That's good 1990s cheese! Google it DC!
Have a whole bunch of nuggets I’ve been sitting on and/or waiting to research and finally some time to unearth them all, so I’m going to channel tournament week and just give it to you good (that’s for Loyal Reader Matt as well as Loyal Tweeps Mary Ellen and Angela, all of whom joined me this week in flooding YouTube for videos from the fall of 1990). Anyway:
—Joeg1 on the CAAZone boards beat me to the punch in comparing David Imes this year to Halil Kanacevic last year. My hunch (and his too, I imagine) was that Imes’ numbers would be a lot closer to Kanacevic’s than we might have imagined. And our hunch was right: Through 18 games this year Imes is averaging 8.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Through the same span last year, Kanacevic was averaging 7.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. They both had four double-doubles.
Somewhat surprisingly, the two have put up those numbers in just about the same playing time, even though Imes (29.4 minutes) has started all 18 games while Kanacevic (26.6 minutes) started just five of the first 18 games last year. Imes has been much more efficient than Kanacevic: Imes has fouled out just once and has been whistled for only 36 fouls while Kanacevic fouled out three times and committed 56 fouls.
Imes’ performance is pretty impressive considering this is, for all intents and purposes, his freshman year. He battled a pair of high ankle sprains and a couple bouts with the flu last year, when he played a total of 128 minutes over 18 games. He's played 125 minutes in the last four games alone.
Now things are rarely as simple as invoking the transitive property—i.e. Kanacevic is gone so that’s why Imes is putting up these numbers. But, well, in this case, it’s pretty clear: If Kanacevic returned, he and Greg Washington would occupy the post and Imes would be a role player. As nice as it would be to have Kanacevic, the Dutchmen now know he was replaced internally by someone who will be a three-year starter—no small feat given the tumult of last spring and Imes’ inexperience.
—As you may or may not know, Hofstra was the last team to suffer a CAA loss. I wrote a little bit about it. Anyway, that got me wondering how the Dutchmen’s 5-0 start stacked up to other perfect starts since the CAA expanded in 2001-02, and more importantly, how the last unbeaten team eventually fared.
The answers: Only four squads in the previous nine years matched or bettered the Dutchmen’s start. But only three of the Last of the Unbeatens won the CAA Tournament and earned the automatic NCAA bid. Two others reached one of the consolation tournaments. The rundown:
2009-10: George Mason 3-0 (finished 12-6 and 4th, lost in the quarterfinals and advanced to the CIT)
2008-09: George Mason 7-0 (finished 13-5 and 2nd, lost in the championship game and advanced to the NIT)
2007-08: Delaware 5-0 (finished 9-9 and 7th, lost in the quarterfinals)
2006-07: VCU 11-0 (finished 16-2 and 1st, won the CAA Tournament and reached second round of the NCAAs
2005-06: Drexel 3-0 (finished 8-10 and 8th, lost in the first round)
2004-05: Old Dominion 8-0 (finished 15-3 and 1st, won the CAA Tournament)
2003-04: Old Dominion 4-0 (finished 11-7 and 4th, lost in the semifinals)
2002-03: VCU/George Mason 2-0 (VCU finished 12-6 and 2nd, lost in the semifinals; Mason finished 11-7 and 4th, lost in the quarterfinals)
2001-02: UNC Wilmington 4-0 (finished 14-4 and 1st, won the CAA Tournament, reached the 2nd round of the NCAAs)
—The campaign to garner Charles Jenkins All-American consideration is justifiably well under way, and Jeremy Kniffin does his usual outstanding job in making the case for Jenkins. But here’s yet another measure of the remarkable season Jenkins is having and just how valuable he is to the Dutchmen: With 417 points and 86 assists thus far, he has accounted for 46.6 percent of the Dutchmen’s scoring.
That is by far the biggest chunk of scoring accounted for by one person over the last 11 years, and the only person to even reach the 40 percent mark in that span was, you guessed it, Jenkins in each of the last two years (42.4 percent as a sophomore, 40.7 percent as a junior). Jenkins’ leap this year is even more impressive considering he’s finally got the wingman he lacked the previous two seasons (Mike Moore, very quietly, has scored in double figures in nine straight games and is averaging 14.8 points per game).
You will not be surprised to know the last player to account for this much of the Dutchmen’s scoring was Speedy Claxton during his epic season in 1999-2000. You may be surprised to know how incredibly close Jenkins’ numbers thus far are to Claxton’s 11 years ago. Claxton had a hand in 46.7 percent of the Dutchmen’s scoring in ’99-00, when he averaged 22.8 points and six assists per game. Jenkins’ current averages: 23.2 points and 4.8 assists.
—In case you missed it: A very good piece from CBSSports.com on Jenkins and his relationship with Mo Cassara.
—Lastly, I couldn’t help but do a double-take when I read this New York Post story about Fordham’s loss to Saint Louis in front of 400 fans at the Izod Center. Oh sure, the attendance was noteworthy, and not in a good way. But what grabbed by attention was Tom Pecora calling the lack of home court advantage at the Izod—where Fordham will play four games this year—“a work in progress.” Oh my God Pecora and Cassara sharing slogans!!!!