Providence, Rhode Island - Head coach Jesse Agel and the Brown
men’s basketball team begin pre-season practice on Friday,
October 16, with a solid arsenal of All-Ivy and returning starters,
an improving group of emerging players, and a strong collection of
newcomers to face a challenging 31-game schedule.
Brown opens its season on the road on Friday, November 13 at St. Francis in Brooklyn, New York, followed by a quick trip to Virginia Tech on November 15 in the first game of the Philly Hoop Group Classic. The Bears open at home on Wednesday, November 18 against the Rhode Island Rams at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
“I’m pleased with the development that several of our returning players have made in the off-season and I’m looking forward to a squad who understands our offensive and defensive schemes,” said head coach Jesse Agel. “The success of our season will be reflected on how quickly we can get our freshman acclimated to our system and playing at the Division I level.”
Senior center Matt Mullery thrived under Agel’s motion offense and became the 17th player in Brown basketball history to earn first team All-Ivy honors. The 6-8 Mullery, an NABC All-District selection, led the Bears in scoring with 16.1 points per game, fourth best in the Ivy League, and was Brown's top scorer in 15 of 28 games.
A prodigious shot blocker, Mullery established a new single-season Brown record for blocked shots with 59 blocks, seventh best in Ivy League basketball history. His 115 career blocked shots are second in the Brown record book and 18th best in Ivy League Basketball history.
A two-time Ivy League Player of the Week, Mullery shot an amazing 61-percent from the field (174 of 287) to lead the Ivy League, while his 2.1 blocked shots per game also led the league. He was at his best in Ivy League games, leading the league in rebounding with 7.9 per game, and blocking a league-leading 2.6 shots per game.
Mullery turned in one of the greatest performances in Brown basketball history by registering a 20-20 double-double in a win over Harvard, scoring 21 points and grabbing 20 rebounds against the Crimson to become the first Brown player in 25 years to grab 20 rebounds in a game. Mullery's rare 20-20 double-double against Harvard was Brown's first in 35 years.
Joining Mullery in the front court is junior honorable mention All-Ivy selection Peter Sullivan, the Ivy League's fifth leading scorer with 14.3 points per game. He scored a career high 26 points against Army and scored in double figures 22 times, including 20 or more points six times. He also pulled down a career high nine rebounds against Rhode Island.
The "Iron Man" of the Ivy League, Sullivan's 35.9 minutes per game led the league. He played 40 or more minutes eight times, including back-to-back games against Penn and Princeton.
Sullivan ranked seventh in the Ivy league in three point field goals made (1.7 per game) and he was ninth in the league in free throw percentage (.726). His 4.9 rebounds per game was 12th in the Ivy League.
Junior Chris Taylor and sophomore Stefan Kaluz will add depth to the Bears front court. Taylor was injured for part of last season, but still played in 24 games for the Bears, earning starting roles against Penn and Harvard. He netted a season high six points three times, against Holy Cross, Wagner and Cornell, while grabbing a career high six rebounds against Holy Cross and Dartmouth. Kaluz competed in 10 games with a season high six points and six rebounds against Cornell.
In the backcourt, junior Adrian Williams displayed his own Iron Man traits, while averaging 11.0 points per game for the Bears. Williams played 34.6 minutes per game, third most in the Ivy League, logging 40 or more minutes five times.
An excellent long-range shooter, Williams’ 58 treys led the Bears and ranked second in the Ivy League. Williams scored in double figures 17 times, including a career high 29 points vs. Quinnipiac where he connected on 9 of 11 field goals, including 7 of 8 treys, and 4 of 4 free throws.
Williams’ seven treys against Quinnipiac were just one short of the Brown individual record at the Pizzitola Sports Center and rank seventh in the Brown record book. A defensive presence on the court, William registered seven steals against Holy Cross, second best in Brown basketball history.
Junior guard Garrett Leffelman gained some valuable court time a year ago, despite missing 12 games due to injury, playing over 26 minutes per game over Brown’s last five games. He scored a season high nine points against both Penn and Harvard, including the game-winning trey at the buzzer to defeat the Crimson.
Junior guard Sean Kane came off the bench a year ago to spark the Bears with some instant offense. On two occasions, Kane connected on three first half treys to help the Bears to wins over Bryant and Hartford.
Also returning to the Bears’ backcourt are senior Steve Gruber and sophomore John Herbert Harris. Gruber saw action in 22 games at the point and scored a season high four points against Yale. Harris played in 14 games, logging a season high 17 minutes against Cornell and scoring a season best seven points against the Big Red.
The coaching staff also has high expectations for sophomore Marques Coleman, a point guard who missed his entire freshman season at Brown due to injury.
"I'm thrilled with the initial recruiting class our staff has brought to Brown," said Agel. "We've been able to bring in four outstanding young men, who will bring versatility and ability to our program. I look for each one to contribute to our success next season."
Brown’s Class of 2013 includes: forward Tucker Halpern (Brookline, MA), forward Andrew McCarthy (Sudbury, MA), forward Tyler Ponticelli (Northbrook, IL) and guard Matt Sullivan (Wilmette, IL).
Halpern averaged 19.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game as a senior at Noble & Greenough, scoring a school record 1,800 points. McCarthy scored 13 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game at Northfield Mount Hermon, and netted over 1,500 points in his schoolboy career. Ponticelli netted 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists per game as a junior, and was a two-time team captain at Glenbrook North High School. Sullivan will join his All-Ivy brother, Peter, on this year’s squad after scoring 18 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists per game as a senior at Loyola Academy, while shooting 47-percent from the field and 80-percent from the free throw line.