NBA great Shaquille O’Neal heads to Australia for speaking tour


Basketball great Shaquille O’Neal heads to Australia for speaking tour and promises fans will hear his tips for business success

American sports legend Shaquille O’Neal is heading to Australia in August on a speaking tour, his first trip here in twenty years.

The 50 year-old former NBA champ and entrepreneur, who is estimated to be worth US$400 million, says he plans to offer business tips on success and talk about his life and career.

‘I can’t wait to see you Aussies Down Under,’ the Sports Hall of Fame superstar gushed.

Superstar: American sports legend Shaquille O'Neal (pictured) is heading to Australia in August on a speaking tour, his first trip here in twenty years

Superstar: American sports legend Shaquille O’Neal (pictured) is heading to Australia in August on a speaking tour, his first trip here in twenty years

Organisers say fans can expect to get an intimate and uncensored question and answer session during the show called An Evening with Shaquille O’Neal.

The 2.1 metre giant first shot to fame as a rookie ball player in 1992 with US NBA team Orlando Magic.

Shaq, as his known, went onto play with the Los Angeles Lakers delivering classic performances in their consecutive championship seasons between 2000-2003.

Retiring after 19 years playing basketball the notoriously outspoken and sometimes controversial champ became a media celebrity, sports commentator, reality star, movie actor, rapper and DJ.

Hall of Fame form: Shaq (pictured, jumping) during his hey-day playing centre for Orlando Magic in the 1990s

Hall of Fame form: Shaq (pictured, jumping) during his hey-day playing centre for Orlando Magic in the 1990s

Later Shaq launched a whole new career as a motivational speaker after earning a PhD in Leadership and Education.

The superstar’s business ventures include real estate and food brand Krispy Kreme.

Shaq’s Fun House is probably his most public venture.

An annual music festival held every year since 2018 in the Super Bowl host city, the last event was in Los Angeles in February.  

DJ Magic: Shaq seen here before a festival crowd in his alter ego DJ  Diesel

DJ Magic: Shaq seen here before a festival crowd in his alter ego DJ  Diesel

The self-proclaimed “best party thrower” Shaq, lived up to the hype with an outside area featuring several attractions including an 80-foot slide, a human claw machine, a premium open bar, free food, bumper cars and Ferris wheel.

Inside, Shaq – who moonlights as a DJ Diesel – was one of the featured performers including Lil Wayne, Zedd, Diplo and even the NBA legend´s son, Myles, who spun several records in front of an energetic crowd. 

Shaq will be appearing at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne on August 25 and in Sydney at the Star Events Centre on August 26.

Legend: Former NBA star Shaq O'Neal at a recent NBA game in Miami, USA

Legend: Former NBA star Shaq O’Neal at a recent NBA game in Miami, USA

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Men’s Hoops Heads to Coastal Carolina for The Basketball Classic Second Round


  

FOR OPENERS

• For the seventh time in program history, the FGCU men’s basketball team has reached the postseason as the Eagles accepted a bid to The Basketball Classic. The Eagles opened tournament play last Wednesday with a 95-79 win over Detroit Mercy in the first round. FGCU will now head to Coastal Carolina for a second-round match up on Monday night. The opening tip is set for 7 PM and the game will be streamed live on ESPN+.
• Each round of The Basketball Classic will be reset similar to the old NIT model. The winner of the FGCU/CCU game will play later this week depending on travel schedules of each institution.
 

