Dec. 7, 2011
Contact: Greg Murphy
SETTING THE SCENE: Cleveland State concludes its current seven game road swing when the Vikings travel to Robert Morris for a 7:00 p.m. contest on Thursday (Dec. 8). CSU, which has gone 5-1 on its current roadtrip and is 5-0 in true road games this season, enters the contest at 8-1 overall after winning league games at Wright State (45-43) and Detroit (66-61) last weekend. Robert Morris is 7-2 overall following a 64-60 win over Duquesne on Tuesday (Dec. 6). This will be the 12th all-time meeting between the two schools with RMU holding a 6-5 advantage in the series. CSU won last year's meeting in Cleveland, 58-53, snapping a three game win streak by the Colonials.
PREVIEWING THE VIKINGS: Sixth-year head coach Gary Waters is combining an experienced group of upperclassmen with one of the most talented freshman classes in school history as the Vikings set out to win a second straight Horizon League title. The strength of the team is at the guards where seniors Trey Harmon and Jeremy Montgomery return after starting all 36 games last season. They are joined in the backcourt by freshmen Sebastian Douglas and Charlie Lee. Senior D'Aundray Brown returns to the lineup after missing last season with a finger injury to man the small forward spot with freshmen Marlin Mason and Ike Nwamu ready to step in and provide minutes. Senior Aaron Pogue returns as the starting center with junior Tim Kamczyc back at the power forward slot. Sophomores Devon Long and Luda Ndaye and freshman Anton Grady add depth to the frontcourt.
IN THE POLLS: With an 8-1 mark to start the season, Cleveland State has received recognition in the national polls for the fourth straight week. The Vikings earned nine points in the Associated Press Top-25 to check in 35th overall (10th among Others Receiving Votes). In addition, the Vikings received three votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, good for 41st overall in the rankings (16th among Others Receiving Votes).
VIKINGS STAY AT #5 IN MID-MAJOR POLL: Cleveland State remained at No. 5 for the second straight week in the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top 25 poll that was released on Monday (Dec. 5) afternoon. The Vikings received 618 votes. Creighton moved up to the No. 1 spot with 28 first place votes and 772 points and was followed by Harvard (730 points, 1 first place vote), Iona (684), Gonzaga (676 points, 1 first place vote) and Cleveland State.. Last season, CSU began the season ranked 25th in the poll before working its way up to the No. 1 ranking on Dec. 6 where CSU stayed for five weeks.
CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY: Saturday's home game against Akron is being dubbed "Championship Saturday" as the Vikings will honor three Horizon League championship squads from the 2010-11 season. First up will be the men's basketball team which will raise the 2011 Horizon League Championship and 2011 NIT banners to the rafters. At the under 12 minute media timeout in the first half, the men's golf team will be honored for capturing the 2011 Horizon League title. The 2011 Horizon League men's tennis team will be honored at the under 12 minute media timeout in the second half.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?: Quite frankly, he can play defense. A member of the 2010 Horizon League All-Defense team, Brown has quickly shown that he is one of the top defensive players in the league, ranking first in the league and second in the nation in steals (3.4 spg; 31 total). A deeper look into Brown's defensive efforts shows that he has shut down the top scorers on several teams this year, including the following...
PLAYER (SCHOOL) FG -FGA Points PPG at Time of Game
FUTURE CSU HOOPS LUNCHEONS: The first of four CSU Hoops Luncheons took place on Nov. 14 with Viking basketball fans having the opportunity to get updates from CSU basketball head coaches Gary Waters and Kate Peterson Abiad throughout the 2011-12 season. Hosted by Munch Bishop of WKNR, the luncheons begin at 11:30 a.m. on the fifth floor Viking Loge of the Wolstein Center. Future luncheons will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 14, Tuesday, Jan. 17 and Monday, Feb. 13. Cost of admission is $12 with a reservation or $15 at the door and includes a buffet luncheon and beverages. Tables for eight can also be reserved for $96.00. Reservations can be made by calling (216) 687-5119.
VIKINGS DON'T GIVE UP "3": Cleveland State is ranked first in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense, with opponents hitting just .202 (22-109) from three-point against the Vikings. Over the last seven games, opponents are shooting just 7-for-66 (.106) from long range against CSU with none of the seven teams making more than two three's in a game. In a win at Rhode Island (Nov. 27), the Vikings held the Rams to an 0-for-8 effort from three-point, the 14th time in program history that a team failed to make a three-pointer against CSU and the first since Dec. 17, 1996, against Youngstown State.
GOOD WEEKEND FOR KAMCZYC: Junior Tim Kamczyc helped the Vikings open Horizon League play with two wins over the weekend, averaging 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in wins at Wright State and Detroit. He was the only player from either team to reach double figures at WSU, scoring 12 points with seven rebounds, and came back with 12 points and five boards in Saturday's win at Detroit. It marked the first time in Kamczyc's career that he registered back-to-back double figure scoring games.
NCAA STATS: Cleveland State is well represented in the latest NCAA statistical report that was released on Monday (Dec. 5). As a team, CSU is first in the country in three-point field goal defense (.202), eighth in steals (10.2), 13th in turnover margin (5.6) and 19th in scoring defense (56.2). Individually, D'Aundray Brown is second in the nation in steals (3.4), while Anton Grady is 98th in blocked shots (1.7).
A NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER: The Vikings went 6-1 in November this year, the second best November in program history. It is topped only by last year's 8-0 mark in November, giving CSU a 14-1 mark during the last two November's.
DECEMBER NOT TOO SHABBY: After going 6-1 in December last year, the Vikings have picked up right where they left off last year, winning their first two games in December this year to improve to 8-1 over the last two December's. Including Thursday's game at Robert Morris, CSU will play six more games this month.
