When Villanova defeated Georgetown on Saturday, the Wildcats captured the Big East Conference regular season championship. The win gave Nova the No. 1 seed in the Big East tournament and will face the winner of Wednesday night’s opening round game between No. 8 seed Seton Hall and No. 9 seed Butler on Thursday, March 13 at noon at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
If Villanova can win the tournament, that could give them a No. 1 seed overall in the NCAA tournament. That’s really important when you’re trying to make a run in the tournament.
Villanova has been one of the best teams in the country all season long. The Wildcats, 28-3 overall and 16-2 in the conference, have recorded the most regular season and Big East victories in school history. Jay Wright, Villanova’s head coach, has produced some great teams over the years. However, this looks like one of Wright’s best teams.
“I think a lot of coaches have different philosophies on conference tournaments,” Wright said. “I remember Jim Calhoun [former Connecticut head coach] told me one time, ‘We love this tournament, but this isn’t the big one. You want to win the big one.’ For us, we don’t even look at it as anything after. We have a chance to play in a great tournament, a great 10-team tournament. Let’s try to win the tournament. We make it that simple. If we win the tournament — great. If not, what’s next — you get to play in another tournament. It’s that simple to us.
The Wildcats have five players who have received Big East honors. James Bell, Villanova’s 6-foot6 senior guard, is a first-team all-conference selection. Bell averages 14.9 points and 6.0 rebounds a game. Jay Vaughn Pinkston was named to the second team. Pinkston, a 6-foot-7 junior, averages 14.3 points and 6.1 rebounds a game. Junior guard Darrun Hilliard and sophomore Ryan Arcidiacono were chosen honorable mention all-conference while freshman Josh Hart was named to the conference all-rookie team. Hilliard tallies 14.4 points a game. The 6-foot-6, 215-pounder, has been on a tear the last three weeks. Arcidiacono averages 10.0 points and 3.5 assists a game. The 6-foot-3 floor general has done a great job of running the offense. Hart, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, gives the Wildcats some depth in the backcourt. He averages 7.6 points and 4.3 rebounds a game.
This Villanova team doesn’t have any major superstars like Wali Jones, Howard Porter, Ed Pinckney, Kyle Lowry, Randy Foye or Scottie Reynolds. They were big time players for the Wildcats. This team seems to be a little different. They appears to have some great players, but also some good cheminstry. They move the ball extremely well. They play good defense. They’re usually in good rebounding position. They do all the little things.
The Wildcats have just three losses. They have an early season loss to Syracuse, former Big East rival. They also had a couple rough losses to Creighton. Of course, the Bluejays have Doug McDermott, who is a big candidate for national player of the year. McDermott will be a first round pick come in June when they hold the NBA draft. It’s possible these two teams could meet in the conference tournament. That should be an interesting matchup.
Wright has his team heading into postseason play on a six-game winning streak. The way the Wildcats are playing they should be able not only represent the Big East, but also the Big 5 and Philadelphia area in the NCAA tournament.
There are a number of people who would like to have a professional career in the NBA. Every year you have people trying to get to that level in some capacity.
On March 15, there will be an interesting two-hour television special titled “Summer Dreams” which follows the players and personalities in a behind-the-scenes drama at the NBA official summer league. The documentary will air from 8-10 p.m. on the CBS Television Network.
The Philadelphia 76ers rookie guard Michael Carter-Williams and his mother, Mandy Carter-Zegarowski were featured in this program. It also tracks the journeys of Shane Larkin of the Dallas Mavericks, son of Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin and Dwayne Davis, former Strawberry Mansion and Southern Mississippi standout, who now plays professional basketball in Spain. In addition, the special follows unsigned players attempting to climb the ladder as well as an aspiring coach and a female referee trying to get to the NBA.
Carter-Williams was the Sixers 11th pick overall in the first round of the NBA draft last spring. After the draft, Carter-Williams headed down to Orlando with the Sixers to play in the summer league. The documentary interviews Carter-Williams and Carter-Zegarowksi. You can see a strong bond between them in the piece. His mother talked about the experience of doing the special.
“I think going into I didn’t know what to expect,” Carter-Zegarowski said. “It seemed like something fun to do. We had never done anything like that before. But I really liked the idea they were working with and the characters to make this documentary.
“They were going to be touching upon the experience and the different points of views. So, that made it that much more interesting for us especially when we were able to meet some of the other individuals that were in the documentary. It was really neat. I think it’s great for the production company that it has gotten to CBS. The stories are really good. It’s going to be interesting to watch.”
Basketball has been a big part of Carter-Williams’ family. Carter-Zegarowski played her college basketball at Salem State in Salem, Mass. Her husband, Zach Zegarowski played basketball at Massachusetts Lowell. She was a women’s high school basketball coach in the Boston area. Zach was a coach at Charlestown High School in Boston.
