• 2018-19 Record: 2-0
  • 2017-18 Final Ranking: 12th
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 1990
  • NCAA Sweet 16: 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 1990
  • NCAA Elite Eight: 2014
  • UAA Championships: 2016, 2015, 2013, 1990, 1989

2017-18 Emory Men's Basketball Recap

2017-18 Emory Men's Basketball Recap

 The 2017-18 Emory men’s basketball team maintained its national presence in the Division III ranks, registering another banner season.

The Eagles closed out the year with a 23-5 mark, the second-highest win total in program history and their ninth consecutive winning campaign. Emory concluded the University Athletic Association portion of its schedule with a 12-2 ledger (second-highest win total in league play in school history), with its runner-up finish representing the ninth straight season where it placed third or higher.  
Since the 2010-11 season, the Eagles have the No. 1 record among conference teams in overall (162-54) action and the second-best showing in league (80-32) tussles. 

Playing in the postseason for the sixth consecutive year (seventh time ever), and ranked No. 6 nationally by D3hoops.com, Emory hosted the opening rounds at the Woodruff PE Center.  The Eagles topped Berry College, 91-72, in their first game before battling to a heart-stopping 83-82 decision over LeTourneau University, sending the squad to the Round of 16 for the fourth time in the past five seasons while closing out its home record at 14-1.  The next stop for head coach Jason Zimmerman and his squad was a trip to Moline, Illinois, and the campus of Augustana College where a date with University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh awaited. With a berth to the Elite 8 on the line, the Titans ended Emory’s season by a 93-72 count.  

Emory stood 4-2 after its first six contests of the year, winning both of its home games while splitting four road/neutral affairs.  The Eagles then went on a tear, registering an 11-game win streak, the second-longest mark during Zimmerman’s tenure as head coach (third longest in school history), boosting the squad’s overall mark to 15-2. The Eagles went 8-0 at home during the run, which included back-to-back-to-back victories over Guilford College, Illinois Wesleyan and Transylvania University, all of who concluded the year with winning records and IWU advancing to the NCAA Tournament. The Transylvania contest, which was the final game of 2017, saw senior Adam Gigax become the 15th player in school history to reach the 1,000 career-point plateau.

Another highlight during the 11-game win streak was Emory going 6-0 to start the UAA portion of the schedule, the first time in Zimmerman’s 11 years patrolling the sideline that the Eagles had begun league play with that effort. Emory made the most of playing its first three conference encounters at home, bettering Rochester, Carnegie Mellon and Case Western Reserve before notching road victories at New York University and Brandeis.  Back in Atlanta, the Eagles clawed to a five-point triumph over Chicago, which was highlighted by freshman Romin Williams totaling 31 points (high-water mark by an Emory player during the season), before suffering their first setback in league action to Washington University.  After opening the second half of the UAA with a road split, the Eagles finished strong, winning its last five contests, starting with a two-point decision over Carnegie Mellon, followed by a three-point outcome at Case Western.

Playing its final home weekend of the regular season, senior Whit Rapp become the school’s all-time assists leader in a 96-85 win over NYU, before the Eagles treated their fans to a 82-69 Senior Day victory over Brandeis. The final conference outing was a road test at Rochester, where Emory prevailed, 71-61.    

Whit Rapp enjoyed an outstanding final year from his point guard spot, earning First Team All-UAA and Second Team All-South Region honors as picked by the NABC and D3hoops.com.  Despite missing six games early in the season, he still doled out 167 assists, the fourth-highest seasonal total in school history, and his 7.6 per-game average ranked first in the league, third among all D-III players and second on the Eagles’ seasonal chart. He dished out 10 or more assists on five occasions with his 13 against LeTourneau in the NCAA Tournament tying for the highest effort by a UAA player during the season.  He wound up the campaign with a league-best 3.88 assist/turnover ratio which ranked fourth in D-III.   He scored in double figures in eight games, averaging 7.2 points over the course of the year.  Career-wise he stands as Emory's all-time leader with 629 assists and his 6.0 per-game average in that department also ranks as the program's No. 1 all-time mark.

Adam Gigax started all 26 of the games he saw action in and finished second on the club and sixth on the UAA scoring list with a 14.1 points-per-game average. A First-Team All-UAA selection for the third straight season, he garnered second-team All-South Region recognition as selected by both the NABC and D3hoops.com. Gigax produced 19 double-figure scoring contests (63 in career), including five outings of 20 or more points.  He topped the Eagles' scoring attack in 10 contests, one of which was a season-high 27 points vs.  Carnegie Mellon (Feb. 9).  He knocked down a team-leading 72 three-point field goals, fourth on the Eagles' seasonal chart, and his average of 2.7 triples per game placed second among the league leaders.  He was successful on 38.1 percent (72 of 189) of his three-point attempts, slotting him third in the UAA.  He closed out his four-year stint with the program in the No. 8 spot on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,244 points, and his 209 three-point field goals were the second-highest in Emory history.

