Sunday, November 30, 2008

TO Baby

The Black Bears got away with 23 turnovers in their 100 Club championship game win over Kennesaw State a couple weeks ago. UMaine didn't get away with it Saturday night in Mobile, Ala. The Black Bears served up 20 turnovers and utimately gave up a 15-point, second-half lead in a 66-56 loss to Tulane.

It's only seven games into the season, but with individual games of 19, 20 and 23 turnovers and a season average of 15 per game, it's something the Black Bears will need to get under control. Already this season, the Black Bears have twice attempted 20 or more field goals less than their opponent in a single game. That's directly related to all the turnovers.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's good

Anyone listening to the Black Bears broadcast vs. Tulane wondering what's up with the "moon pie" call by the play-by-play man? Every time a UMaine player hits a 3-point shot, fill in announcer Mike Callahan uses the catch phrase. Having spent a few years down south, a moon pie is roughly the equivalent of our whoopie pie. Moon pie and RC Cola. Good stuff.

High School Report

Went up to the Pape Chevrolet tournament at South Portland H.S. Friday night to check out South Portland's Keegan Hyland, ranked by New England Recruiting Report as the top junior in the state. Caught the final two quarters of the Cheverus/Falmouth game before the South Portland/Mountain Valley tilt.

Hyland went for 32 points in a 69-67 Red Riot victory. Mountain Valley led late in the game and missed a couple crucial free throws with less than a minute to go that opened the door for South Portland.

Most of Hyland's points came from the outside as he appears to be a fine spot-up shooter. Didn't really see any finishing around the hoop or playmaking. On this night, mostly just utilizing teammates' screens and knocking down perimeter shots.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Court Sense

Former UMaine coach John Giannini has penned a book titled "Court Sense." Coach G is in his fifth year at LaSalle after a successful eight-year run with the Black Bears. He took UMaine to two America East championship games and posted an overall winning record. He's in the process of turning the LaSalle program around and recently received a commitment from a top 30 recruit.

Green snow

Lucky for Notre Dame that the football game hoop recruit Thomas Knight attended was the exciting four-overtime loss to Pitt and not Saturday's miserable defeat to lowly Syracuse. At the game, Notre Dame students were throwing snowballs at the Irish players. Would have been nice to see Knight suiting up in Orono, but Black Bears Pit wishes him the best of luck.

Brother, Brother

Jacob McLemore, a 6-2 point guard from San Diego (Scripps Ranch H.S.), has reportedly signed a letter of intent to attend UMaine. He's the brother of freshman guard Gerald McLemore.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Take a picture

There's a million versions of the college basketball RPI and for one-bid league's like America East, it doesn't really matter much until it comes time for the NCAA to decide whether to bestow a No. 16, 15, 14 (maybe 13?) seed for the league champion.

Still, it's fun to follow America East's teams via the RPI and today finds the Black Bears as high as No. 4 in one such replication of the RPI. This one has UMaine at No. 14.

Up next, Princeton tonight in New Jersey.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Player of the Week

Junior guard Mark Socoby has won America East's first Player of the Week award for the 2008-09 season following his efforts in the Black Bears' two wins in the 100 Club Classic Championship at Kennesaw State in Georgia.

Socoby had 16 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals in UMaine's first-round win over Northern Illinois and followed it up with a double-double (24 points, 10 boards) in the title game. The Black Bears became the second straight Northeast club to win the 100 Club Classic, following Colgate's victory last year.

100 Club Classic Champs

Congratulations to the Black Bears on their 60-47 title game victory over host Kennesaw State (Ga.). The victory puts UMaine at 2-0 on the young season with a game Wednesday at Princeton.

Mark Socoby was named the outstanding player of the tournament. He compiled 32 points and 13 rebounds in the two games, including a double-double in the title game.
Sophomore forward Troy Barnies was named to the all-tournament team. He had 16 points and 6 rebounds vs. Kennesaw. Freshman forward Svetoslav Chetinov got off to a strong start with a combined 14 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Junior Bernal had 11 assists in the tourney.

Led by freshman guard Gerald McLemore (24 points), the Black Bears defeated Northern Illinois of the Mid-American Conference, 77-64, in the first round.