VOLLEYBALL IN WARSAW
March 27, 2023
WARSAW - Pro volleyball for men is a big deal in Poland. We went on Sunday night - the match began at 8:30 p.m. - to see a match between host Warsaw and a team from a small city about 200 miles southwest of Warsaw. Cheerleaders, energetic fans, and a five-set win by the hosts provided for a fun time. They even played "Country Roads" by John Denver during one timeout and nearly every fan sang along.
COFFEE SHOPS IN POLAND
March 26, 2023
WARSAW - The coffee shop culture in Warsaw is alive but it seems to be the big chains that dominate the market.
It is harder to find the smaller, non-corporate ones in a city of more than one million people.
Hungary, where we lived for three years, seems to have more non-chain coffee shops than Poland. That was true during a recent visit to Budapest and certainly was the case in Szeged, a city of fewer than 200,000 people near the Serbian border.
PRO HOOPS IN WARSAW
March 24, 2023
WARSAW - It cost us $13.76 for two tickets to see a pro basketball game in the top Polish men's league on a Friday night about a 30-minute metro ride north of downtown Warsaw.
That allowed us seats just 30 feet from a baseline in an arena that holds about 2,000 fans. There were several American players for both teams with natives from Baltimore - Cleveland Melvin of visiting Lublin - and North Carolina. Host Legia won as it scored 108 points in a rare high-scoring game in the Euro leagues.
SUNDAY IN THE PARK IN BUDAPEST
March 19, 2023
BUDAPEST - This was the first nice weather weekend in central Europe after a winter in which, while devoid of major snow, still had the annual grey skies that are more common north of Hungary.
So on this Sunday afternoon, as I visited with a spokesman for the Hungarian Basketball Federation at a museum coffee shop, many strollers took to the park near the Budapest Zoo and enjoyed the nice weather.
UR SPIDERS AT GEORGE MASON
Dec. 27, 2022
WASHINGTON - The Atlantic 10 Conference schedule begins with a good in-state battle on Saturday as George Mason hosts Richmond in Fairfax at 2 p.m. The Patriots won easily at home Friday over Coppin State, which faces Richmond on Wednesday.
VIRGINIA BASEBALL - COACHES HALL OF FAME
Dec. 4, 2022
WASHINGTON - The Virginia Baseball Coaches Association will honor its first Hall of Fame class of former high school and college coaches on Friday night, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Fairfax Marriott. The 10-member group includes two with ties to Northern Virginia: Bill Brown, who recently retired from George Mason University, and Ron Tugwell, the former coach at West Springfield High. Other college coaches to be honored include the late Chuck Hartman from Va. Tech; the late Paul Keyes, who was at VCU; Marty Miller, from Norfolk State; and Ron Atkins, who was at J.R. Tucker High and at the University of Richmond.
High school coaches to be noted will be Jim Cutler of Bedford, Va.; Tom Harding from Honaker, Va.; Mack Shupe, who won eight Va. prep state titles; and Norbie Wilson, from First Colonial in Va. Beach.
VIRGINIA HOOPS - SCANNING THE DIAL
Dec. 3, 2022
WASHINGTON - Today was a good one for Virginia hoops on TV. At one point, it was possible to watch VCU, George Mason, and Virginia all playing at the same time on various stations.
George Mason won at home over Toledo, the Cavs won in ACC play in Charlottesville against Florida State while VCU lost on the road at Temple - the same Temple team that looked pretty awful in a loss in Brooklyn last week to Richmond.
TERPS KNOCK OFF ILLINOIS
Dec. 3, 2022
WASHINGTON - There was a lot of excitement in nearby College Park last night, as host Maryland improved to 8-0 this year with a 71-66 win over Illinois.
"I thought the crowd was off the charts, the student section was off the charts. I thought that was a big difference for us," Maryland coach Kevin Willard told reporters after the game. The Terps are ranked No. 22 in the country.
BIG NIGHT IN COLLEGE PARK
Dec. 2, 2022
WASHINGTON - Tonight should be a great atmosphere in nearby College Park as the Terps host Illinois in college hoops.
As per Maryland sports information, first-year coach Kevin Willard has won his first seven games - all by at least 15 points. And the fanbase is in a frenzy with conference play right around the corner.
A GOOD NIGHT FOR GEORGES
Dec. 1, 2022
WASHINGTON - It was a good day on Wednesday for the Atlantic 10 Conference schools in the D.C. area. George Mason won at home in overtime against Hofstra while George Washington, a few miles away, destroyed Power 5 school South Carolina 79-55 in Foggy Bottom. It was the first visit from a Power 5 school to GW in five years. South Carolina shot just 32 percent from the floor while the Colonials used balancing scoring in the win.
