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Team & Player Stats and Coach Comments

Terry Morillo, Western Illinois Leathernecks

Team Stats:

Season Record: 15-15; Conference V Record: 9-7 (tie for 5th)

Offense: 70.3 ppg (205th best); Defense: 70.8 ppg (156th best)

Assists: 18.1 apg (90th best); Rebounds: 28.0 rpg (323rd best); FG%: 52.4% (2nd best)

Player Stats (G/GS/MPG—PPG/RPG/APG):

Guillermo Cabrera, SR (30/29/25.8—12.6/5.4/1.3)

Daniel Blair, SR (30/29/25.3—5.1/3.5/2.2)

Mohamed White, SR (30/30/23.8—4.9/2.8/2.9)

Duany Vaughn, SR (26/23/22.6—6.7/1.4/2.7)

Craig Grant, FR (30/30/21.9—12.4/4.2/1.2)

Tom Daniel, SO (30/7/18.3—5.5/1.3/2.4)

Jamar Curtis, JR (30/1/16.7—10.6/3.0/0.9)

Edwin Dukes, SR (30/0/13.3—4.5/0.8/2.5)

Brian Manheimer, JR (30/1/13.3—4.1/2.1/0.9)

Jamaal Adams, SR (30/0/11.5—3.7/2.9/1.0)

Coach Morillo: I was really happy with how our guys came on so strong the last 2 months of the season.  We won 10 of our last 13 games.  We started slowly but I think Duany Vaughn’s return in January from a very serious injury provided stability within our lineup even though is stats weren’t as strong as they were the past two years.  Also Guillermo Cabrera was a huge part of that comeback.  Coming from Argentina, his freshman year was just a learning experience, but he began showing real promise in his sophomore season. And then he showed not only talent but true heart as he became our team leader his last two seasons here at Western Illinois.  Since I like to rely on veteran players, you have to know that freshman Craig Grant is a big-time player to start the entire season for me at the C position.  He played great and showed tremendous potential for the future.  With so many of our guys graduating, we’ll have a big job pulling things together this coming season.

Ken Yamoto, UC-San Diego Tritons

Team Stats:

Season Record: 15-13; Conference V Record: 9-7 (tie for 5th)

Offense: 72.9 ppg (134th best); Defense: 72.0 ppg (200th best)

Assists: 16.9 apg (209th best); Rebounds: 31.2 rpg (148th best)

Player Stats (G/GS/MPG—PPG/RPG/APG):

Dave Rush, SR (28/28/29.3—10.4/5.0/1.6)

Kevin White, FR (28/28/26.6—10.1/1.6/4.3)

Gregg Green, JR (28/27/24.8—10.4/3.4/0.9)

Shannon Van Hook, JR (21/21/24.5—9.9/6.8/2.0)

Donte Madison, SR (28/25/23.7—9.4/3.3/2.0)

Brian Kelley, SR (28/1/17.8—4.0/4.3/0.9)

Joe Roland, JR (28/7/15.7—6.9/3.2/0.9)

Chris Ratliff, JR (28/0/13.4—6.1/1.1/1.4)

Brian Thomas, JR (28/3/13.4—2.9/1.1/2.7)

Jack Robinson, SO (26/0/7.4—3.3/1.8/0.3)

Coach Yamoto:  We fell apart the final few weeks of the season.  It’s hard to pinpoint the reason for that, but I think we were a better team than our final record would indicate.   No excuses, we just need to do better.  But next year we’ll have a lot of very experienced players returning, so we’re going to have a lot of depth and that bodes well for our future.  We had very balanced scoring throughout our entire starting lineup and 3 of those starters are returning.

Mike McMillan, MD-Eastern Shore Hawks

Team Stats:

Season Record: 20-8; Conference V Record: 13-3 (tie for 1st)

Offense: 29.3 ppg (231st best); Defense: 64.3 ppg (14th best)

Assists: 17.9 apg (102nd best); Rebounds: 29.6 rpg (239th best); FG%: 48.3% (47th best); 3P%: 37.7% (47th best)

Player Stats (G/GS/MPG—PPG/RPG/APG):

Frank Reed, JR (28/28/29.8—11.6/4.7/2.0)

Matt Brown, SR (28/28/29.2—7.6/2.2/5.1)

Frank Davis, JR (28/27/27.9—11.4/3.0/2.6)

Dwayne Bullett, SO (28/28/26.4—9.6/4.6/1.3)

Romolo Pantini, JR (28/28/25.9—11.1/7.0/2.0)

Tony Rueter, SO (28/0/16.2—6.1/2.9/1.3)

Joe Carson, JR (28/0/12.6—3.8/2.3/0.9)

Edouard Gaultier, SO (28/1/10.8—4.7/1.3/1.3)

Ewald Leitenberger, SO (28/0/10.3—1.9/0.6/1.0)

Coach McMillan:  This was quite a season!  My guys just did such a great job.  Finishing atop the Conference V standings was a thrill.  Losing in the conference tournament, not so much.  But the whole team is excited about participating in the NIT Tourney starting later this week.  Losing that conference tourney game made them realize that at this point in the season we have to go out and win each and every game.  Our defense this season has been extremely strong ad that can carry us a long way.  While Romolo Pantini is typically a big part of our offense, we have 7 or 8 guys who can have breakout games at ny time.  We have a lot of guys returning next season so the future looks bright.

Dontell Spencer, Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions

Team Stats:

Season Record: 20-9; Conference U Record: 13-3 (2nd)

Offense: 83.2 ppg (5th best); Defense: 73.8 ppg (252nd best)

Assists: 21.0apg (5th best); Rebounds: 32.1 rpg (104th best); FG%: 48.2% (29th best); 3P%: 41.7% (3rd best)

Player Stats (G/GS/MPG—PPG/RPG/APG):

Kwame Mickens, JR (29/29/29.6—15.1/4.0/6.3)

Dan Jefferson, FR (29/29/25.3—14.2/3.0/2.1)

Damian Carrington, SR (29/25/24.8—10.0/1.5/2.6)

Chris Betts, FR (29/29/24.3—11.9/5.4/1.9)

Jaraan Daniels, SR (29/29/21.4—6.1/5.9/1.8)

Dwayne Robinson, JR (29/4/16.3—7.8/1.4/2.3)

Antonio Gailey, SO (29/0/15.3—4.5/4.3/1.0)

Jacob Allen, SO (29/0/14.8—4.4/2.9/0.9)

Jamar Brown, JR (28/0/13.0—4.5/2.4/1.0)

Coach Spencer:  We surprised a lot of people this year with how well we played, our potent offense, and by finishing in 2nd place in Conference U.  We would have liked to get to the NCAA tournament again but hope to do some serious damage in the NIT and want to get to Madison Square Garden for the Final Four and Championship.  Kwame Mickens just does it all for us.  He’s such a great player.  But our two freshmen, Chris Betts and Dan Jefferson, came on much stronger than we expected.  Chris had been dynamite inside and Dan is just such a great shooter from outside.

