New Hampshire Wildcats

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: America East
Past Conferences: North Atlantic Conference, ECAC North, Yankee, Independent

City: Durham, NH


Stadium: Lundholm Gymnasium

NCAA Tournaments: None

Championships:

National Championships: 0

Conference Titles: 0

Team History

An original Yankee Conference team dating back to the 1930s, the New Hampshire Wildcats joined with Vermont and Maine in moving to the ECAC North in 1979, which became the North Atlantic Conference in 1988 and then the America East in 1996.

It’s been mostly slow-going for a basketball team at a hockey school, with just 16 teams in the program’s long history recording a winning record. It endured 19 straight losing seasons between 1995 and 2014, although the trend has been more positive of late under head coach Bill Herrion, the school’s all-time winningest coach, with 212 victories. 

New Hampshire has had a winning record in six of its last eight campaigns, including its only two 20-win efforts in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Herrion, who took Drexel to three NCAA Tournaments in the 90s, will be entering his 18th year at the helm in 2022-23.

Never an NCAA Tournament

The Wildcats are one of a handful of teams to have never reached the NCAA Tournament. With expanded postseason options, their NCAA odds of extended play have improved and they’ve enjoyed some postseason basketball in recent years. The 2015-16 team won a game in the CollegeInsider.com tournament, the second straight year it appeared in the event. 

The 2021-22 edition opened its Division I slate with close losses to Marquette and Providence and had at least one victory against all America East teams not named Vermont. New Hampshire Wildcats teams stats reflected a defensive-minded unit that ranked second to the Catamounts in terms of scoring defense (65.0.) The Wildcats won their final three games of the regular season before being knocked off at home in the quarterfinals of the conference tourney.

All-Time Records

  • Points Scored
    • Tanner Leissner: 1,962
    • Al McClain: 1,861
    • Robin Dixon: 1,590

 

  • Rebounds
    • Iba Camara: 1,016
    • Dave Pemberton: 897
    • Tanner Leissner: 862

 

  • Assists
    • Al McClain: 415
    • Jaleen Smith: 364
    • Chandler Rhoads: 308

 

  • Wins
    • Bill Herrion: 212
    • Gerry Friel: 188
    • Bill Olson: 60

 

FAQs

What Is the Highest Win Total in Program History?

Both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 teams won 20 games. In the first of those two seasons, the program secured its first postseason win of all time by defeating Fairfield in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.

What Was the Worst Season in Program History?

So many to choose from. The Wildcats have finished with five or fewer wins 25 times and nine or fewer 51 times. While the 1967-68 edition had only one victory, we choose the 1999-2000 squad as the worst in New Hampshire history. That group went 3-25 while archrival Maine was winning 24 games. It lost its last 12 games, giving up 117 points in the America East tournament quarterfinals against Hartford.

Three other teams scored at least 100 points against the Wildcats that season, including a 131-point outburst by eventual national runner-up Florida. That remains a school record for the Gators.

 

Who Is the Greatest Player in Program History?

Tanner Leissner averaged 12.3 points per game as a freshman and only went up from there. He was third in the AEC in scoring as a senior at 18.7 per game and finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer. The Texas native also averaged at least 6.9 rebounds in all four of his seasons.

 

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