Wednesday, May 29, 2013

MAAC Tournament Returns To Albany In 2015

MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor announced moments ago that conference basketball tournaments will return to Albany's Times Union Center, the largest venue in the league, effective in 2015. (Photo courtesy of Siena College)

The largest arena in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference will once again be the home of the league's two postseason basketball championships, as the Times Union Center in Albany was selected to host the MAAC basketball championships on a three-year agreement beginning in 2015 and ending in 2017. Next season's men's and women's basketball championships will once again be contested at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, fulfilling the final year of a three-year obligation between the conference and the home of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

"In evaluating the bids, as in the last bid cycle, the MAAC required that the league's minimum financial, ancillary event hosting and budget thresholds be met by the bid cities," remarked MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor, who revealed that the vote to award the championships to Albany for the first time since 2010 was a unanimous decision. Ensor also announced that three other venues had submitted a bid to host, including Bridgeport, Connecticut; who played host to the 2011 MAAC Championships at the WebsterBank Arena, as well as the MassMutual Center and the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. "Albany and other sites met this standard, with the Times Union Center being selected because of its history of high attendance, downtown hotels and restaurants for the fans to utilize, and the experience of Albany's local organizing committee on hosting successful events with the MAAC and Siena College," Ensor said. It is worth noting that a record 53,569 fans attended the MAAC Championships in 2010 when Albany last played host, a year in which Siena capitalized on the home crowd to win its third consecutive men's basketball championship under then-coach Fran McCaffery.

Current Saints coach Jimmy Patsos, who made no secret of his desire to have the MAAC Tournament contested in Albany when we spoke to him last month, praised the decision made moments ago at a press conference inside the Times Union Center. "I believe the Times Union Center is the best place for the fans, and the MAAC brand looks great because the location provides easy access for all the schools and their fans," Patsos said. "When I was at Loyola, I said the same thing, and the student-athletes really enjoyed the experience."

The 2015 MAAC Championships will mark the sixteenth time in which Albany has been the host city for the men's and women's basketball tournaments, with the first time coming in 1990. The Albany Times Union's Mark Singelais also reports that the Times Union Center has guaranteed the MAAC $250,000 for each of the three seasons in which Albany hosts the conference championships, a number that the arena and neighboring businesses will almost certainly recover rather easily.

The 2015 MAAC basketball championships will be contested from March 5th-9th at the Times Union Center.

Joe Mihalich Discusses His First Seven Weeks At Hofstra

Shortly after naming his staff of assistant coaches, Joe Mihalich opened up to us about first seven weeks at Hofstra since arriving from Niagara. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Beach)

For the first time since his introductory press conference on April 10th, we were fortunate to have some time to speak to Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich yesterday afternoon, just hours after he officially announced his staff, which includes former Hofstra great Speedy Claxton in addition to his assistant coaches at Niagara, who all follow him to Hempstead as Mihalich prepares for his first season as Mo Cassara's replacement at the helm of the Pride.

After a 12-minute, 28-second reunion with a coach we came to know during his time at Niagara, we emerged with a clearer knowledge of what Hofstra is up against as they start a new era in another six months, and the following is a transcript of our conversation:

Jaden Daly: Seven weeks in, what has it been like since you took over last month?  You've already hit the ground running, and we see that with five players coming in, and now five assistant coaches.  What's it like since you left Niagara?

Joe Mihalich: Well, it's been exciting, it's been exhilarating, it's been a grind, it's been challenging, it's been a lot of things, but the prevailing feeling is that it's just so exciting, you know?  This is just a tremendous place and a great opportunity, and the place is special, I really believe it.  Hofstra's a special place, and that's why I feel so lucky to be here, and the seven weeks have been incredible.  We've had to undo a bunch of things, we've had to do a bunch of things; whether it was recruiting, undoing or doing, whether it was scheduling, undoing some things, we've been able to do them.  It's far from done, we've got a long way to go and it's just a start, but I do feel like we've done some things, and we can't wait to be doing some more.

JD: Compared to 1998 when you took over at Niagara, what sets this situation apart?

JM: I guess there are a lot of similarities, but I think what sets Hofstra apart is that when I got to Niagara, there wasn't quite as much to do recruiting-wise, and here there's a ton of that, all we've got is four players.  So there's four guys here, and there were a couple of verbal commitments that were probably not the right thing for both parties, so as I said, we kind of (had to) undo those things, and then we had to replace them with some guys we feel could eventually help us win a championship here in this conference.  I guess the cupboard was full when I started at Niagara, and here it's just kind of bare, but we're getting there and it's getting closer. We're making progress, there's no doubt about that.

JD: Three incoming freshmen, and Juan'ya (Green) and Ameen (Tanksley) transferred in and will be eligible for the 2014-15 season. What does each of the newcomers bring to the table?  I know Jamall (Robinson) committed to you at Niagara and then followed you when you took the job at Hofstra.

JM: Yeah, what do they bring?  They all bring something different, you know?  Jamall is a versatile guy, he's a basketball player, he's physically ready to help; which most freshmen are not, in fact, all three of our freshmen are physically ready to go.  They have good size and good strength, good bodies.  We have to wait and see on the endurance and so forth because of the length of the season, but physically, they're ready to go.  Jamall can play a couple of different positions, he's a winner. He played on a high school team at Paul VI with a great, great coach who helped him get better and better all the time and made a winner out of him.  Chris Jenkins is a terrific shooter. There's something special about a guy who can shoot the basketball, and he can really, really shoot, he had seven threes in one quarter; so when you have a guy like that, he's going to stretch the defense, he's going to open things up for everyone else, keep the defense honest. With him, you can count by threes instead of counting by twos, because he can really shoot it, and then Eliel Gonzalez is a point guard.  As they say, it all starts in the beginning, and he's a lead guard. When the ball is in his hands, good things happen.  He doesn't look quick, but he is, and he's got good size, he might be 6-2 or 6-3.  Chris is probably a good, solid 6-3 at least, and then Jamall's 6-5, 6-6, so we love their readiness, so to speak.

JD: You built your teams at Niagara similarly, and on that note, to have Juan'ya and Ameen follow you there; we know what they can do, they helped you win a regular season title last year, Juan'ya almost won (MAAC) Player of the Year as a sophomore.  To have them come back with a couple of years left, knowing you and your staff, they're going to be familiar with everything, all that's changing are the jerseys and the numbers. How much of a comfort level does that give you with this team and everybody else coming back with a year under their belt (when Green and Tanksley are eligible) to add them in?

JM: It's a big plus, because not only do the coaches all understand each other and what we're trying to do, now you've got a couple of guys that do, too.  Half the people in the gym are going to know what's going on as opposed to everybody, but it will really help, and those guys are really great guys.  They're going to push the guys ahead of them for a year.  We've been telling recruits "listen, you're going to get pushed every year, every day by these guys, they're going to make you better," and they are.  They're special players, they're really, really good players, especially Juan'ya, you know, my goodness.  He just has an incredible basketball IQ, he's physically capable of doing a lot of things, and this year off is going to make him even better.

