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Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Memorable Season Comes To A Close


 


The following blog is the second in a series of entries written by Xavier Men's Soccer sophomore defender Andy Kaplan as his team enters the NCAA Tournament after winning it's second Atlantic 10 Championship Title.




November 18, 2011 

Today we made the long bus trip home from Morgantown after losing last night, 2-1 in overtime after we had managed to claw our way back into the game with about ten minutes to go in regulation. Aside from the fact that we eventually lost off of a header that bounced in off of the post, the game was even harder to stomach because we knew that we hadn't really given WVU our best shot for the entire game.

After the game, all of the parents that had come to watch set up our usual tailgate in our hotel, and everyone kind of sat around and lamented the end of a great season. It was very sad, but eventually the sadness turned slightly to reflection of what a great, fun season it had been.

The bus ride home this morning was nowhere near as happy as the one home from St. Louis last weekend, but it wasn't a funeral by any means. We all enjoyed each other's company one last time, laughing and joking and singing after the usual quiet period at the beginning. To finish the ride, we put in the movie "Just Go With It," which everyone enjoyed, even the coaches (it is a rare thing that they admit to liking a movie that we pick).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Behind The Scenes: Xavier In the NCAA Tournament





The following blog is the second in a series of entries written by Xavier Men's Soccer sophomore defender Andy Kaplan as his team enters the NCAA Tournament after winning it's second Atlantic 10 Championship Title.






November 16, 2011

Today started with practice at the usual time and we got on the bus right after to start the five-hour trip to Morgantown.


The first couple of hours were quiet study and sleep time, so I just read a book and took a quick nap. After we stopped at a rest station, our movie of choice, "The Prestige", got put in, definitely a good choice. The guys that had seen the movie before (myself included) had a great time watching the reactions of the guys that hadn't when the big twist at the end came around.

We got stuck in traffic and some bad weather, so the trip took about an hour longer than expected, but I caught a bit of extra sleep so I didn't mind. We made it safely to the hotel, jogged and stretched to shake our legs out, and headed to dinner at the same place that we went last year.

After dinner we walked back to the hotel and had our usual team meeting. All in all, it feels a lot like last year, but hopefully there'll be a different result this time around.

-Andy

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Xavier's Kaplan Brings A-10 Fans To The NCAA's

The following blog is part of a series of entries written by Xavier Men's Soccer sophomore defender Andy Kaplan as his team enters the NCAA Tournament after winning it's second Atlantic 10 Championship Title.





Selection Show and First Practice

Monday was the selection show. I feel like it would have been slightly more dramatic if we didn’t know that we were in the tournament, but it was still interesting waiting to find out who we were going to play.

Just like last year, a ton of administrative people came out (the AD, our compliance director, the whole academic advising department, etc.) to see where we would end up and our whole team sat in front of a monitor that had the show running.

Unlike last year though, they revealed all of the teams in the beginning of the show, so we found out right away that we are heading to Morgantown, West Virginia. After we got done cheering it sunk in a bit that we were heading back to the same place to play the same team that we played last year. If we beat West Virginia, we get to head down to Maryland, which will be our third top 10 opponent of the season, and definitely an incredible experience, but first we have to focus on West Virginia.

Tuesday, we had our first practice after the 290-minute plus tournament weekend. People went out yesterday and jogged and stretched for recovery, the legs were a little bit heavy. To compensate, we had a relatively light practice. We were told after practice that we were going to be recognized at the basketball game, but some of the older guys on the team talked to coach and convinced him to hold off on that.

We’ve been out of town for three days in three out of the past four weeks, so everybody’s got more than a bit of work and sleep to catch up on. Other than that, we’re just getting packed and prepared to head out to WVU on Wednesday.

-Andy


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A-10 Student-Athetes in the Community

Somewhere between the beginning school and the start of practice and games, the extraordinary student-athletes of the Atlantic 10 have found time to get involved in their respective communities in a BIG way.


League Members Honor 10th Anniversary of 9/11Terrorist Attacks

George Washington University freshman student-athletes joined up with new athletic director Patrick Nero for the Colonials' third annual Freshman Day of Service, which also marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The day's theme, "Beautifying Schools, Building Community," sent students to 12 D.C. public schools, two veterans' retirement homes and Fort Dupont Park, where they painted, gardened and cleaned.

Watch a video and read the full article highlighting their tireless work HERE.

Meanwhile, the 49ers and the American Red Cross hosted the 10th Annual 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive last Thursday, September 8th.  Sponsored by Charlotte 49ers student-athletes, the blood drive was stationed in the university's Athletic Training and Academic Center /Hayward Practice Gym and attracted 96 donors, collecting 92 units of blood.

