Monday Conference Tournament Preview

In spite of Wright Foreman having an off day (5-16  1-5 3s) Hofstra rebuffed several James Madison runs and held on to beat JMU 76-67. JMUs length bothered Hofstra’s shooters, however, the key to Hofstra’ s wildly successful year, Jacquil Taylor was unstoppable, 7-7 from field and 11 rebounds. Not sure Wright Foreman will be an NBA pro, but that is for another column.
For possibly the first time this season, Delaware had a healthy roster. Things looked bleak as they were 16 down to a hot Wm and Mary bunch but Delaware shot the lights out in the 2nd half 18-26 10-15 3s and rallied for the mild upset. Incredibly they did it with their best player, Eric Carter sitting with four fouls. Their terrific frosh Ithiel Horton was 6-9 from 3 pt land and had 26 pts to lead the come back. Delaware used a 3/4 court press to get Wm and Mary out of rhythm but it was more the never missing a shot, that won the game.
Hofstra bookended conference play by slaughtering Delaware twice. Delaware’s lack of athleticism hurts vs Hofstra. However, this is the first time Hofstra faces a healthy Delaware team. Ingelsby is a master tactician. Hofstra has played to a level that is atypical for the program. I think some of struggles the last month is more their coming back to earth, rather than a bit of apathy. It happens all too often in conference tournaments, which is why they are so moronic. If both Belmont and Lipscomb are left out of the big dance, and they are already talking the keep Belmont out nonsense, then I hope these one bid leagues reconsider, just how ridiculous conference tournaments are. Both Belmont and Lipscomb are capable of winning multiple games in the big dance. Instead you will hear Fraudnardi et al talk quad one wins and all other sorts of nonsense, that means absolutely nothing when evaluating how good a team is. I do think Ingelsby will have something clever up his sleeve. Point guard Kevin Anderson now has two games under his belt. He should be ready to go 40 minutes. An upset is more than possible.
Delaware 78 Hofstra 76
As if Northeastern needed any more help, defensive stalwart and all around solid player Shawn Occeus returned after missing 9 games and Thomas Murphy also returned after missing 2 in Northeasterns unsurprising rout of UNCW.  Northeastern jumped out 20-7 staved off one run by UNCW and coasted home to the 80-59 win.
Drexel led 2-0. That would be their only lead of the night. College of Charleston quickly got to a double digit lead and although they were never threatened they were never quite comfortable either as a game Drexel squad, never cracked. Charleston eventually won and covered 73-61
This sets up a rematch of last years final won by College of Charleston. The teams split games this year, each winning on their home floor. In Boston the teams played to 23 all at the half, Northeastern scored the first 10 of the 2nd half and held off several runs by Charleston to win 69-60. In the rematch a less than healthy Northeastern team after playing a tough game at Wilmington lost in overtime 88-79. With Northeastern now entirely healthy, I think they are the best team in the Colonial. These are the 2 best coaches in the league. However, Northeastern is deep talented and experienced, as most of this team lost that game last year. Coen’s intricate offensive sets can and will score vs Charlestons very tough defense. With Occeus back, Northeastern’s defense just got tougher. They are a notch above Charleston this year. They also know how to win.
Northeastern 70 Charleston 56

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