In Fairfax, former CAA school Mason knocked off current CAA member Hofstra; I enjoyed catching the end of the game on TV, and the broadcast team of Bill Rohland and Craig Esherick, the former Georgetown coach, did a great job explaining the wild ending as the top player for the Pride dealt with an ankle injury in the final minutes of play.
JMU FOOTBALL ENDS HISTORIC YEAR
Nov. 26, 2022
HARRISONBURG, Va. - They converged just outside of the stadium on the east side of JMU's home field - parents, fans, and players still in pads and uniforms.
The Dukes of JMU had just crushed Coastal Carolina - which began the day ranked No. 23 in the nation - by a score of 47-7 in the Sun Belt Conference showdown Saturday.
JMU had been ranked in the top 25 earlier in the season and on a glorious fall day in the Shenandoah Valley had the rare chance to host a ranked team at the highest level of the college game. The Dukes rolled on offense with quick scores - JMU had the ball for less than 20 minutes of the game clock Saturday.
The Dukes, while moving up a level, are not eligible for post-season play so JMU treated the game against Coastal Carolina as a personal playoff contest. And it showed.
Veteran safety Sam Kidd, who was injured in October against Marshall and was in street clothes Saturday, saw his JMU career come to an end after he played key roles through the years. He went to James Madison High in Vienna.
RICHMOND WITH THE BIG BOYS
Nov. 22, 2022
BROOKLYN - The University of Richmond got an early start for the Atlantic 10 Conference tourney when the Spiders played two games here at the Barclays Center in the Empire Classic. The Spiders lost in overtime to Syracuse on Monday, then had a 15-0 run late in the first half and disposed of Temple tonight.
"We didn't treat it like a consolation game," Richmond coach Chris Mooney, standing outside of the team lockerroom, told me after the win over the Owls.
Mooney noted it was good to be part of a two-day event with three storied programs - the other team in the field was St. John's, which knocked off Syracuse in the title game. Richmond won the Atlantic 10 tourney in D.C. back in March and the 2023 event will be back in Brooklyn.
TERPS FACE PASSING FANCY
Nov. 18, 2022
COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND - Maryland is 3-0 under new coach Kevin Willard and will face a big test on Saturday in Connecticut against Saint Louis out of the Atlantic 10.
The point guard for the Billikens is Yuri Collins, who has 36 assists in his first three games this season.
"He's such a willing passer," Willard, speaking to local media here on Thursday, said of Collins, leading the nation at 12.0 assists per contest. "He reads picks and rolls extremely well. He's just controlling the game; he's an old-school player - he really enjoys passing the ball."
CAPUTO OFF TO FAST START
Nov. 14, 2022
WASHINGTON - The George Washington men are at Hofstra tonight in the first road game under Chris Caputo. The Colonials won their first two games at home, downing Va. State and Howard by 10 points on Friday.
April 1, 2022
WASHINGTON - Several outlets are reporting that Chris Caputo will be the new coach at George Washington. He would replace Virginia native Jamion Christian, who was let go after three years. I guessed that GW would not be able to attract a current head coach since GW has sent the past two coaches packing after just three years. Caputo is the long-time assistant at Miami and was a key part of the staff at George Mason as the Patriots made a Final Four run in 2006. Now he will be facing Mason as a rival in the Atlantic 10.
CAVS KEEP PLAYING
March 21, 2022
WASHINGTON - About 10 days ago, St. Bonaventure was knocked out of the Atlantic 10 Conference tourney here in the nation's capital by Saint Louis. The Bonnies will be back in the DMV on Tuesday as they play at Virginia in the NIT. The game is at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.
The VCU women are on the road today playing at Princeton in the WNIT. And at the Division III level, the Randolph-Macon men won a national title for the first time on Saturday over Elmhurst in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
ROUGH DAY FOR HOKIES
March 19, 2022
WASHINGTON - It is unique when both basketball programs from the same school make the NCAA tournament. It is crushing when both lose on the same day, as the Virginia Tech clubs both lost on Friday.
The women, led by Waynesboro, Virginia native Kenny Brooks, fell at the nearby University of Maryland to a 3-point barrage by upstart Florida Gulf Coast. The Va. Tech men fell to Texas 81-73 in Milwaukee. The Maryland women, who knocked off CAA champ Delaware, will face Florida Gulf Coast on its home floor Sunday. The Delaware men lost to Villanova.
ROUGH WEEKEND FOR COACHES
March 15, 2022
WASHINGTON - The Atlantic 10 Conference wasn't kind to coaches. Three of the coaches in the 14-team league, for now, coached their last game with their 2022 team in the tourney - David Cox of Rhode Island, Jamion Christian of George Washington, and Mike McCall of UMass.
Cox is from Landover, Maryland, and is a former Georgetown assistant while Christian is the former head man at Mount St. Mary's and is from southeast Virginia. Cox and Christian were both let go in the days that their team was eliminated while UMass announced earlier this month that McCall wouldn't return.