The Match-up

• Through 33 games this year, FGCU is averaging 78.0 points while giving up 73.4 per game. The Eagles have solid shooting numbers at 45.4 percent from the floor and 35.1 percent from deep. FGCU ranks second in the league in scoring, fourth in scoring margin (+4.6), and third in three pointers made (10.2/game), while leading the league in assists (525, 15.9/game), rebounds (1288, 39.0/game) and blocked shots (162, 4.9/game).
• The Green and Blue is led by Tavian Dunn-Martin and Kevin Samuel who are averaging 21.5 and 11.7 points per game, respectively. Samuel is averaging nearly a double-double with a team-best 9.8 rebounds, while adding 95 blocks. He has set the single-season record for blocked shots surpassing Kyle Marks (2008-09) who previously held it with 51.
Cyrus Largie is the third leading scorer on the team at 10.6 points while adding 4.7 rebounds.
• Along with his scoring, Dunn-Martin also leads the Eagles and the ASUN in assists with 6.1 per game which ranks 6th nationally. Dunn-Martin, Caleb Catto, and Austin Richie are the top three-point shooters at .368, .366, and .357, respectively. Samuel is the overall field goal percentage leader at 64.2 percent from the floor which ranks 5th nationally. His 2.97 blocks per game also ranks 7th nationally while his 15 double-doubles this season are also 16th in the NCAA. He is also one of just three active players nationally to have 1,000 career points and rebounds. With 301 career blocks, he is the only player this season to add over 300 career swats as well.
• Coastal Carolina picked up a 66-42 win over Maryland Eastern Shore last Wednesday improving to 17-13 overall. CCU was 8-8 in Sun Belt play during the regular season and fell 70-64 to Georgia Southern in the first round of the league tournament.
• The Chanticleers have averaged 72.6 points per game on the year while allowing 64.5 per contest. CCU is coached by long-time veteran Cliff Ellis who is in his 15th season in Conway and 48th overall.
• Vince Cole leads Coastal in scoring with 15.4 points per game followed by Rudi Williams at 14.1 points per night. Essam Mostafa is posting nearly a double-double per game at 12.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
 

Eagles Vs. Chanticleers

• This will be the first time the two teams have ever met.
 

Dunn-Martin, Samuel, Catto All Earn Postseason ASUN honors

• A trio of Eagles earned All-ASUN accolades this year Highlighted by Tavian Dunn-Martin being named the ASUN Men’s Basketball Newcomer of the Yea and Kevin Samuel being selected as the Defensive Player of the Year. The duo were also named to the All-ASUN First Team and Second Team, respectively.
• Dunn-Martin becomes the first FGCU player to be named Newcomer of the Year since Brandon Goodwin in 2016-17. Samuel also became the first Eagle to be named the Defensive Player of the Year since Demetris Morant did so in 2016-17 as well.
• Having the pair each named to All-ASUN teams is the first time since 2017-18 where FGCU had multiple players earn postseason honors when Goodwin and Zach Johnson were both named to the All-ASUN First Team.
• For the second consecutive season, FGCU men’s basketball senior Caleb Catto was named to the ASUN All-Academic Team.
 

Catto Earns Academic All-District

• Senior Caleb Catto was recently announced as a member of the CoSIDA Academic All-District team highlighting his tremendous work on and off the court. As a member of the team, he is now eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors as well.
• Catto becomes the first-ever member of the program to earn the accolade. He was also the first player to be named to the ASUN All-Academic Team following the 2020-21 campaign.
• The guard currently carries a 3.75 cumulative grade-point-average as an integrated studies major. He has posted 4.0 GPA’s in each of the last three semesters and was a member of the 2021 NABC Honors Court. Throughout his career, he has been honored on the FGCU President’s List and Dean’s List as well as on the ASUN Honor Roll. Catto serves on the Eagles Council (SAAC) as the group’s Secretary and has been a member of the E.A.G.L.E.S. Leadership Institute. He has also contributed 65 hours of service to the greater Southwest Florida community in projects such as Eagle Reading, Toys for Tots, and Seminole Basketball Camps.
 

Historic Season Numbers

• The Eagles have set or are on the verge of setting several single-season program records:











No. 1 Made 3pt FG 336
No. 1 Attempted 3 pt FG 957
No. 1 Blocks Per Game 4.9
No. 1 Total Blocks 162
No. 5 Assists Per Game 15.9
No. 5 Points Per Game 78.0
No. 6 Assists 525
No. 7 Rebounds Per Game 39.0

 

Samuel, Dunn-Martin Having Record Breaking Years

Tavian Dunn-Martin is one of just 80 NCAA players since 1992-93 to have over 600 points and 180 assists in a single-season. He holds the FGCU single-game scoring record with 43 points and his 688 points are the most for a single-season in FGCU history as he has surpassed Brandon Goodwin who had two 600-pt seasons including the previous record (632, 2017-18).
Kevin Samuel is the only active NCAA player to have 1,000 career points & rebounds along with 300 blocks (300). His 95 blocks are a single-season FGCU record as are his 3.0 blocks per game. His 9.8 rebounds per game are also a single-season program record, while his 313 total rebounds are currently the second-most for a single-season. The 95 blocked shots also rank as the 3rd most for a career in FGCU history.