Thirty eight student-athletes from eight teams volunteered 48.5 hours of their time to help the event and also recruited 32 donors.  Student-athlete donors totaled 27 with 17 from the 49ers' baseball team and 10 from the softball team, two of the 49ers teams that are in off-season training.

See the full story HERE

Bonnies Continue an Annual Event

The Bonnies will participate in the 6th Annual GREAT STRIDES: Taking Steps to Cure Cystic Fibrosis walk, taking place this Saturday, Sept. 17.  Hundreds of St. Bonaventure student-athletes, coaches and members of the St. Bonaventure Athletic Department are expected to participate.

Started five years ago by head strength and conditioning coach Darryn Fiske, the walk has become an annual opportunity for the Bonaventure athletic community to give back. 

Last year, the walk raised $27,000, surpassing the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s goal of $26,000. This year, a goal of $28,000 has been set, half of which Fiske said has already been raised.

Here is Fiske discussing how he became involved in such a great cause:


Read the full story HERE

Friday, August 19, 2011

Soccer Opening Weekend

With soccer opening up this weekend, here are a couple videos from around the league to get you pumped up.

The first, representing A-10 Women's Soccer, comes from the University of Dayton and highlights their stellar defensive resume:




And the second from the University of Rhode Island Men's Soccer team during a recent outing to Gillette Stadium to watch the Houston Dynamo, and former Ram and 2007 A-10 Midfielder of the Year Geoff Cameron [#20], take on the New England Revolution.




Looking forward to getting our fall seasons underway- be sure to send us your pictures if you attend any A-10 soccer games this weekend- email them to photos@atlantic10.org

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Temple's Dunphy Featured on ESPNU

NBA lock out got ya down? Counting down the days to college basketball season A-10 Nation? Here's a snippet to hold you over...

Temple Men's Basketball head coach Fran Dunphy answers questions about the landscape of college basketball and what the Owls need to do to contend for the A-10 title this year while featured on the August 17th, 2011 edition of Katz's Corner on ESPNU.



Stay tuned for more as Saint Joseph's Phil Martelli and Rhode Island's Jim Baron are both being featured on Katz's corner on ESPNU at 5pm tonight!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Flyers Keep In Touch With Fans From Abroad

The University of Dayton men's basketball team is three days into its 11-day, four-game European exhibition tour.

Today the Flyers posted a video of Luke Fabrizius' comments after UD's win over the Dutch U23 team:





Additionally, members of the team are writing player diaries during the team's trip to Europe.  Here are three entries that have been written so far:

BRIAN VONDERHAAR (Aug 9)
We arrived in Amsterdam around 11:45 pm, which would have been 5:45 AM our time back in Ohio.  We then hopped on a bus and immediately stopped off to see a small town / village to see the windmills.  The weather here in the Netherlands is surprisingly chilly and windy, which helps to power the windmills for various tasks (sewing, churning cheese, etc.).  After that, we checked into our hotel and we all took a nap because of the lack of sleep on the plane.  I am rooming with Matt Kavanaugh.  For dinner, Kav, Mitch, Fab, Alex, JP, CJ and I walked to a pizza / pasta bar.  We learned very quickly that it is not cheap here!  The average price for an entrĂ©e is about 10 Euros (just over $14).  After dinner we walked around downtown Amsterdam to see the city and the canals.  It is a nice city, however it is a little dangerous walking around due to the bike paths.  They blend in with the sidewalks and the people use bikes as a major source of transportation.  These bikes stop for nothing and have frequently hollered at us to get out of their way.

MATT KAVANAUGH (Aug 9-10)
Upon landing in Amsterdam, I immediately recognized several cultural differences while being in the airport alone!  Walking around on the first day was definitely fun.  Day two was another very fulfilling day starting with the Anne Frank House.  It was amazing to actually be in the same rooms where those eight people had to cram together and hide for over two years.  I could not imagine anything that horrid happening during my lifetime.  My teen years were some of the best years of my life so far and I just cannot imagine what Anne Frank and her family had to go through.  From there we walked back to the hotel to rest up for the game.  We started out slow in the first half, but picked up the intensity in the second and won 70 to 66.  Now it is dinner time and then we will walk around to take in Amsterdam for awhile, then it is to bed.

JOSH PARKER (Aug 10)
This has been a very exciting day for us…well I know for me it has!  To start it off, we went to the Anne Frank House.  Having read the Diary of Anne Frank, it was very interesting to me to actually see the house they lived in and hid inside for over 700 days.  It was amazing and sad to see the way they lived and how they survived for the amount of time they did. My favorite part of the house was seeing Anne’s room.  Her room was extremely small and she tried to decorate it to make it feel more home-like even though it was truly a hiding space.  All of the pictures she clipped and put on the wall were still there and it was interesting to see.  I really enjoyed my visit.  Additionally, our first game here was fun and interesting.  There are many different rules compared to our rules in the U.S. including timeouts, calls…everything seemed different!  I really enjoyed playing with the guys.
 Sounds like the team is taking in the sites and having a great time- any recommendations of places they should visit in Amsterdam, Belgium or France?

