email Matt Drake
COLLEGE BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK
It’s year two for Ed Conroy at Tulane and you
can see the progress. Conroy doesn’t have any
seniors in the rotation and there is a lot of talent
among the freshmen and sophomores. Josh Davis,
a 6-foot-8 transfer from NC State, has made an
immediate impact averaging a double-double per game.
The junior tandem of Kendall Timmons and
Jordan Callahan combine for 23 points a night
and the backcourt has been solidified with freshman
The 5-foot-11 Alabama native was a big get for
Conroy. Recruited by Anthony Grant at Alabama,
Tarrant would have given the Crimson Tide a nice
option off the bench to spell Trevor Releford.
Instead he’s starting at lead guard for the Green
Conroy’s team is still relatively young and
inexperienced. In a recent win over Georgia Tech the
Green Wave looked both formidable and average for
stretches. In their lone loss at Wofford they played
average at best. But the talent is there and now
it’s just a matter of consistency. Tulane is likely
a year away from being really good.
Big game Saturday for the Crimson Tide. Coach
Grant’s team travels to Kansas City to take on
Kansas State. It should be a good measuring stick
for the Tide. 6-foot-8 senior JaMychal Green’s
mid-range game makes him tough to guard and Releford
is so good in transition. Alabama is long and
athletic and they are so good defensively with ball
They lack depth at point guard, they aren’t a great
jump shooting team and, as good as he is
offensively, Tony Mitchell isn’t a great
defender. But despite all that I still like this
team in March.
Speaking of good defensive teams; Murray State’s
great start begins on the defensive end. They really
guard the ball. Offensively they very athletic and
they are physically very tough. The Racers shoot it
well from beyond the arc. They have a superstar in
6-foot junior Isaiah Canaan and really
underrated player in Ivan Aska. The 6-foot-7
senior has been an impact player since he was a
Maybe some votes for Steve Prohm for
mid-season coaching honors? What a job he has done
transitioning from longtime assistant to head coach
after Billy Kennedy left for Texas A&M.
He probably won’t get attention for any mid-season
honors, but how about some love for St. Joseph’s
head coach Phil Martelli. The Hawks came up
with a nice win last week over previously unbeaten
Creighton. The Hawks are 7-3 with the losses coming
at Seton Hall, at Iona (in OT) and at American who
will challenge for the top spot in the Patriot
League. Martelli has done a nice job. He also
deserves points for having to endure the wrath of
Seth Greenberg who torched him verbally in the
“Shots from the Heart” tournament.
Let’s be honest. Greenberg was fortunate to advance.
Maybe folks were a bit quick to ticket Indiana
to the NIT. Tom Crean’s team is a complete
team on both ends of the floor. Freshman Cody
Zeller is legit. He’ll get the Hoosiers some
wins on his own. About the only thing keeping this
team from making a lot of noise is another Cody
Zeller. Indiana just needs a little more offensive
How good has Iona’s Scott Machado played! In
the Gaels one-sided win at Richmond, the senior
point guard had 15 assists and just 2 turnovers. On
the road! Don’t let the final score fool you. Iona
Iona is the clear favorite to win the MAAC, but
don’t overlook Fairfield and Loyola MD.
Both teams are playing some good basketball and are
capable of doing what St. Peter’s did in last year’s
UCSB’s Orlando Johnson had 24 points and 10
rebounds in the Gaucho’s 87-80 loss at Washington.
The 6-foot-5 senior could improve his free throw
shooting but the rest of his game is nice. He will
be a first round pick in next year’s NBA Draft.
Utah Valley’s Isiah Williams wasn’t named to
the preseason Lou Henson All-America team, but he
probably should have been. The 6-foot senior can
score. He dropped 35 on Oakland last month.
Matt Drake is a senior writer for