Thursday, February 14, 2019

I'll Be Quirky: College of Charleston

The W in JWF stands for WARP ZONE!

Justin Wright-Foreman went into video game cheat code mode Saturday afternoon, when, on the day the Flying Dutchmen actually went by the Flying Dutchmen and wore Hofstra College warmups, Wright-Foreman matched a single-game school record set back when Hofstra was actually still the Hofstra College Flying Dutchmen by scoring 48 points to lead the DUTCHMEN to a wild 93-87 win over William & Mary. Wright-Foreman’s 48 points tied the mark set by Bill Thieben, Hofstra’s first NBA player. way back in the 1954-55 season. That’s 63 or 64 years ago!!! The Dutchmen will begin a pivotal two-game southern road swing tonight, when they visit defending #CAAHoops champion College of Charleston. Here’s a look back at the historic win over the Tribe and a look ahead to the Cougars.

Justin Wright-Foreman scored THIRTY-SEVEN of his FORTY-EIGHT points in the second half as the Dutchmen overcame a 10-point deficit to edge William & Mary in another barnburner with the Tribe. Wright-Foreman scored every point for the Dutchmen in a 10-4 run that gave them the lead for good at 73-71 with 7:10 to go and then scored all of the Dutchmen’s points in a 10-6 run that extended the lead to 89-83 with 1:14 left. But he didn’t score any of the Dutchmen’s final four points and missed a layup that would have given him 50 points. What’s up with that? Oh and did we mention Wright-Foreman played only 32 minutes due to first-half foul trouble, or that he went over over 2,000 career points in the game or that he passed Speedy Claxton on the school’s all-time scoring list? Not a bad afternoon. Desure Buie finished with 16 points, six assists, three steals and three turnovers while playing all 40 minutes while Jacquil Taylor had 11 points and 15 rebounds despite playing through foul trouble. Eli Pemberton added 12 points and five assists.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. William & Mary 2/9)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Justin Wright-Foreman
1: Justin Wright-Foreman

(wait, I probably can’t do that, can I?)

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. William & Mary 2/9)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Desure Buie
1: Jacquil Taylor

Justin Wright-Foreman 59
Eli Pemberton 27
Desure Buie 22
Jacquil Taylor 17
Tareq Coburn 13
Jalen Ray 8
Stafford Trueheart 2
Kenny Wormley 1
Dan Dwyer 1

COACHSPEAK: “I was fortunate enough to be an assistant coach for the guy that is the third all-time leading scorer in the game, Lionel Simmons. He scored 3,000. He never did this.”

Yes! The Dutchmen previously won games by scores of 92-87 (in triple-OT against UNC Wilmington on Jan. 14, 2006) and 93-89 (over La Salle AND JOE MIHALICH on Feb. 9, 1977 OH MY GOD THAT WAS EXACTLY 42 YEARS AGO SATURDAY), but never before by 93-87. The Dutchmen have recorded nine unicorn scores this season.

11/14/18: 92-72 over North Carolina A&T
12/8/18: 89-73 over Rider
12/10/18: 80-50 over Manhattan
12/22/18: 107-54 over Rosemont
12/28/18: 91-46 over Delaware
1/10/19: 93-90 over William & Mary
1/19/19: 86-72 over College of Charleston
1/24/19: 85-68 over James Madison
2/9/19: 93-87 over William & Mary

The term unicorn score was coined by Mets superfan, historian and blogger Greg Prince to describe a score by which the Mets had never previously won

Justin Wright-Foreman matched a bit of history some of us never thought we’d see Saturday when he tied Bill Thieben’s school record by scoring 48 points against William & Mary. There are so many ways to put what he did and how he did it into context, so let’s just go with the bullet points:

