Here's hoping we're all saying "Holy crap!" in a good way tonight!
1.) This game provides a nice snapshot of how quickly things can change in the CAA. Four weeks ago today, the Flying Dutchmen were the only 3-0 team in conference play and little could stop them, not even a 12-hour bus ride to Boston. Northeastern was 0-3, and while we all knew the Huskies would snap out of it, they were too young, too inexperienced and too lean to take advantage of the tired Dutchmen. Now the Huskies have won four in a row after an 0-8 start and the Dutchmen have lost three straight after bolting out of the gate 8-1, and what we all penciled in as a win weeks ago is anything but a sure thing.
2.) All it takes is one win to make everybody feel a lot better, and the Dutchmen need that in the worst way today. The cliché is to say no game is a must-win until a loss means elimination, but the Dutchmen must win this game. Confidence is waning and the Dutchmen need to regain some of it before a two-game road trip that includes the always-dangerous midweek stop at Georgia State and a visit to unpredictable Delaware. Who cares whether it’s by one point or 20 (and we believe the Dutchmen will finally enjoy an easy CAA win one of these days)? As the zombie that is Al Davis used to say: Just win baby. (That’s to give CAA bloggers two Al Davis references this week!)
3.) Greg Washington, where are you? The Dutchmen can’t get untracked unless Washington snaps out of his suddenly monstrous slump. The good news for Washington is that he fares well against Northeastern: He scored 14 points on a career-high 15 shots and pulled down five rebounds in Boston Jan. 8 and averages 8.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and two blocks per game in five career starts against the Huskies. Look for Charles Jenkins to try and get Washington involved very early, as in the first or second possession of the game, in hopes of getting Washington an easy basket that will get him going.
4.) It’ll be interesting to see how Northeastern attacks Jenkins, who has been held in check (by his standards, anyway) the last three games by VCU, Drexel and George Mason, and if anyone other than Mike Moore can relieve Jenkins of some of the scoring burden. Can’t say this enough: The Dutchmen need Shemiye McLendon or Brad Kelleher to hit a couple threes to open things up for Jenkins and everybody else. The Dutchmen are 5-0 when Kelleher hits two or more threes and 6-0 when McLendon drains multiple threes (and 3-0 when they BOTH hit at least two threes). Not surprisingly, they are a combined 4-of-19 during the three-game losing streak.
5.) The Barone Bowl Ball is up for grabs! Even if the proactive kids from Northeastern had to cover for my slacker ass. Go Dutchmen, do it for Ron Fernandez! (Or, as we called him, David Ettinger)