Ramon Montez, Alcorn State Braves

Team Stats:

Season Record: 24-6; Conference U Record: 14-2 (1st)

Offense: 75.6 ppg (80th best); Defense: 68.4 ppg (85th best)

Assists: 18.6 apg (53rd best); Rebounds: 31.0 rpg (159th best); FG%: 49.7% (16th best)

Player Stats (G/GS/MPG—PPG/RPG/APG):

Harold Hein, FR (30/28/29.5—6.0/3.9/2.8)

Craig Brown, JR (30/30/27.5—12.6/2.9/2.3)

Dana Turner, SR (30/30/27.3—7.3/2.0/4.2)

Will Friel, JR (30/30/27.0—12.9/6.7/1.0)

Gabriel Atwood, JR (30/29/23.3—11.7/6.5/1.5)

Virgil Brown, JR (30/2/17.9—7.8/3.2/1.4)

Bernie Graham, SO (30/1/15.7—9.3/3.3/1.1)

Todd Young, SO (30/0/14.2—4.2/1.2/2.7)

Steve Heard, SR (30/0/8.6The team —1.9/0.7/1.2)

Coach Montez: We have a strong starting unit, but the nice thing is that Virgil Brown and Bernie Graham started a few games and are good enough that they could have started all season.  Gabriel Atwood, Will Friel and Bernie Graham give us real strength inside with strong scoring, rebounding and defense.  Our team was just so consistent this season, except for the 3 game losing streak in pre-conference play.  We’re stoked to be going to the NCAA Tournament.

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POST SEASON TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Selections:

MD-Eastern Shore 4th seed, South

Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 2nd seed, South

Alcorn State, 12th seed, West

NIT:

Round 1:

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (21-9)-97, Detroit Mercy-94 [OT] (Kwame Mickens-26 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk; Chris Betts-18 pts, 13 reb, 3 ast, 1 blk)

Stony Brook-75, MD-Eastern Shore (20-9)-66 (Frank Davis-15 pts, 5 reb, 1 stl, 1 blk)

Round 2:

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (22-9)-78, Dayton-76 (Kwame Mickens-23 pts, 5 reb, 3 ast, 1 blk; Damian Carrington-19 pts, 4 reb, 6 ast)

Round 3 (Quarterfinals):

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (23-9)-103, Fresno State-79 (Kwame Mickens-17 pts, 11 reb, 11 ast, 1 stl, 3 blk; Chris Beggs-26 pts, 4 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 2 blk; Jaraan Daniels-17 pts, 9 reb, 1 stl)

Round 4 (Semifinals):

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (24-9)-95, Missouri-88 (Kwame Mickens-26 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast; Dan Jefferson-20 pts, 1 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl)

Round 5 (Championship):

Akron-84, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (24-10)-68 (Dan Jefferson-16 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk)

NCAA:

Round 1:

Duke-81, Alcorn State (24-7)-72 (Craig Brown-23 pts, 2 reb, 4 ast)

Championships:

CIT:  Marquette

CBI:  Notre Dame

NIT:  Akron

NCAA:  Arizona

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AWARDS:

Conference U:

Chris Betts, Arkansas-Pine Bluff—Conference U Defensive Player of the Year

Dontell Spencer, Arkansas-Pine Bluff—Conference U Coach of the Year

Kwame Mickens, Arkansas-Pine Bluff—Conference U 1st Team All-Conference

Will Friel, Alcorn State—Conference U 1st Team All-Conference

Dan Jefferson, Arkansas-Pine Bluff—Conference U 2nd Team All-Conference

Gabriel Atwood, Alcorn State—Conference U 2nd Team All-Conference

Chris Betts, Arkansas-Pine Bluff—Conference U 2nd Team All-Conference

Conference V:

Craig Grant, Western Illinois—Conference V Freshman of the Year

Romolo Pantini, MD-Eastern Shore—Conference V 1st Team All-Conference

Guillermo Cabrera, Western Illinois—Conference V 2nd Team All-Conference

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Recruiting Results:

Ramon Montez at Alcorn State:

We had two seniors graduating and filled the scholarships they had been filling.

B. J. Jefferson is a 6-10 PF from Noxapater, MS who averaged 10.0 ppg and 8.9 rpg this past season.  He’s the #840 ranked recruit and we rated him as a B-.  His biggest strength is his recruiting but he shoots well form both inside and outside, but doesn’t shoot enough.  Defense is definitely a work in progress, but he’s a hard worker so we’ll work on that.

Jermaine Wheeler is a 6-6 SF from York, ME.  Strengths are his shooting, rebounding, and athleticism.  A weakness is his defense.  He’s a great leader and a hard working kid.  We rated him as a C+ and he was #1441 in the recruit rankings.  This past season he scored 10.0 ppg and hauled down 4.7 rpg for his high school team.

Dontell Spencer at Arkansas-Pine Bluff:

We filled both scholarships that were available. 

Randy Kickert, a 6-8 SF from Greenland, AR was a recruit we rated as a C+.  His recruit ranking was #1486.  His biggest strengths are his shooting, particularly from outside and his rebounding and he has a good work ethic.  Defense is a weakness.  He averaged 11.3 ppg and 5.5 rpg for his high school team this season.

Delvon Palmer is a 6-8 PF from Jacksonville, AR.  We rated him as a B- recruit and his recruit ranking was #1256.  We most liked his inside scoring and athleticism and overall level of skills although defense is not a strength.  He doesn’t cause problems and has been injury free.  This season he averaged 14 .3 ppg and 7.4 rpg at his high school.

Mike McMillan at MD Eastern Shore

Our recruiting sucked in the summer and fall but even though we were out of recruiting money, we were able to fill one of our four scholarships this spring and it was a home run.

Jibran Hale is a 6-5 SF from Sykesville, MD.  He’s ranked as the #52 best recruit and as a 4-star recruit we rated him as an A.  He scored 15.7 ppg, picked off 7.4 rpg and dished out 4.1 apg as a senior.  He’s a great scorer inside and also shoots well from outside.  He’s an excellent rebounder and is very good defensively.  He’s a good passer and very athletic.  He’s not a good student and his SAT scores barely exceeded our minimum which is low, so we’ll need to get him tutors.

Since we have 3 vacant scholarships, we’ll see if we can pick up some transfer players this summer.

Ken Yamoto at UC-San Diego

We filled all 4 of our scholarships this year. 

Brad Sanders is a 6-7 PF from Sutter, CA who scored 15.5 ppg and grabbed 11.0 rpg this past season.  He’s a very good rebounder and scores well inside.  We’ll need to work on his defense.  He was in the top 25 at the Las Vegas Revue and is ranked #594.  We rated him as a B-.

Jared Keating is a 6-6 PF from Atherton, CA.  He’s a good shooter from outside, but excellent from inside.  He’s not yet a good rebounder.  This past season he averaged 13.7 ppg and just 2.7 rpg.  He was ranked #1233 but we rated him as a B-.

Lance Rhodes is 6-0 PG from Culver City, CA.  We have been impressed by his passing and ball handling skills and he shoots well from outside.  Defense is a weakness, though.  This season he averaged 12.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, and 5.9 apg.  He’s exhibited some attitude problems but doesn’t cause problems.  We rated him as a C+ and he was ranked #1562.

