GAME NOTES (PDF)
DURHAM, N.H. – The fifth-seeded University of New Hampshire men's basketball team is gearing up for its quarterfinal-round contest against fourth-seeded Albany at the 2012 America East Basketball Championship presented by Newman's Own at the University of Hartford's Chase Family Arena on Saturday, March 3 (2:15 p.m.).
Links to video, audio, as well as live stats, will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com. The game will also be broadcast on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network and will be streaming live at www.AmericaEast.com.
For more information on how to purchase tickets visit americaeast.com or call Hartford's Ticket Office, which is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 860-768-HAWK(4295).
Fans who can't make it to Hartford will still be able to catch all the action. The first round and quarterfinal contests will be streamed live in HD on America East All-Access at www.AmericaEast.com for free. Partnering with Pack Network, America East will also provide live video streaming for iPhones. The semifinals will air live on ESPN3, as well as on WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE. ESPN2 will televise the championship game nationally on March 10.
The winner of the UNH and Albany quarterfinal matchup will meet the winner of the game between top-seeded Stony Brook and No. 9 Binghamton/No. 8 UMBC on Sunday, March 4 (5:02 p.m.).
THE MATCHUP (ALBANY)
The Wildcats and Great Danes meet for the 26th time in their relatively young conference rivalry, with Albany holding a slight edge in the all-time series, 13-12. The series has shifted control over the years, with UNH currently having won seven of the last 10 meetings, after Albany had won four in a row. Prior to that run, UNH had won four of six after the Great Danes had been victorious in four of the first five. The Wildcats have won four straight and five of the last six at home against Albany, and have split with the Great Danes over the last eight at SEFCU Arena. The 'Cats have also recorded three regular-season sweeps in the past six years. Albany took the first game in the series this season, earning an 86-63 victory at SEFCU Arena on Jan. 11. Patrick Konan and Brian Benson registered 13 and 12 points, respectively, to lead UNH. Konan was tabbed the America East Player of the Game for New Hampshire, rounding out the evening with eight boards, one steal and one assist. He shot 5 of 10 from the floor and 3 of 5 from deep in the contest. Benson finished with 12 points on 4 of 5 shooting, knocking down 2 of 3 from beyond the arc while grabbing six rebounds. Alvin Abreu was the only other Wildcat to score in double-digits, notching 11 points while registering three helpers and two boards. Mike Black collected player of the game honors for Albany, finishing with 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists. New Hampshire avenged the early conference loss with a 69-64 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium on Feb. 9. Benson notched his fourth career double-double by scoring a career-high 19 points and pulling down 12 rebounds to propel the 'Cats to victory.
Albany finished out the regular-season with a win over Binghamton, 74-63, locking up the No. 4 seed for the America East Championship ... Jacob Iati has relished the opportunity of getting more playing time having scored a career-high 22 points versus Binghamton ... In the last two games Iati has started he has scored 20-plus points for the first time in his career ... In the past three games he has started, the junior guard has hit 14 three-pointers which is one more than he hit all of last season in 29 games played ... He recently picked up America East Player of Week honors for the first time in his career on Monday ... Gerardo Suero returned to action against Binghamton and recorded his second career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 10 of 12 from the free-throw line ... He leads the league in scoring with an average of 21.7 points per game ... He also leads the team in rebounds (5.7 rpg) and steals (1.2 spg) ... Mike Black, the only Great Dane to have started all 31 games, tallied 21 points and three assists in the win over Binghamton ... The Great Danes finished above .500 (18-13) for the first time in five seasons and are currently riding a two-game winning streak heading into the conference tournament.
