Saturday, December 30, 2017

I'll Be Quirky: William & Mary

Hopefully today's game is less painful than a Dr. Cox dunk. Or a Daniel Dixon buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

The Flying Dutchmen completed the non-conference portion of the schedule last Friday night, when they squandered an early three-point lead and fell to top-ranked Villanova, 95-71, in Jay Wright’s return to Long Island. The real season begins today, when the Dutchmen visit their most recent heated rival, William & Mary, in the CAA opener. Here’s a look back at the Villanova loss and a look ahead to the Fightin’ Bill Lawrences.

Justin Wright-Foreman (a game-high 25 points) did Justin Wright-Foreman things, but the Dutchmen could not keep pace with Villanova at Nassau Coliseum. The Dutchmen reached the first media timeout of the first half with a 9-7 lead and were down one point with 12 minutes left in the half before Villanova went on a 12-0 run. The Wildcats never led by fewer than 10 points the rest of the way, though the Dutchmen were only outscored 43-40 in the second half. Rokas Gustys (11 points, eight rebounds) flirted with a double-double and Kenny Wormley had his best game as a Dutchman by collecting seven points, seven rebounds and five assists while committing just two turnovers. Eli Pemberton had nine points, six rebounds and five assists but turned the ball over seven times.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Villanova 12/22)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Rokas Gustys
1: Kenny Wormley

Justin Wright-Foreman 30
Rokas Gustys 15
Eli Pemberton 13
Desure Buie 4
Joel Angus 4
Jalen Ray 3
Kenny Wormley 1
Hunter Sabety 1

The Dutchmen fell to 0-10 in games against AP top 10 teams during the CAA era (2001-present). Information courtesy of Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov.

12/4/01: 91-65 L at no. 9 Syracuse
11/22/02: 69-61 L at no. 21 Gonzaga
12/30/04: 80-75 L at no. 7 Syracuse
12/22/06: 85-60 L at no. 23 Syracuse
11/13/09: 101-65 L at no. 1 Kansas
11/17/09: 76-67 L at no. 12 UConn
11/18/10:  107-63 L vs. no. 8 North Carolina (Puerto Rico Classic)
11/12/13: 97-69 L at no. 3 Louisville
12/11/16: 96-73 L vs. no. 6 Kentucky (Barclays Center)
12/22/17: 95-71 L vs. no. 1 Villanova (Nassau Coliseum)

Despite ending the non-conference schedule with consecutive losses to Manhattan and Villanova, the Dutchmen finished pre-CAA play with a winning record (7-5) for the fourth straight season and the 11th time since joining the CAA in 2001-02. CAA games that were played in the middle of the non-conference schedule were not counted but are listed separately. Also, these figures do not include any “Bracket Buster” games scheduled in the middle of the season.

2004-05: 8-1 (.889) 1-0 CAA
2005-06: 6-2 (.750) 2-0 CAA
2008-09: 8-3 (.727) 1-0 CAA
2014-15: 9-4 (.692)
2015-16: 8-4 (.667)
2006-07: 7-4 (.636) 1-0 CAA
2016-17: 8-5 (.615)
2017-18: 7-5 (.583)
2009-10: 7-5 (.583) 1-0 CAA
2010-11: 6-5 (.545) 1-0 CAA

In addition, Joe Mihalich completes the non-conference schedule with a winning record for the 10th time in 20 seasons as a head coach. The four straight winning records in non-conference play is a personal best for Mihalich, who led Niagara to a winning record in non-conference play in three consecutive seasons from 2007-08 through 2009-10.

Rokas Gustys moved to the edge of the CAA’s all-time top five rebounders last Friday night, when he pulled down eight rebounds against Villanova. The effort lifted Gustys (1,059 rebounds) past UNCW Keith Rendleman into sixth place and left him two rebounds shy of surpassing Drexel’s Samme Givens for fifth place. Gustys is just 57 rebounds away from second-place Vernon Butler (1,115) and 256 rebounds away from moving ahead of Hall of Famer David Robertson (1,314) atop the list.

Hofstra will provide a video and radio feed as well as live stats at the Pride Productions hub.

The Dutchmen are 9-7 in the first game of league play since joining the CAA in 2001-02. They are 3-1 in CAA openers under Joe Mihalich with victories in each of the last two seasons.