Brad Young is a 6-4 PG from Placer, CA.  He’s an excellent shooter from outside and averaged 17.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, and 3.5 apg for his high school as a senior.  His biggest weakness is rebounding.  He’s athletic and doesn’t cause problems.  We rated him as a C+ and his recruit ranking was #1596.

Terry Morillo at Western Illinois

We had 6 scholarships to fill and got 2 recruits early and 4 recruits in April. 

Larry McClain is a 6-8 C from Ferndale, MI where he averaged 14.2 ppg and 7.7 rpg as a high school senior.  He’s ranked #1269 but we rated him as a B-.  We really liked that he’s a strong leader.  He’s an excellent inside scorer and also a solid rebounder.  He doesn’t know how to spell “defense”, so that’s something we will have to work on. 

Mohamed Ammons is a 6-5 SG from Wilmette, IL.  He’s ranked #1500 and we rated him as a C+.  But he has a sweet shot from outside, is a very good ball handler and is very athletic.  His major weakness is rebounding.  This past season he averaged 16.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, and 3.0 apg.  He doesn’t cause problems but could work harder.

Charles Jones is a 6-7 PF from Shawnee Mission, KS.  This past season he averaged 11.9 ppg and 7.0 rpg.  He scores well from inside and is a good rebounder.  We rated him as a B- and he was ranked #906.  His defense needs work.

Martin Dixon is a 6-5 PG from Johnston City, IL.  He was only ranked #1789 and we rated him as a C, but we liked the way he passes and handles the ball and he shoots well from outside.  He’s an extremely hard work but has had some attitude issues.  Defense is a weakness.  He averaged 9.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, and 3.6 apg as a senior in high school.

James Johnson is a 6-7 SF from Verona, WI.  He averaged 16.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 4.4 apg this past season.  He’s a very good shot from outside and can get inside and score as well.  He’s a good passer and strong defensively.  We rated him as a B- and he was ranked #634.

Jonathan Bailey is a 6-2 PG from Chicago, IL.  As a senior he averaged 11.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, and 4.1 apg.  He’s a hard worker.  His a sharp shooter from outside and has very good passing skills.  He’s weak defensively but is a hard worker so we’ll work to improve that.

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Staff Hiring

Ken Yamoto at UC-San Diego hired two new assistant coaches.  Mack Redd will be his 1st assistant coach and his scouting coach.  Rodney Williams was hired as his 3rd assistant coach and will handle practice.

Terry Morillo at Western Illinois hired Tyler Berry as his 2nd assistant in charge of practice and Marvin Tackett who will handle scouting as the new 3rd assistant coach.

Dontell Spencer at Arkansas-Pine Bluff negotiated a new contract with his 3rd assistant coach Bill Schafer to keep him from departing.

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Discussion during a meeting of the 5 coaches:

Ken Yamoto: Hey, you guys really put together good seasons. 

Ramon Montez:  You did well also Ken.  You were on target to finish high enough in the standings to earn the team a promotion, and even though your team slumped late in the season, you just barely missed out on that.

Terry Morillo: It’s pretty impressive that 3 of you will be moving up to higher conferences next year.  Congratulations, Dontell, Mike and Ramon!

Ken Yamoto: Dontell, your getting your team to the championship game in the NIT Tournament was tremendously impressive. 

Dontell Spencer: I think we’re all just finally getting our feet on firm ground in the collegiate ranks.  Our recruiting is getting better too.

Terry Morillo: Well all of your recruiting efforts are getting better. I was only able to fill one of four scholarships.

Ramon Montez:  But the guy you got is a 4-star.  None of the rest of us was able to pull that off.  And I bet you get some good transfer players also.

Mike McMillan: Hey, what’s up with college boards of directors?  We have good seasons and the only one of us able to get our requests approved was Ken.

Ken: Yeah, actually I was extremely surprised that mine accepted my plea for an upgrade to our facilities.  I’m really happy that they’ll go up from was I graded as a D to more like a C.

Dontell Spencer: While I’m happy for you, Ken, I’m pretty unhappy that three straight years of gaining promotions for the team haven’t gotten my board to approve an increase in our budget, which we really need to be able to competitively recruit.

Ramon Montez: Yeah, my also continues to say you seem to be doing just fine with the budget you already have.

Terry Morillo: Did you request a facilities upgrade like I did…and get refused, Mike?

Mike McMillan: I sure as hell did and the board told me they want a big increase in our level of prestige before they will approve any upgrades.

Dontell Spencer: Bottom line is all our teams are being much more successful that they were before we started coaching, we’re increasing home attendance which means our schools are raking in more money, and our boards just aren’t supportive.

Ramon Montez: I’m willing to give it another year or two, but if I can’t get support from the university, there are other schools who are showing interest.  I’m sure that’s the same for all of us.  There’s always a lot of movement in the collegiate coaching ranks each year.

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Posted (edited)

2035-2036 SEASON

Promotion/Relegation

(Top 4 in the standings in each conference are promoted to the next higher conference; bottom 4 in the standings in each conference are relegated down to the next lower conference...with the exception of Conference V for which just the last place team is relegated and the Independent team with the best record is promoted into Conference V)

 

Relegated to Conf B:

Virginia

Notre Dame

Kansas State

Arkansas

Promoted to Conf A:

Butler

Texas

Louisville

UCLA

Relegated to Conf C  :

Marquette

Seton Hall

Creighton

Purdue

Promoted to Conf B:

Baylor

St. Bonaventure

Georgetown

Nebraska

Relegated to Conf D  :

Oklahoma State

Wisconsin

Tennessee

Syracuse

Promoted to Conf C  :

Texas Tech

Vermont

Cincinnati

Pittsburgh

Relegated to Conf E:

Missouri

Iowa

Temple

Iowa State

Promoted to Conf D  :

Southern Methodist

Nevada-Las Vegas

Miami (FL)

Penn State

Relegated to Conf F:

Arizona State

Belmont

Saint Louis

Mississippi State

Promoted to Conf E:

Yale

Central Florida

Rutgers

Houston

Relegated to Conf G:

Stanford

Indiana

Murray State

Wright State

Promoted to Conf F:

Old Dominion

Oregon State

Illinois State

Wake Forest

Relegated to Conf H:

Mississippi

Western Michigan

Washington State

St. Mary’s

Promoted to Conf G:

Fresno State

Nevada

Harvard

Louisiana Tech

Relegated to Conf I:

DePaul

New Mexico State

South Dakota State

Western Kentucky

Promoted to Conf H:

Wyoming

Missouri State

Marshall

Furman

Relegated to Conf J:

LaSalle

East Tennessee State

Drake

Green Bay

Promoted to Conf I:

Northern iowa

Louisiana Lafayette

Weber State

Middle Tennessee

Relegated to Conf K:

Hofstra

Georgia State

Stephen F. Austin

Texas Christian

Promoted to Conf J:

Chattanooga

Stony Brook

Northeastern

Sam Houston State

Relegated to Conf L:

Rider

Texas Arlington

Hawaii

Wofford

Promoted to Conf K:

Morehead

MD-Baltimore County

Towson

Princeton

Relegated to Conf M:

