Sunday, November 19, 2017

I’ll Be Quirky: Auburn


So that's where Lonely Tailgater gets it from.

The dream of an unbeaten season perished Friday night, when Clemson began running away from the Flying Dutchmen late in the first half of a 78-59 win in the semifinals of the Charleston Classic. The Dutchmen will look to head home on a winning note tonight when they take on new bitter all-sports rival Auburn in the third-place game at 7 PM. Here’s a look back at the loss to the Tigers and a look ahead to the, umm, Tigers.

THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Justin Wright-Foreman scored a team-high 20 points for the Dutchmen, who led briefly in the first half and trailed by only two points with three minutes to go before Clemson entered the locker room on a 12-4 run to take a 42-32 lead. The Dutchmen pulled within six a little more than five minutes into the second half, but Clemson scored the next nine points and led by double digits the rest of the way. Eli Pemberton scored 14 points and Rokas Gustys (10 points, 10 rebounds) collected another double-double while tying for the team lead with three assists. Joel Angus added eight points and six rebounds.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Clemson 11/17)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Rokas Gustys
1: Eli Pemberton

SEASON STANDINGS
Justin Wright-Foreman 10
Rokas Gustys 5
Eli Pemberton 5
Desure Buie 2
Joel Angus 1

THREE WAS THE MAGIC NUMBER
The Dutchmen opened 3-0 for the second time in the last three seasons and the 18th time in program history. They have not begun a season with at least four straight wins since the 2004-05 team started out 9-0.

In addition, the Dutchmen were one of 17 previously unbeaten teams to lose Friday. But they remained unbeaten longer than all but one of those teams — a group that included CAA rival Northeastern and former CAA foe VCU — thanks to the 9:30 tipoff. Viva la third shift!

ROK 1K
Senior center Rokas Gustys enters tonight’s game with 978 rebounds, the third-highest total in school history and the 10th-highest total in CAA history. He is 16 rebounds shy of moving past George Mason’s Will Thomas (aww too bad) for ninth place all-time in the CAA and 209 rebounds away from surpassing John Irving for second place all-time at Hofstra. Irving’s 1,186 rebounds are the most in Hofstra’s Division I history.

AUBURN AND THE SEC
Auburn is 2-1 this season after falling to Temple, 88-74, in Friday’s semifinal game. The Tigers routed Norfolk State, 102-74, in the season opener Nov, 10 before opening Charleston Classic play with an 83-64 win over Indiana State on Thursday. Auburn was ninth in the SEC preseason poll.

Like many other schools (such as Miami, so sad), Auburn is involved in the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball. Former assistant coach Chuck Person, who played at Auburn in the ‘80s, was indicted Nov. 7 on six charges. Person allegedly accepted $91,500 in bribes while directing two unnamed players to a financial advisor who was cooperating with the FBI. Scandal-happy head coach Bruce Pearl has not been implicated but has yet to cooperate with school officials conducting an internal investigation. So long story short, maybe if Hofstra loses the win will be vacated!

At KenPom.com today, Hofstra is ranked 125th while Auburn is ranked 53rd. Per the wise guys, for entertainment purposes only, Auburn is a 10.5-point favorite. Hofstra is 1-1 against the spread this season.

Hofstra and Auburn have one mutual foe. The Tigers will host Dayton, whom the Dutchmen beat 72-69 on Friday, in a non-bracketed Charleston Classic game (don’t ask) on Nov. 29.

This is the first time Hofstra and Auburn have faced each other in men’s basketball and only the second time the schools have opposed each other in any sport. But it’s also the second clash in seven days. The NCAA screwed Hofstra again by sending the Flying Dutchwomen soccer team to Auburn last Friday, where the Tigers earned a 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Dutchmen are 2-11 all-time against current Southeastern Conference schools. Hofstra edged Florida 68-67 during the 1977-78 season and beat Mississippi 78-73 during the 1990-91 season. This is the third straight season in which Hofstra has faced an SEC foe. The Dutchmen lost to Kentucky 96-73 at Not Nassau Coliseum last Dec. 11 and fell to South Carolina, 94-84, in the second round of the Paradise Jam on Nov. 22, 2015.

OVER THE AIR
Tonight’s game will air live on ESPNU. Hofstra will carry live audio and offer live stats here.

PRESEASON TOURNAMENTS
Hofstra is 22-23 in preseason tournament play in the CAA era. The Dutchmen participated in the Gulf Coast Showcase last season, when they beat Bradley (92-90) and South Dakota (65-57) while falling to Vermont (87-73) in Florida before beating Division III Medaille 89-56 at Hofstra (don’t ask).

THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
Lonely Tailgater is a bad online influencer bias! (Twitter’s MVP inexplicably follows me)
Charles Barkley isn’t paid to be a role model bias! (Long before he was chucking people through bar windows, Barkley played three seasons at Auburn)
Pat Dye went for the tie in the 1988 Sugar Bowl bias! (It’s true, you could look it up)
We got screwed at Auburn last week bias! (Duh) 

Friday, November 17, 2017

I'll Be Quirky: Clemson


The Shot!

The pursuit of a perfect season remained intact Thursday night, when the Flying Dutchmen led nearly wire-to-wire before mounting a late comeback to edge Dayton, 72-69, in the opening round of the Charleston Classic. The Dutchmen face Clemson in the semifinals tonight, Here’s a look back at the win over the Flyers and a look ahead to the Tigers.

THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Eli Pemberton scored a game- and career-high 27 points for the Dutchmen, who squandered a 15-point first half lead but took the lead for good with 1:40 remaining on a pair of free throws by Rokas Gustys (THIS REALLY HAPPENED) before surviving three 3-point attempts by Dayton in the final 73 seconds. Justin Wright-Foreman added 19 points while Gustys has five points and 10 rebounds. Joel Angus once again flirted with a double-double (seven points, six rebounds).

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Dayton 11/16)
3: Eli Pemberton
2: Justin Wright-Foreman
1: Rokas Gustys

SEASON STANDINGS
Justin Wright-Foreman 7
Eli Pemberton 4
Rokas Gustys 3
Desure Buie 2
Joel Angus 1

COACHSPEAK: “Had that tournament feeling to it—even an NCAA Tournament feeling to it. Great experience for our guys and that’s why you do this. That’s why we get in a tournament like this, to play great teams, see how well we can play. We feel pretty good about ourselves here. We’re going to enjoy the heck out of this tonight and then it’s off to see if we can do something with Clemson.”

THRICE AS NICE
The Dutchmen improved to 3-0 for the second time in the last three seasons and the 18th time in program history. This is the fourth time a Joe Mihalich-coached team has opened 3-0 (1999-2000, 2003-04, 2015-16).

THE STREAK IS OVER
Justin Wright-Foreman finished second on the Dutchmen with 19 points, ending a streak of 14 straight games in which held at least a share of the team high. It was the longest streak in Hofstra’s Division I era.

GO FOURTH, YOUNG MEN?
The Dutchmen are looking to open 4-0 for the 12th time in program history and the first time since the 2004-05 season, when the Dutchmen won their first nine games. A Joe Mihalich-coached team has opened 4-0 just once (2003-04). 

CLEMSON AND THE ACC
Clemson is 3-0 this season with wins over Western Carolina (85-57) last Friday and North Carolina A&T (87-63) on Sunday prior to Thursday’s 81-76 victory over Ohio in the Charleston Classic. The Tigers were picked 13th in the ACC preseason poll 

At KenPom.com today, Hofstra is ranked 114th while Clemson is ranked 48th. Per the wise guys, for entertainment purposes only, Clemson is an 8-point favorite. Hofstra is 1-0 against the spread this season. 

For the second straight game, the Dutchmen will face a coach who began his career in the CAA. Clemson head coach Brad Brownell coached UNC Wilmington from 2002 through 2006, during which he steered the Seahawks to two CAA titles and went 8-2 against the Dutchmen. His final win at UNCW was a 78-67 victory over the Dutchmen in the 2006 CAA title game, when Loren Stokes played with one grotesquely swollen nut because Tony Skinn and Jim Larranaga are very awful people. 

Hofstra and Clemson have no mutual foes. The winner of tonight’s game advances to face Temple in the Charleston Classic championship Sunday night at 9:30 PM while the loser battles Auburn in the third-place game at 7 PM.

This will be the fourth all-time meeting between Hofstra and Clemson and the second straight time the teams oppose each other in the Charleston Classic. Clemson cruised to a 98-69 win on Nov. 14, 2008. The Tigers also beat the Flying Dutchmen (back when they really were the Flying Dutchmen) at the PFC (!!!) during the 1988-89 season and at Clemson during the 1989-90 season, when the Tigers’ season ended in the clip embedded above. It all ties together!

Hofstra is 5-27 all-time against current ACC foes. The Dutchmen last beat an ACC opponent on Nov 20, 2015, when they edged Florida State 82-77 in the opener of the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands.

OVER THE AIR
Tonight’s game will air live on ESPNU. Hofstra will carry live audio and offer live stats here.

