Photo by Dean Reid, d3photography.com
GAME FACTS – The Emory men's basketball program will be one of 64 teams vying for the 2018 NCAA Division III national title, and will host the opening two rounds of the postseason this weekend at the Woodruff PE Center on the Emory campus.
On Friday (Mar. 2), LeTourneau University will battle Hanover College in a 5:30 pm start, followed by Emory vs. College at approximately 7:30 pm. The winners advance to Saturday's second round with that game beginning at 7:00 pm.
THE COACHES – Jason Zimmerman (Davidson, 1994) is in his 11th year of patrolling the Emory sideline. Named head coach in April of 2007, Zimmerman came to Emory after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Evansville (2003-04 through 2006-07). Prior to his stint with the Aces, Zimmerman was an assistant at Davidson College for seven years (1996-97 through 2002-03).
During his tenure with the Eagles, he ranks as the program's winningest coach, compiling a school and career record of 192-96. In games played at the Woodruff PE Center, Zimmerman posts a 110-27 ledger and an 82-69 mark in road/neutral settings.
He has guided Emory to nine straight winning seasons and six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). Heading into the postseason, the Eagles are the lone D-III school to have won at least one NCAA contest in each of the past five years.
After going 17-33 his first two years at Emory, Zimmerman has compiled a won-lost slate of 175-63 (.734) since the 2009-10 season.
Jeff Rogers (Western Kentucky, '89) is in his fifth season at the helm of the Berry College program. Now in his ninth year as a head coach, which includes a four-year stint at Thomas More College, Rogers has compiled a total of 120 career victories.
Now in his 10th campaign as the head coach at Hanover College is Jon Miller (Hanover, '97). Heading into the weekend, he has registered a school record of 172-96. In 15 years as a head coach, which includes a five-year run at Defiance College, Miller claims a career slate of 239-159.
Patrolling the sideline for LeTourneau University is Dan Miller (Minnesota-State Mankato, 00), who is in his fourth year directing the fortunes of the YellowJackets. Over the past two seasons, he has directed the program to a 45-10 record.
2017-18 RECORDS – Emory, ranked No. 6 in this week's D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll, brings a 21-4 won-lost effort into its Friday game vs. Berry. The team's victory total represents the sixth time in school history that it has reached the 20-win season plateau.
The Eagles are riding a five-game winning streak and closed out the regular season last Saturday with a 71-61 decision over Rochester. Freshman Matt Davet paced three Emory double-figure scorers with 16 points while seniors Whit Rapp and Christopher Avant each chipped in a dozen points.
Emory is 12-1 at home and 9-3 in road/neutral contests.
Berry checks in with an overall record of 11-17. The Vikings played their way to the school's first-ever NCAA Tournament berth after bringing home the Southern Athletic Association title this past weekend as a No. 8 seed, defeating top-seeded Centre (97-93) in the quarterfinals, Birmingham Southern (95-76) in the semis and Hendrix College (88-78) in the championship tilt.
Hanover stands 22-6 overall after a successful weekend that saw it win its second straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference crown, bettering Rose-Hulman, 80-70 in the final.
LeTourneau, a member of the American Southwest Conference (ASC) posts an overall record of 23-4. The YellowJackets won the East Division of the league with a 16-2 slate, but fell in the semifinals to East Texas Baptist University in the ASC Tournament.
SERIES RECORDS – In a series that began in November of 2011, Emory holds an all-time record of 4-0 against Berry. Friday's contest will be the second time this season that the two teams have collided, with the Eagles prevailing by a 109-103 count on the road back on Nov. 21 in what was Emory's second game of the year. Matt Davet led six Emory double-figure scorers in that affair with 17 points while senior Christopher Avant picked off a team-best seven rebounds. The 109 points represented a season high by Emory and tied the sixth-highest single-game point total in school history.
Emory and Hanover have squared off one just one occasion, with the Eagles posting an 89-81 win at the Woodruff PE Center on Dec. 19, 2009.
If Emory and LeTourneau meet this weekend, it will be the initial meeting on the hardwood between the schools.
