Sunday Conference Tournament Preview

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JMU trailed Towson by 11 with seven and a half minutes to go but a Matt Lewis three with two seconds remaining completed the come back and the 75-74 win. However, it was Towson’s in ability to handle Dwight Wilson that allowed Lewis to roam free. Towson could not hit a three, yet still should have won this game. I expected JMU to perhaps play more to their talent level. That did not happen. Next up is a team that JMU beat on the road, Hofstra.  Wilson had a picnic today, but Hofstra’s improvement defensively is due to the arrival of Purdue transfer Jacquil Taylor. Hostra has never had such a strong last line of defense. He is a big reason they are the 1 seed. With JMU playing the full 40 and Hofstra having lost when they last met, there will be no upset,  not a chance. I do not think Hofstra will win this tournament, but they for sure will win this game and win it quite easily. JMU does not have the coaching or the legs to stay with them for 40 minutes.
Hofstra 100 James Madison 68
William and Mary finally got healthy. The freshman are on the improve. Coach Shaver is terrific. Strangely, Shaver says that this team is not running their offense well, however, they are defending at a high level. Since this is the most athletic William and Mary team I have watched, the improved defense is no surprise. If they can ever master Shaver’s offense this team has a ceiling that is very very high. They blew a double digit lead at Delaware, a game that Shaver, said, “we gave it away”. They blew out Delaware at home but the Hens played that game without their best player, Eric Carter. Delaware got some good news when point guard, Kevin Anderson returned from injury. Not only does he give them leadership, but he gives the team another body. Delaware has been destroyed by injuries and transfers the last 2 years. The constant poaching of players by power schools needs to be stopped. Shame that the NCAA wants the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. If what happens behind the scenes was ever made public, the NCAA would be in a world of shit. Anyway, Delaware was completely worn out by years end. With Anderson back and Inglesby coaching, they will make life difficult for any team they face. Unfortunately, this is a William and Mary team that will be in the NCAA tournament if not this year, then next, for sure. Inglesby always gives his team their best shot. Unfortunately they are not good enough.
William and Mary 74 Delaware 68
Northeastern endured a myriad of injuries, yet still finished 2nd in the Colonial. They are still not 100% healthy  but their terrific point guard Pusica is. Plus Bill Coen remains the master mind. Northeastern has many players back from last years brutal overtime loss in the finale. The experience should help them if a game is on the line. I shall say little about UNCW except that the coach gets the least out of what he has. They will struggle to defend Coen’s intricate schemes. They will take enough bad shots, where if they do make stops it will not matter.
Northeastern 88 UNCW 71
Drexel’s loss of players may turn out for the best. The shorthanded team finally cracked in the finale but prior to that, I liked what I saw from the freshman who replaced the injured starters. The shot selection was better. The defense was too. With time off, their batteries should be recharged. Unfortunately, they catch a tough match up in College of Charleston. Earl Grants teams give nothing away and their set half court defense is nearly impossible to penetrate. Good shots are hard to find. As much as I liked what I saw of the new look Drexel, they probably drew the team that figures to give them the most trouble. Drexel will struggle to get good looks. Athletically, they will struggle to stop Charlestons talented duo of Brantley and Riller. Still, with time to work with the new line up, Spiker may come up with something good. C of C is extremely well coached. They are not the most athletic bunch. An upset is not impossible. Unfortunately, I do feel that C of C will impose their will defensively. They will take away most of what Drexel runs. The Dragons do have next year to look forward to.
C of C 69 Drexel 48
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