GAME FACTS – Riding the crest of a five-game winning streak, the Emory men's basketball team begins a four-game road trek this weekend starting with its most recent opponents. On Friday (Feb. 3), the Eagles battle Brandeis before tackling New York University on Sunday. The Gosman Athletic Center on the Brandeis campus will serve as the site of the 60th meeting between the Eagles and Judges, with that game slated for an 8:00 pm tip. The Hunter College Sportsplex will be the venue for the 61st battle between Emory and NYU, and that contest will begin at noon.
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 166-88. In games played at the Woodruff PE Center, Zimmerman posts a 95-26 ledger and a 71-62 mark in road/neutral settings.
He has guided Emory to eight 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 149-55 (.730) since the 2009-10 season. He is 12-7 vs. Brandeis and 11-8 vs. NYU.
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 204-153. Now in his 21st campaign as a head coach, which includes a seven-year stint at Salem State, Meehan posts a career mark of 364-192.
In his 29th season calling the shots at New York University is Joe Nesci (Brooklyn College, '79). Heading into a Friday clash vs. Rochester, Nesci has chalked up a school and career ledger of 501-249. 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 14-4, including a 5-2 showing in the UAA that is good for third-place. The Eagles have won their last five outings and are coming off home wins over Brandeis, 94-85 in overtime on Friday, followed by an 84-75 triumph over New York on Sunday.
Junior Adam Gigax earned UAA Men's Basketball Co-Player of the Week honors after averaging 27.5 points and 8.0 rebounds over the two contests. Gigax totaled a game-high 28 points, 26 in the second half and overtime which helped rally the Eagles from a 17-point second-half deficit in the Brandeis game, before posting his first career double-double with a 27-point, 10-rebound afternoon against NYU. Gigax concluded the weekend shooting 51.3 percent (20 of 39) from the field including 47.6 percent (10 of 21) from three-point range. Senior Jim Gordon tossed in 22.0 points and averaged a team-high 9.0 boards in the wins, notching his first career double-double after finishing with career highs with 26 points and 11 caroms against Brandeis, before contributing 18 points and seven rebounds against NYU.
Emory is 7-1 at home and 7-3 in road/neutral venues this year.
Brandeis hosts Emory with an overall record of 6-11, 2-5 in the UAA. The Judges have suffered four straight setbacks, including a 67-56 outcome at Rochester last Sunday. Brandeis is 5-4 in games contested on its home floor.
NYU tangles with Rochester looking to snap a five-game losing streak that has dropped its overall record to 6-11, 1-6 in the league. The Violets are 3-4 in home contests this season.
SERIES RECORDS – Emory's overtime win against Brandeis boosted its advantage in the all-time series to a 31-28 margin. The Eagles have won six of the last seven meetings. The Judges have captured 18 of the 29 contests that have been played on its home floor.
NYU holds an all-time mark of 35-25 vs. Emory. The Violets have won 18 of the 30 games played in NYC.
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 a 12-0 record when outshooting the opposition from the floor, most recently when it connected on 44.1 percent (30 of 68) of its field goal tries last Sunday against NYU compared to the Violets' effort of 41.5 percent (27 of 65).
In addition to field goal shooting, the Eagles sport an 11-1 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. Last weekend, Emory had fewer turnovers in both games, 10 to Brandeis' 11 and eight miscues to NYU's 9.
RAPP SETS EMORY'S SINGLE-GAME ASSISTS RECORD – Junior Whit Rapp established an Emory single-game record when he doled out 16 assists last Sunday against NYU, surpassing the previous standard of 14 held by Michael Florin (vs. NYU, Feb. 1, 2015), and just one shy from tying the UAA record of 17 held by Rusty Loyd of Chicago (vs. Brandeis, 1/19/97).
Through 18 contests, Rapp stands first in the UAA and No. 3 in the D-III ranks (through Jan. 31) with an average of 8.8 assists per game. His total of 158 assists is the third highest in D-III this year and ties him with Florin for fourth place on the Eagles' seasonal list. In UAA affairs, Rapp is doling out 8.7 assists per outing.
Rapp has doled out double-figure assists on seven occasions this year (12 in his career) and has 13 performances of seven or more assists this season. In addition to his assists average, Rapp's assist/turnover ratio of 4.1 is second in the league and 3rd nationally.
Career-wise, Rapp holds down the No. 4 position on the school's all-time chart with 390 assists.
GIGAX TABBED AS UAA PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Adam Gigax captured UAA Player of the Week honors for the second straight time and in his career after averaging 27.5 points and shooting 51.3 percent (20 of 39) from the floor, including 47.6 percent (10 of 21) from beyond the arc, in the wins over Brandeis and New York University.
He tallied a game-high 28 points (third-highest career total), 26 coming in the second half and extra session. He closed out the evening sinking 10 field goals in 18 attempts (9 of 14 in the second half/ot) and five-of-11 three-point field goals (5 of 9 in second half/ot).
He followed that performance with his first career double-double, topping all players in points (27) and rebounds (10) against NYU. He converted 10 field goals in 21 tries and went five-of-10 from beyond the arc in racking up his 16th double-figure scoring effort and 10th contest of 20 or more points.
The squad's leading scorer in six of the past eight and in a total of 11 games this year, his 20.3 points-per-game scoring average in overall play leads the UAA and ranks 52nd nationally (through Jan. 31). One of the league's premier long-range shooters, Gigax is No. 1 in the UAA and 14thth nationally (through Jan. 31) with an average of 3.44 triples per game. He has three pointers to his credit is 17 outings (15 games with two or more) and his 42.5 percent (62 of 146) mark from beyond the arc is second on the UAA chart and slots him 54th nationally. He has been solid at the free throw line as well, knocking down a team-high 81.4 percent (48 of 59) of his attempts, with that effort placing fourth in the league. Through seven conference games, he is averaging a league-best 22.0 points. His 62 treys are ninth on the program's seasonal list.
