Thursday, January 11, 2018

I’ll Be Quirky: Towson

Come for the hoops info, stay for the random MISL image.

The Flying Dutchmen suffered a weird-even-for-the-Dutchmen kind of loss Sunday, when they fell to Elon, 86-79, despite eye-popping performances by Justin Wright-Foreman (a career-high 39 points) and Rokas Gustys (23 rebounds). Like I said, weird even for us. The Dutchmen will try to get back on track tonight, when they visit impenetrable-at-home Towson. Here’s a look back at the rub-your-eyes loss to the Phoenix and a look ahead to the Tigers.

Justin Wright-Foreman came within one point of matching the Arena record for points in a single game and Rokas Gustys spent most of the afternoon on a 30-rebound pace, but the Dutchmen fell behind by as many as 24 in the second half on their way to a lopsided loss. The Dutchmen trailed 35-33 at the half but Elon ran away with the game during a 27-10 run in the middle of the second half. Gustys, whose 16 first-half rebounds matched Elon’s total as a team in the opening 20 minutes, finished with eight points. Wright-Foreman added a team-high six assists and five rebounds. Eli Pemberton added 19 points for the Dutchmen, who hoisted a whopping 79 shots and shot just 35.4 percent from the field.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Elon 1/7)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Rokas Gustys
1: Eli Pemberton

Justin Wright-Foreman 42
Rokas Gustys 21
Eli Pemberton 17
Jalen Ray 4
Desure Buie 4
Joel Angus 4
Kenny Wormley 2
Hunter Sabety 1

COACHSPEAK: “Maybe it’s not getting through or maybe they have to learn the hard way. But we talk about those things all the time. Every game’s a battle. Every game’s a battle. This team lost, that team lost. But it’s not what you say, it’s what’s being heard. And we’ve got to get these guys to listen better.”

The Dutchmen lost Sunday despite having a player score at least 30 points and a player pull down at least 20 rebounds. It is the first time since 2010-11 (the first year for which College Basketball Reference has individual player game finder data) that a team has suffered a regulation loss in a game in which it had a player score 30 points and a player record 20 rebounds. Five other teams suffered such losses in overtime.

South Carolina 2/7/17 (Sindarius Thornwell 44 points/21 rebs), 90-86 4 OTL Alabama
Nevada 2/20/16 (Marqueze Coleman 41 pts, Cameron Oliver 21 rebs), 102-91 OTL UNLV
Colorado State 11/28/15 (Gian Clavell 35 pts, Emmanuel Ogbogo 20 rebs), 99-90 2OTL UTEP
UAB 11/21/13 (Chad Frazier 34 pts, Rod Rucker 20 rebs), 97-94 2OTL New Mexico
Tennessee 11/22/11 (Jeronne Maymon 32 pts/20 rebs), 99-97 2OTL Memphis

The Dutchmen’s 79 shots were their most in a game since Dec. 20, 2008, when they took 85 shots in a 97-81 loss to UMass.

Justin Wright-Foreman lofted 34 shots Sunday, the most by a Hofstra player in at least the last 11 seasons. Prior to Sunday, no Dutchman had taken more than 25 shots since Charles Jenkins had 26 shots against Drexel on Feb. 10, 2010. In addition, Wright-Foreman’s 34 shots were the most by a Division I player this season and only the 13th time since 2010-11 (the first year for which College Basketball Reference has individual player game finder data) that a player has taken at least 34 shots in a game. 

Justin Wright-Foreman became the 36th member of the Hofstra 1,000-point club Sunday, when he drained a pull-up jumper from just inside the 3-point arc with 2:28 left in the first half. He is the second player in as many games to record his 1,000th point. Rokas Gustys reached 1,000 points (on a Wright-Foreman assist) against James Madison last Friday.

However, no one who has reached the 1,000-point club in the Defiantly Dutch era (1993-present) got off to as quiet a start as a freshman as Wright-Foreman, who scored 44 points in 2015-16. Of the 13 most recent members of the 1,000-point club to begin their careers at Hofstra, only Jim Shaffer (83 points in 1991-92) scored fewer than 100 points as a freshman.

Antoine Agudio, 452 (2004-05)
Charles Jenkins, 436 (2007-08)
Kenny Adeleke, 433 (2001-02)
Speedy Claxton, 406 (1996-97)
Loren Stokes, 374 (2003-04)
Roberto Gittens, 331 (1997-98)
Darius Burton, 289 (1993-94)
Norman Richardson, 270 (1997-98)
Carlos Rivera, 226 (2003-04)
Nathaniel Lester, 189 (2007-08)
Rokas Gustys, 140 (2014-15)
Jim Shaffer, 83 (1991-92)
Justin Wright-Foreman, 44 (2015-16)

Junior guard Justin Wright-Foreman scored at least 10 points Sunday for the 38th straight game. It is the fifth-longest active streak in Division I, per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov, as well as the fifth-longest streak by a Hofstra player since 1989-90 (as far back as my records go, at least at home), a stretch in which a Hofstra player has scored in double digits in at least 30 straight games only six times.