Be sure to follow the team as they continue their trip on www.daytonflyers.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

St. Bonaventure's Adegboye Featured with Snoop Dogg, Warren G in Olympics Ad

Courtesy of GoBonnies.com 




LONDON - In advance of the London 2012 Olympics, former St. Bonaventure men's basketball player Ogo Adegboye '11 is featured with rap stars Snoop Dogg and Warren G in an Adidas advertisement for the Games.

Adegboye (wearing No. 6 in blue), a two-year member of the Bonnies, was called up to the Great Brittain senior men's team last summer, where he earned a starting spot in helping GB qualify for this summer's Eurobasket Championships in Lithuania. He led the nation in minutes per game (39.0) in his final season at St. Bonaventure and averaged 11.2 points per game to help SBU to its first winning record and postseason appearance since 2001-02.

The advertisement features a 3-on-3 pickup game with members of the national team squaring off against the rap stars and reigning world-champion triple jumper Phillips Idowu.

Marketing Director for Adidas UK, Nick Craggs said: "To celebrate one year to go we wanted to give the consumers a glimpse of what to expect from adidas over the next 12 months and capture the imagination of those who are perhaps not yet engaged by the Olympics."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A-10 Commissioner McGlade Weighs In On Pay For Play

In a recent ESPN article, columnist Dana O'Neil discusses the ever-growing issue/debate/conundrum of whether paying collegiate student-athletes is a realistic possibility and the potential effects that would have on college athletics.

Commissioner McGlade spoke to O'Neil for the column and the excerpt is as follows:

On the football field a financial disadvantage may not make such a big difference. So what if someday Ohio State is able to offer a COA stipend and Ohio University doesn't? The two schools aren't recruiting the same athletes anyway.

But what about basketball, where the talent gap continues to shrink despite monstrous budgetary chasms?
"In the Atlantic 10, it's absolutely critical to be able to offer cost of attendance if the schools we're competing against do,'' said conference commissioner Bernadette McGlade. "We want to be able to continue to recruit the same student-athletes as those other schools.''

Thanks to the regular successes of Xavier, Temple and Richmond, the A-10 has positioned itself as a basketball conference to be reckoned with. The league annually bumps one of the top six conferences from among the ranks as the most competitive in college basketball. 

But it relies on basketball almost entirely for its revenue. There is no BCS football or any of the accompanying bells and whistles -- big television contracts, for example -- in the A-10. McGlade understandably doesn't want her conference being passed over by recruits who might someday base their college decisions on who does and does not offer that extra stipend.

But she also realizes that, however important such a commitment is, it will also require difficult choices.

"It's going to come down to an individual institutional decision,'' she said. "Schools already say that they're going to be nationally competitive in one sport and fund it accordingly and regionally competitive in another and fund that to a lesser degree. It will be up to the individual institutions to make those decisions and figure out how to make it work with Title IX.''

There is no magic remedy. For cash-strapped institutions, even for those that desperately want to keep up with the Joneses, where is the money supposed to come from?

 What are your thoughts on the issue?  How do you think it would affect college athletics and the A-10?  Leave your thoughts in the comments section of this post!

Click here for the ESPN Column in its entirety.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

In Case You Missed It: 2011 NBA Draft

Check out the press conference welcoming Justin Harper to the Orlando Magic:


NEWARK, N.J. - For the second time in three years, two student-athletes from the Atlantic 10 Conference were selected in the NBA Draft. On Thursday night, Richmond's Justin Harper and Temple's Lavoy Allen were both drafted in the second round.

Harper was selected as the 32nd pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic traded for the 6-foot-10, 225-pound Richmond native later Thursday evening. Allen was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 50th pick.

Orlando only had one of the 60 picks in the 2011 NBA Draft and that selection was not coming until 53, but the Magic clearly made Harper there man by offering Cleveland two future picks for his rights.

"You don't do a trade unless the guy you like (is there)," President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Otis Smith said. "There were two guys we liked and the guy (Harper) happened to be the top of the two, so it's a good value pick."

Harper averaged 17.9 points and 6.9 rebounds as a senior in leading the Spiders to a school-record 29 wins, the Atlantic 10 Championship and an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.

"This is probably the best feeling I've felt to this point, besides graduating from college," Harper said. "This is like your dream coming true right in front of your face."