JD: You mentioned after the Manhattan game last year that he should change his name to "Win'ya" because everything he does just breeds winning, and with the guards in the CAA, how much do you think the switch in leagues will help him?

JM: It's a league with some great, great guards. Delaware's got a couple of great guards...maybe I shouldn't start mentioning schools, but there are so many good guards in the league, but those guys just jump off the page at you.  He'll fit right in, help us keep pace with the league, they have great guards.

JD: To have Speedy Claxton come on your staff, he was at your press conference, so you guys know each other already, to have a homegrown talent; someone that not only knows what it's like to play at Hofstra and that atmosphere, but his NBA background too, ten years and he won a championship, how does that resonate with a recruit to have someone on the staff that says "hey, I played at this level, I know what it takes, and I can help get you there?"

JM: You're right, you can't put a price tag on that.  In some ways, you kind of answered the question yourself, I mean, he's done it. Everything you talk about, he's done it.  He won an NBA championship, he's played in the league for ten years, he was a terrific, terrific basketball player, so he's someone that can help build a program.  All those things that you talk to recruits about, there he is right there, Speedy Claxton did it.

JD: Going into next season, realistically, what are your expectations with the four incumbents from Mo (Cassara) 's team last year and the three who are eligible right away?

JM: What are our expectations?  We're excited about the year.  We expect to have a chance to win every game, that's the only way to approach it, I don't know how else you do it, that's all I've ever done. Every game is different, every challenge is different.  It comes down to attitude and what kind of attitude you're going to bring, and I'll tell you what, the people on this team, I love their attitudes.  Our expectations are that we're going to do everything we can to get better, and be a better team in December than we are in November, a better team in January than December, and on and on and on, so that by the end of the year, we'll have a chance to win the league.

JD: In terms of your style, is there any emphasis on one side of the ball over the other this year?

JM: It's funny, we have a reputation of being just an offensive team, and we kind of smile behind closed doors because we feel like we might not be the best defensive team in the country, but we feel like we're an effective defensive team.  I don't know if you can emphasize one over the other, if you're a good offensive team, you'd better be a good defensive team, or else you're going to be taking the ball out of the net every time as opposed to forcing some turnovers and missed shots.

JD: Going into the nonconference schedule, are there any other games that haven't been announced or made public at all that you're looking at?

JM: We're still putting some finishing touches on it.  In general, I think what you want to do with your nonconference schedule is sharpen your teeth for league play, you know?  So we're at Louisville, we're at Richmond, we're in a tournament where we're going to play Hartford and Holy Cross and Belmont, we're at SMU, we're at Tulane, we'll have some local teams that come here and play, we're playing GW, we're playing Manhattan.  It's a challenging schedule, it's a little bit of everything, it's what you want to get yourself ready for league play.

JD: In time, do you see trying to get some of the local schools to play you, such as maybe St. John's or Fordham, some of the other local teams that don't really play each other as much?

Yeah, I think that would be great.  There's nothing better than local rivalries.  I like to work real closely with (athletic director) Jeff Hathaway, he's a star in his profession, in his world, and it's such a plus for me to lean on him in certain areas; whether it be a scheduling idea here or a fundraising idea there, he just brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that he's someone to lean on, but we love our local rivalries, I think it's great for the game and great for our fans.

JD: Speaking of Jeff, how much has he helped in the transition over the last seven weeks, and knowing him as long as you have, how much easier has he made this process for you?

JM: Well, as I said, he's exceptional.  I've said so many times, people have heard me say, I'm sure you've heard me say it, coaches always say "is that a good job?" Well, it's a good job if you have a good president and a good AD, and we have a great president, we have a great AD, and they're people that want to win, they want to do it the right way, they're leaders, and to have those people to lean on is just a true value.

JD: Looking ahead to Niagara and what you leave behind for Chris Casey as he takes over, Antoine (Mason) is still there, Marvin Jordan is still there, they're still a competitive team in a wide open MAAC that welcomes Quinnipiac and Monmouth.  Where do you see them as far as how well they'll be able to remain in contention?

JM: Well, you mentioned some key guys.  I think they'll be right there with all of the good teams.  Antoine Mason can score at will, Marvin Jordan's as good a shooter as anybody in the league, they have a point guard that was one of the most underrated freshmen in the league and that's Tahjere McCall, there's a transfer from Rhode Island, Rayvon Harris, that was sitting out, Joe Thomas is going to be coming back, they're going to be okay.  They're going to be just fine.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mihalich Announces Staff At Hofstra, Speedy Returns Home

Joe Mihalich has brought Niagara personnel to Hofstra, but added a homegrown feel to his staff with addition of Speedy Claxton as special assistant to head coach. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Beach, better known as Defiantly Dutch)

Already seven weeks into his tenure as the head coach at Hofstra University, Joe Mihalich has made a profound impact in Hempstead, doubling the size of his roster by signing three incoming freshmen to join the four incumbents from the Mo Cassara era, and then luring Juan'ya Green and Ameen Tanksley from his former team at Niagara as transfers for the coming season.  This morning, the winningest head coach in MAAC history took another step to shape his new situation at Hofstra by officially announcing his staff, which includes five familiar faces; four of which follow Mihalich from Niagara, and one more that fans of the Pride will remember as one of the greatest players in program history, one who brought the program to its first NCAA Tournament back when Hofstra was still known as the Flying Dutchmen, when Jay Wright was a 38-year-old upstart still a year away from a well-deserved pay raise at Villanova, with Tom Pecora still his right-hand man long before his own head coaching career took flight.

Mihalich's staff of deputies will be led by Mike Farrelly, Kyle Neptune and Shane Nichols, each of whom was an assistant coach at Niagara in recent years.  Farrelly, a one-time student-athlete for Phil Martelli at Saint Joseph's, will begin his third year with Mihalich when Hofstra tips off their season in November.  Neptune comes to Hempstead with Hofstra ties, as his tenure at Niagara was preceded by a stint under Jay Wright at Villanova, where he served as the Wildcats' video coordinator for two years before joining Mihalich in 2010.  Nichols begins his second season with Mihalich after coming to Niagara last year on the heels of a two-year tenure as an assistant coach at his alma mater Wofford.  Colin Curtin, who had been Niagara's director of basketball operations in each of the last four seasons, will reprise a similar role at Hofstra as he moves to Long Island with Mihalich. However, the biggest name on the staff is one who returns to the scene of some of his greatest accomplishments, that being Craig "Speedy" Claxton, whose No. 10 is one of five that hangs from the rafters of the Mack Sports Complex.

Claxton returns to his alma mater as the special assistant to the head coach, a role that Gene Keady fills to a similar capacity on Steve Lavin's staff at St. John's, and spent the last two seasons as a scout for the Golden State Warriors following a ten-year NBA playing career that saw his selection by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2000 NBA Draft and NBA Championship as a member of the San Antonio Spurs in 2003 among the many highlights the former Christ the King product enjoyed at the highest level.

