Just finished watching the Blue-bloods beat the Cherry and White easily at the Wachovia Center. No surprise there. The Dukies had plenty of help (from the guys who are supposed to be colorblind). Enough to build a 16-point lead before the refs realized, hey, we should give Temple a few non-calls to make this thing exciting. Alas, as always seems to happen, the officials righted their ship too late to save the integrity of the evening.
The Inquirer's audio of the post-game conferences can be found here, here, here and here.
One of the ESPN announcers mentioned that the Big 5 is "down" this year as opposed to last. Numbers-wise, I'm not so sure. Let's take a look.
Temple is in almost exactly the same spot. The Owls are 6-7 with an RPI of 71 (after tonight's loss); they were an identical 6-7 at this point last year with a final RPI of 67.
La Salle was an even 6-6 twelve games into 2006 and is 3-9 now, but its current RPI is actually a bit better than last year's finish.
St. Joe's is 8-4 with an RPI of 36 (after tonight's win); the Hawks had a slightly worse record a year ago, 7-5, and a much lower RPI at year's end, 95.
Villanova has regressed a smidge, but the Big 5 is in roughly the same spot as last year -- outside of Penn, which has spun backwards from its '07 team.
In another Big 5 item of note, the renovations to the Hawks' Alumni Memorial Field House that we heard about in early 2006 will indeed force St. Joe's to play its 2008-09 games at the Palestra, the Daily News reports.
Dick Jerardi also gives us a notebook on the local storylines.
Now on to the Quakers. Freshman point guard Harrison Gaines suffered another setback after playing 24 productive minutes against NJIT, coach Glen Miller told PSN's Brian Seltzer.
"We're a little worried about Harrison," Miller said. "He probably came back too quick; he re-tweaked his hamstring and he didn't practice yesterday and probably won't practice today [Wednesday]. We really need him on the court."
Miller didn't say whether the injury came in the NJIT game or in a subsequent practice, but either way Gaines has another five days to recover before Penn faces La Salle. He had eight assists against NJIT.
While I'm not ready to eat my words just yet on Cameron Lewis, Miller had good things to say about him, which you would expect after the last two games. What are your thoughts on Cameron Lewis and the men whose minutes he's taking, Jack Eggleston and Justin Reilly? Should Lewis continue to start?
As always, leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Here are my third Ivy Rankings installment. The number in parentheses is how far everyone's RPI has risen or fallen since the last edition.
1. Brown [8-6; Previous Ranking: 3; RPI: 90 (+29)]
The Bears are still playing well despite a loss to Baylor, and Damon Huffman continues to be one of the League's top scorers.
2. Cornell [6-5; Previous Ranking: 1; RPI: 123(-5)]
A 14-point loss to Duke won't lose Cornell many points. Point guard Louis Dale is creating a lot of buzz around the League.
3. Harvard [6-11, 1-0 Ivy; Previous Ranking: 4; RPI: 281 (+20)]
Tommy Amaker's roster changes are helping Harvard score, and the Crimson enter Friday's rematch with Dartmouth riding two straight blowout wins.
4. Columbia [6-8; Previous Ranking: 2; RPI: 215(-12)]
Two steps forward (beating Lehigh), one step back (losing to American). Ben Nwachukwu might finally be picking up steam.
5. Yale [5-8; Previous Ranking: 6; RPI: 166 (-8)]
Another underwhelming week for Yale against three underwhelming teams; thumping 2-15 Longwood doesn't prove much.
6. Penn [5-9; Previous Ranking: 8; RPI: 270 (-15)]
A bad loss (Miami) and a bad win (NJIT) were two more steps back for Penn this week. Continued struggles at point guard negate Lewis's hot streak.
7. Princeton [2-12; Previous Ranking: 5; RPI: 309 (-18)]
A blown lead and overtime loss to Lafayette is a tough way to drop a record 12th straight game. Look for Sydney Johnson to shake things up even more than he already has to get the Tigers out of their historic funk.
8. Dartmouth [5-8, 0-1 Ivy; Previous Ranking: 7; RPI: 262 (-21)]
Dartmouth's only game this week was that disaster against Harvard, so it drops into the cellar for the time being.
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