Monmouth v Notre Dame

Monmouth receives good news regarding two newcomers

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The 2012-13 season was a tough one for King Rice’s Monmouth Hawks, as they finished the season with an overall record of 10-21. And at 5-13 in the Northeast Conference, the Hawks didn’t qualify for the NEC tournament after dropping their final four regular season games.

Tough way to say farewell to the NEC, as the Hawks are one of two newcomers in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with Quinnipiac being the other. On Wednesday the Monmouth program received some needed good news, as the NCAA Eligibility Center has cleared freshmen Marcelo Deschamps and Justin Robinson.

While this raises the number of freshmen on this season’s roster to seven, the personnel boost is a much-needed one for this young team. Deschamps, a native of Brazil, is a 6-10 center (Robinson’s a 5-8 guard from Kingston, N.Y.) who gives the Hawks additional size alongside fellow interior players (and freshmen) Chris Brady and Zach Tillman.

“Marcelo is a big, physical specimen,” Rice told Josh Newman of the Asbury Park Press. “He can run and be physical going into the MAAC with the physicality of that league. When when we first got Marcelo, we were still in the NEC, but at the time, we were looking to go out and find bigger, stronger post guys.”

All three will be needed as the Hawks lost their top three rebounders from last season (Ed Waite led the way with an average of 4.8 rpg), and to be frank Monmouth wasn’t all that good on the glass either.

Monmouth finished the 2012-13 season ranked eighth in the NEC in offensive rebounding percentage, as they managed to grab 29.8% of their missed shots. And on the defensive glass the Hawks had their issues, as opponents rebounding more than 35% of their misses.

The NEC certainly didn’t have slouches amongst its members, with three-time champ LIU Brooklyn and Robert Morris being perennial contenders, but Monmouth will see an overall rise in the level of competition now that they’re in the MAAC.

Monmouth will certainly take their lumps this season, but at least they’ll have a full roster to build with.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.