The Game: Dartmouth (0-0) vs. Maine (0-0)
Location: Leede Arena (2,100), Hanover, N.H.
Tipoff: Saturday, November 10 at 7 p.m.
Series Record vs. Maine: Black Bears lead, 10-8
Live Audio, Video - Dave Collins, play-by-play
Complete Game Notes
• Dartmouth opens up its 2012-13 season at home for the first time in eight years, which is (perhaps not coincidentally) the last time the Big Green won their season opener — 66-61 over Quinnipiac.
• Last year the Big Green began the season at Rutgers and nearly pulled off a big upset before eventually falling, 62-56. Both Jvonte Brooks and John Golden scored eight points in their first collegiate game, while R.J. Griffin led Dartmouth with 15.
• In the first 111 seasons of Dartmouth basketball, the program has posted an 84-37 record in season openers. The Big Green’s longest winning streak (15) on opening day came from the 1929-30 through the 1943-44 seasons.
• Head coach Paul Cormier won his first four season openers at Dartmouth, but has since dropped his last five, thanks to playing Virginia, Boston College, Richmond, Providence and Rutgers in those games.
Meet Your Big Green
• In terms of average years of collegiate experience, the Big Green are the second youngest team in Division I. The 15 players have a total of 11 years of experience (0.73 years on average), which trails only Cal State Northridge, which has 17 players with 11 years (0.65).
• A total of eight letterwinners return to the squad this year, including three starters. The top three returning scorers for Dartmouth are a trio of sophomore forwards — (9.4 ppg), Gabas Maldunas (9.1) and (7.3).
• Maldunas and Brooks dominated the boards last year for the Big Green, ranking fifth (7.2) and seventh (6.6) in the league, respectively.
• The lone upperclassmen on the roster are senior center Matt LaBove and junior guard Tyler Melville. Nearly half of the 15 players on the roster are freshmen (7).
Series vs. Maine
• This is the 19th meeting on the hardwood for these two schools with the Black Bears holding a slight 10-8 advantage.
• The only games in the series this millennium came in three straight years, 2003-05. Each team won on the other’s home court before Maine won the last encounter in Portland, 64-55.
• is 3-5 in his career against the Black Bears, going 3-3 against them in his first stint at Dartmouth and faltering to them twice while at Fairfield.
Scouting the Black Bears
• Maine, which was second in the America East Conference in scoring last year (68.6 ppg), returns five of its top seven scorers from last season and all of its top three rebounders.
• Guard Justin Edwards enjoyed a terrific freshman campaign, averaging 13.9 points and 5.6 rebounds while junior Alasdair Fraser added 12.9 points and a team-best 7.8 rebounds per game.
• The pundits pegged Maine to finish fifth in the league standings, one year after posting a 6-10 mark in conference play.
• Maine played a pair of exhibition games, besting Laval, 82-39, and Acadia University, 73-40. Fraser dominated the latter game with 22 points and 18 rebounds, while Edwards chipped in 19 points.
Coming off a third straight five-win season and 1-13 mark in Ivy League play, the Dartmouth Big Green were pegged for eighth place in the preseason media poll. Princeton was a near-unanimous choice for the media to win the conference crown with 16 of the 17 first-place votes. The defending champion, Harvard, received the other first-place vote while Columbia — despite finishing with a 4-10 league record last year — was pegged for third.
With an average of 0.73 years of collegiate experience on its roster, Dartmouth is the second-youngest team among Division I schools. Only Cal State Northridge is more green than the Green (0.65 years). Of the 15 players on the roster, 13 are underclassmen with only senior center and junior guard considered grizzled veterans.
Oh Captain my Captain
The players have voted, and they have settled upon two of their teammates to serve as co-captains for the 2012-13 season — senior center and sophomore forward . Brooks is just the third sophomore to be entrusted with the role. The other two were also under in the 1985-86 season, John Mackay and Bryan Randall. Randall went on to be the only three-time captain in Dartmouth history.
Ivy League Legacy
Sophomore belongs to a legacy of Ivy League success as his father, Randy, was a two-time All-Ivy first-team performer for the Princeton Tigers from 1978-81. As a senior, the elder Melville co-captained Princeton to an Ivy League title and finished his career with 775 points and 444 rebounds, leading the team in scoring as a junior and rebounding each of his final two seasons.
Dartmouth Breeding Ground
When Dartmouth needs a player, it seems that Northfield Mt. Hermon is to where the Big Green turn. Sophomores and spent a postgrad year there and have been joined by former NMH teammate Tommy Carpenter. Three other players from the school have graced the Dartmouth roster in the past three years; David Rufful ’12 took a year at the school located just a few miles south of the New Hampshire border in Massachusetts, while Clive Weeden ’11 and Josh Riddle ’12 also played there.
Dartmouth has a pair of sophomore international student-athletes on its roster in from Panevezys, Lithuania, and Kirill Savolainen, a guard from Vantaa, Finland. Both spent some time in the States before coming to Hanover, though Maldunas has an extra year on Savolainen, who attended Virginia Episcopal as a senior and Amelia Academy in Virginia the year before. Maldunas had three years at The Holderness School, becoming a McDonald’s All-America nominee.
Freshman Family Affairs
• Freshman Connor Boehm has athletic siblings with two older brothers that played collegiate athletics. Peter played basketball for Harvard as a freshman, while Jack pitched for Bucknell for four years, going 7-6 in over 130 innings.
• Rookie Alex Mitola also has baseball in his family line as cousin Kyle Armeny was a first baseman at Penn, leading the Quakers in home runs twice.
• Forward Brandon McDonnell has an older brother, Jimmy, who plays basketball at Temple.
New Assistants on Staff
Well, mostly new assistants. Jean Bain is in his first year at Dartmouth after coaching for seven years across the state at the University of New Hampshire. Jordan Watson is technically a new assistant coach, having served as the director of operations for two years before being promoted this summer.
Speaking of family affairs, ’s son, Chris, has joined the staff as the volunteer coach following a stint at Castleton State. Moving into Watson’s old role is Abe Woldeslassie, who was a standout guard at Macalester. For more information on the coaches, see their bios on page two.