Brown Wraps-up Three-Game Home Stand Against Sacred Heart
Providence, R.I. - Brown's men's basketball team welcomes Sacred Heart to the Pizzitola Sports Center on Thursday, November 29, to complete a three-game home stand. The Bears are coming off a tough overtime loss to St. Francis, and will look to get back to the .500 mark against the Pioneers. It's Youth Basketball Night with children 12 and under, wearing a basketball jersey to the game, receiving free admission!
Brown's Record: The Bears dropped a 76-72 overtime decision to St. Francis (NY) on Saturday to fall to 2-3 on the season. Junior guard Sean McGonagill scored a game high 23 points, while freshman forward Cedric Kuakumensah posted his second straight double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. The Bears complete a three-game home stand against Sacred Heart on Thursday.
Did You Know? Brown leads the Ivy League and ranks 42nd nationally in three-point field goals made with 8.0 per game…Sophomore forward Rafael Maia leads the Ivy League and ranks 12th nationally in field goal percentage (67.5 percent)…Freshman forward Cedric Kuakumensah, who had back-to-back double-doubles vs. Bryant and St. Francis, leads the Ivy League with 2.2 blocked shots per game… Three Brown players are scoring in double figures: senior Matt Sullivan (15.2), junior Sean McGonagill (16.0) and sophomore Rafael Maia (13.0)… Two former Brown head coaches were in attendance at Brown's home game vs. Bryant – Bryant assistant Frank Dobbs, and Mike Cingiser '62.
The Brown-Sacred Heart Series Record: Brown and Sacred Heart have faced each other three times with the Pioneers holding a 2-1 series advantage. Last year, Sacred Heart earned a 77-64 decision over the Bears in Fairfield, CT, despite 23 points by Stephen Albrecht. Two years ago, Brown came away with an 81-67 win at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
Sullivan Takes Charge of Backcourt: Senior tri-captain Matt Sullivan (Wilmette, IL) scored a
season high 20 points in Saturday's game against St. Francis, while grabbing five rebounds. He scored a game high 18 points, while grabbing six rebounds, against Binghamton, and came back with a team high 18 points and five rebounds vs. Central Connecticut. Sullivan played in all 31 games last season, starting 29 times, and has started 69 of 94 career games played. Last year, he averaged 9.8 points per game and scored in double figures 17 times. He netted a career high 26 points against Albany, hitting 5-of-9 treys against the Great Danes. He later nailed 5-of-8 treys in scoring 21 points against Columbia. Sullivan, who has scored 648 career points, is also a CoSIDA Academic All-American.
Head Coach Mike Martin: Former Brown basketball standout Mike Martin '04 has returned to his alma mater as the 31st head men's basketball coach in the program's 106-year history. A four-year starter at Brown, Martin was part of the winningest class in Bears' basketball history, posting a 63-45 four-year record from 2000-2004. He also helped the Class of 2004 to a school-record 39-17 Ivy League mark during that period -- the best by an Ivy League team, other than Penn and Princeton, since 1970. An Agawam, Mass., native, Martin launched his coaching career at Brown as an assistant coach in 2005-2006 and was an assistant coach at Penn for the last six years. Martin is the fourth Brown alumnus to coach the team. W.W. Reynolds '1907, Mike Cingiser '62 and Gerry Alaimo '72 have also coached at Brown, with Cingiser guiding the Bears to their only Ivy League Championship in 1986. Martin was the first Brown coach to capture his debut game since William H. Dye in 1941.
All-Ivy Sean McGonagill Headlines Backcourt: Brown's backcourt is led by second team All-Ivy junior point guard Sean McGonagill (Brookfield, IL). He tossed in a game high 23 points against St. Francis (NY), while handing out five assists. McGonagill opened the 2012-13 season with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists against Binghamton. McGonagill added 16 points against Maine and 14 points vs. Bryant. He was the Ivy League's fifth leading scorer a year ago, averaging 13.5 points per game for the Bears. The 2011 Ivy League Rookie of the Year handed out 157 assists to set a new Brown record, breaking the previous mark of 155 assists by Jason Forte in 2002-2003. McGonagill, who has 721 career points, scored a season high 30 points against Longwood by connecting on 6-of-10 treys. He also scored 28 points in Brown's win over Columbia, connecting on 8-of-11 field goals, and just missing a triple-double by adding eight rebounds and eight assists. Last year, McGonagill led the League in assists with 5.4 per game, which ranked 34th nationally.
