Monmouth Men's Basketball 2017 NIT Tournament Capsule


Monmouth Hawks

MAAC (27-6, 18-2)

Monmouth was so close to earning an at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA Tournament. They were one of the first teams out and had to settle for a trip to the NIT, where they beat Bucknell before falling to George Washington in the second round. This time around there were no at-large hopes, but this is still a very dangerous Hawks team that can compete with some very good teams.
Big Wins: 12/13 at Memphis (82-79), 12/20 Princeton (96-90), 2/26 at Iona (79-73)
Bad Losses: /31 Rider (90-93), 1/2 at St. Peter’s (61-71), 3/5 vs Siena (85-89)
Coach: King Rice
Why They Can Surprise:
Monmouth boasts a very potent offense thanks to Justin Robinson. The 5-8 senior averages 19.6 points per game and knocks down an impressive 40.3 percent of his three-point attempts. Robinson has unlimited range, but is also extremely dangerous attacking the basket. Robinson grabs most of the headlines, but Micah Seaborn and Je’lon Hornbeak can score in bunches as well. Seaborn is a big 6-5 sophomore who can score in a variety of ways. He is not a consistent shooter, but he will take quite a few outside shots. Seaborn is better off using his size to attack the basket and occasionally mixing in a three-pointer. Hornbeak is the most consistent outside shooter on a team with some great shooters. He connects on 44.3 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. Monmouth wants to get up and down the floor in a hurry and that often leads to easy buckets on the break. When it does not, Robinson can set up a good look for himself or one of his teammates. When this offense is clicking, they can keep up with just about anybody.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Coach King Rice will play small with four guards around 6-10 center Chris Brady. Brady is a decent interior scorer and a good rebounder, but against some teams that lack of size can be an issue. Diago Quinn, a 6-9 sophomore, is the only other frontcourt player who sees significant playing time, although there are big guards like 6-8 Collin Stewart who can certainly play tough at the power forward position. But if the tempo slows down and Monmouth is not creating turnovers, a larger team can slow things down and grind out a win. And teams that like to play fast from major conferences that simply have more talent can outgun Monmouth. That is what happened against North Carolina in December when the Hawks were run out of the gym in a 102-74 loss.
Probable Starters:
Justin Robinson, Senior, Guard, 19.6 ppg 4.7 apg, 1.5 spg
Josh James, Senior, Guard, 4.1 ppg, 1.2 apg
Je’lon Hornbeak, Senior, Guard, 11.7 ppg, 1.7 apg, 4.2 rpg
Micah Seaborn, Sophomore, Guard, 13.2 ppg, 2.3 apg
Chris Brady, Senior, Center, 9.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.7 bpg
Key Role Players:
Diago Quinn, Sophomore, Forward, 3.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Collin Stewart, Senior, Guard, 6.3 ppg
Louie Pillari, Freshman, Guard, 3.0 ppg
Austin Tilghman, Junior, Guard, 6.9 ppg, 1.3 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.0 (27th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.6 (187, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.5 (227, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.0 (24, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.8 (58, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.3 (72, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.2 (34, 2)
Rebound Margin: 1.2 (148, 4)
Assists Per Game: 12.5 (246, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (128, 3)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NIT     First Round win over Bucknell
2016    NIT     Second Round loss to George Washington
2006    NCAA            Opening Round win over Hampton
2006    NCAA            Round of 64 loss to Villanova
*all team stats through 3/5