SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University men's basketball team ends a 17-day layoff this week when it welcomes Central Connecticut to the Chace Athletic Center on Thursday and Friday afternoon. Tip is set for 4:00 p.m. on both days.
Bryant, off to its best start in DI program history at 7-2, hasn't played since beating UMass on Dec. 21. The Bulldogs enter the week 3-1 in league play and will play NEC games the rest of the way.
Opponent: Central Connecticut
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)
Date and Time: Thursday, Jan. 7 – 4 p.m. | Friday, Jan. 8 - 4 p.m.
Watch: Thursday | Friday
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Game Notes: Bryant
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #KEB1 | #NECMBB
Bryant and Central Connecticut have split 36 all-time meetings. The Black and Gold hold a 12-11 lead at the Division I level, including an 8-4 mark at the Chace Athletic Center. Last year, Bryant and CCSU both won on their respective home courts.
SCOUTING THE BLUE DEVILS
Central Connecticut has opened the season with a 2-5 overall mark and have split four NEC games. The Blue Devils faced UConn, Army and Hartford before opening league play with a 94-87 victory over preseason favorite Fairleigh Dickinson. CCSU also earned a split against St. Francis Brooklyn. The Blue Devils average 18.5 assists per game and rank 61st nationally in possessions per 40 minutes.
WHAT TO KNOW
- Bryant's 7-2 start is the best in DI program history. The Bulldogs are also 3-1 in NEC play for the first time since 2015-16 (4-1).
- Bryant became the first team in the NEC since 2003, and the first Bryant team in DI program history, to score 100+ points in back-to-back games (138 vs. RIC and 101 vs. SFBK).
- The Bulldogs were are also the first team in NEC history to start the season with six-straight games of at least 80 points.
- Bryant now ranks ninth nationally in scoring average (92.9) and is fourth nationally in tempo (76.9) according to kenpom.com. The Bulldogs are averaging 102.6 points per 100 possessions.
- Head coach Jared Grasso is in his third season on the Bryant sidelines, having posted a 32-39 record.
- Michael Green III leads the charge, averaging 18.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 4.7 apg on the year. He scored a career-high 33 points at UMass, earning Lou Henson National Player of the Week and NEC Player of the Week honors.
- Green III also became the first player in program history to post 20+ points and 10+ assists in the same game when he scored 20 and handed out 10 assists against Wagner on Dec. 16.
- Peter Kiss has posted six 20-point games this season and averages 17.4 ppg. He's scored 20+ points in each of his last three games and is averaging 20.5 ppg against NEC opponents.
- Chris Childs is one of the top three-point shooters in the country, ranking 25th nationally with 30 made threes. He also ranks 24th in 3s per game (3.4) and 29th in three-point field goal percentage (47.6).
- Charles Pride is averaging 14.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 3.1 apg on the year. He's one of only two players in the NEC with that stat line and has two double-doubles.
- Hall Elisias posted a near triple-double on Dec. 17, finishing with 12 points, 10 boards and 7 blocks.
- Elisias has blocked 15 shots combined in the last three games and ranks 6th nationally with 3.3 blocks/game. He's just the second player in DI program history (Dan Garvin) to post 100+ blocks in a career.