START IT UP: The Seattle University men's basketball team begins its 66th season of post-World War II intercollegiate basketball against the University of Maryland Terrapins of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The team left Seattle Saturday morning for the cross-country journey. Five returning letterwinners, including three starters, are back from the squad that posted a 17-14 record in 2009-10, the fifth straight winning season for the program.
THE PACIFIC LUTHERAN GAME: Seattle University gave its fans a taste of the up-tempo style it plans to employ during the 2010-11 season, as six players scored in double figures and everyone played a role in the 121-91 exhibition victory over Pacific Lutheran University at KeyArena at Seattle Center on Oct. 31. Mark McLaughlin shot 9-of-12 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line to lead all players with 25 points, while Alex Jones did most of his damage from the free throw line, hitting 9-of-10 shots from the charity stripe in scoring 15 points. Fredrick Wilson finished with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals, and Gavin Gilmore contributed 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Pacific Lutheran kept the game close for the first ten minutes of the contest, staying within four at 25-21 before Seattle U outscored the Lutes, 41-19, over the last ten minutes of the first half to open a 26-point lead at halftime. The Redhawks extended their advantage to 34 points four minutes into the second half before Pacific Lutheran went on a 15-2 run over the next four minutes to cut into the home team's lead, but that would be as close as the visitors would get during the contest. Cervante Burrell also scored 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, plus he dished out six assists. Chad Rasmussen hit three baskets from behind the three-point line in the first half and finished with 10 points. All 12 active players on the roster played at least 11 minutes, scored at least four points, and, with the exception of Rasmussen, pulled down at least two rebounds. As a team, Seattle University shot 60.3 percent (41-of-68) from the field, including 11-of-22 from behind the three-point line, and 87.5 percent (28-of-32) from the free throw line. Seattle U forced 23 turnovers by Pacific Lutheran but committed 30 turnovers of its own.
2K SPORTS CLASSIC: Tonight's game is one of the regional round contests of the 2010 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. Besides Maryland, fourth-ranked Pittsburgh, #16 Illinois, and 25th-ranked Texas are hosting contests tonight and Wednesday night. No matter the results of the regional round games, those four teams will move on to Madison Square Garden for the championship rounds of the tournament Nov. 18-19, with Pittsburgh facing Maryland and Illinois going against Texas in the semifinals. Meanwhile, Seattle University will join host UC Irvine, Louisiana Tech and Navy in Irvine, Calif., for one of two subregionals taking place Nov. 19-21. Each team will play three games in three days against the other teams in the subregional. Toledo hosts the second subregional that same weekend, welcoming Rhode Island, Charleston, and Illinois-Chicago for that series of games.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE: This begins a busy stretch for the Seattle University men's basketball squad. The team will fly back to Seattle Tuesday morning, practice Wednesday, and then fly to San Francisco Thursday afternoon. The Redhawks face the University of San Francisco Friday night, fly back to Seattle Saturday, and head right into their next game, the home opener against Cal Poly Sunday. The team will have two days of practice to prepare for Oregon State Wednesday, Nov. 17, and then they leave for Irvine, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 18, for the subregional round of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, with three games in three days.
SCOUTING MARYLAND: The Terrapins finished the 2009-10 season with a 24-9 record, losing to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The team finished in a first-place tie with Duke in the final ACC regular season standings with a 13-3 conference mark. Maryland was 15-1 at home last season, including a perfect 8-0 in ACC games at the Comcast Center. Sean Mosley is the team's leading returning scorer after averaging 10.1 points per game, while Jordan Willams comes back after averaging 9.6 points and a team-high 8.6 rebounds per game last season. In all, seven letterwinners are back for the Terrapins in 2010-11.
SEATTLE U VS. MARYLAND: This will be the first meeting all-time between Seattle University and the University of Maryland in men's basketball.
