College hoops roundup in the DMV - poll time

College hoops roundup in the DMV - poll time
December 14, 2011, 11:12 pm
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By Benjamin Standig
CSNwashington.comGeorgetown nearly misfired its way to a stunning loss against Howard, but the Hoyas blew past the competition in the latest edition of the DMV Elite Eight College Basketball poll.From our panel of 18 local college basketball beat writers, sports media folks and bloggers, all but one had John Thompson III's Hoyas on the top line. Virginia picked off the rogue first-place vote while commandeering 15 second-place votes, placing the Cavaliers ahead of in-state Virginia Tech.Almost as if a spot in the poll were on the line, Loyolas take down of George Washington at the Smith Center helped propel the Greyhounds, winners of eight-straight, onto the list in place of the Colonials, losers of four straight.For our purposes, we included programs in D.C. and around the Beltway, north to Baltimore, south to Richmond and Norfolk (essentially the Comcast SportsNet region) plus all Division I spots (27 overall) in between.Ranked teams listed below, followed by total points followed by first place votes. For this weeks edition, also included key stats and notes for the DMV's elite plus some bonus 411 on a certain Ward Circle school1 Georgetown, 177 (17 1st place votes)...Record: (8-1)streak (W6)Upcoming: American (Dec. 17); Memphis (Dec. 22)In what will be their third game in 14 days on Saturday, the Hoyas take ona second straight D.C. foe before getting a shot at second win over the Tigers this monthOdd Jason Clark stat covering the last four games. In the Dec. 1 road win at then No. 12 Alabama, the Hoyas leading scorer knocked down 7-of-11 shots for 22 points. During the other three games, all against overmatched opponents, the senior was a dismal 4-for-22 (18.2) from the field.Hoyas by far and away the DMV's best, but inconsistent play has to be addressed before start of brutal Big East schedule. (Elliott Smith, CBSsports.com) It certainly wasn't pretty, but the Hoyas won their sixth straight game by beating Howard 62-48. The Hoya bench did take a slight hit as Tyler Adams was ruled out due to health concerns. The team's only real test before Big East play starts is a Dec. 22 rematch against Memphis, who they defeated in overtime at the Maui Invitational. (Troy Machir, BallinIsAHabit.com)2 Virginia, 127 (1)...Record (8-1)streak (W6)Upcoming: at Oregon (Dec. 18)The Cavaliers, off to an 8-1 start for the first time since the 2004-05 season, have held all nine of their opponents this season under 60 points. Five failed to crack 50. As for the Cavaliers next opponent, the Ducks (6-2) have scored at least 73 points in all but one game this season.Defense is calling card in Charlottesville but offense has improved recently, scoring 68-or-more points in last four games against reasonably solid competition. Cavs are running more smoothly withsubtle lineup tweak of starting and playing Jontel Evans and Sammy Zeglinski together. Two point guards are better than one. (Mike Ashley, Terrapin Times)UVA quality win over Michigan..will be interested to see them out of friendly confines of JPJ when they face @Nike U (Scott Jackson, Yahoo Sports Radio)Don't look now, but the Wahoos have won six straight, including a win over a ranked-Michigan squad. Their only blemish is a two-point loss to TCU on a neutral court. The ACC is way down this season, but the Cavaliers look to be the best non-Tobacco-Road team in the conference. (Machir)3 Virginia Tech, 112...Record (7-3)streak (W2)Upcoming: Campbell (Dec. 17), North Florida (Dec. 19)Sophomore forward Jarell Eddie displayed his outside touchwith five 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 24 points in Sunday's 73-60 triumph over fellow DMV school Norfolk State. Eddie's 53.3 (16-of-30) percent clip from beyond the arc tops the Hokies, who collectively are sinking 6.6 3 three'sper game. Last season with noted outside shooter Malcom Delaney on hand, the Hokies averaged 5.5 3-pointers per contest. As for defending the perimeter shot, Seth Greenberg's squad is allowing foes to connect on a mere 22.8 of their long range attempts.Hokies biggest questions await when their unproven frontcourt will have to play against top-flight competition. Fortunately (orunfortunately, considering the Hokies history with schedule strength selection Sunday) that test is still weeks away. (Ashley)\4 VCU, 67...Record (6-3)...streak (W3)Upcoming: UNC Wilmington (Dec. 17), UAB (Dec. 