He cracked the 100 career three-point plateau in the Wash U game (Jan. 13) and heads into the upcoming weekend with 119 triples during his career, placing him in a tie with Jake Davis (2010-14) for 16th on the program's all-time chart.
EMORY SEASONAL THREE-POINTER LEADERS
1. 91 - Jeff Hall - 2004-05
2. 78 – Robert Spivey – 2000-01
3. 71 - Alex Gulotta - 2010-11
71 - Alex Foster - 2014-1
5. 67 - Alex Greven - 2012-13
6. 65 - Michael Thompson - 1998-99
7. 63 - Kevin Felner - 1992-93
63 - Robert Spivey - 2001-02
9. 62 – Adam Gigax – 2016-17
GORDON CONTINUES DOUBLE-FIGURE SCORING STREAK – Jim Gordon
poured in a career-high 26 points in the victory over Brandeis and followed that with an 18-point afternoon against NYU, boosting his streak to 11 games with 10 or more points. On the year, Gordon has produced a team-high 17 double-digit scoring performances.
Heading into the upcoming weekend, Gordon ranks second on the team and 10th among UAA players in overall scoring average, tossing in 14.7 points per contest. Gordon is No. 2 on the Emory score sheet in field goals (94) and three pointers (40), and his average of 2.2 treys per game is 10th on the league chart. Gordon has three-point field goals in a team-high tying 17 contests and has drained two or more from distance on 13 occasions. In the free throw shooting department, the Broomall, Pa., native has been successful on 74.0 percent (37 of 50) of his attempts with that mark eighth in the league.
In league play, Gordon is tossing in 15.7 points, tying for sixth 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, the owner of four double-doubles this year, recorded his 12th double-digit scoring performance of the campaign when finished with 11 points in the overtime win against Brandeis.
Heading into this weekend's action, Avant ranks third on the squad and 15th among UAA players with a 12.8 points-per-game overall scoring average. He has connected on 59.0 percent (82 of 139) of his field goal attempts, good for first on the club and fifth in the conference. He has paced the squad in scoring in four contests. In league outings, he is tied for 11th among UAA players in scoring average (13.0 ppg) and is fourth in field goal shooting (60.4%, 29 of 48).
When it comes to his play on the glass, his team-high average of 7.5 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 61 offensive boards tops the club while his average of 3.4 per game at the end of the floor is No. 3 in the conference. He has eight performances of four or more offensive caroms this year.
NOTES – Emory's rally from a 17-point deficit with 10:41 left in the game and eventual win in overtime marked the Eagles' biggest second-half comeback during Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach – back on Nov. 17, 2010, Emory faced a pair of 15-point obstacles in the second half in an eventual 92-84 overtime decision over Oglethorpe … During the Eagles' five-game win streak, Adam Gigax is scoring at a 25.2 per-game clip and shooting 52.4 percent (44 of 84) from the floor, including 41.9 percent (18 of 43) from beyond the arc … As a team, the Eagles are connecting at a 74.4 percent rate (96 of 129) from the charity stripe over the past five outings … Jim Gordon's 26-point, career-high 11 rebounds in the Brandeis represented his first career double-double … The Eagles have hit 70 percent or better from the free throw line in five of their last seven games … Emory is No. 2 in the UAA in both overall (.716, 280 of 391) and league (.754, 126 of 167) free throw shooting … The Eagles are 7-2 this season when shooting 70 percent or better from the charity stripe … Austin DaGue came off the bench and gave Emory a boost in the NYU contest, contributing nine points, tying his second-highest seasonal total, and seven boards in 16 minutes … During the Eagles' current five-game win streak, Whit Rapp has dished out 50 assists with just 11 turnovers while averaging 32.6 minutes per contest … The Eagles finished with eight turnovers in the NYU game, their second-lowest total of the season and second time that they finished in single digits in that category … Rapp paces the club with 35 steals and his per-game average of 1.9 thefts ties for third among UAA players … Rapp owns steals in 10 of his last 11 contests and has registered multiple thefts on 11 occasions this season … Emory has outrebounded 11 foes this year and posts a 10-1 record in those affairs … In games where they have been outboarded, the Eagles stand 3-3 … The Eagles have shot 50 percent or better from the floor in four games (4-0) …. Emory has hit 10 or more three pointers in its last four and in a total 11 games this year and stand 9-2 in those contests, 29-6 since the 2014-15 campaign … Emory is second in the UAA and 32nd nationally in three pointers per game (9.7 tpg) … In its 14 victories, Emory is averaging 84.7 points and shooting 45.6 percent from the floor compared to 67.8 points and 36.0 percent field goal shooting its four losses … Emory is No. 2 in the UAA in overall (80.9 ppg) and conference (79.9 ppg) scoring offense … 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 56th nationally in field goal percentage defense (41.0%) … Since the 2012-13 season, the Eagles are 78-4 when outshooting the opposition from the floor (12-0 in '16-17, 12-3 in '15-16, 18-0 in '14-15) … During Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach, Emory stands 134-18 when leading at halftime (10-0 in '16-17; 18-3 in 2015-16) … Emory is 77-10 (.885) over its last 87 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 42.4 over the final 20 minutes of action … The opposition is averaging 34.8 points during the opening 20 minutes of action and 38.3 in the second half.