Morgan State at Hampton (MEAC)Convocation Center - Hampton, VA8:00 PM EST
Tonight, we have a real treat, a Chesapeake Bay battle at the top of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Representing Virginia is Hampton, the hottest team in the conference at 6-0, winners of six straight. In the dark blue, a Morgan State team (10-8, 5-1 MEAC) from Baltimore on a three-game tear. Morgan is tied for second at 5-1, but in the bigger picture, these here are the only two schools in this league that have double-digit victories in the overall win column.
With the guarantee-game slogs that teams from this conference go through, it's always a major accomplishment when a team comes out of nonconference with a record near .500. That's what Hampton (11-6, 6-0 MEAC) did, winning five of its 11 non-league games, including two CAA victories over Delaware and VCU in November. They came close in a few others, coming within three of George Mason and with six of both Kent State and Maryland... all on the road. Even though the offense resembles that of any hard-luck MEAC team that you might have seen (averaging only 63 points per ballgame and near the bottom in every offensive category), what makes the Pirates special is their defense. In six conference games (all wins), they've yielded just 56.5 points allowed. You'll find them on the national charts in 3-point field goal defense (29.0 percent, 10th) and opponent turnover rate (25 percent, 15th) They're like the Southern Illinois of the MEAC.
You really want to talk defense, though? You've got to talk Boubacar. That's right, The Boubacar, namesake of this site's daily update posts. The 6-9 Mr. Coly
has been named the MEAC's defensive player of the week four straight times, and is the nation's tenth-leading glass-cleaner at 10.4 rpg. You might think that would translate into lots of double-doubles, but he's only had three so far despite 10 double-digit rebound games. He lets the little MSU Bears like 6-2 senior Jamar Smith
and 6-4 freshman Reggie Holmes
The man loves to serve... and by that I mean serve up his hot, tasty n' almost-famous open-face Boubacar Sandwiches. His hand is the slice of bread and you're meat once he blocks it back in your face... In addition to leading the MEAC in rebounds, he's the conference's blocks leader with 2.5 per game, good for 20th nationwide.Basketball State Preview/Box