Teams: American (7-7, 3-0 PL) at Colgate (6-8, 0-3 PL)
Date and Location: Sat., Jan. 11, 2014, 2 p.m.– Cotterell Court – Hamilton, N.Y.
Series: 30th meeting; AU leads, 25-4
Last Meeting: W, 70-55 – Washington, D.C. (Feb., 9, 2013)
Radio: Federal News Radio 1050AM - Dain Laing (play-by-play), Jeremy Huber (analyst)
After its return to Washington, D.C., with five-straight road games in the past month, the American University men's basketball once again leaves the friendly confines of Bender Arena, starting a two-game away swing at Colgate on Saturday, Jan., 11, at 2 p.m. It will be AU's 11th road contest in 15 games this season.
Fans around the world can watch the Patriot League Network stream online via their desktop, tablet or mobile device or listen in to the American radio broadcast with Dan Laing and Jeremy Huber calling the action on Federal News Radio 1050AM, also accessible at FederalNewsRadio.com.
It will be the 30th meeting between Colgate and AU, with the Eagles holding a 25-4 series advantage, dating back to the 1962. American lost the first ever matchup with the Raiders, but has dominated since, winning the past seven meetings and 18 of the last 19.
AU opened its Patriot League slate 3-0 under first-year head coach Mike Brennan, marking the first time American has done so since the 2008-09 season, when Brennan was an assistant on the Eagle staff, helping American to its second-straight Patriot League title and NCAA Tournament berth.
After two road, conference victories, AU hosted new Patriot League member Loyola this past Wednesday, and rebounded from a halftime deficit for the first time this season, outscoring the Greyhounds by 18 in the second half for the victory. American continues to play some of the best defense in the country, holding Loyola to 51 total points while limiting the nation's seventh-leading scorer, Dylon Cormier, to just 3-of-13 shooting.
American's defensive unit holds opponents to 60.0 points per game, through 14 games. Entering the week, the Eagles ranked 16th in the country in scoring defense. AU is especially staunch against foe's 3-point shooters, holding their adversaries to 28.4 percent from beyond the arc, after keeping Loyola to just one trey on 11 attempts. American's 3-point defense is good for 37th nationally.
After a challenging start to the season with road losses to Wake Forest and No. 9 Syracuse, the Raiders went on a four-game win streak, but are 2-6 since, including losing the last four. Dropping all three Patriot League contests, Colgate took Lehigh to double-overtime at home in its conference opener, before falling on the road at Bucknell and Holy Cross.
The Raiders' offense revolves around the 3-pointer as Colgate has attempted 334 shots from deep, over 100 more than American. Rookie guard Austin Tillotson leads the way offensively, averaging 15.1 ppg with a team-high 63 assists. Murphy Burnatowski is second on the Raiders with 13.8 ppg while Damon Sherman-Newsome has recently transitioned from a sixth-man, to starting role, averaging 12.2 ppg this year.
Matt Langel was named the 20th head coach in the 111-year history of Colgate basketball on April 25, 2011. Langel came to Colgate after spending five seasons as an assistant coach at Temple University (2006-11). He was a star player at Penn.
More on the Eagles
Senior center Tony Wroblicky was honored as the Patriot League Player of the Week this past Monday, filling the stat sheet at Bucknell with a career-high 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting and notching 11 rebounds, six blocks and five assists. In AU's two victories, Wroblicky averaged 18.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 4.5 blocks and 2.5 steals while making 14-of-22 shots (63.6%) from the field, matching his percentage for the season which stands second in the Patriot League. Wroblicky also double-doubled on Wednesday versus Loyola with 10 points and 10 rebounds, his third this season.
This year, American boasts four players in double digit scoring as second year swingman Jesse Reed leads the way with 12.2 ppg, after scoring 16 against Loyola. Just behind is junior sharpshooter John Schoof, with 12.1 ppg and 2.3 3-pointers per game. Following the dynamic duo is Wroblicky and junior point guard Darius Gardner, who are averaging 11.5 and 10.5 ppg, respectively.
Schoof has now hit double-digit points in seven of his past nine, games, scoring eight points against Loyola, but focused on defending the top scorer in the Patriot League, holding the Greyhounds' Cormier 10 points under his season average.
Wroblicky etched his name into the American record book again, recording his 500th career rebound at Holy Cross, becoming the 28th player in program history to do so. The fourth-year center became the fifth player ever in AU history to reach 100 blocks earlier this season and now ranks third all-time with 119 career rejections.
This season, the Eagles boast three true iron men, as Gardner, Schoof and Reed each average over 32 minutes per game. Gardner is top amongst Patriot League players and 20th in the nation with 36.6 mpg, while Schoof is just behind at 36.0. Reed, 32.1 mpg, has played all 40 minutes in each of the past two games.
Several Eagles have settled into their roles this season, with junior forward Kyle Kager enjoying a career season as AU's starting 4, including a career-high 16 points (6-of-12 shooting) against Loyola. Redshirt junior guard Austin Carroll, sophomore forward Marko Vasic and rookies Yilret Yiljep, Charlie Jones, and Justice Montgomery have also combined to make formidable second unit for coach Brennan.
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AU continues its "road warrior" stretch next Wednesday, playing its 12th away tilt in 16 games to open the season, taking on Lehigh on Jan., 15, at 7 p.m.
American returns to Bender Arena Saturday, Jan. 18, when the Eagles take on Lafayette at 2 p.m. AU will hold its annual "White-Out" game with 1,000 free t-shirt being given away, courtesy of the American Athletics Department and AU Student Government. Sideline reserved tickets are still available for this, and all home games. Click here for more info and to buy now!