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UMBC, George Mason to square off Tuesday for first time since 1999

Posted on 03 December 2012 by WNST Staff

For the first time since 1999, UMBC will meet the George Mason Patriots in men’s basketball as the Retrievers visit the Patriot Center on Tues., Dec. 4. Tip-off time is set for 7:00 p.m. The game will also be televised by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network with Jason Knapp and Craig Esherick on the call.

RETRIEVER UPDATE:  SR G Ryan Cook scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half and JR C Brett Roseboro posted career highs with 19 points and 10 rebounds as the host Retrievers (2-5) never trailed in a 66-62 victory over Towson (3-4) on Dec. 1. The win snapped a four-game slide for UMBC and gave the Retrievers (2-5) a two-game winning streak over their beltway rivals.

PATRIOT UPDATE:  George Mason gave a great effort, but came up just short in a  69-62 setback vs. Maryland in the BB&T Classic held at the Verizon Center on Dec. 2. GMU had won three consecutive games, including a narrow 48-45 home triumph over Boston U. on Nov. 24. Sharrod Wright is the lone Patriot averaging in double figures, but the junior guard is at a robust 15.1 points per game. Mason also had a home victory over Virginia (63-59) to open the season.

WHO’S UP NEXT:  UMBC will play for the fourth time in eight days on Thurs., Dec. 6 when they host the American University Eagles. Tip time at the RAC Arena is 7:00 p.m.

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Turgeon not happy with turnovers, missed free throws in Maryland win

Posted on 02 December 2012 by WNST Staff

Maryland 69, George Mason 62

Head Coach Mark Turgeon

 

Opening:

“It’s a good win for us. I think George Mason is an excellent team that is going to win a lot of games. They have a great coach. It took us a long time to get used to their quickness. We couldn’t simulate their quickness in practice. We turned the ball over a lot, we actually turned it over the whole game. Nineteen turnovers and 16 missed free throws kept the game close. I thought our defense was outstanding. We did a better job on [Patrick] Holloway in the second half. He hit a 3-pointer late but we did a great job on him. Our defense got better and our rebounding was terrific down the stretch. I thought George Mason played better the first 23 minutes than we did. I thought the last 17 after that timeout we showed a little bit of toughness, enough to win the game.”

 

On Dez Wells:

“He is a good player. He was a good player coming in. He is feeling more comfortable. A week ago Saturday, against Georgia Southern he was about as bad as he could be. He flipped a switch and got real aggressive. He got some open looks and got eight points right out of the shoot. He had a great week. More importantly I thought he defended well and rebounded better than he had. He is still turning the ball over too much. I told him he is on pace to set a record. He looked at me and said ‘For turnovers?’ and I said ‘Yeah.’”

 

On playing on the road:

“We went on the road and it wasn’t a really great environment but they had a great crowd at Northwestern. We weathered that and that will help us the next time we go. Than we had this neutral court game against a team that is well-coached and won 24 games last year and have a lot of guys last. They beat Virginia and should have beat New Mexico, which was a heart breaker for them. The game didn’t go the way we wanted it to go today but it will help us. Looking across this sheet we played 10 guys, every one of them played well defensively for us. That is comforting. That didn’t happen 10 days ago. I can look and see that we have really grown up defensively and are really dialed in. as a coach I need to figure out how to stop turning the ball over. Every time out I told our guys if we didn’t have a layup or wide open three to get into our secondary break. We got into it one time. They have to be more coachable. They kept guarding so I put up with a lot of it today.”

 

On Nick Faust:

“Nick was great tonight. We challenged Nick against [Patrick] Holloway, what a special scorer that kid is. I saw him last year when I was out recruiting and to bring it at this level against us was pretty amazing. Nick had a great week. He was good against Northwestern defensively and he was great in the two practices leading into this game. I anticipated that he was going to play well defensively. That is great growth for him. Nick isn’t caught up in scoring; he is caught up in winning. That took a long time. We are finally there.”

 

Sophomore Guard Nick Faust

 

On his dunk that drew cheers:

“It was real big. It was basically all Pe’Shon [Howard]. He saw me coming back door and he locked it up, but once again I ran the floor and got to the open spot.”

 

On his shot execution:

“It’s early in the season maybe. I’m not really sure. I’m just pushing through. I’m not worried about it. It will start falling as long as I just keep staying in the gym.”

 

On the defense:

“We’re definitely more together. Everyone is just playing together. You have Alex Len who is blocking shots like crazy, so being a guard, you just send them to the help. Everyone is stronger and attentive in helping one another on defense.”

