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Men's Basketball Faces Merrimack on Saturday

Men's Basketball Faces Merrimack on Saturday
The Central Connecticut men's basketball team faces Merrimack in the first meeting between the schools as members of the Northeast Conference. CCSU has not played MC since the 1984-85 season. The game is being streamed live on www.NECFrontRow.com. Bruce Biel (play-by-play) and Marc Robbins (analyst) will call the action all season long for Blue Devils home games.
Central played at LIU on Thursday night falling late after a 13-0 run by the Sharks. Merrimack is in its first season of Division I competition and is coming off a 64-61 win over Mount St. Mary's on Thursday. 
Central Connecticut will play its next three games away from home. The Blue Devils play at Sacred Heart on Wednesday, Jan. 15. CCSU will then play at Mount St. Mary's and Fairleigh Dickinson before returning to Detrick Gym on Jan. 23 against Sacred Heart
SERIES HISTORY • The Blue Devils lead the all-time series, 13-4, but this will be the first meeting between the schools as members of the Northeast Conference. CCSU has won the last six meetings, including the most recent matchup on Dec. 6, 1984 - a 60-54 win.
Opening Notes
• Central Connecticut returns home against league-newcomer Merrimack on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
• Following today's game, the Blue Devils will play three of four on the road.
• CCSU begins a three-game road swing with a contest at Sacred Heart on Wednesday, followed by games at Mount St. Mary's and Fairleigh Dickinson.
• Central Connecticut would pick up its first NEC win of the season.
• The win would mark CCSU's first against a Division I school. Central is one of three schools (Mississippi Valley, Delaware State) without a D-I win.
Central Newcomers Lead the Way
• With a roster featuring 10 players in their first year with the program, the Blue Devils have relied on one of the country's youngest rosters this season.
• Six of 8 players playing 20+ minutes are in their first year at CCSU.
• In CCSU's first 12 games, the 10 newcomers contributed 80.9% (550-of-680) of  the offense. On the year, the newcomers have accounted for 75.4% of points.
• In the final 4:45 vs. Maine, CCSU used a lineup of 5 newcomers, outscoring Maine 12-5 the rest of the way to nearly erase a 16-point deficit.
CCSU Roster Has a Fresh Look
• CCSU is one of only 14 schools nationally with 7 or more freshmen on the roster and per KenPom, the Blue Devils are the 4th-youngest in terms of D1 experience. 
• The Blue Devils also feature two junior college transfers (Ayangma, Newkirk) and a senior transfer (Rowe) who are in their first season of eligibility with the program. • Central Connecticut has 11 underclassmen, including 10 players in their first year with the program. CCSU started at least 3 first-year players in the first 14 games of the year, including three freshmen in the opener against Hartford.
Coleman Posts double-double
Jamir Coleman posted his 2nd straight double-double against LIU, and 1st of the year, with 17 points, 12 rebounds (a career-high) at LIU on Thursday.
• Coleman scored 10+ in 4 straight games (Nov. 23-Dec. 7) and shot .600 (24-of-40) from the field in that span. He had a season-high 27 points (12-16 fg) at UMass Lowell.
CCSU Collecting Steals
• The Blue Devils currently rank third in the NEC with 7.1 steals and 4th with 14.6 turnovers forced per game.
• Central has collected at least seven steals in nine games this year, with a high of 12 against Conn College.
Greg Outlaw ranks 10th in the NEC with 1.4 steals a game.
Krishnan Hits the Court Scoring in Return
Ian Krishnan scored 20 points in his first two games back for the Blue Devils after missing the first semester.
• In his first action of the year he had 23 points with 5 three-pointers vs. Conn College. Krishnan followed that with 20 points against Robert Morris in the NEC opener.
• Krishnan earned Northeast Conference All-Rookie Team and was 2nd among NEC freshmen in scoring (12.0 ppg). 
Baker Heats Up Off The Bench
Myles Baker averages 8.6 ppg coming off the bench.
• He has five double-digit scoring games this season, including three of the last four games.
• Baker had 15 points vs. Maine, scoring 13 points after halftime. He poured in 11 points in the final 4:59 and got Central within 65-64 with :12 to play.
Outlaw Named NEC Rookie of the Week
Greg Outlaw was named Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week on Dec. 2 following his play at UMass Lowell.
• He had a career-high 16 points on 7-12 shooting. He scored 5 straight to spark a 9-3 run and give CCSU a late 71-70 lead.
• Outlaw 10+ in a team-best 10 games and leads NEC freshmen in scoring.
Blue Devils Taking Care of the Ball
• Since committing a season-high 24 turnovers at UMass, Central posted season-low turnovers in three straight games.
• CCSU has a positive turnover margin in 7 of the last 10 games and has committed 15+ turnovers once in 12 games.
