Thursday, January 26, 2017

I'll Be Quirky: Drexel

Daryl Hall's solo hit was as good as anything Hall & Oates ever did. @ me. 

The Flying Dutchmen did the happy happy joy joy dance for the first time in 2017 on Saturday, when they squandered most of a 16-point second half lead before hanging on to beat Northeastern, 78-73. The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Dutchmen, who improved to 1-0 in the #AlternativeFacts Era. The Dutchmen will look to stay perfect in our imperfect times tonight, when they visit ECC rival Drexel. Here’s a quick look back at the win over the Huskies and a look ahead to the Dragons. 

Justin Wright-Foreman scored 17 of his game-high 30 points in the second half as the Dutchmen ran away from and then eluded Northeastern for their first win in three weeks. The Dutchmen trailed 9-2 at the first media timeout and outscored the Huskies 60-37 over a 26-minute span bridging the two halves before Northeastern got as close as two points in the final minute. A nostalgic 3-point play by Deron Powers with 17 seconds left finally secured the victory. Brian Bernardi (16 points) was the only other Dutchman in double figures, though Eli Pemberton added nine points and four assists while Powers finished with seven points and six assists.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Northeastern 1/21)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Brian Bernardi
1: Deron Powers

Justin Wright-Foreman 30
Deron Powers 24
Eli Pemberton 24
Rokas Gustys 18
Brian Bernardi 14
Ty Greer 9
Jamall Robinson 5
Hunter Sabety 2

Sophomore guard Justin Wright-Foreman earned CAA co-player of the week honors (along with Tyler Seibring of Elon) after racking up 48 points and shooting 68 percent from the field in two games. Wright-Foreman scored a career-high 30 points for the second time this season on Saturday, when he became the sixth Hofstra player in the last 10 seasons to record multiple 30-point games in a season. Charles Jenkins had four 30-point games in each of his final three campaigns. 

Antoine Agudio 6 (2007-08)
Charles Jenkins 4 (2008-09)
Charles Jenkins 4 (2009-10)
Charles Jenkins 4 (2010-11)
Mike Moore 3 (2011-12)
Zeke Upshaw 3 (2013-14)
Ameen Tanksley 2 (2014-15)
Justin Wright-Foreman 2 (2016-17)

Wright-Foreman has played at least 10 minutes in every game but one this season and has scored in double figures in 15 of 21 games. He scored more than four points and played more than 10 points in just one game last season, when he collected nine points in 17 minutes against Division II Molloy. 

Wright-Foreman has scored 305 points this season, the most in the CAA era for a Hofstra sophomore who scored fewer than 100 points as a freshman. 

With Saturday’s win, the Dutchmen avoided tying the program’s worst eight-game start ini the CAA era. The 2011-12 Dutchmen opened 1-7 and finished 3-15 in league play.

The Dutchmen will now try to become only the fourth team since 2001-02 — when the "America East four” saved, err joined the CAA — to win as many as six CAA games after starting out 1-6 in league play. William & Mary finished 7-11 in 2012-13 while James Madison (2001-02) and Northeastern (2010-11) each went 6-12. The previous 22 teams to start 1-6 or 0-7 combined to finish with an average of 3.5 wins in CAA play.

Hofstra will provide a radio feed of tonight’s game at the Pride Productions hub. Free live video will be offered by Drexel here.

The Dragons, under rookie head coach Zach Spiker, are 7-13 this season and 1-6 in CAA play. Drexel has dropped two straight, including an 87-74 loss to UNC Wilmington on Saturday.

The Dutchmen and Dragons had no mutual foes during non-league play. 

In CAA play, the Dutchmen and Dragons have each beaten Delaware and lost to UNC Wilmington, James Madison and Elon. 

The Dutchmen, who were picked sixth in the CAA preseason poll, enter today ranked 184th at and 201st in the RPI. The Dragons, who were picked ninth, are ranked 230th at and 245th in the RPI.

Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 4-point favorites.