EMORY NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY (10-6)
Mar. 3, 1990 – Emory 91, Emory & Henry 81 (H)
Mar. 9, 1990 – Calvin 80, Emory 73 (N)
Mar. 10, 1990 – Emory 102, Averett 93 (A)
Mar. 2, 2013 – Emory 77, Randolph 56 (H)
Mar. 9, 2013- Whitworth 86, Emory 67 (A)
Mar. 8, 2014 – Emory 72, Centre 62 (H)
Mar. 14, 2014 – Emory 76, UW-Stevens Point 73 (ot) (A)
Mar. 15, 2014 – UW-Whitewater 74, Emory 51 (N)
Mar. 6, 2015 – Emory 88, Spalding 59 (H)
Mar. 7, 2015 – Emory 85, Whitworth 84 (H)
Mar. 13, 2015 – UW-Stevens Point, 73, Emory 53 (A)
Mar. 4, 2016 – Emory 76, Covenant College 51 (H)
Mar. 5, 2016 – Emory 84, Birmingham Southern 78 (ot) (H)
Mar. 11, 2016 – Augustana 88, Emory 65 (A)
Mar. 3, 2017 – Emory 82, Texas Lutheran 69 (N)
Mar. 4, 2017 – Hardin-Simmons 95, Emory 85
RAPP EMORY'S ALL-TIME ASSISTS LEADER – Whit Rapp sits in the No. 1 spot on the school's career ladder with 597 assists. He became the Eagles' all-time leader in that category on Feb. 16 when his 10 assists in a 96-85 win over NYU moved his career mark to 583, bettering the previous mark of 580 held by Austin Claunch (2008-12).
Entering Friday's NCAA Tourney contest against Berry, Rapp has a total of 597 assists,
making him Division III's No. 2 active career leader behind Nate Axelrod of Ohio Wesleyan (655).
Rapp's 10 assists against NYU represented his third game this year and 18th of his career with double figures.
Rapp stands in the No. 1 spot on Emory's all-time chart with a 5.85 assists-per-game average, with that effort placing him as D-III's No. 4 active career leader. In addition, his four-year assist/turnover ratio mark of 3.49 is the top career effort among active D-III players.
EMORY RESERVES PRODUCING – Emory continued to receive productive offensive play from its bench last Saturday vs. Rochester with the Eagle reserves registering a 26-17 scoring advantage. Entering the NCAA D-III Tourney, Emory subs have produced a total of 708 points (28.3 ppg) vs. 474 points (18.9 ppg) for the opposition.
Emory's reserves saw a seven-game streak of outscoring the opposition subs come to an end in the Carnegie Mellon contest (Feb. 9) when the Tartans registered a 19-14 edge. Over the last 12 outings, Eagle subs have posted a 364 (30.3 ppg)-196 (16.3 ppg) scoring advantage.
Heading into Friday's action vs. Berry, the Eagles have seen their bench players tally 30 or more points on 12 occasions. On Jan. 21, Emory's bench registered a season-high 49 points in a 90-57 win over Brandeis. Back on Nov. 21, the Emory reserves chalked up 46 points in a 109-103 win over Berry College.
GIGAX ENTRENCHED ON EMORY CAREER LISTS – Adam Gigax checks into the postseason prominently ranked in a number of Emory all-time categories. The Mason, Ohio, native stands in the No. 8 position in career scoring with 1,209 points. He is 59 points from tying Alex Greven's (2009-13) seventh-place mark of 1,268 points.
In the three-point field goals department, Gigax has knocked down a total of 204 triples during his Emory career. Second on the Eagles' all-time list in treys, Gigax trails only Robert Spivey's (2000-04) No. 1 mark of 227. In addition, Gigax's career effort of 38.3 percent (204-532) from beyond the arc is 12th on the Emory all-time chart.
Finally, Gigax ranks eighth on the program's all-time list with 430 field goals and seventh in free throw percentage (.843, 145 of 172).
EMORY OFFENSE PUTTING UP POINTS – The Eagles are averaging 82.2 points per game in overall play, good for the No. 2 position among UAA squads and 66th nationally (through Feb. 25). The Eagles have totaled 80 or more points in 16 contests and have registered six outings with 90 or more points.
The Eagles tossed in 78.2 points over their 14 UAA outings, good for second in the loop behind Washington University's 89.3 points. In Emory's 13 home contests, it is averaging 82.0 points and 82.3 in 12 road/neutral outings.
WILLIAMS MAKES IMPACT – Freshman Romin Williams has made a big impact with the Eagles during his rookie campaign with his 15.3 points-per-game average tops on the team, fourth among UAA players and first among the league's freshmen.
A double-figure scorer in 19 of his 24 appearances, he has ranked as the squad's leading point producer on nine occasions, most recently against NYU (Feb. 16) when he rang up 21 points
Among his performances is a season-high 31 points vs. Chicago (Jan. 26) that ranks as the high-water mark by an Emory player this season. In league action, he scored at a 13.6 per-game clip, good for the No. 7 spot in the conference chart.
He is second on the Emory score sheet with 57 three-point field goals (17th on the program's seasonal chart) and his 39.6 effort (57-144) from beyond the arc slots him in the No. 8 position on the conference ladder. He has converted two or more treys in 14 contests and his average of 2.4 triples per game is fourth in the league.
