Men's Hoops Hosts Saint Francis U. on Saturday Afternoon

Men's Hoops Hosts Saint Francis U. on Saturday Afternoon

Sat, Nov. 26, 2016 • 2 P.M. • Washington, D.C. • Bender Arena  (3,500)
Game #5 • Saint Francis U. (2-2) at American (0-4)
All-Time Record: American 12-6
Last Meeting: Saint Francis  68, American 48 - Nov. 21, 2015
Stream — PLN Dan Laing (PXP), Jeremy Huber (Analyst), Nick Papadis (Sideline)
Live Stats

American Game Notes
Saint Francis Game Notes

WASHINGTON — The American University men's basketball team will look for its first win of the season on Saturday when it meets Saint Francis University at 2 p.m.

Tickets for Saturday's game are still available and start at just $7.  Purchase the best seat locations today at AUeagles.com by clicking here.  

Current undergraduate, graduate, and WCL students are admitted free to all home basketball games in Bender Arena with AU ID.

News, Notes, and Storylines 

NO POLITICS. JUST BASKETBALL.

• American is 2-1 in games after Thanksgiving under head coach Mike Brennan. The Eagles won their first game last season on the road at New Hampshire (68-50) on Nov. 28. In 2014, the Eagles fell to Columbia (52-43) and in his first season, defeated Saint Francis (75-43). This is the first post-Thanksgiving home game under Brennan. 

ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD

• American is 12-6 all-time against the Red Flash of Saint Francis. Last season, SFPA defeated the Eagles, 68-48, on Nov. 21.  

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 49-52.

BREAKING DOWN THE WAGNER LOSS

• Wagner forced American into a tough defensive matchup, sliding into a 1-3-1 and running its own version of the Havoc defense made famous by Shaka Smart. Despite a season-best 24 points by Sa'eed Nelson and 19 from Mark Gasperini, Wagner forced the Eagles to take 29 shots from the outside. The Seahawks scored 40 points inside the paint and showed a balanced lineup with 23 bench points. 

SAINT FRANCIS SCOUT

• The Red Flash dropped their first two games to A-10 opponents Saint Bonaventure and Duquesne. In their last two games, the Red Flash defeated Chatham and Longwood. Josh Nebo leads the team in scoring (13.8), rebounds (9.0) and block (8). Keith Braxton is second on the team in both points (12.3) and rebounds (7.3). Jamaal King has scored in double figures in three of four games. In the Chatham contest, SFPA scored a season-best 119 points against the D3 school. 

COMMON FOE

• American and Saint Francis have two common foes this season with both sides facing Wagner and Texas A&M. The Red Flash and Seahawks will joust twice in Northeast Conference play. The Red Flash meet the Aggies on Dec. 21. 

DEBUT TO REMEMBER

Sa'eed Nelson scored a season-best 24 points in his Bender Arena debut against Wagner. Nelson played his first full 40-minute contest and shot 7-of-13 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line. He added five rebounds, two assists, and one steal. 

MARKY MARK AND THE FUNKY BUNCH

Mark Gasperini scored 19 points on Tuesday against Wagner. He moved into double figure scoring per game at 11.5. He leads the team in rebounding at 5.0 per contest and is shooting 47 percent from the field and 40 percent from the outside and free throw line.  

BASKETBALL JONES

Delante Jones continues to soar for the Eagles on the offensive side of the ball. Through four games, Jones is averaging 13.5 points per game and had back-to-back 18-point performances against Texas A&M and Akron. Jones is third on the team in rebounds at 4.5 per contest.  

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 13.8 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 1.25 with 10 assists on eight turnovers.

TOUGH ON D

• American has forced 13.0 turnovers a night with 6.0 steals per game. Despite allowing 70.8 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.