The Tribe, under 15th-season head coach Tony Shaver, went 7-4 in non-conference play, though two of the wins were against non-Division I foes (who do they think they are, Stony Brook?). William & Mary last played last Friday, when it fell to no. 15 TCU, 86-75. 

The Dutchmen and Tribe had no common foes during non-league play.

The Dutchmen, who were picked fourth in the CAA preseason poll, enter today ranked 154th at The Tribe, which was picked eighth, is ranked 192nd at

Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Tribe are 1-point favorites. Hofstra is 3-5 against the spread this season.

While old nemesis Daniel Dixon finally graduated (we think), the Tribe are still an offensively potent team that features five double-digit scorers, led by Nathan Knight (18.7 ppg).

Hofstra is 18-12 against William & Mary in a series that began when the Dutchmen joined the CAA prior to the 2001-02 season. The schools have split the season series each of the last two years.

Daniel Dixon bias! (duh)
Original four bias! (William & Mary is one of four original Division I schools to never make the NCAA Tournament)
JD & Turk went to William & Mary bias! (duh)

Supreme Court bias! (Four W&M grads have served on the Supreme Court)

Friday, December 22, 2017

I’ll Be Quirky: Villanova

Not pictured: Jay Wright watching the winning shot in the air and saying "Bang."

A return “home” marked the end of the Flying Dutchmen’s high-wire act winning streak Wednesday night, when a late comeback fell short as Manhattan hung on for a 63-61 win at Adelphi. Here’s a look back at the loss to the Jaspers and a look ahead to tonight, when the Dutchmen hit the “road” and cross the street to Nassau Coliseum (it’s all very confusing), where they will face old friend Jay Wright and no. 1 Villanova.

The Dutchmen trailed by eight points in the final minute but had two chances in the last 15 seconds to take the lead before falling against Manhattan. Justin Wright-Foreman missed a go-ahead 3-pointer with 14 seconds left and was surrounded in the corner before committing a turnover as time expired. Wright-Foreman (22 points) once again led all players in scoring while Rokas Gustys (10 points, 13 rebounds) snapped out of a slump with a double-double. Eli Pemberton added 11 points, though he was just 2-of-8 from the field.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Manhattan 12/20)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Rokas Gustys
1: Eli Pemberton

Justin Wright-Foreman 27
Rokas Gustys 13
Eli Pemberton 13
Desure Buie 4
Joel Angus 4
Jalen Ray 3
Hunter Sabety 1

The Dutchmen scored 61 points, their second-lowest output of the season and the 25th time in the Joe Mihalich Era the team has scored fewer than 65 points. The Dutchmen are 4-21 in those contests, 13 of which took place during his first season in 2013-14.

Rokas Gustys pulled down 13 rebounds against Manhattan Wednesday as he moved within striking distance of two more notable names on the CAA’s all-time list. Gustys (1,051 rebounds) enters tonight as the seventh-most prolific rebounder in league history but could move into the top five with a routine outing against Villanova. He is five rebounds away from surpassing UNCW’s Keith Rendleman for sixth place and nine rebounds away from moving past Drexel’s Samme Givens for fifth place. Gustys is just 65 rebounds away from second-place Vernon Butler (1,115) and 264 rebounds away from moving ahead of Hall of Famer David Robertson (1,314) atop the list.

The game will be carried live on Fox Sports 1. You have three-plus hours to find Fox Sports 1 on your cable system. Hofstra will carry live audio and offer live stats here.

Villanova is 11-0 and ranked no. 1 in the country this week. The Wildcats are good. (Wait, you wanted more?) Villanova was picked to win the Big East this season and opened the year as the sixth-ranked team in the AP poll.

Of the 11 victories Villanova has earned, eight have come by at least 10 points and five have been by at least 20 points, including their most recent victory, an 87-67 triumph over Temple on Dec. 13. The Wildcats’ closest win was a 66-58 victory over Western Kentucky on Nov. 22.

At today, Hofstra is ranked 151st while Villanova is—hold on, let me crane my neck skyward—ranked first. Per the wise guys, for entertainment purposes only and especially since you should never bet against Jay Wright, the Dutchmen are 21-point underdogs. Hofstra is 3-4 against the spread this season.

Jalen Brunson (18.5 ppg) leads a whopping five Villanova players averaging in double figures. The Wildcats’ no. 6 scorer, redshirt sophomore Eric Paschall, was recruited to Fordham by Tom Pecora and transferred to Villanova after Pecora was fired for failing to turn water into wine.

