Will Delaware grad Joe Biden announce a 2020 candidacy before or after the CAA Tournament?
We’re no. 1! Barely. The Flying Dutchmen locked up the top seed in the CAA Tournament — and with it the automatic NIT bid, which we sure hope isn’t necessary but we’ll take what we can get as long as it’s not the CBI — by the skin of their teeth Thursday night, when they edged Drexel, 80-77. The Dutchmen will look to win the CAA regular season title outright. and/or regain the form they enjoyed in January, when they visit Delaware in regular season finale this afternoon. Here’s a look back at the win over the Dragons and a look ahead to the Blue Hens.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Justin Wright-Foreman scored 23 of his game-high 32 points in the second half for the Dutchmen, who trailed the undermanned Dragons by eight points in the first half, surrendered the lead four times and had to survive a hairy last few seconds to escape Bryce Harper-ville with the win and the no. 1 seed in the CAA Tournament. Wright-Foreman, who came up with a key blocked shot in the final minute despite playing with four fouls, fouled out when he was whistled for making contact with Camryn Wynter on a 3-pointer with fewer than three seconds left and the Dutchmen up 80-76. Wynter made one of three free throws but Drexel got the ball back after the ball bounced off Jacquil Taylor’s hands and Alihan Demir missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Phew. Eli Pemberton and Desure Buie each had 15 points while Pemberton added six rebounds. Jalen Ray had 10 points off the bench and Taylor finished with a multiplication table-friendly three blocks, six points and nine rebounds.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Drexel 2/28)
3: Justin Wright-Foreman
2: Eli Pemberton
1: Desure Buie
Justin Wright-Foreman 70
Eli Pemberton 34
Desure Buie 28
Jacquil Taylor 20
Tareq Coburn 15
Jalen Ray 9
Stafford Trueheart 2
Kenny Wormley 1
Dan Dwyer 1
COACHSPEAK: “Other than just finding a way to win and getting enough to do it, we know we’ve got to play a lot better if we’re going to continue to win games.”
WAS THIS A UNICORN SCORE?
No! But 80-77 scores aren’t as frequent as you might think. The Dutchmen hadn’t won an 80-77 game since beating Stonehill by that score during the 1977-78 season. The Dutchmen subsequently came closest to an 80-77 score against, that’s right, Drexel, when they scored the final 12 points of a 79-77 win on Feb. 4, 2017. The Dutchmen have recorded 10 unicorn scores this season. 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.
NO ASSISTANCE NECESSARY
The Dutchmen finished with just four assists Thursday, their fewest in a win since they also collected four assists in a 67-48 win over Elon on Feb. 8, 2018.
WE’RE NUMBER ONE
With Thursday’s win, the Dutchmen clinched the no. 1 overall seed in the CAA Tournament. While the Dutchmen and Northeastern can still tie for first place at 14-4 if Hofstra loses and the Huskies win today, the Dutchmen would win the tiebreaker by virtue of sweeping third-place Charleston and Charleston splitting with Northeastern.
The Dutchmen will be the no. 1 seed in the CAA Tournament for the second time. They were the no. 1 seed following the 2015-16 season, when Hofstra and UNC Wilmington finished tied at 14-4 but the Dutchmen earned the top seed via tiebreakers. The Dutchmen have not won a regular season title outright since going 16-2 in the program’s final season in the America East in 2000-01.
The Dutchmen’s potential opponents for next Sunday’s quarterfinals are still unknown. The bottom five teams in the league — Drexel, James Madison, Elon, Towson and UNC Wilmington — could all finish eighth or ninth depending on the outcomes of today’s games.
With a win today, the Dutchmen will finish with their best conference record in CAA play. They were 14-4 in 2005-06, 2006-07, 2010-11 and 2015-16.
YOU’RE JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN! YOU PLAY BASKETBALL FOR THE HOFSTRA FLYING DUTCHMEN!
