Providence, R.I. - Brown basketball coach Mike Martin expects his veteran squad to make a major step forward with four starters returning to the lineup and a talented cast of newcomers joining the squad. He believes his squad has the talent, work ethic and leadership necessary to challenge for the Ivy title and earn a berth in the first-ever Ivy League postseason tournament. Martin's squad opens its season on Friday, November 11 at Cincinnati in the opening round of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic. Tip-off is 7:00 pm in a game broadcast on ESPN3.
Opening Day: Brown will be launching its 111th season of intercollegiate basketball after posting an 8-20 record last season. The Bears return four of five starters, including three double figure scorers and 10 letterwinners from a year ago, and are scheduled to play a school record 16 home games. The Bearcats posted a 22-11 record a year ago and have been chosen first in the American Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll with senior guard Troy Caupain being named the American's Co-Preseason Player of the Year.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament: Brown is playing at Cincinnati in the first round of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic, with first and second round games played on campus sites. In second round action, the Bears move on to face Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I., on November 16. The Bears complete play in the Tip-Off Classic at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., against Marist (5:30 pm) on November 19 and Albany (8:00 pm) on November 20. Duke, Penn State and Grand Canyon will also compete in the Tip-Off Classic at the Mohegan Sun Arena on November 19 & 20. Tickets can be purchased at the Basketball Hall of Fame website: http://www.hoophall.com/events/tip-off-tournament/tickets or through Ticketmaster: http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/237645/?brand=mohegansun
Bear Facts: Brown and Cincinnati have met once before, in 1973-74, with the Bearcats coming out on top of a 95-71 decision…Head coach Mike Martin '04 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.
Blackmon – Ivy League's Assist Leader/ Iron Man: Senior point guard Tavon Blackmon (Upper Marlboro, MD) led the Ivy League with 5.5 assists per game last season. He was also the Ivy League's Iron Man, leading the league with 34.4 minutes played per game. Blackmon, whose 356 career assists are seventh all-time at Brown, is the Bears' top returning scorer with 13.3 points per game. He ranked fourth in the Ivy League in three-point field goal percentage (.444), seventh in free throw percentage (.750), seventh in steals (1.2 per game) and 10th in scoring. Blackmon scored 20 or more points four times last season, including a career high 23 points and 10 assists vs. Penn, while hitting 4-of-4 treys against the Quakers.
Blackmon's Career Points: 856
Brown Career Assists
1. 577, by Mike Waitkus (1982-86)
2. 522, by Sean McGonagill (2010-14)
3. 514, by Jason Forte (2001-2005)
4. 380, by Eric Blackiston (1992-96)
5. 379, by Rick Lloyd (1988-92)
6. 362, by Eddie Morris (1972-75)
7. 356, by Tavon Blackmon (2013-present)
8. 299, by Chuck Savage (1988-92)
Spieth Fourth In Ivy Assists/Third In Free Throws: Senior forward Steven Spieth (Dallas, TX), an Academic All-District selection last season, has played in every game of his Brown career, starting 87–of-88 games in three years at Brown. Last year, Spieth ranked seventh in the Ivy League in rebounding (7.2 rebounds per game), fourth in the league in assists (3.7 per game) and third in the league in free throw percentage (.830). He was Brown's third leading scorer, averaging 10.9 points per game. Spieth, the brother of US Open and Masters Champion Jordan Spieth, tossed in a career-high 24 points vs. Princeton on 7-of-7 shooting from the field and 9-of-10 shooting from the free throw line.
Spieth's Career Points: 849
Okolie Ready To Take Leadership Role: Bears' sophomore forward Obi Okolie (Ajax, Ontario), one of the most versatile members of the Brown squad, started Brown's last 11 games of 2015-16 after missing the preseason and first third of the season due to injury. He exploded onto the scene by averaging 10.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, starting Brown's last 11 games. A natural scorer, he shot 47-percent from the field (67-of-143) last year and scored a career high 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. Okolie scored 17 points vs. both Maine and Cornell.
Daugherty Returns: Sophomore guard Corey Daugherty (Barrington, RI) missed several games due to injury a year ago, but had some solid moments prior to being sidelined. He scored a season-high 13 points vs. Holy Cross, hitting 6-of-11 shots from the field, and connected on 3-of-6 treys in scoring 10 points vs. SMU.
Triplett Earns Playing Time: Junior guard Patrick Triplett (St. Louis, MO) is expected to make an impact on this year's team with defense and explosive power to the basket. Last year, Triplett netted a season high nine points against Penn and earned a starting role against Princeton.