"I am thrilled about the staff we will have here at Hofstra," Mihalich said in a release issued by the university's athletic communications office.  "Having worked with most of them at Niagara, there is a certain comfort level, and I know how skilled each of them is." Regarding Claxton, who joins the staff on July 1st, Mihalich called his arrival an "absolute home run.  His extensive playing experience, combined with his ability to connect us to one of the greatest eras in Hofstra basketball history, will prove to be a winning formula as we grow the program moving forward."

Please continue to follow A Daly Dose Of Hoops for further news and updates on Hofstra University as Joe Mihalich prepares for his maiden voyage at the helm of the Pride.

***Information from a press release issued by Hofstra University associate director of athletic communications Stephen Gorchov helped contribute to this story***

Friday, May 24, 2013

Rutgers Strikes Gold With Dalip Bhatia

Following five years on staff of fellow class act John Dunne at Saint Peter's, Dalip Bhatia gets much-deserved promotion, joining Eddie Jordan's staff at Rutgers as Scarlet Knights' new director of basketball operations. (Photo courtesy of Saint Peter's University)

If college basketball has taught us anything over the years, it is that anyone and everyone is ultimately equal.  Yes, some programs have more impressive resumes and stronger track records of success than most others, but nowhere else in the world of sports can anything happen on any given night as often or as unpredictably.  This element of uncertainty extends far beyond the ten players on the court for the two teams in battle, even to the staff members and administrations of certain programs.  Just because something appears inferior on the surface does not mean it is not just as good as, or even in some cases, better than, a competitor from an institution of greater recognition.

Look no further than Dalip Bhatia.

Bhatia, a hard-working and perennially enthusiastic 30-year-old up-and-comer in the coaching ranks, was just hired late Wednesday night as the director of basketball operations at his alma mater, Rutgers University, in what goes into the record books as the latest step taken by new coach Eddie Jordan to reconstruct the bridges and terrain that were burned and scarred in the aftermath of the graphic and sadistic conclusion to the Mike Rice regime.  Bhatia returns to the banks of the old Raritan eight years after his graduation, and comes back much the wiser following a five-year apprenticeship at Saint Peter's University; first in the operations director title he now assumes at Rutgers for two years before spending the last three as the third assistant to one of the true good guys of the profession in John Dunne, a man who has taught his young charge well in the fine art of developing something out of what is perceived to be nothing.

Saint Peter's could easily be described as the least regarded of the many college basketball programs here in the New York area, located just across the Hudson River in Jersey City. Their home court of the Yanitelli Center, affectionately known as "The Bubble," would probably be considered among one of the least favorable facilities in the nation, as some high school gymnasiums have received more aesthetically pleasing reviews.  Yet none of that ever mattered to Bhatia, whose approach to serving as a small part on a staff of a program that still gets lost in the shuffle when it comes to obtaining respect; even just two years after winning a MAAC championship and competing in the NCAA Tournament, makes you think he is inside Madison Square Garden, or any other larger and more venerable arena for that matter.

Standing a mere 5-foot-4, just one inch taller than former Charlotte Hornets legend and shortest player in NBA history Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues, Bhatia is almost certainly not the man you would expect to find on a basketball court at first blush; but what he lacks in stature, he makes up for in heart and passion for the game, with mounds more to spare not just for himself, but also for his former boss Dunne, as well as fellow assistants Bruce Hamburger and Marlon Guild.  For anyone that has spent enough time around the Peacocks program, the competitive fire that Bhatia exhibits in practice, during games, and even off the court is probably everyone's lasting impression when asked about Saint Peter's University basketball.

Even more than that, Bhatia is an ambassador of the game and his team, a role he takes as seriously as those of his equal parts in-game strategist and player developer, which he honed to perfection over the last five years. When I was finally able to make my first trip to Jersey City last December to see Saint Peter's play arguably their most impressive game of basketball this past season in a convincing win over eventual Northeast Conference champion LIU Brooklyn, Bhatia made it a point to be the first to introduce himself to me; something each of his fellow staff members eventually repeated, commenting on how he was a big fan of this website, which he later informed the rest of the Saint Peter's basketball community about.  At every other Peacocks game I covered, including the MAAC Tournament in Springfield; and even at the MBWA writers' dinner last month, he would always come over and say hello, asking how the season was going through various points of this site's well-documented 120-game odyssey.

That's the kind of guy Rutgers gets with Bhatia. His desire to connect to everyone around him and include everyone in his life's work makes him a perfect fit at a place like Rutgers, which could use a few more Dalip Bhatias to reinforce the belief that yes, despite the mediocrity and negative publicity from the Rice and Don Imus dramas, the State University of New Jersey truly is an institution to be proud of.  On that note, if anyone out there can testify on pride, it is Bhatia himself, who is proud of what he has become and how he was raised; an only child much like yours truly, who strives to honor his mother even a decade after cancer tragically took her from him.

His passion is unrivaled, and has already been chronicled through his tenure as an accountant at the prestigious Deloitte firm before arriving to where he is now, not to mention declining a six-figure salary offer from a New York hedge fund company to enter the much more insecure realm of college basketball coaching.  Such a sharp career change is not unprecedented, though, as thirteen years ago, a then-23-year-old in the marketing department of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly walked away from his own cushy job to accept a volunteer position as an assistant at a Horizon League school in Indianapolis.  Today, that man is still at that institution, now as a head coach in the Big East.  You might know him as Brad Stevens at Butler University.

Dalip Bhatia is no Brad Stevens, at least not yet.  Give him time, however, and with a couple of fortuitous bounces of the ball, he just might be.

His new role at Rutgers is just another stop on the road to greatness and validation for a man who truly deserves everything that comes his way.

Atlantic 10 Expands Tournament

Reigning Atlantic 10 women's basketball champion Saint Joseph's will now have one extra team to go through, as will men's champion Saint Louis, after conference expanded basketball tournaments to include all schools. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)

Following their aggressive expansion in adding Butler and Virginia Commonwealth last season, and then upping the ante with the impending additions of George Mason and Davidson, the Atlantic 10 emerged as a viable rival to the larger and high-major Big East.  The A-10 took another step closer to their BCS-level counterpart last night, when commissioner Bernadette McGlade announced that the conference's two basketball tournaments would be expanded to include all of the league's member institutions, a change the Big East implemented in the summer of 2008.

Under the new format, a change from the long-standing exclusion of the tournament field to the top twelve programs, all thirteen A-10 members will now have the opportunity to compete in the postseason, which; on the men's side, will return to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the second of a five-year contract next March.  The inclusion of George Mason, which is the first Atlantic 10 replacement for Butler, Xavier, Charlotte and Temple, will likely produce a 12 vs. 13 play-in game for the right to move on to the preliminary round against the No. 5 seed.

The new format also benefits schools such as Fordham and Duquesne, both of whom missed the tournament this past season, as did Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure.  Fordham head coach Tom Pecora has been adamant about his desire to play at the Barclays Center more often, both before and after the Rams defeated Princeton last December, and now has his chance in a meaningful game on the postseason stage.