 

On game takeaways:

“[We need to] just bring it right from the beginning. We felt like we didn’t have a lot of energy from the beginning of the game, so we tried to pick it up by using whatever we could to get energy and get it going. Overall, I think we did solid as a team. We have things to work on, but we’ll be fine.”

 

On playing with Dez Wells:

“It’s easy. The last few games Dez has been hitting nonstop, so I have been milking him. I try to do whatever I can and I try to make my plays when I need to. But other than that, having him there to help is helping us as a team and is overall giving me easy points. Dez is doing really well right now and so is the team, so we play off one another.”

 

On changing his mindset from scoring to winning:

“I’m trying to make the right play and get guys involved. Coach and I sat down and he basically just told me to keep making the right play and sometimes I don’t have the fortune, so lately I have been doing whatever I can to hit guys. I just want to help my team win.”

 

Sophomore Center Alex Len

 

On growing defensively:

“I think young guys have learned a lot between two months ago and now. We’re like a totally different team. We played good defense as a team. Helping each other is good for us. Also, rebounding for us is huge. Everyone goes on the boards.”

 

On running the fast break:

“It took us about eight minutes to start running. I think when we started running, it changed the game.”

 

Sophomore Guard/Forward Dez Wells:

 

On starting strong:

“Whatever my team needs from me, that’s what I’m going to provide. I don’t want to make this about myself because I couldn’t have done this without my team. They welcomed me with open arms when I first got here and I couldn’t have done any of this without those guys. My coaches have also done a great job developing my game and helping me and stringing me along with everything that’s happened to me. They have been here like a family. We’re just getting closer every game.”

 

On relaxing this game:

“I felt more comfortable and that’s because my team and my coaches have been there for me. They continue to back me and stay behind me no matter what and making me feel very comfortable. My hat goes off to those guys.”

 

– Terps –

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Maryland faces George Mason Sunday in BB&T Classic

Posted on 01 December 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland travels to downtown Washington, D.C., to play in the 18th annual BB&T Classic, benefiting the Children’s Charities Foundation. The Terrapins take on George Mason in the second game of a doubleheader, with George Washington and Manhattan tipping off at 12:15 p.m. in the opener.

Storyline

• Maryland has played in each edition of the BB&T Classic and comes to Verizon Center this year with a 15-11 record all-time in the event. The Terps topped Notre Dame 78-71 last year to snap a two-game losing streak in the BB&T. Since the tournament went to a single-day format in 2004, the Terps are 3-5. Maryland has faced George Mason once in the event, a 78-54 Terrapin win in 2004. All-time, Maryland leads the series with George Mason 7-0.

• Depth, rebounding and an ability to ride the hot hand has helped Maryland win five straight games. Nine players are averaging double-figure minutes, and the Terps lead the ACC with a plus-17.3 rebounding margin per game. In the five-game winning streak, a different player has led the team in scoring in each contest. Most recently, Dez Wells poured in a career-high 23 points to lead Maryland to a 77-57 victory over Northwestern in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

• Alex Len recorded his second double-double of the year against the Wildcats by grabbing 13 points and 13 rebounds. Len leads the team in scoring (15.2 ppg), rebounding (9.0 rpg) and blocks (2.5 bpg). Pe’Shon Howard, Maryland’s active career leader in assists (199), has been a solid distributor with his 6.8 assists per game leading the league. As a team, Maryland is averaging 18.7 assists per game, which also leads the league. In the five-game winning streak, the Terps have assisted on 95 of 143 field goals (66.4 percent).


Quick Hitters

• A different player has led Maryland in scoring in the last five games. Nick Faust had 12 vs. Morehead State, Seth Allen had 19 vs. LIU Brooklyn, Alex Len had 16 vs. Lafayette, Charles Mitchell had 13 vs. Georgia Southern, and Dez Wells had 23 vs. Northwestern.

• The Terps have made more free throws than the opponent attempted this season (93 to 86). The biggest margins are against Morehead State, when the Terps made 17 and the Eagles attempted 8, and against Lafayette, when Maryland made 22 and Lafayette attempted 7.

• At least eight players have scored in each of the last five games, and at least five players scored in double figures against Lafayette and Georgia Southern.

• Nine players have received at least 10 minutes of playing time for five straight games, and nine players are averaging double-figure minutes.


Super Subs

• Since being outscored by Kentucky’s bench in the season opener, the Maryland bench has outscored its opponents 147-42 over the past five contests. In those four games, the biggest contributors have been Seth Allen (7.2 ppg), Shaquille Cleare (7.0 ppg) and Charles Mitchell (6.8 ppg)

• Logan Aronhalt has found his shooting stroke off the bench recently. He hit all four of his 3-point attempts vs. Georgia Southern and made 3 of 5 at Northwestern.


