When American met Boston University for the first time this season, the teams were a combined 1-7 in conference play, both reeling from critical injuries. Fast-forward a month, and in true Patriot League fashion, everything has changed: Both squads had leapt up the standings, winning four of their last five games before Wednesday’s meeting. Continue reading
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Amongst the alleged crumbling of American society, there are two bastions of hope that refuse to allow excuses to infiltrate thought and slow down society: team sports and the military.
Therefore it was not surprising that the first words out of Army coach Zach Spiker’s mouth after another frustrating evening that culminated in a 76-67 loss to Boston University Wednesday night were: “Injuries are no excuse”.
His opposing number, Joe Jones, begged to differ a little. After all, Tanner Plomb was averaging 21.8 points per game (14th best in the nation) and making a case for Patriot League Player of the Year before going down with a knee injury and missing the last four games. Fellow senior Kevin Ferguson is a four-year contributor, and at 6’10”, essential to everything Army does as a rim protector, and now he has been out for three games with an ankle injury.
HAMDEN, Conn. – There was some bad Sunday afternoon, certainly, but in this holiday season, let’s focus on some good to start, shall we, namely Boston University senior John Papale.
Papale is only 120 miles away, so it’s hard to call a game against Quinnipiac a “homecoming”, but he did have his own cheering section Sunday, having grown up in nearby Wallingford (same hometown as former Sacred Heart point guard Phil Gaetano). He struggled for much of the afternoon, going 2-7 from three-point range, but in the end, he shared the team lead in points (13) and had some key plays down the stretch to seal the Terriers’ come-from-behind 64-57 victory, their second straight to draw even at 5-5 on the season.
Yes, there has been some variety, but unlike many other conferences this season the Patriot League has played fairly close to form in the non-conference slate. Perhaps because of that, you can make a case for several horses in the field of 10 to cross the wire first at the end of the league race, which begins on Wednesday when the conference gate opens. Continue reading