Charlotte

Cleveland State

Air Force

Bucknell

Promoted to Conf L:

Central Michigan

Colgate

Eastern Michigan

Florida Gulf Coast

Relegated to Conf N:

IUPUI

Ball State

Abilene Christian

South Alabama

Promoted to Conf M:

Georgia Southern

Coastal Carolina

Austin Peay

Rice

Relegated to Conf O:

Oakland

Albany

Texas-San Antonio

East Carolina

Promoted to Conf N:

San Diego

High Point

Portland

Florida International

Relegated to Conf P:

UC-Riverside

Cal Poly

Niagara

South Dakota

Promoted to Conf O:

Texas State

Youngstown State

Northwestern State

Jacksonville State

Relegated to Conf Q:

American

Denver

Cal State Bakersfield

Cornell

Promoted to Conf P:

Norfolk State

Long Island

Loyola (MD)

Northern Kentucky

Relegated to Conf R:

Saint Peter’s

Gardner-Webb

Delaware

Troy

Promoted to Conf Q:

Fairleigh Dickinson

Texas-Rio Grande

Tennessee State

Lamar

Relegated to Conf S:

Fordham

Canisius

Northern Colorads

Columbia

Promoted to Conf R:

Incarnate Word

Jacksonville

Western Carolina

Lafayette

Relegated to Conf T:

Tennessee Tech

Hampton

Bethune-Cookman

South Carolina Upstate

Promoted to Conf S:

Chicago State

McNeese State

Bryant

St. Francis (NY)

Relegated to Conf U:

Jackson State

Massachusetts-Lowell

Saint Francis (PA

Prairie View

Promoted to Conf T:

Alcorn State

Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Seattle

Central Arkansas

Relegated to Conf V:

South Carolina State

Central Connecticut

Merrimack

North Florida

Promoted to Conf U:

MD-Eastern Shore

Kennesaw State

Presbyterian

North Alabama

Relegated to Conf Independent Status:

Binghampton

Promoted to Conf V:

NJIT

Edited by PointGuard

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Recruit Class Rankings

Western Illinois--#73

MD-Eastern Shore-#111

UC-San Diego--#130

Arkansas-Pine Bluff--#270

Alcorn State--#318

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Transfers

The transfer rules have been greatly liberalized. Since transfer players won’t have to sit out a year after transferring, it’s expected that many more players will opt to try to hook on with new division I programs this summer.

Terry Morillo, Western Illinois: We had a full roster with 13 players on scholarship and 2 walk-ons when May 1st rolled around. We need more talent at the guard positions, though.
Two players then entered the transfer pool. William Byams, a sophomore C with a lot of potential but still needing a lot more development felt there were just too many ahead of him on our depth chart. SG Mike Noyola, another sophomore, also didn’t play much last season and while he would have been competing for a starting job, he decided to try his luck elsewhere. We really need a strong SG and either another guard or a big man with the remaining scholarship.

Mike McMillan, MD-Eastern Shore: We approached summer with just 10 scholarship players and one walk-on player on our roster, but I like who we have.
Whoa! We were already short on players and 3 of our guys opted to transfer away. Junior SG Ewald Leitenberg played about 10 minutes a game but had yet to develop to go beyond that. Frank Reed is a senior who started and played very well for us last season, so he’ll be tough to replace. Sophomore SF Jair Jupiter only got into one game last season and was unlikely to get a great deal more playing time this season. So during the transfer sessions we have 6 scholarships available and really need guards plus a C.

Ken Yamoto, UC-San Diego: On May 1st we had a full roster of 15 players with 13 players on scholarship. Talent-wise there’s some to be desired.
When we found out about who was transferring, we weren’t surprised. We lost our starting PG sophomore Kevin White and senior forward Charles Williams who played very little for us. White never really clicked with the rest of the team. Williams did but just wanted to see if he could latch on somewhere where he could play more. I’ll be looking to land a very good guard and the best other player at any position during the transfer period.

Dontell Spencer, Arkansas-Pine Bluff: While I’d like to see an improvement at PG and SF, we’re fortunate that we had 13 scholarship players and 2 walk-ons on our roster on May 1st.
But then we learned that 3 of our players will be transferring away from us. Jamar Brown is a senior PF who did a good job for us coming off the bench last season, but wants to get a lot more playing time in his final year of collegiate ball. Antony Gunn, a junior SG, was a disruptive force on the team and played very little for us. Paul Marley, is also a junior SG who played little last season. We need 2 guards and a SF from the transfer pool.

Ramon Martez, Alcorn State: Our May 1st roster consisted of 13 scholarship players and one walk-on. We’re stronger inside that at the perimeter.
Two of our players are transferring to other programs: sophomore SF Darrick Grace who played very little last season and wasn’t expected to do that much more this season; and sophomore C Jarrett Dudley who also only played a few minutes last season and wasn’t part of our plans for this season. We need to land at least one guard and then either a guard or SF with the other available scholarship. Jamar Brown is a senior SF who was a good sub last season.

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Transfer Results (part 1 of 5)

Ken Yamoto, UC San Diego: The transfer period was frenzied.  It took us a while to get our players, but we ended up filling all of our scholarships.  We missed out on some guys but midway through the period, we picked up two new players for our team.  We needed a SG and we got one when Stephan Perry accepted our scholarship offer.  He’s a 6’1” SG from St. Mary’s, PA.  Perry will be a senior so we’ll only have him for this coming season.  He played for Howard where he was a sub averaging under 10 mpg.  He wants more playing time.  He’ll get it with us since right now he’s penciled in as a starter.  He’s a good rebounder for a guard but isn’t likely to be a big scorer.  Our second new player will be 6’9” C Michel Woodward.  He’s a junior from Rochester, IL and played for SIU Edwardsville previously.  I like the way he attacks the boards.  He needs to shoot more, particularly since he’s got a good feel for getting the ball in the hoop inside.  I think we’re a little stronger when comparing who we lost and who we gained due to transfers.  But we’ll just have to see how things go when the season gets underway.

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Transfer Results (part 2 of 5)

Mike McMillan, MD-Eastern Shore:  I absolutely LOVE the greatly expanded transfer arrangement.  We hit the jackpot.  We had 6 vacant scholarships and filled every one of them.  Not only did we get quantity but we got good quality as well so our tAseam will be much stronger when these 6 players start playing for us.  So here’s who we added: PG Lamarr Ramage, a 6’2” sophomore from Elaine, AR who transferred from Central Arkansas where he did a good job coming into the games from the bench as a freshman.  He’s a good passer and ball handler who will provide good depth for us at the point.  We added a second PG when 6’0” sophomore Lataryl Brown who is from Mineola, TX came to us after starting as a freshman for Prairie View.  He’s a good scorer, passer, and rebounder.  We also picked up 2 new SG’s.  The first is Marcos Santini, a 6’5” sophomore who came from Argentina and played as a freshman for Loyola (MD). He’s a very good scorer and rebounder.  The other new SG will be Travis Temple who is a 6’1” senior from Durant, MS.  As a junior he was a starer where he averaged 21.6 ppg and hit a high percentage of his FG’s, FT’s and 3’s. He’s also a pretty good defender.  Besides the 4 new guards, we will have 2 new big men.   6’10” sophomore C Geordie Johnson from Portsmouth, VA.  He didn’t get a lot of playing time in his freshman season and William & Mary.  He’l be a good backup at C for us this coming season.  The final transfer player we landed was PF Terrance Minor, a 6’8” junior who previously played for Ball State after coming from Dayton, OH.  He started every game as a freshman and sophomore and averaged 12.0 ppp and 5.0 rpg over those 2 seasons.  He’a good scorer, rebounder, shot blocker and gets his fair share of steals.  It was a very good haul and will make us a lot stronger inside this year.  At least 2 of these transfer players will start for us and all 6 will get a good amount of playing time.