20)Last season bothVCU and Richmond made deep runs in the NCAA Tournament, but there has been little in common when the city rivals meet. The Rams throttled the Spiders 73-51 last Friday for their seventh win in the past eight meetings in the series. Credit a 26-6 run over the final seven minutes. Yeah, that typically gets you a win, something Shaka Smart's squad has produced infive of their last six overall.VCU may not be back to Final 4 but left no doubt in win over Richmond that the Rams are City Champs (Jackson)Bradford Burgess has taken over this team in the past two weeks, and the team has certainly responded. The Rams have won three straight since dropping a tough loss at Alabama, putting together solid team efforts in beating South Florida, George Washington, and Richmond. Once again, this is a team to watch out for come March. (Machir)5 George Mason, 61...Record: (7-3)...streak (W1)Upcoming: Duquesne (Dec. 21)Entering this week the Patriots hadthe 10th-longest active home court streak in the nation. By beatingDuquesne for a 19th consecutive victory, Mason will establishits longesthome court winning streak in the history of the Patriot Center. Getting continued production from senior center Mike Morrison will go along toward securing the needed victory. The Patriots top interior defenderis averaging 13.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg over the last 3 games while shooting 65.4 (17-26) from the field.I'm still not sold that hiring Paul Hewitt was the right decision, but the Patriots are 6-3. Plus, Andre Cornelius returns to the lineup shortly when he finishes his 10-game suspension. (Machir)Lackluster 68-48 loss at Virginia exposed the Patriots backcourt. (Kevin Dunleavy, Washington Examiner)6 - Maryland, 53...Record: (5-3)...streak (W2)Upcoming: Florida International (Dec. 14)There was the win over Notre Dame in the BB&T. Now PeShon Howard is talking about coming back from his foot injury ahead of schedule. Only two more games before Alex Lens Dec. 28 debut against Albany. Starting Wednesday night, the Terps play five straight home games winnable games before starting their conference slate. With a momentum-building sweep of the home stand and the full roster or as closes as possible this season going forward, maybe there will be reason to at least ponder a postseason berth.Maryland a great win over Notre Dame was almost backed up with an awful loss to Mt St Mary's (Jackson, Yahoo Sports Radio)In pre-game meals, Terps cant even get Stoglin to pass the salt. (Dunleavy)7- Loyola, 30...Record: (8-1)...streak (W8)Upcoming: at St. Bonaventure (Dec. 18); at Kentucky (Dec. 22)Jimmy Patsos' Greyhounds are off to an 8-1 start. Patsos learned everything from Gary Williams so it's no surprise this program is finally at the top. (Michele Gordon, ComcastSportsnet)Jimmy Patsos has Greyhounds off to the fastest start in school history. Win over Mount St. Marys was in 167th meeting, most between two Maryland schools. Who knew? (Dunleavy)8 Richmond, 22...Record (6-3)...streak (L1)Upcoming: Iona (Dec. 14), @Bucknell (Dec. 17), Old Dominion (Dec. 20)We all knew that the Spiders wouldn't be nearly as talented as they were a season ago, and considering that, I've been very impressed. They dont have any true "bad losses" and have grabbed two wins over BCS-conference teams. I'm starting to realize why the University threw all that cash at Chris Mooney. The guy can flat-out coach. (Machir)Others receiving votes: American 8-3 (20), Old Dominion (12), George Washington (8), Norfolk State (4)\When a Patriot League team (American) beats an Atlantic 10 team (St. Joseph's),
that has wins over schools from the ACC (Georgia Tech) and the Big 10 (Penn State),
that's good enough for me. (Rich Dubroff, CSNbaltimore)With Hoyas coming up on Saturday, the Eagles havea chance to blow this poll apart (Joe Yasharoff, ComcastSportsnet)Voters: Mike Ashley (Athlon, Terrapin Times), Nicole Auerbach (USA Today), Ivan Carter (Comcast SportsNet, Washington Post Live), Pam Chvotkin (District Sports Page), Avi Creditor (Washington Post Express), Rich Dubroff (CSNbaltimore), Kevin Dunleavy (Washington Examiner), Andrew Geiger (CasualHoya.com), Michele Gordon (Comcast SportsNet), Brian Jackson (CSNwashington), Scott Jackson (Yahoo Sports Radio, 106.7 The Fan), Jack Kogod (Washingtonian), Troy Machir (BallinIsAHabit.com),Tim Murray (ESPN 980), Elliott Smith (Washington Post Express, CBSSports.com), Ben Standig (CSNwashington), Craig Stouffer (Washington Examiner)

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