WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (TribeAthletics.com) – William & Mary men's basketball heads to 2021 Hercules Tires Colonial Athletic Association Championship, beginning on Saturday, March 6. The Tribe is the No. 7 seed and take on No. 10 seed UNCW on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Atlantic Union Bank Center in Harrisonburg, Va.
Tournament/Match Up Notes
- W&M is the No. 7 seed in the 2021 Hercules Tires CAA Championship for the fifth time and first since 2000. The Tribe faces the No. 10 seed in the league tourney for the first time. The No. 7 seed is 12-4 all-time against the No. 10 seed in the CAA Tournament.
- After not meeting during the regular season due to COVID-19 issues within both programs, W&M squares off with UNCW in the opening round of the CAA Tournament. It marks the third time the programs have met in the league tournament and first since the 2017 semifinals. The Seahawks have won the previous two meetings.
- While UNCW leads the all-time series at 45-31, the Tribe has won 12 of the last 17 meetings between the programs. The teams split the season series in both 2019 and 2020.
- Due to COVID-19 issues within the programs, W&M and UNCW played a combined three games during the month of February, all three coming over the final two weekends of the month. W&M and UNCW were originally slated to meet on Feb. 13-14 in Wilmington.
- All-time W&M owns 16 CAA Tournament wins, including 13 since 2008. During that stretch, the Tribe has advanced to the league championship game on four occasions (2008, 2010, 2014 and 2015).
- The No. 7 seed has won the CAA Championship on one occasion. East Carolina won the 1993 CAA title from the No. 7 spot.
- The Tribe ranks among the national leaders in free throw shooting and was even better in CAA play. The Green and Gold is third in the league and 60th nationally at 74.3%, which is also the fifth-best percentage in school history. In CAA play, the Tribe shot 76.5% at the charity stripe.
- Individually, all five starters shoot 70% or better from the free throw line, including four over 77%. Three of those players rank among the top 15 in the CAA. Senior Luke Loewe ranks fifth in the league at 84.9% followed by freshman Connor Kochera in 12th (79.5%) and junior Quinn Blair at 14th (78.1%).
- This season, the Tribe played 11 of its 15 games on the road. W&M was 5-6 on the road, which is tied for the most road wins in the CAA with Hofstra. Last season, the Tribe tied a school record with 10 road victories and is 15-13 in its two seasons under head coach Dane Fischer.
- In each of its last eight games and nine of 15 contests overall this season, the Tribe started three freshmen. In total, W&M rookies have comprised 50.7% (38-of-75) of the team's starts and 44.6% (1350-of-3025) of its minutes. According to KenPom.com, the Tribe is the 33rd youngest team in the country in terms of experience (1.17). Prior to this season, the Tribe had started three freshmen in a game eight total times since the 1989-90.
- Defensively, the Tribe has enjoyed success at limiting its opponents from 3-point range. W&M ranks third in the CAA and 82nd nationally, holding its foes to 31.9% shooting from distance. They were slightly better in CAA play at 31.3%. W&M's opponents also only scored 27.2% of their points from 3-point range, which ranks 65th nationally.
- The Tribe has attacked the offensive glass this season. W&M is averaging 10 offensive rebounds and posting an offensive rebounding % of 28.5. The offensive rebounds per game number is fourth in the CAA. The 10 offensive rebounds per game are the most for a W&M team since 2010.
- On three occasions this season, the Tribe rallied from a double-digit deficit. W&M had a school-record 19-point road comeback at George Washington on Dec. 14. In CAA play, the Green and Gold twice rallied from double-digit deficit at Drexel on Jan. 17 (10 points in the second half) and at Towson on Jan. 31 (11 points in the first half) to pick up wins.
- In his first season as a head coach, Dane Fischer received multiple Coach of the Year award, including VaSID State, CAA and NABC District 10 honors. He was also a finalist for a pair of National Coach of the Year awards, including the Hugh Durham Award Mid-Major Coach of the Year and the Joe B. Hall Award, which is presented annually to first-year D1 head coach. His 21 wins in 2019-20 were the second-most for a rookie head coach in the country last season.