With his 32 points against Drexel, Justin Wright-Foreman extended his streak of double-digit scoring efforts to 83 straight games, the most ever by a Hofstra player as well as the most ever by a CAA player. In addition, Wright-Foreman’s streak is now the second-longest active streak in Division I, per Hofstra SID Stephen Gorchov.
Justin Wright-Foreman: 83 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 eighth-longest in HISTORY with Pete Maravich and Wayman Tisdale, who, trust us kids, were REALLY good basketball players. This is some rarefied air.
ALL BY HIMSELF
Justin Wright-Foreman recorded his 11th 30-point game of the season Saturday afternoon and the 22nd of his career. That’s the most by a Hofstra player since at least the 1989-90 season. But Wright-Foreman has played just 120 games and registered all of his 30-point games in his last 79 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 22 (120)
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 30/30/30/30/30/30/30/30/30/30/30 (AT LEAST) CLUB
The 11 30-point games this season by Justin Wright-Foreman are the most by a Hofstra player since at least 1989-90. Only two other players in that span had as many as seven 30-point games in a season. Wright-Foreman did it last year, of course, and Demetrius Dudley did it in 1991-92. Dudley is also the only other Hofstra player with at least five 30-point games in back-to-back years since 1989-90.
Justin Wright-Foreman 11 (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)
SECOND TO ONLY ONE
In addition, Justin Wright-Foreman’s 11 30-point games rank second in the nation behind only Campbell’s Chris Clemons, who has 12 30-point games entering today. Clemons (111 straight games) is also the only player in the country with a longer streak of double-digit scoring efforts than Wright-Foreman.
GOING BACK-TO-BACK (AGAIN)
Justin Wright-Foreman added to another one of his records Thursday, when he scored 32 points against Drexel. Coupled with his 33-point effort against James Madison last Saturday, it marked the eighth time he has scored 30 points in consecutive games, the most by a Hofstra player since at least 1989-90. He is also the only Hofstra player since 1989-90 to twice score 30 points in three consecutive game. Here is the entire list of back-to-back 30-point efforts by Hofstra players since 1989-90:
Justin Wright-Foreman 2/23/19-2/28/19 (33 vs. James Madison, 32 vs. Drexel)
Justin Wright-Foreman 2/9/19-2/16/19 (48 vs. W&M, 30 vs. Charleston, 30 vs. UNC Wilmington)
Justin Wright-Foreman 12/30/18-1/10/19 (34 vs. Drexel, 42 vs. Northeastern, 37 vs. William & Mary)
Justin Wright-Foreman 1/7/18-1/11/18 (39 vs. Elon, 35 vs. Towson)
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)
Antoine Agudio 12/1-12/5/07 (34 vs. UNCW, 36 vs. Fordham)
Loren Stokes 1/21-1/26/06 (32 vs. Northeastern, 31 vs. Towson)
Speedy Claxton 12/18/99-12/22/99 (39 vs. Iona, 31 vs. St. John’s)
Speedy Claxton 1/14/00-1/21/00 (30 vs. Vermont, 40 vs. Hartford, 40 vs. Maine)
John Mavroukas 1/6/95-1/8/95 (35 vs. New Hampshire, 33 vs. Vermont)
Demetrius Dudley 11/23/91-11/30/91 (33 vs. Navy, 32 vs. Lehigh, 30 vs. Manhattan)
Demetrius Dudley 2/6/92-2/8/92 (37 vs. Towson State, 33 vs. Buffalo)
JWF IS A TOP-FIVE HIT
Justin Wright-Foreman remained in fourth place on the all-time Hofstra scoring list Saturday, when he scored 32 points against Drexel. Slacker. He might even spend a second straight game in fourth place, though that’s not a sure thing. Wright-Foreman today 41 points shy of surpassing Steve Nisenson for third place.
