Thursday, January 30, 2020

I'll Be Quirky: Elon

John Brebbia, pre-awesome beard.

Everything is fine again! The Flying Dutchmen flirted with disaster in the second half Saturday, when they trailed by as many as eight points before storming back to beat Drexel, 72-59, and, thanks to the chaos in the rest of the league, move back into a tie for second place in the CAA. The Dutchmen will start the second lap of #CAAHoops play as well as a pivotal southern swing tonight by visiting Elon. Here’s a look back at the win over the Dragons and a look ahead to the Phoenix.

Tareq Coburn basically willed the Dutchmen to victory by collecting a career-high 24 points, adding 12 rebounds and seemingly being the first guy to every loose ball in the comeback win over Drexel. The Dragons opened the second half on a 13-4 run to take a 45-37 lead, but Coburn scored five points to begin a game-ending 35-14 surge (football score!) by the Dutchmen. A 3-pointer by Jalen Ray put the Dutchmen ahead for good and began a 17-0 run in which Drexel was shut out for 12 straight possessions. Coburn scored 17 points in the second half — more than any other Dutchmen scored all game. Isaac Kante had 13 points while Desure Buie had 12 points despite going just 5-of-20 from the field. Buie had five assists, four rebounds and three steals. Eli Pemberton added 12 points as well.

3 STARS OF THE GAME (vs. Drexel 1/25)
3: Tareq Coburn
2: Isaac Kante
1: Desure Buie

Desure Buie 41
Eli Pemberton 27
Isaac Kante 24
Tareq Coburn 22
Jalen Ray 13
Stafford Trueheart 2
Omar Silverio 2

COACHSPEAK: “I don’t know if we had that dead in the water feeling, but for some reason we snapped out of it. That’s what happens when you’ve got players like Desure Buie and Elijah Pemberton. And Tareq was just unbelievable today. Proud of our guys. We were down nine, we were up 13 or 15 at the end of the game.”

The One Where Tareq Stopped Us From Panicking

No! But we had to go way back in the archives to find the most recent 72-59 victory — over Roanoke in the 1951-52 season opener. My parents weren’t even in kindergarten yet! The Dutchmen have recorded seven 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. 

By snapping a rare losing streak (more on that shortly), the Dutchmen improved to 15-7. This ties the 2019-20 team for the 19th-best record through 22 games. Just two other teams were 15-7 through 22 games, most recently the 2004-05 squad. That team, as well as the 1998-99 team that was 15-7 through 22 games, reached the NIT. Here is how some other notable Hofstra teams have fared through 22 games:

1975-76: 12-10 (ended a season-long pattern of never being more than one game over or under .500)
1976-77: 16-6 (win in 22nd game marked second win of nine-game winning streak that carried Dutchmen into the NCAAs)
1999-2000: 17-5 (most recent 17-5 start, win in 22nd game marked final win of 10-game winning streak)
2000-01: 18-4 (win in 22nd game marked 10th win in program-record 18-game winning streak)

1998-99: 15-7
2004-05: 15-7
2005-06: 18-4 (most recent 18-4 start)
2006-07: 16-6 
2015-16: 16-6 (most recent 16-6 start)
2018-19: 19-3 (win in 22nd game marked final win in the 16-game winning streak)

1958-59: 17-5
1961-62: 19-3 
1962-63: 16-6 (fifth win of 11-game winning streak)
1963-64: 18-4

Some other notable 22-game records:

2017-18: 13-9 (most recent 13-9 start)
2016-17: 10-12 (most recent 10-12 start)
2014-15: 14-8 (most recent 14-8 start)
2013-14: 7-15 (most recent 7-15 start, Joe Mihalich’s first team)
2012-13: 5-17 (most recent 5-17 start, tied for worst 22-game record in school history)
1995-96: 7-15 (loss in 22nd game marked eighth loss of Jay Wright-era record nine-game losing streak)
1994-95: 7-15 (Jay Wright’s first year)
1993-94: 5-17 (wins in games 21-22 were the first back-to-back wins all season; VBK’s last year)
1992-93: 6-16 (most recent 6-16 start)
1991-92: 14-8 (win in 22nd game was third in nine-game winning streak that ended in ECC title game)
1990-91: 12-10 (most recent 12-10 start)
1988-89: 9-13 (most recent 9-13 start)
1987-88: 5-17 (win in 22nd game snapped program-record 12-game losing streak)
1986-87: 8-14 (most reent 8-14 start)
1984-85: 11-11 (most recent 11-11 start)
1981-82: 11-11 (at .500 for the last time, fourth loss of eight-game losing streak)
1978-79: 8-14 (last win of season and last win of Roger Gaeckler’s tenure)
1974-75: 8-13 (last loss of season)
1973-74: 6-16 (last win of season)
1972-73: 8-13 (last win of season)
1971-72: 11-11 (at .500 for the last time, first loss of season-ending four-game losing streak)
1970-71: 14-8 (first win of season-ending five-game winning streak)
1959-60: 21-1 (only 21-1 start & Hofstra’s winningest team, percentage-wise; win in 22nd game was 11th win of season-ending 13-game winning streak)
1955-56: 20-2 (only 20-2 start)
1946-47: 16-6 (last loss of season)

Hofstra has never been 22-0, 4-18, 4-19, 1-21 or 0-22 through 22 games. 

