Can't Rest On Laurels

Coming off their satisfying 95-66 thrashing of URI on Saturday, 5-1 PC has no time to enjoy that win, as the Fairfield Stags invade the Dunk for a Monday evening clash. There's no time to rest on laurels.

Key Returnees:
Michael Van Schaick, SR, 6-2, G
Marty O'Sullivan, SR, 6-7, F
Danny Oglesby, SR, 6-3, G
Jonathan Han, SO, 6-0, G
Herbie Allen, SO, 5-11, G
Geoff Middleton, JR, 6-9, F
Mamadou Diakhate, JR, 6-6, F

Key Newcomers:
Greg Nero, FR, 6-6, F
Rich Fleming, FR, 6-7, F
Anthony Johnson, 6-8, F
Devin Johnson, FR, 6-4, G

Last Year's Record:
9-19 (7-11, 7th)

Hopes:
Ed Cooley came to Fairfield from Al Skinner's staff at Boston College, in an attempt to turn around the Stags fortunes. All-MAAC guard Terrence Todd may have graduated, but the cupboard isn't bare. Cooley will count on Van Schaick and O'Sullivan to provide leadership, but he will need several players to step forward and assume scoring roles. Oglesby has potential, and Han and Allen will need to develop quickly. Cooley is also counting on Nero, a freshman. Diakhate is a transfer from Eastern Kentucky. All in all, it looks like a transitional, rebuilding year for Fairfield.

Reality:
So far, Fairfield is 2-7, and has made playing overtime games an art form. The Stags are coming off a 68-64 overtime win over St. Francis of NY, but prior to that, had dropped games to Holy Cross (67-65 in OT), St. Joseph's (63-47), Mississippi (70-67), Connecticut (74-49), American in double overtime, Georgetown (73-60), Loyola of Chicago, and had defeated Central Arkansas (46-43). Frosh Nero leads the team in scoring at 13.9 ppg, and in blocks, with 10, and is second in rebounding at 4.3 rpg. He's followed by Van Schaick at 11.9 ppg, Anthony Johnson at 7.8 ppg and 4.0 rpg, and O'Sullivan, who scores at 6.4 ppg and leads in rebounding, at 6.9 rpg. Van Schaick is the sole three point threat, with 19-48, while Han mans the point, with 39 assists and 29 turnovers. The team shoots 39% from the floor, 27% from three and 70% from the line. This will be the 35th meeting between the Friars and Fairfield, with PC leading 29-5. The Friars won last year at Fairfield, 81-78. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, PC and Fairfield met every year, alternating home games. In March of 1977, PC and the Stags squared off in the first round of the postseason ECAC New England playoffs, and Fairfield took the air out of the ball. PC won 44-31, but Dave Gavitt was so incensed, that he swore he'd never schedule Fairfield again. The two schools didn't meet again until an NIT matchup in 1996 and not again in the regular season until last year.

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