College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, March 18, 2010
Omar Samhan's domination in St. Mary's 80-71 opening round win over Richmond was worthy of player of the day honors. Samhan manhandled the Spiders inside, hitting 11 of 16 shots from the floor and 7 of 10 free throws en route to 29 points and 12 rebounds.
The 6'11" senior center has led the Gaels in scoring and rebounding all season, averaging a double-double (21.2, 11), so his continued strength inside will be important in Sunday's second round match-up with Villanova.
16 more games are on tap Friday, which will whittle the field down to 32 heading into the weekend. Thus far, the Big East looks like the most overrated of the conferences, checking in with a 1-3 record on Thursday. Four more Big East teams - Syracuse, Louisville, Pitt and West Virginia - will try to right things, though Syracuse, the #1 seed in the West, will be without the services of one of their starters. Arinze Onuaku is day-to-day according to the Orange, and will be replaced in the starting lineup by Kris Joseph, usually the first man off the bench.
Syracuse will sacrifice some heft inside, as Joseph is two inches shorter than Onuaku but nearly 50 pounds lighter. The fitness of the already-thin Orange will be tested in their opener against Vermont, as they normally only go 7 deep. Onuaku will likely not see much action Friday.
NCAA Conference Scoreboard - through games of March 18
Big East 1-3
Big Ten 0-0
Big 12 3-1
Mountain West 2-2
West Coast 1-0
Western Athletic 0-0
*Conferences with only one tournament team listed as "Other."