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Above the Rim Report: ASC Men's Basketball Weekly Notebook
January 20, 2003


Upcoming Schedules


Complete PDF Version of this Release

National Polls Top 25
Week #6 (January 14)

Rank Team Pts.
1 Washington U. (22) 621
2 Rochester (2) 588
3 Randolph-Macon 563
4 Hampden-Sydney 542
5 Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1) 537
6 Williams 500
7 Catholic 427
8 Hope 411
9 Carthage 407
10 Wooster 369
11 Illinois Wesleyan 335
12 Amherst 311
13 St. Thomas 300
14 Wisconsin-Whitewater 265
15 Franklin & Marshall 262
16 Hanover 250
17 Whitworth 231
18 Montclair State 200
19 Wisconsin-Oshkosh 151
20 Capital 133
21 Mary Washington 129
22 Gustavus Adolphus 123
23 Babson 84
24 Kalamazoo 70
25 Johns Hopkins 54

ASC vs. Poll

Week Poll No. ASC Team Rank
Nov. Pre Mississippi College RV
Dec. 3 1 Mississippi College RV
Dec. 10 2 Sul Ross State RV
Dec. 17 3 Sul Ross State RV
Dec. 31 4 None ranked
Jan. 7 5 None ranked
Jan. 14 6 None ranked National Team of the Week

Dec. 2-8 G Benny West, Howard Payne

Above the Rim Report . . .

Five Week Sprint: Conference play has barely begun in the American Southwest Conference and the race for the four postseason tournament spots is already nearing a sprint with five weeks of play remaining before the February 28-March 1 event. Sul Ross State (11-3, 4-0 ASC West) and Concordia-Austin (3-11, 3-0 ASC West) are the early leaders in the ASC West Division while Ozarks (9-5, 2-0 ASC East) won a pair of road contests to sit atop the ASC East Division.

The Numbers: Complete ASC conference statistics packages are available on this Web site. The NCAA Division III national statistics rankings will be posted beginning the week of January 7 at under the statistics tab.

Slam Dunks . . .

Austin College (5-8, 0-2 ASC East): Austin College opens a key five-game homestand on Tuesday night (Jan. 21) when they host Ozarks. Included in the five games are four ASC East tilts and one non-conference contest. . . . Sophomore guard J.P. Johnson has been the Kangaroos' leading scorer in seven of the last eight games. He leads the team scoring averaging 15.2 ppg. through 13 games. . . . Rodrick Kennedy carries a 3.08 assist average and 2.08 steals average to list among the conference's Top 10 in both overall season categories.

Concordia-Austin (3-11, 3-0 ASC West): The Tornados hit the road for a pair of ASC West games carrying the label of Division co-leader. CUA posted back-to-back home West home wins last weekend over McMurry and Hardin-Simmons (Jan. 16-18) and improved to 3-0 in the division. . . . Freshman Patrick Oliver carries a conference-game best offensive rebounding average of 4.33 per game. Ten of his 13 boards off the offensive glass came in last weekend's home sweep.

East Texas Baptist (8-6, 1-1 ASC East): ETBU split its ASC East-opening home weekend, dropping an 80-77 game to Ozarks (Jan. 16) before upending Austin College 82-78 on Saturday (Jan. 18). . . .Senior post Justin Booth averaged 18.5 points last week, including a game-high 20 against Austin College. . . . Rod Ceasarwas held to only 8 points, his second-lowest scoring total of the season, by Austin College. Ceasar still managed to average 16.5 points over the two games, thanks to a 25-point, 10-rebound performance vs. Ozarks. . . . The Tigers take to the road this weekend with game at East Division rivals Louisiana College on Thursday (Jan. 23) and Mississippi College on Saturday (Jan. 25).

