Saturday, January 4, 2020

I’ll Be Quirky: Elon

Still not that Elon, but if he wanted to take Thursday's game and fire it a billion miles into space, we'd be cool with that.

Well, there were probably better ways to start the decade. The Flying Dutchmen gave up the first seven points Thursday night and it only got worse from there in a wire-to-wire 88-61 loss that was even uglier than the final score would indicate. The Dutchmen will look for a quick bounce-back this afternoon, when they host Elon. Here’s an avert-your-eyes look back at the loss to the Tribe and a look ahead to the Phoenix.

Ugh do we have to? The Dutchmen got to within 9-7 following the Tribe’s hot start but then absorbed an 18-1 run and never came close to getting back into it. The Dutchmen managed to limit the monstrous duo of Nathan Knight and Andy Van Vilet to “only” 33 points (on 14-of-18 shooting, including 7-of-7 by Knight) and 18 rebounds but still never got within 16 points in the final 29-plus minutes or closer than 20 points in the second half. That’s what happens when you go 23-of-67 from the field, including 4-of-25 from 3-point land The Tribe expanded its lead to as many as 34 points before Jermaine Miranda and Omar Silverio combined to score the game’s final seven meaningless points. The loss was especially discouraging considering Isaac Kante (11 points, 10 rebounds) held his own against Kante, Eli Pemberton scored 15 points while Jalen Ray scored 11 points. Desure Buie was limited to 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. William & Mary 1/2)
3: Isaac Kante
2: Eli Pemberton
1: Jalen Ray

Desure Buie 29
Eli Pemberton 24
Tareq Coburn 15
Isaac Kante 13
Jalen Ray 13
Stafford Trueheart 1
Omar Silverio 1

COACHSPEAK: “I just told the team we’re not gonna burn the tape. We’re not gonna forget it. I’m never gonna forget this. Never. We’re never gonna forget this.”

The One Against William & Mary That Wasn’t Close

With the loss to William & Mary, the Dutchmen improved to 11-5. This ties the 2019-20 team for the 18th-best record through 16 games. Ten other teams began 11-5, most recently the 2015-16 squad. The 11-5 record is Hofstra’s most common record through 16 games. Here is how some other notable Hofstra teams have fared through 16 games:

1975-76: 8-8
1976-77: 11-5
1999-2000: 11-5
2000-01: 12-4

1998-99: 10-6
2004-05: 11-5
2005-06: 12-4
2006-07: 12-4
2015-16: 11-5 
2018-19: 13-3 (marked ninth win in the 16-game winning streak)

1958-59: 11-5
1961-62: 15-1 (win in 16th game was final win in 14-game winning streak, most recent 15-1 start)
1962-63: 11-5
1963-64: 13-3

Some other notable 16-game starts:

2017-18: 9-7 (most recent 9-7 start)
2014-15: 12-4 (most recent 12-4 start)
2013-14: 5-11 (most recent 5-11 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)
2011-12: 6-10 (most recent 6-10 start)
2008-09: 10-6 (most recent 10-6 start)
2007-08: 4-12 (most recent 4-12 start)
2001-02: 7-9 (most recent 7-9 start, Tom Pecora’s first team)
1994-95: 3-13 (only 3-13 start, Jay Wright’s first team)
1993-94: 2-14 (VBK’s last team, win in 16th game ended 10-game losing streak that was 2nd-longest in program history, most recent 2-14 start)
1990-91: 8-8 (most recent 8-8 start)
1987-88: 4-12 (loss in 16th game was seventh loss of program-record 12-game losing streak)
1971-72: 7-9 (set single-game scoring record with 118-88 win over Wagner in 16th game)
1960-61: 14-2 (only 14-2 start)
1959-60: 15-1 (Hofstra’s winningest team, percentage-wise; win in 17th game was fifth win of season-ending 13-game winning streak)
1957-58: 13-3 (win in 16th game was final win of 10-game winning streak)

Hofstra has never been 16-0, 1-15 or 0-16 through 16 games. 

The 1937-38 season was already complete (10-4).

Full records not available for the following seasons: 1936-37, 1941-42, 1942-43, 1945-46, 1948-49, 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.