For complete coverage of FGCU men’s basketball, follow the Eagles on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FGCU_MBB and online at www.FGCUAthletics.com. You can also sign-up to have news on FGCU men’s basketball and other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

E.A.G.L.E. CAMPAIGN

IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the E.A.G.L.E. Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

COACH FLY

Michael Fly was introduced as the fourth FGCU men’s basketball head coach on April 5, 2018. He had spent the previous seven years as an assistant coach on the Eagles’ staff. In his time with the Eagles, he has helped FGCU to a 210-142 record (.585 winning percentage), including six ASUN Tournament Final appearances, three NCAA Tournament victories, three ASUN Tournament titles and three ASUN Regular Season Championships, two berths in the NIT, a CIT appearance and a run to the Sweet 16. He has coached 13 all-conference selections while with the Green and Blue, including two ASUN Player of the Year honors in Sherwood Brown and Brandon Goodwin, two ASUN Defensive Player of the Year selections in Bernard Thompson and Demetris Morant and one ASUN Newcomer of the Year in Schadrac Casimir. Of the top-10 players in career points at FGCU, Fly has helped develop eight of them, including all-time leading scorer Thompson (1,835). Additionally, the Kentucky alumnus has coached both the ASUN all-time assists leader Brett Comer (845; 24th in NCAA history) and FGCU all-time leading rebounder Chase Fieler (714).

 

#FEEDFGCU

FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

 

ABOUT FGCU

FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 87 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 43 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 25, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 24 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, 2020 Fall, and 2021 Spring semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.

 

–FGCUATHLETICS.COM–

 



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Herd Heads to Middle Tennessee for Thursday Evening Contest


MURFREESBORO, Tn. – The Marshall women’s basketball team will travel to Middle Tennessee for a Thursday evening game in Murfreesboro’s Murphy Center. The tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT.
                                               
The Thundering Herd enters the game with an 11-5 overall record and is 6-1 in Conference USA play. The Blue Raiders come in at 13-5 and 5-2 in the league.
 
Game Details
Game Notes: Marshall (PDF)
Live Stats: Middle Tennessee
Live Video: CUSA.tv
Marshall Radio: WMUL online at www.marshall.edu/wmul on Stream 2 with Jason Corriher
Series History: 12 all-time meetings – Middle Tennessee leads 10-2
Last Meeting: March 4-5 in Murfreesboro – Marshall won game one 72-49, Middle Tennessee won game two 61-54.
 
Marshall is coming off a 57-44 overtime win at home against Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

Sophomore Savannah Wheeler led all scorers with 18 points.

 

The Thundering Herd improved to 11-5 overall and 6-1 in league play. It is Marshall’s best start in Conference USA through the first seven conference games and its best league start since a 9-1 record during the 1988-89 season as members of the Southern Conference. The Owls fall to 4-13 overall and 0-6 in C-USA.

The Owls fall to 4-13 overall and 0-6 in C-USA.

 

Marshall’s defense has not allowed an opponent to score 60 points in nine of its last 10 games. Saturday was the Herd’s first overtime game since a 73-68 win over Old Dominion on Feb. 6, 2021.

 

Wheeler scored in double-figures for the 19th-straight game, the 55th time in her career, and now has 1,046 career points. She moved ahead of Marshall Athletics Hall of Famer Robin Vealey (1972-76) and is now 20th all-time in program history. Wheeler is eight points away from surpassing another hall of famer in Lee Ann Parsley (1986-90).

 

Graduate student Kennedi Colclough put up 15 points and senior Brianah Ferby scored 11. Freshman CC Mays had seven points and senior Aaliyah Dunham rounded out the scoring with six. Dunham handed out six assists and had just one turnover. She came into the game leading the conference and ranked 15th in the country in assist/turnover ratio. Saturday was Dunham’s eighth game this season with five or more assists. She has 440 assists overall in her collegiate career and 69 this season, an average of 4.3 per game.

 

The Herd received a resounding team effort on the glass. After being outrebounded 11-7 in the first quarter, including a possession where the Owls grabbed three offensive boards, Marshall finished the day with a 49-39 advantage in rebounds. The 49 boards were a season-high and the most for the Herd since grabbing that many at Middle Tennessee last season (March 5).

