Jan. 16, 2007
Last Week... #19 Johns Hopkins went 2-1 las week to retain sole possession of first place in the Centennial Conference. The Blue Jays suffered a set-back on Tuesday, losing 64-59 to Haverford. Hopkins bounced back on Thursday with a 66-50 win at Ursinus. On Saturday, Hopkins hosted Muhlenberg and dominated the Mules, winning 78-58.
Senior Matt Griffin led the Blue Jays last week, averaging 20.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in the three games. He shot 67.9 percent from the field (19-28) and 92 percent from the charity stripe (23-25). Griffin scored a season-high 25 points vs. Haverford and tallied 21 at Ursinus, capping the week with 15 points in just 18 minutes vs. Muhlenberg.
The Week Ahead... #25 Hopkins visits Franklin & Marshall on Wednesday and then Dickinson on Saturday. The Blue Jays will look to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the conference with these two key road games.
Series History... This will be the 77th meeting between Hopkins and Franklin & Marshall, with the Diplomats holding a distinct edge in the series 49-27. Franklin & Marshall has won six of the last seven meetings between the two. Hopkins last won in Lancaster on January 28, 1998 - a 63-55 win for the Blue Jays.
Hopkins and Dickinson have met 56 times with Hopkins holding a 33-23 advantage in the series. The Blue Jays and the Red Devils last met on December 9. Hopkins won that meeting 76-60. The Blue Jays have won four straight and nine of the last 10.
Coaching Milestone... Head Coach Bill Nelson, the winningest coach in the history of Hopkins' men's basketball, is on the verge of reaching two coaching milestones. He needs 9 victories to reach 350 wins at Hopkins. In addition, he is just four wins shy of reaching the 450-win plateau in his career. His record with the Blue Jays stands at 341-196 (.635). His overall record is currently 446-249 (.642).
Road Warriors... Hopkins will play five of its next six games on the road. The Blue Jays only home game during the next three weeks will be on January 24 when the Gettysburg Bullets visit Goldfarb Gym. Hopkins is 7-1 away from Goldfarb this season.
It's Been A While... Hopkins opened the season on a 9-0 run, the second best start in school history. The 1991-92 squad holds that distinction. That season, the Blue Jays won their first 11 games and finished with a 20-8 record.
Second Half Kids... Hopkins has been a second half team this season. In five of their 15 games, the Blue Jays have trailed at halftime, but have come back to win.
Hopkins is shooting 55.3 percent from the floor in the second, compared to 45.0 percent in the first. The Blue Jays are also lighting it up from behind the arc, shooting 47.1 percent in the second half.
I'm Honored... On Monday, senior Matt Griffin earned his both Centennial Conference and PrestoSports/Pride of Maryland Player of the Week honors. He led the Blue Jays to a 2-1 week last week with his hot shooting. He shot 67.9 percent from the field (19-28) and 92 percent from the charity stripe (23-25). For the week, he averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in three games.
Second Half Kids - Part II... Senior Matt Griffin and freshman Pat O'Connell have been on fire in the second half of games this season. O'Connell is shooting 71.4 percent from the floor, including 62.5 percent from three-point range. Griffin is connecting on 71.9 percent of his field goals. Sophomore Ryan Purcell is also lighting it up in the second - shooting 63.6 percent from the floor.
Lethal Weapon Three... Seniors Matt Griffin, Danny Nawrocki and T.J. Valerio are averaging a combined 39.5 points and 18.3 rebounds per game. The trio accounts for 54.8 percent of Hopkins points and 50.0 percent of the Jays rebounds so far this season.
Movin' On Up... Seniors Matt Griffin, Danny Nawrocki and T.J. Valerio are making their way up the Hopkins career record lists. Griffin currently ranks third in free throws made (265), fifth in free throws attempted (365) and field goal percentage (.589), 11th in offensive rebounds (167), tied for 12th in blocks (49), 16th in points (931), 17th in total rebounds (394) and 18th in defensive rebounds (227).
Nawrocki is the career record holder with 574 defensive rebounds. In other categories he ranks: second in total rebounds (797), third in free throws attempted (454), fourth in offensive rebounds (213) and blocks (101), seventh in points (1202), eighth in field goals made (445) and minutes played (2350), 10th in free throws made (228) and 15th in field goals attempted (763).
Valerio ranks sixth in three-pointers attempted (334), fifth in three-pointers made (134) and three-point field goal percentage (.401), 13th in free throw percentage (.758) and minutes played (2044).
Sweet Charity... Seniors Matt Griffin and T.J. Valerio and junior Doug Polster have been clutch from the charity stripe this season. All three are shooting over 79.0 percent from the line. In fact, Griffin has hit 15 consecutive free throws and Valerio has hit 13 straight.
On the season, Valerio is shooting 82.5 percent from the free throw line. Griffin is shooting 80.43 percent, followed by Polster with 79.5 percent. Also, junior Kevin Roach has converted 7-of-8 from the line for an 87.5 percent clip from the line.
In the Centennial, Valerio ranks third, Polster ranks tied for fourth, Griffin ranks seventh and freshman Patrick O'Connell ranks eighth (77.8 percent).
Polster, O'Connell Shine... Junior Doug Polster and freshman Pat O'Connell have had solid campaigns off the bench so far this season. Polster, who ranks fourth on the team in scoring, is shooting 51.0 percent from three-point range and is averaging 8.9 points per game. In the second half, Polster is shooting 55.6 percent from behind the arc. O'Connell is averaging 4.9 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. He is shooting 43.8 percent from the floor, including 43.8 from three-point land. In the second half, he's shooting a scorching 71.4 percent from the floor, including 71.4 from behind the arc.