Around The Rim with Bob Whitney

Around The Rim Whitney Social

By Bob Whitney 

Some random thoughts after looking around at the local and national basketball landscape.

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)/Big Ten Conference (B1G) Basketball Challenge is always at the top of my viewing list each year – I love channel surfing.

This year, the Big 10 Conference reigned supreme with some impressive showings by Maryland, Purdue, Ohio State, and Penn State.

Purdue absolutely dismantled Virginia and exposed the ‘Hoos offensive shortcomings while Ohio State throttled North Carolina. It’s early but Ohio State is looking like they have the horsepower to make a run to the Final Four next April.

Speaking of the ACC, Boston College is on a four-game losing spin and facing a rigorous conference road trip this Saturday at Norte Dame. A highly-touted freshman class must grow up in a hurry or the Eagles will once again reside in the ACC’s bottom quartile.

Save the date: current No. 1 Louisville will visit Conte Forum on Jan. 29. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m.

Carl Pierre, who played high school basketball at Boston College High School, is having an excellent season at UMass. The 2017 Catholic Conference MVP and two-time conference all-star selection is currently averaging 12 points per game.

Pierre and the Minutemen will visit Harvard on Saturday, December 7th with tip-off scheduled for 1 p.m. UMass will attempt to snap a four-game skid, which began prior to Thanksgiving with a 58-46 setback to Virginia. Harvard enters the non-conference clash at 4-4 – the Crimson have lost two-straight since beating Texas A&M last Thursday. 

Newton North’s Ethan Wright has seen an uptick in playing time this season with the Princeton Tigers. The second-year guard has logged 93 minutes in six contests this season – he even started a game last month against Indiana. Wright has scored 13 points on 5 of 21 shooting, including 3 of 14 from beyond the arc. He has pulled down 13 rebounds, including two offensive caroms to go along with five assists and two blocks.

Wright and the Tigers sit at 1-6 and are scheduled to compete next Tuesday, December 10th against Monmouth. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Coach Trish Brown and the Stonehill College women’s basketball team are off to an impressive 6-2 start. Sure, their lone setbacks have come against Bentley and Molloy, but they have been fun to watch, especially in their last two contests against Assumption College and Franklin Pierce.

Emily Bramanti, who played locally for Westford Academy, credited all of her teammates in their most recent win against the Ravens for stepping-up and making plays when needed.

“That is just the greatness of our team is that any night anybody can step-up and play, so it’s really exciting to see how far we can get going,” she said following the Skyhawks’ 68-59 win over the Ravens.

Bramanti concluded her team’s eighth contest with a team-high 16 points.

Stonehill hosts Saint Anselm College on Saturday before heading to Daytona Beach Florida two weeks later to compete in the Daytona Beach Shootout.

Finally, the Babson College men’s basketball team scored an exciting and impressive win last night over Amherst CollegeFrank Oftring, who grew up in North Attleboro, Massachusetts netted a career-high 30 points in the win to go along with 10 rebounds.

Babson’s Andrew Jaworski finished with 23 points with four of those points being recorded during the final 30 seconds of the second half.

Babson, which is 12-3 against the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) dating back to the 2016-17 season, will look to continue its early-season momentum this weekend when they compete in the New England Big 4 Challenge at Salem State University.

I’m getting ready to head back to warm and sunny Florida so I’ll be writing from the Sunshine State next week.

KEEP SHOOTING, Everyone!

WACBA Women’s Basketball Honor Roll (Tuesday, Dec. 3rd, 2019)

WACBABy NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation & @WACBAHoops 

Another week of college basketball in the Worcester area is in the books, which means it is time to unveil our third Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Women’s Honor Roll for the 2019-20 season.

Noontime Sports is proud to sponsor with WACBA for the seventh consecutive season to host the weekly honor roll, which will be seen every Tuesday throughout the current college basketball season. Each week, we will select a player and rookie of the week, as well as highlight various milestones, too.

Fans of Worcester college basketball are encouraged to follow @WACBAHoops on Twitter for scores, news and more. 


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Assumption College’s Brianna Capacchion averaged 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last week for the Greyhounds. (PHOTO COURTESY: Gil Talbot)

Women’s Player of the Week: Brianna Capacchione (Assumption College | Senior | Washington Township, N.J.): Capacchione was influential for Assumption College this past week, averaging 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game while shooting 30.8 percent from the floor, 31.6 percent from three and 87.5 percent from the foul line. Against Franklin Pierce, Capacchione led her team with 20 points while adding six rebounds, two assists, and one steal. She then recorded 13 rebounds and nine points against Stonehill College. Capacchione concluded her team’s contest against the Skyhawks as the second-leading scorer. 