 

Colclough, Roper and Mays tied for the team lead with eight each. The eight boards were a season-high for both Colclough and Mays. Roper continued her string of at least six rebounds in now 11 consecutive games. The Charlotte, N.C. native is averaging 7.9 boards per game in league play.

 

Wheeler added six rebounds and Dunham tied her season-high with six as well. Sophomore Alexis Johnson grabbed three rebounds and had one steal. Freshman Aarionna Redman had two boards and two assists.

 

Both teams struggled offensively throughout much of the day, trading baskets and leads. There were 11 ties and 10 lead changes throughout the contest. The Herd hit three three-pointers in the first quarter but shot 3-of-11 (27.3-percent) from the field. Florida Atlantic was 5-of-15 (33.3-percent) from the floor and led 12-9 at the end of the first.  

 

In the second quarter, the Herd scored the first five points, all on free throws. The Owls did not score a point in the second until Rita Pleskevich hit a jumper in the paint with 1:48 left in the first half to tie the score at 14-14. With 1:21 on the clock, Mays sank two free throws to give Marshall a two-point lead. Pleskevich hit another jump shot to tie the game at 16-16 with 34 seconds left. Mays missed a shot with four seconds left and Roper grabbed the rebound. She then quickly found Dunham on the outside who hit a three at the buzzer to give Marshall a 19-16 halftime lead. The teams combined to shoot 3-of-28 from the field. The Herd was 7-of-12 from the line in the second.

 

Offensively, the third quarter was better for both teams. Marshall shot 42.9 percent (6-of-14) from the field and hit its first two-point basket of the game on a jumper from Ferby at the 8:07 mark. In the first half, the Herd hit four three-pointers and seven free throws. The Owls shot just 28.6 percent (4-of-14) from the floor but did sink three three-pointers and were 5-of-6 from the line. The Herd led by four with 5:05 to go in the period after Wheeler converted a fast-break layup, drew the foul, and hit the free throw. FAU managed to get the deficit to two points, 34-32, at the end of the third.

 

The fourth quarter was another back-and-forth fight with three lead changes coming in the final minutes. Marshall led 38-36 before Sofia Galeron hit a three to give the Owls a one-point lead. With 1:49 to go, Ferby drove into the paint and got a jump shot to fall through while also being fouled. She hit the free throw to put the Herd back out in front by two, 41-39.

 

Janeta Rozentale hit a three with 54 seconds remaining, giving Florida Atlantic another one-point lead at 42-41. On the next possession coming out of a timeout, Dunham found Colclough down low for a layup that put Marshall back up by one, 43-42. The Owls responded as Rozentale scored with 23 seconds to go and the Herd found itself back down by one. With the clock under ten seconds, Dunham drove to the rim and was fouled. She hit one of the free throws to tie the game at 44-44 with seven seconds left. FAU tried one last three but couldn’t get it to fall. The teams headed for overtime.

 

Marshall turned up the defensive pressure another notch in the extra period as the Owls were 0-for-8 from the floor and 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. The Herd outrebounded Florida Atlantic 8-3, with seven defensive boards, cutting off second chance opportunities. The Owls had three turnovers while Marshall committed zero in overtime. Wheeler and Ferby scored four points each. Ferby started the scoring in OT with a three on the Herd’s first possession. Marshall shot 3-of-4 from the floor and hit six free throws as well on the way to the win.

 

Scouting the Blue Raiders

The Blue Raiders are also 6-0 at home. Middle Tennessee opened league play with a 29-point win (85-56) on the road at UTSA, then fell by one at UTEP. Back home the Blue Raiders defeated Rice by 24 points (87-63) and then ran over North Texas by 28 (80-52). Middle Tennessee then went back on the road for three games with a four-point win at Florida Atlantic, a 2-point overtime loss at FIU and then a 10-point win at Southern Miss.

 

This year the Blue Raiders have been one of the best long-range teams in the country, on offense and defense. Middle Tennessee is seventh in the NCAA in three-point field goal percentage defense, allowing teams to convert on just 24.4-percent of attempts. Meanwhile, on offense the Blue Raiders fire almost 31 three-point attempts per game, hitting 9.5 per contest which is good for first in the league and ninth in the nation. The team’s three-point percentage is 30.8, fourth in C-USA and 171st in the NCAA.

