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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Men's Basketball Opens Up 2013-14 against Maryland-Eastern Shore Saturday

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 11/07/2013
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GAME NOTES (.pdf)

COLUMBIA (0-0) vs. MARYLAND-EASTERN SHORE (0-0)
SATURDAY, NOV. 9 • 7 P.M.
LEVIEN GYMNASIUM • NEW YORK

GAME VITALS
Video & Audio Stream: Ivy League Digital Network (Jerry Recco - Play-by-Play & Sal Licata - Color)
Radio: WKCR (89.9 FM)
Live Stats

GAMEDAY PROMOTIONS/GIVEAWAYS
• T-Shirts to first 200 students in attendance.
• Red Bull will be distributing samples.

GAME NOTES

ABOUT THE MATCHUP
Columbia’s matchup with Maryland-Eastern Shore will be just the second all-time meeting between the schools. The Lions picked up a 104-78 victory at home back in 2010. Only two players on each team’s respective rosters appeared in that game. Steve Frankoski, who scored 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting from downtown, and the Hawks’ Louis Bell, who played 14 minutes off the bench.

COLUMBIA’S STATUS
Columbia opens up the 2013-14 campaign in the friendly confines of Levien Gymnasium on the heels of a 12-16 season in 2012-13. Columbia pulled off upset wins at Villanova and Harvard, defeating two NCAA Tournament teams in a single-season for the first time since 2001-02. Columbia dropped 10 total games (eight in Ivy League play) by six points or less.

UMES’ STATUS
The Hawks are coming off a 2-26 campaign, but return three starters and seven letterwinners. Senior Troy Snyder is the team’s top returning scorer and rebounder with averages of 11.9 points and 6.8 boards. Head coach Frankie Allen enters his seventh season at the helm of UMES.

OPENING ACT
Saturday’s game will begin the 114th season of Columbia men’s basketball. The Lions improved to 75-37 all-time in season openers after dispatching Furman, 68-47, on the road. Additionally, Columbia is 80-32 all-time in home openers and have won four of its last five debuts in Levien Gymnasium.

LIONS AGAINST THE MEAC
The Lions are 3-0 all-time against teams currently in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Columbia has only faced off against Delaware State, Howard and Maryland-Eastern Shore one time apiece.

MR. INTERNATIONAL(S)
Three Columbia players took their talents abroad over the summer, competing against international competition. Sophomore Grant Mullins played with the Canadian Development Team at the Four Nations Tournament in China, helping his team go a perfect 9-0. Junior Alex Rosenberg played for Team USA at Maccabi Games in Israel and won a gold medal. First-year Chris McComber was one of three Canadians selected to play at the Basketball Without Borders Camp, sponsored by the NBA, in Buenes Aires.

HANDLE WITH CARE
Columbia will look to maintain its trend of taking care of the basketball this season after averaging just 10.9 turnovers per game in 2012-13, which was the 17th fewest in the nation.

BALL DON’T LIE
Another area of strength last season for Columbia was foul shooting. The Lions set a single-season team record, knocking down free-throws at a rate of .745 and led the Ivy League in that category. Among the national leaders, Columbia ranked 27th in the country in free-throw percentage.

FIRST THREE YEARS OF THE SMITH ERA
Over the last three seasons with Kyle Smith as the Lions’ head coach, Columbia has won 42 games. That is the largest total since Lou Rossini (1950-58) won 56 games in his first three seasons on the bench. Smith wsa also the first coach to post back-to-back 15-win seasons since the 1977-78, 78-79 seasons, when Tom Penders patrolled the Lions’ bench.

A HISTORY OF SUCCESS
Head coach Kyle Smith has assembled a coaching staff that has a combined nine NCAA Tournament appearances (either as coaches or players), six NCAA Tournament wins and been a part of two “Sweet 16’s.”

OFF THE CUFF
Former Columbia hoops standout Dalen Cuff (’06CC) continues to show he’s a rising star in the broadcast industry. Cuff, who has been a regular fixture on gocolumbialions.com, recently accepted a position as anchor/reporter for Comcast Sports in Boston. Cuff will also begin his second season as color analyst for NBCSN’s coverage of Ivy League basketball.

POLL POSITION
Harvard was the unanimous choice as the favorite in the Ivy League Preseason Media Poll. The defending Ancient Eight Champions were followed by Penn and Yale. Columbia was selected eighth.

MUST SEE TV
For the second consecutive year, Columbia will be featured three times on television. The Lions first game in the spotlight will be their Nov. 15 tilt at Michigan State that will be aired on the Big Ten Network. Columbia can be seen on FOX Sports 1 on Dec. 28 when they take on St. John’s at Barclays Center as part of the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival. Finally, as part of the Ivy League’s television package with NBC Sports, the Lions’ contest against Yale at Levien Gymnasium on Feb. 23 will be aired on NBCSN.

INSIDE IVY LEAGUE BASKETBALL RETURNS
“Inside Ivy League Basketball,” a weekly online radio show dedicated to Ivy League men’s and women’s basketball, returns for its third season in 2013-14. Hosted by Dan Loney and Brian Seltzer, “Inside Ivy League Basketball” takes an in-depth look at all the news and notes surrounding Ivy League men’s and women’s basketball on and off the courts. “Inside” moves to one episode per week on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., beginning on Jan. 30, after running a two-man weave with shows on Tuesdays and Thursdays over the first three months of the season. Every episode is available on-demand  via BlogTalkRadio.com (blogtalkradio.com/insideivyleaguebasketball) with every episode available on-demand via BlogTalkRadio and IvyLeagueSports.com.

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