Sophomore Jump

• After averaging 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a freshman, Alex Len has developed into Maryland’s most consistent scoring threat as a sophomore. Len is averaging 15.2 points per game, which ranks first in the ACC among centers and tied for ninth overall. His 9.0 rebounds per game rank fifth. Len also leads the league with 2.5 blocks per game. He has two double-doubles this season: against Kentucky (23 & 12) and Northwestern (13 & 13).


 

 

Force on the Boards

• Maryland leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in rebounding margin at plus-17.3 per game, the only school averaging a double-figure margin. North Carolina is second at plus-6.9.

• The Terps have built advantages on the boards in all six games this season. Against Northwestern, Maryland built a 47-19 advantage on the boards, the largest margin this season.
Alex Len and Charles Mitchell are the biggest factors in that; Len averages 9.0 rpg and Mitchell averages 7.2. Len ranks fifth in the conference and Mitchell ranks 12th, including first among freshmen.

• Len leads the conference with 3.8 offensive rebounds per game, and Mitchell is tied for seventh with 3.0 per game. As a team, the Terps are averaging 17.0 offensive rebounds per game, second in the league behind North Carolina (17.7).

• Mitchell made an impressive debut by grabbing 10 rebounds in his first career game, against No. 3 Kentucky. That’s the most rebounds by a Maryland freshman in his debut since Buck Williams had 13 against Bucknell in 1978. Williams went on to lead the ACC in rebounding that year (10.8 pg) en route to capturing ACC Rookie of the Year honors.
Two of the better rebounders in recent memory, Joe Smith and Jordan Williams, didn’t reach double-digit boards until their third and fourth games, respectively.

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Loyola, Coppin, Towson, Mason on UMBC hoops’ non-conference schedule

Posted on 31 July 2012 by WNST Staff

UMBC will open the 2012-13 men’s basketball campaign at the University of Pennsylvania and play six non-conference home games before America East Conference competition, it was announced today by head coach Randy Monroe.

The Retrievers open the season in Philadelphia, taking on the Quakers on Friday, Nov. 9.  They open the home schedule three days later, when they host Eastern (Pa.) University on Monday, Nov. 12. Eastern is coached by former UMBC assistant coach Nate Stewart.

UMBC plays the first of six games vs. local rivals on Wednesday, Nov. 14 when they face 2012 MAAC champion and NCAA Tournament qualifier Loyola (Md.) at Reitz Arena.  The Retrievers host Towson (Dec. 1), American (Dec. 6) and Coppin State (Dec. 12), and travel short distances to George Mason (Dec. 4) and Mount St. Mary’s (Dec. 29).

Long-time rival Central Connecticut State (Nov. 20) and Canisius (Dec. 15) also will visit the RAC Arena  in late 2012.

UMBC will also visit two additional squads that competed in the NCAA Tournament last season.  The Retrievers close the month of November at Marquette on Nov. 28 and travel to Norfolk State on Dec. 9. The Retrievers also visit the Chicago area when they play DePaul on Dec. 22.

“Needless to say, we are very excited about our non-conference schedule,” head coach Randy Monroe said.  “We are going to face some very competitive teams and feel like these games will prepare us for the always-tough America East Conference.”

UMBC’s America East slate will be announced later this summer.

Notes:  The Retrievers also opened vs. Penn in 2011-12 and dropped a 59-45 decision… UMBC has not faced George Mason since the 1999-00 season and Mount St. Mary’s since the 2002-03 campaign… They will face Eastern (Pa.), Norfolk State and DePaul for the first time… UMBC and Towson will meet for the 56th time- the Tigers are UMBC’s most frequently-played opponent.

2012 UMBC Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule

November

Fri. 9 at Penn, TBA; Mon. 12 Eastern (Pa.) 7:00 p.m.; Wed. 14 at Loyola (Md.), TBA, Tue. 20 Central Connecticut State, 7:30 p.m.; Mon. 26 at Marquette, TBA

December

Sat. 1 Towson, TBA; Tue. 4 at George Mason, TBA; Thu. 6  American, 7:00 p.m.;  Sun. 9 at Norfolk State, 4:00 p.m.; Wed. 12 Coppin State, 7:00 p.m.; Sat. 15 Canisius, TBA; Sat. 22 at De Paul, 2:00 p.m.; Sat. 29 at Mount St. Mary’s, TBA

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Veteran assistant Nestor joins Navy hoops staff

Posted on 13 June 2012 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Navy men’s basketball head coach Ed DeChellis has announced that Ernie Nestor will join the Navy coaching staff, replacing Kurt Kanaskie, who took a similar coaching position at Virginia Tech last month. Nestor comes to Navy after spending the last season at Missouri and has been successful at every stop he has been during his 43-year career in the coaching ranks.