Romin Williams made an immediate impact in his first year in the program, earning both Second Team All-UAA acclaim and the league’s Rookie of the Year Award.  The 5-foot-9 Williams paced the squad and stood fourth among UAA cagers in scoring average with a 15.1 points per game average. A double-figure scorer in 21 of his 27 appearances, he finished as the Eagles’ top point producer on 10 occasions.  He rang up seven games with 20 or more points and established himself as the most prolific freshman scorer in school history (408 pts.). He drained 64 three-point field goals, good for ninth place on Emory’s seasonal ladder, and his 39.6 percent performance from beyond the arc ranked among the conference leaders. At the conclusion of the year, the Harvey, Louisiana, native ranked among the UAA’s top-10 performers in five categories.

Senior Christopher Avant anchored the Eagles’ frontline, leading the club and ranking seventh in the UAA in rebounding with a 7.1 per-game average. Emory’s top rebounder in 18 contests, his final total of 199 boards represented the eighth-highest seasonal mark in program annals. Career-wise, he ranked 18th on the Eagles’ all-time chart with 416 rebounds. In the scoring department, the 6-foot-7 Avant placed third on the team with an 11.9 points-per-game average (13th in the UAA), scoring in double digits on 17 occasions. He connected on a team-leading 53.9 percent (132-of-245) from the floor, good for 10th place on the program’s seasonal ladder.

Junior Gebereal Baitey emerged as one of the UAA’s solid two-way players, scoring at an 11.0 per-game clip while ranking second on the team and 12th in the conference in assists (2.8 apg) and first among squad members and third in the loop in steals average (1.5 spg). The 6-foot-2 Baitey cracked double figures in scoring in 18 outings and ended up shooting 48.8 percent (122-of-250) from the field. He posted 12 contests of multiple steals and ended the campaign with 43 thefts.

Donald Avant rounded out the Eagles’ four-man senior class.  The 6-foot-7 twin of Christopher, Donald saw action in 25 games and averaged 3.7 points and 2.2 per outing. He made his first career start on Senior Day vs. Brandeis and responded with a career-high 17 points, hitting all seven of his field goal attempts along with three makes from the foul line.  Career-wise, he saw action in 82 contests.

Other noteworthy accomplishments by the 2017-18 team included:

** Ending the year ranked 12th nationally by D3hoops.com

** Ranking second in the UAA in overall scoring average with an average of 82.1 points per game, the seventh-highest seasonal mark in school history.

** Topping the UAA and ranking 16th in D-III with a 76.8 percent in free throw shooting, the third-best effort on the school’s seasonal chart.

** Establishing a school record with 266 three-point field goals, bettering the previous standard of 256 set by the 2015-16 and 2014-15 teams. The Eagles’ 266 treys placed them 33rd among all D-III schools. Emory sank 10 or more triples on 11 occasions including a 16-trey contest against New York University (Feb. 16) that represented the fourth-highest single-game mark in program history. At the end of the year, Emory had converted at least one three-point field goal in its last 545 games. 

** Ranking 58th nationally in three-point field goals per game (9.5 tpg).

** Scoring 90 or more points on seven occasions.

** Pacing the UAA and ranking 52nd nationally with a 2.7 turnover margin.

** Finishing No. 2 in the UAA in field goal percentage (.465). Emory outshot 17 foes from the field during the year, posting a 16-1 slate in those contests.

** Registering a conference-best 220 steals and pacing the league with a 7.9 steals-per-game-average.

** Compiling a 14-1 won-lost mark at the Woodruff PE Center.  At the conclusion of the ’17-18 campaign, the Eagles had registered a 94-11 record in their last 105 home encounters.  During Zimmerman’s 11 years at the helm of the program, Emory has manufactured a 112-27 slate on its home floor. 

Honors and Awards

National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-South District 
Adam Gigax Second Team Mason, OH
Whit Rapp Second Team Noblesville, IN
 

D3hoops.com All-South Region

Adam Gigax

Second Team

Mason, OH

Whit Rapp

Second Team

Noblesville, IN

 

All-UAA

Adam Gigax

First Team

Mason, OH

Whit Rapp

First Team

Noblesville, IN

Romin Williams (Rookie of the Year)

Second Team

Harvey, Louisiana

Christopher Avant

Honorable Mention

The Woodlands, TX

 

UAA Athletes of the Week

Adam Gigax

Jan. 15, 2018

Mason, OH

Gebereal Baitey

Mar. 5, 2018

Morristown, NJ 

Whit Rapp

Mar. 12, 2018

Noblesville, IN