PHILADELPHIA AND BLOOMFIELD GARNER TOP SEEDS FOR CACC MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENTS
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Sunday, Feb. 28) - Bloomfield College and Philadelphia University have garnered the top seeds for this week's Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Men's Basketball Tournament. The Deacons are the top seed for the North Division, while the Rams will head the South. The tournament is slated to begin Monday, March 1, with quarter-final contests set to tip at 7:00 pm.
Philadelphia enters the tournament as the hottest team in the region behind a 15-game win streak. The Rams are 24-6 overall and 16-1 in conference play, and ranked third in the East Region. The Rams are also the two-time defending CACC Tournament Champions, having defeated Bloomfield for the crown last season. The team will be led by a trio of seniors in guard Russell Frederick and forwards Malcolm Ingram and Mike Yocum. Frederick ranks fourth in the CACC in scoring (18.6), seventh in assists (4.10), 11th in steals (1.53) and first in three-pointers made per-game (2.73). Ingram stands sixth in scoring (16.5), sixth in rebounds (8.9), 10th in field-goal percentage (.539) and fifth in offensive rebounds (3.63). Yocum is 17th in rebounding (6.2), fifth in blocked shots (1.80), and chips in with 8.3 points per-game.
Philadelphia head coach Herb Magee has provided one of the most exciting story lines of the season during his journey to become the all-time leader for NCAA coaching wins. He passed the legendary Bobby Knight on Tuesday, Feb. 23, with a victory over Goldey-Beacom College. It was his 903rd career triumph.
Philadelphia will host No. 4 Chestnut Hill College in Monday's quarter-final round. The Rams upended the Griffins twice in the regular-season, including an overtime thriller in the last meeting on Feb. 9, which the Rams won at home, 94-92, in overtime. The Griffins feature a balanced scoring attack, with four players averaging between 10.0 and 15.0 ppg. CHC is led in scoring by freshman guard Mark DiRugeris, Jr., who tosses in 14.2 ppg. DiRugeris is the second-leading free-throw shooter in the conference at 85.9-percent. Sophomore guard Ryan Cook adds 13.4 ppg, while grad student Larz Jeter is next with 12.8 ppg. Sophomore center Dan Comas sports averages of 10.9 points and 10.1 rebounds (second in CACC) per-game.
Bloomfield finished the regular-season by having to play games on Saturday and Sunday due to weather postponements. Monday's contest will be the team's third game in as many days. The Deacons enter the tournament ranked No. 7 in the East Region with a record of 20-7, along with a 14-4 conference mark. The Deacons are led by junior guard Gage Daye, who paces the conference in points per-game (26.0) and steals (2.74). He is ranked second nationally in scoring and seventh in steals. As a team, BC leads the conference and stands 20th nationally in scoring offense, averaging 83.4 points per-contest.
Bloomfield will face the North's No. 4 seed, Post University, in the opening round Monday evening. Post won their final three games to capture a tournament berth with a 13-16 overall record and a 9-9 showing in conference action. Bloomfield swept Post in two games in the regular-season, winning the last encounter at home, 94-69, on Feb. 17. Post is led by a number of underclassmen, including freshman forward Trevon Hamlet. Hamlet, who was named CACC Rookie of the Week four times this season, leads the team and ranks fifth in the conference with 17.8 ppg. He also ranks 18th with 6.2 rpg. Junior Spencer Smith has been a catalyst of late and stands 17th in the conference in scoring with 13.8 ppg.
Goldey-Beacom clinched the No. 2 seed in the South with an 11-6 conference record to go with a 17-9 overall resume. The squad enters the tournament having lost three consecutive games. The Lightning feature two of the top 10 scorers in the conference in senior guard Kyle White (21.6 ppg) and junior Terrence Parkes (15.3 ppg). Parkes also ranked ninth in rebounding (8.2) and 13th in 3-point field-goal percentage (.361). White also stands fifth in assists (4.31), eighth in free-throw percentage (.749), 12th in steals (1.46) and seventh in assist:turnover ratio (1.44).
GBC will host the South's No. 3 team and cross-town rival Wilmington University Monday at 7:00 pm. The two clubs split the regular-season series, with the Wildcats winning the last clash on Feb. 9 by a 68-67 decision in New Castle. Wilmington is currently 10-17 overall and went 7-10 in CACC play. The Wildcats are making an appearance in the CACC Tournament for the first time as a member of Division II. The team is led by junior Brandon Savage, who stands 15th in the CACC in scoring with 14.0 ppg, and 10th in rebounds with 8.0 caroms per-contest.
Felician College is the second seed in the North Division behind a 14-4 conference mark and a 21-6 overall record. The Golden Falcons enter the week ranked eighth in the East Region. FC is led by first-year head coach, David DeFerrari, and junior guard/forward Devon Young. Young ranks seventh in the conference in scoring (16.4), 12th in field-goal percentage (.525), 11th in assists (3.22) and fourth in assist:turnover ratio (1.47). Sophomore Antoine Obery has had a huge season for the Golden Falcons and ranks among the CACC's top 10 in numerous categories. He is 10th in scoring (15.0), fourth in rebounds (9.4) from his 2-guard position, eighth in field-goal percentage (.547), fourth in assists (4.48), and he is also 13th in steals (1.44) and 15th in blocks (0.96). Felician has won eight of its last nine games entering the tournament, including victories over five playoff teams in Wilmington, Bloomfield, Dominican, Nyack and Chestnut Hill.
The Golden Falcons will face the North No. 3 seed, Dominican College, on Monday in Rutherford. Felician defeated the Chargers twice in the regular-season, including a 60-58 road win on Feb. 11, as DC freshman guard Leon Porter missed a jumper at the buzzer. Dominican enters the tournament 14-15 overall after going 10-8 in conference play. Porter leads the team and ranks 12th in the conference with 14.6 ppg, while leading the league with 5.41 assists and also standing sixth in free-throw percentage (.786) and fifth in three-pointers made per-game (2.00). Junior center Almin Hodzik ranks eighth in rebounds with 8.7 and third with 2.15 blocks per-contest.
The 2009-10 CACC Tournament schedule is listed below. The semi-final and championship rounds will be hosted by Caldwell College.
Quarter-finals, Monday, March 1
N#4 Post at N#1 Bloomfield - 7:00 pm
N#3 Dominican at N#2 Felician - 7:00 pm
S#4 Chestnut Hill at S#1 Philadelphia - 7:00 pm
S#3 Wilmington at S#2 Goldey-Beacom - 7:00 pm
Semi-finals (at Caldwell College), Friday, March 5
Game 1 - 12:00 pm (highest remaining seed)
Game 2 - 2:00 pm
Championship (at Caldwell College), Saturday, March 6