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Transfer Results (part 3 of 5)

Ramon Montez, Alcorn State:  We had two scholarships to fill, but through some yet undetermined SNAFU, we were only able to extend ONE scholarship offer.  And for a while it looked like we might not even be able to fill that one as our offers got turned down with maddening regularity.  But in late June we were successful in landing SG Caleb Sanden who hails from Warner Robins, Georgia.  We believe Sanden was extremely undervalued this summer by most all colleges going after transfer players…and it’s hard to understand why.  Because he started every game in his two seasons with North Alabama averaging 22.2 ppg a freshman and 24.2 ppg last season as a sophomore and had a high of 41 points in one game.  He has dropped in over 50% of his FG attempts and over 80% of his free throws, but his accuracy from 3-point distance hasn’t been good.  He’s a good defensive player.  Sanden was the Conference V Freshman of the Year and then the conference’s Player of the Year as both a freshman and a sophomore.  He was named to the All-Conference 1st Team both seasons.  He’s a good student, has a decent personality, a good work ethic, is very durable, and isn’t concerned about playing time.  So how does a guy with that basketball resume last until the 4th transfer session?  Fortunately he did, so we could grab him.  He will be our starting SG, pushing Craig Brown (who averaged 12.6 ppg for us last season) to the bench.  Brown has the passing and ball-handling abilities to sub at both SB and PG or possibly take over as our staring PG.  So even though we were jobbed out of our last scholarship, I believe Sanden has greatly strengthened our team.

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Transfer Results (part 4 of 5)

Terry Morillo, Western Illinois:  We were weakest at SG, so we focused our efforts toward adding, not one but two SG’s.  And we were successful in doing so.  The addition of Marcelo Barker, who’s from Lake Charles, Louisiana and was a starter as both a freshman and sophomore at Northwestern State.  As a freshman he averaged 16.5 ppg and was named to the Conference Q All-Conference 1st Team.  His scoring average slipped to 12.5 ppg but he improved his rebounding to take down 3.8 rpg and was named to the All-Conference 2nd Team for Conference P after Northwestern State was promoted. Barker has hit over 98% of his free throws.  Not only is he a good scorer and rebounder, but he’s very strong defensively.  He will be our starting SG this season.  The second transfer player who will play for us this season is Emerson Owens who attended Grambling as a freshman where he averaged 8.3 ppg coming in off the bench.  He’s not afraid to put up shots and hits a pretty high percentage of his shots.  Even though he’s still developing his skills, he will be a solid sub at the 2 position.  So I’m relieved to have solidified our weakest position.

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Transfer Results (part 5 of 5)

Dontell Spencer, Arkansas-Pine Bluff:  We had to do some serious convincing, but we landed 3 transfer players to fill all our available scholarships.  And we got players at the positions where we needed them.  At PG we brought in sophomore Eric McColpin.  He’s from North Charleston, South Carolina and he transferred to us from Charleston Southern.  As a freshman there he came in off the bench and averaged 2.7 ppg and 1.7 apg in a limited role.  But he’s a talented young man.  He’s very good at distributing the ball due to his keen passing and ball-handling skills.  And he’s a good rebounder for a PG and a good ball-hawk.  He’s had some attitude problems, but I’m confident we can handle that.  He’ll likely start as a reserve but could challenge for a starting position as he become familiar with our sets.  Andrew Richardson is from Ledyard, Connecticut and comes to us from Bucknell where he played very little as a freshman.  But he was pretty highly ranked as a recruit and had some good skills that will develop as he gains more experience.  He’s a natural SF but due to his rebounding skills he will initially come off the bench at both SF and PF.  It’s possible he may move into the starting lineup at SF as the season progresses.  The third transfer player coming our way is junior SG William Huggins.  He grew up in Ambler, Pennsylvania and played two seasons for LaSalle.  He started last season and averaged 8.3 ppg and 3.9 apg.  He’s a good rebounder, passer, ball handler, and defender and is very durable and athletic.  He has career game highs of 23 points, 12 assists, and 6 rebounds.  He will come in off the bench to serve as a strong replacement for when Kwame Mickens needs a breather, but could also sub at PG…and even SF when we want to go with a small lineup or a 3-guard lineup.  These 3 players will greatly improve our depth which will be necessary due to our promotion to Conference T.

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Recruiting Needs

[The AI will continue to handle all recruiting activities for all 5 teams.]

Arkansas-Pine Bluff: “What do I want?  Now that you ask, I’d say three 5-star basketball players signing with us.  But unless Pine Bluff HS has three of those type of players and they all want to go to a college within 3 miles of their Momma and Papa, I guess that may be a pipe dream,” said Donnell Spencer.  He continued, “Here’s the scoop.  We have 3 seniors who’ll graduate after this season concludes...2 PG’s and a SG.  So we need to get at least one PG and one SG.  Recruiting a 3rd guard would be great, but we may just go after the best available recruit, regardless of what position he plays.”

Western Illinois:  “We only have 2 seniors on our team this year.  I’d like to recruit a big man and a good-shooting perimeter player.” Said head coach Terry Morillo.  He added, “But to be honest, with a lot of guys transferring, it’s really hard to know where we will be thin next season.”

Alcorn State:  The Braves are losing 4 players to graduation, 1 SG and 3 interior players, plus they have a vacant scholarship presently, so will be able to go after 5 recruits.  “Our starters this year at C and PF will be leaving us after the season.  So we need a couple very strong big men and two guards and hopefully can pick up a really good recruit at whatever position he plays,” said Coach Ramon Montez.

MD-Eastern Shore:  Coach Mike McMillan advised, “We’re losing our staring C and backups at SG, SF, and PF.  So I’d like to see us land a very good interior player, a guard, and 2 of the best guys we can recruit.  Recruiting continues to be very important, but It’s a little less critical now that there are a lot of transfer players.”

UC-San Diego:  Coach Ken Yamoto rolled his eyes and said, “What do we need?  Just about everything since wehave 6 seniors who are leaving up at the conclusion of this season.  Both of our SF’s graduate, so that our #1 need…at least 2 SF’s.  With a PG and SG departing and those two positions being our weakest right now, getting two good guards is also important.  It’s also important that we recruit a big men and then see who’s out there to fill the 6th scholarship.  Since we have so many scholarships to fill, it would be good if one or two of our new recruits this season are JC players.”

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November, 2035:

UC-San Diego: 4 recruits have given verbals to come to play for the Tritons…2 PG’s, a PF, and a C.  The C is a 2-star, the rest are 1-star.  So Coach Yamoto still has 2 scholarships to fill, but they have a number of recruits still on their list who are showing interest.

