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Archive for March 19th, 2019

NCAA First Four Game Notes: Temple plays upset-minded Belmont

GAME NOTES WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF TEMPLE ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

 

DAYTON, Ohio – The second of 67 games in the 2019 NCAA Tournament will feature 11th-seeded Temple men’s basketball facing 11th-seeded Belmont in the NCAA First Four on Tuesday, March 19 at 9:10 p.m.

NCAA Tournament History
> This is the 33rd NCAA Tournament appearance for the Owls, who own a 33-32 record in tourney play.
> Temple has been an 11 seed four times before in the NCAA Tournament, including when the Owls made a run to the Elite Eight in 2001.
> Temple’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament was in 1944, and the Owls have had 16 players make NCAA All-Tournament Teams.
> The Owls are placed in the East Region for a 19th time. Temple’s last East Region appearance was in 2013 when the Cherry and White went 1-1 in Dayton in the First and Second Round.
> Temple is 2-5 this season against the other 67 teams in the 2019 NCAA Tournament field.
> Temple has advanced to the Elite Eight seven times (last, 2001) and the Final Four twice (1956, 1958).
Fran Dunphy has taken his team to the NCAA Tournament 17 times in 30 seasons as a head coach (8 w/ Temple, 9 w/ Penn).
> Dunphy’s 17 appearances in the NCAA Tournament are the 12th-most of all active Division I coaches.

Scouting Belmont
> Belmont comes into the tournament with an overall record of 26-5, and the Bruins had won 14 straight prior to losing to Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship game on March 9.
> Dylan Windler leads Belmont with 21.4 points per game, and his 10.7 rebounds per game lead the team and rank 10th among all players in NCAA Division I.
> Grayson Murphy is averaging 6.6 assists per game to rank 11th in the nation.
> The Bruins average 87.4 points per game to rank second in the nation, with their 19.9 assists per game ranking first.
> The Bruins rank top 25 nationally in 12 statistical categories, including first in assists per game and total assists, second in scoring offense and assist to turnover ratio, fifth in field goal percentage, and sixth in offensive efficiency and defensive rebounding.
> Rick Byrd has been the head coach at Belmont for 33 years and has 712 career wins (ranks 12th all-time in Division I career victories with 804).
>  This NCAA Tournament appearance will be his eighth with the Bruins. Belmont last earned an NCAA Tournament berth in 2014-15 and lost to #6 Virginia, 79-67.

Series History vs. Belmont
> Temple and Belmont are facing each other for the first time in program history.

Scouting Temple
> Temple had three players recognized with American Athletic Conference postseason awards. Senior guard Shizz Alston, Jr. was named to the AAC First Team, junior guard Quinton Rose was named to the AAC Second Team, and sophomore guard Nate Pierre-Louis was named Most Improved along with Josh Carlton from UConn.
> Alston, who leads all players in the AAC with 19.7 points per game, has scored 20 or more points in each of the last eight games. He exploded for a career-high 34 points on 12-of-14 shooting to lead the Owls to a 78-71 win at UConn on March 7. In addition to his AAC First Team honor, Alston was named to the USBWA All-District II Team.
> Alston has hit at least one three-pointer in 43 straight games to set a new Temple record, surpassing the 39-game streak by Dionte Christmas (2006-08).
> The Owls have won six of their last eight games and had won three straight heading into the AAC Championships before being upset by Wichita State, 80-74 in the quarterfinals. Temple got a 67-62 Senior Day win over #25 UCF on March 9, earning its second win over a Top 25 team this season.
> The Owls beat Tulsa, 84-73 on Feb. 23, for their 20th win of the season. Dunphy has now guided the Owls to 20 or more wins in nine of his 13 seasons.
> Temple finished 13-2 at home this season, giving Dunphy his ninth 10-win season at the Liacouras Center.
> The Owls defeated then-#17/15 Houston at home on Jan. 9, making it 12 seasons in a row that Temple has defeated a Top 25 program. Temple was the only team to defeat the Cougars through their first 28 games until UCF became the second team to do so on March 2. The Owls got another Top 25 win when they beat #25 UCF on March 9.
> Rose and Pierre-Louis average 16.5 and 13.3 points per game, respectively, to rank second and third on the team. Rose has tallied eight 20-point performances while Pierre-Louis has four.
> Temple ranks 16th in the nation with 8.7 steals per game. The Owls have posted double-digit steals in 13 games.

