Johns Hopkins will be looking for a repeat of last season when it opens the Middle Atlantic Conference-South men's basketball playoffs tonight against defending champion Franklin and Marshall in Lancaster, Pa.
A year ago, Hopkins lost a regular-season game at F&M, 97-60, then won a second-round game in the Division III national tournament, 85-78. Earlier this season, Hopkins lost to the second-ranked Diplomats at Homewood, 83-79, in overtime.
There is a subplot in the lose-and-out situation as Hopkins senior Andy Enfield is on the verge of setting a Division III national record for career foul shooting and becoming the all-time National Collegiate Athletic Association leader, regardless of division. Going into the game, Enfield has made 412 of 447 chances, for a percentage of .922.
The current national Division III record-holder is Doug Brown of Elizabethtown (1976-80), who made 252 of 279 attempts for .903.
The career leaders are not listed until after their careers have ended, so Enfield will go to the top of the list next year.
"The amazing thing about him [Enfield] is that not only does he have career percentages of .526 for all field goals and .472 on three-point shots, but he has done it averaging fewer than 12 shots a game," Hopkins coach Bill Nelson said yesterday. The career scoring average for the 6-foot-1 guard from Shippensburg, Pa., is 18.7.
Looking at tonight's game, Nelson said, "Last year, I think they [F&M] kind of looked past us. This time, they are fully aware of us."
For the season, Hopkins is 16-9, and F&M is 24-1.
Nelson shrugs off the loss of Evan Jones, a key inside player of a year ago, who transferred, and the subpar season of junior starter Jay Gangemi. One of the fingers on Gangemi's shooting hand was cut off in a boating accident last summer, then sewn back on. The injured finger is often numb and has to be iced.
"We have a much stronger bench than a year ago, and that has balanced out the rest," Nelson said.
"This senior group is the best class in Johns Hopkins history. It did not have a losing season, and has set all the standards. And our freshmen [seven] have been outstanding."
Other seniors are starting guard Dave Eikenberg (John Carroll), who holds all the school records for assists and steals; starting front-liners Bill Zahn and Eric Hastings (Perry Hall), and guard David Strong. Enfield is the top scorer at 21.1, followed by Gangemi at 10.6.
Guard Will Lasky is the leading scorer (18.7) for the second year in a row for Franklin and Marshall, which starts four juniors and a sophomore. The team's only loss was to MAC-Southwest rival Lebanon Valley, 72-67.
Enfield's foul shooting
Season . . .G . . . FT-FTA . . . PCT.
87-88 . . . . . .24 . . 85-95 . . . .895
88-89 . . . . . .27 . . 86-94 . . . .915
89-90 . . . . . .28 . . 137-148 . . .926
90-91 . . . . . .25 . . 104-110 . . .945
Totals . . . . .104 . . 412-447 . . .922
* Division I leader Greg Starrick, Kentucky-Southern Illinois, last season 1972, 72 games, 341-375, .909
* Division II leader Karl Andrews, McNeese State, 1967-69, 67 games, 252-275, .916
* Division III leader Doug Brown, Elizabethtown, 1976-80, 96 games, 252-279, .903