Mount Opens 2010-11 Season at Dayton
The Mount St. Mary's men's basketball team opens the 2010-11 season at Dayton on Saturday afternoon. It will mark the first career game for head coach Robert Burke, who took over the Mount program in May.
Burke is just the third head coach for the Mount over the past 57 years. Legendary coach Jim Phelan guided the Mount for 49 seasons (1954-2003) while Milan Brown (2003-2010) was the Mount's head coach the past seven years.
Burke inherits an inexperienced squad this season as the entire roster has combined for just 62 career starts. Senior forward Shawn Atupem (10.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg) is the team's top returnee. Atupem, who started all 31 games at forward for the Mount last season, shot 51.1 percent from the floor while scoring in double figures 18 times.
On the perimeter, Burke will be relying on an unproven group that includes a senior, a junior and four freshmen. The six players have a combined 838 minutes played and zero starts in their careers so far at the Mount.
Mount St. Mary's is returning to UD Arena for the first time since winning the school's first-ever NCAA Tournament game on that floor in 2008. The Mount downed Coppin State, 69-60, in the 2008 NCAA Opening Round game in Dayton before falling to top-seeded North Carolina in the First Round in Raleigh, N.C.
Dayton went 25-12 last year, winning the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) with a 79-68 victory over North Carolina. Dayton returns nine letterwinners from last year's team, including team MVP Chris Wright and NIT MVP Chris Johnson. A First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection, Wright averaged 13.7 points and 7.3 rebounds during the 2009-10 campaign. Johnson averaged 11.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game last season.
The Mount's two-game trip to Dayton and Cincinnati is part of the Global Sports Main Event, a five-team round robin exempt in-season tournament. The Mount, Cincinnati, Dayton, Florida A&M and Savannah State comprise the field with Mount St. Mary's hosting Savannah State (Nov. 20) and Florida A&M (Nov. 27) in addition to the road games at Dayton and Cincinnati.
Did You Know?...Mount St. Mary's is 5-17 all-time against teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Mount has lost nine consecutive games to Atlantic 10 opposition dating back to a 77-63 win at Duquesne on Dec. 7, 2002. Of the 22 games against Atlantic 10 teams, 18 have been on the road with the Mount posting a 3-15 record in those contests. The Mount has played La Salle (3-8 record) the most times, followed by George Washington (1-4), West Virginia (0-2), Duquesne (1-1), St. Bonaventure (0-1) and Dayton (0-1).
Season Openers...The season opener at Dayton
marks the beginning of the 102nd season of Mount basketball.
Mount St. Mary's has a 57-44 record, including a 41-10 mark at
home, all-time in season openers.
* Last season, the Mount lost at No. 16 Oklahoma, 95-71, in the season opener.
* The Mount is 3-19 all-time in season openers since joining NCAA Division I in 1988-89. In those 22 games, the Mount is 2-0 at home, 1-18 on the road and 0-1 at a neutral site.
* The Mount has not opened a season at home since defeating LaSalle, 92-88 in overtime, on November 14, 1999.
* The Mount's list of season openers since joining NCAA Division I includes Maryland (twice), Wake Forest (twice), Penn State (twice), Virginia Tech (twice), La Salle (twice), Loyola, North Carolina State, George Washington, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Xavier, George Mason, Bucknell, Samford, Central Connecticut State, New Hampshire and Morehead State.
* All-time, the Mount has had 63 different opponents in season openers. Blue Ridge College, a school that was discontinued in 1944, and Shippensburg are the most common opponent with the Mount facing each school six times season-opening games.
* The most wins against an opponent in season openers is six against Blue Ridge. MSM went 6-0 against the school in season-opening games.
* The most losses against a season-opening opponent is three against Villanova.
Third Coach in 57 Years...Robert Burke became
the third men's basketball coach in 57 years at the Mount when his
hiring was announced on May 10.
