Where have you gone ...

With no games on tap in the Patriot League last night, we decided to do some Googling to see what has become of some familiar names from the past. This will be the first in an occasional series that we will trot out on slow days.

Bill Courtney, Bucknell, All-Patriot League First-Team guard 1991, 1992, Bucknell’s all-time free throws leader

Tucker Neale, Colgate, Patriot League tournament MVP 1995, 1994 PL Player of the Year, PL All-Decade team, 2nd leading scorer in league history, 3-time PL All-Tournament team, 3-time all PL (2x 1st team pick)

Rob Feaster, Holy Cross, 1995 PL Player of the year, PL All-Decade team, 1992 PL Rookie of the Year, 3-time 1st team All-Patriot, 1993 PL Tournament MVP, 2-time All PL Tournament team, Led PL in scoring 1994, ’95, Holds PL career and single season scoring marks

Hassan Booker, Navy, PL All-Decade team, 2-time 1st team All-PL. This guy was, inch-for-inch, the most ferocious frontcourt player in PL history. Listed at 6-4, he was actually about 6-2, yet was a dominating rebounder and one of the best four men we've ever seen in the Patriot.

Bob “Bullet” Behler, former Bucknell radio voice, quite possibly the best play-by-play man and most cautious driver the Patriot League has ever seen

Austen Rowland, Lehigh, 2004 PL Player of the Year and Tournament MVP, 2004 PL leading scorer

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Saturday's games

Contrary to what is posted on the Patriot League Web site, and listed in the League's media guide, the Lehigh at Stony Brook game is tomorrow afternoon, not tonight.

Also on tomorrow's slate:

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On a slow day, we offer an endorsement

We are new at this blog stuff, so we didn't realize until today that they actually give out awards for this stuff.

The nominees have been posted, and voting began yesterday. Wisely, after ignoring the category last year, they have added Best Sports Blog to this year's voting.

Among the nominees is Yoni Cohen's fine College Basketball Blog. Yoni is shamelessly campaigning for the award, and we are jumping on the bandwagon by endorsing his candidacy.

Most of the other nominees are baseball sites. We have nothing against the national pastime, it is a very close second in our sporting passions. But while most of these other nominees are rehashing Jason Giambi's steroid use, as if that is a big surprise, Yoni's lead item today is an interesting post about how Notre Dame canning its football coach might impact college hoops. SportsBlog hasn't had a fresh college hoops post since July. Another nominee is Ubersportingpundit, which might be about cricket. Or it might be about sex. One of today's posts includes the news that:
South Australian batsmanship has been at a low ebb for a long time coming.
Yoni, though, is all about hoops. Hardcore hoops. I mean where else are you going to find links to Saturday's UMass at Gonzaga "Battle in Seattle."

Besides, Yoni has been kind enough to call us a "blog pundit." Been writing about hoops for almost 15 years and can't recall anybody ever calling us a "pundit" before. We were so shocked to be called a pundit we had to look the word up to make sure it was not an insult. Imagine our surprise to learn it comes from the Hindi word "pandit", which is used as a title of respect for a learned man in India.

After that we had to endorse him. And will continue to do so as long as the check does not bounce.

Vote early and often (once a day is the limit). Polls close Dec. 12.

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Mid-afternoon update

We interrupt your regularly scheduled surfing to bring you this special bulletin: O.K., that is an exaggeration. But we ran across a great account of the Bucknell-Penn game from Kyle Whelliston's fine Mid-Majority blog and we thought we would share it with Hoop Time readers who might not have checked out the link to Kyle's site on our navbar. Check it out. We think you'll agree, the dude's got game.

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Marcinek's Crusaders a work in progress

Ah, Division III ball.

Short white kids. Cheerleaders who sit on the sidelines on bleachers that pull out of the wall. Hand-lettered banners proclaiming school spirit adorning the walls of the gym. Forty minutes of basketball without a single dunk.

Yes, it is a lot like high school ball. Or at least that is how it can seem at first. Matter of fact, back in our first job as a sportswriter, that was how we regarded it. The only reason we ever covered a single game was that the boss had a quota for local stories and, some nights, it was the only game in town.