—There were 1,825 basketball games played by the Flying Dutchmen in between the 48-point efforts by Thieben and Wright-Foreman.
—Wright-Foreman’s 48 points broke the school Division I record of 44, set by Demetrius Dudley on Feb. 9, 1993 OH MY GOD THAT WAS EXACTLY 26 YEARS AGO SATURDAY!
—Wright-Foreman scored 37 of his 48 points in the second half. Prior to Saturday, a Hofstra player had scored 37 points in a game 23 times in school history. 
—Wright-Foreman’s 48-point effort marked the 14th 40-point game in school history and made him the fifth Hofstra player with multiple 40-point games. Steve Nisenson had three 40-point games and Thieben, Rich Laurel and Speedy Claxton had two apiece. 
—The 48-point game was the fifth in Division I this season and the third against  a Division I foe. Marquette’s Markus Howard scored 54 points against Creighton on Jan. 9 and Detroit Mercy’s Antoine Davis scored 48 points against Wright State on Jan. 3. Campbell’s Chris Clemons, the only player in the country with a longer streak of double-digit scoring efforts than Wright-Foreman, joined the club by scoring 48 points against Hampton last night.
—A player has scored at least 48 points in a game 22 times since 2010-11, the first season for which College Basketball Reference has game-by-game data. The only player to score at least 48 points against a Division I foe in fewer minutes than Wright-Foreman was Ray Lee of Eastern Michigan, who scored 50 points in 28 minutes against Central Michigan on Feb. 28, 2017.
—Wright-Foreman’s 48 points were the most ever in a CAA league game and the second-ever by a CAA player. David Robinson had 50 for Navy in an NCAA Tournament loss to Michigan on DATE HERE.
—Wright-Foreman scored 48 points without a rebound or assist. Pfft. One dimensional.
—Lastly, the 48 points Wright-Foreman scored Saturday were MORE THAN HE SCORED HIS ENTIRE FRESHMAN SEASON, WHEN HE SCORED 44 POINTS!

Justin Wright-Foreman joined the Hofstra 2,000-point club Saturday, though he didn’t score ALL 2,000 points Saturday. It only seemed that way. Wright-Foreman became the eighth player in school history to reach 2,000 points when he drained a 3-pointer with 14:14 left. And then…

Justin Wright-Foreman moved past Speedy Claxton, the guy who recruited him, into seventh place on the Hofstra all-time scoring list when he sank a free throw with 7:10 left. Sheesh, it’s about time, Wright-Foreman spent seven games languishing in eighth place. He hadn’t gained ground since surpassing David Taylor against…hmm, William & Mary on Jan. 10. Wright-Foreman should need less time to move past Bill Thieben, whose records are more endangered now than they’ve been at any time in the last six decades. Wright-Foreman enters tonight needing just 17 points to surpass Thieben for sixth place.

6.) Bill Thieben 2,045 (1953-56)
7.) JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN 2,029 (2015-present)
8.) Speedy Claxton, 2,015 (1996-2000)
9.) David Taylor 1,818 (1979-83)
10.) Norman Richardson 1,677 (1997-2001)

With his 48 points against William & Mary, Justin Wright-Foreman extended his streak of double-digit scoring efforts to 78 straight games, the most ever by a Hofstra player as well as the most ever by a CAA player. Wright-Foreman snapped a tie Thursday with Navy legend David Robinson. In addition, Wright-Foreman’s streak is now the second-longest active streak in Division I, per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov. 

Justin Wright-Foreman: 78 straight games 12/11/16-present
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*** 
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

Per Gorchov, Wright-Foreman’s streak is tied for the 11th-longest in HISTORY. This is some rarefied air. 

Justin Wright-Foreman recorded his seventh 30-point game of the season Saturday afternoon and the 18th of his career. That’s the most by a Hofstra player since at least the 1989-90 season. But Wright-Foreman has played just 115 games and registered all of his 30-point games in his last 74 games dating back to Jan. 2, 2017. Here is the list of all players with multiple 30-point games since 1989-90 (career games in parenthesis).

Justin Wright-Foreman 18 (115)
Demetrius Dudley 12 (55)
Charles Jenkins 12 (128)
Antoine Agudio 10 (122)
Speedy Claxton 8 (119)
Loren Stokes 7 (124)
Zeke Upshaw 3 (33)
Mike Moore 3 (65)
Ameen Tanksley 2 (68)
Rick Apodaca 2 (108)
John Mavroukas 2 (90)

THE 30/30/30/30/30/30/30 (AT LEAST) CLUB
The seven 30-point games this season by Justin Wright-Foreman mark the fifth time since 1989-90 that a Hofstra player has recorded at least five 30-point performances. Wright-Foreman, not surprisingly, has done it two straight years. The only other player to collect at least five 30-point games in back-to-back years since 1989-90 is Demetrius Dudley, who is also the only player to have as many as seven 30-point games in season since 1989-90.