Yiljep Earns Starting Role: Sophomore forward Longi Yiljep (Sanaru-Zaria, Nigeria) has earned a starting role in Brown's first five games and responded against Binghamton with six points and three rebounds, and a strong defensive effort. Last year, Yiljep scored a career high eight points in 20 minutes of play against New Hampshire, and blocked a career best three shots vs. Maine.
Maia Provides Inside Presence: The wild card in the Bears' frontcourt is Rafael Maia (San Paulo, Brazil), a 6-9 sophomore center, who leads the Ivy League and ranks 12th nationally in field goal percentage, connecting on 27 of 40 shots from the field (.675). Maia had 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds vs. St. Francis, after a 12 point, nine rebound performance against Bryant. Maia was named the Ivy League's Rookie of the Week after scoring 14 points vs. Central Connecticut and coming back with 21 points against Maine. His 21 points vs. Maine came on 9 of 14 shooting from the field, while also pulling down a season high eight rebounds. Maia scored 14 points vs. Central Connecticut on 6 of 8 shooting from the field, while grabbing five rebounds. Despite foul trouble in Brown's season-opening win over Binghamton, Maia scored seven points and pulled down six rebounds. A native of Brazil, Maia is a talented big man with tremendous skills. He was ineligible last year due to an NCAA technicality, but practiced with the Bears. Maia has the ability to provide a rugged inside presence, or step back and take the trey. Heading into last season, he was the preseason pick for the Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
Ponticelli Solid In Middle: Brown senior forward Tyler Ponticelli (Northbrook, IL) opened the season with a solid game vs. Binghamton, grabbing four rebounds against the Bearcats. Ponticelli played in all 31 games last year, earning 23 starts. He scored in double figures six times, including a career high 17 points vs. Johnson & Wales. Ponticelli also pulled down a career best 10 rebounds against Cornell.
Bear Facts: Sophomore center Jon Schmidt (Baltimore, MD) contributed some solid minutes against Binghamton, grabbing two rebounds in eight minutes of play. He saw action in 21 games a year ago and grabbed a career best five rebounds against Hartford. He scored a season high four points against Johnson & Wales and Columbia… Sophomore forward Eddie Fitzpatrick (North Attleboro, MA) has joined the Brown team after playing baseball for the Bears a year ago…
Captains: Seniors Tyler Ponticelli and Matt Sullivan, along with junior Sean McGonagill are the tri-captains of the 2012-13 Brown Men's Basketball Team.
Welcome Back Tucker: All-Ivy junior forward Tucker Halpern (Brookline, MA) returned to the court on Thursday, 11/15/12, against Central Connecticut, completing a long road back to health. Halpern entered the game at the 10-minute mark of the first half, setting foot on the court for the first time since March 2011. He missed all of last season and Brown's opening game vs. Binghamton following a long illness. Halpern hit a trey on his first shot of the game and finished with 15 points, on 5-of-10 shooting from behind the three-point arc. He also contributed against Maine with eight points. Halpern averaged 12.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for the Bears two years ago. He scored in double figures 19 times, including a career high 29 points against Harvard, where he connected on 10 of 15 field goals, including 6-of-9 from behind the three-point arc, 10th best in Brown basketball history. A marvelous passer, Halpern dished out 66 assists, including seven in the Bears' victory over Princeton. Halpern ranked sixth in the Ivy League in scoring with 14.3 ppg in League games.
