March 5, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. - At 15-14, the Army men’s basketball team enters the postseason with a winning record for the first time since the 1984-85 season. Members of that team, Army’s last to post a record above .500 (16-13), are supporting the Black Knights in their quest to put the program back on the winning track. The group has sponsored cadet attendance for Wednesday’s Patriot League quarterfinal game in order to bolster Army’s home court advantage versus American.
While the two teams competed 28 years apart, the groups share several common threads in Army basketball history.
- The 1984-85 Black Knights broke a five-year streak of losing records and posted seven wins in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play, establishing a program record for league victories. The 2012-13 Army team posted eight Patriot League victories, the most since the program joined the league in 1990-91.
- Each team featured their respective conference’s Coach of the Year. Zach Spiker was the Patriot League honoree for 2012-13, while Les Wothke became the first Army mentor to garner the top honor from the MAAC.
- Both squads boasted a standout senior who was chosen to their respective conference’s all-league first team on multiple occasions. Ella Ellis received his second All-Patriot League First Team certificate this week, while Randy Cozzens was not only a first-team All-MAAC choice in 1981-82, and 1982-83, but was also the league’s Player of the Year in 1984-85.
- Ellis posted seasons of more than 400 points, 100 rebounds and 50 assists as a sophomore and junior, and is only seven assists shy of reaching those marks for the third straight season. The last Army player to have multiple seasons of 400/100/50 was Cozzens.
- Ellis and Cozzens are also the last two Army players to score at least 500 points, grab at least 130 rebounds and hand out at least 50 assists in the same season.
- Both the 1984-85 and 2012-13 squads had a conference Rookie of the Year on its roster. Army’s Kyle Wilson won this year’s Patriot League honor as the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.0 points per game. Kevin Houston captured the MAAC Rookie of the Year honor in 1983-84 after finishing second on the team in scoring at 11.9 points per game.
- The two teams both made their runs to a winning record with lengthy winning streaks. This year’s squad won five straight Patriot League games, a program best. The 1984-85 team ripped off an eight-game run, including six straight MAAC games. That streak still stands as a program record for consecutive conference wins.
Fourth-seeded Army opens the Patriot League Tournament on Wednesday versus No. 5 American Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (877-TIX-ARMY), or by visiting the Army Athletics Ticket Office.
Men’s Basketball Quarterfinals:
(4)ARMY vs. (5)AMERICAN UNIVERSITY
Wednesday, March 6
7:00 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Student/Senior (65+): $6
Courtside: $30 (if available)