Sportscenter is next's Andy Glockner is jumping on the PL bandwagon in his 2005 Patriot summer overview. Says Glockner:
Sure, the same academic standards still apply and Patriot League players remain among the smartest around. But gone (except in one case) is the ban on athletic scholarships, and that move has ushered in an influx of talent that has made the conference much more formidable.

The win over Kansas helped earn Bucknell coach Pat Flannery a contract extension.So, while much of the nation was shocked when Bucknell beat (and outplayed) Kansas in the NCAA Tournament, those close to the league were not.
Glockner also examines the Lafayette scholarship issue and makes the point that the league's bottom feeders will need to improve if the conference is ever going to gain mainstream respect.

Also at the sports and poker network:

It is never too soon for those nutty bracketeers to begin predicting the 2006 tournament field. ESPN's Joe Lunardi says Bucknell will be the lone Patriot League rep come March. Kunardi makes the Bison a 13 seed.

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Flannery gets contract extension

No dollar figures are mentioned in Tom Housenick's report in the Daily Item about Pat Flannery's contract extension. But sources close to the program say Flannery will still be paid well below what the highest paid coaches in the league.

Flannery, the winningest coach in the league's history and the only coach to lead a league team to an NCAA Tournament win, refused to comment on where he ranks in the league's coaching payscale.

"I am happy with the new contract," Flannery told Hoop Time, adding that the new deal included pay raises for his three assistants, all of whom are on board for next season.

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Navy announces recruiting class

Remember all that whining out of Annapolis about how Navy cannot compete since the other schools in the Patriot League started giving scholarships?

Makes you wonder about this story from Sunday's Annapolis Capital on the Mids incoming freshmen. In addition to a rundown on the background of Navy's six recruits, there is this note:, directed by national recruiting analyst Clark Francis, rates Navy's recruiting class No. 1 in the Patriot League.
Now, we don't put a whole lot of faith in these so-called recruiting experts or their rankings. Especially when we are talking about recruits well below the blue-chip, can't miss level.

But it is interesting, nonetheless, that Navy's class has enough credentials that somebody would rank it that high.

It also points out that Navy continues to have some advantages that old Coach Devoe downplayed when he was losing games at the end of his stay in Annapolis. What scholarship school in the league is able to bring in six recruits in a single season? And that does not take into account the kids Billy Lange is stashing at the Navy Prep school for what amounts to a redshirt year, a luxury only the academies enjoy.

In an earlier article about Navy's 2005-06 schedule, The Capital noted:
Forward Richard Steptoe (Allen, Texas) heads a list of four recruits being sent to the Naval Academy Prep School. The 6-foot-7, 220-pounder is a strong, physical post player with a nice touch from mid-range.
For those keeping score at home, that is a total of 10 recruits for Navy.

When you are recruiting at a level that makes projects a big part of the equation, being able to bring in so many of them certainly increases the odds of a few of them ending up becoming good college players.

As the old saying goes, if you throw enough against the all, some of it is gonna stick.

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Where have you gone Neil Fingleton?

To New Orleans apparently. At least that is where the 7-6 Brit was before the NBA draft.

According to the New Orleans Times Picayune, Fingleton worked out for the Hornets in hopes of rekindling his hoops career.
"He's big, isn't he?" (Hornets coach Byron) Scott said of Fingleton. "He's very intriguing. If you can get a guy with that type of size that has some type of ability, it's always intriguing. He can shoot pretty well from 15 feet on in. Obviously he has to get in much better condition, but he's someone you have to look at."
It would be easy to write Fingleton off. He has barely played any ball the past three or four seasons and was hardly impressive in his cameos with Holy Cross two seasons back.

Then again, he is 7-6, and as coaches always say, you can't teach a kid to be tall.

It would hardly be a surprise if Fingleton ends up in the NBA's developmental league, or gets a look with an NBA summer league team.

Actually ending up in the NBA is another question. But when you are 7-6, there will probably be someone willing to at least give you a chance to prove folks wrong.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Sportscenter is next
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Flannery gets contract extension

Navy announces recruiting class

Where have you gone Neil Fingleton?

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