GAME FACTS – After starting the second half of University Athletic Association action with a split of a pair of road games, the Emory men's basketball squad prepares for two more road tests. On Friday (Feb. 9), the Eagles will tangle with Carnegie Mellon before taking on Case Western Reserve on Sunday. Skibo Gymnasium on the CMU campus will serve as the venue for the 61st meeting between the Tartans and Eagles, with the game slated to start at 8:00 pm. On Sunday, the scene shifts to Horsburgh Gymnasium on the Case Western campus for the 52nd match-up between the Spartans and Eagles, which will start at 11:00 am.
THE COACHES – Jason Zimmerman (Davidson, 1994) is in his 11th 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 187-96. In games played at the Woodruff PE Center, Zimmerman posts a 108-27 ledger and a 79-69 mark in road/neutral settings.
He has guided Emory to nine straight winning seasons and five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). The Eagles are the lone D-III school to have won at least one NCAA contest in each of the past five years.
After going 17-33 his first two years at Emory, Zimmerman has compiled a won-lost slate of 170-63 (.730) since the 2009-10 season.
Tony Wingen (Springfield, '82) is in his 28th season at the helm of the Carnegie Mellon program. During his stint with the Tartans he has compiled a school record of 310-386. In 30 campaigns as a head coach, Wingen checks in with a career ledger of 331-414.
In his second year in calling the shots for Case Western Reserve is Todd McGuinness (Bethany College, '02). Heading into a Friday home date vs. Rochester, McGuinness has registered a school record of 20-25. In nine seasons as a head coach, which includes a seven-year stay at Hartwick College, McGuinness claims a career slate of 134-97.
2017-18 RECORDS – Emory, ranked 13th in this week's D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll, enters the Carnegie Mellon contest with an overall record of 16-4, including a 7-2 slate in the UAA that places it second. The Eagles split road games this past weekend, battling to a 66-61 decision over Chicago before dropping an 82-69 outcome to No. 2-ranked Washington University.
Freshman Romin Williams averaged 14.5 points over the two contests and posted a team-high tying 17 points in the verdict against the Maroons. Senior Christopher Avant averaged 11.5 points and shot 55.6 percent (10-18) from the floor including 50 percent (3-6) from three-point range. Senior Whit Rapp put together back-to-back double-figure rebounding performances, averaging a team-high 10.5 caroms on the weekend.
Emory is 10-1 at home and 6-3 in road/neutral contests.
Carnegie Mellon hosts Emory with an overall mark of 5-15, 1-8 in the UAA. After dropping a 71-59 decision at home to New York University on Friday, the Tartans notched their first win in conference action on Sunday when they topped Brandeis by a 72-58 margin. CMU is 4-8 at home this season.
Case Western takes a five-game win streak into its Rochester game that has boosted its overall slate 12-8, 6-3 in the UAA which is good for sole possession of third place. This past weekend, the Spartans hosted and topped both Brandeis (69-64) and NYU (73-57), raising their home record to 7-4.
SERIES RECORDS – In a series that began in January of 1987, Emory holds an all-time record of 38-22 against Carnegie Mellon. The Eagles have captured the last eight meetings including the initial match-up of this year, 82-77, back on Jan. 12 at the Woodruff PE Center. Senior Adam Gigax led Emory in that game with 17 points while Christopher Avant pulled down nine rebounds. The Tartans stand 17-13 vs. Emory in games played on their home court, though Emory has won the last five at Skibo Gymnasium.
Emory claims a 31-20 edge in the all-time series against Case Western Reserve that saw the first game played in January of 1987. The Eagles have won the last three meetings including a 91-59 outcome earlier this season (Jan. 14) in Atlanta. In that contest, junior Gebereal Baitey paced the Eagles with a career-high 22 points. Emory posts a 13-12 mark against the Spartans in games played in Cleveland and has captured six of the last seven at Horsburgh Gym.
RAPP CONTINUES MARCH ON EMORY CAREER ASSISTS LIST – Whit Rapp's eight-assists weekend boosted his career total to 556. The holder of the No. 2 spot on the school's all-time assists chart, Rapp moved closer to Austin Claunch's (2008-12) No. 1 mark of 580. Rapp's 556 assists makes him Division III's No. 3 active career leader, behind Ohio Wesleyan's Nate Axelrod's total of 616 and Jack Daly of Middlebury (558).
Rapp's 10 assists vs. Brandeis on Jan. 21 represented his second game this year and 17th of his career with double figures.
Rapp stands in the No. 2 spot on Emory's all-time chart with a 5.73 per-game average, with that effort placing him as D-III's No. 4 active career leader. In his 14 appearances this year, Rapp is averaging 6.7 assists, with that mark fourth on the school's all-time seasonal ladder.
EMORY RESERVES PRODUCING – Emory continued to receive productive offensive play from its bench this past weekend with the Eagle reserves registering a 58-22 scoring advantage over the two games. So far this year, Emory subs have produced a total of 564 points (28.2 ppg) vs. 372 points (18.6 ppg) for the opposition.