Hofstra is 0-4 against Villanova, whom it last faced Dec. 27, 1997, when the Wildcats earned an 86-74 win over Jay Wright and the Flying Dutchmen.  Joe Mihalich lost his lone meeting against Villanova on Nov. 19, 2008, when the host Wildcats beat Niagara, 77-72.

Hofstra is 6-33 all-time against current Big East schools. This will be the Dutchmen’s first game against a Big East opponent since a 72-60 loss to St. John’s in the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 20, 2009. Hofstra earned its most recent win against a Big East team on Dec. 29, 2006, when it beat St. John’s, 63-51, in the Holiday Festival championship game at MSG. Twenty-seven of the Dutchmen’s Big East games have been against St. John’s.

Jay Wright, as you might know, used to coach at Hofstra and raised the program from the near-dead from 1994 through 2001, during which he went 122-85 and led the Dutchmen to their two most recent NCAA Tournament appearances in 1999-2000 and 2000-01. Wright ranks fourth in Hofstra coaching history in winning percentage (.589), fourth in games coached and fifth in wins.

Tonight will mark the first time an active national championship-winning coach has played a former employer while his current squad is ranked no. 1 in the country. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who began his head coaching career at Army, has twice faced Army while Duke was ranked in the top three. The Blue Devils were ranked second when they beat Army 91-48 on Nov. 25, 2000 and ranked third prior to a 78-45 win on Nov. 16, 1997.

This will be just the eighth time an active national championship-winning head coach plays a former employer. Krzyzewski is 6-0 against Army while Kansas’ Bill Self directed the Jayhawks to a 73-59 win over Illinois in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Mar. 20, 2011. 

The Dutchmen are 3-8 all-time at Nassau Coliseum. This will be the program’s first game across the street since a Wright-coached squad beat St. John’s, 86-80, on Dec. 16, 2000. The Dutchmen went 1-1 at Nassau Coliseum under Wright, who presided over an 83-55 loss on Jan. 31, 1996. Not saying that was a long time ago, but I was there. As a student.

Perfect game bias! (Villanova won its first national title by shooting 78.6 percent against Georgetown in a 66-64 win in the final pre-shot clock game)
Harold Jensen bias! (The sixth man was actually perfect—he hit all five field goal attempts and all four free throws—in the win over Georgetown. Plus he’s from Connecticut)
You had football and dropped it but brought it back and then won a national title bias! (Sigh)
We were never getting any calls anyway and we don’t care because we can’t bring ourselves to shout Jay Wright bias! (twist ending!)

Jamil Greene, Jay Wright's first recruit, comes home

Jamil Greene (left), Jay Wright's first recruit at Hofstra, poses with men's basketball SID Stephen Gorchov, Wright's first employee at Hofstra, at Wednesday night's game. Photo courtesy Stephen Gorchov.

Jamil Greene decided to have a little fun recently with a friend who informed him, as they watched a Villanova men’s basketball game, that Jay Wright used to be the head coach at Hofstra.

“I told him, you know what, I’ve got a trivia question for you,” Greene said. “I said ‘You know who his first player was?’ He’s like ‘I don’t know.’

“‘It’s me,’ I said. I was his first player.”

Wright won’t be the only one enjoying a reunion tonight, when his top-ranked Villanova squad faces the Flying Dutchmen at Nassau Coliseum. Greene, the one and only scholarship player Wright added to the team he inherited from Butch van Breda Kolff in April 1994, will also be in attendance, watching his former head coach and alma mater and understanding, better than almost anyone at the Coliseum, just how far both parties have come in the last 23 years.

“It’s like, OK, we came in together back in ’94, now we are back again,” Greene said from his Garden City hotel room late Thursday night. “It’s like a Hofstra homecoming.”

The connection between Greene and Wright goes back to long before either man ever set foot on the Hofstra campus. In the early ‘90s, Greene, a native of Buffalo, attended a summer basketball camp at UNLV, where he hit it off with Wright, an assistant to Rollie Massimino, the former Villanova head coach who had moved on to the Runnin’ Rebels.

As a high schooler, Greene garnered interest from mid-majors such as Maryland Eastern-Shore, Central Connecticut and Hawaii. But after he fell short of the qualifying SAT score, he opened his college career at Genesee Community College in Rochester, where he played under Bill Van Gundy — the father of future NBA coaches Jeff and Stan, as well as a longtime friend of Wright, who began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of Rochester in 1984.

