Monday, January 18, 2010

This Week in Wrenball

After a pair of solid home wins against JMU and Hofstra for William and Mary, we've reached Prove It Week here on TWiW, as the Wrens (14-3, 6-1 CAA) put their 5-game conference winning streak on the line against a pair of CAA heavyweights.

W&M heads to Richmond on Wednesday to face a resurgent VCU (13-4, 4-3) squad. The Rams have won three straight, all by 13-point margins, after opening the CAA schedule with three losses in four games. The Tribe rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to beat Shaka Smart's club in both schools' conference opener, serving notice that W&M's early-season success might be more than smoke and mirrors.

Defending conference champion VCU finds itself a full two games behind the four-way logjam atop the league, but might be playing better than anyone else right now. Larry Sanders and his Gheorghe-esque wingspan leads the Rams with 15.3 points and 8.1 boards a game. Sanders, who may well be VCU's second NBA first-rounder in as many years, looked dominant against Hofstra last week, tallying 31 points. After JMU's Denzel Bowles went 26/13 on the Tribe on Thursday, Sanders must be salivating. Uber-scrapper Joey Rodriguez and Bradford Burgess both get 10+ ppg for the Rams, with Rodriguez leading the entire conference in both assists and steals.

As an aside, how good is the race for the CAA's top spot right now? W&M, Northeastern, Old Dominion, and George Mason are all 6-1 in league play. Conference USA has four teams at 3-0 or 4-0 and the NEC has a trio of 5-1 teams and two more at 4-2. But we're not interested in all that. Our unbiased, completely scientific poll indicates that the Colonial is the nation's most competitive conference.

No rest for the Tribe after a matchup with the highly-motivated Rams, as one of the conference's co-leaders comes to Williamsburg on Saturday. Old Dominion (14-5, 6-1) started slowly, losing to Missouri, Mississippi State, Richmond, and Dayton before turning things around with an impressive win at Georgetown. The enigmatic Gerald Lee paces the Monarchs with 14+ ppg, but ODU wins with physical, relentless defense. The matchup between the Tribe's conference-best offense (in terms of efficiency, field goal percentage, and three-point percentage) and ODU's league-leading defense (allowing only 55.8 ppg) will tell the story.

David Schneider continues to pace the Wrens in nearly every aspect of the game. He's the only player in the conference to post top-10 marks in scoring (17.5 ppg), rebounding (6.2 rpg) and steals (1.5 spg). He's starting to garner POY buzz, a noise so unfamiliar in Williamsburg that AD Terry Driscoll was forced to call the Linguistics department for assistance. Sophomore Quinn McDowell gets 15.4 ppg on 51.8% shooting (40.8% from deep). The key this week may well be senior Danny Sumner, the Wrens' third-leading scorer (10.2 ppg) with an alarming predilection for disappearing. If the kid who posted a 0-1, 0 point, 5-rebound, 29-minute effort against Hofstra shows up against VCU and ODU, it could be a tough week. If the Sumner that averaged 16.5 points, 5 boards, and 2 blocks against ACC competition comes to play, I like the Tribe's chances.

Still crossing fingers, almost ready to believe. Realistically, a split would be a very acceptable result this week for the Wrens.

22 comments:

Marlin said...

How about that!

Dennis said...

In other positive Tribe vibes (hmm, Tribe Vibes - sounds like a catchy title for a recurring column doesn't it?), I played in a neighborhood pickup game yesterday and by far the 3 best players on the court were W&M grads. Just sayin'...

Mark said...

Sounds like a pretty unathletic neighborhood pickup game.

rob said...

his neighborhood won't be confused with rucker park anytime soon

zoltan said...

But Dennis is The Goat...

rob said...

fogtb mgl tells me that tony shaver called sumner the mvp of the hofstra game for his defense on charles jenkins. it's possible that i'm an idiot.

rob said...

dennis, were these w&m grads that played for the tribe? if so, who were they?

rob said...

tribe is 29th, 36th, and 43rd in this week's rpi, coaches' poll, and writer's poll, respectively.

and clint dempsey hurt his knee yesterday. dagger.

zoltan said...

It looks like Jose Offerman took boxing lessons from Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning.

rob said...

sports illy's andy glockner has the tribe in the ncaa tournament as a 7 seed. sports illy's andy glockner is an idiot. and so am i for looking at a bracket on january 18.

Mark said...

I think it might be time for you boys to be preparing for some time off in mid-March. A long weekend out of town for Wren fans seems liek a real possibility.

Whitney said...

Seeing Mel Allen's mug on our site for the second time make me miss his voice and his T.W.I.B. Notes on "This Week in Baseball."

Just as much, I miss the cool closing music of TWIB. One of the best theme songs I know, it's called "Gathering Crowds," and I have an mp3 for whomever requests it.

How about that?

Mark said...

Joe Lunardi has the Tribe currently slated as an 11 seed in the tourney.

Marlin said...

Whit, consider this a formal request.

Shlara said...

I know you guys don't watch this show, but I just need to say that the women on this season of The Bachelor are bat-shit crazy.

It is Jersey-Shore-level entertaining.

Mark said...

Good times.

TR said...

My wife forced me to watch a bit of the Bachelor last week. Crazy indeed. And the show's editing tees up every bit of craziness perfectly.

How about the fireworks girl last week, Shlara? "I won't kiss you. Do you wanna kiss me? I bet you want to kiss me. Do you wanna kiss me now? Now? Now? Now!?"

TR said...

The crowd in Manhattan, KS is going nuts. Longhorns got their work cut out for them tonight.

zoltan said...

As opposed to all the sane women who expect to fall in love and get married via a tournament-style dating game show?

rob said...

bitter z-man from the top rope.

kansas state, huh?

Shlara said...

The show is designed to bring out the worst in women. It's disgusting and riveting all at the same time.

zoltan said...

I find Jersey Shore compelling because the cast members are willing to trade their dignity for fame. I find The Bachelor depressing because the cast members are willing to trae their dignity for some guy.

Have you seen Frank the Entertainer? It's like the ghetto version of the Bachelor. According to the Z-woman, Frank is famous because he was on I Love New York and lost. New York is famous because she was on Flavor of Love and lost. So the premise of Frank the Entertainer is: women compete to win Frank, who wasn't good enough for a woman who wasn't good enough for Flavor Flav.