“Coach Nestor brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and success to our program. He has been a successful coach at all levels and will be an important figure in our program moving forward,” said DeChellis. “He has coached and recruited outstanding student-athletes and is one of the most respected and well-liked coaches in the country.”

“I am excited to rejoin coach DeChellis and be part of the basketball program here at the Naval Academy. I have the utmost respect for the institution and am looking forward to working with the current staff and players in building a strong, competitive team,” said Nestor. “There is a great admiration for the Naval Academy and what it stands for. It is a distinct honor to be a small part of such a great institution.”

Nestor comes to Navy after spending last season at Missouri as an assistant coach. The Tigers went 30-5 a year ago, won the Big 12 Championship and were ranked in the nation’s top five for the majority of the season. He has been credited in the development of Mizzou big man Ricardo Ratliffe, who showed drastic improvement from 2010-11 to last season, when he led the country in field goal percentage (.693) and averaged 13.9 ppg and 7.5 rpg while earning all-Big 12 second-team honors. In addition, guard Kim English spoke highly of Coach Nestor and the work the duo accomplished during the year. English averaged 14.5 points per game and shot a blistering 45.9 percent from three-point range.

Nestor arrived at Mizzou after one season as the Director of Basketball Operations at Penn State University under DeChellis. The Nittany Lions were one of the country’s most improved teams in 2010-11, going 19-15 and earning an at-large spot in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.Nestor’s coaching experience began in 1970-71 with a six-year stint as a high school head coach, but continued with stops at James Madison (1977-79), Wake Forest (1980-85), California (1986-88), George Mason (1989-93), a return trip to Wake Forest (1994-01), South Carolina (2002-03), Elon (2004-2009), the New Jersey Nets (2010) and Penn State (2011).

Nestor is no stranger to player development and bench strategy at the major college level. He has spent time in the Pac-10, ACC, SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 conferences as an assistant during his four-decade collegiate coaching career and spent time on Dave Odom’s staff at Wake Forest. He has also twice been a Division I head coach during his career, with stints at both Elon College and George Mason. During his career, he has helped recruit and develop Tim Duncan, Josh Howard and Darius Songaila into NBA stars.

Nestor’s five seasons at George Mason and six years at Elon were as the program’s head coach. He led George Mason to its first-ever NCAA Tournament in 1989 and topped the 20-win mark each of his first two seasons while reaching the CAA Tournament finals in 1991. He returned to Wake Forest in 1993 and helped the Demon Deacons to ACC Championships in 1995 and 1996 while the 1996 club advanced to the NCAA regional final, where it fell to the eventual NCAA National Champion, Kentucky. The 2000 Wake Forest team was the NIT Champion.

Nestor returned to the head coaching ranks at Elon College in 2003 and he directed the school’s first winning season as a Division I program in 2006. The Phoenix won 15 games (15-14 overall), including a 74-69 win at Clemson. The team also claimed the Southern Conference’s North Division crown and Nestor was named the SoCon Coach of the Year by both the league’s coaches and media. His 2008 Elon team advanced to the Southern Conference Tournament final, where it was defeated by a Davidson squad led by Steph Curry that reached the NCAA Elite Eight.

During his collegiate coaching career, he has been a part of 11 teams that reached NCAA Tournament play and eight more that advanced to the NIT.

Nestor is a 1968 graduate of Alderson-Broaddus College (W. Va.) and he earned his graduate degree from West Virginia in 1970. He and his wife, Janet, have two children, Stephanie and Jennifer. They also have four grandchildren, Kodiak, Lucy, Clio and Jude.

 

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Some Free Advice for Oswalt, BB&T Classic, Andino, more

Posted on 24 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

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Future Terps to Play in Capital Classic

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Future Terps to Play in Capital Classic

Posted on 02 April 2012 by WNST Staff

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Greyhounds Meet With Media At NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh

Posted on 14 March 2012 by WNST Staff

THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Loyola student-athletes.

How are you liking Pittsburgh so far?

SHANE WALKER: Love it.

ERIK ETHERLY: Great city. I’m a Steelers fan.

DYLON CORMIER: Been a great trip so far.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for our student-athletes from Loyola.

Q. The nation has found out about your coach, how personable he is, is that the right way to put it? Can you give us your memory when he went off on some rant or tandem that you said, I don’t know what this guy is talking about?

