Tag Archives: Team Features

Five Teams to Watch Ahead of Conference Tournaments

Nelson, Tyler (3)
Tyler Nelson and the Fairfield Stags may be below .500 in MAAC play, but they can’t be counted out down the stretch and into the conference tournament. (Source: Fairfield Athletics) (Header: Times Union)

LONDON, Ont. — Move over football, it’s college basketball’s time to shine!

With Super Bowl 52 now a thing of the past, the attention in the sporting world shifts to college basketball and the March to Madness. With the conference races heating up all across the country, teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack as they look to punch their ticket to the Big Dance.

As we all know from history, not all things go according to plan. Teams atop the conferences right now aren’t guaranteed of a spot in the field of 68, as anything can happen come late-February and early March.

Every year, there are teams that come from the middle of conference standings to make a run at their respective conference tournament title. It will happen again this year, without question, and we will see a few surprise entrants in the bracket come Selection Sunday as conference champions.

Here are five teams who currently sit in the middle of the pack in their respective conferences that could make some noise down the stretch during the regular season and into the post-season.
Continue reading Five Teams to Watch Ahead of Conference Tournaments

Hawai’i Warriors Get Off to a 3-1 Start in Big West Play

Ganot, Eran (3)
Despite some poor shooting performances on the offensive end, Eran Ganot and the Hawai’i Warriors sit at 3-1 in Big West play, thanks in large part to their defense. (Source: Hawai’i Luxury Magazine) (Header: Hawai’i Athletics)

HONOLULU — After opening with a record of 3-1 in Big West play, which will continue on Saturday against Chima Moneke and the UC Davis Aggies, the Hawai’i Warriors are sitting pretty in a tie for second in the conference standings.

Hawai’i has averaged an even 70 points per game over their four-game stretch, but have been playing some sub-par basketball despite the results on the scoreboard and their spot in the standings.

In their 57-45 win over the Cal Poly Mustangs, their second win over the stretch, the Warriors shot just 40.5% from the field, as well as shooting a dismal 33.3% from beyond the arc. Continue reading Hawai’i Warriors Get Off to a 3-1 Start in Big West Play

Five Figures From The London Lightning’s Current 10-Game Winning Streak

White, Royce
Royce White and the London Lightning have won 10 straight games, and will go for #11 on Wednesday against the St. John’s Edge, whom they beat to start the steak back in December. (Source: The London Camera Club) (Header: The London Camera Club)

LONDON, Ont. — The London Lightning are proving once again why they are the best team in the NBL Canada.

Last season, they won their third league title in convincing fashion. They had a talented roster that was led by Royce WhiteGarrett Williamson, Ryan Anderson, and others. In the off-season, head coach Kyle Julius took a job overseas, and several key players went different routes. It left more questions than answers coming into this season.

Just when it looked as though they couldn’t get any better, they somehow did.

One could make the case that this year’s edition of the team has more talent and offensive weapons than the team that won it all a season ago. They are getting scoring from everyone on the roster, and they aren’t even at full health. Marcus Capers and Kyle Johnson are both nursing injuries, but are due back in the near future.

The balanced attack has propelled the Lightning on a 10-game winning streak, and to the top of the league standings after a 2-5 start to the season. Here are five figures from the Lightning’s current streak that stand out among the rest.
Continue reading Five Figures From The London Lightning’s Current 10-Game Winning Streak

Three Things We Learned From Notre Dame’s Loss to Michigan State: Guys Need To Step Up

Vs Michigan State #1
Matt Farrell went scoreless in the first half before finishing with 10 points and 7 assists. (Source: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports).

SOUTH BEND, IN. — A loss was bound to happen eventually for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and they suffered their first blemish of the season on Thursday night, losing 81-63 to the Michigan State Spartans in the final game of the 2017 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Just as the Fighting Irish were coming off of a tournament championship win, beating the then sixth-ranked Wichita State Shockers, Michigan State also found success in early tournament play, winning the Victory bracket of the inaugural PK80 Invitational against the then ninth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels.

In their game against the Tar Heels, the Spartans showed dominance both defensively and offensively, which transitioned into their tilt with the #5 team in the country Thursday night.

Michigan State threw Notre Dame off their offensive rhythm they showed during the Maui Invitational, keeping them out of the paint, limiting their points on the fast break, and forcing them to take unbalanced shots. The Irish were no better on defense, as their transition defense failed to stop the Spartans, and they were out-manned down low with Michigan State getting too many second chances.

While it is one loss and it came from a team that one could argue is the best in the country, Notre Dame is starting to show us who they really are.

Here are three things we learned about Notre Dame in their loss to Michigan State.

Continue reading Three Things We Learned From Notre Dame’s Loss to Michigan State: Guys Need To Step Up

A look at Opening Weekend for the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds

Jashaun Agosto and the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds have fought back in each of their two games this season, but their comeback efforts have fallen short both times. (Source: Brooklyn Daily)

BROOKLYN — The LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds have started 2017-2018 season with an 0-2 record after opening weekend.

However, it’s nothing to worry about, and there are some key takeaways from this past weekend.

Raiquan Clark had a career high on Friday night, with 34 points to go along with seven rebounds. It looks as though Clark is ready to take on a starring role on offense this year without Jerome Frink on the roster. Continue reading A look at Opening Weekend for the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds

Northern Arizona Lumberjacks look to contend for a Big Sky title in 2017-18 despite losing their top four scorers

Sophomore guard JoJo Anderson will see a big jump in his minutes, and production, in comparison to his freshman year stats.

Flagstaff, AZ — Losing your top four scorers from a season before is a tough obstacle to overcome, no matter who you are.

When it’s a smaller program from a smaller conference, it becomes more of a notable issue moving towards the following season.

That’s the position that the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks find themselves in heading into the 2017-18 season. The Lumberjacks are coming off a season in which they finished the season with a record of 9-23 overall, and were eight games off of the lead in the Big Sky Conference, finishing in 10th with a 6 – 12 record.

With their losses, there isn’t much of a buzz around the Lumberjacks program on a national level this season. However, that shouldn’t be the case. While the team may be young, the foundation has been set for the program to take another step forwards in 2017-18.

From the addition of a pair of graduate transfers to the rise of a star sophomore guard, to the recent memory of a run to the CIT Finals three seasons ago, the Lumberjacks are starting to trend back in the right direction after a down year a season ago. Continue reading Northern Arizona Lumberjacks look to contend for a Big Sky title in 2017-18 despite losing their top four scorers