Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Minor’

Tough Enough

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Sponsored by Steph Crandall

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Hartford forward Oren Faulk sends Boston University guard D.J. Irving’s shot packing in the first half Saturday night. Faulk rejected two shots and the Hawks scored a resounding 66-58 win (Photo by Sam Perkins).

(West Hartford, CT) – America East team’s that don’t double Hartford forward Mark Nwakamma do so at their own peril, and any player forced to cover the 6’6” sophomore one-on-one should be afraid – very afraid.

Nwakamma shrugged off a foul-plagued first half to play a herculean second, pouring in 22 points while ripping down 12 rebounds to lead Hartford to a 66-58 win and season sweep over visiting Boston University. A one-man wrecking crew, Nwakamma single-handedly demolished the Terriers’ front line, hitting 9-of-15 shots in his second career double-double. The Leander, Texas, native added three assists, two steals and two monster rejections, while committing just two turnovers.

“He was terrific in the second half,” said Boston University head coach Joe Jones of Nwkamma, “he brought them home at the end.”

“Coach has confidence in me and I have confidence in myself: when I’m single covered to go right at them,” said Nwakamma.

Hartford shot 51.1 percent from the floor (23-of-45) and 43.8 percent from behind the arc (7-of-16), and held the Terriers to just 37.5 percent from the field (21-of-56) and 34.6 percent from three (9-of-26).

“We got great ball reversals, great post touches, I think 16 three’s is the perfect number of three’s for us to be taking,” said Hartford head coach John Gallagher. “I think we established physicality early. We are slowly becoming a physical team, which is exciting – very physical.”

Hartford won the rebounding battle 36-27, and in a heated and physical game that saw tempers flair and the benches empty after the final buzzer, thoroughly out-worked, out-fought and out-toughed the Terriers all night.

“They completely outplayed us in every facet of the game,” said Jones. “They executed at a higher level, they played harder, longer – they chased down loose balls.”

“I thought our guys, coming off an excruciating loss up eight the other night, we just showed our character,” said Gallagher, referencing Wednesday night’s home loss to Vermont, in which Hartford coughed up an eight point second half lead.

After spending their previous five games allergic to the low-blocks – bombing away bricks from behind the arc – Hartford outscored BU 30-24 in the paint. The Hawks also smothered the Terriers dribble-penetration – the lifeblood of their offense – turning Boston University into a jump shooting team.

Guard Wes Cole scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting in 15 minutes off the bench, reserve forward John Peterson added nine and guard Yolonzo Moore II chipped in eight for the Hawks, who had 10 different players log four or more minutes, with eight contributing in the scoring column. Reserve forward Oren Faulk added two blocks.

The Terriers were led by junior guard D.J. Irving, who scored 14 points but required 13 shots to do it, to go with eight rebounds and three assists. Travis Robinson added 11 points off the bench, shooting 4-of-6 from the floor and 3-of-5 from behind the arc. Freshman point guard Maurice Watson scored 10 points while dishing out four assists and freshman forward Nate Diuedonne added eight points and six rebounds off the bench. (more…)

The One-Bid Wonders America East All-Tournament team

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Before last weekend gets too far in the rear-view mirror, here’s our picks for the five best players from last weekend:

Tim Ambrose, G, Albany (24 points on 8-of-14 shooting, four rebounds, four assists vs. Stony Brook)
Albany went out in the quarterfinals, but the Seawolves’ advancement came despite a vintage performance from Ambrose. The Great Danes’ bowling ball of a guard was at his best, combining efficiency and volume in a way that few others can.

Leonard Hayes, G, Stony Brook (11 points on 3-of-5 shooting, two rebounds, one block vs. Albany; 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, six rebounds, two blocks vs. Vermont)
Hayes made 9-of-11 shots from beyond the arc on the weekend and averaged nearly two points per possession used over the course of Stony Brook’s two games. When Vermont cut the Seawolves’ lead to six midway through the second half, it was a Hayes 3 that cut the Catamounts’ momenutum. And even in the postseason, Hayes continues to add elements to his game. Before Saturday, Hayes had not recorded a blocked shot in his career. Now he has three.