Please continue to follow A Daly Dose Of Hoops for further offseason news from both Fordham University and the Atlantic 10.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nonconference Schedule Update

The one downside to the offseason is the lack of content for us to provide you.  In fact, had it not been for Scott Machado's postseason run with the Golden State Warriors, we would be closing in on nearly a week without any kind of coverage, which for us is unheard of, especially after our 120-game schedule this past season. Therefore, we will break the ice temporarily by getting you up to speed on the nonconference schedules of the teams that we cover, as most have made some kind of announcement of who they will play at some point during the 2013-14 season.

Some of these games obviously have yet to be accompanied by an actual date on the schedule, but the opponents are there based on what we have heard from coaches, colleagues, and the inspiration for this list, this gathering from our friends at Big Apple Buckets:

Fordham University
Confirmed dates: 11/8 vs. Saint Francis University, (this will be the Rams' season opener) 11/12 at Syracuse, 11/15 vs. Lehigh, 11/23 vs. Sacred Heart, 11/26 at Manhattan, (this game is the 105th annual Battle of the Bronx) 12/4 vs. Furman, 12/7 vs. St. John's at Madison Square Garden, (this game is part of the Holiday Festival) 12/10 at Colgate, 12/14 vs. Howard, 12/21 at Monmouth, 12/23 vs. Loyola (Illinois), 12/28 vs. Harvard, 12/30 at Siena

Hofstra University
Confirmed dates: 11/8 vs. Monmouth, 11/10 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, 11/12 at Louisville, 11/19 at Richmond, 11/23 vs. Hartford at Mohegan Sun, 11/24 vs. Holy Cross or Belmont at Mohegan Sun, (both of those last two games are part of the Hall of Fame Classic) 11/30 vs. Manhattan, 12/4 vs. Sacred Heart, 12/7 at SMU, 12/15 vs. Central Connecticut State, 12/23 at Siena, 12/28 vs. George Washington, 12/30 vs. NJIT, 1/2 at Tulane, 1/5 at Fairleigh Dickinson 

Iona College
Confirmed dates: 11/9 at Cleveland State, 11/19 at Kansas, 11/23 vs. George Mason, 12/1 at Florida Gulf Coast, 12/14 vs. St. Bonaventure, 12/22 at Nevada, 12/28 at Northern Iowa

Manhattan College
Confirmed dates: 11/9 at La Salle, (this game will be the Jaspers' season opener) 11/12 at Columbia, 11/16 vs. George Washington, 11/20 at Illinois State, 11/26 vs. Fordham, (this game is the annual Battle of the Bronx) 11/30 at Hofstra, 12/15 at UNC Wilmington, 12/17 at South Carolina, 12/21 vs. Buffalo at the Barclays Center (this game will be part of the Holiday Invitational, which also includes LIU Brooklyn vs. Temple and Michigan vs. Stanford)

Marist College
Confirmed dates: 11/8 at Stony Brook, 11/13 at Saint Joseph's, 11/16 at Providence, 11/22 vs. Maryland in the Virgin Islands, 11/23 or 24 vs. Northern Iowa or Loyola Marymount in the Virgin Islands, 11/25 vs. Providence, Vanderbilt, Morgan State or La Salle in the Virgin Islands, (these games will be part of the Paradise Jam) 12/15 at College of Charleston, 12/20 vs. Bucknell, 12/22 vs. Penn

St. Francis College
Confirmed dates: 11/16 at Dayton, 11/18 at Syracuse, 11/23 at Coastal Carolina, (these games are part of the Mainland regional bracket in the Maui Invitational) 12/1 at Stony Brook, 12/10 vs. Monmouth
Confirmed with dates TBA: at Oakland, at Louisiana-Lafayette, vs. NJIT, at Army

St. John's University
Confirmed dates: 11/8 vs. Wisconsin in Sioux Falls, SD, 11/15 vs. Wagner at Carnesecca Arena, 11/19 vs. Bucknell at Carnesecca Arena, 11/22 vs. Monmouth at Carnesecca Arena, 11/26 vs. Longwood at Carnesecca Arena, 11/29 vs. Penn State in Barclays Center Classic, 11/30 vs. Georgia Tech or Mississippi in Barclays Center Classic, 12/7 vs. Fordham at Madison Square Garden, (this game will be part of the Holiday Festival) 12/15 vs. Syracuse at Madison Square Garden, 12/18 vs. San Francisco at Carnesecca Arena, 12/21 vs. Youngstown State at Carnesecca Arena, 12/28 vs. Columbia at the Barclays Center, (this game will be part of the Brooklyn Winter Hoops Festival, which also includes Kansas State vs. Tulane and Boston College vs. Virginia Commonwealth) 1/18 vs. Dartmouth at Carnesecca Arena

Saint Peter's University
Confirmed dates: 11/17 vs. Kent State, 12/14 at Seton Hall
Confirmed with dates TBA: vs. Hampton, at LIU Brooklyn

Seton Hall University
Confirmed dates: 11/9 vs. Niagara, 11/13 vs. Kent State, 11/16 at Mercer, 11/18 vs. Monmouth, 11/22 vs. Oklahoma at the Barclays Center, 11/23 vs. Virginia Tech or Michigan State at the Barclays Center (these games are part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, 12/1 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, 12/5 vs. LIU Brooklyn, 12/8 at Rutgers, 12/10 vs. NJIT, 12/14 vs. Saint Peter's, 12/22 vs. Eastern Washington, 12/27 vs. Lafayette at Walsh Gyms

Siena College
Confirmed dates: 11/8 vs. Albany, (this will be the Saints' season opener) 11/12 at Vermont, 11/16 at La Salle, 11/19 at St. Bonaventure, 11/22 vs. Cornell, 11/24 at Purdue, 11/28 vs. Memphis in Orlando, 11/29 vs. LSU or Saint Joseph's in Orlando, 12/1 in Orlando vs. TBD, (these games in Orlando will be part of the Old Spice Classic) 12/23 vs. Hofstra, 12/30 vs. Fordham 

Stony Brook University
Confirmed dates: 11/8 vs. Marist, 11/10 vs. Haverford, 11/13 vs. Northeastern, 11/17 at Indiana, 11/22 vs. Toledo, 11/23 vs. Florida Atlantic, (these two games will be played at Dick Vitale Court at Calihan Hall in Detroit as part of a 2K Sports Classic subregional) 11/24 at Detroit, 11/26 at Canisius, 12/1 vs. St. Francis College, 12/4 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, 12/7 vs. La Salle at Madison Square Garden, (this game will be part of the Holiday Festival) 12/19 at Loyola (Maryland), 12/22 vs. Cornell, 1/3 at Virginia Commonwealth, 1/8 at Columbia

