Friday, August 27, 2010

Bits and Bytes: Of hoops skeds and Huggins starring

No mention of where this guy went to college. Don't worry. It's coming.

Turns out the men’s basketball schedule was further along than I realized the other day. Thanks to Twitter pal Andy Towne and Loyal Reader Jojogunne for sending along the information that Hofstra will host Holy Cross (date TBA) and visit Manhattan (Dec. 18).

The CAA schedule also has its first confirmation: UNC Wilmington released the CAA portion of its schedule (not the entire thing, as I erroneously wrote on Twitter) Thursday afternoon and the Flying Dutchmen will host the Seahawks Jan. 19 and visit scenic Wilmington Feb. 23. Both are Wednesday games.

Below is the schedule as we know it thus far:

Nov. 13: Farmingdale

Nov. 18-21: Puerto Rico Classic (three games)

Nov. 26: Wagner

Dec. 4: CAA opener, site and opponent TBA

Dec. 8: at Binghamton

Dec. 11: Florida Atlantic

Dec. 18: at Manhattan

Dec. 29: at Iona

TBA: Holy Cross

TBA: at Rider

Jan. 19: UNCW

Feb. 23: at UNCW

TBA: Bracket Buster

The non-conference schedule might be complete. Exams take place the week of Dec. 13, so there won’t be any games between Florida Atlantic and Manhattan. I’d guess the games against Holy Cross and Rider will take place the week of and the week after Christmas. Squeezing a game in Dec. 27 would be a good way to begin preparing the Dutchmen for the whirlwind first five days of the real CAA schedule. It's possible another game could be scheduled for Christmas week, but I think what you see is what you’re going to get.

I’d also wager the Farmingdale game will count, because that gets Brad Kelleher one game closer to the floor. Unless someone farts in Kentucky and the NCAA decides to punish the Wildcats by ordering Kelleher to sit out another season. Oh wait, Morehead State just went on probation, we’re probably safe.

Anyway, a couple other bits and bytes for the weekend:

—The first football-free fall at Hofstra since World War II—chew on that for a moment—officially begins today, when the volleyball team becomes the first squad to open its season by hosting the Hofstra Invitational at the PFC. The Flying Dutchwomen will play Canisius at noon and Texas State at 7 p.m.

The women’s soccer team also opens play today by visiting nationally ranked Boston College. Field hockey begins tomorrow, when the Dutchwomen play Boston University at the University of Albany Invitational, while men’s soccer debuts with a home game against Stony Brook Wednesday.

—We won’t forget football here, we can promise you that. The Daily News had a nice article Wednesday about former Flying Dutchmen offensive lineman Kevin Brown, who transferred to Eastern Kentucky and is preparing for his junior season there.

—And it’s beginning to look as if Kareem Huggins, the former Flying Dutchmen running back, is going to do his best to make sure nobody else forgets Hofstra football, either. Huggins is having a monster pre-season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (coached by Hofstra alum Raheem Morris and still, of course, The Official NFL Team of Defiantly Dutch) and has gone from a fringe special teamer to, perhaps, sharing the Bucs’ starting job with Cadillac Williams. Huggins has 99 yards on 16 carries—that’s a mind-boggling YPC of 6.2—and is impressing people inside and outside the Buccaneers’ organization.

Indeed, as I read this St. Petersburg Times column about Huggins, it struck me how remarkably similar his ascension is to the one Wayne Chrebet enjoyed with the Jets 15 years ago this month. Chrebet was trying to make a Jets team that had, almost literally, no wide receivers, while Huggins brings big-play capability to the Buccaneers, who didn’t have a rush of more than 35 yards last season.

Unfortunately, while Chrebet was painted as having come out of nowhere, Huggins kind of does now. But what an appropriate bookend that would be, if Huggins becomes a household name the year after Hofstra football was wiped from the map and 15 years after Chrebet helped put the Dutchmen on it.

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