• CCSU forced 23 turnovers in the first two NEC games and ranks 2nd in NEC games with a +3.7 turnover margin.
Reed Named All-Tournament
Jamir Reed was named to the Hall of Fame Tip-Off All-Tournament Team for the Springfield Bracket.
• In two games at Mohegan Sun, he averaged 12.5 ppg and 4.0 rpg. He had a career-high 14 points vs. Columbia.
Quick Hitting Notes
• In the last 3 games (conference play), CCSU is shooting .780 at the foul line, which ranks 3rd in the leaague.
• The Blue Devils totaled 16 assists at LIU - a high in NEC  play. CCSU has 13+ assists in four of last five games.
• Central posted season-highs of 42 points on 62.1% (18-of-29) in the first half at LIU. Stephane Ayangma had 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting in the opening period.
• The Blue Devils posted a +9 rebounding margin at LIU, just the 2nd time CCSU has rebouned an opponent (Hartford).
An International Roster
• The Blue Devils' program has student-athletes from 4 countries (including the United States) in 2019-20.
• CCSU has 12 student-athletes representing 9 states and England (Thai Segwai), Cameroon (Stephane Ayungma) and Nigeria (Ola Olamuyiwa).
• Central is among a group of 46 schools with student-athletes representing 3+ foreign countries.
Marshall Among Former NBA Players Coaching
• CCSU head coach Donyell Marshall enjoyed a 15-year career in the NBA playing with eight teams.
• Marshall, who was the 4th overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft, is one of six former Top-10 picks currently coaching.
• Marshall was UConn's first consensus First-Team All-American as a junior in 1994. He is one of eight former consesus First-Team All-Americans now coaching Division I.
Blue Devils vs. Postseason Participants
• In 2019-20, CCSU will face seven teams that played in the postseason last year. Fairleigh Dickinson, St. John's, Arizona St., Vermont (NCAA); Saint Francis U (NIT); Robert Morris and St. Francis Brooklyn (CIT) all made postseason trips last year.
• CCSU is 0-5 against postseason participants from last year. In 2018-19, the Blue Devils went 1-10 against eight teams that played in the postseason the previous year.
Working Overtime
• The Blue Devils are 5-4 under Donyell Marshall in overtime games. CCSU was 2-0 in OT during the 2018-19 season.
• CCSU defeated Fairleigh Dickinson in 2ot (1/10/19) - the 7th multi-overtime in program history since going D1 in 1986-87. 
Central and the Three-Point Shot
• CCSU has made a three-pointer in 145 straight games dating back to Feb. 5, 2015 at St. Francis Brooklyn.
• As a team, the Blue Devils rank 4th in the NEC (.339) in three-point accuracy and made 12 vs. Conn College.
Central Comes Up Just Short
• Central's back-to-back two-point losses at UMass Lowell and vs. Maine was the first time since Jan. 21 (at Sacred Heart, 61-62) and Jan. 26, 2012 (Monmouth, 56-58 ot) that CCSU had consecutive losses by two-or-fewer points.
Senator Olamuyiwa
• Freshman Ola Olamuyiwa was sworn in as a student body senator on the CCSU SGA Student Senate on Oct. 9.
• Olamuyiwa was also student government president at The Patrick School prior to coming to Central.
• Olamuyiwa and his teammates had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) when he visited the CCSU campus earlier in the fall.
• The SGA Student Senate meets weekly on Wednesdays and is seen as a "voice" for the undergraduate student body.
Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll
• Central was picked 10th in the preseason coaches poll at NEC Social Media Day in Brooklyn, NY, at Barclay's Center on Oct. 23. Complete poll (first place votes):
• The Preseason All-NEC Team included Saint Francis U senior Keith Braxton, the 2018-19 NEC Player of the Year, was a unanimous selection, along with Raiquan Clark (Sr., LIU) and Jahlil Jenkins (Jr., Fairleigh Dickinson). E.J. Anosike (Jr., Sacred Heart) and Adam Grant (Sr., Bryant) rounded out the preseason selections.
Blue Devils Welcome Alex Inyatkin
• CCSU teamed with Team IMPACT to bring 12-year-old Alex Inyatkin into the men's basketball program.
• The Blue Devils held a signing ceremony on April 24 in the Athletic Department that included Alex and his family.
• Inyatkin will be with the team for the season and attend games, practices and other team functions.
• Team IMPACT connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. 
• This is the 84th season of men's basketball at Central Connecticut. CCSU is 1,113-968 all-time (.535).
• Bill Detrick is the school's all-time winningest coach, having won 468 games in 29 seasons as head coach.
• CCSU's first year of competition was in 1934-35 under coach Harrison J. Kaiser, the athletic building's namesake.
• CCSU has competed as an NCAA Division I program from 1986 to present.




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