College Basketball Is Heating Up Early In The New Year

A strong Army team took the game up at West Point even though there was solid defense and energy on the court. Tough losses such as Army create a fire in your soul, especially when one is so determined to win. With the idea of having Canisius again, and at home nonetheless, the fire and motivation was back quickly, and with a driving force. It wasn’t hard to change our minds to Canisius, we all knew what it was. We knew that our defense, 3 point in particular, had to be A1. Most MAAC games are always close because it’s a tough league with some guys than can really ball. We knew that it was going to be another war, but if we have an intense energy from the start we might be able to catch them off guard.

Monmouth 81, Canisius 66

And catch them off guard we did. Our defense was on another level from the jump, with rapid close-outs and switches that stopped the offense they wanted to run. Once the defense is locking up and getting kills (3 stops in a row), the offense comes easily. Getting runs in transition creates dunks and helps the building get involved. Even over Holiday break with students being at home with family and friends, there was a pretty impressive turnout in the MAC. Justin Robinson, yet again, was spectacular. I would say one of the top point guards in NJ, in of course crafty fashion finished with 25 on 9/18 shooting. Easily among the most exciting players to watch right now if you are a fan of college basketball.

The Drought of the Bobcat

0-10. A record no one is seeing in the papers or on the news. We are 0-10 against Quinnipiac over the past 5 seasons, but we’re confident that we have the pieces to end the string of losses. Our biggest issue in the past with the Connecticut based team was how well they were on the offensive glass. An important factor, for even our guards, will be to really box out and keep them off the boards. Quinnipiac has always been a tough matchup at each position. The past 2 years, Zaid Hearst was a Hawk killer and was certainly a tough matchup. Not to mention Ousmane Drame who was a rebounding beast and was a long and active big that hurt us on the glass. This year is no different, as per usual, Quinnipiac is good. And don’t think for a second that they don’t know that they are 10-0, and as much as a win against us on Saturday would be an accolade on their season, having an 11-0 record would be an even bigger story. We’ll expect their best performance. There should be a good crowd in the MAC on Saturday that should add to the energy of this rivalry. Coming off a big win with 3 great days off practice, we will have fresh legs and a good mentality going into the game. It’s not hard to get us motivated, and it’s not hard to get us to prove the pride that we all have inside of us. This game will show how much pride we have to wear the Monmouth name on our shirts. Because for us, it’s not about the name on the back of our navy or white Nike jerseys, it’s all about representing Monmouth University with dignity, respect, and by showing that by leaving everything on the floor.

Story by Greg Noack