Off The Boards By Jack Scheuer – February 22, 2017 Edition

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

February 22, 2017 Edition

All teams have injuries but nothing like we’ve seen from among front-line area players who have been sidelined this season.  Saint Joseph’s has been hit the hardest, starting with Checco Oliva’s knee surgery in September.  Then Shavar Newkirk (averaging 20.3 points per game) went down with an ACL after 12 games, followed by Lamarr Kimble who suffered a foot fracture on February 11.
Temple lost promising guard Trey Lowe due to a serious automobile accident during the summer, plus team leader and All Big 5 performer Josh Brown, when an Achilles injury limited him to just 5 games.
At Villanova, Phil Booth, a starter coming of a banner  2016 season, has played in only a few games (knee), and  it is not known if, or when he will return.
Add to this list, Butler’s Maurice Watson Jr., a Philly native, who was leading the nation in assists.  He’s out for the year with a knee injury.
That’s an awful lot of local talented players who have seen their seasons shortened much too early.


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Gonzaga is leading in the polls, followed by Villanova, and it would be quite a match should they meet in the NCAA’s.  However, even if they don’t get paired up in the tournament, they will play each other in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in December.  Syracuse and UConn are the other two teams who will be competing.


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Trivia Time  Who is the last Saint Joe’s player to score 40 or more points in a game? Answer at the end of the column.


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Among things that I don’t understand : It’s the final minute of a very close game and the team with the ball calls time.  In the huddle, the players gather around and listen to an ASSISTANT coach draw up a play. In football maybe, but in Hoops?

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This and That: By defeating Brown and Yale over the weekend, surging Penn had its first visiting sweep since  2011-12….Without much flair or bluster, 5-9 Isaiah Thomas is putting up some amazing numbers for the Celtics…. How did you like the NBA All-star game? Talk about Bad Hoops, Dunkin’ Donuts should have been the sponsor….Richmond’s 6-9 center T.J. Cline has a good shot of being the A-10’s MVP. He’s the son of women’s all-timer Nancy Lieberman-Cline….Interesting week for Villanova: Butler tonight, Creighton on Saturday.  Both tough, but  both at home….Virginia does plays good defense, but the main reason it always leads in points allowed is that the methodical Cavaliers rarely run a fast break, which limits possessions for their opponents…. And whatever happened to Aaric Murray?


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Answer to Trivia Time: On December 30, 1983, against Alaska-Anchorage, Tony Costner poured in 47 points.


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