Hardin-Simmons (3-11, 0-3 ASC West): The Cowboys look to halt a five-game losing skid when they return home to face West co-leader Sul Ross State on Thursday (Jan. 23) and preseason division favorite Howard Payne on Saturday (Jan. 25). . . . Bryan Conover hit 3 three-point field goals against Concordia-Austin (Jan. 18) and was 4-of-7 from deep while scoring 29 points over the Cowboys' two-game road trip. The power forward dished-out 8 assists, including 5 at Mary Hardin-Baylor (Jan. 16). . . . Hardin-Simmons shot .581 from the field against Concordia (25-of-43) after shooting a blazing .696 in the first 20 minutes.

Howard Payne (9-6, 2-2 ASC West): Howard Payne came back from a 93-89 ASC West loss at Sul Ross State to take a pair of home victories against Texas Lutheran (93-78, Jan. 16) and Schreiner (114-95, Jan. 18). . . . Benny West finished the three-game week averaging 26.7 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Included was a 10-of-11 field goal night vs. Schreiner. . . . Justin Foster finished the week averaging 15.7 points, 6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game, while scoring a career-high 25 points against Schreiner. . . . The Yellow Jackets will spend the weekend in Abilene with games at West Division rivals McMurry on Thursday (Jan. 23) and Hardin-Simmons on Saturday (Jan. 25).

LeTourneau (5-10, 1-1 ASC East): Junior Randy Aram tallied a career-high 6 blocks in Saturday's 81-79 loss to Ozarks (Jan. 18). Aram has 26 blocks for the season, the third-highest total in the conference. . . . LeTourneau keeps the long-rang three-point shots coming, hitting 10, 10 and 12 in games against Jarvis Christian (Jan. 14), Austin College (Jan. 16) and Ozarks last week. . . . Senior Anthony Craig tallied nine three-point field goals last week to help him record three straight double-digit scoring games, including a 20-point showing in the East Division-opening 80-74 win vs. Austin College. Craig also had 12 assists and 6 steals in the three games. . . . LeTourneau makes the Mississippi College-Louisiana College swing this week (Jan. 23/25).

Louisiana College (8-5, 1-0 ASC East): The Wildcats came back from a week-long break and opened their ASC East schedule with a fast-paced 95-85 road win vs. UT Dallas (Jan. 18). Four LC players totaled double-figure points with Ryan Vines and Scott Sumner leading the way with 29 and 22 points, respectively. . . . Louisiana College has wins in four of its last five games. The lone loss came in overtime at McMurry (Jan. 11, 92-84). . . . LC opens the home portion of its ASC East schedule hosting East Texas Baptist (Jan. 23) and LeTourneau (Jan. 25).

Mary Hardin-Baylor (7-7, 1-2 ASC West): UMHB put together a season-long three-game win streak with a 76-63 ASC West victory over Hardin-Simmons last Thursday (Jan. 16), but couldn't break the spell McMurry has on the Crusaders' Mabee Gym and dropped a 76-74 heartbreaker to the Indians on Saturday (Jan. 18). . . . Mary Hardin-Baylor is 0-5 at home against the Indians under head coach Ken DeWeese. . . . Forward Justin Hejl came off the bench in both games last weekend to post solid numbers. Hejl, who averaged 20 points over the two games, knocked down a career-high 30 points against McMurry. . . . Ray Whitlock averaged 13.5 points a game last week, scoring 14 against HSU and adding 13 against McMurry.

McMurry (8-6, 2-1 ASC West): .The Indians split their ASC West roadtrip, dropping an 89-81 contest at Concordia-Austin (Jan. 16) before sliding past Mary Hardin-Baylor 76-74 on Saturday (Jan. 18). McMurry has now won five of its last six games. . . . The nets burned in the second half of the McMurry-UMHB game as the Indians shot 74 percent and the Crusaders 61 percent from the floor. . . After having eight different leading scorers in the first 10 games, guard Eddie Love has now led McMurry scorers in four straight games, averaging 19.0 points over the run. . . . McMurry will play its first ASC West home game on Thursday (Jan. 23) when its faces Howard Payne. Division leader Sul Ross State is in Kimbrell Arena on Saturday (Jan. 25).