NCAA First Four Game Notes: Belmont tackles Temple in Opening Round

GAME NOTES WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF BELMONT ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

 

2019 NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
No. 11 Belmont (26-5) vs. No. 11 Temple (23-9)
Dayton, Ohio – - UD Arena
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
9:10 p.m. ET/8:10 p.m. CT

 

DAYTON, Ohio – - Belmont University men’s basketball returns to game action Tuesday vs. Temple in the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

Belmont claimed its 10th regular season conference championship in 14 years, fifth in seven years of OVC membership.

The game will be played at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

Belmont’s NCAA Division I era career leading scorer – Evan Bradds – grew up in Jamestown, Ohio, minutes from the University of Dayton campus. Bradds scored 1,921 career points and was a two-time OVC Player of the Year and All-America selection. Bradds currently serves a video coordinator on Brad Stevens’ staff with the Boston Celtics.

This marks Belmont’s eighth NCAA Tournament appearance. The previous seven were automatic bids (five Atlantic Sun Conference; two Ohio Valley Conference). This is the first NCAA Tournament at-large bid in Belmont history, and the second in OVC history (1987, 2019).

Belmont head coach Rick Byrd and Temple head coach Fran Dunphy have 68 combined years of coaching experience and 1,384 combined career victories.

Senior All-America candidate Dylan Windler (Indianapolis, Ind.) cemented his place among the most complete players in college basketball. Among national leaders in defensive rebounding and double-doubles, the 6-8 guard/forward is the only player in America averaging at least 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. 28 of Windler’s 73 career double figure scoring games have come this season to date, including eight double-doubles with 30 or more points. Windler averaged 23.0 points and 10.9 rebounds per game in league play on 58 percent shooting. The Indianapolis native ranks among OVC leaders in 10 statistical categories, including third in points per game (21.4) and first in rebounding (10.7) – a category he has led two straight seasons. Windler, whose offensive efficiency rating (127.1) per Ken Pomeroy ranks third nationally behind Duke’s Zion Williamson and Furman’s Matt Rafferty, is a candidate for the Julius Erving Award, Lou Henson Award and Senior CLASS Award.

Senior Kevin McClain (Jennings, Fla.) was also named All-OVC First Team. The 6-3 guard recorded 28 double figure scoring games, including 17 consecutive to date. McClain delivered in the biggest of situations, most notably his game-high 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals – and game-winning shot with 2.3 seconds remaining – in Belmont’s victory at UCLA. He also had 58 points in two wins over Southeast Missouri. The Jennings, Florida native, who twice earned OVC Player of the Week honors, averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game in OVC play.

Freshman Nick Muszynski (Pickerington, Ohio) was named OVC Freshman of the Year, All-OVC First Team and OVC All-Newcomer Team. The 6-11 center tallied 24 double figure scoring games, including a career-high 27 point performance vs. Southeast Missouri (1/31/19). He also recorded 20 points, six assists and three blocked shots at Murray State (1/24/19). Muszynski leads the OVC and ranks among national leaders in field goal percentage (.615) and blocked shots per game (2.2). In addition, Muszynski registered 16 games of three or more assists, and his 80 assists from the post are surpassed only by Wisconsin All-America candidate Ethan Happ. He was named OVC Freshman of the Week a league-high six times.

Freshman Grayson Murphy (Franklin, Tenn.) took over point guard duties for head coach Rick Byrd this season and excelled in Belmont’s offensive system. The 6-2 guard recorded seven games of double figure assists, including a Belmont NCAA Division I era single-game record of 16 assists at UT Martin (2/28/19). Murphy ranks among national leaders in assists (6.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.65). He scored a career-high 20 points in Belmont’s victory over Western Kentucky (12/19/18).