Then came the first incarnation of Hoop Time, the old decaying dinosaur bones on dead trees version. Looking to be a complete Central Pa. basketball publication, we started covering schools like Susquehanna, Lycoming and D-II Bloomsburg on the nights Bucknell and Penn State were either off or too far away for us to get there.

And guess what we learned: those lower level teams play some pretty damned good ball. No, they might not be as athletic as the D-I kids. But they still have game.

That is why, with the turnpike strike settled too late for us to arrange credentials for the Bucknell-Penn game, we decided to head out to Elizabethtown to see our old friend Frank Marcinek’s Susquehanna ballclub take on the three-time defending Commonwealth Conference champion Blue Jays.

It was a long night for Marcinek’s Crusaders, who are definitely in the rebuilding, not reloading, mode. Three seniors who scored in double figures a year ago, and a fourth who averaged 9.9 per game, graduated from last year’s underachieving squad that finished 15-9, after a 10-2 start, and missed the Commonwealth playoffs after being picked to win the league in the preseason.

Only two guys who averaged more than 10 minutes a game return this season for the Crusaders, who dressed five freshmen, one of whom was in the starting lineup against an E-Town team started as many seniors (3) as SU has on its entire roster.

The difference in experience was obvious in E-Town’s 76-61 win. Alternating between a sophomore and a freshman at the point, Susquehanna (2-2, 0-1 Commonwealth) turned the ball over 20 times against the Jays 40-minutes of full court pressure. And we are pretty sure that total, taken from the official box, is well below the real number of giveaways the Crusaders had.

The official box had Susquehanna frosh Moose Marshall with 6 turnovers. But he had four at the half and by our count at least as many in the second half. Given the fact that the box we got from E-Town's SID showed Susquehanna’s Walter Fowler playing 30 minutes, when he sat the entire second half, we are skeptical about some of the stats aside from the scoring totals, which had to match the official books.

“We’re fairly immature,” admitted Marcinek after the game. “There were times when I had four freshmen on the floor at the same time.”

Compare that to E-Town (4-1, 1-0), which didn’t even have a freshman in uniform for the varsity nightcap.

That immaturity was especially apparent at the point, where Marshall and sophomore starter T.J. Parry struggled to get the ball over the timeline against the Jays’ press.

Parry started, and was credited with 29 minutes of PT in the official box. We know that cannot be right, since he only played 9 minutes in the first half and sat for long stretches of the second. In the real world, Marshall saw at least as much time, if not more. Parry’s 2 assists to 1 turnover looked marginally better on paper than Marshall’s 3 assists and 6 turnovers. But Susquehanna definitely played better at both ends with Marshall, who finished with 6 points, three steals and 2 rebounds, on the floor, than it did with Parry, who had goose eggs in every column of the box except personal fouls, and the above mentioned assists and turnovers.

That is a big problem for SU. Marshall, the nephew of Randolph Macon coach Mike Rhoades, a former D-III All America point guard on Pat Flannery’s National Championship Lebanon Valley team, shows the potential to be a decent D-II point some day. But as Marcinek pointed out, “He should have been playing at 6:00 (the jayvee preliminary) instead of 8:00 in an ideal world.”

Marcinek knew it would not be easy to replace last year’s point guard Chris Zimmerman, the Bucknell transfer who led the Crusaders in scoring, assists and steals last season. When a D-II kid who was planning to transfer in e-mailed him late in May to say he’d had a change of heart, Marcinek knew he was in trouble.

“I knew I didn’t have a point guard,” he said. “I just hope kids who come to see us play that we are recruiting notice that.”

What Marcinek thought he did have was a potent 1-2 punch inside in 6-5 senior Bubba Mills and 6-9 junior Walter Fowler. SO far, though, he’s been only half right.

Mills, who leads SU in scoring through four games, and was a one-man gang against E-Town, pouring in 28 points to lead all scorers. Two E-Town post men picked up four personals trying to defend Mills, who was 9-of-13 from the floor and 10-of-11 at the line.

Fowler, on the other hand, was a non-factor. Fowler did manage to pick up 6 points early in the first half, before taking a seat with two personals at the 10:52 mark. But he also turned the ball over at least the two times officially credited to him the final box (we’re pretty sure that is a conservative figure) and his two personals doubled his rebound total.