It was pretty bad. The 27-point loss to William & Mary was the Dutchmen’s worst against a CAA opponent since an 85-50 loss to Georgia State in the first round of the CAA Tournament on Mar. 2, 2012. It was the most lopsided loss in a regular season CAA game since a 77-46 loss to Old Dominion on Mar. 1, 2003. In the CAA, it was the most lopsided result in league action since the Dutchmen beat Elon, 102-61, on Feb. 7. And it was Joe Mihalich’s worst loss in a conference game since Niagara fell to Iona, 98-62, on Dec. 4, 2011.

The Dutchmen trailed by as many as 34 points in the second half Thursday. It was their biggest deficit since trailing by 38 points against Louisville in the second half of a 97-69 defeat on Nov. 12, 2013, their biggest CAA deficit of the Joe Mihalich era and their biggest deficit in a CAA game since trailing by 37 points against Georgia State on Mar. 2, 2012. Oof.

The Flying Dutchmen haven’t held a lead this decade! The loss Thursday marked the first time the Dutchmen never led in a loss since an 85-76 loss to Siena on Nov. 25, 2017. It was also the Dutchmen’s first wire-to-wire loss in CAA play since an 82-73 loss to James Madison on Feb. 28, 2015.

The Dutchmen were just 4-of-25 (16%) from 3-point land on Thursday night. It was the second time this season they shot under 20 percent from 3-point land (the Dutchmen were 3-for-19, or 15.8%, in the 73-45 loss to St. Bonaventure on Dec. 7) and their worst performance from beyond the arc (minimum 20 attempts) since they were 3-of-25 (12%) against Drexel in an 81-80 loss on Jan. 26, 2017.

William & Mary behemoth Nathan Knight enjoyed a Christian Laettner at the Dutchmen’s expense by scoring 15 points while going 7-for-7 from the field and 1-for-1 from the free throw line. That’s the most field goals made without a miss against the Dutchmen since Maryland’s Bruno Fernando went 8-for-8 in a 80-69 win on Nov. 16, 2018. It’s also the greatest Laettner against Hofstra since at least the 2008-09 season, which is as far back as my postseason media guides go at home, and let’s face it, no one was shooting at least 7-for-7 from the field before that against a Tom Pecora-coached team. Knight was the 12th Division I player this season to enjoy a Laettner with at least seven field goal attempts. Only one other player has enjoyed a Laettner against the Dutchmen. James Madison’s Charles Cooke scored 13 points while going 5-for-5 from the field and 1-for-1 from the free throw line in a 62-41 win on Jan. 31, 2013.

Let’s talk about something positive, shall we? Isaac Kante at least had a decent game by producing a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) while being matched up against Nathan Knight. The double-double was the third of the season for Kante, tying him with Tareq Coburn for the team lead. Eli Pemberton has the two other double-doubles.

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 scored 10 points Thursday to extend his streak to 12 straight double-digit efforts.

Eli Pemberton ensured the Dutchmen would not be shut out 1:53 into the first half, when he drained a jumper for Hofstra’s first points of the 2020s. Nathaniel Lester had Hofstra’s first points of the 2010s, which he scored against William & Mary in a 48-47 loss at the Arena on Jan. 2, 2010. If the world is still spinning in 2030, let’s not schedule William & Mary for the first game of the decade, OK?

Been a while since we did this, and the all-time last is still a work a progress, but here’s the movement in the CAA-era scoring list that’s taken place over the last  took place over the last six games. 

15.) Desure Buie 968
16.) Aurimas Kieza 925

Buie moved past Kieza with the third of his career-high 35 points against Towson on Monday.

21.) Jalen Ray 684
22.) Wendell Gibson 678
23.) Greg Washington 667
24.) Zeke Upshaw 655
25.) Danny Walker 654

Ray vaulted past both Walker and the late great Upshaw by scoring 20 points against James Madison on Dec. 28. He then moved past Washington with a nine-point effort against Towson and surpassed Gibson by scoring 11 points on Thursday.

31.) Tareq Coburn 471
32.) Adrian Uter 454
33.) Zygis Sestokas 430
34.) Deron Powers 417

Coburn scored 10 points against SUNY-Stony Brook on Dec. 10 to surpass Powers. He leapfrogged Sestokas by scoring 14 points against Princeton on Dec. 19 and moved past Uter with the final of his 15 points against James Madison.

