Mountaineers Head to Albany for Saturday Tilt
Mount St. Mary's will face Albany for the first time on Saturday night, completing a season-high five-game road swing.
The Mountaineers are coming off a 65-42 loss to rival Loyola last Saturday in the 166th all-time meeting between the two schools. The Mount shot just 28.8 percent from the floor in the game and did not have a player reach double figures in scoring.
Junior Danny Thompson paced the Mount with eight points, eight rebounds and four blocks while David Golladay added eight points in the loss. Loyola jumped out to an 18-to-4 lead and the Mount did not get closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Junior Lamar Trice leads the Mount in scoring at 12.3 points per game while Shawn Atupem is averaging 11.7 points and a team-best 5.4 rebounds. Freshman Julian Norfleet is averaging 10.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
Albany has won four of its past five games to move to 5-6 on the season. The Great Danes are coming off a 64-63 victory over Central Connecticut State last Saturday. Tim Ambrose led Albany with 21 points, including the go-ahead basket with eight seconds left.
Logan Aronhalt leads Albany in scoring at 17.8 points per game while Ambrose is averaging 17.1 points. Mike Black chips in 12.9 points per game while Luke Devlin is the top rebounder at 6.1 caroms per contest.
Did You Know?...December has been a tough month for the Mountaineers over the past few seasons. Including this season, the Mount is 3-15 over its past 18 games in the month of December. The Mountaineers opened this year with a 66-52 at Sacred Heart on Dec. 2, but has dropped its past three games and is now 1-3 in the month Last season, the Mount went 0-6 in December (0-5 on the road) while in 2008-09, Mount St. Mary's was 2-6 in December (1-5 on the road).
The All-Time Series...This will be the
first-ever meeting between the Mount and Albany.
* Since moving to NCAA Division I in 1988-89, the Mount is 4-5 all-time against schools in America East.
* The Mountaineers are 1-1 vs. Boston University, 1-1 vs. Maine, 1-1 vs. New Hampshire, 1-1 vs. Binghamton and 0-1 vs. Vermont.
* The Mountaineers are 3-2 at home against America East schools and 1-3 on the road.
* The Mount has road games at both Albany and Vermont this season.
Last Time Out...Mount St. Mary's lost to rival
Loyola, 65-42, last Saturday in the 166th meeting in the all-time
* Loyola jumped out to an 18-to-4 lead and cruised to the victory. The closest the Mount got the remainder of the way was 36-27 early in the second half.
* Junior forward Danny Thompson paced the Mount with eight points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
* Mount St. Mary's did not have a player reach double figures in scoring, the first time that has happened since Jan. 23 of last year in a 67-58 loss at Long Island.
* The Mountaineers now hold a 96-70 lead in the all-time series with Loyola that dates back to 1910.
* The loss snapped a three-game win streak against Loyola. The Mount is now 7-3 over the past 10 meetings between the rival schools.
Block Party...Junior forward Danny Thompson
leads the Mount with 16 blocked shots this year.
* Thompson is now tied for second in the Northeast Conference in blocks at 1.60 per game. Kamil Svrdlik (FDU) leads the circuit at 1.89 blocks while Kenny Onyechi (LIU) is tied with Thompson.
* Thompson has recorded at least one block in each of the past four games, averaging 2.50 blocks in that stretch.
* Over the past seven games, Thompson is averaging 2.14 blocks per game.
* He posted a career-high four blocks at Niagara (Nov. 22) and at Loyola (Dec. 11).
Trice as Nice...Junior guard Lamar Trice is the
Mount's leading scorer this season.
* The 5-11 guard has settled into his role as one of the top sixth-men in the Northeast Conference. He leads the team in scoring at 12.3 points per game while dishing out a team-high 34 assists.
* Trice has scored in double figures in seven of the Mount's 10 games this season. He is averaging 14.8 points over the past four contests.
* Trice scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Mount to a 66-52 win at Sacred Heart on Dec. 2. He followed with a team-high 17 points and six assists at Quinnipiac while scoring 16 points in the Mount's loss at Penn State.
* Trice averaged 1.9 points while playing a total of 157 minutes in 28 games for the Mountaineers last season.
Getting Defensive...Mount St. Mary's has been
solid on the defensive end of the floor this season.
* The Mountaineers are second in the Northeast Conference in field goal percentage defense, allowing the opponent to hit 40.0 percent from the floor. The Mountaineers are fifth in the conference in three-point defense (.314) and tied for fourth in scoring defense (65.6).
* According to the Pomeroy Ratings at www.kenpom.com, the Mount is 58th in the country in effective field goal percentage (44.6), which is computed from (FGM + 0.5*3PM)/FGA. This differs from conventional field goal percentage by taking into account the extra value of a made 3-pointer.