With a good four-inch height advantage on the tallest Blue Jay, Fowler should have been dominant on the boards and at least an obstacle on defense. But until he learns to catch and handle the ball better and to move his feet, the only thing he can get in the way of is his own team’s offense.

That is why Marcinek sat him the entire second half.

“He’s just not intense enough,” Marcinek said. “And he and Mills do not play well together. He clogs things up on offense. Walter has to play exclusively in the low post and that is where Mills is most effective.”

Until Fowler learns to handle the ball well enough to play in the high post at least on some possessions, it appears minutes might be hard to come by.

Despite the loss, Marcinek was upbeat after the game. He said his team, at the moment, reminds him of when he remodeled his home. In the early stages, when the old spaces are gutted and all you see is wires, ductwork and some framing, it is hard to imagine what it will eventually be. Later, as you put up some drywall and lay the carpet, it starts to take shape.

“I hope by January we will see some improvement,” he said.

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Ivies own the edge

Rallies that fell short were the order of the night as two of the Patriot League's upper echelon clubs took on the cream of the Ivy League crop.

In Worcester, Holy Cross dropped a 56-53 decision to Princeton (box score), after rallying from a double digit deficit in the last five minutes. The Crusaders had a chance to tie it at the buzzer, getting an offensive rebound following an intentionally missed foul shot. But Torey Thomas' 3-pointer from the left corner fell short.

Said Mark Cofman in the Boston Herald:
The late-game drama was the climax of an unlikely rally in the final five minutes, during which Holy Cross used fullcourt defensive pressure to unnerve the Tigers and nearly erase a 10-point deficit. Twice the Crusaders were within a point in the final minute, the second time at 54-53 on Greg Kinsey's drive with 6.6 seconds left.
Jennifer Toland of the Worcester Telegram-Gazette (no link because they require subscriptions), made an interesting point:
All three of the Tigers’ victories have come against Patriot League schools. They beat Bucknell, 61-48, to open the season, and defeated Lafayette, 40-38, on Saturday.
So far this season, the Patriot has a 3-4 record against the Ivies. The three wins came against Ivy doormats Cornell, Harvard and Dartmouth.

Now that the Patriot League has scholarships, this stuff should not keep happening. But it does.

In Philadelphia, Bucknell fell to 0-2 against Ivies, 3-4 on the season, with 65-52 loss at Penn.

Trailing by 21 early in the second half, with Chris McNaughton saddled by foul trouble and Charles Lee off his game Box score, Bucknell battled back to get within single digits late, before succumbing to the Quakers.

The Philadelphia Inquirer pointed out, the hole was just too deep.
"Last night, the Quakers played the kind of defense that made Bucknell look sloppy. The Bison committed 12 turnovers, and connected on only 26.1 percent of their field-goal attempts, in the first 20 minutes.

Penn's defense made every trip down the court an adventure for the Bison. And it didn't help matters when center Chris McNaughton was tagged with a pair of fouls and went to the bench with 14:05 remaining in the half.

Penn, getting points from nine players, was up by 18 points when the half ended, having scored 16 off Bucknell miscues.

While Bucknell was going scoreless over a stretch of six-plus minutes, Penn was building a 32-13 advantage."
Surprisingly, Tom Housenick of The Daily Item did not make the trip to Philly. Since taking over the "Deadly's" sports department, Tom has really improved the paper's college hoops coverage. The Item just ran Bucknell SID John Terry's wrap this morning. We'll give the link to BucknellBison.com.

Elsewhere in the Patriot:

Army picked up its first win of the season, beating up a winless D-3 Polytechnic University team, 77-43, in front of 390 hardcore fans at Christl Arena (box score).

In Annapolis, Navy staged a second half comeback to top Morgan State, 77-67 (box score). According to Gary Lambrecht of the Baltimore Sun, the Mids won even though they:
committed 26 turnovers, got combined 2-for-20 shooting from their starting guard trio of Corey Johnson, Taj Mathews and Leonard Green and did not convert a field goal after Mergerson's layup with 6:44 left ...

In Buffalo, the University of Buffalo Bulls topped Colgate, 74-62 (box score). Coverage from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News.

