Feb. 29, 2012
Contact: Greg Murphy
SETTING THE SCENE: Second-seeded Cleveland State opens play in the 2012 Horizon League Championship on Saturday (March 3) at 6:00 p.m. EST when the Vikings take on No. 3 Detroit at the Athletics and Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Ind. It will be the first of two semifinals at Valparaiso with the top-seeded Crusaders hosting fourth-seeded Milwaukee or fifth-seeded Butler in the second semifinal. CSU's game will be televised nationally on tape delay on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m. with Mark Jones and Stephen Bardo providing the commentary. The two semifinal winners will meet for the league title and automatic berth to the NCAA Championship on Tuesday (March 6) at 9:00 p.m. EST at the top remaining seed. The Vikings enter the league tournament at 22-9 overall after snapping a five-game losing streak with two wins to conclude the regular season last weekend, knocking off Detroit (77-64) and Wright State (77-55). Detroit is 20-13 after a 93-76 win over Youngstown State in the second round on Friday night.
CSU IN HORIZON LEAGUE TOURNEY PLAY: Saturday's game will mark the 17th year that the Vikings have taken part in the Horizon League Championship, owning an 11-15 record in those games, including 7-2 over the last three seasons.
...AND CSU VS. DETROIT : Saturday's game will mark the eighth time that CSU will face Detroit in the league tournament. UDM leads the series, 5-2. The Vikings won the last meeting, a 56-43 win at home in the first round (3/3/09) with CSU as the four seed and UDM as the ninth seed.
CSU IN ALL CONFERENCE TOURNEYS: CSU carries a 22-22 record in 25 years of league tournament play into the 2012 tourney. CSU has won two titles (1985-86 & 2008-09) and finished second three times (1983-84, 1986-87 & 2007-08).
AS THE TWO SEED: This year marks the second time that the Vikings will be one of the top two seeds in the Horizon League Championship, earning a bye into the semifinals. CSU was the No. 2 seed in the 2008 tournament, knocking off Valparaiso in the semifinals before falling at top-seeded and host Butler in the championship contest.
HARMON HONORED TWICE BY LEAGUE: Trey Harmon was honored twice by the Horizon League, earning a spot on the all-league second team, as well as the Horizon League All-Defensive team. It is the first time that Harmon has garnered a spot on the all-league team and marks the second straight season he has been named to the all-defensive squad. Harmon is just the second player in CSU history to earn a spot on the all-defensive team in consecutive seasons (Cedric Jackson; 2008, 2009). Harmon ranks 10th in the league in scoring (13.1), second in three-pointers made (2.4) and eighth in steals (1.8).
BROWN NAMED ALL-DEFENSE AGAIN: After missing last season with an injured finger, senior D'Aundray Brown came back to earn a spot on the Horizon League All-Defensive team. Brown, who leads the league and ranks seventh in the nation with 2.6 steals per game (62 total), is making his second appearance on the team, earning the honor in 2010.
GRADY ON ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM: Freshman Anton Grady was the third Viking to be honored by the league, earning a spot on the all-newcomer team. The Cleveland, Ohio, native is averaging 8.8 points, while ranking third in the league in field goal percentage (.565), fourth in blocks (1.5) and eighth in rebounding (6.3). In the 18 Horizon League contests, Grady scored in double figures 12 times and upped his averages to 10.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game, while shooting .585 from the floor.
ALL HE DOES IS WIN: With two wins last weekend, senior Jeremy Montgomery increased his career win total to 91, allowing him to tie Ken McFadden (1985-89) for the most wins by a player in school history. One more win would allow Montgomery to become the winningest player in CSU history.
ON THE ROAD: The Vikings have been proving their mettle away from home this season, posting a 12-5 record in those contests. CSU is 11-4 in "true" road games and 1-1 in neutral site contests. The 11 "true" road wins are tied for the second most in the nation (Murray State and Wagner have 12), while CSU's 12 wins away from home are the fourth most in the country. 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 .733 (11-4) road winning percentage is the best in school history.
A DOZEN IN THE LEAGUE: CSU's two wins last week allowed the Vikings to finish at 12-6 in the Horizon League, tied for the third most league wins in program history. The 1992-93 team won a school-record 15 conference games, while the 1985-86 and 2010-11 squads won 13.
... AND CONTINUES DOUBLE DIGIT STREAK: CSU's 12 Horizon League wins marked the fifth straight year that the Vikings won at least 10 league games, a program record. The old mark was four straight, set from 1984-85 through 1987-88.