THE MATCHUP (BINGHAMTON)
If the Wildcats and Bearcats meet it would be for just the 24th time in their short conference rivalry. Binghamton leads the all-time series, 15-8, winning 11 of the last 16 matchups, including eight of 12. Binghamton is also 8-3 at Lundholm Gymnasium, having won eight of the last nine there, as well. On the road, the Wildcats are losing the series, 6-5, but have been victorious in five of their past nine contests at the Events Center. New Hampshire took control of the series this year, earning victories in both matchups. The Wildcats claimed a 64-49 victory in the first meeting of the year, as Chandler Rhoads and Ferg Myrick poured in 19 and 18 points, respectively, at the Events Center on Jan. 22. Rhoads collected America East Player of the Game honors, adding four boards and one assist to his line. He finished the afternoon shooting 6-for-9 from the floor, 3-for-6 from deep and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Robert Mansell was named player of the game for Binghamton, registering 19 points and seven rebounds. Myrick's point total was a season high and just three points shy of his career best mark. He also tallied eight rebounds and two helpers. Alvin Abreu was the only other Wildcat to score in double-figures with 12 points to go along with three assists, two boards and two steals. In the most recent meeting, Abreu earned his second career double-double registering a team-high 17 points to go along with a career-best 12 rebounds, propelling the 'Cats to a 58-49 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium on Feb. 26.
Binghamton went 1-2 in its most recent week of action ... The Bearcats snapped their winless streak with an inspired 57-53 win over then league-leading Vermont at the Events Center ... The Bearcats shot 45 percent, built a 10-point halftime lead and hung on down the stretch against the Catamounts ... Binghamton then pushed Albany to the closing minutes in an 11-point loss two nights later and closed out the regular season with an 11-point setback at New Hampshire ... The team played most of the second half of the Albany game and the entire UNH game without its leading scorer, sophomore guard Robert Mansell, who went down with an injury ... Freshman forward Ben Dickinson produced a double-double against Vermont and averaged 15.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in the three games ... Junior guard Jimmy Gray sealed the win over the Catamounts by making two free throws in the closing seconds ... Binghamton will carry the No. 9 seed into the America East tournament and meet No. 8 UMBC for the second straight year. The Bearcats will hope to replicate last year's first-round game when they drilled a tournament record 17 three-pointers en route to a 91-65 win.
THE MATCHUP (UMBC)
If the Wildcats and Retrievers meet it would be for the 20th time in their short conference rivalry. UNH leads the all-time series, 10-8, claiming victories in five of the last eight meetings at Lundholm Gymnasium. After UNH began the series with three straight wins at RAC Arena, the Retrievers came back with a three-game win streak of their own in the building until UNH was victorious there in each of the last three seasons. The two squads split the series this year, with the Retrievers grabbing the conference opener, 82-76, at Lundholm Gymnasium on Jan. 2. Konan was tabbed the America East Player of the Game for New Hampshire, finishing the contest with a career-high 20 points to pace five players in double figures. He also added five boards, one assist and one block. He shot 7 of 11 from the field, 2 of 4 from behind the arc and 4 of 4 from the charity stripe. Chandler Rhoads registered 15 points, four boards and three assists in 40 minutes. Alvin Abreu added 12 points, seven rebounds, three steals and one assist. Ferg Myrick and Jordon Bronner rounded out UNH's double-digit scorers, as the duo chipped in with 10 points apiece. Bronner also added five assists. Chase Plummer claimed America East Player of the Game honors for UMBC, netting a game-high 23 points while adding seven rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block. UNH avenged the loss with a 66-60 win at the RAC Arena on Feb. 12. Brian Benson and Patrick Konan both registered double-doubles to lead the Wildcats to victory. Benson was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, posting a team-high 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds and two blocks. Konan earned his second double-double of his career, notching 15 points and 11 boards in the win.
UMBC dropped league contests to Boston University and Vermont to conclude the regular season ... Forward Chase Plummer has currently scored the second-most points for any sophomore in UMBC's 26-year Division I history with 429 ... Peter Mulligan scored 447 in the 2001-02 campaign ... Plummer also became the fifth player (7th occurance) in 26 seasons to post 400 points and 200 rebounds in a season ... His 113 free throws made are now sixth in UMBC's Division I era ... Plummer's streak of 11 consecutive games in double figures ended when he recorded eight at Vermont on Feb. 25 ... He did not get to the free throw line as UMBC converted just 3 of 6 in the contest ... Junior guard Brian Neller hit five 3-pointers versus the Catamounts, hitting five for the first time since the Jan. 2 league opener at UNH... He currently has 77 treys on the year, the sixth-best single-season figure in UMBC's Division I history ... UMBC will meet Binghamton in the first round of the America East Tournament on Thursday ... Despite an opening round loss to Binghamton last season, UMBC has an 8-7 all-time America East Tournament record ... The Retrievers went five consecutive years with at least one victory in postseason play before a quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Vermont in 2010.
The Wildcats have won six of their last eight games entering the playoffs. Included in that stretch is a four-game winning streak, the program's longest since the 2005-06 campaign when the 'Cats collected victories against Hartford (Jan. 8), UMBC (Jan. 11), Stony Brook (Jan. 14) and Dartmouth (Jan. 16). During the eight-game slate, senior Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) has paced the 'Cats with 16.0 points per game while junior forward Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) has pitched in 12.0 points per game.
In three career playoff games, senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) is averaging 12.6 points per game. His best post-season performance came in the 2008 America East quarterfinals against Hartford when he poured in 16 points and grabbed five rebounds.
TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE
Alvin Abreu recorded his second career double-double in the regular-season finale against Binghamton (Feb. 26). He scored 17 points and collected 12 rebounds on his way to earning America East Player of the Game honors, adding three assists and two steals to his line. He shot 7 of 14 from the floor and 3 of 4 from deep in the contest. His 12 rebounds were a career high, besting his previous high of 10, which he achieved earlier this season against Hartford (Feb. 1).
NEW LOOK 'CATS
Since inserted into the starting lineup junior forward Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) is posting 12.0 points, 4.4 boards, 1.5 steals, 1.3 assists and 1.1 blocks per game and the Wildcats are 6-2. He has scored in double-digits in five of the last seven games, including three of the last four.
Over the course of the last six games senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) has been one of the most consistent contributors in the Wildcat lineup, posting 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He opened the stretch posting back-to-back double-doubles against Albany (Feb. 9; 19 pts, 12 rbs) and UMBC (Feb. 12; 16 pts, 10 rbs). Benson has scored in double-digits in two straight games, including four of the last six contests.
CHANGE OF PACE
Since changing the starting lineup eight games ago, the Wildcats have been one of the most productive defensive units in the conference, giving up just 58.0 points per game, while allowing opponents to shoot 38.0 percent (154-405) from the floor and 21.7 percent (30-138) from beyond the arc.
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) recently moved into eighth place all-time in program history in career rebounds (629), passing Chris Brown, who finished with 613 boards. Benson has posted 13 double-digit rebounding games in his career, including seven contests this year.
DOUBLE OR NOTHING
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) both registered double-doubles against UMBC (Feb.12), marking the first time this season multiple 'Cats have achieved this feat in the same game. Benson was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, posting a team-high 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds and two blocks. He shot 6-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. It is his second straight game with a double-double. He has registered five double-doubles and 13 double-digit rebounding performances in his career. Konan earns his second double-double of his career, notching 15 points and 11 boards in 38 minutes. It is the third time in his career he has corralled 10-plus rebounds in a game.
PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES
Senior Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) ranks fifth in the America East in field goal percentage with a shooting clip of .524 (89-170). Since the start of conference play he has been on a tear, shooting 55.8 percent (53-95) from the floor, a mark that ranks third in the league. Last season the center shot 39.4 percent (63-160) from the field, including a .404 mark in conference play.
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) recently surpassed Wayne Morrison (1,501) to rank third all-time in scoring in program history with 1,575 points. He needs just 15 points to tie Robin Dixson's mark of 1,590 points and rank second all-time. He ranks first on the team and seventh in the league in scoring, posting 13.7 points per game.
Junior forward Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) registered season highs in minutes (35), points (19), field goals (7), assists (4), three-point field goals (2) and blocks (1) against Albany (Feb. 9). His impressive scoring total was just two points shy of his career high. He has scored in double-figures 11 times this season.
UNH head coach Bill Herrion is currently ranks second all-time in America East career wins with 150 victories as bench boss during league action. Herrion trails just Dennis Wolff (152) for the all-time mark in coaching victories in league history. He has posted an impressive 150-91 record during conference play in 15 seasons on the sidelines.