63.) Isaac Kante 146
64.) Darren Payen 122
65.) Yves Jules 114
66.) Joel Angus III 103
67.) Matt Grogan 98

Kante scored five points against SUNY-Stony Brook to move past Grogan and then jumped past Angus with six points against Princeton. He then surged past Jules by scoring 14 points against Manhattan Dec. 22 and surpassed Payen with the second of his five points against James Madison.

75t.) Omar Silverio 56
75t.) Daquan Brown 56
77.) Andre Walker 50

Silverio broke a tie with Walker by scoring two points against James Madison and moved into a tie with Brown with his four points against William & Mary on Thursday.

83t.) Jermaine Miranda 19
83t.) D***** A***** 19
85t.) Connor Klementowicz 17
85t.) K******* W********* 17
85t.) Kenny Harris 17

With his six late points against William & Mary, Miranda vaulted past Harris as well as his teammate Klementowicz (sorry, Connor) as well as two of the Four Who Shall Not Be Named (not sorry at all, way to go Jermaine).

88.) Caleb Burgess 10
89.) Daryl Fowlkes 7
90.) Roland Brown 6

Burgess’ lone basket against Towson broke a tie with Brown and also lifted him past Fowlkes.

Today’s game will be aired on (subscription). Hofstra will carry live audio and offer live stats here.

The Phoenix, under first-year head coach Mike Schrage, is 4-11 this season and 0-2 in CAA play after falling to Northeastern, 77-68, on Thursday night. Elon has lost four straight.

The Dutchmen and Phoenix had one common foe in non-league play. Hofstra beat Manhattan, 63-51, on Dec. 22 while Elon fell to the Jaspers, 69-64 on Nov. 23.

Both teams have played William & Mary in CAA play. The Phoenix fell to the Tribe, 74-73, on Monday. You know what the Dutchmen did Thursday night.

The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, were ranked 155th at as of early this morning. That’s a 32-spot drop from pregame Thursday. Oof. The Phoenix, who were picked last, were ranked 312th at as of early this morning.

According to, the Dutchmen rank fourth in the CAA in offensive efficiency (103.2) and fifth in defensive efficiency (102.2).Those are drops of two and four spots, respectively, since pre-game Thursday. The Phoenix rank ninth in the CAA in offensive efficiency (93.9) and last in defensive efficiency (106.8).

Senior Marcus Sheffield II, a graduate transfer from Stanford who received honorable mention in the all-CAA preseason balloting, leads the Phoenix in scoring (16.9 ppg) and assists (2.7 apg) while ranking second in rebounding (4.8 rpg). He’s the only senior on the roster. Freshman Hunter Woods ranks second on the team in scoring (10.5 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.2 rpg). Another freshman guard, Hunter McIntosh, is averaging 11.0 ppg. predicts 78-65 win for the Dutchmen. He’ll forgive us if we’re less sure of that after Thursday night. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 15-point underdogs. The Dutchmen are 10-5 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:

“I suspect you’ll see a different Hofstra team than Thursday. They’re really talented. But Mike has Elon playing hard.”

Hofstra is 8-3 against Elon, which joined the CAA prior to the 2014-15 season. The Dutchmen have won the last three games against the Phoenix and swept the season series (duh) last year when they earned a 74-71 victory at Elon on Jan. 12 and rolled to a 102-61 victory at the Arena on Feb. 7. Hofstra and Elon first opposed each other on Nov. 23, 2009, when the Dutchmen cruised past the Phoenix, 70-46, in a preseason NIT game at the Arena.

Ugh you used to work for Coach K bias! (New Elon coach Mike Schrage was on the Duke staff for nine years)
Hoosier bias! (Schrage was also a student-assistant under Bobby Knight at Indiana, which must have been…interesting)
Stephen Lorenzo bias! (The former Daily News hockey writer graduated from Elon)
Not the Tesla guy or the band that sang Love Song bias! (Elon isn’t related to Elon Musk, who is the CEO of Tesla, Inc but not the lead singer of the band)

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