HOKIES, SPIDERS ADVANCE
March 12, 2022
WASHINGTON - Virginia Tech and Richmond will play today after knocking off traditional powers in their respective leagues. Playing here at the Capital One Arena in D.C. the Spiders beat city rival VCU 75-64 late Friday and will face Dayton today in the semifinals. Va. Tech knocked off UNC and will face Duke today in Brooklyn in the ACC title event.
In other Atlantic 10 news, Rhode Island fired coach David Cox. A former Georgetown assistant, Cox grew up in Landover, Maryland, and played in college at William & Mary. The Rams lost Thursday in D.C. in the conference event.
March 11, 2022
WASHINGTON - At least Richmond and Va. Tech won. It was a rough day for the DMV on Thursday, as Maryland, Virginia, George Mason and George Washington all lost in college basketball tournaments.
Richmond knocked off Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 tourney here in D.C. and will face rival VCU in the last of four games today. The Hokies beat Notre Dame to improve its NCAA shot and will face North Carolina today after the Tar Heels crushed the Cavaliers at the ACC tourney in New York.
The season ended for Mason and GW at the Atlantic 10 event on Thursday.
DELAWARE WILL DANCE
March 9, 2022
WASHINGTON - The winning culture at DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville has made its way to Newark, Delaware.
The No. 5 seed Blue Hens upset No. 2 seed UNC Wilmington last night in D.C. to win the CAA title for the second time and for the first time since 2014 when Delaware won in Baltimore.
DeMatha product Ryan Allen had 10 points for the Blue Hens while Reggie Gardner, also from the Hyattsville school, played less than a minute. An assistant coach for Delaware is Corey McRae, who played and coached at DeMatha and played in college at Fordham.
ALLEN AIMS FOR TITLE
March 8, 2022
WASHINGTON - Delaware fifth-year guard Ryan Allen was teammates at DeMatha Catholic High with Markelle Fultz, the top pick of the 2017 NBA draft. And tonight Allen can head to March Madness - just a few minutes from his home in Bowie, Maryland.
The No. 5 seed Blue Hens will face No. 2 UNC Wilmington here in Washington in the CAA title contest. Allen is averaging 11.8 points per contest though he has come off the bench in the first two games of the tourney.
"He is a competitor, he wants the ball in his hands. I know he is excited in this last go-round to get back to D.C. in his hometown, where he played in the bright lights in high school and was part of a great tradition at DeMatha. He wants to go down there and play for a championship,” Delaware Coach Martin Ingelsby told me last week about Allen before the CAA event.
Allen was one of several players who decided to come back for another year, just for the very chance the Blue Hens have tonight in D.C.
WATCH OUT FOR CHARLESTON
March 7, 2022
WASHINGTON - The College of Charleston, which plays tonight in the CAA semifinals, certainly didn't look like a No. 6 seed Sunday.
"We lost a lot of close games," said an ardent fan of the Cougars, sitting across from the Hofstra bench in the quarterfinals Sunday.
Indeed, Charleston lost twice to Hofstra by a total of eight points in regular-season action. Some other losses by the Cougars came by two, two (OT), two, one, one, and three points this season.
So perhaps No. 2 seed UNC Wilmington isn't a lock to win over the Cougars tonight here in Washington in a game slated to start at about 8:30 p.m.
In the first game, No. 1 seed Towson will face No. 5 Delaware at 6 p.m.
John Meeks of Charleston had 22 of his 31 points in the first half Sunday as the Cougars ran up 55 points in the first stanza.
“John willed us to the win. John was sensational tonight,” Coach Pat Kelsey said. “I am glad we don’t have to see them again.”
The attendance for the game against Hofstra was 1,578 in southeast Washington at the Entertainment and Sports Arena, the home of the Mystics and the G-League team of the Wizards.
Former NBA star Speedy Claxton, the Hofstra coach, said toughness was the key for the Cougars. “This generation tends to relax when you beat a team twice; he is a tough guard,” Claxton said of Meeks. “They took it to us. This game honors toughness.”
TOWSON HOLDS ON
March 6, 2022
WASHINGTON - Charles Thompson appears to have an ankle sprain but his Towson team came through and beat No. 9 seed Northeastern 68-61 here today at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. "It was a big win for guys and the program," said Towson coach Pat Skerry, who credited the energy of the Towson fans who made the drive down on I-95. Towson will now play on Monday at 6 p.m. against either No. 5 Delaware or No. 6 Drexel, who are meeting in the second game this afternoon in the CAA tournament.
TRACTOR PULL IN D.C.
March 6, 2022
WASHINGTON - William & Mary coach Dane Fischer - a former assistant at George Mason - asked if a tractor pull had ever been held at the Entertainment and Sports Arena here in D.C.