Harper was the second highest player selected in school history, behind Johnny Newman who was the 29th pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. Newman played 17 seasons in the NBA.

Allen is the 32nd Temple player selected in the NBA Draft and the first since Mardy Collins was taken with the 29th pick (first round) of the 2006 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks.

"I am excited to be selected and it is even more special that it is by the 76ers, where my family and friends are able to support me," said Allen. "I can't wait to get started with my professional career."

"I am very happy for him," said Temple head coach Fran Dunphy. "He accomplished so much as a college basketball player. It is a great reward to be drafted and to go to the Sixers is icing on the cake."

Allen, the 2011 Philadelphia Big 5 Most Outstanding Player, ended his career as Temple's all-time rebound leader (1,147) and 24th on the all-time scoring list with 1,421 points. He also moved into third place on the all-time blocked shots list with 213 and his 98 career wins in a Cherry and White uniform place him eighth in program history.

A two-time first team All-Atlantic 10 selection and three-time all-defensive team honoree, the Morrisville, Pa. native (Pennsbury High) led Temple and ranked second in the A10 in rebounding (8.6 ppg.) while placing third on the team in scoring (11.6 ppg.). He also led the Owls in blocked shots with a career best 61 and compiled 41 career double-doubles, including eight in his last nine games.

The footage of Harper's name being called: (turn your volume up!)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Former Flyer To Bike 4,000 Miles Across the Country

Louis Suttman, a three-year manager of the Dayton Flyers women’s basketball team and 2009 UD graduate, has challenged himself to bicycle over 4,000 miles from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean in order to raise heart health awareness.

Suttman has been personally affected in many ways by various heart ailments within his close circle of family and friends.

In 1972 his grandfather and namesake, Louis “Frosty” Suttman (UD Class of 1951), was one of the first recipients of an artificial aorta valve due to a heart birth defect. As this was new technology at the time, the valve sadly only lasted six years and Frosty passed away in 1978.

During Suttman’s freshman year at the University of Dayton, the wear and tear of cancer treatment surfaced in his uncle Eric Suttman’s heart. The Dayton graduate - and current faculty member at the University -successfully underwent a quadruple bypass surgery while also receiving an artificial aorta valve.

During that same year, Louis Suttman became an official member of the University of Dayton women’s basketball team. It was then that he first met his mentor, Head Coach Jim Jabir. Suttman admired Coach Jabir’s intensity, dedication, and more importantly, the gigantic heart with which Coach ran his program. Suttman was shocked to find out halfway through his first year with the team that the same wonderful heart that he admired so much, had nearly taken Jabir’s life in 2004. It was then, while coaching his team, that Jabir was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia; a condition through which he has preserved and continues to coach with today.

“Throughout my time with the team, Coach Jabir and I grew especially close and developed a bond that will last a lifetime,” said Suttman.

Read the rest of Suttman's story on daytonflyers.com

Support his journey here on the BIKE ACROSS THE HEART OF AMERICA - LOUIS SUTTMAN WEB PAGE

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Temple Softball Team Welcomes A New Member





The A-10 prides itself on student-athletes that do well on the field, in the classroom and in the community. The Temple Women’s Softball team is no exception with their recent “adoption” of six-year old Vanessa Moressi through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.

The Lady Owls adopted Vanessa after they were inspired by the Temple women's lacrosse program who also participates in the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation with their second adoptee, Lily Adkins.

Along with Temple, five other A-10 schools participate in the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation: the Duquesne Dukes, La Salle Explorers, Saint Joseph’s Hawks, the Massachusetts Minutemen and the Richmond Spiders.



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gearing Up for A-10 Baseball Tourney


In honor of the last week of Atlantic 10 Baseball Conference play, and being a week out from the Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship, we thought A-10 Nation would enjoy this video of the Atlantic 10's own Director of Communications, Jason Leturmy, throwing out the first pitch at the Rivershark's game at Campbell's field a week ago.

He claims it was a strike, what do you think?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Charlotte's Loftsson Sinks Hole-In-One At A-10 Tourney

Charlotte's Olafur Loftsson sunk the first hole-in-one of his career on arguably, the biggest stage: the 15th hole of the first day of the 2011 Atlantic 10 Golf Championship. 

Check out the amazing shot and Loftsson's reaction here:




Loftsson found the bottom of the cup with a pitching wedge from 146 yards out.  Never a dull moment at an A-10 Championship!

The 49ers went on to capture their league-record 6th A-10 title.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Saint Joseph's Wins First-Ever A-10 Rowing Title

Saint Joseph's claimed its first Atlantic 10 Rowing Championship Saturday morning at the Cooper River posting top three finishes in the Varsity 8, Second Varsity 8 and Varsity 4 to finish the regatta with 45 points.