PRESEASON TOURNAMENTS
Hofstra is 22-22 in preseason tournament play in the CAA era. The Dutchmen participated in the Gulf Coast Showcase last season, when they beat Bradley (92-90) and South Dakota (65-57) while falling to Vermont (87-73) in Florida before beating Division III Medaille 89-56 at Hofstra (don’t ask).

THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
Elden Campbell bias! (Poor Elden’s stunned reaction to The Shot was captured for eternity by the CBS cameras)
Deshaun Watson bias! (The Houston Texans rookie phenom quarterbacked Clemson to the 2016 national title)
William The Refrigerator Perry bias! (The guy who scored a touchdown instead of Walter Payton in the Bears’ only Super Bowl win played for Clemson)

Kris Benson bias! (Anna’s ex-husband played at Clemson)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I’ll Be Quirky: Dayton

If you are old, like me, you remember reading Erma Bombeck several times a week.

The Flying Dutchmen will look to remain one of the 136 unbeaten teams in the country tonight, when they begin play in the Charleston Classic by facing Dayton. Here’s a look back at Monday’s win over Kennesaw State and a look ahead to the Flyers and the rest of the potential field in the Charleston Classic.

THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Rokas Gustys (14 points, 13 rebounds) produced a double-double in just 24 minutes as the Dutchmen never trailed in beating Kennesaw State by the palindromic score of 75-57. Justin Wright-Foreman (16 points) led the Dutchmen in scoring for the program-record 14th straight game while Eli Pemberton (12 points) reached double digits in his season debut. Joel Angus (nine points, seven rebounds) and Matija Radovic (eight points, seven rebounds) each flirted with double-doubles.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Kennesaw State 11/13)
3: Rokas Gustys
2: Justin Wright-Foreman
1: Eli Pemberton

SEASON STANDINGS
Justin Wright-Foreman 5
Rokas Gustys 2
Desure Buie 2
Eli Pemberton 1
Joel Angus 1

COACHSPEAK
"The goal going into Charleston was to be 2-0 and we are. So we feel real good about that."--Joe Mihalich

TWICE AS NICE
The Dutchmen improved to 2-0 for the 27th time in program history. This is the seventh time a Joe Mihalich-coached team has opened 2-0 (1999-2000, 2000-01, 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2015-16).

WIRE-TO-WIRE
The Dutchmen won a game in which they didn’t trail for the first time since last Dec. 13, when they routed SUNY-Stony Brook 96-58 at the Arena.

THRICE AS NICE?
The Dutchmen are looking to improve to 3-0 for the second time in the last three seasons and the 18th time in program history. Joe Mihalich-coached teams have opened 3-0 three times (1999-2000, 2003-04, 2015-16).

DAYTON AND THE ATLANTIC 10
This is the second game of the season for Dayton, which earned a 78-77 win over Ball State on Friday night. At KenPom.com today, Hofstra is ranked 121st while Dayton is ranked 106th. Per the wise guys, for entertainment purposes only, Dayton is a 2 1/2-point favorite. This is the first game this season in which Hofstra has been on the boards for casual and degenerate gamblers alike.

NYBuckets.com's Vinny Simone and I put aside our vast differences and did our best to educate Dayton fans about Hofstra hoops, past and present, in this Q&A with the Dayton blog Blackburn Review.

Per Dayton beat writer David Jablonski, the Flyers return the fourth-fewest minutes of any Division I team.

Dayton’s head coach is ex-VCU head coach Anthony Grant, who went 4-1 against the Dutchmen while helming the Rams from 2006 through 2009.

Hofstra and Dayton have no mutual foes, though Dayton is scheduled to play fellow Charleston Classic participant Auburn on Nov. 29. The winner of tonight’s game is scheduled to face Clemson or Ohio tomorrow at 7 PM, with the loser facing the loser of Clemson-Ohio at 9:30 PM.

This will be the second all-time meeting between Hofstra and Dayton. The Flyers beat the Dutchmen, 77-54, in the Dayton Invitational on Dec. 29, 1981. Remarkably, I was not in attendance.

Hofstra is 35-103 all-time against current Atlantic 10 schools. The Dutchmen last beat an A-10 foe on Nov. 28, 2015, when they knocked off host St. Bonaventure 89-83. The A-10 includes former Hofstra conference foes George Mason (CAA), LaSalle (ECC) and VCU (CAA).

OVER THE AIR
Tonight’s game will air live on ESPNU. Hofstra will carry live audio and offer live stats here.

