GAME FACTS – Looking to build upon a three-game win streak, the Emory men's basketball returns home for a pair of University Athletic Association contests. On Friday (Jan. 27), the Eagles entertain Brandeis in an 8:00 pm scheduled start before New York University invades the Woodruff PE Center on Sunday in a noon tip.
THE COACHES – Jason Zimmerman (Davidson, 1994) is in his 10th 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 164-88. In games played at the Woodruff PE Center, Zimmerman posts a 93-26 ledger and a 71-62 mark in road/neutral settings.
He has guided Emory to seven straight winning seasons and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). After going 17-33 his first two years at Emory, Zimmerman has compiled a won-lost slate of 147-55 (.728) since the 2009-10 season. He is 11-7 vs. Brandeis (7-2 at the Woodpec) and 10-8 vs. NYU (4-5 at the Woodpec).
Brian Meehan (Clark University, '86) is in his 14th year as the head coach at Brandeis.
During his run with the Judges, Meehan has compiled a school record of 204-151. Now in his 21st campaign as a head coach, which includes a seven-year stint at Salem State, Meehan posts a career mark of 364-190.
In his 29th season calling the shots at New York University is Joe Nesci (Brooklyn College, '79). Heading into a Friday clash at Rochester, Nesci has chalked up a school and career ledger of 501-247. He claimed his 500th win on December 12th with a 70-67 decision over Brooklyn College. He has guided the Violets to nine NCAA Tournament appearances.
2016-17 RECORDS – Emory starts the weekend with an overall record of 12-4, including a 3-2 showing in the UAA that is good for a third-place tie. The Eagles have won their last three outings and are coming off road wins over Case Western Reserve (91-81) and Carnegie Mellon (93-77).
Junior Adam Gigax paced the team in scoring average over the two contests, tossing in 23.5 points while shooting an even 50 percent (16 of 32) from the floor. Gigax lit up Case Western for a game-high 31 points, his second-highest career output, knocking down 10-of-18 field goals, including five treys, and all six of his free throw attempts. Gigax also finished with a game-high eight boards. Junior Chris Avant came through with a huge effort against Carnegie Mellon tallying a career-high 26 points and 12 boards, his fifth double-figure effort on the glass this year and fourth double-double. Junior Whit Rapp doled out a career-high tying 13 assists.
Emory is 5-1 at home and 7-3 in road/neutral venues this year.
Brandeis checks in with an overall ledger of 6-9, 2-3 in the UAA. The Judges lost a pair of road games this past weekend, 75-65 to Chicago and 88-61 to No. 11-ranked Washington University. Brandeis is 5-4 in home games, 1-5 on the road.
NYU will head to Rochester looking to snap a three-game losing streak that has dropped its overall record to 6-9, 1-4 in the league. The Violets lost at Wash U (89-72) and Chicago (93-79) last weekend. NYU is 3-4 in home contests and 3-5 in road/neutral venues.
SERIES RECORDS – Emory holds a 30-28 edge in the series with Brandeis that saw the first game played in January of 1988. The Eagles have won five of the last six meetings, though the teams split last year's two contests. Brandeis notched a 76-68 outcome on its home floor before the Eagles repaid the favor in Atlanta, besting the Judges by a 66-58 count. Emory has captured 19 of the 29 meetings played on its home floor.
In a series that began in December of 1986, NYU holds an all-time mark of 35-24 vs. Emory. Each team posted a win on the opposing home court last season, with Emory claiming a 71-64 triumph at the Coles Sports Center and the Violets a 73-56 verdict at the Woodpec. NYU has won 17 of the 29 games played in Atlanta.
STATS TO WATCH – Often times there are statistics that could play a role in determining if a team is successful or not, and in Emory's case the variables of field goal shooting and turnovers are worth keeping track of. Emory holds an 11-0 record when outshooting the opposition from the floor, most recently when it connected on 53.8 percent (35 of 65) of its field goal tries last Sunday against Carnegie compared to the Tartans' effort of 39.7 percent (29 of 73).
In addition to field goal shooting, the Eagles sport a 9-1 mark when finishing with the same or fewer number of turnovers than their opposition. Emory won its first-seven such games before the Wash U contest (Jan. 13), but returned to the win column when it finished with 11 miscues vs. Chicago's (Jan. 15) 16 turnovers. In the Case Western game last Friday, each team finished with 13 turnovers.
