Around The Perimeter

College Basketball

December 30, 2005|By PAUL MCMULLEN

GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 3 Villanova vs. Temple, Tomorrow, 4 p.m., CN8 -- Your cable carrier might not have this one, but at least it's the last weekend that hoops takes a backseat to the helmet-heads on the college front. Both teams are experiencing up years in Philadelphia, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Big Five. In Mardy Collins, the Owls have one of the nation's most unappreciated stars. Villanova's four-guard lineup could use some size, and the Wildcats have added 6-foot-7 Shane Clark, who was headed to Maryland until NCAA clearinghouse issues delayed his enrollment.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

UCLA -- Other than an eight-point loss to Memphis in the semifinals of the Preseason NIT, the Bruins have been perfect. Third-year coach Ben Howland had another strong recruiting class, and he has four freshmen in his rotation. The most intriguing is Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, a 6-7 forward who's a prince in his village in Cameroon. He's been a king under the basket, as he's averaging 8.9 rebounds, not bad for a 215-pounder.

LOCAL FRONT

Lowdown -- Navy lost starting guard Corey Johnson to a knee injury during an 0-4 start, but it has used balance and a forgiving schedule to creep up on a winning record. They began a four-game homestand last night with a 86-54 win against Division III Susquehanna. The Citadel, which is coached by Baltimore native Pat Dennis, visits Alumni Hall tomorrow, and UMBC goes to Annapolis on Tuesday. The Jan. 7 Patriot League opener could provide a reality check from Bucknell, but the Mids could be on a serious roll by then.

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