June 14, 2024
Men’s Basketball Set To Host Brown For Senior Day

NEW YORK- Columbia men’s basketball (7-20, 2-10) welcomes Brown (13-12, 6-6) to Schiller Court at Levien Gymnasium for the final home game of the season. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. on ESPN+.

OPENING TIP-OFF

• Saturday’s game is senior day. Guard/forward Cameron Shockley-Okeke and guard Lukas Yurasits will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony.

• The Lions are coming off a hard-fought 71-65 victory over Dartmouth last Saturday night. Geronimo De La Rosa led with 19 points and eight rebounds.

• Columbia will look to win back-to-back games for the first time since December 3-4 when it defeated New Hampshire and Sarah Lawrence at home.

• Next Saturday, Columbia wraps up the 2022-23 season at Cornell. Tip-off in Ithaca, N.Y. is set for 2 p.m. on ESPN+.

CU BLACK EXCELLENCE – JOSH ODUNOWO

IVY LEAGUE BASKETBALL LEGEND

Leonard “Buck” Jenkins ’93CC has been chosen as the 2023 Columbia men’s basketball legend. Jenkins is Columbia’s all-time leading scorer and was a three-time first-team All-Ivy League honoree.  All 16 representatives will be formally honored at the 2023 Ivy League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments on March 10-12 at Jadwin Gymnasium in Princeton, N.J.

NEWS/NOTES

BROWN’S STATUS

The Bears dropped both games of a back-to-back last weekend at Princeton and Penn. Brown’s Kino Lilly Jr. and Paxson Wojcik rank in the top ten among Ivy League scorers. Nana Owusu-Anane leads the league with 8.5 rebounds per game while Wojcik is third with 7.1 per game. Lilly Jr. and Wojcik are tied for most minutes per game in the conference (34.4).

INSIDE THE SERIES – BROWN

The Lions are 76-73 all-time against Brown. The Bears have won five-straight in the series, including a 97-85 victory last month in Providence, R.I. Seven of the last nine meetings between the two teams have been decided by single digits. Columbia’s last win over Brown came on March 1, 2019.

LAST TIME OUT NOTABLES

Columbia defeated Dartmouth 71-65 at home last Saturday to snap a 10-game losing streak. Geronimo Rubio De La Rosa led the Lions with 19 points and eight rebounds. Zavian McLean (11 points) and Kenny Noland (10 points) were the other Lions to chip in double-figures scoring. The Lions went 14-16 from the free throw line and made its final seven free throws to secure the win. De La Rosa was 5-5 and Avery Brown was 4-4 from the charity stripe.

CRASHING THE OFFENSIVE GLASS

The Lions lead Ivy League teams with 289 offensive rebounds. Josh Odunowo leads Columbia with 33 offensive boards and ranks 14th among Ivy League players in that category.

STARTING FIVE

Coach Jim Engles has rolled out four different starting lineups this season. Every combination has included Zine Bedri, Avery Brown, and Geronimo Rubio De La Rosa. Zavian McLean has recently made  his first eight starts of the season in the last nine games. In those starts, McLean is averaging 9.4 points per game, 2.5 points higher than his regular average.

MIDDLE OF THE PACK

Through 27 games this season, Columbia sits in the top five of several stat categories among Ivy League teams. The Lions are third in free throw shooting (71.3{b037f4174007d005f1ab9cb8d1aafc050eb5d7e8c07298e478acc145e540df6a}), fourth in steals (6.8 per game), fourth in turnover margin (-0.52), and tied for first in offensive rebounds (10.7 per game).

FREE THROW SHOOTING

Columbia’s ability to get to the foul line has been a strength this season. The Lions are averaging 12.2 made free throws per game and are third in the conference in free throw percentage (71.3). Geronimo Rubio De La Rosa ranks first in the conference and 16th nationally in free throw percentage, converting at an 89.4 percent clip.

NUTHIN’ BUT A G THANG

There’s been no sophomore slump for Geronimo Rubio De La Rosa this season. He has played a strong all-around game, leading the Lions and ranking among the Ivy League leaders in scoring (13.5), rebounding (5.8) and steals (1.4). De La Rosa recorded his 19th and 20th double-figures scoring game last weekend. He has scored in double-figures in 10 out of the team’s 12 Ivy League games this season. The sophomore’s season also includes 10 selections to the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

Columbia boasts one of the youngest rosters in the country with four first-years averaging over 15 minutes per game. It is believed only VMI is playing more freshmen consistently (five averaging 20+ MPG) than the Lions this season. Avery Brown and Zinou Bedri have started every game. Brown leads all Ivy League first year players in minutes per game (30.1). The class of 2026 has comprised 45 percent of the team’s scoring in 2022-23. When you combine the sophomore class (De La Rosa, Cooper, Robledo, Stankard, Tavroff) – that represents 77 percent of the team scoring coming from underclassmen.

ANOTHER LION IN THE PROS

Randy Brumant ’21CC signed a professional contract on Feb. 16 with CSM Targu Jiu in Romania. Brumant played 64 games for the Lions over three seasons from 2017-20. His senior season was canceled due to COVID-19. Brumant joins eight other Columbia men’s basketball alumni that are currently playing professionally.

RECORD BOOK WATCH

Geronimo Rubio De La Rosa is on record book watch. His 89.4 percent mark from the free throw line this season would rank third all-time in a single season behind Brian Barbour, who did it twice (.917, 2010-11 and .901, 2011-12).

KLEPTOMANIACS

Against Delaware State on November 16, the Lions established a new program record for steals with 15. Columbia then tied that mark two weeks later when it posted 15 steals against Sarah Lawrence.

DECEMBER TO REMEMBER

Columbia turned another corner in the final month of 2022. The Lions finished December 4-3, marking the first winning month for the program since January 2017 when they went 5-1. Columbia has already eclipsed its 2021-22 win total (four) on December 12.

BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER

The Lions return nearly 75 percent of its scoring from 2021-22, highlighted by Geronimo Rubio De La Rosa. The guard averaged 12.3 points per game, which was the third highest total for a first-year in program history.

TICKETS TO UPCOMING HOME GAMES

Tickets for all Columbia home games are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here or calling 888-LIONS-11.

THE IVY LEAGUE ON ESPN+

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