Posts Tagged ‘VCU’

Posts Tagged ‘VCU’

Off The Wires: VCU, GMU, GSU, and UConn add to NU-related realignment talk

March 28th, 2012

Conference realignment may be picking up once again. On Sunday, CBS Sports’ Brett McMurphy reported that informal discussions were taking place between VCU, George Mason, and the Atlantic 10 conference for a possible move in 2013. VCU and Mason, of course, have both made the final four in the [admittedly infrequent] years that the CAA has received multiple bids to the NCAA tournament. Adding to the fodder was Duquesne’s president, after firing coach Ron Everhart:

Duquesne president Charles J. Dougherty mentioned the A-10′s plans for expansion in an email he sent to his board of trustees explaining his decision to fire basketball coach Ron Everhart. The email was obtained by “The A10 conference itself is on the verge of a major improvement with the addition of new high quality university programs,” Dougherty wrote. “All of this amounts to an exciting professional opportunity for a new coach.”

On Wednesday, news broke that Georgia State was in discussions with the Sun Belt conferencel. The move would be primarily motivated by GSU’s football program, which since its inception has been thought of as leverage for GSU to move to an FBS-participating conference. A move, reported by McMurphy, would come as early as 2013.

The Sun Belt is strongly considering extending an invitation to Georgia State and the parties have had informal discussions. An invitation could occur in the coming weeks with Georgia State a possibility to be added to the league as early as 2013, sources said.

While Georgia State would compress the conference’s geographic spread, the loss of VCU and Mason on the basketball side would be seismic shifts for competitiveness in the league. Adding to the unease is the sense that Old Dominion and James Madison are beefing up football programs, aiming at the FBS. While most of the discussion is conjecture and speculation, it’s a fascinating glimpse at conference realignment which is still unfolding. Mike Litos, as always, has a calm and reasoned discussion about why a move from VCU and Mason won’t come for at least another few months.

Hockey got a dose of realignment talk on Wednesday as well. UConn, which had recently hired a consultant to evaluate its hockey program, is reportedly applying to become Hockey East’s 12th team in 2013, as reported by College Hockey News:

Connecticut is believed to be the first choice among a large majority of the conference’s athletic directors. It is a natural fit because it is a state school in New England, a la Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Mass.-Lowell and Vermont. And Connecticut’s women’s program currently plays in Hockey East.

A 12th team would move the number of conference game to 22 (teams would play each other twice each season), increasing the non-league games by 5. UConn’s main hurdle is its arena: they currently play at the small Frietas Ice Forum, which holds less than 2,000 spectators, inadequate for Hockey East’s arena standards.

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This week on WRBB Sports

March 26th, 2012

Tuesday, March 27

3:00 p.m. – Northeastern Baseball: Huskies vs. Boston College Eagles
from Friedman Diamond
with Alex Faust and David Kroopnick
Broadcast on WRBB Sports Extra

Thursday, March 29

8:00 p.m. – Hockey East This Week
Season finale

Friday, March 30

3:00 p.m. – Dog Pound Sports Sound
Season finale

Saturday, March 31

12:00 p.m. – Northeastern Baseball: Huskies vs. VCU Rams
from Friedman Diamond
with Patrick McHugh and Coray Runge
Broadcast on WRBB Sports Extra

Sunday, April 1

1:00 p.m. – Northeastern Baseball: Huskies vs. VCU Rams
from Friedman Diamond
with Zolan Kanno-Youngs and David Kroopnick
Broadcast on WRBB Sports Extra

WRBB Sports Baseball, The Dog Pound ,

CAA Tournament Live Blog: Day Four

March 5th, 2012

It’s championship Monday in the CAA. Yesterday Old Dominion and George Mason were eliminated in semifinal action, and now only two teams remain, each vying for a ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

Tonight’s title tilt will pit #1 Drexel against #2 VCU at 7 p.m. The Dragons and Rams both have 27 wins on the season, but it’s win number 28 that will send them dancing into March. The loser may still get in as an at-large choice, but that’s a scenario both squads would like to avoid.

For coverage of tonight’s game follow WRBB Sports and CAA Full Court Press on Twitter. Patrick McHugh, Andy Towne and Alex Faust will be inside the Richmond Coliseum to update you on the action.

Patrick McHugh Basketball , ,

CAA Tournament Live Blog: Day Three

March 4th, 2012

We’re down to four teams in the 2012 Virginia 529 College Savings Plan CAA Men’s Basketball Championship. On Saturday, four more teams (UNCW, Delaware, Northeastern, Georgia State) were eliminated and sent home. Only the top four seeds remain, and only two wins separate these teams from the Big Dance.