Junior Michael Benkert (Greenwood, Ind.) is a versatile two-way player for Belmont, starting three career games including two in the OVC Tournament. The 6-4 wing made two or more 3-point field goals in the final seven games of the regular season. He went 5-for-5 vs. SIU Edwardsville (2/23/19).

The Bruins rank top 25 nationally in 12 statistical categories, including first in assists per game and total assists, second in scoring offense and assist to turnover ratio, fifth in field goal percentage, and sixth in offensive efficiency and defensive rebounding.

 

 

NCAA First Four Game Notes: Prairie View A&M ready to play Fairleigh Dickinson

GAME GAME NOTES WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF PRAIRIE VIEW A&M ATHLETICS

 

 

 

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – Ready set go!  The Prairie View A&M men’s basketball team will be heading to Dayton, Ohio for the first round of the NCAA tournament when they face Fairleigh Dickinson at the University of Dayton Arena.

The game is set for Tuesday, March 19 for a 5:30 p.m. central time tip-off.  The winner of the First Four contest will advance to play #1 seed Gonzaga in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday.

The Knights of Fairleigh Dickinson finished as the Northeast Conference (NEC) champions with a 20-13 overall record.  The Panthers finished as the Southwestern Athletic Conference Champions with a 22-12 over record.

Both teams come into the contest red-hot!

The Knights have won eight straight games. The Panthers have won 11 games in a row.

This will be the third time in the history of the two programs that these teams would have met.  The first time was on November 15, 2001 with the Panthers defeating the Knights 77-66.  The second meeting was on November 24, 2012 with Fairleigh Dickinson taking the win with an 84-70 victory.

This will be the second time that the Panthers would have played in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  In the 1998 game the Panthers faced Kansas falling 110-52.

“It’s an exciting time for our student athletes here at Prairie View A&M,” Mr. Fred Washington the Vice President/Athletics Director said.  “It’s an exciting time to be a Panther.  It is special how the world views our men’s basketball program, so it’s a very special time.”

The last time the Prairie View A&M’s basketball team won the SWAC tournament was 21 years ago (1998), and the athletic department would like to invite all #PVNation, fans, friends and family to contribute $21 dollars or more to the PV Pantthers SWAC Championship campaign.  Here is the link for more information on how to contribute the campaign - https://giving.pvpanthers.com/campaigns/swac-champions-campaign.

 

PVAMU in the NCAA Tournament (W-L: 0-1)
First NCAA Tournament appearance and first SWAC Championship since 1998 (21 yrs.)
1998 – L, 52-110 to #1 Kansas

Scouting Prairie View A&M
The Panthers won their opening game at Santa Clara 81-64 before dropping their next 11 games prior to SWAC play. Once they entered conference action, the Panthers were nearly unstoppable as they rolled to an 18-1 overall record and captured the SWAC Championship for the first time since 1998. The team is led by senior guard Gary Blackston, who was named the SWAC Tournament MVP, and led the team with 17 points, six steals and four rebounds in their conference championship game against Texas Southern 92-86 this past Saturday. Blackston’s 15.2 points per game tops the Panthers, while junior Devonte Patterson and junior Gerard Andrus average 13.4 and 10.0 points, respectively. Defensively, Dennis Jones spearheads an attack, which averages 8.8 steals per game – 14th-most in the country. Jones earned SWAC Defensive Player of the Year honors after nabbing two steals per contest.

PVAM HEAD COACH

  • Byron Smith is in his third full season at the helm of the Panthers and has led the team to its first SWAC Championship in 21 years and first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.After serving the previous three seasons as an assistant coach, the Bossier, Louisiana native served as interim head coach over the final 12 games of the 2016 season. Prior to Prairie View A&M, Smith ran a basketball performance business in the Houston area. Collegiately, Smith spent one season (2009-10) at Texas Southern and helped the Tigers advance to the championship for the first time since 2003. Smith served as an assistant coach at Texas A&M and helped lead the Aggies to consecutive NCAA  appearances. Smith was a standout player at UH from 1989-91, twice earning All-Southwest Conference honors under Coach Pat Foster.

