Previewing Mount St. Mary's

The No. 1-seeded Tar Heels open NCAA Tournament action Friday against play-in game winner Mount St. Mary's. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at Raleigh's RBC Center and will be televised by CBS.

North Carolina (32-2) vs. Mount St. Mary's (19-14)
Raleigh, N.C. - RBC Center
7:10 p.m., CBS

Quotables

"I grew up a Carolina fan. When you look at all the legendary players that came out of there, why not? I guess it means a lot to play against them." – Mount St. Mary's point guard and Charlotte, N.C. native Jeremy Goode

"They're the best team in the country, until somebody proves it otherwise… They were really good, but with [Ty] Lawson back, they're special. As much as [Tyler] Hansbrough causes a problem, and I'm pretty sure he'll win the player of the year, I also think that Roy would say, ‘That Lawson stirs the drink for us.' Because he can get other guys even easier baskets, including himself, because he's so aggressive on the push in transition. In playing them, there's really no out." -- Mount St. Mary's head coach Milan Brown

PREGAME NOTES
Season to Date: Mount St. Mary's enters Friday night's contest with a 19-14 record. After falling to 10-13 after an 83-75 home loss to Wagner on Feb. 7, the Mountaineers have won nine of their past 10 games, including six straight. The Mount entered the Northeast Conference Tournament as the No. 4 seed, but defeated Sacred Heart, 68-55, for its first title since 1999. The 19 wins are the most by a Mount team since the 1995-96 squad went 21-8.

Play-In Game Results: Jeremy Goode scored 21 points to lead Mount St. Mary's past Coppin State, 69-60, on Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio. The win was the first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament victory for the Mount in three appearances. Chris Vann (14.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg) chipped in 13 points in the victory while Kelly Beidler (6.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg) had a career-high 15 rebounds. The Mountaineers are now 1-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, with their previous two appearances also occurring as No. 16 seeds (1995, 1999).


Vann
Local Talent: Sophomore point Jeremy Goode reigns from Charlotte, N.C., and leads the Mountaineers with a 14.5 points per game average. His 177 assists this season ranks as the third-best single-season mark in school history, and account for the most assists by a Mount St. Mary player since the school moved to Division I for the 1988-89 season. The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder is also averaging 1.97 steals and 3.3 rebounds per game, in addition to knocking down 44 percent of his field goals.

Offensive Adjustments: Sitting with an 8-10 record heading into the Wagner game on Jan. 24, head coach Milan Brown decided to change his offensive philosophy to a more up-tempo style of play. And the transition has paid off with solid results. Since making the adjustment, the Mount is averaging 75.7 points over the past 15 games, converting 46.5 percent from the floor and 36.6 percent from 3-point range, scoring 80 or more points in five of those contests. Since making the switch, Mount St. Mary's has posted an 11-4 record.

Charity Stripe Living: The Mount has attempted 30 or more free throws in each of the past four games. In the NEC title game at Sacred Heart, the Mountaineers connected on 30-for-35 (.857) free throw attempts. In the tournament quarterfinal win over Quinnipiac, the Mount shot a season-high 39 free throws, only making 24.Goode has led the way by getting to the line at least 10 times in four postseason games this season, going 34-43 (.791) over that stretch. For the season, the Mount has attempted 704 free throws, averaging 21.3 attempts per game.

Freshman Sensation: Freshman guard Jean Cajou came off the bench to earn the Northeast Conference Tournament MVP award. The Fairfax, Va. product averaged 16.0 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 54.5 percent from the floor, 53.8 percent from 3-point range and 81.0 percent at the charity stripe in three NEC Tournament wins.

Foretelling Stat: The Mount is 2-9 this season when allowing 70 or more points in a game.

You Probably Did Not Know… With a full-time enrollment of 1,528, Mount St. Mary's is the sixth-smallest NCAA Division I school. Only Centenary (866), Presbyterian (1,164), Wofford (1,176), Saint Francis (Pa.) (1,249) and Virginia Military Institute (1,369) are smaller.

Versus Elite Competition: Mount St. Mary's is 1-11 all-time against ranked opponents since joining Division I in 1988-89, and has never faced the No. 1 team in the nation. The Mountaineers have not played a ranked opponent since an 89-56 loss to #22 Maryland on Jan. 4, 2005.

Series History: Friday night's game marks the first ever meeting between these two programs.

Background
Location: Emmitsburg, Md.
Enrollment: 1,526
Conference: Northeast
Nicknames: Mountaineers or The Mount
Color: Navy Blue & White
Head Coach: Milan Brown
Record at MSMU: 60-90

Projected Starters:
 1 Jeremy Goode (5-9, 170, So.) – 14.5 ppg, 5.5 apg
 2 Chris Vann (6-0, 195, Sr.) – 14.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg
11 Will Holland (6-4, 215, So.) - 8.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg
40 Sam Atupem (6-7, 240, Jr.) - 7.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg
45 Markus Mitchell (6-7, 245, Jr.) – 5.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg

Key Reserves:
 0 Jean Cajou (6-3, 180, Fr.) – 7.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
 4 Kelly Beidler (6-5, 205, So.) – 6.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg
10 Shawn Atupem (6-7, 195, Fr.) – 4.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg
50 Jason Loughry (7-0, 245, Sr.) – 2.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg

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