SHANE WALKER: I feel like he can do that any day. Anytime somebody asks him a question, it’s a 15-minute answer. He goes off on a tandem, you have no idea where he’s going. He’s such a great guy, you just learn to accept it and love it.

ERIK ETHERLY: I think the most memorable one for me is halftime of the Fairfield game with Bobby Steele and the Black Panthers. Nobody saw that one coming. He got his message across.

DYLON CORMIER: I think for me is him, the inch-by-inch statement he just came out with. He said, To win, we got to block and tackle, same thing in basketball.

Q. Dylon, he said earlier this week where you have a special relationship, he’ll challenge you, you’ll challenge him right back.

DYLON CORMIER: It’s kind of like he want me to do better, so he’ll yell me and tell me I’m not doing something better, just so I can do it even better.

Q. You’re known for your man-to-man defense. Also explain to us what your flex offense is like.

SHANE WALKER: I feel like our defense is so, so good because everybody has bought in. Years past, not necessarily everybody has bought in. Me being a senior leader, I demanded that from the rest of the team, and we all bought in. It wasn’t a problem.

ERIK ETHERLY: We also help each other out a lot. We have a great team in terms of being able to switch a lot of stuff so we don’t get caught up on a lot of screens and we always help on all of our screens.

DYLON CORMIER: I think we have a great inside presence with Shane and Erik, and also J’hared and Julius coming off the bench. So the two players has been effective for us this year.

Q. Shane, can you talk about the matchup with Ohio State. Has Jimmy brought up any history of No. 15 seeds beating No. 2 seeds?

SHANE WALKER: Yeah, he’s talked about Coppin State in the past. Was it South Carolina? Yeah, it was maybe 15 years ago, he brought that up.

He’s not really concerned about years past, he’s concerned about the team now and doing the best we can. He’s not really focused about other teams.

Q. Were you the Steelers fan?

ERIK ETHERLY: I was at the opening game when the Steelers played the Ravens. I took  a lot of heat for it, but I wore it at the stadium.

Q. When you break down Ohio State, what stands out offensively in terms of what you need to stop?

DYLON CORMIER: Their inside presence in Jared Sullinger and Thomas, their four-man, they got a great inside presence and a couple shooters where they kick it out. I think we have to prevent the ball from getting in the post as much as we can.

SHANE WALKER: When I look at them, they’re not very deep. They only play six or seven guys. I feel like we can run them. They try to slow the game down. We try to speed it up. Hopefully that will work in our advantage.

Q. You talked about coach. Were you tournament fans, seeing power teams getting beaten?

DYLON CORMIER: Not at a very young age. I remember George Mason went on a run and beat a lot of good teams.

ERIK ETHERLY: And VCU. That’s a local team, so we look up to them, as well.

THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you.

We have Coach Patsos from Loyola. Make a few opening comments.

COACH PASTOS: Great to be in Pittsburgh, what a great town. My wife is from here. What a great sports town, what a great building. Other than the fact the Steelers play here, I really like it. We’re Ravens fans in Baltimore. A lot of the Ravens, Jim Harbaugh, people like that are following this game. But everybody loves Pittsburgh. Everybody says the same thing, what a great place it is.

I see my commissioner out there. We’re from the MAAC. Really have a lot of pride in our basketball league. We have two teams in the NCAA, which is great for us this year.

I was out with Dave Dickerson, Matt Roe, and Billy Hahn last night for about an hour, because we’re all family friends from Maryland. It’s a really interesting, happy time for me in my life.

I’m really proud of what the kids have done. This is about Loyola, what a great university it is. You don’t get here without the support of Jim Paquette, my AD, the president Father Linnane, things like that. So it’s a happy time for Loyola. Now we’re excited to play Ohio State, one of the great programs in the country.

Unfortunately Dave Dickerson knows me really well, so they don’t have to scout us because I run everything that we ran at Maryland together. They should know everything we’re running.

I’m happy to take questions.

Q. Obviously you know what it’s like to cut down the nets. Can you contrast emotionally the difference between being in the first chair here with a program like Loyola and having it done at Maryland?

COACH PASTOS: That’s a good question because both programs were the same when I got there. Obviously the depths of 1 and 27 is different from what happened at Maryland. However our climb at Maryland were when Duke and Carolina were winning NCAA tournaments. Georgia Tech had gone to the Final Four. So, in other words, I feel the same.

