6 reb/1 ast)

UC-San Diego (6-9)-80, MD-Eastern Shore-67 (Donte Madison-18 pts/7 reb/5 ast/1 stl/1 blk)

Comment: Coach Yamoto woke up the team in February, moving the Tritons from last place in the conference to a 3-way tie for 11th place  That puts the team 2 games ahead of the last place team, and with just one game left in conference play, out of jeopardy of being relegated.  UC-San Diego averaged over 81 ppg this month.  3 injuries (2 of which are to starters) may make it difficult for the team in their final game of the regular season and in the conference tournament.

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