College Basketball 2015-16

A HOOPS WINTER BLOG: College roundball in the basketball-crazed DMV
Feb. 9, 2016
COLLEGE PARK, MD - It is only about 13 miles from College Park to the campus of Bowie State University. The Bulldogs made the trip this afternoon to face the Terps, who are ranked No. 2 in the country. It will be the first regular-season meeting between the two schools. Maryland, Oklahoma and Kansas are the only schools to be ranked in the top 10 all-season long and the Terps enter the game with 21 wins, tied with Xavier for the most in the nation.
Feb. 6, 2016
COLLEGE PARK, MD - The No. 4 Terps beat No. 18 Purdue today in a Big Ten contest as Rasheed Sulaimon had 21 points and a career-high 10 rebounds and Robert Carter, Jr. had 19 points.
Feb. 3, 2016
WASHINGTON - George Washington got a big victory at home Wednesday as the Colonials got to the foul line 17 times in the second half to win 79-69. GW improved to 17-5 overall and 6-3 in the Atlantic 10 and will play at VCU on Saturday. GW stayed tied for fourth in the conference after St. Bonaventure upset third-place Saint Joseph's on Wednesday.
Feb. 1, 2016
WASHINGTON - With 8:30 left in the first half Holy Cross had, of course, five players on the court against American. And none of them had scored a point in the game at Bender Arena. The score was 11-6 American about a minute later in a very ugly first half. The Eagles went on to win 58-45 as Jesse Reed had 16 points. It was the fourth win in a row for American, which improved to 6-15 overall and 4-6 in the Patriot League.
Jan. 31, 2016
FAIRFAX, VA - George Washington, already on the NCAA tourney bubble, will face VCU and Davidson twice before regular-season plays ends - not to mention Saint Joseph's. So the Colonials couldn't afford a slipup here Sunday against George Mason. GW led by 10 with 9:37 left and held on for a 76-70 win over the Patriots before an energetic crowd of 5,168. GW improved to 16-5 overall and 5-3 in the Atlantic 10 while Mason fell to 7-14, 1-7 before a national TV audience and the conference commissioner. "Thank God we are experienced," said GW coach Mike Lonergan, who saw senior guard Joe McDonald foul out in just 14 minutes of playing time. GW hosts Davidson on Wednesday. "We will be ready for a good Davidson team," said Lonergan, who grew up in Bowie, Md.
Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016
WASHINGTON - It has been a good week for top teams to visit the DMV. After No. 3 Iowa was here Thursday to face No. 8 Maryland, No. 10 Providence and guard Kris Dunn visited the nation's capital tonight to play at Georgetown. Dunn is picked as the No. 4 selection in the NBA draft, according to, and he showed his worth with 26 points. Dunn spent part of his youth in Alexandria, Va.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. No. 8 Maryland had four players score in double figures and the Terps hit just enough free throws down the stretch to beat Iowa here on Thursday. The Terps play Sunday at Ohio State.
Monday, Jan. 25, 2016
WASHINGTON - While the plows get rid of the snow - we had about 20 inches here less than a mile from the nation's capital - this is shaping up to be a very good week of college hoops in the DMV. No. 3 Iowa, with its highest ranking in 29 years, plays Thursday at No. 8 Maryland. The same night GW hosts Richmond as both teams play for their post-season lives. Then on Saturday, Georgetown will host No. 10 Providence. For good measure West Virginia is No. 9 this week and Virginia is No. 11.
And for those Division III fans, Susquehanna is ranked No. 12 this week and plays Wednesday at Catholic University.
Friday, Jan. 22, 2016
WASHINGTON - The snow began to fall during the George Mason at GW women's game that began at noon here. By the time the Rhode Island at GW men's game began at 3:05 p.m. in Foggy Bottom, the intersection of 22nd and F streets just outside of the Smith Center was covered. GW fell behind by 18 points in the first half but came back to win 62-58 to keep its NCAA hopes alive. URI coach Dan Hurley was not a happy camper, as GW shot 30 free throws while his team took just 11. “They punched us in the mouth first,” said GW forward Tyler Cavanaugh, who had 13 points and 10 boards. “We just made the right decisions down the stretch.” Then there was the challenge of getting back to Rhode Island - the team took the train from Union Station and arrived about 8 a.m. on Saturday in Rhode Island, according to a team spokesman.
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016
COLLEGE PARK, MD - The No. 7 Terps remained perfect at home in Big 10 play with an overtime win against Northwestern.
Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016
COLLEGE PARK, MD - With Maryland governor Larry Hogan on hand, the Terps improved to 10-0 at home Saturday afternoon against Ohio State. Maryland, ranked No. 3 in the country, was coming off a loss Tuesday at Michigan.
Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016
FAIRFAX, VA - There were several NBA scouts at George Mason tonight, including Oakland-based LaMont Peterson of the Golden State Warriors. They were on hand to see DeAndre Bembry of Saint Josephs, who is listed at No. 41 on the mock draft by But the Hawks have another good one in Baltimore County product Isaiah Miles, a senior forward who had 26 points and 10 rebounds in an 87-73 win over Mason. Bembry finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, but Miles leads the team in scoring, rebounds and three-pointers after he lost 20 pounds since last year. "I can play longer minutes. I feel more explosive when I jump. It was a great addition to my game to lose all of that weight," he said in the Hawks lockerroom after they improved to 3-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016
TOWSON, MARYLAND - UNCW men's basketball coach Kevin Keatts is no stranger to the DMV. He is a native of Lynchburg, Va., played four years at Division III Ferrum in southwest Virginia and has his degree from Marshall. He was the coach of the year in the CAA last season after serving as an assistant at Louisville, and his team lost tonight at Towson.
Wed, Jan. 6, 2016
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Former Wizards head coach and District native Eddie Jordan returns to the area tonight as his Rutgers team plays at No. 3 Maryland. Jordan joked on Monday that guard Melo Trimble and freshman center Diamond Stone of Maryland should turn pro after this season as to help his Rutgers squad. Then again Jordan may not have been joking too much after the Terps led by as much as 40 points and easily beat Rutgers.