Virginia Commonwealth University
Confirmed dates: 11/8 vs. Illinois State, 11/12 at Virginia, 11/16 vs. Winthrop, 11/21 vs. Florida State, 11/22 vs. Long Beach State or Michigan, 11/24 vs. TBD, (these first three games will be part of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off) 11/29 vs. Northeastern, 12/1 at Belmont, 12/5 vs. Eastern Kentucky, 12/8 vs. Old Dominion, 12/14 at Northern Iowa, 12/17 vs. Wofford, 12/21 vs. Virginia Tech at Richmond Coliseum, 12/28 vs. Boston College at the Barclays Center, (this game will be part of the Brooklyn Winter Hoops Festival, which also includes Kansas State vs. Tulane and St. John's vs. Columbia) 1/3 vs. Stony Brook

***If you have any updates or additional information, please direct them to us either through the comment box on the bottom of this page, or tweet them to us @DalyDoseOfHoops***

Friday, May 17, 2013

Machado's Rookie Season Ends With Loss To Spurs

Brought up from NBDL shortly before NBA playoffs, Scott Machado reached Western Conference semifinals in rookie season after guiding Iona to NCAA Tournament in 2012.  (Photo courtesy of

Throughout the season, we have attempted to provide as many updates of Scott Machado's progress during his rookie season in the NBA as we possibly could.  Last night, the first campaign of the former MAAC Player of the Year as a member of the professional ranks came to an end after his Golden State Warriors were eliminated from their Western Conference semifinal series against the San Antonio Spurs, falling to the four-time NBA champions in six games, the last of which being a 94-82 Spurs win.

Following a six-game cup of coffee with the Houston Rockets in which he scored eight points while being shuttled to and from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBDL, Machado made his Warriors debut on the postseason stage, playing four minutes during Golden State's 115-101 victory over the Denver Nuggets in the fourth game of their best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal.  The former first-team all-MAAC selection at Iona scored two points and recorded one rebound in that game, the only one in the series in which he competed.  Machado also appeared in each of the Warriors' last two contests against San Antonio, registering an assist in three minutes of action in Game 5, while missing his lone shot from the field.  Two nights later, he logged one minute of playing time in what turned out to be Golden State's season finale, making one of his two attempted free throws to record a final postseason stat line of three points, one assist and one rebound in eight minutes.

Machado was signed by the Warriors for the remainder of the season after his initial 10-day contract expired April 17th, and will most likely become an unrestricted free agent now that Golden State is no longer active in the postseason.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Score One More for Norm As Wiggins Chooses Kansas

Andrew Wiggins' decision to attend Kansas can be attributed in part to assistant coach Norm Roberts, whose recruiting chops gain an even bigger reputation.  (Photo courtesy of the New York Daily News)

College basketball's version of "The Decision" reached its conclusion within the last hour, as Andrew Wiggins, the top-ranked recruit in the nation among the 2013 class, announced his decision to sign with Bill Self and Kansas, going to Lawrence while spurning offers from Florida State, Kentucky and North Carolina.  While the Canadian swingman hopes to follow in the mold of former great Kansas wings such as Paul Pierce as Self picks up yet another prep star, a large portion of the credit for Wiggins' commitment can be directed toward the eleventh-year head coach's longtime deputy, who; for all the knocks about how he failed as a head coach, has managed to be the backbone behind his boss' teams by being the point man in courting prospects.

Say what you want about Norm Roberts, and if you're a St. John's fan, chances are you have a laundry list of grievances to file with the former six-year head man of the Red Storm program; from what long-suffering fans have come to know as the "prevent offense," to his overly apologetic press conferences that almost always started with "give (insert team here) a lot of credit," but do not ever dismiss his eye for evaluating talent.  Even at St. John's, Roberts may not have brought any McDonald's All-Americans to Queens, but it was his group of recruits that ultimately led the Steve Lavin-coached Red Storm to their first NCAA Tournament since 2002, as D.J. Kennedy, Paris Horne, Sean Evans, Justin Burrell and Malik Boothe were all four-year student-athletes, (as were Dele Coker and Rob Thomas) while junior college transfers Dwight Hardy and Justin Brownlee were lured to New York by Roberts and right-hand man Glenn Braica, now the coach at St. Francis College in Brooklyn.

In two separate stints under Self, the players that Roberts has brought in have become bigger household names.  Let us not forget that the 2005 Illinois team that Bruce Weber took to the national championship game was comprised almost entirely of Roberts recruits, with Luther Head, Dee Brown, James Augustine, Roger Powell, and some point guard named Deron Williams; who would later go on to be the third overall pick in that summer's NBA Draft before enjoying an All-Star career with both the Utah Jazz and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, all being recruited by Roberts to come to Champaign and play under him and Self before the two left for Kansas in 2003.

The players Roberts may not have directly been involved with, yet had a hand in coaching, also enhance his reputation as a talent developer and evaluator, as this third group includes Bradley Beal (Florida) and Ben McLemore, (Kansas) both of whom were; or most likely will be in McLemore's case, top three selections in the NBA Draft just as Deron Williams was in 2005.  In Wiggins, Roberts gets a wing he and Self can turn into a two-way player, whose already freakish athleticism and scoring potential will be greatly enhanced. In other words, think Tracy McGrady meets Vince Carter.

Long story short, the next time someone bashes Norm Roberts, you might want to mention what he has done behind the scenes that gets largely unnoticed.  Give the man a lot of credit for preventing his team from digging themselves in too deep of a hole.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Green, Tanksley To Follow Mihalich To Hofstra

Joe Mihalich is already making impact at Hofstra, reuniting with Juan'ya Green and Ameen Tanksley after both Niagara players transferred to Pride.  (Photo courtesy of Hofstra University)

Joe Mihalich was officially introduced at Hofstra University a month ago tonight, and in his opening statement as the new head coach, he expressed his desire to hit the ground running in his attempt to rebuild a roster with just four holdover scholarship players following a seven-win season marked by the November arrest of four first-year players that helped cost former coach Mo Cassara his job.

Exactly a week after the April 10th press conference at the Hempstead campus' University Club, Mihalich signed New Jersey guard Chris Jenkins, a teammate of Seton Hall recruit Jaren Sina at Gill St. Bernard's in the Garden State, and brought 6-2 point guard Eliel Gonzalez in from Puerto Rico a week ago. Tonight, Hofstra's first-year coach adds three more players to his program, two of whom he is already more than a little familiar with.

Jamall Robinson is a 6-5 guard from Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Virginia, the home of Hofstra adversary George Mason University, now a member of the Atlantic 10.  Robinson, who had previously given a verbal commitment to Mihalich at Niagara, averaged eight points per game last season and comes from a winning program, guiding his high school team to 58 wins, a national ranking and a conference championship over his last two seasons.

The other two players happen to be Mihalich's old friends from Niagara, guard Juan'ya Green and swingman Ameen Tanksley.