PRESEASON TOURNAMENTS
Hofstra is 21-22 in preseason tournament play in the CAA era. The Dutchmen participated in the Gulf Coast Showcase last season, when they beat Bradley (92-90) and South Dakota (65-57) while falling to Vermont (87-73) in Florida before beating Division III Medaille 89-56 at Hofstra (don’t ask).

ABOUT THE CHARLESTON CLASSIC
The Dutchmen are playing in the Charleston Classic — which is hosted by CAA rival College of Charleston — for the second time. Hofstra opened the 2008-09 season by falling to Clemson 98-69 before beating Western Michigan 71-68 in overtime and edging East Tennessee State 76-75. This year, the Dutchmen will play on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

CHARLESTON CLASSIC CONNECTIONS
There are tangible connections between Hofstra and all seven of its possible Charleston Classic opponents.
DAYTON: The Dutchmen are 0-1 all-time Dayton, which is coached by former VCU head coach Anthony Grant. Also, I am Twitter friends with Dayton grad @juliaflyer.
CLEMSON: The Dutchmen are 0-3 all-time against Clemson, whom they faced in the Charleston Classic in 2008.
OHIO: The Dutchmen are 0-2 all-time against Ohio, whom they last opposed during the 1986-87 season.
AUBURN: The Dutchmen have never faced Auburn, but Auburn grad @LonelyTailgater is an awesome Twitter follow even though he is a bad influence on me there.
INDIANA STATE: The Dutchmen faced Indiana State in the Paradise Jam in the 2015-16 season, when they provided a sign of things to come by blowing a seven-point lead in the final 1:50 of a 67-66 loss. Also I am Twitter friends with Indiana State beat writer and fellow ‘80s junkie @TribStarTodd.
OLD DOMINION: The Dutchmen are 9-15 all-time against Old Dominion, whom they used to play in the CAA before the Monarchs exited for Conference USA and the allure of Division I-A football following the 2012-13 season. Also, I am Twitter friends with ODU grads @VABeachRep, @devyanks90 as well as ODU professor @white__knuckles.
TEMPLE: The Dutchmen are 6-11 all-time against Temple, which was a member of the East Coast Conference until it left for the A-10 following the 1981-82 season.

THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
You still have I-AA football bias! (Dayton plays in the non-scholarship Pioneer League, did you know you could do that, I had no idea)
Jerry Blevins bias! (The Mets left-hander and the most accomplished J.B. to attend games at Citi Field this year pitched for Dayton for two seasons)
Birthplace of aviation bias! (The Wright brothers are from Dayton, which is also the home of Wright State, which has also played Hofstra before)
Erma Bombeck bias! (The late great funny newspaper columnist is a Dayton grad)

Monday, November 13, 2017

I’ll Be Quirky: Kennesaw State

Ryan Seacrest seems as surprised as I am that he's in one of my posts.

The dream of an unbeaten season got off to the only start it could Friday night, when the undermanned Flying Dutchmen held off Army, 77-74, at the Arena. The Dutchmen will look to make it two in a row tonight, when they host Kennesaw State. Here’s a look back at the Army win and a look ahead to Kennesaw State.

THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Justin Wright-Foreman did Justin Wright-Foreman things as he scored 16 of his game-high 25 points and pulled down the rebound after Army’s last-second 3-pointer was off the mark. All of Wright-Foreman’s second half points either tied the game or put the Dutchmen ahead. He also finished with six rebounds and a team-high five assists. Desure Buie, playing his first game since he suffered a season-ending knee injury last Nov. 29, scored the Dutchmen’s final seven points and ended the night with 12 points. Joel Angus (13 points, eight rebounds) and freshman Jalen Ray (10 points, two assists) had solid debuts. Rokas Gustys pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds but was limited to six points. Three players—Eli Pemberton, Stafford Trueheart and Kenny Wormley—sat out due to a violation of team rules.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Army 11/10)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Desure Buie
1: Joel Angus

SEASON STANDINGS (duh)
Justin Wright-Foreman 3
Desure Buie 2
Joel Angus 1

FOR STARTERS
Hofstra won its fourth straight season opener and improved to 47-35 all-time in season openers. Joe Mihalich improved to 12-8 in season openers (4-1 at Hofstra, 8-7 at Niagara).

WE LOVE THE LEADER!
Justin Wright-Foreman led the Dutchmen in scoring for the 13th straight game, which, according to the dual research efforts of myself and Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov, is the longest streak — single season or multi-season — in Hofstra’s Division I era (1972-present).