Emory's bench outpointed Chicago's by a 27-10 margin before posting a 31-12 advantage in the Wash U contest. The Eagles have seen the reserves outscore the opposition's reserves in the last seven consecutive games, registering a 220-94 advantage in that stretch.
Heading into Friday's affair at Carnegie Mellon, the Eagles have seen their subs tally 30 or more points on nine occasions. On Jan. 21, Emory's bench registered a season-high 49 points in a 90-57 win over Brandeis. Back on Nov. 21, the Emory reserves chalked up 46 points in a 109-103 win over Berry College.
GIGAX CLIMBING EMORY CAREER LISTS – Adam Gigax checks into the Carnegie Mellon contest in 10th place on the school's all-time scoring chart with 1,147 points. He is 33 points from tying Paul Damm (1986-90) for ninth place with 1,180 points and 36 shy tying David Gaynes (1986-90) for the No. 8 spot.
In the three-point field goals department, Gigax has knocked down a total of 195 triples during his Emory career. Second on the Eagles' all-time list in treys, Gigax is aiming for the school's No. 1 mark of 227 held by Robert Spivey (2000-04). In addition, Gigax's career effort of 38.7 percent (195-503) from beyond the arc is ninth on the Emory all-time chart.
Finally, Gigax ranks ninth on the program's all-time list with 412 field goals.
EMORY OFFENSE PUTTING UP POINTS – While the Eagles were held below their scoring average in both the Chicago and Wash U games, they are still scoring at a healthy clip of 82.4 points per game, good for the No. 2 position in the UAA and 65th among all D-III programs (through Feb. 4). The Eagles have totaled 80 or more points in 13 of 20 contests and have registered five outings with 90 or more points.
The Eagles are tossing in 76.6 points over their nine UAA outings, good for second in the loop behind Wash U's 88.9 points.
WILLIAMS MAKES IMPACT – Romin Williams averaged a team-high 14.5 points in last weekend's endeavors against Chicago and Wash U. He put together back-to-back double-figure scoring performances, tying for team honors with 17 points against Chicago, followed by a 12-point effort against Washington University. Williams has produced 10 or more points in his last five and in a total of 16 games this season.
The team's leading scorer on seven occasions, Williams paces the Emory squad and is fourth among UAA players in overall scoring average with a 16.0 points-per-game average. He has produced 20 or more points on four occasions including a season-high 31 points vs. Chicago (Jan. 26) that ranks as the high-water mark by an Emory player this year. In league action, he is scoring at a 14.1 per-game clip, good for the No. 6 spot in the conference chart.
He is second on the Emory list with 45 three-point field goals and his 39.8 effort (45-113) from beyond the arc slots him in the No. 10 position on the conference ladder. Other UAA overall statistical categories that he finds himself ranked prominently include field goal percentage (6th, .438), free throw percentage (7th, .753 (55-73), assists (10th, 3.0 apg), three-point field goals per game (5th, 2.4) and steals (9th, 1.3 spg). He leads all UAA freshmen with eight statistical top-10 rankings
EMORY SOLID AT THE STRIPE – Though the Eagles were awarded just a total of 18 free throws this past weekend, they were fairly efficient at the stripe, sinking 14 for a 77.8 percent conversion rate.
Heading into the new week, Emory still holds down the No. 1 spot in the UAA with a 78.0 percent (276-354) showing in free throw shooting, ranking seventh among all D-III programs (through Feb. 4). The Eagles have been successful on 70 percent or better of their free throw opportunities in a total of 16 games. In their 11 home dates, the Eagles are connecting at a 78.2 clip (183-234) from the stripe. In nine contests away from the Woodruff PE Center, Emory posts a 77.5 percent (93-120) mark at the line.
Through nine league contests, Emory is shooting a UAA-best 80.1 percent (109-136) from the foul line.
CHRIS AVANT TOP EMORY REBOUNDER – Christopher Avant tops the team in rebounding with a 7.4 per-game average, good for sixth place among UAA players.
Emory's leader in rebounding on 12 occasions this year, he has grabbed 10 or more boards in six games. He is averaging 3.0 rebounds per outing on the offensive end of the floor, the fifth-best mark in the UAA. In conference action, he is 12th on the UAA ladder in rebounding (6.0 rpg).
Career-wise, he has 364 rebounds to his credit and is 17 shy of reaching the program's Top 20 list. He has recorded a total of 11 double-figure rebounding contests during his career.
