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Let’s meet the American Eagles

American DCs Hope Basketball

Chances are most Villanova fans don’t know a whole lot about the American Eagles, so let’s take a look at exactly who this team is.

1) Who are they?  The American Eagles are located in Washington, D.C.  They play in the Patriot League where they have just won their second consecutive title.  Their head coach is Jeff Jones.  He played for Virginia and coached there from 1990-1998.  He has been with American since 2000.

The Eagles start senior guards Frank Borden, Garrison Carr and Derrick Mercer and senior forwards Brian Gilmore and Jordan Nichols.

2) How did they get here?  The Eagles went 24-7 this season, including 13 of 14 wins in conference.  They beat Holy Cross 73-57 in the Patriot League final to secure their bid.  It was the team’s 13th straight win and its 19th win in 20 games.  American lost to Oklahoma and Maryland in its only two games versus tournament teams.

3)  Who to watch:  Although Derrick Mercer was named the conference’s Player of the Years, American’s best player is its senior guard Garrison Carr.  He led the Patriots, averaging 17.8 ppg.  He can score in bunches as he had at least 25 points in six of the Eagles’ games.  He is a strong 3-point shooter as he averages 3.5 baskets from beyond the arc each game.  Expect to see a lot of Carr considering he averages 36 minutes a game.

4)  What to expect:  As you would figure from looking at their starting lineup, American is one of the most experienced teams in the NCAA Tournament.  Last season they almost beat Tennessee in the first round as a 15-seed, but struggled late and eventually fell 72-57.  With so much experience on the roster, you can expect the Eagles not be intimidated and to fight for a full 40 minutes.  However, Villanova’s superior talent will most likely wear the Eagles down.

-David Cassilo

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