Bowling Green's Daeqwon Plowden (above, in 2017-18) is off to a strong start to his senior year. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
Here’s a roundup of some local products and players with local ties (excluding those who play in the City 6) from the opening few days of the season, in no particular order. (This is not an exhaustive list):
- Bowling Green’s going to rely a lot this year on senior wing forward Daeqwon Plowden, and the Mastery Charter grad showed why in the first three games of the season. The 6-6 Plowden started off with 15 points and seven rebounds against Big Ten powerhouse Michigan, then had a massive double-double with 19 points and a career-best 16 rebounds in a win over South Carolina State. Overall, he’s averaging 14.7 ppg and a team-best 10.3 rpg and three blocks.
- Tariq Ingraham sat out his first season at Wake Forest, an offseason knee injury sidelining him before he got a chance to show what he can do. The Demon Deacons’ 6-9 power forward, a Bonner-Prendergast grad, had a strong debut Wednesday against an overmatched Delaware State, going for 19 points on 7-7 shooting and 5-5 from the foul line; he also had five rebounds, an assist and a steal. His follow-up was a bit quieter, as he had three points and three fouls in seven minutes against Longwood.
- Three local products played their part in St. Francis (Pa.)’s impressive 80-70 win over Pitt on Wednesday afternoon, the first by an NEC program by one from the ACC in a little more than seven years. Senior wing Myles Thompson (Camden) had 13 points and eight rebounds in 32 minutes, senior forward Mark Flagg (Pennsbury) had 11 points and six rebounds, plus three assists and two blocks, and freshman point guard Zahree Harrison (Cheltenham) played 16 minutes in his first game since tearing his ACL a year ago, scoring four points and picking up two steals and an assist without a turnover in 16 minutes. They came back to earth on Saturday with a loss to UMBC, though Flagg had 16 points and eight rebounds and Harrison played 23 minutes off the bench, scoring six points and dishing out four assists with two turnovers.
- Sean Yoder opened up his sophomore year playing ten minutes off the bench for Navy and hitting his only shot attempt, a 3-pointer, in the Mids’ 78-71 win over George Washington. The former Pennridge standout followed up his solid debut playing eighteen minutes as a reserve, grabbing two rebounds in Navy’s 82-52 loss against Maryland.
- Tarojae Brake (Octorara) made his D-I debut as a graduate student with Saint Peter’s, hitting two 3-pointers in his only two shot attempts off the bench as the Peacocks nearly upset St. John’s, losing 76-75 on Wednesday. Brake followed his D-1 debut playing nine minutes off the bench in Saint Peter’s 62-51 win over La Salle.
- Rhode Island has already played four games this season, and senior guards Fatts Russell is right back to work. The 5-11 senior guard out of Imhotep Charter bounced back from a tough season opener against No. 18 Arizona State (3-13 FG, 12 points) with a 23-point game against Boston College; through four games, he’s averaging 17.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 4.0 apg with seven steals, and he’s up over 1,305 career points.
- Jameer Nelson Jr. started off his sophomore season on a positive note personally, going for 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting in 30 minutes against Navy, but that wasn’t enough as George Washington dropped its opener 78-71. Nelson Jr., a Haverford School grad, averaged a shade above 10 ppg as a freshman, also in a starting role.
- Ed Croswell was the third leading rebounder in the Atlantic 10 last season, and he made his debut at Providence College after transferring from La Salle in a 97-56 win over Fairfield. In just 14 minutes of action, Croswell recorded 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and 6 rebounds, four of which were on the offensive end. He had a quieter game in a 21-point loss to Indiana on Monday, with five points and four rebounds in 11 minutes.
- Quinnipiac and its Philly contingent got off to a good start Wednesday, running away from FDU for an 84-66 win Wednesday evening. Archbishop Wood product Seth Pinkney, a sophomore center, had a career-high 12 points as the 7-footer had a few lob finishes; it was his first career double-figure game. His current and former teammate, junior wing Ty Pickron, came off the bench for eight points on 3-7 shooting (2-4 3PT), plus a career-high four steals, three rebounds, a steal and an assist without a turnover.
- Justyn Mutts had a big impact for Virginia Tech in the Hokies’ upset win of No. 3 Villanova, coming up with 12 points, six rebounds, and two steals, including a big 3-pointer down the stretch to help VT come from behind and force OT and another in the extra session to put them ahead for good. The 6-7 grad student forward isn’t putting up the numbers he did last year with Delaware (12.2 ppg/8.4 rpg), but he’s clearly a valuable piece for the ACC program, averaging 5.7 ppg/6.3 rpg in 28.7 mpg, coming off the bench in the season opener but starting the last two.
- Former Penn guard Ryan Betley has moved right into the starting lineup in his grad year at Cal, and he's taken his old tricks right to the West Coast. The Downingtown West (Pa.) product is averaging 9.7 ppg and 5.7 rpg, and he's shooting 10-of-23 (43.5%) overall and 8-of-19 (42.1%) from deep. He's just 27 points from 1,000 in his college career.
