The Mount St. Mary's men's basketball team heads North to face Niagara University on Monday night. The Mount is coming off a 68-62 overtime victory against Savannah State in the home opener on Saturday night.
Senior Shawn Atupem had 18 points and freshman Julian Norfleet 16 points to lead the Mount to the victory against Savannah State. Norfleet drained a three-pointer 21 seconds into overtime and Atupem followed with a traditional three-point play to give the the Mount the first six points of overtime and the lead for good.
Atupem has scored in double figures in all three games this season and leads the team in scoring (15.3) and rebounding (7.3). Norfleet, who was 5-for-10 from three-point range in the Savannah State game, is averaging 12.7 points on the year.
Junior Lamar Trice has scored 10 points in each of the past two games and is averaging 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest. Freshman Josh Castellanos leads the Mount with 11 assists on the season.
First year head coach Robert Burke earned his first career victory in the overtime win against Savannah State. Burke, who took over the Mount program in May, spent 22 seasons as a Division I assistant coach prior to being named head coach at the Mount.
Niagara is 0-2 this season, falling to Georgia Tech, 77-51, on Friday night. Freshman Antoine Mason is Niagara's top scorer at 19.0 ppg while Kashief Edwards chips in 18.0 points per contest. Mason is 16-for-21 (.762) at the charity stripe over the first two games. The Purple Eagles opened the year with a home loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Did You Know?...Freshman Julian Norfleet hit a combined four three-point baskets over the final 6:33 of regulation and the first 21 seconds of the overtime period in the Mount's 68-62 win against Savannah State. Norfleet finished the game 5-of-10 (.500) from three-point range while scoring a career-best 16 points. Norfleet's five three-point baskets were the most by a Mount player since Will Holland hit five at Monmouth last season.
Last Time Out...The Mount defeated Savannah
State, 68-62, in overtime in the home opener on Saturday night.
* The win improved the Mount's record to 15-8 in home openers since moving to NCAA Division I in 1988-89.
* Freshman Julian Norfleet scored 16 points in his debut at Knott Arena. It was the most points in a Mount debut at home since Jeremy Goode had 18 points in a double-overtime win over James Madison in 2006.
* Shawn Atupem led the Mount with 18 points in the win. Atupem has scored in double figures in all three games this season.
* It was the fifth time in 23 home openers at the D1 level that the Mount has gone to overtime.
Defending the Knott...The Mount has made Knott
Arena a difficult place for the opposition in recent years.
* Mount St. Mary's has won its past 10 games at Knott Arena, its second homecourt win streak of 10 games or more since the start of the 2008-09 season. The Mount won 11 consecutive home games over the course of the end of the 2008-09 season and the beginning of the 2009-10 year.
* Mount St. Mary's is 23-5 (.821 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 170-117 (.592) record at Knott Arena.
Getting Defensive...The Mount has been solid on the defensive end this year, allowing 66.0 points while holding the opposition to 39.7 percent shooting from the field and 26.8 percent from three-point range.
Freshmen in the Lineup...The Mount started
freshmen Julian Norfleet and David Golladay in each of the first
three games this season.
* It is the first time the Mount has had a pair of freshmen in the starting lineup since Jeremy Goode and Kelly Beidler started at Maryland on Dec. 28, 2006.
* Norfleet had scored 16 points while Golladay added eight in the Mount's overtime win against Savannah State on Saturday.
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.
Strong Debut...Freshman guard Julian Norfleet
tallied 15 points in his collegiate debut at Dayton on
* The 15 points were the most by a Mount player in their collegiate debut since 2002. Landy Thompson, who is eighth all-time at the Mount with 1,733 career points, had 28 points in his first collegiate game at North Carolina State on Nov. 22, 2002.
* The only other double-digit performance by a freshman in their first game at the Mount since 2002 was from Sam Atupem, who had 13 points at Virginia Tech on Nov. 18, 2005. Atupem is the older brother of current Mountaineer Shawn Atupem.
* Norfleet had 16 points in his Mount debut, the most by a Mount player in their first home game since Jeremy Goode had 18 in a double-overtime win against James Madison in the 2006 home opener.
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.
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 14-58 in the
* A key factor in the Mount's November record is that 50 of the 72 games have been played on the road. The Mount has a 4-46 record in those contests.
* The Mount has posted a 3-6 record on the road in November over its past nine games, beginning with an 84-76 win at Loyola to start the 2008-09 season.
* The Mount has played just 16 home games in the month of November since joining NCAA Division I, posting a 8-8 mark in those games.
* All-time, the Mount is 36-66 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 2-30 in November games against teams from the Atlantic 10, Big East, Big 10, Conference USA and Southeast Conference.
Brown and Krajina Out of the Lineup...Senior Pierre Brown and sophomore Kristijan Krajina are out indefinitely with injuries. Brown, who averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 31 games last year, is out with a foot injury. Krajina, a 6-9 forward who averaged 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 20 games played last season, is out with an ankle injury.
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.
Picking Up Where He Left Off...Senior forward
Shawn Atupem has scored in double figures in each of the first
three games, including a season-best 18 points in the 68-62
overtime win over Savannah State on Saturday.
* Atupem is averaging 7.3 rebounds per game this year after collecting 3.5 caroms per game last year.
* 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 in 2009-10, averaging 10.7 points while converting 51.1 percent from the field last season.
Trice Fills Stat Sheet...Junior guard Lamar
Trice is averaging 9.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.7
steals per game this season.
* Trice has notched a career-best 10 points in each of the past two games.
* The 5-11 guard is averaging 6.0 rebounds per game. He has pulled in five or more boards in each of the Mount's three games this year.
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.
Non-Conference Numbers...Since joining NCAA
Division I, the Mountaineers have struggled in non-conference
play. The Mountaineers are 61-144 (.298) in non-conference games
since the move to Division I in 1988-89.
* Of those 205 non-conference games, 121 have been on the road, 64 at home and 20 at a neutral site.
* The Mount is 20-101 on the road, 34-30 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).