This was not how it was supposed to unfold for Hartford’s John Gallagher in year five. Continue reading “Hartford’s Gallagher Thankful For Standard Set By Seniors”
As Hartford prepares for the America East playoff matchup at New Hampshire, head coach John Gallagher is adamant that senior Mark Nwakamma will be on the floor on Wednesday night. Continue reading “John Gallagher Preparing To Have Mark Nwakamma For Quarterfinal”
Mark Nwakamma came out to jump center on Senior Night Saturday just as he had for almost every game of his collegiate career for Hartford. Only when the referee tossed the ball, Nwakamma didn’t even jump, allowing Stony Brook to control the ball. The whistle then blew, Nwakamma shook hands with everyone and walked off the Chase Family Arena floor for the final time.
It was all prearranged, Hartford choosing not to risk Nwakamma’s pesky bone bruise on his knee with the America East Tournament looming Wednesday and both teams’ seeds set. However, it basically served to give junior Jameel Warney free reign he probably didn’t need, but his conference Player of the Year campaign was given a nice boost with 32 points and 18 rebounds as the Seawolves cruised to a 74-59 win in the regular season finale for both teams.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, and Albany just may be the team to beat in America East with or without Peter Hooley.
For the second time in four days, the Great Danes went on the road against a team picked above them in the preseason conference coaches’ poll and systematically took them apart, this time a 62-53 win over Hartford Thursday night at Chase Family Arena, in which the host Hawks (11-8, 4-2) led only once and that was 3-2.
There are few positive things that come from being ineligible for the NCAA Tournament for a Division I basketball coach, but one of them might be a little ease on the pressure that most of their other brethren in the coaching fraternity feel.
This is doubly so for UMass Lowell coach Pat Duquette, whose team (due to the transition period from Division II to Division I) won’t be a contender for the America East championship until 2018. Add that to the fact that Duquette was forced to replace almost everyone from last season’s surprising team that went 8-8 in its inaugural season in America East and was picked dead last again this season.
Always positive after games, Hartford coach John Gallagher did his best impression of Lou Holtz at Notre Dame after Wednesday night’s 69-59 victory over Binghamton at the Chase Family Arena. Holtz, if you’re too young to remember, would profusely praise each of Notre Dame’s opponents, no matter what the gap in ranking or talent might appear to be. Continue reading “Three Thoughts: Hartford 69, Binghamton 59”
Howie Dickenman, at 68 years young, has been dealt some tough hands the last couple of seasons at Central Connecticut. This, his 19th at the table with CCSU, looked like it could hold some winning cards,none more valuable than his ace, senior Kyle Vinales, who was a first-team preseason pick and the leading returning career scorer in the conference.
But just two weeks before the regular season began, Vinales was arrested after an altercation with his girlfriend and subsequently suspended indefinitely. The Blue Devils lost their first seven games, and were down to just nine players in uniform with starting point guard (and another senior) Malcolm McMillan out injured heading into Saturday’s short drive to Hartford. They also learned earlier in the week that Vinales would not return, leaving school completely, ending his collegiate career on an unfortunate note.
For a nine-minute span to start the second half, Yale showed why Hartford coach John Gallagher was able to say afterward, “I know people are going to say Harvard, but I think Yale is the best basketball team in the Ivy League right now.”
After slogging through a first half and being stymied at every cut and screen by what has turned out to be an extremely tough Hartford defense, Yale exploded coming out of the locker room, getting good looks in transition and outscoring the Hawks – who came into the game in the top 15 nationally in scoring defense – by a 25-7 margin over the first nine-minutes of the second half. As they have all season, the Hawks battled and clawed (almost literally) until the end, and made things a little too uncomfortable for James Jones’ liking, although the result was never truly in doubt in a 69-57 win Sunday afternoon at Lee Amphitheater that pushed Yale to 6-2 on the season.
Score one for not taking performances in early-season games too much to heart, I guess.
When they came into the TD Bank Sports Center on Nov. 14, Hartford was full of pith and confidence, picked second in America East, full of veteran players (six seniors and returning all five starters), and led by All-America East selection Mark Nwakamma, the Hawks were matched up with Sacred Heart in the season-opening CT 6 Classic at Quinnipiac and figured to have a fairly easy time with the Pioneers, coming up a 6-25 campaign and picked dead last in the NEC preseason coaches poll.
With great expectations comes great pressure. Or something like that.
It’s hard to call the expectations Saint Peter’s and Hartford “great” this season, but maybe “greater” might do the trick. And while Hartford escaped with a 51-50 victory at the Chase Family Center Sunday afternoon, neither team left the opening weekend brimming with confidence. Continue reading “Hartford, Saint Peter’s Struggle with Expectations Early”