Justin Wright-Foreman 7 (2018-19)
Justin Wright-Foreman 7 (2017-18)
Demetrius Dudley 7 (1991-92)
Antoine Agudio 6 (2007-08)
Speedy Claxton 6 (1999-2000)
Demetrius Dudley 5 (1992-93)

With the win over William & Mary, the Dutchmen improved to 14-0 at home this season while extending their overall home winning streak to 17 games dating back to Feb. 15. The 14 straight wins to open the home schedule are the most by a Dutchmen squad since the 2005-06 team won its first 14 home games (13-0 regular season, 1-0 NIT). Per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov, those 14 wins concluded a 21-game home winning streak that lasted from Jan. 22, 2005 to Mar. 16, 2006 and is the longest home winning streak for the Dutchmen in the CAA era.

The Flying Dutchmen came back from a deficit of at least 10 points for the third time this season and the 19th time in six seasons under Joe Mihalich.

vs. William & Mary 2/9/19 (trailed by 10 in 2H, won 93-87)
vs. Elon 1/12/19 (trailed by 10 in 2H, won 74-71)
vs. Mount St. Mary’s 11/9/18 (trailed by 15 in 1H, won 79-61)
vs. Delaware 1/27/18 (trailed by 11 in 2H, won 64-59)
vs. Towson 1/11/18 (trailed by 10 in 2H, won 76-73)
vs. Northeastern 1/2/18 (trailed by 12 in 1H, won 71-70)
vs. Monmouth 12/6/17 (trailed by 14 in 2H, won 85-84)
vs. Drexel 2/4/17 (trailed by 13 in 2H, won 79-77)
vs. Delaware 2/2/17 (trailed by 14 in 1H, won 73-65)
vs. Coppin State 11/11/16 (trailed by 11 in 1H, won 74-72)
vs. UNCW 2/25/16 ( trailed by 18 in 1H, won 70-69)
vs. Drexel 1/30/16 (trailed by 12 in 2H, won 70-64)
vs. Sacred Heart 12/28/15 (trailed by 11 in 2H, won 80-73)
vs. St. Bonaventure 11/28/15 (trailed by 10 in 1H, won 89-83)
vs. Canisius 11/13/15 (trailed by 18 in 1H, won 96-85)
vs. Towson 2/18/15 (trailed by 14 in 1H, won 87-82)
vs. UNCW 1/3/15 (trailed by 13 in 1H, won 68-56)
vs. UNCW 2/8/14 (trailed by 15 in 2H, won 61-52)
vs. Charleston 1/11/14 (trailed by 14 in 1H, won 75-71)

Here’s a stunner: The Dutchmen and William & Mary played a nail-biter Saturday. The Dutchmen’s 93-87 win marked the 10th time in 13 games during the Joe Mihalich era (2013-present) that a game against William & Mary was decided by six points or fewer or in overtime. With the victory Saturday, the Dutchmen improved to 5-5 in such “close shaves.” I’m not sure any of us can take a CAA tournament rematch.

2/9/19: Hofstra 93, William & Mary 87
1/10/19: Hofstra 93, William & Mary 90 (3OT)
2/15/18: Hofstra 90, William & Mary 84
12/30/17: William & Mary 90, Hofstra 87
1/2/17: William & Mary 95, Hofstra 93 (OT)
3/6/16: Hofstra 70, William & Mary 67***
2/11/16: Hofstra 86, William & Mary 80
3/8/15: William & Mary 92, Hofstra 91 (2OT)***
2/22/15: William & Mary 80, Hofstra 78
2/26/14: William & Mary 79, Hofstra 74

***CAA semifinals

Eli Pemberton, the newest member of the Hofstra 1,000-point club, moved into 20th place on the all-time list Saturday, when he scored 12 points to move Carlos Rivera, who finished his career with 1,225 points. Pemberton enters tonight just seven points away from surpassing Roberto Gittens for 19th place.

19.) Roberto Gittens 1,240 (1997-2001)
20.) ELI PEMBERTON 1,234 (2016-present)
21.) Carlos Rivera 1,225 (2004-07)
22t.) Demetrius Dudley 1,220 (1991-93)
22t.) John Mills 1,220 (1941-43, 1946-47)
24t.) Brian Bernardi, 1,186 (2014-17)
24t.) Juan’ya Green 1,186 (2014-16)

Graduate transfers Jacquil Taylor and Dan Dwyer continued to more than fill in for Rokas Gustys down low. Taylor and Dwyer combined for 11 points, 16 rebounds and one block in 40 minutes Saturday and are now averaging 10.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.04 blocks per game while playing an average of 39.5 minutes per contest. As a senior last year, Gustys averaged 10.5 points, 12.0 rebounds and 0.4 blocks per game while playing an average of 29.7 minutes per contest. Taylor and Dwyer are also draining a nice 69.1 percent of their free throws (47-for-68), which is…different.

