DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team wraps up its five-game road stretch when it visits the University of Connecticut on Thursday, Nov. 29 at the XL Center in Hartford (7 p.m.). The game will be broadcast live on SNY and ESPN3. Links to live audio and live video, as well as live stats, will be available at www.unhwildcats.com.
UNH (2-3, 0-0 AE)
At Connecticut (5-1, 0-0 Big East)
Thursday, Nov. 29 – 7 p.m. – XL Center | Hartford, Conn.
Wildcat Sports Radio Network
Jim Jeannotte (Play by Play), Mike Murphy (Analyst)
Flagship Stations: WGIR-610 AM (Manchester)
The Wave - 96.7 FM (Portsmouth) - The Sports Animal 930 AM (Rochester)
THE MATCHUP || New Hampshire and Connecticut will meet for the 117th time in the history of the two programs. UNH has played UConn the fifth most of any opponent in its 109-year history. UConn has won sixth straight – all at home – in the series, while the Huskies have won 13 in a row at home overall. The Wildcats' last win came in a 76-72 victory at home Jan. 9, 1983, while their last win at UConn was a 76-70 triumph Jan. 3, 1974. UConn handed the Wildcats a 62-55 defeat in the most recent meeting Nov. 30, 2010 at the Hartford XL Center. Despite the loss, UNH never trailed in the first half and led by one with 8:24 left to play. Ferg Myrick led the Wildcats with 19 points, including 16 in the second half, to pair with eight rebounds.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES || Connecticut is off to a 5-1 start this season, opening with four straight wins before falling to New Mexico in the championship game of the Paradise Jam Tournament. Most recently, UConn rebounded with a 73-62 victory over Stony Brook. Niels Giffey came off the bench against the Seawolves with a career-high 15 points, while Shabazz Napier and Omar Calhoun posted 19 and 14, respectively. The three players combined to go 9 of 16 from three-point range as the team finished 10 of 22… Napier is averaging a team-high 20.8 points per game and has been the team's leading scorer in all six contests, including a 29-point outburst against Quinnipiac. The guard rarely leaves the floor, averaging 36.7 minutes per game, and is an efficient shooter from the floor (45.7, 37-81) and from 3-point range (38.2, 13-34)… Ryan Boatwright leads the team in assists (5.0) and ranks second in scoring (12.8)… Calhoun averages 10.0 points per game to round out the trio of double-digit scorers… Tyler Olander has started all six games and leads the team in rebounding (4.8) and total blocks (12)… As a team, the Huskies shoot 43.9 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from long range while averaging 30.5 rebounds per contest.
SPREADING THE WEALTH || Four different Wildcats have led the team in scoring through the first five games and all four players are currently averaging double-digits, paced by Patrick Konan (13.2), who led the way against Suffolk (16 pts) and Holy Cross (13 pts). The other three game-high performances belong to Ferg Myrick (19 pts, Dartmouth), Chris Pelcher (12 pts, Bryant) and Chandler Rhoads (21 pts, NJIT). Additionally, each of the four players has led the team in rebounding in at least one contest.
SCORE FIRST, REBOUND OFTEN || New Hampshire is 2-0 this season when scoring first and outrebounding its opponent. Coincidentally, the Wildcats are 0-3 if the opponent scores first and when they lose the battle of the boards.
AIR JORDON || Jordon Bronner has been impressive in the Wildcat backcourt as he leads the America East with a 6.0 assist/turnover ratio. While starting all five games, Bronner has dished out 18 assists with just three turnovers in 126 minutes of game action, highlighted by a career-high eight assists at NJIT.
LEAGUE LEADERS || New Hampshire leads the America East in four team categories, pacing the conference in field goal percentage defense (.357, 105-294), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.271, 26-96), blocked shots (5.0) and defensive rebounds (29.6).
BIG TIME EFFICIENCY || New Hampshire's big men have been efficient down low to start the season and currently lead the conference in field goal percentage. Chris Pelcher paces the league in the category (.657, 23-35), while Chris Matagrano is close behind in second (.615, 16-26).
