Feb. 13, 2012
Contact: Greg Murphy
SETTING THE SCENE: Cleveland State hits the road for the second to last time in the regular season when the Vikings travel to Milwaukee for an 8:00 p.m. EST contest on Tuesday (Feb. 14). The Vikings enter the game at 20-6 overall and in second place in the Horizon League at 10-4, just one-half game behind first place Valparaiso (11-4). Butler, Youngstown State and Detroit are all tied for third place, one-and-a-half games behind CSU at 9-6 with just two weeks to go in the regular season. Milwaukee is 15-11 overall and 8-7 in league play. Tuesday's game will be the 38th meeting between CSU and Milwaukee with the Panthers owning a 21-16 edge. The Vikings won this year's first meeting, an 83-57 triumph in the Wolstein Center on Jan. 22.
VIKINGS GET 10 IN THE LEAGUE: CSU's two wins in Chicago (Feb. 3 &5) allowed the Vikings to clinch the fifth straight year of double digit wins in the Horizon League. It marks the first time in program history that the Vikings have won at least 10 league games in five straight seasons. The old mark was four straight, set from 1984-85 through 1987-88.
NCAA STATS: CSU was well represented in the NCAA statistical report that was released on Monday (Feb. 5). As a team, CSU is ranked 10th in scoring defense (57.7), 13th in steals (8.8), 23rd in three-point field goal defense (.295), 24th in turnover margin (3.2), 36th in won-lost percentage (.769) and 67th in scoring margin (7.7) and three-point field goal percentage (.367). D'Aundray Brown is ninth in the nation in steals (2.6).
ON THE ROAD: The Vikings have been proving their mettle away from home this season, posting a 12-3 record in those contests. CSU is 11-2 in "true" road games and 1-1 in neutral site contests. The 11 "true" road wins are tied for the most in the nation (Wagner), while CSU's 12 wins away from home are the second most in the country (Harvard & Iona have 13). The school-record for road wins in a season is 13, set in 2008-09. This year's 11 road victories rank second in school history, while CSU's .846 (11-2) road winning percentage is currently the best in school history. The 1985-86 team holds the school record for best road winning percentage, going 9-3 (.750).
VIKINGS REMAINS 10th IN MID-MAJOR POLL: Cleveland State remained at No. 10 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top 25 poll that was released on Monday (Feb. 6) afternoon. The Vikings, who are the only Horizon League team in the top-25, earned 501 votes, up from the 487 votes they earned last week. Murray State remained first with 775 points and all 31 first place votes and was followed by Saint Mary's (740), Creighton (682), Harvard (677), Long Beach State (606), Gonzaga (599), Middle Tennessee State (587), Wichita State (561), Iona (514) and CSU.
VIKINGS DRAW DREXEL FOR BRACKETBUSTERS: CSU will host Drexel on Saturday (Feb. 18) at 11:00 a.m. on ESPNU as part of the 2012 Sears BracketBusters X. The 13 match-ups that will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks were announced on Jan. 30. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
GRADY AS A STARTER: With senior D'Aundray Brown out two of the last three games with a groin injury, freshman Anton Grady has made two starts and has not disappointed in either one, notching a double-double each game. In a Feb. 5 win at UIC, Grady totaled 12 points and 10 rebounds, making all six of his field goals. In Saturday's (Feb. 11) loss to Butler, Grady scored a career-high 18 points with 13 rebounds.
... AND CONTINUES STRONG PLAY: Anton Grady has emerged as a strong frontrunner for Horizon League Newcomer of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year with his play this year. He is averaging 8.5 points, 6.1 rebounds (8th in league) and 1.4 blocked shots (5th in league), while ranking third in the league in field goal percentage (.564). Grady has upped those numbers to 10.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in Horizon League contests, scoring in double figures in 10 of the 14 league games. He also has four double-doubles in his last seven games.
OH FOR THREE: CSU held Butler without a three-point field goal in Saturday's loss as the Bulldogs went 0-for-8. It was the 15th time in program history that a team failed to make a three-pointer against the Vikings, including the second time this year. CSU also held Rhode Island without a three-pointer (0-8) on Nov. 26. Prior to this year, the last time the Vikings did not give up a three-pointer in a game was Dec. 17, 1996, against Youngstown State.
