Saint Louis (8-6, 0-1 A-10) vs. George Washington (11-3, 1-0 A-10)
Tuesday, Jan. 6 :: 6 p.m. (CT) :: Charles E. Smith Center (4,338)
SETTING THE SCENE
The Billikens play their first road game in a month when they travel to George Washington for an Atlantic 10 Conference tilt. Tip time from the Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, D.C., is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT).
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
Tuesday’s game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network. Dave Ryan and Steve Wolf are on the call. Evan Washburn will be on the sideline.
The radio broadcast will air on 101 ESPN (101.1 FM). As always, Billiken Hall of Famer Bob Ramsey provides the play-by-play, while St. Louis American Sports Editor and all-around hoops expert Earl Austin Jr. handles the analysis.
Tuesday’s game is the first for the Billikens on the road in a month. They have played their last six games at Chaifetz Arena. Last season, SLU posted the second-best road record in the nation at 11-1.
The Billikens (8-6, 0-1 A-10) have dropped two in a row, including a 65-53 loss to Rhode Island the last time out.
Saint Louis is in its 10th season of Atlantic 10 Conference play. The Billikens have captured the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season title outright the last two years.
Saint Louis has advanced to the NCAA Tournament the last three years, a school record. Additionally, the Billikens are one of 10 programs in the nation that have advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three seasons.
Austin McBroom leads the team in scoring with 10.8 ppg. He connects on 49.2 percent (29-for-60) of his 3-point attempts, which is third in the A-10.
Ash Yacoubou, who has scored in double figures in each of the last five games, averages a team-best 5.0 rpg and pumps in 9.9 ppg.
Milik Yarbrough is the Bills’ third-leading scorer with 8.4 ppg. He is coming off a career-high 19 points against Rhode Island. Yarbrough is 8th in the A-10 with a 53.8 percent (50-for-93) shooting mark from the floor.
Six of the Billikens’ eight victories have come while holding the opposition to fewer than 60 points. SLU has won 65 games in a row when holding its opponents to 60 or fewer points.
Saint Louis is fifth in the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring defense with 62.4 points allowed per game. GW checks in at second in the league, giving up 57.9 ppg. The Billikens, however, are last in scoring offense with 60.6 ppg.
Billiken head coach Jim Crews is in his third season at the helm. The back-to-back A-10 Coach of the Year is 63-20 in three seasons at Saint Louis, 417-368 in 27 years overall.
RECAPPING THE RHODE ISLAND GAME
Freshman Milik Yarbrough scored a career-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, but Rhode Island beat the Billikens 65-53 Saturday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.
Saint Louis fell to 8-6 overall (0-1 Atlantic 10), and the Rams won their fourth straight in improving to 9-3 (1-0 A-10). It was SLU’s first loss in an A-10 opener since the 2011-12 season, while Rhode Island ended a seven-game conference-opener losing streak.
In addition to his game-high 19 points, Yarbrough pulled down a game-high-tying eight rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end. Yarbrough has been on a roll as of late, as he notched a then-career-high 13 points in the Bills’ last game against Vanderbilt. Prior to that, Yarbrough posted his first career double-double in a SLU win over Vermont.
Ash Yacoubou recorded 11 points and seven rebounds, and Mike Crawford chipped in 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting off the bench. John Manning posted tied a career-high with four blocks.
BILLIKENS IN THE ATLANTIC 10
Saint Louis is in its 10th season in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
The Billikens have posted an 88-57 record in A-10 tilts.
In the last four years, the Bills are 38-11 in conference affairs.
SLU has captured back-to-back A-10 regular-season titles, going 13-3 in league play in each of the last two seasons.
Saint Louis captured its first A-10 tournament crown in 2012-13, the first season the league played the tourney at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
LIFE ON THE ROAD
Last season, the Billikens had the second-best road record in the country, going 11-1. Only undefeated Wichita State had a better road record than the Billikens last season.
In two road games this season, the Billikens defeated Indiana State in Terre Haute and fell to Wichita State in Wichita. SLU also played a pair of games on a neutral court in Corpus Christi, Texas, in November, falling to Mississippi State and beating Bradley in the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic.
SPEED LIMIT 60
Six of SLU’s victories this year have come while holding the opposition to fewer than 60 points.
The Billikens have won 66 games in a row when holding their opponents to 60 or fewer points.
The last time the Billikens lost while giving up 60 or fewer points was Jan 29, 2011, a 52-46 defeat at George Washington.
THE MOST SINCE...
Freshman forward Milik Yarbrough posted the first double-double by a Billiken freshman since Dwayne Evans in 2010-11. Evans had five double-doubles in his rookie campaign.
Yarbrough’s 19 points against Rhode Island were the most by a Billiken freshman in a league game since Evans scored 21 against Richmond in 2010-11.
Freshman guard Miles Reynolds' 19 points against North Carolina A&T are the most by a Billiken freshman since Mike McCall Jr. scored 19 against Southern Mississippi on Dec. 23, 2010.
Junior guard Austin McBroom’s six 3-pointers against Bradley are the most by a Billiken since Kwamain Mitchell buried seven against Rhode Island on Jan. 19, 2012.
McBroom’s 26 points against Bradley are the most by a Billiken in a nonconference game since Mitchell had 33 points against UMKC on Dec. 22, 2009.
BILLIKENS TO CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARY SEASON
This season marks the 100th anniversary of Billiken Basketball, and the 99th season. The Billikens did not compete in 1943-44 due to World War II.
There will be several special events and promotions this season to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Billiken Basketball, including an All-Century Team unveiling later this year. Fans are currently voting for their favorite players via online balloting.
The Billikens’ first game ever recorded was Jan. 14, 1915, against Company E. The Billikens play Duquesne exactly 100 years later on Jan. 14, 2015, at Chaifetz Arena.
CREWS IN THIRD YEAR
Back-to-back A-10 Coach of the Year Jim Crews is in his third season as the Billikens’ head coach.
He is 63-20 in three years at Saint Louis, 417-368 in 27 years overall.
Crews was tabbed the 2012-13 UPS NABC Division I Coach of the Year, Sporting News’ National Coach of the Year and the A-10 Coach of the Year. He was a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year award.
He has been a part of 16 NCAA Tournaments as a player, assistant coach and head coach. Crews played on Indiana’s 1976 national championship team and also won a title as an assistant coach in 1981.
SCOUTING GEORGE WASHINGTON
George Washington University (Washington, D.C.) enters Tuesday’s game with an 11-3 overall record and 1-0 mark in Atlantic 10 Conference play.
The Colonials, who have won five in a row, are coming off a 64-60 win against Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia in their league opener. GW led by 20 at the 8:54 mark of the second half before a late run by the Hawks made it close.
GW won the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii over Christmas. The Colonials knocked off 11th-ranked Wichita State 60-54 in the title game of the tourney.
Patricio Garino leads three players in double figures with 13.2 ppg. Kethan Savage adds 12.7 ppg while Kevin Larsen scores 11.5 ppg and brings down a team-best 7.4 rpg.
The Colonials have employed the same starting five in every game. Joining the above trio in the lineup are Joe McDonald (8.9 ppg) and John Kopriva (6.9 ppg).
Head coach Mike Lonergan is in his fourth season at GW with a 58-50 record. He has a career record of 435-206.
Saint Louis leads the all-time series 6-5 and has won three in a row.
All five of GW’s wins in the series have come at the Charles E. Smith Center.
SLU’s lone win at the Smith Center came two years ago when it defeated the Colonials 66-58. John Manning, the only active Billikens to play in that game, saw two minutes of action.