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Angelina Marazzi became the 12th player in Fitchburg State women’s basketball program history to net 1,000 points last week against Regis College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Jamie Rogers/Fitchburg State Athletics)

Women’s Milestone of the Week: Angelina Marazzi (Fitchburg State | Sr. | Manchester, N.H.): Marazzi averaged 16.5 points, three rebounds and 1.5 steals per game over two contests for the Green and Gold last week. She notched 14 points, three rebounds and two steals, including her 1,000th career point in a 67-43 setback to Regis College on Tuesday before adding a game-best 19 points, three caroms and one steal in a 71-46 loss to Keene State on Saturday.


Women’s WACBA Honor Roll | Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

Amber Wilson (Anna Maria College | Jr. | New York, N.Y.): Against Clark University last week, Wilson stuffed the stat sheet with a team-high 18 points to go along with eight rebounds (six defensive caroms), six blocks, three assists, and three steals. 

Ginny Benbow (Clark University | Soph. | Durham, Conn): In a victory over Anna Maria College, Benbow tallied a career-high 24 points in 28 minutes on 69.2% shooting, including going three-for-four from the three-point line. The sophomore led all players in scoring while adding one assist, two rebounds, and one steal.

Lauren Manis (Holy Cross | Sr. | Franklin, Mass.): Manis led the Crusaders to an 83-71 win over Brown University on Sunday, recording 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting, which was the most points by any Holy Cross player in a single game this season. With 12 rebounds, Manis also had her third double-double of the season, too, and moved into second place in program history with 41 career double-doubles. She currently ranks second in Division I with 13.0 rebounds per game and leads the nation in defensive rebounds with 10.2 per game.

Victoria Mirecki (WPI, So, Rock Tavern, NY): Mirecki exploded for a career-best 17 points as the Engineers overwhelmed Nichols College, 63-36, last Tuesday evening. The second and third quarters were Mirecki’s to shine as the sophomore more than tripled her season scoring total in the middle 20 minutes, shooting a perfect 7-for-7 from the floor, including a pair of three-pointers and a conventional 3-point play.


Fans of Worcester college basketball are encouraged to follow @WACBAHoops on Twitter for scores, news and more. 

 

WACBA Men’s Basketball Honor Roll (Tuesday, November 26th, 2019)

 

WACBABy NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation & @WACBAHoops 

Another week of college basketball in the Worcester area is in the books, which means it is time to unveil our second Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Men’s Honor Roll for the 2019-20 season.

Noontime Sports is proud to sponsor with WACBA for the seventh consecutive season to host the weekly honor roll, which will be seen every Tuesday throughout the current college basketball season. Each week, we will select a player and rookie of the week, as well as highlight various milestones, too.

Fans of Worcester college basketball are encouraged to follow @WACBAHoops on Twitter for scores, news and more. 


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Nick Tracy was a player to watch this past week with the Falcons of Fitchburg State. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kenzie Ullrich)

Men’s Player of the Week: Nicholas Tracy (Fitchburg State | Sr. | Indianapolis, Ind.): Tracy averaged 22 points, 8.7 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block per contest in three games for the Falcons. He posted 24 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal in a 94-81 setback to Rhode Island College last Tuesday before adding 24 points, 13 boards, three assists, three steals and two blocks in a 93-87 triumph against Thomas College on Friday. Tracy concluded the week with 18 points, six rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block in an 84-62 loss to Amherst College on Saturday.


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Xavier Betancourt averaged nine points, 6.5 rebounds, two assists, one steal and 1.5 blocks per game last week for the Falcons of Fitchburg State. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kenzie Ullrich)

Men’s Rookie of the Week: Xavier Betancourt (Fitchburg State | Fr. | Tampa, Fla.): Betancourt averaged nine points, 6.5 rebounds, two assists, one steal and 1.5 blocks per game over two contests for the Falcons. Netted nine points, seven caroms and one block in a 94-81 setback to Rhode Island College on Tuesday before adding nine points, six boards, four assists, two steals, and two blocks in a 93-87 triumph over Thomas College on Friday.


Men’s WACBA Honor Roll | Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

Malik Brown (Assumption College |RS-Jr.| Waldorf, Md.): Brown led the Greyhounds to an 87-86 conference victory over Southern New Hampshire University this past Saturday afternoon. He put up 20 points in the victory, going 8-for-14 from the field and 1-for-3 from three-point range. He added seven rebounds, two assists, and a steal in 32 minutes of play.

Mateus Ribeiro (Becker College | Jr.| Sao Paulo, Brazil): Ribeiro continues to lead the Hawks, averaging 14.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game with 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals. The third-year player shot 51.4 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent from behind the arc. In Becker’s 71-70 win at MCLA last Saturday, Ribeiro posted 15 points and 11 rebounds on the day. It was Ribeiro’s fourth double-double through just seven games this season.