Mississippi College (9-4, 1-0 ASC East): Mississippi College opened defense of its ASC East title with a 65-59 win at UT Dallas (Jan. 16) before drubbing Messenger College 110-50 in non-conference play on Saturday (Jan. 18). . . . Justin Henley knocked down eight three-pointers over the two games, including five against UTD. Henley finished with 16 points against the Comets and 11 vs. Messenger. . . . The Choctaws host a pair of East Division rivals this week, opening with LeTourneau on Thursday (Jan. 23) and East Texas Baptist on Saturday (Jan. 23). MC is 7-1 at home this season.

Ozarks (9-5, 2-0 ASC): The Eagles jumped to the top of the ASC East with a pair of road wins at East Texas Baptist (Jan. 16, 80-77) and LeTourneau (Jan. 18, 81-79). . . . Six-foot-seven forward Michael Bollman was dominating inside the paint in the two-game road stretch, averaging 25 points and shooting 65 percent (19-of-29). He opened with 22 points at ETBU and came back with 28 points vs. LeTourneau. . . . Mandrell Howell gave Ozarks an offensive lift in the East opening weekend by averaging 16.5 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 87 percent from the free throw line. . . . Five of the Eagles’ nine wins have been by four or less points this season, including the pair last weekend. . . . Ozarks faces road partner Austin College in Sherman, Texas on Tuesday (Jan. 21) before opening its home conference schedule against UT Dallas on Saturday (Jan. 25).

Schreiner (0-14, 0-4 ASC West): The Mountaineers complete a three-game ASC West road swing with Thursday's game at Mary Hardin-Baylor (Jan. 23) before heading home to face division co-leader Concordia-Austin on Saturday (Jan. 25). . . . Senior Brian Stickel ranks ninth among rebounders in conference-only games at 7.3 rpg.

Sul Ross State (11-3, 4-0 ASC West): Point guard Hugh Morrissey's all-around play over the three-game week helped the Lobos stay undefeated in the ASC West. Morrissey netted 26 points and dished-off 21 assists on offense, and tallied 15 steals to help on defense. Morrissey totals a conference-best 95 assists for the season (6.79 apg), already bettering the junior's totals of a year ago. . . . Center Rockland Owens collected 23 rebounds and 17 blocked shots over the three ASC wins last week, including 12 boards and 8 blocks in the 93-89 win vs. Howard Payne (Jan. 13). . . . The Lobos are in the midst of a four-game win streak and head northeast to Abilene, Texas, for weekend games at Hardin-Simmons (Jan. 23) and McMurry (Jan. 25).

UT Dallas (4-10, 0-2 ASC East): The Comets open the week at NCAA-Div. I Centenary College on Monday (Jan. 20) looking to halt a three-game losing skid. UTD remains on the road for a pair of ASC East contests at Austin College on Thursday (Jan. 23) and Ozarks on Saturday (Jan. 25). . . . Richard Scott led UTD in its East Division-opening weekend scoring 23 points against Mississippi College (Jan. 16) and 24 vs. Louisiana College (Jan. 18). Scott's 23.5 conference scoring average lists fourth in the league-only stats.

Texas Lutheran (6-9, 2-2 ASC West): TLU looks to return to Memorial Gymnasium and the win column with a pair of home games this week. The Bulldogs host Concordia-Austin on Thursday (Jan. 23) before facing Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday (Jan. 25). . . . Texas Lutheran dropped a pair on its far West trip last weekend, losing 93-78 at Howard Payne (Jan. 16) and 95-78 at Sul Ross State (Jan. 18). . . . Tommy Stolhandske had two productive games on the road. He scored 18 and had seven rebounds in the road loss to Howard Payne. Against Sul Ross, Stolhandske added 12 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. . . . First-year forward Marlo Saunders scored 12 points in each of the road games, while Will Hudson scored 27 against SRSU.

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