Manhattan at NJIT
WHEN: Today, 2 p.m.
WHERE: Fleisher Center
ON THE AIR: www.gojaspers.com (Ed Cohen, Brian Mahoney)
SERIES: Tied 1-1
LAST MEETING: Manhattan won 70-28 last year.
SCOUTING NJIT: A loss for the Highlanders, losers of 33 straight and owners of an 0-29 record last year, would tie Sacramento State’s NCAA record for consecutive losses. The record was set from Dec. 22 1997 to Jan. 27 1999. NJIT hasn’t won since February of 2007 and likely won’t win today, meaning more infamy for the Newark school, which is in its third year of Division I basketball but hasn’t yet found a conference. Jim Engles, a former Columbia assistant, took over last March for Jim Casciano, who stepped down at the end of the season. (Former Fairfield coach Tim O’Toole was also a candidate for the job). What’s more, the Highlanders lost their leading scorer from a year ago, 6-8 power forward Nesho Milosevic, leaving 6-9 center Dan Stonkus, who averaged 4.3 points per game last season, as their best returning player.
SCOUTING MANHATTAN: The Jaspers, led by 6-2 junior guard Antoine Pearson, return four starters and 88 percent of their scoring from a year ago, when they finished seventh in the MAAC in Barry Rohrssen’s second year. Six-six forward Devon Austin (11.6 points last year) and 6-3 point guard Chris Smith (9.9) give Manhattan two more reliable scorers, while 6-6 sophomore Andrew Gabriel and 6-8 senior Herve Banogle fill out the starting five.
FAST FACTS: NJIT upset the Jaspers 56-55 in 2006. … Manhattan is 1-1 in openers under Barry Rohrssen. … Twelve Manhattan players started at least one game last year and eight started at least 10.