Mountaineers Host Rival Robert Morris on Saturday
Mount St. Mary's, coming off a 63-56 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Thursday night, resumes one of the top rivalries in the Northeast Conference on Saturday when Robert Morris visits for a 1:00 p.m. tip-off.
The Mount and Robert Morris have squared off 15 times over the past five seasons. The two squads have met in each of the past five Northeast Conference Tournaments with the Colonials ending the Mount's season in each of the past two years.
Last year, Robert Morris knocked off the Mount, 80-62, in the NEC Semifinals after downing the Mount, 48-46, in the 2009 NEC Championship game. Robert Morris has won 10 of the 15 meetings over the past five years with 10 of those games being decided by seven points or less.
Lamar Trice had 18 points and six assists while Danny Thompson recorded his first career double-double (10 pts., 12 rebs.) to pace the Mount in the win over Saint Francis. Mount St. Mary's jumped to a 29-12 lead and held on for the victory.
Trice leads the Mount in scoring (13.1), assists (3.3) and steals (1.2) this season. Thompson leads the Mount in rebounding at 5.6 per game and is averaging 9.0 boards over the past four games.
Robert Morris is coming off an 83-78 overtime loss at Wagner on Thursday night. Karon Abraham poured in a career high 32 points in the game. Abraham leads the Colonials in scoring at 16.0 points per game while Russell Johnson is averaging 13.4 points and a team-high 7.4 rebounds. Robert Morris has won the past two NEC Championships.
Did You Know?...Junior Danny Thompson is averaging 9.0 rebounds over the past four games. The 6-7 forward leads the Mount with 5.6 rebounds per game. He has pulled down 89 boards on the year after entering the season with 63 career boards over his first two seasons.
The All-Time Series...Mount St. Mary's and Robert Morris renew the Northeast Conference's fiercest rivalry on Saturday afternoon. The two teams have faced each other 15 times over the past five seasons.
* Robert Morris has won 10 of the 15 meetings over the past five seasons, including an 80-62 victory over the Mount in the Northeast Conference Semifinals. Ten of the 15 games have been decided by seven points or less.
* The Mount posted an 83-65 win over Robert Morris in the NEC Semifinals in 2008 en route to the NEC Championship that year.
* In 2009, the Colonials edged Mount St. Mary's, 48-46, on Dallas Green's jumper with 2.5 seconds left in the NEC Championship game.
* The Mount defeated Robert Morris, 63-61, in the final game of the NEC regular season last year, snapping a four-game Robert Morris win streak in the series.
* The Mountaineers won 13 games in a row against the Colonials from 1994-2000.
* The Mount is 14-7 at home against Robert Morris. The Colonials, however, have won four of the past five matchups at Knott Arena.
* The Mount and Robert Morris have faced each other seven times in the Northeast Conference Tournament with the Colonials winning four of those matchups.
* Mount St. Mary's is 22-20 all-time in NEC regular season matchups against Robert Morris.
* The all-time series began in 1990.
Last Time Out...Mount St. Mary's snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 63-56 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Thursday night.
* Junior Danny Thompson had 10 points and 12 rebounds to record his first career double-double in the win. Thompson's dunk in the last minute gave the Mount a 55-50 lead.
* Junior guard Lamar Trice had 18 points and six assists in the victory. It is the 12th time in 16 games this year that Trice has scored in double figures.
* The Mount moved to 2-1 in the NEC with the victory. It is the best start in NEC play for the Mount since the 2007-08 team opened with a 3-0 mark.
* The Mount jumped out to a 29-12 lead and led by as many as 19 points in the first half.
* Mount St. Mary's has won 11 of the past 12 meetings in the all-time series with Saint Francis (Pa.).
Conference Play, Inside the Numbers...The Mountaineers are 2-1 in the NEC so far this year.
* Mount St. Mary's is shooting 49.0 percent from the field and averaging 68.0 points in the team's three NEC games.
* The Mount is 12-for-30 (.400) from three-point range in NEC play.
* Guard Lamar Trice is averaging 18.7 points and 4.7 assists in the three NEC games this year. He is shooting 48.8 percent from the field and is 7-of-18 (.389) from beyond the arc.
* Junior Danny Thompson is averaging 8.3 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds in league games this year.
* On the defensive end, the Mount is allowing 61.7 points while holding the opponents to 39.5 percent shooting in league games this season.
Thompson Picking Up the Boards...Junior forward Danny Thompson is the Mount's leading rebounder at 5.6 boards per game this year.
* The 6-7 forward, tallied his first career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds in the Mount's 63-56 win over Saint Francis (Pa.).
* Thompson is averaging 9.0 rebounds over the past four games, including two double-figure rebound games in that stretch.
* Thompson also leads the Mount and is fifth in the NEC in blocks at 1.38 per game. He has rejected 22 shots this year.
The Mount and the NEC...Mount St. Mary's has completed the non-conference portion of the schedule and will play only Northeast Conference games the rest of the way.
* Mount St. Mary's, which is 2-1 so far this year in the NEC, has posted three-straight winning seasons in conference play.
