December 4, 2019
Some observations about the City 6 as we complete the first month of the new basketball season: Villanova (5-2 ) looks very promising, with Collin Gillespie starting to resemble another Ryan Arcidiacono, three talented returning starters, and three highly-rated freshmen. Depth should not be a problem on the Main Line. Temple (6-1) has been very impressive under new coach Aaron McKie. Quinton Rose has refined his game (leads in assists) and late addition Jake Forrester adds to the rotation. The Owls host Missouri on Saturday. Penn (5-3) had a good win at Alabama, which balanced a bad loss to Lafayette, but the Quakers will be a force in the Ivy. AJ Brodeur, as usual, has been really good, and freshman Jordan Dingle is averaging 17 points per game. La Salle (4-3) has some depth, with eight players averaging five points or better, including Ed Croswell who is a quality rebounder. The Explorers have to cut down on the turnovers (16 a game). Saint Joseph’s (2-7) is undermanned, but had a nice win at UConn. A bright spot has been the play of the very talented Ryan Daly, who is scoring over 20 ppg. The Hawks welcome (?) Nova on Saturday. Drexel (4-4) is led by hard-working big man James Butler, averaging a double-double, and solid point guard Camren Wynter. The Dragons are at home with Princeton tonight, and host La Salle on Saturday.
* * * * * * * *
Big-time hoops with a Saint Joe’s flavor in the Blue Grass state last night. Louisville gave #4 Michigan it’s first loss of the season. Former Hawk point guard Fresh Kimble didn’t score a lot but played almost the whole game, had quite a few assists, and played well on D for the winners, while assistant coach Phil Martelli watched from the Wolverine bench.
* * * * * * * * *
Trivia Time: Who is the NBA’s active leader in career rebounds? Answer at the end of the column.
* * * * * * * *
This and That: After tonight’s game at Villanova, Penn plays only two more games in the month of December….Darnell Rogers, only 5-2, leads UMBC in points and assists. Dad Shawnta, a good player at George Washington, was a towering 5-4….Other than the Ivy League teams, it seems like Notre Dame is the only major in the nation without a transfer….Old friend Jim Boeheim is just that at 75. The Syracuse coach is the elder statesman in Division 1….At 8-0, DePaul is having it’s best start in 26 years….Dayton has moved up to #19 in the AP poll and for good reason. The Flyers have a possible All-American candidate in 6-9 soph Obi Toppin, plus four transfers who are contributing. Definitely a team to watch…. Temple’s Alani Moore, who averaged 4.1 last season, has upped his scoring to 11 ppg. He’s also 14-15 from the line…. Speaking of which, the Pacers Malcolm Brogdon has missed only 3 of 66 from the charity stripe…. Finally, ” Boards” favorite, grumpy Mick Cronin is now unhappily coaching at UCLA. The former Cincinnati leader just doesn’t seem like the Hollywood type.
* * * * * * * *
Answer to Trivia Time: Current Laker Dwight Howard has collected 13,328 caroms.