Team Chemistry: This year's men's basketball team features three seniors (Matt Sullivan, Tyler Ponticelli, Steve Albrecht), two juniors (Sean McGonagill, Tucker Halpern), five sophomores (Jon Schmidt, Longji Yiljep, Joe Sharkey, Raphael Maia, Eddie Fitzpatrick) and one freshman (Cedric Kaukumensah).
Kuakumensah Leads Ivy League In Blocks: Joining the Bears frontcourt is 6-8 freshman power forward Cedric Kuakumensah (pronounced Koo-ack-a-men-sa), a rugged rebounder, whose 8.2 rebounds ranks third in the Ivy League. He is also the Ivy League leader with 2.2 blocked shots per game. Kuakumensah has registered back-to-back double-doubles, scoring 10 points and grabbing a career high 12 rebounds vs. St. Francis, after scoring 14 points and pulling down 11 rebounds vs. Bryant. He also blocked four shots against the Bulldogs, fourth best in Brown basketball history. Kuakumensah scored nine points and pulled down five rebounds against Central Connecticut, and grabbed a game high nine rebounds and blocked three shots against Binghamton. He also had four rebounds vs. Maine. A native of Worcester, Mass., he played at nearby St. Andrew's School in Barrington, Rhode Island, where he scored 1,287 points during his high school career.
Albrecht Sidelined Indefinitely: Senior guard Stephen Albrecht (Crown Point, IN) had started 24 straight games for the Bears before being slowed down due to injury late last season. He is currently sidelined indefinitely with an injury. A pure shooter, Albrecht's 60 treys led the Bears. He knocked down six trifectas in scoring 23 points against Sacred Heart, and had 22 points against Monmouth. He also added 23 points against Yale.
Sharkey Returns: Sophomore guard Joe Sharkey (Norwood, MA) has been flying under the radar after missing all of last season due to injury. He turned in a solid effort in his collegiate debut against Binghamton with five points, a key trey and three rebounds. Sharkey tossed in six points vs. Bryant, hitting two treys, and added three points in Brown's win over Maine, connecting on his only trey of the game.
Bears On The Air: Brown's entire 28-game schedule is being broadcast on WPRV-AM 790 with Scott Cordischi, the voice of Brown basketball and football, calling all the action. Former Brown basketball star Russ Tyler '71 (1,133 career points) provides the color analysis. Brown fans can also listen to the broadcast on BrownBears.com.
Watch Live Video of The Bears On The Internet: Brown basketball fans can watch live video and listen to an audio feed (WPRV - AM 790) of all home games through the America One Network. All 13 home basketball games will be aired through Brown's athletic website http://brownbears.com. Fans wanting to watch Brown events via America One will need a high-speed Internet connection and a current version of Windows Media Player. Games will be sold on an individual basis at $8 per game, or a season pass can be purchased for $75. A 30-day pass for $30 allows the viewer to watch all Brown events during a 30-day period.
Brown and Providence To Play At The Pizzitola Sports Center: Brown will have a match-up against cross-town rival Providence College on Friday, December 28th at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The Bears will be facing the BIG EAST Friars at home for the first time since November 30, 1982 when the two teams met at Marvel Gymnasium. Special ticket packages for the PC game and all Brown home games are available at the Brown Ticket Office, located at the Pizzitola Sports Center Box Office, by calling 401-863-2773, or by visiting BrownBears.com.
Brown Basketball Interactive Magazine: Brown Athletics has launched a bold initiative to present its athletic teams in a modern, interactive mode with the release of the Men's Basketball Interactive Magazine, which is available for view on Brownbears.com. The Brown basketball interactive magazine can be viewed by going to the men's basketball team page on brownbears.com, and clicking on the Interactive Magazine link under Team Information. Here's the link to the basketball magazine: http://www.meridianprinting.com/brown/2012/mbball/
Next Game: The Bears will travel to Durham, New Hampshire on Saturday, December 1 to face the New Hampshire Wildcats. The matinee tip-off starts at 1pm at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Pictured: Rafael Maia '15. photo by dspics.com