DID YOU KNOW? – The Emory's point totals in its games last weekend vs. Case Western and Carnegie Mellon marked the first time since a three-game stretch in 2011 that it had scored 90 or more points in back-to-back UAA games – The Eagles last accomplished that on Feb. 6, 2011 (93 pts vs. NYU), Feb. 11, 2011 (92 vs. Wash U) and Feb. 13, 2011 (91 in overtime vs. Chicago) … That since the 2010-11 season, Emory has the No. 1 record among UAA teams in overall (132-45) play and the second-best mark in league action (62-27) .… Washington University has the conference's second-best overall ledger (126-47) and is one game ahead in conference play (63-26) … That entering the Brandeis game, Emory has at least one three-point field goal in its last 506 games -- The last time the Eagles failed to convert from beyond the arc came on Feb. 14, 1997, vs. Washington University (0-of-6) … That Emory finished 13-0 in 2015-16 and has won its last 35 contests when allowing 69 or fewer points (5-0 in 2016-17) … That Austin DaGue's career mark of 119 blocked shots is No. 4 on the school's all-time ladder … Jonathan Terry stands 18th on the Eagles' career list with 113 three-point field goals … That with nine games left in the regular season, Adam Gigax has 52 three-point field goals to his credit, good for a 17th-place tie on the school's seasonal ladder.
RAPP UAA ASSISTS LEADER – Junior Whit Rapp dished out a total of 20 assists in the Case Western and Carnegie Mellon games and still holds down the No. 1 position in the UAA and No. 3 spot in the D-III ranks (through Jan. 23) with an average of 8.3 assists per game. His 133 total assists stand as the nation's second-highest total while placing ninth on the program's seasonal ladder. In league play, Rapp posts a conference-best 7.2 per-game effort.
Rapp has doled out double-figure assists on six occasions this year (11 in his career) which includes three outings of career-high tying 13-assists outings, most recently against Carnegie Mellon last Sunday ( other games include vs. Oglethorpe, Jan. 2 & Berry College, Dec. 29), tying the program's second-highest individual game total. (Michael Florin holds the record with 14). Through 16 games, Rapp has compiled 11 contests of seven or more assists.
In addition to his assists average, Rapp's assist/turnover ratio of 3.69 is second in the league and 8th nationally.
Career-wise, Rapp holds down the No. 6 spot on the school's all-time chart with 365 assists.
GIGAX TABBED AS UAA PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Adam Gigax captured UAA Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career after averaging 23.5 points and shooting 50 percent (16 of 32) from the floor, including 40 percent (6 of 15) from beyond the arc, in the wins over Case Western and Carnegie Mellon.
After ringing up a game-high 31 points against Case Western, his second-highest career total, and the eighth time this year he had reached the 20-point plateau, Gigax tallied 16 points against Carnegie Mellon, his 14th double-digit effort of the season.
The squad's leading scorer in four of the past five and in a total of nine contests this year, his 19.4 points-per-game scoring average in overall play leads the UAA. One of the league's premier long-range shooters, Gigax is No. 2 in the UAA and 28th nationally (through Jan. 23) with an average of 3.3 triples per game. He has three pointers to his credit is 15 outings (13 games with two or more) and his 41.6 percent (52 of 125) mark from beyond the arc slots him 69th nationally. He has been solid at the free throw line as well, knocking down a team-high 81.1 percent (43 of 53) of his attempts, with that effort placing fifth in the league. Through five conference games, he is averaging a league-best 19.8 points.
He cracked the 100 career three-point plateau in the Wash U game (Jan. 13) and heads into the upcoming weekend with 109 triples during his career, placing him 19th on the program's all-time chart.
GORDON CONTINUES DOUBLE-FIGURE SCORING STREAK – Jim Gordon tallied 15 points in the Case Western game and followed that with a 12-point afternoon against Carnegie Mellon, running his streak to nine games with 10 or more points. On the year, Gordon has produced a team-high 15 double-digit scoring performances.
Heading into Friday's game vs. Brandeis, Gordon ranks second on the team and 12th among UAA players in overall scoring average, tossing in 13.8 points per contest. Gordon is No. 2 on the Emory score sheet in field goals (80) and three pointers (33), and his average of 2.1 treys per game is 10th on the league chart. Gordon has three-point field goals in a team-high tying 15 contests and has drained two or more from distance on 11 occasions. In the free throw shooting department, the Broomall, Pa., native has been successful on 73.7 percent (28 of 38) of his attempts.