In celebration of the title, watch these before and after videos:
Three schools finished in a three-way tie for first place as Massachusetts and Rhode Island joined Saint Joseph's with 45 points. The Hawks owned the tiebreaker between the tied teams which reverted back to the overall finish in the Varsity 8 competition. Saint Joseph's finished second in the Varsity 8 (8:04.45) followed by Massachusetts in third (8:07.95) and Rhode Island in fourth (8:09.26).





Congrats to all the A-10 Student-Athletes that participated!

Friday, April 15, 2011

NCAA Article on URI Football Standout Greenhalgh

Article courtesy of NCAA.org and can be found HERE

Rhode Island football player becomes a marrow donor

By Tom Symonds
For NCAA.org
University of Rhode Island junior offensive lineman Matt Greenhalgh became the latest college football hero when he completed a bone marrow donation Monday morning at the Rhode Island Blood Center in Providence.

Greenhalgh’s bone marrow donation may well help save a leukemia patient’s life.


Rhode Island’s Matt Greenhalgh completed a bone marrow donation on Monday.
The Chepachet, R.I. native joins several football student-athletes who recently have used national donor programs to affect lives. Rowan senior defensive lineman Matt Hoffman donated blood stem cells and missed the final game of his junior season in 2009 but was rewarded when he met the man who received them at the Stagg Bowl this past season. Villanova all-purpose back Matt Szczur donated bone marrow to a 19-month-old leukemia patient last year.

Rhode Island’s Matt began treatment to extract his bone marrow April 7.

“This has been the most gratifying thing I have ever done,” Greenhalgh said. “It just makes me feel so great to know that I have been able to help save someone’s life.”

Since head coach Joe Trainer’s arrival at Rhode Island in 2009, the Rams have hosted an annual bone marrow drive in support of the National Marrow Donor Program. Greenhalgh became a donor through this program two years ago.

On March 17, he was notified of his status as a perfect match to make a donation.
“I really just wanted to be a part of the registry and do my best to get people involved,” Greenhalgh said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be selected as a perfect match, but I am so glad to help.”


Greenhalgh with Rams coach Joe Trainer.
Through the marrow program’s privacy policy, Greenhalgh, who is a two-time all-Colonial Athletic Association academic selection, is only able to have anonymous written contact with his marrow recipient within the first year of making his donation.

“After a year, when I am no longer restricted to anonymous communication, I would certainly love the opportunity to meet him in person,” Greenhalgh said.

“It is truly amazing that Matt has been able to assist in such a worthwhile cause,” Trainer said. “Saving a life like Matt is doing is something he will remember forever. We could not be more proud of him.”

The Rhode Island football team will host its third annual Bone Marrow Drive on April 28.

Tom Symonds is a coordinator on the Rhode Island athletics communications staff.

Friday, March 18, 2011

MARCH MADNESS!

Both Richmond and Temple men won their first games in the NCAA tournament and advance to the third round games. Temple downed Penn State thanks to last-second heroics by Juan Fernandez.



Kevin Anderson led the charge on the Spiders upset of #5 Vanderbilt.  Watch the highlights below:




Thursday, February 3, 2011

Game Highlights- Feb. 2, 2011

Miss some of last night's action? We've got a smattering of highlights for you here on the blog!

Charlotte 66, Xavier 62



Temple 71, La Salle 67



Dayton 63, St. Bonaventure 61



Saint Louis 69, Massachusetts 53



Richmond 62, Saint Joseph's 52

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Faces of the A-10: Richmond's Brittani Shells

Senior explores her two passions - basketball and film - at UR



This article was originally posted by University of Richmond Sports Information
and can be found here
 
Brittani Shells, ’11, can barely remember a time when she didn’t have a basketball in her hand. The guard for the University of Richmond’s varsity women’s basketball team spent much of her childhood shooting hoops on a neighborhood court, establishing a lifetime passion for the sport and ultimately spawning aspirations to play professionally.

“My dad introduced me to the sport and since then I’ve loved it,” she says. “He passed away in 2005, but I know that he still, in a way, lives on through me because I’m still playing.”

By the time she reached high school, Shells knew she wanted to play basketball in college and was looking for a small school with a coach that meshed with her style. After Michael Shafer, head coach for the women’s basketball team, reached out and compared her to her favorite basketball player — Allen Iverson — Shells decided to give the University of Richmond a look.

“[Coach Shafer] definitely drew me in,” she says. “He knew I liked to score and that’s what the team needed at the time. I took a look and loved it; I didn’t even look into any other schools. I felt at peace.”
Being on the women’s basketball team has been one of the highlights of Shells’ Richmond experience. In particular, Shells remembers playing James Madison University in the NCAA’s National Invitation Tournament her sophomore year.