Desure Buie finally gained ground in his attempt to move back into contention for the national free throw shooting title Saturday, when he was 5-for-6 from the line against William & Mary. Buie is shooting a robust 89.7 percent (61-of-68) from the line this season, which would likely rank him among the top 20 if Buie had enough made free throws to qualify for the title. ('s stats are only updated through Monday)'s minimum is 2.5 made free throws per game, which means Buie needed 63 makes through 25 games and will need to make four free throws today, in the Dutchmen’s 26th game, in order to qualify for the leaderboard.

However, Hofstra’s specifications are two free throws made per game, which means Buie is on pace to threaten the school single-season record for free throw percentage of 91.3 percent, which was set by Steve Nisenson during the 1963-64 season. Nisenson and Brian Appel (90.5 percent during the 1977-78 season) are the only players to shoot at least 90 percent from the line over a full season for the Dutchmen.

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE (which unfortunately was released in 1992)
It’s not really early anymore, but you’re not wrong if you’re thinking you’ve never seen a Dutchmen team shoot free throws this well. The Dutchmen were 27-of-33 from the line against Northeastern, which increased their season-long percentage to 79.2 percent. That was, and I can’t believe I’m typing these words, good enough for the second-best percentage in the country entering today’s games. The Dutchmen rank just behind Incarnate Word (80.0 percent) and just ahead of Louisiana-Monroe (78.8 percent), Toledo (78.4 percent) and North Dakota State (77.6 percent) At this rate, the Dutchmen would shatter the program record for free throw percentage set by the 2010-11 team, which drained 76.1 percent of its free throws.

In addition, as reader Evan Jones notes, the Dutchmen are a little behind the pace set last season by William & Mary, which set the single-season CAA record by shooting .810 from the free throw line. Technically, the Tribe were at 81.049 percent (479-for-591).

Last year’s Dutchmen shot 68.2 percent from the free throw line. But subtracting Rokas Gustys’ performance (45-of-120, 37.5 percent), the Dutchmen would have shot 74.7 percent, which would have been the third-best single-season mark in program history. 

Hofstra will provide a radio and video feed of today’s game, as well as live stats, at the Pride Productions hub.

The defending CAA champion Cougars, under fifth-year head coach Earl Grant, are 20-6 this season and 9-4 in CAA play. Charleston fell to 3-4 in league play by losing to Hofstra in Hempstead on Jan. 19 but has won six straight since then, including a wild 86-84 victory over Drexel on Saturday.

The Dutchmen and Cougars had two common foes during non-league play. The Dutchmen beat Siena and fell to VCU while Charleston beat both teams. Charleston is the fourth team the Dutchmen are facing for the second time in CAA play. The Cougars have swept Towson and Delaware #ECC4Eva and split with Drexel and James Madison. 

The Dutchmen, who were picked third in the CAA preseason poll, were ranked 68th at today. The Cougars, who were picked second, were ranked 116th at today.

According to, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (121.6) and second in conference-only defensive efficiency (101.3). The Cougars rank fourth in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (110.1) and third in conference-only defensive efficiency (103.1).

The Cougars are once again led by the haven’t-they-graduated-yet duo of junior guard Grant Riller, who leads the team with 21.2 points and 4.0 assists per game, and senior forward Jarrell Brantley, who is averaging a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game and is second with 18.5 points per game. predicts an 73-72 win by the Cougars. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Cougars are 1-point favorites. Hofstra is 17-7 against the spread this season.

Hofstra is 5-6 against Charleston in a series that began with the Cougars joining the CAA prior to the 2013-14 season. The Dutchmen snapped a four-game losing streak in the series by beating the Cougars, 86-72, in Hempstead on Jan. 19. Hofstra is seeking its first season sweep of Charleston since 2014-15. 

I can’t believe we have to come back here in three weeks bias! (Nobody said it would be easy)
Orlando Jones bias! (The actor went to Charleston)
Andrew Goudelock bias! (The former Lakers player was a star at Charleston)
Joe Chealey bias! (The star of last year’s CAA-title winning team is playing this season with the Charlotte Hornets)

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