 

Individually, the Blue Raiders sport three players in the top five in C-USA in three-pointers attempted, made, made per game and percentage with Dor Saar, Courtney Whitson and Jalynn Gregory. Saar is 13th in the nation in three-pointers attempted with 144, an average of 8.5 per game, and is 31st with 46 made. Whiston has hit 35 three-pointers and Gregory has drained 33. The three sharp-shooters have combined for 114 made three-pointers, more than all but two teams in C-USA as WKU has hit 147 and FIU has 114.

 

Middle Tennessee also has four players in the top 10 in C-USA in minutes per game with all logging over 33 per contest. Whitson leads the league at just under 39 minutes per game. Saar and Kseniya Malashka lead the team in scoring with 12.8 points per game. Whitson is right behind at 12.6. The Blue Raiders rank 11th in the league in rebounds per game (36.35) with Whitson leading the squad at 7.6 boards per contest.

 

Head coach Rick Insell is in his 17th season at the helm with a record of 391-142.

 

For all of the latest information on the Marshall women’s basketball team, follow the Herd on Twitter @HerdWBB, Facebook at Marshall University Basketball and on HerdZone.com.





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Clarksville woman heads to Antarctica to complete 7-continent marathon quest


In below zero weather, most people would be indoors, snuggled up on the couch under a cozy blanket with a cup of hot chocolate.

But that’s not the case in Maria Shircel’s world. She’d rather be running a marathon outside.  

The 60-year-old Clarksville realtor is on a mission to run across the world, and Antarctica is her last stop. 

After decades of long-distance running, Shircel has participated in more than 200 marathons in nearly 50 states and at least 20 countries on 6 different continents.

On Jan. 27, she is planning to join the Seven Continents Club finishers list as she prepares to run a 26.2 mile marathon in the coldest, windiest and driest of all Earth’s continents.

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The inspiration 

Shircel came to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1979.

She relocated to Hawaii, and during her time there, she met a woman in her 70’s who looked half her age.

She found herself wondering what the woman’s secret was.

“I noticed she was running all the time,” Shircel said. The woman told Shircel that she loved running through the lush tropical rainforests and valleys of Hawaii, enjoying the view. 

Shircel was inspired to run and bike ride and fell in love with it. 

She moved to Tennessee and ran her first marathon in 1998 in Memphis. She has run more than 100 half marathons, at 13.1 miles apiece, and more than 40 full marathons. 

Whether it’s been a five or 26 mile run, Shircel has been training tirelessly for the moment to complete her seven continent milestone. 

‘If I finish it, I bet I can do anything’

And she’s spent years perfecting her training routine.

“Monday, I have an easy run,” Shircel said.

“Tuesday I work on speed. Wednesday I work on hills. Thursday … I cross-train.” Shircel told The Leaf-Chronicle. She works out every day for at least three hours. 

And she’s been training for the Antarctica marathon for more than a year.

The event has been canceled for the past two years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In the meantime, she’s been participating in other marathons.

From Brazil to Iceland, Shircel has visited more than 20 countries in her quest. 

In 2018, Shircel ran a full marathon in New Zealand, an experience she described as her favorite so far, despite it being the most challenging. 

“I wasn’t completely prepared,” she said, noting the unexpected weather and running conditions. There were steep hills, rain and snow, and Shircel struggled, but she finished the marathon after seven hours and 16 minutes.

Time didn’t matter. The only thing that did matter was the fact that she’d done it.

“If I finish it, I bet I can do anything,” she said. “It was a wonderful feeling.”

Shircel’s most recent international marathon was in 2019 in Zimbabwe, where she finished in 3 hours and 54 minutes. 

But, overall, she doesn’t run for the competitive edge, she said.

Argentina to Antarctica

Shircel will be one of 200 runners to participate in next week’s marathon. The event is sold out.

She will be wearing several layers of clothing, water resistant shoes, a face covering, gloves and goggles to protect her from the continent’s extreme weather conditions. 

Antarctica’s average annual temperature ranges from about −10 degrees on the coast to −60 degrees in the the highest parts of the interior. 

Shircel left the U.S. on Jan. 20, and she’s expected to return in early February.