Joel Arteaga (Clark University | Soph. | Wyncote, Pa.): In a 2-0 week for the Cougars, the second-year guard averaged 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals. In a two-point win over Regis College, Arteaga posted 12 points on three of nine shooting, including six of eight from the charity stripe while tallying seven rebounds (two offensive boards), six assists, and two steals. Against Connecticut College, Arteaga exploded for a season-high 23 points on 7 of 14 shooting, including 7 of 13 from beyond the arc. He sank a pair of freebies while adding six boards, one assist, and one steal.

Tyler Dion (Worcester State | Sr. | Barre, Mass.): Tyler Dion was a player to watch last week, averaging 16 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in a 1-1 week for the Lancers. Against Dean College, Dion scored 21 points with five three-pointers, before scoring 11 points with three trifectas in a loss to nationally ranked Nichols  College this past Saturday. 

Garrett Stephenson (WPI | Jr. | Townsend, MA): Stephenson averaged 16 points per game while shooting 60.3% from the floor during WPI’s perfect 3-0 week.  The center was named MVP of the Paula Titus Memorial Invitational at UMass Boston after scoring a career-high 28 points in an opening-round victory over Eastern Nazarene and 18 points to along with a team-high eight rebounds in a championship victory over the host Beacons.  On the season, Stephenson is averaging 15.0 points and 6.7 rebounds while shooting 61.3% for the 16th-ranked Crimson and Gray.


Fans of Worcester college basketball are encouraged to follow @WACBAHoops on Twitter for scores, news and more. 

 

Around The Rim With Bob Whitney (Nov. 22, 2019)

Around The Rim Whitney Social

By Bob Whitney | @WhitneyBob

Bob Whitney is back from a short break for some thoughts on the New England (and national) college basketball landscape with a brand new edition of ‘Around the Rim.’ 

Opening Tap: 

A pair of Braintree High School (Mass.) standouts are making a difference for the Southern New Hampshire women’s basketball team.

First-year Adriana Timberlake has earned a spot in the starting lineup and is averaging 12.0 points per game, along with 2.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

Sophomore Jenna Roche has played an important role for the Penmen coming off the bench. Roche is averaging 5.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

Southern New Hampshire has won four-straight since dropping its initial contest of the season to Georgian Court. The Penmen visit Assumption College tomorrow (Saturday, November 23rd) with tip-off scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Manis, Holy Cross scored an exciting win against Boston College 

The Holy Cross women’s basketball team scored an impressive win earlier this month by defeating Boston College in its home-opener. The win was the Crusaders first over a Power 5 school since 2014.

Holy Cross is led by senior forward Lauren Manis (Bishop Feehan). Manis, who is a three-time All-Patriot League selection, concluded the 2018-19 season second in the conference in scoring (16.8 points per game) and rebounding (11.1 per game).

Prior to her team’s initial game of the 2019-20 season, Manis checked-in fourth in program history with 844 career rebounds and 12th in career points (1,461)

Manis, who is a terrific role model for all those youngsters that aspire to play at the next level, has scored 53 points in three games and has pulled down 33 rebounds.

Holy Cross hosts Merrimack College on Saturday in Worcester with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

Christian, Boston College off to a successful start: 

Jim Christian‘s Boston College men’s squad has had a solid start marked by an important Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) win over Wake Forest University (77-70).

The Eagles hit a speed bump when they were torched at home, 100-85, by highly-regarded Belmont University team.

Christian has a slew of potential young talent that he is trying to integrate with veteran Nik Popovic.

The future looks bright at Conte Forum but this year they are likely to slug it out once again in the bottom quarter of the ACC – unless you are Duke University it is so very difficult to succeed with young talent in the country’s best college hoop conference.

While we are talking BC, why aren’t the Eagles and Ed Cooley‘s Providence College Friars playing this year?

Just Thinking 🤔: 

If you get a chance, find a way to watch the University of Vermont‘s Anthony Lamb. He has the potential to be a player selected in next year’s NBA DraftLamb put on an offensive showcase recently scoring 30 points in a 61-55 loss to the University of Virginia

If healthy these Catamounts will continue to dominate the America East and could be a real sleeper in March Madness.

Unfortunately, Lamb and the Catamounts will make just one trip to Massachusetts when they visit UMass Lowell in late February.

National Thoughts: 

Virginia, the defending NCAA men’s champ, is off to an impressive start with Mamadi Diakite and Kihei Clark,  who were the heroes of last year’s epic NCAA tournament run.

The Hoosiers, who are under the direction of coach Tony Bennett, have traditionally led all D-I programs in most of the key defensive categories. Their defense (and impressive play) will be on display tomorrow when they compete against UMass in The Hall of Fame Tip Off Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

UMass enters Saturday’s contest, which is scheduled to commence at 12 p.m, with an impressive 5-0 mark. The Minutemen are off to their best start since the 2013-14 season.

