Coach Mike Brey
Team scoring 73-6 (FG%: 44.8) (3-pointers: 174-472, 36.9%)
Opponents' scoring 69.5 (FG%: 43.0)
Team FT% 71.9
Whom not to foul Tyrone Perry (79%), Darryl Presley (78%)
Whom to foul John Bennett (67%), Keith Davis (68%)
Quality wins None
Player to Watch
There were great expectations when Presley, a sophomore forward, joined the Blue Hens after playing one season at Virginia. He hasn't laid an egg. He leads Delaware in rebounding (7.7) and is second in scoring (12.9). More important, perhaps, he handles the pressure well in big games. Against Boston University in the America East Conference tournament final, he scored 25 points, had 13 rebounds and was named tournament MVP.
It has taken Brey, a former Duke assistant, just three seasons to build a winner, and he has done it with an exciting, reckless style. He has built the offense around an explosive pair of undersized forwards in 6'6" Presley and 6'5" sophomore Mike Pegues (16.8 points per game), who can slash to the hoop and score or lock the ball back to spot up three-point shooters Perry (40.6%) and Kestutis Marciulionis (33.9%).
The Hens may keep Purdue cooped up for a half, but Delaware has no answers for the Boilermakers' frontcourt.
7 St. John's
Coach Fran Fraschilla
Team scoring 73.2 (FG%: 43.8) (3-pointers: 140-434, 32.3%)
Opponents' scoring 68.2 (FG%: 40.6)
Rebound margin +7.4
Team FT% 63.8
Whom not to foul Lavor Postell (83%), Tarik Turner (71%)
Whom to foul Reggie Jessee (44%), Ron Artest (52%)
Quality wins Illinois 83-66, UConn 64-62, West Virginia 77-69
Player to Watch
Freshman forward Attest was only supposed to lose his starting spot for one game after he showed up late for a practice in early January, but Fraschilla noticed that Artest was more relaxed in that game and has brought him in off the bench ever since. Thanks largely to his 11.2 points and 6.9 boards per game as sixth man, St. John's won 13 of its last 16 games.
Sophomore forward Postell slammed his face into the floor while diving for a loose ball in the second half at Providence on Jan. 17. He got eight stitches in his chin and four in his lip but still played the last seven minutes of a 63-56 win. Let that be a warning: The Red Storm isn't the prettiest team, but it's winning and—after years of underachieving—starting to save face with a physical front line of Artest, Postell, Tyrone Grant and Zendon Hamilton.