Wright was hired at Hofstra on Apr. 14, 1994, and a few weeks later, Greene completed his degree at Genesee. 

“I guess (Wright) was actually speaking to coach Van Gundy that summer,” Greene said. “(Van Gundy said) ‘I maybe, perhaps, got a scholarship for you’ and he mentioned Hofstra. I was like ‘Hofstra? What’s a Hofstra?’

Fortunately for Greene, Wright knew what he liked in the 6-foot-7 forward, who offered the type of height and versatility the Dutchmen otherwise lacked.

“He needed a player of my ability — somebody athletic, high-energy, high-motor type player,” Greene said. “I guess I was his guy. I was very fortunate.”

Greene headed downstate, where he immediately became the best post player on the 1994-95 Dutchmen. He averaged 8.0 points and 6.1 rebounds while playing in all 28 games for the Dutchmen, who went 10-18 in an inaugural season in the North Atlantic Conference that ended with a lopsided tournament loss to eventual champion Drexel and future NBA player Malik Rose.

“Honestly, I felt like I had to work extra hard than the other guys, because I was Jay’s guy,” Greene said. “I didn’t really want to let him down, you know? He expected more out of me, too.”

Greene battled a nagging quad injury during his final season at Hofstra, during which he averaged 5.5 points and 4.1 rebounds. He was limited to two points or fewer in eight games — including an 83-55 loss to Penn at Nassau Coliseum, where Greene recalled draining a jumper for his only points of the contest — before missing the last three games for the Dutchmen, who finished 9-18.

Even as the Dutchmen struggled, though, Greene believed he was being coached by a rising star. 

“He’s young and he’s hungry and he’s going to be a good one,” Greene said. “I just kind of felt it. I just knew it. He had a vision and he put it all together.”

Greene played overseas until 2003, when he moved out to Las Vegas, where his Dad relocated decades earlier. He works as a bellman at the Aria hotel and lives less than a mile away from former Hofstra public address announcer Ken Weprin.

This week’s visit to Long Island is Greene’s first since 2000 — one he began planning the moment the Hofstra-Villanova game was scheduled. Greene has crammed as much reconnecting and nostalgia as possible into a three-day visit, including a lunch at Jim’s Deli where he saw Cindy Lewis, one of the few athletic administrators remaining from his playing days. Upon discussing his calf injury Thursday night, he asked if the health center is still located near the entrance to campus (it is). Greene also said he preferred Flying Dutchmen to Pride (he’s right).

In addition, Greene received a tour of the basketball facilities and marveled at the practice facility, which is located in the building (the Physical Fitness Center). His guide was assistant coach Speedy Claxton, who arrived as Wright’s first star recruit the season after Greene graduated.

But there’s only one first recruit for Wright, and tonight’s reunion will mean as much to him as the national championship-winning coach on the other sideline.

“As soon as I heard it on the schedule, (he said) I’m there — no ifs, ands or buts,” Greene said. “I couldn’t miss this game — there’s just too much to it, to come back and see my alma mater play Jay. I cannot miss this I’ve got to come back. It was just the right time for me to come.”

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I'll Be Quirky: Manhattan

Is tonight's game on Long Island or in Hawaii?

The Flying Dutchmen capped a perfect three-game road trip last Tuesday night, when Justin Wright-Foreman reminded everyone who the best player is on Long Island’s best team by scoring a game-high 33 points in an 84-81 win over SUNY-Stony Brook. The Dutchmen return to action tonight with a “home” game against Manhattan at Adelphi (really). Here’s a look back at the win over pesky little brother SUNY-Stony Brook and a look ahead to the Jaspers.

SUNY-Stony Brook crawled back from a seven-point deficit to tie the game with 1:57 remaining, but Wright-Foreman scored the Dutchmen’s final seven points as the Dutchmen escaped the hinterlands with yet another victory over the Patriots. It was the third straight win for the Dutchmen, who have earned all three victories by six points or fewer. The Dutchmen had to survive a last-gasp 3-pointer by the Patriots after Wright-Foreman atypically missed two free throws with a chance to ice the game with four seconds left. Desure Buie collected a career-high 19 points and tied career highs with five rebounds and four steals. Hunter Sabety had nine points and seven rebounds in just 14 minutes, though Rokas Gustys (five points, seven rebounds in 25 minutes) continued to struggle. 