* Since the start of the 2005-06 season, the Mount is 57-36 (.613) in NEC regular season games.
* The Mount has advanced to at least the NEC Tournament semifinals in each of the past five years. The Mount won the NEC in 2008 and lost in the NEC Championship game the following season in 2009.
* The Mount has won nine NEC regular season home games in a row and is 17-2 in NEC regular season games at Knott Arena over the past two-plus seasons.
* Overall, the Mountaineers are 20-2 over their past 22 home games against NEC opponents including the playoffs.
* The Mount's 77-75 loss to Quinnipiac in early December snapped the team's 11-game NEC regular season win streak. That 11-game streak matched the school record of 11 NEC wins in a row set in 1994-96.
Trice as Nice...Junior guard Lamar Trice is one of the most-improved players in the Northeast Conference.
* Trice leads the Mount in scoring at 13.1 points per game, having scored in double figures in 12 of the team's 16 contests.
* The 5-11 guard has improved his scoring average by 11.2 points from last season. Trice averaged 1.9 points per game in limited action last season for the Mountaineers.
* Trice scored a career-high 21 points in the Mount's 66-52 win at Sacred Heart.
* He also leads the Mount in assists (52) and steals (19).
Road Weary...The Mountaineers are happy to return to Knott Arena this week.
* Mount St. Mary's opened the year by playing 11 of its first 15 games away from home., going 1-10 in those road contests.
* The Mount is averaging just 55.4 points per game on the road this year, shooting 38.2 percent from the floor and 26.4 percent from three-point range.
The Scoring Charts...Jean Cajou and Shawn Atupem are among the top 50 scorers in Mount St. Mary's history.
* Cajou currently ranks 45th all-time at the Mount with 963 points while Atupem is 48th with 929.
* The duo are looking to become the 42nd and 43rd players in Mount history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Cajou Returns...Senior guard Jean Cajou has returned to the team, making his season debut at Virginia Tech on Sunday.
* Cajou has 963 points in 99 career games. He is 37 points shy of becoming the 42nd player in Mount history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
* Cajou was named to CollegeInsider.com's Mid-Major All-Defensive Team last year.
Barber Leads NEC in Field Goal Percentage...Sophomore Raven Barber leads the Northeast Conference in field goal percentage at 66.7 percent.
* The 6-8 forward is averaging 8.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game this year.
* Barber scored a career-high 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the Mount's loss at Albany.
* Barber is shooting 74.3 percent (26-of-35) from the field over the past six games.
The Mount and the Northeast Conference...The Mount is 186-194 all-time in NEC regular season games.
* The Mount is 111-78 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.
Wins vs. Losses...A look inside the numbers in the Mount's wins vs. losses.
* Mount St. Mary's is averaging 66.8 points while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from three-point range in the team's four wins.
* In the 12 losses, the Mount is averaging 56.2 points while shooting 38.4 percent from the field and 25.4 percent from three-point range.
* Senior forward Shawn Atupem is averaging 12.5 points in the team's three victories, shooting 62.1 percent in those games. In the Mount's losses, Atupem is averaging 8.7 points while shooting 39.4 percent from the floor.
Cajou at the Line...Senior guard Jean is second all-time at the Mount in career free throw percentage.
* Cajou is shooting 82.2 percent (233-for-285) in his career at the charity stripe.
* Mark Scallion (1983-87) is the Mount's all-time leader in free throw percentage at 84.8 percent (228-for-269).
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 25-7 (.781 winning pct.) at home over the past two-plus 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 17-2 mark over its past 19 NEC regular season home games. Including the playoffs, the Mount has won 20 of its past 22 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 172-119 (.591) record at Knott Arena.
Boardwork...Rebounding has been a concern for head coach Robert Burke this season.
* The Mountaineers are 11th in the Northeast Conference in both rebounding margin (-4.8) and offensive rebounds (10.44).
* In the latest Ken Pomeroy ratings (www.kenpom.com), the Mount is 318th out of 345 teams in opponents offensive rebound percentage. The Mount's opponents are rebounding 38.1 percent of their missed shots this season.
Non-Conference Numbers...The Mount finished the non-conference schedule with a 2-11 mark, going 2-2 at home and 0-9 on the road.
* Since joining NCAA Division I, the Mountaineers have struggled in non-conference play. The Mountaineers are 62-152 (.290) in non-conference games since the move to Division I in 1988-89.
* Of those 214 non-conference games, 128 have been on the road, 66 at home and 20 at a neutral site.
* The Mount is 20-108 on the road, 35-31 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.
Freshmen in the Lineup...The Mount started a trio of freshmen (Josh Castellanos, David Golladay, Julian Norfleet) in seven games this year.
* 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 history.
* 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.
Brown Out of the Lineup...Senior Pierre Brown is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Brown averaged averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 31 games last year and was expected to start this year. In addition, sophomore Kristijan Krajina, a 6-9 forward who averaged 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 20 games played last season, has missed all 16 games this season 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.
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 November 20.
* 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).