Though Northeastern’s season is over, Patrick McHugh and Andy Towne are still in Richmond for the tournament. Unfortunately due to increased media coverage from other outlets, we will be unable to do a running blog of the tournament from press row. Instead, check out WRBB Sports and CAA Full Court Press on their respective Twitter handles to stay updated on semifinal action.

Two afternoon games will take place today. Here’s how it looks:

2 p.m. – #1 Drexel vs. #4 Old Dominion
4:30 p.m. – #2 VCU vs. #3 George Mason

These are truly the best four teams in the conference, and considering the run the CAA has made in the NCAA Tournament in years past, it isn’t a stretch to say these teams could make a run into late March. It should be another great day of CAA basketball.

Patrick McHugh Basketball , , , ,

QuickCast: Basketball vs. VCU (CAA Tournament Quarterfinals)

March 4th, 2012

A season-high 25 turnovers plagued the Huskies, who saw their season end with a 75-65 defeat to VCU in the CAA Tournament quarterfinals. Northeastern ends its 2011-12 campaign with a 14-17 record.

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Northeastern ends season, falling 75-65 to VCU in CAA quarterfinals

March 3rd, 2012

What happened?

Northeastern ended their run as the only team in the CAA to have not faced VCU in the conference tournament, and they also became the last Colonial squad that had not lost to the Rams in the March classic at the Coliseum.

It started out as a very defensive contest, with VCU leading 4-0 at the first media timeout. Scoring picked up over the next four minutes, with the higher-seeded team jumping out to a 14-7 lead. At that point, the energy in the building was really growing in favor of the “home” team, and VCU was able to extend the lead to nine before five straight points from Joel Smith got the Huskies back into it. The Huskies’ hole would once again deepen to eight points, but as they’ve done all year they climbed right back into it. Over the final 6:15 of the opening half, VCU did not put a point on the board during an 8-0 run for Northeastern that enabled the visitors to tie the game at 26 heading into the halftime break.

At the outset of the second half, VCU took control and scored 10 of the first 12 points after intermission, converting several Northeastern turnovers into baskets as they had done all evening. The Huskies didn’t want to let the game go, and hit baskets when they really needed to. VCU extended their lead to 10 with a Rob Brandenberg triple at the 11:52 mark, and hardly looked back from there. They extended the lead to 21 just four and a half minutes later, although again Northeastern showed resilience and grabbed rebounds on many missed shots from the Rams, holding them to minimal scoring for a stretch while getting a few buckets of their own. Also taking advantage of a poor free throw percentage from VCU (45.6% for the game), Northeastern was able to foul to get themselves back in the game and closed the margin to eight with 1:10 to go and again with 51 ticks on the clock.

The Huskies played hard and believed they had a chance to win despite being down by double digits, though a Joel Smith turnover with 37 seconds left, down by nine, iced the game. It was unsurprising that a turnover would end it, since Northeastern committed 25 on the game. Read more…

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Previewing the CAA Awards Banquet

March 1st, 2012

The 2012 Virginia 529 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship will tip off in less than 24 hours. While Thursday is the calm before the storm, the league will take time this evening to recognize the top performers of the 2011-12 season with the CAA Awards Banquet.

First, let’s explore picks from pundits Mike Litos of, Mark Selig of, Tim Pearrell of The Richmond Times-Dispatch,  Brian Mull of The Wilmington Star News and Phil Kasiecki of

The honors will be handed out at the banquet, which begins at 7 p.m., but let’s take a look at the awards and what hardware we think Northeastern could go home with.

Player of the Year: Pretty much self-explanatory. The top player in the league is recognized with this award, and for the first time since 2009 the award will not say “Charles Jenkins” on it. The former Hofstra standout won the award in 2010 and 2011, and before that VCU’s Eric Maynor claimed the title in 2008 and 2009. The major candidates this year are Ryan Pearson of George Mason and Frantz Massenat of Drexel, although Kent Bazemore of ODU is getting consideration as well.
Northeastern candidate: If I had to go with one I’d say junior captain Jonathan Lee, who led the team in scoring, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, three point percentage and assists and was second in the league in minutes per game. Likelihood: None.
My pick: Pearson. Struggled down the stretch but averaged 17.8/8.5 for a team with a new coach that lost two of its three leading scorers from a season ago. Pearson is also a senior, and like it or not experience will push him past Massenat, a sophomore. Read more…

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VCU 59, NU 56: Rams Use First Half Run to Hold Off Huskies

February 5th, 2012

What Happened

Defense was the key early on between Northeastern and Virginia Commonwealth Saturday night. Neither team could hold much of a lead, with VCU jumping out 4-0 early advantage before a layup by Reggie Spencer and three by Joel Smith put the Huskies up one. The Huskies were able to better handle the Rams’ defensive pressure early on and led 14-7 as Smith and Quincy Ford combined for 10 of the Huskies’ points. Neither squad found much separation through the half as that 7-point lead was the largest the Huskies could build, as each time either team looked to make a run the other would answer.