10 WINS AT HOME: CSU improved to 10-4 at home with two wins last weekend, clinching the 15th season of 10 or more wins at home in school history. In fact, it marked CSU's fifth straight year of 10 plus wins at home, tying a school record for most consecutive seasons with at least 10 home wins. CSU also accomplished the feat from the 1983-84 season through 1987-88.
TV TIMEOUT: Saturday's semifinal game will be the eighth CSU game that will be televised either nationally or regionally this year. CSU won at Vanderbilt (Nov. 11) on ESPNU, against Loyola (Jan. 7) on SportsTime Ohio in the Horizon League Game of the Week, at Butler (Jan. 13) and Loyola (Feb. 3) on ESPNU and versus Green Bay (Jan. 20) on ESPNU. The Vikings fell at South Florida (Dec. 19) on ESPN3 and at home to Butler (Feb. 11) and Drexel (Feb. 18) on ESPN2.
NCAA STATS: CSU was well represented in the latest NCAA statistical report that was released on Monday (Feb. 27). As a team, CSU is ranked 18th in the country in scoring defense (59.5), 19th in steals (8.5), 28th in turnover margin (2.9), 61st in won-lost percentage (.710) and 69th in scoring margin (6.8). Individually, D'Aundray Brown is seventh in the nation in steals (2.6), while Trey Harmon is ranked 90th in the country in three-pointers per game (2.4).
FOR THREE: Seniors Jeremy Montgomery and Trey Harmon are just the second and third players in school history to hit 200 career three-pointers. Montgomery has made 208, while Harmon has made 206 as the duo ranks second and third on the all-time list at CSU behind James Madison (262).
HARMON HITS 71 THREE'S: Trey Harmon has hit a CSU single season record 71 three-pointers this season. His 71 trifectas broke the old CSU mark of 70 held by Theo Dixon (2000-01) and Damon Stringer (1999-00). Jeremy Montgomery is just outside of the top-10 with 57 three's this year, but it has allowed the duo to become the first set of teammates to make at least 50 three-pointers in two separate seasons (Harmon had 61 and Montgomery had 56 last season).
20-20 VISION: CSU's win at UIC on Feb. 5 allowed the Vikings 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.
MASON BREAKS OUT: Freshman Marlin Mason, who was a redshirt for the first 16 games of the season, had his breakout game on Thursday (Feb. 23) against Detroit. Making his second career start, Mason tallied career-highs in points (15) and rebounds (9), while adding two assists, one steal and one blocked shot. He played a career-high 32 minutes.
THE FRESHMEN HAVE IT: CSU's freshmen class played a key role in Thursday's (Feb. 23) victory over Detroit, combining for 37 points, 21 rebounds and nine assists. In fact, with several upperclassmen saddled with foul trouble and Jeremy Montgomery limited with cramps, head coach Gary Waters went with four freshmen - Charlie Lee, Ike Nwamu, Marlin Mason and Anton Grady - along with junior Tim Kamczyc, for a four minute stretch in the second half.
GRADY NETS CAREER HIGH: Anton Grady scored a career-high 23 points on Feb. 21 at Green Bay, hitting 10-of-15 from the field. Grady, whose old career-high was 18 at Butler (Feb. 11), added eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. His 23-point effort was the highest scoring output by a CSU freshman since J'Nathan Bullock had 25 against UIC (2/22/06).
FROM REDSHIRT TO STARTER: Freshman Marlin Mason has had quite a seven weeks. Slated to redshirt this year, Mason had it taken off when he was pressed into action due to injuries 15 games into the season. In 16 games since, he has averaged 3.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game and has been thrust into the starting lineup twice (Feb. 18 vs. Drexel and Feb. 23 vs. Detroit).
STARTING LINEUPS: When Marlin Mason started against Drexel (Feb. 18), he became the ninth different player to start a game for the Vikings this year. In fact, the combination of Jeremy Montgomery, Trey Harmon, Mason, Tim Kamczyc and Aaron Pogue was the fifth different starting lineup combination used by CSU this year. A season ago, the Vikings were one of just three Division I teams to use the same starting lineup for every game (Norris Cole, Montgomery, Harmon, Kamczyc and Pogue started all 36 games).
LINEUP AT GREEN BAY MAKES IT SIX: The Vikings used their sixth different starting lineup of the season on Feb. 21 at Green Bay when Charlie Lee joined Jeremy Montgomery, Trey Harmon, Tim Kamczyc and Aaron Pogue in the lineup.
