Despite being the last team in the NEWMAC to kick off its season, the Scarlet and White will play five games in the next eight days. Following their opener against Fitchburg State, Clark travels to Wentworth Institute of Technology on Thursday and then takes part in the two-day Bridgewater State Invitational on Saturday and Sunday before visiting Worcester-area rival Anna Maria next Tuesday.
Clark was picked seventh in the New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference preseason coaches' poll. Two-time defending champion and Clark nemesis, WPI, was picked to finish first, just ahead of MIT.
The duo of Nick DaPrato and Andrew Musler averaged a combined 29.6 points per game in 2013-14. That total was the second-most in the league behind only Babson's interior combination of Joey Flannery and John Wickey (32.7).
Andrew Musler enjoyed a breakout season in 2013-14. He averaged 13.8 points and 8.6 rebounds, shooting 40.7 percent from behind the arc and 78.4 percent from the free throw line. He was the only player in the conference to rank in the top ten in each of those categories.
The Gang's All Here
Clark returns eight of their top ten scorers from a season ago. In addition to DaPrato and Musler, the Cougars bring back Dow, Tyler Huffman (West Hartford, Conn.) and David Mercier (Milford, Mass.). That trio combined to average close to 17 points a game and connect on 57 three-pointers.
Pop The Top
Paul Phillips coached teams are 15-11 in all-time season openers since he became a head coach back in the 1986-87 season. Clark has won each of their last two and four of their last five lid lifters. In last year's season opener, the Cougars got 19 points from Nick DaPrato and 16 from Tyler Huffman in a 65-62 win over Vassar.
In 2013-14, Clark University made (199) and attempted (633) more three-pointers than any other team in the conference. In seven games a season ago, the Cougars connected on ten three-pointers or more, including a season-high 13 in in a 75-55 win over Southern Maine on December 30. In this matchup a season ago, the Scarlet and White made 11 triples on their way to erasing a 13-point deficit in the final two minutes to escape with the victory.
These Guys Are Good
A record-setting four teams from the NEWMAC made it to the NCAA Tournament in 2013-14. People are expecting big things from the league again as a pair of teams - WPI (12) and Babson (23) - are ranked in the D3Hoops.com top 25 and yet another, Springfield is receiving votes.
Clark's streak of holding opponents to under 100 points in a game has extended to 164 straight contests dating back to a 106-96 loss to Fitchburg State on December 6, 2007. In that contest, the Falcons shot 59 percent from the field, including 70 percent in the first half led by Brian Torres, who scored a game-high 33 points.
It's Been Awhile
The Cougars have reached the 100-point plateau 23 times during head coach Paul W. Phillips' 16 previous seasons. Clark is 21-2 in those games but the Scarlet and White haven't topped the century mark since a 104-95 win over Ramapo College on December 27, 2007.