Off The Boards by Jack Scheuer

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

January 2, 2019 Edition

As the new year gets underway, here are some capsule observations on how the City Six teams performed during the first part of the 2018-19 season: Villanova, after a slow start, has gotten it together and received solid play from Eric Paschall, Phil Booth and Collin Gillespie. With Saddiq Bey and Jermaine Samuels playing well, the Wildcats appear ready to challenge in the Big East.  Temple shows signs of being a quality team in Fran Dunphy’s last ride. Shizz Alston, Jr. has led the way, aided by Quinton Rose and Nate Pierre-Louis, and the Owls bench has been its most productive in some time.  Penn had nice wins early, but two recent losses to Toledo and Monmouth stopped the momentum. AJ Brodeur and recently injured 6-10 freshman Michael Wang have excelled offensively.  Saint Joseph’s, as usual, has had injury problems, but Charlie Brown is finally back, and Lamarr Kimble and freshman Jared Bynum have worked well in the backcourt. The Hawks need more consistency from their big men in moving forward.  La Salle has had to try to recover from a disastrous 0-10 start and hopefully the potential of Isiah Deas, Saul Phiri and Jack Clark will get the Explorers some W’s. Getting back the injured Pookie Powell will be a big help.  Drexel has been hot and cold, but freshman guard Camren Wynter has been very impressive, while Troy Harper, Alihan Demir, and Trevor John look capable of putting up good numbers. Allowing 80 points per game has not helped the Dragon’s cause.

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Penn has one of the strangest schedules in recent memory over the next four weeks, during which time the Quakers play just four games, all on Saturdays.  On January 5th they play Princeton, then on the 12th, it’s Princeton again at the Palestra. After a visit to Temple on the 19th, they welcome St. Joe’s on the 26th. Lots of rest time there. Will it turn out to be good or harmful?

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Trivia Tim: Kerry Kittles is Villanova’s all-time leading scorer. Who is second? Answer at the end of the column.

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This and That: De’Andre Hunter (Friends Central) a 6-7 redshirt sophomore for highly ranked Virginia is second on the team in scoring and rebounding….St. John’s Shamorie Ponds is the real thing. The 6-1 junior is averaging 19.2 ppg, makes over 50% of his 2-point shots, 38% on 3’s, 83% from the line, and leads the team in assists. The 13 – 1 Johnnies lost their first game, to Seton Hall, by 2 points….At Syracuse, freshman Buddy Boeheim is only playing 13 minutes a game, and he and his Mom would like Dad to give him more minutes…The three grouchiest coaches in sports remain the same: Greg Popovich, Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, although Happy Bob Huggins is moving up. Your votes are welcomed….As usual, Duke, Kansas, Gonzaga, and Virginia are among the top-ranked teams, but newcomers Nevada and Tennessee are getting close….Upcoming games: Tonight, Temple visits UCF, and Villanova hosts DePaul. Thursday, Saint Joe’s has George Mason, and Elon visits Drexel …. Finally, a TV question; Who is the most difficult to watch, Shannon Sharpe or Skip Bayless?  

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Answer to Trivia Time: Scottie Reynolds, who had 2,222 points, is second. Kittles leads with 2,243. 

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