Wednesday, Dec. 30
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Freshman center Diamond Stone of Maryland had his coming out party here against Penn State, as he scored an amazing 32 points in the second half and 39 overall to set a freshman record for Terps. Oh, and he came off the bench and was the only Maryland reserve to score.
Tuesday, Dec. 22
FAIRFAX, VA. - Before hosting Longwood here on Dec. 19, Mason freshman DeAndre Abram of Texas had scored 46 points in 11 games this season. But after a win over Longwood and then here against Wagner on Tuesday, the 6-foot-7 guard had accumulated 51 points in those two wins for first-year head coach Dave Paulsen. Abram has certainly taken advantage of his opportunity, as post player Shevon Thompson has been bothered by a foot injury and did not play against Longwood and was limited to 18 minutes against Wagner.
Saturday, Dec. 12
WASHINGTON - George Washington whipped Rutgers here in Foggy Bottom and with two straight wins against the Big 10 the Colonials have moved into the top 25 of the AP poll for the first time in nearly 10 years.
Tuesday, Dec. 8
NEW YORK - It has been 31 years since No. 10 Virginia has faced No. 14 West Virginia in mens hoops. They are doing so tonight, not in Charlottesville or Morgantown but at Madison Square Garden in New York City. And something has to give: the Cavaliers lead the nation in the lowest amount of turnovers per game (less than eight) while WVU forces the most turnovers. The Cavaliers had 11 turnovers in the first half and trailed 36-30 before coming back to win. Maryland beat UConn in the second game of the Jimmy V Classic and I saw a familiar face while leaving MSG at 1 a.m. - UConn assistant Karl Hobbs, the former head coach at George Washington.
Wednesday, Dec. 2
TOWSON, MARYLAND - About five or 10 years ago a game between George Mason and Towson would have been a great matchup in the CAA. But this is the third season in the Atlantic 10 for Mason, which is picked to finish near the bottom. And Towson is now a middle of the pack team in the CAA a few years removed from contender status. Towson won 75-54 after trailing by nine points in the first half. Tigers head coach Pat Skerry called the second half the best half of the season by his team as the Tigers outscored Mason 45-26.
Among the fans at the game is Jai Lewis, a member of the Mason starting lineup during the 2006 Final Four run. Lewis told me during the first half that he played overseas for six years and now lives in the Rosedale area near Baltimore.
Friday, Nov. 27
COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND - The Terps remained unbeaten as Jared Nickens came off the bench to score 16 points in a win over Cleveland State.
Tuesday, Nov. 24
HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA - Division I James Madison beat Division III Eastern Mennonite 106-74 tonight in the first meeting between the schools since Dec. 9, 1975. The Dukes won that game, 95-67, and featured Sherman Dillard, who would be a sixth-round draft pick of the Indiana Pacers in 1978.
EMU head coach Kirby Dean is no stranger to the Division I level, as a long-time assistant coach down I-81 at VMI in Lexington. EMU has won two of 10 games against JMU in the series. The first win came in 1973 at EMU under head coach Roland Landes, who was in attendance at the game at JMU on Tuesday. The Dukes coach in that 1973 game was Lou Campanelli, who later became the head coach at California and a scout in the NBA with New Jersey and Cleveland. He has just come out with a book about taking JMU to the Division I level in the 1970s.
The JMU-EMU game featured one Harrisonburg native (Khalil Davis of EMU, who had 11 points) while JMU has two players from Serbia and one each from Lithuania, Haiti and New Zealand. Serbian Dimitrije Cabarkapa had 27 points for JMU. "It was the right time, it was the right place," JMU coach Matt Brady said of playing EMU.
Tuesday, Nov. 24
WASHINGTON - Maryland (3-0), a few miles to the north, is ranked No. 2 in the country. Georgetown (1-3), a few miles to the west, beat Wisconsin and played tough against Duke and Maryland. But it is George Washington at 5-0 that has the best record in the area after a blowout 94-65 win in a day game against another GW - Gardner-Webb of the Big South. The Colonials, who beat Virginia last week, received votes in the AP poll this week after beating Army at home on Sunday night as coach Mike Lonergan got his 450th career win. Lonergan won a national title at Division III Catholic. The Colonials won Tuesday as Wake Forest transfer Tyler Cavanaugh had 20 points. “I felt it was a good fit for me. It has been a good transition,” said Cavanaugh, who was recruited by Vermont when Lonergan was the head coach there.
Tuesday, Nov. 17
COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND - The place was rocking on Tuesday night as No. 3 Maryland hosted Georgetown. It was the first game between the two schools in College Park since 1973 and the first game in the DMV between the teams since 1993, when the Terps won in overtime in Landover, Maryland on a last-second shot by guard Duane Simpkins. "There was not a lot of time left on the clock. In a perfect world you would get the ball to Joe Smith," said former DeMatha High star Simpkins, now in his first season as an assistant coach at George Mason University of the Atlantic 10. Smith, the former Maryland star from Virginia, was in attendance as the Terps beat the Hoyas.
Monday, Nov. 16
WASHINGTON - George Washington head coach Mike Lonergan praised the coaching on Tony Bennett, the head mentor at Virginia. Lonergan also praised the fact that Bennett was even willing to schedule this game in Foggy Bottom, where the Colonials pulled off an upset over the No. 6 team in the country.
Friday, Nov. 13
ANNAPOLIS - The No. 1 team in the country played here on the first night of the season but it was not against Navy, the host for the Veterans Classic. The Tar Heels of North Carolina got past Temple in the first game before Florida knocked off Navy in the second game of the one-day event. But perhaps the best performance of the night came at halftime by uniformed Navy Midshipmen, whose precision with their guns (not loaded, I hope) was an impressive and not a sound came from the fans who watched.