- In the first game of the post-Pat Chambers era, Penn State defeated VMI 86-65 with several Philadelphia area players making an impact in the win under new coach Jim Ferry. Izaiah Brockington (Archbishop Ryan) finished second on the team in points, chipping in 15 and added eight rebounds, as well as two blocks and three steals on the defensive end. Seth Lundy (Roman Catholic) started off his sophomore campaign with 12 points, knocking down two three pointers from beyond the arc. Binghamton transfer, and alumnus of the Shipley School, Sam Sessoms made his debut off the bench for the Nittany Lions contributing 12 points and recording four steals and three assists. Sessoms played 27 minutes off the bench and figures to be a big part of the rotation going forward. John Harrar (Strath Haven) continued to do what we have seen him do in his past three years for Penn State, contributing six points and nine rebounds while being a solid presence on the defensive end down low.
- Former Archbishop Ryan star Gediminas Mokseckas made his college debut Monday for Campbell University (N.C.). The 6-4 wing guard from Lithuania had a solid game against NAIA foe St. Andrew’s (N.C.), going 5-of-5 from the floor including a 3-pointer en route to 14 points in 16 minutes, with three rebounds and an assist. The Camels are scheduled to play their first D-I opponent Dec. 8 at Jacksonville, the first of three games in three days.
- VCU freshman Mikael Brown-Jones has come off the bench in the Rams’ first three games, averaging 7.7 mpg for one of the top teams in the A-10. The talented 6-8 combo forward’s best outing so far came in the season-opening win over Utah State, when he scored six points and had two assists in nine minutes of action.
- Texas A&M Corpus-Christi guard Rasheed Browne has gotten off to a hot start to his Division I career after spending two years in the JUCO ranks. The former Neumann-Goretti sharpshooter is leading the Islanders in scoring (13.0 ppg), going 12-for-21 (57.1%) overall and 4-of-8 from deep, plus hitting all 11 of his foul shots. A 6-2 guard, Browne is also averaging 5.3 rpg and is tied for the team lead in steals with five, though he also has a team-high 10 turnovers. Overbrook’s Cyrie Coates has played 17.7 mpg off the bench for the Islanders, averaging 4.7 ppg and 3.0 rpg.
- A year after averaging 3.9 ppg and 2.1 apg in 31 games (11 starts) for UConn, Westtown’s Jalen Gaffney has certainly taken on a bigger role for a program that’s back in the Big East. Starting the first two games of the season, wins over CCSU and Hartford, Gaffney averaged 30 minutes, 10.5 ppg, and 2.5 apg. The Huskies have a loaded backcourt but the 6-2 point guard will be right in the mix.
- Miami (Fl.) guard Isaiah Wong had an impressive opener to his sophomore season, tearing up the North Florida zone defense while operating in part from the high post, putting up 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting, along with seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block in 35 minutes, all with just one turnover. The 6-3 guard out of Bonner-Prendergast closed last season on a tear, and looks to have carried that momentum right over.
- After averaging about four points per game in his first two seasons, CCSU junior wing Karrington Wallace looks like he’s taken a nice jump forward, averaging 10.0 ppg over the Blue Devils’ first pair of games. That included a 14-point effort in the season opener against UConn for the 6-7 Archbishop Wood product. His teammate, Jamir Reed (Mastery North), averaged 10.0 ppg as well, a slight tick up from his 8.3 ppg as a freshman; he’s also got five steals and eight rebounds in the two contests.
- Coppin State started off its season with a respectable 10-point loss at Duke. Imhotep Charter alum Koby Thomas played his part with 11 points in 31 minutes, with three rebounds and an assist. Last year was Thomas’ best in college, as the athletic 6-6 wing averaged 13.3 ppg and 6.8 rpg.
- Maryland’s two Philly products, both sophomores, are off to nice starts as the Terps opened 3-0. Donta Scott (Imhotep Charter) is averaging 11.0 ppg and 5.7 rpg, coming off a career-best 17-point, five-rebound, two-assist performance against Mt. St. Mary’s in 29 minutes off the bench. Hakim Hart (Roman Catholic), whose minutes have nearly tripled from his freshman year averages (6.2 to 18.3) has seen his scoring jump from 1.6 ppg to 6.3 ppg, helped by an 11-point, three-rebound, two-assist, one-steal outing against Navy.
- After spending two years away, Zane Martin’s back to his old tricks at Towson. The grad student, who played two years at Towson before sitting one and playing one at New Mexico, is averaging 19.3 ppg for the Tigers (0-3) after scoring 25 against San Francisco and then 27 against Buffalo; he averaged 19.8 as a sophomore. He’s also averaging 4.0 rpg and 3.7 apg while shooting 46.8% from the floor, numbers which would all be career-bests if he sustains them for the year.