MD-Eastern Shore: No verbals and out of money.  So 4 unfilled scholarships.  The team was recruiting well and made 5 offers but all of those recruits chose other programs.  Now that the money has run dry, it looks like the Hawks will be highly involved in going after transfer players next summer.  Coach McMillan said, “We’re going to have to figure out ways to conserve our funds next year so we can recruit throughout the year if need be.”

Alcorn State: 3 verbals…all interior players…2 PF’s and a C…all 1-star players.  “Our recruiting budget has evaporated, so not much chance to fill the last remaining scholarship this year, said Coach Ramon Montez. “But I’m happy to have 3 recruits coming our way.”

Western Illinois: 2 scholarships to fill, none filled thus far. “We made a couple offers but they weren’t accepted.  We still have a couple guys who are interested and we have a pretty fair amount left in our recruiting budget, so we’ll see if we can pick up a recruit or two this spring,” said Coach Terry Morillo.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff: 1 verbal acceptance by a one-star PF.  2 unfilled scholarships but no more money is left in their recruiting budget.  “I’ve been telling the administration every year that we need a bigger budget to compete.  But it’s been the same response every year…Denied!  We keep turning in good seasons, but that can’t continue if we can’t compete for recruits,” said Coach Spencer.

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Starters announced by the head coaches:

Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions, Conference T, Coach Dontell Spencer

PG—Dwayne Robinson, 6’0”Sr. (7.8 ppg, 2.3 apg last season)

SG—Kwame Mickens, 6’0” Sr. (15.1 ppg, 6.3 apg, 4.0 rpg last season)

SF—Dan Jefferson, 6’4” So. (14.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg last season)

PF—Antonio Gailey, 6’7” Jr. (4.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg last season)

C—Chris Betts, 6’9” So. (11.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg last season)

The Golden Lions are picked to finish 2nd in Conference T.

Western Illinois Leathernecks, Conference V, Coach Terry Morillo

PG—Tom Daniel, 6’4” Jr. (5.5 ppg, 2.4 apg last season)

SG—Marcelo Barker, 6’4” Jr. (12.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg last season at Northwestern St.)

SF—James Johnson, 6’7” Fr. (High school last season)

PF—Jamar Curtis, 6’7” Sr. (Sat out last season due to transfer rules, but 13.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg the year before at Kent State)

C—Craig Grant, 6’8” So. (12.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg last season)

The Leathernecks are picked to finish 3rd in Conference V.

Alcorn State Braves, Conference T, Coach Ramon Montez

PG—Todd Young, 6’0” Jr. (4.2 ppg, 2.7 apg last season)

SG—Caleb Sanden, 6’6” Jr. (24.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg last season at North Alabama)

SF—Harold Hein, 6’8” So. (6.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg last season)

PF—Will Friel, 6’6” Sr. (12.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg last season)

C—Gabriel Atwood, 6’8” Sr. (11.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg last season)

The Braves are picked to finish 1st in Conference T.

MD-Eastern Shore Hawks, Conference U, Coach Mike McMillan

PG—Marcos Santini, 6’5” So. (8.1 ppg, 1.8 apg, 3.1 rpg last season at Loyola-MD)

SG—Travis Temple, 6’1” Sr. (21.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg last season at Jackson St.)

SF—Jibran Hale, 6’5” Fr. (High school last season)

PF—Tony Rueter, 6’6” Jr. (6.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg last season)

C—Dwayne Bullett, 6’8” Jr. (9.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg last season)

The Hawks are picked to finish 1st in Conference U.

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

PG—Brian Thomas, 6’6” Sr. (2.9 ppg, 2.7 apg last season)

SG—Stephan Perry, 6’1” Sr. (2.7 ppg, 1.1 rpg last season)

SF—Gregg Green, 6’7” Sr. (10.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg last season)

PF—Shannon Van Hook, 6’10” Sr. (9.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg last season)

C—Michel Woodward, 6’9” Jr. (Injured last season at SIU Edwardsville)

The Tritons are picked to finish 1st in Conference V.

Coach Ken Yamoto: “In some ways it’s nice to be picked to finish at the top or near the top of the conference standings. But it also paints a target on your back for the other teams to aim at every time the come up against us.  It also can lead our players to think it’s going to be easy this season.  I’d rather have them hungry.  To be honest, I’m surprised that the teams of all 5 of us coaches are picked so high.  Let’s hope the projections are correct.”

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Game Results—Nov. 13-19

South Dakota St.—86, Western Illinois (0-1)—84 (The Leathernecks trailed by 15 at the half. They scored 56 points in the 2nd half but it wasn’t quite enough.  4 starters scored in double figures, led by SF James Johnson who hit 8 of 12 FG attempts and scored 19 points.)

Western Illinois (1-1)—92, Wofford—64 (This game was close for the first 7 minutes but then the Leathernecks rapidly pulled away and expanded their lead to the very end. Five players scored in double figures led by SF James Johnson’s 18 points.)

McNeese St.—85, UC-San Diego (0-1)—71 (The Tritons led by as much as 8 points in the first half but looked horrible in the 2nd half.  C Joe Roland came in off the bench to score 19 points and PG Brian Thomas had 9 assists.)

UC-San Diego (1-1)—84, Hofstra—62 (The Tritons pulled away early and never looked back.  They outshot the Pride 51% to 29% and out-rebounded them 41-32.  SF Green Green poured in 23 points and C Shannon Van Hook had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.)

Alcorn State (1-0)—51, New Mexico St.—46 (Defense predominated throughout the entire game.  The Braves led the last 25 minutes of the game.   Alcorn State was +10 in rebounding.  PF Will Friel hit 6 of 9 FG’s and finished with 15 points.

Alcorn State (2-0)—83, Santa Clara--45 (Alcorn State never trailed and by the half had sewn up the game, leading 53-16.  They coasted through the 2nd half as the entire bench got plenty of playing time.  PG Caleb Sanden scored 24 points in his 23 minutes on the court.)

Wichita St.—81, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-1)—74 (There were 12 lead changes and 7 ties in the first half, but Wichita St. held onto a lead throughout the 2nd half.  PF Delvon Palmer’s 11 points were high for the Golden Lions.

Northwestern State—76, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-2)—71 (While the game was close most of the way, Northwestern State stayed in control.  Subs Dwayne Robinson and Jacob Allen both scored 12 points for the Golden Lions.)

Utah St.—74, MD-Eastern Shore (0-1)—72 (Utah State hit a 14 foot jumper off a good screen to win the game in the final 3 seconds.  4 of the Hawks starters scored in double figures with SG Travis Temple topping the list with 15 points.

MD-Eastern Shore (1-1)—69, NC-Wilmington—62 (The Hawks made just 6 turnovers which made up for making just 9 of 35 from beyond the arc.  SG Travis Temple hit for 23 points.)

Awards: none

Significant Injuries: none

Comments: Nice start by Alcorn State which played awesome defense in both games. Coach Montez said, “Happy to get the wins but now we have 3 straight road games which will be a real test for us.”  Even though they lost in the final seconds, MD-Eastern Shore played a good game on the road against Utah State, a team that is now ranked #22 in the polls.

