You're a hard habit to break, #CAAHoops!
The Flying Dutchmen closed out the non-conference portion of play — at least until the NCAA Tournament, he tried to type with fingers crossed! — on Sunday by pulling away from Manhattan, 63-51. The real season starts today, when the Dutchmen visit James Madison in the CAA opener. Here’s a look back at the win over the Jaspers and a look ahead to the Dukes.
THE MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIZED IN ONE PARAGRAPH
Desure Buie and Eli Pemberton scored 19 points apiece, but Isaac Kante was the one with the breakout performance as he recorded a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) while draining every shot he took from the field and the free throw line in the win over Manhattan. Kante was drained all six of his field goal attempts and both of his free throws. Pemberton (seven points) and Kante (four points) teamed up for an 11-0 run that gave the Dutchmen the lead for good late in the first half. Manhattan got as close as four points in the second half before the Dutchmen went on an 9-0 run. Buie had five rebounds, five steals, four assists and six turnovers while Pemberton added five rebounds and four assists.
3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Manhattan 12/22)
3: Isaac Kante
2: Desure Buie
1: Eli Pemberton
Desure Buie 25
Eli Pemberton 19
Tareq Coburn 13
Isaac Kante 10
Jalen Ray 9
Stafford Trueheart 1
Omar Silverio 1
THIS IS THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF FRIENDS’ FIRST SEASON, WHAT WOULD THIS GAME BE TITLED IF IT WAS AN EPISODE OF FRIENDS?
The One With Manhattan (But Not Central Perk)
WAS THIS A UNICORN SCORE?
No! A 63-51 score sounds like a pre-offensive explosion score, and sure enough, the Dutchmen beat St. John’s by that exact score on Dec. 29, 2006. So close to an anniversary. The Dutchmen have recorded six unicorn scores this season after recording 10 unicorn scores last 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.
HONORS FOR PEMBERTON
Eli Pemberton earned the CAA’s player of the week last week after he scored a combined 46 points int he wins over Princeton and Manhattan. It’s the third time Pemberton has won the player of the week and his first honor since he split the award with Northeastern’s Vasa Pusica for the week ending Jan. 21.
THE FLYING DUTCHMEN AFTER THIRTEEN GAMES
With the win over Manhattan, the Dutchmen improved to 9-4. This ties the 2019-20 team for the 17th-best record through 13 games. Eleven other teams began 9-4, most recently the 2015-16 squad. Here is how some other notable Hofstra teams have fared through 13 games:
NCAA DIVISION I TOURNAMENT TEAMS
2005-06: 10-3 (most recent 10-3 start)
2018-19: 10-3 (marked seventh win in the 16-game winning streak)
NCAA DIVISION II TOURNAMENT TEAMS
1963-64: 12-1 (most recent 12-1 start)
Some other notable 13-game starts:
2017-18: 7-6 (most recent 7-6 start)
2016-17: 8-5 (most recent 8-5 start)
2013-14: 4-9 (most recent 4-9 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)
2012-13: 3-10 (most recent 3-10 start, final loss in eight-game losing streak)
2011-12: 6-7 (most recent 6-7 start)
2002-03: 2-11 (most recent 2-11 start)
2001-02: 6-7 (Tom Pecora’s first team)
1996-97: 5-8 (most recent 5-8 start)
1994-95: 2-11 (Jay Wright’s first team)
1993-94: 1-12 (VBK’s last team, most recent 1-12 start)
1959-60: 12-1 (Hofstra’s winningest team, percentage-wise; win in 13th game was second win of season-ending 13-game winning streak)
1955-56: 12-1 (suffered first loss in 13th game)
Hofstra has never been 13-0, 11-2 or 0-13 through 13 games.
Full records not available for the following seasons: 1936-37, 1941-42, 1942-43m 1945-46, 1954-55
This feature is inspired by Greg Prince, who measures how the current Mets compare, record-wise, to previous teams through the same point in the season.
