slides: Brown Basketball 2015-16 Season Preview
Friday, November 13, 2015
Brown University men's basketball team tips off their 2015-16 season tonight at 8:30 p.m. on the road against Saint Peter's. This is Brown's 110th season of intercollegiate basketball.
Last season the Bears went 13-18 overall and 4-10 in conference play. This season, Brown returns four of five starters and a total of seven letter winners.
"I'm just looking forward to seeing the team develop, we are far from a finished product but looking forward to seeing how much we can grow this season," said Brown Head Coach Mike Martin.
Brown was picked to finish fifth in the Ivy League for the second straight season.
Trip to Italy
During the off-season, the Brown Bears took a nine-day tour of Italy that encompassed four cities and four games. In the four games against Italian Clubs and Universities, Brown went 3-1. Due to NCAA and Ivy League rules, the freshman and transfers were not able to go on the trip.
"I think that it helped, we are already a pretty close-knit team, but it was a great opportunity for us. We worked on a lot of different things, tried different combinations, so it helped," Martin said.
Brown will be hoping the success of the trip will translate into success this season. Brown has not had a winning record in Ivy League play in over eight seasons.
Brown will be led by senior captain Cedric Kuakumensah, who is coming off a season in which he was named second team All-Ivy and reached the 235 career blocked shots milestone. Kuakumensah averaged 7.4 rebounds per game and 11.2 points per game last season.
"He has got to be a good leader, need him to provide consistent offense and anchor the defense, as well as protecting the rim and cleaning up the backboards," Martin said.
The Bears will use a mix of forwards around Kuakumensah, including sophomore Kyle Haber, who averaged 9 minutes per game last season before getting hurt, and freshman Travis Fuller, who averaged a double-double during his senior year of high school.
Blackmon started 28 of 29 games for Brown last season and averaged 10.4 points per game and dished out 114 assists (3.9 per game) last season.
In two years at Brown, Spieth has started 58 of 59 games, averaging 9.1 points per game and shooting 43 percent from the field for his career. Spieth averaged 9.9 points per game last season.
One player to watch at the guard position as the season goes on is Rhode Island's own Corey Daugherty, who begins his freshman season.
Daugherty was named Rhode Island Player of the Year as a high school senior and first team all-state as a junior and senior.
After tonight's game against Saint Peter's, Brown returns home to host Holy Cross on Monday, November 16th before facing Niagra and then cross-town rival Providence on the 18th and 21st.
Brown will host URI on December 30th and begin conference play on January 23rd on the road against Yale.
Brown's regular season home schedule comes to an end on February 27th when they host Harvard and their regular season ends on March 5th at Cornell.
The Bears will look to get back to the postseason for the second time in three years.
Related Slideshow: Brown Bears 2015-16 Projected Starting Lineup
G - Tavon Blackmon
Junior Tavon Blackmon started 28 of 29 games for Brown last season and averaged 10.4 points per game and dished out 114 assists (3.9 per game) last season.
Blackmon ranked 4th in the Ivy League in free throw percentage (.831) and fifth in the Ivy League in assists per game.
For his career, Blackmon averages 8.9 points and 3.9 assists per game with an assist to turnover ratio of 1.3.
G -J.R. Hobbie
Junior J.R. Hobbie comes into the 2015-16 season after starting 11 of Brown's last 12 games in 14-15.
Last season Hobbie averaged 8.9 points per game and shot 41% from beyond the three-point arc.
In his career, Hobbie is averaging 7.3 points per game and shooting 42% from three-point land.
G - Steven Spieth
In two years at Brown, Steven Spieth has started 58 of 59 games, averaging 9.1 points per game and shooting 43 percent from the field for his career.
Spieth averaged 9.9 points, five rebounds and two assists per game for the Bears.
F - Cedric Kuakumensah
Senior captain Cedric Kuakumensah is coming off of a 2014-15 season in which he was named second team All-Ivy and reached the 235 career blocked shots milestone. Kuakumensah is 17 blocked shots away from the Ivy League record for blocks in a career. Kuakumensah had 76 blocked shots last season for Brown.
Kuakumensah averaged 7.4 rebounds and 11.2 points per game as well as 2.5 blocked shots per game, which ranked him 20th best in the country.
F- Travis Fuller
Travis Fuller, a 6'9" freshman forward, comes to Brown fro California where he averaged a double-double, 18 points and 10 rebounds at La Costa Canyon High School.
"Travis is a versatile forward who can be effective both inside and outside. He has a very good combination of size and skill but also a very high basketball IQ and a desire to be successful. We think he can be very effective because of these traits," head coach Mike Martin said.
6th Man - Corey Daugherty
Barrington, Rhode Island's own Corey Daugherty was named the Gatorade Player-of-the-Year as a high school senior and first team all-state as a junior and senior.
Daugherty will provide Brown scoring off the bench and an extra ball handler in pressure situations. Wouldn't be surprised if Daugherty finds himself in the starting lineup at times this season.
“Corey is a highly skilled guard who we have seen a lot during his high school career. He has very good quickness and was a prolific scorer when needed in high school. We feel that his ball handling and shooting ability allow him to play either guard spot in college," Martin said.
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