AFTER A LOSS: Saturday's setback to Butler was the first time this year that the Vikings have lost back-to-back games. In each of CSU's first four losses this year, they followed up the next game with a win, all coming by double figures.
FIVE OR LESS: Saturday's 52-49 loss to Butler marked the first time this year that CSU lost a game by five points or loss, dropping the Vikings to 7-1 in those contests.The Vikings have won four games on their final offensive possession this season. They include...
Trey Harmon hits a three-pointer with 2.8 seconds left in a 67-64 win over St. Bonaventure (Nov. 18).
A PERFECT 10: Anton Grady had quite a weekend (Feb. 3-5) from the field in Chicago as he did not miss a shot, going 10-for-10 in the wins at Loyola and UIC. Grady made all four of his shots at Loyola and all six at UIC. He became the second player from CSU to be perfect from the field in a weekend, joining Tim Kamczyc who went 8-for-8 in home wins over Green Bay (Jan. 20) and Milwaukee (Jan. 22). Kamczyc made all four of his shots in both games.
20-20 VISION: The Vikings' win at UIC on Feb. 5 allowed CSU to clinch the ninth 20-win season in program history and the fourth in the last five seasons. Head coach Gary Waters claims four of the 20 win seasons in his six years at the helm. The 1985-86 Vikings set the record by winning 29 games, while last year's team won 27 games, second most in school history.
WATERS COACHES 500th GAME: Head coach Gary Waters coached his 500th career game on Feb. 3 at Loyola. The 16-year veteran is 291-212 overall as a head coach. He went 92-60 in five years at Kent State (2001-06), was 79-75 at Rutgers from 2001-06 and is 120-77 in six years at Cleveland State. He has led nine of his teams to postseason play.
... AND CLOSING IN ON 200 AT CSU: With at least six games left in 2011-12, Gary Waters will become the fourth coach in CSU history to coach 200 career games, joining Ray Dieringer (360), Kevin Mackey (211) and Rollie Massimino (203). Waters has coached in 197 games at CSU, posting a 120-77 mark. He trails only Dieringer (149) and Mackey (142) for most wins in school history.
ON THE MARK: CSU shot 25-of-37 (.676) from the field in the Feb. 3 win at Loyola, the third best field goal percentage in a game in CSU history. The Vikings went 10-of-17 (.588) in the first half and 15-of-20 (.750) in the second half. The only times a CSU team shot better in a game both came in 1979. The Vikings went 37-of-54 (685) against George Mason on Feb. 5, 1979, and were 36-of-53 (.679) versus St. Francis (Pa.) on Feb. 1, 1979.
ON THE MARK PART 2: CSU's 12 missed shots at Loyola (Feb. 3), matched the fewest field goal misses by any team this season in Division I. The Vikings became the third team to miss just 12 shots in a game this year, joining Norfolk State (Nov. 27) against Eastern Kentucky and Mercer versus Navy on Dec. 30. Of the three teams, CSU attempted the most field goals (37).
KEEP `EM UNDER 50: The 70-42 win at UIC on Feb. 5 was the seventh time that CSU held a team under 50 points this year. UIC joined Rhode Island (45), Wright State (43), Sam Houston State (45), Loyola (48 and 47) and Youngstown State (47). The 1933-34, 1935-36 and 2008-09 squads share the school record by holding 11 of their opponents to 50 points or less. CSU is first in the league and 10th in the nation in scoring defense (57.7).
SWEET HOME CHICAGO: Senior Jeremy Montgomery enjoyed his final visit home to Chicago (Feb. 3-5), averaging 15.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in CSU's two wins. He shot 10-of-17 (.588) from the field, including 7-of-9 (.778) from three-point. In eight career games in his native Chicago, Montgomery averaged 12.8 points and 2.1 assists, hitting 24-of-40 (.600) from three-point.