The following seasons were completed in fewer than 22 games: 1947-48 (13-6), 1945-46 (12-7), 1943-44 (7-12), 1944-45 (8-13), 1943-44 (7-12), 1942-43 (15-6), 1941-42 (15-6), 1940-41 (13-7), 1939-40 (12-9), 1938-39 (10-8), 1937-38 (10-4), 1936-37 (10-7).

Full records not available for the following seasons: 1948-49, 1951-52, 1954-55, 1957-58

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.

Forgot to do this research last week, but if it felt like it’d been a long time since the Dutchmen lost back-to-back regular season games, that’s because it was. The consecutive two-point losses to Charleston and Delaware Jan. 18-23 marked the first losing streak in basically two years, since the Dutchmen fell to Charleston and Northeastern Jan. 20-25, 2018. The Dutchmen played 63 games in between losing streaks — their longest streak since a 97-game stretch between a two-game losing streak from Nov. 27-28, 1998 through a five-game streak from Dec. 16-29, 2001.

In addition, the two years between losing streaks was the longest for ANY CAA team since the CAA expanded to 10 teams in 2001-02. And the two-year span between CAA losing streak was the longest since VCU went nearly four years — from Feb. 4-9, 2006 through Jan 4-6, 2010 — without losing consecutive league games.

The Dutchmen have not lost at least three consecutive games since a three-game skid from Dec 20-30, 2017 in which they lost to Manhattan at Adelphi, to no. 1 Villanova at Nassau Coliseum and at William & Mary. That’s a lot of travel.

(I know the Dutchmen lost their last two games of last season but THOSE DON’T COUNT, at least for this exercise)

Tareq Coburn runs hot and cold and holy smokes was he hot on Saturday. Coburn scored his 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-4 from 3-point land. It was just the fourth time since 2010-11, the first season in which individual game data is available at, that a Hofstra player has made at least four 3-pointers without a miss. Eli Pemberton was the most recent to accomplish the feat when he went 5-of-5 from 3-point land in a 90-86 loss to Sacred Heart on Nov. 15, 2016. Ameen Tanksley twice went 5-for-5 from beyond the arc — first in a 93-71 win over Wagner on Nov. 23, 2014 and again just nine days later in an 88-74 win over Norfolk State.

Entering Saturday, Coburn was just 1-of-9 from the field since the 4:49 mark of the first half against Charleston on Jan. 18, when he scored all 16 of his points in the first half.

Tareq Coburn is the first player to score at least 20 points and pull down at least 12 rebounds in the same game since Rokas Gustys (22 points, 21 rebounds) had one of  his Hugh Downs (hi @VCULitos!) games against William & Mary on Feb. 15, 2018. Coburn is the first Hofstra player other thanGustys to record at least 20 points and 12 rebounds in the same game since Nathaniel Lester (23 points, 12 rebounds) against UNC Wilmington on Jan. 7, 2012.

Through 22 games, Isaac Kante has quietly matched the performance of his predecessor, Jacquil Taylor. Kante is averaging 10.5 points and 7.2 rebounds over 27.9 minutes while collecting five double-doubles. Through 22 games last season, Taylor was averaging 7.2 points and 7.7 rebounds over 24.0 minutes with one double-double. Now Kante needs to match what Taylor did down the stretch, when the graduate transfer averaged a double-double (10.7 points and 10.6 rebounds over 31.1 minutes) in the final 13 games.

Desure Buie struggled mightily from the field Saturday, when he scored 12 points and shot just 5-of-20 from the field. The 20 field goal attempts set a career high for Buie while the 25 percent shooting marked the lowest percentage for a Hofstra player taking at least 20 shots since Ameen Tanksley was 4-of-20 (20 percent) in an 86-82 overtime loss to James Madison on Jan. 16, 2016. But…

…Saturday was still a remarkable day for Buie, who broke one notable school record while moving up the charts in three other categories. With the opening tap, Buie officially played in his 129th game at Hofstra, breaking a tie for the most all-time with Charles Jenkins and Nathaniel Lester. The Dutchmen are scheduled to play at least 10 more games (nine regular season game and one CAA Tournament game), so with good health, Buie will get a chance to set a high bar for anyone following him.

The CAA’s all-time games played record is 146, shared by VCU’s Bradford Burgess and Darius Theus, each of whom played on the Rams’ CBI-winning team in 2010 and the Final Four team in 2011. For Buie to break that record, the Dutchmen would have to get to the Final Four or the NIT finals, so let's do that, preferably the former, OK?