I feel great when we cut down the nets at Maryland even though I was the assistant, and I feel great cutting down the nets at Loyola as head coach. The climb was not always easy. You can always climb the first few runnings. You can be a beat writer, but you can’t be Lenn Robbins and have your own column in the widest circulated paper in the country. It takes a while to get there. It’s the last part that’s hard. You know that. It’s the last part of the journey that’s difficult.

Whether it’s at Loyola or the University of Maryland, I feel good we were lucky enough to make that last climb. I’m not sure I ever thought that would happen, at either place by the way.

THE MODERATOR: The 24-win season, what did that mean to the program? It was the first since you went to Division I 30 years ago.

COACH PASTOS: It was great because the last time we went to NCAA, Skip Prosser, who is a fantastic coach and great person, was here. They were like the 6 seed and won it. We’re in a great basketball league. To win 24 games in the MAAC, we have NBA players, we have coaches that have left to go on and be successful at a higher level. Kind of puts a signature on your program. When you win 20, it says something. When you win the MAAC, which like I said, I’m not joking about the New York thing, we love being in the New York league because you get a lot of attention media-wise. It’s a great basketball city with a lot of tradition.

Len Elmore and I were joking today, he played at Powell Memorial and I know that because New York is where the best players come from and everybody is a tough critic. If you’re successful there, you’re really happy.

Q. Talk about the concerns you have about Ohio State.

COACH PASTOS: I have major concerns about Ohio State. I just ran into Sullinger in the hallway. The guy is a monster. Thomas, the left-handed 6’8″ guy. Remember, Gary Williams does the Big Ten Network. Not that he would give me any inside information. I know what a great team Ohio State it. It’s an honor to play them. We probably have little chance of winning the game. Four minutes at a time, we’ll see what we can do.

We’ll still run and press against them. Ohio State wants to play their way. If you play their way, you’re not going to beat them. I think they can win the national championship this year, especially with Fab Melo being out. I’m talking as a fan. This has nothing to do with coaching. I see Ohio State have a chance to get to the Final Four because of their size. I like the kid Ravenel that comes off the bench.

But Craft is scary because he reminds me of Steve Blake. The Steve Blake, nobody ever thought he was that good until you played against him. He made shots, steals the ball, he’s quicker, smarter, you find out that he was the quarterback on his high school team, which scares me because you find out he’s a leader. Thomas is much better than I thought. He’s going to cause problems for us. Sullinger, you can put down 20-10, I just hope it’s not 35-18.

Q. Is there a hope with what you do defensively, Ohio State plays their starters a lot of minutes, that maybe you can try to wear them down?

COACH PASTOS: I mean, I can. But they’re four sophomores. Buford knows what he’s doing. We will try and press them. We simulated at little 20-minute scrimmage on Monday night. We took two-and-a-half-minute timeouts and my guys couldn’t believe how long they were. What you find out is they can rest. They can rest those two and a half minutes.

They’re used to playing minutes. It’s like one thing if you lose a couple guys and all of a sudden you have to play six and you’re not used to it. They’ve done it. He’s a great coach.

We will try and press ’em, not as much to wear ’em down, but probably to speed the game up. We need the game to go fast. You saw Iona, but they didn’t score at the end. Our league is a scoring league. We’re going to have to keep scoring. I want the pace of the game more than wearing them down. Is that fair to say? That’s what we’re looking to do.

Q. What you mentioned with Dave Dickerson, is there some element of surprise because a staff member knows you?

COACH PASTOS: Well, Dave, we just got together for like an hour. It was really nice to see everybody. But Dave really quickly says, I saw you’ve reverted back to the original Gary Williams, pressing on the make. He loved his time at St. John Arena. His daughter still lives in Columbus. He saw the pressing. He saw the 2 play, which is our version of the flex.

Gary Williams has had assistants like Rick Barnes, Fran Fraschilla, all these guys. I shouldn’t say this, but they’re probably more successful because they didn’t run all his stuff so much. But no (laughter).

Dave goes, You’re the only dummy that runs everything Gary did. Didn’t you learn? I’m like, Okay. Because Fran Fraschilla and Fran Dunphy and all those guys. I run like Gary’s stuff and I’ve kind of reverted back to it because I thought we could press a lot with eight guys this year.

We have an older team and they get used to the terminology, like 55’s, full-court press, and they all know it. Dave said, I just watched a half and I don’t have to scout anymore. He’s doing exactly what we thought he would do.

We probably play a little more zone, but we play Gary’s zone action, a 3-2, not a 2-3. It will be interesting. Got him 600 some wins and his name on the court, so I stuck with it.

Q. When you got together last night, what was that like? Did you devise a plan to get Gary off of Congressional this weekend?

