Excitement Permeates The Opening Of Men's Basketball Practice
Exciting times are ahead for coach Jesse Agel and the Brown men's basketball team with the official opening of practice on Friday, October 15th.
Agel expects his 2010-2011 squad to continue its upward trend and contend in the upper echelon of the Ivy League with one of the nation's youngest teams, featuring four seniors and nine underclassmen. Led by 1,000-point scorer Peter Sullivan, Agel's squad features a strong mix of senior leadership, an experienced sophomore class and some exciting newcomers.
Senior All-Ivy forward Peter Sullivan leads the Brown squad after becoming the fourth player in Brown basketball history to score 1,000 or more points prior to his senior year. He joins Earl Hunt '03 (2,041), Arnie Berman '72 (1,668) and Jason Forte '05 (1,597) as the only Brown players to have reached the 1,000 point milestone as juniors.
Sullivan, who plays at both ends of the court, has scored 1,034 career points for the Bears, 21st best on Brown's all-time scoring list. He was the only Brown player to start all 31 games last season, setting a new Brown record for games started in a season, while averaging 12.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. An excellent long-range shooter, Sullivan's 125 career treys rank 10th in the Brown record book. Sullivan scored 20 or more points six times last season, including a career high 28 points against Holy Cross, connecting on 12 of 12 free throws against the Crusaders. He also registered double-doubles against Dartmouth (23 points, 11 rebounds) and American (19 points, 11 rebounds).
Halpern started 10 of 29 games a year ago, and was Brown's third leading scorer with 8.1 points per game, while pulling down 3.5 rebounds per game. He scored in double figures nine times, and exploded for a career high 26 points against Quinnipiac where he connected on 6 of 13 treys. A two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week, Halpern's 23 steals led the Bears, while he handed out 66 assists, second on the Brown team. His six treys vs. Quinnipiac rank eighth in the Brown record book for a single game.
McCarthy's 6.7 points per game were fifth on last year's squad, while his 4.7 rebounds a game ranked second. He blocked 33 shots, seventh best in Brown basketball history and the most ever for a first year player. McCarthy, who started 16 of 31 games, was twice named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week. He scored in double figured eight times, including a career high 18 points against Siena, and grabbed double figure rebounds twice, gulling down a career best 12 rebounds against Army.
Senior Chris Taylor played in 29 games, a year ago, earning five starts, and brings a wealth of experience to the Bears frontcourt. He pulled down a career high seven rebounds against Providence.
The Bears' frontcourt will also be buoyed by the return of sophomore Tyler Ponticelli, a power forward, who missed all of last season due to injury.
Brown's experienced backcourt is expected to a major strength this season with the return of senior guards Garrett Leffelman and Adrian Williams, and sophomore guard Matt Sullivan.
Leffelman came on strong at the end of the season, starting Brown's last 11 games and scoring in double figures in seven of those games. He was the Ivy League's second leading marksman, shooting 55-percent from the field, while averaging 12.0 points per game in league games. He registered a career scoring high on four consecutive weekends late in the season, and netted a career high 20 points in Brown's last game of the year.
Williams played in all 31 games a year ago and tossed-in a season high 17 points against Kean, hitting 5 of 7 treys. He also connected on 5 of 7 treys in scoring 15 points against Dartmouth. His 42 treys led last year's team after hitting a team high 58 treys two years ago. Williams, who has connected on 115 career three-point field goals, averaged 11.0 points per game as a sophomore.
Matt Sullivan provided a major impact as a first year player, starting 29 of 31 games. He scored in double figures six times, netting a season high 12 points against Providence and Bryant. Named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for his play against Siena and Bryant, Sullivan's 65 assists ranked third on the Brown team, handing out a career best seven assists against USP. He was also an 80-percent free throw shooter (37 of 46) for the Bears.
Agel is cautiously optimistic about his incoming Class of 2014, with several players expected to contribute immediately.
Freshman guard/forward Josh Biber played at IMG Academy last year, and averaged 19.2 points and 10.5 rebounds per game as a senior at Southview High School. Freshman guard Hakeem Harris is a combo guard from Blair Academy. He scored 17 points and handed out 8 assists per game his senior season.
Freshman Sean McGonagill, an All-State point guard from Riverside Brookfield HS, averaged 20 points, six assists and 3 steals per game as a senior. Freshman Dockery Walker comes to Brown from Westtown (PA) High School, where the Dover, Delaware resident scored 11 points and grabbed 9.0 rebounds as a senior.
Also joining the Bears is sophomore guard Stephen Albrecht, a transfer from Toledo, who averaged 11.2 points per game for the Rockets and scored 20 points vs. Michigan State and Cornell. Albrecht will sit out the 2010-11 season and will be eligible in 2011-2012.