Hofstra takes another hit as knee issues end Jamal Coombs-McDaniel’s season

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The hits just keep on coming for Mo Cassara and the Hofstra Pride.

After getting through a November that was capped by the dismissal of four players due to their arrest on charges of burglary, December won’t close well either as it was reported by Jeff Goodman of that junior forward Jamal Coombs-McDaniel will miss the remainder of the season due to lingering knee problems.

Coombs-McDaniel, a reserve on Connecticut’s 2011 national championship team, was expected to be an impact transfer alongside Penn State transfer Taran Buie entering the 2012-13 season but that never materialized as the Boston native never took the floor for the Pride.

Add in Hawaii transfer Shaquille Stokes being one of the four players dismissed from the team and Buie (15.3 ppg) is the lone transfer making his Hofstra debut in 2012-13 that remains. Also dismissed from the program in late November were freshman Jimmy Hall, the team’s leading rebounder at the time, Kentrell Washington and Dallas Anglin.

Sitting at 3-8 with a game against Tulane on Saturday, Hofstra has struggled mightily on the offensive end of the floor as they’re averaging just 63.9 points per game. And in the Pride’s last six games, all losses, they’ve managed to score more than 57 points just once (88-84 loss to LIU Brooklyn).

The 6-7 Coombs-McDaniel, who was a very good scorer in high school at the Tilton School, was expected to given Cassara a much-needed offensive option upon his return to the court. But that isn’t going to happen, and will ultimately keep Hofstra down in the lower region of the CAA standings.

With teams such as Drexel (3-7), Delaware (3-8) and Old Dominion (1-10) off to slow starts, year one after the departure of VCU has not been a good one for the CAA.

Just two teams (William & Mary and George Mason) have above .500 records currently, and with Towson, UNCW (both for APR issues), Georgia State and ODU (those two are joining new conferences) ineligible for the conference tournament who knows what will happen in March.

But with their severely depleted roster, it’s difficult to see a Hofstra team that’s down to seven scholarship players being able to take advantage of the situation and grab the CAA’s automatic bid.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

North Carolina to wear black jerseys December 19 vs. UCLA

UNC Athletic Communications
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While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.

Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.

Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.

Villanova forward to undergo hip surgery

Jay Wright
Associated Press
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Two-time defending Big East champion Villanova will be down a man in its front court, as the program announced Friday that freshman forward Tim Delaney will undergo hip surgery. According to the release a torn labrum in Delaney’s left hip is the reason for the surgery, and it has yet to be determined how long the freshman will be sidelined.

“I’m disappointed for Tim,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “Tim had a great summer and preseason. He’s a very coachable young man and was picking up everything we do. The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.”

Villanova’s front court rotation will be led by senior Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 9.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game in 2014-15. Junior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Kris Jenkins will also see minutes in the front court, with redshirt freshman guard/forward Mikal Bridges factoring into the competition as well.

Villanova also has Fordham transfer Eric Paschall, but he isn’t eligible to compete in games this season.