 

NCAA First Four Game Notes: Fairleigh Dickinson takes on Prairie View A&M

 

GAME NOTES WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

The 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will kickoff tonight at UD Arena with two of the hottest teams in the nation. Fairleigh Dickinson has eight in a row and Prairie View A&M who has reeled off 11.

The two teams have met before and the series is tied 1-1.

Game 34
#16 Fairleigh Dickinson (20-13, 12-6 NEC)
vs. #16 Prairie View A&M (22-12, 18-1 SWAC)
Date: Tuesday, March 19
Time: 6:40 p.m.
Location: UD Arena (Dayton, Ohio)

 

Opening Tip

  • The Knights earned their second NEC Championship in the last four seasons and nabbed a share of the NEC regular season title for the first time since 2006.
  • Making its sixth-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, FDU is seeking its first win in program history (0-5). The Knights last appearance came in 2016 as they made it to the dance with the third-youngest team in the nation.
  • STREAKING! The Knights have won (8) games in a row..(14) of their last (16)..also have a (6)-game and (3)-game win streak this season. Prairie View also enters the tournament red hot having won 11 straight and 18 of their last 19.
  • With the win in the NEC final, head coach Greg Herenda improved to 7-3 in the NEC postseason at FDU. Herenda also netted career win No. 200 back on February 23 against Wagner.
  • All five Knights starters are averaging double figures in points this season. They are one of just four teams in the NCAA Tournament (Georgia State, St. John’s and Tennessee) to feature five scorers at 10+ points per game.
  • The team has logged five double-digit scorers 10 times and at least four in 22 of its 33 games.
  • The Knights led the NEC in FG% (47.8%), 3-PT FG% (40.4%),  scoring margin (4.2), Assist/Turnover ratio (1.1), steals (7.7) and turnover margin (1.3). Their 40.4 percent clip from behind the arc is fifth in the nation and their 47.1 percent field-goal percentage is 29th.
  • All-NEC First Teamer, Darnell Edge led the NEC in both 3-pt FG% (46.9%) and FT% (88.5%). His 46.9 percent three-point clip is fourth best in the nation. He’s also first in career free throw shooting among active players in the NCAA (91.6%) and is one 3-pointer shy of setting the Knights’ all-time record (194).
  • Seniors Edge (All-NEC First Team) and Mike Holloway Jr. (All-NEC Second Team) have book-ended their careers with NEC Championships. Edge was named this year’s NEC Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
  • In their 2016 NCAA Tournament appearance the Knights fell to Florida Gulf Coast in the First Four round.
  • This season, the Knights are 18-0 when leading with five minutes to play in regulation.

Postseason Notes

  • The Knights earned a share of the NEC Regular Season title for the first time since 2006 and enter this season’s conference tournament as the No. 2 seed. The Burgundy and Blue have now qualified for the NEC’s postseason in five of Head Coach Greg HErenda’s six seasons.
  • Fairleigh Dickinson is 7-3 in NEC playoff games under Herenda and 34-25 all-time in the NEC Tournament. They have reached the finals 11 times (6-5).
  • FDU has won NEC Tournaments in 1985, 1988, 1998, 2005, 2016 and 2019. The six NEC Tournament championships are tied for second all-time with LIU and behind Robert Morris’ eight titles.
  • In the NEC championship game win over SFU, the Knights shot a season-high 63.9 percent from the field.
  • In the win over SFU, Edge, Bishop and Jenkins each scored 20+ points. It is the first time this season the Knights have registered three 20-point scorers in a game.