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. SUNY-Stony Brook 12/12)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Desure Buie
1: Hunter Sabety

Justin Wright-Foreman 24
Eli Pemberton 12
Rokas Gustys 11
Desure Buie 4
Joel Angus 4
Jalen Ray 3
Hunter Sabety 1

COACHSPEAK: “It might sound like a cliche, but winning teams find a way to win. There’s that refuse to lose—that’s another cliche—but there’s that refuse to lose mentality and the good teams have it. And I think—I hope we have it, I think we do. I think we’re starting to show that have that. We just found a way to win.”

Justin Wright-Foreman’s big game helped him earn CAA player of the week honors for the second straight week. He shared the award with James Madison’s Stuckey Mosley. This is the fourth career honor for Wright-Foreman, who was the sole recipient last week and the week ending Feb. 12 and shared player of the week honors with Elon’s Tyler Seibring for the week ending Jan. 22. Between Wright-Foreman and Eli Pemberton, who earned the award for the week ending Nov. 19, the Dutchmen have accounted for three of the six weekly awards this season. 

30/30 CLUB
Justin Wright-Foreman continued to join some select company by scoring at least 30 points for the second straight game. He racked up 30 points against Rider on Dec. 9. It is the second set of back-to-back 30-point games for Wright-Foreman, who also achieved the feat on Jan. 21-26. Wright-Foreman is the first Hofstra player to register two back-to-back sets of 30-point games since Charles Jenkins, who did it once apiece during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.

Justin Wright-Foreman 12/9-12/12/17 (30 vs. Rider, 33 vs. SUNY-Stony Brook)
Justin Wright-Foreman 1/21-1/26/17 (30 vs. Northeastern, 30 vs. Drexel)
Charles Jenkins 12/8-12/11/10 (40 vs. Binghamton 32 vs. Florida Atlantic)
Charles Jenkins 2/16-2/20/10 (30 vs. Delaware, 31 vs. Rider)

The Dutchmen went 3-0 on a road trip that took them to Monmouth, Rider and SUNY-Stony Brook. It is the program’s first true 3-0 road trip since Nov. 27-Dec. 6, 2004, when the Dutchmen beat Binghamton, James Madison and Longwood.

However, the Dutchmen did win three straight games away from home four times in between true 3-0 road trips.

Nov. 28-Dec. 6, 2015: Beat St. Bonaventure & La Salle, beat Appalachian State at Madison Square Garden
Dec. 28, 2014-Jan. 3, 2015: Beat Long Island University at Barclays, beat Central Connecticut & UNC Wilmington
Nov. 24-29, 2006: Beat Marshall and Alaska-Anchorage at the Great Alaska Shootout, beat Siena
Dec. 17-30, 2005: Beat Dartmouth at MSG, beat St. Francis (NY) & La Salle

Junior guard Justin Wright-Foreman enters today tied for 15th in the nation in minutes per game (36.8). Two of the players ahead of him are conference foes. Drexel’s Kurt Lee ranks third at 38.3 minutes per game while teammate Sammy Mojica is right behind him and tied for fourth at 37.8 minutes per game. Wright-Foreman has played 368 total minutes this season, more than three times as many as he played in his entire freshman season (110).

Hofstra will carry live audio and video and offer live stats here.

The Flying Dutchmen will be the official home team tonight, when they “host” Manhattan at Adelphi. The game was moved because winter graduation is taking place at the Arena. Thus, as of around 9 PM tonight, Adelphi will join the ranks of Calkins Gym and the Physical Fitness Center as official former home arenas of the Flying Dutchmen. History!

Manhattan is 4-6 this season following an 80-66 loss to Tulsa last Saturday. The Jaspers have split their last four games following a four-game losing streak. Manhattan was picked second in the MAAC’s preseason poll. 

At today, Hofstra is ranked 144th while Manhattan is ranked 216th. Per the wise guys, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 7-point favorites. Hofstra is 3-3 against the spread this season.

Former Hofstra recruit Rich Williams, who committed to the program under Mo Cassara before Cassara’s dismissal in the spring of 2013, leads the Jaspers with 15.3 points per game. Four other players are averaging at least eight points per game.