With his 12 points Saturday, Buie increased his career total to 1,097 and surged past Ameen Tanksley into 32nd place all-time. He enters tonight needing 11 points to move past Richie Swartz into 31st place and 33 points to jump over Mike Moore into 30th place.

30.) Mike Moore 1,128 (2010-12)
31.) Richie Swartz 1,107 (1959-62)
32.) DESURE BUIE 1,097 (2016-present)
32.) Ameen Tanksley 1,090 (2014-16)
34.) Derrick Flowers 1,069 (1987-91)
35.) Darius Burton 1,060 (1993-97)
36.) Percy Johnson 1,045 (1950-53)
37.) James Shaffer, 1,022 (1991-95)
38.) John Irving 1,018 (1974-77)

And with his five assists and three steals, Buie jumped ahead of Juan’ya Green and Loren Stokes, respectively, into sixth place on the all-time list in both categories. Buie has 465 assists and 182 steals.

Desure Buie enters today leading the Dutchmen in scoring (18.4 ppg), assists (5.3 apg) and steals (2.2 spg). A Hofstra player has held at least a share of the lead in all three categories just seven times in the Defiantly Dutch era (1993-present). Juan’ya Green was the last one to win the Triple Crown when he did so for the second straight year in 2015-16. 

2015-16: Green (17.8 ppg/7.1 apg/1.6 apg)
2014-15: Green (17.1 ppg/6.5 apg/1.4 apg)***
2010-11: Charles Jenkins (22.6 ppg/4.8 apg/1.7 spg)
2008-09: Charles Jenkins (19.7 ppg/4.3apg/1.4 spg)
2004-05: Loren Stokes (18.3 ppg/3.5 apg/1.8 spg)
1999-2000: Speedy Claxton (22.8 ppg/6.0 apg/3.3 spg)
1997-98: Speedy Claxton (16.3 ppg/7.2 apg/2.2 apg)

***Green shared the steals lead with Ameen Tanksley

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 18 straight double-digit efforts.

According to, the Dutchmen enter today ranked last out of 353 Division I teams in bench usage (16.1 percentage of minutes).

Remember when we all thought the CAA race would be wild and unpredictable and filled with parity? It’s even crazier than we thought. The Dutchmen hit the midway point of the season in a three-way tie for second with Charleston and Towson at 6-3 one game behind William & Mary and one game ahead of another trio of 5-4 teams — Delaware, Drexel and Northeastern. It’s only the second time since the CAA expanded to 10 teams in 2001-02 that more than six teams hit the midway point of the schedule with five or more wins. Back in 2005-06, eight teams were 5-4 or better through nine games. If the Dutchmen win tonight, they will be assured of playing for no worse than a share of first place when they visit William & Mary on Saturday.

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 6-16 this season and 2-7 in CAA play after snapping a three-game losing streak by beating James Madison, 82-73, on Saturday. 

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 beaten James Madison and UNC Wilmington in CAA play while losing to William & Mary, Charleston and Delaware. The Dutchmen have beaten Northeastern, Drexel and Towson, all of whom beat Elon.

The Dutchmen, who were picked first in the CAA preseason poll, are ranked 147th at The Phoenix, who were picked last, are ranked 307th at

According to, the Dutchmen rank fourth in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (108.7) and sixth in defensive efficiency (104.3). The Phoenix rank seventh in the CAA in league-only offensive efficiency (103.6) and last in defensive efficiency (112.4).

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 ranks second in assists (2.7 apg). 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 (6.7 rpg). Another freshman guard, Hunter McIntosh, is averaging 10.3 ppg and a team-high 3.0 apg. predicts a 75-69 win for the Dutchmen. Per the wise guys in Vegas, for entertainment purposes only, the Dutchmen are 6.5-point favorites. The Dutchmen are 14-7 against the spread this season.

“Hofstra-Elon is going to be awfully close — closer than people think, especially with the way (Hofstra) ran away up there. But Elon’s not bad, man. They run a good offense, they shoot so many threes, they’re dangerous. And the Sheffield kid’s a high-level player.”

Hofstra is 9-3 against Elon, which joined the CAA prior to the 2014-15 season. The Dutchmen have won the last four games against the Phoenix, including Jan. 4 when they earned a 102-75 victory at the Arena. The Dutchmen are aiming to sweep the regular season series for the fourth time. 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.

John Brebbia has a glorious beard bias! (The hirsute Cardinals reliever went to Elon)
Former William & Mary assistant bias! (Assistant coach Jonathan Holmes spent the previous six seasons with Tony Shaver at William & Mary)
You still play I-AA football bias! (An oldie but goodie)
You should have Galaga in your arena bias! (Another oldie but goodie)

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