POGUE GRBAS 500TH CAREER BOARD: With his three rebounds against Valparaiso on Feb. 9, Aaron Pogue became the 19th player in CSU history to grab 500 rebounds for a career. He enters this week with 504 career rebounds. Pogue is the second player to notch his 500th career rebound this year, joining D'Aundray Brown. It is the second time in program history that CSU had two players reach the milestone in the same season.
426 AND COUNTING: With fivethree-pointers on Saturday against Butler, the Vikings extended their school-record streak to 426 straight games with at least one three-pointer. CSU's last game without a three-pointer was on Feb. 21, 1998, when the Vikings went 0-for-8 in a 60-57 home win over Detroit.
MONTGOMERY STREAK SNAPPED AT 22: When Jeremy Montgomery failed to make a three-pointer against Valparaiso (Feb. 9), it snapped his school-record streak of 22 straight games with a three-pointer. Montgomery went 0-for-4 from long distance in CSU's win over Rio Grande (Nov. 15), in the second game of the season, but hit at least one three-pointer in every game since, before missing all five of his attempts against the Crusaders.
DROPPING DIMES: The Vikings dished out a season-high 22 assists (on 33 field goals) in the Jan. 22 win over Milwaukee. It was the second time CSU had at least 20 assists this year, the first time coming when the Vikings notched 20 in a win at Detroit (Dec. 3). The Vikings lead the league and rank 53rd in the country with 14.7 assists per game.
SIX IN DOUBLE DIGITS: CSU had six players score in double figures vs. Milwaukee (Jan. 22). Trey Harmon led the way with 15 points, while Tim Kamczyc, Jeremy Montgomery and Anton Grady all had 12 points. Aaron Pogue chipped in 11 and D'Aundray Brown had 10. It was the first time CSU had six players in double digits since a 113-61 win over Wilberforce on Dec. 12, 2009 (Cunningham, 18; Cole, 16; Ajere, 14; Montgomery, 12; Brown, 11; Harmon, 10).
VIKINGS PASS THEIR BOARDS: CSU dominated the glass in the Jan. 20 win over Green Bay, grabbing a season-high 43 rebounds to Green Bay's 23 boards. The plus-20 rebound margin was the highest of the season for CSU, easily surpassing the old high of plus-nine at Detroit (Dec. 3). The Vikings are +0.6 on the glass this year after being -1.2 last season.
ALL HE DOES IS WIN: Jeremy Montgomery enters Tuesday's game with 89 career victories, tied for third most in program history. Montgomery needs just one more win to tie Norris Cole (2007-11) for second place on the list with 90 wins and two more to tie Ken McFadden (1985-89) for first place on the list with 91 career wins.
THREE'S FOR EVERYONE: Eleven different players have hit at least one three-pointer for Cleveland State this year, establishing a new season mark for players with a three-pointer. The previous mark was 10 players, accomplished three times, most recently in 2009-10.
BLOCK PARTY: Aaron Pogue blocked a career-high five shots in the win at UIC (Feb. 5). It allowed him to move into the top-10 on the career list at CSU. He now ranks ninth with 58 career swats, two shy of moving past Warren Bradley (1984-89) and into eighth place.
STRONG DEFENSE CONTINUES: Strong defense has always been a staple at CSU under head coach Gary Waters and this year has been no different. CSU is ranked first in the league in scoring margin (+7.7), turnover margin (+3.2), steals (8.8) and scoring defense (57.7) and second in field goal defense (.411) and three-point field goal defense (.295). The Vikings have held 20 of their 26 opponents to under 45-percent shooting from the field.
BROWN AT #7 ON STEALS LIST: With one steal against Valparaiso on Feb. 9, D'Aundray Brown remained in seventh place on the all-time steals list at CSU with 205. He is four steals shy of moving past Norris Cole (2007-11) and into sixth place on the list. Brown leads the Horizon League and is ranked sixth in the nation with 2.7 steals per game (61 total), making at least two steals in 18 games this year. Brown was a member of the 2010 Horizon League All-Defense squad.