SHUT IT DOWN
New Hampshire came up with an impressive defensive performance against Stony Brook (Feb. 6), posting its best defensive field goal percentage since the start of conference play, holding the Seawolves to a .311 shooting clip (14-45) from the floor. It was Stony Brook's worst shooting performance since league play began, as the Wildcats also held the Seawolves to their second-lowest 3-point field goal percentage of the season with a .188 clip (3-16) from downtown.
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) earned his first career double-double versus Hartford (Feb. 1), posting 20 points and 10 rebounds to propel the Wildcats to a 52-51 victory over the Hawks at Lundholm Gymnasium. Abreu was tabbed the America East Player of the Game in the contest, achieving season highs in minutes played (40), assists (4) and 3-point field goals (4).
ON THE DEFENSIVE
New Hampshire has maintained its reputation as one of the top defensive programs in the league this season, ranking first in defensive 3-point field goal percentage (.291; 112-385) and third in scoring defense (62.8 ppg). The Wildcats also rank fifth in the conference in defensive field goal percentage, holding opponents to a .420 shooting clip (612-1456) from the floor.
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) ranks fifth all-time in program history in free throws made (295), recently passing Al McClain and Mike Christensen, who both finished their UNH careers with 293. Abreu owns a .743 career shooting clip (295-397) from the charity stripe, posting his personal best single-season mark during the 2007-08 campaign when he shot 81.8 percent (63-77) from the line.
Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) finished with 12 points against Vermont (Jan. 29), shooting a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe, tying a team-best single-game total this season. Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) was the last Wildcat to sink double-digit free throws in a game when he knocked down 10-of-12 attempts from the line against Vermont on Jan. 14.
MAKE IT FOUR
Junior guard Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) scored in double-digits for the fourth straight game when he notched 14 points against Hartford (Feb. 1). He led the team in scoring in the three prior outings, registering 16 (Vermont; Jan. 29), 17 (Maine; Jan. 25) and 19 points (Binghamton; Jan. 22), respectively. Rhoads has led the team in scoring six times and has reached double-figures in 16 contests this season.
FROM LONG RANGE
New Hampshire knocked down a season-best 12 treys against Maine (Jan. 25), posting a .429 shooting clip (12-28) from long range in the contest. UNH ranks first in the league in 3-point field goals made, sinking 207 field goals from the beyond the arc.
New Hampshire has shot over 40 percent in nine of the last 14 outings; most recently posting a shooting clip of .434 (23-53) against Boston University (Feb. 15). Over the 14-game span the 'Cats shot over 40 percent in four straight games, representing their longest streak of the season. UNH had its best outing versus the Great Danes when the 'Cats shot 48.1 percent (26-54) from the floor, including a .421 clip (8-19) from beyond the arc.
New Hampshire shot over 40 percent from the floor and beyond the arc in back-to-back games for the first time this season after posting a shooting clip of .476 (20-42) from the field and a .409 (9-22) clip from deep against Stony Brook (Jan. 16). The Wildcats were equally impressive in the game prior against Vermont (Jan. 14), shooting 46 percent (23-50) from the floor and 45.5 percent (10-22) from 3-point land.
MAKING IT COUNT
Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) knocked down 10 of 12 shots from the free throw line, finishing with 12 points to help propel the Wildcats to a 72-64 victory over Vermont (Jan. 14). Abreu's 10 made free throws marked the highest single-game total posted by any Wildcat this season and also tied a career high for the senior captain. The last time he reached this impressive mark came against Colgate on Dec. 30, 2009.
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) has scored in double-digits in seven of the last eight contests. He has notched double-figures in all but six games this season and leads the Wildcats with an average of 13.7 points per game this season, shooting 40.5 percent (139-343) from the floor, as he is on pace to finish with his best single-season field goal percentage of his career.
PUTTING IN THEIR TIME
Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 1st) and Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 2nd) rank in the top 10 in the America East in minutes played this season. Rhoads leads the duo with an average of 36.5 minutes per game while Abreu has logged 35.6 minutes per contest.
Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) scored a career-high 20 points against UMBC (Jan. 2), as he was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, finishing the contest with five boards, one assist and one block. He shot 7-of-11 from the field, 2-of-4 from behind the arc and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Konan has scored in double figures 13 times this season.
For the first time this season five Wildcats scored in double-figures, as Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) led the way with a career-high 20 points against UMBC (Jan. 2). The forward shot 7-of-11 from the field, 2-of-4 from behind the arc and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe in the contest. Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 15), Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 12), Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 10) and Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; 10) rounded out UNH's double-digit scorers.
Sophomore Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) propelled the Wildcats to a 71-64 victory over Colgate (Dec. 31), setting career highs in points (24), free throws made (8), field goals (7) and 3-point field goals (2). The point guard was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, finishing the afternoon with three boards and a pair of steals. He shot a solid 7-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-3 from deep while knocking down 8-of-9 shots from the stripe.
TAKING THE HIGH RHOAD
Junior Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) scored 12 of his team-leading 16 points in the second half of play against Sacred Heart (Dec. 29), achieving the mark on the back of 9-of-12 shooting from the charity stripe, matching a career high in free throws made. The last time he knocked down nine shots at the line came last season against Albany (Feb. 2) when he led UNH to a 62-59 victory at Lundholm Gymnasium after posting 15 points against the Great Danes.
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) recently moved into fourth place all-time in program history in field goals made (532). He currently leads the Wildcats with 139 field goals this season, shooting 40.5 percent (139-343) from the floor. Abreu notched a career-high 141 field goals during the 2009-10 campaign, finishing the season with a .358 shooting clip (141-394).
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) recently moved into first place all-time in program history in career minutes played (3,840). This season he ranks second in the league in minutes played (997), averaging 35.6 minutes per game. He logged his most time on the hardwood during the 2009-10 campaign, registering 1000 minutes while averaging 33.3 minutes per contest. Additionally, he ranks first all-time in games played, appearing in 117 contests in his UNH career.
Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) and senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) rank sixth (.377; 40-106) and eighth (.367; 54-147) in the America East in 3-point field goal percentage, respectively. Since the start of conference play Abreu is shooting 38.9 percent (35-90) while Konan has posted a .365 clip (23-63) from beyond the arc.
Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) and Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) both rank among the league leaders in rebounds, collecting 8.4 (1st) and 5.8 (10th) boards per game, respectively. Benson has turned in seven double-digit rebounding performances this season while Konan has registered three.
FOUR OF A KIND
Four Wildcats have scored in double-figures in four games this season, most recently when Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 15), Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.; 14), Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 13) and Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 13) achieved the milestone against Maine (Feb. 22). Prior to that outing the last time UNH reached the mark was against Brown (Nov. 7), as Abreu (18), Rhoads (16), Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.; 11) and Myrick (10) finished in double-digits.
KONAN THE BARBARIAN
Sophomore forward Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) posted 13 points and a career-best 11 rebounds, earning his first career double-double versus Holy Cross (Dec. 3). Konan, who was tabbed the America East Player of the Game for New Hampshire, finished the contest 4-for-10 from the field, including 2-for-5 from deep and 3-for-3 from the charity stripe in the contest.
Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.; 19), Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.; 19), and Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.; 16) all tallied double-digits against Towson (Feb. 18). The last time three 'Cats achieved this feat was against Boston University (Feb. 15) when Myrick (15), Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.; 10) and Rhoads (10) scored in double-figures.
Senior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) notched three treys against Binghamton (Feb. 26) and currently ranks fourth all-time in career 3-point field goals made with 216. The senior captain recently passed Tommy MacDonald, who finished his UNH career with 197 trifectas. Abreu leads the squad with 54 3-pointers this season, posting a .367 clip from deep. He posted his highest single-season 3-pointer total during the 2007-08 campaign with 62 treys, a mark that ranks 10th all-time in program history.
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) tallied one block versus Towson (Feb. 18) and currently ranks second on the program's all-time blocks list with 79. Benson leads UNH with 25 blocks (0.9 bpg) this season, ranking fourth in the America East. He ended last season ranking fifth in the league in shots blocked, notching 1.1 per game.