John Holland, G/F, Boston University (17 points on 6-of-15 shooting, four rebounds vs. New Hampshire; 16 points on 3-of-10 shooting, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals at Hartford)
It says something about John Holland that this weekend’s performances weren’t particularly strong compared to his usual standard and he still makes our All-Tournament team. For most players, a 9-of-10 performance at the line is something noteworthy. For Holland? That’s normal. And sure, he wasn’t dominant, but BU doesn’t win without him.

Chris Martin, G, Stony Brook (18 points on 5-of-8 shooting, six rebounds, five assists vs. Albany; 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, three rebounds, three assists, one steal vs. Vermont)
You can change your defense. You can bring extra help defenders. You can wreck one of his knees. It doesn’t matter, Chris Martin will still take you off the dribble, barrel down the lane, and convert a layup or draw a foul, or both. He’s like the Terminator, both because of his refusal to quit and because he terminates teams’ seasons. Traveling Stony Brook fans, there’s your new sign idea. Thank me later.

Greer Wright, F, Binghamton (31 points on 11-of-21 shooting, nine rebounds, six assists vs. UMBC; 14 points on 3-of-11 shooting, six rebounds, three assists, one block, one steal vs. Vermont)
Greer Wright’s Thursday night would be a nice weekend for most players. Moussa Camara had a similarly strong weekend as Binghamton broke the AE single-game record for 3-point baskets, but what separated Wright was – and this sounds so unlike everything we’ve ever said about Greer Wright – his ability to help his team beyond just scoring the basketball. Thursday’s performance wasn’t just about shooting, it was a complete game from Wright.

Honorable mentions: Moussa Camara, G, Binghamton; Genesis Maciel, F, Hartford; Anthony Minor, F, Hartford

One by one, BU free throws add up to 55-49 semifinal victory over Hartford

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Boston University redshirt junior forward Pat Hazel is a lot of things. A muscular 6-foot-6, the Marquette transfer holds his

BU's Pat Hazel throws down the second of his two dunks (Photo courtesy of Shane Bufano)

ground in the low post, and has blocked a league-leading 62 shots from both that position and as a help defender. On offense, Hazel generates plenty of second-shot opportunities – his OR% of 11.1 is tied for third-best among all AE qualifiers, trailing only Stony Brook’s Dallis Joyner and Albany’s Blake Metcalf – and despite often finding himself in a crowd of defenders around the hoop, Hazel shot a tidy 52.8% from the floor. The All-Defensive Team nominee’s ability to function effectively as a clean-up guy around the hoop made him a valuable contributor at both ends of the floor for the Terriers this season.

 

But after 32 games this season, it was safe to say that Hazel was not either of two things: a dunker or a free throw shooter. Heading into Sunday’s semifinal against the host, the No. 6 Hartford Hawks, a Hazel dunk prompted a hard pinch to make sure the observer wasn’t dreaming. And the charity stripe was anything but charitable to Hazel. Pat connected at a wholly uninspiring 44.0% clip. In fact, Hazel had never attempted more than one free throw in a game for BU without missing at least once. Hoping for 2-of-2? Good luck with that.

So years from now, when robots parse the box score from the Terriers’ closely contested 55-49 semifinal victory at Hartford for the umpteenth time, they won’t realize that what Pat Hazel did on Sunday took a running leap past “improbable,” landing safely in the zone of “unthinkable.” (more…)

Fans storm court, Maciel lets it rain in Hartford’s 66-63 “upset” win

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

The notion that “it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season,” has been heard by anyone who’s been interested in team sports for a significant period of time. This saying, of course, is demonstrably false. Thousands of games played at every level conclusively show that when one team beats another in each of their first two meetings, the victor in those games is significantly more likely to win the third game as well.

Add another data point to the sample. No. 6 Hartford pulled the nominal upset on Saturday, but the Hawks’ regular-season sweep of No. 3 Maine proved to be a reliable indicator of how the nightcap would conclude.