Green and Tanksley, both Philadelphia natives, announced their intent to transfer eleven days ago following an appearance in the NIT and a regular season MAAC championship while guiding the Purple Eagles to an overachieving 19-win campaign.  Green instantly becomes Hofstra's most exciting player since Charles Jenkins graduated in 2011, bringing a stellar career that has saw him earn Rookie of the Year and first team honors in the MAAC, narrowly missing out on the Player of the Year award this past season, while Tanksley's versatile blend of scoring and rebounding will also find a home on the Hofstra front line rather quickly.  It should be noted that both Green and Tanksley will have to sit out the 2013-14 season as per NCAA requirements.

Please continue to follow A Daly Dose Of Hoops for additional information this offseason regarding Hofstra and their first year of the Joe Mihalich regime.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Tribute To Two Of Our Brethren

Among the first things you'll notice about this latest addition to the site is that it lacks an accompanying picture, because, quite frankly, what I'm about to express does not need a visual aid to convey my point.

The month of May is usually a very slow one for us in the college basketball industry, with the culmination of the coaching carousel; and for those who pay more attention to recruiting than I admittedly do, the late signing period in which coaches bring aboard the final pieces of their next recruiting classes, usually occurring around the end of April.  That is the easiest explanation for the reduction of content in the offseason, simply because there is not really much to write about during this time.  Yet a respected local newspaper near this site's New York base made the shocking, albeit cruel and harsh, decision to give me a new piece of content when some of its most valuable and respected personnel were casualties of a layoff that those in the office feared, but their colleagues more or less never saw coming.

Among the cutbacks in staff at the New York Daily News include Tim Smith, an exceptional writer whose boxing coverage is as good as it gets around these parts.  Whenever a big fight approached, be it at Madison Square Garden, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles, you could be sure that Tim would have a comprehensive preview and recap of the action both in and out of the ring, from the weigh-in to the revealing of the judges' scorecards.  However, he is not alone, as two more longtime members of the Daily News sports department; whose contributions to the paper transcended college basketball, were also unceremoniously sacked.

Mention the name Sean Brennan to anyone who covers one of the many local programs in the area, and if they don't already know him personally, they've definitely heard of him.  For years, Sean has been synonymous with New York college basketball, first covering Manhattan and their initial run to glory under Fran Fraschilla when I was a young boy in the mid-1990s before branching out to some of the other regional giants, such as Iona, Seton Hall and Fordham.  On press row at Draddy Gym and the Hynes Center, where he and I worked frequently together, Sean was a consummate professional, always willing to share whatever information would help your game coverage, and always receptive to using something you wanted to pass along to him, as I almost always do for every writer on game nights.  It's the broadcaster in me, and old play-by-play habits never die, let alone die hard.

Sean Brennan is the kind of guy you would want to have a drink with after a game, something some of my colleagues have done in the past, and at one point this past season after covering four consecutive games together, he and I would jokingly expect to see one another in the same place for the next week after that.  In the offseason, he was always willing to lend himself to the Daily News' NFL coverage, eventually becoming known for his Monday wrapup columns that always featured some kind of quip about the Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions, for reasons I never inquired about, but was always rather fascinated with.

And if you just so happened to run into the rare person in the college basketball world who did not know who Sean Brennan was, I guarantee you that he or she knew, or knew of, Dick Weiss.

It is almost impossible to be in this field without having some connection to the man whose lifetime of work and encyclopedic knowledge, despite the countless razzing he endures from fans, has made him a legend in three different basketball communities: New York, his native Philadelphia, and the nation at large; and has earned him the right to be known by one name.  "Hoops" is the Kevin Bacon of our business.  If you haven't worked with him directly, someone you do work with has.

Like Sean Brennan, I grew up reading Weiss' work, which at that time paid increased attention to Rick Pitino and Jim Calhoun among others, as their Kentucky and Connecticut teams had consistently placed among the national elite during my youth.  I had the honor of meeting Hoops in February of 2011 on my first major road trip in the business, when I shared press row with him at the Wells Fargo Center to watch St. John's take down Villanova on their magical run to the NCAA Tournament.

For younger media types like myself, who could pass for Hoops' grandson, to work alongside him is a validation.  His name carries with it a sense of establishment in the field, a sense that the game you're covering is a big one; because, let's face it: If Dick Weiss is there, it HAS to be important, right?

On top of that, he is one of the nicest guys you would ever want to know.  Search the mentions on his Twitter feed, and you will find overwhelming evidence to support that theory.  In the two-plus years that I have been fortunate enough to know Hoops, I have never encountered a time where he was not easily accessible or did not go out of his way to make me or anyone else feel like they belonged, that they were no different from him, even with the disparity in experience.

In addition to the hardwood, Hoops covered college football with the same passion.  And for all the flak that he has taken for breaking news much later than others, could it be that maybe he was just set in the old school way of being right rather than being first, a quality that far too many of us in the industry have seemed to neglect in recent times?

And now here they are, along with a dozen others at the Daily News, unfortunate victims of what the paper terms as a "restructuring," scaling back on its writers to place a greater emphasis on digital media.  I won't go into the fact that others whose track records and credibility pale in comparison to the men I mentioned here still have jobs, because that is petty and unprofessional, and is a blatant slap in the face of the tactful and classy manner in which Sean and Dick; and I'm sure Tim Smith as well, conducted themselves.

These men will almost certainly land somewhere else rather quickly, because they are simply way too talented not to.  Hopefully for the New York media, it will be close enough to where they will still be frequent visitors to a press row in the area.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Davidson And Atlantic 10 A Good Marriage On Both Sides

Bob McKillop and Davidson will be leaving longtime roots in Southern Conference for new home in Atlantic 10 starting in 2014, a win-win situation for both the school and conference.  (Photo courtesy of ESPN)

It seems as though the Atlantic 10 has found its fourteenth member, at least for the time being.

Only a mere 44 days after George Mason became the first replacement for Butler, Charlotte, Temple and Xavier, the A-10 has reached into the Eastern seaboard once more, prying Davidson College away from the Southern Conference, beginning in the 2014-15 season.  Davidson will formally announce the move later today, and will be the fourteenth Atlantic 10 institution at the moment, but that number could still shrink to twelve if Dayton and Saint Louis depart for the restructured Big East at the end of next season, as both universities have been rumored to do for several months since the seven basketball-exclusive members of the former Big East announced their intent to form a separate league.

Siena College was also heavily speculated upon as a possible Atlantic 10 addition, but the school has yet to publicly take a stance on realignment, currently remaining committed to their affiliation in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and the beginning of the Jimmy Patsos era in upstate New York.  For Davidson, however, the move up in conferences is one that is nothing but positive, in more ways than one.

First and foremost, longtime head coach Bob McKillop brings a sense of security and stability to the new league by virtue of his 24-year (and counting) tenure.  McKillop, who has coaches his sons Matt and Brendan during his stay in North Carolina; as well as Davidson's most notorious basketball export Stephen Curry, has turned down several jobs both before and after the Wildcats' storybook run to an NCAA regional final in 2008, and has no intent of leaving anytime soon.  In addition, his Long Island roots give the A-10 an indirect tie to New York to complement their presence in the Big Apple with Fordham and Tom Pecora, not to mention their conference championship being played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and the increased exposure will only serve to benefit all parties involved.

