Dec. 9, 2009
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Ricky Harris - Massachusetts
Senior, Guard, 6-2, 175 lbs.
Baltimore, Md./Winchendon (Mass.) School
Harris scored 19 points and dished out six assists in both of Massachusetts' wins over Quinnipiac (62-58) and Holy Cross (84-63) while shooting a blistering 68 percent from the floor (13-of-19)...knocked down 7-of-13 shots from beyond the arc on the week...added six rebounds...tabbed the A-10 Player of the Week for the second time in his career.
Damian Hollis - George Washington
Senior, Forward, 6-8, 205 lbs.
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./J.P. Taravella HS
Hollis tied his career high with 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds on Dec. 2 as George Washington registered a 66-49 win over George Mason in its lone contest of the week...made 10-of-13 shots, including 2-of-2 from three-point range...earns his second career A-10 Player of the Week honor.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Chris Braswell - Charlotte
Freshman, Forward, 6-8, 235 lbs.
Mt. Pleasant, Md./Hargrave Military Academy (Va.)
Braswell averaged 12 points and 11 rebounds in leading Charlotte to a pair of victories on the week...scored a season-high 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in 20 minutes of action on Dec. 5 in the 49ers' 87-65 win at #20/#18 Louisville...shot 9-of-12 from the field versus Louisville...grabbed eight rebounds in Charlotte's 80-68 victory over East Carolina on Dec. 2...leads the team with three double-doubles.
WEEKLY HONOR ROLL: Charlotte senior guard DiJuan Harris averaged 14.5 points and 6.5 assists and committed just two turnovers in the 49ers' wins over East Carolina and #20/#18 Louisville...junior forward Chris Johnson of Dayton averaged 13 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals in a pair of victories...Duquesne junior swingman Bill Clark averaged 14.5 points and nine rebounds over two games versus Pittsburgh and Savannah State...freshman forward Chris Gaston scored 21 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in Fordham's 67-46 loss to Bowling Green on Dec. 5...La Salle freshman center Aaric Murray scored 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting and added five boards on Dec. 3 in the Explorers' 79-67 win over Lafayette...senior guard Keith Cothran of Rhode Island averaged 17.5 points and five rebounds and did not commit a turnover over two games...Richmond junior forward Justin Harper scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds on Dec. 2 in the Spiders' 67-60 win over Old Dominion...sophomore forward Willie Reed of Saint Louis averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds in games versus Georgia and Southern Illinois...Temple senior guard Ryan Brooks averaged 18 points and eight rebounds in leading the Owls to wins over Western Michigan (76-70) and Penn State (45-42)...sophomore guard Jamal Crawford scored 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting in Xavier's 77-61 win over Kent State on Dec. 4.
Shot Clock Snippets
Temple limited Miami (Ohio) to six first-half field goals in its 64-42 road win on Dec. 8 as the Owls improved to 7-2 for the first time since 1994-95.
Named the program's interim head coach on Dec. 3, Jared Grasso - the nation's youngest head coach at 29 - earned his first career victory as a result of Fordham's 93-77 win over Stony Brook on Dec. 8.
Charlotte freshman forward Chris Braswell made all seven of his field goal attempts in 19 minutes of action in the 49ers' 94-52 win over Winston-Salem State on Dec. 8. Charlotte is 7-1 for the first time since the 1994-95 campaign.
Dayton snapped George Mason's 18-game home-winning streak with a 56-55 victory on Dec. 8.
La Salle senior Kimmani Barrett knocked down a career-best five three-pointers and scored a career-high 25 points in the Explorers' 75-62 win over Hartford on Dec. 6.
George Washington improved to 113-9 under Karl Hobbs when leading at the five-minute mark of the second half in the last six seasons after the Colonials' 81-69 win over Navy on Dec. 6.
Saint Louis turned aside Southern Illinois on Dec. 5, 71-61, in the first of six consecutive home contests for the Billikens.
Fordham guard Brenton Butler broke out of an 0-for-26 shooting slump by connecting on 6-of-11 attempts from beyond the arc en route to scoring 25 points in the Rams' 93-77 win versus Stony Brook.
HOUSE OF CARDS: Charlotte's 87-65 victory at #20/#18 Louisville on Dec. 5 marked the program's largest-ever margin of victory versus a ranked opponent under head coach Bobby Lutz. In addition, the 22-point setback was the largest home loss for Rick Pitino as head coach of the Cardinals. The 49ers' 6-1 start is their best since the 2000-01 campaign.