There was no clear answer, but he said that is what the first half looked like on Saturday in the first game of the CAA hoop tourney. The Tribe trailed 18-17 at halftime to Northeastern but bounced back and actually had a lead of 32-27 midway through the second.
But the Va. school failed to win at the end of regulation and fell 68-63 in overtime to the Huskies, who face No. 1 seed Towson today at noon in the first of four games.
Freshman guard Tyler Rice Tribe had 15 points, four assists and no turnovers and feels the future is bright despite a record of 5-27 this season. "I feel great about it actually," said Rice, sitting at the podium after the game. "We are a young team; we will be good in the near future."
MORSE, THOMPSON HONORED
March 5, 2022
HARRISONBURG, Va. - The All-CAA second team features two players from Prince George's County: senior Vado Morse of JMU and Suitland and Towson junior Charles Thompson of Fort Washington. Morse is from The Bullis School, Thompson played at St. Stephen's & St. Agnes in Alexandria.
In the Atlantic 10 today, first-place Davidson is at Dayton; No. 7 George Washington is at Fordham; La Salle is at Duquesne; Rhode Island is at the Hawks in Philly; second-place VCU (14-3) is at Saint Louis, and UMass is at George Mason (7-8 in eighth place). Richmond is 10-8 and sixth in the standings.
BUTLER, ALLEN RETURN FOR CAA TOURNEY
March 4, 2022
WASHINGTON - Ryan Allen and James Butler both played high school ball in the DMV and they return home to play in the CAA tourney that begins Saturday.
Allen, who played at famed DeMatha Catholic High, is from Bowie, Maryland.
He is a fifth-year senior at Delaware (19-12, 10-8), which plays Sunday against rival Drexel (15-13, 10-8) in the second of four games that day
at the Entertainment & Sports Arena in southeast Washington.
Allen has played in 29 games with 19 starts this season and is third on the team in scoring at 12.1 points per contest.
“He was part of our first recruiting class,” Delaware coach Martin Ingelsby told me on Thursday. “He is going to go down as the No. 3 player in scoring in the history of our program, a guy that can really put the ball in the hoop. He is a guy that has played a lot of college games. He is experienced; we need him to play well and make shots. He is kind of an X factor for us.”
“He is a competitor, he wants the ball in his hands. I know he is excited in this last go-round to get back to D.C. in his hometown, where he played in the bright lights in high school and was part of a great tradition at DeMatha. He wants to go down there and play for a championship,” the coach added.
The tourney begins Saturday at 5 p.m. as No. 8 seed William & Mary faces No. 9 Northeastern. The winner advances to face No. 1 seed Towson on Sunday at noon.
The Tribe will have to deal with Hofstra standout Aaran Estrada, the only member of the Pride to start all 31 games. He is averaging 18.5 points per contest.
“He is averaging like 9,000 points,” said Dane Fischer, the William & Mary coach. “He stuffs the stat sheet in so many ways.”
One of the key players for Drexel is Butler, who is from Fairfax Station in Virginia, played at Lake Braddock High in Burke, and transferred to Drexel from Navy. His father, Vernon, was a standout at Navy.
The younger Butler is a graduate student who has dealt with injuries this season but still has more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his career. He has played in 24 games with 12 starts and is averaging 8.4 points per contest this season.
“I don’t know if I can properly put words into it,” coach Zach Spiker told me of Butler’s career. “Just to tell you … body language would better describe our appreciation for JB. We met last spring; James Butler had a chance to play pro basketball last year and tried to be really a matter of fact. He wanted to come back and he wanted to come back a large part of what we are about.”
"It is the less healthy season he has had. He has done everything right; anything they suggest he does it,” Spiker said of the training staff at the school. “He had an unfortunate collision, I guess, early on in league play and I know he hasn’t been himself. He is a guy who has been an all-conference performer. He has handled this season … like an absolute champion. He has given us his best effort. I will never be able to say enough about the teammate that James Butler is or the person he is. I think his accolades speak for themselves.”
Butler is a 6-foot-8 forward; his sister, Natalie, played at George Mason University.
GW PASSES MASON
March 3, 2022
WASHINGTON - George Washington has moved ahead of George Mason after Atlantic 10 Conference play Wednesday.
The Colonials are 8-8 in the conference after a triple-overtime win at Duquesne while Mason is 7-8 after a loss at first-place Davidson. Joe Bamisile had 30 points for GW in the win while Jackie Johnson III also had 30 points for the Colonials.
Mason hosts UMass on Saturday in the regular-season finale while GW plays at Fordham. GW can lock down a No. 7 seed for the conference tourney - which begins Wednesday here in D.C. - with a win on Saturday.
