Providence, R.I. - Friday's men's basketball game between Brown and Providence College at the Pizzitola Sports Center is now sold-out as expected. Tip-off between the Bears and Friars is scheduled for 7:02 pm on Friday, December 28, with the game being televised live on the NBC Sports Network. Brown and Providence will be meeting on the Brown campus for the first time in 30 years.
Tickets for Brown's remaining nine home games at the Pizzitola Sports Center are available at the Pizzitola Box Office, by calling 401-863-2773, or online at brownbears.com.
The Records: Brown had trouble shaking off the rust from a 15-day break for final exams and dropped a 63-42 decision at Northwestern on Sunday. Sean McGonagill '14 accounted for nearly half of Brown's scoring with 20 points against the Wildcats. The Friars dropped a 71-68 decision to Boston College last Saturday to fall to 8-3 on the season. Junior Bryce Cotton scored 33 points to lead the Friars.
The Brown vs. Providence Series Record: Brown and Providence have met 118 times, dating back to the 1921-1922 season, with the Friars holding a 92-26 series advantage. PC has won the previous five games in the series, including an 80-49 decision last year at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Brown's last win over PC came on 11/18/06, when the Bears earned a 51-41 victory over the Friars.
TV - NBC Sports: Friday's game between the Bears and Friars is being telecast live on the NBC Sports Network as part of the Ivy League Basketball Package. Randy Moss will call the play, with former Columbia point guard Dalen Cuff providing the analysis.
The Last Time: The Bears and Friars last met on the Brown campus on November 30, 1982, when Brown hosted Providence at Marvel Gymnasium. Brown head coach Mike Cingiser '62 was able to convince Providence basketball coach and former Brown mentor Joe Mullaney to travel up College Hill to Elmgrove Avenue for what turned out to be the last time. Mike Waitkus '86 paced the Bears with 14 points, connecting on 6-of-10 field goals and handing out five assists. Friars' forward Otis Thorpe grabbed eight rebounds and scored 18 points to lead all scorers. Since that last meeting on the East Side, the two teams have met in the State Capital 26 times, all at the Civic Center, now Dunkin' Donuts Center.
Did You Know? Brown leads the Ivy League in three-point field goals made with 7.4 per game… Freshman forward Cedric Kuakumensah has posted three double-doubles this year (vs. Bryant,
St. Francis and New Hampshire), and leads the Ivy League with 1.9 blocked shots per game… Two former Brown head coaches were in attendance at Brown's home game vs. Bryant – Bryant assistant Frank Dobbs, and Mike Cingiser '62… Sophomore Rafael Maia's 4.3 offensive rebounds per game leads the Ivy League… The newest member of the Brown basketball family, Avery Rita Martin, was born on 12/18/12 and weighed in at 7lbs. Mom (Kristin) and dad (Mike) are also doing well…Junior Sean McGonagill has played 38.6 minutes per game, tops in the Ivy League.
Sullivan Fifth In Ivy League Scoring: Senior tri-captain Matt Sullivan (Wilmette, IL), who scored a game high 18 points vs. Notre Dame, is averaging 14.4 points per game, fifth best in the Ivy League. Sullivan scored a season high 20 points against St. Francis, while grabbing five rebounds, and came back against Sacred Heart with 16 points and five rebounds. He scored a game high 18 points, while grabbing six rebounds against Binghamton, and followed that up with a team high 18 points and five rebounds vs. Central Connecticut. He also led the Bears with 18 points against New Hampshire. Sullivan played in all 31 games last season, starting 29 times, and has started 72 of 95 career games played. Last year, he averaged 9.8 points per game and scored in double figures 17 times. He netted a career high 26 points against Albany, hitting 5-of-9 treys against the Great Danes. He later nailed 5-of-8 treys in scoring 21 points against Columbia. Sullivan is also a CoSIDA Academic All-American.
Sullivan's Career Points: 778
Head Coach Mike Martin: Former Brown basketball standout Mike Martin '04 has returned to his alma mater as the 31st head men's basketball coach in the program's 106-year history. A four-year starter at Brown, Martin was part of the winningest class in Bears' basketball history, posting a 63-45 four-year record from 2000-2004. He also helped the Class of 2004 to a school-record 39-17 Ivy League mark during that period -- the best by an Ivy League team, other than Penn and Princeton, since 1970. An Agawam, Mass., native, Martin launched his coaching career at Brown as an assistant coach in 2005-2006 and was an assistant coach at Penn for the last six years. Martin is the fourth Brown alumnus to coach the team. W.W. Reynolds '1907, Mike Cingiser '62 and Gerry Alaimo '72 have also coached at Brown, with Cingiser guiding the Bears to their only Ivy League Championship in 1986. Martin was the first Brown coach to capture his debut game since William H. Dye in 1941.