COACH PASTOS: He’s doing Big Ten games. He’s part of the media now. Preparing to tear some coach apart. No, I’m just kidding.

Gary is going to Chicago to do the Big Ten. No, it was impromptu. Billy Hahn actually led us. Gary was the dad. Billy was the big brother. Dave was the middle. Actually Dave was probably more like Robert Duvall in The Godfather. He was really like sane. I was more like Michael. Billy was definitely like Sonny. I’m not Sonny. There’s no Fredo. Although Gary probably would have picked the same result for Fredo.

Billy kind of texted and said, Let’s get together and talk. Matt Roe was doing the radio for Syracuse. Matt Roe is one of the first guys that came to Gary when there was like nobody to play because they were on probation. It was fun. We talked about all the stuff, how much we accomplished. We laughed with everybody having a video guy, a weight guy. I said, My academic lady is with me, Colleen Campbell. I was the academic guy. Dave did the video. Billy went to weight lifting in the morning. It changed.

It was a good little time. It was nice to be with your family because in basketball that’s our family and we have a nice family.

Q. The guys that were up before said you mentioned the Coppin State win that happened across the street.

COACH PASTOS: I was over there checking it out. They’re taking it down.

Q. It’s a little sad.

COACH PASTOS: Not when you have this, it isn’t.

Q. What motivation have you used as a 15 seed going up against 2?

COACH PASTOS: That it can happen. 16-1 is not going to happen. 15-2 is going to happen once every three or four years. I actually think, my commissioner is here, he’s done a tremendous job with our league. We could have been a 14. They picked Iona as a 14. I don’t see us as a longshot 15. I can do the math. St. Bonnie wins, they pushed us down. That’s okay. Is Ohio a real 2? Unfortunately they could have been a 1 had they won Sunday.

It doesn’t matter. It’s 40 minutes. It’s 10 four-minute segments. We have to try to win six of those segments. We keep track of the segments, which we sole from Thad Matta when he was at Xavier. They have four-minute wars, 10 of them. We have to win six of them to win the game. That’s okay.

I think we have a chance, though, I do, because if we can get the game going fast, we have a chance. If they put us in the meat grinder and go slow, Sullinger goes to work, you can call me at 410, I’ll be in Baltimore Friday by noon.

Q. How much does the loss of Fab change the whole east region?

COACH PASTOS: The guy is a tremendous defensive player. I think in the  tournaments, like at Maryland we had Chris Wilcox. He scored the least. When he blocked Drew Gooden’s shots, Marcus traveled with us, a defensive guy like that can really change the game.

At Maryland I didn’t think we were ever going to win the title until we had a defensive guy like Chris Wilcox. I think they can make some plays. We don’t beat Fairfield if we don’t block some shots. You have to win a defensive game along the way.

Boeheim is a great coach. He’s setting everybody up because he has nine players. He still has eight good ones. That’s a tough one to lose because he’s a 7-footer, great player. It’s none of my concern. It’s an odd time for that to happen. I think that’s not good for a team. Like you can lose a guy three weeks ago and stuff. Like we have a guy, Anthony Winbush, who just had to have stitches Monday. I’ll tell you, he may play, he may not. He had 10 stitches. That’s a weird thing to have happen right now. But he’s not our best player.

Fab Melo is a big loss. Can Boeheim still win? Absolutely. He is one of the great coaches ever and a great golfer, a much better golfer than all the other coaches.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

 

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Towson Visits Northeastern Tuesday Night on WNST

Posted on 14 February 2012 by WNST Staff

SETTING THE STAGE: After a tough two-point home loss to James Madison, Towson will look to rebound on the road Tuesday as the Tigers travel to Northeastern. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. from Matthews Arena and can be heard live on WNST-AM (1570).

AMONG THE CAA’S BEST ON THE GLASS: After owning an impressive 49-19 rebounding advantage against James Madison on Saturday, Towson now ranks third in the CAA with a +1.6 rebounding margin per game. The Tigers have outrebounded eight of their last nine opponents, a span that includes games against Drexel, VCU (twice), George Mason and Old Dominion (the top four teams in the conference). On the offensive glass, Towson has been even more impressive. The Tigers average 13.5 offensive rebounds per game and grab 38.7 percent of their missed shots. Both of those numbers rank second among CAA teams.

IMPROVING FROM THE LINE: Towson shot 19-for-25 from the free throw line against James Madison on Saturday. The 76 percent shooting clip is the best of the season from the line for the Tigers. Senior Robert Nwankwo has been perhaps the most-improved Tiger from the charity stripe. The forward has made 12 of his last 18 attempts after starting the year shooting just 47.4 percent from the line. Nwankwo leads Towson with 85 made free throws.