A-10 CRUNCH TIME
March 2, 2022
WASHINGTON - Seedings are on the line tonight as George Washington hosts Duquesne and George Mason plays at Davidson, with the tourney one week from today. Last night in the Atlantic 10, VCU won its eighth straight game with a win on Broad Street against the Bonnies of upstate New York.
VCU ON A ROLL
Feb. 28, 2022
WASHINGTON - "Those are nice numbers," VCU Coach Mike Rhoades said today on a conference call with reporters. He responded to the fact he is now 100-50 with VCU after the Rams won on Saturday against UMass. The Rams are No. 2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference - with the tourney here in D.C. next month - and host the Bonnies on Tuesday then end regular-season play at Saint Louis this weekend. The Rams have won seven in a row and are 7-1 this month. "I told the guys, 'Keep getting better,' " Rhoades said today.
CAVS, JMU LOSE, VCU WIN
Feb. 26, 2022
HARRISONBURG, Va. - It wasn’t a good day for the home team. Virginia lost at the buzzer to Florida State while JMU was crushed 95-59 by Towson, which will be the No. 2 seed in the CAA tourney after UNC Wilmington clinched the top spot. One bright spot for the state Saturday was VCU, which won 77-62 at UMass as coach Mike Rhoades improved to 100-50 with the Rams.
Towson coach Pat Skerry said Saturday was the best game of the season for his team. JMU coach Mark Byington, in the season finale for the Sun Belt-bound Dukes, said the Tigers are playing the best of any team in the CAA now.
"I think they are playing terrific," Byington said. "I respect Pat and his team. They are in a good place to make a run; they are an easy team to cheer for." The Tigers will play on March 6 in D.C. on the second day of the CAA tourney. William & Mary and Northeastern will play in the first game on March 5.
Feb. 24, 2022
WASHINGTON - William & Mary shot .059 from 3-point range and 21.6 percent overall in a 62-28 loss on Thursday to Northeastern. It was the first time since 1963 that the Huskies held an opponent to less than 30 points.
The Tribe will take a record of 4-13 in the CAA into Saturday’s game at Hofstra, 11-5. The two other DMV schools will meet Saturday in Harrisonburg, as second-place Towson (13-3) will face JMU (6-11).
In the other games Saturday, Elon (6-11) is at Northeastern (2-15); first-place UNCW (14-3) is at Delaware (10-6), and the College of Charleston (8-8) is at Drexel (9-8). The CAA tourney will begin here in D.C. a week from Saturday with the No. 8 vs. No. 9 contest, which at this point looks like Northeastern facing William & Mary again.
Vado Morse of Suitland and JMU is third in the CAA in scoring while Nicolas Timberlake of Towson is sixth. Cam Holden of Towson is ninth.
RAMS WIN, CAVS FALL
Feb. 24, 2022
WASHINGTON - VCU picked up a win against an in-state rival while Virginia, facing a bitter ACC foe, lost last night in games in The Commonwealth. The Rams came back to win 72-66 over George Mason in Richmond while the Cavaliers lost 65-61 to Duke.
Mason will host George Washington on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. while the Cavs host Florida State on Saturday at 4 p.m. VCU and Dayton are tied for the second in the Atlantic 10 at 13-3 while Davidson is in first. Richmond is 9-6 and George Washington is 7-7.
MASON AT VCU
Feb. 23, 2022
WASHINGTON - For the second night in a row, a pair of DMV schools will meet in Atlantic 10 Conference action. VCU hosts George Mason on Wednesday in Richmond, after the Spiders of Richmond won on Tuesday night in D.C. against George Washington. Mason's Josh Oduro, a Paul VI product, is first in the conference at 20 points per game in league play. VCU leads the series 44-22, but Mason has won three of the last four in Richmond. The Rams are 18-7 overall, 11-3 in the conference, and have won five straight. Oduro is bidding to be the first Mason player since George Evans in 1988-89 to lead a conference in scoring.
Feb. 22, 2022
WASHINGTON - The DMV has a strong presence in the Atlantic 10 Conference scoring race. Paul VI grad Josh Oduro of George Mason leads the way at 18.2 points per contest, followed by Fordham's Darius Quisenberry at 17.3, Baltimore's James Bishop of George Washington at 17.1, and Tyler Burton of Richmond at 16.6. Bishop and Burton will meet tonight as GW hosts the Spiders at 7 p.m. here in D.C. Bishop is from Mount Saint Joseph's.
THE GW STORY
Feb. 20, 2022
WASHINGTON - David Cox stood in the basement of the Smith Center here Saturday evening, just outside of the Rhode Island locker room. He didn't have a final boxscore with him, and he didn't need one.
"They out-hustled us," said Cox, from Landover, Maryland, after host George Washington scored 44 points in the first half - they were averaging just 67.8 total in Atlantic 10 games at game time - and won 72-61.