Her itinerary has her flying to Ushuaia, at the southern tip of Argentina. There, she’ll start the journey to Antarctica aboard the Ocean Victory ship, according to the Marathon tours and travel site. 

Over the course of several days, the ship will sail through the Beagle Channel across the Drake Passage, through the Shetland Islands before reaching King George Island – where the marathon will start. 

Her trip will span 16 days and include training runs in addition to the full marathon, where she’ll come face-to-face with Antarctic glaciers, icebergs, penguins and more. 

From clothes to travel, marathon expenses have totaled to more than $11,000, according to Shircel.

But when she finishes, she knows it’ll be worth every penny. 

She described her entire journey, with every trip and experience she’s had around the world, as a once in a lifetime opportunity that she couldn’t pass up.

“I love the scenery,” she said. “I am very passionate about running … it’s a part of me.”

There are times she has been exhausted, but throughout her journey, she has learned to create better life habits, skills for longevity, technique and discipline. 

“Whatever you spend your time (on) the most, you’ll get good at it,” Shircel said. “It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I want to do more … I am able to learn more.”

After Antarctica, Shircel said she wants to meet more people, including aspiring world record holders, and she is planning to continue competing in ultramarathons – defined as any distance longer than a standard marathon. 

So, how long will Shircel continue to compete? When will she retire?

“Until I couldn’t walk,” she laughed. 

Alexis Clark can be reached at aclark@gannett.com or 931-217-8519. To support her work, sign up for a digital subscription to TheLeafChronicle.com.



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Men’s Basketball Heads To Rhode Island Wednesday


Saint Joseph’s (7-6, 1-1 A-10) at Rhode Island (9-4, 0-1 A-10)

Wednesday, January 12 | 7:00 p.m. | Ryan Center

ESPN+ |
Listen Live | Live Stats


GAMEDAY LINKS

Saint Joseph’s: Roster | Schedule | Stats

Rhode Island: Roster | Schedule | Stats

THE TIP-OFF

• Saint Joseph’s returns to the road as the Hawks travel to Rhode Island on Wednesday for the first of two meetings this season with the Rams.

• The Hawks and Rhode Island cap the regular season with an afternoon matchup at Hagan Arena on March 5.

• The last time out, the Hawks fell to Davidson, as the Wildcats pulled away for an 88-73 decision last Wednesday.

Dahmir Bishop is coming off a 17-point performance versus Davidson.

• Bishop finished three points shy of his career-high (20 points) as he went 6-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-6 from distance, to go with six rebounds.

Jack Forrest went 5-of-7 from the floor, and 3-of-4 from three-point range, for a season-high 13 points against Davidson.

Jordan Hall added 16 points, six assists and four rebounds last Wednesday.

• Hall currently ranks third in the A-10, and ninth nationally, in assists per game (6.5).

• Saint Joseph’s 32 bench points against the Wildcats were a season-high.

• St. Joe’s was scheduled to play at George Mason this past Saturday, but the game was postponed due to health and safety protocols affecting the Patriots.

THE MATCHUP

Series vs. Rhode Island: Saint Joseph’s leads 56-34

First Meeting: 12/1/51, Saint Joseph’s, 66-61

Last Meeting: 1/3/21, Rhode Island, 85-77 OT

Coach Lange All-Time vs. Rhode Island: 0-3

SAINT JOSEPH’S VERSUS RHODE ISLAND

• Wednesday marks the 91st meeting between Saint Joseph’s and Rhode Island, with the Hawks holding a 56-34 edge in the all-time series.

• Last year, the Hawks and Rams met in an overtime thriller in which Rhode Island prevailed, 85-77.

Taylor Funk finished with 29 points and Cameron Brown had a season-high 21 points at Rhode Island a season ago.

• The Hawks enter Wednesday with a 23-20 record versus the Rams in Rhode Island.

• Saint Joseph’s 56 victories over Rhode Island rank third-most against any opponent, trailing only La Salle (72) and Temple (70) .