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Outmanned Bloomsburg loses to California

Terry Conrad told The Daily Item: "They are just more physical and athletic than we are at this point. California is a seasoned group of players, and our puppies are still learning how to play and don?t look comfortable with what they are doing."

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On Tap tonight

Five Patriot League squads are in action tonight. Here's a look at four of those matchups from the folks at USA Today (sorry Army fans, you'll have to find your own scouting report on Polytechnic):

Bucknell at Penn
Princeton at Holy Cross
Morgan State at Navy
Colgate at Buffalo

Speaking of Buffalo, our good friends at College Hoops Net recently ran a great piece on the Bulls. CHN writer Adam Stanco spent 72 hours with the Buffalo team as it got ready to take on defending national champion UConn. File this one under higly reccomended reading.

Bucknell fans might also want to check out College Hoops Net's interview with Penn coach Fran Dunphy.

By the way, those Army fans who are confident the Cadets will get their first W tonight against D-III Polytechnic should be aware of this score from Monday night.

Meanwhile, the turnpike strike continues. So much for getting to the Palestra. Maybe we will sneak over to Lancaster County for the Susquehanna at Elizabethtown game. Our buddy Frank Marcinek's Crusaders are off to a 2-1 start, and a win at 3-1 E-town would send a message to the naysayers that picked the Crusaders sixth in the MAC Commonwealth.

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Down in the valley, PL teams split

Someone better send Paul Sokoloski to remedial hoops class real soon. Here's what the Express-Times columnist had to say about Lehigh's 72-61 win last night over Albany (BOX SCORE) in front of 478 fans in Stabler Arena:
"Some real giants have visited Stabler Arena during the past calendar year, all of them threatening to bounce Lehigh University right out of its own gym.

Last season, Harvard tried. So did Holy Cross, the two-time defending Patriot League champion at the time. Of course arch-rival Lafayette took its best shot, and so did American in the Patriot League Tournament championship game.

All of them failed to squash Lehigh's home winning streak."
That would be 4-23 Harvard, 13-15 HC, and Lafayette, which while it did post an 18-10 mark last season, would hardly be considered a giant. Hard to believe he didn't include Delaware Valley and Swarthmore on that list.

Sokoloski continues: Then came Tuesday night, when an intimidating 7-foot-1 hulk of a center named Kirsten Zoellner led the hot-shooting, high-powered Albany Great Danes on a mission to finally crack Lehigh's home mystique.

Oh, so we are talking about big men, not big teams?

For starters, Zoellner is not exactly the second coming of Shaq. He is a seven-footer who managed to see action in all of 15 games in two seasons at Boston College. Maybe that Holy Cross reference meant Neil Fingleton.

Sokoloski was fascinated by Zoellner's height, but the guy who covers the Danes on a regular basis, Mark Singelais of the Albany Times-Union, didn't even mention Zoellner's name in his story.

An interesting tidbit from Singelais story involved an alleged one-finger salute that either was, or was not, given by Albany forward Levi Levine as he left the floor after picking up a second technical and being ejected.
"(The students) must have great vision," (Albany coach Will) Brown said. "Again, it was at the end of our bench, and I think if Levi stood up and gave the crowd (a gesture), everybody in the gym would notice it.

However, a reporter for the Morning Call of Allentown (Pa.) said he saw Levine make the obscene gesture."
Since we could not find any coverage on the Morning Call's Web site, we're wondering if maybe it wasn't Sokoloski sitting next to Singelais.

Years ago, we had the pleasure of sitting next to Sokoloski at a high school football game when he was working for the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader. We've had many Sokoloski encounters since, and want to emphasize that Paul is a genuine nice guy. But remembering his account of that football game, and how dramatically it differed from what we had witnessed with our own two eyes, we're siding with Brown until we see some film.

Meanwhile, The Express-Times had John Bruns covering Lafayette's 78-67 loss to Drexel.

Bruns says the 'Pards hung tough for a while, before Drexel's athleticism wore them down in the second half.

Mel Greenberg, of the Philadelphia Inquirer said Lafayette's youth was part of its problem:
"The Leopards had their own deficiencies to overcome last night. One was a lack of experience.

