Thursday News and Notes

Thursday, February 1,

Here are news and notes from
private clipboard. They are compiled from hometown newspapers
and the team’s own press releases. The latest on the DOJ’s War on Gambling at


Old Dominion-Drexel

Press Notes

Dragons and Monarchs are tied for third place in the
league with 8-3 records. Drexel is 16-5 on the season overall while the Monarchs
begin play with a 15-7 record. This will be the second meeting of the year
between the two schools. Old Dominion defeated the Dragons earlier this season
in Norfolk, 84-57. ODU made 10 three-pointers in the game and shot 59 percent
from the floor. Drexel committed 15 turnovers in the game and shot just
3-for-15 from behind the three-point arc. Old Dominion has won three straight
games and five of its last seven. Drexel has won four of its last five,
including a 68-59 win at Northeastern on Monday night.

South Alabama-New Orleans

Press Notes

It is Homecoming Week at the University
of New Orleans
, and the Privateer basketball team gets to celebrate by hosting one of the
hottest teams in the Sun Belt Conference.
UNO will host Sun Belt Conference leader South
. The game will feature a South Alabama
team that has won eight straight games. The Jaguars (15-7, 9-2 Sun Belt) are
coming off a 90-89 overtime win over North Texas after defeating
Louisiana-Monroe two days earlier despite missing three suspended starters. USA
has also been boosted by 6-9 forward Ernest Little. Little, who became eligible
on Dec. 16 after transferring from UAB, has averaged
12.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He missed the North Texas
game due to personal reasons, and his status for Thursday’s contest is unknown.
For the Privateers (10-11, 6-4 Sun Belt), the game begins a busy February. UNO will play eight games during the month and will play
four of the next five on the road. UNO has lost three
straight to the Jaguars but has won five of the last six games in New


St. Louis-St. Joseph’s

College Publisher

The Hawks are caught in a tough stretch of games and are
finding themselves playing good teams night in and night out. Three of the four
games were against conference opponents that were the preseason top three and
the fourth game was an always tough city opponent. St. Joe’s had a very good
win against Xavier, let one slip on the road to George Washington, had another
big win against Big 5 adversary Penn, and now the Hawks must battle Saint
at the Alumni Fieldhouse.
The Hawks lost four players from last year’s team, including the top three
scorers. No excuses are being made for St. Joe’s, but the Billikens
come in with an extreme edge in experience. Saint Louis
comes into this game struggling inside the conference. To this day they have
posted a below .500 record of 3-4 and are looking to even it out against the
Hawks. Devastating losses to Temple,
Fordham, St. Bonaventure, and Duquesne are what set back St.
Although the Billikens have dropped some games
against a few of the weaker teams in the conference, they do have some
impressive wins. Wins against Xavier and Rhode Island
bolstered their record and showed that the Billikens
do have the talent and ability to succeed. Also, Saint
has gone 13-7 in the season, three of those
losses coming to top 25 teams in the country and the other four against
Atlantic 10 conference teams.


Washington State-Arizona

LA Times

Despite losing a stunning five of their last seven games,
the Wildcats’ Ratings Percentage Index ranking is still No. 6, so Lute Olson’s
22-year NCAA tournament appearance streak appears fine. Still, Arizona has
rarely looked as bad as it has during its recent offensive funk, going one for
23 from three-point range against North Carolina, and shooting less than 40%
from the field in three of the last four games. At 14-6, Arizona
looks tired and beaten. You can blame the nonconference
schedule Olson made, which is rated the most difficult in the country, just
ahead of UCLA’s. Or you can blame the luck of the draw with the Pac-10
schedule, which already has taken Arizona
to Washington, Washington
State, USC and UCLA, handing the Wildcats three of their four Pac-10 losses on
the road. Other factors seem to be at work too, though. There’s Arizona’s
lack of depth: All five starters average more than 31 minutes a game, and point
guard Mustafa Shakur averages more than 35. The
emergence of freshman forward Jordan Hill, who logged major minutes and made a
big contribution the last two games, could help, along with the return of
forward Bret Brielmaier, who had been out after minor
knee surgery. Leading scorer Marcus Williams is expected to play after being
suspended for unspecified reasons for the Arizona
game and missing much of the North
game because of a sprained ankle.



The early season setbacks against Virginia Tech and
Georgia Tech are now distant memories for this young Blue Devil team after
reeling off five consecutive wins including decisions over Clemson and Boston
– two teams that were above
Duke in the standings at tip off. Meanwhile the Cavaliers have surprised many
with their run to a 5-2 start in ACC play. After all this was the same Virginia
team that lost to Appalachian State in Puerto Rico in
December. After losing to North Carolina
and at Boston College,
the Cavaliers have dispatched Maryland,
Wake Forest, NC
State, and Clemson by an average of 9.5 points per game. Duke enters the game
with third year sophomore David McClure listed as questionable after the 6’6
wing fell to the ground with a hyper extended knee against Boston
on Sunday night. Meanwhile
the Cavaliers are looking to get a shot in the arm with the return of 6’9
junior post player Ryan Pettinella, who suffered a
dislocated knee cap in the San Juan Shootout during the team’s final game
against the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. Pettinella was in uniform for UVa’s
win at Clemson on Sunday, but did not play. On Wednesday, he looked good in
practice, leading the way in sprints at the end of the session. He also looked
good in controlled scrimmages according to the local UVa
beat writers.

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