HAWKS ADD GREER III

Saint Joseph’s head coach Billy Lange announced on Monday that Lynn Greer III has enrolled on Hawk Hill for the spring 2022 semester. A four-year starter at Roman Catholic High School, Greer III returns to Philadelphia after transferring to Saint Joseph’s from Dayton. While with the Flyers, the 6-foot-3 guard averaged 2.7 points, 1.4 rebounds and 9.0 minutes per game over 10 contests.  A three-time First Team All-Catholic honoree, Greer III led the Cahillites to two Catholic League titles and a PIAA Class 4A championship. Averaging 5.0 assists per game for his career, he finished eighth all-time in scoring at Roman with 1,392 career points. The son of Temple’s second all-time leading scorer and Big 5 Hall of Famer Lynn Greer, Jr., and grandson of Virginia State Hall of Famer Lynn Greer, Sr., Greer III spent a post-graduate year at nationally-ranked IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, before attending Dayton.

NEXT UP

The Hawks return home to host La Salle on Monday, January 17 as part of a Martin Luther King Day doubleheader with the St. Joe’s women’s basketball team. The Hawks’ women’s team take on the Explorers at noon, while the Saint Joseph’s men’s squad and La Salle tip at 4 p.m., with both games nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.

Follow the Saint Joseph’s men’s basketball team on Instagram and Twitter and like the Hawks on Facebook.





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Florida basketball heads to Ft. Myers for early season tournament


After starting the season 3-0, including a victory over then-ranked Florida State, No. 24 Florida will travel to the state’s West Coast to participate in the Fort Myers Tip-Off.

The event features eight teams split into two divisions. The Beach Division features the four power programs involved in the tournament, Cal, Florida, Ohio State and Seton Hall, and the Palms Divison contains Bowling Green, Milwaukee, Southern Utah and Yale. Each division will name its own champion rather than all eight teams in a single bracket.

Florida’s first matchup comes against Cal on Nov. 22 while Ohio State faces Seton Hall in the first round. First-round winners will advance to a championship game on Nov. 24, and the losers will play for third place earlier in the day.

Here’s a closer look at the teams in Florida’s division.

Matt Pendleton/USA TODAY Sports

Florida has gotten off to a great start this season defeating rival Florida State and moving into the AP Top 25. Much of the team’s success can be traced back to center Colin Castleton, who was named SEC Player of the Week after putting up 15 points and 16 rebounds against the Seminoles.

Forward Anthony Duruji has come along as the hustle player of the team and is averaging 11.7 points per game and seven rebounds per game. Tyree Appleby and Myreon Jones are shooting a combined 41.7% from beyond the arc as well.

Player Pos H/W Class
Anthony Duruji F 6-7 / 220 R-Senior
Colin Castleton F 6-11 / 231 Senior
Tyree Appleby G 6-5 / 205 Senior
Brandon McKissic G 6-3 / 185 Graduate
Myreon Jones G 6-3 / 175 Senior

Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

Cal opened the season with losses to UC San Diego (4-0) and UNLV (3-1), the latter of which was decided by just three points. The Golden Bears notched their first win of the season against San Diego (3-2) on Monday, but double overtime was needed for them to overcome Southern Utah (1-3) on Tuesday.

Part of the Fort Myers Tip-Off event involved the Beach Division teams hosting a Palms Division team before the tournament. Southern Utah challenged Cal far more than Milwaukee did Florida, so that may indicate a Gators advantage for the first round.

Forward Andre Kelly is Cal’s best scorer averaging 16.8 points per game. The Golden Bears play three forwards in their starting lineup, all of which are two inches shorter than Colin Castleton.

Player Pos H/W Class
Kuany Kuany F 6-9 / 194 Junior
Grant Anticevich F 6-9 / 230 Fifth-year
Andre Kelly F 6-9 / 255 Senior
Joel Brown G 6-3 / 192 Junior
Jordan Shepherd G 6-4 / 190 Graduate

Katie Stratman/USA TODAY Sports

Things haven’t gone so smoothly for Ohio State to start the season, but the Buckeyes are still 3-1 on the year so far. OSU only beat Akron (2-1) by a point in the season opener, but Niagara (1-3) proved to be less challenging after that. The Buckeyes massacred their Palms Division matchup for the Fort Myers Tip-Off, Bowling Green (1-3), but then lost to Xavier (4-0) in the Gavitt Games.

Forward Sueing Justice will be out for the Buckeyes for some time with an abdominal injury. Without Justice, the team has leaned forward E.J. Liddell for scoring and rebounding.

