Colgate Presents First Patriot League Test At Home

Go Leopards! Junior Jamaal Hilliard has started the last six games for the Leopards, making his way back into the lineup after missing the first three games due to injury.
Junior Jamaal Hilliard has started the last six games for the Leopards, making his way back into the lineup after missing the first three games due to injury.

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Jan. 10, 2006

Tip off: 7:00 p.m. EST
Match-up: Colgate (7-8, 1-0) at Lafayette (6-7, 0-1)
Site: Easton, Pa.
Arena: Allan P. Kirby Sports Center (3,500)
Series: Colgate leads, 41-33
Radio: WEST-AM 1400, Dick Hammer
Television: Lafayette Sports Network (RCN-4, WBPH-TV 60) Gary Laubach, John Leone, Dan Mowdy

EASTON, Pa. (www.lafayette.edu) - AT A GLANCE: The Leopards play their first Patriot League home game on Wednesday when Colgate comes to College Hill. Lafayette looks to rebound from a tough outing at Holy Cross, where Lafayette dropped a 29-point decision on Saturday. Colgate had a much easier time of it at home with Army, beating the Black Knights 71-58 behind 15 points and four rebounds from sophomore Kyle Chones.

LAST TIME OUT: Lafayette fell victim to a 63 percent first-half shooting effort by Holy Cross and could never recover, as the Crusaders handed Lafayette an 86-57 loss on Saturday in chilly Worcester, Mass. Keith Simmons scored 19 of his game-high 26 points in the first half on a 7-of-7 performance from the floor. He was joined in double figures by Torey Thomas (18 points) and Kevin Hamilton (18 points). Lafayette's Bilal Abdullah scored 12 points and grabbed five boards despite being sidelined for much of the game with foul trouble.

A TOTAL TEAM EFFORT: In Lafayette's win over Mount St. Mary's on Jan. 3, each of the eight players who participated in the game scored at least six points. With Everest Schmidt sitting out due to illness, the bench was shorter than usual, especially in the rebounding department, and the Leopards' received a team effort with every player grabbing at least two rebounds as Lafayette outrebounded Mount St. Mary's 30-29. Ted Detmer led the way with five caroms followed by three other players with four.

ON THE SIDELINE: Two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year Fran O'Hanlon (Villanova, '70) is in his eleventh season as the Leopards' head coach. He has twice led Lafayette's non-scholarship program to the NCAA Tournament and lays claim to three Patriot League regular-season titles among his credentials. O'Hanlon's career record stands at 156-143, a mark that includes two 20-win seasons.

NEXT UP: Lafayette closes out its brief two-game homestand with Navy on Saturday with tip-off slated for 1 p.m. The Leopards then finish the non-conference portion of their schedule on Monday, making a trip to the Palestra to face Penn at 7 p.m.

LEOPARDS AT THE LINE: Lafayette ranks 21st in the nation in free throw percentage according to the latest NCAA statistics (Jan. 9). Coming into the last reporting week, Lafayette was shooting 76.3 percent (151-of-198) and was ranked ninth in the nation but has dropped down to 74.8 percent after a 9-for-13 night at Mount St. Mary's and a 5-for-10 effort at Holy Cross. Jamaal Hilliard, who finished fifth in the nation in 2004-05 at 91 percent, is hitting 84 percent (.838) from the line to lead the team. Bilal Abdullah is shooting at an 83.3 percent clip.

MORE FREE THROW NOTES: Lafayette's big men have also been very accurate at the line. Andrei Capusan has converted 20 of his 25 attempts (80%) while Everest Schmidt has made 17-of-20 (85%) and Ted Detmer (72% - 36-of-50).

HILLIARD STARTS AND DELIVERS: After missing the first three games of the season due to a stress reaction in his foot, Jamaal Hilliard has earned a start in the Leopards' last six contests. The junior is one of the top returning scorers from last year's lineup and has showed why. Hilliard has averaged 9.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game when he is in the starting lineup. He had seven points and two assists at Holy Cross.