RAY OF LIGHT
Jalen Ray became the second freshman in as many years, and the 10th Hofstra freshman in the CAA era (2001-present), to score at least 10 points in his Dutchmen debut.

2017: Jalen Ray 10 pts vs. Army
2016: Eli Pemberton 20 pts vs. Coppin State
2013: Chris Jenkins: 17 pts vs. Monmouth 
2012: (One of the he who shall not be named): 11 pts vs. Monmouth
2010: Shemiye McLendon: 16 pts vs. Farmingdale State
2009: Halil Kanacevic: 12 pts vs. Kansas
2005: Greg Johnson: 12 pts vs. Florida International
2004: Antoine Agudio: 20 pts vs. Florida International 
2003: Carlos Rivera: 10 pts vs. Marist
2001: Kenny Adeleke: 10 pts vs. Florida Atlantic

Ray is looking to become the fifth Hofstra freshman in the CAA era to open his career with back-to-back double-digit scoring efforts.

2016: Eli Pemberton 20 pts vs. Coppin State, 23 pts vs. Sacred Heart
2012: (One of the he who shall not be named): 11 pts vs. Monmouth, 17 pts vs. Purdue
2004: Antoine Agudio: 20 pts vs. Florida International, 13 pts vs. LaSalle
2001: Kenny Adeleke: 10 pts vs. Florida Atlantic, 25 pts vs. Kent State

NO ANGUISH FOR JOEL
Joel Angus became the ninth transfer in the Joe Mihalich era (2013-present) to score at least 10 points in his Hofstra debut. He is the 18th transfer since 1991 to reach double digits in his first game with the Dutchmen.

2017: Joel Angus 13 pts vs. Army
2016: Deron Powers: 12 pts  vs. Coppin State
2015: Denton Koon: 14 pts vs. Canisius
2014: Juan’ya Green: 14 pts vs. Jacksonville
2014: Ameen Tanksley: 16 pts  vs. Jacksonville
2014: Brian Bernardi: 22 pts vs. Jacksonville 
2014: Malik Nichols: 15 pts  vs. Jacksonville
2013: Zeke Upshaw: 22 pts vs. Monmouth 
2013: Dion Nesmith: 10 pts vs. Monmouth
2012: Taran Buie: 14 pts vs. South Dakota State
2012: (One of the he who shall not be named): 12 pts vs. Monmouth 
2011: Bryant Crowder: 13 pts vs. Rhode Island
2010: Mike Moore: 13 pts. vs. Farmingdale State
2010: Dwan McMillan: 15 pts vs. Farmingdale State
2008: Cornelius Vines: 12 pts vs. Clemson
1995: Seth Meyers 14 pts vs. Stony Brook
1995: Lawrence Thomas 20 pts vs. Villanova
1991: Demetrius Dudley 33 pts vs. Navy

SECOND HELPINGS
The Dutchmen are looking to go 2-0 for just the third time in the CAA era (2001-02, 2015-16) and the 27th time in program history. 

Joe Mihalich-coached teams have opened 2-0 six times (1999-2000, 2000-01, 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2015-16).

KENNESAW STATE AND THE ATLANTIC SUN
Kennesaw State opened its season Friday with an 82-64 loss to Butler. The Owls were picked to finish fifth in the eight-team Atlantic Sun and entered today ranked 298th at KenPom.com. Their head coach is Al Skinner, who went 1-1 against Hofstra as the head coach at Rhode Island from 1988 through 1997. Hofstra and Kennesaw State have no mutual opponents this season. 

The Dutchmen have never faced Kennesaw State in any sport. 

Hofstra is 3-4 all-time against current Atlantic Sun schools. The Dutchmen last faced an Atlantic Sun opponent Nov. 14, 2014, when they opened the season with a 94-61 win over Jacksonville.

OVER THE AIR
Hofstra will carry a live stream and offer live stats of the game here.

THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
Ryan Seacrest bias! (Per Wikipedia, Seacrest attended Kennesaw State)
Something something Seymour Skinner bias! (C’mon)
Extreme Makeover bias! (Per Wikipedia, Ty Pennington attended Kennesaw State)
Owls bias! (That’s their nickname and I don’t have much here)

Friday, November 10, 2017

I'll Be Quirky: Army

The hunger strike until Hofstra reaches the NCAA Tournament again enters its 17th season!

Hello! Is this thing on? *blows dust off, coughs, sneezes* Good afternoon and welcome to the 2017-18 Hofstra men’s basketball season! Our favorite wintertime obsession begins tonight, when the Flying Dutchmen open the 17th straight Quixotic pursuit of the fifth NCAA Tournament in program history by hosting Army at the Arena.