1.) Charles Jenkins 2,513 (2007-11)
2.) Antoine Agudio 2,276 (2005-08)
3.) Steve Nisenson 2,222 (1962-65)
4.) JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN 2,182 (2015-present)
5.) Loren Stokes 2,148 (2003-07)
6.) Rich Laurel 2,102 (1973-77)
7.) Bill Thieben 2,045 (1953-56)
8.) Speedy Claxton, 2,015 (1996-2000)
9.) David Taylor 1,818 (1979-83)
10.) Norman Richardson 1,677 (1997-2001)
SURGING PAST STEVE
Justin Wright-Foreman did surpass Steve Nisenson in one category Thursday night, though. With his 32 points, Wright-Foreman (803 points this season) moved past Nisenson into second place on the all-time single-season scoring list. Wright-Foreman ranks behind only the legendary Rich Laurel, who scored 908 points in 30 games in 1976-77.
1.) Rich Laurel 908 (1976-77)
2.) JUSTIN WRIGHT-FOREMAN 803 (2018-19)
3.) Steve Nisenson 776 (1963-64)
4.) Steve Nisenson 765 (1962-63)
5.) Bill Thieben 760 (1954-55)
SEVENTEEN FOR ELI
Eli Pemberton, the newest member of the Hofstra 1,000-point club, remained in 17th place on the all-time scoring list Thursday, when he collected 15 points against Drexel. Pemberton enters today needing nine points to move past Dave Bell into 16th place.
16.) Dave Bell 1,330 (1969-72)
17.) ELI PEMBERTON 1,322 (2016-present)
18.) Kenny Adeleke 1,296 (2001-04)
19.) Mike Tilley 1,286 (1963-66)
20.) Roberto Gittens 1,240 (1997-2001)
I’m a game late with this, but Desure Buie moved into the all-time Hofstra top 10 in assists against James Madison, when he collected 12 assists to surpass Antoine Agudio for 10th place. With two more assists on Thursday, Buie now has 328 assists, which leaves him 24 shy of moving past Carlos Rivera into ninth place.
7.) Loren Stokes 377 (2003-07)
8.) Woody Souffrant 362 (2001-05)
9.) Carlos Rivera 351 (2003-07)
10.) DESURE BUIE 328 (2015-present)
TAYLOR HUNTING SABETY
Jacquil Taylor actually missed a shot Thursday — his miss on his first attempt snapped a streak of 10 straight made field goals — but Taylor remains in position to threaten Hunter Sabety as the most effective field goal shooter of the DD era. Taylor was 3-of-5 against Drexel and is now shooting 71.7 percent (104-of-145) this season. That leaves him just behind Sabety, who shot 72.6 percent last year (53-of-73). Sabety is the only Hofsra player to shoot at least 70 percent form the field since 1993-94 (minimum two field goal attempts per game).
A DESURE THING
Desure Buie remained eligible for the national free throw shooting title Saturday, when he was 5-for-5 from the line against James Madison. Buie has made 16 straight free throws dating back to Feb. 21 to increase his season average to 90.4 percent (85-of-94), which was good enough for 10th in the nation entering today’s games. Buie is technically at 90.43 percent, which puts him microscopically ahead of Wright State’s Cole Gentry (75-of-83 for 90.36 percent). NCAA.org's minimum to qualify for the leaderboards is 2.5 made free throws per game, which means Buie will remain among the leaders even if he doesn’t make a free throw over the next four games. But we would like him to make free throws over the next four games, or to even PLAY four more games.
Buie’s recent surge at the free throw line has also put him back into contention to break the Hofstra single-season record for free-throw percentage, which is held by Steve Nisenson, who shot 91.3 percent 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. Hofstra’s specifications are two free throws made per game, which means Buie will qualify for the single-season school record even if he doesn’t take make another free throw and the Dutchmen go all the way to the national championship game! But then of course he wouldn’t break the record.
THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE (which unfortunately was released in 1992)
You’re not wrong if you’re thinking you’ve never seen a Dutchmen team shoot free throws this well. The Dutchmen were 13-of-16 from the line against Drexel, which improved their season-long percentage to 79.5 percent. That was, and I still 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 (80.5 percent) and just ahead of California Baptist (78.7 percent), Louisiana-Monroe (78.5 percent, or technically 78.472 percent), and Central Connecticut State (78.5 percent, or technically 78.468 percent). Hey! Thats my parents’ alma mater! 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.
OVER THE AIR
Hofstra will provide a radio feed of today’s game, as well as live stats, at the Pride Productions hub. The game will be broadcast by College Sports Live. Cool TV deal!
The Blue Hens, under third-year head coach Martin Ingelsby, are 16-14 this season and 8-9 in CAA play. Delaware lost its third straight game Thursday, when it fell to Northeastern, 75-64, and is 2-6 since a 6-3 CAA start.
The Dutchmen and Blue Hens had two common foes during non-league play. Both teams lost to Maryland while the Dutchmen beat SUNY-Stony Brook Dec. 19, three days after SUNY-Stony Brook beat Delaware
The Dutchmen, who were picked third in the CAA preseason poll, were ranked 90th at KenPom.com as of this morning. The Blue Hens, who were picked seventh, were ranked 262nd at KenPom.com as of early this morning.
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank first in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (122.1) and are fourth in conference-only defensive efficiency (107.7). The Blue Hens rank ninth in the CAA in conference-only offensive efficiency (103.0) and are fifth in conference-only defensive efficiency (109.0).
The Blue Hens are led by senior Eric Carter, an all-CAA candidate who is averaging a team-high 10.0 rebounds per game and ranks second in scoring at 16.1 points per game. Sophomore guard Ryan Allen leads the Blue Hens in scoring at 16.3 ppg while freshman guard Ithiel Horton is averaging 12.1 ppg. Delaware will likely be without sophomore guard Kevin Anderson, who is averaging 10.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and a team-best 3.6 assists per game. Per the News Journal, he has missed the last fourth games due to an academic situation.
KenPom.com predicts a 78-71 win by Hofstra. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 6.5-point favorites. Hofstra is 18-11 against the spread this season, though it has lost four straight as far as the bookies are concerned.
BACK-TO-BACK PERFECT ECC SEASONS?
With a win today, the Dutchmen will go 6-0 against ECC foes — Delaware, Drexel and Towson — for a second straight season. Oh yes, Litos. I went there. The Dutchmen haven’t lost a game to an ECC opponent since Delaware earned an 81-76 win in a CAA opening round game on Mar. 3, 2017. Uh-oh.
ALL-TIME VS. DELAWARE
Hofstra is 57-32 against Delaware in a series that began during the 1954-55 season. With tipoff today, Delaware will become Hofstra’s most common foe. The Dutchmen played Drexel for the 89th time on Thursday. (Not this season. That would be a record) Hofstra and Delaware were rivals in the East Coast Conference and the North Atlantic Conference/America East before heading to the CAA, along with Drexel and Towson, for the 2001-02 season.
The Dutchmen cruised to a 91-46 win in the CAA opener for both teams on Dec. 28 and will be looking to sweep the regular season series fro the fifth straight year, though Delaware ended Hofstra’s 2016-17 season with a win in the opening round of the CAA Tournament. Prior to the Dutchmen’s current regular season streak, the Blue Hens swept the season series three straight years and won eight games in a row overall between the teams from 2011-12 through 2013-14. And THAT, in turn, was preceded by the Dutchmen sweeping the season series three straight times from 2008-09 through 2010-11.
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
Spencer Dunkley bias! (The first-teamer on the all-time great basketball team name led Delaware to the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Tournaments)
Make up your mind Joe Biden are you gonna run in 2020 or not bias! (Duh)
No time for Blue Hens bias! (If you are of a certain age, you know what we sang after the two America East title wins over Delaware at Hofstra)
Chad Kuhl bias! (The Pirates pitcher played at Delaware)