Four starters have graduated from the squad that beat Drexel in Philadelphia last season."
We'll tell you right now, you can throw out Lafayette's 1-3 start. The young players will get better. When it gets to conference play, history shows any Fran O'Hanlon coached team will be dangerous.

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American wins, HC gets a vote and the strike continues

American beat St. Francis last night, 71-65. If we were one of those six-degrees-of-separation types, we might try to read something into American beating the same Red Flash team that beat Bucknell last week.

We won't ask anybody to find their way all the way back to the first post of the season, (now might be a good time to recheck the blogger settings, since we could have sworn we were archiving individual posts as separate pages, which would make for an easy link). But we pointed out after that game that the officiating had a lot to do with the outcome.

At the same time, though, give the Eagles credit. They shot 55 percent against St. Francis and that is not out of the norm for AU so far. They are shooting over 50 percent from the field through four games. Even in their two losses they hit more than half of their shots. Even scarier, they are shooting almost 50 percent (47.1) from 3-point range. They keep hitting like this and they will be awful tough to beat.

We'd love to link to coverage of the AU-SF game, but alas, it is all but nonexistent. Apparently only one paper staffed the game, the Altoona Mirror.

On its Web site, here's what you'd find, if we wasted your time with a link:
WASHINGTON D.C. - St. Francis seems to prefer trying to win games in 32-34 minutes rather than the full allotment of 40.

The Red Flash have a problem of sleepwalking through the first three or four minutes of each half. They got away with that last week in rallying to beat Bucknell, but American didn't allow a repeat Monday night.
"We've just got to find a way to start the game and start the second half and not dig such a deep hole," SFU coach Bobby Jones said of the Flash's 71-65 loss to the Eagles.

For details, please see Page B1 in the November 30 edition of the Altoona Mirror
For details, please see Page B1 in the November 30 edition of the Altoona Mirror.

How lame is that?

We understand sites trying to sell subscriptions to get news from their Web site, but this is ridiculous
What if you happen to live outside the thriving metropolis of Altoona?

On the other hand, give them credit. While the little Altoona Mirror sent someone to D.C. to cover St. Francis on the road, big papers like the Washington Post and the Moonie Times couldn’t be bothered to catch the Metro across town.

Here’s what we found on the Post’s site, buried at the bottom of a story about Howard-Portland State:
AMERICAN 71, ST. FRANCIS (PA.) 65: Andre Ingram scored 18 points, and Raimondas Petrauskas had 15 of his 17 in the second half to lead the Eagles at home.

American (2-2) opened the game on a 15-1 run and held the Red Flash (2-1) without a field goal for more than six minutes.

Reserve Rahsann Benton scored a career-high 22 points to lead St. Francis, and Darshan Luckey added 19. The Red Flash committed 16 turnovers.

Patrick Okpwae had 12 points and Jason Thomas added 10 for the Eagles, who won their sixth straight at home.
Here's the recap, box and play-by-play from the AU official site.

Holy Cross gets a vote in the latest AP Poll -- If Feinstein up to his old tricks again?

By the way, Iowa State, which struggled to win at home against Bucknell and Northern Colorado over the weekend, got 3 votes. Remind to to check and see which Iowa papers get a ballot.

Turnpike talks resume -- Here’s hoping they settle by tomorrow. We want to go to the Palestra for the Bucknell-Penn game, but we won’t cross the picket lines to do it (even though we like the idea of only paying a two buck toll). Getting to Philly from the Harrisburg area without the turnpike is not impossible. But it is way too time consuming, especially the return trip after the game. Doubly so when you need to get up the next morning to blog and get to work.

If the strike continues, we’ll just stay home and listen to the game on WXPN.

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HC wins easy, Service academies scuffle

The good news: Holy Cross is off to a 3-0 start. If they keep winning, the Boston papers will start giving them some ink. That is good news for two reasons – A) Because it will give us something to link to and more important, B) The Globe will then pick up the Worcester Telegram-Gazette’s stories (both are owned by the NY Times), meaning extra money in our pockets when the Crusaders come south for league play.

The bad news: The Boston papers haven’t taken notice of the ‘Saders yet. Since the T-G requires subscriptions for its Web site, that presents a linking challenge. Fortunately, two papers covering Marist were on hand.

