March 24, 10:45 a.m.: With five teams still alive in the NCAA tournament, the Big East is well represented in the round of 16, which begins Thursday night. But among summer league basketball programs, no team may be better accounted for than D.C. Assault, which has five former players still competing in the field.
The most prominent D.C. Assault alum still playing in the NCAA tournament is Villanova’s Dante Cunningham, a 6-foot-8 senior from Silver Spring. On a team often noted for its strong guard play, Cunningham averages a team-high 16.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Cunningham scored 25 points in the Wildcats’ come-from-behind victory over American in the first round.
Another former D.C. Assault player for Villanova is Dwayne Anderson, a 6-6 guard-forward from Silver Spring. Like Cunningham, Anderson had an impressive showing against American, making 9 of 10 shots and scoring 25 points.
Villanova’s opponent Thursday is Duke, which has another prominent former D.C. Assault player in guard Nolan Smith. Smith, who missed three games after suffering a mild concussion in the Feb. 25 Maryland game, has scored in double figures in three of his last four games, including both NCAA tournament victories.
Two other former D.C. Assault players now compete for Syracuse, which has the difficult task of trying to contain Oklahoma big man Blake Griffin on Friday. Arinze Onuaku, a 6-9 forward, has scored 12 points in each of the Orange’s NCAA tournament victories and has made a combined 12 of 15 shots. Teammate Kris Joseph, a 6-7 freshman, did not play in the second-round victory against Arizona State, but he contributed six rebounds in the first-round victory over Stephen F. Austin.
March 24, 2009; 10:43 AM ET
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