DUNPHY WITH A "D": Temple recorded a 64-422 road win over Miami (Ohio) on Dec. 8 and has now held all nine of its opponents this season under their scoring averages, including seven to 56 points or less. Off to their best start (7-2) since the 1994-95 season, the Owls are yielding just 52.9 ppg., which is on pace to be the lowest total for a TU team in the shot clock era. Finally, Temple's 45-42 win over Penn State on Dec. 5 marked the second-lowest combined point total (87) since the opening of the Liacouras Center in 1997.
FRIENDLY CONFINES: Dayton won its 23rd consecutive home game - a program record - as a result of its 89-71 win over Lehigh on Dec. 5. The current streak began on Mar. 8, 2008, with a win over St. Joe's. The Flyers' 23-game streak is the third-longest active streak in the nation. Xavier boasts a record of 124-17 (.879) at Cintas Center, its on-campus home arena, and boasts a 13-game home winning streak after turning aside Kent State on Dec. 4, 77-61. Meanwhile, URI downed Quinnipiac on Dec. 8, 83-74, to extend its home winning streak over non-conference foes to 18 games.
POINTS AT A PREMIUM: Duquesne registered a 58-44 win over Savannah State on Dec. 5, the fewest points surrendered by the Dukes since a 72-43 win over Albany on Nov. 14, 1998. Just one of Duquesne's first eight opponents has shot better than 40 percent from the field. Entering the year, opponents were shooting a combined .464 against the Dukes during Ron Everhart's three seasons as head coach.
NUMEROLOGY: As a result of its 67-60 win over Old Dominion on Dec. 2, Richmond improved to 7-1 on the season, equaling its second-best start after eight games since 1954-55. Meanwhile, Xavier has won 51 consecutive games when shooting at least 50 percent from the field after the Musketeers shot 57.4 percent in their 77-61 win over Kent State on Dec. 4.
WELCOME BACK: Senior guard Rob Lowery saw his first action of the season on Dec. 5 in Dayton's 89-71 win over Lehigh, six days shy of the 10-month mark after he tore the patellar tendon in his right knee. Lowery entered the game to a standing ovation from the crowd of 12,719. Restricted to eight minutes, Lowery scored eight points on 3-of-3 shooting and dished out three assists. UD improved to 24-2 with Lowery in the lineup. The 6-3 guard averaged 7.5 points and 3.4 assists last season.
FORDHAM MAKES COACHING CHANGE: Fordham Executive Director of Athletics Frank McLaughlin announced on Dec. 4 that head coach Dereck Whittenburg had been released from his contract. Assistant coach Jared Grasso will take over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season, effective immediately. At 29 years of age, Grasso becomes the youngest head coach in Division I. Previously, IUPU-Fort Wayne head coach Dane Fife (30) was the youngest, followed by Tennessee-Martin's Jason James (32) and Josh Pastner (32) of Memphis. Fordham also announced that sophomore guard Jio Fontan has decided to leave the program at the end of the fall semester and will not practice or play with the Rams for the remainder of the term. He is working with the school's compliance office in identifying schools where he is interested in transferring.
DOUBLE TALK: Duquesne junior Damian Saunders is off to a torrid start, with six double-doubles in the Dukes' first seven contests. The 6-7 forward is the first Duquesne player to register six consecutive double-doubles since Bruce Atkins in 1980-81 and the first Duke to open the year with six double-doubles since Lionel Billingy in 1971.
PREFERRING A CLOSE SHAVE: As a result of its 56-55 win at George Mason on Dec. 8, Dayton improved to 16-1 over its last 17 contests in games decided by five points or less.
BOMBS AWAY: Senior guard Chris Matthews established a program record with eight three-pointers on Nov. 29 in St. Bonaventure's 80-77 loss to Illinois State in the finals of the Basketball Travelers Classic.
ELITE TERRITORY: Senior guard Ricky Harris scored 15 points in Massachusetts' 86-68 loss at Seton Hall on Dec. 7. Harris ranks ninth on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,506 points. On Nov. 18, Harris scored 26 points to move past both Julius Erving (1,370) and Marcus Camby (1,387). Harris has knocked down 232 three-point field goals for his career.
GLASS CLEANER: Temple junior forward Lavoy Allen pulled down 12 rebounds in the Owls' 45-42 win over Penn State on Dec. 5, his 22nd performance with double-digit rebounds since the start of the 2008-09 season.