WHO'S IN THE STARTING FIVE?: Fran O'Hanlon has used seven different starting lineup combinations through Lafayette's first 13 games (see chart on page 7). No player has been in the starting lineup every game this season. Sophomore Ted Detmer has started a team-high 12 games, while classmate Bilal Abdullah has 11 starts under his belt. Freshman Andrew Brown and sophomore Everest Schmidt have each started 10.

WHO'S COMING OFF THE BENCH: The Leopards have gone deep into their bench early into the season, and it's expected to continue as Patriot League play opens. Fran O'Hanlon has consistently played nine players, all of whom have averaged at least 15 minutes a game.

BENCH SCORING: Lafayette is far from dependent on its starting five for scoring. The Leopards' bench has averaged 31 points per game of the team's 68 points per game average, 42 percent of the team's scoring.

STELLAR SOPHOMORES: There has been no sophomore slump for the Class of 2008. The five-member sophomore class makes up one-third of Lafayette's roster and at times, three-fifths of the starting lineup. Bilal Abdullah leads the team in scoring (11.1 ppg), while four others (Ted Detmer, Everest Schmidt, Paul Cummins and Matt Betley) are averaging a combined 24.9 points a game. Overall, this class has contributed 53 percent of the Leopards' offense, while hauling down 60 percent of the team's boards.

JUST YOUR STANDARD FIVE-GUARD SET: At times during the 2005-06 season, Fran O'Hanlon has employed a five-guard lineup. Even with the loss of Marcus Harley for what will likely be most if not all of the season, the Leopards are very deep at the guard position with six guards now seeing significant time on the floor. While the lineup obviously gives Lafayette trouble on the boards, the quickness of the Lafayette guard corps forces matchup problems for the Leopards' opponents.

LAFAYETTE VS. THE PATRIOT LEAGUE: Lafayette has played 580 games against the seven members of the Patriot League, and has a 327-253 record in all games against them. In Patriot League play, Lafayette is 87-110 in the regular season and 10-13 in the Patriot League Tournament. Under Fran O'Hanlon, the Leopards are 72-55 in Patriot League regular-season play.

American: 16-14
Army: 30-18
Bucknell: 82-53
Colgate: 33-41
Holy Cross: 13-23
Lehigh: 133-69
Navy: 20-35

SCOUTING COLGATE: Colgate checks in with a 7-8 overall mark and a 1-0 record in the young Patriot League season. The Raiders own wins over Utah Valley St., Florida Atlantic, Dartmouth, Princeton, Hobart, Mississippi Valley State and Army. Colgate counts Iowa, Syracuse and Georgetown among its eight losses. The Raiders are coming off a 12-16 2004-05 campaign when the Raiders posted a 7-7 mark in conference action. Much of Colgate's offense comes from the backcourt which features the team's top three scorers. Sophomore guard Kyle Roemer leads the team in scoring with 11.7 ppg while senior Alvin Reed (10.1 ppg) and junior Jon Simon (8.7 ppg) trail closely behind. Reed leads the team with 36 assists. In the Colgate frontcourt, the return of the Chones brothers has made an impact. Both Kendall (7.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and Kyle (6.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg) did not play basketball last season after playing as freshmen in 2003-04 when Kendall was an Patriot League All-Rookie Team selection. Senior Marc Daniels, who has started 11 games with 2.7 ppg and 3.5 rpg, will get the nod at center. The Raiders are allowing a just 60 points per game, second in the Patriot League. Colgate is coached by Emmett Davis (St. Lawrence '81) who is in his eighth season and holds a 105-108 record.

SERIES NOTES:This will be the 75th meeting all-time between Lafayette and Colgate. Colgate holds a 41-33 advantage in the series. The Leopards are 10-14 against Colgate in the Fran O'Hanlon era and have won two of the last three meetings in Kirby Sports Center.

DOUBLING UP...AGAIN: Sophomore forward Everest Schmidt added another double-double to his season output against Dickinson on Dec. 20. Schmidt dropped in 10 points and equaled that number of rebounds. Schmidt posted his first career double-double on Nov. 22 vs. Alvernia, scoring 12 points while pulling down 10 boards, both career-highs.

THE LAND OF THE THREE: Employing a run-and-gun, up-tempo style, head coach Fran O'Hanlon and the Leopards have clearly established a more perimeter-oriented offense with this year's team. The Leopards have shot 34.1 percent from three-point range, and have hit at least 10 three's in five contests this year. Lafayette has considerable depth at the guard spot and features several players with long-range capabilities. Andrew Brown leads Lafayette with 24 three's, while Paul Cummins owns 23 and Pat Betley 22. Lafayette ranks first in the league with 104 three-pointers made (8.0 per game).

A FAMILY SKIRMISH: For the second straight season, a Lafayette player faced off against his brother in a game. On Dec. 20, Junior guard Kerry Kenny lined up against his younger brother Cory Kenny who is a freshman at Dickinson. In 2004-05, Matt Betley squared off with his older brother, Chris, when Moravian came to College Hill. The Leopards ended up on the positive side of both games.

PICKING IT UP ON THE BOARDS: After being out-rebounded by an average of 19.5 rebounds per game against St. Joseph's (44 to 19) and Notre Dame (43 to 29), Lafayette refocused its efforts on hitting the glass. An undersized Lafayette squad has outrebounded five opponents and all have resulted in Lafayette victories. Sophomore forwards Ted Detmer (5.0 rpg) and Everest Schmidt (4.7 rpg) lead the team in rebounding while four other players are pulling down more than three rebounds per game.

BROWN TAPPED LEAGUE'S ROOKIE OF THE WEEK (11/27): In the second week of nominations, the Patriot League named 5-11 guard Andrew Brown its Rookie of the Week for the period ending Nov. 27. The freshman started both at point guard during that week and averaged 11.0 points in the Leopards' pair of wins. The Littleton, Colo. native is the only freshman to break into the starting lineup.

SENIOR STANDOUTS: Lafayette's two seniors have shown leadership throughout the young season, but the co-captain duo broke out in style against Marist on Dec. 3. Guard Pat Betley and forward Andrei Capusan combined for 41 points and 49 percent of the Leopards offense in the 92-84 defeat. Betley hit seven three's in the contest, recording a career-high 25 points. Capusan came off the bench against Marist and St. Peter's to score 16 in each contest. Against Dickinson, Capusan poured in 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting.

DEFENSE DOMINANT IN CONSECUTIVE IVY LEAGUE WINS: The Lafayette defense drove the team in a pair of Ivy League wins over Princeton and Cornell to close out November. Lafayette held Princeton (11/27) to just 46 points and 40 percent shooting in a 57-46 victory. The Leopards also forced 18 turnovers (9 of which came on steals) against the Tigers' ball control offense. Lafayette followed that with an even more dominating defensive performance against Cornell on Nov. 29. Lafayette forced 18 turnovers, held the Big Red to a 31 percent effort from the floor and allowed 43 points. The last time that Lafayette held two D-I opponents below 50 points in consecutive victories was the beginning of the 1998-99 season, as Lafayette beat Dartmouth 56-41 and Princeton 63-47.

PATRIOT LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL: Predicted to finish seventh in the Patriot League preseason poll, the Leopards have been working hard to silence the critics and return to their winning ways. Behind 14 first-place votes, Bucknell topped preseason the list as the favorite heading into the season. After posting an even 6-6 in non-conference action, Lafayette finds itself 0-1 heading into tonight's PL home-opener. Bucknell leads the league at 10-3.

MANNING THE WHEEL: At the start of the season, seniors Pat Betley and Andrei Capusan were named captains for the 2005-06 team. Betley and Capusan are in charge of a youthful squad which features just four upperclassmen (juniors or seniors) who play a significant role.

FIVE FRESH BODIES FOR MAROON AND WHITE: Head coach Fran O'Hanlon and his staff had a busy offseason, inking five new student-athletes, three of which hail from South Jersey. Additions to the Lafayette roster include guard Andrew Brown (Littleton, Colo.), forwards Derek Heckendorn (Haddonfield, N.J.), Brian Young (Cherry Hill, N.J.) and Dave Smith (Cape May Court House, N.J.), and center Tom Leszczynski (West Babylon, N.Y.).

CUMMINS, BETLEY EARN PL HONOR ROLL ACCOLADES: Sophomores Matt Betley and Paul Cummins earned Patriot League Academic Honor Roll status following the spring semester, while recent graduate Jamie Hughes also earned mention. Betley, currently an undeclared major, carried a 3.50 grade point average in his first year on College Hill. Cummins boasted a 3.28 GPA as a freshman biology major.

ABDULLAH ROOKIE OF THE WEEK (x3): Bilal Abdullah is aiming to improve on an already solid career in the Maroon and White. In 2004-05, the three-time Patriot League Rookie of the Week honoree averaged 8.7 points per game and 1.0 assists per game as a rookie. He scored 15 points and contributed five rebounds, three assists and three steals against Navy on Jan. 8 to give the Anchorage, Alaska native his third Rookie of the Week honor in 2004-05. He was also named Rookie of the Week on Dec. 20 after a 21-point, 10-rebound, nine-assist performance in Lafayette's 95-89 overtime win over Cal State-Northridge. Abdullah also earned the honor on Jan. 3.

HOOPING IT UP OVERSEAS: Top Lafayette assistant John Gallagher coached a team of current college players over the summer, including Lafayette sophomore forwards Ted Detmer and Everest Schmidt, while they toured Belgium, France and Holland. The team represented Global Sports, a full service sports and entertainment marketing, public relations, advertising and management agency. The work overseas appears to have paid off for the two big men, as they have both moved into a starting role in 2005-06, while adding a solid presence under the basket.

YEP, THEY'RE RELATED: At the start of last season, senior co-captain Pat Betley welcomed his first cousin Matt Betley to the Lafayette basketball program. Bearing the same surname, their fathers are brothers. Both players have New Jersey roots, as Pat hails from Haddonfield, while Matt calls Mount Laurel home.

THE EUROPEAN CONNECTION: A pair of European natives appear on Lafayette's roster, along with student-athletes from seven different states. Four years ago, senior co-captain Andrei Capusan came to College Hill from Bucharest, Romania. Teammate and sophomore guard Paul Cummins crossed the Atlantic from Kildare, Ireland to Easton, Pa. just a year ago.

ALL-TIME AT LAFAYETTE: In the 95 seasons of men's basketball at Lafayette College, the Leopards hold an overall record of 1166-1016 (.534). Lafayette's first season of basketball was in 1900-01 when the team posted a winning record of 4-3.

LAFAYETTE ON TELEVISION: For the ninth straight season, Lafayette features the most expansive television package in the Patriot League. The Leopards have 12 games televised and have the possibility of adding three more televised contests in the Patriot League Tournament. The Lafayette Sports Network is airing 11 games to more than 9.1 million viewers in the Lehigh Valley, Pocono region, Philadelphia, central New Jersey and New York City. Locally the telecasts can be seen on RCN Cable channels 4 and 60, Service Electric Cable channel 51, Blue Ridge Cable channel 5 and broadcast channel 60. Nationally, they can be picked up for the sixth straight year by various DIRECTV and DISH Network outlets. Emmy-nominated local sports broadcaster Gary Laubach will handle all of the Leopards' play-by-play duties, while former Lafayette men's basketball coach John Leone will provide color commentary. Additionally, RCN's Dan Mowdy will provide sideline reports.

ON THE RADIO: One of the longest running radio broadcast relationships in college basketball, WEST-AM 1400 enters its 70th year as the radio home of Lafayette Athletics. Dick Hammer is in his 39th season of calling the play-by-play for Lafayette men's basketball. Hammer is joined by Carl Schumacher at home games and most road contests by Phil LaBella (Lafayette SID). WEST-AM Stereo 1400 continually enjoys one of the highest AM ratings in the Lehigh Valley. WEST's broadcasts can be heard live worldwide through www.lafayette.edu.

 

 

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