Friday, November 11, 2016

Coppin State Men’s Hoops Battles Hofstra in Season Opener

HEMPSTEAD, New York  –  Coppin State men's basketball heads to Hofstra (Hempstead, N.Y.) on Friday, Nov. 11 for their 2016-17 season opener in the David S. Mack Complex. Game time is 7:00 p.m. (ET).

Coppin State returns seven players who competed last season, including three of the team's five starters – senior Terry Harris Jr., senior Keith Shivers and junior Blake Simpson. Other prominent contributors back from last season's team are seniors Joshua TreadwellIzais Hicks and Mufaro Murinda as well as sophomore Lucian Brownlee. Coppin State has added a pair of veteran seniors - Chas Brown and Joseph Gripper – that will bring experience and a winning culture to the Eagles. In all, the roster includes seven seniors, two juniors, one sophomore and three freshmen.
Terry Harris Jr. and Keith Shivers, a pair of seniors, will look to make Coppin State contenders in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Harris Jr. averaged 12.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in 30 games played last season. He began the 2015-16 season racking up five double-double in five of the Eagles first six contests. In addition he ended last season ranked fifth in rebounding and 21st in points amongst the conference leaders. Shivers started in 27 games played last season averaging 9.1 points reaching double figure scoring in 12 games. He also ranked second on the team in steals per game (1.1).
Picked to finish tenth in the MEAC preseason poll, Coppin State returns 54 percent of its total scoring and 59 percent of its rebounding production from 2015-16. The Eagles bring back 42 percent of its assist production from last year. Coppin State's returning players accounted for 57 percent of the team's minutes in 2015-16. Two returning players from last season averaged at least 10.0 points per game a year ago – Harris Jr. (12.4 ppg) and Treadwell (10.1 ppg). Those two players accounted for 58 percent of Coppin State's scoring from last season.
The Eagles add six newcomers to mesh with his returners. The Eagles back court will feature a well-seasoned transfer at the lead guard to go along with a pair of first year players. Senior Joseph Gripperbrings leadership and discipline at the point guard position. Joining Gripper is red-shirt freshman Rasool Hinson and freshman Dejuan Clayton. On the wings, junior Tre' Thomas and Juwan Davenport are added while in the paint Chas Brown looks to make an impact.
Coppin State features five players from the state of Maryland on this year's roster. Two are from Baltimore (Chas Brown and Terry Harris Jr.), two are from Bowie (Dejuan Clayton and Tre' Thomas) and one from Upper Marlboro (Keith Shivers). Three of the five transferred from Baltimore City Community College (Chas BrownTerry Harris Jr., and Tre' Thomas) where they played for head coach Terry Macsko. The trio all played during the 2014-15 season and all averaged above 10.0 points per game.
Freshman guard Dejuan Clayton played high school basketball at St. John's College High School in Washington, DC. As a senior he started on a team playing in the backcourt with Maryland freshman guard Anthony Cowan leading their team to a 71-57, win over DeMatha in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship. He was also named an honorable mention on the 2016 WCAC All-Conference Boys Team.
Coppin State head coach Michael Grant dropped both of his season openers since his arrival in 2014-15. The Eagles traveled to Oregon in 2014 and suffered a 107-65 loss and then fell 107-80 at Eastern Kentucky in 2015. The last time Coppin State won a season opener was back in the 2011-12 season against Cheyney (80-65) at home. Coach Grant will face Hofstra for the second time on Friday evening in Coppin State's season opener.
Coppin State was selected tenth in the preseason MEAC poll, announced on Oct. 27th by the men's basketball coaches and sports information directors. Howard was picked to finish first, collecting 14 of 25 first-place votes, while South Carolina State was selected second (and secured nine first-place votes). Coppin State was picked to finish tenth in the conference race. The Eagles last won the MEAC regular-season title in 2003-04 along with South  Carolina State.

