Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hoops notes (JMU, Mason, VaTech, NSU, etc.)

James Madison: Are the Dukes headed for Cancun in November? Purdue seems to think so - at least that's what it says in a West Lafayette newspaper. Problem is, the official website for the Caribbean Challenge lists the competing teams as Virginia Tech, Purdue, Montana and Iowa, and that's what we've been going with. Now the official site has had this information for months, and the newspaper story came out Friday. Is it possible the field has changed and the website simply hasn't been updated? Sure. Is it also possible the newspaper simply got it wrong? Absolutely. So we're going to just sit tight and let Kenny Brooks have the last word on this one. I mean, that JMU schedule ought to be coming out any day now...right?

Congratulations to former JMU star Meredith Alexis, who last month was named an assistant coach at Division II Pitt-Johnstown.

George Mason: We were really looking forward to seeing what Ondrea Shaw, a promising high school post player from Kentucky, would do for the Patriots this season. We even wrote a post about her. So naturally we were disappointed to discover that Shaw's isn't listed on Mason's 2010-11 roster. Not sure what happened, but it appears as though Shaw will spent this year at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. Good luck, Ondrea, wherever you are.

We were also surprised to learn that Northeastern's Brittany Wilson, a third-team All-CAA pick as a sophomore last season, is no longer with the Huskies. In addition to leading Northeastern in scoring, rebounding and steals in 2009-10, Wilson was one of only four Division I players in the nation to post a 30-point, 20-rebound game. You may have heard of two of the others - UConn's Maya Moore and Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogwumike. The fourth? Louisiana Tech’s Shanavia Dowdell.

Old Dominion fans will no doubt remember Wilson's last play of the 2009-10 season, a sequence that ended with her getting knocked violently to the floor during Northeastern's CAA quarterfinal against the Lady Monarchs.

Virginia Tech: Two members of the Hokies' 2009-10 squad, Lindsay Biggs and Utahya Drye, will be playing overseas this season. Biggs, who ranks second all-time at Tech in 3-pointers made, is now with Autocad Amazone in Utrecht, Netherlands. Drye, one of only two Hokies in the program's 34-year history (along with Kerri Gardin) to eclipse 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 200 assists in her career, will join Cab Madiera in Madeira, Portugal.

Norfolk State: Ashley Bowman, who played two years for NSU and starred during the 2005-06 season, scored 15 points to help the All-Army team defeat All-Navy 56-53 and win the 2010 Armed Forces Basketball Championships on Aug. 22 at Fort Myer, Va.

It means a lot for me because I never even thought I was going to play basketball again,” said Bowman, who had 15 points and six steals in the title tilt. “That’s why I came into the Army. I needed some stability in my life. To be able to come and play basketball and represent the Army is a blessing, and for the game to be on in Afghanistan, where people are downrange, and for us to be representing what we’re doing in the world, to me, is a powerful feeling because it’s bigger than us. It feels great.”

Bowman averaged a team-leading 13.3 ppg - 7th in the MEAC - and led the conference in assists (5.1) for Norfolk State during the 2005-06 season.

Longwood: The Lancers will kick the season off by hosting a tournament Nov. 12-13 featuring Marshall (14-16) and Campbell (14-16) and Appalachian State (23-12, WBI champion). Longwood will play Marshall and Campbell.

Other schedule updates: Old Dominion will host North Carolina A&T (23-11, WNIT 3rd round) on Nov. 18 (Thursday)...William and Mary will visit Wisconsin (21-11, NCAA 1st round) on Nov. 14....Liberty will play Creighton (21-11, WNIT 2nd round) in opener of N.C. State's Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational on Nov. 12. Will play either College of Charleston (21-12, WBI semifinals) or host N.C. State (20-14, NCAA 1st round) in the championship or the consolation game on Nov. 13.

Click here for all the scheduling tidbits from Virginia's Division I schools.

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