* FLOWERS BLOOMING: Hofstra comes to Baltimore this week as the hottest team in the East Coast Conference, thanks in part to Derrick Flowers, a 6-foot-5 senior guard out of Milford Mill High.
The Flying Dutchmen (7-7 overall, 2-0 in the ECC) are at UMBC Thursday, and remain in town until Saturday, when they play Towson State, the only other ECC team that has a .500 record (6-6, 2-0). Flowers is Hofstra's second-leading scorer with a 12.9 average, as he's made 50 percent of his field goal attempts in coach Butch Van Breda Kolff's deliberate style.
Flowers, who leads Hofstra in blocked shots and is second with an average of 3.6 rebounds, comes home with 908 career points. He played sparingly as a freshman, but made the All-ECC second team as a sophomore. This past week, his play in wins over Columbia, Rider and Drexel earned him ECC Player of the Week honors.
Earlier, Flowers was MVP of the Stetson Hatter Classic.
* RICHMOND REELING: Terry Connolly, a 6-5 senior forward from Thomas Johnson in Frederick, is having a solid season for Richmond. But little else has gone right lately for a Spiders' program that needs to turn around quickly if it expects to make the NCAA or NIT for the seventh time in eight seasons.
Richmond began the season 5-1, but is 7-7 after last night's 85-54 win at Charleston. The Spiders are 0-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association, and will try to end that slump tomorrow when they go to Navy.
That will be the last collegiate game Connolly plays in his home state. He's averaging 9.2 points and 6.1 rebounds, and leads Richmond in three-point field goal percentage from his power forward spot, making 62.5 percent (10-for-16).
The top women's player at Richmond is Amy Mallon, a 5-10 junior forward from Mount Hebron who's averaging 13.6 points and 8.8 rebounds.