Terry Harris Jr. – 6-8, 205 – senior, forward – Baltimore, Md. (Baltimore City CC)
  • Led the Eagles with 7.2 rebounds, 25 blocks, and eight double-double performances
  • Ranked second on the team scoring 12.4 points per contest
  • Ranked fifth in MEAC rebounding, sixth in defensive rebounding (5.0), 11th in offensive rebounding (2.2) and 13th in blocked shots (0.8)
  • Racked up five double doubles in five of the Eagles first six contests
  • Tied the team season high with 27 points against San Francisco

Blake Simpson – 6-7, 230 – junior, forward – Cincinnati, Ohio (LaSalle HS)

  • Played in 29 games and started in 25 averaging 2.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.7 blocks per game
  • Ranked second on the Eagles in blocked shots with 21 totaled...
  • Grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds at Florida A&M, scored a career-high eight points twice (at Bethune-Cookman and vs. South Carolina State) and blocked a career-best four shots vs. South Carolina State.

Keith Shivers – 6-4, 195 – senior, guard – Upper Marlboro, Md. (Paris JC)

  • Played in 27 games averaging 9.1 points, 3.7 rebounds while shooting over 40% from the field
  • Finished second on the team with 31 steals and third on the team with 11.5 points in MEAC play
  • Scored in double figures in five straight games during MEAC action averaging 13.8 points and 5.4 rebounds
  • Scored a career best 19 points in the Eagles opening round victory in the 2016 MEAC Tournament over North Carolina A&T.

Joshua Treadwell – 6-5, 213 – senior, guard/forward – Newark, N.J. (Essex County CC)
  • Played in 31 games averaging 10.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists while shooting over 44% from the field
  • Led the Eagles from the field at .441 percent and was second on the squad in both rebounds (4.6) and three-point field goals made (39)
  • In the MEAC ranked eighth in 3-point field goal percentage (.379), 12th in free throw percentage (.775) and 15th in field goal percentage (.441)
  • Scored in double figures 14 times and reached 20+ points in a pair of games
  • Top performance was 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists versus Howard.

Izais Hicks – 6-8, 200 – senior, forward – Staten Island, N.Y. (Northwest Tech CC)

  • Played in 18 games and started in one game averaging 1.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.3 assists while shooting over 43% from the field
  • Scored in nine games including a season-high seven points vs. Morgan State
  • Grabbed a season-high five rebounds twice vs. Kansas State and Norfolk State

Lucian Brownlee – 6-2, 165 – sophomore, guard – Lawnside, N.J. (Haddon Heights HS)

  • Played in 31 games averaging 4.2 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.4 assists while shooting over 35% from the field and 76% from the free-throw line
  • Scored in double figures twice including a season-high 13 points at Iowa State and then led the Eagles in scoring with 11 points at Fordham

Mufaro Murinda – 6-7, 195 – senior, forward – Pomona, Calif. (Chaffey College)

  • Played in 19 games averaging 2.8 points, 0.8 rebounds, 0.3 assists while shooting over 82% from the free-throw line
  • Exploded for 17 points in a nationally televised game at Norfolk State playing 18 minutes and knocking down 4-of-7 three-pointers.

Hofstra enters the 2016-17 season under the direction of fourth-year head coach Joe Mihalich. Mihalich has led Hofstra to 44 wins over the past two seasons and the Pride has averaged 18 wins a season over the last three since taking over a program coming off a seven-win campaign. Last year, Hofstra compiled a 24-10 record. Hofstra returns eight players (including two transfers) from last season's 24-win squad, led by returning starters Brian Bernardi and junior Rokas Gustys.
Michael Grant enters his third season as Coppin State's head coach in 2016-17, his 18th year as a collegiate head coach. Grant arrived at Coppin State in March 2014 and has led the Eagles to 17 wins in his first two seasons. He has winning records against MEAC foes, Bethune-Cookman (2-1), Delaware State (2-1), Florida A&M (2-0) and North Carolina A&T (2-0). Through two years as the Eagles' head coach, Grant has a 17-45 overall record.
The Eagles are scheduled to play six games in a 10-day span, beginning with the season opener against Hofstra on Friday, Nov. 11. Following Friday's game against the Pride, Coppin State travels to Valparaiso on Monday, Nov. 14 (7 pm ET). This will be the first ever meeting between the Crusaders and Eagles. Valparaiso enters the 2016-17 season underneath first year head coach Matt Lottich.

COASTAL CAROLINA (Nov. 16): Coppin State's third regular-season showdown comes against the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina on Wednesday, Nov. 16. Game time in the HTC Center is 7 pm (ET). This will be the first ever meeting between the Eagles and Chanticleers.

BRIGHAM YOUNG (Nov. 17): The Eagles will face Brigham Young on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 9 pm (ET).


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