Ponticelli Solid In Middle: Brown senior forward Tyler Ponticelli (Northbrook, IL) has come off the bench to provide a solid defensive presence for the Bears. He pulled down a season high nine rebounds against Sacred Heart and added six rebounds vs. New Hampshire. He opened the season with a solid game vs. Binghamton, grabbing four rebounds against the Bearcats. Ponticelli played in all 31 games last year, earning 23 starts. He scored in double figures six times, including a career high 17 points vs. Johnson & Wales. Ponticelli also pulled down a career best 10 rebounds against Cornell.
Yiljep Sidelined Indefinitely: Sophomore forward Longi Yiljep (Sanaru-Zaria, Nigeria), who earned a starting role in Brown's first eight games, missed the Northwestern game and is sidelined indefinitely due to injury. Yiljep opened the season against Binghamton with six points, three rebounds, and a strong defensive effort. He also had three points and three rebounds vs. Sacred Heart. Last year, Yiljep scored a career high eight points in 20 minutes of play against New Hampshire, and blocked a career best three shots vs. Maine.
All-Ivy Sean McGonagill Headlines Backcourt: Brown's backcourt is led by second team All-Ivy junior point guard Sean McGonagill (Brookfield, IL), who ranks fourth in the Ivy League with 4.3 assists per game and fourth in the league in scoring with 15.4 ppg. He accounted for nearly half of Brown's points vs. Northwestern with 20 points against the Wildcats. McGonagill, who had 15 points vs. Notre Dame, tossed in a game high 23 points against St. Francis (NY), while handing out five assists. He opened the 2012-13 season with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists against Binghamton, added 16 points against Maine and 14 points vs. Bryant. He was the Ivy League's fifth leading scorer a year ago, averaging 13.5 points per game for the Bears. The 2011 Ivy League Rookie of the Year handed out 157 assists to set a new Brown record, breaking the previous mark of 155 assists by Jason Forte in 2002-2003. He scored a season high 30 points vs. Longwood by connecting on 6-of-10 treys. He also scored 28 points in Brown's win over Columbia, connecting on 8-of-11 field goals, and just missing a triple-double by adding eight rebounds and eight assists. Last year, McGonagill led the League in assists with 5.4 per game, which ranked 34th nationally.
McGonagill's Career Points: 860
Brown Career Assists:
1. 577, by Mike Waitkus (1982-86)
2. 514, by Jason Forte (2001-2005)
3. 380, by Eric Blackiston (1992-96)
4. 379, by Rick Lloyd (1988-92)
5. 362, by Eddie Morris (1972-75)
6. 335, by Sean McGonagill (2010-present)
7. 299, by Chuck Savage (1988-92)
8. 294, by Omari Ware (1999-2002)
9. 281, by Alex Bynum (1980-84)
10. 277, by Jim Burke (1971-74)
Maia 3rd In Ivy League Rebounding: The wild card in the Bears' frontcourt is Rafael Maia (San Paulo, Brazil), a 6-9 sophomore center, who ranks third in the Ivy League with 8.0 rebounds per game. He scored nine points and grabbed a game high seven rebounds vs. Northwestern last Sunday. Maia turned in a yeoman's performance against Sacred Heart, scoring 19 points and pulling down a career high 15 rebounds to complete his first career double-double. He had 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds vs. St. Francis, after a 12 point, nine rebound performance against Bryant. Maia also had eight points and six rebounds vs. Notre Dame. Maia was named the Ivy League's Rookie of the Week after scoring 14 points vs. Central Connecticut and coming back with 21 points against Maine. His 21 points vs. Maine came on 9 of 14 shooting from the field, while also pulling down eight rebounds. Maia scored 14 points vs. Central Connecticut on 6 of 8 shooting from the field, while grabbing five rebounds. Despite foul trouble in Brown's season-opening win over Binghamton, Maia scored seven points and pulled down six rebounds. A native of Brazil, Maia is a talented big man with tremendous skills. He was ineligible last year due to an NCAA technicality based on his high school graduation date in Brazil, but practiced with the Bears. Heading into last season, he was the preseason pick for the Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
Schmidt Contributes: Sophomore center Jon Schmidt (Baltimore, MD) contributed some solid minutes against Binghamton, grabbing two rebounds in eight minutes of play. He saw action in 21 games a year ago and grabbed a career best five rebounds against Hartford. He scored a season high four points against Johnson & Wales and Columbia.
