posted March 2, 2011

Games Notes: Flying Dutchmen at NCAA Regional (3/4/11)

Flying Dutchmen Game Notes

NCAA Regional at Augustana

Friday & Saturday, March 4-5, 2011

The Flying Dutchmen (22-6) are playing in the NCAA Division III tournament for a sixth year in-a-row and for the 22nd time in school history. Friday's first round game will be Hope's 50th all-time in the NCAA tournament. The Flying Dutchmen have an all-time record of 26-23 (.531) in NCAA games. Hope was the national runner-up in 1996 and 1998 and finished third in 2008.

Hope, with 22 tournament appearances, is one of only five Division III schools to appear in the NCAA playoffs more than 20 times. The leader is Wittenberg (25).

Hope has the distinction of having both its men's and women's teams in the NCAA tournament for a sixth consecutive year. No other Division III program can match that. The Flying Dutch are hosting a women's Regional this weekend.

The Flying Dutchmen gained the NCAA automatic berth of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) by defeating rival Calvin in the league tournament championship game, 72-67. Hope was also the regular season MIAA champion.

Hope is enjoying a school-record sixth straight 20-win season and the 20th in school history. The Flying Dutchmen during the current six-year streak are 146-34 (81%). The tradition-rich Hope program came into the 2010 season (its 106th in school history) ranked among the most successful in all of Division III -- #5 by winning percentage (1450-720, .668) and #6 by victories (currently 1,476 entering the NCAA tournament).

Hope versus Regional Field: Hope has never played either Hanover or Webster. In their only meeting with Augustana, the Flying Dutchmen lost to the Vikings 80-64 at Hope's Russ DeVette Holiday Classic in 2004.

Matt Neil is in his first season as Hope's head coach. He has had an association with Flying Dutchmen basketball dating back to the 1980s when he was an All-MIAA player, including league MVP in 1982.  He served as the program's junior varsity coach for nine years (1985-1994) and was a varsity assistant coach under now retired coach Glenn Van Wieren from 1995-2010.

Coach Matt Neil has two sons in the Hope basketball program, junior Logan who plays on the varsity and freshman Grant who played junior varsity.  Logan Neil this past fall was voted the most valuable soccer player in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).  He ranked among the top Division III goalkeepers, allowing just 16 goals over 21 games as the Flying Dutchmen were league co-champions and advanced to the NCAA championships.

The season got off to an inauspicious start with the Flying Dutchmen losing four of their first six games and their league opener to rival Calvin.  The team rallied and ran away with the league race, finishing three games ahead of the field highlighted by winning all of their road conference games. They climaxed the run to the NCAA championships by defeating rival Calvin 72-67 in the league tournament title game before a DeVos Fieldhouse record crowd (3,665).  A perennial Division III leader in home attendance, the Flying Dutchmen averaged 2,818 fans over 14 home dates this season.

Senior Will Bowser (Midland, Mich./Dow HS) was voted to the All-MIAA first team while junior David Krombeen (Grandville, Mich./Grandville HS) received All-MIAA second team recognition.  Averaging 18.3 points per game, Bowser has become the 10th Hope men's player to surpass 500 points in a season (currently 513). On January 26th he made Hope history by scoring a home-floor record 46 points against Kalamazoo in overtime. Krombeen currently ranks third in Division III for steals (3.3 per game/92 total) and is among the national leaders in assists (#51 at 5.0 per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (#32 at 2.39).

Seniors Will Bowser  (Midland, Mich./Dow HS) and Ty Tanis (Jenison, Mich./Jenison HS) are appearing in their fourth consecutive NCAA tournament. Only ten other players in Hope men's basketball history have had that opportunity -- Chip Henry and John Klunder, 1981-85; Justin George, 1986-90; Eric Elliott, 1987-91; Colly Carlson, Bart Verhulst and Wade Gugino, 1988-92; Joel Holstege and Kris Merritt, 1994-98; and Jesse Reimink, 2005-09. (Source: Holland Sentinel)

Sophomore Nate Snuggerud (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East HS) had five double-double performances this season, including three of the last six games.

2010-11 Stat Check: Senior Adam Dickerson (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores)  has the sixth best single season field goal shooting percentage (.620) in Hope history. The all-time leader is Matt Strong at .703 in 1987-88...Logan Neil (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa HS) has the second best single season free throw percentage (.885/54-of-61) in Hope history. The all-time leader is Eric Elliott at .888 in 1989-90.... David Krombeen (Grandville, Mich/Grandville HS) has the fourth best single season assists total (141) and third best steals total (80) in Hope history. Joel Holstege is the single season leader in both assists (179) and steals (101), both in 1997-98.