Tuesday, December 6, 2011

20 things you should know about Hofstra basketball on the eve of the 2,000th game in school history!

Before game 2,000....a guy who used to watch me in his dorm room at Hofstra will list 20 facts about Flying Dutchmen basketball. Some will be factual!

Did you know the Flying Dutchmen play the 2,000th game in program history tonight against Wagner? You do now! In honor of reaching a big, giant, cool round number, here’s 20 things you should know about the history of Flying Dutchmen basketball, most of which are actually factual! (Not sure yet what I'll do when they actually play the 2,012th game in school history IN 2012)

1.) The Flying Dutchmen played their first game in 1936, a year after the school opened, and, in what must rank as one of the most inauspicious debuts of all-time, lost to New York University 60-21. Sophomore Nathaniel Lester led the Dutchmen with eight points and seven rebounds. (That may or may not be true) The loss stood as Hofstra’s worst defeat for another 153 games. More on that shortly.

2.) Hofstra is 1,142-857 (.571) all-time. The first win in program history was a double OT 42-40 barnburner over Staten Island (but not Wagner) in the third game of the 1936-37 season.

3.) A total of 422 players have suited up for the Flying Dutchmen, per this year’s media guide.

4.) The Flying Dutchmen’s most frequent rival is longtime conference foe Drexel (72 games), followed by fellow ECC/NAC/America East/CAA rival Delaware (71 games), local rival Manhattan (59 games), constant conference mate Towson (54 games) and…

5.) …tonight’s opponent, Wagner, whom Hofstra has faced 50 times and with whom it shares some neat bits of history. The Flying Dutchmen scored the most points in program history in a 118-88 win over the Seahawks in 1971-72. Wagner provided the only blemish on the best season in school history when it edged Hofstra, 50-48, in 1959-60. The Dutchmen finished 23-1 but did not make the Division II NCAA Tournament. Tom O’Connor’s Dad was on the Selection Committee (that may or may not be true). The Dutchmen are also in the midst of a 23-year winning streak against Wagner, though they have played the Seahawks just four times since the Seahawks’ last win in 1988-89.

6.) On the other end of the spectrum, Hofstra has played 102 teams one time apiece, including Oregon State and Cleveland State this year.

7.) When Charles Jenkins suits up for the Golden State Warriors Christmas night, he will become the seventh Hofstra alumni to play in the NBA, following in the footsteps of Nathan Militzok, Bill Thieben, Rich Laurel, John Irving, Speedy Claxton and Norman Richardson.

8.) Hofstra played its first game against Wagner in 1945-46, which makes this the Dutchmen’s third-oldest active rivalry. Hofstra’s second-ever game was against St. Francis, whom Hofstra beat Nov. 19 (and whom Wagner beat Saturday). And Manhattan, whom the Dutchmen play in game no 2,001 on Saturday, first played Hofstra in 1937-38.

9.) The most lopsided win in school history was a 75-10 thrashing of USMMA. The 10 points, not surprisingly, are also the fewest allowed by Hofstra. Ironically, in that it may or not be irony, the 65-point win provided sweet revenge for…

10.) …the most lopsided loss in school history, a 66-15 pasting at the hands of USMMA in 1944-45. Jim Larranaga’s grandfather was the USMMA coach and my grandfather stepped off the farm long enough to blog about Larranaga’s poor sportsmanship. A bunch of USMMA fans got him back by vandalizing his crops. (The preceding two sentences may or may not be true)

11.) Eleven head coaches have strolled the sidelines for the Flying Dutchmen. Butch van Breda Kolff, who had two stints as head coach spanning 13 years, has a program-record 215 wins.

12.) The longest losing streak in program history was a 12-game skid endured during the 1987-88 season.

13.) The Dutchmen have scored more than 100 points 29 times, first in a 102-91 win over Baltimore in 1954-55 and most recently in the 2010-11 opener, when they beat Farmingdale 102-62. That was the first time Hofstra had exceeded 100 points since Feb. 28, 1992, when the Dutchmen beat…Maryland-Baltimore County 103-87. Is that ironic?

14.) Counting the program’s Division II days (through 1972), Hofstra has played in a postseason tournament 14 times: Eight NCAA Tournaments, four NITs and two That Which We Shall Not Name And Are Only Counting Here Because It Makes Numeric Sense.

15.) The Dutchmen have given up 100 points 19 times, first in a 104-85 loss to Muhlenberg in 1954-55 and most recently in the second game of the 2010-11 season in a 107-63 loss to North Carolina. The Dutchmen gave up a school-record 119 points to Brigham Young early in the 1983-84 season. Robbie Bosco threw for nine touchdowns. (That may or may not be true)

16.) Bill Thieben scored a school-record 48 points in a 82-62 win over Wilkes in 1954-55. Steve Nisenson, who broke Thieben’s career scoring record and held on to it for 43 years, has come closest to Thieben’s mark with 47 points against—you guessed it—Wagner in 1964-65. Twelve players have scored 40 points in a game for the Dutchmen, most recently Charles Jenkins a year ago Thursday, but only four have done it in since the 3-point shot was implemented.

17.) Thieben also holds the school single-game and career record for rebounding with 43 against Springfield in 1954-55 and a remarkable 1,837 in just three seasons. Someone who matched Jenkins’ record for games played (128) would have to average 14.4 rebounds per game in order to break Thieben’s mark.

18.) The longest single-season winning streak in school history was an 18-game run during the 2000-01 season. The Dutchmen won 23 straight games spanning the 1959-60 and 1960-61 seasons.

19.) The Dutchmen have had 41 winning seasons—including 18 in a 19-season span from 1945-46 through 1963-64—29 losing seasons and four .500 seasons.

20.) The Dutchmen have won 20 or more games in a season 19 times (damn! So close!), including 26 apiece in 2000-01 and 2005-06. Each season ended with a loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (That may or may not be true about the 2005-06 season and may or may not be what I say to myself in order to quell the rage still bubbling underneath).

Email Jerry at defiantlydutch@yahoo.com or follow Defiantly Dutch at http://twitter.com/defiantlydutch.

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