DEFENSE!! DEFENSE!!: Defense has always been a staple in the CSU program under head coach Gary Waters and this year has been no different. CSU has forced at least 20 turnovers in five of nine games and 19 and 17 in two others, forcing 181 total. As a team, the Vikings rank first in the Horizon League scoring defense (56.2), three point FG defense (.202), steals (10.2) and turnover margin (+5.6).
DOWN TO THE WIRE: CSU has had some exciting finishes this season with three games coming down to the final seconds. In a 67-64 win over St. Bonaventure, Trey Harmon nailed the game-winning three-pointer with 2.8 seconds left. In a 63-62 win over Boston (Nov. 25), CSU scored five points in the final six seconds to rally from a nine point second half deficit. The final two points were scored at the free throw line by Jeremy Montgomery after he stole the inbounds pass and was fouled with 3.4 seconds left. Thursday's Horizon League opener at Wright State was capped with a tip-in by D'Aundray Brown with 0.3 seconds left.
HARMON NETS 1,000th POINT: Senior Trey Harmon became the 20th player in CSU history to score 1,000 career points when he finished with five points on Dec. 1 at Wright State. He scored 135 points as a freshman, 314 as a sophomore and 474 last season.
... AND BROWN CLOSING IN: D'Aundray Brown also has the 1,000 point mark in sights. He enters Thursday's contest with 737 career points and ranks seventh in the league at 13.4 points per game this year.
MONTGOMERY ALREADY THERE: With his six points against Rio Grande on Nov. 15, Jeremy Montgomery became the 19th player in school history to score 1,000 career points. Montgomery, who has 1,072 career points, ranks 17th on the all-time scoring list at CSU. The Vikings have never had three players reach 1,000 career points in the same season.
J-MO'S DROPPING DIMES: In his first season as the primary point guard, senior Jeremy Montgomery has been performing at a high-level. The Chicago native is ranked fifht in the league with 3.4 assists per game, highlighted by a career-high tying eight dimes in a win at Rhode Island on Nov. 27.
WATERS WINS #275: Head coach Gary Waters earned his 275th career win as a head coach in his first attempt at it with Tuesday's 57-53 win at Kent State. Waters won 92 games in five years at Kent State, 79 games in five years at Rutgers and has 104 wins at CSU.
BROWN JUMPS INTO TOP 10 IN STEALS: D'Aundray Brown made five steals in two games last week, moving into 10th place on the all-time list at CSU. Brown now has 174 career steals, needing five steals to move past Mike Sweeney and into ninth place. Brown leads the Horizon League and is ranked second in the nation with 3.4 steals per game, making at least two steals in all nine games.
D'AUNDRAY'S BACK: D'Aundray Brown has returned to the CSU lineup in style. After missing last season with a finger injury, Brown has come back to average 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and a league leading 3.4 steals. He went for 18 points, eight boards and seven steals in a Nov. 11 win over Vanderbilt, earning Horizon League Player of the Week honors, and came back with a career-high 24 points, nine rebounds and seven more steals in a Nov. 15 victory over Rio Grande. The seven steals represent a career-high. Brown was a member of the 2010 Horizon League All-Defensive team, finishing the season ranked 13th in the nation in steals.
FINISHING IT IN REGULATION: Saturday's game at Detroit extended CSU's school-record streak of consecutive games without an overtime contest to 145. The last time CSU played an overtime tilt came on Nov. 17, 2007 when the Vikings topped Florida State, 69-66, at the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla. CSU is 96-49 since.
VIKINGS LIKE EXEMPTED TOURNEYS: The Ticket City Legends Classic was the sixth exempted tournament that Cleveland State has played in under head coach 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, the Vikings 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, the Vikings 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.
BLOCK PARTY: CSU blocked 11 shots in the Nov. 15 win over Rio Grande, tied for the second most blocks in a game in program history. The school record for a single game is 12 blocks, set on Nov. 11, 2003, against Central State.
GRADY LEADS THE WAY: Freshman Anton Grady did a majority of the damage with six blocked shots against Rio Grande. The six blocks were one shy of tying the CSU single game record of seven held by three players and were the most by a freshman in a game. He ranks fourth in the league in blocked shots (1.7).
CSU IN THE WOLSTEIN CENTER: CSU is in its 20th season playing in Henry Goodman Arena in the Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Center. The Vikings are 157-105 (.599) during that span, including winning records in nine of the last 13 seasons. CSU won a school-record 17 home games last year.
J-MO KEEPS PLAYING: When Jeremy Montgomery takes the floor on Thursday, he will be playing in his 116th straight game at CSU, ranking eighth on the all-time list at CSU. Montgomery, who has never missed a game in his career, is also slated to make his 65th straight start.
TRIFECTA DUO: The duo of seniors Jeremy Montgomery and Trey Harmon continue to work their way up the three-point field goals made chart at Cleveland State. Montgomery is ranked fifth in school history with 163 three-pointers, while Harmon is fifth with 149 makes.
LUCKY #7: Cleveland State's win over No. 7 Vanderbilt on Nov. 11 marked the highest ranked opponent that the Vikings have defeated in program history. It was the sixth win over a top-25 team in program history with head coach Gary Waters claiming five of them since his arrival in 2006.
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.
UP NEXT: Cleveland State returns home for the first time since Nov. 18 when the Vikings host Akron on Saturday (Dec. 10) at 2:00 p.m. in the Wolstein Center.
Jayson Gee Named Head Coach at Longwood
Award Winners Announced at Postseason Banquet
Vikings Fall at UIC in Horizon League First Round
CSU Opens Horizon League Tournament at UIC on...
Forbes Named Horizon League Newcomer of the Year
Vikings Drop Regular Season Finale at Loyola
Vikings Close Regular Season at Loyola on Saturday