Monday, March 3, 2014
Opponent: Florida A&M Rattlers (12-16, 7-7 MEAC)
Site: Hill Field House, Baltimore, Md.
Game Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
MSU Coach: Todd Bozeman (140-114 – 8th yr)
BALTIMORE, Md. — The Morgan State Bears (12-14, 10-4 MEAC) will hosts the Florida A&M Rattlers in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference home game finale on Monday at 7:30 p.m. The game will be highlighted by a pregame ceremony honoring four seniors, Ian Chiles, Thair Heath, Justin Black and Anthony Hubbard. Monday’s matchup will mark the 53rd all-time meeting between the two programs, with the Rattlers holding a 32-20 edge since 1987. The Bears have won the last 5 of 6 matchups against Florida A&M.
SCOUTING FLORIDA A&M
The Rattlers welcomed back five veterans, including four starters, from a squad that posted a 8-23 overall record, and finished ninth place in the MEAC with an 5-11 record. The Rattlers have three players averaging double-digit scoring. Jamie Adams leads the squad averaging 17.1 ppg (Ranked No. 6 in MEAC), followed by Reggie Lewis (12.5 ppg) and Markee Teal (10.0 ppg). Adams is among the league leaders in assists (3.5 – Ranked No. 5) and steals (1.4 avg. – Ranked T-No. 6). Clemon Johnson is in his third season and currently has a 58-62 as the Rattlers head coach. Florida A&M defeated Edward Waters 104-69 on Wednesday night to extend its winning streak to four games. The Rattlers took a 54-32 lead over the Tigers at halftime, getting at least 50 points in each half.
LAST TIME VS. THE RATTLERS
BALTIMORE (March 7, 2013) – Justin Black had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead four Bears in double-figures lifting Morgan State to a 78-67 win over Florida A&M on Thursday night in the regular season finale at Hill Field House. 7-foot-2 center Ian Chiles was 9 of 13 for a career-high 18 points and Shaquille Duncan had 11 points.DeWayne Jackson, who was honored during the Bears’ “Senior Night” ceremony, posted 15 points, four rebounds with two blocks and became the school No. 6 all-time leading scorer with 1,537 career points.
WE MEET AGAIN: The Morgan State Bears will square off against the Rattler for the 53rd meeting between the two. Florida A&M holds a 32-20 advantage, however the Bears have won five of the last six meetings. Todd Bozeman holds a 6-3 record against the Rattlers since becoming MSU’s head coach in 2006.
THREE IN DOUBLE FIGURES
Thru 26 games last season, three Bears averaged more than 10 points a game. Justin Black leads with by averaging 18.8 ppg (No. 3 in MEAC), Ian Chiles averages 15.4 points per game (No. 9 in MEAC), while Anthony Hubbard is averaging 10.3 points and leads the squad averaging 6.7 rpg (No. 8).
BLACK A MEMBER OF THE 1,000 POINTS CLUB
Senior guard Justin Black eclipsed the 1,000 point mark for his career as a result of his 24-point outing against Cal State Northridge (12/27) … Black recently moved in front of Anthony Young (1,269 pts – 1975-79) as the school’s No. 14 leading scorer and currently has 1,292 career points.
POUNDING THE PAINT
MSU is eager to get the ball inside this season, even more so than normal. Through 14 conference games, MSU ranks No. 2 in the MEAC averaging 74.2 points per game, including 15 points in the paint. This includes a dominating 50-22 edge in the paint at Hampton (1/20), 42-20 advantage at Coppin State (2/10), and 48-30 versus Bethune-Cookman (3/1).
THEIVES IN THE NIGHT
Two Bears are averaging better than 1.0 steals per game – Justin Black (2.0 – ranks No. 2 in MEAC), and Donte Pretlow (1.3 – No. 9). Morgan State is also No. 5 in the MEAC by averaging 6.3 steals per game.
LOOK WHO’S IN SLAM
Morgan State senior guard Justin Black was recently featured in SLAM ONLINE (www.slamonline.com) in an article entitled “Game Plan.”
TOUGH IN THE PAINT
Ian Chiles and Thair Heath are shooting better than .500 from the field this year. Thru the first 25 games Chiles is shooting 55.3 pct (ranks No. 5 in MEAC). Heath is shooting 54.2 pct., while frontcourt teammate The Bears are among the top teams in the MEAC ranked No. 3 in field goal percentage (.430).
WELCOME TO MY BLOCK PARTY
Ian Chiles has been making the most of his 7-foot-2 frame. The senior recorded a career-high 9 blocked shots against Norfolk State on Feb. 8. He’s currently ranked No. 2 in the MEAC averaging 3.0 rejections per contest (77) and now has 176 career blocks.
Despite the loss against Norfolk State (Feb. 8), Ian Chiles had a strong effort and came close to finishing with the oh so rare — triple-double. “Big Slew” completed the night with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and notched a career-high nine blocked shots … one rejection short a triple-double.
A BLOSSOM ON THE OFFENSIVE GLASS
Cedric Blossom leads the Bears with 70 offensive rebounds thru the first 26 games. The sophomore has started in every game and is averaging 6.9 ppg, 5.4 rebounds in 23.2 minutes. He had a sensational game at UMES (Feb. 17) where he posted a career-high 20 points and 11 rebounds — he has recorded three double-doubles during his career.
SENIOR DAY ON MONDAY
MSU will say goodbye to four seniors during a pregame ceremony. Justin Black, Ian Chiles, Anthony Hubbard and Thair Heath will wrap up seasons of impressive work Monday night when Morgan State and Florida A&M meet in Hill Field House in the 2014 home finale.
EYE ON THE STORM
Among the many intriguing angles for the Morgan State versus Florida A&M game on Monday night is that there is a winter storm that might play a factor. The forecast projects 6 to 10 inches of snow for Baltimore and the surrounding area during the day. Snow will be moderate to heavy during the morning commute and will continue to fall moderate to heavy at times through early afternoon Monday. The game, by all accounts, is expected to be played regardless.
NEXT UP FOR THE BEARS
Morgan State travels to Beltway rival Howard for the regular season finale. Tip-off is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Burr Gymnasium.