5 Things to Know About: Monmouth

The Monmouth Hawks are Syracuse's eighth non-conference opponent this season. Before the Orange and Hawks take to the court, see what you need to know about Monmouth inside.

The Monmouth Hawks land in Syracuse, New York, as the next non-conference opponent for the Syracuse Orange men's basketball program.

The Hawks were on a four-game winning streak before losing in their latest match-up to Navy.

Their last win came against another team based in Upstate New York, when Monmouth defeated the Binghamton Bearcats, in the city that Monmouth head coach King Rice calls home.

After becoming the fifth Hawks' coach in team history last season, Rice helped Monmouth to the right side of the win-loss column in nine of their last 12 games.

Now, in his second season, Rice has guided the Hawks to an above .500 record, at 5-4.

Before Syracuse heads to the court to face Monmouth, here is what you need you to know about the Northeast Conference adversary:

1. Their top performer is: Sophomore guard Andrew Nicholas.

Nicholas leads Monmouth in points per game with 15.7. He is the only Hawks' player to be averaging double-figures in points so far this season.

The sophomore guard is also in the top three among all Monmouth players in rebounds per game, assists per game, and steals per game.

Nicholas has been the Hawks' leader in points in five of their nine matches.

2. The chameleon: Senior guard Dion Nesmith

Nesmith has been Monmouth's wild card, helping the team in various key areas throughout the season. Within the Hawks' nine games, he has been the leader, at times, in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots.

3. From long range:

Nicholas and fellow guard, who is also a senior, Jesse Steele have both taken more than 50 attempts from beyond the arc. Between the two of them, they have attempted over 100 three-point shots, Nicholas with 58 and Steele with 52.

Despite the amount they have taken, Nicholas and Steele have combined to make a mere 32 of their 110 attempts.

As a team, Monmouth has only connected on 52 of their 176 tries from long range, succeeding from long range only 29.5% of the time.

4. Keeping possession:

Senior forwards Ed Waite and Marcus Ware are the best for the Hawks on the offensive glass. Both Waite and Ware have attained double-digit rebounds on the offensive end in nine matches total this season, Waite with 16 and Ware with 21.

5. Turnovers:

Monmouth has caused 55 more turnovers than they have made through nine games, 199 caused to 144 made.

With a Hawks team that knows how to make their opponents take a misstep, the Orange must protect the ball, including sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams, who has 10 turnovers in Syracuse's last two games combined.

An interesting fact: Monmouth's win over Binghamton this season helped the Hawks to attain their 400th win in program history as NCAA Division I men's basketball members. Jim Boeheim has more than doubled that in his tenure with Syracuse, helping to lead the Orange to 897 victories.

Tipoff: Saturday, December 8th, at 7pm ET in the Carrier Dome.

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