In league play, Gordon is tossing in 13.2 points, tying for 12th on the UAA ladder.
CHRISTOPHER AVANT SCORING AND BOARDING – Christopher Avant's emergence in the scoring and rebounding departments has been a big plus for the Eagles this season.
Avant chalked up his fourth double-double of the campaign in the Carnegie Mellon contest, leading all players with a career-high 26 points while pulling down 12 rebounds. He closed out that contest hitting a career-high tying 10 field goals in 14 attempts, including a pair of three pointers, and four-of-five from the charity stripe en route to his 11th double-figure scoring effort of the season and third of 20 or more points.
Heading into this weekend's action, Avant ranks third on the squad and 15th among UAA players with a 13.3 points-per-game overall scoring average. He has connected on 60.5 percent (78 of 129) of his field goal attempts, good for first on the club and fourth in the conference. He has paced the squad in scoring in four contests. In league outings, he ranks eighth among UAA players in scoring average (14.6 ppg) and is second in field goal shooting (65.8%, 25 of 38).
When it comes to his play on the glass, his team-high average of 7.8 boards per game is sixth on the league ladder. He has either led or shared for team rebounding honors in nine games this year, and his 56 offensive boards tops the club while his average of 3.5 per game at the end of the floor is No. 4 in the conference. He has eight performances of four or more offensive caroms this year.
NOTES – Emory had five players finish with double-figure scoring in the Carnegie Mellon contest, the third time this year it had that many in double digits … During the Eagles' three-game win streak, Adam Gigax is averaging 23.6 points and shooting 53.3 percent (24 of 45) from the floor … The Eagles have hit 70 percent or better from the free throw line in four of their last five games and are connecting at a 77 percent (77 of 100) clip in that stretch … The Eagles are 6-2 this season when shooting 70 percent or better from the charity stripe … Emory is No. 2 in the league in overall free throw percentage (.713, 231 of 324) and No. 1 in conference outings (.770, 77 of 100) … Sophomore Beau Bommarito, making his second straight start of the year and of his career, logged a career-long 31 minutes and chalked up a personal-best 13 points, hitting five-of-seven from the floor, including three triples in four attempts, vs. Carnegie Mellon … Sophomore Gebereal Baitey came off the bench to score eight points, his second-highest total of the season, in 12 minutes of action vs. Case Western … Whit Rapp's 16 points in the Case Western game was his second-highest career total … Rapp holds down the No. 2 spot among UAA players in steals with a 2.0 per-game average … Rapp owns steals in eight of his last nine contests and has registered multiple thefts on 10 occasions this season … In addition, Rapp is second on the club and 17th in the league in overall rebounding average (4.9 rpg) … Emory has outrebounded nine foes this year and posts an 8-1 record in those affairs … In games where they have been outboarded, the Eagles stand 3-3 … Emory's 53.8 percent effort from the floor in the Carnegie Mellon game represented its fourth game of the season of reaching or bettering that mark (4-0) … The Eagles have hit 10 or more three pointers in nine games this year and stand 7-2 in those contests, 27-6 since the 2014-15 campaign … Emory is second in the UAA and 39th nationally in three pointers per game (9.5 tpg) … In its 12 victories, Emory is averaging 84.4 points and shooting 46.5 percent from the floor compared to 67.8 points and 36.0 percent field goal shooting its four losses … Emory is No. 3 in the UAA in overall scoring offense (79.9 ppg) … Defensively, the Eagles have held six foes to less than 40 percent from the floor and reside in the No. 2 spot in the conference and 41st nationally in field goal percentage defense (40.5%) … Since the 2012-13 season, the Eagles are 77-4 when outshooting the opposition from the floor (11-0 in '16-17, 12-3 in '15-16, 18-0 in '14-15) … During Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach, Emory stands 133-18 when leading at halftime (9-0 in '16-17; 18-3 in 2015-16) … Emory is 75-10 (.882) over its last 85 home contests … The Eagles have recorded 100 or more points 46 times in program history and own a 41-5 won-lost record in those affairs … During Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach, Emory has 15 contests of 100 or more points and stands 14-1 in such games … Emory has averaged 36.8 points in the first half and 42.0 over the final 20 minutes of action … The opposition is averaging 34.0 points during the opening 20 minutes of action and 38.5 in the second half.