Junior guard Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) matched his career high with 20 points against Boston College (Nov. 14). He rounded out his night shooting 6-of-14 from the floor, including 2-of-6 from 3-point distance, and cashed in on 6-of-10 free throw attempts. He chipped in with five rebounds and an assist in 37 minutes. The last time Rhoads scored 20 points in a game was against Vermont (Jan. 20, 2011), as he finished the contest 5-for-15 from the field, 4-for-7 from deep and 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. He capped off last season collecting America East All-Defensive Team honors after starting in all 30 games. The versatile guard was equally impressive offensively, leading the team in assists (85) and ranking second in points (273).
Senior center Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) notched his third career double-double, tallying 17 points and 16 rebounds against Suffolk (Nov. 11). The captain earned a pair of double-doubles last season, with his most recent coming against Hartford (Feb. 27) when he registered 16 points and 15 boards. He finished the 2010-11 campaign pulling in double-digit rebounds in eight games while scoring in double-figures in three outings.
The Wildcats shot an impressive 53.2 percent (33-62) from the field and 50 percent (9-18) from deep against Suffolk (Nov. 11). New Hampshire was especially impressive in the first half of the contest, registering 51 points on 64.7 percent (22-34) shooting from the field and 66.7 percent (6-9) shooting from 3-point range. The last time UNH shot above 50 percent in both categories was last season against UMBC (Jan. 23) when the 'Cats earned an 80-60 victory over the Retrievers. New Hampshire finished the contest with a shooting clip of .510 from the field and .519 from beyond the arc.
TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into Saturday's contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 611 consecutive games, a streak that spans 21 years. The last time the 'Cats did not tally a trey was in a 59-47 loss to Dartmouth College on Jan. 8, 1991, when they were 0-for-3 from behind the arc. The NCAA record is currently 831 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.
UNH recently announced that two student-athletes have committed to attend UNH and play for the Wildcat basketball program next fall. Frank Okeke, a 6-foot-6-inch, 220-pound forward from DeSoto, Texas, joins the Wildcats after posting 9.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a junior at DeSoto High School. His production in the frontcourt was key to DeSoto's success in 2010-11, as the Eagles were ranked No. 19 in the county while posting a 34-4 record. Additionally, DeSoto was tabbed 5A Regional II District Champions and McDonald's Invitational Gold Division Champions last season. Okeke, who also played for the highly touted Deron Williams Elite AAU program, was also part of the DeSoto squad that was named a Texas 5A Regional Finalist in 2011. Chris Orozco, a 6-foot-3-inch, 175-pound combo guard from Tenafly, N.J., joins the UNH basketball program after spending the last three years with Tenafly High School. The two-time All-Bergen selection is closing in on becoming just the 11th Bergen boy to reach the 2000-career-point mark after leading the Tigers to 58 wins over the course of the last three seasons. Last year he was tabbed a Second-Team All-Group 3 and First-Team All-Bergen County for The Star-Ledger honoree, registering 21.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. He capped off his junior campaign leading the Tigers to a 20-4 record while winning the Big North Patriot Division title.
THE POLL IS IN
New Hampshire (39 points) was picked fifth in the America East Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Wildcats were tabbed to finish behind Boston U. (62), Stony Brook (56), Vermont (51) and Albany (42). The Terriers, who have topped the poll each of the last five years, garnered six first-place votes, while Stony Brook claimed the remaining three votes. Maine (32) was tabbed sixth, while Hartford (18), UMBC (18) and Binghamton (11) round out the rest of the poll.
By defeating Holy Cross, 55-52, Nov. 20, 2010 head coach Bill Herrion recorded his 61st victory at UNH and moved into fourth on the school's all-time wins list, passing Bill Olsen, who won 60 games in six seasons from 1960-66. Herrion now trails only Gerry Friel (188), William Cowell (119), and Henry Swasey (108) in the record books. Herrion has compiled 83 wins in stint as bench boss for the Wildcats.
