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Inside the Patriot – Dec. 9

8 December, 2006


Game of the Week
American at Yale – Saturday, December 9, 2:00 pm
With final exams looming, it’s a light week for the student-athletes of the Patriot League (5 games in the next 7 days). The game with the biggest implications for the conference schedule is American’s trip to Yale. The Bulldogs are 1-6 and checked in seventh in Basketball U.’s most recent Ivy League Power Rankings. But Yale already hosted Holy Cross and Bucknell, and the Patriot League schools overpowered the Bulldogs. American can use a big performance in New Haven to prove they belong in the same sentence as the Bison and Crusaders. The Eagles’ frontcourt tandem of Brayden Billbe and Paulius Joneliunas towers over Yale’s forwards, and their performances should be the key to the game.

Line of the Week

12.03.06 vs. George Mason TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
Brown, Donald………… 6-6 0-0 4-5 1 8 9 16 2 6 2 2 37

Holy Cross’s defensive performance at Duke. The Crusaders were physically overmatched but were able to dictate the tempo at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and kept the lead for a lot of the game. Holy Cross shot poorly all game, but stayed in it by forcing Duke to shoot 19-for-43 from the floor and grabbing 11 steals.
Chris Walker. Army’s freshman has become an interior force, averaging 9.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. His presence gives the Black Knights versatility, which will almost certainly lead to an improved performance in Patriot League games.
Jason Mgebroff. The burly center had 12 points and 11 boards against Princeton this week. After averaging 3.7 points and 2.4 rebounds last year, Mgebroff is up to 11.6 points and 6.5 boards this year.
Lafayette gets back on track. After a 1-6 start, Lafayette won 3 games this week, including a last-second game-winner by Ted Detmer at St. Peter’s. The Leopards are now within spitting distance of a .500 non-conference record, with home games against Columbia, King’s College and Mount St. Mary’s coming up.

Navy’s missed opportunity against Penn. The Mids could have shown they belong in the top half of the Patriot League with a good showing, but the Quakers ran away with a 79-58 win. Greg Sprink shot just 4-for-10 for Navy, and Kaleo Kina 1-for-7. (The rest of the team shot 17-for-34, exactly 50.0 percent.)
Colgate’s player rotation. Willie Morse is scoring 17.4 points per 40 minutes, and Ben Jonson 16.6. But the less efficient Tim Pounds (14.8 points per 40) and Kyle Chones (11.0) continue to get more playing time.
John Griffin’s shooting. Griffin is leading Bucknell in field goals attempted with 63, but shooting just 33.3 percent from the field, and 30.4 percent from the arc. Griffin is playing twice as many minutes as he did last year, and the increased time may be weighing on his jumper.
Jordan Nichols. He had 7 rebounds and 2 blocks against Loyola a few weeks ago, and appeared to be picking up where he left off last year. Since then, Nichols has 4 points, 5 boards and no blocks in four games, and took a DNP in American’s game at Howard Wednesday.

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