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January 31, 2013
Chances to Dance Week 12
The ultimate goal for every Division 1 school is to make the NCAA Tournament. For the high-major Big East programs like Seton Hall and Rutgers, they usually have to finish above .500 and be in or near the upper half of the Big East to get an invitation. For the other New Jersey Division 1 schools - Rider, Princeton, Saint Peter's, FDU, and Monmouth winning their conference title is about the only option. NJIT plays in the Great West and their champ does not get a bid. Princeton plays in the Ivy League, which does not have a postseason tournament, so the Tigers must win the conference regular season. The other schools have to win their postseason tournament to get the opportunity to play in the Big Dance.
Not reaching the NCAA Tournament does not mean the season is a disappointment. A strong regular season is an accomplishment in itself, and that and/or a good postseason league tournament run, can be used as a springboard for the next season.
Once again this season, NJHoops.com will review and update the status of the eight New Jersey Division 1 schools. We will look at where they're at, how they're playing and the week ahead. The percentages are NJ Hoops estimates on their chances of making the NCAA Tournament. After a banner season two years ago when Princeton and St. Peter's made the tournament, last year the NJ teams were shut out.
The weekly updates will appear on Thursdays. This update is after twelve weeks of action:
Fairleigh Dickinson (7-14) (2-6 in NEC) 10%
The Week Past: Defeated 73-54 by Monmouth. Sr. Melquan Bolding paced the effort with 18 points. Lost a long-fought battle to Quinnipiac, 58-56. 6-foot-6 Sr. Kinu Rochford led the Knights' offensive effort with 14 points.
The Week Ahead: A pair of home games. 1st place Bryant comes in on Thursday night. Central Connecticut arrives on Saturday.
Where They're At: On a five game losing streak. Tied for 10th in the conference. 11th in the conference in rebounding.
Monmouth (8-13) (3-5 in NEC) 10%
The Week Past: Topped FDU 73-54. 6-foot Sr. Dion Nesmith (Union HS - NJ Hoops #89 Class of 2009) led the Hawks with a near career-high 21 points. Fell victim to a late Pioneer run in an 82-68 defeat at Sacred Heart. The Hawks were paced by Nesmith's 16 points.
The Week Ahead: Two home games this week. Central Connecticut is in on Thursday and Bryant Saturday.
Where They're At: Struggling on a five game losing streak. Tied for 10th in the conference. Only shooting 39.1% from the floor, 12th in league and 324th in country.
NJIT (11-10) (3-0 in Great West) 0%
The Week Past: Four NJIT players scored in double-figures, led by 13 points from Sr. point guard PJ Miller, as the Highlanders took sole possession of the first place in the Great West Conference men's basketball standings with a convincing 64-51 win over visiting Texas-Pan American. Sr. Chris Flores scored a career-high 32 points in a perfect shooting night, leading NJIT to a 108-69 win over visiting Fisher. Flores, who played 23 minutes and left the game for good with 14 minutes remaining in the second half, made all 11 of his field goal attempts, including 7-for-7 from 3-point distance, as well as 3-for-3 at the foul line in 23 minutes of action.
The Week Ahead: A pair of road games on tap. Play at Houston Baptist Saturday and at Colgate Wednesday.
Where They're At: Four of their losses have been to Big East teams. And all of them were close. First in the five team Great West Conference. Defense outstanding as opponents only shooting 37.8% good for 16th in country.
Princeton (8-7) (1-0 in Ivy League) 20%
The Week Past: Won its annual post-finals break Division III game 71-33 over The College of New Jersey. Denton Koon had a game-high 12 for Princeton.
The Week Ahead: Ivy League play resumes with home games against Cornell Friday and Columbia Sunday.
Where They're At: Have won five of last six as Ivy League season gets in full gear this weekend. Giving up only 56.9 ppg, 12th in country.
Rider (11-11) (6-4 in MAAC) 25%
The Week Past: Lost to Canisius 67-50. Jr. Tommy Pereira (Nottingham, England/Canarias Basketball Academy) finished with 11 points, his third consecutive game as Rider's leading scorer in as many starts. Despite 18 points from senior Jonathan Thompson (Orlando, Fla./Jones), the Broncs lost to Manhattan 62-51.
The Week Ahead: On the road for two games, at Fairfield Friday and at Marist Sunday.
Where They're At: Saw their five game winning streak snapped with the two losses last week. Slipped to a Tie for 4th in conference.
Rutgers (12-8) (3-6 in Big East) 20%
The Week Past: Despite a career-best 21 points from Jerome Seagears (Silver Spring, Md.), fell to Connecticut 66-54. Dropped a 62-54 decision to No. 24/23 Cincinnati. So. Myles Mack (St. Anthony - NJ Hoops #4 Class of 2011) led with 15.
The Week Ahead: Off until next Wednesday when Louisville comes to the RAC.
Where They're At: 11th in Big East but a good RPI of 57th. 6th in Big East in FG% (45.1%), and FG% defense (41.3%).
Saint Peter's (6-14) (1-9 in MAAC) 5%
The Week Past: Outscored by Iona 90-71. 6-foot-4 Jr. Chris Burke (Willingboro HS - NJ Hoops #26 Class of 2010) led the squad with a career high 18 points and added 11 rebounds, en route to the first double-double of his career. Lost to Fairfield 61-54. Sr. Yvon Raymond (Nia Prep/Columbia HS - NJ Hoops #10 PG Class of 2009/#76 Class of 2008) led the Peacocks with a career-high 19 points, and added 7 rebounds.
The Week Ahead: Marist comes to the Yanitelli Center Friday. Travel to Manhattan Sunday afternoon.
Where They're At: On an eight game losing streak and have dropped to last place in the MAAC. Only shooting 59.7% from foul line, last in league and 329th in country.
Seton Hall (12-8) (2-6 in Big East) 15%
The Week Past: Jr. Gene Teague (Apex Academies - NJ Hoops #1 PG Class of 2009) scored a career-high 22 points and Seton Hall rallied from a 16-point second half deficit before falling to St. John's at Madison Square Garden, 71-67. Fell behind early and couldn't recover, falling at Georgetown, 74-52. Jr. Brian Oliver (Glassboro, N.J.) led Seton Hall with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals.
The Week Ahead: Cincinnati comes to the Rock Saturday morning. Play at Pittsburgh Monday night.
Where They're At: Bothered by injuries, have dropped 6 of last 7 and have fallen into a tie for 12th with Providence in Big East.
Previews on all 43 NJ colleges in NJ Hoops Newsletter.
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