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Game Results—Nov. 20-26

#22 Utah State—89, Western Illinois (1-2)—63 (Although Western Illinois shot better than Utah state, the talented Aggies dominated this game due to an 18-8 turnover advantage, a 36-27 rebounding advantage and scoring 22 more points at the foul line.  C Jamar Curtis led Western Illinois’ scoring with 14 points.)

Western Illinois (2-2)—76, Ball State—63 (There were 24 lead changes and 11 ties in the first 26 minutes of this game, but then Western Illinois quickly pulled away for what proved to be an easy win.  SG Marcelo Barker scored 19 points to lead the Leathernecks.)

Manhattan—90, UC-San Diego (1-2)—84 (The Tritons trailed by 21points at halftime, but made a run to get close but there just wasn’t enough time to overcome the Jaspers.  UC-San Diego was victimized by the refs who called 23 fouls on them and just 6 on Manhattan which allowed the Jaspers to outscore them at the foul line by 15 points. The top scorer for the Tritons was sub Brian Thomas who chipped in 19 points.)

UC-San Diego (2-2)—87, Jacksonville-76 (UC-San Diego hit 56% of their FG’s and 50% of their 3’s to put away Jacksonville.  SF Gregg Green scored 22 and had 7 boards for the Tritons.)

Harvard—80, Alcorn State (2-1)—71 (Alcorn State led by as much as 13 points but let the Crimson back into the game in the 2nd half.  At the end of regulation time the score was tied at 65-65.  Harvard came out on fire in the OT to hand the Braves their first loss of the season.  Harvard got to the line 12 more times and scored 11 more points than Alcorn State.  C Gabriel Atwood dropped in 18 points for the Braves.)

Stanford—82, Alcorn State (2-2)—63 (Alcorn State hung with the Cardinal in the first half but ran out of gas in the 2nd half.  Topping the scoring for the Braves was C Gabriel Atwood with 16 points.)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-2)—79, Florida International—59 (The Golden Lions liked the friendly confines of their home court.  Florida International gave them a run for their money in the first half, but Arkansas-Pine Bluff ran away with the game in the 2nd half.  SG Kwame Mickens hit for 20 points and C Chris Betts had 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists.)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-2)—94, Delaware—80 (Six players including the entire starting 5 scored in double figures for the Golden Lions.  Arkansas-Pine Bluff led by 23 points after the first 20 minutes.  C Chris Betts had 18 points and 9 rebounds.)

MD-Eastern Shore (2-1)—75, Grambling—68 (24 lead changes and 8 ties in this game.  The Hawks had 12 more rebounds and scored 11 more points than Grambling.  PF Tony Rueter scored 17 points for MD-Eastern Shore.)

California—65, MD-Eastern Shore (2-2)—55 (California led nearly the entire game by outshooting the Hawks 44% to 34% plus scoring 12 more points at the line.  C Dwayne Bullett scored 16 points as the only member of the Hawks to score in double figures.)

Awards: none

Significant Injuries: Alcorn State’s SG Caleb Sanden is sidelined for a couple weeks with a bruised abdominal.

Comments: Arkansas-Pine Bluff posted 2 wins with some good offense. Chris Betts scored 32 points and pulled down 21 rebounds in their 2 games.  Alcorn State announced that a 4th recruit, a big C who scores and rebounds well, had accepted a scholarship.  The Braves still have one more scholarship to fill. 

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Game Results—Nov. 27-Dec. 3

Western Illinois (3-2)—61, Tarleton—43 (The Leathernecks defense stymied Tarleton in the first half, and Western Illinois led the Texans 29-14 at halftime.  SG Marcelo Barker scored 14 plus he had 4 steals and 2 blocks.  C Jamar Curtis scored 9 and had 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks.)

#9 Indiana—60, Western Illinois (3-3)—59 (Western Illinois went ahead by 10 points in the first half but at the break led by just a 27-24 score.  The 2nd half was close the entire way, but Indiana scored the final 4 points to gain the win.  SF James Johnson had 17 points and 7 boards.)

UC-San Diego (3-2)—87, Stony Brook—71 (The first half was close the entire way with Stony Brook holding a slim 47-45 lead at the break.  But the Tritons applied a solid defense in the 2nd half that allowed them to pull away.  SF Gregg Green hit for 17 points, PF Jack Robinson had 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals, and SG Chris Williams had 12 points and 7 boards.)

UC-San Diego (4-2)—86, Fairleigh Dickinson—68 (The Tritons gained control late in the first half to lead 46-39 going into the 2nd half.  UC-San Diego again used a tight defense in the 2nd half to come away with a solid victory.  SF Gregg Green scored 17 points and PF Jack Robinson added 16.)

Alcorn State (3-2)—87, Bryant—79 (OT) (Bryant controlled the game in the first half and led by 9 points after 20 minutes of play.  But the Braves got their offense in gear to pull ahead in the 2nd half but let the Bulldogs come back late in the half to send the game to overtime.  Alcorn State’s offense continued to dominate in the OT.  C Gabriel Atwood scored 27 plus had 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks.)

Drexel—82, Alcorn State (3-3)—80  (Alcorn State led 50-44 at the end of the 1st half but failed to hold off the Dragons in the 2nd half.  PG Todd Young scored 16 points.)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (3-2)—79, Nevada—70 (The Golden Lions led most of the game and built a 15 point lead in the 2nd half and then held on for a big win.  SG Kwame Mickens dropped in 19 points while SF Dan Jefferson scored 17 and C Chris Betts had a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards.)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (4-2)—97, Winthrop—72 (Arkansas-Pine Bluff led from wire-to-wire in their beatdown of the Eagles.  C Chris Betts poured in 23 points and had 9 rebounds.)

Dayton—90, MD-Eastern Shore (2-3)—84 (OT) (The Hawks held a 35-33 halftime lead.  The game continued to be close throughout the 2nd half and went to an overtime in which Dayton caught fire offensively.  C Dwayne Bullett and reserve guard Edouard Gaultier both scored 12 points for the Hawks.)

MD-Eastern Shore (3-3)—95, Omaha—87 (2 OT’s) (The Hawks led by 11 in the first half but their lead was shaved to 44-39 at the break.  Then Omaha built an 11 point lead in the 2nd half before MD-Eastern Shore roared back late to forge a tie. In the first OT, Omaha built a small lead but the Hawks tied them at the buzzer.  Then Md-Eastern Shore totally controlled the 2nd OT.  PG Lataryl Brown scored 21, SF Jibran Hale hit for 17, and C Dwayne Bullett had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.)

Awards: Jibran Hale (MD-Eastern Shore), Freshman of the Week for Conference U (25 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks in their 2 games).  MD-Eastern Shore and Alcorn State also split their games this week, but the two teams played in 4 overtime periods in this week’s games.