David Driver is a native of Harrisonburg, Virginia and played baseball at Turner Ashby High and Eastern Mennonite College (now University). He graduated from EMC in 1985 with a degree in English and a minor in journalism. He has lived in the Washington, D.C. area for nearly 25 years and was the first sports editor of the daily Baltimore Examiner and for nearly 10 years was also the sports editor of Laurel (Md.) Leader, now part of the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He is now a full-time free-lance writer and is the main correspondent for The Sports Xchange, a national content provider for UPI/Reuters, in the coverage of the Washington Nationals. He also covers major college basketball in the Baltimore-Washington region for The Sports Xchange and in the past covered college and pro sports for The Associated Press as a free-lancer. Read more

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Mancini moves forward as O's prospect

By David Driver

August 4, 2015

By David Driver
For the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger
Used with permission

PATRICK CAVEY | BOWIE BAYSOX TREY MANCINI has been smashing the ball at the Double-A level for the Bowie Baysox in the Baltimore Orioles' organization. BOWIE, Maryland | Trey Mancini stepped to the plate on a recent Thursday night with runners on first and second and no outs in the top of the fourth.

As the No. 3 hitter for the Double-A Bowie Baysox, the Winter Haven High graduate and Orioles prospect was in an ideal situation to produce runs in an Eastern League game against the Trenton Thunder and right-handed pitcher Brady Lail.

But instead of being overly aggressive and swinging the bat, Mancini took five pitches — four of them borderline pitches for balls — and drew a walk to the load the bases in what would become a four-run inning for the host Baysox.

First-place Bowie went on to win 4-3 against the affiliate of the New York Yankees.

"I have been working on that a lot. My whole career, I have not walked a lot," said Mancini, standing outside the Bowie clubhouse after the game. "I need to get deeper in counts and take some walks. I was glad I could help the team win in the inning we scored the runs."

Mancini, a right-handed hitting first baseman, hit .340 with 16 doubles, seven home runs and 32 RBIs in his first 50 games with Bowie through Aug. 2 after he was promoted from Single-A Frederick of the Carolina League in June. He hit .300 in a 10-game stretch through Aug. 2 with a pair of three-hit games in that time. Read more

Albany gets little respect in CAA football

July 28, 2015

By David Driver
Used with permission

UAlbany's Cole King carries the ball during their football game against Delaware on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Bob Ford Field in Albany, N.Y. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union) For the Times-Union

BALTIMORE - The UAlbany football team didn't get a lot of respect here Tuesday, as the Great Danes were picked in the preseason poll to finish 10th out of 12 teams this year in the Colonial Athletic Association.

"It gives us a chance to prove everyone wrong," said sophomore wide receiver Josh Gontarek, speaking at the annual CAA media day at M&T Bank Stadium.

"None of that stuff matters. We obviously think we are better than that," redshirt junior linebacker Michael Nicastro said.

"Predictions go by reputation in the league," said Greg Gattuso, ready to start his second year as head coach. "It is kind of where we were picked last year. We have work to do to crack the top four or five."

The Great Danes were ninth last year in the CAA at 3-5; they were 7-5 overall.

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