Other UAA overall statistical categories that he finds himself ranked prominently include field goal percentage (78h, .421), free throw percentage (4th, .761 (67-88), assists (14th, 2.5 apg), and steals (11th, 1.2 spg).
EMORY SOLID AT THE STRIPE – A constant for the Eagles during the 2017-18 season has been their ability to be successful at the free throw line, and while they slipped in that department somewhat against Rochester, hitting a season-low 61.9 percent (13 of 21) from the stripe, Emory still paces the UAA and stands 8th nationally with a 77.7 free throw percentage showing.
In their 13 home dates, the Eagles are connecting at a 78.8 clip (205-260) from the stripe compared to 76.0 percent (133-175) mark at the line in road/away contests. Emory concluded the UAA portion of its schedule shooting 78.8 percent (171-217) from the foul line, good for the top spot in the conference
Emory has converted 80 percent or better of its free throw attempts in a total of 10 games this year and its current season percentage is the third best in school history.
MORE RAPP REVELATIONS -- In his 19 appearances this year, Rapp is averaging 7.1 assists, good for the No. 1 spot among UAA players, No. 4 in the D-III ranks and fourth on the school's seasonal chart.
His 135 total assists rank 35th among D-III players this year and slot him 10th on the Eagles' seasonal chart. He has an outstanding assist/turnover ratio of 3.65 that sets the pace in the UAA and that stands seventh nationally.
In his last five outings, Rapp has dished out 41 assists while turning the ball over just four times.
EMORY USING THE LONG BALL – Emory has employed the trey ball as a significant part of its offense this year and is averaging 9.7 three-pointers per game, good for 2nd place in the UAA. The Eagles have converted 36.8 percent (242 of 658) from beyond the arc, third place on the league list, and have been successful on 40 percent or higher from distance on 11 occasions.
Emory has had seven players hit three pointers in two games this year - vs. Oglethorpe, Jan. 2 and vs. NYU, Feb. 16, and the team's 242 treys is the fourth-highest seasonal mark in school history.
EMORY SEASONAL THREE-POINTER LEADERS
1. 91 - Jeff Hall - 2004-05
2. 80 – Adam Gigax – 2016-17
3. 78 – Robert Spivey – 2000-01
4. 71 - Alex Gulotta - 2010-11
71 - Alex Foster - 2014-15
6. 67 – Adam Gigax – 2017-18
67 - Alex Greven - 2012-13
8. 65 - Michael Thompson - 1998-99
17. 57 – Romin Williams – 2017-18
CHRIS AVANT TOP EMORY REBOUNDER – Christopher Avant pulled down a team-high tying seven rebounds in last Saturday's Rochester game, the 15th time this year he ranked as the squad's top performer on the glass. Heading into the NCAA Tournament, his 7.1 rebounds-per-game average ranks first on the team and seventh on the UAA ladder.
Avant has grabbed 10 or more boards in six games this year and is averaging 2.9 rebounds per outing on the offensive end of the floor, the fourth-best mark in the UAA. In conference action, he stood 10th on the UAA ladder in rebounding (6.1 rpg).
Career-wise, he has 395 rebounds to his credit and stands 19th on the school's all-time list in that category. He has recorded a total of 11 double-figure rebounding contests during his career.
INDIVIDUAL TOP-SCORING HALVES
19 pts – Romin Williams (2nd half) vs. Chicago – Jan. 26
17 pts – Romin Williams (1st half) vs. NYU – Feb. 16
16 pts – Adam Gigax (2nd half) vs. Carnegie Mellon – Jan. 12
16 pts – Romin Williams (2nd half ) vs. Oglethorpe – Jan. 2
16 pts – Romin Williams (1st half) vs. Transylvania – Dec. 29
16 pts – Romin Williams (1st half) vs. LaGrange – Nov. 26
14 pts – Matt Davet (2nd half) vs. Brandeis – Feb. 18
14 pts – Adam Gigax (2nd half) vs. Carnegie Mellon – Feb. 9
14 pts – Adam Gigax (1st half) vs. Washington Univ. – Jan. 28
14 pts – Romin Williams (2nd half) vs. Hampden-Sydney – Dec. 2
14 pts – Romin Williams (2nd half) vs. Birmingham Southern – Nov. 29.
