A HOOPS WINTER BLOG: College roundball in the basketball-crazed DMV
Tuesday, Nov. 24
JMU HOSTS CROSSTOWN FOE EMU
Harrisonburg, Va. - Division I James Madison beat Division III Eastern Mennonite 106-74 tonight in the first meeting between the schools since Dec. 9, 1975. The Dukes won that game, 95-67, and featured Sherman Dillard, who would be a sixth-round draft pick of the Indiana Pacers in 1978.
EMU head coach Kirby Dean is no stranger to the Division I level, as a long-time assistant coach down I-81 at VMI in Lexington. EMU has won two of 10 games against JMU in the series. The first win came in 1973 at EMU under head coach Roland Landes, who was in attendance at the game at JMU on Tuesday. The Dukes coach in that 1973 game was Lou Campanelli, who later became the head coach at California and a scout in the NBA with New Jersey and Cleveland. He has just come out with a book about taking JMU to the Division I level in the 1970s.
The JMU-EMU game featured one Harrisonburg native (Khalil Davis of EMU, who had 11 points) while JMU has two players from Serbia and one each from Lithuania, Haiti and New Zealand. Serbian Dimitrije Cabarkapa had 27 points for JMU. "It was the right time, it was the right place," JMU coach Matt Brady said of playing EMU.
GW BEATS OTHER GW, NOW 5-0
Tuesday, Nov. 24
WASHINGTON - Maryland (3-0), a few miles to the north, is ranked No. 2 in the country. Georgetown (1-3), a few miles to the west, beat Wisconsin and played tough against Duke and Maryland. But it is George Washington at 5-0 that has the best record in the area after a blowout 94-65 win in a day game against another GW - Gardner-Webb of the Big South. The Colonials, who beat Virginia last week, received votes in the AP poll this week after beating Army at home on Sunday night as coach Mike Lonergan got his 450th career win. Lonergan won a national title at Division III Catholic. The Colonials won Tuesday as Wake Forest transfer Tyler Cavanaugh had 20 points. “I felt it was a good fit for me. It has been a good transition,” said Cavanaugh, who was recruited by Vermont when Lonergan was the head coach there.
Tuesday, Nov. 17
A LONG-AWAITED REMATCH
COLLEGE PARK, Maryland - The place was rocking on Tuesday night as No. 3 Maryland hosted Georgetown. It was the first game between the two schools in College Park since 1973 and the first game in the DMV between the teams since 1993, when the Terps won in overtime in Landover, Maryland on a last-second shot by guard Duane Simpkins. "There was not a lot of time left on the clock. In a perfect world you would get the ball to Joe Smith," said former DeMatha High star Simpkins, now in his first season as an assistant coach at George Mason University of the Atlantic 10. Smith, the former Maryland star from Virginia, was in attendance as the Terps beat the Hoyas.
GW UPSETS WILLING FOE UVA
Monday, Nov. 16
WASHINGTON - George Washington head coach Mike Lonergan praised the coaching on Tony Bennett, the head mentor at Virginia. Lonergan also praised the fact that Bennett was even willing to schedule this game in Foggy Bottom, where the Colonials pulled off an upset over the No. 6 team in the country.
UNC COMES TO THE DMV
Friday, Nov. 13
ANNAPOLIS - The No. 1 team in the country played here on the first night of the season but it was not against Navy, the host for the Veterans Classic. The Tar Heels of North Carolina got past Temple in the first game before Florida knocked off Navy in the second game of the one-day event. But perhaps the best performance of the night came at halftime by uniformed Navy Midshipmen, whose precision with their guns (not loaded, I hope) was an impressive and not a sound came from the fans who watched.
David Driver is a native of Harrisonburg, Virginia and played baseball at Turner Ashby High and Eastern Mennonite College (now University). He graduated from EMC in 1985 with a degree in English and a minor in journalism. He has lived in the Washington, D.C. area for nearly 25 years and was the first sports editor of the daily Baltimore Examiner and for nearly 10 years was also the sports editor of Laurel (Md.) Leader, now part of the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He is now a full-time free-lance writer and is the main correspondent for The Sports Xchange, a national content provider for UPI/Reuters, in the coverage of the Washington Nationals. He also covers major college basketball in the Baltimore-Washington region for The Sports Xchange and in the past covered college and pro sports for The Associated Press as a free-lancer. Read more
August 4, 2015
By David Driver
For the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger
Used with permission
BOWIE, Maryland | Trey Mancini stepped to the plate on a recent Thursday night with runners on first and second and no outs in the top of the fourth.
As the No. 3 hitter for the Double-A Bowie Baysox, the Winter Haven High graduate and Orioles prospect was in an ideal situation to produce runs in an Eastern League game against the Trenton Thunder and right-handed pitcher Brady Lail.
But instead of being overly aggressive and swinging the bat, Mancini took five pitches — four of them borderline pitches for balls — and drew a walk to the load the bases in what would become a four-run inning for the host Baysox.
First-place Bowie went on to win 4-3 against the affiliate of the New York Yankees.
"I have been working on that a lot. My whole career, I have not walked a lot," said Mancini, standing outside the Bowie clubhouse after the game. "I need to get deeper in counts and take some walks. I was glad I could help the team win in the inning we scored the runs."
Mancini, a right-handed hitting first baseman, hit .340 with 16 doubles, seven home runs and 32 RBIs in his first 50 games with Bowie through Aug. 2 after he was promoted from Single-A Frederick of the Carolina League in June. He hit .300 in a 10-game stretch through Aug. 2 with a pair of three-hit games in that time. Read more
July 28, 2015
By David Driver
Used with permission
For the Times-Union
BALTIMORE - The UAlbany football team didn't get a lot of respect here Tuesday, as the Great Danes were picked in the preseason poll to finish 10th out of 12 teams this year in the Colonial Athletic Association.
"It gives us a chance to prove everyone wrong," said sophomore wide receiver Josh Gontarek, speaking at the annual CAA media day at M&T Bank Stadium.
"None of that stuff matters. We obviously think we are better than that," redshirt junior linebacker Michael Nicastro said.
"Predictions go by reputation in the league," said Greg Gattuso, ready to start his second year as head coach. "It is kind of where we were picked last year. We have work to do to crack the top four or five."
The Great Danes were ninth last year in the CAA at 3-5; they were 7-5 overall.