* Burke comes to the Mount with 22 years of Division I coaching experience, including helping 10 of his last 12 teams reach the postseason and six NCAA Tournament appearances., including the 2007 Final Four with Georgetown. He has coached 39 players who earned all-conference honors. In addition, he was named one of the top-10 assistant coaches in country according to a peer survey conducted by Fox Sports in 2008.
* He was an assistant coach under Jeff Jones at American last year. The previous nine seasons, he worked with John Thompson III at Georgetown (five years) and Princeton (four years). Burke was an assistant for Paul Hewitt at Siena (three seasons) while also serving as an assistant at Loyola Marymount (three seasons) and Maryland-Baltimore County (six seasons).
* Legendary Mount St. Mary's coach Jim Phelan was at the helm of the program for 49 years (1954-2003), posting 830 career wins. The Mount won the NCAA College Division National Championship in 1962 under Phelan while advancing to five NCAA Division II Final Fours. Phelan guided the Mount to the 1995 and 1999 NCAA Division I Tournaments.
* Milan Brown coached the Mount the past seven seasons, leading the team to the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
The Mount in November...Since joining NCAA
Division I in 1988-89, the Mount has not been giving thanks for its
games in November, posting an all-time record of 13-56 in the
* A key factor in the Mount's November record is that 48 of the 69 games have been played on the road. The Mount has a 4-44 record in those contests.
* The Mount has posted a 3-4 record on the road in November over the past two seasons, beginning with an 84-76 win at Loyola to start the 2008-09 season.
* The Mount has played just 15 home games in the month of November since joining NCAA Division I, posting a 7-8 mark in those games.
* All-time, the Mount is 35-64 in November. The Mountaineers were 22-9 in November games prior to the move to D1.
* At the D1 level, the Mount is a combined 2-28 in November games against teams from the Atlantic 10, Big East, Big 10, Conference USA and Southeast Conference.
Returning Players by the Numbers...The Mount
has an inexperienced group to start the 2010-11 season.
* The entire roster has combined for 62 career starts. Senior forward Shawn Atupem started all 31 games last year while sophomores Raven Barber (21) and Kristijan Krajina (10) also started games last season.
* The Mount's perimeter players are comprised of a senior, a junior and four freshmen. The group has combined for a total of zero career starts.
* Senior Shawn Atupem has combined for more career points (775) than the rest of the returning roster (557).
Global Sports Main Event...The Mount is in the
Global Sports Main Event, a five-team round robin exempt in-season
* The tournament field is comprised of Mount St. Mary's, Cincinnati, Dayton, Florida A&M and Dayton.
* The Mount has road games at Dayton (Nov. 13) and Cincinnati (Nov. 15) while playing Savannah State (Nov. 20) and Florida A&M (Nov. 27).
* The Mount has not participated in an in-season tournament since the 2005 San Juan Shootout. The Mountaineers lost to Akron (74-61) and Chattanooga (85-74, ot) before downing Liberty (63-59) at the event.
Mount Signs Taylor Danaher to NLI... Mount St.
Mary's has signed Taylor Danaher (Fredericksburg,
Va./Fredericksburg Christian School) to a National Letter of Intent
to enroll at the Mount next fall.
* Danaher, a 6-10, 200-pound center with a 7-2 wingspan, averaged 24 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks per game as a junior while playing in the Central Virginia Homeschool Athletic Association.
* He was named First Team All-Tournament at the Homeschool Sports Network Championships last March. Danaher played AAU with the Hoop Booth organization.
BCS Flavor...The Mount will be playing four
teams from BCS conferences this season, the most in school
* Mount St. Mary's has road games against Cincinnati (Big East), Penn State (Big 10), Northwestern (Big 10) and Virginia Tech (ACC).
* The Mount has played three BCS schools in the same season on 10 occasions, including each of the past four years.
Krajina Out Indefinitely...Sophomore Kristijan Krajina is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. The 6-9 forward averaged 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 20 games played for the Mount last season.
Ending on a Strong Note...Senior forward Shawn
Atupem ended last season on a strong note.
* Atupem scored in double figures in six of the Mount's final seven games last season, including a career high 23 points in a 63-61 win over Robert Morris.