DEMPSEY ON COLLEGE CHALKTALK
Associate Head Coach Ken Dempsey will be blogging at various points of the season on College Chalktalk. To follow along with Dempsey's entries, visit http://collegechalktalk.com/coachesDiary/new_hampshire/2011-12/index.
UNH HOOPS ON WILDCATS.TV
UNH and Pack Network have once again partnered to provide online video streaming of UNH athletics for the upcoming 2011-12 season with UNHwildcats.Tv. Wildcat fans are encouraged to buy the "Wildcat All-Access Pass" which is an annual subscription for $99.95 that provides all the live coverage of UNH home athletic events. Fans can also purchase home events on a per game basis of $9.95.
WILDCAT BASKETBALL ON THE AIR
In the summer of 1999, the University of New Hampshire Athletic Department formed the "UNH Sports Network" — the largest network ever to broadcast UNH sporting events. Wildcats Sports Properties has added WGIN-AM 930 (Rochester) and WQSO-FM 96.7 (Portsmouth) as flagship stations on the Wildcat Sports Network, joining WGIR-AM 610 (Manchester), which was added in 2008. All three stations are part of the Clear Channel family. These three aforementioned stations – along with WUVR-AM 1490 (Lebanon), WNTK-FM 99.7 (New London) and WCNL-AM 1010 (Newport) – will carry all UNH football and men's hockey broadcasts, a select number of men's and women's basketball and women's hockey broadcasts, as well as "Wildcat Sports Today", a three-minute daily update concerning UNH athletics. The games can also be heard on the internet at www.UNHWildcats.com, through a service from Stretch Internet. Stretch has also partnered with UNH to develop a podcast page for UNH fans to listen to archived broadcasts. Veteran play-by-play man Jim Jeannotte will return for his 31st year broadcasting UNH men's basketball. Jeannotte will be joined by color analyst Mike Murphy, who enters his 12th season calling Wildcat men's hoop.
WILDCAT BASKETBALL STREAMING LIVE
UNHWildcats.com, via Stretch Internet Broadcast, will carry 14 UNH men's basketball home games, as well as one road contest this season. If you cannot attend Wildcat basketball, you can still tune into the game from anywhere you can gain access to the internet. Fans can get to the UNH men's basketball broadcast site by going to the men's basketball schedule page at www.UNHWildcats.com.
LAST TIME OUT
Alvin Abreu earned his second career double-double registering a team-high 17 points to go along with a career-best 12 rebounds, propelling the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team to a 58-49 victory over Binghamton University at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Abreu was tabbed the America East Player of the Game, adding three assists and two steals to his line. He shot 7 of 14 from the floor and 3 of 4 from deep in the contest.
Jimmy Gray was selected as the player of the game for Binghamton, finishing with a game-high 20 points to go along with five boards, four steals and two helpers.
Brian Benson chipped in with 15 points, eight rebounds and one steal in 37 minutes.
New Hampshire opened the contest on a 19-5 run on the back of Benson, who poured in eight points on a stretch that lasted 6:38. The 'Cats polished off the run with seven unanswered, as Abreu dropped in a pair of layups to cap things off with 12:22 remaining in the first frame.
Ben Dickinson canned a jumper and Omar Richards added a pair of baskets to kick off a 9-3 scoring spurt by the Bearcats that cut the deficit down to eight, 22-14, at 6:41.
Ferg Myrick would increase the lead to double-digits on a pair of free throws, but Gray sank a jumper and hit 1 of 2 shots from the free throw line, as Binghamton trimmed the score to 24-17.
The 'Cats closed out the stanza on a high note, outscoring the Bearcats 7-2 the rest of the way with Benson once again fueling the offense, netting a 3-pointer and a layup to close out the stretch. He finished the first half with 13 points, sending UNH into the locker room with a 31-19 edge.
Patrick Konan kicked off the second frame with a pair of free throws, igniting a 12-6 scoring run that gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the contest, 43-26, with 10:41 left in regulation.
Abreu answered the call, halting the run with a three that set off a 12-5 run to push the advantage back up to 17, 57-40, with 1:59 on the clock. The senior co-captain put the 'Cats on his back with seven points during the stretch, including baskets on back-to-back possessions to close out the run.