WINNING THE NON-CONFERENCE SEASON
The Dutchmen, as just noted, will enter CAA play after going 9-4 in non-conference play. This marks the sixth straight season in which the Dutchmen hit the CAA schedule with a winning record and the 13th time they’ve done so in 19 seasons in the CAA. The nine wins this season are tied for the second most by the Dutchmen entering CAA play. Last year’s team was 10-3 while the 2014-15 team was 9-4. (CAA games that were played in the middle of the non-conference schedule were not counted but are listed separately)
2004-05: 8-1 (.889) 1-0 CAA
2018-19: 10-3 (.769)
2005-06: 6-2 (.750) 2-0 CAA
2008-09: 8-3 (.727) 1-0 CAA
2019-20: 9-4 (.692)
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
A Joe Mihalich-coached team has posted a winning record in non-league play 12 times in 21 seasons. (These figures do not include any “Bracket Buster” games scheduled in the middle of the season)
The victory over Manhattan gave the Dutchmen a clean sweep of the MAAC in non-conference play for the second straight season. The Dutchmen earlier beat Monmouth and Canisius and went 4-0 against the MAAC last season with wins over Manhattan, Monmouth, Rider and Siena The Dutchmen haven’t lost to a MAAC foe since absorbing a 63-61 loss to Manhattan at Adelphi on Dec. 20, 2017.
THE DEFENSE DIDN’T REST
With the 63-51 win over Manhattan, the Dutchmen have won their last 25 games in which they held an opponent under 60 points. Hofstra is 27-1 under Joe Mihalich when holding an opponent to fewer than 60 points. The only loss was absorbed Feb. 10, 2014, when the Dutchmen fell to James Madison, 59-53.
KANTE PULLS THE LAETTNER (minus everyone hating him)
Isaac Kante had his best game for the Dutchmen Sunday, when he scored 14 points while going 6-for-6 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. If you are of a certain age, you call that pulling a Laettner.
Kante is just the third Hofstra player in the CAA era to enjoy a perfect day from the field (minimum five attempts) and the free throw line and only the second to do it against a Division I foe. Jacquil Taylor scored 18 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 shooting from the free throw line against Division III Rosemont on Dec. 22, 2018 and Kenny Adeleke scored 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 shooting from the free throw line against Illinois State on Nov 25, 2011. Taylor had six perfect shooting afternoons (minimum five attempts) last season, more than any other Hofstra player has had in his entire career in the CAA era.
Isaac Kante 6/6 vs. Manhattan 12/22/19
Jacquil Taylor 7/7 vs. James Madison 3/10/19 (CAAT)
Jacquil Taylor 5/5 vs. James Madison 2/23/19
Jacquil Taylor 5/5 vs. Towson 2/21/19
Jacquil Taylor 6/6 vs. Elon 2/7/19
Jacquil Taylor 5/5 vs. Towson 1/26/19
Jacquil Taylor 7/7 vs. Rosemont 12/22/18 (4-4)
Rokas Gustys 5/5 vs. UNCW 3/4/18 (CAAT)
Rokas Gustys 6/6 vs. Northeastern 1/25/18
Rokas Gustys 8/8 vs. Towson 2/18/16
Rokas Gustys 5/5 vs. St. Bonaventure 11/28/15
Rokas Gustys 6/6 vs. Vermont 3/18/15
Ameen Tanksley 9/9 vs. Norfolk State 12/2/14
Darren Payen 6/6 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson 11/10/13
Stephen Nwaukoni 5/5 vs. Belmont 11/24/13
Stephen Nwaukoni 5/5 vs. Cleveland State 11/26/11
Greg Washington 6/6 vs. William & Mary 1/22/11
David Imes 8/8 vs. Drexel 1/3/11
Adrian Uter 6/6 vs. Nebraska 3/16/06
Kenny Adeleke 6/6 vs. Illinois State 11/25/01
ROUGH DAY FOR RAY
Jalen Ray scored three points on 1-of-9 shooting. It’s the second time this season he’s hit one field goal while taking at least nine shots. He is the first Hofstra player with at least two such games in a season since Brian Bernardi was 1-of-9 or worse three times during the 2015-16 season.