This all changed with 5:34 left to play in the half. The Huskies led by six, 23-17, before VCU went on a 14-2 run to end the half. During this run Northeastern committed four turnovers on their seven possessions, allowing VCU to run their fast break offense and forcing the Huskies to foul in transition. Luckily for Northeastern, Smith hit a buzzer-beating, baseline layup to cut VCU’s lead to six at the half, 31-25.

The start of the second half was more of the same as the teams continued to trade baskets, including three made three pointers within a minute of each other, two for VCU and one for Northeastern. At the 14:27 mark, Juvonte Reddic made two free throws to give VCU its biggest lead of the game at 13. However in the next four minutes Demetrius Pollard — who set a new career high in minutes played and points scored at 14 and six respectively — and Ford each made two lay-ups cutting the lead to five. VCU head coach Shaka Smart took a quick timeout to refocus his team. It worked, as the Rams extended their lead back to as many as 11 with 1:29 remaining.

It was at this juncture that Jonathan Lee caught fire. After scoring only six points through the first 38:30 minutes, he went on to score 10, including Northeastern’s last 12 points, in the last minute and a half, which combined with VCU going 2 of 5 from the free throw line down the stretch. This allowed the Huskies the chance to cut the lead to one with just over 30 seconds left, however Pollard missed a wide open trey in the corner and Reddic finally hit two free throws to effectively ice the game. Lee ended up hitting a buzzer-beating three but it was too little too late, with the final score reading 59-56 VCU.

Player of the Game

If one were to just look at the box score numbers, it would be easy to clamor for Lee to win the player of the game for this dogfight. Even though he alone effectively brought Northeastern back for a late charge, it would be remiss to not look at his game as a whole. He was relatively ineffective through most of the game, and even though he was second on the team with seven rebounds, there were large stretches were it was easy to forget he was on the floor. Smith and Ford are the next obvious candidates, each playing their own game effectively. However, it was Ford’s defensive prowess and effectiveness on the glass that won me over. He did it all for the Huskies on a night were no one else could get much going. The freshman scored 14 points, including four in the middle of the second half when it looked as if VCU might blow the doors off. He also managed four blocks, a steal and three crucial offensive rebounds, which is even more impressive considering VCU was stacking 7-foot D.J. Haley and the ultra-effective Reddic down low. Ford continues to look impressive and is doing all he can to keep his name in contention for CAA Rookie of the Year.

The Takeaway

Northeastern has always played VCU tough, even when the talent disparity has been large. You don’t have to look further than last year when the Huskies scored 91 on the Rams, the highest total they allowed all year, including their bracketbusting stretch in March. This game was much closer, however, the 14-2 run at the end of the first half was the deciding factor. We stressed all night the importance of keeping a handle on the ball against the Rams’ “Havoc” defense. They were 14-2 coming into the game when forcing their opponent into 15-plus turnovers. Northeastern committed nine in the first half, but only six in the second, however it was enough for them to hit the magic number of 15.

Unfortunately, Lee really couldn’t get anything going offensively because any time he drove to the basket the big presence of Haley forced him to change his shot. He was able to still beat his average even on an “off” night. If the Huskies want to be a serious contender come CAA tournament time, they are going to have to get more production from their big men, particularly Spencer, who when given the opportunity, can make impressive post moves. After a fantastic start to the season, the freshman has hit a wall, which has in turn hurt Smith’s game as teams are more willing to step out on his outside shots because there is not much threat down low.

Either way the Huskies played one of the best teams in the league tight the whole way in front of a raucous homecoming crowd, which should give them the confidence to know that on any night they can hang with the best the conference has to offer, which is huge come tourney time.

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Press Pass: Basketball at Virginia Commonwealth

February 5th, 2012

Northeastern head coach Bill Coen discusses his team’s narrow 59-56 defeat at Virginia Commonwealth Saturday night.

Listen to

VCU players Darius Theus, Juvonte Reddic and Troy Daniels talk about what it took to get past the Huskies.
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Rams head man Shaka Smart chats about his team’s win over Northeastern, as well as his squad’s play this season.
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