GAME FACTS – After closing out the regular-season portion of its road schedule with a split of two contests, the Emory men's basketball team looks forward to playing its next three games at home. On Friday (Feb. 17), the Eagles welcome Case Western Reserve to the Woodruff PE Center in a scheduled 8:00 pm tip. On Sunday, Carnegie Mellon pays Emory a visit in a noon start.
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 167-91. In games played at the Woodruff PE Center, Zimmerman posts a 95-26 ledger and a 72-65 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 150-58 (.721) since the 2009-10 season.
Todd McGuinness (Bethany College, '02) is in his first year as the head coach at Case Western. Named to his current post in July of 2016, McGuinness joined the Spartans after a seven-year stint as the head coach Hartwick College where he compiled a record of 114-72, which included four trips to the NCAA Tournament.
In his 27th season patrolling the sidelines at Carnegie Mellon is Tony Wingen (Springfield, '83). Entering a Friday evening road date vs. Rochester, Wingen claims a school record of 304-368. In 29 campaigns as a head coach, which includes a two-year run at Sewanee, Wingen owns a career ledger of 325-396.
2016-17 RECORDS – Emory claims an overall record of 15-7, including a 6-5 showing in the University Athletic Association. The Eagles split a pair of contests this past weekend, dropping a 94-65 decision to No. 5 Washington University before ending a three-game losing streak when it registered a 99-88 victory at Chicago. After finishing with just four points in the Wash U game, junior Adam Gigax exploded for a career-high tying 36 points in the Chicago outing, converting a personal-best 13 field goals in 18 opportunities, including five-of-seven three-point shooting, in registering his 18th double-figure scoring performance of the campaign and third of 30 or more points. Senior Austin DaGue averaged 12.0 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds in the two encounters while senior Jim Gordon and sophomore Gebereal Baitey each averaged 11.5 points.
Emory is 7-1 at home and 8-6 in road/neutral venues this year.
Case Western checks in with an overall record of 7-15, 2-9 in the league. The Spartans notched their first conference wins this past weekend when they notched decisions at home against New York University (84-81) and Brandeis (88-66). CWRU stands 4-7 in road/neutral contests.
Carnegie Mellon will venture to Rochester with an overall slate of 13-9, which includes a 7-4 effort in the conference, good for third place. The Tartans have won their last three and four of their past five games and are coming off victories over Brandeis (78-64) and New York University (94-58) this past weekend. Heading into the weekend, CMU is 4-5 in road affairs.
SERIES RECORDS – Emory holds a 29-20 advantage in the all-time series vs. Case Western. The Eagles won the initial meeting of this season back on Jan. 20 when they posted a 91-81 triumph in Cleveland. Adam Gigax totaled 20 of his game-high 31 points in the second half to spark Emory while Whit Rapp contributed 16 points and seven assists. Emory has been victorious in 12 of the last 13 match-ups against CWRU and holds a 16-7 edge in games played in Atlanta.
In a series that has its beginnings in November of 1987, Emory shows an all-time record of 36-22 against Carnegie Mellon. The Eagles have won the last six and eight of the past nine meetings, and registered a 93-77 victory in the first meeting this season (Jan. 22) in Pittsburgh. Junior Christopher Avant spearheaded the Emory attack in that game with his fourth double-double of the year, a career-high 26-point, 12-rebound effort.
RAPP SETS EMORY'S SEASON ASSISTS RECORD – Junior Whit Rapp chalked up back-to-back games of 11 assists last weekend, enabling him to set the program season record. Rapp's 22 assists upped his total to 200, bettering the previous standard of 186 set by Austin Claunch during the 2010-11 campaign. Through 22 contests, Rapp averages a conference-best 9.1 assists per outing, good for the No. 3 position among all D-III players and the No. 1 spot on the school's seasonal chart.
Rapp's 11 assists in last Sunday's game represented his 10th double-figure effort of the season (15th in his career) and boosted his per-game average to 9.4 in conference affairs. In addition, Rapp stands second in the league and third nationally (through Feb. 12) in assist/turnover ratio (3.9). He has recorded 17 games of seven or more assists this year.