Hofstra and Manhattan have four mutual foes thanks to the Dutchmen’s MAAC-heavy non-conference schedule. The Dutchmen have already beat Monmouth (85-84) and Rider (88-82) and fallen to Siena (86-75) and will face Towson twice in CAA play. Manhattan, which lost to Towson 56-55 in Ireland (the Jaspers are playing at some unusual places this season) on Dec. 2, will play Monmouth, Rider and Siena twice apiece during MAAC play. 

Hofstra has not faced four opponents from one league since the 1993-94 season, when the Dutchmen played four North Atlantic Conference foes in the program’s final pre-NAC season.

Hofstra is 22-41 all-time against Manhattan and has faced the Jaspers more than any other non-conference foe. Manhattan ran its winning streak in the series to four games in the most recent meeting between the schools on Nov. 18, 2016, when the Jaspers earned an 80-68 win in the Bronx (that’s still weird to type).
Joe Mihalich, who coached in the MAAC for Niagara for 15 years, is 19-15 all-time against Manhattan. 

Hofstra is 95-117 all-time against current MAAC schools. This marks the 11th time in the last 12 seasons the Dutchmen have played at least two MAAC schools (the 2014-15 schedule had no MAAC teams).

Christian Heimall bias! (The Hofstra alum was Manhattan’s PBP voice for several years) 

Jaden Daly bias! (The friend of DD was Manhattan’s PBP voice during its most recent MAAC-winning season)
Fran Fraschilla bias! (The commentator began his head coaching career at Manhattan and earned his first win as a head coach by beating Hofstra in 1992)
James Patterson bias! (The author graduated from Manhattan)

Why are we in Garden City anyway bias! (duh)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I’ll Be Quirky: SUNY-Stony Brook

A bunch of Hofstra fans prepare for the trek to Shelbyville, err, Stony Brook in this file photo.

The Flying Dutchmen didn’t suffer a letdown Saturday, when they followed the stunning win over Monmouth by earning an 88-82 win over another MAAC foe, Rider. The Dutchmen will look to complete a perfect three-game road trip tonight, when they travel to the hinterlands of Long Island to face SUNY-Stony Brook. Here’s a look back at the win over Rider and a look ahead to the Patriots from a state university.

Jalen Ray’s 3-pointer with 4:51 remaining broke a 71-71 tie and started a decisive 9-0 run as the Dutchmen outlasted Rider in a game that featured 10 lead changes. Rider pulled within 80-77 with 1:38 remaining but the Dutchmen drained their final eight free throws. Justin Wright-Foreman (a game-high 30 points) and Eli Pemberton (28 points) became the first pair of Hofstra teammates in more than six years to score at least 25 points in the same game. Ray finished with 17 points while Joel Angus (eight points, 10 rebounds) flirted with a double-double.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Rider 12/9)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Eli Pemberton
1: Jalen Ray

Justin Wright-Foreman 21
Eli Pemberton 12
Rokas Gustys 11
Joel Angus 4
Jalen Ray 3
Desure Buie 2

COACHSPEAK: “That’s a big boy win, to come in here and get that. These guys don’t lose much here. Take it from me, I came here for 15 years and didn’t win very much. Tough place to play.”

Hofstra players earned both individual awards handed out by the CAA last week as Justin Wright-Foreman was named the player of the week and Jalen Ray was selected the freshman of the week. Wright-Foreman scored 54 points in the wins over Monmouth and Rider while Ray racked up 31 points and hit the game-winning 3-pointer in the stunning win over Monmouth. Ray entered the week with just 24 points in his first eight games, including 14 in his previous seven contests.

The player of the week honor is the first of the season and the third in the last two seasons for Wright-Foreman, who shared player of the week honors with Elon’s Tyler Seibring for the week ending Jan. 22 and was the sole recipient for the week ending Feb. 12. Wright-Foreman is the second member of the Dutchmen to win player of the week honors this season. 

Ray is the first Hofstra player to win freshman of the week honors this season and the first since Pemberton won the final of his two weekly honors for the week ending Dec. 18, 2016.

Justin Wright-Foreman (30 points) and Eli Pemberton (28 points) became the first Flying Dutchmen teammates to score at least 25 points in the same game since Charles Jenkins (28 points) and Mike Moore (25 points) performed the feat in an 81-78 overtime win over William & Mary on Feb. 13, 2011. It was the second time Jenkins and Moore each scored at least 25 points in a game. Jenkins scored 40 points and Moore added 28 points in an 89-85 overtime win over Binghamton on Dec. 8, 2010. 