“JMU is a pretty good school and it was a tie game,” she says. “Coach put me in a position where I had to create a shot and I actually made it! I was going crazy.”

Shells also found her teammates made the University a home away from home.

“My teammates are amazing,” she says. “We rarely see our families, so they’re like another family. Some people have fraternities or sororities, but I have the basketball team and that’s all I need.”

When Shells isn’t scoring baskets on the Robins Center court, she can often be found capturing her world behind the lens of her Flip camera. Film was an outlet for her growing up and a career path she’s considering entering down the road, if she doesn’t immediately enter the realm of professional basketball.

“My dream team has been the Washington Mystics,” she says. “But then I thought about the L.A. Sparks — and that’s in L.A., in Hollywood. That’s exactly where I really want to be for film.”

Though the University's film major wasn't created until Shells' junior year, the rhetoric and communication studies major still found time to prepare for film school by taking courses in the field.

This year she combined her two passions by turning the camera on her teammates during pre-season practices and workout sessions. She's now editing the footage to create her own film.

“The classes showed me a different side of film,” she says. “I never noticed how much went into creating frames. And editing my own video is a lot of work, but it’s fun to see how it all forms together.”

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A-10 Student-Athletes Take to the Streets

In today's post we'll feature some of the great work A-10 student-athletes have been doing in the community, finding ways to give back:

First up, Charlotte Men's Basketball visits the Children's Hospital:



Next, Fordham Track & Field:
 Photo Gallery
Bronx, N.Y. - While getting back to work on the track over the past two weeks, the Fordham track & field teams have also put in plenty of work off the track during the holiday season, putting together two community service projects.
The first project was a holiday toy drive, where the teams collected and donated toys to the Butler Child Advocacy Center at Montefiore Hospital.
The team collected 77 board games to give to the Center's annual Holiday Party. The Center works with 200 children from the Bronx community that come from abusive households. The party was attended by the children and their families. The games collected by the Fordham track & field team allowed every child who attended to leave the party with a gift.
The Rams are also participating in the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Program, collecting various pairs of shoes and sneakers for a new age recycling effort.


Richmond Men's Basketball visit the homeless:



Saint Louis Women's Basketball give back to Haiti: Watch the Video

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rivals' Eisenberg Covers Coach Major And The 49ers

Read all rivals.yahoo.com NCAA coverage HERE

 

Revitalized Charlotte has surged since dismissing Shamari Spears



Remove the most talented player from a floundering team already decimated by injuries, and what do you get?

In Charlotte's case, a sudden revival almost nobody saw coming.

Since first-year coach Alan Major dismissed top scorer Shamari Spears three weeks ago for violating team rules, Charlotte has rallied from a 4-6 start to reel off four wins in a row entering Wednesday night's conference opener at Richmond. Bookending that streak is a one-point win over then-No. 7 Tennessee and a double-overtime come-from-behind victory at Georgia Tech.

"We struggled a little bit early, but I always felt good about what we had," Major said by phone this week. "I'm happy the guys have rallied around each other and supported each other. That's what being a team is all about."

Few teams have endured more adversity in the first two months of the season than Charlotte, which last made the NCAA tournament in 2005 and was projected to finish in the middle of the Atlantic 10 again this season. K.J. Sherrill and Charles Dewhurst suffered meniscus tears during the first week of practice and Spears and two other returners were suspended to start the season, contributing to a disappointing start that included losses to Gardner-Webb, East Carolina and Davidson.

The nadir appeared to come Dec. 14 when Major announced he was dismissing Spears from the team. The senior had previously indicated on his Twitter that he was having trouble adjusting to Major, saying once during the preseason that he missed Lutz and another time he was close to quitting the team.


Major still won't shed much light on exactly what led to Major's dismissal except to say that the decision was "difficult" and that he wants players who "represent the university in the right way." What he will talk about is how he has managed to keep the rest of the team positive and upbeat under unenviable circumstances.

"One thing we do a lot is we try to teach life lessons," Major said. "We just try to relate a lot of what happened to life and to developing toughness and bringing the right effort and those kinds of things. It's a little bit corny but it has worked for us."

Cheesy or not, the life lessons have helped the 49ers step up in Spears' absence the past few weeks.
Center Phil Jones had the game-winning layup with 7.4 seconds against Vols. Guard Javarris Barnett sank a game-clinching three in a one-point win over Mercer. And guard Derrio Green hit the game-tying and game-winning buckets against Wright State and scored 21 points in the win at Georgia Tech.

"Everyone in their own way has chipped in," Major said. "Different guys have had big scoring nights or made key plays to help us, and that's why we've turned it around."