* Atupem averaged 14.6 points and 3.7 rebounds over that stretch while hitting 43-of-59 (72.9 percent) from the field.
* The 6-7 forward had a streak 14 consecutive made field goals during the seven-game stretch.
* Atupem scored in double figures in 18 of the Mount's 31 games, averaging 10.7 points while converting 51.1 percent from the field.
Road Warriors...Mount St. Mary's will play 11
of its first 15 games on the road this season.
* The Mount will play just one of nine games in the month of December at home (Dec. 20 vs. American).
* December begins with a five-game road trip that begins with Northeast Conference games at Sacred Heart (Dec. 2) and Quinnipiac (Dec. 4). The trip also will see the Mount play at Penn State (Dec. 7), Loyola (Dec. 11) and Albany (Dec. 20).
* After the home game with American, Mount St. Mary's will face a tough three-game stretch at Northwestern (Dec. 23), at Vermont (Dec. 29) and at Virginia Tech (Jan. 2).
Cajou Takes Leave of Absence... Senior guard
Jean Cajou has withdrawn from school and taken a leave of absence
for the fall 2010 semester.
* "As Jean's coaches, teammates and friends we miss him very much," said head coach Robert Burke. "We are extremely hopeful he will return to school and the court for the second semester."
* Cajou, named to the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major All-Defensive team last season, averaged 9.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 2009-10.
* The 6-3 guard has started every game over the past two seasons, averaging 9.8 points in 98 career games for the Mountaineers.
* The 2008 Northeast Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player has 963 career points with 323 rebounds, 169 assists and 115 three-pointers made at the Mount.
Defending the Knott...The Mount has made Knott
Arena a difficult place for the opposition in recent years.
* Mount St. Mary's is 22-5 (.815 winning pct.) at home over the past two seasons. Last year, the Mount went 10-3 at home after posting a 12-2 mark at Knott Arena in 2008-09.
* The Mount has been even better in Northeast Conference play, posting a 16-2 mark over its past 18 NEC regular season home games. Including the playoffs, the Mount has won 19 of its past 21 home games against NEC opponents on Jim Phelan Court.
* The Mount has recorded a winning record at home in each of the past five seasons and has been .500 or better at home in 18 of the 23 seasons since Knott Arena opened.
* All-time, the Mount has a 169-117 (.591) record at Knott Arena.
Non-Conference Numbers...Since joining NCAA
Division I, the Mountaineers have struggled in non-conference
play. The Mountaineers are 60-142 (.299) in non-conference games
since the move to Division I in 1988-89.
* Of those 202 non-conference games, 119 have been on the road, 63 at home and 20 at a neutral site.
* The Mount is 20-99 on the road, 33-30 at home and 7-13 at a neutral site in non-conference action since 1988-89.
* The Mount has had just one winning season in non-conference play at the Division I level. The 2002-03 team went 5-4 in non-conference action before finishing the season with a 11-16 record.
The Mount and the Northeast Conference...The
Mount is 184-193 all-time in NEC regular season games.
* The Mount is 110-78 at home and 74-115 on the road during the NEC regular season.
* Mount St. Mary's has posted a winning record in nine of the 21 seasons the team has been in the league.
* Since joining the league in 1989-90, the Mount has had 17 All-NEC selections, including six first-team honorees.
* The Mount won NEC Tournament titles in 1995, 1999 and 2008 and won the NEC regular season crown in 1995-96.
International Appeal...Sophomore Kristijan
Krajina is the Mount's first international player since Pat
Atangana (Cameroon, 2000-04).
* The Mount has had three other European players in the team's history. Robert Balgac (1996-00, New Belgrade, Serbia), Gerben Van Dorpe (Erembodegem, Belgium, 1994-98) and Matt Meakin (Awsworth, England) are the others.
* Other international players to don the Mount uniform include Rodolpho Ruiz (Tampico, Mexico, 1920-24), Roberto Ruiz (Tampico, Mexico, 1926-27) and Paul Miller (Havana, Cuba, 1920-21).