In Emory's home game vs. NYU (Jan. 29), he set the program's single-game record with 16 assists in an 84-75 win, surpassing the previous standard of 14 held by Michael Florin (vs. NYU, Feb. 1, 2015).
Career-wise, Rapp holds down the No. 3 position on the school's all-time chart with 432 assists. Claunch claims the No. 1 spot with 580 while Florin (2011-15) is second at 509.
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 rebounding are worth keeping track of. Emory holds a 13-1 record when outshooting the opposition from the floor, with its lone defeat in such games taking place at New York University (Feb. 5) when it connected on 47.1 percent (33 of 70) of its field goal attempts compared to NYU's 45.8 percent (27 of 59).
In addition to field goal shooting, the Eagles sport a 10-1 mark when finishing with an edge in rebounding. Emory has won its last nine when posting more boards than the opposition with the only loss coming to LaGrange (46 vs. 39 rebs).
DID YOU KNOW? – That Emory's blazing 61.7 percent (37 of 60) effort from the floor against Chicago (Feb. 12) was the third-highest performance by a Jason Zimmerman-coached team and the sixth-highest mark in program history … The Eagles connected on a season-high 56.3 percent (9 of 16) from three-point against Chicago …That since the 2010-11 season, Emory has the No. 1 record among UAA teams in overall (135-48) play and the second-best mark in league action (65-30) .… Washington University has the conference's second-best overall ledger (131-48) and the top slate in conference play (68-27) … That entering the Case Western contest, Emory has at least one three-point field goal in its last 512 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 122 blocked shots is No. 4 on the school's all-time ladder … Emory has two current players among the program's all-time top 20 in three-point field goals, Adam Gigax holds down the No. 11 spot (129) while Jonathan Terry ranks 19th (114).
GIGAX TOPS UAA SCORING CHART – After finishing with four points in the Wash U game, Adam Gigax lit up Chicago for a career-high tying 36 points, tying the school's fifth-highest game total. Gigax, who totaled 20 first-half points, ended the day hitting a career-high 13 field goals in 18 attempts including five triples in seven opportunities, which allowed him to move into the No. 3 position on the Eagles' seasonal chart with 72 treys. His effort against the Maroons was the 13th time this year that he ranked as the team's top scorer.
Heading into the weekend, his 19.6 points-per-game scoring average (currently 4th on Emory's season list) in overall play leads the UAA and ranks 70th nationally (through Feb. 12). One of the league's premier long-range shooters, Gigax is No. 2 in the UAA and 26thth nationally (through Feb. 12) with an average of 3.27 triples per game. He has three pointers to his credit is 20 outings (18 games with two or more) and his 41.4 percent (72 of 174) mark from beyond the arc is third on the UAA chart and slots him 57th nationally. He has been solid at the free throw line as well, knocking down a team-high 82.4 percent (56 of 68) of his attempts, with that effort placing third in the league. Through 11 conference games, he is averaging a league-best 20.0 points.
He cracked the 100 career three-point plateau in the Wash U game (Jan. 13) and heads into the upcoming weekend with 129 triples during his career, placing him 11th all-time at Emory.
EMORY SEASONAL THREE-POINTER LEADERS
1. 91 - Jeff Hall - 2004-05
2. 78 – Robert Spivey – 2000-01
3. 72 – Adam Gigax – 2016-17
4. 71 - Alex Gulotta - 2010-11
71 - Alex Foster - 2014-15
6. 67 - Alex Greven - 2012-13
7. 65 - Michael Thompson - 1998-99
GORDON SEES STREAK END – STARTS ANOTHER – Jim Gordon saw a 13-game streak of double-figure scoring come to an end when he finished with eight points vs. Wash U. However, the Broomall, Pa., native got right back into double digits with a 15-point afternoon, second high on the team, in the 99-88 triumph over Chicago. On the year, Gordon has produced a team-high 20 double-digit scoring performances, three of which have seen him pick up 20 or more points.
