Team preview: Monmouth

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Sometimes the big fish like to know what goes on in the little pond.

Monmouth's Dave Calloway found that out last season as he gathered with the other head coaches the day before the NCAA Tournament's first-round games tipped off in Philadelphia.

Calloway was among a who's who of big-name, big program leaders like Tubby Smith, Jim Calhoun, Jay Wright and Bo Ryan. The big wigs all shared one thing in common, too, they all tuned in the Tuesday night before the tournament started to watch Monmouth crush Hampton, 71-49, in the play-in game in Dayton, Ohio. Several even congratulated Calloway on the win.

"To play the way we did and win in convincing
style in the national spotlight," Calloway said, "we
got more coverage for that [than anything we have ever done here]."

The Hawks went on to give Wright's Villanova Wildcats a spirited battle in the tournament opener before falling, 58-45, to end their third trip to the Big Dance in six seasons.

During that six-year span, the Hawks have been the second most successful program among the 20 New York Metropolitan area Division I schools with 110 wins (behind Manhattan's 117), including an NEC-best 65-27 mark the last five seasons. Overall, the program is 89-65 the last five years.

Monmouth looks to add to its legacy this season, but first it needs to fill in a few backcourt holes created from the loss of seniors Tyler Azzarelli (9.2 ppg) and Chris Kenny (8.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg).