Men's Basketball Home Opener Against Wagner on Tuesday

Men's Basketball Home Opener Against Wagner on Tuesday

Tues, Nov. 22, 2016 • 7:30 P.M. • Washington, D.C. • Bender Arena  (3,500)
Game #4 • Wagner (1-2) at American (0-3)
All-Time Record: Tied 6-6
Last Meeting: Wagner 55, American 48 - Dec. 6, 2015
TV — CSN+ — Al Koken (PXP),  John Feinstein (Analyst)
StreamPLN — Dan Laing (PXP), Jeremy Huber (Analyst)
Live Stats

American Game Notes
Wagner Game Notes

WASHINGTON — After three tough games away from Bender Arena, the American University men's basketball team will make its home debut on Tuesday against Wagner College.

Premium location sideline reserved seats are still available for this game and can be purchased at AUeagles.com by clicking here.

News, Notes, and Storylines 

ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD

• Tuesday will be the 13th all-time meeting between the Eagles and Seahawks with each side winning six. 

IN SEARCH OF 50

• Head coach Mike Brennan is searching for his 50th career win as head coach of the Eagles. He surpassed the 100-game mark last Thursday at Akron. His career record is 49-51.

BREAKING DOWN AKRON

• American allowed 72 points against Akron last Thursday. However, when taking a look at how the Zips scored and from where on the field, American's defense played well despite the loss. Akron started out blazing from the outside, connecting on 4-of-4 from well beyond the arch. The Zips cooled off and finished 1-of-17 down the stretch. Akron went to the line 34 times with 27 made free throws. If you take out those numbers, American allowed 29 points from mid-range and inside the paint. 

WAGNER SCOUT

• The Seahawks enter the contest 1-2 on the season after knocking off then-No. 18 UConn 67-58 in the season opener. Since then, Wagner has dropped its last two games to UMass Lowell, 87-76 and Fairfield 70-64 (OT). Wagner has five players scoring in double figures with Romone Saunders netting 15.0 points per contest and shooting 45% from the field. Michael Carey is the only double-digit scorer to start in all three games this season. He is averaging 13.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Corey Henson and Blake Francis are second and third in scoring at 14.5 and 13.0 points per game,respectively. Wagner is a deep squad with 10 players averaging double digit minutes. The Seahawks have dominated the glass and are +10.7 in rebounding differential. The Achilles heal for Wagner is turnovers at 17.3 per contest.

COMMON FOE

• American and Wagner have one common foe this season with both sides facing Saint Francis University. The Red Flash and Seahawks will joust twice in Northeast Conference play. American holds an 11-6 record against the Red Flash despite a hard loss last season. 

BASKETBALL JONES

Delante Jones continues to soar for the Eagles on the offensive side of the ball. Through three games, Jones is averaging 15.3 points per game and had back-to-back 18-point performances against Texas A&M and Akron. Jones is tied for the team lead with Charlie Jones in rebounds at 5.0 per game.

STAY OFF THE LINE...STAY OFF THE SHEET

• American allowed Akron 34 opportunities at the free throw line with the Zips making 27. The hosts shot 80% during the contest with 25 made free throws in the second half on 31 chances. American has allowed 55 points this season from the line while only securing 29 attempts as a team.

AND HERE'S TO YOU, MR. WASHINGTON

James Washington finished with a season-best 18 points against Akron on Thursday. The shooting guard made 6-of-8 from the field, 2-of-3 from the outside and 4-of-5 from the line. Washington has 12 of his 18 in the second half against the Zips. This season, he joins Jones and Nelson in double figures scoring at 10.0 per game. 

POINT GUARD POWER

Sa'eed Nelson is turning out to be a smart, hard-working offensive minded point guard that is averaging 10.3 points per game. He had a pair of 12-point games to begin his career with the Eagles and then added seven against the Zips. Nelson's assist/turnover ratio this season is 1.60 with eight assists on five turnovers. 

MEAN MARK

• Center Mark Gasperini sits a point shy of double figures but has become a reliable asset for coach Brennan in the post. Gasperini is shooting 40% from the field and has knocked down 2-of-6 from the outside. At 6-10, Gasperini has a team-best five offensive rebounds and is third in total boards at 4.0 per night. Gasperini displays the ability to play with his back to the basket and isn't afraid to use the skyhook. 

TOUGH ON D

• American has forced 14 turnovers a night with 4.3 steals per game. Despite allowing 70.0 points against, the Eagles matched up well against Maryland in the season opener.

IORIO, LAMONT SIGN NLI'S FOR 2017-18 SEASON

• American University head men's basketball coach Mike Brennan has announced the signings of Sam Iorio and Drew Lamont to National Letters of Intent for the 2017-18 season.

Iorio, a 6'6" guard/forward hails from Allentown, Pennsylvania. He attends Parkland High school coached by Andy Stephens. Iorio plays AAU for Jersey Shore Warriors coached by Tony Sagona. As a junior, Iorio averaged 19.0 point, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. He was named the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Player of the Year and was voted to the Second Team All-Pennsylvania. At Parkland, Iorio has led the Trojans to three straight District XI Championships.

Lamont, a 6'8" forward out of American Heritage in Plantation, Florida, is coached by Brent Maffet. Lamont plays his AAU ball for Team Breakdown. As a junior, Lamont averaged 16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Last season, American Heritage lost in the regional quarterfinals. His brother Drake is a junior at Western Michigan.

 

ONLY ONE UNDERCLASSMEN 

• Sophomore Delante Jones was the only underclassman selected to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team. Jones, selected as the 2015-16 Patriot League Men's Basketball Rookie of the Year, is the top returning scorer, scoring 12.0 points per game as a rookie. A pure shooter, Jones shot 43 percent from the field and connected on 39 attempts from the outside. Jones worked on his ball-handling skills over the summer to try and lessen his turnovers after having the most giveaways last season with 79. The Chantilly, Virginia, native came on down the stretch by scoring in double figures in 13 of his final 14 games, and his performance had a great impact for his team as American won nine of its final 12 Patriot League games to finish at .500 in League action after a 0-6 start. Jones placed eighth in scoring (14.2 ppg) during Patriot League action and in the top 20 for the season at 12.0 ppg, leading all freshmen in both categories. He scored 18 points or more eight times during the season, with seven of those coming in Patriot League games. He became American's third Patriot League Rookie of the Year recipient, and first in a decade since Derrick Mercer won the honor in 2006. Jones will be asked to carry the load this season with the graduation of Jesse Reed after four years of service to the Eagles.

PAIR OF EAGLES TURNS PRO

• 2016 graduates Jesse Reed and Paris Maragkos have signed professional contracts for the 16-17 season. On Oct. 24, Reed signed in Luxembourg with Residence Walferdange. He is one of three American-born players on the squad. Although he played one season with American, Maragkos obtained his degree at American before signing a four-year deal with Greek club Olympiacos. Maragkos joins a roster filled with professional players from all over the world, including Erick Green (Virginia Tech / Reno (NBA D-League)), Nikola Milutinov (San Antonio Spurs), Kostas Papanikolaou (NY Knicks/Denver Nuggets) and former Maryland guard D.J. Strawberry.

TRANSFER IN WAITING

Laurynas Motuzis will have to sit out the 16-17 season after transferring from Saint Xavier University (NAIA). Motuzis is a sharp-shooting specialist who shot 41 percent from the field and 38 percent from the outside. He was born in Lithuania.

FIFTH PLACE EXPECTATIONS

• Patriot League coaches and sports information directors have picked American to finish fifth in the Patriot League. This was the same spot AU was selected last season before finishing the season tied for fourth place.

AU HOOPS ON CSN

• Thanks to a continuing partnership with CSN Mid-Atlantic, four American University men's basketball home games will be seen live on CSN Plus for the 2016-17 season. The four games will be Wagner (11/22), Youngstown St. (12/10), Army West Point (Jan. 14) and Lehigh (Feb. 4). Veteran broadcaster and AU Alumnus Al Koken and Bram Weinstein and renowned author and Washington Post columnist John Feinstein will handle the CSN broadcasts. 

Koken, a 1975 graduate of AU, has been a part of CSN since 1984. He is the reporter for Washington Capitals games on CSN. Weinstein, a 1995 graduate of AU, is the radio host of the Bram Weinstein show on ESPN 980 in D.C. weekdays from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Feinstein, a distinguished author, radio host and print columnist returns for another season of AU Hoops on CSN.