posted March 4, 2007

Hope College Sectional Tournament Game Notes

Probable Hope College Starters

F - Jesse Reimink, 6-4 sophomore from Hudsonville, Mich. (Hudsonville HS)
F - Marcus Vanderheide, 6-7 junior from Grandville, Mich. (Calvin Christian HS)
C - Scott Richardson, 6-5 senior from Flint, Mich. (Carman Ainsworth HS)
G - Derek VanSolkema, 6-0 junior from Cutlerville, Mich. (South Christian HS)
G - Stephen Cramer, 6-2 senior from Akron, Mich. (Unionville-Sebewaing HS)

° Hope is making its 18th appearance in the Division III championships. The Flying Dutchmen have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the second consecutive year and for the fifth time in school history. 

°  Hope's best NCAA finish was national runnerup in 1996 and 1998.  Hope's alltime record in the men's tournament is 21-19.  In its first nine tournament year appearances the Flying Dutchmen were 4-11; in the last nine tournament year appearances they are 17-8.

° Of the sixteen remaining teams, Hope has the most Division III tournament appearances (18).  Next is Wooster, Ohio (16), followed by St. John Fisher, N.Y. (13), Washington-St. Louis (11) and Amherst, Mass. (10).  Wittenberg, Ohio has the most Division III tournament appearances (24).  Two teams, Guilford, N.C. and Stevens Institute, N.J., are making their first appearance.

° Hope coach Glenn Van Wieren is in his 30th season. He entered the 2006-07 season ranked the sixth winningest coach in Division III history. He is 589-198 entering the NCAA Sectional tournament. 

° Hope won the regular season championship of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, but lost in the conference tournament championship game to rival Calvin, 78-76. The Flying Dutchmen avenged that loss by defeating Calvin 80-64 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.  It was the fifth meeting of the two MIAA teams this season.

° Hope comes to the Sectional with a 25-4 record and two-year mark of 54-7.

° Senior guard Stephen Cramer was voted the most valuable player in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association this season. He ranks 12th among Hope's alltime leading scorers with 1,403 career points. This season he is averaging 16.3 points per game. When Cramer does good things on the court, Hope fans chant "USA, USA" for the high school he attended -- Unionville-Sebawaing Area in Michigan's thumb. At 6-2, Cramer jumps the opening tipoff for the Flying Dutchmen.  Over the past three games Cramer is averaging 28.6 points, including a career-high 32-point performance against the University of Chicago in the first round.

° Stephen Cramer and teammate Derek Van Solkema, a junior guard, were named to the All-MIAA first team while junior forward Marcus Vanderheide received All-MIAA second team recognition.

° Hope has set a team single season record for three-pointers (263). For a good part of the season, Hope led Division III in three-point shooting accuracy which is currently at .425 (263/619). Hope has scored 10-or-more three-pointers in 12 games this season. Five players scored 30-or-more three-pointers this season.

° Several times this season the Flying Dutchmen have been examples of the "hot-hand" theory. Junior Tyler Wolfe scored 20 consecutive points, shooting a perfect 5-for-5 on field goals, including 4-for-4 on three pointers and 6-of-6 free throws, in an eight-minute span against Alma. (The Division III record is 25 consecutive points.) In another game, Stephen Cramer went 6-for-6 from three-point range in a span of just five minutes in a win over Tri-State.

° Hope's 24.0 point margin of victory in league games this season was a conference record, 84.1 to 60.1.

° Hope has a history only with Carroll College.  The teams split a pair of one-point games back in the 1960s. 

° Hope advanced both its men's and women's teams to the NCAA tournament.  It marked the seventh time that both Hope teams advanced in the same season. The others were 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006. The women's team were defeated in this year's first round by Denison, Ohio, 82-66.