Off The Boards by Jack Scheuer – February 28, 2018 Edition

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

February 28, 2018 Edition

Villanova has been getting most of the attention this season, and rightly so, because of its high ranking plus the possibility of having Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges being selected on All- American teams. However, somewhat under the radar, has been the outstanding play of La Salle’s B.J. Johnson.  The 6-7 senior swing-man is averaging 21 points per game along with 8.6 rebounds, leads the team in steals, and has made 112 of 130 free throws (86 %).  In addition, in the game against Rhode Island on February 20, he scored 29 points and grabbed 23 rebounds, one of the best individual performances by a Big 5 player in recent memory.

Also, after scoring only 118 points in two years of limited action at Syracuse, he has gone over the 1,000 mark in just under two seasons as an Explorer.  So hats off to B.J. Johnson, who appears to be another local player with a very possible pro career in his future.

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Every coach in the country should show his or her team a film of Drexel’s 34-point comeback victory over Delaware.  Talk about never giving up.  Remarkable!

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In what has been a tough regular season, Saint Joseph’s came up with a surprising trouncing of #17 Rhode Island on the road.  The win could be a big lift for the Hawks.

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Trivia Time : Who holds the Palestra record for most points scored by a visiting player? Answer at the end of the column. Hint: It’s been a while.

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Two big reasons why Virginia is Number 1.  The Cavaliers are tops in defense, allowing just 52.1 points a game, and Number 1 in fewest turnovers, just 8.8 per contest (Saint Joe’s is 7th at 9.8).  One big reason why Michigan State is Number 2: the Spartans lead the nation in assists, averaging 20 a game.

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This and That: Duke’s freshman star and high lottery pick Marvin Bagley is getting some heat because of his defense, or lack of….Two Syracuse players are number 1 and 2 in the  minutes played department: Tyus Battle at 38.5, and Frank Howard at 38.2…. Bob Huggins looks to me like an older and heavier  Baldwin brother…. The feeling here is that Auburn, starring coach Bruce Pearl, will be the next to get hit hard in the FBI probe….Temple’s Shizz Alston, Jr. is 48 for 51 from the foul line. That’s 94.1 %….Dario Saric doesn’t get enough credit  for the 76’ers improvement.  He does a lot for a guy that size….All those Kentucky one-and-doners are playing like they can’t wait to turn pro, as the losses pile up….And finally: Kobe Bryant and Herb Magee were prolific scorers; so how come UTEP freshman Kobe Magee is only averaging 5 points a game ?

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Answer to Trivia Time : In a game against La Salle on Dec. 6, 1967, Niagara’s Calvin Murphy poured in 52 points.

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