Different look for Cabrini

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Tyheim Monroe has been filling up the stat sheet for Cabrini this season. And he's just a sophomore.
Cabrini athletics photo 

Despite the graduation of three-time D3hoops.com All-America selection Aaron Walton-Moss last spring, Cabrini has a lot of talent this season.

What the Cavaliers lack is experience.

Cabrini is 10-4 in Colonial States Athletic Conference games, good for third place in the league standings. But the team’s inexperience showed in its losses to Immaculata on Dec. 2 and Rosemont on Jan. 13, head coach Tim McDonald said.

“I thought those two games were two games that we could have won if we came and played hard for 40 minutes,” McDonald said. “I think our guys came into the games just expecting that, alright, we’re Cabrini, we’re supposed to win this game, we’re going to win this game. The other team just came out and outworked us the entire game.”

McDonald added: “We’ve been talking a lot about every day, whether it’s practice or a game, that we have to play with a championship effort every night.”

Cabrini won its rematch with Immaculata on Feb. 3, and the Cavaliers face Rosemont again on Feb. 10. Cabrini’s other two league losses came against the conference’s top teams, Gwynedd Mercy and Neumann.

Cabrini’s key contributors are young. The starting point guard, Ivan Robinson, is a freshman. Sophomore guard/forward Jair Green averages 17.9 points per game. Sophomore forward Tyheim Monroe leads the nation with 20 double-doubles.

Monroe has had a double-double in each of Cabrini’s games this season. He is averaging a team-best 18.1 points and a nation-best 15.4 rebounds per game.

Walton-Moss was the team’s most aggressive player last year, McDonald said. Monroe “really stepped into that role this year where he’s just going to get every loose ball that he can.”

Monroe was 6-1 in high school, grew to 6-5 before his freshman year at Cabrini, and is 6-8 now, McDonald said. He was a guard in high school and played mostly on the wing in his first season at Cabrini. This year, McDonald moved Monroe to the post, which meant that he had to be more physical.

“What he’s done now is just really learned how to use his body and get positioning down in the post where he can catch the ball in a scoring position,” McDonald said.

Last year, Monroe averaged 12.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He attributed his improved rebounding this season to his positioning.

“Last year I was more trying just to use my height to grab rebounds,” Monroe said. “This year, I actually try to box out.”

Last season, Cabrini had the Colonial States Athletic Conference’s best regular-season record but fell to Neumann in the CSAC championship game, 93-92 in overtime. Cabrini had won the previous five CSAC titles.

McDonald is in his second season as Cabrini’s head coach. Before that, he was an assistant at Cabrini for four seasons. He is familiar with the championship culture.

“Our expectation going into every year is to get to the conference championship and win it,” he said.

Around the Atlantic

In CUNYAC men’s basketball, Staten Island and Lehman are tied for first place with 10-3 conference records. … Brooklyn snapped a two-game losing streak with a 103-96 win over Hunter on Feb. 5. Senior guard Egzon Gjonbalaj had a game-high 31 points and senior forward Lorenzo Williams added 30 for the Bulldogs. … In NJAC women’s basketball, Kean handed first-place Rowan its second conference loss on Feb. 6 behind a game-high 32 points from freshman guard Marajiah Bacon and 25 from junior guard Jaquetta Owens. Kean won 90-82 in overtime. … In MAC Freedom women’s basketball, senior forward Shalette Brown scored a career-high 31 points on Feb. 6 in FDU-Florham’s 78-64 win over Eastern. She had scored her 1,000th point on Jan. 13, also against Eastern.

Sarah Sommer

Sarah Sommer is a freelance journalist in New York City. She began writing for D3hoops.com in March 2015, when she covered the women's NCAA Tournament. She is excited to continue covering Division III basketball as the Atlantic columnist.
2011-2015 columns: See Around the Atlantic/Mid-Atlantic