And for the second straight year, hopefully, I’m going to produce “I’ll Be Quirky,” a collection of interesting (at least to me) stats and figures reviewing the Dutchmen’s most recent game and previewing their next one. I did pretty well last year, let’s see if I can make it 2-for-2.

As I noted last season, this blog is my Hofstra version of “The Skinny” blog produced by Islanders statistician Eric Hornick. Thanks to him for the inspiration and to you for reading. Play ball! Wait. Wrong season.

WE DON’T KNOW WHERE WE’RE GOING BUT WE SURE KNOW WHERE WE’VE BEEN
The Flying Dutchmen finished last season 15-17 (7-11 CAA) and were eliminated from the CAA Tournament with an 81-76 first-round loss to Delaware. The Dutchmen fell under .500 for good in the midst of a six-game losing streak on Jan. 14, though they got within one game of the break-even mark five times. The losing season was the first for the Dutchmen since 2013-14 and only the fifth in 19 seasons as a head coach for Joe Mihalich.

Sophomore Justin Wright-Foreman (18.1 ppg) led the Dutchmen in scoring — a remarkable feat for someone who scored just 44 points as a freshman — while junior Rokas Gustys (12.1 rpg) led the team in rebounding for the third straight season.

FINAL 3 STARS OF THE GAME STANDINGS
Justin Wright-Foreman 60
Deron Powers 36
Eli Pemberton 30
Brian Bernardi 23
Rokas Gustys 22
Ty Greer 9
Hunter Sabety 7
Jamall Robinson 5

THE WRIGHT-FOREMAN STUFF
Justin Wright-Foreman earned second-team All-CAA honors after ranking third in the league in scoring. He led the Dutchmen in scoring in the final 12 games of the season, the longest streak by a Hofstra player in the last 10 seasons. In addition, his 580 points were the second-most by a Hofstra player in his sophomore year in the CAA era (2001-present), behind only Charles Jenkins (629 points in 2009-10). Wright-Foreman also ranked 25th nationally in scoring among sophomores.

ROK IN THE MIDDLE
Despite missing four games due to injury and averaging nearly a rebound fewer per game than in 2015-16, Rokas Gustys surged into third place on the program’s all-time rebound list last season and enters this year 254 rebounds shy of second-place John Irving, whose 1,186 boards are the most by a Hofstra player in the Division I era. Gustys is also looking to become the first player in program history to lead the team in rebounding in four straight seasons. Kenny Adeleke was the last player to lead the Dutchmen in rebounding three straight seasons. 

ELI’S BIG DEBUT
Eli Pemberton earned CAA all-rookie team honors last season, when he averaged 12.8 points per game while starting 30 out of 31 games. His 397 points were the fourth-most by a Hofstra freshman in the CAA era. Pemberton began his career by scoring in double digits in five straight games, the longest streak by a freshman since Antoine Agudio in 2004-05. 

WELCOME BACK
In addition to Wright-Foreman, Gustys and Pemberton, senior Hunter Sabety, redshirt sophomore Desure Buie and sophomore Connor Klementowicz return to the Dutchmen. Sabety averaged 4.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while becoming one of just three Dutchmen to play in all 32 games. Buie averaged 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds in eight games before suffering a season-ending knee injury. He was injured in the final game in which he could participate and still use a redshirt season.

GOODBYE TO YOU
The Dutchmen bid goodbye to six members of last year’s team. Brian Bernardi and Deron Powers graduated while Ty Greer (Division II Ferris State), Jamaal Robinson (LIU-Brooklyn) and Andre Walker (Division II Virginia Union) transferred and walk-on Tommy Ros did not return. The six players combined to score 1,082 points, which represented 43.8 percent of the Dutchmen’s total last year, and played 3,241 minutes, which represented 50.2 percent of the Dutchmen’s total playing time.

MY NAME IS…
The Dutchmen welcome six new players: Graduate senior Joel Angus, junior transfer Kenny Wormley, redshirt freshman Stafford Trueheart and freshmen Matija Radovic, Jalen Ray and Kevin Schutte. Angus played the previous two seasons at Southeast Missouri State, though he was limited to one game due to injury last year, and Wormley played last season at Indian Hills Community College after opening his career at Siena in 2015-16.

GO FOURTH YOUNG DUTCHMEN
The Dutchmen were picked to finish fourth in the CAA’s preseason poll of league coaches, sports information directors and media members.