Significant Injuries: none

Comments: Collectively the five coaches’ teams won 7 and lost 3 this week.  Of particular note were the offenses generated by UC-San Diego (86.5 ppg this week) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (88.0 ppg this week)…with both teams recording 2 victories each.  Although Western Illinois split its two games, the loss was by only a point on the road to the #9 ranked team in the nation.  C Chris Betts of Arkansas-Pine Bluff had 39 points and 19 rebounds in his team’s two games.  Alcorn State’s C Gabriel Atwood had 38 points, 18 rebounds, and 7 steals in the Brave’s two games.

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Game Results—Dec. 4-10

Georgia Tech—68, Western Illinois (3-4)—66 (OT) (Close all the way with 16 lead changes and 15 ties and Western Illinois’ biggest lead was 9 points and Georgia Tech’s largest lead was 4 points.  The Leathernecks led 37-35 at the half and the game was tied at 62-62 when the claxon sounded ending regulation play.  Both teams’ defense predominated in the overtime with Western Illinois nearly gaining a major road victory over a much more highly rated team.  C Jamar Curtis scored 20 points for the Leathernecks.)

UC-San Diego (5-2)—93, SE Louisiana—85 (After being tied at 47-47 at the half, the Tritons gained control in the 2nd half, opening as much as a 12 point lead and winning with relative ease as the Tritons’ offense continued to sparkle.  Reserve C Joe Roland had 20 points and 6 rebounds.)

Alcorn State (4-3)—83, Bucknell—73 (Bucknell looked to be running away with the game when they opened an early 13 point lead.  But the Braves fought back to carve out a 41-35 halftime advantage.  Alcorn State expanded their lead to 13 points in the 2nd half enroute to their road win.  C Gabriel Atwood finished with 23 points and 7 boards.)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (5-2)—97, Lafayette-79 (The Golden Lions scored 97 points for the 2nd straight game.  By the end of the first half Arkansas-Pine Bluff held a 54-42 lead and expanded their lead to as much as 24 in the 2nd half.  SF Dan Jefferson dropped in 21 points and SG Kwame Mickens had 17 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals.)

MD-Eastern Shore (4-3)—70, St. Bonaventure—57 (The Hawks took control early.  At the half they led 37-25 and held onto a double-digit lead throughout the 2nd half as they came away with an impressive road win.  SG Travis Temple hit for 20 points.)

Awards: none

Significant Injuries: none

Comments:  It was a good week even though all the teams played just a single game.  4 of the 5 teams won and the only loss was in overtime on the road to a much higher rated team.

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Game Results—Dec. 11-17

Western Illinois (4-4)—69, Chicago State—54 (The game was close in the first half with the Leathernecks taking a narrow 29-27 advantage into the 2nd half.  But then Western Illinois continually expanded their lead in the final 20 minutes.  C Jamar Curtis had a big game, scoring 26 points and pulling down 12 rebounds.)

Virginia Tech—80, UC-San Diego (5-3)—74 (OT) (Virginia Tech opened an early 14 point lead, but then the Tritons came on late in the 1st half to narrow the gap to 34-31 at the intermission.  The Hokies held onto a small lead throughout the 2nd half until UC-San Diego hit a last second FG to tie the game at 67-67 and send the two teams to overtime.  But the Tritons weren’t able to keep up in the OT.  SF Gregg Green tossed in 30 points and grabbed 7 boards, but none of the other Tritons was able to score in double figures.)

Alcorn State (5-3)—77, Robert Morris—56 (Alcorn State overwhelmed the Colonials from the start.  At the end of the first half the Braves held a 47-25 lead and expanded their lead to as much as 27 points in the 2nd half.  SG Caleb Sanden topped the scoring with 29 points, hitting 5 of 7 of his 3PA’s.)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (6-2)—79, Saint Francis—53 (Another run away.  The Golden Lions never trailed and led 43-22 at the end of the first 20 minutes.  C Chris Betts scored 21 points and had 5 rebounds and 3 steals.)

Saint Peters—77, MD-Eastern Shore (4-4)—61 (Even though Saint Peters led the entire first half, the Hawks closed to within just 2 points when the half ended.  But the Peacocks totally shut down the Hawks’ offense in the 2nd half and cruised to an easy victory.  SG Travis Temple scored 15 points.)

Awards: C Jamar Curtis of Western Illinois was named Conference V’s Player of the Week.

Significant Injuries: none

Comments:  Arkansas-Pine Bluff has the 22nd best NET ranking and even though MD-Eastern Shore is playhing .500 ball, their NET ranking is 55th best in the country. 

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Game Results—Dec. 18-24

Western Illinois (5-4)—75, Ohio—67 (During the first 10 minutes there were 8 lead changes and 4 ties, but then the Leathernecks offense outpaced the Bobcats.  Western Illinois was ahead 46-34 at the break.  The Leathernecks stubbornly refused to relinquish the lead in the 2nd half to garner a solid road victory.  SG Marcelo Barker scored 19 points.)

UC-San Diego (6-3)—85, Loyola (IL)—82 (Loyola looked like the stronger team early in the game, but UC-San Diego came on strong midway through the half to forge a 47-42 lead at the end of the half.  The Ramblers quickly jumped on top early in the 2nd half.  Neither team could gain a real advante over the next 12 minutes as the lead flip-flopped.  But with 5 minutes to go, UC-San Diego jumped ahead by 6 points. The Tritons gamely held off Loyola’s attempted charge in the final 2 minutes.  PF Jack Robinson scored 18 points by sinking 9 of 13 shots and PG Brian Thomas had 14 points and 7 assists.)

#6 Providence—86, Alcorn State (5-4)—59 (Providence established their dominance early in the game and led 44-33 by the end of the first half.  The Friars defense completely sunk the Braves in the 2nd half and Providence’s SG Will Sanchez poured in 30 points.  SG Craig Brown and PF Will Friel both scored 12 for Alcorn State.)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (7-2)—73, Vermont—70 (The Golden Lions never let Vermont get ahead in the game.  At the end of the first half, Arkansas-Pine Bluff led 31-20.  The Golden Lions’ stout defense of the first half totally fell apart in the 2nd half.  Vermont very slowly narrowed the gap throughout the 2nd half but just ran out of time in their effort to get ahead.  Vermont fans left the arena frustrated.  C Chris Betts and SG Kwame Mickens each scored 16 points while SF Dan Jefferson hit for 12 points and had 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals.)

MD-Eastern Shore (5-4)—66, Fairleigh Dickinson—56 (The Hawks pulled ahead early and led by as much as 10 with 6 minutes remaining in the first half, but the Knights fought back to get within 2 points at the end of the half.  The lead shifted back and forth between the teams for the firsts 15 minutes of the 2nd half, but then MD-Eastern Shore drew away.  SF Jibran Hale scored 17 points and PG Lataryl Brown  finished with 14 points and 8 assists.)

Awards: none

Significant Injuries: none

Comments:  Junior walk-on PG Dalonte Keams got upset with head coach Ken Yamoto at UC-San Diego and blew up when confronted by Yamoto.  That earned Keams a one-weak suspension even though Keams has been averaging 7.3 ppg in his 13.8 mpg of playing time.  The Tritons will have little depth at the guard positions when in their upcoming game.  Otherwise a very good week since the teams won 4 of their 5 games with all games being on the road and the only loss was to the team ranked 6th in the polls.

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