RHOADS SCHOLAR || Chandler Rhoads poured in a career-best 21 points in the team's loss at NJIT. Rhoads, who was 8-of-15 from the floor in 39 minutes of action, scored 14 points in the second half including a string of seven-straight for the Wildcats. He also tied a season-high with six rebounds.
PELCHER'S CAREER DAY || Chris Pelcher enjoyed his best game to date in a Wildcat uniform against NJIT as he posted career-highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double. He shot 7-of-14 from the floor and was perfect at the charity stripe (3-3). He also registered a career-high four blocks.
KONAN THE BARBARIAN || Patrick Konan scored 11 points in the opening half against NJIT to help give the Wildcats a 35-29 lead at halftime. Konan hit three of his four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor. He has registered double-figure scoring in four of five games this season.
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS || The New Hampshire bench made an immediate impact to start the season, outscoring the opponent's bench in each of the first three games. The UNH reserves outscored their counterparts against Suffolk (42-24), Dartmouth (24-13) and Bryant (22-10).
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TAKE || Senior Ferg Myrick and junior Patrick Konan both posted double-doubles at Dartmouth (Nov. 13). Myrick recorded a game-high 19 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for his first career double-double, while Konan had 14 points and 11 boards for the third of his career. It was the first time two Wildcats notched double-doubles in the same game since Feb. 12, 2012 when Brian Benson (16 pts, 12 rbs) and Konan (15 pts, 11 rbs) accomplished the feat in a loss at UMBC last season.
TAKE THEM TO SCHOOL || UNH downed its intrastate rival Dartmouth, 72-58, to mark the team's fifth-straight win over the Big Green. Dartmouth still leads the all-time series, 31-30, but the Wildcats have won seven of the last eight meetings and 11 of the last 14.
FIVE GUYS || New Hampshire had five players reach double-figures in the season-opening win over Suffolk. Patrick Konan led the way with a game-high 16 points, followed by Chris Pelcher (14), Ferg Myrick (14), Scott Morris (13) and Chris Matagrano (10). The trio of Myrick, Morris and Matagrano came off the bench to reach the double-figure mark. It was the first time UNH had five players score double-digits in the same contest since Jan. 1, 2012, when the Wildcats fell to UMBC at home in the conference opener.
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT || Chris Pelcher netted then-career highs of 14 points and nine rebounds against Suffolk in his UNH debut. Most impressively, he was highly efficient in the process as he went 7-of-8 from the field (.875) and added three assists. Pelcher played his first two seasons at Iona and sat out the entire 2011-12 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
CRASHING THE BOARDS || New Hampshire pulled down 51 rebounds against Suffolk, marking the most in a single game since Jan. 15, 2011 when the Wildcats grabbed 54 rebounds in a double-overtime loss at Stony Brook. Chris Pelcher and Ferg Myrick led the way this time around with nine boards apiece, while 11 of 13 Wildcats snagged multiple rebounds.
TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS || UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 617 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. UNLV holds the NCAA Division I record for most consecutive games scoring a 3-point goal. Since the 3-point field goal was adopted by the NCAA in 1986-87, UNLV has converted at least one 3-pointer in all 840 games played.
HERRION CHASING HISTORY || Head coach Bill Herrion, who enters his eighth year at UNH and 22nd in America East, is the league all-time leader in championship wins (21) and ranks second in conference victories (150). Herrion is just two victories behind former Boston U. coach Dennis Wolff for the most in conference history.
DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE || The Wildcats ranked in the 80th percentile nationally in scoring defense last season, holding opponents to just 62.8 points per game, which ranked third in America East. Additionally, UNH was the best on the conference defending the 3-pointer last season as it held foes to 29.7 percent from beyond the arc, which ranked 13th nationally. Lastly, senior Chandler Rhoads earned America East Al-Defensive honors for the second straight year.
SIGNING DAY || UNH recently announced that two student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to attend UNH and play for the Wildcat basketball program next fall.