Here’s a highly edited excerpt from Bill Doyle’s story in the T-G. Thank God for the fair use doctrine eh?
WORCESTER— Kevin Hyland, like his father, is a center who can block. But they do it in entirely different ways.

Bob Hyland blocked in football as a center for the Green Bay Packers and won a championship ring in Super Bowl II.

Kevin Hyland started at center last night in place of the injured Nate Lufkin and blocked two shots and scored a career-high 13 points as the Holy Cross men’s basketball team breezed to a 79-52 victory its home opener over Marist at the Hart Center.

Hyland also scored his previous career high against Marist, 11 points in a loss to the Red Foxes in January. The 6-foot-7 junior made all five of his shots last night, but more importantly he, John Hurley and Tim Clifford took turns double-teaming Marist center Will McClurkin and forced him into an 0-11 night.

McClurkin, a 6-foot-9 senior, may not be another Rik Smits, the most famous basketball player to play at Marist, but McClurkin was the team’s leading returning scorer from a year ago. Will Whittington entered the night averaging a team-high 17.8 points for Marist, and McClurkin was second at 12.8, but HC held them to a combined 1-of-19 shooting and four points.

Lufkin, HC’s 6-foot-11 senior, slipped on the floor in practice Friday and twisted an ankle. He suited up last night but didn’t play. Hyland found out a half hour before tipoff that he was going to make his fifth career start.

Hurley, Kevin Hamilton and Greg Kinsey each scored 10 points as HC shot 53.8 percent. Hyland grabbed only one rebound, but Hamilton helped make up for the loss of Lufkin underneath by collecting a team-high nine boards. Hurley seized eight. Clifford, a 6-foot-10 freshman, had nine points, seven rebounds and an amazing six blocks. Clifford blocked 12 shots in a game against Dedham High as a sophomore at Walpole High.

"But that’s against centers 6 feet tall," Clifford said. "High school is a different world. That’s misleading."

The Crusaders played their usual stifling defense, limiting Marist to 30.5 percent shooting. The Red Foxes made only six of 31 shots (19.4 percent) in the first half as HC took command, 39-17.

The Crusaders improved to 3-0 for the first time since the NCAA Tournament team of 1992-93 also began 3-0. When Princeton visits the Hart Center on Wednesday, HC will try to get off to a 4-0 start for the first time since the 1988-89 team won its first six games.
The Middletown Record said Holy Cross was dominant in this one:
Marist (2-3) struggled mightily from the outset, falling behind by counts of 9-0, 16-1 and 22-4. The Red Foxes, who drew no closer than 20 points over the final 22 minutes, missed their first eight shots from the field and shot a season-low 31 percent (18-for-59) from the floor.

And the Poughkeepsie Journal was impressed by the Crusaders balance(Box Score).

New Hampshire 77, Army 71 -- Sophomore guard Matt Bell scored almost half (34) of the 0-4 Cadets' points (Box Score). The Middletown Record points out only two Army teams in history have ever started 0-6. Fortunately this year’s squad has D-III Polytechnic coming to West Point on Wednesday. Gotta give The Record props, by the way, they staffed both Marist and Army on the road Sunday.

VMI 78, Navy 73 -- Checked the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post and the Washington Moonie, err … times. Found a total of four sentences, all in the Post’s area wrap.
Levar Joseph scored 18 points in the Keydets' first win over the Midshipmen.

Joseph and Matt Coward each sank two free throws in the final 14 seconds to protect VMI's lead and help it break a 21-game losing streak in the series.

Coward had 16 points and converted 12 of 14 free throws for the Keydets (2-0).

Matt Fannin led Navy (2-2) with career highs of 20 points and 13 rebounds, his first career double-double.
You should find a story from the Annapolis Capital later today, Their site usually updates around noon.

Meanwhile, here's the wrap and box score from Navy Sports.com

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Imagine there's no offense (it's easy if you watched Lafayette-Princeton)

OK, apologies to John Lennon. But can you believe this is a Division I score? Princeton 40, Lafayette 38. From this century?

Gotta hand it to Princeton. There are not many teams that could find a way to win a Division I game when they make only 10 field goals and shoot less than 30 percent from the floor.

