Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Everything you need to know about Hofstra and the Puerto Rico Tip-Off!

Welcome, fans of the other seven teams that will not win the Puerto Rico Tip-Off!

The tip-off of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off is still 43 days away, which means America’s newspapers (what are those?) are just 44 days away from featuring front and back page photos of the Flying Dutchmen reacting to their stunning upset of North Carolina!

Today, though, is almost as big a day: The day the Puerto Rico Tip-Off uses its official Twitter feed to inform the unsuspecting masses about soon-to-be giant killer Hofstra. So since I am armed with more useless Hofstra information than just about anyone, I figured I’d help our friends at the Tip-Off (as well as anyone else who might stumble over here today) with some information that might not be easily found via the Googles—as well as finding a Hofstra connection to each of the seven other teams in the Tip-Off field. Enjoy!

WINNINGEST COACH: Butch van Breda Kolff, 215 wins
WINNINGEST SEASON: 1959-60 (23-1)
NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES: 4 (1976, 1977, 2000, 2001)
CONFERENCE LINEAGE: East Coast Conference to North Atlantic Conference/America East to CAA
NBA DRAFT PICKS: Four—first-rounders Rich Laurel (1977) and Speedy Claxton (2000) and third-rounders Bill Thieben (1956) and John Irving (1977)
FUNKIEST FACT: Hofstra won the final East Coast Conference crown in van Breda Kolff’s final season in 1994, but the league did not have an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and Hofstra had no shot at an NIT bid at 9-20, so it was one of three teams that year to end the season with a win along with NCAA champion Arkansas and NIT champion Villanova.
FIVE FACTS ABOUT THIS YEAR’S DUTCHMEN: Charles Jenkins has started all 95 games in which he’s played and is on pace to become the school's all-time leading scorer…Greg Washington is the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots (203)… Good news: Last season, Hofstra became the first team in CAA history to finish over .500 in conference play after falling at least five games under .500…Bad news: Hofstra is the only school in CAA history to have two members of the all-freshman team transfer following their rookie season…Other than Jenkins, Washington and fellow senior Nathaniel Lester, the only current Dutchmen who saw playing time last season were sophomores Yves Jules, David Imes and Matt Grogan. The trio averaged 6.5 minutes, 1.3 points and 0.7 rebounds per game as freshmen.


DAVIDSON: Coached by Hofstra alum and former Flying Dutchman player Bob McKillop, who gave ex-Hofstra coach Tom Pecora his first job in coaching at Long Island Lutheran in 1984. Hofstra is 1-3 all-time against Davidson, including a 61-52 loss in last year’s Holiday Festival consolation game.

MINNESOTA: Hofstra assistant coach Wayne Morgan was the coach of Iowa State when the Cyclones beat Minnesota, 64-53, in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament.

NEBRASKA: Hofstra beat Nebraska, 73-62, in the first round of the 2006 NIT at Hofstra Arena.

NORTH CAROLINA: No kidding: Morgan was the coach of Iowa State when North Carolina beat the Cyclones, 92-65, in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament. In addition, a Boston College team with Mo Cassara as an assistant coach handed the Tar Heels their first loss of their national championship season in 2008-09. Also, not inconsequentially, I was a huge, rabid UNC fan before switching allegiances to Hofstra upon my enrollment in 1993.

VANDERBILT: Ex-Vanderbilt coach Jan van Breda Kolff is the son of legendary ex-Hofstra coach Butch van Breda Kolff. Hofstra is 0-1 against Vanderbilt, falling to the Commodores 74-46 during the 1999-00 season.

WESTERN KENTUCKY: This is the second straight season in which Hofstra and Western Kentucky are in the same pre-season tournament. Like Hofstra, Western Kentucky won its opening game in the Preseason NIT last year (a 69-65 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee) before dropping its second game to the host of its pod (a 71-60 loss to LSU) and hosting a consolation round Nov. 23-24.

WEST VIRGINIA: Assistant coach Larry Harrison was on the staff of DePaul when it recruited future Hofstra star Kenny Adeleke and ended up coaching Adeleke at Hartford in 2005-06, one season after Adeleke was dismissed from the Flying Dutchman squad just before his senior season.

Email Jerry at or follow Defiantly Dutch at

No comments: