Lafayette Opens 2010-11 Season at Wagner
Nov. 11, 2010
GAME 1 November 12, 2010
Matchup: Lafayette (0-0) at Wagner (0-0)
Series: Lafayette leads, 5-1
GAME 2 November 14, 2010
Matchup: Lafayette at Rider
Series: Lafayette leads 39-36
FOR OPENERS: Lafayette is 64-37 all-time in season openers, including a 42-17 mark in season-opening games at home. The Leopards have started the season on the road 14 times in head coach Fran O'Hanlon's 16-year tenure. Last season, the Leopards hosted Wagner, beating the Seahawks 81-72 on Nov. 13, 2009. This is the fifth-straight year that Lafayette will face Wagner in its season opener. Under O'Hanlon, Lafayette holds a 3-1 record against the Seahawks. In their last 12 season-opening games, the Leopards have won eight, posting wins over Dartmouth in 1998-99 (56-41), Columbia in 1999-00 (59-52), Cornell in 2000-01 (72-62), Albany in 2001-02 (80-72), Duquesne in 2004-05 (85-71) and Wagner 2008-09 and 2009-10 (73-67, 81-72). Losses in that span came at Binghamton in 2002-03 (77-68), at Rutgers (71-65) in 2003-04, at St. Joseph's (70-47) in 2005-06 and at home against Wagner (74-70) in 2007-08.
MEET THE CAPTAINS: Seniors Jared Mintz, preseason All-Patriot League, and Ben Wheeler are holding the leadership reins for the 2010-11 season. Mintz is the team's top returning scorer (14.1 ppg) and rebounder (5.7 rpg). Wheeler started in 22 games last year and accounted for 58 assists.
BE PREPARED: The Leopards participated in two scrimmages to prepare for the season with matchups at St. Joe's and versus Cornell.
NCAA INDIVUDAL RANKINGS: In 2009-10 Jim Mower ranked third nationally for three-point field goal percentage (47.5%) and 32nd in three-point field goals per game (2.9). Jared Mintz was 23rd in the country in free throw percentage (87.3%). As a team, Lafayette finished fifth in free-throw percentage (76.4).
LEAGUE HISTORY: Jared Mintz became the first Patriot League player to lead the league in free throw and field goal percentage in the same season. Mintz shot a Patriot League-best 54.2 percent from the floor and 87.3% (131-150) from the line.
AT THE LINE: The Leopards made all 19 of their free throws against Colgate, the best mark in the nation in 2009-10, topping Kentucky's 18-of-18 effort on Dec. 19, 2009.
ON THE SIDELINE: The all-time winningest coach in Lafayette history and longest-tenured coach in the Patriot League, Fran O'Hanlon (Villanova, '70) is in his 16th season as the Leopards' head coach. A three-time Patriot League Coach of the Year, O'Hanlon has twice led Lafayette's program to the NCAA Tournament and lays claim to three Patriot League regular-season titles. With a 75-71 double-overtime victory over Lehigh on Feb. 18, 2007, O'Hanlon became the winningest coach in Lafayette history and now holds an all-time record of 213-223 on College Hill. O'Hanlon's overall record does not necessarily tell an accurate story of the job he has done at Lafayette. The Philadelphia native inherited a 2-25 team when he took over in 1995-96 and won seven, 11, 19, 22 and 24 games over the next five seasons. From 1997-2000, Lafayette was 65-24 overall and 31-5 in the conference with two NCAA Tournament appearances. In 1996, the Patriot League, which was originally founded based on the principle of need-based financial aid only, began allowing athletic scholarships. However, it was not until 2006 that Lafayette chose to do so. By no coincidence, during that span, Lafayette posted a 79-91 mark and was 38-44 in the league.
WELCOMING THE NEW GUY: Head coach Fran O'Hanlon added a new face to his coaching staff this season. Donovan Williams is in the midst of his first season at Lafayette under O'Hanlon.Williams came to College Hill from Holy Family University in Philadelphia where he was an assistant coach under first-year Holy Family head coach and former Lafayette assistant coach John O'Connor. The Williams name is well-known in coaching, as Williams' father, George, was a high school coach for more than 30 years in Georgia and Alabama. Williams' brother, Pershin, was an assistant at Lafayette under O'Hanlon in 2008-09, before taking an assistant coaching job at Georgia Southern University prior to the 2009-10 season.
AROUND THE WORLD: Eight international players are featured between the three rosters of this weekend's matchups. Lafayette boasts two international players in Jared Mintz (Toronto, Canada) and Deirunas Visockas (Kaunas, Lithuania) while Wagner features Clayfell Harris (London, England), Naofall Folahan (Benin Republic, West Africa) and Tyler Murray (Toronto, Canada). Rider's roster includes Dera Nd-Ezuma (Nigeria), Tommy Pereira (Nottingham, England) and Justin Robinson (London, England).
LAFAYETTE VS. THE NEC: Including Friday's game, Lafayette will play a total of five opponents from the Northeast Conference. The Leopards have scheduled matchups against St. Francis (Pa.) (Nov. 17), Sacred Heart (Dec. 6), Long Island (Dec. 11) and Fairleigh Dickinson (Jan. 2).