SEATTLE U VS. THE ACC: Seattle University won nine games last season by five points or less. Seattle U has faced two current members of the ACC previously, defeating Boston College in the 1952-53 season (99-86) and losing to Wake Forest in the 1977-78 campaign (85-67).
CARDIAC HAWKS: Seattle University won nine games last season by five points or less.
1) Nov. 19 vs. Fresno State - Cervante Burrell layup with eight seconds left in home opener for 85-84 win
2) Nov. 22 vs. Weber State - SeattleU holds off Wildcat rally for 91-87 victory
3) Nov. 24 at Utah - Redhawks hit 6-of-6 free throws down stretch to hold off Utes, 77-74
4) Nov. 27 vs. Presbyterian - Late Charles Garcia jumper ices 67-63 win in Las Vegas
5) Dec. 15 vs. UC Irvine - Garcia hits two free throws with 16 seconds left for 82-81 victory
6) Jan. 16 vs. Utah Valley - Clutch free throws from Chris Gweth, Aaron Broussard for 66-63 win
7) Feb. 7 at Portland State - Broussard three-pointer with 0.3 seconds left gives Redhawks 80-77 win
8) Feb. 22 at San Jose State - Three-pointer from Taylor Olson with 5.4 seconds left for 90-88 win
9) Feb. 27 vs. CSU Bakersfield - Alex Jones putback with 16.5 seconds left seals 76-72 victory
ON THE RADIO: Dave Grosby and Gary Hill, Jr., will broadcast the game from courtside on 710 ESPN Seattle. Due to the early tip-off time in the Pacific time zone. the game will be tape-delayed by one hour, with the over-the-air broadcast beginning at 6 p.m. Pacific time. Hill will also be updating his blog on www.seattleufan.com throughout the game.
POSTSEASON SITUATION: Seattle University is not eligible for the NCAA Tournament until 2013, but the team is eligible to be selected for the NIT, the CBI, or the CIT this season. After not making any of the postseason tournaments last year, the team has made it a goal to play well enough to earn a spot in one of the 2011 postseason tournaments.
THE LEADER OF THE REDHAWKS: Cameron Dollar is in his second year as the head coach of the Seattle University men's basketball team. After leading the team to a 17-14 record in 2009-10, he was named Independent Coach of the Year. He did not need to leave the city of Seattle to accept this position, as he had been an assistant coach at the University of Washington under Lorenzo Romar for seven seasons. In 2008-09, the Huskies won their first outright Pac-10 regular season title since 1953. Dollar also was instrumental in helping Washington reach the Sweet 16 in both 2005 and 2006. Dollar joined Romar at Saint Louis in 1999, helping the Bilikens win the Conference USA tournament championship in 2000. After spending one season as an assistant for Pat Douglass at UC Irvine, Dollar became the nation's youngest head coach in 1998, taking over the program at Southern California College (now Vanguard University), where he went 11-22 in one season. As a player, Dollar helped UCLA win the 1995 NCAA Championship at the Kingdome in Seattle.
A FAMILY AFFAIR: When looking for coaches to join his staff, Cameron Dollar did not have to look far to fill one of the assistant positions, just up the family tree. His father Donald Dollar joined the Seattle University men's basketball program last year after a long and distinguished career of coaching high school basketball in Georgia. He earned three state championships, 16 regional titles, 11 appearances in the state semifinals, and eight chances at the state title. Over 35 players who played for Donald Dollar have gone on to play at the Division I or Division II level, with four players having played or presently playing professional basketball. After moving into the college ranks and seeing success at his alma mater Morehouse College, Dollar served as an assistant coach at the University of West Georgia for the past two seasons.
RELISHING THE SPOTLIGHT: This season the Seattle University men's basketball team will play five games that will be televised on a regional basis, beginning with tonight's game at Maryland on Comcast SportsNet Washington and Comcast Sportsnet Northwest. Four home games will be carried by FSN Northwest, starting with the Nov. 17 contest against Oregon State.