- As the Tribe's lone scholarship senior, Luke Loewe has stepped into a starring role in 2020-21. He ranks seventh in the league in scoring at 16 points per game and was a tick better at 16.2 points per game in CAA play. Loewe scored a career-high 27 at Hofstra on Jan. 2, one of his five 20-point games this season.
- In CAA play, freshman Connor Kochera has been on a tear, averaging 15.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He ranked 10th and 13th in league play in both categories, respectively, and is one of only two CAA freshmen since 1992-93, along with Ryan Daly (2016-17 at Delaware), to average at last 15 points and five rebounds per game in league play.
- Over the last six games, Kochera is averaging nearly 20 points per game (19.7) and has produced four 20-point games. In the Tribe's 75-74 win over Towson on Jan. 31, Kochera totaled 30 points and 12 rebounds, marking the only 30-point, 10-rebound double-double in the CAA this season. It was also one of just three 30-10 double-doubles by a freshman in the country this season, joining Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State) and Rayshon Harrison (Presbyterian).
- Junior Mehkel Harvey ranks among the top shot blockers in the country. He averages 2.3 rejections per game, which leads the CAA and ranks 21st nationally. Harvey's blocked shot average ranks fourth on the Tribe's single-season list and is the best for a W&M player not named David Cully. His 35 blocks this season are the 14th highest total in program history, while his career total (50) is 20th. Harvey has averaged 1.14 blocked shots per game over his career, which is the fourth-best career mark in W&M history.
- Along with ranking eighth in the CAA in assists per game (3.2), Loewe leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.2. That number is also 76th nationally and ranks as the ninth-best single-season total in W&M history.
- Kochera leads all CAA freshmen in scoring and ranks 15th overall in the league at 13.9 points per game. That number also ranks 14th nationally among freshmen. His season average is the best for a Tribe freshman since Thomas Roberts in 1990 and fourth highest overall.
- Loewe has improved significantly at the free throw line during his W&M career and now ranks among the league and national leaders in the category. After shooting a combined 45% (18-of-40) from the charity stripe in his first two seasons, including a 34.6% mark as a sophomore, Loewe improved to 72.2% as a junior and is up to 84.9% (45-of-53) as a senior. His free throw % ranks fifth in the CAA and 69th nationally. It is also the 19th-best single-season average in school history.
- On Feb. 1, Kochera became the first freshman to be named CAA Player of the Week since 2015 after he led the Tribe to a series sweep of Towson, averaging 26.5 points and seven rebounds per game in two games against the Tigers. A day later, he was selected as the CBS Sports/United States Basketball Writers Association National Freshman of the Week.
- Junior Quinn Blair was a force for the Tribe in CAA play, averaging 12.9 points per game and scored in double figures in seven of the nine games. He scored a career-high 19 points on Jan. 30 in a win at Towson. Blair leads the Tribe and ranks 10th in the CAA in rebounding at 5.8 per game. He is also 22nd in the league in scoring at 11.6 points per game.
- Loewe leads W&M in minutes played at 35.7 per game. That number ranks fourth in the CAA and 47th nationally. It is also the ninth-highest single-season average all-time for the Tribe.
- Freshman Yuri Covington is second among CAA rookies in assists per game (2.1) and third in scoring (9.9). His scoring average also ranks 29th overall in the CAA. On Dec. 21, Covington was named the CAA Rookie of the Week after leading the Tribe to a 2-1 record off a 16-day COVID pause. He averaged 12.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game during the week, including a career-high 16 points at George Washington.
- After playing two years behind Nathan Knight, who is currently with the Atlanta Hawks, Harvey has made an impact in the paint. The 6-9 forward picked up his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds in the win at Hampton on Dec. 16 and recorded a career-high 16 rebounds at Hofstra on Jan. 2. Harvey ranks eighth in the CAA in offensive rebounding (2.1) and 11th in rebounds (5.7).