Off The Boards By Jack Scheuer – November 15, 2017 Edition

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

November 15, 2017 Edition

Optimism appears to be the key word as the new college hoops season has opened for the Philadelphia’s City Six. One team is a national power, and the other five are primed to have comeback years. Villanova (# 5) is led by All-America candidate Jalen Brunson along with three other returning starters. Add a healthy Phil Booth, plus highly-regarded red shirt freshman Omari Spellman and it figures to be another big year for the Wildcats, 32-4 last season. Saint Joseph’s, (11-20) was decimated by injuries last season, has everybody back including the lightening-quick Shavar Newkirk who averaged 21.8 points per game before his ACL mishap. Immediate help is expected from 6-9 freshman Taylor Funk, an excellent shooter. Hopefully, an early foot injury by Lamarr Kimble will not be a serious one. Temple (16-16) gets back Josh Brown from his achilles injury, and the excellent point guard and team leader was sorely missed. He will be joined by the returning Shizz Alston, Obie Enechionyia and talented sophomore Quinton Rose, providing the Owls with a solid offense. Sophomore Alani Moore will provide help in the backcourt. La Salle (15-15) lost Jordan Price, but returns the multi-talented B.J. Johnson plus an excellent backcourt in Amar Stukes and Pookie Powell. Sophomore Saul Phiri and freshman Miles Brookins will play major minutes up front. Improving their defense will be a major aim of this year’s Explorers. Penn (13-15) saw 6-8 freshman AJ Brodeur and 6-5 Ryan Betley show plenty last season, and guard Antonio Woods returns after sitting out a year to join Darnell Foreman in the backcourt.  Hard working Max Rothschild will start, while shooter Caleb Wood and Eddie Scott, a 6-6 freshman, are expected to join the rotation. The Quakers will be tested early with road games at Villanova and Dayton. Drexel (9-23) is in the second year of rebuilding, and should continue to make progress using an up-tempo offense. The Dragons are led by 5-9 dynamic point guard Kurk Lee, and two transfer players, guards Tramaine Isabell (Missouri) and Troy Harper (Campbell) who will be welcomed additions. Harper is also a Neuman-Goretti product. Veterans Sammy Mojica and the improving Austin Williams will be starters, while Miles Overton will contribute after returning from a calf injury.

So, there they are, the City Six, proudly representing the best college basketball city in America.


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Villanova has now won 18 straight Big 5 games. It’s last city loss was to Temple, (Khalif Wyatt, Scootie Randall, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson) 76-61, on December 12, 2012, at Nova. This year, after hosting Penn on November 29, the Wildcats will meet St. Joe’s on December 2nd at what will be jam-packed crowd on Hawk Hill.


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Trivia Time: Who is the last NBA player to have at least 30 points and 30 rebounds in a game? Answer at the end of the column.


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In a top 25 consensus of the best incoming freshmen, Kentucky’s Quade Green, at 6-0, was the smallest player listed. The Goretti grad has been very impressive as the starting point guard for the 7th ranked Wildcats.


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This and That: Saint Bonaventure point guard Jaylen Adams leads all returning Division I players with a 20-point, 6-assist average….Duke 5-star recruit Marvin Bagley attended two high schools in Arizona and one in California. Now standing 6-11, he received his first scholarship offer from Northern Arizona when he was 14….. Penn’s freshman center Mark Jackson is 7-3, and probably the tallest player to ever play in the Big 5…. On the other hand, the top rated little guy in the nation is 5-7 Chris Lykes at Miami….Temple finally gets its season underway tomorrow night facing Old Dominion in Charleston, S.C. They are the last Division I team to begin play.


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Answer to Trivia Time: On November 12, 2010, playing against the Knicks, Minnesota’s Kevin Love put up 31 and 31.




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