At the Stripe...Mount St. Mary's has also
picked it up at the charity stripe, shooting 78.8 percent
(67-of-85) on free throws over the past five games.
* For the season, the Mount is now shooting 70.8 percent at the line, making 138-of-195. That is fourth in the NEC.
* Freshman Josh Castellanos is the Mount's top free throw shooter, converting 27-of-31 (.871) on the year. Freshman David Golladay (16-of208, .800) and senior Shawn Atupem (.750, 27-of-36) are also shooting 75 percent or better at the line on the season.
From the Field...Mount St. Mary's shot 19-of-32
(.594) from the floor in the first half of the 77-75 loss at
* The 19 field goals made were the most in one half by a Mount team since gonig 19-for-29 (.655) in the second half of the Mount's 93-63 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Feb. 21, 2009.
* The 42-point effort in the first half of the game was the Mount's highest-scoring half of the season.
Defending the Knott...The Mount has made Knott
Arena a difficult place for the opposition in recent years.
* Mount St. Mary's had its 11-game homecourt win streak snapped by Navy, 81-68, on November 29. It was the Mount's second 11-game homecourt win streak since the start of the 2008-09 season.
* Mount St. Mary's is 24-6 (.800 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 171-118 (.592) record at Knott Arena.
Non-Conference Numbers...Since joining NCAA
Division I, the Mountaineers have struggled in non-conference
play. The Mountaineers are 62-147 (.297) in non-conference games
since the move to Division I in 1988-89.
* Of those 209 non-conference games, 124 have been on the road, 65 at home and 20 at a neutral site.
* The Mount is 20-104 on the road, 35-30 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.
Road Warriors...With the calendar turning to
December, the Mount will play eight of nine games on the road.
* The Mount is 1-3 so far on a five-game road trip to start the month. The Mount won at Sacred Heart (Dec. 2) before falling at Quinnipiac (Dec. 4), at Penn State (Dec. 7) and at Loyola (Dec. 11).
* 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).
* Mount St. Mary's is 1-6 on the road this season and is 14-30 over its past 44 road contests.
December Musings...Mount St. Mary's is 52-94
all-time in the month of December since moving to NCAA Division I
* The Mountaineers are 30-27 at home, 17-61 on the road and 5-6 at neutral sites in those games.
* This season, the Mount will have seven of its eight December games on the road.
* The last time the Mount had a winning mark in the month of December was when the 2007-08 squad went 6-2.
Atupem Climbs Career Scoring List...Senior
forward Shawn Atupem is has moved into 51st place on the Mount's
all-time scoring list.
* Atupem has 892 points in 104 career games at Mount St. Mary's.
* He is second on the team in scoring at 11.7 points per game and has scored 13 or more points in six of the team's contests.
Freshmen in the Lineup...The Mount started a
trio of freshmen (Josh Castellanos, David Golladay, Julian
Norfleet) the past six games.
* It was the first time since Nov. 30, 2005, that the Mount had a trio of freshmen in the starting five. That game, Joey Butler, Sam Atupem and Markus Mitchell started against La Salle.
* Golladay and Norfleet started the first four games for the Mount this season. It was 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.
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.
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.
Global Sports Main Event...The Mount finished
in third place in the Global Sports Main Event, a five-team round
robin in-season tournament.
* Cincinnati won the event with a perfect 4-0 mark, followed by Dayton (3-1), the Mount (2-2), Florida A&M (1-3) and Savannah State (0-4).
* 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.
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.
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.
The Mount and the Northeast Conference...The
Mount is 185-194 all-time in NEC regular season games.
* The Mount is 110-78 at home and 75-116 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.
Strong Debut...Freshman guard Julian Norfleet
tallied 15 points in his collegiate debut at Dayton
* 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.
Norfleet Named NEC Co-Rookie of the
Week...Freshman Julian Norfleet was named the Northeast
Conference Co-Rookie of the Week on Monday.
* The freshman averaged 11.5 points per game in a win over Savannah State and a loss to Cincinnati.
* In a 69-59 loss at Cincinnat, Nofleet drilled a three-pointer with 59 seconds left to pull the Mount within 62-58. He finished the game with seven points, six rebounds and three assists.
* In the Mount's 68-62 overtime win over Savannah State, Norfleet's clutch shooting down the stretch helped the Mount rally from a seven-point deficit. Trailing 41-34 with eight minutes left, Norfleet hit a pair of three-pointers in a 12-0 run that helped the Mount regain the lead.
* After Savannah State rallied to send the game into overtime, Norfleet connected for a three-pointer 21 seconds into the extra session to give the Mountaineers the lead for good. He finished the game with a season-high 16 points, including a 5-for-10 mark from beyond the arc.
* Norfleet is the first Mountaineer to earn NEC Rookie of the Week honors since Shawn Atupem won the award on Feb. 18, 2008.
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).