Hofstra Men's Basketball 2016 NIT Tournament Capsule

Hofstra Pride
CAA (24-9, 14-4)
Hofstra made a great late season push to win a share of the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title. They won their last six games, which began with a very nice win at William & Mary. But it was the second to last game of the regular season at UNC Wilmington that was the deciding contest. The Pride were down big in that contest, but their potent offense made a huge comeback to win 70-69 and tie the Seahawks atop the CAA standings.
Big Wins: 11/20 vs Florida State (82-77), 11/28 at St. Bonaventure (89-83), 11/25 at UNC Wilmington (70-69)
Bad Losses: 11/23 vs Indiana State (66-67), 12/9 at Siena (68-81), 1/7 at Charleston (61-72)
Coach: Joe Milhalich
Why They Can Surprise:
Coach Joe Milhalic relies heavily on his five starters, all of whom average over 30 minutes per game. But all are double-digit scorers too. Juan’ya Green makes the offense tick. Not only is he the team’s top scorer at 17.6 points per game, but he also dishes out 7.1 assists per game. Green is a decent enough outside shooter to keep the opposition honest, but he is at his best attacking the basket and either finishing, getting fouled or finding an open teammate. Ameen Tanksley and Brian Bernardi are the other shooters from the perimeter. Tanksley is the big guard who can attack the basket effectively and help out on the glass, while Bernardi takes a majority of his shots from beyond the arc. Denton Koon and Rokas Gustys are an underappreciated frontcourt. Koon is an experience senior who can step outside and stretch the defense with his shooting ability. Gustys, a 6-9 sophomore, has had a huge breakout season and is averaging 13.5 points and 13.0 rebounds per game. His ability to consistently score in the paint has added another dimension to this offense that they lacked last season.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Gustys will block a shot here and there, but the Pride’s defense struggles because of their lack of a major shot blocking presence. Gustys instills fear on the offensive end of the floor, but not so much on the other end. The result is a defense that allows 73.3 points per game and lets the opposition shoot 43.5 percent from the floor and 34.9 percent from the long range. Those are not terrible numbers, but Hofstra must step up defensively if they hope to pull off an upset in the postseason and win a postseason game since their NIT victories over Nevada and Saint Joseph’s in 2006.
Probable Starters:
Juan’ya Green, Senior, Guard, 17.6 ppg, 7.1 apg, 4.4 rpg
Brian Bernardi, Junior, Guard, 12.5 ppg, 1.5 apg
Ameen Tanksley, Senior, Guard, 16.0 ppg, 1.4 apg, 5.2 rpg
Denton Koon, Senior, Forward, 11.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Rokas Gustys, Sophomore, Center, 13.5 ppg, 13.0 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Key Roleplayers:
Desure Buie, Freshman, Guard, 3.1 ppg, 1.5 apg
Malik Nichols, Senior, Forward, 5.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.0 (44th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 73.3 (218, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.5 (158, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.5 (181, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.6 (50, 4)   
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.8 (124, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.1 (238, 7)
Rebound Margin:  2.3 (106, 3)
Assists Per Game:  15.1 (70, 3)
Turnovers Per Game:  11.7 (78, 4)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    CBI      First Round loss to Vermont
2011    CBI      First Round loss to Evansville
2010    CBI      First Round loss to IUPUI
2007    NIT      First Round loss to DePaul
2006    NIT      First Round win over Nebraska
2006    NIT      Second Round win over St. Joseph's
2006    NIT      Quarterfinal loss to Old Dominion
2005    NIT      Opening Round loss to St. Joseph's
*all team stats through 3/6