Welcome Back Tucker: All-Ivy junior forward Tucker Halpern (Brookline, MA) stepped up in a big way against Sacred Heart, coming off the bench to score 14 of his 17 points in the second half, while connecting on 6 of 10 field goals, including 5 of 8 shooting from behind the three-point arc. Halpern tossed in 10 points against Notre Dame. He returned to the court for the first time this season on Thursday, 11/15/12, against Central Connecticut, completing a long road back to health. Halpern entered the game at the 10-minute mark of the first half, setting foot on the court for the first time since March 2011. He missed all of last season and Brown's opening game vs. Binghamton following a long illness. Halpern hit a trey on his first shot of the game and finished with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from behind the three-point arc. He also contributed against Maine with eight points. Halpern averaged 12.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for the Bears two years ago. He scored in double figures 19 times, including a career high 29 points against Harvard, where he connected on 10 of 15 field goals, including 6-of-9 from behind the three-point arc, 10th best in Brown basketball history. A marvelous passer, Halpern dished out 66 assists, including seven in the Bears' victory over Princeton. Halpern ranked sixth in the Ivy League in scoring in 2011 with 14.3 ppg in League games.
Kuakumensah Leads Ivy League In Blocks: Joining the Bears' frontcourt is 6-8 freshman power forward Cedric Kuakumensah (pronounced Koo-ack-a-men-sa), a rugged rebounder, whose 7.6 rebounds ranks fourth in the Ivy League. Kuakumensah had nine rebounds and two blocked shots against Notre Dame, and pulled down seven rebounds vs. Northwestern. He blocked three shots against Sacred Heart and is the Ivy League leader with 2.1 blocked shots per game. Kuakumensah registered his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. New Hampshire. He registered back-to-back double-doubles, scoring 10 points and grabbing a career high 12 rebounds vs. St. Francis, after scoring 14 points and pulling down 11 rebounds vs. Bryant. He also blocked four shots against the Bulldogs, fourth best in Brown basketball history. Kuakumensah scored nine points and pulled down five rebounds against Central Connecticut, and grabbed a game high nine rebounds and blocked three shots against Binghamton. He also had four rebounds vs. Maine. A native of Worcester, Mass., he played at nearby St. Andrew's School in Barrington, Rhode Island, where he scored 1,287 points during his high school career.
Albrecht Sidelined Indefinitely: Senior guard Stephen Albrecht (Crown Point, IN) had started 24 straight games for the Bears before being slowed down due to injury late last season. He is currently sidelined indefinitely with an injury. A pure shooter, Albrecht's 60 treys led the Bears. He knocked down six trifectas in scoring 23 points against Sacred Heart, and had 22 points against Monmouth. He also added 23 points against Yale.
Sharkey Returns: Sophomore guard Joe Sharkey (Norwood, MA) has been flying under the radar after missing all of last season due to injury. He turned in a solid effort in his collegiate debut against Binghamton with five points, a key trey and three rebounds. Sharkey tossed in six points vs. Bryant, hitting two treys, and added three points in Brown's win over Maine, connecting on his only trey of the game.
Bears On The Air: Brown's entire 28-game schedule is being broadcast on WPRV-AM 790 with Scott Cordischi, the voice of Brown basketball and football, calling all the action. Former Brown basketball star Russ Tyler '71 (1,133 career points) provides the color analysis. Brown fans can also listen to the broadcast on BrownBears.com.
Watch Live Video of The Bears On The Internet: Brown basketball fans can watch live video and listen to an audio feed (WPRV - AM 790) of all home games through the America One Network. All 13 home basketball games will be aired through Brown's athletic website http://brownbears.com. Fans wanting to watch Brown events via America One will need a high-speed Internet connection and a current version of Windows Media Player. Games will be sold on an individual basis at $8 per game, or a season pass can be purchased for $75. A 30-day pass for $30 allows the viewer to watch all Brown events during a 30-day period.
Brown Basketball Interactive Magazine: Brown Athletics has launched a bold initiative to present its athletic teams in a modern, interactive mode with the release of the Men's Basketball Interactive Magazine, which is available for view on Brownbears.com. The Brown basketball interactive magazine can be viewed by going to the men's basketball team page on brownbears.com, and clicking on the Interactive Magazine link under Team Information. Here's the link to the basketball magazine: http://www.meridianprinting.com/brown/2012/mbball/
Next Game: Brown travels to Albany, New York, for a New Year's Eve match-up against Albany on Monday, December 31. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 pm.