NEXT UP: Lafayette will continue its road swing and head to Rider on Sunday for a 4 p.m. match-up. That game will be televised by the Lafayette Sports Network and carried on MASN, ESPN Full Court and ESPN3.com. The Leopards will play their second NEC opppent of the season, St. Francis (Pa.), at Kirby Sports Center on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip off.
THE PRESEASON POLL: Lafayette has been selected to finish third in the Patriot League Preseason Poll. The Leopards, who received two first-place votes and 73 points overall, were selected behind American (seven first-place votes, 79 points) and Bucknell (three first-place votes, 76 points) but ahead of Holy Cross (two first-place votes, 70 points), Lehigh (two first-place votes, 69 points), Navy (35 points), Colgate (31 points) and Army (15 points). The poll is voted on by the conference head coaches and sports information directors.
IN THE RANKS: Nine of Lafayette's non-conference opponents were picked to finish within the top five of their respective leagues in the preseason polls. Three team were selected to finish atop of their conferences, NJIT, Princeton and Gonzaga. Lafayette will tip off against five opponents from the Northeast Conference -- the most of any one conference on the Leopards' schedule.
A HELPING HAND: Lafayette dished out assists on 63 percent of its baskets in the 2009-10 season. At Holy Cross, Lafayette had 14 assists on 16 buckets (88%), the Leopards' worst shooting night all season. That assist percentage mark topped 22 assists on 26 buckets (85 percent) at St. Francis, N.Y. Lafayette's worst performance of the year in terms of assists per basket came in a win against Wagner (9 assists, 25 FG) when the Leopards made up for it by hitting 26-of-31 free throws.
BASKETBALL IQ: Lafayette placed six student-athletes on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll during the 2008-09 season. The distinction recognizes those individuals who have earned a varsity letter and maintained a 3.2 GPA during the spring semester. Michael Gruner '10, senior Deirunas Visockas, juniors Rob Delaney, Jim Mower, Ryan Willen and Alex Orchowski (transferred to Tufts) were honored.
BEST OF THE BEST: In 2009-10, Lafayette head coach Fran O'Hanlon was named Patriot League Men's Basketball Coach of the Year and two of his student-athletes earned All-Patriot League recognition with junior forward Jared Mintz earning first-team honors and sophomore forward Ryan Willen collecting second-team laurels. O'Hanlon received his third Patriot League Coach of the Year award, and first since claiming back-to-back honors in 1997-98 and 1998-99, the first Patriot League coach to win the award consecutively. Junior forward Mintz was likely the most-improved player in the conference and was the first Lafayette player to earn first-team honors since Winston Davis and Justin DeBerry in 2003-04. Willen was an All-Rookie pick in 2008-09 before securing second-team honors. He averaged 12.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game overall and 13.9 ppg and 4.9 rpg in conference action.
ABOUT LAFAYETTE COLLEGE: Located in Easton, Pa. (70 miles west of New York City and 60 miles north of Philadelphia) on the banks of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers, Lafayette is a small liberal arts school with a renowned engineering program. Lafayette, which has 23 Division I sports with a student body of 2,403 undergraduates, competes in the Patriot League with Army, Navy, Bucknell, Holy Cross, Colgate, American and Lehigh. Lafayette is the alma mater of Pete Carril and Tampa Bay Rays' manager Joe Maddon.
FACEBOOK/TWITTER:Fans can follow Lafayette basketball on Facebook at facebook.com/lafayette.leopard and Twitter at twitter.com/goleopards .
ON THE RADIO: All of the 2010-11 Lafayette men's basketball regular season and each of the Leopards' postseason games will air WJRH-FM 104.9. In his 44th season as the radio voice of Lafayette Athletics, Dick Hammer will continue to call the play-by-play action. Joining Hammer courtside will be Lafayette Sports Information Director, Phil LaBella to provide color analysis.
LAFAYETTE ON TELEVISION: Lafayette will lead the Patriot League with at least 15 of its regular-season games televised during the 2010-11 season. The Leopards will also lead the Patriot League with at least nine nationally-televised games, as MASN (available through both DIRECTV and DISH Network) will air Lafayette's entire slate of home league contests on a tape-delay basis for the third straight season. Emmy-nominated local sports broadcaster Gary Laubach will handle all of Lafayette's play-by-play duties for the 14th straight season. Former Lafayette men's basketball coach John Leone will provide color analysis for the 12th season.
Lafayette Athletics, as a partner in the mission of the College, provides an incredibly effective learning experience for student-athletes through competitive NCAA Division I athletics. Lafayette sponsors 23 varsity sports with more than 600 student-athletes.Mission Statement | Leopard Tradition | Staff Directory | Feedback | Ask the AD
The Lafayette Sports Network (LSN) handles all multimedia elements and advertising sales for athletics at Lafayette College. LSN is the Patriot League leader in delivering high-quality programming worldwide via television, radio, streaming video and satellite.Advertising and Sponsorships | Digital Media | LSN TV & Radio Affiliates