FDU in the NCAA Tournament (W-L: 0-5)

  • 1985 Southeast Regional: #1 Michigan 59, #16 Fairleigh Dickinson 55
  • 1988 Midwest Regional: #1 Purdue 94, #16 Fairleigh Dickinson 79
  • 1998 Midwest Regional: #2 Connecticut 93, #15 Fairleigh Dickinson 85
  • 2005 Chicago Regional: #1 Illinois 67, #16 Fairleigh Dickinson 55
  • 2016 East Regional: #16 FGCU 96, #16 Fairleigh Dickinson 65

The Series
All-Time Series…1-1
Last Meeting… FDU 84, Prairie View A&M 70 (11/24/12 – @ South Padre Inv. Texas)
First Meeting…Prairie View A&M 77, FDU 66 (11/15/01 – @ BCA Inv. Raleigh, N.C.)

The Coaches

  • Head Coach Greg Herenda is in his sixth season at the helm of the Knights. Last season, the Knights enjoyed their third consecutive .500 or better season in NEC play as Herenda led the team to a 9-9 conference mark. Under Herenda, the Knights have qualified for the NEC Tournament in four of his five seasons, including a 2016 NEC Championship when the team earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament featuring the third-youngest team in the nation.
  • Byron Smith is in his third full season at the helm of the Panthers and has led the team to its first SWAC Championship in 21 years and first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.After serving the previous three seasons as an assistant coach, the Bossier, Louisiana native served as interim head coach over the final 12 games of the 2016 season. Prior to Prairie View A&M, Smith ran a basketball performance business in the Houston area. Collegiately, Smith spent one season (2009-10) at Texas Southern and helped the Tigers advance to the championship for the first time since 2003. Smith served as an assistant coach at Texas A&M and helped lead the Aggies to consecutive NCAA  appearances. Smith was a standout player at UH from 1989-91, twice earning All-Southwest Conference honors under Coach Pat Foster.

PVAMU in the NCAA Tournament (W-L: 0-1)
First NCAA Tournament appearance and first SWAC Championship since 1998 (21 yrs.)
1998 – L, 52-110 to #1 Kansas

Scouting Prairie View A&M (website)
The Panthers won their opening game at Santa Clara 81-64 before dropping their next 11 games prior to SWAC play. Once they entered conference action, the Panthers were nearly unstoppable as they rolled to an 18-1 overall record and captured the SWAC Championship for the first time since 1998. The team is led by senior guard Gary Blackston, who was named the SWAC Tournament MVP, and led the team with 17 points, six steals and four rebounds in their conference championship game against Texas Southern 92-86 this past Saturday. Blackston’s 15.2 points per game tops the Panthers, while junior Devonte Patterson and junior Gerard Andrus average 13.4 and 10.0 points, respectively. Defensively, Dennis Jones spearheads an attack, which averages 8.8 steals per game – 14th-most in the country. Jones earned SWAC Defensive Player of the Year honors after nabbing two steals per contest.

Knights Last Time Out
The Knights captured their second Northeast Conference Championship in the last four years by defeating Saint Francis 85-76 at DeGol Arena last tuesday. The Knights (20-13) are back in the NCAA Tournament for the second time since 2016 and the sixth time in program history.

All five Knights starters scored in double figures for the 11th time this season led by senior guard and NEC Tournament MVP, Darnell Edge’s 21 points. Junior Kaleb Bishop amassed his second double-double of the season with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Jahlil Jenkins poured in 20 points, classmate Elyjah Williams scored 12 points with four blocked shots and senior Mike Holloway Jr. netted 12 points with a career-high five assists.

The starting five also scored all 85 of the Knights’ points in the win. As a team, the Knights shot a season-high 63.8 percent from the field, 7-of-13 from three-point range and drained 18-of-20 at the line. At the defensive end, the Burgundy and Blue blocked eight shots — their second-highest output this season. Five of the team’s six NEC Championships have now come as the No. 2 seed.

In the loss, the top-seeded Red Flash (18-14) shot 48 percent overall but just 4-of-17 from the free throw line.

Up Next
The winner of Tuesday’s game travels to Salt Lake City, Utah to take on top seed in the West Region, Gonzaga (30-3) on Thursday night.