1.) College of Charleston
2.) Towson
3.) Elon
4.) HOFSTRA
5.) UNCW
6.) Northeastern
7.) Delaware
8.) William & Mary
9.) Drexel
10.) James Madison

This is the second time since the Dutchmen have been picked to finish fourth in the CAA. The 2005-06 team was picked fourth, finished third and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT (yay/boo).

Since the Dutchmen joined the CAA in 2001-02, only one team picked fourth in the preseason poll has won the league tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament (Delaware 2013-14). The median regular season finish for the team picked fourth has been fourth place (technically, 4.38th place).

Justin Wright-Foreman was named to the preseason All-CAA first team and was also placed on the watch list for the Lou Henson Award, which is presented annually to the top mid-major player in the country. Rokas Gustys was named to the preseason All-CAA second team and placed on the watch list for the Karl Malone Award, which is presented annually to the top power forward in the country. Eli Pemberton earned preseason All-CAA honorable mention accolades.

WELCOME TO THE BIG TIME YOU’RE BOUND TO BE A STAR
Redshirt freshman Stafford Trueheart and true freshmen Matija Radovic, Jalen Ray and Kevin Schutte are expected to suit up for the Dutchmen for the first time tonight. Here are some notable debuts by Hofstra freshmen in the CAA era (2001-present):

2016: Eli Pemberton: 20 pts/4 rebs/1 steal vs. Coppin State
2015: Justin Wright-Foreman: 0 pts/1 reb vs. Canisius
2015: Desure Buie: 2 pts/2 assists/1 steal vs. Canisius
2014: Rokas Gustys: 4 pts/10 rebs vs. Jacksonville
2014: Andre Walker: 4 pts/11 rebs/6 blks vs. Jacksonville
2013: Chris Jenkins: 17 pts/2 rebs/1 blk/1 steal vs. Monmouth
2013: Jamall Robinson: 8 pts/4 rebs/2 assists vs. Monmouth
2012: Jordan Allen: 2 pts/1 reb vs. Monmouth
2011: Moussa Kone: 6 pts/2 rebs/1 steal vs. Long Island U.
2010: Shemiye McLendon: 16 pts/4 rbs/2 assists vs. Farmingdale State
2010: Stephen Nwaukoni: 8 rebs vs. Farmingdale State
2010: Roland Brown: 4 pts/5 rebs/1 steal/1 blk  vs. Farmingdale State
2009: Chaz Williams: 7 pts/6 assists/5 rebs/37 mins vs. Kansas
2009: Halil Kanacevic: 12 pts/12 rebs/3 blks 31 mins vs. Kansas
2007: Charles Jenkins: 5 pts/9 rebs/1 assist/1 steal vs. Holy Cross
2007: Nathaniel Lester: 2 rebs vs. Holy Cross
2007: Greg Washington: 2 rebs/2 blks/1 assist/1 steal vs. Holy Cross
2005: Arminas Urbutis: 6 pts vs. Florida International
2005: Greg Johnson: 12 pts vs. Florida International
2004: Antoine Agudio: 20 pts vs. Florida International 
2003: Loren Stokes: 2 pts vs. Marist
2003: Carlos Rivera: 10 pts vs. Marist
2001: Kenny Adeleke: 10 pts vs. Florida Atlantic

COMPLETING THE TRANSFER
Graduate senior Joel Angus, who transferred from Southeast Missouri State, and junior Kenny Wormley, who transferred from Indian Hills Community College, are expected to make their Hofstra debuts tonight. Here are some notable debuts by transfers since 1991:

