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Mastodons Set for Series Opener Against Pioneers

January 16, 2014
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



IPFW PRESS RELEASE

GAME NOTES

FORT WAYNE, Ind
. - The IPFW Mastodons open their series with the Denver Pioneers, as the 'Dons travel to the Mile High City for a 9 p.m. EST tip-off against the Pioneers.

Opponent: Denver Pioneers (7-9, 0-1 Summit League)
When: Thursday, January 16 | 9 p.m. EST
Where: Denver, Colo. | Magness Arena
Radio: WKJG 1380 AM The Fan | Brett Rump, play-by-play
Live Stats: Denver NeuLion Live Stats
Live Video: Pioneer Vision (subscription required)

SCOUTING THE PIONEERS

Denver comes into the first-ever meeting between the programs with a 7-9 record and riding a two-game losing skid.
    
In their most recent game, a 54-59 loss at South Dakota, the Pioneers were led by a game-high 22 points from junior Brett Olson. Chris Udofia added 10 points, six rebounds, three blocked shots, and three steals. South Dakota shot 56.8 percent from the field in the win, against a 39.1 shooting percentage for the Pioneers.
    
For the season Denver is led by Summit League December Athlete of the Month Brett Olson, who averages 14.7 points per game with 56 assists. Chris Udofia, a Preseason First Team All-Summit League selection, averages 12.6 points per game while leading the team in blocked shots (41) and assists (60), and is second on the team with 95 rebounds.
    
Cam Griffin leads the team in rebounding, averaging 6.9 boards per game while scoring at a 7.9 point per game clip. Jalen Love is just off of the double-figure scoring clip, putting up 9.8 points per game, while Marcus Byrd averages 8.1.
 

HIGH IN THE RPI

IPFW's current RPI (ratings percentage index) - a mathematical figure used to rank teams based on their records, their strength of schedule, and their opponents' records - stands at 143, the best in the men's Division I history. The previous best RPI for the program was at the end of the 2011 season when the program's RPI was at 180.

 
FAST START

IPFW's 14-5 start this season is the fourth-best 19-game start in program history, and is the best start in IPFW's NCAA Division I era.

 
FREE THROWS CAN BE FREE

When IPFW hit 20-of-21 free throws against North Dakota State, it not only marked an IPFW single-season game-high, it also stands as the 15th best single-game free throw shooting mark in the NCAA this season.


STRAIGHT SHOOTER

A look behind IPFW's shooting percentage, which is the eighth-best team total in the country, you will see four regular players shooting at .500 or better. Leading that group is IPFW junior forward Steve Forbes, who shoots 66.9 percent from the field (85-of-127). Forbes' totals are good; however, he does not appear in the NCAA national rankings because he is 10 makes shy of missing the minimum five made shots per game mark in order to be ranked. ESPN, however, has a much less stringent minimum to qualify, and in that ranking, Forbes sits fifth in the country. Below are the top five field goal shooters according to the
 

MID-MAJOR RANKING

After a four-game win streak, the 2013-14 IPFW Mastodons have jumped back into the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25, sitting at 23rd overall, tied for the highest poll placement for the 'Dons. On December 16 the Mastodons also sat 23rd, a week after opening in the poll at 25th.
 

DRAFTED STAR

Former Mastodon standout Frank Gaines was been selected with the first pick in the second round by the Maine Red Claws in the 2013 NBA Development League draft. In 16 games with the Red Claws, Gaines is averaging 18.2 points per game, which ranks second on his squad and 16th in the D-League. 


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