Player Pos H/W Class
Jamari Wheeler G 6-1 / 170 Graduate
Malaki Branham G 6-5 / 230 Freshman
Justin Ahrens F 6-6 / 195 Senior
E.J. Liddell F 6-7 / 240 Junior
Zed Key F 6-8 / 245 Sophomore

Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

Seton Hall might be the biggest threat to Florida on paper. For starters, the Pirates are undefeated on the year, including a win over No. 4 Michigan. The rankings haven’t quite caught up to the Pirates’ big win, but they should be ranked by the time of the tournament.

They also have a 7-foot-2-inch center, Ike Obiagu, making Seton Hall the only team in Florida’s way with a  proper center to handle Colin Castleton. The starting lineup is good, but the bench being deep might be the scariest part about this Pirates team. The Pirates bench has outscored opponents 95-34 this season.

Player Pos H/W Class
Jamir Harris G 6-2 / 195 Graduate
Kadary Richmond G 6-6 / 200 Sophomore
Myles Cale G/F 6-6 / 210 Graduate
Alexis Yetna F 6-8 / 225 Graduate
Ike Obiagu C 7-2 / 265 Graduate

Follow us @GatorsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Florida Gators news, notes and opinions.





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Men’s Basketball Heads to VCU for Saturday Tilt


CHATTANOOGA — The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team is set to travel to Richmond, Va., to face perennial mid-major power VCU on Saturday afternoon inside the famed Siegel Center. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. ET.

Chattanooga enters the matchup with a 3-0 record after picking up a hard-fought 69-62 win over Tennessee Tech on Tuesday to claim the 2021 Coke Zero Sugar Classic presented by 3H Group and Springhill Suites Downtown Chattanooga title. VCU comes in at 2-1 following a 48-37 win over Vanderbilt on Wednesday.

Fans can watch the game for on ESPN+ through the Watch ESPN platform or listen LIVE with the ‘Voice of the Mocs’ Jim Reynolds through GoMocs.com or the Varsity Network app. Reynolds is in his 42nd year as the Mocs PxP voice, which is tied for 10th longest among all active NCAA DI announcers.

Full game preview including TV links, game notes and more can be found below.

 

GAME BASICS

▪ Chattanooga (3-0, 0-0) at VCU (2-1, 0-0)

▪ 4:00 p.m. ET | Siegel Center (7,617) | Richmond, Va.

WATCH (ESPN+) | LISTEN (WFLI 97.7FM/1050AM)| STATS

 

GAME NOTES

Chattanooga | VCU | SoCon

 

TIP-OFF

– The Chattanooga Mocs won the 2021 Coca-Cola Zero Sugar presented by 3H Group and Springhill Suites Downtown with a 69-62 triumph over Tennessee Tech on Tuesday… UTC is now 3-0.

 

– The Mocs extended their school record non-conference win streak to 15 games following the win over TTU… streak began on with the Dec. 15, 2019 84-80 overtime win over Troy… also carries a 15-game home non-conference win streak.

 

– Chattanooga will meet VCU for just the fourth time… first time since 1988-89… trails in the all-time series 1-2… UTC defeated VCU 78-75 at home in its last meeting on February 21, 1989.

 

BY THE NUMBERS 

Malachi Smith flirted again with an elusive triple-double turning in 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists on Tuesday…added two steals…led the Mocs in each category…6-15 from the field including 306 from three and adding in a perfect 3-3 at the FT line.

 

Darius Banks produced 10 points with a 3-3 performance beyond the arc…it was his 19th career game with three or more 3s but first as a Moc…six assists (best as a Moc) with zero turnovers…1,240 career points including his 3-year career at James Madison.

 

David Jean-Baptiste’s 12 points moved him up two spots on the all-time scoring list…his 1,331 points passes Casey Jones ’16 (1,321) and Lance Fulse ’88 (1,325) into 11th. Kevin Gray ’76 holds down the 10th spot with 1,385 points.

 

– Another solid effort for KC Hankton with 13 points and five rebounds…first double-digit scoring game of the season, seventh of his career.

FOLLOW CHATTANOOGA BASKETBALL

Follow @GoMocsMBB on Twitter & on Instagram for the most up-to-date information and news regarding Chattanooga men’s basketball.

 

GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. Buy officially licensed gear in our online store. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page or on Twitter. Find out how to join the Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.

 





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Italy Heads Into Another Lockdown As COVID-19 Cases Surge



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