BETTER THAN 55 PERCENT: Tim Kamczyc and Anton Grady are both on pace to shoot better than 55-percent from the field this year. Kamczyc is shooting .589 (106-180), which is currently the third best percentage in school history, while Grady is at .565 (109-193), the seventh best percentage in CSU history. The duo would be the third set of teammates to shoot 55-percent or better from the field in the same season, joining Eric Mudd (.571) and Clinton Smith (.565) in 1985-86 and Darren Tillis (.568) and Mike Sweeney (.552) in 1980-81.
WATERS COACHES 500th GAME: Head coach Gary Waters coached his 500th career game on Feb. 3 at Loyola. The 16-year veteran is 293-215 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 122-80 in six years at Cleveland State. He has led nine of his teams to postseason play.
... AND COACHES #200 AT CSU: The Feb. 21 contest at Green Bay was the 200th career game at Cleveland State for Gary Waters, allowing him to become the fourth coach in CSU history to coach 200 career games. Waters joined Ray Dieringer (360), Kevin Mackey (211) and Rollie Massimino (203) and has a 122-80 record at CSU, trailing only Dieringer (149) and Mackey (142) for most wins in school history.
FREE TOSSES: One quick look at CSU's statistics and you'll see the biggest difference is at the free throw line where CSU's opponents have made more free throws (486-of-738) than the Vikings have attempted (330-of-465). In fact, the Vikings have taken more free throws than their opposition in just four of 31 games this year, while opponents have taken at least 10 more free throws than CSU in 15 games.
KEEP `EM UNDER 50: The 70-42 win at UIC (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 teams share the school record, holding 11 opponents to 50 points or less. CSU is second in the league and 10th in the nation in scoring defense (58.7).
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).
DIALED IN FROM DISTANCE: Cleveland State has hit 206 three-pointers this year, the third most in a season in program history. This year's squad is just the third team in CSU history to hit 200 three-pointers in a season, joining the 2010-11 squad (237) and 2009-10 team (214).
434 AND COUNTING: With eight three-pointers against Wright State (Feb. 25) the Vikings extended their school-record streak to 434 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.
OH FOR THREE: CSU held Butler without a three-point field goal in the Feb. 11 loss (0-of-8). It was the 15th time in CSU history that a team failed to make a three-pointer against the Vikings, including the second time this year. CSU 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.
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 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 a Division I team this year. CSU was 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).
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: CSU committed a season-low six turnovers in Saturday's (Feb. 18) game vs. Drexel, tied for the third fewest turnovers in a game in school history. The school-record for fewest turnovers in a game is four against South Florida (12/22/10). There have been five games in CSU history with five turnovers and six games with six miscues.
POGUE GRABS 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 Saturday's semifinal game with 530 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.
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.
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.
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 (+6.8), steals (8.5) and scoring defense (59.5) and turnover margin (+2.9) and second in field goal defense (.412) and three-point field goal defense (.320). The Vikings have held 23 of their 31 opponents to under 45-percent shooting from the field.
FIVE OR LESS: The 71-67 loss at Green Bay (Feb. 21) marked the third time this year that CSU lost a game by five points or less, dropping the Vikings to 7-3 in those contests.The Vikings have won four games on their final offensive possession this season. They include...
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 28th in the nation with a +2.9 turnover margin. While CSU's turnovers are up from last year to 13.6 per game (CSU averaged 11.4 last year), the Vikings are turning teams over an average of 16.5 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 Saturday, he will be playing in his 138th 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 88th straight start. With a minimum one game left, Montgomery has a chance to break Norris Cole's school-record of 140 straight games played.
... SO DOES HARMON: Trey Harmon will take the floor for the 123rd time in his career on Saturday, tied for the fifth most games played in CSU history. He is just the eighth player in CSU history to play in 120 or more career games.
NO EXTRA TIME NEEDED: Saturday's game against Wright State extended CSU's school-record streak of consecutive games without an overtime contest to 166. 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 109-57 since.
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 rank second in the league and with 13.8 assists per game.
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.
60 PERCENT: CSU shot .630 (29-46) from the field in the Feb. 25 win over Wright State, the fourth time that CSU shot better than 60-percent this year. It was also the 10th time this year that the Vikings shot better than 50-percent from the field in a game with CSU going 9-1 in those contests.
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.
THIS `N THAT: Notes from the early part of the season...
Trey Harmon was selected to the preseason All-Horizon League first team, while CSU was tabbed to finish third in the preseason poll.
UP NEXT: Should CSU win its semifinal game, the Vikings would play in the Horizon League Championship on Tuesday (March 6) at 9:00 p.m. The game will be played at the top remaining seed and be broadcast live on ESPN.
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