Heading into the upcoming weekend, Gordon ranks second on the team and 10th among UAA players in overall scoring average, tossing in 14.6 points per contest. Gordon is No. 2 on the Emory score sheet in field goals (119) and three pointers (47), 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 21 contests and has drained two or more from distance on 15 occasions. In the free throw shooting department, he has been successful on 74.0 percent (37 of 50) of his attempts.
In league play, Gordon is tossing in 15.2 points, placing him eighth 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, notched his 14th double-digit scoring performance of the campaign when finished with 13 points, second high on the club, in last Friday's Wash U contest.
Heading into this weekend's action, Avant ranks third on the squad and 17th among UAA players with a 12.1 points-per-game overall scoring average. He has connected on 60.0 percent (99 of 165) of his field goal attempts, good for first on the club. He has paced the squad in scoring in four contests. In league outings, he is third on the clubs and 20th among UAA players in scoring average (11.6 ppg).
When it comes to his play on the glass, his team-high average of 6.9 boards per game is seventh on the league ladder. He has either led or shared for team rebounding honors in 10 games this year, most recently last Sunday when he pulled down six caroms. His 67
offensive boards tops the club while his average of 3.0 per game at the end of the floor is No. 5 in the conference. He has nine performances of four or more offensive caroms this year.
NOTES – Emory has received some solid offensive play from its bench, with its reserves outpointing the opposition subs in the last five contests, posting a 22.0-15.4 per-game edge in that stretch … The Eagles saw their reserves put up 33 points in the Wash U contest, the high-water mark during the UAA portion of the schedule … Gebereal Baitey logged a career-long 31 minutes in the Chicago game and came away with a career-high 14 points, hitting five-of-eight field goal attempts, including one triple, and all three of his free throw tries … In his last three games, Baitey is averaging 11.3 points and shooting 63.6 percent (14 of 22) from the floor … Austin DaGue totaled a season-high 16 points in the Wash U outing and followed that effort with a seven-rebound afternoon against Chicago, tying his second-highest total of the year and his sixth effort of six or more boards … Emory concluded the Chicago game with seven turnovers, its third showing of the year in single digits and low for a conference game … Emory's 54-point uprising in the second half in last Sunday's Chicago game represented the sixth time this season that the Eagles had scored 50 or more points in a half, five of which have come over the final 20 minutes of action … Emory is No. 2 in the UAA in both overall (.719, 312 of 434) and league (.752, 158 of 210) free throw shooting … The Eagles are 8-3 this season when shooting 70 percent or better from the charity stripe … Emory has recorded five games with 10 or more steals … Emory's rally from a 17-point deficit with 10:41 left in the Brandeis game (Jan. 27) 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 … Whit Rapp paces the club with 40 steals and his per-game average of 1.8 thefts ties for third among UAA players … Rapp owns steals in 12 of his last 15 contests and has registered multiple thefts on 12 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 4-5 … The Eagles have shot 50 percent or better from the floor in four games (5-0) ... Emory has hit 10 or more three pointers in 11 games this year and stand 9-2 in those contests, 29-6 since the 2014-15 campaign … Emory is third in the UAA and 46th nationally in three pointers per game (9.4 tpg) … In its 15 victories, Emory is averaging 85.7 points and shooting 46.6 percent from the floor compared to 67.7 points and 37.8 percent field goal shooting its seven losses … Emory is No. 4 in the UAA in overall (80.8 ppg) and conference (78.3 ppg) scoring offense … Defensively, the Eagles have held seven foes to less than 40 percent from the floor and reside in the No. 3 spot in the conference and 75th nationally in field goal percentage defense (41.5%) … Since the 2012-13 season, the Eagles are 79-5 when outshooting the opposition from the floor (12-1 in '16-17, 12-3 in '15-16, 18-0 in '14-15) … During Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach, Emory stands 135-18 when leading at halftime (11-0 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 36.5 points in the first half and 42.1 over the final 20 minutes of action … The opposition is averaging 35.3 points during the opening 20 minutes of action and 39.5 in the second half.