Have a great Thanksgiving….. Keep shooting! – Bob Whitney 

WACBA Men’s Basketball Honor Roll (Tuesday, Nov. 19th, 2019)

WACBABy NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation & @WACBAHoops 

Another season of college basketball in the Worcester area has officially begun, which means it is time to unveil our initial Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Men’s Honor Roll for the 2019-20 season.

Noontime Sports is proud to sponsor with WACBA for the seventh consecutive season to host the weekly honor roll, which will be seen every Tuesday throughout the current college basketball season. Each week, we will select a player and rookie of the week, as well as highlight various milestones, too.

Fans of Worcester college basketball are encouraged to follow @WACBAHoops on Twitter for scores, news and more. 


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DeAnte Bruton moved into fifth place on the all-time scoring list at Nichols College this past weekend. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols College Athletics)

MBB POW: DeAnte Bruton (Nichols College | Sr. | New London, Conn.): Bruton averaged 25.0 points, 5.5 assists, and 5.5 rebounds while being named the MVP of the Ted Coghlin Memorial Tournament this past weekend at WPI. Bruton netted 17 points in a win over Eastern Connecticut State on Friday, then poured in 33 points to go with seven assists, five boards, and three steals in 40 minutes of action in a win over New England College. In the process, Bruton moved into sole possession of fifth-place on the all-time scoring list at Nichols.


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Isiah Gaiter has enjoyed a successful start to his collegiate career with Assumption College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Assumption College Athletics)

Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Week: Isiah Gaiter (Assumption College | Fr. | Meriden, Conn.): Gaiter is the Greyhounds’ fourth top scorer after four games this season, averaging 9.5 points per contest. He has recorded 14 rebounds in four games, too, to go along with 13 assists and a team-high seven steals. He is averaging 15.4 points per 40 minutes and is shooting 50 percent (13-26) from the field and 83.3 percent (10-12) from the free-throw line.


Men’s Basketball Milestone: Mike Rapoza (Anna Maria College | Sr. | Charlton, MA): Rapoza has enjoyed a successful start to his final season with the AMCATs by recording four consecutive double-doubles, including 22 points and 19 rebounds earlier this month against Salem State University. His impressive effort against the Vikings helped him reach 1,000-points and 1,000 rebounds.

Men’s Basketball Milestone: Tyler Dion (Worcester State | Sr. | Barre, Mass.): Dion got off to a quality start to his senior season, averaging 15.3 points per game in the year’s first four contests. Dion’s strongest outing of the week came in the consolation game of the Williams College Tip-Off Tournament when he scored 24 points while reaching the 1,000-point plateau. Dion netted 594 points as a member of the Nichols College men’s basketball program before transferring to Worcester State prior to his junior season.


Matthew Kelly (Assumption College | Jr. | North Potomac, Md.): Kelly has scored 82 points in four contests this season while leading the Greyhounds in points per game (20.5). He has contributed 18 assists and has pulled down 16 rebounds. He is currently shooting 45.2 percent (14-31) from behind the arc and 72.7 percent (8-11) from the free-throw line.

Mateus Ribeiro (Becker College | Jr. | Sao Paulo, Brazil): Ribeiro had a strong open to his 2019-2020 season, averaging 16.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game over four games. The third-year player shot 49.1 percent from the floor over that stretch, leading the Hawks to a 2-2 record. Ribeiro was named to the All-Tournament team of the Buffalo Wild Wings Classic hosted by Stevenson University for his play this past weekend.

Tyler Davern (Clark University | Jr. | Webster, Mass.): In four contests this season, Davern has averaged 22.5 points and 9.8 rebounds. He recently netted a career-high 36 points to go along with 13 rebounds last Friday in his team’s 80-70 win over the University of Maine at Presque Isle before posting a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds in a 75-65 setback to Wesleyan University.

Nicholas Tracy (Fitchburg State | Sr. | Indianapolis, Ind.): Tracy averaged 22.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, two steals and one block per game in a 3-0 start for the Falcons. Tracy netted 29 points, eight rebounds, one assist, two steals and a block in an 83-74 season-opening victory against Lasell College. He then added 24 points, seven boards, two assists, two steals, and two blocks in a 90-79 triumph over Clark University on Wednesday before notching 14 points, eight rebounds, one assist and two steals in an 81-80 victory over Dean College on Saturday.

Garrett Stephenson (WPI | Jr. | Townsend, Mass.): Stephenson has been the Crimson and Gray’s leading scorer through three contests with 42 points on 18 of 29 shooting (6 of 10 from the charity stripe). He also leads the team with 27 rebounds. Stephenson’s best outing of the season came this past weekend when netted a season-high 20 points on 10 of 12 shooting while adding eight rebounds (two offensive caroms) and two assists in an 88-63 win over Eastern Nazarene.