SCOUTING THE HUSKIES: After a hot start in CAA play, Northeastern has dropped four straight and six of its last eight. The Huskies, who topped Towson, 57-48, on January 2, has an 11-14 overall record and a 7-8 mark in league games. The Huskies are led by Jonathan Lee, who averages 14.2 points per game. In addition to Lee, who ranks ninth in the CAA in scoring, Northeastern has seen stellar play from rookie Quincy Ford. The freshman averages 11.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He exploded for 21 points in Northeastern’s last game, a road loss against William & Mary.

LAST TIME OUT: Despite outrebounding James Madison by a remarkable 49-19 margin and rallying from an 18-point deficit, Towson dropped a 58-56 Colonial Athletic Association battle to JMU on Saturday. Senior Robert Nwankwo posted his 11th double-double of the season with 15 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Nwankwo’s prior season best in rebounds was 14 at UMass. Sophomore forward Marcus Damas scored in double digits for the 18th time this season. He finished the game with 14 points and six rebounds in 37 minutes of action. Damas, who is among the CAA leaders in three-pointers made, shot three of eight from beyond the arc.

UP NEXT: Towson will play in its BracketBuster game on Saturday, Feb. 18 at New Hampshire. The game is slated to tip at 3 p.m. from Lundholm Gymnasium in Durham, N.H.

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Towson Visits VCU Wednesday Night on WNST

Posted on 08 February 2012 by WNST Staff

ON AIR: Wednesday’s game can be seen live on ESPN3 with Greg Burton handling the play-by-play duties and Rodney Ashby providing analysis. The CAA clash can also be heard live on WNST with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti calling all the action.

SETTING THE STAGE: The Tigers will take on a VCU squad that has won nine straight games and sits atop the Colonial Athletic Association standings. By the end of Wednesday night, Towson will have played each of the top four teams in the league standings twice.

MR. DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Towson senior forward Robert Nwankwo has registered double-doubles in six of his last eight games and now has 10 on the year. Nwankwo’s 10 double-doubles ranks fourth in the CAA and 25th in the nation.

MARVELOUS MARCUS: Sophomore forward Marcus Damas has been playing his best basketball as of late. Damas, who ranks in the Top 20 in the CAA in scoring, rebounding, three-point field goal percentage and minutes played, is averaging 17.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in his last three games. He’s the only Towson player to score over 20 points in a game this season with his 25-point effort against George Mason in December and his career-high 26-point game against Drexel this past Saturday.

KRIS ASSIST: Tiger freshman Kris Walden dished out a season-high 10 assists against Drexel on Saturday and the point guard now ranks fifth in the CAA averaging 3.6 assists per game. Walden averaged 9.0 points, 8.0 assists and 2.5 steals in a pair of games last week. The freshman also ranks 13th in the league in steals and seventh in minutes played.

SCOUTING THE RAMS: VCU has won nine straight games, including a 67-42 win over the Tigers in the Towson Center just two weeks ago. Senior Bradford Burgess leads the Rams in scoring at 12.2 points per game. Junior guard Darius Theus leads the league dishing out 4.8 assists per game while freshman guard Briante Weber paces the conference in steals with 2.4 per contest. VCU boasts the second ranked scoring offense in the league (67.7 ppg) and the third best scoring defense (59.0 ppg allowed). The Rams also lead the CAA with 9.9 steals per game.

OFFENSIVE GLASS: Wednesday’s game will matchup two of the top three offensive rebounding teams in the CAA. VCU averaged 13.2 offensive boards per game which is good enough for second in the league. Towson is just behind in third with 13.0 offensive rebounds per game and the Tigers rank second in the CAA grabbing 37.2 percent of their offensive misses. Towson is one of just two teams in the conference (Georgia State) to have three individuals rank in the Top 20 in the league in rebounding (Nwankwo, Damas, Gumbs).

LAST TIME OUT: Led by sophomore Marcus Damas, who scored a career-high 26 points, Towson flirted with a remarkable upset before Drexel escaped the Towson Center with a 65-57 victory on Saturday night. Damas hit a season-high six three-pointers on 11 attempts and his 26 points were the most scored by a Tiger this season. Towson shot 40 percent from beyond the arc against a Drexel defense that entered the game as the nation’s top three-point field goal percentage defense (25.3 percent). The Dragons had also won 17 straight rebounding battles until the Tigers controlled the glass, 34-30, tonight. Despite Towson’s efficiency from beyond the arc and on the glass, Drexel won its 11th consecutive game.

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