2016: Deron Powers: 12 pts/5 assists/4 rebs vs. Coppin State
2016: Hunter Sabety: 2 pts/5 rebs/1 blk vs. Coppin State
2015: Denton Koon: 14 pts/5 rebs/1 steal/1 blk vs. Canisius
2014: Juan’ya Green: 14 pts/9 assists/5 rebs vs. Jacksonville
2014: Ameen Tanksley: 16 pts/3 assists/2 assists/1 blk vs. Jacksonville
2014: Brian Bernardi: 22 pts/3 assists/2 rebs/1 steal vs. Jacksonville (6-8 3PT)
2014: Malik Nichols: 15 pts/3 assists/2 rbs/1 blk vs. Jacksonville**
2013: Zeke Upshaw: 22 pts/3 assists/3 rebs vs. Monmouth (2-8 3PT)
2013: Dion Nesmith: 10 pts/5 assists/2 rebs vs. Monmouth
2012: Taran Buie: 14 pts/2 assists/2 rbs vs. South Dakota State
2012: [name redacted]: 12 pts vs. Monmouth
2012: Daquan Brown: 2 pts/1 assist vs. Tulane
2011: Stevie Mejia: 7 pts/1 rb/4 assists/1 steal vs. Long Island
2011: Bryant Crowder: 13 pts/6 rbs/1 steal vs. Rhode Island**
2010: Mike Moore: 13 pts/4 rbs/4 assists vs. Farmingdale State
2010: Dwan McMillan: 15 pts/2 rbs/6 assists1 steal vs. Farmingdale State**
2010: Brad Kelleher: 2 pts vs. Florida Atlantic**
2008: Tony Dennison: 5 pts/4 rbs/1 assist vs. Clemson**
2008: Cornelius Vines: 12 pts/3 rbs/3 steals vs. Clemson**
2008: Miklos Szabo: 4 pts/11 rbs/2 assists/1 steal vs. E. Tennessee State**
2007: Darren Townes: 5 pts/5 rbs/1 steal/1 blocked shot vs. Holy Cross**
2007: Dane Johnson: 3 pts/1 rb/3 blocked shots vs. Holy Cross**
2004: Kenny Harris: 3 pts/1 rb/1 assist/2 steals vs. Florida International**
2004: Adrian Uter: 0 pts/2 rbs/1 block vs. Florida International**
2000: Osei Miller: 2 pts/2 rbs vs. Northern Illinois
1999: Greg Springfield: 7 pts/5 rbs/10 blocked shots vs. New Mexico State***
1998: Jason Hernandez: 7 pts/ 2 rbs/1 assist/2 steals vs. Maryland
1998: Abdul Sylla 0 pts/3 rbs vs. Youngstown State
1997: Mike Renfro 6 pts/3 rbs/1 assist/1 steal vs. Bucknell**
1996: Lance Dunkley 2 pts/3 rbs/1 assist vs. Stony Brook**
1996: Duane Posey 8 pts/4 rbs/1 assist/2 blks vs. Stony Brook
1995: Seth Meyers 14 pts/5 rbs vs. Stony Brook
1995: Lawrence Thomas 20 pts/4 rbs/2 assists vs. Villanova
1994: Jamil Greene 1 pt/2 rbs/1 assist vs. New Hampshire**
1993: Chris Johnke 0 pts/5 rbs vs. Iona**
1991: Demetrius Dudley 33 pts/7 rbs vs. Navy

**--junior college transfer
***--10 blocked shots are a school record

MIHALICH AT THE HELM
Joe Mihalich begins his 20th season as a Division I head coach and his fifth at Hofstra tonight. He is 334-267 as a head coach, including 69-64 at the helm of the Dutchmen. His .519 winning percentage ranks seventh among Hofstra’s 13 all-time head coaches. He is 17 victories shy of surpassing Roger Gaeckler for eighth place on the program’s all-time win list.

SEASON OPENERS
Hofstra has won its last three season openers and is 46-35 all-time in season openers. The Flying Dutchmen are opening at home for the fifth straight season. 

Joe Mihalich is 11-8 in season openers (3-1 Hofstra, 8-7 Niagara).

Most lopsided season-opening win: 95-53 over Puerto Rico, 1949-50
Most lopsided season-opening win over DI foe: 94-61 over Jacksonville, 2014-15
Most lopsided season-opening loss: 96-57 to St. Joseph’s 1965-66, 60-21 to NYU, 1936-37

ARMY AND THE PATRIOT LEAGUE
The Flying Dutchmen are 7-5 all-time against Army, though the two schools have not opposed each other since the 1995-96 season, when Hofstra earned an 82-58 win over the visiting Black Knights.

Army finished 13-19 (6-12 in the Patriot League) last season. The Black Knights were picked to finish seventh in the Patriot League preseason poll. They are ranked 188th at KenPom.com

Hofstra has not faced a Patriot League school since Dec. 22, 2011, when the Dutchmen beat Colgate, 82-59. The Dutchmen are 89-91 all-time against current Patriot League schools, which include five former conference foes (American, Bucknell, Lafayette and Lehigh in the East Coast Conference and Boston University in the NAC/America East).

OVER THE AIR
Hofstra will carry a live stream and offer live stats of the game here.

THINGS TO TWEET IF THINGS DON'T GO HOFSTRA'S WAY
You used to be the Cadets bias! (I thought they still were, until about five minutes ago)
Frustrated four bias! (Army is one of four original D-I programs, along with St. Francis NY, The Citadel and our friends at William & Mary, to never make the NCAA Tournament)
Coach K & Bobby Knight got their starts there bias! (Duh)
Doc Blanchard bias! (The Heisman Trophy winner led Army to three straight titles from 1944-46)