In the Times of Trenton, Tigers coach Joe Scott said pretty much the same thing:
"For us to find a way to win, having those sort of problems offensively, my hat's off to our guys' efforts."
Fran O’Hanlon’s take from the Easton Express-Times:
"Their defense did a very good job, and our offense didn't execute as well as it will in the future.”
For the sake of PL fans everywhere, who like to see at least some token offense when they buy a ticket, let’s hope he is right.

Talk about an improbable box score. Lafayette shot better from the floor, including from 3-point range, had the edge on the boards, dished out almost twice as many assists and had but one more turnover then Princeton. But the Tigers went to the line 16 more times than the Leopards (even though Lafayette committed only three more fouls than Princeton).

And we know it is true, 'cuz Lafayette has pictures.

Meanwhile, out in the Midwest, Bucknell's shooting woes from 3-point range cost them a chance of upsetting Iowa State in the final of the Cyclone Challenge.

Kevin Bettencourt and Charles Lee were a combined 2-for-16 from outside the arc (Box Score) for Bucknell, which was 6-of-30 from 3-point range overall in the 63-55 loss.

Still, the Bison and the Patriot League have nothing to be embarrassed about. There will be Big 12 teams that will get beat a lot worse in Hilton Coliseum before the season ends. Bucknell actually led 26-25 after an 11-0 run (play by play) in the first half. But according to the DesMoines register:
Coach Wayne Morgan's team (3-0) was never seriously threatened by the Bison (3-3).
The AP story on Cyclone Mania had a different take:
Bucknell (3-3), the favorite in the Patriot League, kept threatening even after Iowa State took a 61-50 lead on Will Blalock's two free throws with 1:04 remaining.
Elsewhere in the Patriot:

Lehigh 60, Dartmouth 53 -- Preoccupied by the Hawks' appearance in the D-IAA football playoffs (and Lafayette's as well), The Morning Call managed just a short wrap that includes both Lehigh and Lafayette's hoops contests from yesterday. Here's the box from Lehigh-Dartmouth.

Colgate 70, Juniata 47 -- Curious scheduling by Colgate, staying at home and paying a poor D-III to come to town instead of skipping town to pick up a check someplace over the holidays. With the students on break, the announced crowd for this one was 350, which is damned near the entire population of Hamilton N.Y. None of those 350 were newspaper reporters. Here's the box score.

Read more!

Not sweating the small (school) stuff

We are quickly learning that it will be impossibly time-consuming to be comprehensive about the D-II and D-II hoops.

Too many of thge little papers that cover the small school stuff do not update their sites until later in the day, and even then, it is hit or miss finding stories.

We will try to highlight the local D-II and D-III teams as possible, but no promises. Susquehanna (D-III) and Bloomsburg (D-II) get pretty good coverage from the Sunbury Daily Item. We'd like to have Lycoming coverage, since Don Friday is a former Bucknell assistant and a good friend of Hoop Time's, but the Williamsport paper's Web site is a train wreck. Ditto for Scranton, where another former BU assistant, Carl Danzig, who once helped the Hoop Time 3-on-3 team to the championship of the semi-prestigious Shikellamy Blacktop Basketball tournament, is now head coach.

We'll do what we can, but we are not going to spend all day looking for D-II and D-II stuff.

That said, here's what we found this morning:

Bloomsburg 81, Roberts Wesleyan 61 -- Consolation win has Terry Conrad feeling better about his young squad. He told The Daily Item:

"January and February are going to be good months for us if we keep building day by day"

York 86, Elmira 57 -- Coverage from the York Daily Record

Read more!
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Where have you gone ...
Friday, December 03, 2004
Saturday's games

On a slow day, we offer an endorsement
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Mid-afternoon update

Marcinek's Crusaders a work in progress

Ivies own the edge

Outmanned Bloomsburg loses to California
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
On Tap tonight

Down in the valley, PL teams split
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
American wins, HC gets a vote and the strike continues
Monday, November 29, 2004
HC wins easy, Service academies scuffle
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Imagine there's no offense (it's easy if you watched Lafayette-Princeton)

Not sweating the small (school) stuff

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