Belk Arena may be one of smaller venues in Atlantic 10, but game atmosphere and overall quality will place it among best in league.  Think Rose Hill of the South.  (Photo courtesy of Gary Moore)

Moreover, Davidson's Belk Arena, despite its bandbox-esque 5,000-seat capacity, will instantly become one of the better venues and in-game experiences in the A-10, sort of like the Rose Hill Gym south of the Mason-Dixon Line.  Situated just a ten-minute walk away from the center of town, we have yet to experience Belk firsthand, but friend of the site Gary Moore made the trip from his South Carolina base on multiple occasions, and even recommends the Brick House Tavern for those looking for a pregame dining option, as you can see in one of his Davidson game recaps from this past season.

Finally, Davidson brings with itself the reputation of a winner, not just a one-time Cinderella.  Yes, the Wildcats are still relevant in the casual eye due to their 2008 magic, but McKillop's 452 career wins place him ahead of higher-profile coaches such as Billy Donovan, Tom Izzo, John Beilein and Mike Brey, while his seven SoCon championships in the Wildcats' 21 conference seasons prove him to be as adept at reaching the highest level of postseason play in a one-bid league as almost anyone else, a feat Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall replicated at Winthrop before moving on to coach the Shockers.

Those are just a handful of the reasons why Davidson is a great fit in the Atlantic 10.  For those who are still unsold, watch the Wildcats on the court.  If the instant success of Butler and VCU in the A-10 weren't enough to convince you, Davidson should be in the top half of the conference within the same amount of time.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The 10 Best Of Our 120: 5-1

Over the course of being on hand for 120 games this past season, it wasn't easy trying to narrow down the hundreds of hours of live basketball we witnessed into the top ten contests of the year, but we attempted it yesterday with the first half of the ten best we were able to be a part of.  Now that we got five of those games out of the way, here are the final five to make the cut:

5) St. John's 63, Saint Joseph's 61, March 19, 2013 (NIT first round, Hagan Arena)

Watch Sir'Dominic Pointer's buzzer-beater and Steve Lavin's postgame interview here: (Video courtesy of ESPN)

We returned to Philadelphia for the first time since having a courtside seat to St. John's emphatic upset of Villanova at the Wells Fargo Center in 2011 to break the long-standing "WSJU curse," and assumed the night would end well for Johnnies fans after seeing the Red Storm take the court in their alternate black jerseys, which Steve Lavin's team had only won two games in before.  For the first 38 minutes, our initial suspicions looked like they were going to be confirmed, as St. Joe's used their trademark staunch defense and scoring punch from guards Carl Jones and Langston Galloway to hold the lead through much of the night.  However, you could clearly see that Phil Martelli's Hawks were not playing to win if you watched this game, but rather not to lose, and the complacency of the home team caught up to them as JaKarr Sampson took over down the stretch in place of a suspended D'Angelo Harrison.  After several trips to the free throw line that saw each school make one out of two foul shots, St. John's drove the length of the floor in the final seconds without a timeout, as Sir'Dominic Pointer moved the Red Storm into the second round of the NIT with his buzzer-beater from just inside the left elbow.

4) Butler 68, Fordham 63, February 16, 2013 (Rose Hill Gym)

Some people can argue in favor of Madison Square Garden or any other large venue, but for an old school college basketball atmosphere, there is simply nothing like a sellout crowd at Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx, and over three thousand packed the bleachers to see Brad Stevens and Butler make their first trip to Fordham.  The Rams made the crowd a noticeable and integral aspect of the day, as Butler was never able to put Fordham away, even with a double-digit lead in the second half.  Paced by the return of Chris Gaston after missing the previous seven games due to reaggravating a knee injury that was surgically repaired in November, Fordham stayed within reach of the Bulldogs until the final minute, when Butler's free throw shooting sealed the victory.  Even in the losing effort, Fordham proved to make an impression, as it was this game that helped lure incoming freshman Jon Severe to the Bronx to play for Tom Pecora.

3) Iona 90, Loyola 86, March 1, 2013 (Hynes Athletics Center)

Surprisingly, we got a lot of criticism for going up to New Rochelle to watch this battle between the reigning MAAC champion Greyhounds and the 2012 regular season champion Gaels, as several people urged us to go to Draddy Gym instead for a Manhattan game against Fairfield that had significant MAAC Tournament implications.  Our rationale was that the Iona game did as well, plus we did not want to turn down the opportunity to see then-Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos, whose Greyhounds were joining the Patriot League at season's end.  With Momo Jones coming off the bench due to nagging knee injuries earlier in the week, the Greyhounds attempted to exploit the absence of the eventual MAAC Player of the Year, with swingman Anthony Winbush leading a quartet of efficient Loyola players.  However, Jones made his return after the first media timeout, and then proceeded to have one of his career-defining games with a 35-point virtuoso performance that ended the Gaels' stretch of six losses of three points or less in their previous seven games and started their run to a second consecutive NCAA Tournament.  The postgame press conference was equally as entertaining, with Patsos stealing the show yet again just on his colorful and magnetic personality, waxing poetic about how he would miss MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor and the Beechmont, a local dining establishment up the block from the Iona campus, only to resurface a month later as the new coach at Siena.

2) St. Francis 76, Wagner 75, February 21, 2013 (Pope Physical Education Center)

Watch highlights of Jaden Daly's broadcast here:

In a season that featured arguably the deepest Northeast Conference field in recent memory, Glenn Braica and the Terriers were going for a season sweep of Wagner after going into Staten Island in January and handing Bashir Mason's Verrazano Warriors a shocking 71-52 defeat.  Early in the game, the Seahawks made it clear that they were out for revenge, attacking the basket with an aggressive and determined style that St. Francis refused to back down from.  With the Terriers taking the lead on the second half, Wagner guard Latif Rivers pulled his team ahead briefly before the two sides traded baskets going into the final minute.  In a finish similar to the Terriers' 2012 victory over Sacred Heart, Dre Calloway waited for the right moment to pull the trigger on the go-ahead shot, a reverse layup that he converted with 2.8 seconds remaining in regulation to give St. Francis the thrilling victory.

