American Looks To Regain Form

By Alexander Pyles - October 18, 2007

BALTIMORE -- American University head coach Jeff Jones is a realistic man.

He understands why his team was picked to finish in the middle of the pack in Patriot League this season. He also knows that it will take a great year to be able to overcome what has become a two-horse race in the conference between Holy Cross and Bucknell. Still, Jones feels like the team he takes the court with this season is better than the ones in years past.

Jones said that a big problem for his team has been the lack of "interior toughness," an issue he and his staff feel they are better suited to address this year.

It could make all the difference. In the 2006-07 season, the Eagles ranked first in socring offense in hte Patriot League, averaging 64.8 points per game. They also took the top ranking in defensive rebounding, averaging 11.35 per game. Offensively, however, American ranked only middle of the pack in rebounding, and near the bottom of the conference in blocked shots. A tougher presence inside could reverse some of those numbers and allow the Eagles to compete with the conference heavyweights, and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.

Of course, no conversation about American is complete without mention of 2005-06 Patriot League Rookie of the Year Derrick Mercer, who led the league in assists per game last season. Mercer will be counted on even more in his sophomore year, as the rest of the Eagle backcourt is made up of two freshman and a transfer student.

Posted by Alexander Pyles at 12:14 PM on October 18, 2007

Post A Comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

The Sloggers... Links CSTV Basketball Blogs Posts By Site Archives...