DID YOU KNOW? – That Romin Williams' 304 point ranks as the fourth-highest total by an Emory freshman … Tim Garrett holds the school's freshman scoring mark with 374 points (1986-87) while Robert Spivey (334 pts, '00-01) and Jake Davis (332 pts, '10-11) stand second and third, respectively … That Whit Rapp is 10th on the Eagles' all-time list with 133 steals … Rapp will enter the Carnegie Mellon game with at least one theft to his credit in his last 11 games … That Emory has seen five or more players score in double figures in six games this year, surpassing last season's total of four … That the Eagles went 6-0 at home during the non-conference this season and have won their last 34 non-league contests dating from the early stages of the 2012-13 campaign (included in the streak are 6 NCAA Tourney wins) … Emory has won 23 of its last 25 home games …
That Christopher Avant currently holds down the No. 2 spot on the Eagles' all-time field goal percentage list, sinking 55.8 percent (227-407) of his attempts … That since the 2010-11 season, Emory has the No. 1 record among UAA teams in overall (155-53) play and the second-best mark in league action (75-32) .… Washington University has the conference's second-best overall ledger (152-52) and the top slate in conference play (79-28) … That Emory has at least one three-point field goal in its last 537 games -- The last time the Eagles failed to convert from beyond the arc came on Feb. 14, 1997, vs. Washington University (0-of-6) … Emory was won 45 of its last 46 games when allowing 69 or fewer points (9-0 in '17-18, 7-1 in '16-17, 13-0 in '15-16, 16-0 in '14-15) … That Christopher Avant's career-high 17 rebounds against Covenant tied the ninth-highest individual game total in school history and tied him with Will Trawick (vs. LaGrange, Dec. 1, 2013) for the most rebounds by a Zimmerman-coached player.
NOTES – Emory has recorded 190 three-point field goals this year, the 12th-highest seasonal team mark in history … Adam Gigax saw a 17-game streak (tied for the program's 13th longest) with at least one three-point field goal to his credit come to an end in the Chicago contest … Whit Rapp topped the team in rebounding against Chicago this past Friday with a career-best 11 rebounds, and followed that with his fifth career double-double (four of which have been pts./assts.) in the Wash U affair when he chalked up a season-high tying 12 points and team-leading 10 rebounds … Rapp is tied for first place in the UAA in overall assists average (6.7 apg) while his 5.9 per-game effort in conference contests is third … Adam Gigax is second on the team and fifth in the league in overall scoring average (14.9 ppg) … Gigax has converted two or more triples in 15 of his 19 appearances and has been successful on 40.8 percent (58-142) of his three-point attempts, good for the No.1 position on the UAA ladder … Gigax already has 58 three-pointers this year, good for a tie for 15th place on the Eagles' seasonal chart … Gigax is the UAA's No. 8 scorer in conference play (13.1 ppg) … In Emory's 11 home contests, Gigax is averaging 15.8 points and has converted 46.8 percent (37-79) from distance, while tossing in 13.6 points and shooting and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc (20-54) in eight road/neutral affairs (team has played nine road/neutral games) … Wash U shot an opponent season-high 57.1 percent from the floor this past Sunday, the sixth time this year the opposition had connected on 50 percent or better … Chris Avant is third on the team and 15th in the UAA in overall scoring average (11.6 ppg) …A double-figure scorer in 12 games, he is shooting 53.9 percent (90-167) from the floor, good for fourth place on the conference chart … He has been successful on 50 percent or better of his floor attempts in 14 contests … Gebereal Baitey tallied back-to-back performances of 10 points last weekend, and claims 13th double-figure scoring efforts this year … A starter in all 20 games, Baitey is third on the team in minutes (29.2 mpg) and his 10.7 points-per-game scoring average in overall play places him 20th on the league ladder … Emory has shot 50 percent or better from the field in five games this year (4-1) … Emory has eight games with 10 or more thefts this year and paces the UAA in that category (8.3 spg) … In its 16 wins, Emory is shooting 38.0 percent (160-421) from three-point range compared to 27.8 percent (30-108) in its four losses … Emory has attempted more free throws than the opposition in eight games (8-0) … Emory has outrebounded 10 opponents and has been outboarded on seven occasions (three games are tied) … The Eagles have led by 10 or more points heading into halftime on six occasions this year … Emory is averaging 80.7 points in its 11 home contests and 84.4 points in nine road/neutral outings … The Eagles are averaging 39.7 points during the first half of play and 42.7 points over the final 20 minutes … Gebereal Baitey claims eight games of two or more steals this year and 20 in his career … Baitey has steals to his credit in the last seven games and his 1.6 per-game average on the year ranks second in the league … Freshman Matt Davet has registered eight double-figure scoring contests and has turned in seven performances of two or more three-point field goals … Davet is shooting 35.6 percent (26-73) from beyond the arc, good for 20th place on the UAA ladder … Opponents are scoring at a 35.0 points-per-game clip in the first half and 39.4 points in the second half … The Eagles are 46-6 in their last 52 games when making 10 or more three-point field goals in a game (8-0 in '17-18) … Junior Beau Bommarito has eight double-figure scoring performances this season and has three-point field goals to his credit in a total of 14 contests … Since the 2012-13 season, the Eagles are 94-6 when outshooting the opposition from the floor (11-1 in '17-18, 17-1 in '16-17, 12-3 in '15-16, 18-0 in '14-15) … During Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach, Emory stands 150-19 when leading at halftime (13-1, in '17-18, 13-0 in '16-17; 18-3 in 2015-16) … Emory is 90-11 (.891) over its last 101 home contests … The Eagles have recorded 100 or more points 48 times in program history and own a 43-5 won-lost record in those affairs … During Jason Zimmerman's tenure as head coach, Emory has 17 contests of 100 or more points and stands 16-1 in such games.