How the Hawks got there, however, proved to be completely unpredictable. With Hartford’s primary outside shooters mired in 0-fers, it was time for the big men to go to work. And Genesis Maciel let it fly. (more…)

Forgotten Man: Despite fading into obscurity in the minds of fans, Hartford senior Kevin Estes has never given up on the Hawks or himself

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

(Photographs courtesy of Steve McLaughlin)

Kevin Estes took a jab-step to his left, momentarily freezing his defender. Seeing the smallest glimmer of daylight, he cut back hard to his right. It was a read-and-react move he perfected during a career on the high school gridiron in Virginia, only now the closing linebacker had been replaced by 7’3” UConn shot-eraser Hasheem Thabeet. A single misstep, bobble, or a moment’s hesitation and his shot was landing in the third row. With the future NBA lottery pick close on his heels, Estes caught the inbounds pass mid-stride at an all-out sprint and, with one fluid motion, launched himself at the hoop.

Estes felt the wind on the back of his neck as he floated towards the hoop, and then rattled the rim with a 2-handed slam, leaving the backboard shaking behind him and the sure-fire NBA pick grasping at thin air.

As Estes turned and headed back up the court – and almost twelve-thousand rowdy Husky fans suddenly fell silent – he closed his eyes and soaked in the moment.

And just like that, the moment was gone. (more…)

No Minor feat: Hartford senior Anthony Minor is the key to the Hawks’ season – and he’s finally happy

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Hartford first-year head coach John Gallagher left his office late one night towards the end of August. It had been the latest of an uncountable string of twelve-plus hour days that came from trying to right the ship of a program in shambles. Exhausted, Gallagher wanted nothing more than to get home to his wife and young daughter and pass out, when he saw a light on in Chase Family Arena, heard the familiar sound of a basketball bouncing off of the hardwood, and went to investigate.

Gallagher stopped dead in his tracks and began frantically dialing numbers on his cell phone at what he saw unfolding before him: Anthony Minor, alone in the empty gymnasium, shooting.

“I called up everyone on my coaching staff, I was so excited. I said ‘you’ll never guess what I’m looking at; Ant Minor is in the gym right now!’” exclaimed Gallagher, still unable to contain his excitement several months after the event. (more…)

Week in review: Nov. 29 – Dec. 5

Monday, December 6th, 2010

It’s been more than three weeks since the start of the regular season. Every America East team is still in the process of figuring out what it does well. Some teams rebound well. Others are taking good care of the basketball. Others will hang their hats on stout defense.

And a couple of teams have proven to be very good at losing basketball games.

The point is, the league is – slowly – starting to take shape. Are things set in stone? No, far from it. But everyone loves some rankings with their recap, so without further ado, here’s our first-ever (drumroll please!) America East Power Rankings.

1. Vermont Catamounts (6-1)
Last week: Won vs. Dartmouth, 80-53, on Wednesday; Won vs. Yale, 82-78, on Saturday
This week: Wednesday vs. BYU (in Glens Falls), Sunday vs. Marist
First, a caveat: Vermont does not have a win that makes you sit straight up in your chair and say, “That’s a really good team.” But neither does anyone else, and Vermont’s win at Siena in regulation is still the best win by any conference team this season. Oh, and the Catamounts are 6-1. Turnover margin still requires attention – it’s not enough to avoid turnovers, Vermont needs to force them, too – but when you have the current favorites for Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year on your team, it’s a lot easier to get over losing that Marqus Blakely guy. Who was he, again? (more…)

Minor does it all as Hartford tops Brown, 58-46

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Anthony Minor dunks vs. Brown. Photo credit: Adam Manison

WEST HARTFORD, CT – Based on his postgame reaction, one might be led to believe Hartford senior forward Anthony Minor had a completely ordinary performance at Chase Arena last night.

“I was just looking to play my game,” Minor said without even hinting at the actual quality of his performance.

Before yesterday’s game, Minor’s career-high in points scored was 12, set against Yale his freshman year. He had never recorded more than seven rebounds in a game. Four steals in a game occurred just once. Most blocks in a game? Just two.

Hartford (2-5) put together an exemplary team defensive performance to earn a much-needed win in its final home game of the calendar year. But while the 58-46 final score is what counts in the standings, Minor’s career day is the focus, and deservedly so. (more…)