Charles Jenkins 58 straight games 12/12/09-3/15/11*** 
Antoine Agudio 48 straight games 3/6/06-1/17/08****
Juan’ya Green: 43 straight games 11/14/14-12/9/15 
Loren Stokes 41 straight games 2/20/06-3/14/07*** 
Justin Wright-Foreman: 38 straight games 12/11/16-present
Loren Stokes: 34 straight games 1/14/04-1/31/05

***streak ended with the end of the player’s Hofstra career
****Agudio had three DNPs during his streak

Rokas Gustys’ big game Sunday afternoon lifted him into second place on the CAA’s all-time rebounding list. Gustys (1,119 rebounds) surged past Navy’s Vernon Butler (1,115) and now ranks behind only Hall of Famer David Robinson, who pulled down 1,314 rebounds while playing for Navy from 1983-87. At his current season average of 11.6 rebounds per game, Gustys would need to play another 17 games this season to surpass Robinson. The Dutchmen are guaranteed to play at least 15 more games (14 regular season CAA games and at least one tournament game).

Rokas Gustys had the ninth 20-rebound game of his career Sunday. Hofstra had just two 20-rebound games — both of which were recorded during the 2002-03 season by Kenny Adeleke, who had exactly 20 rebounds against Monmouth on Dec. 20, 2002 and UNC Wilmington on Feb. 15, 2003 — between 1989-90 and 2014-15. 

Freshman Jalen Ray scored eight points Sunday. With 94 points this season, Ray is on the verge of becoming the 20th Hofstra freshman in the CAA era (2001-present) to score at least 100 points in his rookie season. He would be the second freshman to record 100 points in as many years. Eli Pemberton’s 397 points last season were the fourth-most by a Hofstra freshman in the CAA era.

The 13-point loss to Elon marked just the second time in the Dutchmen’s last nine games that the final margin of victory or defeat has been more than six points. Despite Sunday’s lopsided outcome, the Dutchmen still lead the CAA with nine “close shaves” (games decided by six points or fewer or in overtime). The Dutchmen are 7-2 in those games. 

HOFSTRA 9 (7-2)
Drexel 8 (5-3)
Elon 7 (6-1)
James Madison 7 (2-5)
Towson 6 (3-3)
College of Charleston 5 (2-3)
UNC Wilmington 5 (1-4)
Delaware 4 (2-2)
Northeastern 4 (2-2)
William & Mary 2 (2-0)

Tonight marks the first time this season the Dutchmen play a former East Coast Conference foe. The Dutchmen conclude an ECC-only road trip Saturday by visiting Drexel. Delaware and Drexel also oppose each other tonight as the season within a season, the one Litos won’t acknowledge, kicks off.

Hofstra will provide a video and radio feed of tonight’s game, as well as live stats, at the Pride Productions hub.
The Tigers, under seventh-year head coach Pat Skerry, are 12-5 this season and 2-2 in CAA play. Towson has won two straight, including a 73-62 win over Charleston on Sunday, following a four-game losing streak that spanned the end of non-conference play and the start of the CAA schedule.

The Dutchmen and Tigers had one common foe during non-league play. The Dutchmen fell to Manhattan, 63-61, in a “home” game at Adelphi on Dec. 20 while the Tigers edged the Jaspers, 56-55, in Northern Ireland on Dec. 2. That was an odd sentence to write. Both the Dutchmen and Tigers have lost to Elon in CAA play.

The Dutchmen, who were picked fourth in the CAA preseason poll, enter today ranked 172nd at The Tigers, who were picked second, enter today ranked 111th at

According to the efficiency rankings at the Dutchmen rank seventh in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (108.4) and sixth in conference-only defensive efficiency (111.4). The Tigers rank fifth in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (109.5) and third in conference-only defensive efficiency (104.0). predicts a 77-69 win by Towson. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 7-point underdogs. Hofstra is 4-8 against the spread this season.

Towson has won 14 straight home games dating back to Jan. 12, 2017. It is the longest active streak by a CAA team and the 10th-longest active streak in the nation. 

Hofstra is 39-26 against Towson in a series that began during the 1982-83 season, when both schools were in the East Coast Conference. Towson swept last season’s series with an 86-80 win in Hempstead on Jan. 19 and a 69-65 victory at Towson on Feb. 9. It was the first season sweep for Towson since the 2012-13 campaign. 

Hofstra and Towson opposed one another in the ECC and the North Atlantic Conference/America East before moving together to the CAA for the 2001-02 school year. Hofstra has faced only two opponents as often as it’s faced Towson: Longtime conference rivals Delaware and Drexel.

Jordan Dangerfield bias! (The former NFL player began his college career at Hofstra before transferring to Towson after you-know-what happened)
Baltimore Blast bias! (The eight-time Major Arena Soccer League champion Blast, which used to play at former CAA tourney home Royal Farms Arena, now play at Towson)
You played in the Vegas 16 bias! (It was actually the Vegas 8)
Last ECC champion bias! (An oldie but a goodie)

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