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Tell it to the Judges

John Powell, a former Division II player, had a big week for Brandeis.
Brandeis athletics photo

In a week full of surprises, Brandeis might have sent the biggest shockwave across the Division III landscape by clipping No. 2 Amherst, 78-58, on the road earlier this week. Winning was impressive but beating Amherst by 20 points while scoring a season-high point total is the real eye-opener.

“I’ll be honest, I knew we were moving in the right direction and that our record was deceiving,” Brandeis head coach Brian Meehan said. “I was really surprised about the way we went about winning the game. We played at a much higher level than I thought we were ready for. We went in to that game with a lot confidence. I don’t know it where it came from. It’s a really big step forward for us.”

Brandeis (3-5 overall) finished the first half of its schedule with some serious momentum having won three of their four previous contests.

Competing in the powerful UAA with the league standings resembling the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll, the Judges feature 10 players that are either freshmen or sophomores.

They all figured in the win over Amherst. Brandeis was led by 17 points from sophomore center John Powell, who was 7-of-14 from the field and 3-of-5 from the line. Sophomore forward Tim Reale finished with 16 points as he hit 5-of-8 with a 3-pointer and was 5-of-7 from the line. The duo scored 21 of their 33 points in the second half as Brandeis outscored Amherst, 38-24.

Freshman forward Jordan Cooper finished with 15 points, 12 coming in the first half. Freshman Carlin Haymon made the most of his minutes by scoring 12 points in 15 minutes off the bench, including three huge 3-pointers. Sophomore guard Robinson Vilmont scored nine of his 11 points in the second half.

Even though the Judges started the season with four straight losses, they were in every game. They dropped a pair of two-point decisions to UMass-Dartmouth and Becker. Prior to its win over Amherst, Brandeis claimed a 52-50 victory over Tufts despite shooting 30 percent. Powell recorded a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) to lead the Judges in the win over Tufts.

The task of properly preparing for the season was made difficult by the numerous injuries that kept key players out most of preseason.

Meehan spent a majority of the preseason looking at injury reports instead of scouting reports. Cooper had an ankle injury in which he missed three and a half weeks of preseason. Point guard Colby Smith missed all of preseason while battling mononucleosis. Robinson Vilmont...

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Columnist

Rob Knox

A former Division III Sports Information Director at Lincoln University, Rob Knox also worked at ESPN, Kutztown and at the Delaware County Daily Times. He was named the CoSIDA Rising Star Award College Division winner and won three writing awards for various game stories including the 2007 D-III sectional triple-OT game between Guilford and Lincoln. In the past, he has also written articles for SLAM magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan, a graduate of Lincoln and is from Chester, Pa.
Previous columnists:
2010-13: Brian Falzarano
2010: Marcus Fitzsimmons
2008-2010: Evans Clinchy
Before 2008: Mark Simon

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