1) Marist 105, Iona 104, February 7, 2013 (double overtime, Hynes Athletics Center)

Watch Chavaughn Lewis' buzzer-beater here: (Video courtesy of Mike Ferraro at Marist College)

The second half of a doubleheader between Tim Cluess' Gaels and the visiting Red Foxes proved to be on a par with almost any other game in the nation this season, and it only got better as the night went on.  After Sean Armand missed two of three free throws late in the second half for Iona, the two teams ended regulation tied at 84.  That was when things got interesting, as Marist had a chance to tie the game on the final possession of the first overtime even after a costly Adam Kemp turnover.  Upon receiving the inbounds, Chavaughn Lewis targeted the net from about 70 feet away, standing parallel to Iona assistant coach Jared Grasso's seat on the bench, and calmly drained a buzzer-beater to send a thriller in Westchester to another five minutes.  From there, the teams traded shots before Isaiah Morton struck with a three-pointer to put Marist ahead for good, as Iona was unable to convert their numerous chances for the win as the buzzer ran out, providing now-former Red Foxes coach Chuck Martin with the defining moment of his five-year tenure.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The 10 Best Of Our 120: 10-6

With the offseason now almost a month old and all the obligatory wrapups pretty much out of the way, (for fans of that particular content, fear not, because we should have a few more over the summer) we'll take the time to reflect a little more on the 120-game live season we were fortunate to enjoy over the previous six months, starting on November 9th in New Rochelle and ending on the world-famous court of Madison Square Garden on April 4th.  Through the live tweets, the quotes, the recaps, and the shots, the hardest thing we've had to do all year was pare a list of 120 games down to the ten best that we have either called or covered.  Nonetheless, we try to make sense of it all, starting with No. 10 from the Atlantic 10 Tournament in the backyard of Daly Dose headquarters:

10) Virginia Commonwealth 71, Massachusetts 62, March 16, 2013 (Atlantic 10 Tournament semifinal, Barclays Center)
Rob Brandenberg's game-winning three lifted VCU into Atlantic 10 championship against Saint Louis.  (Photo courtesy of the Associated Press)
Fresh off victories against George Washington and Temple behind the standout play of explosive junior point guard and Brooklyn native Chaz Williams, UMass entered the final four of the A-10 Tournament intent on slaying another giant in Shaka Smart's VCU Rams, and looked well on their way to accomplishing the feat in the first half, taking an eight-point lead with 6:39 remaining before halftime before an 11-0 VCU run punctuated by Briante Weber's suffocating defense and the lethal marksmanship of Troy Daniels helped the Rams take a 35-34 advantage going into the locker room.  With a pro-VCU crowd behind the 2011 Cinderellas, Juvonte Reddic established his presence inside over the second half, pushing the Rams ahead by double digits before Williams brought the Minutemen to within two points (58-56) with 5:23 remaining in regulation.  However, it was as close as UMass would get, as VCU closed the game on a 13-6 run to advance to their first Atlantic 10 championship game, while UMass was relegated to the NIT, where they succumbed to Steve Pikiell and Stony Brook.

9) Virginia Commonwealth 82, Saint Joseph's 79, March 15, 2013 (Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinal, Barclays Center)
Briante Weber's five steals vs. Saint Joseph's helped set new single season program record.  (Photo courtesy of Josh Verlin via City Of Basketball Love)

The night before VCU defeated UMass, they had to endure a late rally from a Saint Joseph's team that advanced to the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals with a dramatic comeback win the previous night against Xavier in what would turn out to be the Musketeers' final A-10 game before joining the restructured Big East.  The Rams also had to endure a premature "Sharpie" declaration from us on Twitter stating that they had all but won the game when VCU led 64-47 with 8:11 remaining in regulation, as St. Joe's did everything they could to ensure that the final outcome would not be decided before the buzzer.  Senior guard Carl Jones and his junior backcourt mate Langston Galloway seemingly traded shots on each Hawks possession to gradually whittle away at the Rams' double-digit lead, but it was Treveon Graham leading five VCU players in double figures; coupled with the clutch free throw shooting of Juvonte Reddic in the final minutes, that provided Shaka Smart's group with just enough steam to get across the finish line.

8) Massachusetts 79, Temple 74, March 15, 2013 (Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinal, Barclays Center)
Chaz Williams' homecoming lasted another night after his 28-point masterpiece to propel UMass past Temple.  (Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

Immediately following the aforementioned VCU victory over Saint Joseph's, the crowd at the Barclays Center was treated to another instant classic in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, as UMass and Temple met in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year, with the Owls looking for a measure of revenge after the Minutemen posted an upset at their expense in Atlantic City behind 35 points from Jesse Morgan in the 2012 tournament.  Morgan was unavailable for this game, having torn his ACL earlier in the year, but Chaz Williams stepped in without a hitch to make his performance in the first round of the tournament against George Washington just 24 hours prior look like an exhibition.  The speedy 5-9 Bishop Ford product delighted his home crowd with a 28-point, 5-assist effort that featured numerous rally-killing baskets that enabled UMass to answer back any time Temple took; or threatened to take, the lead.  However, with all of Williams' heroics, he was ultimately not the man who hit the game-winning shot, as Terrell Vinson drained a three-pointer from the right wing inside the final minute with the shot clock winding down to put the Minutemen ahead 76-71, responding to a three on the other end from Temple's Khalif Wyatt, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.

7) Manhattan 74, Iona 73, February 15, 2013 (double overtime, Draddy Gym)
Steve Masiello joins Manhattan play-by-play announcer Christian Heimall (directly in front of Masiello) on Jasper postgame show following double overtime victory over archrival Iona.  (Photo courtesy of the author's personal collection...also in this photo are [from back to front] Manhattan color commentator Chris "Smooth" Williams, John Templon of Big Apple Buckets, Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of the New York Post, Sean Brennan [mostly cut off] from the New York Daily News and Brian Heyman of the Journal News)

One of Iona's six losses in seven games, each by three points or less, came in Riverdale with ESPNU on hand to chronicle the proceedings.  In the Jaspers' only overtime game of the season, Steve Masiello's team used the combination of suffocating defense and timely shots to smite the Gaels, whose chance to win in regulation hit the left iron when Momo Jones missed a jumper with four seconds to go.  Rhamel Brown was unable to win it for Manhattan on the ensuing possession, but atoned for it with a resounding slam halfway through the second overtime to put the Jaspers ahead by a count of 70-68.  Following a 5-1 Iona run that put Tim Cluess' Gaels ahead by two, Manhattan point guard Michael Alvarado won the game by drawing a charge against Jones, the eventual MAAC Player of the Year's fifth foul of the night, which fouled him out of a game that Iona had already lost Jones' running mate Sean Armand in earlier due to the same foul trouble.  Alvarado only made one of the two shots, but Brown came up big with an offensive rebound off the miss, then passed it to Alvarado, who found Emmy Andujar, whose spin move was good enough to get him to convert the winning layup.

6) St. Francis 67, Robert Morris 63, February 4, 2013 (women's basketball, double overtime, Pope Physical Education Center)

Watch highlights of Jaden Daly's broadcast here:

The Lady Terriers nearly tripled their four-win total from the 2011-12 campaign, and a large credit to that is given to the coaching ability of first-year head man John Thurston, whose defensive genius and shrewd offensive intellect landed St. Francis in the Northeast Conference Tournament for the first time since 2008.  On this night, sophomore sharpshooter Sarah Benedetti was the star of the game for the Terriers, accumulating half of her team-leading 14 points in the two overtime periods, including a game-winning three-pointer in the second extra session as the Terriers knocked off a Colonial squad that featured reigning NEC Player of the Year Artemis Spanou.