GW is now 7-6 in the conference after being pegged to finish 13th out of 14 schools. This is the best record in conference play at this point in the season in five years for GW, which seems to be flourishing under coach and Virginia native Jamion Christian.
The Colonials, as William & Mary product Cox stated, out-hustled the Rams of Rhode Island. One key segment came late in the first half when Joe Bamisile, a Virginia Tech transfer at GW, hit a 3-pointer then moments later picked up a loose ball and hit another trey just before the buzzer sounded to give the hosts a lead of 44-30 at the break.
With many fans wearing Colonial-era hats as a promotion, the GW team swarmed the court after the shot. "Backbreaker," said Cox, noting his team should have picked up the loose ball before Bamisisle hit another shot.
The Former Va. Tech standout had 20 points for GW as the Colonials swept Rhode Island for the first time since 1995. The Colonials host Richmond on Tuesday with a chance to move up again in the conference standings with the Atlantic 10 tourney just a few weeks away in Washington.
GW is eighth in the conference, just back of George Mason (6-5) and Richmond, at 8-6. If the Patriots somehow lose today at Fordham (4-8), the Colonials will move up to seventh.
LOCAL TIES FOR RHODY
Feb. 18, 2022
WASHINGTON - There were plenty of ties to the DMV when Rhode Island plays at George Washington on Saturday at 6 p.m. The sophomore twins with URI – Makhi and Makhel Mitchell – are from D.C. and went to Woodrow Wilson High in The District before starting their college careers at Maryland.
Makhi is averaging 9.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while his brother is averaging 11.0 and 5.6. Both have started all 24 games so far.
Antwan Walker is from Washington and transferred to URI from Georgetown. He is averaging 8.1 points per contest in his first 23 games off the bench.
Freshman forward Abdou Samp, who has not played this season, is from nearby Upper Marlboro, Maryland and went to Frederick Douglass High. He is redshirting this season, per a spokesman for URI. Senior guard Jeremy Sheppard of the Rams is from Richmond.
As for coaches, David Cox grew up in Landover, Maryland, and played in college at William & Mary in Virginia. Assistant coach Todd Bozeman is the former head coach at Morgan State and a native of Washington.
URI is 13-11 overall, 4-8 in the conference, and 3-6 on the road. The Rams were picked to finish seventh in the conference while GW was pegged for 13th out of 14 schools. The Colonials are 6-6 in the conference.
Feb. 17, 2022
WASHINGTON - George Mason and George Washington were picked to finish in the bottom half of the standings in the Atlantic 10 Conference, which holds its tournament here next month. But after both schools won again last night - Mason in OT at Saint Joseph's and GW at Duquesne - the two DMV schools are in the top eight. Paul VI product Josh Oduro has a career-high 33 points for Mason.
"We're trying to reestablish our identity as a defensive team," head coach Kim English of Mason told reporters. "When we had those six games in 11 days, we lost our defensive edge. We have to get that back. In overtime and those last four minutes, we did that. We put together some stops which led to scores, and holding them to 20 percent in overtime was great. It's just about us continuing to grow on that end of the floor. We've been in these types of ball games all season. The VCU game was an outlier for us. It's good for us to start to find a way to come out on top in games like this."
Mason is 6-5 and in seventh and GW is 6-6 and stands in the eighth place. The two other DMV schools in the conference meet Friday as VCU hosts Richmond. The Rams are 10-3 and tied for second while the Spiders are 8-5 and in the sixth spot.
Mason was picked to place 8th and GW was pegged for 13th out of 14 schools in the preseason poll. Richmond was picked for second, VCU for fourth, and the Bonnies of New York were pegged for first.
The Colonials host Rhode Island on Saturday. The Rams are coached by David Cox, who grew up in Landover, Maryland, and played at the College of William and Mary.
TOWSON, UNC WILMINGTON MEET
Feb. 16, 2022
WASHINGTON - The top two teams in the CAA will meet Thursday as Towson (10-3) plays at North Carolina Wilmington, which is first at 12-2. Hofstra is a close third at 10-4.
In other games Thursday night, JMU (5-9) is at the College of Charleston (6-6); Delaware (8-5) is at Elon (5-9), and Drexel (7-7) is at William & Mary (4-10).
The CAA tourney begins March 5 at the Entertainment & Sports Arena in southeast Washington, D.C.
A-10 RACE HEATS UP
Feb. 16, 2022
WASHINGTON - VCU is now 10-3 in the Atlantic 10 and tied with Dayton for second after the Rams rallied to win Tuesday night at Fordham.
Davidson is first at 11-2 while Saint Louis is in fourth at 8-4 with the conference tourney slated to start in D.C. on March 9.