The Dutchmen rank third among CAA teams in scoring (78.1 ppg) but are allowing  77.4 ppg, the second-most in the league and less than a half point better than Drexel.

The Dutchmen rank fifth in the CAA in field goal percentage (45.2%) and second in 3-point field goal percentage (37.7%) They are allowing opposing teams to shoot 45.5 percent overall, eighth in the league, and 39.6 percent from beyond the arc, which is last. 

The Dragons rank fifth in scoring (75.3 ppg) and are allowing 77.7 ppg, which is last in the CAA.

The Dragons are eighth in the CAA in field goal percentage (43.0%) and sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (34.4%). They are ninth in field goal percentage defense (45.6%), percentage points behind the Dutchmen, and ninth in 3-point field goal percentage defense (36.7%).

Hofstra is 38-45 against Drexel in a series that began during the 1958-59 season. The Dutchmen and Dragons have opposed one another as members of the East Coast Conference, the North Atlantic Conference/America East and the CAA. The only opponent Hofstra has faced more than Drexel is Delaware, whom the Dutchmen played for the 84th time on Dec. 31. 

The Dutchmen went 3-0 against Drexel last season, when they earned a 69-61 win at the Arena on Jan. 14 and a 70-64 victory in Philadelphia on Jan. 30 before beating the Dragons, 80-67, in the CAA quarterfinals on Mar. 5. The Dutchmen have won five straight games against Drexel dating back to the 2014-15 season.

The Dutchmen lost a whopping 50.3 ppg from last year’s squad via the graduations of Juan’ya Green (17.8 ppg), Ameen Tanksley 15.9 ppg), Denton Koon (11.4 ppg) and Malik Nichols (5.2 ppg). But they have “found” 55.4 ppg this season via five players who didn’t play for the team in 2015-16, plus the emergence of sophomore Justin Wright-Foreman. 

Eli Pemberton (13.8)
Justin Wright-Foreman (13.3)***
Deron Powers (13.2)
Ty Greer (7.9)
Jamall Robinson (3.8)
Hunter Sabety (3.4)

***The Wright-Foreman average subtracts the 1.2 ppg he averaged last season to better account for the “found” points.

Sophomore guard Justin Wright-Foreman continued to thrive in the second half Saturday, when he scored 17 of his game-high 30 points in the second half. Of his 305 points this season, 204 have been scored in the second half. 

Eli Pemberton, who was the first Hofstra freshman since Antoine Agudio (2004-05) to open his career by scoring in double digits in his first five games, is already the 19th Dutchmen freshman in the CAA era to score at least 100 points in his debut season. Pemberton currently ranks eighth on the CAA-era freshman scoring list and is six points away from moving past Halil Kanacevic.

1.) Antoine Agudio, 452 (2004-05)
2.) Charles Jenkins, 436 (2007-08)
3.) Kenny Adeleke, 433 (2001-02)
4.) Loren Stokes, 374 (2003-04)
5.) Chaz Williams, 325 (2009-10)
6.) Jamall Robinson, 312 (2013-14)
7.) Halil Kanacevic, 294 (2009-10)
8.) ELI PEMBERTON, 289 (2016-17)
9.) Carlos Rivera, 226 (2003-04)
10.) Nathaniel Lester, 189 (2007-08)

Junior forward Rokas Gustys, the fourth-leading rebounder in program history, pulled down eight rebounds on Saturday. Gustys, who is nine rebounds away from surpassing Gary Cheslock for third place, has more rebounds than anyone who has played at Hofstra in the last 35 seasons.

3.) Gary Cheslock, 857 (1978-81)
4.) ROKAS GUSTYS, 849 (2014-present)
5.) Kenny Adeleke, 837 (2001-04)

Hall & Oates bias! (c’mon folks, know my favorite bands)
Frantz Massenat buzzer beater bias! (c’mon folks, know your horrid Hofstra hoops history)
Joe Linderman still has some eligibility bias! (The Drexel center played at least five seasons for the Dragons in the NAC/America East era)
We miss Bruiser Flint bias! (The CAA’s longest-tenured coach was fired following last season)

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