The Jimmy V Classic doubleheader at Madison Square Garden annually provides soe outstanding basketball, with all of it being for a good cause. Tuesday night was no exception, and in the second half of the doubleheader Marquette and Washington put forth a thrilling display of basketball.
MAC: Kris Brewer (Kent State)
In the latest installment in his "Coaching Great" interview series CHN writer Jon Teitel spent some time with former Robert Morris head coach Jarrett Durham. Coach Durham led the Colonials to three NCAA Tournament appearances in Moon Township and remains the school's winningest coach. Durham now works at his alma mater, Duquesne, as a Special Assistant to the Athletic Director in addition to calling the men's basketball games on the radio (WPBG-FM 104.7 in Pittsburgh).
Robert Morris (21-10, 15-3 NEC) captured its second straight regular season title and eighth in program history, finishing three games ahead of Mount St. Mary's, Sacred Heart and Long Island.
For those of you not looking forward to the BCS National Championship Game there is a full slate of games in the NEC (LIU is off after beating future NEC member Bryant the other night) that'll most likely do more to muddle the conference picture than provide clarity. Monmouth may be the league's hottest team after impressive wins over Sacred Heart and CCSU over the weekend, and they'll head north to take on a struggling St. Francis (NY) club.
America East: Despite their loss at Binghamton on Monday night it was a good week for Stony Brook, who won games at Air Force and defending America East champ UMBC. Junior Muhammad El-Amin shared the conference Player of the Week award with New Hampshire's Alvin Abreu, and freshman Bryan Dougher was named America East Rookie of the Week. While El-Amin accounted for 19.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in the two wins, Dougher averaged 20.5 points per game.
The final days of 2008, for most of the teams in the area (save the Ivies and NJIT), mean a transition into full-time conference play. Some schools still have a game or two outside of conference play later in the season, but for the most part it's all about focusing on the direct way of getting to the NCAA Tournament. Big East play begins early this week, and despite a big win over FDU Seton Hall fans have to wonder what the opener at Syracuse will bring for a team that lacks bodies inside. St.