A TURNOVER TALE: One area where the Vikings have been dominant this year is the turnover battle where CSU leads the Horizon League and ranks 23rd in the nation with a +3.2 turnover margin. While CSU's turnovers are up from last year to 14.2 per game (CSU averaged 11.4 last year), the Vikings are turning teams over an average of 17.4 per game (14.7 last year), with opponents committing at least 20 turnovers in six games this year.
J-MO KEEPS PLAYING: When Jeremy Montgomery takes the floor on Tuesday, he will be playing in his 133rd straight game at CSU, second on the all-time list at CSU. Montgomery, who has never missed a game in his career, is slated to make his 83rd straight start. With a minimum of six games left this season, Montgomery has a good chance to break Norris Cole's school-record of 140 straight games played.
SUCCESS 601: The sixth edition of Success Class under Gary Waters is utilizing the book Think Like a Champion by Dave Dinunzio as the course text. Instituted at CSU in the summer of 2006, Waters uses Success Class to teach the Viking players the finer points of what it takes to succeed, both on the basketball court and in life. Success Class 101 used John Wooden's book, The Pyramid of Success. Waters relied on John Maxwell's book Talent Is Never Enough in 2007-08 and turned to former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy's book, Quiet Strength in 2008-09. Waters returned to Maxwell in 2009-10, using 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player as the course text and again in 2009-10, using Maxwell's Winning With People. The non-credited class is taught weekly by Waters to the Viking players.
NO EXTRA TIME NEEDED: Saturday's game against Butler extended CSU's school-record streak of consecutive games without an overtime contest to 161. The last time CSU played an overtime tilt was on Nov. 17, 2007 when CSU topped Florida State, 69-66, at the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla. CSU is 107-54 since.
THIS `N THAT: Some quick notes from this season...
Trey Harmon was selected to the preseason All-Horizon League first team, while CSU was tabbed to finish third in the preseason poll.
A NORTHEAST OHIO SWEEP: With a Dec. 10 win over Akron and a win at Kent State on Nov. 22, the Vikings have swept the season series against its two Northeast Ohio rivals for the second straight season. This year marked the 32nd time that CSU played both teams in the same year and the fifth time that the Vikings swept all of the games. CSU claimed single games against both teams in 1987-88, 1997-98 and 2010-11, and went 3-0 in 1977-78, 1980-81 and 1985-86, winning twice against Akron in both 1977-78 and 1980-81.
FREE THROWS: One area CSU struggled over the first three games was free throws as the Vikings hit just 37-of-61 (.607) from the charity stripe. However, since that time, the Vikings have gone 224-of-298 (.757) to raise the season free throw percentage to .723 (261-361), ranking first in the league and 56th in the nation. The school record for free throw percentage in a season is .749 (477-637) in 2009-10.
... AND HITTING IN CRUNCH TIME: The Vikings have been hitting free throws down the stretch, connecting on 69-of-91 (.758) in the final five minutes of games this year. Jeremy Montgomery leads the way, hitting 14-of-17 (.824), while Anton Grady has hit 13-of-17 (.725).
VIKINGS LIKE EXEMPTED TOURNEYS: The Ticket City Legends Classic was the sixth exempted tournament that CSU has played in under Gary Waters, with the Vikings sporting a 16-7 record in those games. CSU went 1-2 at the America's Youth Classic (Evansville, Ind.) in 2006-07, defeating ACC member Miami (Fla.), 78-67, for its lone win. In 2007-08, CSU played in the Glenn Wilkes Classic, going 3-1 with wins over teams from the Big East (73-70 over USF) and ACC (69-66 over Florida State). In 2008-09, the Vikings rebounded from an opening round loss to Washington to claim the Miami Regional title of the CBE Classic. Two years ago, CSU won two games at home as part of the Cancun Challenge before falling to Kentucky and Virginia in Cancun. Last season, CSU won four games at home to claim the World Vision Classic. This year, CSU defeated Vanderbilt to open the Ticket City Legends Classic and won two of three games at Rhode Island to win the Kingston subregional title.
UP NEXT: CSU returns home to host Drexel at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday (Feb. 18) in a BracketBusters X contest that will be broadcast on ESPNU.
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