John Edwards, a 6-foot-6-inch forward from Charlotte, N.C., joins the Wildcats after playing at Brewster Academy, one of the top prep schools in the country. He averaged 5.0 points per game on a squad that went 33-1 overall en route to the National Prep Championship.
Daniel Jackson, a 6-foot, 170-pound point guard from Cedar Park, Texas, comes to UNH after playing the last three years at Vista Ridge High School. Jackson led the squad with 15.0 points per game and topped the district with 7.0 assists per contest as a junior last season. He was named first-team all-district for his efforts and also earned all-district academic honors.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN || Seniors Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.), Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) have been named captains for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
Rhoads, who also served as a captain last season, returns as one of the premier defenders in the conference after he was named to the America East All-Defensive Team for the second time in as many seasons. Rhoads also proved to be a key component on the offensive end, logging 11.2 points per game and 2.7 assists per games as a junior. Rhoads started every game for the Wildcats last season and ranked first in the league in minutes played (36.6).
Myrick enjoyed a productive junior campaign after he missed most of his sophomore season due to injury. The forward averaged 8.5 points per game and ranked second on the team with 15 blocks during the 2011-12 season. A consistent offensive player, Myrick scored double-digit points 12 times on the season, highlighted by a 19-point outburst in a victory against Towson. Myrick was named to the America East All-Rookie team as a freshman in 2009-10 after averaging 7.6 points per game.
Matagrano appeared in 26 games off the bench for the 'Cats in 2011-12, averaging 11.7 minutes per contest and 2.2 rebounds per game. Matagrano, who ranked third on the team with a .469 shooting percentage, had his best game against Holy Cross (Dec. 3) when he notched career highs in points (11) and rebounds (7).
PRESEASON COACHES' POLL || New Hampshire (34 points) was picked to finish sixth in the America East Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Wildcats were tabbed to finish behind the University of Vermont (60), Stony Brook University (58), Boston University (49), Albany (38), and the University of Maine (35). The Catamounts were predicted to win the league and received five out of eight first-place votes. Stony Brook, last year's runner-up and regular-season champion, collected the remaining four first-place votes. The University of Hartford (26) was selected seventh, followed by UMBC (15) and Binghamton (9) to round out the field.
TRAINING DAY || The Wildcats welcome three freshmen to the roster this season. Frank Okeke (DeSoto, Texas) joins the Wildcats after leading his team to a 5A Regional II District Championship. Okeke played for the Deron Williams Elite AAU program and was named to the First-Team All-District and First-Team All-Academic as a senior.
Chris Orozco (Tenafly, N.J.) was named First-Team All-League in three straight seasons prior to coming to UNH. He was also named to the First-Team All-County squad for his last two seasons at Tenafly High School.
Logan Mortenson (South Jordon, Utah) averaged 15.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game over his four year career Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper, Utah. He averaged 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a senior and was named a McDonald's All-American Nominee and an All-State Second-Team selection. Most recently, he posted 12.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last year at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy.
WILDCATS STREAMING LIVE || UNH and Pack Network have once again partnered to provide online video streaming of UNH athletics for the upcoming 2012-13 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 || Wildcat Sports Properties (WSP), a property of Learfield Sports, is pleased to announce that Jim Jeannotte and Mike Murphy will once again serve as the broadcast duo for the 2012-13 UNH men's and women's basketball seasons on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Veteran play-by-play man Jeannotte will return for his 31st year broadcasting UNH men's basketball, while color analyst Murphy enters his 12 season calling Wildcat men's hoops.
The Wildcat Sports Radio Network consists of flagship stations WGIR (610-AM) in Manchester, which has been headquarters for UNH play-by-play since 2008, The Wave (WQSO 96.7-FM) in Portsmouth and the Sports Animal (WPKX 930-AM) in Rochester. Affiliates include WNTK (99.7 FM) in New London and WSMN (1590-AM) in Nashua, plus all broadcasts are streamed live and archived via Stretch Internet at www.unhwildcats.com. All game broadcasts begin 30 minutes prior to tipoff.