SO WHO HAS A DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORING STREAK NOW?
Justin Wright-Foreman, as you may or may not recall, ended his Hofstra career by scoring in double figures in each of his last 88 games. The longest such streak now belongs to Desure Buie, who has scored at least 10 points in nine straight games.
OVER THE AIR
Today’s game will be aired on FloHoops.com (subscription). Hofstra will carry live audio and offer live stats here.
HOFSTRA AND THE CAA
This is Hofstra’s 19th season in the CAA. Remarkably, the 19-year tenure in the CAA either ties Hofstra for the length of its membership in the ECC or leaves it one season shy. (Hofstra was still considered a member of the ECC in 1992-93, along with Central Connecticut State, though the two teams played independent schedules) In between the Dutchmen spent seven years in the North Atlantic Conference/America East.
THE DUTCHMEN IN CAA OPENERS
The Dutchmen are 10-8 in the first game of league play since joining the CAA in 2001-02. They are 4-2 in CAA openers under Joe Mihalich following a 91-46 win over Delaware last season.
The Dutchmen are playing James Madison in the CAA opener for the third time and the first time since 2012. The teams split the previous openers, with Hofstra earning a 78-75 win on Dec. 4, 2004 and the Dukes winning, 62-60, on Dec. 3, 2012.
SCOUTING JAMES MADISON
The Dukes, under fourth-year head coach Louis Rowe, are 7-4 this season after ending the non-conference portion of the schedule with two straight wins, including a 75-69 win over Fordham (heh) in their most recent game Dec. 20.
The Dutchmen and Dukes had no common foes during non-league play.
The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, were ranked 135th at KenPom.com as of early this afternoon. The Dukes, who were picked fourth, were ranked 230th at KenPom.com as of early this afternoon.
According to KenPom.com, the Dutchmen rank second in the CAA in offensive efficiency (104.0) and third in defensive efficiency (101.7). The Dukes rank fifth in the CAA in offensive efficiency (101.3) and eighth in defensive efficiency (106.5). Per KenPom.com, the Dukes and Dutchmen are the two fastest-tempo teams in the league.
Matt Lewis, who was named to the all-CAA preseason first team, leads the Dukes in scoring (17.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg). Junior Darius Banks, a preseason all-CAA second team selection, is averaging 14.1 ppg while freshman Michael Christmas is pulling down 6.3 rebounds per game.
KenPom.com predicts an 83-81 win for the Dutchmen. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 3-point favorites. The Dutchmen are 8-4 against the spread this season.
A well-embedded CAA mole has agreed to provide me his take on each Hofstra league game this season. Here’s his thoughts on today’s game:
“A little edge to Hofstra. Going to be a fast-tempo, high-scoring game.”
ALL-TIME VS. JAMES MADISON
Hofstra is 20-13 against James Madison in a series that began when the Dutchmen joined the CAA prior to the 2001-02 season. The Dutchmen took two of three games last season, when they earned an 85-68 win in Harrisonburg on Jan 24, saw their hopes of an unbeaten home season perish with a 104-99 loss in the home finale Feb. 23 and advanced in the CAA Tournament with a wire-to-wire 76-67 win in the quarterfinals Mar. 10.
THINGS YOU CAN SHOUT ON TWITTER IF CALLS GO DO NOT GO HOFSTRA’S WAY
You still get publicity from I-AA football bias! (James Madison is in the I-AA national title game, AGAIN, must be nice)
Princeton bias! (The actual James Madison went to Princeton)
Chicago bias! (Not the city, the band, whose guitarist, Keith Howland, graduated from James Madison)
Ed Perry bias! (The tight end who caught two touchdown passes form Dan Marino graduated from James Madison)