DID YOU KNOW? – That Romin Williams' 368 point ranks as the second-highest total by an Emory freshman, just six points from tying Tim Garrett's current record of 374 points set during the 1986-87 campaign … That Emory stands 13-5 in games when Whit Rapp has finished with 10 or more assists … Whit Rapp is 10th on the Eagles' all-time list with 136 steals … Emory has seen five or more players score in double figures in seven games this year, compared last season's total of four … That the Eagles went 6-0 at home during the non-conference this season and have won their last 34 non-league contests dating from the early stages of the 2012-13 campaign (included in the streak are 6 NCAA Tourney wins) … Emory has won 25 of its last 27 home games … That Christopher Avant currently holds down the No. 2 spot on the Eagles' all-time field goal percentage list, sinking 55.5 percent (249-449) of his attempts … Since the 2010-11 season, Emory has the No. 1 record among UAA teams in overall (160-53) play and the second-best mark in league action (80-32) .… Washington University has the conference's second-best overall ledger (156-53) and the top slate in conference play (83-29) … That Emory has at least one three-point field goal in its last 542 games -- The last time the Eagles failed to convert from beyond the arc came on Feb. 14, 1997, vs. Washington University (0-of-6) … Emory was won 47 of its last 48 games when allowing 69 or fewer points (11-0 in '17-18, 7-1 in '16-17, 13-0 in '15-16, 16-0 in '14-15) … That Christopher Avant's career-high 17 rebounds against Covenant tied the ninth-highest individual game total in school history and tied him with Will Trawick (vs. LaGrange, Dec. 1, 2013) for the most rebounds by a Zimmerman-coached player … That the team's 21-4 record is the second-best 25-game mark in school history -- the 1989-90 team holds the distinction for the best 25-game record in program history at 22-3.
NOTES – The Eagles stand 11-0 this year when finishing with double-figure three-point field goal totals … Adam Gigax is second on the squad and sixth on the UAA ladder in scoring average (14.4 ppg) … Gigax, who has scored in double figures in 17 of 24 games, has produced five outing of 20 or more points this year (23 in career) … Gigax has chalked up 67 three-point field goals this year, tying for sixth on the school's seasonal chart, and his average of 2.8 treys per game is second among UAA players.
He has two or more treys to his credit in 17 contests … Gigax ranked as the UAA's No. 9 scorer in conference play (12.9 ppg) … Emory has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in six games (5-1) this season while the opposition has turned in seven (4-3) outings of 50 percent or higher … Gebereal Baitey has produced 15 double-digit scoring performances this year (23 career), including a pair of contests with 20 or more points … Baitey, who has shot 50 percent or better from the floor on 14 occasions, heads into the Berry game shooting 47.7 percent (104-218) from the field, good for ninth place among the UAA leaders …Baitey is third on the team in minutes (29.7 mpg) and his 10.8 points-per-game scoring average in overall play places him 19th on the league ladder … Baitey claims 10 games of two or more steals this year, 22 during his career, and his 1.5 steals-per-game average is third in the conference … Chris Avant is third on the team and 16th in the UAA in overall scoring average (11.4 ppg) … A double-figure scorer in 15 games, he is shooting 53.6 percent (112-209) from the floor, good for fifth place on the conference chart … He has been successful on 50 percent or better of his floor attempts in 18 contests … Emory has eight games with 10 or more thefts this year and paces the UAA in that category (8.1 spg) … In its 21 wins, Emory is shooting 38.5 percent (212-550) from three-point range compared to 27.8 percent (30-108) in its four losses … Emory has attempted more free throws than the opposition in 11 games (11-0) … The Eagles are 9-0 this season when attempting 20 or more free throws … Emory has outrebounded 12 opponents and has been outboarded on nine occasions (four games are tied) … The Eagles have led by 10 or more points heading into halftime on eight occasions this year … Emory is averaging 82.0 points in its 13 home contests and 82.3 points in 12 road/neutral outings … The Eagles are averaging 40.1 points during the first half of play and 42.1 points over the final 20 minutes … Freshman Matt Davet has registered 11 double-figure scoring contests and has turned in 10 performances of two or more three-point field goals … Davet's 16 points against Rochester represented the fourth time this year that he ranked as the Eagles' leading scorer … Opponents are scoring at a 34.8 points-per-game clip in the first half and 39.3 points in the second half … The Eagles are 49-6 in their last 55 games when making 10 or more three-point field goals in a game (11-0 in '17-18) … Junior Beau Bommarito has nine double-figure scoring performances this season and has three-point field goals to his credit in a total of 18 contests … Since the 2012-13 season, the Eagles are 97-6 when outshooting the opposition from the floor (14-1 in '17-18, 17-1 in '16-17, 12-3 in '15-16, 18-0 in '14-15) … During Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach, Emory stands 154-19 when leading at halftime (17-1, in '17-18, 13-0 in '16-17; 18-3 in 2015-16) … Emory is 92-11 (.893) over its last 103 home contests … The Eagles have recorded 100 or more points 48 times in program history and own a 43-5 won-lost record in those affairs … During Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach, Emory has 17 contests of 100 or more points and stands 16-1 in such games.