The Bonnies are fifth and then come the other three DMV schools in the conference: Richmond at 8-5, George Mason at 5-5, and George Washington at 5-6. Adrian Baldwin, Jr. of Baltimore and St. Frances Academy is one of three VCU players averaging at least 10 points per contest.
VCU will host Richmond on Friday night at 7 in a game on ESPN2.
HOKIES WIN, JMU LOSES
Feb. 15, 2022
WASHINGTON - Keve Aluma (Berlin, Maryland) had 24 points as Virginia Tech won at home Monday night over Virginia 62-53, as the Hokies are now 8-7 in the ACC after a poor start in the conference. Aluma went to Stephen Decatur in Maryland and played at Wofford before transferring to Blacksburg. He is now averaging 15.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest.
Meanwhile, in the CAA, JMU lost at Delaware 81-60 as former George Washington player Jameer Nelson had 30 points for the Blue Hens. With the CAA tourney coming here to D.C. in less than three weeks, Delaware is 8-5 in the CAA while JMU is 5-9. The Dukes are 14-11 overall with four regular-season games left.
Vado Morse of Suitland, Maryland had 15 points for JMU. He has scored in double digits in 14 consecutive contests.
Also Monday, American University won at Holy Cross, Coppin State lost at home in the final seconds to North Carolina Central and Howard won at Maryland Eastern Shore for its fifth win in a row. American had lost five in a row.
STATE RIVALS MEET
Feb. 14, 2022
WASHINGTON - The Cavaliers will play at the Hokies tonight at 7 in a game that will be televised on ESPN.
Meanwhile, the basketball programs at JMU are trying to avoid something that has not happened in nearly 20 years. The last time both teams ended the year below .500 was in 2003-04 as the men were 7-21 and the women were 13-18.
The JMU women lost at home yesterday to Towson and are now 11-11. The JMU men are 14-10 with five regular-season games left.
The JMU men play tonight at Delaware, after winning at home on Saturday over William & Mary.
BUSY DAY IN Va.
Feb. 12, 2022
HARRISONBURG AND FAIRFAX - There were a lot of college hoops in the Commonwealth today, with Virginia winning at home over Georgia Tech, VCU getting by George Mason in Fairfax 85-70 and James Madison downing William & Mary in Harrisonburg 69-55.
The JMU radio network reported coach Mark Byington was getting on the officials early - something he eluded to early in the week with the Dukes leaving the CAA for the Sun Belt.
And on WTOP radio, it was noted Mason made a run in the second but the strong shooting of the Rams was the difference in the Atlantic 10 contest. Also in the Atlantic 10, George Washington was crushed 80-54 by host Dayton.
The Cavaliers won by 10 and have posted four straight victories. Howard beat Delaware State while the Hoyas of Georgetown lost again, falling to Creighton.
A-10 ONE MONTH AWAY
Feb. 11, 2022
WASHINGTON - In one month and two days, the title game of the Atlantic 10 Conference is slated to be held here in Washington at Capital One Arena. But there is a lot of basketball left before then, with a busy 48 hours coming up this weekend.
The conference plays begins tonight as the Bonnies play at Saint Louis on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. There is a full slate Saturday, with George Mason hosting VCU in the big DMV game of the day. Also, George Washington is at Dayton; Davidson is at Rhode Island; the Dukes host Fordham in Pittsburgh, and the Spiders of Richmond host La Salle.
GW, MASON WIN
Feb. 10, 2022
Washington – Once again, George Washington and George Mason won on the same night. The Patriots knocked off Richmond in overtime on Wednesday in Fairfax 87-84 while GW won on the road at UMass 77-68.
Paul VI product Josh Oduro, after missing two games due to concussion protocol, had 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Patriots.
“Our guys just continue to battle," head coach Kim English of Mason told reporters. "We missed some of our marks, but we got stops on command at the end. Our guys really dug in and they continue to do that, even in games when we don't play well. I'm so proud of them. I told them with three minutes to go in overtime that we deserved to win this game, and they did exactly what they needed to do to get the win."
James Bishop of Mount St. Joseph's in Baltimore had 24 points for GW in the win on the road. The Colonials play at Mason on Feb. 27.
MASON, RICHMOND REMATCH
Feb. 8, 2022
Once more, with feeling - George Mason will host Richmond on Wednesday after the Spiders won with a last-second shot at home Monday over the Patriots.
Paul VI product Josh Oduro, the top scorer for Mason this year, didn't play again due to concussion protocol. Grant Golden, who is from Winchester and went to high school in Hagerstown, had 11 points Monday for Richmond. He was a preseason all-Atlantic 10 player, per October votes.
"This was another great basketball game from a fan perspective, but disappointing for us not to be able to close this game out," head coach Kim English of Mason told reporters in Richmond. "Obviously we were short-handed, but it's never an excuse in our program. We come into every game with what we have expecting to win and this is another night we should've won. But we didn't and it comes down to making plays. We missed some shots we usually make and we need to make. On their end, they made big plays and got some big rebounds."