Both Jenkins and Wright-Foreman grew up in Queens while both Moore (New Haven) and Pemberton (Middletown) grew up in Connecticut. 

Eli Pemberton went 10-for-10 from the foul line Saturday. It was the most free throws made without a miss since Justin Wright-Foreman went 15-for-15 against UNCW on Feb. 18 and the sixth time in the NAC/America East/CAA era (1994-present) that a Dutchman has been perfect from the line in 10 or more attempts.

Eli Pemberton: 10-10 vs. Rider 12/9/17
Justin Wright-Foreman: 15-15 vs. UNCW 2/18/17
Zeke Upshaw: 12-12 vs. Towson, 2/22/14
Charles Jenkins: 10-10 vs. Delaware, 1/7/09
Carlos Rivera: 10-10 vs. Siena, 11/29/06
Danny Walker: 10-10 vs. James Madison, 2/8/02

The Dutchmen were 17-of-18 (94.4 percent) from the free throw line. It was the program’s best performance from the line (minimum 10 attempts) since a perfect 15-for-15 effort against Delaware on Feb. 26, 2011. The Dutchmen were perfect from the line in three game during the 2010-11 season (12-for-12 against Towson on Dec. 4, 2010 and 11-for-11 against George Mason on Feb. 2, 2011). In addition, Saturday’s effort marked the second time this season the Dutchmen have shot at least 90 percent form the line. They were 19-of-21 (90.5 percent) against Army on Nov. 10.

The Dutchmen won Saturday even though starting center Rokas Gustys was held scoreless in 30 minutes. It was just the fourth time Gustys hasn’t scored in a game and the first time since his freshman season. The Dutchmen, surprisingly, are 3-1 in those games with wins over Jackson State (Nov. 28, 2014) and UNCW (Jan. 17, 2015) and a loss to William & Mary (Feb. 22, 2015).

Rokas Gustys did notch another career milestone Saturday, when he pulled down 10 rebounds to move past George Mason’s Kenny Sanders into seventh place on the CAA’s all-time list. Gustys (1,031 rebounds) is 25 rebounds away from surpassing UNCW’s Keith Rendleman for sixth place. He is just 85 rebounds away from second-place Vernon Butler (1,115) and 284 rebounds away from moving ahead of Hall of Famer David Robertson (1,314) atop the list.

Tonight’s game will be carried live on ESPN3. Hofstra will carry live audio and video and offer live stats here.

SUNY-Stony Brook is 4-6 this season after a 76-66 win over Columbia last Thursday. The Patriots have won three of their last four games, a stretch that began with a 101-58 win over NAIA Shawnee State (snicker snicker). 

At today, Hofstra is ranked 146th while SUNY-Stony Brook is ranked 189th. The wise guys, perhaps with Long Island’s recovering gamblers in mind, have not established a line for this game. Hofstra is 3-3 against the spread this season. 

SUNY-Stony Brook has four players averaging at least nine points per game, led by Akwasi Yeboah (13.6 points per game) and Tyrell Sturdivant (11.3 points per game).

Because Hofstra wants as little to do with SUNY-Stony Brook as possible, the two schools have no mutual opponents this season. Perhaps next year the Dutchmen and Patriots can both schedule an NAIA foe.

Hofstra is 20-5 all-time against SUNY-Stony Brook, including 2-1 since the series resumed in 2014. The Dutchmen dominated the Patriots in a 96-58 win at the Arena last Dec. 13. It was the program’s third-biggest margin of victory over a Division I foe in the CAA era (2001-present). 

Hofstra is 13-15-1 in all sports against SUNY-Stony Brook since the two schools began scheduling each other again in the spring of 2014, including 8-4-1 since the 2016-17 school year began.

Hofstra is 80-33 all-time against current America East schools. Since joining the CAA in 2001-02, the Dutchmen have faced at least one America East opponent every season except 2012-13. SUNY-Stony Brook, which was a Division III school for decades, completed its transition to Division I and joined the America East upon Hofstra’s departure.

We have still never lost to you in football bias! (duh)
Thanks to you the America East changed its conference tournament format bias! (SUNY-Stony Brook couldn’t win semifinal games played at semi-neutral sites so it cried and got the tourney format changed to the “playoffs”)
You wish you were in the CAA but we wouldn’t let you in bias! (it’s true)
You used to play home games at Port Jefferson bias! (it’s true, Wikipedia never lies)