Post Game Interviews From Some of Last Night's Winners

Wednesday, January 5, 2011




By Ray Floriani

The Fordham Rams open their Atlantic Ten schedule hosting Temple at the Izod Center tonight. Fordham will play four conference games at the East Rutherford, N.J. based facility and the matchup with the Owls is the opener.
  
A year ago the Rams were being mentioned for several reasons. Such as a star player exiting and a coaching change in December. Currently, Fordham is in the conversation thanks to an impressive win over St. John’s last month. It was the Red Storm’s most recent loss to date. Moving along, a few numbers to consider:

                          Pace                Offensive Efficiency     Defensive Efficiency
Temple                  67                              102                                   89
Fordham               67                              100                                  102

Both teams are respectable on offense. The defensive side shows a marked contrast. Tom Pecora’s Rams are doing at best, a marginal  job on that end.  A further look shows opposition eFG percentage at 47% and an opposing TO rate of 15%.  Simply, the Rams are a bit too generous to teams shooting from the field while not exerting ball pressure to create turnovers. Forcing mistakes is not solely predicated on full court pressing, turnovers can also be a product of sound half court D.
  
The Owls’ outstanding defensive efficiency is produced by limiting teams to a 43% eFG mark. The ball pressure is respectable as Fran Dunphy’s club forces a 20% TO rate. Offensively, Temple’s 18% TO rate stands out.  They value the ball and rarely beat themselves, even on a possession to possession basis.
  
The two teams do a good job of limiting opposition to one shot. Temple’s opposition has a 27% offensive rebound percentage while Fordham checks in at a healthy 28%.

Final Note. Neither team appears to be forcing the pace as the average pace (possessions per game) is identical. Temple just has to come in and execute.  Play their game, the one that made them the class of the conference. Fordham shouldn’t be considered lightly. There is a new mindset on Rose Hill and this is a Ram team that came from twenty points down in the second half to pull out that win over St. John’s.

The Atlantic Ten Conference season is upon us.
-Ray Floriani- 


College Chalktalk A-10 Conference Preview



Atlantic 10 Notebook: The Wild, Wide Open A-10

Ian Nolan, College Chalktalk Staff Writer

As we turn the calendar over to 2011, the conference slate is fast approaching. This week, Atlantic 10 Basketball will tip-off on Wednesday night… and Temple will officially begin their quest for a fourth straight automatic bid.  However, before we look ahead to the next three months of basketball, let’s take a look at six headlines that have captured our attention so far in the 2010-2011 season.

The Wild, Wide Open Atlantic 10
As of Saturday night, the Atlantic 10 boasted no team with fewer than three losses, and eight teams that have won at least seven of their non-conference games. Our preseason predicted champion Temple has looked the part at times this year, such as their win over 10th ranked Georgetown; but isn’t a dominant team at this point that looks poised to run away and hide with the league crown.

Xavier stands at 8-4 but has had to play with a very short bench after losing Brad Redford to a torn ACL and Justin Martin to ineligibility.  The Musketeers have had their share of poor showings (see overtime win vs. IPFW and double-digit loss to rival Miami of Ohio).

Richmond, which entered the season returning much of the same cast that pushed Temple to the limit in the A-10 title game a year ago, sports an 11-4 mark and has used the 15th best shooting percentage in the nation to carry them into league play. Chris Mooney’s club has beaten the likes of 8th ranked Purdue, Arizona State, Virginia Commonwealth, and Seton Hall, but laid the proverbial egg last night against Bucknell.

And what about Jim Baron’s Rhode Island Rams? Led by do it all senior Delroy James, the Rams are off to a 9-4 start with a quality win over Boston College last week… and are well balanced offensively with five players averaging double figures.  Defense and rebounding remain question marks that Rhody must address in conference play.

Finally, we come to the Dayton Flyers, leading the league in wins at 12-3, and are winners of seven of their last eight games. The Flyers boast the 17th best rebounding outfit in the nation (41 boards) which has helped cover up their offensive deficiencies as they rank just 299th in field goal percentage (40%). Freshman point guard Juwan Staten has been a godsend to the team, averaging 6.6 helpers per night, but more on him later.

After covering our bases by noting those five teams’ respective accomplishments, it goes without saying that the rest of the league is just as wide open as the top four or five spots.  Teams such as UMass, La Salle, St. Bonaventure, Duquesne, Charlotte, Saint Louis and George Washington could all dream of finishing as high as fifth in the league or finish as low as 11th. The combined record of those mentioned clubs is 49-40, meaning that while the race at the top of the league is hotly contested by quality clubs, the race for slots five or six on down is just as wide open, but filled with clubs who have a combination of star power (see Andrew Nicholson of St. Bonaventure, Aaric Murray of La Salle, Anthony Gurley of UMass) as well as glaring holes in their overall game (St. Bonaventure’s non-existent bench, La Salle’s inability to get stops, and UMass’ poor shooting).