Also on Monday, Virginia won with a last-second shot at Duke while James Madison lost on the road at Drexel. The Dukes are home Thursday against Elon.
Bullis School alum Vado Morse had a game-high 17 points for JMU on Monday. He has now scored in double digits in 11 straight games.
MASON AT RICHMOND MONDAY
Feb. 6, 2022
George Mason doesn't have a lot of time to move on. After coach Kim English was ejected on Saturday in a loss at La Salle, the Patriots play Monday night at Richmond. The Spiders are coming off a win at home on national TV over the Bonnies, who were the preseason favorites in the Atlantic 10.
Paul VI product Josh Oduro missed the Saturday game for Mason due to concussion protocol. He entered the weekend as the leading scorer in the conference.
The Patriots will host Richmond on Wednesday in Fairfax. Tyler Burton averages 17 points per game for Richmond while Grant Golden, who is from Winchester and played prep hoops in Hagerstown, is averaging 14.7 points per contest.
Jacob Gilyard of the Spiders is the all-time steals leader in the nation for career thefts. Golden has more than 2,000 career points.
Mason is 4-3 in conference play while Richmond is 6-4. The conference tourney will be in Washington, D.C. next month.
BURTON HAS A BIG NIGHT FOR UR
Feb. 4, 2022
WASHINGTON - The top scorers in the Atlantic 10 have a strong connection to the DMV. Going into play Friday, the top scorers are:
1. Josh Oduro, Mason, Paul VI in Fairfax, 17.7
2. Darius Quisenberry, Fordham, 17.6
3. Gibson Jimerson, St. Louis, 17.6
4. James Bishop, GW, Mount St. Joe's in Baltimore, 17.3
5. Tyler Burton, Richmond, 16.2
Burton then went out and scored a career-high 36 points on Friday night as the Spiders won at home over the Bonnies in Richmond 71-61. Grant Golden, from Winchester, Va., had a double-double for the Spiders. The Bonnies of upstate New York were the preseason conference favorites but are now at .500 in league play and also lost earlier this year at George Mason.
JMU WINS IN BOSTON
Feb. 4, 2022
WASHINGTON - Vado Morse had 25 points last night as JMU won on the road at Northeastern in CAA basketball. The Bullis School product has now scored at least 10 points in his last nine games. JMU coach Mark Byington, a graduate of Salem High in Virginia, told me earlier this week that Morse was up to the challenge of taking on more duties as the Dukes deal with injuries.
Before the game, JMU announced Terell Strickland - the son of former Washington NBA guard Rod - would miss the rest of the season after he underwent knee surgery. The younger Strickland ended his prep career at Scotland Campus Sports in Pennsylvania. His coach there was Chris Chaney, the former coach at several schools in the DMV - some of which no longer exist.
HIGH-SCORING NIGHT IN A-10
Feb. 3, 2022
WASHINGTON - It was a high-scoring night in the Atlantic 10 at Foggy Bottom and Fairfax on Wednesday.
At George Mason, the Patriots saw their four-game win streak come to an end as Saint Louis won 92-90 in double overtime while host George Washington held off La Salle to win 89-87 in D.C.
GW is 4-4 in the conference and hosts Davidson, a top 25 team at times this year, on Saturday. Virginia Tech transfer Joe Bamisile had 24 points Wednesday for GW and coach Jamion Christian, a native of southeast Virginia. James Bishop (Mount St. Joe's) of Baltimore added 27 points for GW.
Josh Oduro (Paul VI) tied his career-high with 32 points as Mason fell as Yuri Collins had 35 points and 13 assists for the visitors.
“These are games you have to win when you're in pursuit of a conference championship, which we are," head coach Kim English of the Patriots told reporters. "We give a lot of credit to Saint Louis, a team we have great respect for. It was a tough, physical game and they came out on top. It's a disappointing loss, but I'm incredibly proud of our guys for their fight."
Mason will play on Saturday at La Salle. The Pats are 11-8 overall and 4-2 in the conference.
MORSE THRIVES AT JMU
Feb. 2, 2022
WASHINGTON - "Talking to Matt was the last thing," JMU standout Vado Morse told me today in a phone interview about Matt Lewis, his teammate last season with the Dukes.
Morse (Bullis School) transferred to Harrisonburg from The Mount and chatting with Lewis (Bishop O'Connell), whom he has known since high school, helped seal the deal for Morse.
The 6-foot guard, Morse of Suitland, Maryland, has scored at least 18 points in seven of the last eight games and is now averaging 15.1 points per contest. JMU plays Thursday at Northeastern, winless in the CAA.
Lewis has been playing in the G League for Iowa this season.