“Neither one of us knew coming into the NBA what to expect,” Carter-Zegarowksi said. “I feel like I’ve always managed Michael’s basketball career from an early age not necessarily know where it was going to go. As a family, we were invested in giving him a shot to reach his potential whatever that may be. Michael grew up going to my practice or going to Zach’s practice. He’s been experiencing varsity practices early on.”
Carter-Zegarowksi was quite impressed with the segment on Davis. In the show, the former Public League star is talking to a group of young women about not giving up on being successful in life.
“That was amazing and so touching with him being a Philadelphia native,” she said. “We hope in the future that we can somehow carry out some of the things he wanted to do in the community.”
The film was produced over a 10-day, 61-game NBA Summer League, which takes place in Las Vegas. The documentary provides an interesting look into what it’s like to make an NBA team. Carter-Williams has really grown as a player since the summer. The 6-foot-6, 185-pounder, is averaging 16.7 points, 6.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds a game. He’s one of the leading candidates for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award. Although the Sixers have really struggled this year, Carter-Williams has been a shining star for the organization.
“I think it’s pretty amazing he has embraced every opportunity that has been given to him,” Carter-Zegarowski said. “He’s given 100 percent effort. We really have to credit Brett Brown [Sixers head coach] and the Sixers for putting him in a situation where he can succeed. For Michael to get the ball in your hands that’s a lot of pressure. They’re rebuilding and looking into the future, but somehow you have to maintain game in and game out and give it your best shot that’s a big change coming from Syracuse and his high school where he won a lot. So, I’m really proud of him. He communicates a lot with his coach who he respects a ton and Sam Hinkie [Sixers President of Basketball Operations and General Manager] and the organization has been extremely supportive. I think that’s made a difference in giving him a lot of confidence. We’re proud of him for building that relationship in Philadelphia.”
Basketball fans should enjoy watching the documentary.
Saint Joseph’s has received a bye as the No. 4 seed in the Atlantic 10 Conference basketball tournament, which will start on March 12 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Hawks will play in the quarterfinals on March 14 at 2:30 p.m. They will face the winner of the Dayton-Fordham/George Mason game.
Saint Louis won the regular season championship and will be the top seed in the tournament. The Billikens earned a bye to the quarterfinals. VCU is the second seed. The Rams will also get a bye into the quarterfinals. George Washington and Saint Joseph’s tied for third place with a 11-5 record. The Colonials defeated the Hawks last week giving GW the tiebreaker advantage and the No. 3 seed. Saint Joseph’s received the final bye.
Although Saint Joseph’s has a bye, the team is limping into the tournament with two consecutive losses to George Washington and La Salle respectively. The Explorers nipped the Hawks, 71-63 at Hagan Arena. Saint Joseph’s was led by senior guard Langston Galloway with 27 points in his final home game. Freshman guard DeAndre’ Bembry had 15 points and eight rebounds and Ronald Roberts had 13 points and eight rebounds. Hawks senior Halil Kanacevic snatched 12 rebounds.
With back-to-back losses, the Hawks (21- overall, 11-5 league) have some work to do in the tournament. Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph’s head coach, isn’t sure where his team stands in terms of receiving a NCAA tournament bid at this time.
“I have no idea,” Martelli said. “I haven’t thought about it. I haven’t talked about it. People keep saying you must talk to Joe Lunardi [ESPN bracketologist] hourly. We had a long stretch where were one of the best teams in the Atlantic 10. We haven’t been this week.”
La Salle (15-15 overall, 7-9 league) had a fantastic run in the NCAA tournament last year. The Explorers advanced to the Sweet 16. But this year has been a struggle for La Salle. They’re hoping to build some momentum off their victory over the Hawks going into tournament play. Tyreek Duren scored a team-high 27 points in the win over Saint Joseph’s. Duren shot 16-for-17 from the free throw line. The A-10 seems to be loaded with outstanding teams such as Saint Louis, VCU, George Washington, Massachusetts, Dayton and Saint Joseph’s.He that La Salle can do well in the tournament.
“I feel very confident,” Duren said. “I don’t care who is doing good or what’s going on. I know we can beat any of those teams on any given day, if we play like we did today.”
Temple is coming off a 66-65 win over University of South Florida on a Quenton DeCosey jumper at the buzzer. The owls (9-21 overall, 4-14 league) will be an eight seed in the American Athletic Conference tournament. Temple will face No. 7 seed University of Central Florida on March 12 at 9:30 p.m. The game will be on ESPN2.
The Lincoln University’s outstanding athlete Matthew Huckabee was named an All-Atlantic Region honoree for the 2013-14 indoor track and field season in Division II, announced the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA). Huckabee received All-Atlantic Region honors participating in the men’s shot put event. He set a new school shot put record with a mark of 16.83m (55’2.75”) at the CIAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 16. His mark ranks second throughout the Atlantic Region.
In consecutive years, Huckabee placed first in the shot put at the CIAA Indoor Championships while adding 10 points to the men’s overall team score. In all of his throws, he passed the 16.60 mark dominating the field of competition. On his third attempt, he had his best collegiate throw of 16.83m.
