OFF THE BOARDS
By Jack Scheuer – November 30, 2011 Edition
All of a sudden things are looking a lot brighter at Saint Joseph’s. We knew the backcourt was talented, but the play of Hofstra transfer Halil Kanacevic has enabled C.J. Aiken to move to the outside where he can utilize his offensive ability. Kanacevic can bang, passes well, and is very energetic, although he might want to tone it down a little. The depth is also much better this year, with the high leaping Ronald Roberts, and freshmen guards Chris Wilson and Evan Maschmeyer. . Villanova comes to Hawk Hill on December 17, having won 6 of the last 7 meetings. It should be an exciting evening.
In what is shaping up as a terrific season on the national scene, it’s pretty tough to pick the four best teams. Kentucky is loaded with the best freshman in the country in 6-10 Anthony Davis, plus Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb. And whatever you think of John Calapari, the man can coach. And recruit a little. Ohio State has Jared Sullinger, the probable Player of the Year, plus two other returning starters. North Carolina has at least one All American in Harrison Barnes, plus the terrific Kendall Marshall at the point. And then there is Duke, there is always Duke. The Blue Devils have 4 outstanding guards including freshman whiz Austin Rivers, and great size with the Plumlees and Ryan Kelly. They’re pretty well-coached also. So there’s my top 4 and I’m sticking to it. Until someone else moves in.
Two things I could do without seeing: A player makes a big-time slam dunk, but spoils it by staring at the stands in the end zone, usually with hands on hips, while his opponent races downcourt unguarded. Then there is the Premature Celebration. A player makes a big shot to put his team ahead by 2 or 3 with 30 seconds left. At the ensuing timeout, he is mobbed by his happy teammates with victory smiles everywhere. More times than not the other team win the game..
Trivia Time: Who holds the St. Joseph’s record for most points in a single season? Answer at the end of the column.
This and That: Penn’s Zack Rosen may or may not be the best player in the Big 5, but he is certainly the most valuable. Think where the Quakers would be without him…Harvard has a real chance to crack the top 25. The Crimson has 5 double figure scorers back from last year… Villanova big man Mouphtaou Yarou seems to get better every time out, especially his shooting… Temple really misses Scootie Randall whose knee injury is keeping him out much longer than expected… Now that the NBA mess has been settled, we’ll be able to see if Jimmer Fredette will get quality minutes with Sacramento. A comparison would be J.J. Redick, who many doubted, but has turned out to be a solid pro. J.J. is 2 inches taller though.
Answer to Trivia Time: Marvin O’Connor scored 706 points during the 2000-01 season.