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Full Court Press – The Latest in Area College Hoops

(Photo by Karen King - Double G Media)

(Photo by Karen King – Double G Media)

Had my first live look at one of the country’s better teams when Tony Bennett’s No. 16 Virginia Cavaliers paid a visit to Boston College’s Conte Forum.

The Hoos, with their vaunted pack line defense, rank first nationally in scoring defense at 53.4 ppg. Bennett’s squad employed a swarming defense and impressive ball movement (22 assist on 27 made baskets) on their way to an easy 71-54 win over the Eagles.

Virginia is a legitimate Final Four contender with Wooden Player of Year candidate London Perrantes at the controls. Bennett has a deep roster and employs a ten-man rotation that’s has zero drop-off in talent.

Kyle Guy (Indiana Mr. Basketball) and Ty Jerome (New Rochelle, NY/ Iona Prep) have been huge additions and will only get better as the ACC season moves along.

On the other side, Jim Christian’s (Bethpage, NY/St. Dominic HS), BC Eagles have made some improvements with encouraging home wins over Syracuse and NC State. Christian has the Eagles going in the right direction but will need at least two or three more elite recruits to compete with the upper crust in the ACC.

Beyond the arc

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia continues to rack up the honors. Vasturia, along with UNC’s Joel Berry II, were named ACC Co-Players of the Week. Vasturia poured in 20 points (fourth of season) in a recent win over Virginia Tech. The Medford, NJ native also became the fourth player in Notre Dame hoop history to start in 100 consecutive games.

Eddie Cooley’s Providence Friars were the last team to defeat Villanova at the Pavilion or the Wells Fargo Center. Cooley has his Friars playing their basketball and history could repeat itself.

They face each other tomorrow!

Congrats to Hofstra freshman Eli Pemberton who knocked down 26 points in an 86-80 loss to Towson. Rokas Gustys picked off eight boards in the loss. Gustys is second among NCAA rebounding leaders at 12.3 rpg. Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado is fourth at 12.0. Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan is the boss of the boards at 12.5.

Coach Joe Mihalich’s Pride squandered a 16-point lead and saw their record fall to 9-11 (1-6 CAA).

MAAC Musings

Saint Peter’s is red hot, extending their winning streak to four games with a 77-65 win over Siena on Jan. 19. The Peacocks are 6-2 in the MAAC and in a tie for first place with Monmouth.

Congrats to the Peacock’s Trevis Wyche who scored his 1,000 career point in a recent 71-65 win over Rider.

Saint Peter’s and Monmouth will square off against each other on Feb. 3.

Don’t like the way the recent Rider/Siena contest ended with an off court scuffle and ensuing postgame poor sportsmanship – black eye on the MAAC!

Save the dates

March Madness Tournament dates:

AAC – XL Center – Hartford – (March 9-12)

ACC – Barclay Center – New York City – (March 7-11)

A-10 – PPG Arena – Pittsburgh – (March 8-12)

Big East – Madison Square Garden – (March 7-11,)

Ivy League – The Palestra – Philadelphia – (March 11-12)

Colonial Athletic Association – North Charleston Coliseum – Charleston (March 3-6)

MAAC – Times Union Center – Albany – March (2-6)

Last but not least

A shout out to North Carolina’s Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams who became the ninth NCAA Div. 1 head coach to reach 800 wins when the Heels defeated the ‘Cuse 85-68 on Jan. 16Williams joins Mike Krzyzewski (1057 wins), Jim Boeheim (996), Bob Knight (899), Dean Smith (879), Jim Calhoun (877), Adolph Rupp (876) and Eddie Sutton (806) with 800 career wins.

Williams achieved the mark in the fewest number of seasons (29) than any other coach in college basketball history. Dean Smith and Coach K needed 33 seasons to reach 800 career wins.

Congrats to Miami’s Jim Larranaga who reached 600 career wins when the Canes defeated Pittsburg on Jan. 14.

I don’t often make note of the NBA, but being an Ivy League point guard I really appreciate the value of the assist-to-turnover ratio to a winning basketball team.

The Clippers Chris Paul racked up 20 assists and zero turnovers in their recent 133-105 win over New Orleans.

The last player to set that standard was the Utah Jazz’s Ricky Green on Feb. 14, 1984.

If my math is correct, the UConn women’s basketball team will be looking at their 100th consecutive on Feb. 13 when they host South Carolina at Gampel Pavilion.


Keep shooting…. see you next week….

Follow Bob on Twitter for all the latest in college hoop happenings, game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

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Bob Whitney

Bob is a college basketball columnist here at He also covers Yale football and the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA.
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