The top five individuals in each event from each region earned the All-Region honors as well as each of the members of the regions’ top three relay teams. The regions used for this award match those used during the cross country season. Men’s All-Region awards went to 536 different student-athletes, who combined for 770 total awards.
ESPN’s Draft Academy debuts April 22
ESPN’s “Draft Academy,” a new four-week series offering an inside look at top NFL draft prospects, debuts on April 22, at 10 p.m. Getting behind the scenes moments on and off the field, “Draft Academy” will chronicle how NFL hopefuls train and prepare for the NFL Scouting Combine, their individual Pro Days, and ultimately, the NFL draft.
The episodes will include projected first-round picks Blake Bortles, the University of Central Florida quarterback; Jadeveon Clowney, All-American defensive end from the University of South Carolina; and Marqise Lee, the USC wide receiver and 2012 Biletnikoff Award recipient. Lindenwood (Mo.) University cornerback Pierre Desir, the nation’s top small college defensive player, and University of Washington running back Bishop Sankey, a first-team All-Pac 12 selection, will also be a part of the series.
The four one-hour episodes will air on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ESPN.
The Lincoln University hires new athletic director
The Lincoln University appointed Darryl A. Pope, the current director of athletics and physical activity at the College of Lake College in Grayslake, Ill., as its new director of athletics. Pope will take over at Lincoln on March 31.
“We are excited to have Dr. Pope join us,” said Robert R. Jennings, president, Lincoln University. “He has more than 20 years of progressive supervisory and managerial experience along with demonstrated leadership qualities in directing athletic programs and proven compliance experience.”
Pope has 18 years of administrative experience in Division I athletics. He has also served as associate athletic director of internal affairs and associate athletic director for compliance at Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Ga., and as consultant sports information director at Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Ga.
In addition, he has served as assistant athletic director for compliance at California State University-Northridge, Los Angeles, Calif., and assistant athletic director for compliance at Temple University. From 1995 to 1997, he served as compliance coordinator at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He was an instructor with the National Youth Sports Program at Temple in the mid-90s.
Pope has served on several NCAA committees, including the NCAA Peer Review Certification Team — a position he has held since 2000; as well as is a member of the NCAA Leadership Institute Class of 2003. He is a graduate of Howard University where he received s bachelor’s of science degree in communciations management and business administration. He also holds a master’s degree in sports administration from Grambling State and a Doctorate of Education degree in sports management and leisure studies from Temple.
Pope holds a certification from the United States Professional Tennis Registry and competed on the USTA Professional Satellite Circuit.
When Saint Joseph’s hosts La Salle on March 9, this will be the final regular season home game for Langston Galloway on Hawk Hill. Galloway, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, is the Hawks’ leading scorer tallying 16.9 points a game. He is the school’s all-time leader in three-point field goals. He holds the Hawks’ record in single game three pointers with 10.
Galloway’s stellar all-around play has Saint Joseph’s (21-8 overall, 11-4 Atlantic 10) in a position to land a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” said Galloway, who has scored 1,827 career points. “The [NCAA] Tournament is right there.”
Galloway has been moving in the right direction his entire career. He is more than just a great basketball player. He is an outstanding young man. It all starts with his family. His father, Larry and mother, Jeralyn have raised him well and guided him in the right direction. They’re both great friends of mine.
Jeralyn is the sister of Saint Joseph’s assistant coach Geoff Arnold, who played for the Hawks from 1982 to 1986, and was a key member of Saint Joseph’s Atlantic 10 championship team. Growing up in Darby, I’ve known the Arnold family my entire life. Nothing but love and respect for them.
Galloway grew up in Baton Rouge, La. and starred for Christian Life Academy. He came up north to play for head coach Phil Martelli and his uncle Geoff Arnold and the rest of Hawks’ coaching staff.
In addition to his basketball talents, Galloway has completed the required coursework for his degree in sports marketing. A year ago, he was one of 20 college basketball student-athletes to be named to the inaugural Allstate NABC Good Works Team. The award recognizes a unique group of men’s and women’s college basketball student-athletes who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement including building homes for the elderly, leading basketball clinics, reading to students and working with children with learning disabilities.
Galloway collected sneakers and shoes which have been given to the needy through programs run by the St. Vincent DePaul Society and Soles4Soul, Inc., which sends them to Haiti. While at Saint Joseph’s, he was an active participant in the Hawks community service efforts, like the Christmas Charity project.
The Hawks should be in good shape for a postseason berth to the big dance. After the regular season concludes, the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. March 12-15. Saint Joseph’s could enhance its postseason efforts with a couple of tournament wins or pick up an automatic bid with a conference championship.
Galloway deserves a chance to play at the next level. He has earned that with his play this season. He should get some NBA looks this spring. If not, he can certainly play professional basketball in Europe.
He definitely has plenty of options. He has put himself in a great position. More than anything, Galloway is an inspiration to a lot of young people today. He has carried himself the right way. He has done quite well on and off the court. Galloway has been a real bright spot for Saint Joseph’s over the last four years.