Hobbie Fifth In Career Treys: Long-range shooting senior guard JR Hobbie (Spring Lake, NJ) averaged 9.0 points per game last year and ranked third in the Ivy League in three-point field goals made (2.6 per game). His 191 career treys rank fifth all-time at Brown and are approaching the all-time mark of 249 treys by Sean McGonagill from 2010-2014. Hobbie, who earned 14 starts while playing in all 28 games, poured in a career high 23 points vs. Columbia as a junior, connecting on 7-of-10 treys. His seven treys against the Lions are eighth all-time at Brown. His dad, Norman, played basketball at Rider College.
Hobbie's Career Points: 677
Brown Career: Individual 3-Pointers Made
1. 249, Sean McGonagill (2010-14)
2. 232, Damon Huffman (2004-08)
3. 215, Brian Lloyd (1992-96)
4. 201, Rick Lloyd (1988-92)
5. 191, JR Hobbie (2013-present)
6. 165, Mark McAndrew (2004-08)
165, Matt Sullivan (2009-13)
8. 159, Adrian Williams (2007-11)
9. 158, Earl Hunt (1999-03)
10. 144, Tucker Halpern (2009-13)
Sullivan Looks To Contribute: Bears' sophomore guard Chris Sullivan (Wilmette, IL) saw action in 23 games and scored a career high 11 points vs. Daniel Webster, converting on 4-of-7 field goals. His two brothers, Peter '11 and Matthew '13, were both 1,000 point scorers for the Bears.
Fuller Up: Sophomore forward Travis Fuller (Encinitas, CA), the first forward off the bench a year ago, provides an inside presence and was one of four Brown players to play in all 28 games in 2015-16, scoring a season-high 12 points vs. Providence on 4-of-4 shooting from the field, while grabbing six rebounds.
Newcomers To Watch: Brown's backcourt strength will be heightened with the addition of freshmen Brandon Anderson (Mahwah, NJ) and Joshua Howard (Charlotte, NC). A first team All-State selection from Don Bosco Prep, Anderson averaged 15 points, five rebounds and five assists as a senior. Howard is a two-time All-State selection, who has tremendous skill and versatility. The Bears' frontcourt will be buoyed by the addition of junior forward Blake Wilkinson (Bountiful, UT), a transfer from Salt Lake City Community College by way of the University of Utah. Wilkinson is a polished big man who started seven games for Utah in 2012 and was a first team All-Conference selection at Salt Lake City CC in 2015, averaging 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Adding depth to the Bears' frontcourt are freshmen Brandon Charnov (Houston, TX) and David Erebor (Sykesville, MD). The 6-11 Charnov averaged 15 points and 9.2 rebounds as a senior at Kinkaid High School. Erebor was his conference's Defensive Player of the Year in his senior year.
Haber off the Bench: Junior forward Kyle Haber (Dubuque, IA) has good size and a shooters' touch. He earned four starts in 24 games last year, and tossed in a career high 11 points vs. Columbia, connecting on 4-of-5 field goals, including 3-of-3 treys.
Head Coach Mike Martin: Former Brown basketball standout Mike Martin '04, the 31st head men's basketball coach in the program's 110-year history, has changed the direction and culture of the program in four years as head coach of the Bears, with the building blocks in place to develop an Ivy Championship team. Martin took over the reins of the program in 2012-13 and was named a finalist for the Joe B. Hall Award as the nation's outstanding first-year head coach after leading the Bears to a turnaround season with a 13-15 overall record, including a fourth-place finish in the Ivy standings with a 7-7 mark after winning four of its last five games. Martin's 2013-14 team posted a 15-14 overall record and hosted Brown's first-ever postseason game, playing Holy Cross in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament at the Pizzitola Sports Center. In addition, he guided two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Cedric Kuakumensah, the Ivy League's all-time leader in blocked shots. 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 2000-04. 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 2005-06, and was an assistant coach at Penn from 2006-12.
Watch The Bears on the Ivy League Digital Network: All of Brown's home games (except those blacked out by national TV) and its Ivy League away games can be viewed on the Ivy League Digital Network. Available on computer, mobile and tablet devices all without the use of an app., packages for Brown's channel (brownbears.tv) on the Ivy Digital Network are $89.95 for 12 months, $34.95 for four months, $10.95 for one month and $9.95 for a day pass. Packages for the League-wide channel, which features everything the network has to offer, are $119.95 for 12 months, $49.95 for four months and $15.95 for one month.
Bears On The Air: Brown's entire 30-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 http://www.790business.com.