If nothing else, this season of league play promises to be one of unprecedented parity with seeding for Atlantic City likely to come down to the final day of the season for many slots.

Nicholson Carries Bonnies, and hope in Olean
Andrew Nicholson entered his junior season a marked man. After losing guards Jonathan Hall and Chris Matthews, Nicholson was sure to see double and triple teams each night this year.

He has.

And he’s responded like a future NBA draft selection. Averaging over 20 points per game along with nine rebounds, Nicholson gives the Bonnies a talent they haven’t suited up in maybe thirty or more seasons; a 6-foot-9 forward who can score in a variety of ways, and can even step out and knock down the three. St. Bonaventure may not be deep but is now a team to be leery of during conference play because of its superstar forward.

Dayton Gets a Point Guard, a Damn Fine Point Guard
The Atlantic 10 doesn’t always nab the most heralded recruits in the nation when compared to the power conferences; but Juwan Staten was heralded coming out of high school and he has produced in a big time way. Staten is averaging 9 points and 6.6 assists per game, not only leading the league in that column, but he also leads the nation in assist rate (assists divided by field goals made when he is on the floor). Staten has been just what the doctor ordered for a Dayton team who always had people saying “If they only had a good point man…” The Flyers are now loaded with talent (Staten, C. Wright, C. Johnson) and ripe to make a title run under Brian Gregory who may finally have the pieces in place to climb to the top of the mountain.

Again, Fran Dunphy Finds another Scorer                    
It just doesn’t seem to matter to Fran Dunphy who graduates from his program. Dionte Christmas then Ryan Brooks, now the Owls have junior Ramone Moore who has upped his scoring from seven points a game to 15 a night, all sparked by his 36% shooting from deep. Moore has more than been a sidekick to the Allen-Fernandez duo; he’s pushed them aside to form a threesome as good as any in the league. Moore officially arrived on December 9th, the night of the Owls win over 9th ranked Georgetown on ESPN. Moore had 30 that night, and he hasn’t looked back since. While the Owls are not a sure-thing to win the league, they still have to get the nod given their track record and ability to develop players like Moore and forward Michael Eric.

Tu's got game
During this offseason Xavier point guard Terrell Holloway earned the right to be called Tu (his childhood nickname) by his coaches and teammates, and now he's more than backing it up against opponents on the court. Holloway has been fighting Andrew Nicholson for the early rights to Player of the Year honors, raising his scoring from 12 to 21 points a night to go along with over five assists per game. While Xavier has been somewhat hamstrung for scoring options this season, it has only sped up the development of their explosive point guard who has scored at least 20 points seven times already. Chris Mack’s club may not have the talent or depth as a year ago, but they still have a game changer in Holloway, who may be good enough to win them the league despite other shortcomings.

What Might have been in Saint Louis
Look at statistics from the Saint Louis roster and you will find that the top two scorers for Rick Majerus’ Saint Louis club are Kyle Cassidy and a freshman guard named Jordair Jett. It wasn’t supposed to be that way this season.  Dismissed from school prior to the season for involvement in an alleged sexual assault incident were Atlantic 10 standouts Kwamain Mitchell and Willie Reed. Many thought the Billikens had the one-two, inside-outside punch needed to compete for a league title, especially when considering their head coach and his track record to develop a team. Now, the Billikens are 5-8 team which ranks near the bottom of the nation in scoring and are comprised of seven freshmen who may be in over their heads come January and February. Were it not for off the court issues, Saint Louis would be a completely different ballclub, and the Temple would have one more challenger to worry about come March.

Major Credit
The boo-birds were out in full force a few weeks back with the dismissal of Shamari Spears and the 'Niners struggling at the time.  But not surprisingly Alan Major kept plugging along.  The team was initially buoyed by a win over then No. 7 Tennessee and has now reeled-off four straight after defeating Georgia Tech in double-overtime last night.  Charlotte, 8-6 on the year, is receiving contributions from many on both ends of the floor... and Javarris Barnett deserves particular mention.  After spending his first couple of years playing sparingly, the junior has dropped in 15 or more in two of his last three games and become a stabilizing force from the perimeter for Major.  This team's situation wasn't nearly as rosy as many speculated in the preseason given Charlotte's defensive deficiencies last year, the lack of multiple consistent scoring options, and the challenge of a new coach implementing his system with a newcomer at lead guard.  Rebuilding takes time.  So let's remember when the 'Niners lose a few - which they will - that Major's team is playing hard, he's slowly changing the culture in the Queen City and that he has this group headed in the right direction. (By: Chris DiSano)