Feb. 10, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

Franklin & Marshall’s stock continues to rise as the Diplomats stretched their winning streak to six games and clinched a Centennial Conference playoff berth last week.

Senior forward Danny Selig played a key role in the Diplomats’ two wins last week, averaging 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds against Johns Hopkins and Washington (Md.).  The native of Silver Spring, Md., came off the bench to boost the Diplomats, earning CC Player of the Week for the first time this season.

F&M jumped five spots to No. 16 in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25.  The Diplomats are in a position to win their first CC championship since 2004.

THUNDER ROLLS: Wheaton College (Ill.) held on to first place in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin standings with a pair of league wins last week as the Thunder was once again jolted by the play of senior guard Kent Raymond.

Raymond, a native of Cumberland, Ind., netted 24 points in a win over Millikin to begin the week, and capped it off with a game-high 21 points as the Thunder downed North Park on Feb. 7.  He picked up his fourth CCIW Player of the Week for his outstanding play.  He leads the Thunder with 23.5 points and 2.6 assists per game, and against Millikin, Raymond moved into second place on the school’s all-time scoring list. 

Last week, Raymond’s work in the classroom was also rewarded as he was selected to ESPN The Magazine College Division Academic All-District V squad (First Team) for the 2008-09 season.  He carries a 3.70 grade point average as a graduate student in Intercultural Studies.

Wheaton, which moved up to No. 10 in the latest national poll, will meet league co-leader Elmhurst on Feb. 11 to battle for the top spot in the conference.

STILL GOING:  Middlebury College ran its school-record winning streak to 16 games with a pair of New England Small College Athletic Conference victories as the Panthers remained perfect in league play.

Senior guard Ben Rudin was named NESCAC Player of the Week for the second time this season after averaged 26.0 points, 3.5 assists and a 52.0 field goal percentage for the week.  Rudin led all scorers in both contests with 25 points against Bowdoin and 27 versus Colby. The native of Scarsdale, N.Y., ranks third in scoring against league competition with a 19.9 average. 

No. 13 Middlebury has won a program-record 20 games this season, and looks to clinch the top seed in the NESCAC Tournament when it travels to Trinity and Amherst this weekend.

NOTABLE:  Fontbonne University men’s basketball head coach Lee McKinney earned his 500th career collegiate victory as the Griffins downed Maryville, 90-81, last week.  McKinney has spent 21 seasons at the helm of the Griffins’ program, where he has guided Fontbonne to 312 wins and NCAA Tournament appearances in 1996, 2007 and 2008.  The Griffins are currently tied with Westminster (Mo.) for first place in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings … UW-Stevens Point sophomore Louis Hurd improved on his season-best scoring total twice last week as the Pointers remained perfect in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action.  The native of Portage, Wis., concluded the week with a season-high 25 points against UW-Superior … No. 6 Puget Sound stretched its winning streak to a school-record 14 games with a 100-79 victory over George Fox on Feb. 7 … Calvin College took over sole possession of first place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association standings behind the solid play of junior center John Mantel.  The native of Chelsea, Mich., shot 64 percent from the field, and highlighted his week with a game-high 20 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots in a 63-59 win over Adrian.  He was name MIAA Player of the Week for the third time this season.